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Fourth Annual Kelly Kicking Cancer Gala

October 5, 2018

Mandeville, Louisiana

Kelly Kicking Cancer hosted its fourth annual gala, An Evening in the Vineyard, at the Fleur de Lis Center and it was quite the party! The evening kicked off with Shelby Latino, our Master of Ceremonies, welcoming everyone and a giving a preview of the evening's activities. Shelby is Fox 8 TV News’ meteorologist, long-time friend and former teammate of Kelly’s at Fontainebleau High School. The dinner was fantastic, throughout which people milled about conversing and bidding on the silent auction and raffle items. The Kendra Scott jewelry pull was an immediate hit, selling out all 30 pieces within the first hour. The wine pull was equally popular, as it sold out shortly after the jewelry pull (thank you Bob and Brenda!) Susan and I spent a good part of the evening meeting and greeting the many new friends of Kelly Kicking Cancer, including a lovely couple from Mississippi whose son is a glioblastoma survivor! God bless you and keep your son well. My friend DJ and his wife were last second attendees. We have been praying for him as he was suffering from cancer, but that very day he had been declared cancer-free. Well done my friend!

We played two short videos to first explain Kelly Kicking Cancer's origin, and the second our progress in the fight against brain cancer. Kelly’s Story tells of Kelly’s battle with brain cancer and why we formed Kelly Kicking Cancer. The next video was a personal thank you from Dr. David Baskin, Chief of Neurosurgery and Director of the Kenneth R. Peak Center in Houston, TX. Dr. Baskin described the projects Kelly Kicking Cancer has helped fund, all of which are on the frontiers of brain cancer treatment.

Shelby then introduced our special guest, comedian Marvin Lee. Marvin is a star of both the "big screen" and TV, and entertained us for over an hour with hilarious stories of his travels throughout Louisiana and Florida, growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, and of southerner’s good humor and resilience to the general hardscrabble living for many in the southeast. Marvin especially enjoys Cajun cooking (just don’t tell him what it is), and has tried it all over the country, where outside the southeast, he claims that they imitate our food style with Lawry seasoning on everything and call it ‘Cajun’.

Marvin then turned his talents to live auctioneer several items he brought from the set of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and a Saints football signed by Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Bidding was enthusiastic to say the least! While the gala officially ended at 10PM, many stayed around for pictures and autographs with Marvin, excitedly reliving the wonderful events of the evening.

Thank you to the many volunteers who labored to bring so many moving parts together for a successful evening, thank you to our sponsors and donors, and thank you to all who attended. You have brought us that much closer to finding a cure for brain cancer.

Oct. 11, 2018: the tally for the 4th annual gala is over $17,000 and still climbing! Donations related to the evening are still coming in. Thank you everyone for supporting us. You are making a difference.

Shelby Latino kicks off the evening
Kelly Kicking Cancer CEO Susan O'Mahoney (L) with friends
Marvin describing his Cajun meal
The gala is for all ages
Signing Walking Dead T-shirts

The winner of the live-auction Drew Brees/Sean Payton signed football

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