Boys and Girls Club in Crowley’s future?
By Howell Dennis
A crowd full of Crowley’s most prominent citizens gathered at the International Rice Festival Building for a Wednesday luncheon to discuss bringing the Boys and Girls Club to Crowley.
“We need this,” said Crowley Mayor Greg Jones. “Anyone who has seen our dropout rates can agree with that. I am fully supportive of any program that helps keep our kids in school.”
Following an invocation by Rev. Jimmy Broussard, Crowley alderwoman Laurita Pete greeted the gathering.
“I have prayed for today,” said Pete. “I would like to thank you all for coming here today and I hope you’re ready to work to help us get this done.”
Pete went on to recollect the recent plane accident in New York where the pilot heroically landed his plane in the Hudson River saving all of his passengers. A man named Sulley was the captain of that flight.
“I believe that Chris Martin (Chief Officer of the Acadiana Boys and Girls Club) is our Captain Sulley,” said Pete. “He can help us to save a lot of kids in our city.”
Martin spoke momentarily and promptly introduced Harold Alexander, a preacher who has been working as a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club for the past 22 years.
“I got hooked on working with the Boys and Girls Club 22 years ago,” said Alexander. “Last year I almost quit because the youth of our nation has changed. However, I got a phone call from a sergeant who had served three tours of duty in Iraq and he thanked me for helping to save his life. He was from one of the roughest areas of New Orleans but we got him turned around.”
“He credits the Boys and Girls Club with helping to make him the adult person he should be.”
Martin then retook the podium to discuss ways to get the funding for the project.
“We need community support,” said Martin. “We need board members who can raise the money because we’ve been losing government funding and grants. The people don’t know us but they know you.”
“I can promise you that if we start this we will not fail.”
Several members of the audience spoke out in support of the project with La. Representative Jack Montoucet volunteering to donate one month of his salary to support the group’s efforts.