This year’s Citizen of the Year was praised as a heroine in saving ill and elderly hospital patients during Hurricane Katrina. “My parents told me it is far more important to do the right things than to have the right things,” reflected Mona Bagot when she received her award Friday night. She said, “Everytime I look at this award I will continue to relive where God put me to be a blessing to others.” She said that children today have parents who hand them everything. She also praised her parents for being good teachers of morals and values.
Kyle Roussel and Sami McCune were named Young People of the Year in St. Charles Parish for 2005-06.
The awards were given by the St. Charles Rotary Club at a banquet held at the Satellite Center in Luling.
Bagot, who is vice president of administration at Metropolitan Hospice in New Orleans, was noted for helping to move 168 patients at the hospice to higher floors to help save them when water began to rise after Hurricane Katrina struck. Owner of the hospice had decided that the patients should not be evacuated due to their terminally ill condition.
Bagot chose to stay and care for them during the storm. They were rescued by boat four days later.
After arriving on dry land, the Citizen of the Year continued to care for her patients and also administer first aid to rescue workers, police and other survivors. She helped more than 300 people even though she was unsure about the situation of her own family.
Roussel, a student at Hahnville High School, has been involved in services in business and high school programs since he began piano lessons at the age of nine. At age 11, he began volunteering to play the organ for services at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Luling and now plays for four services a week at three different churches. He is also a volunteer player at Ocshner and St. Charles Parish Hospitals.
The Young Person of the Year plans to study music education at Southeastern Louisiana University and work toward a doctoral degree. He wants to teach students about the opportunities offered with an education in music and other art forms. “Music has the ability to affect the way people feel, transforming negative emotions to positive emotions,” he said.
Roussel attended the NOCCA Riverfront Residential Life Program where, he said, he learned that hard work is rewarded with success. He wants to become a role model for younger students to follow and learn in changing the world’s education and outlook on music in the future.
The recipient has received numerous awards, including Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
McCune has been manager of the cheerleading team at Destrehan High School for two years. She has been a Beta Club member three years, president of the school choir, on the prom committee for two years and yearbook editor for two years.
The Young Person of the Year, who is daughter of Kevin and Monica McCune, has received numerous awards, including Character Education Award, Outstanding Soprano and Outstanding Freshman in the choir. She has been a member of the youth group SPLASH and a religion teacher for first graders.
The Rotary club has been giving the three awards for many years. Kristi Brocato nominated Bagot for the Outstanding Citizen Award and Greg Lier, who heads the Rotary committee in charge, presented it. Jim Hooper, president of the club, presented the Young People awards.