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Louisiana Community Hall Of Fame

 

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Amanda Tillman, Baton Rouge, LA. Winning Benefactor: Amanda’s daughter was murdered in 2013.  Since the murder, Amanda has obtained her GED and enrolled in college to pursue a degree in Social Work with the goal of working with Child Protective Services.  She has organized fundraisers for a local women’s and children’s shelter and started an online campaign to raise awareness about child abuse. By Kristi Rachel

Amanda Turner, Lake Charles, Louisiana. Winner Against the Odds: Amanda was born with Cerebral Palsy. When I met her in college she had already overcome the odds. She became a walking success story when she walked with her canes across the stage to receive Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and two years later her Master’s in social work. She works as a social worker and lives on her own. She is always quick to laugh and never felt sorry about her condition. Now to continue her success she walks in marathons to stay in shape and to raise money for various causes. By Veronica B Dubroc

C. C. Lockwood, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Winning Artist:C.C. Lockwood is a world famous photographer with over 40 years of experience. His photographs can transport one to a place of serene beauty that briefly quiets the soul. The ecosystems of Louisiana, specifically the Atchafalaya Basin, once the delta of the untamed Mississippi River, have garnered his life-long attention. His photographs have brought national attention to our vanishing wetlands and marshes. Evidenced through his life time of awards, he is a true artisan. His talent and his love for Louisiana continue to be expressed in evermore beautiful works as he follows the recovery from the Gulf oil spill tragedy By Iri Floyd

Coach Brick Haley, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Winning Coach: Coach Brick Haley is LSU’s defensive line coach. I had the privilege to work with LSU’s defensive line on the sidelines during the hot, fall home games of 2010 and 2011, and got to see Coach Haley in action. I know the talent of LSU’s defensive line is great, but Coach Haley’s ability to harness that talent is greater. His ability to inspire and pull 100% effort from his players time after time, and the respectful manner in which he treats his players, has made LSU’s defensive line the finest group of players, and young men, in the nation. By Iri Floyd 

Cynthia Matthews, Jennings LA. Winner against the Odds: Cynthia is a three time, undefeated, heavy weight champion against cancer. She signifies the faith it takes to walk in the unknown and manifests faithfulness facing the known head on. She embraces life and the miracles it brings, helping people through their trials always with open hands. By Alisa D. Matthews

Dan Brown, Alexandria, Louisiana. Winning Benefactor: Disabled veteran volunteers as a veterans service officer to help others obtain needed resources, while struggling with his own serious health issues. By Kristi Rachel

Diana Johnson, New Orleans, Louisiana, Winning Merchant: Owner of Garden District Needlework Shop. In the aftermath of Katrina, her customers volunteered their time to protect the store’s yarn and to keep it mold free. As a result, there was practically no damage to her merchandise. And Diana gives back by using the store to host numerous charitable events. We just finished a challenge with a store in Tuscaloosa for the upcoming LSU/Bamma game to see who could knit the most preemie hats. We managed 315. After the contest (and the game) the hats will be donated to New Orleans’ neo-natal ICUs. We recently had a fund-raiser for Breast Cancer awareness, we organize donations of hats, scarves, and shawls for chemo patients, and we’re working with people to make sweaters for Katrina-rescue dogs who are adopted in colder climates. Diana and her shop are a perfect example of a “winner” who uses a profitable business that doesn’t have overt ties to charity to better the community and promote charity works. By Julia Houston

Holly Groh, New Orleans, Louisiana. Winning Environmentalist: She formed VerdiGras (green gras) in 2011 after realizing the huge amount of trash and the deluge of petroleum products (such as beads) that Mardi Gras creates. Many of these items are destined for the landfill, so Groh formed the organization to show the city and the world how fragile New Orleans’ ecosystem is. The group held the first All Green Ball in January, which featured locally grown food and a green recycling theme. They also held a Pilot Recycling Program, the first in Mardi Gras history. By Elizabeth Arnold

Marie Laveau, New Orleans Louisiana. Winner Against the Odds: What you mean to me is a girl who was taught the ways of the world but questioned those values and became a woman who has learned it all on her own. You have the strength of a man and the sensuality of a woman, by carrying the reputation of those who despise you, just so those who need you don’t have to go through the hardship you face because of the legacy you were born into. By Christina Jeter

Nolan Joseph Lasseign Sr, Galliano, Louisiana. Winning Veteran: With freezing weather, bullets flying, and friends dying in his arms; Nolan Joseph Lasseign Sr. is a true winner. World War II veteran, Mr. Lasseign, born and raised in Galliano, La. fought with his heart to bring freedom to this beautiful country. Mr. Lasseign saved many lives while he was in the military, including one of an enemy fighter. Mr. Nolan Lasseign isn’t only a perfect “winner” nominee, but also a hero to us all. By Katherine Arnold

Rich Gutierrez, Lake Charles, Louisiana. Winning Athlete: At 72, Rich Gutierrez’s exercise routine is more vigorous than the fitness programs of many 21-year-olds. The award-winning bodybuilder and owner of Fitness City USA in Lake Charles and self-proclaimed pioneer of health clubs, now focuses on using his expertise to help others get fit. He holds 19 bodybuilding titles, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Physique Committee. He last competed at age 69, and may even compete in another show. The fitness buff has trained over 100,000 people one on one and is currently writing a book about health and fitness. And he never strays from his fitness philosophy: Say no to drugs. With all the steroid use in athletes and bodybuilders nowadays, Gutierrez has made a pledge to build muscles naturally and encourages others to do the same. By Kimberly Brown

Sara Roberts, Lake Charles Louisiana, Winning Samaritan: When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, citizens from all over Louisiana did what they could to help. But, Sara, Lake Charles accountant and commissioner for the Superdome in New Orleans, went above and beyond. She formed the Cajun Navy, a group of Southwest Louisiana civilians who took rowboats to the flooded streets and rescued trapped New Orleans residents. “When we were involved in the rescue, we didn’t have time to really think about it. We were just pulling people out of the water,” she has said. “It gave me a sense of accomplishment, and it was about helping people who couldn’t help themselves.” By Kimberly Brown

Herb Edson, Louisiana. Winning Writer: He may be 87, but that hasn’t slowed him down. In fact, he’s going stronger than ever. He’s published three books in the past five years and is working on one about his experiences in World War II that included working at the White House as a guard. By Dave Moormann

Truett Cathy, Lake Charles, Louisiana. Winning Benefactor: Truett first opened his heart and home to children more than 30 years ago. Since then, his desire to inspire young people has continued to grow. Driven by this interest in the growth and education of young people, Truett established the WinShape Foundation, Inc., in 1984 with the goal: to help shape winners. The Foundation supports a variety of programs, including a long-term foster care program, a summer camp for nearly 1,800 kids each year, a scholarship program in conjunction with Rome, Ga.- based Berry College, and marriage enrichment retreats. In his book, Its Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men, Truett Cathy lays out a simple model for adults desiring to reach out to youth and challenges readers to allow God to work through them to change the life of a child. His book is filled with stories illustrating the principles of discipline, trust, reputation, generosity, common sense, peer pressure, and family stability. By Kimberly Brown

Wayne & Terrie Corley, Urania, Louisiana. Winning Citizen’s: Small-town couple serve as chief of police and mayor, while volunteering their time to provide town maintenance, community service, and home improvement to citizens in need. By Kristi Rachel