Community column for March 4, 2014

Daughters of British Empire hold state event

The Strawberry Fields Chapter of the Daughters of the British Empire hosted the State Board Meeting on Feb. 16 at Regent Jenny Blythe’s home.

Representatives of seven chapters from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette attended and reported on activities. Plans were announced for the Downton Abbey-themed tea to be held in April at Longue Vue Gardens. Soprano Lylee Hess, granddaughter of Strawberry Fields member Valerie Monks, entertained with traditional British songs, accompanied by member Marian Harden.

State President Esther Coy installed new Strawberry Fields members Penny Nichols and Caroline Kennedy.

Men of Broadmoor host Valentine’s luncheon

The Men of Broadmoor prepared a Valentine’s luncheon and sponsored a cake auction after the Feb. 16 worship service at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church.

Tommy Gautreau and David Bradford were luncheon co-chairmen. Members brought side dishes to augment the spaghetti and meatballs and Caesar salad, made by the men. Homemade cakes and their recipes were displayed by the cooks. Jorge Ponjuan was auctioneer. More than $1,000 was raised for youth scholarships for Feliciana Retreat Summer Camps.

LSU graduate students Alexandra Hollerman and Pedro Willis-Barbosa, who perform for Opera Louisiane, sang an “opera-gram,” a gift by Ellen Snyder for her husband, Dave. They also led in singing “Happy Birthday” to 1-year-old Marigny Gautreau, daughter of Brian and Nancy Gautreau.

Laureate Alpha Gamma hears about Alaska trip

Anne Smith spoke about an Alaska trip she took with two other members when Laureate Alpha Gamma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met Feb. 18 at Smith’s home.

Smith noted the difficulty prospectors had getting to the mining sites and transporting the supplies and tools they needed for success.

Attending were President Page Meyer, Dixie Gregory, Virginia Huffman, Gail Keller, Verlyn LeBlanc, Jean Leyda, Sandy Linder, Marilyn Mayeux, Ruth Mannen, Leslie Steele, Phyllis Turner and guest Anna Marie Burns.

For the month’s service project, Turner, Keller and Huffman delivered personal items collected by members to the Raven Outreach Center for homeless veterans.

Babin plays saxophone for Broadmoor seniors

Tenor saxophone player Brian Babin entertained members of the Chronologically Gifted and Talented at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church’s Naylor Hall on Feb. 19.

The retired lawyer played jazz renditions of romantic songs and classics, including “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” His concluding selection was “Amazing Grace.”

E.J. McCune chaired the catered luncheon by Von Middleton, assisted by Janice Carpenter, Pat Robertson, Ellen Snyder, Meg Genusa and Roger Wirth. The Rev. Hawley Wolfe gave the invocation.

La. Bonsai Society learns about re-potting

Jim Scarton did bonsai re-potting lecture for the Louisiana Bonsai Society on Feb. 18.

He showed how to trim the roots and replace some of the soil to maintain the size of the bonsai and give room for new roots to grow into the new soil. He explained it is important to keep the feeder roots young and vigorous to keep the bonsai growing new and smaller branches as the bonsai ages.

The meeting included a show-and-tell where members brought bonsai to get advice on improving and maintaining them.

Lowell Tilley will be in charge of the LBS bonsai booth at the LSU Spring Garden Show and Plant Sale on March 29-30 at LSU’s Parker Coliseum.

Howard Merrill will be the Spring Bonsai Show coordinator at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, also March 29-30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission to is free and LBS members will have many bonsai on display.

The next regular club meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. The LBS is open to all who are interested in the hobby of bonsai. Guests are welcome. For information, contact Tilley, (225) 272-6744 or

Highland Park Tennis has presidents reunion

The Highland Park Tennis Association, celebrating its 38th year, held a reunion for its presidents at its Feb. 22 round robin at BREC’s Highland Road Park.

Current and former leaders were credited with increasing and sustaining attendance and memberships, modernizing communications, operating the organization in a business-like fashion with open records and fiscal accountability, and ensuring that everyone who wants to play tennis in the Baton Rouge area has an opportunity to do so every Saturday at the HPTA round robin.

BR, Gaines DAR host Washington luncheon

The Baton Rouge Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, along with the Heirome Gaines Chapter, hosted the annual George Washington National Defense Luncheon on Feb. 22 at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Retired Marine Maj. Gen. Ronald G. Richard, president of the Tiger Athletic Foundation, spoke about his years in military service, saying he loved military life and the camaraderie soldiers share.

DAR members and Sons of the American Revolution members attended, including Sue Simpson, DAR state regent, and Stephen Ray, SAR state president.

Members joined the Philemon Thomas SAR Chapter in a wreath-laying ceremony at the bust of George Washington on the State Capitol grounds prior to the luncheon. The SAR chapter holds the ceremony every year on Washington’s birthday.

UREC recognized by La. Housing Alliance

Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation, a nonprofit community development organization that transforms communities by investing in people and restoring neighborhoods, has been recognized by the Louisiana Housing Alliance as the 2013 Excellence in Home Ownership winner for UREC’s Urban Gardens subdivision.

Urban Gardens is a community of single family residences located at the redeveloped site of the former Hollywood Elementary School. Urban Gardens provides a nontraditional route to affordable home ownership for first-time home buyers in North Baton Rouge.

Urban Gardens Partners include: Louisiana Housing Corporation, Whitney Bank, Foundation for Louisiana, Southern University Center for Social Research, Exxon Mobil, Baton Rouge Green, Kings Children’s Ministry and Scotlandville Community Development Corporation.

Prospective homeowners interested in touring a model home can contact Sharon Graves, (225) 356-8871 or

St. Pius KC donates “to Pinbusters bowling

St. Pius X Knights of Columbus Council 6531 presented a $1,008 donation to the Pinbusters bowling team on Feb. 8. The council have sponsored the team for several years.

Grand Knight Louis Daigle and Frank Falgoust, Tootsie Roll drive chairman, presented the check to Charmaine Neptune, who uses the funds to buy supplies, T-shirts and uniforms.

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.