For 16 years, the United Way of St. Charles’ Battle for the Paddle cook-off fundraiser has brought locals together to enjoy some great food, fun and music, all while contributing to a good cause.
And every year the event has grown in popularity, leading to a change of venue.
This year’s Battle for the Paddle will be held at the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center in Luling, a shift from the traditional “Battle” location of the West Bank Bridge Park.
The local cook-off is set to be held on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
According to Tamara Plattsmier, United Way volunteer and events manager, the growing number of participating teams and public interest led United Way to speak with the parish government and school system officials about relocating the event to properly accommodate everyone. The event will be held outside of the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center, and will be able to use the parking areas at nearby buildings, including the Satellite Center and Performing Arts Center, as well as its former Bridge Park location.
“We kind of outgrew the Bridge Park, and with more people cooking and attending the event, some issues arose with parking and space,” Plattsmier said. “This provides more central and convenient parking, and it allows us extra space to accommodate additional teams.”
Plattsmier said a number of new teams have signed up for this year’s event, after 135 teams participated at last year’s cook-off, a jump from the previous year. More than 7,000 people showed up to enjoy the festivities — and all of the jambalaya and gumbo. Proceeds benefit the United Way and serves as a kickoff for the organization’s annual fundraising campaign.
“I think it’s just more people have become aware of how fun and exciting the event is, and it’s for a good cause,” Plattsmier said. “It’s a good opportunity for companies to get their name out, have a good time and celebrate the United Way campaign.”
For more information or to register a Battle for the Paddle team, visit www.uwaysc.org or call Tamara Plattsmier at (985) 331-9063.