Guariscos to be honored for philanthropy
Joy and Frank Guarisco of Patterson are the recipients of the 2019 Leaders In Philanthropy Awards for St. Mary Parish, presented by Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) and sponsored by Hancock Whitney Bank and M C Bank, Patterson State Bank, and Taco Bell.
They will be honored during an awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov.7, at 11:30 a.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette.
As a young boy, Guarisco worked at his parent’s grocery store in Patterson. It was housed in the same building as his insurance business, which he still manages today. He witnessed his mother give food to families in need. It was her loving and generous spirit that led to his philanthropy.
The couple has been leaders and supporters of the Boy Scouts of America, the Acadiana chapter, for 56 years. He was instrumental in preserving the Boy Scout Hut in Patterson. The city wanted to move the hut and fill the space with a playground. Frank and his friends Sue and George Williams secured a small lot of land and moved the hut to a permanent location. It serves as a meeting and training venue for the Boy Scouts Club.
Joy Guarisco embraced Frank’s love of the Boys Scouts. She spent many years as a Cub Scout and Webelo’s Den Mother to many children.
Frank developed and organized the Patterson Recreation Department, where he coached Little League Baseball for 42 years.
The Guarisscos were instrumental in securing the funding to build a new weight and training facility for the student-athletes at Patterson High School. The building was named in Frank’s honor and called “Frank’s Chopping Block.”
As the Guariscos' philanthropy continued to grow, they stepped up when their church was in need. The couple was instrumental in helping the St. Joseph Catholic Church with raising $1.8 million to renovate the church and parish hall.
In her spare time, Joy serves as a eucharistic minister for the homebound. She is a volunteer of many church activities such as the St. Joseph’s Altar, which provided 100 meals to the homebound throughout Patterson every year.
Leaders in Phil-anthropy Awards are presented annually to outstanding individuals or couples from each of the eight parishes of Community Foundation of Acadiana’s primary service area who have made a philanthropic impact in their communities through substantial charitable contributions to or by attracting substantial contributions for nonprofits, churches or schools.