Morgan City car show to help fund facilty for disabled in Franklin
By JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
MORGAN CITY, La. — An automotive-themed fundraising event to be held Saturday in Morgan City is geared to accelerate the hopes of a Franklin family to create a fellowship and support facility for individuals with disabilities.
An open car show along with live music and a live auction will be held at Lirette Ford at 6310 U.S. 90 in Morgan City on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Brittany Saucier is 24 years old with Down syndrome and is the daughter of Bruce and Sandra Saucier of Franklin.
The Sauciers left Louisiana in 1993 after Hurricane Andrew destroyed their home, and they lived at times in Pennsylvania and Kentucky before moving back to Franklin in 2006.
Sandra Saucier spoke of her dream for a fellowship and support facility for individuals with such disabilities.
“Since moving back to Franklin, we have purchased the former Oaklawn Sugar Mill site in Franklin which we are donating land to erect a facility which will be called the Brittany Project, a facility for individuals with all disabilities to share a time of fellowship, interaction, recreation, and support,” she said.
“We envision this facility to provide summer camps through therapeutic therapy for those with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities.”
Saucier spoke of the lack of activities available to adults with such disabilities.
“While our family resided in Kentucky, Brittany was involved in Special Olympics in a big way. She was a cheerleader, she bowled, she played soccer, basketball, and softball, aquatics and equestrian,” she said.
“When we moved back to Louisiana in 2006, we found St. Mary Parish did not have a Special Olympics organization like we had in Kentucky, and Brittany did not have a place or a group to become involved with.”
Saucier said when individuals with disabilities finish school at the age of 21, “they have nothing, unless they are in a group home where they find avenues of interest for them to participate in.” The facility that she envisions would address that deficiency, Saucier said.
“We will have dances regularly, recreation and luncheons, speakers,” she said
Since the family has returned to Louisiana, Brittany has been diagnosed with depression, according to Saucier, who said that doctors think it is due to the lack of activities available for her. That is why she envisions a facility for such activities, and her family’s interest in automobiles has inspired the idea of car shows as fundraisers.
“The South East Louisiana Bayou Mustang Club and Lirette Ford have joined together to host a car show with all proceeds going to the Brittany Project. All registration money and proceeds from the car show are handed over to Lirette and they in turn make payment to the Brittany Project, a non-profit organization,” Sandra Saucier said.
“We have attended car shows for years as well as I coordinated the Gateway Special Olympics Car Show while in Kentucky and raised enough funds to cover all of our athletes’ uniforms and events they attended.”
Ben Ledet of Lirette Ford in Morgan City said that the local Bayou Mustang Club approached the dealership about hosting some car shows as fundraisers for non-profits.
“Instead of doing for the big charities that have national fundraising, we try to do things that are for this area. Any money that we raise that day will go to this foundation,” he said.
Ledet said that the dealership is “getting a really positive response about it” and likes the idea of helping the community.
“I’m excited about it. As they go on, we get more and more response from people around here, as they find out what the cause is. It makes you feel good. It gives you a good, positive outlook on the community.”
More information about the Brittany’s Project organization and the event Saturday can be found by visiting www.brittanysproject.org/.