OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — The 17th Annual Gumbo Cook-Off heats up Saturday, Jan. 28, for a good cause.

This year the event will be held at the Yambilee Ag Arena at 1939 W. Landry St. in Opelousas. The beneficiary of the 17th Annual Gumbo Cook-Off is 12-year-old Maddox Lawrence.

Maddox was diagnosed with Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of cancer especially prevalent in children, at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge in June 2022. He is currently under the care of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Maddox is the son of Michael and Dashawn Lawrence, alumni of Beau Chene High School. He has an older brother at home and a sister pursuing a medical degree in Baton Rouge.

Although the highlight of the event is the gumbo cook-off, it will also feature a Motorcycle and Jeep Run, kid’s activity area, silent and live auctions, food, drinks, music and dancing.

Although this is a free event, the entry fee to participate in the Cook-Off is $50 and there are small fees for the bike/jeep run and some of the activities. For a donation, spectators are invited to taste participants’ entries, once samples are turned in for judging. Prizes are awarded for first, second and third place in two categories, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo and Seafood
Gumbo. A specially designed Gumbo Cook-Off Paddle will be presented to the new Gumbo Cook-Off Grand Champion with the best overall gumbo.

Grounds open at 8a.m., kick-off ceremony is at 10 a.m. and auction begins at 1:30 p.m., immediately followed by the winners ceremony. Music will continue until 6 p.m.

All proceeds benefit Maddox and his family to assist with medical and related expenses. Checks can be made payable to The Gumbo Foundation, P.O. Box 1478, Opelousas, LA 70571. The Gumbo Foundation is an exempt organization and your donation is tax deductible.

For rules, registration or donations go to gumbofoundation.org or hit the Sign Up button on the foundation’s Facebook page.

For more information contact Tim Marks at (337) 658-1108, Jason Huguet at (337) 331-2837 or Summer Le at (337) 351-8496.