21 Mar Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr., CEO of Cenac Towing Company, Donates Gift Cards to Coast Guard Members Impacted by Shutdown in Houma
During the recent record-length government shutdown, Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr., CEO of Cenac Marine Services, stepped up to help those impacted in the nearby communities of Terrebonne and Lafourche. As hundreds of thousands of federal workers were caught in the crossfire over funding the border wall, Cenac sought to find a local solution to the problem in Washington.
Once Cenac became aware of the severity of the situation, he understood that it was time for the community to come together to find a solution. Cenac realized that the true essence of community lies in the ability of its members to advocate and support one another when people are in need.
While the communities of Terrebonne and Lafourche may not be known as federal agency centers, Coast Guard members in the area were left without paychecks for weeks – many in fear over missing their next meal. To this end, Cenac sought to ensure that the families in their communities are cared for by graciously donating twenty-five $100 gift cards to the Cannata’s Family Markets. The cards were distributed to members of the Dulac-based Aids to Navigation Team, which maintain buoys and lights in the waterways adjoining Terrebonne Parish, and the Marine Safety unit, based in Houma.
For newer Coast Guard members, the impending fear over the financial impacts of a government shutdown was even more concerning since their savings were not as well-established. “No Coast Guard family should have to wonder where their next meal is coming from,” Cenac echoed, referencing his donation as only a “small token of our appreciation to the men and women who work to keep our waterways safe.”
To protect Coast Guard members from another government shutdown, United States Representative Garret Graves (LA-06), who donated the entirety of his December paycheck to assist those hurt by the Shutdown, co-sponsored a bill that would ensure Coast Guard members are still paid during a shutdown.
“It’s just wrong that federal workers — people who aren’t responsible for and who don’t have control over this shutdown — are caught in the crossfire of what has devolved to nothing more than a political and personality fight,” Graves said last week.
Those who received the gift cards from Cenac expressed their sincere gratitude for the community’s efforts and Cenac’s donation. Other members of the community came together to provide what they could during this difficult time. Perina Graves Colman, owner of
While a second Shutdown is looming as the current funding bill is expected to expire on Friday, the communities of Terrebonne and Lafourche, including Cenac, are determined in their efforts to ensure that no one in their community is left hungry.