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Each year, Louisiana Appleseed hosts a Good Apple Gala to celebrate the previous year's work performed. During the Good Apple Gala, Appleseed awards select volunteers who have risen above the typical pro bono commitment with a Pro Bono Good Apple Award. We also take a moment to celebrate pillars within our communities whose daily lives align with Louisiana Appleseed's mission to increase Access to Justice, Opportunity, and Education, with a Social Justice Good Apple Award.

Support for this annual event comes from general donations, event sponsorships, and through our Good Apple Donor-Members



Louisiana Appleseed will celebrate the 11th Annual Good Apple Gala at the NOPSI Hotel on Thursday, January 23, 2020. The cocktail reception event will toast the good works of five incredible individuals. Hover or click on the images below to learn more about the 2020 Good Apple Honorees. You can also download a pdf.

Community Honorees


As the President & Chief Executive Officer, John Hairston puts into practice what he preaches. Hancock-Whitney has a mission to help people and businesses realize their financial goals and dreams. For many families in Louisiana and across the region, financial stability is rooted in establishing, sustaining, and transferring homeownership across generations. This goal is particularly difficult in the face of hurricanes on our shores each year. His support of programs that enable generational wealth through homeownership to continue even in the wake of disasters is the cornerstone for many in realizing financial goals and dreams. For these reasons, and so many more, we are humbled to have the opportunity to honor Mr. Hairston as a Louisiana Appleseed Good Apple.

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As the President of The Helis Foundation, David Kerstein has provided incredible support to art communities. This support is a cornerstone of economic opportunity in our city’s cultural economy and advances the public’s access to and understanding of the arts in New Orleans. In particular, we commend the creation of a new program at Xavier University that will facilitate students toward a Master’s degree in Curatorial Practice and Exhibition Management at a Historically Black University. Providing pathways to economic growth and stability in the arts in New Orleans is a wealth building strategy that exemplifies what we support through our Access to Opportunity program.

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Pro Bono Honorees


Jeannine A. Sullivan, a private attorney, has supported Louisiana Appleseed in immeasurable ways since our inception in 2007, and her incredible dedication as a volunteer spans multiple projects. Mrs. Sullivan served as the project leader for the Latino Access to Financial Institutions Project, highlighting best practices for financial institutions to reach the Latino immigrant population following Hurricane Katrina. Most notably, she created the Abuse Prevention through Education Project, advocating for and implementing a law requiring the dynamics of abusive relationships be taught in Louisiana public schools. Recently, Mrs. Sullivan created the Domestic Abuse Bench Card that was distributed across the state, ensuring that the most vital information was conveniently available for members of the judiciary providing justice to domestic violence survivors.


Salyria Gumms is the Managing Attorney for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services in their Houma office. For over 30 years, Ms. Gumms has represented the poor and disenfranchised demonstrating a faithful dedication to the public interest and legal profession. Ms. Gumms and the SLLS Houma office worked tirelessly with Louisiana Appleseed on the “Protect Your Property Project” in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. She reached multiple residents in those parishes suffering from succession issues with vital information and resources from Louisiana Appleseed that would enable residents to keep their homes.


Representative Patricia Smith served 3 terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives.  She is a constant advocate for judicial and educational reform in Louisiana. In the last two sessions, she has been a strong advocate for anti-lunch shaming issues and ensuring school children are fed, regardless of the ability to pay. Her dedication on these issues went above and beyond any possible expectations.  Louisiana Appleseed will be proud to carry the torch in this issue for years to come.


Thank You to Our 2020 Gala Sponsors

Louisiana Appleseed Champions


Gold Sponsors

Adams & Reese, LLP

Berger Companies, LLC

Fayard Law Firm

Herman Herman & Katz, LLC

Jones Walker, LLP

Pan-American Life Insurance Group

Smith Advocates, LLC

Silver Sponsors

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, and Berkowitz

Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, LLC

Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, LLC

Liskow & Lewis

Phelps Dunbar

Rebecca Maisel & the Republic National Distributing Company

Woodward Design+ Build

Bronze Sponsors

Association of Corporate Counsel

Baptist Community Ministries

Bourgeois Bennett, LLC

Mr. Harry Hardin


Juneau David, APLC

Kean Miller, LLP

Kinchen, Walker, Bienvenu, Bargas, Reed & Helm, LLC

Laitram, LLC

Louisiana Association for Justice through its sister nonprofit entity
Research Institute

The Martzolf Group

Stone Pigman Walther Wittman, LLC

UBS Financial Group on behalf of Mr. Jack M. Weiss, III


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