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Jambalaya fundraiser successful, pot stealing thief still on the run

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GEISMAR - A hungry thief didn't keep a group of chefs from whipping up some jambalaya for charity.

Last week, Monika Wood called 2 On Your Side about a man who stole some equipment needed to make food to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. But there was nothing stopping chefs and volunteers Thursday, who look forward to this fundraiser every year.

The busy cooks had 10 jambalaya pots and seven white bean pots going at 4:30 in the morning. Production to make everything started the night before. Plate, after to plate, was boxed up and delivered or picked up by hungry donors.

Monika and Damon Wood say for the 13th year in a row, they've had a successful fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

"The Gonzales Fire Fighters Association donated $500 for 10 plates of jambalaya," said Monika.

The money raised goes toward research, clinic doctor's appointments, and sending kids with muscular dystrophy to summer camp.

Monika and Damon's son, George was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was two. He told 2 On Your Side last week about how much he looks forward to going to camp every year.

"We go fishing, play football, do anything normal camps do, they make it to where kids like me can do it," said George Wood.

A couple weeks ago, a wrench was tossed into this fundraiser's plans. A man was seen on surveillance camera walking around MasterVac on Highway 73 in Geismar. The video shows him wheeling and carrying a custom jambalaya pot and burner to his truck and driving off. That pot was intended to be used at Thursday's fundraiser.

"I just couldn't believe it, how somebody could be so bold," said Monika.

St. Gabriel Hardware donated a new pot for Thursday's event.

After a busy morning, the Wood's say about 2,000 plates of jambalaya was sold, making it a successful fundraiser.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating and asks anyone with information about the man in the surveillance video to give them a call.

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