[Image: lineup for groundbreaking]
News Release Distributed 05/21/14
POLLOCK, La. – LSU AgCenter officials held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 20 for the new multipurpose pavilion at 4-H Camp Grant Walker. The project is expected to be completed by early 2015.
Randy Ewing, former state senator, said he was chosen to lead a fundraising drive to secure the $1.6 million needed to build the project in 2008 in the midst of a recession.
Ewing, whose family made a contribution in memory of his father, said the pavilion is an investment in the future. ”The building will serve generations to come,” he said.
The funds were raised in a combination of private funds and state support, he said.
Ewing said a $500,000 contribution by the lumber company RoyOMartin cinched the funding needs. “They put us over the top,” he said.
Ewing also credited Jeff Bush, LSU AgCenter 4-H Foundation executive director, for his work on the project.
Carol Baxter, a member of the Martin family, said money generated by the renewable natural resource of timber will now be directed at the resource of youth at the camp. “The programs offered here will be a catalyst for a better life,” she said.
Mark Tassin, LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor for youth programs, said the pavilion will provide shelter for all campers at one time during bad weather. Thunderstorms are a safety concern, and they complicate scheduling at the camp, he said, because no building can hold all of the campers.
“Once this building is complete, the comfort level will go up tremendously,” Tassin said.
Tassin said summer camp starts May 26, and almost 6,000 children will attend the camp this year. He said many states only have camp three or four weeks a summer.