Southeastern students rally around family with sick baby
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – When Southeastern Louisiana University senior Chase Lawson heard the story of a Ponchatoula baby who suffers from a rare, life-threatening skin condition, he recruited several classmates to raise funds to ease the financial burdens on the family.
And when he learned the baby is the son of former Southeastern baseball player Randy Roth, Lawson and his colleagues were even more motivated to help someone in their extended Southeastern family.
Now the four students – Lawson, Ross Barbier, and members of the Lions baseball team Cody Gougler and Torin Lucas – are combining their efforts to stage the Tripp Roth fund raising event to be held in conjunction with the Southeastern Lions’ baseball game Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. against conference foe Stephen F. Austin. The date is especially appropriate as it is the young honoree’s second birthday.
The students are enlisting area businesses to pledge money based on attendance at the game, and they are accepting straight donations from businesses and individuals as well. The event will also include a cash-only silent auction.
“The area businesses are responding,” said Lawson, a sport management senior from Covington. “Some are making pledges, some are offering items for the silent auction, and others are making cash donations.”
Lawson said Southeastern’s students are also getting involved.
“The players are making donations, Delta Tau Delta fraternity contributed more than $800 they recently raised, and the Sport Management Association has donated money raised in 3-on-3 basketball tournaments,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see that kind of support.”
Tripp Roth suffers from the genetic skin condition known as Epidermolysis Bullosa, or E.B. Since the slightest touch or friction can cause severe skin reactions and blisters, Tripp is continuously covered in ointment and wrapped in thick bandages. He requires oxygen and a feeding tube, and while insurance covers much of his medical costs, significant expenses mount up on over-the-counter medications, special fleece-lined diapers and other supplies.
“Chase Lawson and Ross Barbier are both in my sport marketing course this semester, but this project is something that is completely voluntary on their behalf,” said their instructor Ashley Bowers in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “They, along with fellow sport management students, are extremely passionate about community service. When they heard a family in our community was in need, they jumped on board to organize this event. They are real honor students – not just because they earn high grades in their courses, but more importantly because of their selflessness and willingness to serve the community.”
For more information about the event or to contribute to the cause, contact Lawson at Chase.Lawson@selu.edu or at 985-502-1389.
Tickets for the game at Southeastern’s Alumni Field are available at the gate or through the Web site Lionsports.net.