The Fry Family Foundation continues to make a difference to a number of people – not only to students in Newfoundland and Labrador who are attending College of the North Atlantic (CNA) but those in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In April, through the support of the Fry Family Foundation, 13 students from CNA once again traveled to the New Orleans to once again participate in the rebuilding efforts in the city’s Broadmoor district.
On Friday, Sept. 28, the students delivered a presentation to representatives of the Fry Family Foundation, complete with a detailed description of what they accomplished, what they took away from the experience, as well as a viewing of a portion of the documentary film being prepared by Film and Video Production student Tyler Herridge.
“When you look at what students have been able to accomplish since we began our partnership with the Fry Family Foundation, it is remarkable,” says Corinne Dunne, vice-president of Development and College Advancement with CNA.
“The Broadmoor district has come so far from the total devastation they experienced from Hurricane Katrina. We are delighted the Fry Family Foundation has agreed to continue to partner with us again in 2013 for this very worthy cause. It truly is a testament to a generosity that never ceases to amaze us and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”
The Fry Family Foundation provides the funding necessary to purchase airfare and accommodations through a partnership with the Broadmoor Development Corporation and the Annunciation Mission.
“We have worked with these groups since 2007 because their approach to redevelopment and the goals of the community are closely aligned with the values of CNA and the Fry Family Foundation,” says Prince Philip Drive Lead Campus Administrator John Oates, who has been a supervisor of the project since its inception.
“They are concentrating on rebuilding around an ‘Educational Corridor’. Their philosophy is that if you rebuild schools, libraries, community centres, etc., the things that families and communities need to thrive, residents will return. We’ve been proud to help them in their efforts, and the community has been a model of redevelopment.”
The organizations estimate they have achieved an approximate 80 per cent recovery rate and are acting as mentors and advisors to other neighborhoods.
“As they reach out, we will as well, with their guidance. Broadmoor and the Annunciation Mission will remain our main partner, but our future work may involve other neighborhoods, with them.”
This year’s trip, Rebuilding New Orleans 2012,
had students continue work from 2011, however there is still much left to do.
“The carpentry students secured and completed minor repairs on a number of vacant houses in the area. This work is necessary to keep the houses from being torn down by the city and allows the neighbourhood to now redevelop the properties as low-income, affordable housing for the residents,” says Oates.
Geomatics students surveyed a number of areas that have been identified as green space and beautification areas in the neighbourhood. An abandoned convent that the neighborhood intends to renovate and use as residence for volunteers was also studied for further development.
One of this year’s new projects was rewiring a house belonging to a teacher who works at the Children’s Centre.
“Her house was extensively damaged during Hurricane Katrina and she had only limited insurance. Over the next six years she did manage to renovate her house and have it rewired,” explains Oates. “She was within days of moving back in when thieves struck. They broke into her house and stole every bit of wire they could see, including the new electrical panel. Not only was she devastated, but she had also run out of money. As a single parent, she had nowhere to turn.”
The Annunciation Mission became aware of her situation and matched her up with CNA.
“Our students and their instructor, Felix Slaney, spent every day working on her house. They spent many, many hours working in the attic, dressed in Tyvec suits, with the temperatures hovering around 125 degrees Fahrenheit; but they did it willingly and without a single word of complaint. They finished the job before we had to leave and Ms. Faith is now living in her home. Needless to say, the day she met the students at the Mission there wasn’t a dry eye to be found anywhere!”
Public Relations Assistant
College of the North Atlantic