In The Press: Wedding Proposal a First for Gardner White and America’s Thanksgiving Parade

By Gina Joseph for Macomb Daily

Thursday was a picture perfect day for Dawn Hardy of Chesterfield Township, who walked in America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White along with other members of the Gardner White team.

The weather was warm and sunny.

Gardner White’s new float was fantastic.

The grandstands were full.

She couldn’t have expected that her boyfriend would propose marriage to her in front of everyone at the parade and a national TV audience.

He did.

“I was completely surprised,” Hardy said, of the parade proposal by Jeff Damore, also of Chesterfield Township and warehouse manager for Gardner White. “All of my kids knew but they didn’t give it up.”

Hardy said she knew that the parade would stop several times along the route to give everyone a chance to catch up or slow down, so when they stopped in front of the Gardner White grandstands she thought nothing of it. Then she saw the crowd cheering and staring at the float behind her.

That’s when she looked up and saw the signs.

They read:





When she looked down again, Damore was on one knee proposing marriage.

“Of course I said, ‘yes’” Dawn said, the tone in her voice revealing a lingering joy from the morning’s event. Once Damore got his answer, the crowd cheered even more and the signs on the float were flipped to announce that she said yes.

Ironically, Gardner White’s new float is all about Detroit firsts, and as far as anyone can tell Damore’s proposal is also a first for the parade.

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