LAFAYETTE, L.a. — Football season is upon us — and with that comes Kiwanis Club of Lafayette's annual Jamboree — back at Cajun Field for its 70th year.
The event kicking off Thursday night with gates opening at 5 pm and the first game starting shortly after at 6, rain or shine.
Admission is 15 dollars (which gets you in for not one but three high school games) and all proceeds from tickets and concessions go back to Lafayette Kiwanis to help support the local youth and their education.
Casey Hebert is the president of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette. He tells KATC he had the chance to play football in the Kiwanis Jamboree himself growing up as a kicker for Teurlings Catholic High School.
"It's butterflies in all these kids, it's excitement, you know, they've played on their school football fields all year long but this is a turf field, it's a bigger venue," Hebert says. "It's the lights, it's UL, the butterflies fill in and then they step on the field in awe. This may be the only time a child steps on this field, hopefully some will continue and move on to play for UL, but it's a big deal."
But the effect of events like the jamboree stretch far beyond the Friday Night Lights.
"We have hard true data now from Lafayette Parish Schools that we have doubled if not tripled some of the AR reading scores over the years," Hebert shares. "One of the schools last year had their first million word reader. This is incentivizing them, it's been positive, it's been great, the community's been great at stepping up."
Proceeds from the event go to programs like Rewards for Reading, one which those from Kiwanis Club of Lafayette say has taken off in recent years. This year the organization, partnering with Raising Cane's on Congress to fundraise as well.
On August 31st from 10 am to 12 am, 15% of sales will go to support the club's Rewards for Reading program. All you have to do is mention Kiwanis, the jamboree, or Rewards for Reading at the register.
As for the jamboree itself, it's two nights only — August 25th and 26th. Here is a list of the games and the teams playing in each:
Thursday, August 25th:
- Teurlings vs. Comeaux
- Carencro vs. St. Martinville
- Southside vs. Breaux Bridge
Friday, August 26th:
- Lafayette vs. Notre Dame
- Cecelia vs. Saint Thomas More
- Northside vs. Acadiana
For more information on how to get involved with Kiwanis Club of Lafayette, click here.
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