Those helped by foundation praise Keller’s good works

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 1999

By MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / June 26, 1999

LAPLACE – Perseverance was the key word as the Get High on Life foundation celebrated its third annual banquet at the LaPlace Holiday Inn Tuesday night.

Testimonies were given by those who had overcome addictions through their belief in God and with the help of Get High on Life and its founder, Harold Keller.

Danny Louque, chairman of the Get High on Life committee, discussed the work of the ministry over the past year and plans for a Boys Home in the River Parishes that has long been a dream of Keller’s.

Over 200 members of the community, including a number of elected officials, attended the banquet. Their participation, along with the help ofa number of sponsors, helped the foundation net over $20,000.

Ronny Michel, Keller’s oldest daughter, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.

The Rev. Neil Bernard of New Wine Christian Fellowship led the openingprayer.

“I want to give thanks to Harold and his wife, Jeanne, for over 20 years of service to the River Parishes,” Bernard said.

St. John the Baptist Parish Council chairman Duaine Duffy led the Pledgeof Allegiance while his daughter, Dianna, sang the National Anthem.

Corey Alexander, who met Keller while he was at the Fontainebleau rehabilitation center, followed with a rendition of “How Great Thou Art.””Harold Keller and his wife have been a blessing to me more than they can ever imagine,” Alexander said.

Joe Cairns also met Keller at Fontainebleau and said the Saturdays when Keller visited there were known as “Saturday Night Live.” He praisedthose in the audience for supporting the ministry.

“This really is a special time,” Cairen said. “I feel blessed to know peopleof all walks of life are here tonight to work toward one common goal.”Jay Lafleur, who overcame a drug addiction, thanked Keller for helping leading him back to God.

“I thank God for Harold Keller and his ministry,” Lafleur said. “If Goddidn’t put him in my life, I would be dead now. Get high on life, not drugs. Iget higher on Jesus Christ than I did on any drug.”An 18-year-old named Mike, who Keller met at Fontainebleau, thanked Keller for directing him to the Ark of the Covenant, a Team Challenge group in Lafayette. He recently graduated from the first phase and willsoon leave for the second in Missouri.

The final testimony came from Greg Smith of LaPlace, also a member of the Ark of the Covenant, who talked about his drug addiction and the help he received.

“God has been better to me than I have to myself,” Smith said. “I want tothank Keller for telling me about the Ark and all the directors for accepting me. But most of all, I want to thank Jesus Christ for saving me.”Louque, a longtime friend of Keller’s, gave a background on how the plans for a banquet got started. Louque then discussed the plans for the BoysHome to be located in the River Parishes and how those in the audience were being a part of making that dream a reality. Plans for the facility,drawn up by Paul and Joey Murray, were on display at the banquet.

“I want to thank everybody here for supporting my friend Harold Keller and his wife,” Louque said. “Thank you for making this a huge success.”Steve Lee, also a long-time friend and a member of the committee, said he is often asked what Get High on Life is all about.

“I’m telling you what Harold Keller does,” Lee said. “Through his ministry,he changes people’s lives one at a time.”Lee also discussed the Boy’s Home, saying the dream will persevere “It’s going to happen,” Lee said. “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow,but it’s going to happen.”Alexander then sung a rendition of “He Lives” before the Rev. PatrickSanders of St. Peter Church gave the closing prayer. The banquet concludedwith Dianna Duffy leading the audience in the singing of “America the Beautiful.”

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