This October, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation will honor ten everyday Louisianians doing extraordinary good for the state’s children at the 2016 Angel Award® ceremony.

This year’s honorees were chosen from a record number of nominations from across the state. Each Angel will receive a $20,000 grant to the charity of their choice to deepen the impact of their work.

The work of the 2016 class of Angels ranges from supporting Louisiana’s foster children to community development and education. And while each has had a profound effect on the lives of children, he or she started out by making a simple decision to do good for just one child – an important theme to the Angel Award.

“Each of our Angels began their work by making the courageous decision to do something simple to help a child. Their work simply grew from there,” says Foundation president Michael Tipton. “We hold these people up because we want to show everyone how everyday goodness takes hold and spreads in a way that completely changes the future for our children.”

Receiving the Angel Award this year are:

  • Gerard Barousse, Jr. of New Orleans. Gerard Barousse, Jr. is founder and Chairman of the Bayou District Foundation, the lead organization in the planning and development of Columbia Parc in New Orleans.
  • Sonya Brown of Harvey. Brown is a dedicated social worker who has become a nationally recognized advocate for young people in foster care, particularly those who are “aging out” of the system. She founded Project18.
  • Loren Carriere of Opelousas. Carriere founded Hope for Opelousas, a ministry that is focused on community development, educational support, neighborhood outreach and intentional, positive relationships.
  • Keith “Keif” Hester of West Monroe. Hester is a physical therapy technician who goes above and beyond to help children to overcome seemingly impossible odds on the road to self-sufficiency.
  • Teri Hrabovsky of Jefferson. Hrabovsky and her husband, Brian, have fostered over 50 kids and built One Heart NOLA, a network of volunteers and donors who are ready to provide necessities for foster families at a moment’s notice.
  • John Lombardo of Thibodaux. One of the youngest Angels, Lombardo has rigorously pursued a life of service of children through the Thibodaux Kiwanis Club and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children.
  • Ruby C. Scroggins of Shreveport. Dr. Scroggins is the principal of J.S. Clark elementary school, where she has worked to break down the educational barriers created by poverty by establishing reliable access to food for her students and their families.
  • John Wondergem of Covington. Wondergem and his wife, Julie, have fostered dozens of children and opened Louisiana’s first Royal Family Kids Camp, which provides a summer camp experience just for wards of the state.

©Jason Cohen Photography

Each year, the Foundation also honors a “Blue Angel,” an employee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana who has shown extraordinary commitment to children. This year, the Foundation has selected two employees – Billie Jean Davis-Lomas and Glenda Chappell – who, over the last decade, have provided hands-on training, mentoring and career development to Baton Rouge youth through the local chapter of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). The Foundation will make a $5,000 grant to BDPA in Davis-Lomas’ and Chappell’s names.

The stories of each Angel will be told at an invitation-only presentation ceremony to be held Monday, Oct. 17 at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel.