Champagne & Ribs allows guests to be force for good

Champagne & Ribs allows guests to be force for good

You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to be a force for good. Join the Gift of Life Jedi Force and help battle prostate cancer in Southeast Texas at the party of the light year, Champagne & Ribs, on Thursday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Ford Park Exhibit Hall in Beaumont.

Gift of Life Intergalactic Honorary Co-Chairs include Bo Alfred, Becky Ames, Charlene Babineaux, Kenneth Evans, Mark Kubala, and Bob Wortham.

Rebel Force Honorees are John Adolph, Joe Holland, James Singletary and Sheila Umphrey.

“Rev. John Adolph is a renowned pastor, who excels at uplifting and motivating; Dr. Joseph Holland is a prominent physician and gastroenterologist who is completely devoted to caring for and healing his patients; Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary is dedicated to the safety and security of all of our residents; and Sheila Umphrey is a noted philanthropist who continues to share her talents and resources with many good causes,” said Gift of Life founder and chair Regina Rogers of the four honorees.

This Star Wars-themed night will be bigger than ever and will include laser lights, carnival-style games and Cirque Du Soleil-style performances.

Dine to your heart’s content on epicurean delights prepared by the Golden Triangle Texas Chef’s Association, Go Texan, Gigi’s Cupcakes, and Nothing Bundt Cakes. Menu items include the party’s famous ribs, steamship round beef and pulled pork, mashed potatoes; fish and shrimp tacos; crudités/veggies with desserts including flying saucer crepes, mini-cupcakes and Bundt cakes.

Refresh yourself with the best bubbly in Southeast Texas at the supernova-sized cantina.

“The Star Wars theme is truly the creative genius of Gift of Life Executive Director Norma Sampson, whose ability to conceptualize and plan our events is almost supernatural,” Rogers said. “She and our co-chairs, Yvette Crorey and Karen Fontenot, have worked very hard to make this particular occasion fun and exciting for all.”

Guests can dance under the cosmos with intergalactic performances by some of the region’s most popular bands. Beaumont’s own Mid-Life Crisis will kick-off the night with their fun and soulful rendition of rock ‘n’ roll classics. Then, featured entertainers Bag of Donuts will ignite the audience with their unique brand of Superpop tunes, covering popular songs from any era with their unique blend of flamboyant style and rocker showmanship.

“Bag of Donuts are a phenomenal group of musicians who are ‘out-of-this-world’ talented with amazing performances of your favorite artists,” said Sampson. “Their high energy, interactive style of entertaining will showcase the reason Champagne & Ribs is the party of the light year.”

This year’s Champagne & Ribs will present even more incredible ways for guests to win big with unique and exciting auction packages. Attendees will all want to be the highest bidder at a spectacular silent auction, coordinated by Becky Hunter and her creative team. And “May the Ford be With You” because the Gift of Life is having a raffle for a brand new 2014 Ford F150 Supercrew pickup. With only 500 raffle tickets to sell, participants will have incredible odds of going home with a new set of keys. Tickets are limited, so contact the Gift of Life today to purchase raffle tickets.

Champagne & Ribs is a “party with a cause,” with all proceeds benefiting the Gift of Life Prostate Cancer Initiatives that include free prostate cancer screenings, primary care tests and diagnostic evaluations, with prostate cancer treatment, for medically underserved men in Southeast Texas. In addition to these lifesaving medical services, the program provides educational materials and outreach presentations throughout the area.

“Several years ago, our continuum of care for clients was expanded to include other critical tests, including blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, hepatitis C, and HIV screenings, as well as consultations with medical professionals to discuss the significance of screenings and test results,” Rogers said. “On occasion, men have been sent directly to the emergency room of Baptist Hospitals for immediate treatment when they have had alarmingly high blood pressure or other conditions requiring urgent care. The passion behind all our efforts is the cause, the Gift of Life Prostate Cancer Initiative, for which we are working to raise awareness and provide critical education for all men, who need to know and be reminded of the importance of being screened annually after age 45, and earlier if African American and at greater risk, or if they have a family history of prostate cancer.”

The Gift of Life is dedicated to helping those who need it the most, Rogers said.

“The reality is thousands of Southeast Texas men are unable to afford medical care or insurance premiums,” Rogers said. “Nearly one fourth of Jefferson County residents are uninsured and are dependent upon the services provided by the Gift of Life. Almost all of our clients have low-paying jobs that make it difficult for them to provide for their families, and therefore, seeking medical care is not a priority for them. Through the Gift of Life, residents of seven Southeast Texas counties are able to receive free prostate cancer screenings at locations in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange. The program pays for all additional diagnostic tests and underwrites the complete cost of treatment when needed.”

Since 2000, the Gift of Life has conducted nearly 8,000 free prostate cancer screenings, according to Rogers, and has helped extend the lives of 67 men who have been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, with all costs completely underwritten by the Gift of Life. Funding from this event will support the Gift of Life’s efforts during June’s Men’s Health Month, with screening sites on June 6 in Port Arthur at the Carl Parker Center, June 13, in Beaumont at the Lamar Institute of Technology and June 20 in Orange at the Lamar State College Wilson Building. Statistics reflect that the five-year survival rate for men whose prostate cancer is diagnosed early is nearly 100 percent

“We fervently believe that the purpose of life is to serve and help others while offering compassion and love,” Sampson said. “If we are blessed by good health and the opportunity for service, it is our honor and position in life to try and make a difference. The women and men who are battling cancer grace our lives and need a helping hand as they strive to care for themselves and their families. Through the generosity and support of the community, the Gift of Life is able to provide our clients a lifesaving bridge of healthcare and hope.”

Champagne & Ribs tickets are $125 per person, and sponsorships are still available. For more information, call the Gift of Life at (409) 833-3663 or visit

Out-of-this world band Bag of Donuts brings timeless tunes to Champagne & Ribs