ARPA Receives Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s “Outstanding Youth Leadership” Award

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    Last Wednesday, November 30th, at Dickie Brennan’s Palace Café on Canal Street in New Orleans, Keep Louisiana Beautiful honored its 2011 award winners with a delicious seafood lunch.   This was an important day in the lives of 5 Central residents and their families.  Thinking they would just be thanked for their efforts all summer, Grant, Jacob, and Matt Venable and Cade Sevario were amazed to discover that their organization, the Amite River Preservation Association, was named for the “Outstanding Youth Leadership” Award.  Cade’s younger brother Cole could not be there for this auspicious award, but he was just as active in supporting ARPA’s activities all summer.  
    The “Outstanding Youth Leadership” Award is given to that individual or group in the State of Louisiana that demonstrates leadership in engaging their peers to make a significant impact on littering.   ARPA was commended for their efforts during the summer tubing season which resulted in the collection of almost 700 cubic feet of trash, including 200 pounds of aluminum cans.  The young men not only committed to keeping the Amite clean, they involved 6 of their fellow students in the effort.  KLB Board Member Leigh Harris praised their handling of this “daunting task.  We applaud their efforts!”  Board President Amy Martinez presented the founders with a $500.00 check, and Janet Pace, Executive Director of Volunteer Louisiana in the Office of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, presented them with commendations.  Proud parents Richard and Laurie Venable and aunt Becky Toler, who nominated them for the award, looked on.  Sue Smith, Director of Special Projects for Keep America Beautiful, stated, “This event is a celebration to say thank you to volunteers – winners on the state-wide level.  You are the best of the best.”  
    ARPA will continue their mission beginning next March when the tubing season begins.  They hope to achieve 501(c)3 status, acquire another boat, get a winching system for their boat ramp, and recruit more volunteers.  Would you like to help?  Go to and find out how.


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