Community column for Feb. 14, 2014

California curator leads La. Bonsai workshop
Ben Oki, Huntington Bonsai Collection curator in San Marino, Calif., led a workshop on Jan. 15 for the Louisiana Bonsai Society. Oki has been doing bonsai since 1958, studied under and worked with John Naka, the “Father of American Bonsai.” He is known for his freeform style and fine bonsai detail work. He refined the design of club members’ bonsai.
LBS sponsored the seventh annual Mid-winter Bonsai Workshop on Jan. 11 that was attended by bonsai club members from all over the Gulf Coast. Brussel Martin, founder of Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery in Olive Branch, Miss., led the workshop. He start his bonsai business over 40 years ago.
The LBS Bonsai Show will be March 29-30 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. Admission is free. There will be a bonsai demonstration at 2 p.m. both days. More than 50 bonsai will be on display along with starter bonsai for sale by the club.
LBS will have a booth at the Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show sponsored by LSU Horticulture Department March 29-30 at the Parker Coliseum.
The next regular club meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Baton Rouge Garden Center. The Louisiana Bonsai Society is a not for profit organization open to all that are interested in bonsai. Guests are welcome.
For information call Lowell Tilley, (225) 272-6744 or email
Benoits named St. Jude Family of the Month
Ben and Kathy Benoit have been named January Family of the Month Award by the Knights of Columbus Council 9692. Fellow parishioners joined the Rev. Trey Nelson and Grand Knight Eddie Guidry in presenting the award on Jan. 26 in the St. Jude Catholic Church Parish Hall.
Ben is a member of the St. Jude Men’s Club, maintains the grass at the St. Jude football field, church, office, rectory and school, has coached intramural teams at St. Jude School and is the chairman of the school association’s Beautification Committee. Together, they belong to the Vocations Statue Ministry, the Respect for Life Ministry, participate in the Family Life Ministry, serve on the Fair Core Committee and have been co-chairs of Santaland at the school.
Kathy has been a volunteer at Vacation Bible School and is a Minister of the Word, Sunday School coordinator, nursery volunteer, Parish School of Religion teacher, Family Life Ministry chairperson, assistant room mom and room mom at St. Jude school.
She has served in the cafeteria, a substitute teacher, a social studies fair judge, reader in the school library and Used Uniform Sale volunteer. The participate in various other ministries.
Bill Wilhelm chairs the award committee.
St. Gabriel junior wins Miss Northwestern
Taylor Layman, of St. Gabriel, won the 56th annual Miss Northwestern — Lady of the Bracelet Pageant at Northwestern State University.
Layman is a junior liberal arts major with a minor in communications in the Louisiana Scholars’ College. She is the daughter of Brian and Lori Layman. A member of Phi Mu Fraternity, she is captain of the Purple Pizazz Pom Pon Line. Layman was a freshman orientation leader and was a member of the 2014 Homecoming Honor Court. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the Student Alumni Association, Demon Volunteers in Progress and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Layman will represent NSU in the 2014 Miss Louisiana Pageant this summer in Monroe. She received more than $8,000 in scholarships and prizes.
Kharey candidate for Presidential Scholars
Amelie Kharey, a senior at Runnels High School, has been named a candidate in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
Also a National Merit semifinalist, a National AP Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, Kharey earned a perfect 36 on the ACT. At Runnels, she is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the Environmental Science Club, and is president of the Junior Classical League. She also plays clarinet and was chosen for the high school District Honor Band and All-State Symphonic Band.
The U.S. Department of Education will announce the names of the 2014 Presidential Scholars in May.
One boy and one girl senior from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. students living abroad, as well as 15 students-at-large and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts will be selected.
Kharey is the daughter of Janine and Alok Kharey.
EBR students join medical program
The Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center and Tulane Medical School recently presented the Career MD program for high school juniors and seniors in ten parishes around Baton Rouge.
Thirty students went to Tulane’s campus to learn about medical practices and procedures.
Students from East Baton Rouge Parish who participated are Jibrail Abdul-Aziz from Broadmoor High; Linsey Barkley, Crystal Beauchamp and Cathy McLeod from Zachary High; Kayla Brown from Redemptorist; Caitlin Carlos, Cara King and Mary Margaret Strange from St. Joseph Academy; Alex Goay and Gianni Barbee from Catholic High; Anastasia Motuzok from Woodlawn High and Justin Nguyen from Baton Rouge Magnet High.
Audubon DAR picks conference delegates
The John James Audubon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met at the home of Margaret Tyler. Geraldine B. Ryder, regent, presided. Hostesses were Georgia LaCour, Elizabeth Walker, Tyler, Glenda Carlile and Rita Sibley.
Tyler, community service committee chairwoman, thanked members for the 37 sets of sheets, pillows and toiletries donated for the Raven’s Outreach Shelter. She also gave a brief talk about the shelter.
Ryder, Tyler, LaCour, Sue Blanchard and Elizabeth Walker were nominated as delegates to the 2014 state conference in Lafayette on March 20-22. Alternates were Sue Badeaux, Stella Tanoos, Betty Jo Snellgrove, Karen White, Yvonne Lewis Day, Carol Savoie, Emily Wilbert, Brenda Babin, Rita Jackson and Rose Songy.
Ryder also accepted a check for $328.44 from Wilbert, former treasurer of the Iberville Chapter of the DAR.
Members discussed themed baskets for the veterans at the state conference and chose “You Are My Sunshine” as the theme song.
Rodney Alexander, secretary of Louisiana Veterans Affairs, will speak at the chapter’s next meeting on Feb. 17.

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.