Annual Chelbug Festival Raises Over $1,000 Despite Quarantine

Kristen Deville


All pictures and videos are from Chelbug Fest Facebook page

The third annual Chelbug Fest raised over $1,000 Saturday during a Facebook live fundraiser for Camp Starlite, a summer camp in Louisiana for children with Muscular Dystrophy.

Proceeds went toward families in the Lafayette area affected by Muscular Dystrophy and covered the cost of groceries for locals in quarantine.

Chelbug Fest began in honor of the late Chelsea Carriere, born with Nemaline Rod Myopathy Muscular Dystrophy. Her loved ones thought of the event to gather and continue the legacy she left behind.

Wendy Ours Reaux, Chelsea’s mom, said her daughter was an advocate for herself and never put a limit on what she could do.

“Something that she always wanted to make sure happened, was that for kids like her, to make sure that they were always seen as just like everybody else,” Reaux said.

Photo of Chelsea from Chelbug Fest Facebook page.

The event was originally scheduled as a chilli cook off with live music to be held at the St. Peter and Paul Knights of Columbus Hall. It was moved to the Carriere’s house as a live broadcast on Facebook because of COVID-19.

During the livestream, the event highlighted performances of children with Muscular Dystrophy, camp counselors and Charly Bradford from the Muscular Dystrophy Association talked about why donating to Chelbug Fest is so important to MDA.

Trevor (yearly camper) and Isabella (first time camper) explain what supporting Chelbug Fest means to them

Michael Vincent, co-director of Chelbug Fest, friend and former classmate of Chelsea’s shared memories of her life on the livestream. One of her favorite weeks involved being at Camp Starlite, it was better than Christmas to her, he said. 

Chelbug Fest acknowledges its donors and sponsors by putting them on a butterfly wall, which was visible on the lifestream.

Butterfly Sponsor Wall

Claire Carriere, sister of the late Carriere said, “Since its first year, volunteers have over doubled, and community support and outreach has grown exponentially. I think what people are most drawn to is the love for Chelsea, for the campers of Camp Starlite, and just the fun stories and good news it brings.”

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