All-you-can-eat crawfish benefits good cause

On the verge of serving a plethora of delicious crawfish for its third annual event, the St. Charles Parish First Responders Crawfish Cook-Off was born from inspiration sparked by the event’s beneficiaries.

“Being an ER nurse, in the middle of everything where all the departments have to come to us … you could see the teamwork, the camaraderie and the commitment they have,” said Natalie Robert Wright, a committee chair with the nonprofit organization One Team-One Fight.

“If EMS is tied up, the sheriff’s office is first on scene and they call the fire department for backup. If there’s not enough hands on, a fire crew member will ride in the back of the ambulance and help the paramedics on the way to the hospital. You see the majority of them staying over, way past their shift, to wait for family members to come. So witnessing that, it’s amazing, and I wanted the public to be aware of that too.”

This year’s event will be held Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Monsanto Park in Luling. The event raises money to benefit St. Charles Parish’s first responders, including its Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, Fraternal Order of Police, hospital emergency services and EMS personnel. The event raised more than $7,500 in its first year and drew 800 attendees; last year those numbers grew to marks of over $15,000 raised and 1,200 in attendance.

“This year we’re going to have an Easter theme with it being the holiday weekend. We’re gonna hand out some eggs and have a toddler section … I think it’ll be a bigger turnout. We had 500 pre-sale tickets that we’ve already sold out of,” Wright said.

Of course, beyond supporting a good cause, enjoyable company and live music, there’s plenty more reason to attend – with admittance to the event comes all you can eat crawfish and food. Tickets at the door for adults are $25, with children ages 6-12 entering for $10. Children under the age of six have free admittance.

Several teams are prepared to cook up some tasty crawfish to raise money for first responders.

“You could see the teamwork, the camaraderie and the commitment they have … and I wanted the public to be aware of that too.”- Natalie Robert Wright

At last year’s event, 42 teams were registered, going on to cook thousands of pounds of crawfish.

In the event’s first year, Wright said she and her fellow event-planners thought 400 people would be strong attendance, so with that number doubling and tripling, respectively, over the first two years, this has been a project that’s found success far beyond their expectations.

“Hopefully we see those numbers just keep on going up,” Wright said. “We have businesses involved with it now to make things even better, several new teams … we have six teams from our local fire departments, for example.  It’s something I think brings our community even closer and a wonderful atmosphere of everyone supporting one another.”

A shuttle bus will be available to the public from West Bank Bridge Park in Luling. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be available. Beverages and beer can be purchased..

For more information, contact Natalie Robert Wright at (504) 559-5643 or email oneteam.onefight2017@gmail.com.

Food and fun for a good cause

  • First Responders Cook-off raised more than $7,500 and $15,000, respectively, over its first two years.
  • Tickets are $25 for adults, with children ages 6-12 entering for $10 and children under the age of six attending free.
  • Money raised benefits St. Charles Parish’s first responders, including its Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, Fraternal Order of Police, hospital emergency services and EMS personnel.
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