Excerpts from 2004 article "Sunshine for Kids Gala", by Karen Martin of "The Advocate", a news publication serving the state of Louisiana.

Sunshine for Kids Gala
by Karen Martin/The Advocate

Louisiana National Guard Specialist Tonesha Wilson, Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau and the Sunshine Foundation's Sally Burdette, from left, read "You Are Sunshine" to kindergarteners at South Boulevard Elementary. Members of the guard, who have been distributing the book since 2000, will be honored by the Sunshine Foundation on Nov. 10.

The site of military trucks rolling into a community dispersing scores of Louisiana National Guard members is familiar to those who have been through a hurricane.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, guardsmen are becoming an increasingly important part of the war effort.

The Louisiana National Guard, however, plays another role much closer to home.

Since 2000, at the request of then first lady Alice Foster, members of the guard have been handing out a book called "You Are Sunshine" to kindergarten students in the state's public, private and parochial schools.

For that effort, the Louisiana National Guard and its commander, Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau will be the honorees at the third annual Sunshine for Kids Gala, sponsored by the nonprofit Sunshine Foundation, Nov. 10.

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