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Apr 23, 2013 3:58 PM by MELISSA CANONE (PHOTO COURTESY: MGN ONLINE)

Community Foundation of Acadiana Partners with the I-49 South Coalition

Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) is proud to announce its partnership with the I-49 South Coalition. The Coalition was formed to support the completion of Interstate 49 South from Lafayette to I-310 at Boutte and is partnering with CFA to provide expertise and financial oversight to all members and supporters.

CFA's core purpose is to connect all generous people to the causes they care about. This partnership is just another way that CFA can achieve this core purpose through wise stewardship, effective leadership and expert services. This project, though popular, has been stalled for years due to a lack of dedicated funding and "shovel ready" plans. The Coalition will work to identify funding streams and push for planning and assessment so that the project can move forward as soon as sufficient funding is available.

The Coalition is actively seeking new stakeholders to join in its mission by becoming members of the I-49 South Coalition. Memberships and donations to the Coalition are tax-deductible through the Fund at CFA. There are three levels of membership available for both individuals and businesses:

· Citizen: ($50-$500 investment) Receive updates and announcements on coalition activities throughout the year
· Stakeholder: ($500-$2,000 investment) Receive one vote* toward the election of the board. Receive updates and announcements on coalition activities throughout the year
· Champion: ($2,000 and above) Receive maximum 2 votes* toward the election of the board as well as updates throughout the year

Founded by State Senator Bret Allain, the I-49 South Coalition was created to unify efforts on behalf of the expansion of I-49-a project supporters say will improve safety and encourage business development in the state. Coalition stakeholders are drawn from across the region from Lake Charles to the River Parishes and parts south. Regional industrial, civic and economic development groups are also being encouraged to participate in the effort. Money raisedwill fund the hiring of a coalition director and administrator to support and guide the group's activities.

Senator Allain, who has spent many years on the Governor's I-49 Task Force, feels business and industry support and investment are crucial to move the project forward. "There is simply no project that will enhance and expand our regional economy more than the completion of I-49 South, but we need the community's help," he said. "This is a project that can anchor our economy for generations to come." Allain also explained that the coalition partnered with CFA because of its unique capacity and expertise. "CFA is an extremely credible organization that is providing an important service to our group as they have done for several other large projects in Acadiana such as Lafayette Central Park and the Louisiana Bicentennial," Allain noted.

For more information about the I-49 South Coalition, visit www.drive49south.org or www.cfacadiana.org/I-49SouthCoalition or call 985-518-3908. To learn more about Community Foundation of Acadiana, please visit www.cfacadiana.org.

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