Press Releases & Advisories

Children’s Hero of the Year Award Honorees and Nominees Announced

Eckerd Kids announces the 2016 Children’s Hero Award Honorees and Nominees as nominated by the community. This award recognizes those unsung heroes in our community that have had a profound and positive impact on the lives of children in Central Louisiana, through their time, talent and treasure.

The honorees and nominees will be honored at the 2016 Children’s Hero of the Year Awards Gala at 6:00 pm on April 28, 2016 at the Willowbench Meeting Place, 638 Main Street Pineville, LA. Guests will be treated to dinner and live entertainment and we will recognize the three honorees and 6 nominees for the award at the Gala. Each honoree and nominee has given back selflessly to this community, making a positive impact on the children in this area.

COL Mike Borrel is the Super Director over Educational Programs for the Louisiana National Guard (LANG). He directly oversees three Youth Challenge Programs: Camp Minden, Camp Beauregard and The Gillis Long Center which has graduated over 20,000 Louisiana Youth. In addition he operates/supervises three Starbase programs in Louisiana. Col. Borrel, appointed by General Curtis, had a vision four years ago. He envisioned partnerships with local community colleges allowing the youth of the Challenge programs to obtain college credit that would make the youth eligible for military and advanced educational opportunities. He piloted the partnership in 2013, with Bossier Parish Community College bridging the gap for graduates of the youth challenge program. Youth who participate in the BCPP can be awarded up to 15 hours of college credit while enrolled in YCP upon obtaining their HiSet. In addition, he envisioned/piloted the idea of accreditation through the NCCER Construction program to successfully certify many youth in construction. In 2014 he expanded his efforts, he started 1st if its kind “Job Challenge” with technical community colleges (NWLA, CLTCC and River Parish CC) offering multiple trades (free of charge) to graduating youth of YCP.

Willie Harp formed a foundation, The Perfect Fit Foundation in honor of his father, Jerry Harp with the mission of providing shoes, free of charge, to underprivileged elementary school children. He realized that some of the most basic needs for these children are all too often being met by individual teachers out of their own pockets. Mr. Harp’s father Jerry Harp sold shoes for over 50 years in Central Louisiana. The “proper fit” was of paramount importance to him, and he lived by the notion that a well-fitted pair of shoes was the foundation to good posture and good health. To date the Perfect Fit Foundation has been able to provide over 12,000 pairs of shoes to deserving students.

B. J. Gallent has been dedicated to non-profit volunteer organizations which she feels is the foundation of the non-profit world. She has worked with children in some capacity since I was in her early 20’s, always feeling children deserve every advantage in life to succeed and prosper as adults. Mrs. Gallent has been affiliated with Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center as a CASA volunteer since January 2008, serving in various capacities including an advocate for almost two years. She presently serves as a coordinator for CASA in Avoyelles Parish and assisted with the growth of the program in Avoyelles.

This year’s honorees for the 2016 Children’s Hero of the Year were submitted by fellow community members. Along with the 3 honorees for the Award, were 6 nominees also chosen from the community members. Laura Ford, Lamar Briggs, Susie Brooks, Debbie Guy, Donna DeSoto, and Frances Boudreaux were all selected to also be recognized at this year’s Gala because of the extraordinary work each of them have done in the community by enhancing the lives of youth and their families. The final honorees and nominees were decided by a panel of Eckerd Advisory Council members.

All proceeds from the 2016 Children’s Hero of the Year Gala will benefit Eckerd for a great cause ~ children. The ultimate goal of this year’s event is to raise needed funds to continue to provide wraparound services to which work to prevent unnecessary out of home placements. These funds will also support scholarships for youth who complete the program and show the potential for continued growth and positive development. Eckerd is also raising funds to support a Second Chances Camp. This program will provide youth with a camp experience focusing on prevention and pro-social activities that promote a positive extracurricular through activities designed to encourage good decision making, self-image and teamwork. Event proceeds will maintain and enhance youth and family program services to vulnerable children in the Central LA area.

Individual Tickets: $50
Corporate Sponsorship Tables: Silver ($300), Gold ($500) Platinum ($1000)

*To R.S.V.P. or inquire about information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Pamela Hataway at (318) 443-7900 or visit www.eckerd.org/galaonthebayou.

In Central Louisiana, Eckerd Cenla Wraparound Agency serves children and teenagers struggling with behavioral, mental health and addiction disorders who are at risk of being placed outside the home. Eckerd Cenla Wraparound Agency coordinates services to these young people and their families based on a national, results-based model, the National Wraparound Initiative. Eckerd Cenla Wraparound Agency involves families as active partners and uses a team-based approach to coordinate services across multiple systems—including family, youth, community, schools, and agencies. The coordination of the services are provided in the home as well as in community settings. This program earns positive feedback from both parents and the young people Eckerd serves. Eckerd Wraparound Agency has been proudly serving youth and families in Rapides, Avoyelles, Vernon, Winn, Grant, Catahoula, LaSalle, and Concordia Parish since March 2012.