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Port Arthur leaders to be honored at Champagne & Ribs

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated since its original publish time to correctly indicate where Barbara Phillips works. The News regrets the error.)

This year’s honorees for the Gift of Life Champagne & Ribs event include leaders from the education and industry sectors in Port Arthur.

Motiva community coordinator Verna Rutherford, Valero public affairs manager Barbara Phillips and Port Arthur Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie are among the “T-Bird and Pink Lady Honorees” for the April 29 event at the Beaumont Civic Center, which will be themed with the 1978 movie Grease.

Beaumont entrepreneur Don Shaver and Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates internist Dr. Santos Soberon are also honorees.

Champagne & Ribs annually raises funds for the Gift of Life Men’s Health & Prostate Cancer Program.

“Our honorees are selected by going above and beyond for Gift of Life — either in their individual roles as volunteers or by being civic leaders that direct their businesses to support our organization’s events and initiatives,” Gift of Life spokeswoman Holli Petersen said.

Four persons were also named “Rydell Rangers Honorary Chairs” for Champagne & Ribs: former Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce director Pat Avery, former Lamar State College Port Arthur President Dr. Sam Monroe, Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary and Beaumont medical Dr. John Fowler. The Rydell Rangers are a high school football team in Grease.

“Our Rydell Rangers Honorary Chairs serve as ambassadors of the event and the organization,” Petersen said. “They are selected for their high level of commitment to see the organization and fundraiser succeed and often complement our honorees in areas of industry, professionalism and compassion.”

Champagne & Ribs will begin at 6:30 p.m. April 29. Tickets can be purchased online at giftoflifebmt.org or by calling the Gift of Life at 409-833-3663.

The Gift of Life will host healthcare screening events from 9 a.m.-noon at the J. Michael and Bridget Shahan Events Center, 209 Green Ave., Orange; June 13 at the Beaumont Civic Center, 701 Main St.; and June 27 at the Carl Parker Center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive in Port Arthur. Call the Gift of Life to determine eligibility and to register.