Veteran’s Association honor troops with musical tribute

The Center Stage Performing Arts Academy danced in honor of the troops at the musical on Friday night.

The Ascension Veteran’s Association hosted its annual Musical Tribute for the Troops on Friday, March 13 at the Gonzales Civic Center. It wasn’t just about saluting and dancing, but it also included for the first time the giving of scholarships as three Ascension school-goers received a $1,000 scholarship each. Dutchtown High’s Sarah Sonnier and Christian Logarbo, and River Parishes Community College student Rebekah Whitney were the recipients of the AVA’s inaugural scholarship donation.

The AVA is made up of the Vietnam Veteran’s of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Women’s Veteran’s of Louisiana and various members at large. The tribute for the troops is put on to raise money for the association to help troops while they are afar serving, their families, and help them when the troops return home.

With several dignitaries in attendance including Parish President Tommy Martinez, Sheriff Jeff Wiley, Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, and Gonzales City Councilman Kenny Matassa, the troops were truly saluted.

Sheriff Wiley got a chance to speak and said he’s “humbled” to talk at such an event.

“There are so many living legend heroes right here in our community that this kind of tribute should honor and I know that you do and I’m proud to be able to talk about it,” Sheriff Wiley said.

Tanya Whitney, AVA Scholarship Chairman, presented the scholarships to the three recipients. She said the scholarship program is set-aside for children, spouses and veterans themselves or the children and grandchildren of veterans who want to attend higher education. There were 17 applicants this year, with 10 being from the high schools and seven out of the college level students.

Sonnier is a Dutchtown High senior from Prairieville with a 3.8 grade point average. She is the daughter of retired Navy veteran Jason Sonnier. Sonnier plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to study Nursing.

Logarbo is a Dutchtown High senior from Geismar with a 4.3 grade point average. He is the son of Army Veteran Michael Logarbo. Logarbo plans to attend Tulane University to study Biomedical Engineering.

Whitney is from Sorrento and attends the River Parishes Community College where she studies Education with a grade point average of 3.8.

Whitney added, “We hope to award five scholarships next year. Thank you to the recipients who exhibit the top level of our future.”