Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce awards citizens

Staff Report

     “Moving in a new Direction” was the theme for the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual and Awards Banquet.

     There was no guest speaker, but that did not take away from the event. Board of Director member Daryl Comery served as master of ceremony, keeping everyone’s interest with the memories, laughs and seriousness of the event. Executive Director, Juanita Pearley said the theme tells it all, as she seeks to make it her motto and goal for the Chamber. 

     The election of new officers and director members were presented and introduced to the guests. They are President, John Daigle (C F Industries); Vice-President, Jeffery Henry (Jeff’s Bar); Treasurer, Brent Barbier (Grapevine Café  & Gallery); Daryl Comery (Ascension Parish School Board); Carmaine Demby-Banks (Demby & Son Funeral Home); Malcolm Dugas (Dugas & Mire); Sonny Graugnard (Graugnard); Lydia Hambrick (Inn on the River); Megan Hotard (Chateau D’ville Rehab & Retirement); Delores Johnson (Cajun Daiquiri); Paul Landry, IV (Foti Financial); Charles Leblanc (Bourg Insurance); Monica Moll (Triple M Bridal) and Lisa Thibodaux (MBECA).

     Making the first presentation of the night was Robyn Penn Delaney. The Ascension Parish School Board District 1 representative had the honor to present the Teenager of the Year award to Jacob LaGrange. The award is given to the teen with the highest collective judging scores. A different set of judges for each category scored the teens on a written essay, personal interview, and school and community involvement. Judges admitted that it certainly was not an easy task, because the scores came so close in comparison. Three teens from each area high school were selected by their school.  This year nominees were Rwanda Breaux (DHS); Lawrence Brown, III (DHS); Meredith Daigle (ACHS); Courtney Dazé (ACHS); Amber McKinney (DHS) and winner Jacob LaGrange (ACHS).

    The awards presentations were to be remembered as Louis “Boo” Leblanc had the distinguished honor of presenting to his son, Dave Leblanc the Citizen of the Year award. Leblanc had originally stated he was not able to make it to the banquet because of an early appointment the next morning, but when told to whom the award was to be presented to, he replied “I can stay up a little later, I’ll be okay in the morning for the appointment.”  Tears filled both their eyes as the moment could not have been any more perfect when they embraced. 

     Business of the Year was given to a man whose family business have been in establishment for over 40 years. As Malcolm Dugas read the introduction of the winner, the recipient looked at his family with the expression of “so that’s why they are all here.”  Frank Marcello of Marcello Distributors was presented the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award.

     The banquet, held at Palazzo Bernardo, had in attendance 170 guest. Social hour started at 6 p.m. with the banquet program at 7 p.m.