The Port Arthur News
Larry Rhodes walked toward Jefferson County Commissioner Brent Weaver, whipped cream pie in hand, with the showmanship of a professional entertainer.
Weaver, wearing a giant garbage bag over his Nederland Bulldogs T-shirt, laughed along with his friend as Rhodes smeared the pie on Weaver’s face and on the top of his head.
The pie in the face fun unfolded outside the Nederland Heritage Festival pavilion in Nederland on Saturday as part of a benefit for Mike and Wanda Lovelady. Mike Lovelady, is a retired fire chief who served the City of Nederland for 30 years and his wife, Wanda Lovelady, is a longtime employee with the city.
The former fire chief underwent major exploratory surgery in June due to a blocked bowel and faces more surgeries and possibly a bowel resection in the future as his body heals.
“I’m here first as a friend and because I’m an extended member of the family. Mike’s my brother-in-law’s brother,” Rhodes said while standing near the couple.
The day long benefit included a raffle, silent auction, gumbo and T-shirt sales as well as a Moon Bounce for the kids.
“This is fantastic,” Mike Lovelady said of the community support. “I’ve never been in a position where I’d be the recipient. So many of my friends and family came out, a lot of people from the different churches we’ve attended and people I’ve worked with in the city.”
Nederland Councilmember and retired chief of police Billy Neal sat in the seat of honor after Weaver. His first pie in the face came from his wife, Sue. The blonde-haired Mrs. Neal walked up to her husband, gave him a kiss and said “I love you” before smacking him with the pie as onlookers laughed.
Angela Fanette, parks and recreation supervisor, helped head up the benefit.
“We have a lot of really awesome silent auction items and raffle items,” Fanette said of the tables filled with items.
For more information, check out “Team Lovelady Benefit” on Facebook.