Four persons, who as members of the local Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, continue to work toward their organization's mission of promoting Friendshhip, Unity and Christian Charity, have been named "aides to the grand marshal" for the 15th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held in March in Jim Thorpe.
The parade will step off at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 11, on Broadway in the county-seat community. The Grand Marshal will be Charles "Chuck" Thamarus (see related story in today's TIMES NEWS) of Nesquehoning.
The aides are selected (two men and two women) by their respective orders. They include: Francis Thamarus, brother of the grand marshal; Kevin Thamarus, nephew of the grand marshal; Molly Ebbert and Kathleen Arner.
They will join the grand marshal in being honored at the annual Grand Marshal's Dinner to be held Friday, March 9, at the Mahoning Valley Country Club, Mahoning Township, during which time they will be officially presented their sashes.
The aides include:
Born and raised in Jim Thorpe, Francis Thamarus attended St. Joseph Grade School (Class of '61) and graduated in 1965 from the Jim Thorpe Area Junior Senior High School. After graduation, he worked for three years for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, before enrolling in the machine shop curriculum at the Carbon County Area Vocational-Technical School, Jim Thorpe.
He was employed by Ingersoll Rand, Allentown, for 25 years, during which time he worked at the firm's plant in Phillipsburg, N.J. After a series of buyouts by various companies, he is now employed by Curtiss-Wright EPD, Phillipsburg, with an accumulated time of 43 years.
Francis is a charter member of the A.O.H., Alex Campbell Mauch Chunk Division, and currently serves as its Marshall.
He is a life member of the Fairview Hose Company, Jim Thorpe, joining in 1968, and was president of the Four-County Firemen's Association in 1985 and 1994.
He is currently an active member of the Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Department.
He was the founder of the Santa Claus Train Ride that benefitted the Fairview Hose Company's new truck fund and the Easter Bunny Train Ride that benefitted the Fairview and Diligent ambulances. The train rides were sponsored by George Hart & Rail Tours, formerly of Jim Thorpe.
Francis and his wife, Doris, reside in Little Gap. They are the parents of eight children and have 11 grandchildren.
Born in Coaldale, Kevin Thamarus is a son of Francis Thamarus and Margaret Thamarus Robinson.
He is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Fairview Hose Company, both of Jim Thorpe, attended St. Joseph Regional Grade School, Jim Thorpe, and graduated in 1985 from the Jim Thorpe Area Senior High School.
After graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force, first working as an inventory management specialist at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and then being cross-trained as a supply system analyst in 1990, a job he continued until being honorably discharged in 2009 after 24 years of service.
His assignments included: Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; HQ Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Fdl, Fla.; Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England; Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea; and Charleston Air Base, S.C. He was also deployed twice following 911 in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After retiring from the USAF, Kevin returned to the military area of operations in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a civilian contractor in support of the NATO mission in that country, where he is responsible for the database administration, operational management and training of 26 different NATO Logistic, Intel and Operation Visibility applications on 100 multi-national network servers used by all coalition members from 32 different countries in support of the Afghanistan mission. He arrived in the country in February, 2010, will be home for his participation in the parade before returning there until the mission is completed in 2014.
Molly Ebbert was born Nov. 5, 1980, a daughter of Robert and Claudia (Arnold) Ebbert of Lehighton. She is a granddaughter of the late Claude "Rummy" and Margaret (Coll) Arnold of Jim Thorpe and the great-granddaughter of the late Hannah (Dixon) Coll of Troy Island, Ireland, and Joseph Coll of Jim Thorpe.
Molly graduated in 2000 from the Lehighton Area High School, where she was active in the marching and concert bands.
She served as an altar server at her church, SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Lehighton.
After high school graduation, she attended Lehigh Carbon Community College, where she graduated in 2007 with an associate's degree in criminal justice. She is currently pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice at DeSales University, Center Valley, where she expected to graduate in 2013.
She is currently employed by the County of Carbon since 2002.
In her spare time, Molly enjoys horseback riding and spending time with her Yellow Lab "Abby."
Kathleen has been an active member of the L.A.O.H. for the past five years and presently serves as its Financial and Corresponding Officer.
She is the mother of four adult children and has 11 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
She is a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Jim Thorpe, where she sings in the choir and belongs to the Women's Club.
Born in Williamsport, Pa., she resided in Jim Thorpe for over 25 years before relocating to Palmerton.
Among her numerous commitments, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Palmerton Hospital and coordinates the daily operations of the Meals on Wheels program. She is a member of the Palmerton Hospital Auxiliary, Palmerton Concourse Club, the Friends of the Palmerton Library and the Palmerton Historical Society.
She is also a volunteer helper for several fundraisers, including the United Way, Special Olympics and the after-school enrichment program at the Palmerton Library.