Volunteers bring Christmas spirit to Donaldsonville

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley
The Street Legal Riders Motorcycle Club gave bikes and toys away after the Donaldsonville Christmas Parade.

The Donaldsonville Christmas Parade wasn’t just about a bunch of floats and a lot of throws; it was about giving something special to the community. Coordinated by volunteer Murray Walker, the parade turned into an event that brought out family and friends during this season of giving. Walker wasn’t alone in the planning and executing, there were several others who lended a hand for this community event.

The parade was led by Grand Marshal’s Floyd Batiste and Schewanda Taylor, both retirees of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and ended with a bike and toy giveaway.

After the parade, the Street Legal Riders Motorcycle Club hosted the giveaway with help from other donors in the community. Before the giveaway though, the MC had a friend, John Tyree, from the “Legal Ambitious Riders” (LA Riders) speak to the large group that gathered at Crescent Park after the parade.

Tyree, Vice President of the LA Riders, said he knows about the situation in Donaldsonville, relating to the late-teen Brandon Augusta who was found dead. Tyree said he buried his own 18-year-old son three months ago from an incident at high school.

“Understanding what Christmas is all about you’ll see it’s not so much about the gifts under the tree,” Tyree said. “We all know who God is, we know what we represent and we know what your mother and father work hard for so it’s not about the tree. It’s about knowing who gave his life for us.”

Tyree said it was his first time coming to Donaldsonville, but added that the positive message of his son’s death is being able to stand and talk to young people about it.

“He was a captain of the football team and graduating next year,” Tyree said. “You never know from one day to the next. In high school you never know, you clown around and mess around. A kid hit him in the back of the head, one hit and he was unconscious before he hit the ground. He cracked his head in two places.”

After talking to the group, Tyree said the next day is never promised to anybody.

“If the positive message through my son can encourage other young people and teach one another, then I’m going to share it,” Tyree said.

Miguel Miles, President of Street Legal Riders, said events like the Christmas Parade and the bike and toy giveaway is just the beginning of things the MC plans to do in the future.

After it all, Walker was proud to have given his community something positive – with the parade, Tyree’s message and the bike and toy giveaway.

“I want to give God the glory first and foremost,” Walker said. “I thank the people in the [Donaldsonville High] alumni association who helped me out and assisted me with this. It was a group effort. I can’t take all the credit and all the accolades. The turnout was awesome. To see the smile on the people’s faces makes me feel good. If I was able to bless them with a parade and bless them with donating bikes and toys, my living is not in vein.”

“The City of Donaldsonville, I want to thank them for having the confidence in me to put on the parade,” Walker said. “I appreciate it and look forward to doing it in the future as well.”

Walker added: “Everybody who made this parade possible, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. To God be the glory.”