Rome in Rouzan offers a taste of Italy to benefit OLOL and Hogs for the Cause

The Baton Rouge Hogs House will cost an estimated $4 million and will include several suites and amenities for families of children undergoing long-term treatment at OLOL Children's Hospital. Graphic courtesy Hogs for the Cause.

When faced with unthinkable news—that your child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness—a parent’s world turns upside down on an emotional level, but also on the level of everyday living. Bags must be packed overnight, and hospital-adjacent housing must often be procured across state lines for months at a time. This is exactly the situation that Brian Rodriguez, president of Gatorworks, encountered in October 2020 on the day his son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Now, he’s now partnering with Hogs for the Cause to keep future children facing a daunting diagnosis a bit closer to home.

On Thursday, November 18, Gatorworks will host the inaugural Rome in Rouzan event, a fundraiser to help Hogs for the Cause build its first Baton Rouge Hogs House in partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

The $4 million Hogs House—the first of which was originally built in New Orleans in 2018—will include multiple suites, family lounges, a fully furnished kitchen, and laundry rooms, as well as colorful décor and entertainment, all available free of cost to families of children undergoing treatment. At the fundraiser, ticket holders can sip and stroll around the Rouzan Circle for an evening of Italian fare and libations from local restaurants

“A lot of people may not realize that OLOL Children’s Hospital is one of only eight St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital affiliate locations,” says Rodriguez. “It would be really great for Baton Rouge to have a residence for families receiving treatment here.”

For more info about Hogs House and Rome in Rouzan, visit hogsforthecause.org.