In a time of local tragedy after Hurricane Ike, the spirit of one family was shattered as the rebuilding had barely begun. On Dec. 22, a fire sparked in the home of Liz Langston, her daughter Casey Hooker and eight year old grandson Ethan Parker.

It is speculated that the fire at the home on Farm Road 1130 in Little Cypress started with the wiring in the blower of the fireplace.

With no insurance and the home considered a total loss by the Mauriceville Fire Department, the family’s world was turned upside down. Although Langston and her family were spared the devastation of Ike’s wake, they watched all their belongings crumble into a pile of ashes. Luckily, friends in Mauriceville have given them a place to stay since the fire, at least until they can get back on their feet. 

Supported by friends and family, an upcoming benefit is planned to offset the costs of rebuilding the lives of Langston, Hooker and Ethan. 

As current office manager for the Peveto Law Firm, Langston has been a crucial part of the business and has worked with Wayne and Rex Peveto for almost two years. Previously, she worked as a personal assistant in Clay Dugas’ law office. Langston’s sister Cheryl Brown has worked for months to plan a benefit to help the family get a home of their own and assist with basic needs. 

On Sunday, April 26, VFW Post 2775 in Orange will host a dance and dinner to raise money for the displaced family members. 

Close friend, Louisiana Express Band member Al Allemond is very excited to see Langston again. This event will mark a reunion of sorts for these long time cohorts. “It’s been a year or two at least since I’ve seen her. She has always been a supporter of our music and a great friend.”

Well-known local musicians such as G.G. Shin, Jerry Lacroix and Alfred Allemond of the Louisiana Express Band will give lively performances of Swamp Pop style music from 2 to 7 p.m.
Brown says, “They have all been committed to the benefit since the planning stage. We have been fortunate that Liz has had these life long friends in the music industry.”  

Allemond mentioned, “I joined the band at an early age, and some of the other members introduced us. We have known Liz since the early ‘70s, and when we heard about the house fire, we all wanted to help.”

Another musical and entertainment contributor for this affair is Kelly Joe Cordova and The Whole Shootin’ Match. 

Brown mentioned, “Liz’s son Todd is a friend of Kelly Joe who was very anxious to help.” 

This group is known for playing what they call Texas Country Death Metal. 

A simple twist of fate helped involve this band in the benefit.
“Yes, I was friends with Liz’s son Todd. We actually went to high school together. About two months ago, while heading to play a show, we stopped at a gas station to fill up the bus. We saw Todd and gave him a demo CD, t-shirt and koozie then he told us about the fire.” said Cordova. 

At the time, the band had recently released their demo album and Cordova also related, “We are really looking forward to helping out and hope for a good turn out.”

Local business owners have chipped in many items to aid with a silent auction that will be held in conjunction with the dance. 

Orange area artists C. Delle Bates and Tom Windham have both given paintings. Also, there will be an auction for gym memberships to King’s Gym. A well-seasoned and award-winning fisherman, Cory Rambo, is offering guided fish tours on Lake Sam Rayburn. 

Brown says, “We have had great response from George’s Towing, Claybar Florist, LePlace Salon, Mauriceville Flower Shop, J. Scott’s aFlorist, Brenda’s Golden Scissors and Magic Touch Salon.” 

Members of an adult ladies Sunday school class of a nearby Baptist Church offered two baskets for auction – a bath and body basket and a movie basket. Goodman’s Bail Bonds anted up a $300 “get out of jail free” card for the cause as well.

A silent dessert auction will also be held with desserts made by Cakes Plus, and many other treats created by friends and family members of Langston.

Link, drink and chips meal will be selling for $3 each. The links were contributed by Silsbee Brookshire Bros., Chris Humble – Constable Precinct 1 and David Peck – D.O.T. Regulations Manager. Sneed’s Shipbuilding donated the chips and drinks.

Four Seasons Guns in the McLewis community offered a Remington 20-06 shotgun to raffle. Tickets are $5 each.
In addition, many door prizes will be given away throughout the evening.

Brown added, “The event is B.Y.O.B. and set ups. Unfortunately, we will not have use of the concession area so ice chests will be welcomed.”

Tickets are currently on sale at the following locations: Mathew’s Jewelers at 126 Strickland Drive in Orange, Bojangles at 2486 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange and Golden Triangle Industries located at 19238 Texas 62 S. in Orange. 

Credit cards will be accepted at the Mathews Jewelers location. 

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.