Actively involved in community outreach endeavors, dental professional Dr. Nicholas Rauber is the founding director of the Swollfest Fishing Rodeo, a charity fundraising event. Dr. Nick Rauber has led the competition since its inception.
In 1997, at the age of 17, Dr. Nicholas Rauber joined a group of eight on a fishing trip to Grand Isle, Louisiana. The group held a friendly competition to determine who could catch the largest, or “swollest,” fish, and the contest became an annual event. Three years later, it had grown to include 52 participants, and the fifth anniversary marked its beginning as a charitable endeavor.
Participants in the 2002 Swollfest gathered sponsors to back their participation in the event. They then donated the raised funds to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a charity chosen in honor of Nick Rauber's stepfather. The event was again a success and Swollfest continued to grow. It has since become one of the ADA's leading fundraisers in the area as well as a valued contributor to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and a number of smaller local charities. Television, radio, and newspaper media have covered the event on numerous occasions, and the publicity brought the rodeo's total number of participants to over 550 in 2013. It continues as an annual event on Grand Isle and is open to the public by registration.