If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would it be?

That's a question I've been asked numerous times and I'm sure you have pondered many times yourself.

And, to be completely honest with you, Shaquille O'Neal is one of the answers I've given!

The man is amazing! Besides being an NBA all-time great and an entertaining broadcaster, he is incredibly generous, full of fun energy, and he loves Acadiana!

OfficialHoophall via YouTube
OfficialHoophall via YouTube

Well, the Bayou Teche Museum, First Horizon Foundation and Musson-Patout thought so too and have decided to make that dream a reality for one lucky winner - and a few of their friends.  A Night at the Museum – Party Like You Used To – Welcome Back! happens on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bayou Teche Museum, Sliman Theater, the Donald "Doc" Voorhies Wing and a special tent area on Main Street New Iberia as officials hold their annual gala to raise funds for the Museum.

2021 was a very productive year for the Bayou Teche Museum," said Marcia Patout, director of the Bayou Teche Museum. "We are working hard to continue funding the transformation of the adjacent wing and will continue this growth and expansion thanks to the support of our generous community. Funds for our first foray into the new wing are dedicated to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and the exhibit design team is finalizing those plans.

So, how does Shaq play into the fundraiser?

Well, he will be the top item in the live auction, which has always featured one-of-a-kind experiences and unique art. A "Meal with Shaquille O'Neal" will be a dinner for eight.

Senator Fred Mills will be the auctioneer for the night with help from former Louisiana Speaker of the House Taylor Barras. Mills is hilarious and witty and is a pro at these events.

Seven years ago, Mills gave the eulogy for a dear friend and broadcaster at ESPNLafayette and Newstalk 96.5 KPEL Big Dave Thibodeaux. It was funny yet respectful of the great man we lost all of those years ago.

Speaking of Big Dave, I remember sitting down with him to eat one time as he told me stories about how much Shaq loved helping people. I've seen Shaq live that out myself over the years and have met the giant of a man a couple of times. No one is a stranger to the larger-than-life personality.

Local restaurants will provide delicious dishes for attendees.

The gala theme this year acknowledges our long collective sleep during COVID-19 and how much we are enjoying getting back to 'normal,'" said Patout. "With that in mind, we have decided not to hold our online silent auction out of respect for our local retailers and others who have so graciously given of their time, services and products over the past years."

For more information and tickets please contact Marcia Patout at (337) 606-5977, bayoutechemuseum@gmail.com.

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