<span>The New Orleans Saints announced today that Cyndi Nguyen of New Orleans is the 2008 winner of the Saints Community Quarterback Award. This annual award given by the Saints is part of a national volunteer recognition program that has donated over $1 million to community organizations served by outstanding volunteers. Individuals exhibiting leadership, dedication and commitment to improving their community are qualified candidates for the award, which goes to the agency the recipient represents.
Cydni Nguyen will receive a grant for $10,000 to Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET).. VIET works to develop educational and economic training programs and acts as a resource center. It aims to eliminate existing barriers between Vietnamese residents in New Orleans and English speaking citizens. It is the first Vietnamese-American non-profit organization in Louisiana.
The Saints will award an additional $10,000 in grant monies to runners-up for the award. Each of the following runners-up will receive a grant in their name for the non-profit organization they represent:
$2,500 Grant Recipients:
Tricia Knauf – Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
Leroy Hollins – Louisiana Youth Football
$1,000 Grant Recipients:
Russ Carll – Odyssey House
Rick Crozier – Lakeview Playground
Gayle Gaubert – Catholic Charities Pro-Life Services
Jack LaFord – St. Bernard Church/Kenilworth Booster Club
Audrey Pierce – The Dream Factory
"The Saints are pleased to identify these outstanding volunteers in our community," said Saints Owner/ Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc. "The non-profit groups they represent provide the support and goodwill for courageous causes in our region. These are the people that sometimes go unnoticed, but what they do has an enormous positive impact on this community."
Individuals age 13 and over who provide volunteer services for nonprofit organizations were eligible for participation. Participants must have served in a volunteer capacity at an official 501(c)3 organization and should not receive compensation for their services.
All grant award winners will be recognized during a ceremony held at the Superdome prior to the Saints' Dec. 28th contest vs. the Carolina Panthers. Grant checks will be distributed to the non-profit Organizations represented by these volunteers.