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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Fourth of July
Christmas Holiday Festival and Parade
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
“Celebrating the Spirit of Southeast Texas”
Beaumont, Texas — When choosing the 2008 Christmas Parade Grand Marshal, the City of Beaumont was looking for someone who could relate to what the area had been through this year and provide inspiration to help lift citizens’ spirits. Southeast Texas native and former Buffalo Bill Kevin Everett fit the “bill” perfectly.
Just as Southeast Texans have shown resilience in bouncing back from the violent destruction of Hurricane Ike, Everett has been fighting physically to regain mobility and strength after suffering a paralyzing and potentially fatal cervical spine fracture while making a tackle.
“Just because you get knocked down doesn’t mean you’ve got to stay down,” Everett told Sports Illustrated about his injury and subsequent miraculous recovery. The quote resonates with many Southeast Texans working to rebuild their homes and businesses in the wake of the hurricane. The Christmas Holiday Festival and Parade is Beaumont’s way of showing its miraculous recovery as well, and providing families a grand event to kick off holiday celebrations.
As Grand Marshal, Everett will participate in the Tree Lighting Ceremony on the grounds of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, and then ride along in the Lighted Christmas Parade at 6 p.m.
About Kevin Everett:
Everett, born and raised in Port Arthur, was drafted out of the University of Miami in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Two short years later in Week One of the season, Sept. 9, 2007, the tight end sustained the neck injury that ended his promising career. During the second half kickoff return, Everett’s efforts to tackle an opposing team member resulted in a helmet-to-helmet collision that left him lying motionless on the field.
Everett was transported to a hospital for a lengthy surgery. Doctors described Everett’s injury as “catastrophic” and leaving him with a “permanent neurological deficit” that would make a full recovery unlikely. But it was his determination, inner strength and superior medical care that had him moving his arms and legs just two days later. On Oct. 16, Everett took his first steps since the injury and was fully walking on his own by Dec. 7.
Called the “Miracle Man,” Everett has written a book about his remarkable recovery and is realizing his new role as an inspiration for other victims of spinal cord injuries.
Grand Marshal Everett will definitely help the City of Beaumont spread the holiday cheer and convey the 2008 Parade’s theme: “Celebrating the Spirit of Southeast Texas.”
The City of Beaumont invites everyone to come celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays with a lighted parade and a day of festivities at Beaumont’s Christmas Holiday Festival & Parade Saturday, December 6.
Events begin at 8:30 a.m. with a 5K Jingle Bell Fun Run from the Crockett Street Entertainment District. The Junior League of Beaumont’s Very Merry Main Street Market will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Beaumont Civic Center. Public Ice Skating will take place at The criKet Ice Skating Rink between the Julie Rogers Theatre and the Public Library. A Children’s Party will be held at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and Texas Energy Museum at 2:30 p.m. with the Official Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. and Lighted Parade following at 6 p.m.
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