Community

Cookin’ in Central Expands- And You’re Invited

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By Mia Freneaux

If you aren’t aware of the wonderful service provided for our city by the organizers of Cookin’ in Central, you need to go to Centralspeaks.com and look up back articles, because the list is too long for this article!  The annual event has raised over $1,400,000 for various worthy causes, mainly focused on schools in the Central area.  Begun in 2006 by Central citizens who wished to aid Katrina-devastated St. Bernard Parish schools, the “Cookin’” event has not only raised funds for our area schools but also assisted St. Helena High School after it was damaged by fire, and the Blue Star Moms organization, which is collecting funds to erect a monument in memory of those soldiers lost in recent wars at Port Hudson Cemetary.  It is a source of great pride to organizers that a school bus in Chalmette bears the legend “Spirit of the City of Central”, purchased with funds raised by this event.  Every year, a new cause is designated to receive aid from this event.  “Cookin’” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that “benefits our children’s education and other charitable organizations along with Disaster Relief Causes.”  “It is our goal to open the doors of Central and the hearts of its citizens to our fellow man in his time of need.”(from the Cookin’ In Central by-laws).

Now, in 2010, Cookin’ in Central, Inc. is moving in a new direction to assure that its mission can continue for the indefinite future.  While the goals remain the same, the organization has undergone a complete reworking.  It is still entirely run by volunteers, but has been expanded to include a membership program and a Board of Directors.  Monday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m., Cookin’ in Central will host a membership drive at Elegant Memories.  A meal will be served and all interested individuals are invited to come.   2 levels of membership will be available – active and associate.  Active members can join that night by filling out the application form and paying $25.00 annual dues.  Active members receive a Cookin’ in Central polo shirt and are eligible to vote, but must attend 50% of all meetings each year to maintain that right. Associate membership is free, but has no voting rights.  Areas in which members can help are Sponsorship, Advertising, the Auction, Cooks & Judges, Food Donations, the Crawfish Boil, Event Set-up, Entertainment, the Car Show, Parking, Security, Food Service, and Clean -Up.  This should give you a good idea just what a tremendous amount is involved in getting this event off the ground.  Volunteers are what make all of this happen, so please consider joining and helping-you’ll be helping your community and many outside the community as well.

Also on that night a new 15 member Board of Directors will be elected.  Any one who wishes to serve on the Board is invited to fill out and sign an application (all forms will soon be available at Centralspeaks.com).  Copies of the Articles of Incorporation and the By-laws will also be available.

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