Circle of Hope to honor NISD Trahan with benefit

Published 8:11 pm Thursday, August 27, 2015

NEDERLAND — Emmett Hollier said he’s called on the community numerous times through his organization, Southeast Texas Circle of Hope.

As Circle of Hope founder and president, Hollier said he’s been blessed to help funnel support and funds to amazing individuals and families caught in some type of financial or emotional crisis.

Hollier said time after time, Southeast Texans have come together to aid their neighbors — and more often than not, total strangers — in their “darkest hours.”

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Hollier said he hopes to see the biggest turnout of supporters yet for one of the most “common names in our community” this weekend. Southeast Texas Circle of Hope will host a benefit for the family of Ronnie Trahan — a former resident of Nederland, Port Neches and Beaumont, diagnosed with colorectal cancer seven years ago, who died Aug. 3 at age 66.

“This is a tough one for us,” Hollier said Wednesday. “Originally, when Ronnie was still alive and we started this process, the money was going to go toward medical expenses. Cancer is not an inexpensive disease with inexpensive treatments.

“But now that he’s passed away, he’s got a wife left behind. We’re looking to still provide for leftover medical expenses, as well as any leftover funeral expenses that maybe the insurance didn’t cover and start a little savings to help his wife.”

Each benefit is special, Hollier said, but some hit closer to home than others. When Trahan — Nederland Independent School District maintenance and transportation director for the last 25 years — died earlier this month, he added, entire communities lost their “Paw-Paw.”

“We all know those people that never ask for help and are always doing for others, always putting others first. That was Ronnie all his life,” Hollier said. “You’d be hard-pressed to find an organization or a group of people in this county Ronnie did not help or know in some way. He’s always been achieving for others, always doing what he can for other people.”

Hollier said Trahan was involved in countless organizations, including the Nederland Crime Stoppers, Nederland Heritage Festival, Mid-County Optimist, Kiwanis Club, Nederland Senior Citizens and Nederland North Little League. “Not to mention he just about started Nederland Girls Softball single-handedly,” he added.

“At Circle of Hope, we like doing for those that do for others,” Hollier said. “What we’ve found in five years of putting on these benefits is it’s not always about the money. Yes, the money is great. It helps families get back on their feet and pay off these unforeseeable emergency expenses.

“But it’s really about the community. These people take time from their own life to do good for someone else, and it gives the families comfort to know there are still good people out there willing to help. The way we see it, if we can take this person or this family out of this tragedy for half an hour over one day, the months of preparation were all worth it.”

The Circle of Hope “Ronnie Trahan Benefit” is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Nederland Knights of Columbus Hall, located at 315 Hardy Ave.

Hollier said the benefit will feature baked goods, door prizes and raffles, face painting, a live and silent auction, 50/50 pot, live music, T-shirts, a motorcycle and car fun run, and — perhaps the most entertaining — a live chicken drop.

Auction items include pistols, a Yeti ice cooler, fire pit, dinner gift certificates from local restaurants and autographed sports memorabilia, including a baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio. Plate lunches will be served for $10.

Direct donations can be made to Neches Federal Credit Union, account No. 59432-13, with “Ronnie Trahan Benefit” written in the memo.

For more information about the Circle of Hope benefit for Ronnie Trahan, call Hollier at (409) 550-7135 or email

Twitter: @crhenderson90