Patrons to dine for autism at Brewers Plate fundraiser

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

The fifth annual Brewers Plate

fundraiser, helping provide affordable therapy for children with autism,

will be at 6 p.m. Saturday,

May 18, in the Cash & Carry building at Broad Street and

Enterprise Boulevard.

“Southwest Louisiana likes food and a lively time, and we think they will find it at the Brewers Plate,” said Michelle Mudd,

executive board member and public relations officer for the St. Nicholas Center for Children.

Seven restaurants and caterers will

provide one course after another, beginning with a first course of

grilled artichoke quarters

with crunchy crabmeat curry and capped off with raspberry crème

brulee for dessert. Dinner will include a beer expertly paired

with each course.

The Goose Island IPA to accompany the appetizer “features an inviting spicy hop aroma and fruity flavor set off by a dry malt

middle that ensures that the long hop finish won’t soon be forgotten,” the menu promises. Paired with the crème brulee is

Woodchuck Raspberry Cider, “a light and refreshing cider with a little extra zip and sweet, refreshing, raspberry finish.”

In between are an orzo pasta salad, fried catfish with shrimp etouffee, duck with parsnips, and roast beef with Bordelaise


A live auction will give bidders an

opportunity to win prizes such as being Lake Charles police chief for a

day; weekend getaways

to Mexico and elsewhere; and a painting by Eddie Mormon and a

“Blue Dog” print by George Rodrigue. A silent auction will offer

other merchandise.

After dinner, the Flametrowers of Baton

Rouge will provide music for entertainment and dancing. The band bills

itself as “Louisiana’s

No. 1 party-rock-cover band.”

“St. Nicholas Center was organized in 2007 and began offering therapy in 2008,” Mudd said. “We have already fulfilled our

original mission statement, and we have created a model agency for the state. There is no other organization in Louisiana

like ours.”

The center offers comprehensive therapy that includes applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical

therapy, social skills training and Barton dyslexia tutoring.

“We have brought it all together under one roof,” Mudd said.

Services are provided to children with autism, developmental delays and neurological disorders in a fun, loving and educational

environment, she said.

The center is at 314 Broad St. but has acquired a larger location on Ryan Street, south of Sallier. A capital campaign to

be announced at the Brewers Plate has been organized to remodel and equip the new location, Mudd said.