For the love of Ben: Fundraiser set to benefit local meteorologist

Published 10:09 am Thursday, June 2, 2022

By Emily Burleigh

The Friends of Ben Terry Benefit is a local, grassroots fundraiser being held to support local beloved meteorologist Ben Terry. It will be held Saturday, June 4, at Burton Coliseum.

Terry was first diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2020. The following year he underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. After the treatments, Terry was informed he was in remission and cancer-free; however, earlier this year the cancer had aggressively recurred. Terry is now undergoing chemotherapy at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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“Ben is very humbled by all this,” said Pamela McGough, event chairwoman and close friend of Terry. “He has so much appreciation for the committee and the whole community. Several parishes reached out to him to find ways to help.”

For members of the event committee, the process of organizing the fundraiser has been personal. “We want to help relieve the stress for Ben, so that he won’t have to worry about the expenses that are not covered by insurance,” McGough said. “Many of the members on the committee have dealt with cancer, or have had family members with cancer. We know how hard it can be.”

The planning of the event began the first week of May. “We thought the sooner the better,” McGough said. “It’s been a busy four weeks, but the experience has been comforting. It’s been a privilege to do this for him.”

The Friends of Ben Terry Benefit has been a group effort. “We’ve got a very good community here. We have not been turned down by anyone,” McGough said. “We’ve actually had people reach out. Not just from Lake Charles, but from other parishes. It’s been unbelievable.”

The event will feature live bands, food and beverage sales, a children’s fun area, blood drive and a live and silent auction.

The live performances are scheduled as follows: Grammy-nominee Sean Ardoin (10-11 a.m.), The Charles Wayne Band (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.), Gyth Rigdon (3-3:45 p.m.), and Geno Delafosse and the French Rockin’ Boogie (4-5:30 p.m.). All of the artists performing have donated their time and talents to the benefit.

 The live auction will begin at 1 p.m. and last until 3 p.m. It will be led by auctioneer Hal McMillin, and will feature such items as dinners, hunting trips, a beach trip, artwork, excursions and more.

 The silent auction will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

 The children’s fun area will have plenty of activities, including face-painting, corn hole boards, a blow-up jump house, and more.

Food, refreshments, and beverages will be available for purchase. BOOMBOX will be at the event with specialty Frozen Pops and Ice Cream for attendees to purchase.

Attendees are also able to upgrade to a VIP package.

“We have sold the VIP tables for $1,000, for those who want to provide more,” McGough said. Attendees who purchase VIP tables will be seated closer to the stage, and will have a meal and beverages provided to them.

The money raised will be used to assist Terry with cancer treatment and recovery related expenses that are not covered by insurance. At the request of Terry, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. These funds will assist locals with cancer, and support research and services.

 Admission to the benefit will be free, and will be held 10 a.m.-5:30 a.m. at 7001 Gulf Highway. Doors will open at 9:45 a.m.

 Volunteers are needed and welcomed. If you wish to volunteer, email