The Hache Grant Association of Houma was presented with the 2022 Louey Community Partnership Award by the Louisiana Travel Association and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser at their annual event on January 19th, 2023!
The Community Partnership Award is given to an organization who “collaborate on a community-driven initiative to make their area an attractive destination for visitors.” Manny Merlos, the Executive Director of the Hache Grant Association, described what a meaningful award this was to win: “The Hache Grant Association’s goal for the past three years has been to provide measurable, actual revitalization to Downtown Houma and the Parish as a whole,” said Merlos. “We want to bring events to the community that promote that growth.”
The Hache Grant Association is responsible for hosting the yearly Bayou Terrebonne Boucherie, an all-day festival filled with good food, live local music, and cook-offs. “The Boucherie is an event community that really highlights Cajun heritage, which is what makes it special,” said Merlos. The Hache Grant Association also puts on the annual Maw-Maw Walker and Tailgate, an event where locals come out dressed head-to-toe in their best muu muu’s and participate in a stroll through Downtown Houma, stopping to support more than 15 local bars, pubs, and other establishments along the way. The event typically begins with the College GameDay Experience, where Hache Grant Association hosts a panel of local football coaches and celebrities at 9:00am, all while jumbotrons air live football games. “We wanted to think of a fun, engaging way to highlight local businesses,” said Merlos. “People come out, tailgate, watch football, and enjoy the stroll through Downtown. It is always a great event and a great time for everyone involved.”
The Hache Grant Association is not solely reliant on fun events to provide services to the community, however. “When Hurricane Ida hit, everything stopped, and we went into disaster relief mode,” said Merlos. “We began using our organization to raise money, donate supplies, provide meals, whatever Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish needed.” Merlos described their ability to organize essential services for those hit hardest by Ida, such as setting up stations for people to run laundry and shower, or provide an all-expenses-paid trip to Cannata’s for those in need of food. “Organizing these services was a lot of work, but we would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Merlos. “They helped the community get back on its feet.” After Ida, the Association returned with a stronger desire than ever to promote Houma’s revitalization.
The Hache Grant Association wanted to thank all their employees and volunteers for all the hard work that went into receiving this award. The Third-Annual Bayou Terrebonne Boucherie is scheduled to take place March 25th, 2023, all day in Downtown Houma. For more information, contact the Hache Grant Association at (985) 791-3351 or visit www.hachegrant.com.