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Julie Stokes, a 1992 magna cum laude graduate of the University of New Orleans (UNO), is the 2017 recipient of UNO's Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni Award, the university's highest honor. Stokes, a CPA, represents Louisiana's House District 79.

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Amy Kirk-Duvoisin, founder of the Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc, was recognized as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government July 21. Kirk-Duvoisin received the award during a ceremony at the residence of Gregor Trumel, Consul General of France in Louisiana

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J. Wayne Leonardwas named a recipient of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana's Alexis de Tocqueville Award, the organization's highest honor. The former Entergy Corporation chairman and CEO, who is a former chairman of the New Orleans United Way Board of Trustees, will receive the award at a New Orleans event Oct. 12.

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The Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust donated $40,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana, which provides housing at the Ronald McDonald House on Canal Street to families of pediatric patients receiving care in New Orleans. The donation allows the organization to buy a 12-passenger van to transport families and patients to their doctors.

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Fifth District Savings Bank awarded two $500,000 grants to the New Orleans Mission's renovation on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The $5 million renovation project will include job training classrooms, an updated kitchen, a new chapel, re-modeled rooms and other services.

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Team HOPE NOLA, founded in 2016 by rapper Master P and New Orleans Pelicans coach Robert Pack, repainted the Guste senior housing development and donated computers, a TV and new furniture for the community room as part of Essence Festival's Day of Service June 29. Essence also hosted its inaugural Celebrity Basketball Game to benefit Team HOPE.

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Patrick Murphree, a 2016-2017 student practitioner in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, was honored by the Clinical Legal Education Association for his work with vulnerable and abused immigrant youth. Murphree, a recent graduate of Loyola's law school, also was awarded a Spirit of Ignatius Award by the university.

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New Orleans Lympho-Maniac Cancer Funddistributed $90,000 to East Jefferson General Hospital's H. Ryan Aucoin Financial Assistance Program, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans' Genetic Testing Cancer Program and Ochsner Health System's Adolescents & Young Adult Cancer program. The fund has raised more than $1 million since its inception.

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New Orleans Pelicans, Saints and Chevron donated $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs Summer Enrichment Program June 12. The program runs through June and July and serves more than 500 young people in southeast Louisiana.

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Qiana Lewis provided 70 "gently used" prom dresses for 25 girls at Algiers Technology Academy to wear to their senior prom. Lewis, an official in the New Orleans Police Department's Fourth District, also recruited volunteers to help the girls with hair, makeup and other details to make their prom night memorable.

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The Emeril Lagasse Foundation distributed more than $725,000 to several nonprofit organizations last month, including five in New Orleans. The foundation awarded grants to Broad Community Connections, Einstein Charter School, the Louisiana Restaurant Association's Education Fund, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.

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The Brees Dream Foundation and the Dunkin' Donuts Joy in Childhood Foundationdonated $20,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana May 22. Second Harvest is one of nearly 20 Feeding America member food banks to receive funding from the Joy in Childhood Foundation as part of a three-year, $1.5 million commitment.

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