Community column for July 4, 2014

Blue Cross Foundation names Angel Awards

Six area individuals were among 10 Louisiana residents recently named winners of the Blue Cross Foundation Angel Award.

The award is given annually to those who donate time and talents to better the lives of Louisiana children, whether through enrichment projects in arts and education or programs addressing an underserved population.

Area winners are Laura Domingue, Laura Landry, Jennifer Maggio and Nancy Zito, of Baton Rouge; and Hank and Debbie Perret, of Lafayette.

Domingue founded Trafficking Hope, which since 2007 has raised awareness throughout the state of human trafficking. She has been instrumental in the development of Louisiana Hope House, a 32-acre campus that provides life skills, vocational training, faith-based counseling and medical care to victims of human trafficking.

A former single mother, Maggio founded The Life of a Single Mom Ministries to work with churches and communities around the world in establishing single parent support groups. Her nonprofit business model has been duplicated around the country as well as abroad and she has written four books encouraging single parents.

Zito quit her job teaching at a private school to become founder, principal and executive director of the Gardere Christian Community School, serving an area notorious for poverty, drugs and violent crime. In four years, the school’s reputation for academic excellence has grown, even though almost all the students come from families at or below the federal poverty level.

Following the death of their son, Miles, from cancer in 1996, the Perrets began volunteering to efforts supporting cancer patients and their families. Miles Perret Cancer Services has helped thousands of families in a 10-parish area, offering wellness, nutrition and exercise classes, wigs and prostheses, support groups and family events.

Landry, Blue Cross vice president of IT integrated services, was named the 2014 Blue Angel. Landry serves on the board of the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of Baton Rouge, participating in planning several annual events raising funds for the organization. Her charity will receive a $5,000 dollar grant from the Foundation.

Also recognized were Ashley Belding, of New Orleans; Brian Hunter, of Shreveport; Isaac McFarland, of Keithville; and Jackie Silverman, of River Ridge.

These winners bring to 160 the number of volunteers honored by the program, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year; each will receive a $20,000 grant for the charity they choose.

Lupus Foundation gets donation from Cupid

Nationally known recording artist Cupid donated to the Louisiana Lupus Foundation on June 12. The foundation serves thousands of lupus patients each year in Louisiana and south Mississippi.

Cupid’s “Purple Party” was held each Thursday night in May at the Brassroom in Lafayette to help fight against lupus, a disease from which his friend, Shavawna Flugence, suffers. The donation was presented to Henrietta Jackson, support group coordinator for the Louisiana Lupus Foundation.

Our Little Miss pageant announces winners

The 2014 Louisiana’s Our Little Miss Scholarship Competition was held May 3-4 at the Strand Theater in Jennings. Contestants were judged on their poise, stage presence, facial beauty and ability to answer questions both on stage and in a private interview.

Winners are: Louisiana’s Baby Petite, Karis Nevils, Bayou Chicot; Louisiana’s Miss LaPetite, Autumn Sharp, Jena; Louisiana’s Our Little Miss, Caroline Wagoner, Baton Rouge; Louisiana’s Our Little Miss Preteen, Ava Grace Denham, Baton Rouge; Louisiana’s Ideal Miss, Adleigh Denham, Baton Rouge.

The representatives will advance to the international competition, which will be held July 4-10 in Miami.

St. Cyr graduates from Air Force basic training

Air Force Airman John A. St. Cyr graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. St. Cyr is the son of Stephanie A. St. Cyr, of Baton Rouge, and John A. St. Cyr, of New Orleans, and is a 2010 graduate of Broadmoor High School.

Follow this link to 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.