Comets deliver community service with meals

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / December 15, 1999

LAPLACE – For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time to spend dinner with our families, to watch the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Lions play on television and to give thanks for what we have.

For members of the St. Charles Catholic High School family, it was also atime to help serve the community. This past Thanksgiving Day marked thefourth straight year students, parents, staff and friends of the school prepared and delivered Thanksgiving meals to the less fortunate of the River Parishes.

“It involves the whole St. Charles Catholic community,” principal AndrewCupit said. “It allows us to be able to give something back to thecommunity.”The idea grew out of a discussion at a St. Charles Catholic school boardmeeting in 1996 of what the school could do to serve the community.

Pancho Roussel, who had students at the school, suggested the idea for the serving of the meals.

Originally the idea was to serve the meals at the school. But onThanksgiving Day the first year turnout was low, and when calls were made the volunteers discovered that many they were trying to serve were unable to get to the school. The volunteers decided that if those in needcould not come to them, they would go out and deliver the meals. A yearlater, the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office began aiding the students indelivering the meals.

Preparations for the meals begins with area churches and the Ministry of Care sending names of those in need. Letters are sent out along with apost card asking for how many meals are needed and where they need to be delivered to.

Parents and friends of the school begin cooking the meal consisting of turkey, rice dressing, yams, peas and dessert the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The cooking is usually completed around 10:30 a.m.Thursday. An assembly line is then set up with the parents serving themeals to the students who then box them up and send them on their way to families in St. John and St. James parishes. Cupit said all meals are usually delivered by 12:30 p.m. The whole process,with the exception of the delivering, is done on the St. Charles Catholiccampus. Marathon/Ashland Petroleum helped defray the cost this year asone of their service projects.

This year, approximately 30 students delivered 325 meals. Among themwas junior Sarah Roussel, who has been involved with the project since its inception. Roussel, whose dad, Pancho, helps cooks the meals, said itmakes her feel better about herself knowing she is helping others.

“Seeing it happen in your own town you realize that there are people who do need help,” Roussel said.

Senior Lindsay Jacob, whose dad, Butch, has helped out every year, has been involved in the project all four years, also was surprised to see so many people in need right here in the community.

“I never expected that,” Jacob said. “To see what they live in. I felt betterknowing I could make a difference.”Senior Scott Froehlich also got involved in the project with his parents and has been doing it for three years. Froehlich said those they deliver toare thankful for the meals.

“Sometimes they say we gave them too much,” Froehlich said. “They knowthey need it, but they don’t want to feel like they are causing trouble.”Freshman Adam Ayme was involved in the project for the first time and said it was a real experience.

“I liked it; it gave me a chance to serve the school and showed it care about the other people in the community,” Ayme said. “It gave me a chanceto get really involved.”

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