Wetlands Discovery Center to host “Beignet Challenge” for GiveNOLA Day

Local nonprofits welcome donations through GiveNOLA Day
June 2, 2020
Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in Gulf of Mexico
June 2, 2020
Local nonprofits welcome donations through GiveNOLA Day
June 2, 2020
Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in Gulf of Mexico
June 2, 2020

Jonathan Foret Cocodrie for POV 2017 (Misty Leigh McElroy) 10/12/17

Beignets for a good cause, anyone?


Today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center is hosting a “Beignet Challenge” to raise funds to benefit the center as part of GiveNOLA Day 2020.


A donation to the SLWDC through GiveNOLA Day can be exchanged for a complimentary bag of beignets at a drive-through booth located at the Waterlife Museum parking lot at 7910 Park Ave. in Houma.


“We weren’t able to do the Rougarou Ball this year because of the pandemic, and so we were looking to do something creative and fun, rather than just do a social media campaign,” SLWDC Executive Director Jonathan Foret said. 


Foret and the staff at SLWDC decided to enlist the help of Beignet the nutria, the center’s “mascot” to help with their GiveNOLA fundraiser. From there, the idea of the pop-up beignet booth, which stays in line with social distancing measures put into place as a result of COVID-19, was formed. 


“[It’s] kind of funny because nutria are an invasive species, and so I guess he’s helping us to save money to counteract what his species has done to the wetlands, or at least help,” Foret said. 


When people arrive, they are asked to provide their name, and the SLWDC team can check for that name on their list of donors. From there, the donor will receive a bag of freshly-cooked beignets. 


GiveNOLA Day is a 24-hour giving event hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) in which people can make donations to various non-profit organizations in the Greater New Orleans area, which includes Terrebonne Parish.


Donations to SLWDC can be made through GiveNOLA’s official website at givenola.org. Once on the site, donors can search through the list of organizations to find SLWDC and make their contributions. In addition, Foret said the center will be posting the donation link throughout the day on its Facebook page.


As an added part of SLWDC’s GiveNOLA campaign, People’s Drugs in Houma will match every $1 raised up to $5,000. 


Those matched funds will ultimately help SLWDC to match an additional fundraising goal through GNOF’s Freeman Challenges. Through the Freeman Challenges, GNOF will award SLWDC $15,000 if the center can raise $30,000 by December 31, 2021. Funds obtained through the Freeman Challenges will ultimately help SLWDC to build up a reserve fund.


“It’s like the perfect storm, but a good storm,” Foret said. “We’re using GiveNOLA Day as a campaign to raise money to match for the Freeman Challenges, but what’s even better than that is People’s Drugs is matching all of our GiveNOLA Day donations up to $5,000, so…their match is going to help us get another match.”


In addition, GNOF President and CEO Andy Kopplin along with a GiveNOLA Day sponsor are set to stop by the booth to pick up their own beignets and provide Beignet with his own GiveNOLA Day shirt. 


In the midst of difficult times, Foret said he is thankful for the support of all those offering their support to SLWDC during GiveNOLA Day.


“I would certainly like to say thank you to them so very much for appreciating and understanding the work that we do during such heavy times,” Foret said. 


Donations to SLWDC can be made here


photo by Misty Leigh McElroy, Point of Vue Magazine 2017