Champagne & Ribs

Champagne & Ribs

It takes a team of players both on and off the field to secure a big win for the team, so take your best shot and help the Gift of Life win the monumental battle with prostate cancer Thursday, April 20, at Champagne & Ribs “Wide World of Sports” themed event at 6:30 p.m. at Ford Park.

The year’s All-Star honorees include “Big Rich” Courville, owner of Courville’s Cajun and Creole Catering; the Honorable Donald Floyd, judge of 172nd District Court; Fernando Salazar, Beaumont Refinery manager, ExxonMobil; and George Thomas, MD, Beaumont Internal Medicine and Geriatric Associates.

“I am absolutely thrilled that we are honoring such extraordinary individuals and that they are lending their names and support to this initiative, which indeed saves lives in Southeast Texas,” Gift of Life Founder and Chair Regina Rogers said. “We have 71 men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. We’ve provided not only diagnostic tests leading up to their determination if they have prostate cancer, but also treatment costs — very expensive. We continue to provide primary care tests for these gentlemen. We’ll probably do 750 this year. That’s in addition to all the other services we provide. We have a prostate support group — Men Against Cancer — that meets monthly and that provides education and information and support for family members and individuals going through prostate cancer.”


Champagne & Ribs serves as a fundraiser for all those efforts, and this party of the year will include all-you-can-eat-and-drink gourmet tailgate spreads including four tenderloin carving stations, homemade gumbo, pasta and salads prepared and donated by Bando’s, along with gourmet food by Chef Traci Gates, delicious ribs by Go Texan! plus other goodies from Golden Triangle Texas Chefs Association. “Additionally, the theme is very exciting — the Wide World of Sports. My longtime family friend Mario Andretti — close friend of more than 40 years — will be here,” added Rogers. “He’s just an extraordinary individual with a very exciting background. I think he will be interesting for people to meet. He’s a lot of fun to be with. We have other sports figures who will be here as well.”

Andretti will be leading the victory lap at this year’s Southeast Texas “Wide World of Sports” Hall of Fame Ceremony. Inducted into more than a dozen Hall of Fames, his career spanned five decades across six continents, he won more than 111 checkered flags, and Andretti is the only one to win the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and Formula One World Championship.

Today, he is a successful businessman off the track, serving as spokesman, associate and friend to top executives around the world, and has his name on the Andretti Winery in Napa Valley and a petroleum business in California.

All-stars in attendance will be new Lamar University head football coach Mike Schultz; Davy Arnaud (former MLS soccer player, member of the U.S. National Team) of Nederland; Stephen Jackson (14-year NBA veteran and world champion) of Port Arthur; Mike Defee (Big 12 football referee); Cornel Thompson (state champion football head coach of West Orange-Stark); Bobby Leopold (played football at Notre Dame and five seasons in the NFL) of Port Arthur; Coleman Roddy (NHRA drag racer) of Port Arthur; Inika McPherson (Olympian high jumper) of Port Arthur; Mark Petkovsek (former MLB pitcher) of Beaumont; Frank Middleton (NFL Super Bowl champion) of Beaumont; Brian Sanches (former Lamar, MLB pitcher) from Nederland; and Steve Worster (feature running back of the wishbone formation under famed University of Texas coach Darrell Royal) of Bridge City.

Back by popular demand will be cover band Bag of Donuts.

Co-Chairs Claudia and Jimmie Gentile, along with Charlotte Mains, have planned an unforgettable night you don’t want to miss.

Event tickets are $125 per person, and sponsorships ranging from $50,000 to $500 are available by calling (409) 833-3663.

There will also be an incredible silent and live auction, along with the chance to win a new 2017 Ford F150 Supercrew. With only 750 raffle tickets sold, you’ll have incredible odds of going home with shiny new wheels. Tickets for the truck are $100 and can be purchased online at You do not have to be present to win.

All proceeds benefit the Gift of Life’s Men’s Health and Prostate Cancer Program, which provides lifesaving services for local men in need. These funds are critical to the continuation of the organization’s lifesaving services.

The Gift of Life pays for all medical costs associated with its prostate cancer healthcare initiatives, from screenings to diagnostic tests and cancer treatment. All funds stay local and support residents in need.

During Men’s Health Month, the Gift of Life will host healthcare screening events June 3 (Beaumont Civic Center), June 10 (Lamar State College Orange) and June 24 (Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center Port Arthur). Call the 24-hour hotline at (409) 860-3369 to register.