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    San Bernardino Mayor Pro Tem Rikke Van Johnson

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Mayor Pro Tem Rikke Van Johnson recently named long-time community volunteer Jo Ann Parker as San Bernardino’s Citizen of the Month for May 2009.

    Parker, 72, leads the Pacesetters Drill Team and Drum Squad with her daughter Kelly Graham. Parker has been a leader of this group for most of the last 37 years.

    “She has been active in the community for almost four decades,” Johnson said. “She has given her time and talent to invest in young people in this community and now her daughter is doing so too.”

    The Pacesetters started in the 1960s as the Franklin Junior High School Rhythm Team, as it was part of that school. The school has since been renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

    Parker began helping the Pacesetters in 1972, which went on to become part of the All American Drill Team circuit and marched in as many as 32 parades a year throughout southern California.

    In 1980, the Pacesetters affiliated with the San Bernardino Boys & Girls Club. It remains a part of this organization, where Johnson is president of the Board of Directors.

    The Pacesetters have competed in numerous competitions in California, Arizona, Las Vegas and New Orleans. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles they marched every day around the Rose Garden at the Coliseum.

    Parker is a long-time friend of Johnson’s family, he noted.

    “Her brother-in-law and my father were buddies in elementary school,” he said.

    Johnson created the Citizen of the Month program in 2004, after he was first elected to the San Bernardino City Council. Citizen is also an acronym for Concerned Investor of Time/Talent, Involved, Enthusiasm and Neighborly.

    Rikke Van Johnson represents the Sixth Ward on the City Council of San Bernardino, where he has lived for most of his life. He is the manager for Greenwood Bail Bonds, and previously worked for 27 years as a clerk for the United States Postal Service.



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