Mary Bird Perkins and Cancer Services create a 1920's fundraising experience

Darian Graivshark
Ethan Bush, Anthony O'Connor, Todd Stevens, Scott and Leslie Berg, Rose Hudson, Linda Lee, and Scotty Gwatney take a photo together and enjoy the event they helped put together.

Pop, fizz, clink, and cheers to the Roaring Twenties!

It's not everyday that one gets to delve into the past of speakeasies, flapper dresses, and the flouting of Prohibition laws.

However, on September 13, The Gala Goes Gatsby at L'Auberge Casino & Hotel gave patrons the opportunity to have that experience. The event was presented by Mary Bird Perkins– Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Cancer Services. The two joined forces earlier this year to help serve more people and put donor dollars to work.

Ethan Bush, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, said, "One-hundred percent of the funds raised from this one event will enable both organizations to further extend their mission and serve every cancer patient in a much larger and impactful way."

Stretching donor dollars as far as possible is something of importance when the Cancer Center wanted to partner with Mary Bird Perkins.

Anthony O'Connor, former Cancer Services board President and current Mary Bird Perkins board member, said, "This event is a prime example of how this partnership is working, and how longtime supporters of both organizations can continue to ensure that we meet all the growing needs of local cancer patients and their families."

The Gala serves the needs of nearly 8,000 cancer patients and families in the community. The funds raised help area caregivers as well. Proceeds help transform cancer care by advancing survivorship, innovation, and teamwork.

If you were lucky enough to purchase a ticket before the event sold out, you were in for a treat.

Entering The Gala, one was greeted by glittering props and glistening dresses. Women who attended the event were dedicated to the Gatsby theme and wore sequin headpieces that had a feather sticking out. Many of them had kitten heels on and a beaded dress. Men played their part by wearing a dapper suit, fedoras, and Oxford shoes.

The main event area had delicious local fare and tasty libations to choose from. Nothing Bundt Cakes, 18 Steak, Cecelia Creole Bistro, and Mansurs on the Boulevard were a few, of many, businesses providing the treats for guests.

Thanks to GMFS Mortgage, guests could walk into a speakeasy from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., but you needed a password to get in. Inside, you could taste classic 1920's drinks, or have a whiskey tasting experience under glistening chandeliers. There were even chocolate bars disguised as cigars that guests could munch on.

If guests wanted to donate to the cause even more, they could do so during the live auction. Auction packages included: Raising Canes Who Dat Package with Bunker Level Club tickets, a Culinary Adventure with John Folse, a Hawkins Oak Grove Hunting Experience, LSU Baseball Fan Dream Experience, a Custom Children's Playhouse donated by Acadian House Kitchen and Bath, and Ultimate LSU vs. Alabama Game Day Experience, or the Make Your Mark package.

The Make Your Mark package gave the winner the ability to permanently honor a loved one on a semi-private infusion bay in the state-of-the-art Gerry Lane Infusion Center.

Every dollar raised at The Gala impacts thousands of cancer patients and their families through early detections and education, advanced treatment options, medical supplies, emotional and financial patient assistance, support and survivorship programs, transport assistance, wigs, mastectomy bras and prosthesis, kids summer camps, and patient navigation.

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