The 64th West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade
Sunday, March 15, 2015 ~ Step-Off 12:15
Main Street & Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Morning Mass at 9:00am Our Lady of Valley Church, Orange, NJ
Get all your St. Patrick's Day Apparel at CARROLLS Irish Gifts...every purchase supports the Parade. MPU - Animated (Dollar)


Grand Marshal ~ Jere E. Cole
Jere E. Cole, Jr. was born the third of six children to Jere and Alice (Hynes) Cole in Brooklyn, NY and traces his heritage to County Cork on his mother’s side. At the age of 7 Jere’s family moved to West Caldwell, NJ. He attended Caldwell school system and graduated from James Caldwell High School in 1964. After graduation Jere enlisted in the United States Air Force and served in the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal. After serving 4 years in the service Jere returned to West Caldwell where he worked in the local community and in 1971 married Marjorie Fogerty in Verona, NJ. Jere has been involved in a number of community activities. He has been a 40 year member and was 1st Assistant Chief to the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department. In connection with his firefighting activities, Jere was Past President of the Fireman’s Association. Jere served on the Board of Managers to the Fireman’s Home in Boonton, NJ, representing the volunteer firemen of Essex County. He was also the Secretary Treasurer of the NJ State Fire Chief’s association for over 20 years.

In addition to Jere’s extensive service and commitment to the Fire Department, he is also very active in politics. He has sought various political positions in West Caldwell, and he served as the Democratic Chairman of the West Caldwell Democratic Committee for 11 years. Jere’s Irish heritage has always been an important aspect of his life. It is this pride that has led him to become involved in a number of Irish American organizations. Among these organizations is the Ancient order of Hibernians Division #9, Essex County, NJ for the past 23 years. Jere has chaired a number of committees and is currently a past president of the New Jersey State Board. He also serviced on the State Board of the A.O.H. Executive Committee and was appointed to the Committee on the Christmas Appeal by National President Seamus Boyle. He was also elected a Director to the Hibernian Charity Board and now serves as a National Director of the National Board. Jere is a currently a member of the following organizations: The Cryan Association, Giblin Associations, Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, Heritage Festival Ball (past chairman), Essex County Emerald Society, Irish American Cultural Institute, Ironbound Irish American Association, The Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey, Frank McGovern Association, Belleville Irish Association and the Joseph Nugent Sr. Association. Jere is a member of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. He has held numerous positions including General Chairman 2003-04. He is also a member of the West Orange Parade Committee. Jere was the General Chairman of the 30th Annual New Jersey Irish Festival in June 2000.

With all of this involvement, Jere still finds time to be with his family. Jere resides in Rockaway Township with his wife of 42 years, Margie, who is an Administrative Assistant for the New Jersey Education Association in their Stanhope office. They are proud parents of two daughters Dawn and Kelly and proud grandparents of Cole Thomas Schmittler seven years old and (AJ) Andrew Joseph Wilce one year old. Dawn is married to Thomas Schmittler, of Bayonne who is a Bloomfield police officer. Dawn is presently working for the Essex County Clerk’s Office in Newark. Kelly is married to Joseph Wilce of Denville who is a Mendham police officer. Kelly is a 6th grade mathematics teacher at Mendham Township Middle School in Mendham, NJ. Jere is a retired Detective from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputy Grand Marshal ~ Gail McGeady

Gail’s great grandparents hail from Counties Cork and Galway and settled in Jersey City. She is the second child of Jean and Jack O'Brien and spent her childhood summers in Spring Lake, “The Irish Rivera”.  Gail was one of the first graduating classes of Our Lady of the Valley Grammar School, continuing on to Wayne Valley High School and graduating from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. Gail traveled to Ireland in 2005, beginning her journey in Galway and ended up in Dublin with the Women of Irish Heritage. She had the distinction of having had tea with the Mayor of Belfast and marched in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in the town of Navan, northwest of Dublin.

