Christian Service Center closes Nov. 1; volunteers are thanked

“All good things must come to and end,” is how Hilda Wiltz announced the upcoming closure of the Rayne Christian Service Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

She notes, “It will be a great loss to the community of Rayne.”

She also notes since 1985-2011, the board of directors of the Rayne Christian Service Center has provided aid to the community in the form of utility assistance, transportation vouchers, vouchers for food, clothing, school referrals, school uniforms, along with emotional support, disaster relief, volunteers and Toys for Tots.

Wiltz remembers the first thoughts, bylaws, rules and the churches and church organizations coming together to form the board of directors and volunteers to begin on Clegg Street with the Johnson family giving the center a home, with the aid of Father Drapeaux, volunteers and many other supporters.

“We want to thank all organizations that helped financially and otherwise to keep us going for this long. The board of directors members were many, she says, with the most recent from St. Joseph Church, Our Mother of Mercy Church, Starlight Baptist Church, St. Matthew Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Rayne, Centenary United Methodist Church, the Knights of Columbus Council, the knights and ladies of St. Peter Claver Court #75, St. Paul Chapter and Assembly #3, Catholic Daughters, St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Sick and Shut In Committee and “all those that helped with Toys for Tots, Food for Families, Trahan Foods, Winn Dixie, Rayne Food Center, Roland Boudreaux, the Petitjeans, Chappuis, Beslins, Billets; we appreciate the many years of dedicated service.”

Wiltz also mentioned volunteers over the years who opened the doors, hung clothes, fixed boxes, prepared paperwork, unloaded trucks, and provided needs to the elderly and other clients. Her list of “dedicated people” includes the late Rev. Mr. Adam Sonnier, Mrs. Johnson, Mary Senegal, Mrs. Earline Delco, as well as Hubert Matte, Warren Julian, Ms. Freda Harmon, Joyce Richard, Gloria Granger, Genevie Julian, Laura Legg Dougas, Ms. Angela Landry, Sammy Harmon, Joseph Guidry, June Richard, Rose Mary Mouton, and Kenneth Citizen.

Hilda remarks, tHe center’s 26 years of service would not have been possible without the dedicated volunteers.

“This has been a great journey, the center’s last president adds, as she cites the contributions of the late Rev. Ronald Yokum and J.D. Mosely, Pervise Douglas, Ethel Leger, Elizabeth Deville, Joyce Trahan, Margo Goertz, Raymond Trahan, Tommy Adams, First Lady Gage, Martha Espree, Emile and Margie Rubin, Mildred Young, Deborah Smith, Eugene Guidry, Paula Wheeler, Charity Evans, Gilda Senegal, Dexter Harmon, Tommy Stelly, Katherine Stagg, Father Richard Wagner, S.S.J., who served as officers or chairpersons during the years. “Your service will never be forgotten,” she says.

She also thanked The Rayne Acadian-Tribune and The Rayne Independent for their generosity and news coverage.

Wiltz lavished her greatest praise on the Center’s last director, Dorothy Richard Cole. “She put her all into making the Center services successful,” says Wiltz, adding Cole never asked for any payment or gas money.

During the last year, Wiltz points out Cole paid for and financially supported the telephone, rent and electricity expenses, with the help of Father Wagner and Rev. Cozy Cage.

“I want to publicly thank Dorothy for giving of herself for the elderly and the clients,” says Wiltz. “Your work will never to forgotten, Thanks for all you have done. God has something great for you to do and know that you have done His will and it is time to go to another assignment. We appreciate you and thank you.”

Wiltz closed her announcement by thanking the community, commenting, “Who knows. All is not lost. Our best may yet to come. God bless you, doers of Christ.”

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