Pictured here from left to right are Ville Platte Rotary President Wayne Vidrine, Shane Darbonne, and Rotarian Ronnie Landreneau. (Gazette photo by Tony Marks)
Shooting to be cream of the crop
As they settled back into their new home of the Queen of All Saints Family Life Center, the members of the Ville Platte Rotary Club ended the month of January by hearing about the benefits of getting a yearly flu shot from Shane Darbonne, who is the director of the Wellness Center and the director of Occupational Medicine for Mercy Regional Hospital in Ville Platte.
“This is probably one of the deadliest flu strains that we have come across since we’ve been keeping records,” he said.
“The entire United States is covered with the flu this year,” he continued. “The timing of the flu is very unpredictable, and it’s different in different parts of the country and from season to season. Last year at the hospital we saw it until June and July. That’s late for a seasonal flu to last, and we started seeing it as early as August. That tells us the flu is almost year round.”
Darbonne gave some updated information on this year’s flu shot. “The old flu shot used to protect against three strands of the flu, but now it protects against four,” he stated. “It is the A-strain right now that’s giving us so much trouble especially with kids. What we didn’t expect was the virus to change so much, and it’s causing a lot of respiratory issues.”
He recommended Rotarians to encourage their employees and their families to get an injectable flu shot. “The injectable is considered the dead virus,” Darbonne explained. “The nasal spray is the live virus and is not recommended to take because of the issues that is having with the H1N1.”
He also recommended taking the flu shot annually and said that pregnant women should receive the vaccination.
“It takes two weeks for the virus to become active in the body after getting the flu shot,” Darbonne said. “Typically after two weeks, if you come down with the flu, the symptoms are less, there is a less chance of respiratory issues, and there is less chance of hospital stays.”
A week later, Rotary President Wayne Vidrine announced to the club a new resolution from the Evangeline Parish Police Jury about Chicot State Park.
“I was able to meet with the police jury and got a resolution from them endorsing and supporting the construction of a dormitory style building in the group cabin area of Chicot Park, so we’re going to be forwarding that over to the lieutenant governor’s office,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll see some progress start real soon.”
Guests of Rotarian Darwan Lazard for the meeting were the Evangeline Parish Students of the Year, who each spoke about what they feel are their qualifications to being chosen. The three will now go on to the regional level before possibly competing for State Student of the Year.
“I feel I’m the most qualified because I work hard, I keep up my grades, and I also try to keep my parents proud of me,” said fifth grade Student of the Year Prisha Makey from Ville Platte High. “I keep confident in what I’m doing.”
The eighth grade Student of the Year was Ethan Bergeron from Basile High. “I believe I am best qualified to be eighth grade Student of the Year because I will tell the truth no matter what it is, even if it may hurt” he said. “Also, I try my hardest in school to get good grades as well as to look forward in life to my future and to do what I believe is best for it.”
Cort Fuller, the twelfth grade Student of the Year from Pine Prairie High, explained that his path to become student of the year was forged through failure after losing out on Pine Prairie’s Student of the Year when he was in the eighth grade.
“With excellent academic scores, lots of involvement, and many cherished memories, high school will always hold fond memories,” he expressed. “After years of hard work and determination in high school, I was awarded the title of Student of the Year. For me, this was a huge success, and it represents the greater success that my high school career has been. All of which started with failure.”
Superintendent Lazard stated, “We truly have many outstanding students, and certainly these are what I would say are the cream of the crop. We certainly are proud of them. I think we have a president, a governor, and a mayor is this group here. They have some great possibilities and some great potential.”
Wayne Vidrine said, “I also think we have some future Rotatians in this group as well.”