A Day … and Night Out on the Town
In the spirit of true Southern charm and hospitality, many people have found the spirit of giving back in upcoming events. These two events offer a good time and a way to help out those touched by cancer. So either put on your tennis shoes and walking shorts for the Relay for Life in Thibodaux, or grab your best gal pals for a night out on the town—at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center. Better yet, do both!
LADIES’ NIGHT OUT
Leave the hubby at home and the kids with a sitter for a girls-only evening of fun and inspiration courtesy of Ladies’ Night Out at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.
“It’s doing what women like to do most—shop, because we have a wonderful silent auction, eat, because we have a wonderful buffet, and [get to] be together with [our] female friends,” says Rhonda Alfred, director of marketing and planning at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and member of the executive committee for Ladies’ Night Out.
Rhonda has been with the gala since its inception years ago, when it started with 100 women as a means to bring awareness and to provide funds for breast cancer patients at Terrebonne General Medical Center. Each year, it grew to what it has become now, in its seventh year, a 1,000-woman event—the max capacity the civic center can hold—becoming the largest women’s-only cancer fundraising event in the tri-parish area.
“Proceeds go to, well, every one of our patients that are treated at our cancer center receives a care bag, and, basically, it has comfort items that they need while they are going through their treatment,” Rhonda says. “In addition to that, some people need a little bit more assistance with other items while they’re going through treatment, like durable medical equipment, nutritional supplements, sometimes help with household bills or transportation costs; so we have a fund that we have available for anyone who needs that type of assistance. And then this year, we’re also going to have some of those proceeds go toward the creation of a patient activity room for our cancer patients.”
The activity room will allow patients to have a place to go and paint, participate in various programs, and learn about things like yoga and relaxation techniques. Some of the proceeds will also go toward the mobile medical clinic that Mary Bird Perkins sponsors that provides free screenings of five different cancers. This is an invaluable service to our community.
The doors for the gala open at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of Friday, March 15. At this time, ladies will be able to visit with their friends, view the silent auction, grab a cocktail and, of course, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food areas. Ladies will be sure to wear their dancing shoes to “get down” with the rockin’ music of Reauxshambo. The winner of a raffle presented by Dr. Sarah Haydel will be announced as well, with proceeds also benefiting the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
“We just feel that [cancer] reaches a common thread with so many people in our community that we really wanted to do something about it and help to make their journey a little bit less difficult,” Rhonda says.
For more information about the event, visit www.tgmc.com or call 985.851.8661.
RELAY FOR LIFE
Since 1996, Thibodaux has hosted a Relay for Life event that has continually grown to become the second-largest in our region. This year expects to welcome 100 teams to the Thibodaux High School football stadium on Saturday, April 6. This year, the event will be changing things up a little bit; besides a new location, it will take place from noon until midnight, instead of the usual 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. like in previous years.
“It is very special because we unfortunately have a lot of people dealing with cancer in our area,” says Lori Knobloch, who is in charge of finding people who want to make teams for the relay. “It is a night to support them, to offer them hope to win their battles against this disease. It’s our community tying together.”
Teams of people get together in groups of 8-15 people and set a goal for a certain amount of money they would like to raise. The way each team goes about this is up to them. Some conduct bake sales or jambalaya dinners, put on football pools, raffles or even go as far as kiss a goat to help raise funds. Participants include everyone from high schoolers to college students to those who have participated in Relay events in other parts of the country for longer than the Thibodaux one has been in existence.
Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. Money goes to everything from education and research to wigs for cancer patients. Funds also go to help out at a facility called the Hope Lodge for cancer patients and their caregivers who live 35 or more miles away from Ochsner Medical Center while they are receiving treatments.
This year’s theme is “Rocking for a Cure,” and it’s pretty open to interpretation—rocking chairs and rock stars are all welcome. Local “rock stars” will be participating in the event as well—Southern Grit, Uprising and Crush will all be performing at the Relay for Life.
“Relay for Life actually is an all-day event. A lot of people think it’s just a bunch of people walking around a track,” Lori says. “We have games, pony rides—we have a petting zoo. We have different types of food all day long for everybody to enjoy.”
The Relay hosts a survivor walk that will begin at 7 p.m.—which is basically a lap around the track—and there will also be a walk for caregivers and family. A luminary ceremony honoring all those who are fighting or have fought battles with cancer will take place at 8:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by fireworks.
“It’s a really good community-building event,” Lori says.
Visit www.relayforlife.org/thibodauxla and attend the event to find out more about all the big plans for the evening.