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The story behind Phil’s Oyster Bar’s Cancer Shucks fundraising event

On October 24, Phil’s Oyster Bar will host its third annual Cancer Shucks event as a part of the Mary Bird Perkins’ Geaux Pink fundraising series. However, the origin of this event has a deeper meaning than just raising funds.

Paula O’Neal, manager of Phil’s Oyster Bar, and owner Anthony Piazza decided to start the event three years ago in honor of the many people they have a personal connection to who have been treated at Mary Bird Perkins. “As a company, we both felt that it was important to give back,” O’Neal says. “And the fact that all the money raised stays here in the community, so people know where it’s going, makes it all the more special.”

Tanie Bush is one of the many reasons this event began. She is a breast cancer survivor and the best friend of O’Neal.

“I wanted to do something in her honor, along with my little sister, grandfather and grandmother, who were all treated at Mary Bird,” O’Neal says. “Two of our staff members have also received cancer treatment from Mary Bird.”

In the past three years, the event has grown substantially. This year, instead of general admission, guests will have designated tables thanks to presale tickets. But the same fun details will remain, with Mary Bird Perkins physicians acting as amateur bartenders again this year to raise even more funds.

“Last year, you could hardly walk in the close quarters of the restaurant because we had such a great turnout,” O’Neal says. “This year will be more organized, with pre-sold seats and tables to avoid that, and we’ll also have a silent auction and raffle tickets to hopefully beat last year’s fundraising amount of $13,000.”

To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit the event page here. And to learn more about Mary Bird Perkins’ Geaux Pink events, happening throughout the month, visit the Mary Bird Perkins website here.