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Forum 35 celebrates 25th anniversary

Wednesday, March 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chelsea Borruano
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Forum 35 invites the Baton Rouge community to celebrate the young professional organization's 25th anniversary at its Founders Ball on Thursday evening, April 19 at Capitol Park Museum.

Founded in 1993 to inspire young professionals to become involved with philanthropic organizations and activities, Forum 35 is a community organization of engaged young men and women dedicated to improving and shaping Baton Rouge.Twenty-five years later, Forum 35 has grown to more than 300 members improving the lives of the Baton Rouge community through arts and culture, diversity, leadership and service initiatives.

The Founders Ball is a one-time event giving current and past members, partners, founders, and community leaders a chance to come together to celebrate all that Forum 35 has accomplished and toast to the amazing things still to come. This black tie affair under the oaks will be hosted by Former Mayor and community leader, Kip Holden, and will feature live music by The Michael Foster Project, catering by Chef Don Bergeron Enterprises and a silent auction. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at

From then to now...

1993 - The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, under the leadership of John Davies, and John Barton, Sr., provided $5,000 each to start the organization.Forum 35's first major project raised over $350,000 to install lights on the Mississippi River Bridge, which serves as a gateway into the Capital City.

1997 - Meetings began that would firm the participation in Plan Baton Rouge. 

1998 - Gus Young Park Cleanup- Forum 35 organized a three-hundred person volunteer cleanup and beautification of the inner city Gus Young Park. As all volunteer organization fundraising was a necessity, Viva Il Vino kicked of in 1998 focusing as a wine dinner and raising up to $50,000 annually.

2001 - Forum 35 started engaging leaders at monthly Forum Friday lunches to create continued dialogue on issues in our community.

2003 - Our city was selected as one of 33 others across the country to participate in a Harvard University research study designed by Robert Putnam, known as the Social Capital Survey. The study revealed that our city is above the national and southern average for civic opportunity, with growth needed in the area of race relations. Forum 35 championed the study's findings by enhancing community pride through We Are BR! and by supporting the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott 50th Anniversary Observance in 2003.

2004 - John W. Barton Sr. was committed to Baton Rouge's nonprofit sector for over 75 years. Inspired by Mr. Barton's passion, Forum 35 created the John W. Barton, Sr. Community Leadership Development Program in Partnership with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO).

2007 - Forum 35 realized that within our organization the racial divide was not proportionate. We maintained about 3 percent of an ethnic membership outside of Caucasian. For this reason, along with the realization that this divide is also representative within the city, they formed a Cultural Diversity Committee. 

2013 - Forum 35 spent 2013 revisiting the strategic plan to ensure the organization can sustain for another 20 years. With the guidance of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Forum 35 identified three core pillars: Arts and Culture, Diversity and Leadership.  

2015 - Forum 35 kicked off 2015 with the re-branding of the website with the new logo and branding guidelines. A three-year strategic plan was finalized to position Forum 35 as the premiere organization for young professionals in the Baton Rouge area.

2017 - Recognizing the organization's rich history with service to the community and our mission to continue initiatives that call for community sustainability, Forum 35 officially added Service as a fourth core pillar, making our areas of focus: Arts and Culture, Diversity, Leadership, and Service. 

To learn more about Forum's mission, memberships and corporate partnerships visit


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Civic Committee Meeting

Volunteer Opportunity - Food Distribution GBR Food Bank

Service Committee Meeting

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