Cancer Center Honors Extraordinary Community Leaders

Prestigious awards honor Marty & John Engquist, Rose Hudson, Tom J. Meek, Jr., MD and community donors


(Baton Rouge, La.) – Several exemplary community leaders were recently recognized and presented prestigious awards, named after individuals who made a meaningful difference in the fight against cancer in the communities served by Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. The annual awards were presented at the “Our Community Celebration” special reception on Tuesday, Feb. 18. A number of donors who have made a significant impact through their generous support were also recognized.

The D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Community Service Award is presented to individuals whose vision and dedication has made a sustained and measurable difference in the fight against cancer. Estelle Holliday and her sons, Matt and Dan Holliday, presented this year’s award to Marty and John Engquist for their advocacy for children. Each year, the Engquists host the Fishin’ Galore event where children diagnosed with cancer and their families enjoy a fun-filled day of food, fishing, skeet shooting, horseback riding and much more. Since its inception, the event has grown to more than 150 families coming from all over the country for the experience. Created and led by the Engquists, the Dream Day Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Additionally, they are generous supporters of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Cancer Services through the Tomarlee Foundation.

The Hillar C. Moore, Jr., Memorial Outstanding Leadership Award recognizes an individual whose service has made a significant and unique contribution to the philanthropic initiatives of the Cancer Center.  This year, the award was presented by Hillar Moore, Jr.’s children, Hillar Moore, III, Steven Moore, Michael Moore and Judge Judy Moore Vendetto, to Rose Hudson. Hudson has been a longtime ambassador and passionate supporter of the Cancer Center, serving on the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Foundation boards. Recently, she was named Queen of the 2020 Karnival Krewe de Louisiane Mardi Gras Ball, which raised $325,000 benefiting Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. As President and CEO of Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Hudson has played an instrumental role supporting the Cancer Center’s signature events through corporate philanthropy and engagement.

The Louis D. Curet Memorial Volunteer Fundraiser Award was presented by his grandchildren, Will James, Carter James and Sally James Svendson to Tom J. Meek, Jr., MD. The award recognizes an individual, organization or foundation that has launched or led a significant philanthropic effort in support of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. Dr. Meek served on the Cancer Center’s board from 2006-2017 playing an instrumental role in the most successful fundraising initiative in Mary Bird Perkins’ history.  Dr. Meek’s love for humanity and community calls him to service, contributing his time, talent and treasure to ensure and secure the well-being of others. Since his retirement, Dr. Meek continues to dedicate his time and professional services to the Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go community and workplace screening programs.

The generosity of the Cancer Center’s community donors was also celebrated at the reception. Many individuals, organizations and foundations were recognized by moving up or being added to the Our Community Cumulative Giving Wall.

“On behalf of the boards, the Cancer Center leadership team, every volunteer and team member and the patients and family members we serve, I offer my sincere gratitude to all of tonight’s honorees,” said Art Favre, chairman of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s board of directors. “Together, we are propelling cancer care forward.”

“Mary Bird Perkins was built by the community for the community nearly 50 years ago,” said Todd Stevens, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “It is because of volunteers and philanthropists that we have transformed cancer care and become a destination cancer center. Tonight was a great representation of people coming together to advance the Cancer Center’s mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.”


About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for almost 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. For more information, please visit