Swamp Stomp time is here again! Grab your keys, rev your engines and head on over to the Larose Civic Center on Saturday for the event that offers something for every motor enthusiast to enjoy. Cars and rides from multiple states descend upon the bayou to show off their steel at the annual event. From show cars and trucks to rat rods, lowriders, motorcycles, mini bikes, dune buggies, and yes, even decked out eighteen wheelers!
Not a car enthusiast? No problem! Stroll and shop the many vendors that will be on hand or check out the array of items for the live and silent auction. A few of the things up for auction include custom made wood furniture, ice chests with gift cards, automotive products, and a variety of gift baskets. The silent auction is throughout the day with the live auction beginning at 4:30 pm.
Spectacular eats will also be on hand to enjoy such as white beans, grillades, Cajun hibachi fried rice, meat pies, fajitas, jambalaya and much more! Need to curb a sweet tooth? Be sure and hit the sweet booth and in doing so, you will be supporting the South Lafourche High School Cheerleaders who were selected to cheer in Hawaii!
For those itching to put the pedal to the metal, Swamp Stomp has you covered with a grass donut pit and grass drag strip. Minibike races will also be ongoing throughout the day!
As with many community benefits, there is a back story, and Swamp Stomp is no different in that aspect. What started as just a local car show in 2008 by the Boneyard Kreepers Car Club turned in to something so much bigger than any of the BKCC members could imagine. Especially so for the Gisclair family.
In 2009 the Gisclair family received devastating news about their son, Drake. The then seven- year-old received his diagnosis of Hydrocephalus and a brain tumor. Hydrocephalus, sometimes referred to as water on the brain, is a condition where excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up within cavities of the brain. Young Drake would have to undergo brain surgery.
That same year one of Drake’s doctors handed the Gisclair family a questionnaire from the Make A Wish Foundation. The family was overcome with happiness when Drake's wish came true to go to Disneyland in California was granted because it made all the difference for the young tike during his emotional and physical recovery.
In 2011, to pay it forward the BKCC decided to dedicate the second annual event proceeds to the Make a Wish Foundation. Subsequent years through the eighth annual car show also benefited Make a Wish, allowing more than sixteen granted wishes to terminally ill children.
Drake along with his sister Madison played a pivotal role in selecting wish recipients. Gisclair explained, “Drake and his sister would be given a spreadsheet with unfunded wishes from our local chapter of Make A Wish who office out of New Orleans. The list contained the first name only, diagnosis, and what the child wished. Drake and Madison were allowed to pick whoever they wanted from that list.”
"As a young child, Drake was infatuated with the movie Swamp People and one of the people on the show was from Pierre Part, La. So that particular year he saw a child named Kip with a heart condition from Pierre Part, so he picked him. The great thing about this child was they were willing to meet us. We had supper together, and they attended the next Swamp Stomp. Another year someone from our direct area was on the list, so they chose her. It was a wonderful process! For Make A Wish Foundation, it included kids across the state of Louisiana”, explained Sarah.
In June of 2017, the Gisclair’s world came crashing down upon them again when they learned Drake’s tumor had regrown. “Nothing could prepare us for the news on that day! But we kept fighting! In August of 2017, Drake had another brain surgery. He is back thriving again having beaten this twice!”, Sarah said.
When asked how Drake and the family coped with the diagnosis’s and surgeries Gisclair stated, “You take a deep breath and just pray when something like this all comes tumbling down on you at one time, so we're breathing again. If Drake is well, we are well! Drake is doing amazing! He has a heart of gold with such a positive and uplifting spirit!”
“The ninth annual event proceeds were given to Louisiana Troop C Grant A Wish Program. These wish kids come directly from our area (Tri-Parish), so it was an avenue to keep the money locally in our area to kids in need. We raised $20,000. My goal this year is to do $30,000!”, stated Gisclair.
“It’s really something you have to attend to appreciate. People often freak out when they see the amount of people and cars that are there. Last year we had over 200 cars and that does not include motorbikes or mini bikes.”. said Sarah.
There is a new twist to this year’s recipients of the event proceeds. Funds will benefit local nonprofits that serve the community directly. In a recent letter to the community, Sarah explained, "We live in a very small community, so any downturn in our local economy whether large or small has a huge impact on our local community center, our local nonprofits, our school athletic programs, and just our ability to give as a whole.”
“These programs all have one thing in common, and that’s our youth! These programs give our kids opportunities that allow them to boost their confidence, participate in activities that are low to no costs, create bonds and friendships with kids their age in other small communities, and hold them to a higher academic and discipline standard. “
Sarah added, “There are also so many families who have been faced with illnesses, deaths, and accidents lately. I want to help these people. I want people to feel in their lowest of times when they can’t see the light and hope is dwindling quickly, that God can still bless them. This year we will have an opportunity to bless a lot of people, places, and programs right here where we live!”
Sarah and the entire Gisclair family wish to thank the community from the bottom of her heart for all the support they have received over the years. The family hopes everyone will come out and support this year amazing event!
Swamp Stomp kicks off for bike night and cruise in on Friday, March 8th at 6:30 pm. Doors open to the public and car registration begins on Saturday, March 9th at 8 am. Spectator admission is a $10.00 donation for adults and children 12 and under are free. There will be live Cajun music from 11 am until 2 pm by the Bayou Cajun Band along with Benjamin Bruce, grandson of the late great Vin Bruce.
The event is still in need of additional auction items, and anything is appreciated! Vendor spots are also still available both indoor and outdoor. Those interested can sign up beforehand or even the day of the event. Any type of vendor is welcome!
To donate items, inquire on vendor spots or to get information on registering a vehicle, please contact Sarah Gisclair at 985-637-4294, Ryan Gisclair at 985-637-2414, or Jesse Bordelon at 985-696- 0219. You can also message or post through the Boneyard Kreepers Facebook page.
Posted on Wed, March 6, 2019
by Holly McKeon, Contributing Writer