South Padre Island resident Cristian Hasbun decided to kick off his weekend at Louie’s Backyard with a little wagering for a cause.
Hasbun was among many who wore pink Friday night in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “My mother is a breast cancer survivor and has been for two years,” he said.

The 11th annual Walk for Women foundation kicked off on Friday with a casino night fundraiser at Louie’s Backyard. The $10 admission fee allowed guests to partake in live auctions, a cash bar and gambling tables for guests to bet their luck for a good cause. Hasbun was one of many attendees that evening who had been personally affected by the disease in some way. Hasbun says he attended the event to “raise more awareness and donate towards the foundation.”

The second floor of the popular restaurant had the setting of a small casino. The black jack tables and dealers set the tone for what would be an eventful night for guests. South Padre Island resident Liz Money was also in attendance. “I’d really like to win, I’m down a little bit but all I want to do is win” she said before she rolled her dice. Although Money was there to enjoy herself, she said “breast cancer affects all of us in some way. My sister is a breast cancer survivor and has been for three years.”

The three-day fundraiser is organized by local women who aim to raise breast cancer awareness and money for local residents who are impacted by this disease and in need of financial assistance. Cheryl Hill has been volunteering for the organization since its beginning.
Hill says she is pleased at how the organization has grown over the 11 years of its existence. “A group of women got together to help a friend of ours who had breast cancer. We wanted to raise funds so she can pay her medical bills,” she said. “The following year the community got together so enthusiastically so we sought to seek non-profit status to help women in the Valley who face the same challenges.”

The casino night, which was dubbed “Bet on Hope and Let it Ride,” was the first of three events that take place over the weekend. Guests who attended this event were able to register for today’s “Walk for Women,” which begins at the South Padre Island Convention Centre and ends at Louie’s Backyard. Hill, who is president of the organization, said she hoped to raise $30,000 to $40,000 over the weekend.

Steven Cavazos