All About Gretna (April 2020 edition)
The City of Gretna has so many programs to offer, but certainly one of the most beneficial and important is the Westbank Unit – Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana located at 900 10th St.
The club services nearly 100 kids per day in afterschool programs and is open to youth ages 6-18 during those vulnerable weekday hours from 2:30 until 6:30 p.m.
Members attend the club’s afterschool program at a low cost making it possible for all kids to participate, especially latch-key kids with working parents.
There is also an exciting summer enrichment program that services around 160 youth per day.
Besides the various sports and recreation programs, the unit offers homework assistance and special programs that focus on life skills and certain issues like anti-bullying.
“Gretna is a better community because of the benefits of the Boys & Girls Club. Our youth enjoy such amenities as the afterschool programs and the wonderful summer camp. Statistics show that the success of a community is measured by the accomplishments of its youth. I couldn’t think of a better example that showcases diversity and inclusiveness to our young members,” Mayor Belinda Constant said.
Sarah Jane Lowery is the new Director of the Westbank Club, replacing Will Giannobile who moved to Senior Director of Operations with the Southeast Region of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Lowery became the director in June of 2019. A graduate from the University of Mississippi, she has a background of working with educational non-profits, schools and children’s organizations that makes her a good fit for the position.
“Fall was an active time for the club with a visit and basketball clinic from the New Orleans Pelican’s Lonzo Ball, as well as a visit from Johnnie Williams with Young 3, a part of the Big 3 Basketball Assn. who spoke to our members about achieving their dreams. The Barataria Preserve park rangers came and taught members about coast preservation.
“We were also privileged with much appreciated support from Cox Communications who came and unveiled an updated STEM lab with new computers and robotics equipment. NOLA_CODE put on an Hour of Code for our members to open doors of computer science to them,” Lowery said.
“We have recently received funding from The Rotary Club of the Westbank, the Optimist Club, Entergy and Jack Stumpf who partnered to replace an air conditioning unit that was irreparable. Both Jefferson Parish Councilmen at Large elect Ricky Templet and Paul Johnston stepped up in a big way to repair and refinish the gym floor and to begin the process of replacing the very old casement windows at each end of the gym,” longtime past Chairman of the Board Marion Edwards said. Edwards is the Jefferson Parish Councilman-elect for District 1 who will remain on the board of directors of the club as an ex officio non-voting member.
Davidson Ehle presently serves as chairman of the Westbank Unit.
To volunteer or for information about services, call 504.368.3434.
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