Mr. Nederland Todd Bordelon talks of service to others, including prison ministry

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Todd Bordelon has long been an active member of the Nederland community, helping coach his children’s sports teams, serving as a member of the Mid County Noon Optimist Club and working through his church and faith.

Bordelon, who was recently named 2024 Mr. Nederland, has always been involved in the community, especially when his children were young.

The thing that changed his life happened in 2006 when he attended the ACTS Retreat, a Catholic event that stands for Adoration, Community, Theology and Service.

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The retreat was an eye-opening experience that led him to discover life was not all about him, Bordelon said.

The change was slow, he added, as he gradually became more and more involved in service.

“The more I got involved, the more I wanted to get involved,” he said. “And I found that serving God is really what I’m here for. And it seemed the more I gave, the more I got back. Maybe not financially, but I made so many good friends through getting out and serving others.”

Bordelon is a 1982 Port Neches-Groves High School graduate and a 1986 graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont with a bachelor of business administration in marketing. He married 1982 class of Nederland High School graduate Cindy and moved to Nederland.

He is vice president/chief financial officer for United Unlimited Sales in Port Neches. He and his wife of 33 years have two children and a grandson.

When the Nederland Heritage Festival rolls around in March, you may get a glimpse of Bordelon at the Mid County Noon Optimist Club’s booth selling corn dogs, friend cheese and chicken nuggets.

The Optimist Club, like all of the food booths at the festival, is nonprofit, and the event is a fundraiser for the organizations.

The Noon Optimist Club donates money to youth organizations and gives scholarships to Nederland and PNG graduating seniors, he said.

The club also holds a golf tournament and cross country meet as fundraisers through the year.

Photos of Todd Bordelon’s family have a spot of honor in his office at United Unlimited Sales in Port Neches. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Evolution of serving others

Bordelon’s community works don’t stop there. He volunteers twice a month at the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur to feed the needy and volunteers with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice through the Saint Kolbe Prison Ministry.

The ministry is run through the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, and Bordelon helps conduct retreats at the Stiles Unit in Beaumont, the Polunsky Unit in Livingston and the Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville, according to information from the Nederland Heritage Festival organizers.

The prison ministry retreat is similar to the ACTS Retreat but done inside the prisons over the course of several days.

Bordelon explained in simple words what led him to prison ministry.

“It’s just one more step in my evolution of serving others,” he said. “God was calling me to that ministry, He called everybody and through friends — they kept asking me and I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ So I told God ‘no’ for probably one or two years at least.”

Then eight years ago Bordelon said “yes” and adds now it’s the best thing in his life besides family.

The individuals they minister to want to do better and need help. This, Bordelon said, gives them hope.

The Rev. Jason Burden of First Baptist Church in Nederland and the 2023 Mr. Nederland, said he’s gotten to know Bordelon recently and considers him a great person for the honor.

“He represents what Mr. Nederland is all about,” Burden said. “He has invested in the community and continues to do good. Sadly, a lot of the time those who serve go unrecognized, and this is an opportunity to spotlight a guy that’s doing right. We need more guys like this in our community.”