We found it appropriate that on the Monday after statewide elections in Louisiana, the podium at the Press Club of Baton Rouge was occupied not by elected officials, but community volunteers.

Campaign seasons, by their nature, attempt to focus public interest on the power of elected officials to change the course of communities. But government can’t implement positive change alone, which is why recognizing the role of volunteers is important, too.

The Press Club program featured 100 Black Men President Adell Brown and Donovan K. Hudson, 100 Black Men’s vice president for development.

Started locally in 1993 as an offshoot of the national 100 Black Men movement, the organization recruits black community leaders to serve as positive role models and active mentors in promoting academic achievement, financial literacy, nonviolence and wellness among at-risk youth. Among the core values promoted by 100 Black Men are honesty, commitment, hard work and diligence.

Members of 100 Black Men have brought that message to children across Baton Rouge, and their tutoring programs have helped raise test scores among challenged students to place these youngsters on a path to success.

100 Black Men has launched an ambitious fundraising campaign aimed at expanding its services and reaching more children. Donations to the nonprofit organization are tax deductible, and donors don’t have to be black men to help out. For more information, call 100 Black Men at (225) 356-9444.