In response to the letter published titled “Tom Benson not deserving of statue” by Katrhryne Delcarpio:

Thank you, Mr. Benson.

Before condemning Benson and the statue, take another look around the city and see the lasting imprint this man has made on the New Orleans area. Yes, he’s an extremely successful businessman but one who is involved in the community, too.

As an example, ask the courageous women whose lives have been changed at the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner Hospital. Ask those inflicted with ALS and what his contribution of $5 million to the Team Gleason Fund means to them. Ask the students at Brother Martin, Loyola and Tulane universities what his donations of over $20 million have meant to their institutions.

Honored by many locally, the Bensons were awarded by the Catholic Church, the Ecclesia et Pontifice for their generosity, the highest papal honor that a Catholic layperson can receive.

Going back to the statue, thanks to Tom Benson, New Orleans was awarded five Super Bowls to host since he acquired the New Orleans Saints in 1985. This is quite an achievement, as there is more and more competition with NFL cities in contention for the game. The economic impact for the game is $400 million, but it also has a lasting effect on our local community.

Thank you, Mr. Benson.

Barbara Hyland

retired, insurance