Currently working as a professional dentist for the Aesthetic Dentistry Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr Nicholas “Nick” Rauber has been practicing dentistry for over 10 years. Nicholas “Nick” Rauber, DDS, is also a member of several professional organizations as well as being the founder and director of Swollfest.
Created as a nonprofit organization for the purpose of raising money for needy organizations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Diabetes Association, Swollfest was established in 1997 as a local fishing tournament in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Proclaimed as a fishing rodeo, the event includes competitions for a variety of areas such as best boat, overall kayak champion, and overall Swollest fish. The fishing rodeo uses a point system to establish the overall winners.
The Swollfest Fishing Rodeo includes offshore and inshore divisions as well as a deep drop division and a kayak division. The rodeo also features a women’s division and a children’s division for ages 12 and under.
A New Orleans native and graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, Dr. Nicholas “Nick” Rauber serves patients at Aesthetic Dentistry Group in Baton Rouge. Dr. Nick Rauber also donates a great deal of his free time to local philanthropic causes, including the annual Swollfest charity fishing tournament.
Each year, Swollfest brings thousands of volunteers, sponsors, spectators, and competitors to Grand Isle, Louisiana, for the city’s most noteworthy fishing rodeo. More than just a fishing tournament, Swollfest offers an opportunity for local residents to come together in support of philanthropic causes, and it has donated over $1.2 million to groups including Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Heroes on the Water, and the Sportsmen’s Foundation for Military Families. In addition, Swollfest serves as a celebration of regional art, music, and culture. Each year, the event selects a local artist to design the promotional poster for the annual charity fishing rodeo.
For the 2017 Swollfest, which marked the 20th anniversary of the event, rodeo organizers tapped multimedia artist Tami Curtis. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University holding degrees in both art education and graphic design, Ms. Curtis has embarked on an artistic career including tenures as a public and private school art teacher; an art museum education coordinator; and an entrepreneur. Experienced in creative mediums including two-dimensional art, hand-painted fabric, and pottery, Tami Curtis frequently incorporates diverse materials, such as pieces of tapestry or salvaged architectural features, into her unique and vibrant pieces. In general, her work reflects and celebrates the rich culture of Louisiana, exploring its spirited history and music through equally vibrant colors and brush strokes.
A graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, Nicholas "Nick" Rauber, DDS has practiced as a partner at Aesthetic Dentistry Group in Baton Rouge since 2007. Dr. Nick Rauber is also founding director of Swollfest Fishing Rodeo, an annual three-day fishing tournament that draws participants from across the United States in support of various charities, including the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
The origins of Swollfest date back to 1997, when Dr. Rauber was a junior in high school. After brainstorming the idea at a backyard barbecue, he and two of his classmates, as well as their fathers and two additional friends, embarked for a weekend of fishing at Grand Isle. There, the eight original Swollfest participants competed to catch the “swollest” fish and take home a small, simple trophy.
The group returned the following year with 10 new participants, as well as new competition categories and official Swollfest t-shirts. By its fourth year, the event comprised more than 50 participants, and in 2001, Swollfest launched its philanthropic efforts. The fifth annual Swollfest Fishing Rodeo kicked off the event’s charitable focus by raising funds for the American Diabetes Association, which Dr. Rauber selected to honor a close family member with Type 1 diabetes: his stepfather, Sid Seruntine. Since then, Swollfest has grown to become one of the largest fishing tournaments in Grand Isle. The event benefits from the support of numerous local sponsors, volunteers, and supporters, including the local artists who have created each year’s poster and t-shirt designs. Over the course of nearly two decades, Swollfest Fishing Rodeo has raised nearly $1 million for a number of charitable causes.
Dr. Nicholas “Nick” Rauber earned his DDS from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry and subsequently formed the Aesthetic Dentistry Group in collaboration with Dr. Daniel O. Bankhead. He continues to serve as director of Swollfest Fishing Rodeo, which he founded at the age of 17. Through this three-day tournament, Dr. Nick Rauber supports the work of charitable organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
A passionate painter and the founder of VigoBOOM! Designs, “RK” Rowell assisted with the creation of the first poster for the 12th Annual Swollfest in 2008. This was Rowell's first experience painting for a fishing rodeo, but his rough sketches quickly won approval. His distinctive style fit well with the Swollfest approach.
RK Rowell's exceptional work earned him the title of official artist for Swollfest. He started a tradition that continues today - each year, a different local artist will paint the annual poster. His passing in 2009 left many sad, but his legacy continues at Swollfest, where artists such as Lauren Barksdale Hill and Mickey Asche have held his post as official artists.
Nicholas “Nick” Rauber, DDS, founded the Swollfest fishing rodeo at the age of 17. Dr. Nick Rauber remains director of the now-prominent event, which has to date raised more than $900,000 for such charities as the American Diabetes Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Swollfest has announced the calendar of events for its 2015 rodeo. The event officially begins on Thursday, June 11, when participants can begin to catch. Registration begins at 1 pm, and scales open officially the next day at 5:30 pm. Live music under the Sand Dollar Marina Pavilion also begins on Friday at 5:30 pm, although artists' tents will be present throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Registration officially ends at 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 13. Live music featuring Tomplay begins at 5:30 pm and ends at 8:15 pm, at which time the Swollfest Awards Ceremony begins. The ceremony includes a drawing of raffle tickets that participants can purchase throughout the event. Live music resumes after the event and continues until the official close of the event on Sunday, June 14.