Inaugural gala benefits local cancer patients

Staff Report
The Gonzales Gala steering committee:
Back row, L to R: Randy Haddad, Randall Aldridge, Simone Henry, Debbie Babin, Sheriff Jeff Wiley, Penny Saucier, Karen Braud, Melanie Boudreaux, DeEtte DeArmond, Ronnie Daigle, Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Shannon Templet, Tonya Brown, Paula Berthelot, State Representative Johnny Berthelot and Sheree Gauthier. Front row, L to R: Sherrie Despino, Tiffany Shelton, Sheila Savoy, Betty Arceneaux, Clerk of Court Bridget Hanna, Tracie Waguespack, Wendy Daigle and Darla Rye (not pictured)

     The Ascension Parish community helped take the fight against cancer forward recently by raising more than $125,000 to benefit local patients being treated at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales over the coming year. At the inaugural gala Saturday, Jan. 16 at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, a sold-out crowd enjoyed a festive evening that included dinner, a live auction and musical entertainment. Speakers provided an update on the Cancer Center’s progress and how funds raised will directly impact patient care locally moving forward.

     The Gonzales Gala was spearheaded by co-chairs DeEtte DeArmond and Ronnie Daigle, along with a group of other dedicated community volunteers representing various industries and geographic areas of the parish.

     “What a phenomenal night for a great cause in our local community,” DeArmond said. “I am overwhelmed with pride and admiration to see that so many generous people contributed to help their neighbors. This is just the beginning of great things that will happen at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales. I am honored to be a part of such a worthy event with so many awesome people.”

     Mary Bird Perkins and St. Elizabeth Hospital have partnered for years to provide high-quality cancer services in Ascension Parish. Today, the Cancer Center offers the most advanced cancer-fighting technology and vital on-site services including nutritional and social services, early detection and outreach, as well as patient financial counseling.

     “It was a passionate grassroots community effort that helped bring Mary Bird Perkins to Ascension Parish, ensuring residents will always have access to world-class cancer care,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Today, the close relationship between the Cancer Center and the community continues with this Gonzales Gala.   It was an idea born of an unrelenting commitment to fight a disease that demands we always do more.”

     Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center thanks the many sponsors who made the successful evening possible, including: R.J. Daigle and Sons Contractors, Daigle Industries, Price LeBlanc Toyota/Nissan/Lexus and Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.

     For sponsorship or ticket information for the 2017 gala, call (225) 215-1208.