Estes Park Trail Gazette – Eagle Rock staff member to march in presidential inaugural parade

In keeping with its commitment to hold inaugural events that celebrate our common values and reflect our nation’s history of community service, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s Inaugural Committee officially extended an offer to the Peace Corps Community and AmeriCorps Alums to march in the 56th Inaugural Parade.

Members of these service organizations will join representatives from across the country and our Armed Forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following President-elect Obama’s swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.

Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center will march with the AmeriCorps Alumni group. Condon was a member of the first AmeriCorps class in 1994 where he served with Public Allies, Inc.

Condon was the founding Executive Director of the Public Allies Teaching Fellowship Program at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center where 84 AmeriCorps members have served Eagle Rock and the Estes Valley since 2001.

President-elect Obama was a member of the founding board of Public Allies, Inc. Michelle Obama was the founding Executive Director of Public Allies Chicago from Spring 1993 until Fall 1996, and served on the national board of directors from 1997 until 2001.

“These organizations embody the best of our nation’s history, diversity and commitment to service,” said President-elect Obama. “Vice President-elect Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade.”

On Monday, Jan. 19, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families will join Americans across the nation as they participate in activities dedicated to serving others in their communities. In 1994, Congress passed legislation designating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as a national day of community service, and the Presidential Inaugural Committee will be working to encourage participation in service projects nationwide to honor the legacy of Dr. King.

Organizations wishing to participate in the parade submitted an application to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), which then assisted the Presidential Inaugural Committee in reviewing all of the groups’ applications. All told, 1,382 organizations applied to participate, setting a new standard for interest in marching in the parade.

The Peace Corps Community will include members who served with the corps from the 1960s to the present. Marchers will carry the flags of the countries that Peace Corps have served over the years. AmeriCorps Alums will include some of the millions of alumni of national service in this country since John F. Kennedy’s call to service and the conception of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in 1961.

In addition to these groups, a number of other parade participants also participate in active community service programs. The Presidential Inaugural Committee was assisted in its selection process by a group of experienced military musicians who utilized their expertise to help assess the presentation skills of marching bands, musical acts and drill teams.

All participants in the Inaugural Parade are responsible for paying for their own lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C. The committee has been working closely with area governments and civic organizations to facilitate access to affordable accommodations and would like to encourage citizens from across the country to reach out and help the Peace Corps.