Laughter & Lagniappe

 Pine Belt-area residents will soon have a chance to enjoy Cajun food and fun while benefiting the Petal’s teachers and students, courtesy of the Petal School District Education Foundation’s 12th annual “Laughter and Lagniappe” Crawfish Boil.

The event, which will be held at 6 p.m. April 5 at Petal Civic Center, will feature all-you-can-eat crawfish, potatoes, French bread and corn on the cob. Chicken strips will be available for those who aren’t mudbug fans, with white chocolate bread pudding and fudge brownies served for dessert. Individual tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce or the Petal School District Central Office.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Petal School District Education Foundation, primarily in the form of student scholarships and teacher mini-grants.

 “We’re mainly trying to enhance the level of education here in Petal, which is already fabulous,” said Valerie Wilson, who serves on the board of directors for the education foundation. “We’re encouraging, through our mini-grants, some innovative programs in the classrooms.

“We’re providing assistance to early childhood family support, and Petal education also helps with Petal Excel By 5. We’re also supporting fine arts and athletic programs throughout the community, and providing scholarships to the Petal graduates.”

The event also will offer silent auction and live auctions, with items including jewelry, childrens’ artwork, hunting packages, fishing gear, handmade furniture and trips.

Bob Palmer of Bob Palmer’s Chancellor Motor Group (a 1966 Petal graduate) will serve as master of ceremonies, while professional auctioneer Don Monroe (a 1980 Petal graduate) will preside over the auctions.

Two sponsorships are available for “Laughter & Lagniappe:” a $300 Grand Crawdaddy Sponsorship with eight tickets and signage, and a $200 Crawdaddy Sponsorship with four tickets and signage.

Wilson, who also serves as executive director for the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce, said the event has been a success for the past 11 years, and she’s expecting another good one this year.

“One reason I believe we’re the No. 1 school district in the state is because we also have such great support from our local community, and this is one evidence of that support,” she said.

The Petal School District Education Foundation was founded in 1987 and is dedicated to using private funding to enhance the quality of education the school district. For more information about the foundation or “Laughter & Lagniappe,” call the Petal School District Central Office at (601) 545-3002 or the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce at (601) 583-3306.

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