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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 7, 2005
CONTACT: SENATE OFFICE OF
COMMUNICATION
PHONE: 225-342-9737

STATE SENATE CHARITY FUND TO AID
ACTIVE MILITARY MEMBERS & FAMILIES

$3000 PRESENTED TO "LOUISIANA CARES"

click to enlargeThe Louisiana Senate Charity Fund is coming to the aid of Louisiana men and women serving in the U.S. military and their families with a $3000 donation to "Louisiana Cares", a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance and other support for military family members who are in need while their loved ones are on active duty away from home. During special ceremonies in the Louisiana Senate chamber, Senate President Don Hines (D-Bunkie) and District 6 State Senator John Hainkel (R-New Orleans) presented a $3000 check for the "Louisiana Cares" fund to Brigadier General Hunt Downer, Assistant Adjutant General Louisiana National Guard who also serves as Louisiana’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Major Lida Eichenauer, State Family Program Director for the Louisiana National Guard.

Several years ago, the members of the Louisiana Senate decided to include in their holiday celebrations a fund raising effort to support community based charities across the state. This past holiday season, senators wanted to set aside some of the money raised to support the thousands of Louisiana men and women in the military and their families. The effort was so successful that the donations kept coming in even after the holiday season with $3000 now available from the charity effort to support our troops and their families.

"All of us in the Louisiana Senate know someone who is serving or has served in the military in recent months in our nation’s on-going effort to protect our freedoms and battle threats to our nation’s security," Senate President Hines said. "This check to the "Louisiana Cares" fund is just a small way we can say thank you."

Senator Hainkel, who began the Senate Charity Fund efforts several years ago, noted, "I am pleased that so many of our members, lobbyists and others who work with us in the Louisiana Senate have supported this effort to aid our troops and their families. As far as I am concerned we have an obligation as citizens of Louisiana and as Americans to do what we can to ease the pressures of active service on those serving in the military and their families."

Brigadier General Downer added, "This is indeed an honor to accept this donation on behalf of the men and women who serve our country and their families. We all greatly appreciate the commitment and support of those who supported the Senate Charity Fund efforts."

The senators presented the check to Brigadier General Downer in the Senate Chamber in front of a Louisiana flag presented to the Senate last year by members of the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne). The battalion, which contains a number of Louisianians, carried the flag into combat, proudly flying the state’s colors during their service in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Pictured left to right are Major Lida Eichenauer, State Family Program Director for the Louisiana National Guard, Senate President Don Hines, District 6 State Senator John Hainkel and Brigadier General Hunt Downer, Assistant Adjutant General Louisiana National Guard who also serves as Louisiana’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

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