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Organizers ready for Monday’s Solidarity Day parade in Massena

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MASSENA — Organized labor will take the spotlight on Monday when the 33rd annual Solidarity Day parade winds through Massena’s streets.

Labor groups, bands and local politicians will line up at 10 a.m. at Willow and Center streets and step off at 11 a.m., heading to Springs Park for a post-parade picnic for parade participants.

Guests marching in Monday’s parade include state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome; Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa; St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve and St. Lawrence County coroner candidate Eric Warner.

The Massena High School Marching Band will also be part of the parade.

This year’s Solidarity Day Parade Committee co-chairs are Ronald P. McDougall, president of the Central Trades and Labor Council, and Randy Woodside, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2032.

Mr. McDougall said committee members have been meeting to plan Monday’s event.

“We’ve been getting things lined up. Now we’re just anxiously waiting. The big thing is watching the weather. A week or so ago the forecast was pretty good. Things have changed,” he said.

The forecast as of Friday is predicting showers and thunderstorms Monday morning.

“We’ll take the usual route. It takes a shortcut to get by Spanky’s, on to Main Street, down to South Main and then a huge picnic (at Springs Park, West Hatfield Street) for parade participants after recognizing organized labor,” Mr. McDougall said.

As this year’s Solidarity Day parade gets set to begin, he said, there are a couple of north country issues that are on the minds of organized labor — the potential privatization of Massena Memorial Hospital and the planned relocation of inpatient services at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg.

Employees at both locations belong to the Civil Services Employees Association. Some hospital employees are represented by the New York State Nurses Association.

As part of Monday’s events at Springs Park, a raffle drawing will be held for $10,000 and other cash prizes. Tickets to benefit Massena’s Solidarity Day Parade are now available at Frenchie’s Chevrolet.

Tickets are $10.

The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 cash, with second prize of $5,000, third prize of $1,000, fourth prize of $500, fifth prize of $400, sixth prize of $300, seventh prize of $200 and eighth prize of $100.

“We’re trying to raise money for underwriting the cost associated with this, which is substantial. When you’re feeding a couple thousand people, it costs money,” Mr. McDougall said.

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