On the day before Thanksgiving, St. Vincent de Paul celebrated its ninth annual turkey carving contest. Community leaders that participated included: LSU Gymnastics Coach DD Breaux, Constable Reginald Brown, LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri, Our Lady of the Late Vice-President Coletta Barrett, EBR Coroner Beau Clark, EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore, Council woman Tara Wicker, Olinde’s President Tom Olinde, CAUW President George Bell, Manship Media CFO Ralph Bender, EBR Chief Administrative Assistant Officer Rowdy Gaudet and EBR Parish Prison Warden Dennis Grimes. We are so thankful to all of these community leaders who came together to give of their time and talent and share the true spirit of Thanksgiving. All the contestants had a blast carving the turkeys, which are so important to our annual Thanksgiving Day meals served at our St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room and the Raising Cane’s River Center. This event is a way to get our turkeys carved, create community awareness about poverty and homelessness, and have some great fun at the same time.
The contest began with a few words from St. Vincent de Paul President & CEO Michael Acaldo. Then the carving and the fun began. DD Breaux, District Attorney Hillar Moore, and Coroner Beau Clark, all past carving champions, were ready and got off to a quick start. Hillar Moore always has a “surprise.” In the past, he has come dressed as Superman, a Duck Dynasty actor, showed up with a futuristic lighted carving knife – just to name a few of his antics. But this year, he decided to honor Constable Reginald Brown and Holiday Helpers. He pulled out a lighted tribute to Constable Brown for the remarkable 30 years of Holiday Helpers.
For those of you who have never carved a turkey, you may not know that it takes a surprising amount of skill. Of course, this is a contest, so contestants were judged in a number of categories, which included categories such as: how much fun the contestant was having, how the turkey was presented after carving and, in St. Vincent de Paul’s “no waste tradition,” – how much meat was left on the bone. Of course, all our contestants are winners because they truly care about the less fortunate we are so blessed to serve. Based on our volunteer judges – Lois Smyth of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Jan Ross of the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, and Community Volunteer Gayle Hutchinson, this year's results are: first place, LSU Gymnastics Coach DD Breaux; second place, Coroner Beau Clark; and third place District Attorney Hillar Moore.