Hometown Heroes: McNeese students honored

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:34 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Right after Hurricane Laura hit Southwest Louisiana, the Theta-Rho chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity at McNeese went into action. Past president Matthew Griffiths said fellow fraternity members from across the south responded.

“An active group of Kappa Sigmas from everywhere across the United States kind of came together,” said Griffiths. “With money donations, with physical hours put in and help the community as much as possible. It was beautiful to see.”

Yards and lots were cleared, houses repaired and victims were helped. Current president Breland Cook says money was even raised.

“This year we raised over 22 thousand dollars for charitable services,” said Cook. “We also put in 8,000 hours of work in our community to give back during our community’s time of need. This award was not given, it was earned.”

Meanwhile, McNeese accounting major Kaleb Leday is getting attention for his accordion skills. He recently won the zydeco division of the Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze Youth Accordion contest in Austin.

“My great grandfather played guitar with legendary Zydeco musicians Boo Zoo Chavis, Bois Sec and the Ardoin Brothers,” said Leday. “So growing up, I was always around him listening to him play. Then one day, I thought the accordion looked easier to play than the guitar and here we are now.”

Leday is also a member of the Zyde-Pokes, McNeese’s performing group that advances and preserves Creole Culture and Southwest Louisiana music.

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