Organized and presented by the Young Professionals of LAGCOE — the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition — this year’s event may not match the $100,000 profits that the previous two tournaments reaped, money used for LAGCOE’s Education Fund. With oil prices tumbling and business stagnant in some corners, some companies have cut back on spending.
But YPL volunteers on Friday said participation — they cut entry fees about 30 percent — has been better than expected and that competitors were having fun.
YPL has used the profits from the first two shows to fund scholarships for STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — students who are planning oil business careers. They also helped fund a professorship at South Louisiana Community College. Come Saturday, Day No. 2 for the Clay Shoot, perhaps 150 to 200 shooters might participate, one organizer said.
"We’re excited about the turnout,” said Susan Frizzell of YPL. She said flights are scheduled for teams of four at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Teams can still walk up and register.
Silent auction items ranged from prints of the LAGCOE 2015 poster and duck hunting posters to coolers and guns.
"The bidding has started,” Frizzell said.
Saturday will also include a cooking contest with eight teams competing with their favorite dishes.
"In an off year, we are doing well,” said YPL’s Hollie Citron of OPS Engineering. She and Kelsey Corrigan, a Chevron engineer, were working the auction area Friday.
Corrigan said the Clay Shoot is a "bright spot” for oil industry employees who’ve been worried about business.
"It’s good friends, good people out here,” she said.