Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ Phenomenal Performance
More than 1,400 guests celebrated the Gift of Life’s 20th Anniversary at its Legacy of Love Concert: Oh, What a Night! featuring iconic pop group, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
The audience erupted with enthusiasm, continuous applause and several standing ovations during the two hours that Valli and the Four Seasons, accompanied by their seven-piece band, performed nearly every one of their most beloved hits, including “December 1963,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Working My Way Back to You,” “My Eyes Adored You,” “My Cherie Amour,” “Sherry,” “Candy Girl,” “Rag Doll,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”
“This night was truly phenomenal,” said Gift of Life Board President Nell Morris. “It is breathtaking to witness how the Gift of Life has impacted the community for more than 20 years. Being able to share this special night with such a treasured talent is truly a blessing. This night is our gift to the community, thanking them for supporting us for so many years.”
Prior to Frankie’s performance, Zereana Jess-Huff, Ph.D., Mrs. Maryland America, addressed the audience to share her story of survivorship from ovarian cancer.
“I am better because of cancer,” Jess-Huff said. “We are better because of cancer… And, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart – from the bottom of my family’s heart – for being here, for donating your dollars, for giving to this cause. The Gift of Life is so important to Southeast Texas… I think about myself as a 32-year-old executive and if I had just seen a pamphlet of the 14 signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, that one pamphlet could have saved some time for me… So, the dollars you donate this evening help to educate and print those pamphlets. And, maybe you’re not aware of it, but you’re saving lives.”
Lola Campbell-Wilber, an ovarian cancer fighter and devoted Gift of Life volunteer, presented a heart trophy to Jess-Huff to express appreciation for “sharing her story of hope and compassion.”
“I cannot possibly thank you enough for taking your time, your energy, your passion to helping spread awareness about ovarian cancer,” Wilber stated. “Going to the Gift of Life Color Run two years ago and learning about the signs and symptoms three months later saved my life. The work of this organization is incredible. And, we are so thankful to have you here to inspire everyone.”
Julie Rogers Corporate “Spirit of Love” Award
Additional highlights from the night included the presentation of the prestigious Julie Rogers Corporate “Spirit of Love” Award to the Wilton P. & Effie Mae Hebert Foundation, represented by President James Black and trustee Joe Vernon, for its community leadership and shared mission of providing vital healthcare for medically underserved individuals.
Gift of Life Founder and Chair Regina Rogers was joined on the stage by Executive Officers Nell Morris, Marty Craig, Linda Domino, Donna Harris, Dora Nisby and Paula O’Neal to present the award.
“We are deeply grateful to the Hebert Foundation trustees, James Black, Joe Vernon and Catherine Bruney, who is unable to be here tonight, for their caring hearts and benevolent support that have helped us provide thousands of breast and prostate cancer screenings throughout Southeast Texas during the past 15 years and extend the lives of countless individuals who have been diagnosed with these diseases,” Rogers said.
The Gift of Life’s 20th Anniversary Concert celebrated the organization’s lifesaving services throughout the region. The event was anonymously underwritten by a generous supporter so that all funds raised could benefit the Gift of Life’s breast and ovarian cancer awareness initiatives.