BATON ROUGE - For the fourth-straight year the LSU gymnastics team will dedicate its performance to the late mother of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James when the Tigers compete against fifth-ranked Georgia in the Etta James Memorial Meet Friday at 7 p.m. in the Maravich Center.
During James' sophomore year at LSU, he lost his mother, Etta James to breast cancer in 2001. After establishing Foundation 56 in 2007, the gymnastics team at James' alma mater teamed up with his foundation to raise funds for breast cancer awareness.
"My life has forever been changed by my mom's personal experience with breast cancer," James said. "Her strength fuels my drive to give and to do for others. Foundation 56 enables me to work with others to make a difference. And that difference is saving lives."
The goal of the meet is to raise money for Bradie James' Foundation 56/Soul Survivors, which promotes early breast cancer detection and increasing services and resources of this insidious disease in Baton Rouge and neighboring communities in Louisiana. Since the inaugural meet in 2008, more than $120,000 has been raised by the LSU gymnastics team and the Baton Rouge community for Foundation 56.
"The last three seasons have been very successful in terms of community support for the Etta James Memorial. Our fans have continued to come out and help Bradie and I in the fight against breast cancer, and we are hoping for their continued support this year," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said.
Gymnastics fans and the Baton Rouge community in general have shown their support for fighting breast cancer because the three Etta James Memorial meets represent the three most-attended LSU gymnastics meets in school history, including a record 7,717 in 2008.
"I was so happy that the community helped us raise more than $120,000 the past three years, and we are excited to work with Bradie again this season because we want to do our part to help our community and Foundation 56 continue fighting this disease," Breaux said.
With a donation of $10 to Foundation 56 at the meet, a fan will receive a new Foundation 56 t-shirt, and the t-shirts will be located in the upper concourse on the south end of the Maravich Center.
Prior to the meet there will be a Super Tiger Fan Kids Zone in front of the Maravich Center from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30. Inflatable rides will be available for kids of all ages.
This year's meet will be kicked off by a "Tailgate for the Fight" event Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. in the Stadium Club inside Tiger Stadium sponsored by Foundation 56. A live and silent auction will be held to raise money for Foundation 56. Tickets are only $56 each and are still available by calling 225-394-1357 or e-mailing Foundation56RSVP@yahoo.com.
Fans will receive a t-shirt with a $10 donation to Foundation 56. A Super Tiger Fan Kids Zone will be set up in front of the Maravich Center from 4:30-6:30 p.m. prior to the meet and will have inflatable rides.
To attend the tailgating event for $56 donation, please RSVP by calling 225-394-1357 or via email: Foundation56RSVP@yahoo.com.