Cenac Marine Services owner Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr. and other members of his board knew some of the only things they treasured more than their prize-winning seafood recipe: family, friends, and health.
Roux for a Reason was once a friendly competition amongst ten friends but it has since taken off into a cook-off fundraiser – catering to the entire Houma community! The annual fundraiser has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center and its Early Bird Mobile Medical Clinic—the mobile unit used to conduct free cancer screenings to Bayou Region residents.
TGMC writes that 340,000 cases could have been prevented each year from early detection screenings for colon, rectum, breast, uterine cervix, and lung.
The $70,000 raised for Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center and its Early Bird Mobile Medical Clinic went towards screenings for over 600 people in 2018 and eleven educational events.
“It’s great; it’s more than we ever thought we were going to do. We got more support from the community than we initially thought we were going to,” says Ben Floyd, co-founder and board member of Roux For A Reason told Houma Point of Vue. “To be able to help, especially with the mobile screening unit, and have people be able to be screened who can’t afford it or don’t have insurance has been great. If we can save one person, that’s a success to us.”
Event organizer Michael Meche said to Point of Vue, “What started out as a friendly competition between friends quickly morphed into something a little bigger when family and friends inquired about being part of the event as well.” This cause was especially dear for three Cenac board members who had each lost a loved one to a difficult battle with cancer.
Arlen “Benny” Cenac: Businessman, Philanthropist, Prize-Winning Gumbo Chef?
Festival goers were the “winners” of the friendly gumbo showdown—and enjoyed the fruits (or chicken, sausage or seafood!) of the thirty competitors’ hard labor while jamming to local band Bandit. Luckily, more than 30 teams put the “all you can eat” in the “all-you-can-eat gumbo” for hundreds of guests. The Cenac Marine Services team was especially honored to receive the first-place prize in the “Seafood gumbo” category for the second year in a row—owing their continued success to Nana Cenac’s original recipe found in the family recipe book.
Cenac Marine Services and Arlen “Benny” Cenac of Houma were happy to be a part of such a momentous event. When prompted as to why he joined the new initiative, Mr. Cenac offered: “We are continuously looking for ways to be a part of and help the community. It’s important for us to continue to support causes that will benefit the health of our residents.”
Arlen “Benny” Cenac sends his compliments to all the chefs and is already looking forward to next year’s Roux for a Reason! He warns the other teams to practice during the year, so they have a real chance of competition against Cenac’s prize-winning recipe.