Local heroes: First Lady of the Donaldsonville Elks Lodge

Logan Ridenour
Kathryn Hebert poses in front of the fireplace at the Donaldsonville Elks Lodge.

Kathryn Hebert, fondly known as the "First Lady" of the Elks in Donaldsonville spends her time improving the lives of others.

She is officially the Esteemed Leading Knight for the Donaldsonville Elks Lodge. Her presence at the Elks Lodge goes back to the 1980s when she was a Lady of the Elks member. However, she spent some time away and returned as an official member in 2017.

"I've just always been involved," Hebert said. "It was just natural for me to come back. I really didn't realize until after we had the installation ceremony that I was the first woman on their book."

For over a hundred years, there weren't any official female members of the Elks Lodge.

"I like to see things move along for the good of everybody," she said.

But Hebert was drawn to the organization based on the fact that it is all about service. You can always see her at various events and donations with other members of the Elks Lodge. She says some of her favorite parts about being a member have been donations at places like Head Start and the food pantry with the Catholic Church.

She also takes care of all the "etiquette" events, like graduation, prom, and weddings at the Catholic Church. She's been coordinating these weddings for the past 20 years.

I've always believed that God gave you gifts, and you need to give them back," Hebert said. "You need to be of service to people."

And as a teacher for 46 years, Hebert has helped countless members of the community. She originally moved to Donaldsonville from Basile as a student, and has stayed close by ever since.

"Everybody's here for a reason and a lesson - go with the flow," she said.

When reflecting on the impact she hopes she's made on others, she referenced a book titled "The Pause."

"From your birth to your death, make the pause count. I would hope that the pause counted."