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Another great success at this year’s holiday parade in Auburn

Staff & Board of the Downtown Auburn BID extend their gratitude to everyone that participated in the Holiday Parade, and those that came out to enjoy it! Special thanks go to Terry Colella and Healing H’Arts Equestrian Center, for hosting Mr. & Mrs. Claus, played by the talented Merlyn Fuller & John Woodman. We also thank the fun-loving Grinch, played by Joel Campagnola. The Grinch apologizes to everyone for holding up the parade flow, due to his numerous requests for photos & signing autographs from all his adoring fans.

Float Competition

The competition was tough this year, and BID congratulates this year’s float winners: 1st place went to the unstoppable BOCES Skills USA, 2nd place to Capt. Jack & Literacy Volunteers, 3rd place to the Town of Throop, and 4th place to Healing H’Arts Equestrian Center. We so appreciate everyone’s time & efforts in preparing their entries. Everyone did a great job.

Capt. Jack & Literacy Volunteers Gift Books to Children along the Parade Route

For the past ten years, Rick Martinez has participated in the Holiday Parade as everyone’s favorite pirate. From riding aboard a small raft to steering his full length pirate ship, Rick has continually raised awareness for Calvary Food Pantry & Literacy Volunteers of Cayuga County.

Last year, Rick and his family & friends decided to give back in a different way. Rick solicited social media donations for gently used books to give to the children. Being an advocate for literacy, and an avid book lover, he wanted to do something special. He and his wife Andrea & friends wrapped 300 books to hand out. The response was incredible when the children realized they were getting a present instead of just candy. Rick also changed his pirate persona to Captain Nick Klaus and the children loved it.

This year, the group again solicited donations for children’s books. They collected over 700 books plus wrapping paper. Rick and his elves then wrapped and sorted them all to gift at this year’s parade. He also worked very hard on getting the ship looking more festive than ever.

Then Captain Klaus & his elves passed out all 700 books in this year’s parade. Yet, sadly it wasn’t enough stock, and they ran out of books halfway through. Now, Rick is soliciting for more books for next year because he wants every child to enjoy the gift of reading.

Fellow volunteer Michelle Barber shared, “Rick is about giving back, and it’s a year round thing for him and his wife. His motto is, “The greatest gift you can receive is putting a smile on someone’s face.” He truly is someone in our community who should be recognized & cherished. We can’t wait to see what Rick and his elves will put together next year.”

To donate books please contact Rick Martinez [email protected] or call 315.237-8959.


This is a republished press release from the Auburn Downtown Business Improvement District. To have a press release published, please send it to [email protected]



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