Community news for April 15, 2014

Banquet to honor Abel as Baker Citizen of Year

John Abel has been named 2014 Baker Citizen of the Year by the Baker Inter-Club Council. A banquet in his honor will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Greenwood Park.

A Baker resident since 1985, Abel assisted with the coordination of the Main Street flag project, installed bricks in the Veterans Plaza, organized the neighborhood watch organization, writes a monthly newsletter for the Buffwood Subdivision, repairs and donate wheelchairs to disabled persons and has delivered water to neighbors after hurricanes.

He has been married to his wife, Linda, for 52 years. He served eight years as an airplane mechanic while on active duty in the Air Force, and served as an aviation safety inspector for the FAA for 13 years. He received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanics Award for 50 years in aviation.

Banquet tickets are $15. To reserve a table, call Ginger Vann, (225) 778-0300.

BR Art League visits Lauren Rogers Museum

The Baton Rouge Art League visited the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Miss., for its annual field trip.

The museum in Laurel’s historic district opened in 1923 and is known for collections of European and American art, Native American baskets, British Georgian silver and Japanese woodblock prints. It has an extensive art history library.

The group had lunch at The Rogers-Green House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum acquired it in 2003. Lindsay Rougon headed the trip planning committee. Committee members were Marilyn Carrier, Margery Fabre, Janice Levy, Ella Rein Wheeler, Claire Yeargain and Rocky Broome.

Ponchatoula Jaycees hold jambalaya contest

The Ponchatoula Jaycees’ 16th annual Harry McKneely-Milton Melancon Memorial Jambalaya Cook-off, held March 22 in Memorial Park in Ponchatoula, raised $3,042 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

There were 21 teams competing in the event, held in conjunction with the Strawberry Festival Board “Strawberry Day in the Park.” Stacey McDonald chaired the event.

Winners were Devin Blair with team D Cajun Cook, JFA style; Donald Lanier, non-JFA and pastalaya categories; and Travis Ridgel with team Tickfaw Dynasty, People’s Choice Award for his JFA style jambalaya.

For information about the Ponchatoula Jaycees, visit or call McDonald, (985) 981-4687.

La. Watercolor Society show runs through April

Claudia LeJeune won first place in the Louisiana Watercolor Society competition on April 5, part of a show at the Louisiana State Archives that runs through April 30.

Ribbons were presented to Cheri Fry, second place; Marilyn Cothren, third place; Terri Dakmak and Georgie Dussuoy, honorable mention; Pio Lyons and Shirley Doiron, merit. Watercolor artist and teacher Jan Wilken judged the event.

Membership information is available at

Legacy Homeowners elect 2014-15 officers

The Legacy Homeowners Association held its annual meeting April 5 at outgoing President David and Pat Senn’s home, with 28 residents in attendance. Elected as 2014-15 officers were John Overmeyer, president; Jack Millican, vice president; Susie Williams, secretary; and Howard Vezinat, treasurer. The winner of the dues forgiveness drawing was Erma Mitchell.

The association represents homeowners in the Legacy Subdivision off Coursey Boulevard.

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.

BR Woodworkers Club donates desks to IRIS

Members of the Baton Rouge Woodworkers Club ( donated 14 night stands to the IRIS Domestic Violence Center of Baton Rouge on March 1.

The Woodworkers Club Project involved teams that designed, built and finishing night stands using oak, maple or walnut. Katherine Bonds, residential assistant at the IRIS Center, accepted the donations during the Woodworkers Club meeting at the Red Stick Woodworks in Prairieville.

Participating in the donation were Wayne Matherne, D.J. Ramirez, Terry Landry, C. J. Bergeron, Jack Carmena, Mark Monistere, Leo Guedry, Libba Johnston, Roland Dommert, Curtis Dawson, Reggie Troxclair, John Parker, Arthur Miller, Jim Landry, Harold Choate, Lee Owens, Warren Dufrene, Paul Hornsby, Keith Bryan, Ray McCon, Adam Foster, George Cenac and Tyson Duplantis.

Battle of Baton Rouge topic for Iota Master

Essie Mongeau presented a program on the Civil War Battle of Baton Rouge in 1862 when Iota Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met April 10 at Phebe Markland’s home. Cheryl Foster was co-hostess. The chapter collected food for the Food Bank as its April service project.

The chapter held Easter pot luck supper at Virgie and Kirk Germany’s home on April 5. Members played Pictionary, guessing drawings about the Easter season. Easter treats were distributed at the end of the game.

Tuminello named top student in B.R. Diocese

Richard Michael Tuminello Jr., a senior at St. Michael High School, was recognized as the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s High School Student of the Year at the Mother Seton Awards Ceremony on April 1.

During the Mardi Gras holiday, Tuminello and seven other St. Michael students took a mission trip to Managua, Nicaragua, helping build schools. By taking the trip, Tuminello passed up competing in the regional Student of the Year interview process.

His accomplishments include being president of Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew 136, captain of the St. Michael High School Marching Band, peer leader for St. Michael High and Most Blessed Sacrament Peer Ministry, Student Council homeroom representative, National Merit Semi-Finalist, All-State Jazz Band, Academic All-State for Jazz Band, All-Parish Concert Band and Principal’s Honor Roll (4.0 unweighted GPA.)

