Superheroes on the scene in SETX

Superheroes on the scene in SETX

Superheroes have been around a long time and everyone seems to love them, according to Mark Stancil, founder of Terminus Media in Atlanta, Ga.

“In fact, most people have their favorite and chose that one special character with care and precision,” said Stancil whose superhero cartoons are the talk of the town in many areas. “There’s something in the life of the superhero that they can identify with in their own.” Stancil’s newest series recently released in cooperation with the CDC in Atlanta teachs positive truths to the readers who clamor for each copy. “And, they want their personal hero to thrive and win his or her battles.”

That can be said of our own superheroes in Southeast Texas — Darrell Jacob, Dr. Mark Kubala and Judge Mickey Shuffield — who have united to fight prostate cancer and will be honored by the “Gift of Life” Program at the popular Champagne and Ribs 2012 celebration. Jacob, dubbed “Captain Awareness,” Kubala as “Super Lifesaver” and Shuffield as “Mighty Crusader” will be honored as the Justice League calls attention to the disease and treatment April 12 at Cowboy Harley-Davidson in Beaumont, beginning at 7 pm. Pat Avery, Lee Ann and Terry Garth, and Becky and Dr. Joe Holland, serving as super event chairs, will host the superhero party of the year with benefits going to the “Gift of Life” Prostate Cancer Program and other initiatives.

Jacob has been a dedicated supporter of “Gift of Life” programs through his role as refinery manager of TOTAL Port Arthur Refinery. Thanks to TOTAL’s generosity, thousands of underserved Southeast Texans have been provided free prostate and breast cancer screenings. According to “Gift of Life” records, 16 men and 10 women have been helped navigate through treatment after screenings sponsored by TOTAL.

Jacob is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Texas and has held numerous management positions in manufacturing with TOTAL Port Arthur. He was appointed refinery manager there in 2006. Jacob, a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, is a civic and corporate leader and serves as chair of the Southeast Texas Plant Managers Forum and executive board member of Three Rivers Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Kubala, a “Gift of Life” advisory board member, is renowned for his visionary and philanthropic contributions to the medical community. His tireless advocacy for patients and physicians makes him a true superhero, and he was recently recognized with the “Gift of Life’s” prestigious Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” award for dedication, commitment and spirit in the fight against cancer.

Kubala has helped enhance health-care opportunities for all Texans and has held many well-known roles in the state. He helped create the Texas Medical Association Foundation and served as the president of the Texas Medical Association and Texas Medical Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Shuffield, State District Judge of 136th Judicial Court, supports many “Gift of Life” activities each year and is inspired by the program’s efforts to provide lifesaving cancer screenings to Southeast Texans in need. Shuffield and his popular band Mid-Life Crisis perform annually at Champagne and Ribs, adding much to the evening with their musical talents. Shuffield is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

The proceeds generated by the superheroes and fundraising efforts of Champagne and Ribs further the “Gift of Life” mission and enable the program to continue to deliver lifesaving services throughout the seven Southeast Texas counties.

Since 2000, the “Gift of Life” program has conducted nearly 6,500 free prostate cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of more than 60 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. The program also provided access to treatment for these men. In 2011, four men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and are undergoing treatment, all of which is funded by the “Gift of Life.”

The organization annually conducts educational outreach presentations that discuss critical prostate cancer issues and provide valuable information for preventative care.

Come out and meet Southeast Texas’ own superheroes and see them in action for a fun-filled night enjoyed with a valuable purpose of helping others.

Champagne and Ribs sponsorship opportunities and tickets ($100 per person) are currently available from the “Gift of Life” offices. For more information, call the “Gift of Life” at (409) 833-3663 or visit

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.