SMH Foundation hosts 3rd annual golf tournament, benefitting SMH Regional Cancer Center

(April 20, 2023 – Slidell, La.) – SMH Foundation will return on Friday, April 28, with its annual golf tournament, a much-anticipated event in East St. Tammany that has sold out the past two years. This annual event features food from local restaurants, exciting raffle prizes, giveaways and a day filled with friendly competition, while raising critically important funds used throughout the year to improve the quality of life in the community.

The 3rd Annual SMH Foundation Invitational Driving Out Cancer Golf Tournament happens on Friday, April 28, at Pinewood Golf Club located at 405 Country Club Blvd., with tee-off time at noon. Teams are filling up quickly, organizers say, with the past two years selling out completely.

The annual golf tournament has been a fundamental addition to the Foundation’s yearly fundraising efforts. The SMH Foundation is a public charity that assesses the need for equipment and innovative programs at Slidell Memorial. “Through the Driving Out Cancer fundraising event and individual donors, the Foundation collaborates with the community to raise funds to fill those needs, enabling SMH to offer the latest treatments, programs, technology and expert physicians our community needs to have a good quality of life and health,” said SMH Foundation Executive Director Laurie Panzeca.

In its inaugural year, the funds raised from the event made it possible to take the former wig and bra-fitting rooms and renovate the old library of the Cancer Center to make a whole new, boutique-style space for patients with cosmetic and comfort needs. The Appearance Center provides wigs, head scarves, prostheses and specialized bras for women who’ve had mastectomies, as well as beauty applications, all free of cost to the patient.

This year the event will help fund the newest endeavor at the SMH Regional Cancer Center with the addition of the Comprehensive Cancer Care Clinic. The new clinic allows patients to see all key physicians and nurse navigators at one location. What used to take 4-6 weeks, making various appointments, and visiting different locations, now can all be done in one day. Dr. Matthew McElveen, Medical Director of the SMH Regional Cancer Center, noted that the length of time from diagnosis to treatment is critical in the success of cancer cure and that this new comprehensive approach can cut this time by more than 50%. While construction for the clinic is almost complete, treatment has already started through the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program. This program already houses 40 newly diagnosed patients who are benefiting from a faster and more convenient process at the beginning of their cancer journey, as well as receiving treatment and proceeding to surgery much more quickly than before.

The support of sponsors can and will make a difference in the lives of those served through the SMH Regional Cancer Center, offering the latest treatments, technology and expert physicians. Top sponsors of the event are Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects; Schrenk, Endom & Flanagan, LLC; and IMC Consulting Engineers. “Events like our annual golf tournament would not be possible without the help of our sponsors,” said Panzeca. “Your contribution impacts so many people right here in our community.” There’s still time to sponsor the event or register a team. Contact the SMH Foundation for more information at (985) 280-8820 or visit

The SMH Foundation Board of Trustees members are: Linda Larkin, Chairman; James E. Tonglet, Vice Chairman; Henry DeHarde, Secretary/Treasurer; Alcide "Al" Thonn Jr., Past Chairman; Georgia Johnson, Commissioner Trustee; Sandy Badinger, SMH CEO Trustee; David Brignac; Daniel Ray Culpeper II; Dr. Edward M. Mannina; Dr. Matthew McElveen; Vera O’Brien; Shawn Torres; and Bruce Black.