The second annual South Louisiana Giving Day will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2019.
L-R: Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal; Coach Rob Poole, Layette High School
Lafayette, LA – Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal toured the newly renovated weight room at Lafayette High School (LHS) on Friday. In May, O’Neal made a $20,000 through South Louisiana Giving Day, an event of Community Foundation of Acadiana.
“The new equipment is now all on one rack,” said Rob Poole, the head football coach of Lafayette High School. “It’s a workout station where you can do power clean, bench press, squat and dead lift in one space. This equipment will improve our coaching technique.”
Poole approached the Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) and requested funding for the equipment. LPSS agreed to grant $21,000 to LHS. The total cost to renovate the weight room with new equipment was $42,000.
In January, Poole registered to participate in SOLA Giving Day. Through his fundraising efforts, Poole received a message from Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, a retired NBA basketball player and former LSU athlete. O’Neal gave a generous donation of $20,000.
“It shows what kind of guy he is,” said Poole. “He’s selfless, and he’s about kids. They are the ones who’s going to benefit.”
O’Neal sent Poole a video. “Hello mighty Lion boosters of Lafayette, “O’Neal said. “I wanna wish you well with your fundraiser, but I may have a surprise for you. I’ll let you know. All you Lafayette High guys, students, work hard. You can be whatever you want to be. Alright. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye, bye.” The video can be found online at www.SouthLouisianaGivingDay.org/LafayetteHighSchool.
Contributions from other donors helped Poole fully fund his project. The cost of the project is $42,000.
South Louisiana Giving Day is a 24-hour online, fundraising event for nonprofit organizations. The goal is to inspire the community to come together for a 24-hour period to contribute as many charitable dollars as possible to support the work of local nonprofit organizations, churches and schools. Learn more at www.SOLAGivingDay.org.
Back row, L-R: Pat Thibodeaux, Parks and Recreation Department; Sid DeRouen, Iberia Parish Foundation board of director; John Robichaux, Parks and Recreation Department assistant superintendent; Angela Cestia, fundraising coordinator; Beverly Shea, Iberia Parish Foundation board of director
Front row, L-R: Krystal Boyance, City of New Iberia program coordinator; Jessica Ditch, fundraising coordinator; Mayor Freddie Decourt; Heather Dominique, Parks and Recreation Department superintendent
New Iberia, LA – Angela Cestia and Jessica Ditch with the New Iberia Parks and Recreation Fund raised more than $20,000 through South Louisiana Giving Day to renovate the tennis courts at New Iberia City Park.
“We saw the need,” said Ditch. “Children were outside playing on the courts and we felt they could use a resurfacing.”
On Thursday, Cestia and Ditch presented the check to City of New Iberia Mayor Freddie Decourt. The privately donated funds will be used to pay for the renovation project. Decourt said the renovations will take six to eight weeks to complete.
"The plan is to get our courts used and our parks better utilized,” said Decourt. “This is one of many steps we’re taking to do that.”
The mission of the New Iberia Parks and Recreation Fund, a fund of Community Foundation of Acadiana, is to revitalize the parks in New Iberia and improve the quality of life for the citizens of our community. The fund is registered and managed under the Iberia On Tap organization.
South Louisiana Giving Day, an event of CFA, is a 24-hour online fundraiser for nonprofit organizations, churches and schools. Learn more about the New Iberia Parks and Recreation Fund online at www.southlouisianagivingday.org.
Community Foundation of Acadiana’s core purpose is to build legacies and improve communities by connecting generous people to the causes they care about. CFA is one of south Louisiana’s premier philanthropic organization benefiting our region, with a particular focus on the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Mary, St. Martin and Vermilion. CFA has realized cumulative gifts exceeding $229 million and has made cumulative grants of more than $120 million. Learn more at www.cfacadiana.org.