WHO WE ARE
The birth of “Cooking in Central” found her beginnings on September 13, 2001. Just days after the tragic attacks on the United States, the foremen of Louis Mechanical Contractors had a dinner meeting planned at Louis and Becky DeJohn’s house. Instead of cancelling, the decision was made that they surely needed to gather that evening. Naturally, the focus of the meeting centered on how helpless and violated we felt and what could we do to help our neighbors in New York. After a few days of discussions, it was decided to gather as many people in the plumbing industry as possible to raise money toward the rescue and recovery efforts.
As one would expect, gathering friends and competitors after such a tragic event was easy and by the middle of September the “Greater Baton Rouge Plumbing Industry Disaster Relief Effort” was established. After a short discussion they decided that giving a “cook-off” would be the best way to raise a substantial purse. As a result, plumbing contractors, employees, suppliers, and design professionals set aside their competitive differences, joined hands and raised $81,000 to contribute to the campaign initiated by Governor Mike Foster dubbed “Buck$ for Firetruck$”.
Just a few years later, two colossal storms, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, rocked the Louisiana coast and many of our citizens again felt helpless. Similar to “Buck$ for Firetruck$, the devastation left by these two storms prompted the leaders of the “City of Central” (many of whom had helped in the “Buck$ for Firetruck$” campaign) to extend a helping hand to one of the cities that were destroyed by the force of nature. In January 2006, the City of Central hosted “Cookin’ for Our Neighbors.” This event raised $191,000 and those proceeds were used to purchase three school buses for St. Bernard Parish, which now proudly bear the inscription “Spirit of the City of Central.”
WHO WE ARE NOW
In 2007, with the welcomed absence of national and local tragedies, the organizers of “Cooking in Central” decided to put their effort into supporting our local schools. As the Central Community School System was in its early years of independence and with little money to cover their initial expenses, the inaugural “Cooking in Central hosted “Cookin’ for our Kids” and raised $331,000. Through the efforts of this organization and all of its supporters, our new school district never had to borrow funds from a line of credit to start its operations.
To date, Cooking has raised and donated over $1,000,000 to public, private and parochial schools within the City of Central. These funds have been used to purchase much needed technology, library and wellness program materials for our nine local schools.
Each year presents new opportunities to serve our community. But one thing is for certain; “Cooking in Central” will continue to serve others with the help of the many sponsors and supporters of our great events!