Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Andre Mitchell to be History Month Parade Grand Marshall

Andre Mitchell, right, met Santa Claus during a holiday celebration in December at the P-Town Combat Sports Academy
Andre Mitchell, right, met Santa Claus during a holiday celebration in December at the P-Town Combat Sports Academy.

Andre Mitchell, a Perris resident and Los Angeles police officer who has mentored dozens of youngsters while developing a top-notch football program and combat sports academy in the City, will serve as grand marshal in Saturday’s annual Black History Month Parade and Expo.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of  a Black History Parade in Perris, which in May will celebrate its 100th birthday as an incorporated City.

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers called Mitchell an outstanding example of someone who has given freely of his time and talents to make Perris a better place to live.

“The way Andre has taken the lead to become a mentor and father figure to so many of our young people is truly remarkable,” Rogers said. “He is one of the finest examples in our community of someone who has given compassionately to the entire community.”

Mitchell has worked with the City since 2001. Over the years, his efforts with the City resulted in the creation of Patriot Park, which has become home to many sporting events, including a football league that draws teams from all over the Inland Empire. Last year, seven graduates of the league earned Division 1 football and basketball scholarships.

In 2009, Mitchell once again joined forces with the City to open the P-Town Combat Sports Academy to teach boxing and martial arts to youngsters 7 to 21 years old. Hundreds take part in the program each month.

Mitchell said he encounters a lot of troubled youth in his job as a cop, which entails him traveling around the country as part of a fugitive-tracking team and returning them to California to face justice.

“I just want to give kids a sense of direction and turn them away from the negativity of the streets,” he said. “I want to guide them from kindergarten to college, steer them in the right direction and keep them on the right path.”

Mitchell said the City of Perris has proven an invaluable partner in making Patriot Park and the sports academy a reality. The City provided space and some funding to seed the projects.

“I would not be able to do all that I have without the City’s help,” he said. “The City of Perris has bent over backwards to support our organization and I am eternally grateful.”

Councilwoman Rogers said Perris takes pride in all its diverse communities. She said the City finds strength through its diversity and that strength ensures that this Centennial year will be nothing short of awesome.

“Perris is really blessed,” Rogers said. “We have a wonderful cultural heritage and every single group is coming out to support our Centennial.”

The theme of the Black History Month Parade and Expo is “Lifting Up the City of Perris.” The parade features floats, classic cars, dancing units, marching bands and includes a special category honoring parade entries featuring the City of Perris Centennial. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at American Legion Post 595 at 600 South D Street.  The parade will travel north on D Street to San Jacinto Avenue and proceed east to Perris City Hall. Following the parade, the Black History Month Expo takes place at Foss Field Park and focuses on 100 years of Perris History. For Parade Applications or more information, call Perris Community Services 951-943-6603