New Iberia Father Honors Slain Son By Starting Foundation
This Father's Day, Raymond "Shoe-Do" Lewis honored his youngest son by creating a new organization in his name.
Lewis's son, Garon, was shot and killed inside his car in August 2019, just days after his senior year at New Iberia Senior High School began. Garon, 17, was a star student and a star athlete at NISH. He was expected to be one of the key offensive players for the Yellow Jackets' football team his senior year and was making plans to go to Nicholls State University.
Now, Lewis is staring the Garon Paul Atkinson Lewis Foundation. According to the group's website, the GPAL Foundation "will be the turning point in the lives of broken communities." The group's mission is to provide youths counseling, mentoring, and skill-building and educational services in a safe environment with the ultimate goal of improving their and their families' lives.
Lewis says the difference between the GPAL Foundation and other youth groups is that his organization will go into parts of the community that other groups have historically been afraid to serve because of the violence associated with them. Lewis, a former New Iberia city councilman and a current Iberia Parish School Board member, is also calling on the New Iberia Police Department to do a better job of community policing and building trust between its officers and residents in the community--especially among Black residents.
Lewis joined Bernadette Lee and Ian Auzenne on Tuesday's edition of Acadiana's Morning News to discuss the founding of the GPAL Foundation, it's goals, and what's next for the organization. Click the icon below to hear the full interview.