ROTC Cadets and DDD team up for service

Allison B. Hudson

Downtown Development District (DDD) and Donaldsonville High School JROTC Cadets teamed up to provide a new face lift for the Gomez building located on Railroad Avenue last Friday. The building has been unoccupied for a number of years and has become an eyesore to the block; so Missy Jandura, Executive Director of DDD and JROTC Cadets, along with several other leaders in the community, got their hands dirty to paint and board up windows to make the building look better.

"Having citizens of all ages coming forward to help neighbors is vital to a community. Instead of waiting for the building to continue deteriorating, DDD volunteers, city volunteers, Donaldsonville Chamber and Major Bailey and the ROTC cadets helped us improve our town,” said Jandura.

Cleaning, raking, learning new skills in painting and home repair work is all part of the educational mission of the DDD and Mainstreet Donaldsonville. 

“These projects are more than just improving buildings; we are about growing a commitment to shopping and staying local. We talked about entrepreneurship, using recycled materials for saleable art, buying local homes and opening their own businesses. The next generation of business owners and shoppers need to be connected to stay in Donaldsonville,” she added.

The side of the Gomez building, facing the Chamber of Commerce, was repaired to improve the appearance of the commercial district and its neighboring buildings.

“This project marks number eleven design that volunteers have completed in facade improvements in Main street. Whether small or large each time the community comes together in fellowship to encourage our neighbors, it makes a difference,” she said.

This project would not have been possible without Becky Katz and Chamber volunteers for talking with ROTC about business opportunities and entrepreneurship in Donaldsonville, Carl Capone recruited several men and brought piles of power tools to tear down old plywood and replaced with a sturdier option.

Arthur Gwin, Emile Spano, Mayor Sullivan, Dena Potts, Chad Zachary all assisted in helping students learn how to repair and paint buildings with new skills. Also thanks to Kocke’s for donating the paint, Steve Schneider, Harry Hoyler, Amy Brunner, and Allison Hudson for their contributions.

The biggest thanks goes to Major Donald Bailey and his cadets for their unending support and help in the community.