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Philanthropic Fun: Astounding Activism

St. Charles Avenue magazine is committed to honoring the exemplary philanthropic efforts of New Orleans citizens and nonprofits whose community activism strengthens the core of our community. For the 23rd year, our “Activists of the Year” awards event invited patrons to honor the generous contributions of time, passion and resources by six Activists in 2019: Susan Brennan, Daryl G. Byrd, Edgar L. “Dooky” Chase III, Susan O. Hess, Robert “Bob” Merrick and Kim S. Sport.

Susan Brennan is proud to support the success of some of New Orleans’ smaller arts organizations, along with government organizations and Christian and youth-related programs. Daryl G. Byrd serves as President and CEO for IBERIABANK; throughout his career he has been involved with health and human services, homeownership, education and arts and culture organizations. Edgar L. “Dooky” Chase III exemplifies his family’s commitment to lifelong activism, and dozens of local organizations have benefited from his expertise. Susan O. Hess considers herself a “career volunteer” and her efforts were instrumental in the recovery of the LA/SPCA and City Park after Katrina. Robert “Bob” Merrick of Latter & Blum is driven to ensure people can live and raise families in safe, healthy communities, and tirelessly supports education and alleviating poverty. And, Kim S. Sport has shown tremendous dedication to public service through volunteering her legal services and time; she’s the founder of several nonprofits and has drafted legislation to assure health insurance providers cover every stage of breast reconstruction following mastectomies. 

The gala took place at IBERIABANK, which offered beverages, catering by Patti Constanin and beautiful florals by Dunn & Sonnier Antiques, Flowers & Gifts.

Event at a Glance

What: St. Charles Avenue magazine’s “Activists of the Year,” benefiting the Renaissance Foundation

When: Wednesday, December 3, 2019


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Tommy Westervelt, Elise Kiser and Renaissance Publishing CEO Todd Matherne  

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Activist Edgar L. “Dooky” Chase III with Paulette and Frank Stewart and Barbara Kaplinsky 

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Kara Van de Carr and Activist Daryl G. Byrd 

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 Mike and Activist Kim S. Sport 

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 Megan Eustis, Tom Mabon and Chris LeBato


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