MLK Day observed
By PAUL KEDINGER
A good sized crowd of young and old turned out Monday at the Rayne Civic Center to observe and remind themselves of the contributions of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It wasn’t forgotten by the audience, the members of the National Association of University Women (NAUW), guest speaker Pat Cravins that the annual holiday was a prelude to the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first Black man elected as the 44th President of the United States.
Mayor Jim Petitjean was the first to mention the irony “as we celebrate another piece of history tomorrow, the inauguration of the first Black man as president.”
Like Rev. King, Mayor Petitjean said Obama “surrounded his message like King did around God.”
The program’s special guest speaker, Pat Cravins of Opelousas made several references to the Biblical stories in which people were urged to keep a vigil for change.
As the wife of Don Cravins, a former state senator and now mayor of Opelousas, the mother of a son who left his post as a state senator to work in Washington, D.C., she confirmed that she will be a candidate for the same senate seat occupied by father and son.
She told her audience, “Forty years ago, King saw the changes of today.”
Nevertheless, she emphasizes that there still remains a “critical time in Louisiana.”
She focused most closely her attention on the young Black boy and girl. “Are they ready for the new day?” she asked as she spoke about how many drop out of school and the number now in prison. She said it was the parents’ duty to instill a healthy self-image in the young people.
Members of the P.J. School performed a special dance routine during the program.
The NAUW presented awards to the top winners of contests held in connection with the day of tribute to Dr. King.
Winners in the Dr. King Coloring Contest were first place, Ronette Bourque, third grade, Duson Elementary; second place, Dylan Gibson, second grade, Martin Petitjean Elementary; and third place, Leon Smith, first grade, Martin Petitjean Elementary.
Honorable mentions were awarded to Sydney Menard, first grade, Rayne Catholic; Mathew Worsham,second grade, MPE; Essenence Broussard, third grade, MPE: Kye Price, second grade, Duson Elementary; Blaze Levy, third grade, MPE: Darian Harmond, third grade, MPE; and Lakecus LeBlanc, second grade, MPE.
Winners in the Dr. King Poster Contest were first place, Cameron Robinson, Rayne Catholic; second place, Haven Menard, Rayne Catholic; and third place, Luke Guidry,
Rayne Catholic. Honorable mentions were awarded to Whitley Larry, South Rayne Elementary; Anthony Broussard, Rayne Catholic and Brandt Bergeron, Rayne Catholic.
Winners in the Dr. King Peace Poem competition were first place, Madison Leger, Church Point Middle; second place, Tori Alleman, Church Point Middle; and third place, Aaron Cline Cutrer, III, Armstrong Middle.
Honorable mention awards were won by Skye Rochon, Matt Dore and Kylie Benoit, all
Armstrong Middle School.
Bria Thibodeaux of Church Point Middle was awarded first place honors for her entry in the King Essay Contest.