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Foundation presents $10,000 check to school system for art, music programs - 3/28/2013 -

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Foundation presents $10,000 check to school system for art, music programs
by Harlan Kirgan,
Front, from left, are Larry Callais, foundation board member; Susan Guidry, foundation selection committee; Aguillard; Jennifer Morice, selection board member; and Alice Pecoraro, board member. Second row, from left, are Lori Williams, Patterson High School teacher; Abbie Paradee, St. Mary Parish Schools Talented Arts Program at Berwick Junior High School; Sonya Johnson, Centerville High School Survey of the Arts Program; Reagan Beaubouef, Patterson Junior High School; and Michael Swiber, Morgan City High School Mighty Tiger Band. Third row, from left, are Rachel Wilson, Patterson High School principal; Debra Torline, Berwick Junior High School assistant principal; Michael Galler, Centerville High School principal; Suzanne Bergeron, Patterson Junior High principal; and Mickey Fabre, Morgan City High School principal.
Representatives from the St. Mary Parish Foundation presented a check for $10,000 to St. Mary Parish School superintendent Donald Aguillard Wednesday to fund five projects promoting music and arts in the schools.
Alice Pecoraro, a foundation board member, said the reason for the donation is simple. "It is because we want to support the schools,” she said. "We decided this year to support the arts and music program in the school because they are not core courses, and we were concerned they might not get this much funding.”
The five programs selected are Patterson High School, St. Mary Parish Schools Talented Arts Program at Berwick Junior High, Centerville High School Survey of the Arts Program; Patterson Junior High School; and Morgan City High School Tiger Band. Projects range from band uniforms at Morgan City to a sculpture project at Patterson Junior High School.
"We believe art and music are very good for children,” Pecoraro said. Aguillard said, "This is a windfall for the public school system to have community support demonstrated by raising funds for things like arts and humanities. It is exciting to see this developing in the district.” The foundation raised about $20,000 at a gala and raffle in the fall of 2012 and plans a similar event this year, Pecoraro said.
St. Mary Parish Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Acadiana and has a separate board of directors for the benefit of St. Mary Parish, stated a news release. The purpose of St. Mary Parish Foundation is to fund programs, which broadly impact St. Mary Parish and to focus on enhancing the quality of life in St. Mary Parish. Visit for more information.
The St. Mary Parish board members are Donna Tesi, M.D., chairwoman; Gregory J. Hamer Sr., vice-chairman; Larry Callais, secretarytreasurer; Marshall Guidry; Alfred S. Lippman, ex-officio; Patrick Little; Karen Melancon; Jennifer Morice; Alice G. Pecoraro, ex-officio; Tonya M. Stiel; and Craig Thomson.
Community Foundation of Acadiana is a philanthropic organization benefiting the region, with a particular focus on the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Mary, St. Martin and Vermilion. The foundation’s core purpose is to connect all generous people to the causes they care about. In 2012, Community Foundation of Acadiana was recognized among the Top 100 community foundations in the country as the third most active grantmaker, 36th most gifts per capita and 97th most activity. Additional milestones include more than $110 million in cumulative gifts and $58 million in cumulative grants. Learn more at


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