Coca-Cola contributes funds to aid local Catholic school

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 1999

DEBBIE MUSTIAN / L’Observateur / December 25, 1999

LAPLACE – St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and the Louisiana Coca ColaBottling Co., Ltd. have teamed together for the future of Catholiceducation in the River Parishes.

It was an exciting day recently when representatives from Coca-Cola met with St. Joan of Arc officials at the Msgr. Dennis J. Bergeron Family Life Center in LaPlace and presented them with a $5,000 check.

Principal Larry Bourgeois was thrilled with the contribution. “This will bean ongoing business and education partnership,” he said upon accepting the donation.

The funds will go toward renovating and updating the school’s Aleck Memorial Library, in memory of three members of the Aleck family who were killed in a tragic car accident in LaPlace a few years ago.

To date, a new circulation desk and more shelving have been added and new carpet has been installed. New books are being donated to update thelibrary thanks to an ongoing book drive. This summer, central airconditioning will be installed. The renovated library will be dedicated inearly 2000. The library should be tripled in size by the 2000-2001 schoolyear, according to Bourgeois.

Coca-Cola donations may also be used to purchase items for St. Joan ofArc students and also finance field trips and bring special speakers to the school, he said. A steering committee, including librarian Janet Falgoust,teacher Judy Falgoust, the Rev. Robert Vincent and Russell Bologna hasbeen established to direct how the donations from Coca-Cola will be spent.

Bourgeois took over as principal of St. Joan of Arc on July 1. One ofthe first items of business for Bourgeois was to explore possible relationships between the school and businesses in the River Parishes.

Helen Banquer, director of development for St. Joan of Arc, wasinstrumental in establishing the partnership between Coca-Cola and the school. She is excited about the relationship and how both the school andthe business will reap benefits.

“Students will be able to do projects for Coke, such as provide decorations for their offices and go on field trips to the bottling company,” Banquer said.

Banquer is particularly excited about the benefits Coke can provide to the school regarding career awareness and the necessary preparation steps students need to take for their futures.

“With the school-to-career awareness programs for the seventh- and eighth-graders, Coke can help students understand what companies are looking for,” Banquer said.

Coca-Cola representative Tracy Thomas echoed Banquer’s sentiments. “Weare excited and enthused about the partnership with St. Joan of Arc andthe future of our endeavors.”

cutline: Representing St. Joan of Arc Catholic School is the Rev. RobertVincent (center) shaking hands with Tracy Thomas of Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Ltd. after receiving a $5,000 donation. Also pictured,left to right, are Russell Bologna; Judy Falgoust, teacher; Larry Bourgeois, school principal; Janet Falgoust, school librarian and Greg Loisel with Coca-Cola.

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