The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties is gearing up for its eighth annual signature fundraising event, Red, White and Bayou. The event is chaired by Lori Sain Smith and will be hosted at the home of Murfreesboro natives, Ted and Gloria LaRoche. For more than 60 years, the United Way has been the unifying force that brings together community leaders, organized labor, faith-based groups, corporations, nonprofit organizations and government to positively change community conditions. When you support United Way through events such as Red, White and Bayou, you join a network dedicated to building a better life and a stronger community, for everyone.
The LaRoche family’s lives have always been centered in Murfreesboro. From the beginning in 1949 to the present - they have been a part of the Rutherford County community and afforded many opportunities. This year’s hosts believe strongly in “paying it forward”, and they are proud to give back for the greater good through the United Way. At their beautiful and unique home, they will host an evening of celebration including the indoor Premier Reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. (a reception for individuals who sponsor at the $500 level and higher) and following the outdoor Red, White and Bayou dinner which will begin at 7 p.m.
The LaRoche home, located in Riverbend Subdivision, was custom-built in 1977. The family has been part of the Riverview/Riverbend area since 1964 when Richard and Marty LaRoche became founding investors in the 700-acre Richardson-Sisk farm. Ted and Gloria began their five story custom-build in 1977 with the help of their architect, Jim Bailey, making it the first home in Riverbend Subdivision. In the seventies, the home was incredibly modern for its time. The five levels were each separated by a staircase up and down.
In 2008, the LaRoche family elected to “recycle” the original home and rebuild it in the same footprint on one level, again designed by Jim Bailey. Rather than a typical lawn, they decided to bring the landscape of Monteagle to Murfreesboro. Watered by the Stones River, a beautiful view from the back poolside area, the native Tennessee plantings from a 2,000 ft. elevation have thrived in the 600 ft. elevation of Murfreesboro. The Red, White and Bayou committee trusts that all who attend will enjoy the unique atmosphere of the LaRoche’s backyard.
Speaking of being on the water, admiring the Stones River underneath the stars plays nicely into the Cajun-inspired theme of United Way’s Red, White and Bayou. This year’s committee, chaired by Lori Sain Smith, is not holding back when incorporating the sights, smells and sounds of the Louisiana bayou. Attendees can expect a Cajun-American food menu, customized by Shawn and Christy Hackinson with The Alley on Main. The menu will offer a wide range of flavors, including Cajun favorites such as gumbo, muffulettas and an oyster shucking station. It also wouldn’t feel quite as bayou-inspired without a signature drink of ‘The Hurricane’, because as they say down south, ‘a storm’s brewin’. However, Committee members are crossing fingers that what they say down south, stays down south while guests enjoy a beautiful night under the stars!
United Way’s Red, White and Bayou is set for Saturday, May 20, from 7 - 10 p.m. The Premier Reception, which is available to sponsors at the $500 level or higher, will be held inside the LaRoche home beginning at 5:30 p.m. Beverages and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Dinner will immediately follow outdoors at 7 p.m. The attire is casual. All in the community are welcome to attend.
Dinner tickets at $75 per person can be purchased by texting ‘Bayou’ to 41444. For more information, please visit www.yourlocaluw.org.