With heavy hearts, M Bar C Construction withdraws from North America Smart Energy Week/Solar Power International (SPI) 2021.
Over the past several weeks, the region of New Orleans has been actively and admirably increasing COVID-19 mandates and regulations in the effort to protect the health and the well-being of their communities. Although cases are beginning to decline, additional tourism from the September slated North America Smart Energy Week/Solar Power International (SPI) convention would further implicate and expose the community already battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the news of Hurricane Ida has deeply saddened the nation. The M Bar C family is grieving with the New Orleans community as they once again navigate through a traumatic hurricane and the damage it has caused.
As M Bar C leadership considered our participation in the upcoming Smart Energy Week/Solar Power International (SPI) 2021, the safety of the fellow industry and M Bar C team members, and the possible implications of the host community of New Orleans; we have concluded that at this time, our involvement with this event does not line up with our company values and have chosen to cancel our participation.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi areas. With M Bar C Construction values in mind, we have donated funds that otherwise would have been allocated to our participation at Solar Power International 2021 to the admirable United Cajun Navy as they provide hurricane & COVID-19 support to the New Orleans community and surrounding area.
Jackie Valdez, M Bar C Construction Marketing Coordinator lived in the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina and recalls the aftermath of the storm.
“I remember Hurricane Katrina like it was yesterday. The long gas lines, the empty shelves at the grocery stores, fear of the unknown, and the panic. New Orleans became a large soup bowl full of every toxin you could imagine, and people were begging to get out. I volunteered to hand out food a few days after the storm, and I remember watching my neighbors and others joining forces, launching their boats off the side of the road, to assist in search and rescue efforts for those trapped in their home or standing on their rooftop with big letters that said ‘Help.’”
The United Cajun Navy is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit organization that continues to thrive and help communities. When devastation occurs, The Cajun Navy calls on its troops. The nonprofit pays for gas, food, clothes, repairs to vehicles or boats, and more. The group travels all over the nation to help people, gather supplies, and hold food drives. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are provided pandemic relief by passing out masks, preparing food and meals for the elderly, and providing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Jackie witnessed the positive impact that The Cajun Navy had within her community and shared
“They saved so many people and are real heroes. The locals called them “The Cajun Navy,” and it could not have been a better name. Fast forward to sixteen years later, and now there are different divisions in Louisiana. I am so grateful that I got to experience these selfless acts. It restored my faith in humanity. 1,800 people died because of Katrina’s wrath. It would have been far worse had the Cajun Navy not stepped in. “
As an industry rooted in innovation, sustainability, and a commitment to a better future, we ask fellow solar and construction industry partners to join us in protecting and supporting this long-treasured community.
We look forward to seeing you safe and healthy at the next industry tradeshow!