Organizers prepare for Labor Day

More than 65 groups and organizations have registered to march in the parade. Awards will be presented in each class and all participants will be given a certificate.

Chuck Brooks served for years as parade chairman but stepped down from the post at the end of June.

“I’ve helped with the parade in the past,” Ostrander said. “When I was asked to take it over, I said ‘We’ll get it done!’”

She used the word “we” because she knew she could count on her husband, Jim, who retired from Carpenters Local 269, now Local 44.

Nicole Pounds, administrative assistant for the American Federation of Government Employees, also helped by updating the database of parade participants for Ostrander.

Pounds’ mother, Amie, past AFGE president who now works on the national level for the union, encouraged her children to march in the parade with her for years.

“I remember lots of floats and entertainment (in the parade) when I was younger, ten or so years ago,” Pounds said. “We’ve gotten away from that, but we’re still there for the kids.

“We want to send a message that the labor unions are still strong, still important, in the life of this community,” she said.

Connie Ostrander also serves as secretary/treasurer of the American Federation of Labor and as treasurer of the AFGE. “I am proud to be a part of labor in Vermilion County,” she said.

“We have labor unions from Champaign and Terre Haute in this year‘s parade,” Ostrander said. “The local Plumbers and Steamfitters have merged with those in Terre Haute and the Carpenters’, Laborers’ and Teamsters’ offices are now in Champaign. These union members like to parade in their own town.

“(But) labor is alive and well in Vermilion County,” she said. “We have citizens from all facets of life, from health care, the building trades, education, government, factories, food and commercial workers who are active in their unions.”

Lori DeYoung, Democratic candidate for State Representative for the 104th District, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

“Labor Day is all about the workers,” Ostrander said. “It was the unions’ consensus to appoint her as grand marshal.”

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