Four local people will be honored for their patriotism

Four local people will be honored for their patriotism at the 11th annual Red, White, Blue & You Patriot’s Ball on Saturday, July 1, at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The event, hosted by the Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission, will include dinner, live entertainment and a fundraising auction 5:30-11:30 p.m. It’s hosted each year on the Saturday before July Fourth.

Event organizer Ron Williams said the commission will award Patriot of the Year posthumously to Matilda Gray, who funded the construction of American Legion Post 1 in honor of her brother, World War II veteran Geddings Gray.

This year’s Civilian Patriot is Thom Hagar; the Military Patriot is 1st Sgt. Ed Hudson; and the Emergency Responder Patriot is Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon, Williams said. The commission will also introduce Miss Armed Forces 2017-2018, elected in May to represent the organization at events and festivals statewide.

“The ball recognizes patriots from all backgrounds in our community,” Williams said. “There are a lot of people who work on behalf of our community that are great patriots in every way, not just those associated with the military.”

Williams said the 25-member commission operates solely off donations and that the Patriot’s Ball is its main fundraiser. Funds from the auction and ticket sales will go toward veterans programs like the Wounded Warrior Project and free community events, like the city’s Veterans Day celebration. Williams said last year the event raised about $5,000 after expenses.

Following the award ceremony, local band Souled Out ’72 will perform songs from the 1960s and 1970s, and residents are encouraged to dance along. The Diamond Dancers will also perform.

Individuals and organizations interested in sponsoring the event or providing auction items can call Williams at 526-2699 or email info@orleck.org.

Tickets cost $50 for adults and $35 for young adults, ages 16-21. Tickets for military members in pay grade E-6 and below and their guests are $35. Tickets without a meal cost $20.

Tickets and table sponsorships can be purchased at the Civic Center box office or at mafc.ticketleap.com. For more information, call 491-1256. 

Parade, concert

The city is accepting entry forms for its July Fourth Red, White, Blue & You Parade. Floats, marching units, vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts are welcome to participate.

The parade will roll down Ryan Street from Mill to Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive starting at 6 p.m., followed by a free program and concert by the Lake Charles Community Band and Louisiana Choral Foundation.

A fireworks show over the lake at 9:15 p.m. will bring the event to a close.

Free face painting and complimentary flags will be available. Attendants can buy food from vendors and festival T-shirts for $5.

For entry forms and rules, go to cityoflakecharles.com, email katie.harrington@cityoflc.us or call 491-1382.

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