August 31, 2010

Blue Cross Names 2010 Angel Award Winners

For their outstanding volunteer service on behalf of Louisiana’s children, eight men and women from across the state have been named the 2010 winners of the Angel Award® presented by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. The award includes a $20,000 grant for each honoree’s chosen charity.

A committee of past recipients of the Angel Award, now in its 16th year, considered 61 nominations from throughout the state before selecting Stacey Debevec of Alexandria, Shelton Jones of Baton Rouge, Sal Miletello of Shreveport, Anna Monhartova of New Orleans, Carolyn Myer of Baton Rouge, Christy Papania-Jones of Lake Charles, Dee Scallan of West Monroe and Jane Wholey of New Orleans. The winners will be honored at a presentation ceremony Oct. 18 at the LSU Lod Cook Alumni Center in Baton Rouge.

  • Co-founder of Pediatric Therapy Center, Stacey Debevec of Alexandria established the region’s first center-based facility providing developmental therapy services (speech, occupational and physical therapies) for children ages infant thru 18 years who exhibit developmental special needs, or who are at risk for developmental interference.

  •   Shelton Jones of Baton Rouge co-founded the Cinderella Project, which collects donated dresses and hosts giveaway events for high school students in financial need. Through her work, she strives to convey to the young women she serves the value of giving back and the importance of volunteering in the community.

  • Sal Miletello of Shreveport is the founder and chairman of the board of Fully Devoted Developer of Children (FDDOC) Winners’ Circle, Inc., which provides after-school math and reading tutoring as well as enrichment opportunities to academically at-risk and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth.

  • As a college student, Anna Monhartova of New Orleans founded A’s & Aces, which combines tennis and academics to help address the lack of safe activities outside of school hours and to improve literacy for children.

  • Carolyn Myer of Baton Rouge is the founder and director of Key Foundations. She established a Montessori-oriented child care center for low-income families, provided school supplies and organized the Girls Club, an after-school mentoring and tutoring program for third- through fifth-grade girls. In addition, she has worked to establish and provide healthy relationship classes and a program for mothers (and their children) who have a partner in prison.

  • Christy Papania-Jones of Lake Charles pioneered bringing affordable therapy to the underserved population of autistic and developmentally delayed children in southwest Louisiana through her organization, the St. Nicholas Center for Early Intervention.

  • Through her tales of Moby Pincher, illustrated by one of her students and now a series of children’s books, Dee Scallan of West Monroe teaches children about the geography and science of Louisiana. She encourages children to create and illustrate their own stories. Her vision has resulted in the publication of more than 30 original works, authored and illustrated by Louisiana children, that have been placed in parish and school libraries around the state.

  • Founder of Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Jane Wholey works to ensure youth have a voice in the rebuilding of New Orleans public schools. Through citywide and school-based programs, youth identify areas for improvement within individual schools as well as the school system as a whole, develop innovative solutions and act to make their solutions a reality.

“Making a difference in our communities requires time and money, and that’s why the Blue Cross Foundation is pleased to recognize each of these volunteers with $20,000 grants through the Angel Award,” said Christy Reeves, executive director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. “Through the Angel Award program, we’re partnering with outstanding volunteers to support Louisiana communities and create a healthier state.”

To date more than 100 Angel Award honorees, from age 17 to 93 and from all walks of life, have been selected based on their efforts to enhance a child’s life – physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. What they have in common is an unselfish focus on improving the welfare of children in their communities. With the addition of these 2010 Angels, grants to their charitable organizations will total more than $1 million.

For more information on the Angel Award program, visit the Blue Cross website at and click on Community then Angel Award. There, visitors can research information on hundreds of past Angel Award nominees, finalists and overall winners by name, year of nomination or geographical location.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is building a healthier Louisiana through community outreach and charitable giving. The Angel Award is one of two signature programs. The other, Smart Bodies, is an interactive education program to prevent childhood obesity. In addition, Blue Cross contributes nearly $2 million annually in financial aid to various non-profit organizations throughout the state that contribute to health, education and the overall quality of life in our communities.  When we put dollars into Blue Cross communities, it makes Louisiana a better place for everyone. The Foundation is funded solely through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.