Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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United Cajun Navy shells out crawfish to benefit BRG Hospital, Mid City Beer Garden

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BATON ROUGE - Over 2,000 pounds of crawfish were boiled up and served to-go-style Friday afternoon, all to help a local hospital and local bar during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers stayed busy serving up hot crawfish on a hotter than normal early-spring day.

Hundreds of orders were put together assembly-line style. At the same time, hundreds of cars rolled through the makeshift drive-thru to support Baton Rouge General Hosptial and the Mid City Beer Garden. 

“It’s five pounds for fifteen dollars. And we have corn and potatoes. We also have shrimp fettuccine, that comes with a salad for ten dollars. The proceeds from the crawfish are going to the baton rouge general mid-city mission. And the proceeds from the shrimp pasta is going to the mid-city beer garden here to their employees,” President of the United Cajun Navy Todd Terrell said.

“The funds being raised are going to be used for the area of greatest need by the hospital, as the hospital identifies those needs. We’ll have the funds to help them supplement whatever costs they have,” President of the BRG Foundation Erik Showalter said.

Tracee Short, a medical director at BRG’s burn unit, says she knows first hand the challenges that all local hospitals are facing.

“The number of burn injuries has actually decreased, but those beds now have been subsequently needed to help take care of the patients who’ve been afflicted by COVID-19,” Short said.

Funds from 250 shrimp pasta plates were also donated to Mid City Beer Garden. Their doors have been completely closed since Governor John Bel Edwards' stay-at-home order, even though the building has a full commercial kitchen.

“As a class A-G business, we’re not allowed to function right now. We were ordered by the state to close down. I’ve got 50 plus employees out of work right now so we’re just trying to raise some funds to help those guys out with groceries, pay rent, etc.,” Co-Owner of Mid City Beer Garden Kelli Paxton said.

Short says you never need an excuse to buy crawfish on a Lenten Friday in south Louisiana. 

“And at a time where weekends are usually social, where you’re sitting around with crawfish and something to drink with friends,” Short said.
“I figured this will still be an opportunity to get the crawfish, while social distancing. And it helps to support a community hospital that’s still continuing to serve our community in the face of this pandemic."

Terrell says that they hope to make this a regular weekly occurrence. He wants to go around to different bars and restaurants in Baton Rouge and raise money for those businesses and other local hospitals.


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