When the first annual St. Charles Parish First Responders Crawfish Cook-off took place, it raised $7,500 for the parish’s emergency front line units.
The event has grown, nearly tripling that number in 2021 with almost $20,000 raised. And as the event enters its sixth year, the enthusiasm around it is as strong as ever.
“A lot of people are still suffering from Ida … most of our volunteers who are helping out this year, are people living in trailers dealing with their home insurance … we need some kind of joy, something to look forward to, to just have a day away,” said Natalie Robert Wright, the President of the nonprofit organization One Team-One Fight, which organizes the event annually. “Last year was one of the most successful events we’ve had, and we’re excited to get up and running again this year.”
The event is set for June 4 and will be open to the public, starting at 11 a.m. and wrapping up at 5 p.m. There will be a shuttle bus available from Luling Elementary School to take attendees to Monsanto Park in Luling, where the event will be held.
The event is being sponsored by G. Smith Motorsports of St. Rose, the event’s “Premier Platinum Level” donor Shell Norco and Shell Pipeline, along with Platinum sponsors Valero, Entergy Waterford 3, St. Charles Parish Hospital and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.
“We have strong support this year from President Matt Jewell, the parish employees, and the parish council members,” Wright said. “Without a number of our sponsors and teams, we really couldn’t get this done without them and without the help of our volunteers.”
There will be live music by Junior Lacrosse and Sumtin Sneaky, and event-goers will enjoy all you can eat crawfish. Adult admission is $25 (presale $20) and child admission (ages 6-12) is $10 (presale $5). Children under 6 have free admission.
There will also be hamburgers and hot dogs available as an alternate to seafood. Other Beverages and beer available for purchase, and there will be activities for children.
Money raised is split into three checks – one for the Sheriff Office’s Fraternal Order of Police, one for the St. Charles Parish Fireman’s Association and the last for the St. Charles Parish Hospital’s emergency medical unit. The goal of the event is to help each organization update and upgrade equipment – aiding in the effort to save lives.
Wright said that besides that, the event builds camaraderie and provides some positive feedback for first responders, something she has experienced first-hand as the Norco Area Volunteer Fire Department’s Medical Officer.
“A lot of times we just see these community members at work … picking them up when they’re sick, after car accidents and traumas,” said Wright, who is an ER nurse. “People with the fire department and Sheriff’s Office assist with patient care until the patient is brought to the hospital. Most of the time, we do not receive updates on how the patient is doing unless that person reaches out. So, to see a lot of those same people out there in support of you … that tells you, thank you for what you do.”
“It gives you that reminder that you’re not doing it for the money. You’re doing everything you possibly can to take care of them and get them to be able to spend another Christmas or holiday with the family they love … we enjoy doing it. We like being here for the parish and supporting our community. And these events help us to keep it going.”
Wright said team entries are being accepted and should be throughout the weeks leading up to the event. Each team can have four members.
“We’re always looking for teams, sponsors, and donations for our parade of prizes” Wright said.
This year’s event will enjoy a new addition in the form of a petting zoo. There will be face painting on the grounds as well.
For more information or to sign up, contact Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.