Mudbugs and business

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2011

By David Vitrano


LULING – The River Region Chamber of Commerce debuted its new-look crawfish boil Thursday, and by most accounts, it was a rousing success.

“With new leadership comes new changes,” said Executive Director Chassity McComack.

This year, the boil, one of the Chamber’s three main fundraisers for the year, was held in West Bank Bridge Park in Luling instead of in St. James Parish, where it had been held in all previous years. New Chamber Chair Henry Friloux is a resident of St. Charles Parish.

Also different this year were ticket prices, which at $40 per individual were cheaper than in previous years. Tickets used to be $100 per couple.

According to McComack, the organization also tried a new strategy in selling tickets this year. She said each member was given four tickets to sell although there was no requirement to sell them.

“We didn’t mandate it,” said McComack. “We just encouraged it.”

Still the strategy must have worked because with at least 520 tickets sold for this year’s event, ticket sales more than doubled that of previous years.

In an effort to increase the profit margin from the event, this year’s grand prize was decreased from $10,000 to $2,000. McComack said 30 percent of the organization’s annual budget comes from fundraising, so increasing the profit margin was crucial.

The winner of this year’s big raffle was Skye St. John. Gary Kinler won the 50/50 raffle.

McComack was very grateful to the many sponsors — especially Dow, Valero, ArcelorMittal and St. Charles Parish.

“Every little bit helps,” she said.

She was also grateful for the beautiful weather Thursday evening. It helped to keep spirits high, even when the line for crawfish grew long.

Perhaps the high spirits were also a product of attendees understanding the importance and value of the event.

“There’s a lot of business being done here,” said McComack.