Last week, the Monumental Task Committee set out to remove graffiti from the Beauregard statue at City Park’s main entrance. This week, the preservation group is inviting everyone to celebrate its restoration of the Margaret Haughery monument, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at 1133 Prytania St., at Camp Street.
While some argue the appropriateness of statues related to the Confederacy, the monument to Haughery and her deeds is easy to defend.
Born into poverty in 1813 and orphaned at age 9, Margaret Gaffney Haughery became a philanthropist devoted to helping the city’s orphans, working with the Sisters of Charity and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Living in New Orleans during epidemics of yellow fever and cholera, Haughery was 23 when her daughter and husband died of illness. Alone with no money or education, she worked in the laundry room at the St. Charles Hotel and saved money to open a bakery.
She gave baked goods to people in need and used business profits to build orphanages, including St. Theresa Asylum, St. Elizabeth’s Asylum, St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum and the Louise Home for Girls. She died in 1882, leaving her estate of about $30,000 to the poor.
In 2008, the Monumental Task Committee collaborated with Mary Jablonski, an architectural conservator from Columbia University, to assess many city monuments. The Haughery monument was in critical need of restoration, and work began in 2013. The estimated cost of the repair and conservation effort is about $53,000, with an additional $43,000 for long-term care.
Donations to the Haughery restoration may be sent to: Monumental Task Committee, Inc., Attn: Margaret Haughery Restoration Fund, 1215 Prytania St., Suite 333, New Orleans, LA 70130.
Founded in 1989 by Pierre McGraw, MTC is a nonprofit, mostly volunteer organization that depends on grants and donations to maintain more than 200 monuments in New Orleans. For information, visit monumentaltask.org.
Soccer success story
A group of 20 teens from the New Orleans area is competing in the Region III Presidents Cup national soccer championship on Thursday in Overland Park, Kansas.
The team of girls, ages 15 and 16, is called U16 99G Louisiana Fire (Navy), and they are hoping for donations to defray costs, including hotel rooms, a bus and field rentals for practice.
“Any amount would help and be greatly appreciated,” team coach Blaine Walsh said.
To help, visit e.gofund.me/lafirejrs99GNAVY.
Members include Shelby Saak, Connor Glorioso, Paige Megginson, Megan McDonell, Olivia Finger, Hailey Mathieu, Carly Krajcer, Emma Lion, Cassidy Vise, Madelyn Watkins, Giselle Aguilera, Yarina Novick, Hannah Montgomery, Samantha Messonnier, Lucy Butterbaugh, Kristen Charbonnet, Isabel Torres, Annelise Ernst, Mignon Daly and Madeline Cook.
Albert Silvas is assistant coach.
Bastille Day NOLA
Celebrate local French heritage at the Bastille Day Fete from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza. The fun includes food, music and a costume contest.
Sponsors include Alliance Francaise, the Consulate General of France in Louisiana and the French-American Chamber of Commerce.
For information, visit bastilledaynola.com.
Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.