Through a fishing tournament, Tina Gonsoulin raised thousands of dollars for St. Jude and it’s all in honor of her daughter, Hollie, who died at the age of 16.
When Hollie Gonsoulin, a 16 year old D’iberville High student, suddenly passed away, her mother, Tina, began a pay it forward program called “Holliedays.” She distributes cards to inspire a chain reaction of kindness in honor of her daughter. “It really helps because, I mean, it keeps us busy and at the same time, we’re doing something positive in her honor and keeping her sweet spirit alive,” said Gonsoulin.
Gonsoulin says it’s been over a year later and the community continues to seek opportunities for random acts of kindness and they post it all online on the Holliedays website. “There was a lady that had broken down and the guy got her going and asked her to follow him to the nearest mechanic shop and she said she really couldn’t afford that at the time but she appreciated him helping her and he said you don’t have to worry about it. He said Hollies took care of it and he paid for her to have her car repaired.”
But this summer, Gonsoulin decided to take Holliedays to the next level. She started a fishing tournament to honor her daughter and raise money for St. Jude Hospital. “We were able to raise over $20,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital this year,” said Gonsoulin.
St. Jude representative Kelsey LeBlanc said, “The fact that she was able to come together and come up with this concept so that she can pass on hope and encouragement to other families, other people, I think it’s a fantastic idea. I mean something that we strive to do at the hospital as well.”
LeBlanc says the money raised will go towards covering all expenses for sick children in need.
Tina Gonsoulin says she plans to continue to host the fishing tournament each year to raise money for non-profit organizations.