Over the past 57 years, Cancer Services has served thousands of patients, bringing to fruition its mission to improve life for those living with cancer.
Cancer Services’ signature fundraiser, the annual Capital Chefs’ Showcase, was held for the 34th time Wednesday night at Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event featured dishes from 27 local chefs and caterers, including Bergeron’s City Market, Chef Sonny Creel of Drusilla Seafood Restaurant, Mansurs on the Boulevard and Zea Rotisserie & Grill.
The organization offers support services for cancer patients and caters to their emotional, physical and financial needs. The money raised by the showcase funds Cancer Services’ programs.
“We hope guests leave knowing more about us and knowing that their money is going to a great cause,” CEO Jill Roshto said.
The showcase boasted an open bar with a signature cocktail by Raising Cane’s, silent and live auctions, a gift card and wine pull, a raffle for a $4,000 Lee Michaels shopping spree and a DJ for guests’ entertainment.
Some of the guest chefs opted to compete against each other, judged by honorary chairs LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri and “Food Network Star” runner-up Jay Ducote.
“Jay is awesome. He’s doing amazing things in the community,” Roshto said. “He’s building his brand and being a good advocate for the Baton Rouge community. We’re thrilled to have him involved, and Coach [Mainieri] has been great. He’s so generous with his time.”
One of the prizes auctioned off was a behind-the-scenes party at Alex Box Stadium with Mainieri and former LSU athletic director Skip Bertman. Another prize auctioned off was a dinner for 10 cooked by Ducote, who is known for his Cajun and Creole cuisine.
“Baton Rouge and all of Louisiana has helped make me the person that I am and has supported me on my entire journey,” Ducote said. “I’m from Baton Rouge. I have two degrees from LSU. Baton Rouge is home. I travel a lot these days, but when I’m in town, I want to be involved and help represent.”
Roshto said she hopes Cancer Services is a patient’s second stop — the helping hand they turn to after receiving a doctor’s diagnosis. The organization hopes to offset some of the unforeseen costs of cancer, including prescriptions and travel mileage.
“We’re a very unique organization,” Roshto said. “We’re one of the only few cities in the country that has something like this. It makes Baton Rouge different and better.”
They also help provide wheelchairs, hospital beds and nutritional supplements to patients. In addition, Cancer Services offers emergency financial grants for patients in low-income brackets.
“We know the difference we make in people’s lives,” Roshto said. “It’s incredibly rewarding. I am honored.”
Tending to emotional needs, 24 support groups are available through the organization, along with individual counseling. Cancer Services hosts children and family events and offers four children’s camps for children either battling cancer themselves or those with a sibling or parent fighting cancer.
“Cancer Services is a great organization and does a tremendous job filling a huge need in our community,” Ducote said. “Being able to be a part of it feels great.”
The funds raised by the Capital Chefs’ Showcase enable those battling cancer to live life with a few less worries. Without the support of the Baton Rouge community, Roshto said she believes Cancer Services wouldn’t be where it is today.
“Baton Rouge has had a tough year, and it’s great to see people unite and come together as a community,” Roshto said.