West St. John Stakeholders honor heroes, offer support

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, July 29, 2015

EDGARD — Gary Watson said the effort was all about the children, and helping pursue a bright future.

As chairman of the West St. John Stakeholders, Watson was part of a team of volunteers who celebrated local students’ success while offering all forms of encouragement and support during a weekend celebration.

The West St. John Stakeholders sponsored the second annual festival celebrating education, employment and empowerment with a “Building a Better Future for Our Youth” theme at West St. John High School’s gym Saturday.

Local residents listen as Commander David Gatt recaps the legacy of the late Corporal Anthony Mill, U.S. Army.  

Local residents listen as Commander David Gatt recaps the legacy of the late Corporal Anthony Mill, U.S. Army.

“Everything we have here is to help and educate them,” Watson said. “I am very happy with the outcome and I hope to get bigger next year.”

The Stakeholders presented the West St. John Class of 2015 with a plaque recognizing their hard work and determination for a bright future.

“All of the students who graduated in this class have chosen a career pathway and that is fantastic,” WSJ Stakeholders spokeswoman Nora Pierre said.

“Each student has chosen a path, and that has not always been the case. We feel like our message is finally getting across, and I am so excited.”

Local resident Shirin Bovie described the event as great for the community.

“It is bringing positivity to our parish despite the negative things happening in our nation,” Bovie said.

Commander David Gatt and members of the American Legion No. 383 recognized Corporal Anthony Miller, a social activist, who died for his country in the Vietnam War.

Parish President Natalie Robottom assisted the Stakeholders in the final presentation of the evening to the family of Dr. Henry Yale Harris, renowned educator, pioneer and social activist.

The event also included a Kids Corner, outside activities, live entertainment by St. John’s Icons and a free food court.

Children picked up free school supplies at the end of the event and door prizes provided by each of the participating booths were raffled off.

The event showcased 24 informational booths with the following themes: the Creole Farmers’ Market, law enforcement, voter registration, health care services, community college and college majors, sports, film industry, faith-based organizations, tourist attractions, Second Ward Community Culture, and local business and plantation owners from Wallace, Edgard, Pleasure Bend and Lucy.

By Harmony Hamilton