Annie Malone

A young onlooker enjoyed the 2015 May Day Parade. This year’s fundraiser for the Annie Malone Children’s & Family Service Center is scheduled for Sunday, May 15. Photo by Lawrence Bryant / St. Louis American

Annie Malone Children’s & Family Service Center will use the 2016 May Day Parade – scheduled for Sunday, May 15 – to announce a new community engagement effort.

“This year’s parade will give us a platform to galvanize the community around efforts to rebuild the Ville Neighborhood as well as grow the organization to serve more kids and families,” said Leslie Gill, its new chief executive officer. “Our desire is to undergo some master planning for our main building, as well as the old Homer G. Phillips Nurses Residence building, which can change the trajectory of the neighborhood.”

A group known as the Ville Cooperative is in the planning stage of these new efforts.

Established 125 years ago by Annie Malone, a visionary and one of the first black female millionaires, the center has served countless families from its Greater Ville Neighborhood location in North St. Louis. Over the years, the agency has grown into a multi-service center that addresses social and education needs of children and families in crisis.

The parade is the agency’s most profitable fundraiser. Proceeds from entry registrations and booth rentals help fund the agency’s Crisis Intervention, Transitional Living, Parenting Education and Therapeutic School programs. The funds also help provide at-risk children and young adults a safe place to stay, learn and overcome life’s challenges.

The Annie Malone May Day Parade is the nation’s oldest and second largest African-American parade. The May 15 procession will gather at 20th and Market Streets at 1 p.m., and proceed eastward on Market to downtown, where it will culminate in an outdoor festival.

To register for the parade and/or festival booth rental, or for more information on sponsorship opportunities, call 314-531-0120, visit or email

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