Gail has been involved in numerous organizations over the years, participating in the Irish Festival and marching in many of New Jersey’s St. Patrick’s Day Parades. She has been a member of the WOIH for over 20 years , which began with her mother, Jean.  Gail has been a very active member chairing many of the WOIH’s events including, annual Cocktail Party, Christmas Party, Annual April Event, trips to Wine Country and gatherings to Atlantic City. Gail has also served as the organizations Stewardess, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary and Treasurer. Gail served proudly as the President of Women of Irish Heritage from 2005 to 2008. Gail currently serves on the Executive Board as a Trustee.  She was honored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division #9 in Montclair in 2007.

Gail works for Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne where she is the Secretary providing support to the Academy of Medical Arts, Schools of Communications, Culinary Arts Business and Building Maintenance.  One of her proudest accomplishments is being the proud mother of Mark Robinson, who has studied abroad at Galway University, is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree at Columbia University. Mark is the Director of Production for MSG Varsi

Deputy Grand Marshal ~ Francis Schott, Jr. 

Francis Schott traces his Irish roots back to County Fermanagh. He is third generation born in The United States and maintains strong ties with family and friends in Ireland. 

Last year, he was appointed an Ambassador of The City of Belfast by Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.  In this capacity, this year he organized the first incoming trade mission, Belfast has seen in 20 years, led by Mayor Cahill of New Brunswick.  He is an advocate for both cities.  Should you decide to visit either city, he will have a long list of recommendations for you.

With partners, Francis has owned and operated Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, since 1992 and Catherine Lombardi Restaurant since 2006.  He and his partner Mark Pascal were named New Jersey Restaurant Association Restaurateur of The Year in 2011.  Together they host The Restaurant Guys radio program ( 

He is a speaker and consultant on food, wine and beverage.  He has served on the boards of several civic organizations and is a noted advocate for small business, urban redevelopment, the arts and culture on both sides of The Pond.

Francis is a long-standing member of many Irish-American organizations and was honored in 2010 as Man of The Year by The Friendly Sons of The Shillelagh.  In 2012, Francis was given the “Serving America Award” by The Irish Echo.  Francis first “marched” in this Parade on the back of an Orange Fire Truck behind his father, then Deputy Chief Frank Schott of Orange.  That was 1974.  He marched beside his father as aide when Frank Sr. was Deputy Grand Marshall in 2000.  Francis looks forward to marching in his footsteps these many years later.

Deputy Grand Marshal ~ Kelly Reilly

Kelly Joseph Reilly was born on July 26, 1955 and raised in Montclair, New Jersey by parents Donald and Elizabeth along with siblings Kathleen and Donald. Kelly comes from a long line of lrish men-his great-grandparents, James J. Reilly and Mary Reilly (nee Kelly), hail from Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. After graduating from Montclair High School in the summer of 1973, he went on to attend criminal justice courses at the County College of Morris.

In January of 1978, Kelly married Mary Mehl and four months later began his career with the Essex Fells Police Department as a Patrolman.   During his distinguished tenure with the Essex Fells Police Department, Kelly became an active member of notable organizations which include the Essex County Emerald Society, Police Benevolent Association (PBA), West Orange Elks Lodge 1590, and the Knights of Columbus. Kelly steadily began climbing the ranks of the police department with his first promotion to Sergeant in November of 1987. Thirteen years later he would again be promoted to Lieutenant and then in June of 2005 he accepted the position of Chief of Police of Essex Fells. Throughout his law enforcement career, Chief Kelly Reilly was the recipient of numerous awards and commendations including the Emerald Society's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year of 2008.

During his career, Kelly and his wife Mary had four children Keith, Michael, Meghan and Timothy. Sadly after nineteen years of marriage, Mary lost her battle with cancer. Kelly raised their four children to adulthood. In 2003, he remarried Catherine Walsh and became stepfather to Kieran and Jillian White.  

Chief Reilly retired in June of 2009 after 31 years of service with the Essex Fells Police Department. In his retirement, Kelly has become an avid fisherman and is an active member of the West Orange Anglers Club. "Poppy Kelly" also enjoys spending time with his five grandchildren: Casey, Ashley, Meghan, Amber and Hunter.  
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