Shuck Cancer, presented by Latter & Blum and hosted by Superior Seafood, is returning for a second year to Napoleon Avenue this November. The funds raised from the lively oyster-filled fete will benefit the American Cancer Society's local Access to Care Program.
The event, which features oysters from across the continent and wine pairings, debuted last year with over 650 attendees and a net $130,000 raised. This year's goal is to raise $200,000 in restricted funds, which will go towards transportation grants to Greater New Orleans area health systems. "We're helping the under-served and the under-insured," says Henry Heaton, the force behind Shuck Cancer.
Shuck Cancer came about after John Michael Rowland, Superior Seafood's general manager, attended a similar event in Washington D.C. Already familiar with the American Cancer Society through Real Men Wear Pink, Rowland approached the organization with the oyster party concept. Heaton, just one month into his role at ACS, was tasked with creating a junior board to put on the event. He found a chair, McKell Favrot, and together they asked 50 of their friends to take a chance on the block party and join the board. The junior board now boasts over 70 members. "It's a diverse group of young professionals who are really committed to this initiative," Heaton told Adore. "It's truly inspiring to see so many people get behind it."
This year's soiree will feature 20 different oysters, along with cuisine from 15 restaurant partners (Seaworthy, Meril, and Copper Vine to name a few) and over 40 types of wine. (Local spirits and beer will also be available.) Shuckers, comprised of young New Orleanians, are tasked with raising awareness and have a fundraising goal of $2,500. The top shucker will win a trip to the Caribbean, and a drink with the name of their choice on Superior's menu for a year. Shuck Cancer also features a silent auction and will include live music from violinists, the band Me and My Friends and Elizabeth Lyons (the singer is also on the junior board), and Kristin Diable will headline.
The board is already planning next year's party, which will continue to be held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Heaton says that Shuck Cancer's success has already inspired fundraisers across the country (Charleston, Houston, and Central Florida) and the response from ACS has been great. "It's something different than what they've ever done, both locally and nationally. They've provided me with resources and management."
Shuck Cancer takes place Thursday, November 21st from 6-10 p.m. Early tickets are available for $85, and will rise to $100 starting October 22nd.