Spark Plug Award presented to Ford Foundation president Darren Walker
(New Orleans, LA – May 12, 2015) The Greater New Orleans Foundation is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2015 Spark Plug Award is the Ford Foundation, which has invested more than $47 million in 76 organizations serving the Greater New Orleans area since 1983. The award will be presented at the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s biennial meeting this Thursday at the Carver Theatre.
“The Ford Foundation has been a huge supporter of the Greater New Orleans area and has sparked immeasurable change over the past 30 years,” said Albert Ruesga, president & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “It is with our sincerest appreciation that the Greater New Orleans Foundation honors the Ford Foundation’s investments in our region with this year’s Spark Plug Award. On behalf of all those who have benefited from Ford’s generosity, we say thank you.”
For more than 25 years, the Ford Foundation and the Greater New Orleans Foundation have worked together on various initiatives to improve the quality of life in the region. The relationship began in 1989 when the Greater New Orleans Foundation was one of ten community foundations selected to receive a challenge grant to expand its grantmaking. In the 1990s, the two worked successfully to create an affordable housing program that became a national model. The relationship further developed following Hurricane Katrina with the Ford Foundation’s investment in the Unified New Orleans Plan, a stronger Central City, and additional support for affordable housing and economic opportunity for all.