Chamber awards scholarships at education, appreciation night

Brittany Grimes of Centerville High School was named the St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce’s Student of the Year during Thursday’s Education and Appreciation Night at the Patterson Area Civic Center. She received an additional $500 for the honor in addition to earning the $1,500 scholarship awarded by the chamber. (The Daily Review/Jean L. McCorkle)

St. Mary Parish Teachers of the Year were honored during Thursday’s St. Mary Chamber of Commerce Education and Appreciation Night at the Patterson Area Civic Center. They are Michelle Besse of Bayou Vista Elementary and Lane Larive of Berwick Junior High. (The Daily Review/Jean L. McCorkle)

St. Mary Chamber of Commerce Education and Appreciation Night raises funds for scholarships. (The Daily Review/Jean L. McCorkle)

All monies from the auction, the silent and the live, go toward the scholarship fund.

Around $16,000 in scholarships were awarded during Thursday’s St. Mary Chamber of Commerce Education and Appreciation Night at the Patterson Area Civic Center.
The annual event serves a dual purpose in recognizing the year’s scholarship winners from each of the eight high schools in St. Mary Parish and raising money for the next year’s scholarships through live and silent auctions.
“Usually we make enough to fund one year from that auction. You make a little more or a little less each year, but that’s what the auction is about is funding the scholarship program,” Chamber President Donna Meyer said of the banquet that has been in existence for more than a decade.
“All monies from the auction, the silent and the live, go toward the scholarship fund,” she added.
One student from each of the eight high schools in the parish was eligible for the $1,500 chamber scholarships. Winners are Luke Larive, Patterson High; Chandler Belle Pasqua, Morgan City High; Katherine Comeaux, Hanson Memorial; Brittany Grimes, Centerville School; Hailie Baker, Central Catholic; and Emily Lipari, Berwick High. Franklin and West St. Mary high schools did not have any applicants, Meyer said.
Grimes was named the chamber’s Student of the Year, and will receive an additional $500. St. Mary Parish Teachers of the Year were honored as well. They are Michelle Besse of Bayou Vista Elementary and Lane Larive of Berwick Junior High.
In addition, $2,000 was given to the South Central Louisiana Technical College, Young Memorial campus so that the school can provide smaller scholarships to students in need.
An addition to the event this year was a presentation by 100 Black Men of St. Mary Parish, which awarded six scholarships valued at $750 each.
Winners of those scholarships were Blake Orgeron, Berwick High; Brianna Romagos, Morgan City High; Nia Madise, Patterson High; Ebonee Ward, West St. Mary; Courtland Pogue, Centerville School; and Destinee Rice, Franklin High.
“It was really a nice event and we really appreciate Phil Haney and his office for all they do because if it weren’t for them this event would not even happen … Phil’s been very dedicated to the chamber,” Meyer said. “That was his last event for us as district attorney, and we look forward to whoever takes his place continuing to help us in the future.”

By JEAN L. McCORKLE jmccorkle@daily-review.com

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