|Aubree Beck and Nick Mouledous, two organizers
of the Grand Slam Jambalaya Cook-Off
Photo by Robin May
On the first day of his spring 2012 marketing management class, UL Lafayette professor Dr. Geoff Stewart showed his students a film about the “Why?” of marketing. The point of the video was that a product should focus on “why” it is important, rather starting with “what” the product is and “how” it will operate. From there, Stewart challenged students to write a one-page paper on their personal “why.”
While some of the students chose to do the regularly-assigned business simulation game, 13 others took on the “Why” project.
“I felt that I would benefit more from actually doing something than playing a game,” says senior Amanda Genovese.
Ville Platte native Nicholas Roberie, a self-proclaimed foodie, proposed a food-related event to support the phenomenal but under-appreciated girls’ softball team. “The main goal was to raise attendance for the UL softball team,” he says.
Project manager Ramona Gautreaux suggested a chili cook-off. The students toyed with the idea of wild game. After several discussions, the group decided on jambalaya.
Softball co-head coach Stefni Lotief suggested that the students partner up with the Kiwanis Club to plan a fundraiser. Club members told the UL marketing team about Kiwanis International’s The Eliminate Project, a partnership with UNICEF that donates funds for maternal-neonatal tetanus shots internationally. While tetanus is virtually non-existent in the U.S., the deadly disease claims the lives of nearly 60,000 babies and a significant number of women each year. The condition is excruciatingly painful — newborns suffer repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch as their mothers observe helplessly. The cost for the shot is only $1.80 each, a small amount to pay to save millions of lives worldwide.
With Kiwanis in its corner, UL’s senior marketing class officially launched the first Grand Slam Jambalaya Cook-Off to support the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball Team and raise funds for the Eliminate project. Starting in February, the students met every Sunday for a couple of hours to plan the event. Members divided up into teams — logistics, advertising, registration and design. “It’s been a pretty easy group to work with,” Genovese says.
After getting the green light, the students spread the word about the fundraiser through flyers, radio and TV spots.
To raise funds, students snared sponsors Ville Platte-based Kary’s Roux and Lafayette-based Excelerant, which donated a total of $500. Fans donated $50, and businesses paid $150 to compete in the cook-off. Game attendees received two free tasting tickets and purchased additional tickets for a $2 minimum donation — just enough to cover the cost of an MNT vaccine.
The Grand Slam took place April 21 just behind the outfield at Lamson Park, which coincided with a softball double-header. Eight teams competed in the jambalaya cook-off, four in the fan category and four in the business category, with the winning prizes going to “Team Kee Ya” and Tony Rider’s Body Shop, respectively. Judges included UL football coach Mark Hudspeth, City-Parish President Joey Durel and Athletic Director Scott Farmer. All sponsorship proceeds and donations went directly to The Eliminate Project, with registration fees benefitting both the project and the softball team.
For its first project, the marketing class raised $1,500, enough to save 833 mothers and their unborn babies from MNT. Closer to home, the fundraiser also exceeded expectations.
“Our goal was to raise attendance by 15 percent,” Roberie says. “We calculated the average attendance of home games [recorded by Ragin Cajuns’ website under “Statistics - Box Score”] to be 1,027 attendees per game,” he adds. “Attendance at our game was 1,241, a 21 percent increase in attendance from the average. This was the second largest crowd all year, beaten only by the Georgia Tech game [that] had 1,280.”
Roberie hopes future classes take on the project to make it an annual event. “I’m so enthusiastic about this project because it was all volunteers,” Roberie says. “We had multiple people in the class who chose to do the simulation game instead. So, everybody who was working on the project wanted to do it.”
Stewart gives full credit for the project to his students, referring all questions about the project to them for this story.
“We came up with an idea, and we made it happen all by ourselves,” Roberie says.
“Oh yeah, one other cool point,” he adds. “The girls hit two grand slams during the first game. The name of our event brought them luck!”
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
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The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
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Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
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Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
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An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
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