Dream Day Foundation held annual Wild Game Cookout on February 4th, 2012
On February 4th while most might have been staying indoors because of Severe Thunderstorm alerts that were issued for the area. A small dedicated group of people were doing far from that. They were outside cooking. Some have been doing it for more years than they could remember, while others were coming out for the first time. Every year Floyd and Betty Edwards put on the St. Jude’s Dream Day Foundation Wild Game Cookout at Sandy’s Daiquiris in Livona, LA.
Traditionally, the cook off is held Labor Day weekend but because of the threat of Hurricane Irene it had to be canceled. It was debated on whether or not to even hold the cookout this year, but Floyd was barraged with people asking to reschedule it. So he did what he has always done. He made sure rain or shine the cookout would occur.
It rained yet again but it didn’t stop everyone from coming out. Seventeen cooks showed up for the cookout dishing up all types of exotic foods. The judges David Romero, the Director of National Accounts for Doerle Food Services, LLC in Broussard, LA , Craig “Moonie” Bergeron, Owner Bergeron’s Boudin & Cajun Meats in Port Allen, and Cindy Johnson, Owner/Mgr. Bayou Shack in Frisco/Livonia were treated to a bit of everything from alligator, rabbit, and even bear. In the end the Crawfish Bisque prepared by the Brandon Achee’ Cook Team, Wild Pork & Deer Rice Dressing prepared by Billy Picard, and Pot Roast Rabbit prepared by Rusty Lejeune made the stage. Although all dishes scored the same the overall winner was Brandon Achee’s Crawfish Bisque.
What makes the wild game cookout so special is not only the dishes served but watching this tiny community come together and raise money for the children of St. Jude. The other part of the cookout is the auction held immediately afterwards. All auction items are donated by either businesses or people wanting to do what they can for Dream Day Foundation and the children of St. Jude that it supports.
While all items in the auction were appreciated there was a very special item up on the auction block. Staff Sargent Brian Everette donated a LSU flag that actually flew over his base in Afghanistan. During this time an air raid occurred and miraculously the flag as well as the American flag remained unharmed. The Commander of the base awarded the flag and its owner a certificate of appreciation for improving moral during wartime. Once the flag was lowered Brian hung the flag in his office and asked everyone who entered to sign it. At the end of his tour he donated the flag and the certificate to his Aunt Betty and The Dream Day Foundation. The flag was mounted and hung along with two pictures: one of his unit, and one of the actual flag flying over the base with the certificate encased in a large frame. Due to the unique value of the flag the auction price of the flag was $4000.00.
While it was not expected to be auctioned that night, again, something amazing happened. Among the chatter of the crowd the question was posed. Why couldn’t the flag be hung at Sandy’s? Mickie Ann Roy, Sandra Duhon’s cousin jumped on the stage and pulled out $100.00 and announced to the crowd that she felt since Sandy and Duddy Duhon had hosted the event every year, the flag should stay there. She asked 39 other people to donate 100.00 dollars. In a matter of moments, not minutes, moments the asking price for the flag was raised. When all was said and done the flag went for $4400.00
To say Sandy and Duddy were speechless is an understatement. They told everyone they never realized how loved or appreciated they felt until they watched there long time customers, family and friends raise the money to keep the flag there at Sandy’s. Sandy said there was not anyway to convey how much it meant to her except to say thank you and that she loved everyone for gifting her with something so precious.
However the gesture meant everything to Brian Everette who stated, “I have been everywhere with that flag, and now I can come see it anytime I want.”