Community: Rock for Spots raises $30,000 for cancer patients | Entertainment/Life

Local doctors put down their stethoscopes and picked up guitars, drums and microphones for a July 23 benefit concert that raised almost $30,000 for cancer patients and health care providers adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. John Lyons, founder of the third annual event and chair of the Skin and Soft Tissue Multidisciplinary Care Team at the Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, created this fundraiser to support cancer patients and to raise melanoma and other soft tissue cancer awareness.

Rock for Spots, which is typically held at a music venue, went virtual this year, which led to a larger audience, Lyons said. The one-night benefit concert featured four bands made up of medical doctors and other health care professionals. The four physician-led bands included Fret Medics, The V-Tones, Blue Verse and The Cupcake Strippers.

This year’s proceeds will benefit cancer patients through the Cancer Center’s program One Community, One Goal.

Sponsors were the Roland and Kay Toups family, Merck, Humana, the William R. and Melissa C. Legier Family Foundation, and ACCENT New Orleans.

Rock for Spots will continue to collect donations on its GoFundMe page over the next four weeks:

Neighbors FCU raises $68,340 for high schools

Neighbors Federal Credit Union contributed a combined $68,340.30 to 15 participating schools during the 2019-2020 school year from its Mascot Checking Program. The program invites Baton Rouge area high schools to participate by allowing Neighbors to create a custom checking account for the school.

Mascot schools have earned a total of $163,556 since the program launched in 2014. Walker High School earned the most contributions this year with $15,402, followed by Denham Springs High School with $10,508 and McKinley High School with $10,364.

These checking accounts come with a school-branded debit card and Neighbors contributes money to the school for each debit card swipe. After the school has 100 active Mascot Checking accounts, the school earns 10 cents per swipe, and the schools earn five cents per swipe before the first 100 active accounts.

In addition to receiving contributions generated from the checking account program, the participating schools are invited to annually select a graduating student to receive a Neighbors Way Scholarship. Thus far, the foundation has awarded $95,000 in scholarships.

Neighbors also provides financial literacy curriculum to the schools free of charge. In addition, Neighbors has financial literacy centers at Walker and Denham Springs high schools.

LSU’s Liang receives NSF award

Jun-Hong Liang, associate professor in the LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, or DOCS, has received a five-year National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award.

One of the NSF’s most prestigious awards, it is bestowed upon junior faculty who “have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.” This award will support his research into how ocean bubbles play an important role in upper ocean dynamics and in air-sea gas exchange and to enrich the curriculum in physical oceanography and outreach activities at LSU and in local communities.

Liang is one of two professors in the history of the LSU College of the Coast & Environment to receive an NSF CAREER award. The first was awarded to Sam Bentley in 2001, a then-assistant professor in DOCS. Bentley now serves as the vice president of the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development.

Liang will receive about $472,000 to continue his research and educational activities. According to Liang, funding for this research is vital because “bubbles in the ocean are the cousins of clouds in the atmosphere. They are very challenging to observe and simulate, while we now know that they play important roles in ocean dynamics, ocean acoustics, ocean optics, marine aerosols, geoengineering and air-sea gas exchange.”

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