“Gift of Life” Program Presents Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” Awards
at Annual Board Meeting
Beaumont, Texas – Nearly 500 supporters attended the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program’s Annual Dinner Meeting on January 27 as the organization recognized Dr. Mark Kubala, a beloved and well-respected Beaumont neurosurgeon, with the “Gift of Life” Program’s Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” Award and the Jefferson County Medical Society with the Corporate “Spirit of Love” Award. Additionally, the meeting was highlighted with surprise award presentations to Heroes of the Cause, Charline Dauphin and Joe Penland.
Recognized during the program was Mark Kubala, MD, renowned local neurosurgeon, who received the organization’s Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” Award, presented by the Most Rev. Curtis J. Guillory, SVD, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont. The “Spirit of Love” Award recognizes individuals who have exemplified unparalleled dedication, commitment and spirit in the fight against cancer. Renowned for his visionary and philanthropic contributions to the medical community, Kubala, a “Gift of Life” Advisory Board member, is a tireless advocate for patients and physicians. Lending his caring heart to countless community causes, he works passionately to enhance healthcare opportunities for all Texans.
“This is shared award with my wife Betty, a breast cancer survivor,” Kubala said, “I would really like to thank the ‘Gift of Life’ Board of Directors because this is so important to me. We truly have great doctors in town, and it is an honor to be recognized by my peers and friends.”
The Jefferson County Medical Society, recipient of the Corporate “Spirit of Love” Award, represented by its President Ray Callas, MD, was presented the honor by Shaun Davis, Executive Director of the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission. The Corporate “Spirit of Love” Award is given annually to pay tribute to organizations that exhibit outstanding community leadership and share the “Gift of Life” mission of providing quality healthcare for those who are unable to access it themselves.
Since its inception 90 years ago, the Jefferson County Medical Society has continuously advocated public and physician needs before the Texas Legislature, leading a standard of excellence for the best possible healthcare and paving the way for organizations such as the “Gift of Life” to reduce regional health disparities through screenings for medically underserved individuals.
“We truly love our patients and are dedicated to giving the best medical care,” Callas said. “We thank the ‘Gift of Life’ for providing access to care that ensures so many people become cancer survivors and are honored to do our part to help them survive.”
Also acknowledged with a surprise tribute was philanthropist Charline Dauphin, who received the first Georgie Volz “Shine A Light” Award, established in loving memory of Volz, a board member who lost her life to breast and ovarian cancer in 2010. “Gift of Life” founder and chair, Regina Rogers, who presented the award, said, “Charline has been a guiding light in the ‘Gift of Life’ mission to bring education and cancer awareness to Southeast Texas.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I am proud to be a part of this program,” Dauphin said.
“Gift of Life” Advisory Board Member and Guardian Angel Joe Penland was the recipient of the “Lifesaver Extraordinaire” Award, presented by Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick.
“After my wife, Linda, was diagnosed with breast cancer, I realized how important the work of the ‘Gift of Life’ is, and we have been honored to give back,” said Penland, who is also a cancer survivor.
Anne East and Adanna Henry were each as Volunteers of the Year. “Gift of Life” and breast cancer survivor Sallye Keith, was honored with the “Legendary Leader” Award, presented by Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames.
The evening’s featured guest and entertainer, 11-year Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor Barbara Padilla, a versatile opera soprano and “standout star” on the hit television show, America’s Got Talent, captured the hearts of the audience with her dazzling vocal performances.
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince presented the “Spirit of Volunteerism” Awards to: Vicki Bauer, Holly Bradberry, Elizabeth Brown, Cathi Burbank (breast cancer survivor), Yvette Crorey, Pat Dubea, Ron Espinosa, Dolores Garcia (breast cancer survivor), Claudia Gentile, Candice Harrison, Tyneil McFaddin, Mary Monroe, Stephanie Offill, Christine Stetson, Maureen Winchell, RN, and Anne Winslow, RN (breast cancer survivor).
Serving as Master of Ceremonies, Bill Leger, KFDM TV-Channel 6 News Anchor, also noted the “Gift of Life’s” 2011 accomplishments. Guided by a mission of “saving lives,” the organization last year provided 1,991 free mammograms and 516 free prostate cancer blood test screenings for medically underserved women and men in Southeast Texas, with 18 women and four men being diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer. The organization also conducted 106 Sidney “Chief” Dauphin Educational Outreach encounters.
The evening was dedicated in loving memory of the late Carrie Naas, a board member who succumbed to breast cancer last November. “Remembering Carrie’s gifts of kindness, laughter and, most of all, love, we pay tribute to her tonight,” said breast cancer survivor Ania Bender.
To volunteer or obtain a free breast or prostate cancer screening, please call the “Gift of Life” at 409-833-3663 or visit giftoflifebmt.org.