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Updated: Sep 30, 2021


CONTACT: Adrienne Wheeler 504-561-7312;

December 6, 2019, New Orleans, LA – Louisiana Appleseed's 11th Annual Good Apple Gala at the NOPSI Hotel on January 23, 2020 will be gilded by five incredible honorees. The event will celebrate the work of community members and pro bono volunteers with whom Louisiana Appleseed has worked within the past year.

Louisiana Appleseed's work leverages the power of a pro bono network of attorneys, but also celebrates the good work community members do during their regular work in Louisiana. The event will celebrate the good works of John Hairston, CEO/President of Hancock-Whitney Bank; and David Kerstein, President of The Helis Foundation. Mr. Hairston's ability to mobilize a corporate bank to support of programs that enable generational wealth through homeownership even in the wake of disasters is the cornerstone for many in realizing financial goals and dreams. Mr. Kerstein's work through The Helis Foundation has provided pathways to economic growth and stability in New Orleans' cultural economy is a wealth building strategy that animates Appleseed's mission to create Access to Opportunity. Both are community members who have personified Louisiana Appleseed's mission to solve problems at their root cause by creating Access to Justice, Opportunity, and Education.

The heart of Louisiana Appleseed is rooted by a powerful network of pro bono attorneys who give their time toward solving systemic issues. Several volunteers have give above and beyond toward achieving justice in Louisiana. Salyria Gumms from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services spent countless hours reaching coastal homeowners with educational material on heir property created by Appleseed volunteers. Representative Patricia Smith has been a champion leading the charge to ensure all children in public schools are provided a nutritious lunch with support from Appleseed programs. Jeannine Sullivan has been pillar for domestic violence survivors in creating multiple legal resources with Appleseed for the judiciary and the general public. All of Appleseed's volunteers are invaluable, and this year's honorees have given endlessly to achieving justice for vulnerable populations in Louisiana.

"Louisiana Appleseed is humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside community members and volunteers whose dedication to justice is unparalleled," said Executive Director Adrienne Wheeler. "Each of our five honorees are examples for us all in how to leverage our privilege toward justice."

The 2020 Good Apple Gala Champion sponsors include Hancock-Whitney Bank and The Helis Foundation. Tickets and sponsorship can be purchased online at The Good Apple Gala will be held at the NOPSI Hotel, 317 Baronne Street, New Orleans from 6-8pm. The event is a cocktail reception with an afterparty to follow at Victory Bar, 339 Baronne Street, New Orleans.

Louisiana Appleseed is a statewide nonprofit based in New Orleans, Louisiana that focuses on policy-level solutions by recruiting attorneys to provide free services through a research-oriented approach to policy change. Louisiana Appleseed’s mission is rooted in three pillars dedicated to increasing Access to: Justice, Opportunity, and Education.


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