$30K Donation
Photo from Bossier Parish Sheriff's Department

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington accepted a $30,000 check Wednesday afternoon at the Viking Drive Substation as a donation to the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines program.

Denise Bankston, founder of A-Kids-Choice Foundation, made the donation after hearing that the Young Marines had been defunded by the federal government.

“It is my honor to help and protect our Young Marines Program,” Bankston said.  “Due to the government not funding this program, A Kids Choice Foundation is taking on a new adventure by making the decision to come forth and donate to the Young Marines Program a total of $30,000,” she said, noting this is the same amount of the grant that was denied by the federal government.

She also said she was saddened that the program was denied the grant money because of the mention of God, especially for “the wonderful organization that our Parish has had for many years,” said noted.

“Words cannot express my gratitude and sincere appreciation for this donation from Denise to our Young Marines program,” said Sheriff Whittington.  “When I stood up to the U.S. Department of Justice when they wanted me to put in writing my decision not to remove God and voluntary prayer from our Young Marines program, I had no idea we would be where we are today.   Whether $30,000 or $3, all of these donations are truly appreciated and proof to me that we are doing the right thing here in Bossier Parish.

“Denise is a huge supporter of our youth here in Bossier, and our Young Marines and young people who will enter the program will benefit tremendously because of her donation,” said Whittington.

Denise recently founded A Kids Choice Foundation following the journey she made in finding the appropriate education for her son who had severe dyslexia/dysgraphia.  She said the odds were against her son, but they both persevered, and her son attended The Landmark School in Boston,Mass., a school for children with language-based learning disabilities.  He not only graduated high school in 2005, but he went on to graduate from college in 2010.  Today, she helps public schools to be empowered by outreach programs that give teachers more wisdom and knowledge for children with learning differences, which also works for all students in a classroom.

“I just love the kids…I’ve got a big old heart,” she said.

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