The Community Foundation of North Louisiana Lincoln Parish Fund has raised more than $110,000 for tornado relief efforts in the Ruston area. Fund administrators will start distributing money to impacted public entities and area relief agencies this week.
“The city of Ruston and the entire community have really come together in a major way as a result of this natural disaster,” said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker. “I really appreciate all of the folks who have stepped up to coordinate efforts, including delivering supplies and making generous monetary donations. The Lincoln Parish Fund will help by providing funding to nonprofits throughout our city who are helping us recover from this disaster.”
Community Foundation of North Louisiana established the Lincoln Parish Fund a year ago for the benefit of the Ruston area and its community members. All donations made to the fund will be used to support relief efforts related to the April 25 tornado.
Grants will be made from the fund to eligible public and nonprofit organizations, as recommended by the Lincoln Parish Advisory Council, which is made up of Ruston community leaders.
“A year ago, we had the desire in our community to create a foundation that would benefit a wide range of needs in the Ruston and Lincoln Parish areas,” said Lucius McGehee, Lincoln Parish Fund co-founder and vice president, Governmental Services for Argent Advisors. “After much deliberation, we partnered with the Community Foundation of North Louisiana to help combat poverty and prepare for natural disasters. We’re so grateful to have the Fund already established and are eager to put the contributed money to good use. We also want to recognize the leadership that Mayor Walker has given to our city during this time. It is nothing less than miraculous. His team has done such a good job of communicating with the citizens and letting them know, sometimes on an hourly basis, where the electricity is being restored, when debris are picked up, where roads are being cleared and more. Louisiana Tech President Les Guice has also been an incredible leader who has done a tremendous job partnering with faculty, students and the community and keeping us informed every step of the way.”
“The outpouring of generosity from the community is remarkable. This is what the Lincoln Parish Fund was created for, to help the community,” said Kristi Gustavson, CEO of Community Foundation of North Louisiana. “Unfortunately, the worst happened. But we are so happy to have prepared for this, and to be making our very first distributions this week. We are also looking forward to doing more with the Fund to help the community in the future.”
The first distributions will be made this week to:
- City of Ruston: $15,000 toward replacing utility poles damaged in the tornado
- Louisiana Tech Foundation, Inc.: $10,000 for tornado recovery efforts
- Lincoln Parish School Board: $5,000 athletic and spirit facilities damage
- Grambling State University Foundation: $5,000 faculty and student tornado recovery relief
- Rolling Hills Ministry: $20,000 community tornado relief
- Grace Methodist Church Disaster Relief Fund: $10,000 United Methodist Church Ruston tornado recovery efforts
- The Springs: $5,000 Ruston tornado recovery and relief
- United Way: $20,000 Ruston tornado recovery and relief
The Lincoln Parish Fund will only be making distributions to the city and those nonprofit organizations that have worked on tornado relief efforts. Area individuals still in need of disaster recovery assistance should call 318-255-3300.
For more information or to donate to the Community Foundation of North Louisiana Lincoln Parish Fund, visit cfnla.org/ruston.