Big Hope 1 Makes Appearance At Tulsa Port

Big Hope I at Tulsa Port of Catoosa
From left to right: Donna German, chief operating officer, Mary Crowley Cancer Research Foundation; Paul Janoush; Penny Choate; Beverley Janoush; Mark Fletcher, managing partner, Ceres Barge Line; Vincent Schu, Ceres Barge Line; and Michael Eckart, Sherwin-Williams. (photo courtesy of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa)

The Big Hope 1 barge from Ceres Barge Line, East St. Louis, Ill., was docked at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa January 9 for an event to commemorate three river industry leaders who lost their lives to cancer last year—David Choate, John Janoush and Lucy Janoush.

Choate, who died March 19, 2017, after a long battle with brain cancer, held several titles within the river industry. He served as vice president of barge and grain operations at Bruce Oakley for 18 years, president of Mid-South Grain Association and was appointed to the Inland Waterways Users Board, among other things. His wife, Penny, was in attendance and participated in the event’s closing remarks.

John Janoush died of lung cancer on May 23, 2017. He was the vice president of operations at Jantran Inc. in Rosedale, Miss. Janoush also served on the executive board of the National Waterways Conference and the board of the Arkansas Waterways Association. He was a former chairman of the Arkansas River Emergency Reaction Committee, a member of Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals, and of the Arkansas Oklahoma Port Operation Association. He received the Coast Guard’s Public Service Commendation, the highest award given to a civilian.

Lucy Janoush died on September 17, 2017. She worked in human resources for Jantran and was the sister-in-law of John Janoush. She had worked and volunteered for the Cleveland-Bolivar County (Miss.) Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Great River Bridge Committee, and was active in several other committees.

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The Big Hope 1, painted pink for cancer awareness, was launched in 2012. Since then, the barge has served to bring attention to and raise funds for cancer treatment and research. To date, the barge has helped raise more than $860,000. The money raised by the barge goes to the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

Big Hope 1 was inspired by Vince Schu, manager of specialty cargo at Ceres, and his wife Julie, who have both had their families impacted by cancer. Schu arranged with Sherwin-Williams to donate the pink paint. Mark Fletcher, managing partner of Ceres, convinced Jeffboat shipyard to put in the extra labor to paint the barge and make sure it looked exceptional on the day it was launched, according to the company.

On January 12, the pink barge was loaded with a 160-ton, 175-foot piece of project cargo and headed for Chicago, Ill.