(Baton Rouge, LA) — On Monday, Oct. 15, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation inducted ten men and women into the ranks of Louisiana’s Angels – those everyday people who have selflessly given their lives to doing extraordinary good for Louisiana’s children.
Nearly 400 past honorees, board members, public officials and supporters were on hand for the Angel Award® ceremony, hosted at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center – including First Lady Donna Edwards, who delivered the invocation. In addition to the award, each Angel also received a $25,000 grant to the charitable organization of his or her choice.
The work of the 2018 class of Angels ranges from supporting Louisiana’s foster children to community development and education. Each Angel is notable for a long-term commitment that has inspired others and built a movement around bettering the lives of children.
Those recognized were:
- Luis Arocha of Gretna, the executive director of Café Hope, a New Orleans-based nonprofit that trains profoundly underserved young people with skills to begin work in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
- M Jeffery Bayhi of Zachary, the founder of Metanoia Manor, a safe place where the female victims of human sex trafficking can live and heal with a goal of rejoining society.
- Kacy Edwards and Julie Scott of Baton Rouge, co-founders of Career Compass, a thriving nonprofit with more than 80 coaches working to remove obstacles between school students and their dreams of obtaining postsecondary education or a high-quality credential.
- Abram Freeman of Lafayette, founder of Acts of Love, which supports children with one or more parents who are incarcerated through tutoring, day camps and one-on-one support.
- Carolyne Hoyt of Alexandria, the founder of NextSTEP of central Louisiana, which has taught more than 18,000 students about domestic and intimate partner violence with a focus on ending intergenerational patterns of violence against women.
- Tanya McGee of Lake Charles, the Vice President of Ambassador Operations for Ainsley’s Angels of America, which provides adaptive equipment for children with disabilities to be able to participate in outdoor, physical endurance activities, such as walks, runs and marathons.
- Caleb Seney of Ruston, the executive director of Med-Camps of Louisiana, a nonprofit that provides week-long summer camps to children living with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
- Audry Spencer of Crowley, the founder of Empowering the Community for Excellence, a rapidly growing, free community-based after-school tutoring program housed in a 5,000 sq. ft. center with nine classrooms and a computer lab, accommodating 110 elementary, middle and high school students.
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 Phyllis M. Broussard of Baton Rouge – a Court Appointed Special Advocate who has worked for young people in foster care for more than a decade. On her behalf, the Capitol Area CASA Association will receive a grant of $10,000.
Finally, the Foundation made two special awards. John Maginnis of Madisonville, recently retired from Blue Cross as the vice president of Strategic Communications, was honored for his work as the founder of the Angel Award program 24 years ago. Frances Turner Henry of Baton Rouge was honored for her many contributions as a long-time member of the Foundation’s board of directors.
More information about the Angel Award, including videos of the ceremony and a summary of each Angel’s work, is online at www.BCBSLAFoundation.org
About the Blue Cross Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Together, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invest $2.5 million each year into Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits.