Saturday benefit planned for Paradis man severely burned in flash fire

The Appleby family

A plate lunch benefit for the Appleby family will be held on June 25 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Paradis Fire Station, located at 807 Barber Road in Paradis.

The event will feature $10 plates of jambalaya, white beans, salad and bread. Pastalaya, drinks and sweets will be available for an additional donation. A parade of prizes, 50/50 and hunting rifle raffle will also take place.

The benefit is for James Appleby, his wife Heather Munson-Appleby and their two children.

“They just moved to Texas for her husband’s job,” Dawn Matherne said of her friend Heather. “She lived here all her life before that … right here in Paradis.”

On May 12 James, a Navy veteran, was severely burned by a flash fire. He was flown to and stayed for five days at the Blocker Burn Unit in Galveston, TX. Matherne said 100% of all benefit’s donations will be given to the family.

“I had Heather on the phone today and she was literally upset because she feels guilty for taking the help, but I keep telling her, ‘You help everybody else and we’re just doing this in turn because I would call you at the drop of a hat and you would drive from Texas to be here,’” Matherne said. “James is out of work and that could be up to six months. He can’t go into the sunlight with his new skin … well the doctor said from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But he works outside that means he can’t work.”

Matherne is helping to organize the benefit with several of Heather’s friends, including Marcie Naquin.

“They’re good people,” Naquin said of the Applebys. “They’re always there to help. She was always helping with fundraisers here. We’re just trying to get the word out so we can make as much as we can and sell as much as we can.”

Naquin said Heather worked at Dots Diner and Grumpys in Paradis for years.

“She’s like a fixture in Paradis,” Naquin said of Heather. “She goes out of her way for anyone and everyone … she’d give you the shirt off of her back. I can personally say she was there for me in some of the worst times of my life. That’s why I feel like we need to get out and help her.”

Naquin said since the family moved to Texas they have faced several hardships, including taking care of sick family members.

For more information on the benefit or to donate, call 504-450-8104 or 504-346-2717.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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