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Spirit of Acadiana: A Look Back at 2021

Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 19:29:42-05

From fire chiefs who cook, to priests who sail the skies, to the Christmas carols that test the patience.

Trying to select the most memorable Spirit of Acadiana segments from 2021 is a tough, tough task, because it's kind of like deciding which child is your favorite…You know, she is…And…he is….But I've tried… and pared it down to a FEW of my favorites….

First there's Al Roger…. A Carencro man who lost his arm in a farming accident… but didn't quit… and found a way not only to keep working… but also to keep drumming…. That's right, he's a drummer…

"you feel like you're out, but if you don't give up, there's always a way. And there's always somebody to help you." Al Roger told us.

How about Father Dan, the skydiving priest? Challenges as a young man, health challenges this year, which led to his passing away a couple months ago.

But in between? Father Dan jumped out of planes and was inspired by both devotions

When asked if being a skydiver made him a better priest and how, Father Dan said, " I think it does, because I trust God more, because when you jump out of a plane you gotta have faith. You gotta have trust."

Allison Aucoin made history. The first female Eagle scout in the history of the Evangeline Council Boy Scouts. That was indeed Spirit-worthy.

Then there was Coby Bailey - full-time fire chief, part-time cooking sensation on YouTube.

"The response I got from everyone was, 'Hey, I love the video. Whatcha doin' next?' And I said, 'How about this?'"

We recapped the Opelousas story of Bobby Dunbar, the tale of a boy lost, another boy discovered and the was he or wasn't he the same child. DNA, says his son, provided part of the answer.

We enjoyed some anniversary celebrations, and Roy Motors reached the 85 year mark. Delhomme Funeral Home turned 100. And Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau reached the 200 years as an academic institution.

We had a young St. Cecilia student Heath Hernandez who's making his mark in the fishing industry by creating his own lures.

And we had two Teurlings students, two FEMALE students, who made their mark in a male-dominated sport and qualified for a National Bass Fishing Tournament.

We went ghost hunting at the old St. Landry Parish Courthouse, we were there when the Lafayette school system honored its bus drivers, and we dove into the deepest meaning of the words "gumbo weather."

But in between, I sang Christmas carols with a patient kindergartner named Lenny.

And our entire station was there… for our Spirit of Acadiana Days of Giving, two days when YOU, Acadiana, showed how much you loved your neighbors.

To the next year, full of Spirit. Happy New Year, Acadiana!

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