When the time comes each year to choose St. Charles Avenue’s Activists of the Year, we end up with a list much longer at the end of the meeting than it was when we started, and if you were listening, you would often hear “We haven’t profiled her before?” “How could we have overlooked his efforts?” and “Ooohhh! She would be perfect!”

This year, however, while we enjoyed adding truly illustrious names to our running list, there were six local philanthropists who stood out.

St. Charles Avenue magazine is proud to honor Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin, Boysie Bollinger, Julie Livaudais George, Susan Read Johnson, Allen Toussaint and Rod West for the time, energy and gifts that they have given to our city. The nonprofits, boards, foundations, committees, city groups and associations with which they’re associated stretch across the entirety of New Orleans. Without them and their efforts, our city wouldn’t be the same.

We hope that you will read and enjoy their profiles – we’re certain that their efforts will inspire you, as they have us, to strive to achieve and give back to the city that has given so much to us all.

Special thanks to Director of Marketing and Transportation Patrice Bell Mercadel and Marketing Coordinator Shulond Myer for Veolia Transportation in service to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority for coordinating the streetcar for our shoot; and to operator #770 Gail Kelson for going above and beyond the call of duty for this shoot.