Wednesday, August 6, 2014
St. John the Baptist Parish – More than 700 youth are prepared for the start of the 2014-2015 school year after attending school supply giveaways held by local groups in St. John Parish.
The non-profit organization, Blessed to be a Blessing founded and directed by Eliza Eugene spearheaded the first of two events with assistance from title sponsor Marathon Petroleum, Parish President Natalie Robottom, the Parish Council and a host of other elected officials and agencies on Saturday, July 26. The annual Backpack Extravaganza was heldat REGALA Gym with President Robottom, Superintendent Kevin George, Sheriff Mike Tregre, District Attorney Tom Daley, and Councilmembers Larry Snyder and Lennix Madere. Kits for Kidz, an essential school supply kit tailored for different grade levels, were sponsored and disributed by Marathon Petroleum and representatives from their organization.
In addition to school supplies, free food and prizes, health aides, exercise material, as well as back to school information were provided by representatives from the St. John Health and Human Services Department, St. John United Way, Snap Fitness, Access Health Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Girl Scouts, St. John School Board, and St. John Parish Library. “The Backpack Extravaganza was a blessing because of the sponsors and tireless volunteers that gave back to our community,” said Eugene. “Marathon really helped us by being our title sponsor and providing over half of the funds required to put on this event. When I saw the grateful look in the eyes of those in attendance, it reminded me of myself when I was a little girl in those lines. I believe we all have a responsibility to give back to the community, where we live, work, or entertain,” she added.
The local chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Phi IOTA IOTA Chapter, also held a school supply giveaway and blood drive the following weekend, August 2. Backpacks and school supplies, including pencils, pens, highlighters, erasers and sharpeners were dispersed to attendees. “School supplies are a small investment in the future of our community. Back to school events help equip our children with the tools necessary to learn, grow and succeed in the classroom,” said President Robottom. “This event would not be as effective without a cohesive effort of Parish and community leaders.”
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity contributes locally year round through scholarship and school action programs, health initiatives and voter registration and education programs. These programs include the Charles Drew Blood Drive and partnership with the American Diabetes Association. “The school supply giveaway was a success and we are very appreciative to have a partnership with Parish President Robottom and participation from Sheriff Tregre in this event.” said Chapter Basileus Eric Wright. “All we want to do is our part in giving back to the community.” Peggy Joseph, Legislative Aid for State Representative Randal Gaines, also assisted in handing out supplies.
For photos from the events or for more information, please visit sjbparish.com.