Keeping you connected to Palmetto Island State Park!
I am very proud to present to you, a summary of Friends of Palmetto Island's 2017 accomplishments in support of Palmetto Island State Park.
Friends collectively volunteered over 4,972 hours in support of Palmetto Island State Park. As they have each year, 2 very dedicated volunteers continued the task of mowing ALL the grass in the park. We donated the majority of our time conducting programs for patrons and fundraising, but we also manned a station for a Youth Wetlands Field Day program held at the park. We did volunteer off-site at several other events for other organizations who have supported us throughout the year. Our presence at those community events brought attention to the park and people would often share their park experiences with us, both good and bad.
In 2017, we attracted 73 members. We connected 2542+ people to the park and its programs through Facebook. We continued to publish our 7th edition of the "Palmetto Pals" monthly newsletter to over 959 subscribers. Our website, www.friendsofpalmetto.org, received 15,321 visits.
A considerable amount of our effort is spent promoting events held at Palmetto Island both online and in nearby communities. We spent over $16,648 on advertising, promoting, creating special events and free programs designed to attract patrons to the park. We were also happy to promote over 22 non-friends programs held at the park, including those hosted by Latanier Cookers, Louisiana Geocaching Organization and Louisiana Bird Observatory. All of these programs were open to the public, hopefully increased park attendance and added variety and diversity for visitors. This year Friends attended 3 off site events to promote and bring attention to the park and the events that we offer. We participated in the 4th Annual Don Dugas Memorial Fin, Fur, Feathers Cook-off, the Cypremort Point Sippers Jambalaya Cook-off and the Vermilion Parish School Board’s health Fair. We continued to maintain the book sharing program in the campground. Patrons have also contributed movies and board games.
Friends hosted 3 free programs at the park, some of these events had small fundraising components, but our
intention was to attract patrons to the park and fill the campground by creating an event for them to enjoy. Once again, most of the programs that Friends and Latanier Cookers hosted at Palmetto Island resulted in the campground being (*) sold out. We hosted our 4th annual *Cracklin’ Cooking Demonstration & Tasting, where 15 locals demonstrated their personal techniques on cooking. Over 1,000 visitors sampled their cracklings, wings, sweet potatoes, beignets and more. The 7th annual *Halloween Celebration was a success attracting over 2,000 people to the campground to 'tricked and treated'. Patrons show their spirit for the holiday by dressing in costume and decorating their campsites for our annual contests. 50 members and volunteers of Friends & Latanier cookers attended our annual end of the year appreciation Christmas social. This is a relaxing event for those of us who have worked throughout the year, giving us an opportunity to visit. The gift game is always a fun and creates a tremendous amount of laughter.
Throughout the year, Friends is happy and proud to work closely with the LA Dutch Oven Society's Latanier
Cookers. Friends partnered with this group in November by providing the main meal for their 5th annual *'Cochon de Liat' Dutch Oven Gathering. Friends recruited cooks to prepare 6 pigs in Cajun microwaves for over 450 visitors. Latanier Cookers, the local chapter of the Louisiana Dutch Oven Society, was instrumental in attracting over 1368 guests to the gatherings held at Palmetto Island throughout 2017. Many gatherings contributed to a ‘sold out’ campground. This group hosted 11 'Dutch Oven Gatherings' at Palmetto Island, at which 238 cooks volunteered over 1932 hours conducting these programs and put over 308 pots of food prepared in Dutch ovens on the table for patrons to sample. Latanier Cooker’s also traveled to Lake d’Arbonne State Park in May and participated in the LA Dutch Oven Society’ State Gathering with over 35 cooks, guests and volunteers.
In 2017, we successfully attracted over $47,840. Friends organized 3 onsite fundraisers. Our annual plate lunch sale is still growing. We served over 1100 plates of BBQ Pork steaks. The 7th annual * Stir the Pot Seafood and Wild Game Cook-off and Festival attracted approximately 1000 people to the one day event. This was a record breaking festival for us, with 21 cook-off teams providing 23 different dishes for patrons to taste. 33 people packed into the meeting room to enjoy the fun and relaxing 'Painting at the Park' class. Friends traveled to Abbeville and promoted the park and sold sandwiches at the Abbeville Farmer and Artisans’ Market. Throughout the year and at different events we sold park t-shirts and hats, had a few raffles and collected memberships and donations.
Friends was able to contribute in kind donations directly to Palmetto Island State Park that valued over $10,670. Please note the list below:
We hope that you find the information provided in this report is a testament to our passion and proof of community support for Palmetto Island State Park. We're excited to continue to be of support and benefit to the site in 2018 and we look forward to working with you to make it one of the best parks in the State of Louisiana. Thank you for your support.
Shannon Neveaux, President
Friends of Palmetto Island State Park, Inc.