Swollfest Outdoor Wish Foundation
The Swollfest Outdoor Wish Foundation (OWF) came to fruition after many years of meticulously combining the passions of the outdoors and the pursuit to give back. Swollfest, Inc., a 100% volunteer-run, non-profit organization, is based out of South Louisiana, where it’s main fundraiser is the annual Swollfest Fishing Rodeo started by Nick Rauber in 1997.
Through many years of growth with the fishing tournament, Swollfest began to develop ways of giving back, primarily donations to charitable organizations that had personal meaning to individual volunteers in Swollfest.
As the tournament stayed on a very steady, positive direction of growth, the Swollfest Outdoor Wish Foundation began to take shape because our culture appreciates everything the outdoors has to offer, including the power to heal. There is something about the cathartic experience one feels when surrounded by everything God gave us in our own Sportsman’s Paradise.
We decided, as a mission of the organization, to take differently-abled children and armed forces’ veterans on a once in a lifetime hunting or fishing experience. We did not want a submission process because we never wanted to tell someone “No”.
Therefore, OWF finds recipients unbeknownst to them, learns of their background and begins developing a unique experience for that individual. Each year, Swollfest gives out one or two experiences of a lifetime, but covers everything 100%. We always wanted to ensure that the recipient received the best of the best experience.
Granting our own Swollfest Outdoor Wish trips has become the centerpiece of Sour organization’s philanthropic endeavor. Nothing is more gratifying than seeing the whole concept develop into real life experience with raw emotions from all sides. Each experience is very unique for the recipient, their families, and our Swollfest family. The memories everyone goes home with will last a lifetime!
2012 Inspirational Award Winner and Outdoor Wish Recipient:
Eric Searcy – paraplegic due to being hit by drunk driver in college, who now is an inspirational/motivational speaker, owner of LA Lobsters, and amazing friend to many people.
-Drew Rodrigue Foundation donated his Action Track Chair
-Experience of a lifetime – Recordbuck Ranch and Swollfest donated the trip for Eric and his father to West Texas for a Rio Grande Turkey
2013 Inspirational Award Winner and Outdoor Wish Recipient:
Kody Peraita – paraplegic due to diving accident, breaking his cervical spine, who is an amazing young man that refuses to give up, keeping a contagiously positive attitude
-Working with several organizations, Kody, his brother and parents, were flown in to San Antonio from California
Experience of a lifetime – Recordbuck Ranch and Swollfest donated the trip for Kody and his brother to Recordbuck in Utopia, TX to harvest 320” nad 350” Bull Elk
– Wade’s Taxidermy donated the two mounts and shipped to their home in CA
2014 Inspirational Award Winner and Outdoor Wish Recipient:
Sgt. George Wells – wounded veteran of United States Army (3 tours, over 200 missions to the Middle East)
– QDMA (Bayou branch) donated his Action Track Chair
-Experience of a lifetime – Recordbuck Ranch and Swollfest donated the trip for Sgt. Wells and his family to Recordbuck in Utopia, TX for his 350” Bull Elk
– Wade’s Taxidermy donated his mount
“Thank you so much for letting me see my husband smile, I haven’t seen him smile like this in a very long time!” quote from his wife
2015 Inspirational Award Winner and Outdoor Wish Recipient:
Rachel Langley – young differently abled huntress, who has Muscular Dystrophy, avid outdoorswoman and LSU fan
QDMA (Bayou Branch) donated her Action Track Chair
Experience of a lifetime – Recordbuck Ranch and Swollfest donated the trip for Rachel, her mom and dad, to Recordbuck in Utopia, TX for her 220” monster whitetail
Wade’s Taxidermy donated her mount