Pelican Point golfers raise money for breast cancer patients, research

Lisa Yates
lyates@weeklycitizen.com

Ascension residents took a swing at breast cancer Thursday at the 2013 Pink Ribbon Scramble golf tournament. The tournament was held at Pelican Point to raise money for Susan G. Komen, the world's biggest breast cancer charity.

Angela Miller, the executive director for Susan G. Komen, said this year's Pink Ribbon Scramble raised almost $20,000 in total.

"We would like to say how much we appreciate Pelican Point, the event's sponsors and local golfers for their support of the Scramble," she said. "The funds raised will go a long way to help provide live saving breast health services in our area."

Miller said 75 percent of all net proceeds from the Ascension Pink Ribbon Scramble event will stay in the parish to help breast cancer patients and fund screenings; the remaining 25 percent goes towards research in finding a cure.

"Pelican Point has been such a good partner," she said. "They've really taken us under their wing. They've been supportive in every way, not just in golf but in getting the word out in Ascension Parish. I can't say enough kind things about them."

She said many people worked to make the event a success. Miller said she was grateful to have the support of Bill Dawson of Dawson Interprizes, Inc.

"It was important to have his support," she said. "He's the president of the board of directors at Pelican Point Golf Community Homeowners Association; and, he's the project director at the River Region Screening Center in Sorrento."

She said each year Susan G. Komen awards a grant to the River Region Screening Center in Sorrento, a facility which provides mammograms, clinical breast exams, and one-on-one breast health education at no cost to the uninsured and disadvantaged women in the community.

Jenny Heroman, producer/host of Community Connection on EATEL, said many people don't realize that Susan G. Komen of Baton Rouge serves the entire region, including Ascension Parish. She said a grant from the organization is enough to pay for 500 mammograms each year.

"I'm so excited we have a cancer center offering these cancer screenings," she said. "Early detection saves lives. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the earlier you can start planning an attack. This is important because Louisiana is the state with the highest breast cancer mortality rates."

Heroman said this was her second year to serve as honorary co-chair of the golf tournament, along with Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux and Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez.

"It's so inspiring to come out and see everyone dressed in pink with a smile on their face supporting a family member or friend with breast cancer," she said. "It's powerful to see so many people in Ascension celebrating survivorship."

Kari Millet, a breast cancer survivor from Dutchtown, also co-chaired the event.

"I was diagnosed in June of '08, through a Komen grant and received treatment," she said. "In April, I celebrated four years of being cancer-free."

Millet said volunteering at the golf tournament was her way of giving back to Susan G. Komen.

"It's a way to give back and help raise awareness for other women," she said. "I was 33 years old when I was diagnosed. It's important to get mammograms, but it's equally important for young women to do self-exams."

T'Meria Graves, 15, also volunteered to help out at the tournament.

"I'm here with my mom, Maria Baham, a cancer survivor," she said. "My mom was diagnosed a year after I was born. She's healthy now, but we lost my nana, Evelyn Edwards, to breast cancer."

Graves said her mother works at Allstar Ford, one of the event sponsors giving golfers the opportunity to win a car for a hole-in-one shot.

While nobody won the car; however, Phillip Wright, general manager/director of golf operations, and Andreas Preito, head golf professional at Pelican Point Golf Club announced the winners of the 6th Annual Ascension Golf Tournament during a luncheon catered by Tee Wayne's Cajun Cooking.

Ladies Only, First Place Net winners were Maria Fairchild, Darlene Lee, Madelyn King, and Pat Klug.

First Place Gross winners were Frankie Schmitt, Malcom Dugas, Jason Robert and Shawn Kjar.

First Place Net winners were Jason Ambeau, Russell Williams, Hubby Lavigne and Sam Lavigne.

Second Place Net winners were Brent Broussard, Joey Partin, Connie Erickson and Joe Erickson.

Third Place Net winners were Jana O'Banion, Joe O'Banion, Bryan Haymon and Amy Tipton.

Fourth Place Net winners were Bill Cotton, Pat Matherne, Sam Ducoteau and Jim Heno

The special "Spirit Award" went to the "Pink Hawaii" team all decked out in Hawaiian clothes, wearing silly sunglasses.

Stoya Lay, the founder of the tournament at Pelican Point, was also honored during the luncheon. (See the video online.)

Maria Fairchild, a member of the Tee 4 Four winning team and a member of the Pelican Point Ladies Golf Association, said she started a breast cancer fundraising golf tournament as a military wife and has been playing in fundraisers for 13 years.

"I started it in Hawaii, as a Navy wife," she said. "We would hold them at the Marine Corps base there. It seems everybody is touched by breast cancer one way of another."

Fairchild said she's been participating in the Pink Ribbon Scramble with her team for the past four years. She said it's a great way to have fun and help others.

"What I like about it is you meet people from all walks of life out here on the golf course," she said. "Golf is like that."

The Ladies Golf Association raised $1,478 at hole No. 14, which sponsored the 50/50 giveaway won by Kris Mosser.

Mosser and her husband Bill, along with friends Claude and Theresa Catania, said they have been participating in the tournament since the beginning.

"It's just so much fun to get dressed in pink to play golf - and it's for an excellent cause," she said.