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Image by Quentin Rey

"Jinx" Powers Award

Karen Demers

The Parade Committee of West Springfield is honored to announce Karen Demers as our 2024 Jinx Powers award recipient. This award is nominated by peer committee members to honor a member who is long standing and active and giving member of the committee.


It’s a family affair for the Demers family. In typical Karen fashion, her humbleness does not allow her to accept the award without including the accomplishments of her family.


Karen joined the committee in 2012 after her oldest daughter, Jill, was a colleen participant. Eric, (feeling left at home alone while Karen spent many hours float building) joined in 2014 and continues to support in many ways, by helping with the construction of the float and sharing his talents in raising funds to contribute to the scholarship awards. The most precious memories of all are the years they spent together decorating the floats with their daughters, Dr. Jill Abbott, and Erin Demers. Karen's sister, Lynn McCarthy was nominated parade marshal in 2016 and has joined the committee. Sarah Lane, Karen's niece, has been known to participate in the float and many of our activities as well.


In addition to float building, Karen held many roles within the committee and the executive board over the past decade- ranging from colleen mom, vice president and president.


Karen’s creativity, steady hand and dedication are best showcased on parade day. When asked Karen what her greatest float memory is, without hesitation she said, ‘the 2014 Tommy John float’ which was dedicated to the late John Flaherty’s long-standing service to the community. Karen is passionate about giving back to the West Springfield community and supporting local profit and non-profit organizations.


It was full circle of celebrating Irish traditions last September when the Demers family had the opportunity to visit Ireland with their family and lifelong friends to witness their daughter Jill and now husband Nick’s marriage vows on Mur Lough Bay in Ballycastle Ireland.


Karen has been a dental hygienist for 37 years and continues to love the job she has outside the committee. She currently works at West Side Dental in West Springfield.


Karen encourages all of us to ensure future generations continue to respect history and tradition while embracing the future to ensure the parade committee’s longevity.

Past "Jinx" Power Awards

  • 2002 - Martha McNamara *

  • 2003 - Charlene Joseph

  • 2004 - Mary Jane “M.J.” Landry *

  • 2005 - Winnie Hopkins 

  • 2006 - Lexie Detz 

  • 2007 - Connie Kennedy *

  • 2008 - Jim Sheridan  

  • 2009 - Mark Drugan

  • 2010 - Maureen Young

  • 2011 - Nancy McLean *

  • 2012 - Dan Patten *

  • 2013 - Ann Morrison

  • 2014 - William Joseph

  • 2015 - Justin Foley

  • 2016 - Robert “Bob” McNamara

  • 2017 - Maureen Brady Sheridan

  • 2018 - Greg Spear

  • 2019 - Joan Patten*

  • 2020 - Chris Thompson

  • 2021 - Covid

  • 2022 - Covid

  • 2023 - Patrick Kelly

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