Marel Hinners/Anabel Mendez/Lauren Busch
Brustman Carrino Public Relations
The Drew Rodrigue Foundation (DRF) has just announced the seventh annual Bugs & Brew for Drew Crawfish Cook-off and Beer Festival, which will take place on Fulton Street in New Orleans on Saturday, May 20th from 3PM - 8PM. The free-admission event will feature a crawfish boiling competition, craft beer, local music, and children's entertainment. The family-friendly festival will benefit the Drew Rodrigue Foundation, a local non-profit which celebrates heroes in the face of adversity, in honor of Drew Rodrigue, a local football coach who battled against cancer.
"My husband Drew embraced life and believed that cancer would not win each day," said Mary Kathryn Rodrigue, Chairman of the Board of the Drew Rodrigue Foundation. "This event is an homage to that passion for life; an opportunity for us to change the lives of others, while celebrating moments with friends and family."
All proceeds from Bugs and Brew will go toward DRF's current charitable project of building both the inpatient and outpatient oncology playrooms in the new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital located in Baton Rouge. The playrooms will provide much needed play, distraction and education for oncology patients in the new children's hospital and adjoining clinics. It will also include an area for patients and family members to receive supportive counseling and education, as well as enrichment opportunities with community partnerships.
Growing rapidly in its first few years, the event will take place on the Fulton Street pedestrian corridor, where 15 teams from around the region will compete for the titles of "Best Crawfish" and "Best Lagniappe." This year, Bugs & Brew will feature a culinary aspect to the event by offering crawfish-inspired dishes from several New Orleans restaurants including Galatoire's, Rock-N-Sake, Manning's and the newly opened DTB, to name a few. The event is also hosted by Harrah's New Orleans, with sponsorship from Yeungling, Iberia Bank, Where Y'At Magazine, and Lympho-maniacs. Beer selections will be offered by Yeungling, Parish, 40 Arpent and more. Live music will feature the musical talents of King James & the Special Men, Me & My Friends, and Big Easy Playboys.
General admission is free and open-to-the-public. VIP Cajun Pass tickets can be purchased in advance for $50 until May 14th, or $60 thereafter and includes complimentary beer and crawfish as well as exclusive access to designated VIP areas with crawfish inspired dishes from several restaurants and balcony seating. Individual food and beverage tickets will also be sold at the event for those with smaller appetites.
For additional information on Bugs & Brew or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.drfnola.org/bugsnbrew/.
More information about DRF and its current and past initiatives can be found by visiting www.drfnola.org.
About Drew Rodrigue Foundation
Formed in 2009, the Drew Rodrigue Foundation's mission is to change the lives of individuals who have stared their adversities in the face and have bravely decided to suit up and march onto the playing field of life, showing others that giving up is not an option. In its first year, the Foundation partnered with Young Adults Taking a Stand Against Cancer to help raise $50,000 for donation to the Drew Rodrigue Memorial Fund with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In 2011, the Foundation formed the Drew Rodrigue Memorial Equipment Fund for Abbeville High School, and provided a grant to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to fund patient educational and supportive programs. In 2012, the Foundation established the "Forty Nine Society," which helps struggling individuals by giving them a "surprise gift" to lift their spirits and improve their quality of life. With their signature annual event, Bugs & Brew for Drew, the Foundation has raised over $150,000 to fight cancer and for other charitable causes.
In 2013, DRF partnered with the Wellness Studio and the New Orleans Sports Foundation to put on an empowerment workshop before the New Orleans Bowl to inspire over 500 high school athletes to keep striving through their own personal life adversity to reach their goals. The workshop included motivational talks with several athletes who have overcome immeasurable circumstances in their life, both on and off the playing field. The panel included Coach Avery Johnson, Michael Lewis of the New Orleans Saints, and Eric Searcy, former pitcher for ULL Baseball. Their stories and outlook were shared in order to give these young individuals a perspective on how to keep going and make better choices in regards to conflict, social stigmas, and personal strife. The workshop was structured with an open dialogue forum so the attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and gain feedback from the panel on personal life experience.
In addition to putting on the workshop, the Foundation honored Dr. Matthew Matherne, who was one of the youngest individuals in the world to be diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia. Including Dr. Matherne, there have been only 10 documented cases of FRD in patients under 30. The Foundation honored him with a signature portrait by famed local artist, Frenchy. The portrait captured Dr. Matherne and his wife, Amy, as he advanced to late stage FRD. Although Dr. Matherne has since passed, his wife continues his legacy by advocating and fundraising for further research with the Mayo Clinic. She chronicled her experience of caring for her husband at http://mattmatherne.blogspot.com.
2014 was a deeply personal and sobering year for the Foundation, as one of our dearest friends, Chef Carl Schaubhut of bacobar and DTB, was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. To aid Carl in his battle with cancer, the Foundation placed our annual event on hold, and banded together with the New Orleans restaurant community to hold Kicking Cancer in the Gut, which raised $50,000.00. All of the proceeds from that event were donated to Carl to help his family and to cover his medical expenses.
In 2015, the Drew Rodrigue Foundation embarked on its latest charitable endeavor. The Foundation partnered with The Bella Bowman Foundation and Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital to create the inpatient and outpatient playrooms for children 21 years old and younger that are being treated for cancer at the soon to be opened state of the art, medically advanced treatment center. The hospital will service children all across Louisiana. The Foundation committed to raising $100,000.00 over a five year period, and the hospital is currently slated to open in the spring of 2018.