Donaldsonville flags lowered in honor of lives lost to pandemic

Michael Tortorich

City of Donaldsonville officials and first responders joined together March 16 to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic since it began a year ago.

City of Donaldsonville officials and first responders lowered the flags to half staff at City Hall in honor of the lives lost during the year to the pandemic.

Flags were lowered to half staff in front of City Hall at the conclusion of the mayor’s Facebook Live broadcast, which marked its 100th program. Also, updates have been broadcast via Donaldsonville’s radio station, KKAY AM and KBRS FM.

Joining Mayor Leroy Sullivan were council members Lauthaught Delaney, Reginald Francis, Charles Brown, and Raymond Aucoin. Additionally, they were joined by members of the Donaldsonville Fire Department, including Fire Chief Adam Gautreaux, Captain Jonathan Reynolds, and firefighters Amber Kimble and Keith Warner.

Later in the broadcast council members honored Sullivan with a certificate of appreciation for his dedication to the city over the course of the trying year.

Brown, who serves as the council’s chair, asked fellow council members to join him for the presentation to the mayor during the live program.

“We want you to know that your work has not gone unnoticed. You have been on the front line since day one,” Brown said.

After returning to the podium, Sullivan humbly thanked the council for their support.

“I never look at anything as me. I always say we. I always tell people I have a great team. When we started out giving updates, no one envisioned it would be a year and we’d still be doing this. I’m humbled because it’s not very often you get recognized for things you do. I appreciate it, and I appreciate you all coming. Life is too short for us not to be on the same page, and to not do everything we can to save lives,” Sullivan said.

Earlier in the day, more than 300 people had appointments to receive vaccines at Prevost Memorial Hospital.

The mayor thanked hospital administrator Vince Cataldo and the staff at Prevost, the Louisiana National Guard, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and all of the volunteers who helped.

“We also want to thank the Louisiana Department of Health, Wanda August, Sheriff Bobby Webre, the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for making this event possible,” he said.

Prevost also hailed OEP Director Rachael Wilkinson, OEP Assistant Director Dustin Montelius, Donaldsonville Councilman Charles Brown, Ascension Parish District 1 Councilman Alvin “Coach” Thomas, Ward Clerk Gail Jarvis, Respiratory Therapy and Risk Management Director James Breaux, Director of Nursing Loretta Larvadain, Director of Maintenance Sidney Goetz, Maintenance Assistant Renard Falcon, and state Dept. of Health Medical Director Dr. Dawn Marcelle.

Hospital staff also gave credit to the Office of Public Health for operating the first large tent after entering the event and for furnishing the vaccines. They thanked everyone involved.

“Your work, pride and dedication to our community does not go unnoticed,” they said in a Facebook post.

The city also hosted a vaccination day at the Lemann Memorial Center March 20. More than 150 appointments were scheduled.

“We want to thank all the volunteers who came out to assist including Wanda August, Shirley Grimes, Latasha Smith, Captain Darryl Smith, Reverend Roland Julien, and Jannet Feuntes who assisted us with Spanish translation,” Sullivan said.