On August 19 and 20, Dufrene Building Materials will hold its 7e Annual Fishing Rodeo at Bridgeside Marina in Grand Isle, LA. The scales will open at 2 p.m. and admission for food and door prizes will be $15. An event that since its inception has given its profits to contribute to families and local groups in need.
Cut Off Store Manager and Rodeo Coordinator Chelce Casto provides insight into the history of rodeo.
“It was originally supposed to be an employee appreciation event and we were going to try and raise money for local businesses,” Casto said. “It was something to get all the places together, go down, fish and have a good time.”
Over the years, the rodeo has grown from a small gathering to a philanthropic event for the community.
“It started very small, but then they started looking for other ways to help others,” Casto said.
This year, its two benefactors are The Center in Cut off and Bridge to Independence at Nicholls State University. The Center offers clients with developmental disabilities an employment opportunity within the community. Bridge to Independence gives people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders a chance to access higher education with the help of Bridge support staff to guide them on their path to independence.
Casto goes on to explain that the motive for the event is to grow in the lives of people who can be helped.
“What better way to help the community then to help the organizations that already do so much for our community,” Casto said.
Dufrene Building Materials helped the community. After Hurricane Ida, the Cut Off site opened the next day and was ready to welcome anyone who needed materials to protect their home from further damage.
“There were so many needs in the community. It was overwhelming; it was an emotional time for everyone,” Casto said. “Paul Dufrene IV had evacuated and when he returned he brought some friends who had some heavy equipment they could use here to get the bottom of the yard back to usable condition.”
During a time of loss and despair, Dufrene Building Materials gave the community the help it needed to persevere through the devastation.
“We just did what we had to do,” Casto said.
The rodeo will take place just weeks before marking the first anniversary of Hurricane Ida. The rodeo will strive to unite its various locations, raise donations for benefactors and give its community the chance to have fun fishing.
“I just hope this year is bigger and better and a reminder that we can persevere through all the craziness,” Casto said.