News Release Distributed 06/06/13ALEXANDRIA, La. – RoyOMartin, a forest-products and forestland-management company based here, has announced that it will make a $500,000 donation to the LSU AgCenter’s Grant Walker Educational Center near Pollock, La. The donation will nearly fulfill the fundraising commitment for a second phase of the new multipurpose building at the center.
“This gift goes a long way to completing our goal for Phase II,” said Louisiana 4-H Foundation director Jeff Bush. “We’re extremely grateful for the generosity of RoyOMartin and its commitment to our state’s youth.”
To help complete the fundraising, Bush said the 4-H Foundation and Jonathan E. Martin, chairman and chief executive officer of RoyOMartin, are issuing the RoyOMartin Challenge to 4-H alumni and forest and community leaders across the state. “Our goal is to raise another $90,000 before the summer 4-H camping program ends,” Bush said.
RoyOMartin is the brand name of Martin Companies, L.L.C., a group of family-owned companies. The company owns 570,000 acres of Louisiana timberland, making it one of the largest private landowners in the South.
“The Martin family and RoyOMartin have long been supporters of Louisiana 4-H,” Martin said. “Many of our family members and employees attended Camp Grant Walker as children. Through 4-H, students learn critical skills, such as work ethic, which can help them in all areas of life. We consider this donation an investment in the futures of not only the 4-H participants, but also of our state, and we hope that others will join the RoyOMartin Challenge.”
Former 4-H member and RoyOMartin logging services coordinator Scott Bertrand learned the value of 4-H early in life. “Growing up in a small Louisiana farming community, 4-H played a vital role in my life, as well as the lives of my parents, children and other family members. Through participation in the various 4-H programs and competitions offered, I learned personal and business skills that have served me well. As I can attest, the new multipurpose center will greatly benefit generations to come.”
According to Bush, Phase II involves making the building climate-controlled, which will include the installation of heating and cooling units. The building will house an auditorium, the camp store, restrooms and storage for equipment used by 4-H students during camping programs held throughout the year.
4-H participants have used the center for their summer camp for nearly 90 years, Bush said. The multipurpose building will become the largest building at the site and can accommodate the campers during inclement weather.
Bush said he expects work to begin on the building shortly after the summer camping program ends in August. “We’re hopeful that next year’s campers will see what the generous donations of people and corporations like RoyOMartin can accomplish. It will definitely be the centerpiece of camp,” Bush said.
The architectural firm that designed the building is Ashe Broussard Weinzettle of Alexandria, La.
For more information related to the multipurpose building, contact Bush at 225-578-2972 or by email at 4-H Foundation@agcenter.lsu.edu.Craig Gautreaux
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