GONZALES — A longtime volunteer in Gonzales, retired from local industry after a first career as a high school coach, was named Monday as the city's Outstanding Citizen for 2019.
Blanchard Braud, who serves on the city's Fire and Police Civil Service Board, an unpaid position, coached football and baseball at East Ascension High School from 1969 to 1976.
When he later headed the high school's Spartan Booster Club in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Braud was instrumental in getting lights for the school's baseball field, as well as the addition of a weight-room building, Mayor Barney Arceneaux said at the City Council meeting Monday when he proclaimed the day "Blanchard Braud Outstanding Citizen Day."
After joining Vulcan Chemical, now OxyChem, in Geismar in 1976, Braud volunteered as a coach with the Gonzales youth baseball league in the mid-1980s. He retired from his industry job in 2005.
Braud is a longtime volunteer with the city's annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting event, as well as its Christmas party for senior citizens, and also serves on the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Committee.
"To be honest with you, it's not me that deserves this," Braud said, after receiving a framed proclamation and a key to the city. "It's my lovely wife, Phayne."
"Our love of Gonzales continues," he said.
Gonzales launched its Outstanding Citizen Award in 2018 and named Barbara Melancon, retired development director of St. Theresa Catholic School in Gonzales and longtime volunteer, as the award's first recipient.