After seventeen years, the Mazzola family came together for a fifth family reunion held at the Bridge City Community Center on Oct. 8.

A family tradition that began with Aunt Mary Frances Mazzola Bethard in 1978 continued in 1985, 1990 and 1994. This past year, another exciting endeavor began with the planning committee of cousins Gwen Mazzola Smith, JoAnn Blanda Waguespack, Anna Mazzola Mathews, Patricia Herman Broussard, Michael Mazzola Jr., Louis Paul Jeanis and Bridget Luna Trawhon.

The program began by honoring five of the thirteen Mazzola siblings: Mary Frances Bethard, Rosalie Guzzardi, Dorothy Gipson, Pauline Albright and Genevive Jeanis. Also honored were the living Mazzola daughter-in-laws Irona (Tibby) Mazzola (Benny), Bessie Mazzola (Joseph), Anjo Mazzola (Louis), son-in-law Curtis Jeanis and dear family friend Macy Edgerton (Jim).

Gwen Smith read the list of loved ones who have passed from our sight, but not from our hearts. Clancie Calais Grant gave the invocation and scripture reading. JoAnn Waguespack read the history of the family and introduced the oldest living grandson, James Claybar and the oldest living granddaughter Mary Bonita Bland Fontenot. The youngest grandson, David Jeanis, and the youngest granddaughter Georgiana Bethard Bean were also introduced. Jody Mazzola and Frano Bacak traveled the furthest.

Patricia Broussard updated the family tree. Copies were given to all the aunts and forty-one first cousins to be shared by everyone. An Italian meal was served and the blessing was given by Mary Bonita Fontenot. To go along with the Italian heritage, each family designed shirts to represent their family. Benny Michael Mazzola and his band provided music throughout the festivities.

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