Lake Charles resident wins Angel Award, grant for charity

The following is a news release from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana:

Lake Charles resident Christy Papania-Jones has been named a winner of the 2010 Angel Award® presented by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.

The annual Angel Award recognizes eight individuals from around the state who do extraordinary volunteer work for Louisiana's at-risk children. The award includes a $20,000 grant for each honoree's chosen charity.

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.

"Making a difference in our communities requires time and money, and that's why the Blue Cross Foundation is pleased to recognize Christy with a $20,000 grant 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.

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

For more information on the Angel Award program, visit the Blue Cross website at www.bcbsla.com 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.