Fishing is fun — one of the great Louisiana pastimes in Cajun culture.
But fishing while also raising money for a worthwhile cause that will help people in need throughout the community? Well, that’s just the cherry on top of a good thing all-around.
Dufrene Building Materials hosts an annual rodeo — the past year’s event took place on Aug. 17-18 at Bridgeside Marina in Grand Isle.
The purpose of the rodeo is to raise money for various charities in the area and recipients received their checks earlier this winter during a ceremony at the business’s Cut Off location.
Helping those in need locally is something that business owner Paul Dufrene III said the local business always aims to do — a staple of the 50-plus-year-old local lumber company.
Dufrene Building Materials has two locations locally (four total) and they’ve been hosting the rodeo now for four years with the fifth installment announced for the coming summer with no date yet set.
“We like to do what we can to give back to the community,” Dufrene III said. “That’s important. The people here, they’ve given so much to us. So when we’re in the position to, we always want to make sure that we give back to them, as well.”
The past year’s event benefitted Kristin Guidry, Austin Abadie and the New Life Counseling Center. The rodeo event raised $27,000 and those proceeds were split evenly between the three benefactors.
Check presentations were made in the past few weeks to all three benefactors.
Money for the event was raised through several outlets — donations from vendors, local personal donations from people in the community, sales of rodeo t-shirts, food and snack sales at the event and also a silent and live auction on the Saturday night of the event.
In the four-year history of the event, the local business, with the help of the supporting community has raised more than $60,000.
Benefactors are chosen by town and parish council members who do research and find those who they believe would be the best candidates for donations throughout the year.
Dufrene said this past summer’s event was the biggest one yet, adding that the smiles on the faces of the children as they receive their checks is worth all of the time that goes into organizing the event.
The rodeo started small as an event for close friends and family of the business, but it’s since gained steam through social media and is an anticipated fishing event for the people of south Lafourche. •