Community launches campus support project

During a luncheon held in the Twelve Oaks Ballroom last Thursday, the Hammond Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of The “Our Town, Our Team” initiative.

The project aims to create community support for Southeastern’s campus, students and student athletes and was created through a collaborative effort by the university and the Chamber.

“This began at the university and the Chamber of Commerce became involved,” said Erin Moore Cowser, executive director of public and governmental affairs. “This is perfect timing too, with the new semester. The whole idea is to spread green and gold and establish Hammond as a supportive college town.”

According to Chamber Chairman of the board Chris Moody, the chamber has partnered with Lamar Advertising, The Hammond Daily Star newspaper and Northshore Broadcasting to help with the project.

“Program participation entitles chamber members to special advertising discounts from our media partners,” Moody said.  “All the businesses have to do to qualify is agree to promote the Lions as part of their advertising runs.”

Moody then explained that businesses could promote the university by dedicating parts of their ads to Southeastern or changing their business’ logo colors to green and gold. Also, the businesses present were asked to purchase and display “Our Town, Our Team” flags, which the chamber is currently selling for $10. T-shirts are also being sold for $6 that depicts the program’s logo.

After discussing the project, Moody pointed out that Hammond is almost dead last relative to the local support of the town’s university, according to a recent statewide survey.

“We were below Natchitoches and Thibodeaux,” said Moody. “We can do better.”

Though it’s initial target was the city of Hammond, the program has spread beyond the city limits and has inspired other communities to rally behind the university.

“Whenever we designed the project we wanted to keep it open so it would spread like wildfire,” said Cowser. “We really want to get the other Chambers involved. We’ve already received calls from Ponchatoula, but we want the program in Covington, Mandeville…well pretty much everywhere in the area.”

Also during the luncheon, Moody announced this month’s winner of the Southeastern Spirit Award, which is given to local businesses that go above and beyond in their support of the campus. The award was given to La Caretta restaurant. Past winners include the Hammond location of Albertsons and a local restaurant, University Donuts.

The luncheon began at noon and was attended by local businesss leaders and campus administrators. A small pep rally was also held, featuring the performances by the Spirit of Southland Marching Band, the Southeastern Cheerleaders, The Lionettes and Roomie.

For more information on the “Our Town, Our Team” project and other events, call the Hammond Chamber of Commerce at 985-345-4457.