He is the son of Rick and Barbara Tuminello.

Campagna receives Seton Service Award

St. Michael High School parent Mary Beth Campagna received the Mother Seton Service Award from the Diocese of Baton Rouge on April 3.

The award was created in 1986 by the Diocesan Home and School Association to honor individuals who have given exemplary service in ways that strengthen the Catholic school system and community.

Campagna is actively involved in her children’s lives while balancing work and school activities. She volunteers many hours to the school.

OLOM selects four for Neighbors Way Award

Our Lady of Mercy School named four recipients of its 2014 Neighbors Way Award on March 28: Yumekia Chrystal, representing the cafeteria staff; Sherri Montagnino, early childhood religion teacher; and eighth graders Joel Pinell and Megan Gremillion.

This award honors exceptional students and faculty. All honorees demonstrate the Neighbors Way core values of integrity, respect, trust, stability, community involvement, honesty, empathy, ethical behavior and fairness.

Garrett takes first place in juried art exhibition

Sarah Garrett, a senior at Runnels High School, was awarded first place in the Baton Rouge Gallery’s 2014 “Real-Life Experience Juried High School Exhibition.”

The art show is sponsored by the LSU School of Art Glassell Gallery. Winners were named on April 2. For her watercolor, “Caged Bird,” Garrett received $600 and a plaque.

Judging the show were Baton Rouge Gallery members and artists Mary Lee Eggart, Matt Morris and Michaelene Walsh.

She is the daughter of Paula and Richard Garrett.

Dunlap receives DAR Good Citizenship Award

Willis Dunlap of New Iberia, a student at Episcopal School of Acadiana, won the state Good Citizenship Award from the Louisiana Society Daughters of the American Revolution. He was recognized at the 105th State Conference held March 20-23 in Lafayette.

The award is based on service, leadership, dependability, patriotism and an essay. His parents are Dr. James and Susan Dunlap.

Carencro student wins national scholarship

Isabel I. Milton, of Carencro, a student at the Louisiana School For Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches, is one of nine Louisiana students and about 800 nationally named winners of Achievement Scholarships through the National Achievement Scholarship Program.

These awards, totaling over $2 million, are financed by grants from 31 corporate organizations and professional associations, and by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The National Achievement Scholarship Program is a privately financed academic competition established in 1964 specifically to honor scholastically talented black American youth.

Milton received a $2,500 scholarship.

B.R. Zoo announces photo contest winners

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has announced winners of its 2014 Photo Contest, sponsored by The Advocate.

There were 269 photos submitted, with nearly 500 votes cast for “Fan Favorite.” Contest judges were Gary Meek, owner of Quiet Light Photography; and Marie Constantin, owner of Marie Constantin Photography.

Heather Moats’ photo, “The Peacock,” won the grand prize and will be published in the Zoo’s Wild Times newsletter, a benefit of Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo membership. All winners are posted at Lanie Skaggs’ “Mom and Babe” won Fan Favorite.

Other category winners were:

Children — “Leisurely Swim,” MacKenzie Scelfo, age 6, first place; “Good Morning Sleepyhead,” Grace Kato, age 11, second place; “Perching Peacock,” Kate Decouet, age 7, third place.

Junior — “Pelican,” Rebecca Lawler, first place; “Beautiful Rattlesnake,” Amber Cook, second place; “Lucky Ducks,” Anna McLain, third place.

Novice Adult — “Pretty in Pink,” Sarah Edwards, first place; “I Feel Pretty,” Sarah Edwards, second place; “New Kid on the Block,” Tania Mancik, third place

Advanced Adult — “Strike a Pose,” Terri Lambert, first place; “Great Egret,” Ginger Kraemer, second place; “Laughing Thrush,” Terri Lambert, third place.

Fun Photo — “Who’s in the Cage?” Catherine Lorio, first place; “Earth Fountain,” Rhiannon Sacco, second place; “Enjoying Boo at the Zoo,” Jessica Shearer, third place.

Kenya — “Mara Rainbow,” Joseph G. Simmons, first place; “Mara Sunrise,” Joseph G. Simmons, second place; “Giraffes in Kenya,” Jon Segar, third place.

Breaux named National High School Scholar

Dutchtown High School student Mason Breaux from Prairieville has been selected to membership in the National Society of High School Scholars, which recognizes scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment.

Membership in NSHSS entitles qualified students to scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, member-only resources, publications, participation in programs offered by educational partners, personalized recognition items and publicity honors.

Local Wendy’s donates $31,777 to hospital

Diamond Foods, a Baton Rouge Wendy’s franchise, donated $31,777 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on April 2.

Wendy’s held a fundraising campaign from November 2013 until March 2014 in which customers could purchase a Frosty key chain tag for $1,which could be used for a Free Junior Frosty with any purchase on every visit for a year.

Over the past two years, Diamond Foods has raised more than $60,000 for St. Jude. The donation was presented at the Wendy’s located at 9955 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge.

View all Community news photos here.

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.