BATON ROUGE, La – In October, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation hosted The Angel Award Gala, where nine Louisianians were honored for their work improving the lives of the state’s children. On Nov. 21, the Foundation will air a statewide broadcast so all Louisianians can celebrate the 2022 Angel Award honorees and hear their stories.
“In the spirit of Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday, we want to let all Louisianians hear about ways our Angels are making a difference in communities across the state,” said Foundation President Michael Tipton. “We hope their work will inspire others to get involved in volunteer service and to consider nominating an Angel for next year’s award.”
Those chosen to receive the Angel Award in 2022 were:
Alecia B. Bergeron (Baton Rouge), a beloved teacher at Blue Bridge ASL Academy who left retirement to teach ASL to deaf and hard-of-hearing children ages 0-5 and their families, a service that previously did not exist.
Kim Bowman (Baton Rouge), who co-founded the Bella Bowman Foundation with her husband, Trey. After losing Bella, their eight-year-old daughter, to cancer, the Bowmans have provided comfort to children with chronic or terminal illnesses and loving, lasting memories for their families.
Michael Champagne (St. Martinville a priest who has worked with his religious order to provide services to the poor of St. Martinville and the surrounding area, including food, shelter, education and life-skills training to hundreds of children.
Jan B. Daniels (Monroe), a youth development coordinator at the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana where she teaches students and caregivers how to recognize when a student is considering suicide, what to say to express support, and how to access mental health providers.
Robert J. Fritscher (Madisonville), the founder of JoJo’s Hope. Motivated by the loss of a beloved nephew to drowning, Fritscher applied his lifelong love of swimming to provide free aquatic lessons and therapy to thousands of children, focusing on those with physical and developmental disabilities.
Jennifer Johnson Karle (Natchitoches), the CEO of Cane River Children’s Services for nearly 30 years. Karle has grown the agency to provide a group home, transitional living, counseling, child advocacy, foster care, and other life-saving services to thousands of young women who are victims of abuse and neglect.
Leslie Lacy (Baton Rouge), the founder of Fostering Hope Louisiana, which provides braces for children in foster care while offering oral health and life skills training.
Melissa Sawyer (New Orleans), co-founder and CEO of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), the first comprehensive juvenile re-entry program in Louisiana to provide education, skill-building, and whatever children need to achieve their full potential and avoid interactions with the criminal justice system.
The Angel Award will air on LPB and stream via Facebook Live on Nov. 21
A statewide broadcast will air on all LBP stations and the Blue Cross Foundation’s Facebook page Monday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. to share the stories of all nine Angels.
More information about the Angel Award is available online at www.BCBSLAFoundation.org.
Follow the Blue Cross Foundation on social media (@BCBSLAFound) to see posts, videos and original graphic designs featuring this year’s Angel Award honorees. You are welcome to like, share or repost to your personal social media.
About the Blue Cross Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. In 2020 and 2021, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invested more than $22 million in Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits with programs and services, delivering more than 12 million points of service to Louisianians.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.
All of Us is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).