Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Honors Supporters and Outstanding Advocates

BATON ROUGE, La. – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has awarded its three most prestigious awards to local leaders and organizations who have gone above and beyond to support the Cancer Center and its patients through philanthropy. They were recently celebrated at the Cancer Center’s “Our Community” celebration in Baton Rouge.

Art Favre receives the the Hillar C. Moore, Jr., Memorial Outstanding Leadership Award
(l-r) Steven Moore, Art Favre, Donna Saurage, Hillar C. Moore, III

Art Favre, co-founder and CEO of Performance Contractors and former Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center board chairman, was awarded the Hillar C. Moore, Jr., Memorial Outstanding Leadership Award. Each year, this award recognizes those whose service has made a significant and unique contribution to the Cancer Center’s philanthropic initiatives.

For more than 15 years, Favre and his family have served as philanthropists and longtime ambassadors in support of Mary Bird Perkins. Their generous contributions have allowed the Cancer Center to invest in innovative technology, like the Gamma Knife Icon, a noninvasive and innovative radiosurgery technology for the treatment of primary brain tumors, brain metastases and other central nervous system conditions that has benefitted thousands of local patients. In 2021, the Favre family made a transformational gift to the Cancer Center that will make Mary Bird Perkins one of only a few sites in the United States and the only site in Louisiana to offer a breakthrough Adaptive MRI-guided Radiation Therapy program.

Various members of Roux for a Reason accept the Louis D. Curet Memorial Volunteer Fundraiser Award
(l-r) Ben Floyd, Michael Meche, Lance Bergeron, John Breaux, Gene Songy, Chris Chiasson, Brett Monnier

Roux for a Reason, a non-profit gumbo cook-off fundraiser based in Houma, was awarded the Louis D. Curet Memorial Volunteer Fundraiser Award. This award recognizes an individual, organization, or foundation that has launched or led a significant philanthropic effort in support of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

Founded by friends, Ben Floyd and Ben Levy, the Roux for a Reason gumbo cook-off has raised more than $410,000 since it was first launched in 2017. Floyd and Levy were inspired to start this fundraising effort in memory of their fathers – both of whom succumbed to cancer. Thanks to funds raised by Roux for a Reason, Mary Bird Perkins welcomed a full-time Registered Dietitian to the Cancer Center’s dedicated team in the Bayou Region. This staff member meets with every single patient who walks through the doors of the Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and provides them with personalized nutritional guidance to help prepare them for the challenges they may encounter through treatment, at no additional cost. This service has been made possible through the generous support of Roux for a Reason and the group’s dedicated volunteers and supporters.

Jonas Fontenot, PhD, MBA, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center with Ellen Sessions
(l-r) Jonas Fontenot, PhD, MBA, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Ellen Sessions

Ellen Sessions, a longtime Mary Bird Perkins supporter, was awarded the D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Community Service Award. The D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Community Service Award is presented annually to an individual whose vision and dedication have made a sustained and measurable difference in the fight against cancer.

Sessions has served as a generous Cancer Center donor for nearly twenty years, but her support took on a new meaning in 2015 when she faced her own battle with cancer. After experiencing firsthand the exceptional care that all patients at Mary Bird Perkins receive, she decided to create a lasting legacy in honor of her treatment team by establishing the Ellen Chadwick Sessions Endowed Fund within Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation. With a background working in the banking industry for 30 years, Sessions recently began serving as a volunteer in the Development department, becoming an integral member of the Cancer Center’s fundraising team.

“Here at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, we are blessed with extraordinary community leaders who have made it their mission to support their community through the work of our Cancer Center,” said Danielle Mack, vice president and chief development officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “We are so grateful for the support of Art Favre, Roux for a Reason and Ellen Sessions. They all provide such powerful testimonies and display strong examples of how each and every one of us has the power to make a difference.”

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is solely dedicated to providing resources for all patients and their families. The Cancer Center relies heavily on the generosity of our local community to ensure that every patient, regardless of ability to pay, is provided with essential support programs and services. Thanks to substantial support, the Cancer Center’s physicians and team members continue to build on remarkable outcomes with a steadfast focus on the organization’s mission – to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for patients and their families.

“Mary Bird Perkins truly serves as our community Cancer Center,” said Mack. “Our organization has a rich history rooted in the belief that patients are best served when they receive expert, compassionate care close to home. The community leadership that laid the groundwork for this philosophy began in 1971 and endures today because of generous individuals, corporations, grantors and countless others.”

To learn more about Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and to find information about charitable giving, visit



About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at 10 centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gonzales, Hammond, Houma, Opelousas, Slidell, and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic affiliation with OneOncology and the largest radiation and medical oncology groups from across the area including exclusive partnerships with Southeastern Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group, which provides radiation therapy throughout Mary Bird Perkins’ service areas, Northshore Oncology Associates, serving St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, specifically the communities of Covington and Slidell and Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, which services the Greater Baton Rouge area. For more information, please visit