The Acadia Parish Chamber has announced that Sandy Melancon will posthumously be honored as the 2023 Humanitarian of the Year in conjunction with Acadia Parish Honors Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony slated for May 4th at the Grand Opera House of the South.
Sandy’s involvement began early in life. The St. Martinville native graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a degree in English Education. While there, she was actively involved in student government and greek affairs with her sorority, Phi Mu. Sandy married her high school sweetheart, Wayne, in 1969. In true Sandy fashion, she served her family as a devoted mother and homemaker while Wayne served our country in the United States Air Force. In 1977, Sandy, Wayne, and their three sons – Douglas, Michael, and David – moved to Crowley.
Sandy began her professional career by enriching young minds through Catholic education. She spent twenty years at Notre Dame High School of Acadia Parish where she taught English and served as the librarian. Teaching her sons brought Sandy a special kind of joy. Later in her career, Sandy shifted to financial services. She started her own business, First Investment Service, and spent nearly two decades lending her expertise and compassionate nature to clients. Remarking that she felt “very blessed” to have had two successful careers, Sandy retired in 2016. Though, her service did not stop there.
She was a faithful member of St. Michael Catholic Church serving on the Parish Council as well as the Social Justice Commission. She was also a supportive member of the Crowley Rotary Club and the Crowley Three-Ten Club. Her service on several boards including those of the Grand Opera House of the South, the Crowley Rotary Club, the Acadia General Hospital Community Advisory Board and Community Foundation of Acadiana, is evidence of her love of community, family, and our Acadia Parish community.
Sandy was always an active member of the Acadia Parish Chamber supporting several initiatives and events. As a business owner, she stayed involved and engaged with the business community’s needs. She was also a regular volunteer and supporter of Crowley Main Street’s program of work. You could always find her attending and helping out with local events such as the annual Art and Wine Strolls as well as the Deck the Streets Christmas project.
Sandy and her husband Wayne quietly donated to several local organizations including the Crowley Art Association, Ms. Audrey Spencer’s Empowering the Community for Excellence, Ms. Helen’s Soup Kitchen and Crowley Christian Care. In 2021, she was influential in helping raise funds to cover the costly repairs of the St. Michael Church Bell, which was originally installed in 1914. The fruits of this labor ring through Crowley daily as a reminder of a dedicated servant.
Most recently, Sandy and Wayne were recognized as the Community Foundation of Acadiana’s Leaders in Philanthropy Award for Acadia Parish for their philanthropic impact not just within Acadia, but the region.
It was evident that Sandy had a passion for making the community a better place for all, and she did it all alongside her beloved husband of 53 years. Sandy’s works were a mere testament to her commitment of helping others. Though, the ultimate impact is with her greatest love – her family. Sandy’s legacy will live on in the values instilled in her three sons, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. The Acadia Parish Chamber is honored to recognize Sandy’s path of service and the impact of her leadership and legacy.
Sandy will be honored on Thursday, May 4th at the Grand Opera House of the South during the Chamber’s Acadia Parish Honors.In addition, the chamber will honor several other individuals for their contributions to the community including Business Person of the Year and seven Outstanding Young Citizens. Tickets can be purchased for the event at the Acadia Parish Chamber Office or by calling 337-788-0177.