POSTED: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 2:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 2:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — Tickets are on sale for the Volunteer Louisiana Champions of Service Gala.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and honorary co-chairs Scott Cowen, president of Tulane and former state senator Willie Mount are hosting the gala to celebrate Volunteer Louisiana’s 20th anniversary at the Capitol Park Museum at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24.
The gala will honor Warrick Dunn as a State Champion of Service for his service efforts through Warrick Dunn Charities. In addition, honorees from five regions of the state will also be recognized for their dedication to service in their communities.
“I am excited to honor Louisianians with strong service ethics,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “Volunteerism is vital for communities throughout the state to thrive and I encourage all Louisianians to give of their time and talents to enhance other’s lives while also enhancing their own.”
The state honoree, Warrick Dunn, is a Baton Rouge native and former Catholic High School football and track star. He had a stellar 12-year career in the National Football League, earning multiple Pro Bowl Selections with the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as winning the 1997 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and the 2004 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He established Warrick Dunn Charities, an organization that provides programs and services for single parents who are committed to achieving stability for themselves and their children.
“Getting this honor from my native state is something very special. I am proud to be from Baton Rouge where my life began and where I still feel at home,” Dunn said. “Home is where everything begins for me and it's how I started on the whole subject of volunteerism. Losing my mother to a violent crime when I was only 18 years old left a big hole in my life and it also meant the sudden end to her dream of providing us with our very own home. The impact her death had on me was difficult and challenging but it also inspired me to work hard outside of my football duties so I could bring meaning and a proud legacy to who she was.”
The five regional champions of service are Cyndi Dicarlo, Geismar; Francis “Frank” Elliott, Pineville; Brittany Kelly, Lake Charles; Nhu Noc Pham, New Orleans; and the Barksdale Air Force Volunteers, Shreveport. For more information about each champion’s volunteer efforts visit www.VolunteerLouisiana.com  <http://www.volunteerlouisiana.com/> or Volunteer Louisiana <https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerLA> on Facebook.
Tickets for the gala are $50 or $500 for a 10-person table.