The students at Lukeville Upper Elementary School received a special treat Tuesday morning as a reward for a job well done during the school year.
Dairy MAX partnered with the New Orleans Saints to reward the school with a Play 60 football experience.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a health and wellness program sponsored by the NFL and the National Dairy Council that promotes fueling up with healthy foods such as low-fat dairy and getting 60 minutes of physical activity in each day, according to Jennifer Duhon, the program coordinator at Dairy MAX.
Lukeville was an active school all year and made touchdown status, which means the school completed the program’s six-step process to qualify.
As part of the reward, there was a pep rally for the entire school in the cafeteria congratulating the students on a good job.
Gumbo, the New Orleans Saints mascot and former Saints cornerback and Brusly legend Randall Gay were special guests.
“A couple of years ago, they did it in Port Allen and they asked me to attend and I said no problem,” Gay said. “When I’m asked to do something for schools and kids, I love to do it just because I remember growing up, we didn’t have local athletes around here. It was always just people you saw on TV and you think you’d never meet in your life.
“I’m a local guy and I love to go just to show kids the same desk you sat in, that was me looking at the people on TV dreaming that one day that could be me,” he continued. “Now I’m actual proof that that can be you. I love being around these kids and just try to set an example and show them that they can be anything they want.”
Gay said the need for programs like FUTP 60 is much greater now compared to even just five years ago.
“When I used to do these talks four or five years ago, you preach to them, but I didn’t think it was as important because kids actually still went outside,” he said with a smile. “Now the situation is getting extreme and out of hand that you go outside and you don’t see anybody. They will sit on the video game for hours and hours. It’s important to eat right, go outside, move around not only for your physical health but your mental health, too.”
In addition to the pep rally, the fifth-grade students went out to the baseball field for 60 minutes of activity going through football drills with members of the Brusly football team and a few members of the Saints staff.