MARY MEAUX — Pioneering Women, breastfeeding mothers to be honored in separate events

Published 12:24 am Thursday, July 20, 2023

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Port Arthur City Council recently honored a local, grassroots organization that was founded “to enhance the lives of women and its mission is to motivate, educate, activate and uplift women for the betterment of humanity.”

That was part of a proclamation read this week proclaiming July 18, 2023, as Pioneering Women In Full Bloom Day.

Georgine Guillory founded the group in 2003. She said Pioneering Women celebrate the ratification of the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This is the amendment giving women the right to vote.

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The organization will honor six local and area women during the In Full Bloom Luncheon set for 11:30 a.m. Aug. 3 at Holiday Inn Plaza in Beaumont.

Tickets are $50 each or $500 for a table of 10. For ticket information, call 409-842-1577 or visit

This year’s honorees include Judith Smith, Port Arthur Health Department; Jacqueline Hernandez, construction; Dolores Fulton, retired educator; Vanessa Iglesias, Beaumont Independent School District; Doreen Badeaux, Apostleship of the Sea; and Debbie Bridgeman, Beaumont Independent School District.

Guillory said these women were chosen because of their community projects and service. The one piece of criteria, they cannot get paid for their community service, she said.

The upcoming luncheon is the group’s only fundraiser, Guillory said.

“One hundred percent of proceeds goes to college assistance, GED tests and women in crisis,” she said.

Pioneering Women is a 501c3 nonprofit committed to “empowering, encouraging, and improving the lives of women by connecting them to educational resources, organizations and/or empowerment opportunities, and providing them, where gaps exist,” according to its website.

The group strives to help women reach their potential through a college assistance program, GED test reimbursement and crisis support—which will improve their quality of life, the website read.

Pioneering Women’s programs serve Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange.

Port Arthur City Council also presented a proclamation in which the month of August is designated Breastfeeding Awareness Month in the city.

To further bring about awareness, there will the Third Annual Jefferson County Breastfeeding event set for 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.

The Healthy Mothers and Babies of Jefferson County Coalition and the City of Port Arthur Health Department will host the event.

The free event will honor nursing mothers and bring them together with community partners who can offer them support in various areas, according to event organizers.

For more information, contact the lactation coordinator at 409-983-8837.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at