That Bumblebee, Yellow Jacket, Titan and Eagle pride will never die

Published 10:32 am Monday, July 17, 2017

The persistent rain on Saturday couldn’t keep some hearty souls away from the fourth Port Arthur Alumni Picnic on Pleasure Island.

The community celebration offers a chance for alumni from Lincoln High School, Thomas Jefferson High School, Memorial High School and Stephen F. Austin High School a chance to visit and reminisce. There was also plenty of music, barbecues and a bounce house for kids.

SFA alumna Connie Wiltz said she loves the camaraderie and the family environment of the picnic.

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“It’s like we’re back in high school,” she said. “We attend every year. The guys (organizers Shawn Johnson and Jereem Augustine) did a great job setting this up to make this an enjoyable evening.”

The new kids on the block, Memorial High School, had a representation at the picnic too.

Justin Viltz and GeRon McGlory graduated from MHS. They’ve been coming to the picnics for three years.

“It’s a good family-friendly event,” Viltz said. “This brings the classes and the community back together. It’s a celebration of unity when everybody gets together.”

Joseph Guillory II is a Port Arthur ISD Trustee and Director on the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation Board in addition to being an LHS alumnus.

He rhetorically asked what better way to bring the city together than to celebrate with one another?

“The city should take the lead in this,” he said. “We can come together in one accord. I want to give a special thanks to Shawn Johnson for having the vision of unity in our community. He deserves a key to the city.

“He invested a lot the last four or five years to bring the alumni together. It takes a lot of work.”

Guillory added that God comes first, but families in Port Arthur are more important than any individual’s personal agenda.

“Bringing back family will diminish poverty in the city,” he said.