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.