DCI, nonprofits provide gifts _lowres

Photo provided by Beth Dawson -- Kenneth Booty, assistant warden, Dicon Correctional Institute; Dustin Bickham, assistant warden, DCI; Keith Turner, DCI; Mary Wilson, East Feliciana Parish Educational Family; Maggie Sims, EFP Educational Family; Warden Darrel Vannoy, DCI; Richard King, vice president, EFP Educational Family; Mary Lundy, treasurer, EFP Educational Family; Stephanie Gilmore, member, EFP Educational Family; Roosevelt Wilkerson, president, EFP Educational Family/member EFP Drug & Alcohol Council; and Bruce Coston, assistant warden, DCI; from left, with the 20 bicycles that were donated to area youth Dec. 22.

Two East Feliciana nonprofits combined efforts this holiday season with groups from the Department of Corrections to provide Christmas gifts to area youth.

  • The East Feliciana Parish Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council and East Feliciana Parish Educational Family organization partnered with Dixon Correctional Institute’s Vets Incarcerated and Jaycees and inmates from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola’s toy shop to deliver bicycles and gift cards to children and teens.
  • Jeff Travis, chief of operations for the Department of Corrections at Angola and DCI, was instrumental in getting the bikes donated and in coordinating efforts with Roosevelt Wilkerson, president of EFP Educational Family, which works with the school system to award trophies and scholarships or tuition to students making good grades and which hosts train rides for children at family day event at a parish park.
  • DCI’s Vets Incarcerated and Jaycees donated 10 bikes, and Angola donated 20 bicycles.

According to Wilkerson, who also is a member of the EFP Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council, both groups worked to secure about $2,000 from area businesses so 21 middle and high school-aged children each received a $100 gift card. The youth were then taken to an area retail store for a shopping spree, Wilkerson said.

The bikes and gift cards were distributed Dec. 22.

EFP Educational Family has been hosting its family day event for the past 15 years and participating in the bike giveaway for about three years.

Area businesses and community leaders who made contributions included:

  • Rep. Kenny Havard; East Feliciana Clerk of Court David Dart; Katie Hutchinson; Alvin King II; Adams Enterprises Inc.; C&D Convenience Store; East Feliciana Primary Care Clinic; Elam’s Auto Service; Henry Brothers Mechanic Service; Jackson Lumber Company; Joe Brown Auto King; Kent’s Car Wash; McDonald’s Pharmacy; Richardson’s Funeral Home; Shane’s Mechanic Service; Slaughter Logging; Jim Odom/Star AG Supermarket; T&T Liquor; and Time Acceptance.

“We are very grateful to everyone who donated money and bicycles to help spread Christmas cheer,” Wilkerson said.