The El Mina Shriners were hoping to break even and have a good time at the Mardi Gras Dance they held Saturday night at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center.“It turned out better than expected,” said Pierre Delafosse, one of the coordinators of the event.

He said they had a Mardi Gras dance several years ago that operated at a loss.

“We were at least hopeful of breaking even and I think we’ve done a little better than that; and we made some money for the hospital,” said Retired Dist. Judge David Dunn.

Mary Jaco, administrator of the Shriners burn hospital in Galveston spoke to the crowd about the facility.

Shriners then “passed the fez” to raise donations for hospital and collected about $1,500.

“It’s been years since we did that,” said Dunn.

Dunn continued, “We think the hospital is important to the area. As of October, we had 115 active patients from Orange and Jefferson Counties. I don’t think that is anywhere near common knowledge. We have an orthopedic hospital in Houston and we have the burns hospital in Galveston.”

Jaco’s facility in Galveston has 30 beds.

“We treat burn patients, so any child with a burn injury can go to that hospital and there is no charge to the patient or their family,” she said.

Funds raised will help offset any kind of expense for the patient, said Jaco. “…any kind of wound care they need to have or just to even have a toy to help with the distraction during any painful procedure.”

Besides raising a little money, everyone said they had a great time dancing the night away to Louisiana band Na Na Sha.

“We are very pleased. We are hoping it is going to become an annual event,” said Dunn.

Sabrina Gray, director of the Expo Center said the Shriners have already reserved the facility for the same day next year.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.