Rotary Club of LaPlace presents awards, names new board members during banquet

Published 2:52 pm Saturday, July 8, 2023

LAPLACE — Demetria Robinson-Carter passed the torch to new Rotary Club of LaPlace President Denise Burrell during an Awards & Installation Banquet held on June 27 at The Salad Depot in LaPlace.

Also installed were 2023-24 Board Officers Debbie Schum – Vice President, Deborah Smith – Secretary, Felicia Fiest – Treasurer, Robert Tamplain – Sergeant-at-arms, Darla Edwards – Director, Michelle Gautier – Director, Demetria Carter – Past President, and Ronny Michel – President-Elect.

Lucien Gauff III welcomed guests before Ronny Michel delivered the invocation. Michelle Gautier reminded guests of Rotary’s “Four-Way Test”: Of the things we think, say, or do, (1) Is it the truth?, (2) Is it fair to all concerned?, (3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships, and (4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

East St. John junior and Interact Club member Randi Joseph presented instrumental musical selections as dinner was served. Meanwhile, Darla Edwards, Debbie Schum and Deborah Smith led “What is Rotary?” trivia leading up to the award presentations.

Denise Burrell, incoming president, was honored as the club’s Rotarian of the Year. Meanwhile, Doug Triche was honored as the LaPlace Rotary’s Rookie of the Year.

Tyra Duhe-Griffin accepted the Delton Arceneaux Citizen of the Year Award on behalf of the Honorable Nghana Lewis. Both Duhe-Griffin and Lewis have been involved with the youth in St. John the Baptist Parish through The Literacy Clinic and the “Respect is Just a Minimum” mentorship program.

George Martin III and Brooke Madere, two outstanding young people who have dedicated themselves to community service, were the recipients of this year’s Stephanie Wilking Award.

Ronny Michel and Artis Williams were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Established in 1957, this recognition acknowledges members who have contributed at least $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.

Current Rotary Club of LaPlace members include Myra Alexis-Valentine, Mary Alltmont, Christine Browning, Denise Burrell, Demetria Carter, Michael Day, Eliana DeFrancesch, Bridget Dinvaut, Darla Edwards, Felicia Fiest, Lucien Gauff, Michelle Gautier, Rebecca Johnson, Jorge Lavastida, Betty Martin, Ronny Michel, Cheryl Millet, Poonam Oberoi, Raj Pannu, JoAnn Proctor, Sanjanette Rixner, Debra Schum, Deborah Smith, Robert Tamplain, Gordon Taylor, Sylvia Taylor, Robbie Tomeny, Doug Triche, Patricia Triche and Artis Williams. Friends of Rotary include Harry Glidden and Interact sponsor Yevette Scioneaux.

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and to encourage and foster:

First: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;

Second: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;

Third: the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life;

Fourth: the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

All photos were taken by Gene Franques of Models and Talent Photography/ L’OBSERVATEUR.