Children and a good cause make for a pleasant St. James Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011

By Nyla Smith


GRAMERCY – The Louisiana Loggers Association sponsored its annual Bass Tournament Classic Saturday at the St. James Boat Club in Gramercy. The event raised money for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge and their affiliate, the Children’s Miracle Network.

Glen Hinson of Louisiana Loggers Chapter Six said their national organization features a charity called “Log-a-Load for Kids.” He said the fundraiser is aimed at improving children’s health at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The bass tournament began about eight years ago in Head-of-Island, La. A few years later the competition was moved to Gramercy near Blind River, where it remains today.

Hinson also said when the organization started the tournament, it only attracted a few fisherman into the competition, but once Motiva and Shell Refinery got involved, the numbers increased greatly.

“We were right at 200 boats this year,” said Hinson.

Larry Roussel, coordinator of the tournament, said the events leading up to the competition began on Thursday with registration and a rules and regulations meeting for boaters. A second meeting was held on Friday for all volunteers.

Roussel also said Motiva and Shell Refinery paid a portion of the registration fee for all of their employees who registered for the competition. The refineries as well as the United Steel Workers donated all the food for the event.

The bass tournament involved fisherman competing to catch the largest five bass in any public fishing waters in Louisiana.

All boaters had to pass through one of five check-in points, including Belle River and Boutte, and begin at the same start time. In order to be eligible for a weigh-in, the fishermen must report to the St. James Boat Club with their catch before deadline.

Roussel said the top fishing teams won a cash prize, and all of the money is donated by several sponsors and supporters.

Some of the other activities featured at the boat club included a jambalaya/pastalaya competition and a  raffle for a 42-inch Viszio LED television donated by Wal-Mart.

Bertis Tamplain and Alan Usry of LaPlace won first place with their jambalaya entries, and Authur Cazes of Prairieville won first place in the pastalaya competition.

Cazes also won for best tasting dish overall.

Wal-Mart of Gonzales featured a booth with sweet treats for sale, four baskets valued at $200 to be raffled and trinkets for children to purchase. 

Trechel Ramagos, community event coordinator for Wal-Mart, said this is her fourth year working the event.

“I love it,” said Ramagos. “Every year it gets bigger and better, and it’s all about the children.”

Melissa Anderson, community relations director of OLOL Children’s Hospital, said the facility is the only hospital in the state that receives funding for Children’s Miracle Network.

“100 percent of the proceeds from the event will be used  at OLOL,” said Anderson.

The hospital is also holding a raffle of five red automobiles, including a Lexus convertible, a Toyota Tundra, a Toyota Highlander, a Toyota Prius and a Nissan Altima. Raffle tickets cost $50 and can be purchased by calling 855-50DRIVE or online at

The vehicles were donated by WAFB network, Price LeBlanc in Baton Rouge and Hibernia Bank.  

All fish were released in Blind River after being weighed.