Jim Hawthorne “Voice of the LSU Tigers” was the guest speaker for the July 29, meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He spoke about his experiences in radio and calling the Tigers games for many years. He got his start in radio while in high school in Leesville and called high school football games. He then called Northwestern football and basktball games in Natchitoches. He also worked in Shreveport before going to LSU, where he established his career. He recalled seeing his first LSU game as a child in the 50s and growing up listening to the games on the radio. He said now is a good time to be an LSU fan, as 19 of the 20 teams participated in post-season play, most notably the football team winning the national championship this year. He also said several divisional titles, as well as the national championship in track, were earned by LSU. He noted GPAs are up at the school, and athletics are really doing well. He stated the football team lost many good players but has many returning players. However, he said the team has a brutal schedule this year. He also said the softball and baseball teams would be good this year. He closed by sharing a few anecdotes and memories of working with LSU over the years, noting LSU is one of the most recognized athletic programs in the country.
August 5, Meeting
Rotarian James Bertrand gave a brief program at the August 5, meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He said he had asked Alan Lavigne with DHH to be the guest speaker, but due to the hurricane, he couldn’t make it. However, Lavigne will be rescheduled to address the club at a later date. Bertrand also said he was working on economic development with Ark-La-Tex and hoping to bring a pre-fab building assembly line business to either Ville Platte or Eunice. He said he was hoping for a location in Industrial Park and noted the business would bring approximately 40-50 jobs to the area.
Also at the meeting, students Drake Fontenot and Michael Vidrine shared their experiences of attending Camp RYLA. Vidrine said the attendees were trapped in a building due to the weather and heard several speeches. The next day, he said, several leadership talks and activities were held, as well as talks from Rotarians about the organization and its community involvement. Fontenot said he and Vidrine were placed on separate teams and over the five-day camp, they got close to their teammates and made many new friends. He admitted he was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but he had a great time and learned a lot about leadership and friendship.