Cancer Center Celebrates Spirit of Volunteerism
Prestigious awards honor J.H. “Jay” Campbell, Jr., Blanchard E. Sanchez, Jr. and Ashley Walker Ferguson
(Baton Rouge, La.) Three prestigious awards, named after individuals who have supported cancer patients through volunteer leadership, were recently presented to several exemplary community members. The awards were presented at a special reception at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center on Dec. 12.
“The Cancer Center is fortunate to have tremendous volunteer support with so many contributing their time, talent and resources,” said Donna Saurage, chair of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation Board of Directors and chair of the joint development committee. “And the individuals we are recognizing this evening are a wonderful representation of the men and women in our community who choose to step forward and help improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer in their own unique ways.”
The Hillar C. Moore, Jr., Memorial Outstanding Leadership Award was presented by Hillar, Steven and Michael, members of the Moore family, to J.H. “Jay” Campbell, Jr. This honor recognizes a Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center volunteer with unwavering dedication, outstanding leadership and a sense of responsibility in the fight against cancer.
Campbell is a longtime volunteer and ambassador for the Cancer Center and an avid supporter of the fight against cancer in the community for many years. Both of his parents were touched by cancer, which further motivated his compassion and deep involvement in the Cancer Center. He served on the Mary Bird Perkins Board of Directors for ten years, serving as both chair and vice chair and was named chairman emeritus. He also dedicated six years to the Mary Bird Perkins Foundation Board and was treasurer of this leadership group.
Mrs. Jeanne Curet James, and her husband, David, presented the Louis D. Curent Volunteer Fundraiser Award to Blanchard E. Sanchez, Jr. This award recognizes an individual, organization or foundation that has launched or led a significant philanthropic effort in support of Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Blanchard has been a committed Mary Bird Perkins supporter since 2004, and has been a faithful and passionate annual giving team member and leader. He has personally engaged hundreds of individuals in the Center’s mission through his involvement. Blanchard joined the Foundation Board of Directors in 2011 and has served as an active member of the Joint Development Committee for many years.
The D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Community Service Award is a community-wide award presented to an individual whose vision and dedication to the greater good of the community has made a sustained and measurable difference in the fight against cancer in the region. Julie Crifasi and Chris Lanata, members of the Holliday family, presented this year’s award to Ashley Walker Ferguson, for her tireless work as founder of Dose of the Coast.
Ferguson created Dose of the Coast as a tribute to her father who passed way from liver cancer. Far outliving his 30 day life expectancy, her dad, Don, filled his days with family adventures, including a significant amount of time on the water, a love he passed on to his children, inspiring Ferguson to establish an organization that would recreate this same kind of experience for other patients and their families. Ferguson has developed a committed network of charter boat captains who volunteer their services to Dose of the Coast and provide fishing trips and sunset cruises. She has also built a group of financial supporters necessary to create an adventure of this magnitude at no cost to participants.
In closing, Bill O’Quin, chairman of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s board of directors, thanked all the award winners for their contributions.
“To all of tonight’s award recipients, your strong desire to help patients, their families, friends and caregivers sets you apart and we can’t thank you enough,” said O’Quin. “All of you are inspirational and I hope we have been able to express to you our deepest gratitude.”
About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advance technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife®Icon™. The American College of Surgeons has named the Cancer Center a recipient of its prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for three consecutive survey cycles. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit marybirdlake.org.