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Dr. F.D. Reese Foundation holds inaugural event

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

The Frederick D. Reese Foundation had its kickoff event last weekend, which was called “March 4 Muscles.”

The organization gathered at Bloch Park last Sunday and marched to raise awareness for muscular dystrophy and its effects on the body.

Alan Reese, co-founder of the Frederick D. Reese Foundation, said the foundation is named after his grandfather, Dr. F.D. Reese, who was influential in the voting rights movement in Selma in 1965. F.D. Reese was a member of the Courageous Eight.

This movement eventually resulted in former President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Acts of 1965, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

“The mission is honoring the legacy and also saving the dream,” Reese said. “We want to honor our grandfather’s legacy.”

Reese started the foundation with his brother Marvin Reese Jr.

He said the public may not know there is a foundation honoring an “unsung hero” like his grandfather.

He said the foundation having its first event during the Bridge Crossing Jubilee weekend offered a chance for more people to learn about the organization while raising awareness for muscular dystrophy at the same time.

“The reason we wanted to do it during Jubilee time is we figured we could bring more awareness because Jubilee draws a big crowd from all over the world,” he said.

Reese said this cause is personal to his family, because his grandfather lost two of his sons to the disease, and making the public aware of the affects of the disease can save lives. He said they plan to make the march an annual event

“We just want to bring more awareness to this disease that’s taking their lives,” he said.

He said they want to show the people that are suffering with muscular dystrophy that they care about them and are willing to march when they cannot.

Reese said the organization wants to do a lot more in the community and offer scholarships to the youth in Selma. He said from students in grades third through 12 and college students all have the opportunity to win a scholarship for back to school items.

The students will have to write an article about F.D. Reese, and the winner will win certain amounts depending on their grade level.

He also said Selma needs people that are dedicated to making it better and not just during a specific time.

“I feel like sometimes a lot of people come to Selma, but once they leave there’s no more awareness in Selma during the rest of the year,” Reese said.

For more information on the foundation or how to apply for scholarships, visit “Frederick D. Reese Foundation, Inc.” on Facebook.