Rayne marks Martin Luther King Day
By PAUL KEDINGER
Echoing the question posed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “What are you doing for others?” KATC TV3 news anchor Marcelle Fontenot called on her audience Monday to respond by making the theme of Rayne’s MLK Day as reality in their own lives and community.
“Citizenship and Service in Action” was the theme selected by the Rayne branch of the National Association of University Women (NAUW) for the 2014 observance and celebration which started out at 8:30 a.m. with a gathering and march from Depot Square to the Rayne Civic Center for an 11 a.m. program.
Fontenot urged her audience to “find time to help someone else and devote as little as 30 minutes. “People make time for what they want to do,” Fontenot emphasized as she stressed the importance of citizenship and service.
“Start with a child,” she encouraged. Instead of concentrating on what might be wrong in a child’s life, Fontenot urged her listeners to “give them something to be proud of.” She suggested young people could be hired to work after school and summers to bolster their self-image and “realized they as individuals are valuable.”
Focusing on the young people in her audience, Fontenot urged them to help their fellow students with their studies and speak up when they know something is wrong.
In keeping with the day’s theme, the NAUW surprised Rosemary Mouton as the first recipient of the MLK Special Service Award. Presenter Mary Figaro remarked Ms. Mouton offered her time and talent to numerous projects whenever asked and able to contribute.
Fontenot’s message was further empowered by remarks shared by Mayor Roland Boudreaux and Councilwoman Ann Washington.
The mayor noted Civil Rights legislation was not solely intended to share the law, but to change people’s attitudes.” Regarding racial prejudice, Boudreaux said, “We have come a long way, but we have so much farther to go.”
Councilwoman Washington noted Dr. King ‘s life “had a seismic effect on us. His legacy lives in each one of us to be the best we can be.”
Much of the attention of the day’s observance focused on the community’s young people.
MLK Committee Co-chair Hilda Wiltz announced Armstrong Middle School was selected NAUW members as its “Adopt-A-School partner for 2014. A financial gift and plaque were presented to AMS Principal Marshall Thibodeaux and Assistant Principal Katie Jolivette.
Young students were also recognized and awarded trophies for their efforts in coloring, poster and essay competitions.
Essay contest winners (RHS stduents): Mariah Charles, first; Whitney Fontenot, second; Caroline Bergeron, third; and Phillip Broussard, honorable mention.
Peace poem awards (AMS students): Kadyn White, first; Trever Yokum, second; Alexandra Guidry, third; and Lakecus LeBlanc and Mallory Joseph (BES), honorable mention.
Poster contest winners: Fifth grade: William Arceneaux (MES), first; Ansley Suire (SRE), second; Laurian Guidry (SRE), third; and Holly Pellesier (MES), honorable mention; Fourth grade: Noah Peter (SRE), first; Abigal Savoy (BES), second; Anisha Chevalier (BES) third; and Jullian Moody (RCE), honorable mention.
Coloring sheet winners: Kindergarten: Nolton Senegal (Headstart), first; Kasey Soria (CRE), second; Bailey Washington (CRE), third; and Jaya Daugereaux (CRE), honorable mention; First grade: Marcella Chapman (MES), first; Veronica Isaguirre, (MPE), second; McKenzie Smith (MES), third; and Mercele Arceneaux (MPE), honorable mention; Second grade: Gracie McKevitt (MES), first; Kaylie Martin (MPE), second; Jacari Gibson (MPE), third; and Ethan Jacob Guilbeaux (BES), honorable mention; Third grade: Jadyn Gabriel (MPE), first; Lilly Barthe (MES), second; Carmind Thibodeaux (MES), third; and Victoria (BES/Lavergne class), honorable mention.
Adult and children students of Pam Senegal’s P.J. Dance School provided entertainment.
Kadyn White, a AMS sixth grader, recited his winning peace poem for the MLK Day audience.
Musical selections were provided by Dexter Augustus and Catherine Anthony.
Paula Cutrer served as the program’s mistress of ceremonies.
Rev. Cozy Gage offered both the invocation and benediction.
A health fair was conducted for participants with the sponsors providing raffle prizes.
A lunch of red beans and rice was served following the program.