Axiall-Plaquemine employees exceed annual Relay For Life goal, raise nearly $80,000

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Plaquemine, La., employees stand under Axiall's team tent at Relay For Life of Iberville Parish on April 15, 2016. Pictured left to right: Paula Behrnes, customer service representative III; Katie Roberson, EHS&S professional 2; Brandon Ruiz, production technician; and Eddie Craft, retired production technician.

A company tradition that’s now 16 years strong, employees from Axiall’s Plaquemine, La., facility raised nearly $80,000 for Relay For Life of Iberville Parish, an increase of approximately 20 percent over last year’s fundraising total. 

Like last year, Axiall’s Plaquemine team raised more money than any other Relay team in Iberville Parish. The event drew hundreds of local community members together who raised more than $116,000 in total for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Donations support cancer research, programs and patient services.

“Cancer is everywhere. If we don’t fundraise and help find a cure, then we’ll always hear the words ‘you have cancer,’” said Lauren Stein, Axiall buyer and also chair of Relay For Life of Iberville Parish for the fourth year in a row. “Our goal is to help prevent people from hearing those words.”

The event was held in honor of Orian Gulotta, the late Chief of Police of Plaquemine who passed away from cancer shortly after last year’s Relay event.

Plaquemine employees on this year’s Relay team included: Paula Behrnes, Cathy Edwards, Steven Leach, Stephen LeBlanc, Shane LoBue, Bill Mason, Donna Purpera, Katie Roberson, Brandon Ruiz, Lauren Stein, Lionel Stein, Sarah Simmers and Josh Wille.

The Plaquemine facility raised money for ACS through a celebrity waiter event, silent auction, personal donations and its annual Axiall Relay For Life Golf Tournament, which attracted the largest crowd ever – more than 250 suppliers, volunteers and employees – and netted nearly $65,000 toward the team’s fundraising total. 

“I am proud to participate in this cause because, like others, my family has been, and still is, touched by the specter of cancer,” said John Scroggins, site manager at the Plaquemine facility. “I also am proud to see the level of commitment by my co-workers. It was a great turnout for a great event in a great community!”

Axiall’s Plaquemine facility has had one of the largest fundraising teams in the American Cancer Society’s Mid-South Division, encompassing six states, since the inception of Relay For Life of Iberville Parish in 2000. 

“Axiall is such a critical local partner of ACS by engaging their employees year-round in our mission,” said Penny Cade, community manager of Relay For Life for the Mid-South Division, based in Baton Rouge, La. “Some of our most dedicated community volunteers are always Axiall employees. We are grateful for their continued partnership as they help ‘Finish the Fight’ against cancer.”