NEW IBERIA, La. — The Daily Iberian honors someone each year as its Citizen of the Year for the good works in building up community. This year, it was awarded to a group of them.
The Berry Queens, a zany group of local women who began by spoofing beauty pageants and has had their annual productions grow to proportions that the largest venue in the region is needed to hold them, was awarded the annual Citizen of the Year Award on Wednesday.
“These women are all over the community and by and over the past seven years have raised almost $250,000 for their principle charity, Iberia Habitat for Humanity,” said Daily Iberian Managing Editor Jeff Zeringue.
The Berry Queens are relatively new, but their outlandish costumes and big hair is outdone only by the size of their heart when it comes to doing good works.
“I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish,” said Berry Queens founder Jerre Boreland.
About two dozen Berry Queens were in attendance at the open house ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at The Daily Iberian.
“We give this recognition to an individual, or in this year’s case a group, each year in keeping with what The Daily Iberian’s first editor, S.P. Watts, wrote in the first issue of ‘endeavoring to recognize good things done by area citizen,’” Zeringue said.
The Citizens of the Year Award was established in 1993, following the cooperation and good deeds done by so many in the community following the devastation from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Groups have been recognized only three times since then, the Iberia Performing Arts League in 2001, the New Iberia Playground Enhancement Project Committee in 2013 and the Berry Queens this year.