BATON ROUGE - For the fourth straight year the LSU gymnastics team and the local community worked together to raise money for Bradie James' Foundation 56 to fight breast cancer in the Baton Rouge area.
James and LSU hosted the Tailgate for the Fight event on Feb. 16 that included a silent and live auction to raise money for Foundation 56, and donations were also accepted at the Fourth Annual Etta James Memorial Meet on Feb. 18.
With the outstanding turnout at both events last week, the gymnastics program and the community raised nearly $50,000 for Foundation 56 this year and more than $160,000 in four years to fight breast cancer in Baton Rouge.
"It's amazing that when you do something you are passionate about and go about it the right way it becomes contagious," James said. "That's how we get the results and the outcome that we have seen each year. The contributions and the volunteering for our events have grown each year, and it is only helping the community of Baton Rouge when we have great turnouts like we have seen.
"The tailgate and the meet were obvious successes, and we want to continue to keep it growing and make it better every year."
The Etta James Memorial committee worked hard to plan and put together the tailgate event and the meet. The committee members include Annie Alleva, Gary and Sandy Young, Debbie Heroman, Sylvia Duke, Gail Gaiennie, Elise Kaufman, Aimee Simon, Ya'el Lofton, Lois Stuckey, Stewart Jones as well as LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux.
"Gary and Sandy Young are the honorary chair people, and they've done a remarkable job with the giving of their time, energy and money to help this thing get off the ground," Breaux said. "We have had an unbelievable committee in place to make this a great event every year, and they did a great job this year once again."
One aspect that made Breaux excited about the tailgate event was the presence of former LSU football players who came to support James and his foundation's efforts against breast cancer. Richard Dickson, Trev Faulk, Josh Reed, Charles Scott, Justin Vincent and Corey Webster attended the tailgate.
"They came to support Bradie, and I think this event is going to get better and better because of that kind of support and the belief that Bradie has," Breaux said. "The community is beginning to see this as a viable fundraiser for breast cancer, and this is for the community. We are affecting women in our community in a positive way, and that to me is the most gratifying part."
To donate to Foundation 56 and support the fight against breast cancer in Baton Rouge, please visit www.BradieJames.net.