Krewes parade to benefit children’s charities

Michael Tortorich
Parade participants dressed as Hollywood icons toss beads during the annual Krewe of Diversion Mardi Gras boat parade Saturday afternoon.

Hippies, Hollywood stars and hunters all joined together for a good cause Saturday.

The Krewe of Diversion and the Krewe of St. Amant decorated boats and dressed in various Mardi Gras themes and paraded on the Diversion Canal, collecting money for children’s charities.

The parade was the culminating event for the two local groups.

The Krewe of Diversion’s parade traveled north on the Diversion Canal and ended at Manny’s Bar for an after party.

The Krewe of Diversion held its 10th annual Mardi Gras Ball at the Ascension Civic Center in Sorrento on Feb. 7.

The theme this year was “Celebrate Life’s Treasures.”

A.P. and Charlotte Borne reigned as king and queen. The couple met while volunteering at the annual St. Jude bass tournament in 2004. That meeting led to their marriage two years later.

Bridget Kyle served as ball captain, while Michael Mason emceed the event.

The Krewe of St. Amant, formed six years ago, continued its tradition of raising money for Dreams Come True, a foundation dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses.

The majority of the foundation’s work is done in south Louisiana. Ages 3-18 are eligible.

The Krewe of Diversion raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its affiliate clinic in Baton Rouge.

The Krewe of St. Amant’s parade route started and finished at the Canal Bank Club. Prizes were awarded to the top three boats, the top two decorated docks and for best costume.

The group kicked off its first Mardi Gras ball Feb. 6 to raise money for its charity. The nonprofit group hosted the ball in addition to the annual boat parade as a way to raise more money for its charity, as well as awareness. Kenny Fife provided music for the event.

The Krewe of St. Amant donates around $7,000 every year to Dreams Come True through its fundraising efforts. Last year the group raised $12,000.

The ball was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Gonzales. Kevin “Chef KD” Diez and Theresa Kalivoda were honored as the king and queen.

Diez helps the Dreams Come True bass tournament every year. Kalivoda served as president of Dreams Come True in 2005 and 2006.

Joan Kimbrough helps the Krewe of St. Amant’s king, Kevin “Chef KD” Diez, get ready for the group’s Mardi Gras boat parade Saturday at the Canal Bank Club.