Community column for Aug. 5, 2014

Area representatives attend ZTA convention in Los Angeles

Area representatives attended the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity’s 52nd National and 41st International Convention June 25-29 in Los Angeles. They included President Amy Gross, Beverly Choppin, Lana Traux and Danielle Duhon, Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter; President Amy Pinac, Tori Hendricks and Taylor Amedee, Delta Kappa Chapter, LSU.

These Louisiana women joined more than 800 ZTA collegiate and alumnae members and national officers at the biennial convention, including delegates from 163 collegiate chapters and 236 alumnae organizations.

Area chapters won several awards including Helping Hands: Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter and Delta Kappa Chapter at LSU; Crown Chapter Awards: Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter; Silver Awards: Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter, first runner up, Alumnae Service; and Most Improved Alumnae Chapter, Delta Kappa Chapter at LSU, Sherry Tilley Special Recognition Award.

Shiloh Homemakers conclude annual fundraising raffle

The Shiloh Homemakers, a volunteer group from Tangipahoa Parish, ended its annual raffle with a July 10 drawing at Gabriel Building Supply in Ponchatoula.

Chris Bannon, president of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, conducted the drawing. Raffle proceeds support the group’s community projects.

Myrtle Clark, of Hammond; Vanessa Creel, of Amite; Janet Ritzman, of Ponchatoula; Ashley Neal, of Amite; and Mike Potts, of Amite, won the five top prizes.

Prize sponsors and other contributors to the raffle’s success included Florida Parishes Bank, Robbie Lee of State Farm Insurance, Amite Anytime Fitness, Betty Lotz, the Amite Kiwanis Club, Mike’s Catfish Inn, Tony LaMarca, George Ibert Jewelry, Supreme Automotive, Discovery Center, Marina Cochrane, Berry Town Produce and Thrift Town Shopping Center.

Bonsai Society sees juniper presentation by Scarton

Jim Scarton spoke on juniper bonsai for the Louisiana Bonsai Society on July 15, demonstrating what had been taught by David Easterbrook at a June 21 workshop. Members brought bonsai and discussed other techniques. Easterbrook is a bonsai expert from Montreal.

The next regular club meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. For information, contact Lowell Tilley, (225) 272-6744 or Ltilley@cox.net.

Clinton Masons honor widows, past masters at July meal

Olive Masonic Lodge 52 of Clinton honored past masters and widows on July 22. After a meal, the widows were presented with two red roses in honor of their husbands. Larry Beauchamp spoke about the positive impact Masonry has on men, their families and their communities. He reminded the widows to call any Mason, any time, if they ever need anything.

Walker founding topic for Livingston Historical

Walker historian and lifelong resident George Milton spoke to the Edward Livingston Historical Society on July 17.

He told his family history beginning with an ancestor who came to the United States in 1790 and whose sons migrated to Louisiana. One of them, Michael Milton, bought property in what is now Walker. A grandson, Elliot Monroe Milton, was Walker’s first mayor. In 1920, the town’s budget was $1,051, and aldermen and the mayor were paid $1 a month.

Former Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Davidson will speak about the Garyville Northern Railroad of Livingston Parish when the group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Livingston Branch Library.

Louisiana weather topic for BRGHS meeting

Jay Grymes, senior meteorologist at WAFB-TV, spoke about weather extremes in Louisiana history to the Baton Rouge Genealogical and Historical Society on July 19 at the Bluebonnet Library.

Craig Roussel, an agent at the LSU AgCenter in Ascension and St. James parishes, will speak about perique tobacco in Louisiana at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Bluebonnet Branch Library. The program is free and open to the public. For information, call Mary McKeough, (225) 924-8921.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to people@theadvocate.com. Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.

Wambsgans named Family of the Month

Chad and Kim Wambsgans received the Knights of Columbus Council 9692 July Family of the Month Award from the Rev. Mike Collins and Grand Knight Eddie Guidry at a July 27 reception at St. Jude Catholic Church.

Parish members since 2001, they made what has become one of the most popular donations ever to St. Jude — a large soft-serve ice cream machine that is used for the fair and at special events.

