The year was 2003 and a beloved father, husband, brother, uncle and friend passed away after a short battle with a devastating cancer diagnosis. His name was Jimmie Williams, fondly known to all as Jimbo. He had a quick, sarcastic wit and twinkle in his eye that meant a laugh was coming soon.
His family struggled to find a way to honor his memory; his brothers, sisters, family and friends decided to form a team named the "Dukes of Earl" after a favorite childhood song of theirs to raise funds to fight cancer.
The first year, the team had no idea of what they were getting into. Relay for Life had only been down the bayou for a couple of years in the South Lafourche area and yearly it was moving venues and adding teams. Some years, tents were needed and no water or power was around to be found. For several years the event was rained on, but in the end South Lafourche Relay for Life found a home under the permanent pavilion at the Larose Civic Center.
Over the years, the Dukes of Earl team settled on Cake Bingo and Gumbo Lunch as their yearly fundraiser, and boy were they ever a success! In 14 years, with Corine Guidry Gaines (Jimbo's sister), as their esteemed team captain, they proudly raised more than $155,000 for the local Relay for Life program.
They have added elements over the years including the formation of the Jr. Dukes of Earl team made up of younger family members and friends who host the Silent Auction, commemorative cups for their homemade lemonade and the selling of luminary bags that are displayed at the larger community event. The bingo and lunch also has a half and half raffle, hundreds of door prizes, masses of cakes to be given away during bingo, a Sweet Sale and more!
Bingo games are only .25 cents per card per game so it is affordable for the entire family.
Another highlight of the event is the delicious food, chicken and sausage gumbo, rice, French bread and potato salad start out the menu which will also include spaghetti, jambalaya, homemade chili with hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, pickles, fudge, pralines, cookies, soft drinks and more.
Gumbo lunch is $8 with a drink, $7 without. Bowls of Jambalaya are $5 and other prices vary. Lunches can be dine in or take outs beginning at 10:30 a.m. at this year's NEW location at the Larose VFW behind LCO Middle School West 23rd Street.
Bingo games begin at 1 p.m. until all cakes are given away and good neighbor and double good neighbor games will be enjoyed. During the intermission, Jr. Dukes of Earl Team members will throw trinkets and prizes to the crowd.
Please join the Dukes of Earl and Jr. Dukes of Earl as the celebrate their 15th Anniversary year on Sunday, March 10th at the Larose VFW with lunch beginning at 10:30 a.m. and bingo beginning at 1:00 p.m. Special thanks to Corine Guidry Gaines for her 14 years of dedicated service to the team and Relay as she retired last year.
To make a donation of monies, cakes or door prizes call Connie Curole at 985-258-1193, Phyllis Sauder at 985-291-1068 or Jasmine Ayo at 985-677-1677.
For help, assistance or support call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
Posted on Wed, March 6, 2019
by The Lafourche Gazette