Community fundraising set, benefits various local groups
Time is running out to reserve tickets for the St. Mary Parish Community Fund’s premier fundraising event of the year Saturday, Oct. 29, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Oaklawn Manor in Franklin.
The home of former Gov. Mike Foster and his wife Alice will provide the backdrop for a performance by the Acadiana Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra. Tickets are $125 per person and can be obtained by calling 828-0272. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided.
The St. Mary Parish Community Fund, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) is in its second year of existence and “assists community organizations, helps schools, and promotes philanthropy in St. Mary Parish.”
Board members include board chair Dr. Donna Tesi, Larry Callais, Rebecca and Daniel Conrad, Marshall Guidry, Greg Hamer Sr., Al Lippman, Patrick Little, Alice Pecoraro, Tonya Stiel and Craig Thomson.
CFA was established in 2000, primarily to serve the eight parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion. CFA currently has assets of more than $53 million and has made grants of more than $20 million — almost exclusively donor-directed.
The foundation is accommodating a $30 million gift from BP for the Louisiana Tourism Recovery Program and works to increase philanthropy in its service area according to Raymond Hebert, CFA director.
The Foundation is a ‘donor-focused’ entity — a ‘donor-service’ company that can accommodate donors’ specific charitable and philanthropic objectives — immediately and in perpetuity. Donors can establish scholarship funds; designated funds (i.e., a fund to specifically benefit a church, school, nonprofit organization or any combination), and unrestricted funds or field of interest funds (i.e., a fund to benefit a cause or community). Hebert said the most popular type of fund is a donor-advised fund. In that case, donors establish the fund; name the fund; then any time, any year thereafter, they recommend grants from the fund to any other nonprofit organization, churches or schools.
Hebert also noted that nonprofit organizations, churches or schools may establish funds under the CFA umbrella for their respective benefit.
CFA has two geographic affiliates — The St. Mary Parish Community Fund (est. 2009) and the Iberia Parish Enhancement Fund (est. 2007). In each parish, local boards organize to increase philanthropy and direct charitable dollars to improve the quality of life in their communities.
The foundation has also served as a “fiscal sponsor” in several instances. A fiscal sponsorship is a case where CFA receives and acknowledges tax-deductible contributions to “fund” the project of another entity (e.g. Louisiana HonorAir — flying World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., — and the recent Tour du Teche boat race).
Anyone interested in attending the premier event Oct. 29, wishing to establish a local self-directed philanthropic fund or establish a fund for their non-profit organization may contact any St. Mary Parish Community Fund board member for more information.