Swollfest Fishing Rodeo – Louisiana Tournament for Charity

Swollfest Fishing Rodeo pic
Swollfest Fishing Rodeo
Image: swollfest.com

A dentist with more than a decade of experience, Nicholas (Nick) Rauber, DDS, is a native of Louisiana who treats patients at Aesthetic Dentistry Group in Baton Rouge. Dr. Nick Rauber also remains active in charitable giving and is the founder of the Swollfest Fishing Rodeo.

Founded in 1997, the Swollfest Fishing Rodeo is an annual fundraising tournament held in Grand Isle, Louisiana. The event raises funds for charitable organizations that serve children and veterans. Run completely by volunteers, Swollfest passes on 100 percent of the proceeds to charities and scholarships.

The 2017 Swollfest was an exceptional event with 750 anglers registered. Participants competed in the Offshore, Deep Drop, Inshore, Kayak, and Women’s divisions. An event for all ages, Swollfest also featured a Children’s division for youth aged 12 or under. The tournament resulted in significant fundraising, including $250,000 for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

The 21st Annual Swollfest Fishing Rodeo is scheduled for June 6 through June 9, 2018. To learn more, visit Swollfest.com.

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All About Swollfest’s Outdoor Wish Foundation

Swollfest Fishing Rodeo pic
Swollfest Fishing Rodeo
Image: swollfest.com

For over a decade, Nicholas “Nick” Rauber, DDS, has practiced out of the Aesthetic Dentistry Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A dedicated philanthropist and community leader, Nick Rauber, DDS, is one of the founding organizers of Swollfest, a charity fishing rodeo that has become a cherished South Louisiana tradition.

Since 1997, Swollfest has raised over $1.2 million for a variety of local and national nonprofit organizations, including Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, The Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Grand Isle School. In addition to these causes, the funds collected during Swollfest also support the efforts of the Swollfest Outdoor Wish Foundation (OWF), which operates as a sister organization to the annual charity tournament. The mission of the OWF embodies the spirit of community and generosity at the heart of the event; each year, the volunteer-run nonprofit organizes once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing trips for children and veterans living with disabilities. By facilitating these fully funded excursions, the nonprofit seeks to help these outstanding individuals connect with the hope, tranquility, and catharsis of the outdoors. Since 2012, OWF has partnered with the Recordbuck Ranch in Texas to plan these outings, also collaborating with the Quality Deer Management Association to provide all-terrain wheelchairs to recipients as necessary.

The Outdoor Wish Foundation organizes its incredible gifts unbeknownst to their recipients. Not wanting to turn anyone away, the organization selects honorees independently, researching their unique background and preferences to custom-tailor hunting or fishing experiences especially for them. The organization announces its honorees at the conclusion of each Swollfest Tournament with the presentation of the Inspirational Award, an emotional ceremony that honors the strength and resilience of the accolade’s recipients.

Catching the Swollest Fish

Swollfest Fishing Rodeo pic
Swollfest Fishing Rodeo
Image: swollfest.com

Nicholas “Nick” Rauber, DDS, is a partner at Aesthetic Dentistry Group and an active community contributor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When he was just 17 years old, Dr. Nick Rauber started a small, eight-person festival called Swollfest that has grown to an annual event with over 600 participants and is now recognized as one of the biggest donors to the American Diabetes Association in the area.

Swollfest is a fishing competition, or rodeo, that started with a group of high school boys competing to catch the “swollest” fish, which is a word that comes from slang for a person who gets “swoll” or “swollen” from working out at the gym. Today, thousands of people come down for the event, which raises funds for several organizations including Cancer Services and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Several awards can be won at the event for individuals and teams fishing offshore, inshore, or in a kayak. The award for the biggest fish is called, of course, “Overall Swollest Fish.”