Eric Guidry, chief operating officer of CFA, and staff presented the funds at a ceremony hosted by Franklin Foundation Hospital.
“Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, an organization in New York, received $20 million from an anonymous donor that wanted to help support organizations and the people affected by the BP Oil Spill,” Guidry said. “So they tapped organizations like the Community Foundation and several others along the Gulf Coast to spread that wealth around. They gave us some criteria that we had to deal with but basically left it up to the organizations to handle that process.”
Guidry said CFA covers eight parishes, and two, St. Mary and Iberia, have affiliate foundations that have “boots on the ground” operations. Dr. Donna Tesi and Alice Pecorara are boardmembers from St. Mary Parish.
“We had just formed our St. Mary Parish Community Foundation,” Tesi said. “I know that you saw in the paper there were some ads about the community foundation and you all thought, ‘What the heck is this?’ This gives you an idea of what this foundation can do so that everybody feels that this is their foundation for their community and it’s a way to get involved.”
Tesi said there are “a lot of individuals that do wonderful things here in St. Mary Parish, and we don’t know who you are. There are a lot of people that do mentoring, and our kids are important, so I’m hoping that as this gets some visibility you will come to us.”
She urged recipients to submit success stories the grants have resulted in.
Guidry agreed. “We want to be able to show our donor the amazing impact that these funds have been able to do to help our community,” he said. “The best way to do that is with real stories.”
Recipients based in St. Mary Parish and regionally with impact in the parish are: Acadiana Works; Evangeline Area Council Boy Scouts of America; Franklin Foundation Hospital; Iberia Industrial Developmental Foundation; Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana; Southern Mutual Help Association; St. Mary Outreach Inc., and United Way; St. Mary Community Action Agency; The Family Tree Education and Counseling Center; 16th Judicial District Family Services Division and Little Zion Community Outreach.