Contributions help education, local charities

Diettra Vance Aucoin
December 22, 2011
Gulf Coast restoration projects identified
December 27, 2011
Diettra Vance Aucoin
December 22, 2011
Gulf Coast restoration projects identified
December 27, 2011

Ten regional schools and charitable organizations shared a gift valued at more than $62,000 last Tuesday, just in time for Christmas and to secure needed funding for 2012.

The Fourchon Oilman’s Association, a group of regional petroleum industry professionals, is an independent organization dedicated to helping local groups while promoting the oil and gas industry.

“We’re here to give out donations and grants,” Fourchon Oilman’s Association President Randy Adams said of the 25-minute ceremony held at the Greater Lafourche Port Commission headquarters in Galliano. “We are here to promote the oil and gas industry while promoting good will.”

The FOA, which was organized in 2010, hosted a benefit fishing rodeo in July from the Moran Marina in Port Fourchon. The event attracted 67 teams, offered prizes to participants and secured funding for the contributions delivered to applicants.

Award recipients for 2011 included:

• Bayou Country Children’s Museum, $10,000 to assist in construction cost for the museum in Lafourche Parish.

• Blake Terry Memorial Foundation, $1,000 to assist funding for a fund raising fishing rodeo and boat race to help finance search, rescue and recovery education and help with research and development of both recreational and commercial diving.

• Children’s Advocacy Center of Lafourche, $10,000 to renovate building space to house and pay a licensed counselor for abused children.

• Fletcher Technical Community College Foundation, $5,000 to establish a scholarship for students enrolled in study programs related to the oil and gas industry.

• Lafourche Education Foundation, $5,000 to establish an endowment fund for the development of brochures, hire a consultant and advance public education.

• Larose Lower Elementary School, $9,028.86 to purchase interactive white boards for classrooms.

• Larose Upper Elementary School, $4,514.43 to purchase interactive white boards for classrooms.

• Restore and Retreat, $5,000 to finance coastal restoration and protection education among youth.

• St. Mary’s Nativity School, $10,000 to repair and refurbish school buildings and provide a safer environment for students, staff and visitors.

• Vandebilt Catholic High School, $2,500 to purchase reference materials and expand curriculum areas in business, literature, science and social studies.

“The [Children’s] Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization that interviews all children of abuse, ages 3-18 in Lafourche Parish,” Children’s Advocacy Center of Lafourche Director Kristine Russell said. “We’ve interviewed over 200 children this year. Without donations from organizations like this we would not be able to operate on a daily basis.”

“We appreciate this opportunity to join the Fourchon Oilman’s Association,” said Marianne McCrory, Fletcher’s director of institutional development. “We submitted a proposal to develop an annual scholarship program for students in career and technical programs related to the oil industry, such as welding, machine tools, diesel engines and our integrated technologies.”

In addition to the presented awards, the FOA will offer two $4,000 scholarships at the completion of the 2011-2012 school year to high school students and two $1,000 scholarships to students that intend to attend community or technical colleges.

The individual student scholarships are open to employees or family members among the 67-member FOA.

“We were really pleased to be able to help this many applicants,” Adams said. “Hopefully, in the future we can give out a lot more.”

Recipients of more than $62,000 in financial gifts from the Fourchon Oilman’s Association wait their turn to receive oversized keepsake checks and large conventional checks they can take to the bank. MIKE NIXON