Holy Family receives donation from student’s foundation
Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 13, 2014
NATCHEZ — Holy Family School received yet another blessing Friday — a blessing which Carly Elizabeth Hughes would have wanted.
Holy Family was presented a $10,000 check Friday from Carly’s Kids – A Foundation for Education.
The foundation, created in honor of Carly following her death in February 2013, is a donor advised fund established through the Community Foundation of New Jersey dedicated to providing education for children in need and to supporting research for the treatment and prevention of esophageal and gastric cancers. Since its inception, the foundation has been focused on supporting Holy Family.
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Carly’s mother, Irene Vouvalides, created the foundation with help from her husband Tony and Michael Hughes, Carly’s boyfriend.
Despite losing her daughter to gastric cancer, Vouvalides and her family started Carly’s Kids to continue Carly’s legacy.
At the age of 24, Carly was determined to dedicate her life and time to helping children and those less fortunate. While attending Boston College, Carly participated in a service trip to Holy Family in Natchez, where her life would be changed.
“We helped a lot with the maintenance work when we were at Holy Family,” Hughes said. “The one thing that was real nice was we got to spend a lot of time in the class room with the students.
“This place was really special for Carly.”
Vouvalides and Hughes were devastated after losing Carly, but Vouvalides knew she had to do something.
“We started the foundation where we have fundraisers throughout the year,” Vouvalides said. “Our main goal is to try and save (Holy Family). We feel it’s an amazing school with historic value.
“It’s keeping Carly alive. It’s her legacy living on through the school.”
When Vouvalides received life insurance for Carly’s death, she used those funds to start the foundation.
The foundation, Hughes said, took off quick.
“She was an amazing girl,” Vouvalides said.
Hughes believed Carly would have eventually become a teacher because of her love for children.
“You could see the joy she had, just being here at Holy Family,” Hughes said.
Holy Family Financial Director Sister Bernadette McNamara said she was amazed by Vouvalides’ drive to turn her grief into something positive for Holy Family.
“What do you do?” Vouvalides said. “You pull apart, or you say ‘you’re are going to do something to make a difference in the world.’”
Earlier this year, Carly’s Kids donated brand-new playground equipment to Holy Family.
For more information about Carly’s Kids or to donate to the foundation, visit caryskidsfoundation.com.