Sandy and Wayne Melancon are the recipients of the 2022 Leaders In Philanthropy Award for Acadia Parish.
Sandy and Wayne were both born and raised in St. Martin Parish and graduated from St. Martinville High School and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Wayne is a retires engineer, and Sandy is a retired high school teacher and investment advisor.
The Melancons were inspired to give back to their community by their parents, who were all involved in community and public service. Wayne proudly served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 until his honorable discharge in 1973. For 32 years, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an engineer and spent many years giving back to his community as a t-ball and baseball coach with the Crowley Recreation Department. He is the Immediate Past President of the Crowley Lions Club, where he served for years on the Board of Directors. Under his leadership, a 20″x30″ US Flag, visible from all the surrounding ball fields, centrally waves in the improved and expanded Crowley ballpark.
Sandy taught at Notre Dame High School for 20 years. Following retirement, she went into the financial services industry and opened the firm First Investment Services. Sandy, a past member of Leadership EXCEL, has served on the board of The Grand Opera house of the South, the Crowley Rotary Club, Community Foundation of Acadiana, and Acadia General Hospital Community Advisory Board.
As faithful members of St. Michael Catholic Church and firm believers in the value of Catholic education, the Melancons have been generous supports of both St. Michael Elementary School and Notre Dame High School. Wayne served on the St. Michael Athletic Board, School Board and for several years served as Fair Chairman, where he raised mauch-needed funds for the school and supplementing teachers’ salaries. Sandy, too served on the St. Michael Athletic Board, President of the PTO, the St. Michael Church Parish Council, and the Social Justice Commission. In 2021, Sandy was instrumental in helping raise funds to cover the costly repairs of the St. Michael Catholic Church Martina Bell, the original church bell that was installed in 1914. The refurbished bell now once again chimes beautifully, calling the faithful to daily worship services.
The Melancons are members of the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce, and over the years, have shared their time and resources with numerous community service projects. They spent years working with Rebuilding Together (formerly Christmas in April), helping low-income homeowners repair their homes and thereby helping to revitalize the community. They have supported and participated in numerous civic projects, including the annual Art and Wine Stroll, Deck the Streets Christmas project, and the restoration of The Grand Opera House of the South. They helped paint and repair the Welcome House, a local homeless shelter and donated many of the large appliances.
In 2015, a major fundraising campaign commenced building a much-needed, modernized emergency room facility in Acadia Parush. The Melancons, along with other public-minded citizens, generously contributed to the project. Within three years, Acadia General Hospital’s new $4 million facility opened its doors, providing expanded capacity to serve the residents of Acadia Parish.
The Melancons have quietly donated over the years to numerous organizations, including the Crowley Art Gallery, Empowering the Community for Excellence (an after-school tutoring program), St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Ms. Helen’s Soup Kitchen, Second Harvest, Park the Bus (school supplies), Miles Perret Cancer Center, Wounded Warriors, South Louisiana Giving Day, and Crowley Christian Care. Sandy and Wayne remain committed to seeking ways to make their community a better place for all.
The Melancons have been married for 53 years and are the proud parents of three grown sons. In addition, they have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.