If you head to downtown Lafayette Friday for Downtown Alive!, you’ll probably notice a spiffy new Parc du Lafayette connecting Jefferson Street with the public parking tower. About 30 independent realtors who do business through Keller Williams took time off Thursday to sweat it out for the community. The company’s 80,000 agents in the U.S. and Canada designated May 14 as RED (Renew, Energize, Donate) Day, set aside to take on a community project.
“We give where we live,” says Joey Babineaux, Keller Williams broker for Acadiana. “We chose the park because it needed painting, so we’re tackling this today, and we’re going to finish it today.”
Unfortunately, mid-morning rain showers slowed Thursday's progress and the group shut down the project around 12:30 p.m. They will return Friday morning to finish.
The project also features contributions from other Lafayette businesses: Doug Ashy donated the paint, Dwyer’s Café provided breakfast and Stan’s is donating lunch. The realtors are also collecting paper goods (plates, napkins, etc) for Acadiana Outreach.
“It’s amazing what we’ve gotten done already, and the day’s not even half done,” observes a glistening Denise Carlson, paint brush in hand. Babineaux says when the local agents were looking for a project to take on, they approached Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, which pointed them to the park. Landscape architects chose the colors and will also be adding new greenery to the space.
“We make a great living here in Lafayette and Acadiana,” says Babineaux, “and people who live and love in Lafayette want to give back.”
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.