Help us honor a top citizen, and top student

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 18, 2008

By Kevin Chiri

I hope you will help me again this year as the LaPlace Rotary Club honors a top citizen, and a top local student from the River Region.

As a member of the Rotary Club, I am soliciting names for our annual “Citizen of the Year” and “Student of the Year” awards.

There is no absolute criteria for these awards other than showing us how these individuals have benefited the community by serving others, something that is part of the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”

In past years I have gotten some excellent nominations sent in to me, and I’m sure you know some people right now who would qualify.

We are looking for a citizen and a student who have done things to exemplify our motto of serving others. So take a little time to think about anyone you think might qualify, and e-mail the names in to me, with some kind of information telling why you think this person should be considered for the honor. Please include your name and phone number, as well as their phone number.

Deadline to get information to me is May 12, and we will have our annual awards banquet in June, when we will announce the winners. Send your nominations to

 Check it out, you have not one, but two different fairs to take in this weekend as we continue our wonderful tradition of springtime fairs in the River Region.

If you want to stay local, you need to go by Our Lady of Grace church and school on River Road in Reserve today, but if you feel like traveling a few miles down the road, then stop by the Destrehan Plantation Spring Arts & Crafts Festival that runs through Sunday.

Our Lady of Grace is having their school fair today through Sunday, scheduled to be open today from 1 p.m. until midnight, then on Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m.

There is free admission to the fair, and they have the usual great fair rides all set up for the kids, or you older kids, to have a blast on.

Some special events will be the walk/run-a-thon this morning, then Las Vegas night, as well as the car/bike/boat show on Sunday. There are entry fees for these other events.

Of course you will find the usual wonderful array of food and fun for all the family, so make sure and drop by.

Down at Destrehan today and Sunday, over 100 arts and crafts booths will be set up between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. There will be Cajun and creole foods, antiques and collectibles, tours of the plantation, craft demonstrations, face painting and pony rides.

Admission is $7 for adults and teens, with kids 12 and under getting in for free.

Kayla Woodson and La. Lightning Band will play on Saturday from noon to 1:30, then Warren Storm and the Wille Tee Cypress Band will finish the day from 2 to 5. On Sunday, Jude LeBlanc and Local Option 2 will provide the music.

Destrehan Plantation is located on River Road, not far from the I-310 bridge coming west.

And speaking of parties, you don’t want to miss the big one being put on by the River Region Chamber of Commerce on Friday, May 9 at the St. James Welcome Center in Gramercy, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m..

This is the annual fundraiser by the Chamber, when they give away big money—this year to the tune of $14,000. The money is up for grabs through a raffle they are holding, with tickets of $100 each. There will be four consolation prizes of $1,000 each, then a grand prize drawing for $10,000.

Buying a $100 ticket admits two people to the crawfish boil and super raffle party that evening, which will have live music by Rees Chaisson.

You must be present to win the raffle prize money, so get your tickets now and plan to be in that number.

For more information on the event, or to purchase tickets, call 985-359-9777.

I was in the express lane at the store quietly fuming the other day. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart, and asked sweetly, “So which six items would you like to buy?”

Wouldn’t it be great if that happened a little more often?

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at