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National Charity League Honors Seniors

Published: 3/18/2010

Eight St. Joseph’s Academy seniors were among the 20 Baton Rouge-area seniors honored for their community volunteer work by the National Charity League (NCL) River Road Chapter. The girls, along with their parents, were the guests of honor at the River Road Chapter’s ninth-annual Senior Soiree, held March 13 at Stage 4. “National Charity League has taught me so many life lessons that I will definitely take with me...” Abbey Simoneaux '10 To be eligible for recognition, the seniors were required to volunteer a minimum number of service hours at specific organizations in the Baton Rouge community. This year’s honorees volunteered more than 4,500 hours over the past six years and 1,051 hours during their senior years alone. The NCL is a mother-daughter organization that emphasizes three areas of growth for young women: philanthropy, leadership and culture. Girls may become members in the 7th grade. Honored for their volunteer service and participation in league functions were Meredith Conger, daughter of Dr. Mark and Laurina Conger; Erinn Greenblatt, daughter of Louis and Christine Greenblatt; Maddy Harris, daughter of Kevin and Elizabeth Harris; Samantha Hess, daughter of Michael and Martha Hess; Kimberly Kwan, daughter of Simon and Kim Kwan; Madison Moore, daughter of Michael and Kathryn More; Abbey Simoneaux, daughter of Dennis and Stephanie Simoneaux; and Elaine Vidrine, daughter of Jimmy and Janet Vidrine. SJA seniors received a number of special awards at the soiree: Simoneaux received the Merci Award for the most philanthropic hours earned during the year. She received the Yellow Rosebud Award, given to seniors who serve 50 or more hours in addition to the required number, and the Senior Service Award for earning the most philanthropic hours over the past six years. She has volunteered 285 hours in service since the 7th grade. Earning the Mother/Daughter Award, given to those who volunteer at least 50 or more hours of service, were Simoneaux and her mother, Stephanie; Conger and her mother, Laurina; Hess and her mother, Martha; Kwan and her mother, Kim; Moore and her mother, Kathryn; and Vidrine and her mother, Janet. “National Charity League has taught me so many life lessons that I will definitely take with me to college and beyond,” Simoneaux said. “I feel that, through NCL, the bond with my mom is stronger than ever. As a 7th grader, NCL seemed to be just another organization to join with my mom. But as I got older, I realized that it’s much more than that. National Charity League is about serving your community and making a difference in that community. Through NCL, I learned that it was never about getting credit for something you’ve done. Doing service is simply about doing what’s right, and I can’t tell you how incredible a feeling that is. I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today without National Charity League.” Greenblatt said the soiree was a wonderful way to culminate six years as an NCL member. While the evening was a long time in the making, she said, it was over in the blink of an eye. “As a member of NCL, I loved the service work that we did in Baton Rouge,” she said. “We were introduced to each activity slowly, starting in 7th grade, and as seniors, we were cooking and eating dinner with the residents in the Bishop Ott Shelter and becoming responsible adults in the community. My family and I are going to continue working the philanthropies even after my graduation from NCL. NCL was a great introduction into what I want to do for my community and a lesson in how to put my wishes into action.” Conger said NCL has made a positive impact on her life “and has greatly influenced my passion to help others. It brought me and my mom closer together the past couple of years as we served the community together.” Vidrine said Senior Soiree was the highlight of her NCL years. “My mom and I joined in 7th grade because both of us wanted to do more to help out in the Baton Rouge community,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed spending time with the girls in my grade level while serving a greater cause. I’ve loved helping organizations with kids such as CASA or KidsKare from Cancer Services. Those kids just put the biggest smile on my face when we helped them.” Harris said NCL membership is a family tradition. Both of her older sisters, Ann, a 2005 Academy graduate, and Tori, class of 2006, were members. “I have gotten more out of it than I ever could have expected,” she said. “My eyes were opened to all that is around me and showed me ways in which I could help my dear neighbor just like we do here at SJA. I have become comfortable with service work over the past few years to the point where I know I will be doing it for the rest of my life. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving of oneself to someone in need and nothing more important.” Moore called Senior Soiree “the exclamation point on a wonderful six-year experience” she shared with her mother. “I loved being able to share that evening with my friends and family,” she said. “I will have great memories of getting to know the girls in my class over the years and all the opportunities to serve others in the Baton Rouge community through the philanthropies. I have enjoyed being able to help others. I feel I’ve gotten more in return from them. I know I will continue to volunteer in the years to come.”


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