Community column for Feb. 11, 2014

5 from Exchange Club attend regional meeting

Five Exchange Club of Baton Rouge representatives attended the Region 5 Midwinter Conference Jan. 24-26 in Bossier City. President Mary Gauthier-Lewis, past treasurer Alma Geathers and past presidents Lizz Sanchez, Kathy Blackman and Richard Flicker were among the contingent from the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast District, joining members from the Texas, Arklahoma and Heartland districts.

The conference provided information for local and district Exchange Club officers and members. Flicker is chair of the National Exchange Club’s annual convention in July in New Orleans.

Exchange Clubs have community service projects in Americanism, youth and child abuse prevention. The Baton Rouge club meets for dinner on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the Panda Chinese Buffet, 9911 Gwenadele Ave. For information, contact Flicker (225) 931-1626 or, or go online to

Donelon addresses Republican Women

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon spoke to the Republican Women of Baton Rouge on Jan. 22 at Café Americain.

Congressional candidate Paul Dietzel and Joyce LaCour, Ascension Parish Republican Women member, were guests. Fundraising chairwoman Barbara Thomas asked members to bring their favorite recipes for the cookbook project. Pat Cabral, Louisiana Federation of Republican Women Region 6 vice president, spoke about the history of Natchitoches.

Rabalais of SkillsUSA talks to Kiwanis Club

Larry Rabalais, executive director of the SkillsUSA Louisiana Association, spoke at the Cortana Kiwanis Club’s Jan. 28 meeting.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Rabalais explained that Louisiana lags behind many states in the number of students invovled in the program. They are working, he said, to increase the number of students in the program.

The Cortana Kiwans meet 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 3332 S. Sherwood Blvd., Baton Rouge. Call Lowell Tilley at (225) 272-6744 or email for more information.

Pointe Coupee topic for OLLI Feliciana Chapter

Randy Harelson, writer and historian, and Brian Costello, geneologist and 11th-generation native of Pointe Coupee Parish, gave a slide presentation on Pointe Coupee when the Feliciana Chapter of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at LSU held a coffee Jan. 22 at the Julien Poydras Museum & Arts Center in New Roads.

They told about the history of parish and its connection with the Felicianas from early times to today.

The slides were taken from their book, “New Roads and Old Rivers,” with photo credits by Richard Sexton.

Olivia Pass is chapter chairwoman. Coffee chairman was Georgia La Cour. Hospitality was headed by Teresa Simmons.

Community Gardeners learn about birds

The Community Gardeners Club met Jan. 30 at the home of Peggy Hatch. Co-hostesses were Midge Benson, Mary Martin and Angelina Ojea. Guest speaker Gina Periou, from Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop, discussed how to identify birds. At the following business meeting, the club voted to participate in an Arbor Day program with Our Father’s Garden on March 15. Lunch was also served.

BR’s Buchholz finalist in woodwind competition

Marika Buchholz, of Baton Rouge, will travel to Chicago in March to compete as a national finalist in the senior woodwind competition of the Music Teachers National Association. The senior group is comprised of students 15-18 years old.

Buchholz earned this opportunity by winning the South Central Division Senior Woodwind competition. She is a junior at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches and previously attended Runnels School in Baton Rouge.

A student of clarinet for seven years, Buchholz is studying under Malena McLaren, professor of clarinet at Northwestern State University. Before moving to Natchitoches, she was a student of Robert DiLutis, the principal clarinetist of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. The competition will take place on March 23. The winner receives a cash prize and will perform in a concert on March 24.

Follow this link to see 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 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.