Butte Celebrations reorganizes, moving forward
Feb 14, 2013 (The Montana Standard - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The group responsible for putting on Butte's St. Patrick's Day and Fourth of July parades has reorganized and hopes its events continue to grow.
The all-volunteer promotions group selected officers and a board of directors last month in preparation for this year's events. The reorganization was necessary after the group's longtime director Mollie Kirk left due to legal and health issues.
Newly appointed vice president Kurtiss Mathis told The Montana Standard recently that he wants the public to continue to support Butte Celebrations' many events.
"These are happy events and they shouldn't be looked down on because of mistakes that have been made," Mathis said.
Kirk was arrested the day before St. Patrick's Day in 2011 for felony driving under the influence. It was her fourth offense. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced last October to 13 months with the Montana Department of Corrections.
Since Kirk had been a major, hands-on manager of Butte Celebrations, these issues left a large void in the organization. Mathis says the current members hope to fill that void.
Mathis said the groups wants to have better organization, tighter communications with its board and community and get things done in a more timely and proper way.
Butte Celebrations secretary Linda Redfern says all the volunteers believe in the cause.
"We're all dedicated to it, and we felt Butte Celebrations needed to continue," Redfern said.
Mathis described Butte Celebrations' new president Barbara Jeniker as someone concerned about being well organized and prepared for the upcoming parades and festivals. In a letter last month to the Butte Council of Commissioners, Jeniker wrote that Butte Celebrations "has pulled itself up by its bootstraps and is ready to go."
Mathis says the group is getting ready for Butte's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is slated for Sunday, March 17. The parade is scheduled to start at noon -- an hour later than normal to accommodate morning church-goers -- and will follow last year's route through Uptown.
Mathis said it's important to the event organizers to keep the parade going.
"Most of us grew up going to the parade and we didn't want to lose that aspect (of St. Patrick's Day)," he said.
-- Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 496-5511. Follow him at
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