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Hogs 4 the Cause celebrates 15 years, millions of dollars donated

Hogs started 15 years ago when a group of friends put on a pig roast to raise money for Ben Sarrat Jr., who was fighting an incurable form of brain cancer.

NEW ORLEANS — Over the last 15 years, Hogs 4 the Cause has raised millions for families in need.

The annual celebration of all things barbecue drew in teams from across the country this weekend to raise money for children fighting pediatric brain cancer.

Taylor McKay with Woo Tay’s BBQ pulled a smoker all the way from California for the occasion.

“It was just a good opportunity to help the kids and cook at home,” McKay said.

McKay is from Baton Rouge and was eager to come back to Louisiana to show off his smoking skills, but there’s more to it than that.

Hogs started 15 years ago when a group of friends put on a pig roast to raise money for Ben Sarrat Jr. At just 5 years old, Ben was fighting an incurable form of brain cancer. Since then, his dad has been there every year as Hogs 4 the Cause grew into the massive festival it is today.

“My son died 13 years ago and I feel it every day, but, you know, I know moving forward that there’s money to help other families and help other kids,” Ben Sarrat said.

Families like Trey and Cherie Nobles'. Their daughter Margaux was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at just 5 years old.

“The first thing I did when I heard that was call Ben and I was like ‘What do I do?’” Trey Nobles said. “We had a nice 30-minute conversation where we cried. Then we sucked it up and we fought for two years with our daughter through chemo and she ended up beating it.”

Margaux just turned 12 this week. The Nobles say they might not have made it through her treatment without a Hogs 4 the Cause grant. It’s why they’re cooking at the festival this weekend.

“We got lucky,” Trey Nobles said. “There’s a lot of parents who don’t, but whatever we can give them to make their time with their children easier is something that we’ll just continue to do.”

This year was especially a big one for the fundraiser, as they broke a record in 2023.

"We broke the scale this year," said Becker Hall, CEO & Co-Founder of Hogs for the Cause in a press release. "The amount of good that can be done with these funds is astonishing and humbling. We are so thankful for our teams, attendees, volunteers, sponsors, and families. Together, we have hit another high with $3.6 Million raised by our amazing teams."

"The teams this year brought it, from the food in the yard to the money raised," said Rene Louapre, COO & Co-Founder of Hogs for the Cause. "We are so proud to celebrate 15 years of Hogs, and this year just proves that the work we are here to do has no end in sight; the fundraising continues to astound us, and it provides for so many families.” 

The press release also provided a list of winners:

Children's Hospital New Orleans Grand Champion:

Hog Addiction

Whole Hog

Squeal Team Six


Pork Funk All Stars

Pork Butt/Shoulder

Trailer Pork Boys


Hog Addiction

Best Sauce

All Hail the Curly Tail

Blue Plate Mayonnaise Best Side

Smokey & The Bacon

Irpino Avin Hawkins Best Bacon


"Just Winging It" presented by Tabasco

Captain Porkenheimer

Fan Favorite

Mr. Pigglesworth

Friday Night Party

The Boar’s Nest

Best Booth

House of Hogs

Best Social Media

Pork Hub

Fundraising Champion

Fleur De Que; over $500,000

Second Place Fundraising

Morten Anderson’s Mullets; over $350,000

Third Place Fundraising

Hogwatch; over $300,000

Online Fundraising Champion

The Boar’s Nest; over $300,000

Teams that raised over $150,000

• Mr. Pig Stuff

• March of the Pigs

Teams that raised over $100,000

• River Pork Pilots

• Swine & Dine

• Piggystardust

Teams that raised over $70,000

• Mr. Pigglesworth

Teams that raised over $60,000

• The Hogfather

• Swine Krewe

Teams that raised over $50,000

• The Pig Easy

• House of Hogs

• Irish Brew BBQ

• Deswine Intervention

• Pig Latin

• Hogaddiction

• Frey Part Deuce

Teams that raised over $40,000

• Captain Porkenheimer

• Bassets, Booze & BBQ

• Sir Pork A Lot

• Rugaroux Q

Teams that raised over $30,000

• Lard and In Charge

• Hoggystyle

• Chew Forks Farms

• Smokeshow Cook Squad

• Devil Moon

• Porkchopitoulas

• Hupigs

• Mazant National

• Hog Dat Nation

Teams that raised over $20,000

• Sweet Swine O’Mine

• Piglit

• Smokey Ridge BBQ

• Swine Spectators

• Chits & Piggles

• Dirty D & The Thunder Pigs

• Swineaux

• That’ll Do Crew

• Team Hamerica

• Gooteeque

Additionally, the press release announced Hog of Fame Inductions.

"Each Year, Hogs for the Cause inducts individuals into its Hog of Fame. This award represents continued dedication and service to the Hogs organization," the press release said. "This year's Hog of Fame inductees are Lee LaFleur (Swine Spectators), Sarena Teng (Pig Latin), Sam Panice (House of Hogs), Mike Finney (Irish Brew BBQ), David Flexer and Libby Fein (Hogs staff members)."

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