Oil Spill Relief Fundraiser
The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans is reaching out to help Louisiana fishermen and other parish residents hit hard by the Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion. The HBA has partnered with Catholic Charities in a fundraiser that will occur during the inaugural launch of the New Orleans Home + Interior Design Show scheduled for September 17-19th at the Morial Convention Center.
The fundraiser will center on what has become an iconic symbol in South Louisiana -- the white shrimp boot. Local and national celebrities have been asked to personally design, decorate and autograph a shrimp boot that will then be raffled off during the Interior Design Show. Saints Coach Sean Payton, Chefs John Besh and Emeril Lagasse, NBC news anchor Hoda Kotb and three Broadway shows are among those decorating and autographing boots. (A full list of celebrity artists is enclosed)
“This fundraiser is going to be a great help to us,” says Gordon R. Wadge, Co-President of Catholic Charities. The organization has been in the forefront of the recovery efforts, operating five relief centers in four south Louisiana parishes to help those impacted by the spill. Wadge further explains, “As has been recently reported in the media, our Oil Spill Relief Fund is running out of money and we are truly leaning on the generosity of others to help us. While many think this disaster is over, it’s really just beginning because the long-term effects are going to hit more and more families. We expect the need to continue for quite awhile.”
“We really wanted to do something for our fellow Louisianians who are really hurting due to the oil spill,” explains Mike Zalaznik, show manager of the Interior Design Show. “We tossed out a few ideas, but the symbol of the white shrimp boot kept coming to mind so we thought it would be fun to have celebrities decorate them and then we raffle them off. We have encouraged our celebrity artists to really let their personality shine so it’s going to be exciting what they create.”
Proceeds from the raffle tickets will go directly to the Catholic Charities Oil Spill Relief Fund. Margaret Dubuisson, Director of Communications for Catholic Charities, says to date about 22,260* people have been helped with such things as obtaining food, paying bills and receiving medical and crisis counseling. “This disaster has completely turned people’s lives upside down,” Dubuisson explains. As one of the contact people on the ground in the impacted area, Dubuisson has spent countless hours with families hit hard and she says while it’s difficult for the adults, it’s the children who have really touched her. “The kids have gone through the horrors of two major hurricanes in the past five years –Katrina and Gustav. And now this. They watch their parents struggle and they see their community devastated so we are really doing everything possible to help families get through this and keeping the relief center open is vital to the recovery.”
The boots being raffled will be photographed and displayed as they come in so web viewers can see what the celebrity artists have created. “We are getting some really creative boots returned; ideas that I would never have thought of,” Zalaznik says with a chuckle and adds, “We have had such great feedback from our celebrity artists and their enthusiasm has really made this fun and created rather unique novelty items that I believe will become a huge hit even if you are not from the region.”
Raffle Tickets are $5 each and are now on sale via the website. Due to overwhelming response, we are extending the raffle online until mid October.
For more information on Catholic Charities and its Oil Spill Relief Fund, please go to http://www.ccano.org
* Please note: Many individuals and families have received multiple services from Catholic Charities.
>Back to home page
The New Orleans Home+Interior Design Show would like to thank UPS for being our Shrimp Boot Sponsor and National Art & Hobby for giving our celebrity artists decorating tips and a discount on supplies.