The purpose of Hogs For The Cause is to provide aid and relief of those variable expenses and economic burdens families face while their child is being treated for pediatric brain cancer. While the money devoted to pediatric cancer research is dwindling, there is an even bigger void in the variable expenses associated with cancer treatment. It is our goal to fill this void. As a result of the support and success Hogs For The Cause has garnered in past years, Hogs currently operates as a premier funding source for pediatric brain cancer outreach services in the United States.
Hogs For The Cause was founded in 2008 by Becker Hall and Rene Louapre as an idea to recreate traditional Southern pig roasts. While the original idea was to grab a pig, a keg, and spend the day at the park with friends, after meeting Ben Sarrat Jr. they realized the true potential for such an event. In November of 2008, 4-year-old Ben was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. After meeting Ben and seeing his love of life in the face of such terrible circumstances, Becker and Rene decided to dedicate the first Hogs For The Cause on raising money to help Ben and his family. That first year was a success and Ben continued to battle, all the while with a smile and often times a joke. Tragically, Ben lost his battle a week before the second Hogs for the Cause in 2010. Ben’s story only solidified Becker and Rene’s desire to do whatever they could to help families struggling with the financial burdens of taking care of a child battling brain cancer.
For the second year of Hogs, Becker and Rene decided to add a competitive element to the event, compelling friends and local chefs to take part in a barbecue competition. Hogs For The Cause enjoyed a breakout year in 2010, as approximately 2500 people showed up on a beautiful March day to help decide the competition for the title of Louisiana’s pork champion by depositing donations into the piggy banks of their favorite teams. That year almost $30,000 was raised, with proceeds used to provide support to families facing the fight of their lives.
Following the 2010 event, Becker and Rene wanted to take the event to the next level. Hogs For the Cause 2011 hosted 50 teams battling in categories such as Whole Hog, Porkpourri, Ribs, and Shoulder. 7,000 people came through the gates to enjoy the sunshine, food and music including acts such as the Radiators and Anders Osborne. At the end of the day $100,000 was raised to benefit families.
In 2012, Hogs enjoyed another breakout year as 58 teams competed and 12,000 people showed up and grooved to bands like The Gourds, Marcia Ball, Voice of the Wetlands All Stars featuring Dr. John, and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Each year Hogs has continued to gain increasing support from the New Orleans community and nationally.
In 2013, 15,000 patrons came out to City Pork in another record setting year. 70 teams competed for the crown. As a result, Hogs has been able to support close to 30 different families since the event and has established the Hogs for the Cause fund at Children’s Hospital which will work to support families with children with all types of cancer.
In 2014, Rain and mud did not deter a crowd of over 20,000 at Hogs for the Cause. The 6th Annual Ben Sarrat, Jr. “High on the Hog” Cook-off topped 90 teams. The premier funding source for pediatric brain cancer outreach services in the United States, was pleased to reveal the names of its first inductees into the Hog of Fame, Drew Herrington of Team Fleur De Que and Laura Filipek of Sweet Swine O Mine.
Come check out Hogs 2015 at City Pork!
And don’t forget that Hogs for the Cause is a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning that your donations are tax deductible under the full amount as allowed by the IRS.