Nov 22, 2012 00:05 Volunteer Ascension making a difference Volunteer Ascension making a difference Gary Lacombe, of the Rotary Club of Gonzales, adds new life to flower beds at the COEA Respite Center on Purpera Road during a recent Make a Difference Day project. Advocate staff report Nov. 22, 2012 Comments Volunteer Ascension registered more than 900 volunteers donating more than 1,250 hours of community service as part of the recent Make a Difference Day national program, agency Executive Sherry Denig said. This year marked the 15th year Volunteer Ascension participated in Make a Difference Day, a national day of volunteering sponsored by the Points of Light Institute and Hands on Network, she said. The day is designed to challenge volunteers nationwide to spend time making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others, she said. “Each year I am reminded of how blessed we are to live in a community that is so centered on service above self,” Denig said. Taking part in the Ascension Make A Difference Day were the Gonzales Middle Beta Club, Gonzales Middle 6A team, In School Suspension Program paraprofessionals of Central Primary School, Central Primary 4-H Club, Pecan Grove Primary School Beta Club, Pecan Grove Primary teachers, AARP Chapter 1149/Gonzales Area, St. Amant Middle School Beta Club, Rotary Club of Gonzales, First Baptist Church Awana, Fellowship Church and St. Amant Knights of Columbus Columbian Squire Circle. Projects ranged from food, clothing and toy drives to service projects, beautification and restoration projects, and special events to benefit children, the elderly and those with disabilities, she said. Denig said it’s not too early to start planning next year’s project. “As the Hands on Network affiliate in Ascension Parish, Volunteer Ascension encourages you to set your sights on opportunities within your community,” she said. “As we begin to make plans for the holiday season and the coming year, we encourage families and organizations to include time for service projects,” she said. “Pick a date, join forces with family and friends and make it happen ... make a difference.” Projects taking place through October 2013 can be registered for next year’s Make a Difference Day program. For information, call Volunteer Ascension at (225) 644-7655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.