The committee hopes to promote awareness of the 23rd Census and encourage everyone in the area to fill out the Census with the event.
The commission officially declared April 2010 as Census Awareness Month in Talladega County in preparation for the rally.
As a result of the hard work of the committee, Talladega County has been selected as a stop on the United State Census Road Tour Rally, with the event kicking off at 9:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Ritz Theater. Various events throughout the day will also be held on the Courthouse Square.
Members of the committee include Robert Weaver, Dan Payant, Jason Hurst, Brenda Brooks, Judith Lavender, Josephine McKinney, Commission Chairman Kelvin Cunningham, Marie Player, Janice Keith, Judy McSween, Barbara Dunn, Teresa Curlee, Michael Boldin, Ronald Wallace, Hayes Grooms, Alfreda Hendricks, Chris Stone, Bill Kennedy, Mary Williford, Lynn Hanner, Sally Mitchell, Joe Duck, Steve Dover, Jerry Jones and Cookie Adair.
Probate Judge Billy Atkinson made a point to mention at the commission meeting where the proclamation states that one person not being counted in the Census could cost Alabama a total of $13,155. Knocking on someone’s door to locate a questionnaire may cost the public anywhere from $60 to $75.
The proclamation also states that the Census is “more than a headcount, it also determines reapportionment and provides for the disbursement of funds to states and local communities.” Local governments throughout the county and the committee are encouraging every individual to be counted in this year’s Census.
Some of the events being encouraged leading up to the rally include promoting the contributions of the community’s greatest generation; local school systems; historic landmarks; industries; and family, class and church reunions.
The committee also hopes to see countywide cleanups, picnics, physical fitness awareness, health screenings, recognitions of academic and sports contributions, music events to promote the 1930s and 1940s Census era with swing and jazz big band music and tournaments. The school system program “April in County Government” has also received the support of the committee.
Events set for the day of the rally include presentations of proclamations by Commissioner Cunningham and Talladega Mayor Brian York at 9:30 a.m. The two will also address the audience, officials and media. Photo opportunities will follow after the speeches.
Then Census Tours will begin about 10:30 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. The general public, students and other organizations and groups are welcome to participate in these tours.
Conversations will also be taking place in the Commissioners’ Courtroom throughout the day, allowing people to learn about the past, pride and participation that go along with organizing a Census.
Drawings for door prizes begin at 2 p.m., and the breakdown of the tour exhibit begins at 2:30.
Bob Phillips, an acclaimed trumpet player born in Sylacauga, will provide a limited free show at the Ritz from 11 a.m. to noon during the rally. Phillips attended Auburn University before serving as a U. S. Army paratrooper and in the U. S. Army Band. He finished his education at the University of Alabama where he played in the Million Dollar Marching Band.
Phillips began working in Nashville and was asked to record and work with famous musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wayne Newton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Solomon Burk, Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye, Roy Orbison, Rufus Thomas and the Righteous Brothers.
He was also chosen to lead the Opryland Jazz Band for six years. Phillips chose to retire in Talladega County to raise his two children, but he still makes limited appearances to share his talent with music classes and fill in with occasional bands.
This year, Phillips and fellow band members performed to help celebrate the history of jazz at the B. B. Comer Memorial Public Library.