By Alex Asaro
Over the past couple months there have been some amazing sporting events that are happening on LSU’s campus, including the emergence of LSU basketball freshman superstar Ben Simmons and the carrying of football coach Les Miles off the field in the Tigers’ season finale against Texas A&M.
But the hottest event in the LSU area this week is the charity rock concert “Red, Rock & Drew,” thrown by a man who covers the Tigers on a daily basis. The concert is the latest charitable endeavor from WAFB sports anchor Jacques Doucet.
Located just steps off of LSU’s campus at the Varsity Theater, “Red, Rock & Drew” features tribute bands Pearl Gem and The Nirvana Experience as well as local favorite The Anteeks. The one night ‘90s rock event will take place on Friday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m. All proceeds will go to Drew Moscona, the son of Matt Moscona, a local sports radio broadcaster and host of ESPN 104.5 FM’s “After Further Review” weekdays from 3-6 p.m.
Since Drew Moscona’s birth, he has dealt with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), meaning that he has a hole in his diaphragm, which has allowed the movement of his abdominal organs into his chest. Drew’s condition led to his heart being pushed over to one side of his chest, which caused one of his lungs to develop incorrectly while still in utero.
“Drew basically has one lung,” Matt said. “There’s not a real medical explanation for why my son in alive right now. It’s a miracle. God has decided he’s got a greater purpose, and it wasn’t his time to go.”
A recent setback in the growth of tissues in Drew’s diaphragm has led to another surgery to fill that hole once again. Matt, his wife Erika, and Drew will all head back to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where was Drew born, for the procedure this week. This will be Drew’s seventh surgery in his brief year and a half of life.
“There was a point where Erika and I had to put personal pride aside and accept people’s help with this,” Matt said. “Baton Rouge has been awesome and we’ve had so much support from friends, from work, and even from total strangers.”
Needless to say, this charity event will definitely be helping a loving family during a time in which they could use the continued support of the Baton Rouge area.
“Red, Rock & Drew” is the latest in a series of events that local WAFB sports anchor Jacques Doucet has put on in the Baton Rouge area over the years. The most notable charity that Doucet runs is “Red, Rock & Blue” each July, which includes a two-night concert event, a celebrity softball tournament, and a softball & kickball invitational tournament. All of the proceeds raised from these events go straight to Louisiana Military Charities.
“It’s become kind of a hobby for me to put on charity concerts and events,” Doucet said. “What I like to do are spin off events from Red, Rock & Blue, and ‘Red, Rock & Drew’ just kind of rolled off the tongue.”
With football season winding down, Doucet decided to take advantage of the slower Baton Rouge sports season “to do something else and give back.” “I’ve known Matt Moscona for a long time and really wanted to do something for Drew and this was the perfect time to do it,” Doucet said.
Doucet has been involved in philanthropy events dating back to 1994 when, as a senior in high school, he set up a softball field in his parent’s backyard. It started with him hosting a softball tournament with some friends each year and it eventually lead to the success that is the “Red, Rock, and Blue” event each summer.
Doucet’s involvement in running this event for Drew comes as no surprise, as he and Matt have become friends over the years while both were covering LSU athletics.
“When I took this job (working at 104.5 FM) in 2010, we started to do a regular segment with WAFB, and I’d have Jacques on once a week,” Matt said. “We got along great. So I’d say I got to know him around then and throughout the years we became friends.”
The sports media pair get along so well that during the “Red, Rock & Blue” event each year, Moscona always does his part in promoting the event and the causes it represents.
Matt and Doucet clash in the “Celebrity/Sorta Celebrity” softball game each July, as part of Red, Rock & Blue event to raise money for charity. They do a little trash talking to one another, but all in good fun for the game.
Since both Doucet and Matt are fans of ‘80s and ‘90s rock, Doucet felt it was only fitting to have the bands performing at “Red, Rock & Drew” to reflect their similar tastes in music. “Matt’s favorite band is Pearl Jam so I got a tribute band, Pearl Gem, to come,” Doucet said. “I’ve always gotten these tribute bands because the real bands are unaffordable. The Nirvana tribute band is amazing as well and the lead singer does Kurt Cobain very well.”
Doucet said he enjoys listening to music he loves for a good cause. “When we can give money back and do something like this for Drew, that’s where I can put my passion for music into my work,” Doucet said.
Tickets for “Red, Rock & Drew” are $20 and are available at The Chimes Restaurant on Highland Road, over the phone at (866)-468-7630, and at www.varsitytheatre.com. VIP tickets are available for $99 and include a spot on the balcony in the Varsity Theater, food from Kona Grill, and an open bar. Table reservations are also available in the balcony, ranging from $500-800 dollars and include all of the amenities of the VIP ticket.
Doucet said the goal of this event would be to raise at least $10,000 for the Moscona family. “It’s a way for people during the Christmas season to do something nice for someone else and even embrace the party and fun time of the holiday season,” Doucet said. “If you’re a fan of Matt’s show and really want to show some appreciation to him you should come and be part of the event on Friday.”