Erath 4th of July Celebration

2015 Grand Marshal

Robert B. Vincent

 

            Longtime Erath volunteer and public servant Robert B. Vincent has been selected to serve as Grand Marshal of the 69th annual Erath 4th of July Celebration.  He will reign over the grand parade that will roll through the streets of Erath on July 4th at 5:00 PM.

If there is one characteristic that motivates Robert, it’s his passion for Erath.  He loves everything about Erath – Erath schools, government, civic organizations, its history, and, most of all, its people. 

            Robert has lived his entire life on North Gin Street in Erath.  He is the son of Douglas and Jackie Vincent.  Robert is a 1997 graduate of Erath High School.  He credits the “A” rated education he received from Erath schools for laying the foundation for all that he has achieved in his life.  Robert graduated from UL Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 2002 and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 2004.  In 2010, he graduated from Southern University Law Center with a Juris Doctorate, and was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar later that year.

            A devoted Erath Bobcat, Robert has always felt blessed to have grown up in the community of Erath.  He loves the quiet southern town with the railroad track running through it.  He loves to hear the sound of the train horn and the noon siren that blows every day.  A devoted Erath Bobcat, Robert has always felt a need to give back to the community that has given him so much.

            He began volunteering his time at a young age.  He has been a vital part of the Acadian Museum since its beginning in 1990.  Robert helped to set up the original exhibits.  He would ride his bike all over town picking up donated items.  He continues to serve on the board of directors of the museum and serves as the chairman of the museum's annual fundraiser.  Robert is adamant about preserving Erath's pictorial history digitally, and has been involved with scanning thousands of pictures of Erath's past over the last couple of years.

Robert was an active student at Erath High School and has continued to help his alma mater since graduation.  He was the manager of the track team while a student at Erath.  As the track team attended meets at other schools, he wondered why his school still had an antiquated cinder track.  He immediately began the effort to build a new all-weather track at EHS.  He was determined to have a new track at EHS before he graduated.  That vow was fulfilled when the new track was dedicated in 1996.  Upon graduation, he joined the Erath Backers Club where he continued his efforts to support the Erath schools.  Robert served as a board member for the Erath Backers Club for 18 years, including 15 years as treasurer.

Robert has the distinction of being the youngest elected official in the town's history.  He was first elected to the Erath City Council in 1998 at the age of 19.  He proudly served as the town's Mayor Pro-Tem for four years.  He is currently serving his second term helping to guide the town’s future as an Erath City Councilman.  Robert is also on the board of the Erath Community Building  Association, a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Erath Housing Authority, and a 4th Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus.

Robert is currently serving his 13th year as president of the Erath 4th of July Association.  He has been a member of the Erath 4th of July for over half of his life, having joined in 1996.  Robert loves this organization, whose storied history dates back to the 1930s and began as a fundraiser for Erath High School.  One of his goals as president is to make a difference in the community.  The festival has always given a portion of its profits back to the community and this effort has continued under his watch.  Thousands of dollars have been given to the local schools, museum, and the Town of Erath for civic improvements.  Every year since Robert has been president, the festival has continued to grow.  He is proud that a younger generation of leaders is getting involved with the organization.

            Despite daunting physical challenges and facing a progressively fatal disease, Robert continues to persevere and strive in his professional and community endeavors.  He has always believed that you must do the best you can with the gifts that God has given you.  Like the community he holds so dear to his heart, he has faced trials and tribulations.  Each time, he has pushed forward – a true embodiment of the “Spirt of Erath.”

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