Avery Anne Guerra Day planned; honors memory of special child, raises funds for congenital heart defects

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GROVES — Debbie Broussard isn’t going to let the memory of granddaughter Avery Anne Guerra fade away.

Broussard’s way to keep the memory alive is to aid other local families with children dealing with a congenital heart defect.

“It is so important to me to keep Avery’s memory alive. I don’t want her to ever be forgotten,” Broussard said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In order to do so Broussard established the Avery Anne Guerra Foundation, which helps families whose children are in the hospital with a heart defect. In he past two weeks she has learned of two children with these issues who are in Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

“I want her life to continue to make a difference in other children’s lives,” she said of the reason for the foundation. “She continues to live through these children.”

Avery Anne Guerra was 4 years old when she died in 2008 from a congenital heat defect. She called Broussard her Mimi.


Avery Anne Guerra Day, which is a major fundraising event for the foundation, is planned from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Bruce’s Market Basket parking lot, 6001 39th St. in Groves. This year marks the 14th annual event.

The fundraiser includes a number of activities: Bake sale, link sale, car wash, silent auction and dunking booth.

There is a raffle with a drawing at 3 p.m. The cost is a $2 donation per ticket, and you need not be present to win. Prizes include a Creole Feast Crawfish Boiler propane gas cooker, $700 value; Apple Watch series 9- $400 value; and $200 HEB gift card.

LifeShare Blood Center is going to be on hand.

Broussard, owner of Debbie’s Dance Etc., said some of her dance students start off early covering Groves with pink balloons in memory of Avery.

She calls it a tradition.


Broussard recalls how Avery drew so much attention to her with a pretty smile and little eyeglasses.

“Everywhere she went people would stop and talk to her,” she said.

Avery was full of life and a happy child who never questioned what was going on with her condition. Her parents were honest with her. When they went to the hospital and told her what was going to happen — she never questioned or asked why, Broussard said.

“Only for her last surgery, which was major. When her mom talked to her about it — she was very smart— she said ‘well ok, I’ll do it if I have to but I’m not going to lie down. They’ll have to do it standing up.’”

Avery was also a mascot of sorts for the students at Debbie’s Dance. Not long before her passing, she and the dancers returned from performing at Disney World.

“She went with us and directed the girls, she thought she was one of them, the big girls,” Broussard said. “She was the center of their world.”

Which brings up something else important to Broussard. The students she has now never knew Avery because so many years have passed, but they feel like they do because of the foundation and because Broussard constantly shares stories with them.

“They feel like they know her, like all the other kids,” she said. “I still have the original dance company and a lot of the children that were so close to her come back every year. She was one special little girl, for sure.”