Bruce Schultz, Bergeron, Christine, Bush, Jeff | 10/29/2013 8:04:47 PM
News Release Distributed 10/29/13
POLLOCK, La. – The final donation to build the multipurpose center at 4-H Camp Grant Walker was made by AT&T on Oct. 28, clearing the way for the possibility that the facility could be available for campers in 2014.
Danny Wilson, of AT&T, delivered a check for $30,000 to Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture. Two previous donations by AT&T during the past two years totaled $50,000.
“AT&T stood up and answered the call,” said Jeff Bush, Louisiana 4-H Foundation director. “They were here at the beginning and the end.”
Bush said architectural plans have been completed, and the project will soon be open for construction bids, with a likely groundbreaking in January.
“Without private donations, this would not be happening,” Richardson said, adding that the RoyOMartin company gave a $500,000 donation for the building in June.
He said the facility is badly needed to protect children from the elements when they are assembling or getting ready to go to lunch. “We have to have a place to get these kids indoors when it’s 108 degrees or there are thunderstorms.
“I do want this place to be up next summer,” Richardson said.
Camp Director Christine Bergeron said campers are scattered across in various buildings when the weather is stormy. “I cannot tell you how much of a need this is,” she said.
Two campers were at the donation Monday to tell what the camp has meant to them. Gabby Rutter of Grant Senior High School said she attended summer camp for several years, and now she is a counselor. “It’s made me the person I am.”
Kayla Whitstine, also of Grant Senior High, said the camp experience has given her a lifetime of memories, and now her younger brother will be attending camp.
Randall Fletcher, former chairman of the Grant Parish 4-H Foundation, was at the donation ceremony. He attended camp in 1950 and 1951, and many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren have attended.
“We’re proud of this camp, and it’s an asset for Grant Parish,” he said. “I run into people all over the state who have been here.”