Greater New Orleans Foundation designates funds to River Parishes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Staff Report

NEW ORLEANS — The Greater New Orleans Foundation announced Thursday that St. John and St. Charles Parishes are two of five area parishes slated for funding for parish nonprofit organizations.

The foundation has allocated $625,000 to St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. The money will be directed as grants to qualified, nonprofit organizations providing important services and programs in the parishes.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, The Greater New Orleans Foundation established affiliate foundations in Plaquemines and St. Bernard to help address the needs of parishes outside of Orleans hardest hit by the storms. Board of Trustees Chair Phyllis Taylor said the foundation is now extending their reach to parishes affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

“We understand our future is connected to the well-being of the surrounding parishes,” Taylor said. “We believe in a comprehensive approach to recovery, one that relies on local leaders to spearhead rebuilding on a local level.”

Dr. Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, said the foundation listens to civic and nonprofit leaders in surrounding parishes to understand the needs of their communities.

“We have a good track record in Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes, partnering with civic leaders and key organizations that are integral to recovery efforts,” said Ruesga. “Our strong relationships have enabled us to collaborate across parish lines, strengthening the region for all.”

Robby Showalter, president of the St. Bernard Community Foundation, said the Greater New Orleans Foundation helped the parish by bringing in consultants to help parish leaders revise zoning laws and coordinate a marketing effort to promote the parish. The foundation also provided seed money to open a much-needed, one-stop fisheries center for commercial fishermen in St. Bernard.