Alumni club donates money, plans more for two Reserve schools

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / September 3, 2000

RESERVE – Two elementary schools in Reserve, one public, the other parochial, are lucky enough to have a group of guardian angels made up of former graduates of both schools.

The Fifth Ward and Our Lady of Grace Class of 1966 Civic and Social Club have started out the 2000-2001 school year by donating $250 to each school, and they plan to do a lot more.

“Our goal is to help out both schools,” said Clara Radcliffe, 1966 graduate of Fifth Ward Elementary School.

Both Fifth Ward and Our Lady of Grace have always been close, both geographically and socially. Fifth Ward is located right behind Our Lady ofGrace on River Road in Reserve. Because of that, students from each schoolhave always intermingled and been friends.

The class of 1966 from both schools had an especially tight relationship.

“We’ve had a very special bond since 1966,” said Radcliffe. “We decided toform the club after we realized we were losing a lot of classmates, and we wanted to keep in touch.”Right now, there are 16 active members of the club, most of them living in LaPlace, Garyville and Reserve. There is one member who lives in NewOrleans and one who lives in Texas.

“We all decided we wanted to give back to the schools that we attended,” said Radcliffe.

Gloria Deselle, graduate of Our Lady of Grace said, “We wanted to continue to work with the schools and help them in whatever way we can.”On Tuesday afternoon, in two separate ceremonies, the Fifth Ward and Our Lady of Grace Class of 1966 Civic and Social Club gave checks of $250 each to the principals of both schools.

However, their generosity and sharing is not reserved for the schools. Thissummer the club donated money to NOAH and its Little League teams. Theyhave also given money to Leon Godchaux Junior High School to help in the repair of the gym floor.

Our Lady of Grace graduate and club member Phillip Adams, who now works for the parish government, said, “Any way we can participate in helping out is our goal.”Jacqueline Forest, principal of Fifth Ward Elementary, said they will use the money to buy a sign to put at the entrance of the school so that people will know where the school is located. She also asked if club members couldvolunteer to be tutors.

Deselle told Forest, “These are the things that we really want to do.”The principal of Our Lady of Grace, Sterling Simon, was very grateful for the gift and the club’s help. He said the money would probably go for books andother school supplies.

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