Still very pleased with giving more than $700 to Dat Dads’ Club of Luling, Claude Adams thought his birthday donations were a tribute to the nonprofit he helped establish.
“Dat Dads is a great organization, what can I say,” Adams said.
With Facebook, the page owner can choose a charity for donations instead of taking presents for his birthday. For Adams, there was no doubt about where it would go and it worked so well that it generated donations online and led to friends dropping by with checks – they were at ease giving Adams money for a nonprofit that donates everything to people in need.
“We try to give back a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got a good group.”
Even as Dat Dads’ Club organizes its third fundraiser in March, it’s already hit a landmark with nearly $100,000 raised and a third fishing rodeo planned in memory of Howat “Howie” Peters Jr.
Peters was one of the people who helped bring about the organization, and the fundraisers are continuing to focus on what he, as well as Adams, hoped to do by helping local children and families. His gratitude for his own family’s blessings of good health and comfort stirs his compassion and generosity.
“He was a really good friend to a lot of people here,” Adams said.
After losing his fight with cancer, he died Dec. 3 at age 71.
“Howie Peters would help anybody and that’s a rare thing to find in a person who does prosecution for a living,” said Adams, who had known Peters from his life as an investigator with the Sheriff’s Office to his continuing work with the District Attorney’s office.
They were also fishing buddies for 20 years.
It was logical that the first Howie Peters Memorial Fishing Rodeo would be scheduled March 16 at Somme’s Marina, 4298 Hwy. 90 E., Des Allemands. It will benefit two families.
This year’s fundraiser is expected to be the biggest ever with 50 boats or teams anticipated, up from last year’s 35.
It will benefit Mya Theriot, of Luling, who is dealing with complicated health issues related to her concussion, and Wyatt Baptiste, of LaPlace, who struggles with a rare condition with detached retinas that could lead to blindness.
Dat Dads’ Club board member Holly Mule’ knows Wyatt and Mya, and the severity of their medical needs.
“She tracked us down and stayed on us,” Adams said of Mule’, the board’s first and only female member. “We had to have her. She had so much positive energy. She had a great heart.”
Adams said the group’s origin is rooted in a parent who approached him as a president of booster club and wanted to sell jambalaya as a Mimosa Club fundraiser to help her son. Adams asked her about it and she explained her son, at only age 10, had 10 brain surgeries in New York and needed help to afford the treatment.
They organized a pool party two years consecutively to help.
After that, Adams recounted how he, Chris Dalon and Marlon…. formed Dat Dads.
“We’re firmly convinced there are so many good people in our parish who would be happy to give money, but don’t know where to give that money,” Adams said. “We organize it and put it together, and it’s been a fantastic thing to be a part of. I think any of the board members would be happy to tell you the same thing.”
Dat Dads’ Club has earned its trust.
The group’s 200 members pay a $25 yearly membership fee, which covers any overhead with their fundraisers. All proceeds go to the beneficiaries. Board members come to the fundraisers and meet the people, another reason that Adams believes they have no problems fundraising.
As Adams reflects on the group’s success with helping others, he readily admits that it has exceeded everyone’s expectations, adding that they set goals and surpass them only because of the community.
“They come out and help us both ways,” Adams said. “We have people who cook for us or sign up for a boat to fish. It’s everybody coming together.”
Who put the Dat in Dads?
- The nonprofit was organized exclusively for charitable purposes. Founders are Claude Adams, Chris Dalon and Marlin Rogers.
- Their next fundraiser will be the Howie Peters Memorial Fishing Rodeo. It will be held March 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Somme’s Marina in Des Allemands. It’s the new name for the fishing rodeo honoring Peters, former 22-year assistant district attorney in St. Charles Parish.
- The beneficiaries of the fishing rodeo include Mya Theriot and Wyatt Baptiste.