Ascension Parish community members helped take the fight against cancer forward by hosting the second annual Gonzales Gala, Saturday, Jan. 28 at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.
The $150,000 raised will benefit local patients at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales, as well as advance local flood relief efforts.
The Gonzales Gala is a signature event of the newly founded Gonzales Area Foundation, which was established by DeEtte DeArmond, Ronnie Daigle, Wendy Daigle and Melanie Boudreaux. The gala planning committee consisted of dedicated community volunteers, representing various industries and geographic locations, along with DeArmond and Ronnie Daigle serving as co-chairs.
“Our committee’s mantra has always been: the more we give, the better life gets in Ascension Parish, and especially for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center patients,” DeArmond said. “People we all know and love are being treated at the Center in Gonzales. And many of them have expressed to us how comfortable, convenient, and reassuring it is for them to be treated locally and receive the highest quality care. We want to ensure these services are always there for anyone in the area who needs them.”
A sold-out crowd enjoyed a festive evening, including dinner, a live auction and musical entertainment. Speakers provided an update on the Center’s progress and how funds raised will directly impact the more than 750 patients treated each year.
Mary Bird Perkins and St. Elizabeth Hospital have partnered for years to provide high-quality cancer services in Ascension Parish. Today, the Center offers the most advanced cancer-fighting technology and vital on-site services including nutritional and social services, early detection and outreach and patient financial counseling.
“We practice without compromise, and we provide care for everyone who needs us. Fundraisers like the gala allow us to continue doing that,” said Maurice King, MD, radiation oncologist at the Center. “This generous effort makes a strong statement about the community, especially with the devastating flooding in Ascension Parish—it’s a clear demonstration that the kindness, compassion and dedication toward neighbors transcends all.”
A highlight of the event was the triumphant ringing of the “Sound of Hope” bell by a breast cancer survivor in front of all gala attendees. Ringing the bell after a patient’s last treatment has become a celebratory tradition at the Center, signifying completion of this phase of their journey and offering encouragement to others whose day has yet to come.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center thanks the many sponsors who made the successful evening possible, including: R.J. Daigle and Sons Contractors, Price LeBlanc Toyota/Nissan/Lexus and Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.
For sponsorship or ticket information for the 2018 gala, contact DeArmond at (225) 715-1561 or Boudreaux at (225) 803-6322.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 40 years. With five centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales, its service area encompasses 18 parishes across southeast Louisiana. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.