A Natchitoches icon beloved by generations of college students and many others will be feted with a 70th birthday party that will benefit a scholarship created in his honor. The Northwestern State University Foundation will celebrate Johnny Antoon’s birthday beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at The Student Body.
Antoon, a 1968 graduate of Northwestern State, owns Antoon’s Package Liquor Store and The Student Body. He formerly owned Antoon’s Riverfront Restaurant in downtown Natchitoches. The store opened in 1975, and the Student Body has been in business since 1982. In that time, numerous students have helped pay for their college education by working for Antoon.
During a surprise 65th birthday celebration in 2008, Antoon’s friends announced the creation of the Johnny Antoon Endowed Scholarship. More than $44,000 was raised for the scholarship, which is endowed at over $60,000. Organizers hope the July 27 event will raise the scholarship level to $100,000.
Entry to the July 27 event is a minimum $15 donation and several levels of giving are available. All proceeds will benefit the Antoon Scholarship. Donors can contribute through the Northwestern State Alumni website (northwesternalumni.com/antoons70) or Facebook page (facebook.com/events/588948061145286) or by mailing their donation to the NSU Foundation, 535 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71497. The Facebook event is named Johnny Antoon’s 70th birthday Party
The ties between the Antoon family and Northwestern State are strong. Johnny’s wife Merle is an NSU graduate along with his daughter Danielle and son Michael. Last fall, Antoon was awarded an Nth Degree from Northwestern State, an honor that recognizes unselfish devotion to duty and the willingness to go the “extra mile” in meritorious service to mankind.