Chad is an usher and belongs to the Men’s Club. He has assisted in performing general duties for the parish and is a member of the Fair Core Committee. They participate in the St. Jude blood drive and have been RCIA sponsors. They are Mass greeters and belong to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Ministry.

Kim facilitates a Lord, Teach Me to Pray group and is an eighth-grade Come, Lord Jesus leader. She is a Eucharistic minister and a Confirmation Team leader. She has participated in the Renew programs, helped with World Youth Day, Vacation Bible School and is in the Youth Group Ministry.

Their children are Kendal and Avery. Bill Wilhelm chairs the award committee.

Urban Game Changer selects Holliday-James

Sarah Holliday-James has been named Louisiana state representative for Urban Game Changer.

Urban Game Changer is a multi-racial consulting and strategy group made up of Republicans, Libertarians, small government independents, conservative and pro-business Democrats.

The UGC seeks to incorporate conservative values rooted in returning to the constitutional values that the nation was founded upon.

Exchange Club topic for Altrusa meeting

Richard Flicker, treasurer of the Exchange Club of Baton Rouge spoke to the Altrusa Club on July 21 at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant.

Flicker said the Exchange Club’s national project is prevention of child abuse. Two of its local projects that the Altrusa Club has collaborated with are the Adopt-A-Teacher project and the Bowl-A-Thon. The Adopt-A Teacher project provides start-up funds for new elementary school teachers for classroom material and supplies classrooms. The Bowl-A-Thon provides funds for the children in the Parker House.

For information on the Exchange Club, contact Flicker, (225) 931-1626.

President Jackie Robbins introduced guests Jim Cole, husband of Mary Eleanor Cole, and Mark Meng, husband of Dawn Meng. Plans for the Altrusa’s annual Restaurant Raffle were announced.

Diane Bezdek said the August program would feature Lauren Michaud, representing The Emerge Center BR Speech and Hearing Foundation.

For information on Altrusa, call Marti Didier, (225) 939-0460.

BR General employees break donations record

More than 1,000 Baton Rouge General employees raised a record-breaking $277,000 in donations and pledges through the annual You, Me & BRG Employee Giving Program, which supports programs and services at the not-for-profit, community hospital.

The program, facilitated through Baton Rouge General’s Foundation, allows employees to make a financial contribution that directly affects all aspects of the hospital.

All funds raised through the program directly support employees, patients and their families through hospital-wide focus projects, employee-driven projects, and the employee assistance fund, which helps staff members who have experienced major life challenges, such as fires and floods.

Since the program began in 2010, more than $1.1 million has been donated by this program to support 61 projects throughout both hospital campuses. For information on projects funded through this program, visit BRGeneral.org/Together.

Four graduate from University of Arkansas

The following local students graduated from the University of Arkansas at the end of the 2014 spring semester: Teresa Wilson, Baton Rouge, doctorate in anthropology; Jonathan Brown, Baton Rouge, juris doctor; Jill Stumbaugh, Lafayette, bachelor of science in landscape architectural studies; Kristen Matherne, Mathews, bachelor of science education in community health promotion.

Lands graduates from Air Force basic training

Air Force Airman Bobby E. Lands graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. Lands is the son of Dell E. Lands, of Baton Rouge, and is a 2010 graduate of Northdale Magnet Academy.

McGruder completes Air Force basic training

Air Force Airman Jazmyn M. McGruder graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. McGruder is the daughter of Edward and Keuna McGruder and granddaughter of Linda Bradford , of Baton Rouge, and is a 2011 graduate of Mckinley Senior High School.

Musacchia receives Air Force promotion

Kyle N. Musacchia has been identified for early promotion to senior airman in the U.S. Air Force.

He was awarded the new rank ahead of other Air Force members by a “Below-The-Zone” promotion board, which considered the airman’s time in grade, time in service, job performance, military knowledge, bearing, exceptional qualifications, self-improvement efforts and best overall record.

Musacchia is the son of Paula P. Owens, of Holden, and Gerald W. Musacchia, of Tickfaw. He is a 2007 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School, Hammond, and earned an bachelor’s degree in 2011 from LSU.

Follow this link to the photos.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to people@theadvocate.com. Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.