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Plant City Christmas Parade grand marshal is known for her community service

PLANT CITY – The grand marshal for next month’s Plant City Christmas Parade is no stranger to community service.

But Dodie White doesn’t seek the spotlight.

White has held a number of leadership roles but “she often works behind the scenes and a lot of people don’t know the work that she does,” said Sharon Moody, a member of the committee that selected White as grand marshal.

She was a logical choice because the parade committee always picks someone who’s made the community a better place, Moody said.

White, a Plant City native, said she felt humbled when she was told she’d lead the parade.

“I feel like there are so many people who are more deserving of this than me, so I feel so honored,” she said. “I had absolutely no idea. I have never been so surprised in my life.”

For three decades, the Christmas parade through downtown has helped herald in the holiday season. This year’s procession starts 6 p.m. Dec. 6.

White is a graduate of Plant City High School and has a business degree from St. Leo University. She is controller for Cone & Graham Inc., a firm that builds roads and bridges.

Her volunteer service includes leadership roles with Plant City Entertainment, Arts Council of Plant City, Veteran’s Memorial Foundation Monument Committee, American Cancer Society, United Food Bank of Plant City’s celebrity chef committee and Florida Strawberry Festival.

She’s a trustee and council member at First United Methodist Church of Plant City.

She has also been active over the years with the Christmas parade, most recently with the marketing committee. Her selection for grand marshal was unanimously approved by the parade’s board of directors.

Longtime youth coach Buddy Bennett will also have a place of honor during the parade, Moody said. Bennett and his family will ride in a float of their own in recognition of his years of service helping youngsters.

The parade forms at Alsobrook and Collins streets, and heads north on Collins, and turns east on Reynolds Street to the courthouse. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Season.”

The parade committee is still seeking sponsorships. For information, call Moody at (813) 453-7134, Marsha Passmore at (813) 245-2244 or Henry Falcon at (863) 255-3914.

The committee is also seeking more entries into the parade. Applications are available at the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, 106 N. Evers St. The application deadline is Nov. 27.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib

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