Sowela Foundations recognizes outstanding donors, community partners

Published 10:57 am Thursday, February 29, 2024

Special to the American Press

The Sowela Foundation spotlighted exceptional individuals and organizations at its first annual Donor Appreciation Reception. Honorees were recognized for their invaluable contributions and who played a pivotal role in advancing the Foundation’s mission and Sowela Technical Community College.

The following companies and organizations were honored:

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Westlake Petrochemicals received the Outstanding Community Partner Award for their commitment and philanthropic support to Sowela Technical Community College. In addition to Westlake’s philanthropic support, they provide internships for Sowela students, prioritize hiring its graduates, host industry tours for students, and several employees participate on industrial technology advisory committees.

Lake Charles Toyota also received the Outstanding Community Partner Award and has supported the college for over 11 years, donating equipment and technology for the vehicle maintenance program, hiring Sowela graduates, serving on the automotive advisory committee, hosting an annual tour and lunch for automotive students and has cooked several meals for school events. They also participate in Sowela’s Clothes for a Cause event and recently provided support for student scholarships.

Outstanding Philanthropic Organization went to the Rotary Club of Lake Charles for their philanthropic commitment to the college and its students. Lake Charles Rotary Club has donated over $220,000 to Sowela since 1999.

Outstanding Philanthropist for 2023 is the H.C. Drew Estate in recognition of its generosity, commitment, leadership and philanthropic support of the college. Accepting the award were Trustees Beau Barbe and Louie D. Barbe IV.

In 2023, the Sowela Foundation raised $2.5 million to support student scholarships and enhancements.