2014 Avoyellean of the Year Theresa Thevenote (far right) reads the nomination of Margie Melancon (holding plaque) during a brief ceremony prior to the Corn Festival Parade in Bunkie on June 10. Others sharing in the moment were Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (to left of Melancon), Maddie Dicharry (front left), and (back, from left) Rick Rabalais, Beth Melancon, Daniel Melancon and Dick Lemoine. {Photo by Crystal Fuqua}

Margie Melancon named Avoyellean of the Year

For the third time since the start of the Avoyellean of Year award, the child of a previous winner has been named Avoyellean of the Year.

Margie Melancon of Bunkie was named Avoyellean of the Year for 2016 for her many years of work in the Bunkie community. She joins her father, the late Dr. F.P. Bordelon of Marksville who was named in 1985, to the distinguished list of recipients.

Melancon was surprised with the award just minutes before the start of the Louisiana Corn Festival Parade in Bunkie on June 10. She was coaxed to be at the parade with a story that she would be presented an award from the Krewe of Cronus debutantes for her past service.

As she was pronounced the winner, she was caught off guard when her husband, Danny Melancon, two sons, Daniel and David, and their families gathered by her side.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who was at the festival, helped to present the award.

Gathering to celebrate the award were past Avoyellean of the Year winners Theresa Thevenote and Nettie Chenevert. Queens of the 31st La. Corn Festival and friends gathered around Melancon as the announcement was read.

The 2015 winner for Avoyellean of the Year was the late Merkel Dupuy.

“I’m so shocked and don’t know what to say,” Melancon said after Thevenote presented her with the plaque and read the nomination.

Melancon and Bordelon join Raymond Laborde and Minnie Lafargue, as well as A. J. “Sookie” Roy Jr and A.J. Roy III, as father- child winners of the award.

“I was so lucky to have two parents that gave their efforts, time and blood, sweat and tears to the community and parish and instilled it in their children,” Melancon said. “I have a fantastic husband who has allowed me to be able to give so much to our town and parish in hopes of making it a better place to live and raise families.”

Melancon has been a long-time director of the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce, helping promote Bunkie and the town’s activities. She has been a major influence in the growth and development of the Louisiana Corn Festival since it started 31 years ago.

“Ms. Margie has done so much for Bunkie over the years and continues to do so today,” Bunkie Chamber of Commerce President Lele Soileau said. “It could not have gone to a better person.”


Melancon’s nomination by an Avoyelles Journal reader was printed in the Feb. 5 edition. The nomination stated that Melancon was one of the founding members of the Krewe of Cronus Mardi Gras Parade that is held every other year, as well as the Mardi Gras Ball held every other year. This includes overseeing the selection of the debutantes to represent Bunkie in Chamber events. She has been involved in many civic organizations, including the Bunkie Service League and Bunkie Rotary Club, that serve the Bunkie community with civic projects throughout the year.

Melancon was a leader in pushing for the renovation of the Bunkie Depot and the planting of trees on Main Street and replacing benches between the railroad tracks and Main Street. She was one of the key figures in placing the Veterans Memorial at the Bunkie Depot that is used every Veterans Day during Bunkie’s ceremonies. Over the years, Melancon has organized different parades in Bunkie and worked in the local schools.

The nomination also pointed out two things that are most important to the work she does.

“First, she believes in her community and Avoyelles Parish. Every chance she gets outside of Bunkie, Melancon not only promotes Bunkie but all of Avoyelles Parish,” the writer wrote. “Second and most important are the kind words and her ability to help people in their time of need.
“She doesn’t care what the color of your skin is or if you are rich or poor, Margie will work hard to make sure the needs of a person are handled with the greatest care and understanding," the nomination continued. “Margie Melancon is truly a great candidate for this award.”


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