The 2019 Gradoux on the Bayou has come and gone and a lot of very good pastalaya was consumed. We would like to congratulate our first repeat winners, Jason Wilkie and the crew from Grand Ridge! All of our teams are special to us and this year we are proud to announce our event took in $18,201. The total expenses for the event totaled $4,087. Usually organizations would deduct the expenses from the event and send the money to the beneficiaries. That's where our club is different. Thanks to our partnership with United Way of St. Charles and the generosity of our dues paying members, Dat dads' Club is able to pay all of the expenses and return the entire $18,201 to our 3 very deserving beneficiaries. We will be meeting with them this week to deliver their funds.
So when you have thoughts on how your $25 individual membership ($50/yr Family, $100/yr Business) just know your money is directly benefiting our beneficiaries. If you have allowed your membership to lapse, perhaps you will consider re-joining our team and continue to help us stay involved in the community.
Meet our beneficiaries:
Avionne J. Thomas is 23 years old and the daughter of Armand and Krischell Thomas. She was diagnosed in 2014 with Lupus. Two years later in 2016, she was then diagnosed with Polymyositis, which is an inflammation in the muscles. On September 10, 2018, Avionne was admitted to University Medical Center in New Orleans. She has not left the hospital since that day and has been fighting for her life. Along with lupus, she is currently battling polymyositis, mixed connective-tissue disease, and interstitial lung disease. Over the past 5 years, Avionne has had heart failure,collapsed lungs, pneumonia, kidney failure, shingles, Bell’s palsy, and placed on a feeding tube.
Andy Rougeau is 50 years young and married with 2 children. He was diagnosed with Mucormycosis in August of 2015, which is an extremely rare flesh eating invasive fungal infection. Only 213 cases ever recorded World Wide in healthy people. He has had over 14 surgeries that have included cutting out his entire right sinus cavity, mouth palate, right upper jaw bone. He has also had reconstructed surgery to repair his face, mouth, and jaw by cutting out 10 inches of his fibula, calf muscle, and artery. His next surgery is in 3 weeks to replace both jaw joints, and part of his upper and lower jaw on each side. Mr. Rougeau owned his own finance business but he was forced to close down his business due to his health.
Delivering Hope NOLA is a New Orleans based nonprofit created by 6 NICU moms. Their mission is to provide hope and encouragement to the families of infants and children receiving critical care through a variety of supportive services. They put together hundreds of bags and deliver care packages to a few hospitals in the New Orleans area. Delivering Hope NOLA has a dream that one
day a mini care package with contact information will be delivered to a local NICU mom for every baby born in the New Orleans area that has to first stay in the NICU.