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Junior Auxiliary members attend national conference

Jennifer Gray and Ambre Wilson, Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary Parish members, attended the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Annual Education Conference May 5-6 at the Hilton Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. They took part in seminars that focus on service to children and families to fulfill the organization’s mission and exemplify its slogan of “Care Today — Character Tomorrow.”
Training provided helps members of the Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary Parish better perform hands-on service in the community.
“The Annual Meeting of our association is the time that members from our 93 chapters around the southeast come together for learning, motivation and a little business,” said NAJA Executive Director Merrill Greenlee.
Among the meeting’s featured speakers:
—Jimmy Wayne of Nashville, Tennessee, a former foster child turned country music singer/songwriter, whose songs, story and walk halfway across America in 2010 continue to bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless.
—Tina Meier of St. Louis is an internationally recognized expert on bullying, cyber bullying, Internet safety, conflict resolution, the roles of parents and educators, sexting, and suicide awareness and prevention. In 2006, Meier’s 13-year-old daughter, Megan, took her own life after being bullied online. Meier is making a difference through spreading Megan’s story and educating others on Internet and electronic communication dangers.
—Jody Urquhart of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a former stand-up comic and author of the best-selling book “All Work & No SAY.” Her mission is to help motivate people to derive more meaning, fun and satisfaction from their work.
“No JA member comes away from our AEC without a new idea or a degree of inspiration for a new project or a better way to manage their chapter,” said NAJA President Jeanne Hildebrandt of Slidell. “We offer workshops, inspirational speakers and training sessions to help our ladies in their volunteer efforts.
“Our awards banquet showcases some of our best chapter projects and serves not only to reward great effort, but to provide ideas to our chapters for expanding their work in their communities. Our organization continues to grow stronger because of the influence of our AEC.”
In 2016, the Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary Parish performed a total of 424 hours of service impacting 1,119 people. Its signature service projects include Santa’s Workshop and Easter Eggstravaganza.
For more information on the Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary go to or find the chapter on Facebook at EastStMary.
National Association of Junior Auxiliaries information can be found online at


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