Cajun Night a traditional favorite in Platte County

Cajun Night, a tradition started in 2011 to help raise money for equipment was held Saturday night at the Platte County Agriplex. Over 200 people were in attendance including community pillars Chuck and Katie Brown who posed in front of the photo booth.

WHEATLAND – Cajun Night has been an annual favorite of people in Platte County since its inception in 2011 when the Platte County Legacy Home was being built.

Last Saturday night the usual packed crowd came out for a catered Cajun buffet, an open bar, raffles, a photo booth and music provided by Justin Herdt and his show DJ Magik.

The doors opened at 5:30 and by the time dinner was served at 6 p.m. the Platte County Agriplex was packed out. The event was hosted by the Platte County Hospital and Legacy Home Foundation. Tickets for the event were $25 and were sold out well before March. Kids 12 and under got a chance to come and join in for free.

There were two raffles at the event, one prize being 18-holes of golf with a cart provided from the Wheatland Golf Course. The raffle tickets were selling for $5 per ticket and Stephanie Foye was the winner.

The second raffle was for a trip to New Orleans for two that included airfare and hotel expenses along with $500 spending money. Tickets were being sold for $10 a ticket and VirJean Reynolds.

Organizers began planning for this year’s event in early fall of 2022 and decided not to make it a part of the Kiwanis’ Casino Night as it did last year. The event has traditionally been put on to thank the community for their support and to garner awareness for all the things that the foundation does in Platte County. It has also been used to help raise money for things that the hospital and nursing home really need.

“We’d hoping to purchase a blanket warmer for the residents,” Josie Lauck, executive director of The Platte  County Legacy Home said. “That’s kind of what we’re focusing on for this. We do have a list of things we’d like to purchase. If the donations go above and beyond, then we’ve got other things.”

Lauck who addressed the crowd who had come to participate mentioned that she really appreciated everyone who came out to show their support for the foundation board.

“The foundation board is not necessarily one of the more known board, and hopefully tonight we can change that,” Lauck told the crowd. “They work for such a great cause. This board works hard to raise money to improve our resident’s lives as well as help our staff grow through the Platte County Legacy Home and Assisted Living.”

Some of the items that have been purchased in the past.

A piano, a sound system for the activities room, a specialized wheelchair, two ice cream machines and installation, a popcorn machine, haircuts for residents who cannot afford them, hosting of two of the monthly resident birthday parties in 2022, tablets for CNAs to help with charting and $4,000 given toward educational funding to employees.

“The main thing we are looking for is a rapid infuser,” Taylor Schmick, director of clinical operations at Platte County Memorial Hospital said. “It is something that will help increase the quality of patient care in the E.R. “There is a lot of history with the Cajun Night and I think we are sold out for tickets. We paired with Kiwanis last year and this year they are still going to do their Casino night and this will be our night and something that is near and dear to the community.”

According to Smiths Medical – Soma Technology, “A rapid infuser is used to administer blood products and fluids at rapid rates to critically ill patients. They are generally used in a hospital or clinical setting by trained health care professionals.”

Bobbie Lockman who serves on the Platte County Hospital Foundation Board was busy in the kitchen preparing the meals for over 200 people who were in attendance for the function.

“Actually it’s not the money we are raising tonight as much as it is awareness for our cause,” Lockman said. “That being said, it is a fundraiser because with this money we will be able to buy the blanket warmer and the rapid infuser. And we were so worried about who would show up, but we are sold out. We first started the Cajun Night when we were raising money to build the new nursing home. That was back in 2011.”

The Cajun actually began with four events according to foundation board member Lori Modesitt.

“We did four in a row and then our board kind of fizzled,” Modesitt said. “So we decided to bring it back with the new hospital board and this is the best board ever.”