Community column for March 28, 2014

Exxon retirees hear NWS meteorologist

Kenneth Graham, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, spoke to the ExxonMobil Tigerland Retiree Club luncheon on March 13 at Oak Lodge Reception & Conference Center.

Graham spoke about communicating critical warning information and said the social media has greatly improved opportunities to get warnings to the public. The area office built a Significant Weather Emergency Response Vehicle, the only one of its kind in the nation. The vehicle is sent to disaster locations to provide an interface between the science and life saving decisions.

Joanne and Raymond Day made luncheon arrangements.

Rickels, Falgoust get Hurst KC recognitions

Betty and Joe Rickels were named February Family of the Month and Ed Falgoust was named February Knight of the Month on March 13 by the Father Maynard Hurst Knights of Columbus Council 9016 of St. Louis King of France Catholic Church.

Betty Rickels is a member of the auxiliary’s Activity Committee, helping organize various functions. Although unable to be as active as they once were, they show dedication to one another as well as to their faith and the council as well.

Falgoust was honored for his work with council projects, especially the upcoming crawfish fundraiser, proceeds of which go to the council’s charity fund. Ed also helped cook for the Feb. 22 Diocesan Youth Rally which fed about 400 students.

Civic Associations discuss home security

Home security was the topic of the Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations’ March 13 meeting. The federation represents area homeowners associations.

Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Mary Ann Godawa and Cpl. Don Coppola spoke on partnering with the federation to distribute information to the member HOAs.

Tommy Chenevert, of Vernon’s Hardware, spoke on how to improve security of doors and windows. He showed how using long screws that go right through the door frame into the 2-by-4s will help prevent burglars from easily smashing doors. He showed how to make windows more secure.

Don Hogan, of Baton Rouge Police Supplies, talked about personal security items, including Taser, stun gun, tear gas and pepper spray. He also spoke about using a flashlight to temporarily blind someone.

Corey Spano, of Custom Security Systems, spoke about the need to keep security systems armed, even when someone is at home. He also stressed the need for motion sensors, timers, locking vehicles at all times and not leaving anything in plain sight.

The federation meets the second Thursday of each month at the BREC Tennis Center at 7505 Independence Blvd. The next meeting will be on April 10. Single-family homeowner associations are invited to join. Contact President Nancy Curry, (225) 925-1674.

Domestic violence topic for Newcomers Encore

Sarah Bounds, director of operations for the Iris Domestic Violence Center, spoke about the center to the Newcomers Encore Club of Baton Rouge on March 13 at Juban’s Restaurant. Bounds accepted a donation made possible by the club’s recent Books, Bake and Bid fundraiser.

Outgoing president Karen Sellers presided over the installation of new officers: President Sherry Byers, First Vice Presidents Pam Strickland and Linda Ferris, Second Vice President Mary Mitchum, Recording Secretary Susie Gremillion, Corresponding Secretary Nancy Beaver, Treasurer Anne Frazier and Assistant Treasurer Linda Bidwell. Chairpersons were also recognized: Sellers, Anne Frazier and Tammy Dawsey for Accommodations; Newsletter editor Sany Brechtel; Karen Clausi, Mailings; Sheree Murray and Debbi Seale, Door Prizes; Historian Evelyn Redwine; Margot Kiefhuss, Hospitality; Gayle Ramsey, Outside Activities; Monica Bishara and Carolyn Friedy, Publicity; Mary Elizabeth Richardson, Reservations; Dee Grant and Kiehfuss, Service Basket; Grant and Nancy Beaver, Social; and Maxine Gossom, 50/50.

DEMCO recognizes 12 essay contest finalists

Twelve high school juniors were recognized as finalists in the DEMCO Youth Tour Essay Contest on March 11 at White Oak Plantation.

Katie Oliver of Christian Life Academy, Maggie DiLeo of St. Joseph’s Academy, Mazie Dieterich of Parkview Baptist School and Whitney Hartmann of St. Michael the Archangel High School will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., from DEMCO.

Other finalists were Haleigh Giglio, Christian Life Academy; Quinton Townsel, Zachary High School; Deryl Blackard, West Feliciana High School; Anna Arceneaux, Runnels; Jacob McCon, French Settlement High School; Kara Peneguy, Runnels; and Carol Crochet and Caroline Clark, Central High School.

LSU Greek Board holds new member retreat

The LSU Greek Board of Directors hosted the 11th annual EMPOWER retreat March 7-9 at the Judson Baptist Retreat Center in St. Francisville. EMPOWER teaches participants the history and culture of Greek Life at LSU.

A group of 144 fraternity and sorority new members representing each of the 39 Greek organizations at LSU participated in leadership and team building activities designed to develop leadership skills.

Lori Hart, director of education for Pi Kappa Phi, spoke on “Making Greek Great,” challenging Greeks to raise their expectations of fraternity and sorority life, to recruit the best students on campus and to become role models of leadership.

USS Iwo Jima to hold reunion in Jacksonville

The USS Iwo Jima (LPH2/LHD7) Shipmates Association will hold a reunion for all ships company and embarked Navy and Marine Corps personnel Aug. 27-31 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jacksonville, Fla. Contact Robert G. McAnally , 152 Frissell St., Hampton VA 23663, (757) 723-0317, or

Breckwoldt awarded Eagle Scout rank

Landon Breckwoldt was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, on March 10 at Trinity Lutheran Church. He is a member of Troop 169.

His Eagle project was a renovation of the elementary school’s swing set area at Victory Christian Academy. This project involved over 140 man hours donated from Landon and members of Troop 169. His parents are Randy and Vicki Breckwoldt, of Central. His father is his Scoutmaster.

Middle-schoolers win Patriotic Essay Contest

The Bishop Stanley J. Ott Fourth Degree Assembly Knights of Columbus awarded prizes in its annual Patriotic Essay Contest on March 8.

Winners were: first place, Margaret Sturdivant, eighth grade, St. Jean Vianney Catholic School, who received a plaque and $150; second place, Lena Cates, eighth grade St. Jean Vianney, who received a plaque and $100; third place, Abby Blaize seventh grade, St. Aloysius Catholic School, who received a plaque and $75.

There were 481 entrants from eight middle schools on the theme of “Does Patriotism Still Matter?”

The St. Patrick Knights of Columbus Council prepared a meal for the event.

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.