Also, special thanks to:
Steve Bruhn, CPA -- Band Sponsor
Buy a seat, buy a table, donate, or all of the above!
Remember - it's for the kids!
A Brief History of the Fat Tuesday Dinner Party
The club’s Fat Tuesday Celebration began in October 2003 (see an amazing picture from 2010 below) as a club dinner and celebration at Patout’s, at the time Lafayette’s authentic Cajun restaurant, thanks to Ron Alting returning to his hometown with a New Orleans’ bride who had great recipes! The event was eventually moved to the proper time frame (Mardi Gras) and a new location, which also used Liz Patout’s recipes.
In the meantime, the teacher grant program began in 2007 when then LBOC-President Conrad Walters presented the idea to the club. The first year six grants were awarded for a total of $1500, the funds coming from the general budget. As the requests grew, it was determined that the grant program needed its own fundraiser.
In July 2011 the club sponsored a night at Loeb Stadium with The King and His Court, a nationally known four man softball team who were making the final tour of a 65 year run. They played (with) a group of brave local celebrities. The profits from the event and sponsorships covered an expanded program for the next two years. It was then decided to make the Fat Tuesday Celebration the major fundraiser event for the teacher grants and to make the celebration a community event. The Lafayette Optimist Foundation was established in 2014 to house funds from the event and award the yearly grants.
In 2018, the club began receiving a record number of grant requests and will be able to award 10 times the amount that they did the first year.