State Sen. Ryan Gatti looking for ‘Mama Pelicans’

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State Sen. Ryan Gatti

By Juliuna Anderson, janderson@press-herald.com

Senator Ryan Gatti is on the lookout for “Mama Pelicans” throughout Louisiana. 

Gatti has been visiting schools sharing the story of the pelican and her three chicks on the Louisiana State Flag.

“Our state flag tells a powerful story about Louisiana’s people. The mama pelican goes out into the swamp to feed her young chicks, but she finds no food. Most would abandon their young when times get tough, but this Mama Pelican is different. She returns to the nest and plucks feathers to feed to her babies.The three drops of blood on the flag representing the pain of her sacrifice,” Gatti explained. 

Gatti has already distributed flags to some people in the community who make an impact because of their sacrifice and generosity.

Fayrine Kennon-Gilbert was awarded the flag by Senator Gatti Sunday, January 20 for 23 years of service as a City Council member of Minden. 

“[She’s] being that living sacrifice so that we can have unity in Minden,” Gatti said of Kennon, “Minden is so honored to have her as a Mama Pelican.”

“We all have a mama pelican in our life. That’s what makes Louisiana so great. We all have someone in our life that sacrificed for us,” Gatti said. 

Gatti explains that mama pelicans are people who have sacrificed their time, talent or treasure so others can have a better life. 

“I tell children as I go to their schools everytime that you can be a Mama Pelican to the ones around you. Maybe they’re a different color, maybe they’re a different race, maybe they’re from a different socio-economic background, but you can reach out to them and sacrifice for them.”

To nominate a mama pelican, an essay competition has been announced by Gatti at Mamapelican.com.  Essays can also be emailed at essays@mamapelican.com. A team will read and judge essays every two weeks and announce winners.