Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
This past Friday’s annual Christmas parade could possibly have been the last.
According to Niki Monceaux, the 2012 Orange Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade could potentially have been the last unless dramatic changes occur prior to the 2013 event. Lack of membership, which provides much of the volunteers needed to organize the parade, is the driving reason.
“Our membership is really down,” Monceaux said. “If we can’t get our membership to increase, I don’t know if we will have a parade next year. This year’s parade was mass chaos because there isn’t enough help.”
Jaycees is an organization of young professionals between the ages of 18 and 40 which teaches leadership development and business skills through community service and individual development activities. This is done by providing people the tools they need to succeed in the areas of business, management, individual training, international connections, networking, etc., while giving them the opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in their community. The Jaycees are also a part of the United States Junior Chamber and Junior Chamber International (JCI).
“Everyone that has been part of our group has ‘aged’ out,” Monceaux added. “We’re just having trouble getting new people involved.”
The group also holds a film festival each spring and a magic show in the fall, both of which target the children of the community to offer fun, free activities.
“There are conventions we can go to also,” Monceaux said. “They have all kinds of business oriented activities, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Despite the lack of membership, Monceaux said the parade turned out to be a moderate success.
“We only had about 65 entries this year, which is way down from 2011, but the crowd was huge this year,” Monceaux stated. “People really turned out to see the floats and parade entries, so we know people really enjoy it.”
Monceaux said she would do everything possible to prevent the parade from coming to an end, but she admitted it takes greater numbers of people to make the parade as successful as it has been in the past.
“This is our 64th year as an organization,” Monceaux said. “But next year could be our last or the parade may not happen if we can’t get some members. We have 32 people on our roster, and I’m lucky if one will show up to our monthly meetings.”
Dues are just $55 per year to be part of the business oriented organization. For more information, contact Niki Monceaux at 409-221-0801 or email@example.com or search Orange Jaycees on Facebook.
Grand Marshal’s choice:
LC-M Leo Club
1. Rose Thayer
2. Orangefield Sophisticats
1. Circle K Kiddie Ranch
2. Lorna Badon
1. The Grinch
2. Orange County Sheriff’s Office
1. Cowboy Church of Orange County
2. Faith Harbor
1. Community Christian Church
2. Sabine Federal Credit Union
3. LC-M Honey Bears