Paper recognizes achievements, efforts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Each Wednesday, L’Observateur recognizes individuals and businesses in the River Parishes who have gone “above and beyond” in their efforts to make this a better place to live, work, play and raise a family.

We believe an integral part of a community’s wellbeing is an attitude and arena where people who do good things … who work to improve life for others … who try to make a difference … are recognized and saluted.

Because this is a salute to members of the community of the entire River Parishes, we solicit your recommendations for groups or individuals to be considered for inclusion.

This week we salute:

• The St. John Parish Young Marines, who eschew sleeping in and hanging out with friends in favor of marching drills on the weekends. The group of about 20 boys and girls aged 11 to 14, the inaugural class for the group, will finish their training with a graduation ceremony on July 10.

• Pastor Paul Naylor of First Baptist Church of LaPlace, who recently ended the church’s three-year search for a full-time pastor. Having packed up his family and moved from Northwest Arkansas, Naylor said he plans to stay with the community as long as God will allow.

• Sgt. Brian Bertrand of the St. John Sheriff’s Office, who recently received a commendation from the national Veterans of Foreign Wars commander for his bravery in pulling a motorist from a burning vehicle.

• Trenese Smith, a LaPlace native and former Reserve Christian basketball standout. Smith was recently named Allstate Sugar Bowl Outstanding Female Athlete. She now plays for the Loyola Wolfpack.