Central Citizens of the Year Named

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Judges from the Central Area Pastors Association, Central Community Alliance, Central Community Assistance Foundation, Cooking in Central, the Kiwanis, the Lions Club, the Masons, and the Rotary Club, have selected Wayne Leader and the members of the Amite River Preservation Association as those individuals they believe most deserve the title “Citizen of the Year”.  Nominees must have been residents of the City of Central or the Central Community School District whose actions, efforts and service during 2011 were significant, selfless, and dedicated to the betterment of the Central Community.  It is easy to see why these wonderful individuals were recognized for their efforts.  They exemplify everything that Central has become known for: selflessness, care for their community, generous natures, and sacrificial giving.  
Wayne & Diane Leader
Wayne Leader’s nomination noted that he and Diane, his wife, have always been involved in the Central community, from opening their house each Christmas, to serving on the boards of Cooking in Central and the Chamber of Commerce.  In addition, Mr. Leader took on the challenge of serving as Chairman of the General Services Subcommittee of the City Service Selection Committee.  It would be a 10 month long commitment, which would result in a City Services contract that met the needs of the City of Central.  The Mayor then appointed Mr. Leader Chairman of the City Services Selection Committee.  This committee’s work resulted in the hiring of IBTS as the contractor for city services.  Mr. Leader then oversaw the transition between the former contractor and the newly hired one.  Although it encompassed hundreds of personal hours, Mr. Leader said he did it “not for recognition, but as a way to give back to my city.”

ARPA members Kyle LeBlanc, Cole Sevario, Kaylee Tassin, Jacob, 

Matthew & Grant Venable, Blake Ashford and Cade Sevario (Not shown: Grace & Elizabeth DeLee and Taylor Scrantz)

The members of the Amite River Preservation Association were nominated for their efforts in keeping our beautiful Amite River enjoyable for all.  The original 5 members formed the organization at the beginning of the summer in response to trash being thrown into the river.  The 11 members of ARPA gave of their personal finances and dedicated every weekend of their summer vacation to cleaning the banks of the river.  Collecting almost 700 cubic feet of garbage, these young people, Matt Venable, Cade Sevario, Grant Venable, Jacob Venable, Cole Sevario, Elizabeth DeLee, Grace DeLee, Kaylee Tassin, Taylor Scrantz, Blake Ashford, and Kyle Leblanc, were recognized by several organizations this year for their efforts, including Keep Louisiana Beautiful and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.  Though grateful for the honor, they all claim they don’t do it for any award, but for the satisfaction of seeing their river kept pristine.
Congratulations to all of our Central Citizens of the Year!  Many thanks to our judges for their time and assistance.


  1. Denise

    December 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Excellent choices of Central Citizens BY Central Citizens! Congratulations!!

  2. Nancy Blount

    December 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Congratulations on this well deserved honor!

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