Despite the rainy weather, more than 1,600 people flocked to the United Way’s sixth annual “Battle for the Paddle” to taste some of the best gumbo and jambalaya in South Louisiana. 74 teams participated in the contest, which raised more than $14,000 for United Way agencies and services. Those teams cooked up food for the hundreds of people who paid $5 for unlimited samplings of jambalaya and gumbo. The event-goers were also treated to a live auction and music by DJ Reese, while students from John Folse’s Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University served as the judges.
This years first-place winners, and coveted paddle recipients, were The Gumbo Chicks, consisting of Katrina Sellisier and Brandy Schexnayder and The Shocking Jambalaya, who consisted of team members Tim Boehm, Roy Dussouy, Billy Rhodes, and Browne Champion. The Gumbo Chicks were sponsored by Jacob’s Andouille, while the members of Shocking Jambalaya were from Entergy/Waterford 3.
The People’s Choice award winners, which were voted on by the public, were St. Charles Parish Hospital and Cooking with Fire, of St. Charles Parish schools.
“This year’s event by far surpassed all others,” said Denise Brodsky, who serves as executive director of United Way of St. Charles. “It is humbling to see an entire community come together for one cause. I am proud of St. Charles Parish, our many partners and their continued support to United Way of St. Charles.”
For the second straight year, there was also a live auction, which was emceed by Stanley Roy Dufrene of Dow. The auction raised an additional $2,685, with Performance Contractors bidding more than $1,100 for an autographed Saints football.