Outdoor Corner: Help some dreams come true

Lyle Johnson

The annual Dreams Come True fundraiser will be April 24 at two locations. It was to be at Lamar Dixon in 2020 but was cancelled, and that site won’t be available this year. So event chairperson Freddye Smith and her sidekick, Rodney Dupre, had to put their heads together and figure something out.

Mikaylah Bordelon killed her first turkey on youth weekend in St. Helena Parish with a 20-gauge Yildiz over and under. The bird weighed  18.8 pounds and sported a 10 1/8 inch beard with 1 1/8 inch spurs.

Two local businesses stepped up in a big way to help them out. Part of the event will take place at Galvez Hardware, and Fred’s on the River will host parts of the event on its Amite River waterfront.

Galvez Hardware will host the Crawfish Boiling Contest. The entry fee is $250 and covers the crawfish supplied by DCT and registration. Cooks need to bring everything to boil one sack of crawfish, plus a table and a tent. Competitors also bring a garden hose and a wash bucket.

The crawfish will be judged on taste, texture and peel-ability. Cooks may set up at 7 a.m. and turn in crawfish at 11 a.m. for judging. All crawfish become property to Dreams Come True and will be sold to the public below market price.

There will also be a “Side Dish” competition with a $100 Prize – a “One Bite Challenge” that must have potatoes in it. The bites must be turned in at 10:30 a.m. DCT will provide small bowls for the cooks to prepare five bowls, one for each judge. The bites will be judged on taste, creativity and potato flavor.

Wayne Bennett caught this 8-pound and 12-pound blue catfish fishing on the Diversion Canal on a rod and reel using live crawfish for bait.

Fred’s on the River will host the remainder of events. There will be a Jambalaya Cook-Off with an Entry fee of $150. All ingredients provided. Ingredients will be handed out at 6:30 a.m., fires lit fires at 7 a.m. and fires off at 10 a.m. Samples must be ready to turn in 10:15 a.m. Winners will be announced after judging is done. All food will be sold at event. No wood fires.

A Crackling Cook-Off with an entry fee $50 is on the agenda. Cooks may set up 7 a.m. Pick up for judging will begin at noon. All cracklings to become property of DCT and will be sold at the event. Cook must furnish 30 pounds of fat and everything they need to cook with. Any seasoning may be used. Event will be run by the Boucherie Festival organizers.

Compete in a Mini-Pot Jambalaya Cook-Off: Entry fee is $25. Bring your own supplies. Cooking from 10 a.m. to noon; pick-up at 12:15 p.m. for judging. There will also be a team corn-hole tournament with a $25 entry fee. There will also be a silent auction. Donations to the auction are still being accepted, and sponsorships are still being sought.

For all the competitions or sponsorships, you can sign up by mail, or at Galvez Hardware. For more information call Rodney with Cajun Livin N Cookin (225) 328-6735 or Galvez Hardware (225) 622-1114. Mail to: Dreams Come True P.O. Box 445, French Settlement La. 70733.

Live Bands will also perform at Fred’s on the River that include NaNaSha along with Chris LeBlanc & Zydeco Mike. A Cajun Classic Car Show will take place and a 50/50 raffle will be available.

So this is the how the story goes. In 1982 there was a group of seven families in Denham Springs who decided to help some of those seemingly impossible dreams come to life, and Dreams Come True Inc. was formed.

The goal of this group was to provide funding or whatever it took for local area children with life-threatening illnesses to have their dream of a lifetime to come true. All funding was initially provided by those families, but that vision has exploded over the years to have fund-raisers throughout the year.

A decision was made by the group that their work would remain focused on the South Louisiana area. Just like any other great idea and years later, that vision has expanded to other regions of Louisiana.

The group incorporated in 1982 as a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. The Dreams Come True organization was envisioned, and still is considered, a local, home-grown alternative to larger organizations of much broader boundaries that provide dreams and wishes to children.

To reflect this, the name was changed in 2006 to Dreams Come True of Louisiana Inc.

While many worthwhile organizations work toward a similar goal, Dreams Come True is proud to have one paid employee and to have expanded throughout the entire State of Louisiana.

The all-volunteer board has remained focused on the single goal of bringing joy through granting dreams in Louisiana. Recently, Dreams Come True has granted most dreams in the Southern Louisiana area from Lake Charles to New Orleans and Shreveport to Morgan City. However, we will grant dreams statewide to all who qualify. Approximately 75 to 80 dreams are granted throughout the year.

If you think someone in your family or someone you know might qualify, please visit the "Refer a Child" at www.dctofla.com.  Children ages three through eighteen with a life-threatening illness who resides in Louisiana are eligible to apply.

Those between the ages of 3 and 18 are eligible to receive a dream after the medical review board of Dreams Come True determines that the nature of their illness does qualify them as a recipient. Children who have had a dream granted by any other organization will not be considered.

The dreams that the kids have start out fairly simple. But because of the big hearts of the organizations or celebrities the end result is usually more than the kids can even imagine.

Rain or shine all the volunteers are ready to host this event after missing it last year. There are lots of things to do, so come out and support a great organization and help to make some young person’s dream come true.

So until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you!