Areva Martin Esq., the president and co-founder of Special Needs Network (SNN), was named as this year’s Grand Marshal for the 94th annual Candy Cane Lane Christmas Parade, one of only a few nighttime holiday parades in the Los Angeles area. The parade attracts 13,000 attendees was held on Friday, Dec. 4. The parade route goes along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for approximately one mile to Bullis Road in Lynwood.
In an invitation letter to Martin, Marisela Santana, a public information officer with the City of Lynwood, said that every year the city strives to make the parade grander than the previous year and seeks to involve individuals who embody the spirit of their communities. Santana went on to say, “You, Mrs. Martin, embody the spirit of our communities and most definitely are deserving of serving as our Grand Marshal.”
“I’m truly humbled and honored,” said Martin, who has led the South LA-based nonprofit for nearly a decade and spearheaded numerous initiatives that help improve the quality of life for individuals living with special needs and disabilities. “I share this moment with all of our advocates and families. To receive this type of invitation inspires me to keep working hard and doing more for those in need and reminds me that our hard work does not go unnoticed.”
Under Martin’s leadership, SNN has worked with more than 40,000 children and families and is known as California’s premiere resource organization for autism advocacy and serving under-served populations, particularly African American and Latino communities.
To learn more about SNN, visit snnla.org or call (323) 291-7100. SNN invites anyone with questions or concerns about autism and other developmental disabilities to contact their office for information on available resources, programs and service providers.