An online campaign to help raise $50,000 for the Council for Development of French in Louisiana is going into its final week. With seven days left on FrancoJeunes’ “100,000 Cajuns, Creoles and Friends of French in Louisiana” fundraising drive to save CODOFIL programming, the group has raised $27,283 as of Wednesday morning.

When Gov. Bobby Jindal’s June 15 line-item veto slashed $100,000 in CODOFIL funding, which equates to almost 40 percent of its budget, FrancoJeunes and its founder Mandy Migues responded with an online campaign  asking “100,000 Cajuns, Creoles and Friends of French in Louisiana” to donate $1 or more to save CODOFIL’s mission.

FrancoJeunes is described on its website as a group that “supports and promotes Francophone endeavors and French-friendly businesses, encourages bilingual signage and services in both public and private sectors, supports an increase in the visibility of French in all sectors of the community, all to make French an integral part of Louisiana’s cultural economy.”

“For this particular fundraiser, the main goal was to show the power in numbers of people,” says CODOFIL’s public relations coordinator Erin Stickney. “They definitely appreciate the larger contributions, but they’re really hoping to see if we can get a big mass of people to donate small amounts of money.”

If the group meets its fundraising goal of $50,000, the website hosting the fundraising effort will take a 4 percent cut, Stickney explains. But if the group fails to meet its goal, the website is entitled to 9 percent of the total money raised.

Donations of various sizes are rewarded with gifts, including copies of the “En Francais” CD by Bayou Teche Brewing, CODOFIL T-shirts and Acadiana patches made by Parish Ink. Most recently, world-renowned local artist Francis Pavy donated 10 signed prints of his “Moss Picker in the Swamp” for donors who give at least $750 to the cause.

                                          Francis Pavy's "Moss Picker in the Swamp"
In addition to the web campaign to save CODOFIL programming, Cochon restaurant in Lafayette is hosting a separate fundraiser for CODOFIL from 5-10 p.m. Sunday. More than a dozen musicians/bands are on the lineup, with food and beverages provided by LA 31, Cochon Restaurant, The Black Pot All Stars, Saint Street Inn, French Press and more. Stickey says though both fundraisers will directly benefit CODOFIL, the money raised at Cochon Sunday will not go toward the $50,000 goal of the online fundraising campaign.

Visit the FrancoJeunes website to learn more or to donate.

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