The 2016 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade will be special for 25 year old Melissa Wozniak. The South Philadelphia native was diagnosed at 10 months old with cerebral palsy and learned to walk at five years old. Through her battle Melissa and her family have the support of the Mummers community but this upcoming parade will be different from years past.
“This year will be my first parade with the fancy brigades and I will be marching with the second street shooters and I am really excited about it,” Melissa Wozniak said.
The Wozniak family is all around mummery. Her dad and brother march with the Downtowners and her sister and brother in law march with the Avenuers. The family says having the support of the mummers being alongside Melissa goes a long way.
“It makes her stronger. It makes her feel wanted being apart of the parade. Everyone is willing to help her with being in the parade,” Melissa's mother Marge Wozniak said.
Melissa has been around Mummery all of her life.
“I just love the atmosphere of everything. It’s kind of like family. Everybody comes together. It’s the colors and the atmosphere,” Melissa Wozniak said.
The 2nd Street Shooters will be kicking off the Fancy Brigades in the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 8pm on New Year's Day.
“Its kind of what mummery is all about is to accept someone. It's awesome that they went out of their way to reach out to Melissa to be apart of the club and it is something that we are very thankful for,” Melissa’s sister, Megan Kersic said.
by:David Grzybowski/ PHL17
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