PHILANTHROPY....A Big Word For Big Hearted People!

United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society exemplifies big hearted people. The international philanthropic society was named for the Frenchman Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clerel de Tocqueville, who critiqued our country’s evolving political and social structure in ‘Democracy in America’ (1835 and 1840) and declared himself most impressed with Americans’ generosity.

This distinguished group of civic and philanthropic leaders each donate at least $10,000 annually to advance the common good in Southeast Louisiana and our region. They live here, work here, and raise their families here. They understand our community challenges and want to be a part of the solution.

Each year, the Tocqueville Society presents its most prestigious honor, the Alexis de Tocqueville Award, to an exceptional entrepreneur and philanthropist. David Fennelly, Chairman of Associated Terminals and Turn Services, has been selected as the 2015 recipient.

David is a tireless champion of both the business world of our community, as well as our children and families. Coming from a family that embraced education, he is passionate about early childhood learning and literacy. Through United Way’s Club Connect & Early Grade Reading Initiative, David and many other local champions are providing resources to elementary schools most in need of improving early grade reading.

Research shows reading proficiency by the third grade is essential for children to succeed academically and to reduce high school dropout rates. Club Connect provides elementary schools with books and online opportunities to promote reading and parent engagement throughout the entire year. Children receive membership to the Club Connect website, which encourages a love for reading and offers incentives to read after school and through the summer. Club Connect also includes a state-of-the-art “Reading Oasis” from Scholastic with hundreds of books for grades Pre-K through 3, a stereo listening center and colorful furniture, providing a safe and inviting location where families and community partners can meet and enjoy reading together while gaining access to books year-round.

Club Connect, a partnership of United Way Worldwide, the National Association of Elementary School Principals and Scholastic, aspires to ‘adopt’ every Title I school in America. The groundbreaking program was launched in Southeast Louisiana early this year, and already, more than 12 local schools have been sponsored.

Thanks to BIG hearted people like David Fennelly and the members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, we can truly make a BIG difference in our community.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Award Celebration will be held Thursday, November 19, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Cost: $250 person/$2500 for table of 10. Sponsorship opportunities available.