Fundraiser aims to keep momentum going for UL sports

by Leslie Turk

April 28 event will raise money to help recruit and retain coaches and improve UL's athletic facilities.

With UL's basketball, track, golf and tennis seasons well under way and spring sports right around the corner, a group of local diehards and business leaders is coming together to host the inaugural Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Celebration fundraiser in April. The goal of the fundraiser will be to raise funds for the Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation to help recruit and retain coaches, and to improve the university's athletic facilities.

"Energized by the success of coach Hudspeth's first season with the Ragin' Cajuns, we hope to keep the momentum going for every other UL sport. We want to continue to build fan and community support as we prepare for the 2012 football season," says Blaine Barrilleaux, one the function's organizers.

Undefeated at home, Hudspeth's squad finished the season with a 9-4 record that included the program's first bowl win since 1944.

There is also a lot of excitement around basketball this year. "Following last year's Western Division Championship in his first year, coach [Bob] Marlin's men's basketball team is off to a great start in Sun Belt play this year," says Ken Meyers, another organizer. "We know it takes a tremendous amount of resources to keep these programs moving in the right direction, and that is the main reason we wanted to start this fundraiser."

The inaugural fundraising event, scheduled for Saturday, April 28, at the Cajundome Convention Center, will feature entertainment by Louisiana Red. The event is from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., with the band taking the stage at 8 p.m.

The gathering will feature cash and prize giveaways and a chance to win a trip for two, including seats on the chartered flight with the Ragin' Cajuns to an away game. Tickets are $150 and serve as admittance for two to the event and also as entries into the cash and prize drawings.

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office outside Tigue Moore field.

The event will offer complimentary beer, wine and food, and a cash bar will also be available. A silent auction is planned.

All of the proceeds from the Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Celebration will go to the RCAF, a non-profit organization that raises funds for the university's athletic programs. You don't need to be an RCAF member to attend the event.

Dress for the event is dressy casual.

Sponsorships for the event are still available. Call Matt Roth at 337-412-0503 for more information.