75 years of service


When the oldest member of your club is 89 and the youngest is 24, of course it shows diversity, but it also defines the true nature of it. The Donaldsonville Rotary Club celebrated 75 years of service to the community on June 12, and with an adopted motto of “Service above Self” it’s not a surprise it’s still kicking.

In a celebratory program at Café Lafourche emceed by Rotarian Dave LeBlanc, over 80 people came to celebrate with Ascension Parish’s first Rotary Club. With dignitaries from the state, parish, city, and Rotary district levels representing, the celebration educated, entertained, and enthused.

As emcee, LeBlanc informed attendees Rotary does more than eat, meet and greet.

LeBlanc explained what the Rotary Club has brought to Donaldsonville in the past year – a list that went on for a while.

“I would like to congratulate my fellow Rotarians in keeping our motto of service above self alive through 75 years of Rotary in Donaldsonville,” LeBlanc said in conclusion. “Job well done.”

Rotarian Boo LeBlanc gave the history of Donaldsonville’s Club and introduced its charter members from when the club began in 1939.

“Rotary can define needs that single people can’t,” Boo LeBlanc said. “After they can define those needs they can put together the organization to fix the needs.”

District 6200 Governor for Rotary, Tom Acosta, recognized 13 members of Donaldsonville’s 34 total club members as being part of the Paul Harris Fellowship. Acosta also presented club President Marvin Gros with a district banner, and awarded the Donaldsonville club with the membership development and extension award on behalf of the Rotary International Board of Directors – an award given to a club with the highest retention rate.

“It’s a testament to survival and commitment of the club to continue and to grow it and to continue to do great things for your community through Rotary,” Acosta said. “It’s not a given that just because you start as a Rotary that you’ll always have one, so I salute each and every one of you for the hard work that you’re doing. Keep doing good things in your community.”

On behalf of Parish President Tommy Martinez, Parish Attorney O’Neil Parenton presented a proclamation stating June 12, 2014 to be Donaldsonville Rotary Club Day in Ascension Parish.

The club also presented its own awards. Dave LeBlanc and DeRon Talley presented the Rotarian of the Year to Gros, who served as the club’s president for two straight years 2012-2014.

And finally, Boo LeBlanc presented the club’s Program of the Year award to LSU Gymnastics Head Coach and Donaldsonville native DD Breaux. Breaux also served as the guest speaker of the evening, and said she always tells the story of how the community impacted her life.

“Donaldsonville has meant so much to me and my family,” Breaux said. “The memories still live very deeply in our hearts. The values I learned growing up in this wonderful town served me well: kindness to others, humility and loyalty was always at the top of the list.”