If there is one thing New Orleans is famous for besides an army of people in perpetual party mode it is cuisine. Some even insist that our restaurant & food services ARE our industry as if spicing up what we humans need to survive is the same as manufacturing refrigerators. We should also be known as a city of hospitalities and the most important hospitality of all, charity. From St Judes(1) and Childrens Hospitals to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society & a hospital actually named “Charity” this city is always happy to participate in Christian chivalry and now has another champion to add to its list “Hogs for the Cause”(4).
This event just concluded in City Park’s new festival grounds and though only in its fifth year continues to grow as does the events contribution to it’s “Cause”, pediatric brain cancers. Over 15,000 people attended this years event which combines Louisiana’s love of food, in this instance pork barbecue and charity. Teams from 6 states competed for its cashless “Grand Champion” prize & donated every hour worked & every morsel served to The Cause. Last year the event raised over $300,000 and this year’s event was even larger. That’s quite an achievement for a bunch of “back yarders” with team names like “Elanor Pigby” & “Sweet Swine of Mine”.
The word charity comes to us from the Old French “charite” which means “Christian love”(5) and while politicians prance about proclaiming the imperative that everyone else should “be their brothers keeper” some people actually do “keep” their “brother which is heartening to see in an age of what I call “radical individualism”. Where the first, last & everything in too many people’s lives is their obsession with themselves. Unlike the faux “charity” on display at this year’s Super Bowl, charity organizations like the ones described herein put on the real Superbowls, including the new “SowperBowl of Barbecue in the South” and it’s all for a great “Cause”.
“Middle English charite, from Old French, Christian love, from Latin crits, affection, from crus, dear; see k- in Indo-European roots.”