VP & General Manager of Fox 8 WVUE Ronna Corrente, Host & Chief Meteorologist of Fox 8 WVUE David Bernard, Host & Ochsner Health Foundation Board Member Lori Ochsner and Host & SVP & Chief Marketing Officer at New Orleans and Company & Stadium Announcer for the New Orleans Saints Mark Romig  

The Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation presented the eighth annual “Moonlight & Miracles Gala” on the turf of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, November 1, 2020. The virtual gala was broadcast live on WVUE/Fox 8 and its affiliate channels across the region, where viewers learned about how the Ochsner Cancer Institute changes and saves lives every day. Due to COVID-19 protocols, a very limited audience of only 50 people attended the live broadcast, with masks worn at all times. Lori Ochsner, Mark Romig and David Bernard hosted, and Gayle Benson served as Event Chair for the eighth year.

Winn-Dixie provided meal kits for guests in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and the Northshore to enjoy during the live broadcast. The annual Mercedes-Benz car raffle of a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB sold out ahead of the event for the first time, and there was an online auction that included items from the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. Local artist Alex Harvie created a live painting during the broadcast that was auctioned as well.

The event recognized patient Ryan Thibodaux, DDS. Dr. Thibodaux was treated at Ochsner and shared his story on the world-class care he received. He is a founding member of the Bucktown All-Stars, who performed during the live broadcast. Winn-Dixie was recognized for their ongoing commitment to the Ochsner Cancer Institute. Their recent “Round Up” campaign provided $65,000 to the Ochsner Cancer Institute. Additionally, the Karen T. Stall Foundation presented a $100,000 check during the event. Each year Ochsner honors a physician and a member of our community who are fighters, undaunted in quest to eliminate cancer. The 2020 Miracle Makers are Dr. Burke “Jay” Brooks and Robert W. Merrick, who both received their award during the live show.

Perfect Presentations, Wink Events and Designs, Mardi Gras Productions, Pyramid Audio Productions and See Hear Productions helped to transform the 50-yard line of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome into a celestial space. Perfect Presentations provided florals for two hospitality lounges.

The gala may have looked different this year, but the virtual event was a tremendous success. The celebration of the advancements in cancer raised over $1.4 million to support cutting-edge treatment and care at the Ochsner Cancer Institute. 


➺ Event at a Glance

What: “Moonlight & Miracles Gala,” benefiting Ochsner Health

When: Sunday, November 1

Where: Virtual broadcast from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome


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Chief Medical Officer of Ochsner Health Dr. Robert Hart and Dr. Susan Nelson with Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Event Chair Gayle Benson and Rene Doucet and President & CEO of Ochsner Health Warner Thomas 

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 Sheryl Merrick and 2020 Miracle Maker Robert Merrick with Vicki Brooks and 2020 Miracle Maker Dr. Jay Brooks

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 Store Merchandise Manager of Winn-Dixie Josh Castellanos and SVP & Chief Development Officer of Ochsner Health Michelle Dodenhoff 

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Medical Director of Transfusion Services & Medical Director of Professional Staff Services of Ochsner Health Dr. Bobby Rodwig, Karen T. Stall, Vice President of Cancer Services of Ochsner Health Emily Pirch and Medical Director & System Chair of Otorhinolaryngology and Communication Sciences of Ochsner Health Dr. Brian Moore 

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Honoree Ryan Thibodaux, DDS and Lynda Thibodaux