St. Charles Herald-Guide

Monsanto funds kid camp, firefighter training

From staff and wire reports - December 16, 2011

When it comes to the safety of their community, the people of the Luling Volunteer Fire Department know that practice makes perfect. Before rescues can be attempted, firefighters must have the proper training and experience to best handle the situation.

When the department decided that they would like to send their members to Texas A&M Firefighting School, which trains more than 81,000 emergency responders from all 50 states and 45 countries each year, to improve their skill set, the Luling Monsanto site stepped in and nominated the department to receive a $13,200 grant to help make this happen.

The Luling Volunteer Fire Department was presented with the grant from the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, during a presentation at the Luling Monsanto site on Dec. 7.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us," said Audrey Raziano, public information officer for the department. "Our firefighters will be exposed to a much more advanced level of training that we are able to provide them with on our own."

Meghan Diederich of Monsanto Company was on hand to present the grant to the organization.

"The fire department is crucial to the well-being of our community," Diederich said. "We are thrilled that we are able to help them learn new techniques that will allow them to better protect our citizens."

Like the importance of fire safety, few would argue that exposure to the creative arts and physical sciences has an extraordinary effect on students. Unfortunately, children from low-income households do not always have access to programs that allow them to explore these areas.

The St. Charles Community Outreach Foundation strives to ensure that all children are given the same opportunities to experience all that the arts and sciences have to offer.

When the foundation decided to put together a summer camp to allow underprivileged children to discover their creative side and stimulate their interest in science, the Luling Monsanto site nominated them to receive an $8,000 grant to help them make this dream a reality.

The outreach foundation was also presented with a grant from the Monsanto Fund on Dec. 7. The grant will help support the Exploring the Arts and Sciences Summer Camp 2011.

"This camp is unique in that it not only exposes students to the arts and sciences but also gives them the opportunity to improve their personal development," said Carolyn Wills, with the foundation. "Emphasis is placed on developing leadership skills, improving interpersonal communication and instilling in campers a desire to work as a team."

"The foundation provides educational, social and cultural programs to all members of our community," Diederich said. "Several of our employees volunteer for the organization, and we have a real appreciation for the admirable work that they do."

The fund presented a grant for $13,200 to the Luling Volunteer Fire Department to help send their fighters to Texas A&M Firefighting School to receive additional training. Pictured are Armond Bourque, Johnny Martindale, Jeff Delaney, Patrick Beard, Dean B
Courtesy photo
The fund presented a grant for $13,200 to the Luling Volunteer Fire Department to help send their fighters to Texas A&M Firefighting School to receive additional training. Pictured are Armond Bourque, Johnny Martindale, Jeff Delaney, Patrick Beard, Dean B