“As a fairly new teacher, I have limited materials in my classroom. Ascension Fund provided me with the opportunity to expand on educational material and create an interactive learning environment. During the 2011-2012 School Year I received a grant funded by Ascension Fund for a listening center and interactive listening activities. The listening center provided students with the opportunity to enhance and reinforce literacy skills, which aided in improving students’ performance. The grant had an impact on the entire class and will continue to stimulate students throughout the following years.”
- Jenna Braud, Spanish Lake Primary


The Ascension Fund, an instrument for private sector leaders to reward and inspire excellence in public education, by investing directly in the work of individual teachers and schools through grants for innovative ideas and programs in Ascension Parish public schools.


The Ascension Fund is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization that provides grant money to public schools and teachers in Ascension Parish.

It was established in 1991 as a project of the Rotary Club of Gonzales. Original pledges of $800,000 for the creation of The Ascension Fund were placed in an endowment, the income from which now funds the grants. The Fund provided its first grant in 1992, and since that time has given over 1,100 grants representing $1.25 million in awards to area public schools and teachers. The Ascension Fund is guided by a board of directors and the invested funds are overseen by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

The Fund operates two programs: Grants for Teachers fund grant proposals of $500 and $1,000 for teacher projects for individual classrooms; while School Impact Grants provide $2,500 for creative programs that have a school–wide academic impact.

In 2011, The Ascension Fund celebrated its 20th year anniversary by pledging to continue to increase the quality of education by providing schools and individual teachers with funds to implement new, creative ways for student learning. As Ascension Parish continues to grow, The Ascension Fund will continue to support local schools provide the best education for our children.

Board of Directors

Michael Buturla, President

Domain Architecture

Sally Diez, Vice President

Diez, Dupuy & Ruiz, LLC

Lisa Philippe Dunigan, Secretary

The Philippe Family

Brad J. Walker, Treasurer

InfiniEdge Software

Jason Bonaventure

Bonaventure Law Firm

Sherrie Despino

Ascension Chamber of Commerce

Malcolm Dugas, Jr.

Attorney – Donaldsonville

Alsie Dunbar


Fritz Englade, Sr.

River Parish Securities

Sonny Graugnard

Graugnard Furniture

Amy Hathorn-Lambert

Ascension Health & Nutrition Alliance

Kevin Hardy

Shell Chemical LP-Geismar

David Herring


Bret Hughes

Hughes Insurance Services

Juanita Pearley

Donaldsonville Chamber of Commerce

Cherron Philippe

The Phillippe Family

Timothy E. Pujol

Pujol, Pryor & Irwin

Paulette Rosamond

BASF Corporation

Beryl S. Smith


Donald Songy

Ascension Parish School Board Superintendent (retired)

Buddy Wells

AllStar Ford/Lincoln

Jennifer deFrances

Executive Director