Paper recognizes achievements, efforts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 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 the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, which recently honored their fallen colleague Octavio “Ox” Gonzales. A new training facility and special operations rapid response vehicle were names in honor of the deputy, who was killed in the line of duty in 2006.

• Chayil Johnson and Dylan Boudreaux, who recently took part in the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts summer culinary program. Johnson of LaPlace and Boudreaux of Paulina, spent two weeks refining their culinary techniques and visiting restaurants and food preparation venues throughout the New Orleans area before facing their final test, serving a meal to members of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s board of directors.

• St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom and members of her administration, who served lunches to students last week as part of an annual effort to raise awareness about the parish’s free lunch program.

• Members of the St. John Department of Emergency Operations, who have been conducting emergency preparedness seminars in conjunction with FEMA-sponsored sessions aimed at familiarizing St. John’s residents with new flood insurance rate maps. The last of the sessions will be held tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LaPlace branch of the public library and tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westbank Community Center in Edgard.