Alex Winter Fete Hosts Gumbo Cook-Off to Help Kids in Need

Christmas is a season for giving to those less fortunate.

The Rotary Club of Alexandria is hosting their annual Doll and Toy Fund where the community helps raise funds by cooking gumbo at the Alex Winter Fete.


Gumbo Cook-Off Participant Nolan Spillers understands Christmas is a time for giving back to those in need.

“This is an awesome chance for our employees here to participate with the Rotary Club to benefit children in need of toys for Christmas.”


This is Spillers’ third year to cook gumbo and raise money for the Doll and Toy Drive.

“Just getting to see everyone out and about during the holidays at a wonderful festival and we’re definitely cooking for a very good cause so those are kind of the fun things we like to do.”


Spillers won the Judges’ Award in last year’s gumbo cook-off at the Alex Winter Fete.

“The prize was a wooden spoon, but I guess the bigger prize is just the great cause of the toy fund drive, that we’re going to be able to provide for children in need.”


He says there is a special ingredient in his gumbo that makes it stand out.

“The effort put into it and just the fun being around the pot and just smelling the ingredients cooking, that’s what makes a good gumbo.”


The Alexandria Rotary Club handles the finances to buy the toys and give them to the children.

Alexandria Rotary Club President Nominee Katie Vanderlick says, “We all know how important it is for every child to experience Christmas and we want to give that back. We don’t want anyone to be left out or anyone to go without this holiday season.”


Spillers says he hopes people will come to eat gumbo and support a good cause.

“And you get to enjoy the gumbo and it’s just seeing their faces when they get to eat it, that’s what makes the experience wonderful.”


Hundreds of children will be invited to receive toys, with around 1,000 toys expected to be given out this year.

To donate to the Doll and Toy Fund, contact the Alexandria Rotary Club at 318-443-8685.