Tickets on sale for CARTI fundraiser

LITTLE ROCK — Ticket sales are underway for the sixth annual CARTI Ragin’ Cajun Bash, a New Orleans-themed fundraiser presented by Iberiabank and benefiting the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. on April 29 at the River Market Pavilions in downtown Little Rock.[more]

“It’s a fun-filled event for a very worthy cause,” enthused Lorene Jones, a CARTI Foundation board member and event chair for the CARTI Ragin’ Cajun Bash. “Last year, they served more than 3,000 pounds of crawfish at Ragin’ Cajun and actually exceeded their goal by 50 percent. This year, I’m hoping to meet or exceed our goal.”

The CARTI Ragin’ Cajun Bash features a New Orleans-style crawfish boil with all the trimmings complete with food, fun and dancing to live entertainment by local favorite Lagniappe.

General admission tickets for the event are $30 each in advance or $35 each at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 501-296-3429. All proceeds benefit CARTI cancer patients.

Since its debut in 2005, the CARTI Ragin’ Cajun Bash has raised over $100,000 on behalf of CARTI. Now celebrating its 34th anniversary as one of the leading radiation therapy providers in the nation, CARTI serves more than 3,000 cancer patients annually. Since its establishment in 1976, CARTI has treated over 80,000 cancer patients.

“At CARTI, quality of care is always at the top of their value system,” says Jones. “Quality patient care entails so much more than radiation therapy. It’s the people behind the scenes doing the little extra things that make a big difference not only in the life of the patients, but also their families.”

A Kansas native, Jones moved to Little Rock from Michigan in 1984 with her late husband, Danny M. Jones, and their two children. Together, the Joneses co-founded Airfirst, Inc., an aviation consulting firm based in Little Rock. Jones has served as chief executive officer of the company since her husband’s death in 2003.

Volunteering on behalf of CARTI is nothing new for Jones, who served last year as the chair of the CARTI Ragin’ Cajun Bash Silent Auction Committee. This year, as event chair, Jones says she felt strongly about finding just the right person to step into her former role as silent auction committee chair, so she successfully recruited her daughter, Rachelle Doucet, to take the job.

“My daughter and I have actually decorated trees for the CARTI Auxiliary Festival of Trees for over 16 years,” explained Jones. “All seven of my grandchildren have helped out, too, ever since they were old enough to hang ornaments. I guess you could say our involvement with CARTI is a family affair.”

In fact, it is a family connection to CARTI that drives Jones’ commitment and dedication in her work on behalf of the radiation therapy provider. In 1991, Jones’ husband, Danny, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, a cancer of the kidneys.

“We spent many weeks in the hospital and receiving treatment at CARTI,” said Jones. “The experience at CARTI was extraordinary. Any patient diagnosed with cancer, as well as their family members, can appreciate the stress and pain associated with cancer. At CARTI, they treated both the physical as well as the emotional aspects of cancer.”

“CARTI is truly an inspiration to all,” she added.

CARTI is a nonprofit radiation therapy center with facilities in Little Rock on the St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, Baptist Health Center and UAMS campuses, and in Conway, Mountain Home, North Little Rock, and Searcy.

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