On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, the Greater New Orleans Foundation held its Biennial meeting and presented the Spark of Philanthropy award to a family that has passed on the value of giving and investing in the community for over 80 years. The Foundation recognized the Freeman, Keller, and Wisdom families.
“We are celebrating a family—which has grown into three families—who, across multiple generations, have come together around their own shared vision for a better region. It’s a vision we all benefit from,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
“Now, none of us give for the accolades. We do not give for the recognition. We give because we see needs that need to be met. We give because giving brings us joy,” said Bobby Bories, Board Chair of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “But recognition is important. It is a way we can inspire one another and learn from one another. So I am grateful that we have been able to honor some these generous families tonight and know that their stories inspire us all.”
Leann Moses, Past Board Chair, Greater New Orleans Foundation, spoke about the generational impact these three families have had. “For generations now, these individuals have made generosity a part of their legacy. They have consciously and powerfully passed down their commitment to this region. They honor those who have come before them by giving. They celebrate generations to come by giving. That’s what they do—they give. They give thoughtfully. They give strategically. They hold a vision for our region, and they work, year after year, at making that vision a reality. This is not a family that gives to have their name in lights.”
Close to 200 fundholders, elected officials, business and civic leaders were on hand at the World War II Museum to celebrate philanthropy, the achievements of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and to honor the Freeman, Wisdom, and Keller families.
Past recipients of the Greater New Orleans Foundation Spark of Philanthropy Award (previously known as the Spark Plug Award) include Phyllis Taylor, Fred Starr, Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and most recently Saints and Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson.