Community column for April 8, 2014

Alpha Lambda attends Epsilon State meeting

Eight members of Alpha Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International Society of key women teachers attended the Epsilon State Convention March 14-16 at the Pineville Community Center.

Peggy King, past state president and current state parliamentary advisor, played a key role in general sessions at the convention. Betsy Stafford created the chapter’s theme basket. Fran Major, chapter president, carried the flag during the Presidents’ and Founders’ Banquet. Also attending were Jo Ann Hebert, Susan Collura, Catherine Olinde, Cindy Guidroz and Joyce Landry.

Alpha Lambda was recognized as a Silver 2013 Key Chapter Award winner for activities throughout the year.

Altrusa Club of BR elects slate of officers

The Altrusa Club of Baton Rouge elected officers on March 17 at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant: Jackie Robbins, president; Marti Didier, vice president; Amy Drago, secretary; Carol Davis, treasurer; Donna Embree and Janie Starks, directors. Elected as directors on the Altrusa Foundation were: Cherryl Alford, Diane Bezdek, Mary Eleanor Cole, Cathy Craddock, Dawn Meng, Jo Ann Morgan, Carmel Streater and Didier.

Robbins introduced guest Natalie Cole of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., who is the daughter of Mary Eleanor Cole.

Casey Phillips, co-curator for the Baton Rouge Walls Project, spoke about how artists transform dull walls of downtown buildings into works of art.

Didier pinned Craddock and Embree as members of Club 21, sponsored by Altrusa International. Camp Safe Haven was established for children infected with HIV and AIDS. Members who contribute $21 annually receive a Club 21 pin.

Drago collected food for Hope Ministries, and Didier and Gerry Malone collected household items and kitchen appliances for Yolander Fields, whose house in Independence was recently destroyed by fire.

For information on Altrusa, contact Robbins, (225) 753-9307, or Didier, (225) 939-0460.

Civil War Round Table hears historian Bearss

Edwin C. Bearss spoke to the Baton Rouge Civil War Round Table on March 20.

Bearss is a nationally renowned expert on the Civil War who has been associated with the National Park Service for more than 50 years, leading many projects for the service. He is now its chief historian emeritus. He was involved in locating, raising and preserving the ironclad Cairo on display at Vicksburg National Military Park.

He wrote the Civil War field guide, “The Smithsonian’s Great Battles and Battlefields of the Civil War.” Bearss was named in November 2005 by The Smithsonian Magazine as one of “35 Who Made a Difference.”

Art benefit to support autism teacher training

A benefit for Families Helping Families by University Laboratory School senior Madeleine Richard was held March 24 at the Manship Theatre.

An art canvas was painted by the attendees. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auctioned canvas will be used to provide stipends for teachers to attend the C.W. Austin Learning Disabilities Conference to develop skills in identifying autism and to learn educational strategies.

The variety show featured area high school students.

Morris receives KC Youth Leadership Award

Noelle Morris, a Runnels School senior, recently received the Knights of Columbus Catholic Youth Leadership Award for St. Patrick’s Parish.

The award is given for outstanding leadership and involvement in church, school and community.

Every year, one girl and one boy in grades 11 or 12 receives the award. Each winner receives a partial scholarship.

Last year, Noelle’s older brother, Josh, received the award.

Morris, who is captain of the girls varsity basketball team, was named to the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-State Basketball Team. Only 10 players in all-girl basketball divisions received the award this year.

She is the daughter of Cindy and Tex Morris.

Mensmans named KC Family of the Month

The family of Chris and Danielle Mensman received the March 2014 Family of the Month Award by Knights of Columbus Council 9692 from Grand Knight Eddie Guidry on March 23 at the St. Jude Catholic Church Parish Hall.

They are co-chairpersons of the Family Life Ministry, have volunteered with the Children’s Liturgy of the Word, Vacation Bible School and the annual fair. Chris is a member of the St. Jude School Athletic Association and has been a volunteer boy’s baseball coach, an intramural basketball and soccer coach and a St. Jude CYO girl’s team coach. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the St. Jude Men’s Club.

Danielle has been a Faith Sharing Group facilitator and started the young mother’s group. She was a Renew facilitator, was chairperson of the Play and Pray ministry, co-chair of Sunday School and volunteered with the Nursery ministry. Danielle has coached her daughter’s softball team, runs the St. Jude School garden for the third- and fifth-grade science students, is assistant chair of the school field day committee and is on the Home and School Association.

Their children — Estelle, Joseph and Henry — attend St. Jude School. Bill Wilhelm chairs the award committee.

Last of a Dying Breed attends Jeanerette ride

The Last of a Dying Breed Riding Club attended a trail ride given by the Jeanerette Riders on March 30. The group won a trophy for the club that traveled the farthest.

This club has been mentoring kids for the past two years and will have a second anniversary party on Saturday, July 5. The group has also been invited to ride in the K and L Production Black Rodeo on Saturday, May 3 at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.

The rodeo starts at 7 p.m., with a trail ride at 3 p.m. The club now has open enrollment. Contact Sheilla Flowers, (225) 615-5137, or Chris McKnight, (225) 362-2424.

Red Stick Ex-POWs hold April 1 meeting

The Red Stick Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War met April 1 at Hollywood Casino. Each member told a story of their interest. Several members told stories of their childhood, why the Japanese started playing baseball, fighter pilot stories, and about baseball player Moe Berg, who was also a spy.

For the first time, a member had four generations at the meeting. Ex-POW Jesse Coleman Sr. brought his daughter, Chris Coleman. His granddaughter, Miriam Everett came and brought her three children, Ryder, Easton and Grace.

Mu Sigma holds annual Youth Symposium

Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority hosted its 17th Annual Youth Symposium on March 29 at the True Light Baptist Church Chester R. Forest Center. Twenty-nine area elementary, middle and high schools attended.

The workshops and presenters included preparing for STEM careers, Ashleigh Wright, Pamela Brady and LSU’s Chapter of NOBCChE; financial literacy, Niakatia Leblanc, Lolita Howard; bullying and internet safety, Baton Rouge Police Officer Jason Matthews; math, Barbara Denu; Let’s Move campaign, Dr. Latonya Rounds and Adrian Brumfield Sr.; water safety, Desmond Alexander; teen talk panel, Akilah Turner, Chardae’ Arnold, Ty’Quieria Lodge, Bryan Swamer, Rashaaed McDonald, Lestyn Ford and adult monitors Tia Sibley, Shonna Duncan and Kayla Ford; and HIV/AIDS awareness, Lyn Hakeem. Other program participants were Zy’riah Jones, Girl Scout Troop 1001, Alexis Granville, Sigma Gamma Rho undergraduate chapters Beta Alpha, Gamma Pi and Pi Iota and Evangelist Elouise Colbert.

Other community partners include True Light Baptist Church, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Purple Hands Foundation, Cox Communications, New Beginnings Mentoring, The Printing Source, BlueCross BlueShield, Telco Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Krispy Kream Donuts, ICare, LSU STEM Program Manager Melissa Crawford and Ron Francis.

Symposium committee members are Melissa Charles, Jocha Gordon, Lyn Hakeem, Rochelle Howard, Tonya Lands, Shanna Magee, Brenda Smith, Deirdre Stepter, Lolita Howard, LeBlanc, Duncan, Ford and Colbert.

6 students named Good Citizens

The Baton Rouge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded six students from local high schools with Good Citizens certificates and pins on March 27 at the State Archives.

Receiving awards were Michael Hughes from Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Maryssa Hayes from Broadmoor High School, Christian Lemoine from Catholic High School, Patrick Riley from Parkview High School, Mackenzie Byrd from Runnels High School and Brionna Nelson from Woodlawn High School.

Hughes won the essay contest and received a $100 scholarship. His essay will go on to state competition. Good Citizen Awards are based on dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

Eighth-grader selected to play at Carnegie Hall

Sean Parker, an eighth-grader at The Runnels School, has been selected as a junior finalist in the 2014 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall and will make his debut as a cellist at the famous New York venue on June 28 as a member of the 2014 Middle School Honors Performance Series Orchestra.

Parker has studied cello for five years with Runnels strings instructors Dan and Jennifer Cassin. Parker has been a member of the Louisiana Junior Strings Ensemble and the Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra.

The Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall program, which is open to students in grades six through eight in the U.S., Canada and select international schools, brings together accomplished young musicians under the direction of master conductors for five days of rehearsal in New York followed by a concert in Carnegie Hall. Kirt Mosier, a composer and noted middle school honors program director, is scheduled to be this year’s conductor.

Sean is the son of Robert Parker and Dr. Wendy Holden-Parker.

Carter graduates from Army basic training

Army Pvt. Darius D. Carter has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He is the son of Carol Carter and Russell Lee, both of Baton Rouge, and is a 2013 graduate of Scotlandville Magnet High School.

St. Cyr graduates from Air Force basic training

Air Force Airman Jessica A. St. Cyr graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. She is the daughter of Stephanie St. Cyr of Baton Rouge and is a 2009 graduate of Broadmoor High School.

Woodlawn 1972-76 reunion deadline nears

The Woodlawn High School classes of 1972-76 will hold a reunion from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, May 3 at the Grande Pavilion, 14210 Airline Highway in Gonzales.

Cost is $45 per person, due by April 15. Contact Lisa Anderson Chatelain, (225) 439-2111, or Debby Jackson Gill, gdebby54@yahoo.com.

McKinley Class of ’69 sets July 18-20 reunion

The McKinley High School class of 1969 will hold its 45-year reunion July 18-20 at Ashley Manor, 14214 Old Hammond Highway. Contact Laura Patterson Kent, (225) 356-3587, or Marlynne Johnson Stokes, (225) 357-5362.

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 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.