Benny Cenac Supports The Bayou Community Foundation and the Completion of the First Two Homes in Dulac for Hurricane Ida Victims

The Bayou Community Foundation (BCF) and community volunteers recently celebrated the completion of the first two homes built in Dulac, Louisiana through the Foundation’s Hurricane Ida recovery programs, according to The Houma Times.

The dedication ceremony allowed for residents, state and parish leaders, and nonprofit partners to come together and celebrate the building of the first two homes to come out of the BCF’s many partnerships and recovery programs centered around Hurricane Ida. Many sponsors, donors, volunteers, and community partners collaborated to bring these two homes from being nonexistent to ribbon-cutting quality

The team at Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) built both homes in Dulac thanks to a $850,000 grant from BCF’s Bayou Recovery Fund for Hurricane Ida Relief, a $100,000 from long time BCF supporter, Benny Cenac, and other community donations.  Also contributing, was support from the Governor’s Hurricane Ida Relief and Recovery Fund.

What’s remarkable about this project is that the grant funds merely were used to purchase building materials, while the actual construction labor was provided at no cost by MDS volunteers. Outside of MDS, homeowners contributed both insurance costs and FEMA proceeds they received toward construction costs, and appliances were donated by the nonprofit, Rebuilding Together Bayou. All of this community collaboration resulted in the construction and unveiling of two homes for families, such as Abraham and Robin Parfait and their two sons, who lost their home along with all of their belongings after Hurricane Ida’s winds ripped off the roof of their family home.

Money raised for the Bayou Recovery Fund will allow MDS to ultimately construct 10 new houses and complete 40 or more major home repairs in Dulac. This will allow for 50 families to be able to return home after retreating from Hurricane Ida’s ravaging of the area.  “After Hurricane Ida made landfall here on August 29, Bayou Community Foundation recognized that our community’s recovery depended on providing homes for the neediest who lost so much. We are grateful to MDS for sending volunteers to Dulac and working with us to fill this critical housing need,” a statement from Bayou Community Foundation President, Henry Lafont, read.

Looking forward, MDS built the homes to withstand future storms that will hit the area. Ranging from two to three-bedroom homes, these houses are built for storm resilience as part of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes “Strong Homes Initiative.” This initiative provides donated services along with products to upgrade homes to be of the IBHS Fortified hurricane wind standard, meaning that these houses can withstand up to 160 MPH winds and are elevated to well above the FEMA requirements.

At the Dedication Ceremony, it was announced that multiple donations were received. According to a press release from BCF, one major donor to the BCF Bayou Recovery Fund announced a challenge grant designed to continue the funding of home rebuilding and repair work in Dulac this fall. According to The Houma Times, “the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust Fund has committed $500,000 to support the project with the challenge that BCF raise an additional $500,000, providing at least $1 million to fund another building season with MDS beginning in October 2022.”

Benny Cenac’s support of Bayou Community Foundation

 Arlen “Benny” Cenac has been a longtime supporter of the Bayou Community Foundation and the work they do to sustain the communities of Lafourche, Terrebonne, and Grand Isle. In addition to his most recent donation of $100,000 for recovery efforts made post Hurricane Ida, he also made a sizeable donation during the height of the pandemic to assist businesses dealing with the complications of shut downs and quarantines. In addition to countless other donations and acts of support, Benny Cenac is proud to be a founding member of the Bayou Community Foundation. BCF was founded in 2012 by a group of business leaders and philanthropists who recognized a need for a community foundation to strengthen human services, education/workforce development, and coastal preservation efforts in the local area, and to assist in natural disasters and other emergencies.

If you are interested in supporting Bayou Community Foundation and the Bayou Recovery fund, please visit to make your donation or get involved.

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BCF Awards Second Round of Grants through Bayou Recovery Fund

Residents in the Houma-Thibodaux area recently received another round of donations through the Bayou Recovery Fund thanks to the Bayou Community Foundation, according to Houma Today.

One week following Hurricane Ida making landfall at Port Fourchon and leaving a detrimental amount of damage in its wake, the Thibodaux-based foundation known as the Bayou Community Foundation for Hurricane Ida Relief has received thousands of donations from all over, resulting in the funding of nearly $1.8 million in grants since September 5, 2021.

Now, it was recently announced that the Bayou Community Foundation has approved a second round of grants and additional funding to be distributed to nonprofits in the affected areas. Officially, nearly $1.3 million in donations will be distributed to Houma and Thibodaux area residents recovering from the Category 4 storm and an additional $1.29 million will be distributed to 17 nonprofits in Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Grand Isle.

The Bayou Community Foundation’s president, Henry Lafont, said the following in a news release regarding the second round of donations and grants being approved for distribution: “Thanks to the compassion and generosity of individual and corporate donors around the country, Bayou Community Foundation has been able to act swiftly and effectively over the past five weeks to fund programs that are filling the most urgent needs of our residents like food, water, and essential supplies. Our local nonprofits are doing amazing work to help the suffering among us.”

Since September 5th, the funds that have been disbursed to nonprofits have helped the workers and volunteers distribute hot meals, nonperishable food items, water, gasoline, clothing, hygiene supplies, cleaning instruments and agents, and much more to residents affected by the storm. In addition to the supplies stemming from the funds, the donations have also helped to secure and provide temporary housing, classroom supplies, educational equipment, and medical programs to the Southeastern Louisiana residents.

When addressing the longevity of such donations, Lafont went on to say, “we know this is just the beginning, though,” Lafont said. “As we turn the corner from relief to recovery, the Bayou Recovery Fund is positioned to help address longer-term needs in Lafourche, Terrebonne and Grand Isle like the housing crisis we now face and the mental health needs that we expect to come.”

In the future, the Bayou Community Fund is looking to raise an additional $10 million for storm recovery efforts. All donations gifted to the Fund are tax-deductible and are used to fund emergency grants to local nonprofits providing direct, critical relief, recovery, and rebuilding services in the aftermath of the hurricane to those most affected in the Bayou Region. Previously, on September 15, 2021- just a week after the fund was initiated, $449,000 in Bayou Recovery Fund Grants were awarded.

As of this second round of grants being announced to several agencies and nonprofits across southeastern Louisiana, several have commented on the announced grants such as the Executive Director of the Lafourche Education Foundation, Paula Rome, who said the following in response to the planned $100,000 grant along with the Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence: “with this grant, LEF will be able to help our Lafourche schools that were hardest hit by Hurricane Ida replenish much-needed classroom supplies and equipment for our teachers and students across the parish.”

Similarly, Bob Stewart, Ph.D, Vice President of Friends of Grand Isle said of his organization’s grant, “this grant from the Bayou Community Foundation provides critical relief to our first responders who have so selflessly served Grand Isle in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The Friends of Grand Isle are committed to providing financial relief to our residents and businesses to build a stronger Grand Isle.”

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