National Auto Dealers Foundation Makes Donation to Restore Athletic Fields in New Orleans
New Orleans (May 15, 2008) - After sustaining substantial damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the athletic fields at Lusher Charter High School were unusable and in need of funds for restoration.
Thinking of ways the National Automobile Dealers Association could show its commitment to helping rebuild New Orleans - the site of the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition January 24-27 - the convention theme “Committed to Community” was born.
Putting the theme into action, the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation has contributed $400,000 to the Brees Dream Foundation - founded by New Orleans' Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany - to complete the renovation of the athletic fields at Lusher High School, the largest public high school in New Orleans.
“This contribution demonstrates NADA's commitment to the recovery of New Orleans. Our commitment is long term,” said Annette Sykora, NADA chairman. “New Orleans has been one of NADA's convention cities for more than 30 years. And we are pleased we will be returning here next January for our 92nd annual convention.”
“Quite appropriately, the theme will be “Committed to Community” - something new car and truck dealers across America live every day,” Sykora added. “The future of any city starts with its children. And the Lusher school plays a key role in building tomorrow's leaders.”
Lusher high school, one of the city's largest and diverse public institutions, is located in the heart of Uptown New Orleans. The new fields will also be used by nearby Charter Science and Math High School, as well as other surrounding schools. They also will be used after-hours by hundreds of area recreational leagues.
Acres of grass fields will be re-sodded, and bleachers, a scoreboard and lighting for nighttime use will be added. The fields will be able to support football, soccer and softball.
“Lusher school is the heart of that community. By turning the lights back on at the athletic fields, area children will have a place to go at night for healthy competition and fun,” said Robert Mallon, chairman of the NADA Foundation. “Area residents will regain an important gathering place, and we're hopeful that this project will be a catalyst for more community improvements in the future.”
The school also offers an award-winning performing arts program in creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. Lusher offers a strong athletic program with 22 teams and numerous other extracurricular opportunities. It will serve 1,550 students during the 2008-2009 school year.
To generate additional funds beyond the $400,000 earmarked for the project, the NADA Foundation will conduct a national fundraising campaign with member dealers, convention exhibitors and automakers, leading up to the NADA convention in January.
Drew and Brittany Brees have been active in efforts to rebuild New Orleans following Katrina. They established the Brees Dream foundation in 2003, which in part supports programs that provide growth opportunities for future leaders.
In 2007, the Brees foundation partnered with Operation Kids, an organization founded in 1999 that identified projects to address the most pressing needs facing children in post-Katrina New Orleans. Because the Lusher school serves the needs of thousands of children in the surrounding community, restoration of its athletic fields was designated as a priority project.
The NADA Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of NADA. Funds contributed by new-car and -truck dealers and friends provide financial support to educational institutions, emergency relief, a CPR-unit donation program and scholarships and grants to colleges and universities, to name just a few causes.
In 1992, the NADA Foundation established an Emergency Relief Fund. Since its inception, more than 6,500 dealership employees in 25 states have received financial assistance of more than $4.1 million. About $3.5 million has been distributed to assist dealership employees affected by hurricanes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
About Lusher Charter High School: Lusher Charter High School, located at 5624 Freret St. in New Orleans, serves students K-12. It focuses on a high-academic college-preparatory curriculum, with robust programs for the gifted and talented.
About NADCF: The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of NADA. Funds contributed by new-car and -truck dealers and friends provide financial support to educational institutions, emergency relief, a CPR-unit donation program and scholarships and grants to colleges and universities. In 1992, the NADA Foundation created the Emergency Relief Fund. Since its inception, more than 6,500 dealership employees in 25 states have received financial assistance of more than $4.1 million. More than $3.5 million has been distributed to assist dealership employees affected by hurricanes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.