Bruce Schultz, Bush, Jeff | 6/27/2013 3:15:39 AM
News Release Distributed 06/26/13
POLLOCK, La. – State and local officials gathered at the 4-H Camp Grant Walker on June 25 to show their gratitude for a $500,000 gift by RoyOMartin, a forest products and forestland management company based here.
The $500,000 donation will nearly fulfill the fundraising commitment for a second phase of the new multipurpose building at the center. Groundbreaking is expected by the end of the summer.
“This is a great day for Louisiana 4-H,” said Jeff Bush, Louisiana 4-H Foundation director.
Bush said the Martin family provided the funding with the challenge to other area businesses to provide the remaining $90,000 needed for the project. So far, commitments have been made for $60,000 of that amount.
Jonathan Martin, RoyOMartin chairman and chief executive officer, said the legacy of charity and stewardship has been passed down from the original family members. “It’s such a pleasure to be able to do this.”
The pavilion, roughly 10,000 square feet, will be large enough to house all campers at once and protect them from the elements during stormy weather. Currently, campers have to stand outside in line for meals.
“This building needs to be built as soon as possible for these kids,” said Roy O. Martin III.
The camp has had an increase of 150 kids a week this year, and the enrollment this week is almost 600, according to Christine Bergeron, camp director.
The donation funds most of Phase II, which involves making the building climate-controlled. The building will house an auditorium, the camp store, restrooms and storage for equipment.
Bush said the $1.6 million project was spearheaded by Randy Ewing of Quitman, a former state senator.
Ewing, who attended the camp as a fourth-grader, said the gift is just one example of the Martin family’s charity and stewardship that benefit the region. “They plant trees that spur the economy that helps everybody.”
Bill Richardson, LSU AgCenter chancellor, said the donation “puts us over the top,” and he credited Ewing for his role in the gift. “Without him, this wouldn’t have happened.”
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 company also donated 18 acres of land for the camp.
For more information related to the multipurpose building, contact Bush at 225-578-2972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.