Madison Saunier is the real life manifestation of every positive cliché that could be said about someone of her character. She is a “ball of energy,” a “ray of sunshine.” When Madison leaves your presences, you feel energized by simply haven spoke to her. At only 26 years old, she’s accomplished more for her community before the age of 30 than many will in their lifetimes.
What were some of your first experiences giving back? I’ve always been involved. In college I was a Tri Sigma and I was really involved in our two service projects, The Robbie Page Memorial Fund and the Dream Foundation. When Hurricane Katrina happened, I helped my dad, who was an alderman at the time, when the Red Cross came in.
Tell me about being elected to Delcambre’s City Council at only 23 years old. My Dad got a new job in government and had to give up his seat on the city council. They asked me if I would be interested…I said “Let’s do it.” I was appointed, and in November I ran for reelection and I won. I believe in Delcambre! I believe in this part of Louisiana. We have a lot to offer, and I want to do everything I can to make sure the rest of the world sees that. I still have a lot left to learn. I get to experience the generation before me, and I have the mentality of the current generation. I have the best of both worlds. Having the chance to get my voice out there while still learning form the older generation is an unbelievable experience.
What is JA Jewels? That is a program that I took over through the Junior Auxiliary. We collect gently used formal dresses, jewelry, handbags and shoes to donate to high schools for prom. We set up in Magdalena Place. There is a seamstress onsite who can do minor alterations. It’s such a wonderful experience, because these girls are so excited. You get to see them transform from being kind of shy at first to feeling beautiful and so good about themselves. There is no financial obligation for them.
What other involvements do you have with the Junior Auxiliary? This year I’ll be named the President of the Junior Auxiliary of Abbeville. I’m so excited about that – it really drives me in such a positive way. I’ll be in charge of the provisional class. My provisional class picked up a project called Holiday Harvest at the Boys & girls Club. We provide a Thanksgiving meal to the children and families there. Some of these kids don’t have traditions like this and on that day they felt important – like they were a part of something.
What is your dream for Acadiana? To realize how special we are. How deep and unique our roots are. Our downtown areas are like nowhere else…if these walls could talk! It’s so important to preserve what we have. We have to start teaching the youth at a young age about our history. I grew up in my family business. I’m the third generation to work at Guidry’s Cake Shop, which my grandmother started 43 years ago. It showed me how to work for something – that you have to appreciate the small steps you have to take to grow. As a community, we can take those small steps together towards preservation and growth.