Aug. 22, 2017 02:38 PM

IND Media's Cherry Fisher May, center, with Lafayette Central Park Chairman Lenny Lemoine and LCP Executive Director EB Brooks
Photo by Robin May

The 2017 ABiz Top 50 Luncheon, held Aug. 16 at the Cajundome Convention Center, not only honored Acadiana’s largest privately held companies but also served as a benefit for Moncus Park, the Johnston Street passive park set to get underway later this year.

The luncheon annually honors the region’s top companies, ranking them by annual revenues based on the magazine’s research. This year half the ticket proceeds for the magazine’s largest branded event were donated to Lafayette Central Park, the nonprofit organization responsible for developing the public space. The donation, approximately $12,000, was matched dollar for dollar by the Schumacher Family Foundation, doubling the impact of the event. Via their foundation, business execs Kip Schumacher and Carolyn Doerle Schumacher have pledged to match donations of up to half a million dollars through the end of the year. Donate online at lafayettecentralpark.org/donate or by emailing donate@lafayettecentralpark.org.

Lafayette Central Park Chairman Lenny Lemoine gave an impassioned speech about the importance of the park, emphasizing what it represents for livability measures and analyses and how that impacts economic development in the region.

Respected political pollster, analyst and blogger Dr. Ron Fauchaux was the keynote speaker.

Top 50 legacy sponsors Allen & Gooch law firm and Whitney Bank returned this year, and additional sponsor support came from LHC Group, Moss Motors and the Event Solutions group of companies, including Party Central and Deep South Containers. The Pinnacle Group returned as the VIP parking sponsor, and Vidox Motion Imagery was the digital media partner again for 2017. One Acadiana was also a community partner.

The future of the event is uncertain. In June, ABiz parent company IND Media announced that it was suspending current print operations (its website and social media platforms remain semi-active for now) and researching new models to fund the in-depth business reporting and investigative journalism that are its stock-in-trade.

Read more about IND Media’s history with the park here and view a photo gallery from the luncheon here.

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