Aviation Day opens skies to children; 2018 event being planned

Published 12:10 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

LAPLACE — Local non-profit Guys Achieving Goals hosted an appreciation banquet Saturday in honor of more than 40 sponsors who led to the success of the inaugural Aviation Day held in May by contributing a combined $9,000.

St. John the Baptist Parish officials, including Parish President Natalie Robottom, Sheriff Mike Tregre, District Attorney Bridget A. Dinvaut, Superintendent Kevin George and representatives from Marathon Petroleum, Nalco Champion, Dow Chemical Company, Southwest Airlines, Rising Star Baptist Church, Papa John’s and Raising Canes were invited to the banquet at the VFW Hall on W. Fifth Street in LaPlace.

Sponsors who were not able to attend were recognized during the banquet. Certificates were granted to sponsors who donated up to $200, and plaques were awarded to those who donated more.

Senator Randall Gaines congratulated Guys Achieving Goals and all who assisted in Aviation Day with a speech of gratitude for introducing aviation to the community.

Paul Green, president of Guys Achieving Goals, coordinated the banquet to recognize the work that went into making Aviation Day run smoothly and successfully.

“I can’t take recognition for the event,” Green said. “It was a St. John Parish family reunion. That’s what made everything go so well. I want to recognize the ladies and guys that helped us on the ground.”

He said the appreciation banquet went over wonderfully, and he looks forward to working with sponsors interested in planning the second annual Aviation Day in 2018.

The inaugural event saw 407 people, including 325 children, take flight over St. John Parish, according to Green.

“If only you could’ve seen the eyes of the kids,” Green said. “It spoke volumes. It came to me: This is my calling.”

Green was inspired to start Guys Achieving Goals after his son, Tristan Green, told him he wanted to be a pilot. As a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Green had the experience to make his son’s request a reality, but not without an abundance of community support.

He hopes to one day open a flight school that will continue bringing aviation opportunities to St. John Parish.

Green is currently recruiting for Guys Achieving Goals and looking for men who can serve as positive role models.

For more information, call 504-723-4169.