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The East Texans packed the Brunson Equestrian Center on the grounds of Texas Rose Horse Park Saturday night to support the American Cancer Society at the 34th annual Tyler Cattle Barons Gala.
The gala, established in 1988, is a long-running event for East Texas, known as one of the top galas in the state for raising record sums to help fight cancer.
The gala saw a huge turnout and featured food, entertainment, dancing, games, silent and live auctions, music from country music singer and songwriter Jon Wolfe and the local band of Tyler Slickrock Hoodoo, and more.
The funds raised during the gala, on the theme “Neon Rose”, directly benefit the local and regional territory.
Dr. Steven Curley, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Chair of Oncology and Chief of Surgical Oncology at the Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute, reiterated how vital the huge fundraiser is for eastern Texas. Texas.
“Support for the American Cancer Society is essential for the community,” Curley said. “Supporting this event means supporting cancer patients in the local and regional community.”
Curley said the funds go to things like education and prevention events, transportation support for those who have difficulty getting to their treatment or appointments, and more.
More than $16.5 million has been raised since the event’s inception, and organizers aimed to raise at least $450,000 at Saturday night’s event for local and national support services and research against the cancer.
Another important part of the gala initiative is to help raise awareness, Curley said.
“It’s always important to raise awareness, people don’t like to talk about cancer,” Curley said. “When people hear this diagnosis, it changes their lives.” For this reason, seeing countless residents come out to support the worthy cause is gratifying.
At Saturday’s gala, the new logo for the Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute was unveiled. The institute, which is ongoing and expected to see its first patients in October, will have a huge impact on local patients, Curley said.
“This is a brand new cancer center that we are opening at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, this is a partnership between us and Texas Oncology, this is the first time these organizations have done this,” said said Curley. “So now we’re bringing comprehensive cutting-edge services to Northeast Texas – surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, support services.
“It will be a world-class center. Diagnostic equipment will be things that haven’t been in Northeast Texas before. This will give us a better ability to identify smaller, early-stage cancers; we will have research space that will allow us to provide treatment to patients who need new types of treatment, and they will no longer have to travel to big cities to obtain them.
Residents want to be able to get their treatments without having to travel miles, so this center will change the lives of local patients, he said.
“We want to be able to provide the same high level of care in local communities, reaching out to our network and our partners, working with other oncologists, primary care physicians, to really deliver world-class service here. close to home,” Curley said.
Curley added how much Christus appreciates the partnership with the American Cancer Society. They are a key element in helping patients in need to get to their appointments.
“If we identify a patient who has transportation issues, we can contact the cancer society and they can help patients come to their appointments to get their treatments and for their doctor visits,” he said. he declares.
The 34th Annual Gala Chairs said community support was crucial.
Kennedy May, co-chair, said the number of people who attended the gala on Saturday night is a testament to the community’s dedication to helping others.
“East Texas is showing up,” she said.
Co-Chair Whitney Cain said, particularly when it comes to charity, local residents “are not afraid to whip out their wallets” to support a worthy cause. It’s not just the event attendees who make a huge impact – the support of sponsors is also crucial.
“The generosity of our sponsors is insane,” she said, adding how grateful the event organizers are for their support. “It makes you really proud to be here and proud to shop with them because you know they give back.”
After a year of hard work, co-chairs May, Cain and Spencer Smith were happy and excited to see the event unfold on Saturday evening.
“It’s exciting to see him come together,” Smith said.
A lot of hard work goes into the year leading up to the gala, so seeing it come to fruition is rewarding, the co-chairs said.