At least 3,500 people attended Watson’s sixth annual Bird and Sausage Gumbo Cook Off on Jan. 30 behind Double D Daiquiris in Denham Springs, raising $14,000 for the Quad Vets Transitional Housing Program in Hammond.
Event directors Bobbi Jo Guerin and Berlin Coxe started the fundraiser in their backyard.
“Helping raise awareness and zeroing out homeless veterans is our lifetime goal,” Guerin said. “We both grew up here in Watson and are so proud of the way our community has come together to help us.”
Attendees sampled 50 gumbos as well as fare from Duke’s Seafood & Steak, Day’s Smokehouse and Councilman Garry Talbert and friends with their pastalaya and enjoyed live music and a kids’ area with snacks, face and canvas painting, an inflatable slide and Games on the Fly.
Special guests included parish President Layton Ricks, Live Oak United Methodist Church pastor the Rev. Mark Crosby, Quad Vets director Todd Doctor, the Central High School ROTC, national anthem soloist Roseanne Erwin and the Louisiana Patriot Guard.
Winners included Team Los Amigos, which included Robbie Harrison and Calvin Jones, in first place; Team Curve Ballers, Scott Daugherty, Tom Peak, Colin Peak and Chad Pulliam, in second place; and Team Faithful Companions, Donald Lambert, Rhonda Scallan, Casey Turk and Jonathan Tallo, in third place. Team Los Amigos took home a $1,000 cash prize.
Staff and volunteers included Johnnie and Karen Irwin, Mark Singleton, Tommy Firmin, Merrill Hughes, Bert Vige, Ellen Pope, Erik Butler, Monica Day, Raymond and Jean Brooks, Barry and Tina Linder, Randy Ott, Jane Mueller, Lana Patrick, Clay Chutz, Denise Singleton, Sadie Tharp, Shawn Firmin, Tim Pierce and Sarah and Renee Capps.