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Abbeville’s Charlene Beckett earned the award for Outstanding Affiliate Director.

Abbeville’s Charlene Beckett receives honor

Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s Everyday Heroes honored virtually for efforts in Anti-Litter Action and Beautification Projects

MANDEVILLE – In any typical year, you'd find all of the Everyday Heroes Award recipients in a ballroom during the Keep Louisiana Beautiful State Conference, sharing a meal, celebrating, and swapping success stories. 2020; however, was not a typical year. Due to the COVID pandemic, Keep Louisiana Beautiful shuttered its traditional awards banquet for a virtual presentation and announcement.
Abbeville’s Charlene Beckett is among this year’s honorees.

Outstanding Affiliate Director Award | Charlene Beckett, Abbeville

This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate director who demonstrates exceptional dedication to KLB’s mission and leadership in building a healthy and sustainable organization. Working closely with the Abbeville Garden Club, Vermilion Chamber of Commerce and the Vermilion Tourist Commission in promoting the City of Abbeville and Vermilion Parish, she has had many successful events for the city and brought countless people together for a cleaner community. She manages a diverse group of volunteers to
promote and implement Keep Louisiana Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful program’s concepts and goals. “It’s all in a day’s work,” says Charlene.
*A Memorial gift of $200 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded.

Outstanding Affiliate Director Award | Charlene Beckett, Abbeville
This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate director who demonstrates exceptional dedication to KLB’s mission and leadership in building a healthy and sustainable organization. Working closely with the Abbeville Garden Club, Vermilion Chamber of Commerce and the Vermilion Tourist Commission in promoting the City of Abbeville and Vermilion Parish, she has had many successful events for the city and brought countless people together for a cleaner community. She manages a diverse group of volunteers to promote and implement Keep Louisiana Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful program’s concepts and goals. “It’s all in a day’s work,” says Charlene.
*A Memorial gift of $200 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded.

During the month of February, each Everyday Hero honoree will be hand-delivered their award during a small, meaningful presentation. KLB will utilize social media to engage a state-wide audience by going "live" for all eight awards and spotlighting each Everyday Hero on all its social media feeds for the month of February. "In light of our ongoing state-wide Coronavirus response, shifting our Everyday Hero awards to a more personal, individual program was the right choice for everyone's safety," said Susan Russell, Keep Louisiana Beautiful's Executive Director, "we want to keep our state beautiful, but that also means we want to keep it healthy, too."
Cabell Mouton, Programing and Grants manager continued, "Even though we won't be able to celebrate in person, this allows us to celebrate virtually online with thousands more who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend. While it's different this year, that won't take away from the extraordinary work that our Everyday Heroes are doing in our local communities every single day.
The Everyday Hero Award Recipients for 2020 are:
Alice Foster Award | Stuart Hodnett, City of West Monroe.
Louisiana's former First Lady, Alice Foster, played a crucial role in beautification and preservation efforts across the state to launch Keep Louisiana Beautiful. The Alice Foster Award is the most distinguished and highest honor KLB awards each year, and it recognizes individual volunteers for their exceptional leadership in litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and beautification. As Ouachita Green's first coordinator and West Monroe's current Parks and Recreation Director, Stuart Hodnett is a true leader in anti-litter efforts. The seeds of his environmental work go back to his days composting on his family farm, and they have taken root in his life's work. He's worked tirelessly implementing recycling programs, facilitated countless litter cleanups, and is relentless in his pursuits to keep Ouachita and West Monroe green.

Golden Can Award | Mark Benfield, Baton Rouge
This award recognizes a public servant who displays a deep commitment to KLB's mission in their daily work by going above and beyond the call of duty. Mark Benfield is a biological oceanographer who is currently a Professor in the College of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University. His research examines microplastic flux from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico and its environmental impact on coastal food webs. With the onset of the Coronavirus, Mark has been studying the increase in PPE (personal protective equipment such as disposable masks, gloves, and shield) litter and its environmental impact in Louisiana and locations worldwide.

