River Views: River Parishes to celebrate Independence Day on July 3 _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New River Parish columnist Lori Lyons in New Orleans, La. Monday, April 20, 2015.

Once again, the River Parishes community is coming together to help those in need.

Just days after celebrating the grand reopening of East St. John High School, which had been shuttered since Hurricane Isaac swamped St. John the Baptist Parish and flooded the school in August 2012, East St. John Elementary School suffered major damage from a fire. Teachers had already prepared their classrooms for the new school year and many students had already dropped off their school supplies. All of it was lost.

But the River Parishes are rallying. Lutcher High School annually puts together a school donations drive with students able to earn a “dress down day” for donations. This year the school will offer its collection to East St. John Elementary. Students may donate through Thursday, Aug. 27, to dress down on Friday, Aug. 28.

A Storage Inn locations at 2820 U.S. 51 in LaPlace and at 3334 West Airline Highway in Reserve also are designated drop-off spots, Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Classes for East St. John Elementary students are tentatively scheduled to begin Monday at the Leon Godchaux Junior High School site in Reserve. In the meantime, the school partnered with New Wine Christian Fellowship and Marathon Petroleum Corp. to provide a day camp for the displaced students at the former K-Mart building in LaPlace.

Makin’ It Do What It Do

The second annual “Makin’ It Do What It Do” Motorcycle Ride and Car Show will be held Sept. 26 at the St. John Community Center in LaPlace. The event is held in memory of St. John sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Nielsen, who was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 16, 2012.

A longtime motorcycle officer, Nielsen frequently used the phrase “Makin’ it do what it do” to describe his maneuvers on escorts and in competitions. The event will feature escorted motorcycle rides, a car show competition, door prizes, raffles and a St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9 demonstration.

The St. John Parish Young Marines and an after party will feature The Flashback Chameleons and food from Fatty’s Main Street Grill and Sports Bar. Car show and motorcycle ride participants may pre-register through Aug. 31 at deputybrandonfoundation.org/2015-midwid-registration-forms.

Proceeds will benefit Louisiana COPS and the Deputy Brandon J. Nielsen Memorial Foundation, Inc. Bring a non-perishable food item to support Kirstin’s Stomping Out Hunger Journey. Visit http://deputybrandonfoundation.org for more information.

Ducks Unlimited cook-off

The St. Charles Ducks Unlimited will hold its first St. Charles Greenwing Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Wetlands Watchers Park in the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Activities for children will include kayaking, archery, species identification, knot-tying, casting, boating safety, target shooting, hiking, snake and baby alligator presentations, and more.

There also will be giveaways and raffles.

Admission for children ages 5 to 17 is $15, which includes an event bracelet, membership in Ducks Unlimited, Coastal Conservation Association membership, a welcome gift and all the chili you can eat. Admission for ages 18 and up is $5. Children under 4 will be admitted free. For more information, contact Brian Landry at (504) 914-6866.

Lori Lyons reports on the River Parishes. Send information on news, events, accomplishments and story ideas to her at sportslyons@gmail.com.