DENHAM SPRINGS — The Mardi Gras Krewe of Denham Springs and the proprietors of the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant presented checks totaling $8,000 to The Foster Village in Walker at the krewe’s annual cookoff.

The event, held at the pavilion on the campus of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Aug. 25, attracted a large gathering of Krewe members who sampled an array of foods prepared by each of the individual krewes that together comprise the Krewe of Denham Springs.

Highlight of the gathering was the presentation of two checks to Shayna Landry, director of The Foster Village. Making the presentation of a $3,000 check from the krewe was the group’s president, Emily Barclay. Netsi Pruitt and her husband Chris, owners of Texas Roadhouse, presented a check for $5,000.

In accepting the donation, Landry said, more than 50 children from the community would receive services each month. The Foster Village is a non-profit organization focused on support for foster children in the community.

The Krewe of Denham Springs raised the funds for the donation through several activities during the past year. The majority of the funds were raised through a silent auction at the group’s annual ball. Netsi Pruitt said the donation from the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant, in the Juban Crossings Shopping Center, came at the venue’s pre-opening event. 

Barclay said members of the krewe look forward to the annual cookoff. “This is our chance to get together as a krewe and welcome new members. The Krewe of Denham Springs is unique in that we are actually made up of 10 individual krewes. Each one of those krewes comes together for our annual parade and for our ball and other social events during the year. Today’s event is lots of fun for our members because each of the individual krewes have cooked something special and their entries will be judged and a winner will be declared. It’s all in good fun and is a special day for all of us.”

The Krewe of Denham Springs has been parading for 40 years and the krewe has grown over the years. The group counts 160 members and is always looking for more members.

Mary Stringfellow, a member of the Krewe of Hullabaloux, said the krewe is always eager to welcome potential members. She reminded those interested in joining the krewe that they must be at least 21 and potential members have to be sponsored by a current krewe member.

Raymond Nicholas, board member of the krewe, echoed Stringfellow’s remarks. “Being part of the Krewe of Denham Springs is something special. Our organization is a family friendly, fun group that enjoys all that comes with being part of a Mardi Gras krewe. We are honoring a great Louisiana tradition by keeping the Mardi Gras spirit alive in our community. We do it because we love it.”

Barclay said the krewe is already planning for this year’s activities. The highlight will be the Mardi Gras parade which will be held Feb. 15. A popular after party follows the parade. The group is also planning its annual ball at North Park on Feb. 1.