Most Innovative Program Award | Compost NOW, New Orleans
This award recognizes a successful beautification, litter prevention, recycling, or waste reduction program led by a school, civic group, non-profit, or KAB affiliate. Compost NOW, a grassroots effort lauded as a game-changer in the food waste reduction landscape, receives the most innovative honor. Before the pandemic, Compost NOW was offering eleven different food waste collections each week throughout the city. Compost NOW partners with local farms that turn the collected food scraps into nutrient-rich compost or uses it to feed their farm animals. Over the last four years, Compost NOW has successfully diverted over 325,000 pounds of food waste from Louisiana's landfills. In a city that prides itself on its cuisine, it indeed would be a waste to see it all go to waste.

Youth Leadership Award | Tre Bishop, Lafayette
This award recognizes a student or youth-led group that displays creative thinking, demonstrates effective leadership, and engages their peers to make a significant impact on their community. This year's youth award goes to Tre Bishop, whose life motto is "Go out every day and change the world." He strives to do just that. After the 2019 election season ended, Tre' looked around at all the remaining campaign debris in Lafayette Parish and thought, "Someone ought to do something." Rather than wait for that "someone," he stepped up and did something. Tre created a long-term sustainable collaborative in his community to recycle political signs, and he is also leading the charge to implement recycling programs at schools across his district. He is a youth leader, and an example to all that one person can make a huge impact. *A Memorial gift of $200 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded.

Outstanding Affiliate Award | Keep Assumption Beautiful, Assumption Parish
This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate that shows fortitude, leadership, creative and diverse programming, and community engagement. Keep Assumption Beautiful is an organization of dedicated people under two volunteers, Jane Boudreaux and Alice Gilmore. Focused on changing people's attitudes and behaviors through programs emphasizing litter prevention, recycling, beautification, education, enforcement, and environmental awareness, Keep Assumption Beautiful has made quite an impact in Assumption Parish. They have succeeded with programs and activities designed to improve the physical appearance of Assumption and bolster an overall sense of pride in the community.
*A Memorial gift of $500 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded.

Corporate Leadership Award | Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Baton Rouge
This award recognizes a business that demonstrates a consistent dedication to KLB's mission, environmental stewardship, and community enrichment. As a leader in corporate giving and philanthropy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana has long been a staunch ally of anti-litter and beautification efforts, recognizing their relationship and longterm effects on public health. The company leads by example, supporting and encouraging its employees to make Louisiana a healthier and more beautiful place for generations to come.

Litter Enforcement Recognition Award | Mike Daniels, Baton Rouge
This award recognizes law enforcement personnel who are successful at enforcing state, parish, or city litter and illegal dumping laws. Mike served on the EPA Aquatic Litter Alliance and co-created the Louisiana Local Government Litter Ordinance Handbook, a resource for all municipalities in Louisiana, and a tool for more consistent, comprehensive environment ordinances. Mike has worked for the last 11 years with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as a Criminal Enforcement Counsel. Before that, he worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana for nine years. His tenure is marked by successes in prosecuting "Green Crimes" and highlighted by his relentless pursuit of law enforcement on litter, emissions, waste tires, and illegal dumping.
*A Memorial gift of $200 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful also recognized and celebrated the state affiliates which had met KLB's standard of excellence. Those affiliates are: Abbeville, Abita, Ascension, Assumption, Baton Rouge, Bossier, Calcasieu, Covington, Desoto, DeRidder, East Feliciana, Eunice, Hammond, Jefferson, Lacombe, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Mandeville, Monroe, Natchitoches, New Orleans, Ouachita, Shreveport, Slidell, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge, and West Monroe.

### Keep Louisiana Beautiful is the state's anti-litter and community improvement organization focused on education, enforcement, awareness, and cleanups. Affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Louisiana Beautiful's mission is to promote personal, corporate, and community responsibility for a clean and beautiful Louisiana. Keep Louisiana Beautiful is comprised of a network of 40 affiliates in communities throughout the state.
For more information, visit https://keeplouisianabeautiful.org/programs-eventseveryday-hero-awards
https://www.facebook.com/KeepLouisianaBeautiful

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