Home » LaMATS Introduces New Scholarship Program in Honor of Jimmy Williams

LaMATS Introduces New Scholarship Program in Honor of Jimmy Williams

by Minden Press-Herald

At its recent meeting on February 28, the Louisiana Municipal Advisory and Technical Services (LaMATS) Board of Directors announced the establishment of a new scholarship program named in honor of the late Mayor Jimmy Williams of Sibley. Mayor Williams, a longtime member of the LaMATS Board and past president of the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA), was recognized for his unwavering commitment to community service and dedication to municipal development.

The newly established scholarship program aims to provide specialized training opportunities to municipal parks and recreation staff from towns and villages across Louisiana. Annually, up to ten individuals will be selected to receive training from the Louisiana Recreation and Park Association (LRPA), with a focus on certification as Playground Safety Inspectors. This certification, previously only accessible outside of Louisiana, will now be available to smaller towns that may have faced financial constraints in sending their staff for training.

LRPA President Amie Hebert, Superintendent of Parks and Parkways for Gretna, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, emphasizing its potential to empower communities to enhance their recreational facilities. “This scholarship will make [certification] accessible for smaller towns that wouldn’t have the funding to send one of their own,” said Hebert. “Now we’ll be able to meet people where they are and give them training to better their community.”

The idea for the scholarship program was introduced by LaMATS Secretary/Treasurer Mayor Michael Chauffe of Gross Tete, who highlighted Mayor Williams’ exceptional integrity and character. Mayor Chauffe envisioned the program as a fitting tribute to his longtime friend and colleague.

LaMATS President Mayor David Butler of Woodworth echoed Chauffe’s sentiments, describing Mayor Williams’ passion for sports and his dedication to public parks and recreation. “There could be no more fitting honor for our good friend,” said Butler.

Funded by dedicated resources within LaMATS, the Jimmy Williams Scholarship will take effect immediately, providing support for upcoming training opportunities announced by LRPA. The allocation of scholarships will be facilitated at the request of local mayors, ensuring that communities across Louisiana can benefit from this valuable initiative. For further details about the program, interested parties are encouraged to refer to the March edition of the Louisiana Municipal Review.

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