Sign up for alerts: Eva Jacob Barkoffs ‘Around Jefferson’ column, April 4, 2013

Jefferson Parish is encouraging residents to subscribe to the parish’s Community Alert System.

Called JPALERT, the program allows officials to contact subscribers during a major crisis or emergency and can deliver real-time emergency notifications and updates to home phones, email, pagers, smartphones, other handheld devices and via text messages on cellphones.

It is free, but some wireless carriers may apply charges.

JPALERT will provide information and instruction regarding life-threatening or severe weather, highly disruptive road shutdowns, evacuation or shelter-in-place, and other emergency information for Jefferson Parish.

Residents wishing to receive emergency notifications from JPALERT must register. Go to www.jeffparish.net. Click on the Emergency Management/JPALERT icon, and follow the instructions. Those who do not have Internet access can call the Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Department at (504) 349-5360 to register.

Find a wedding gown, help a cause

The nationwide Tour of Charity Wedding Gowns sale will be held Friday and Saturday at the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport, 2829 Williams Blvd., Kenner.

Designer wedding gowns and bridal accessories at up to 85 percent off retail will benefit Brides Against Breast Cancer, with proceeds from the sale donated to provide education, information and outreach to people impacted by cancer.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, a sneak preview of the gowns will be held. Admission is $20. On Saturday, the sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free.

Hundreds of designer and couture gowns in all styles will be available ranging from $99 to $4,000. Sizes range from 0 to 30 and layaway is available with up to 12 month payment terms.

Volunteers are needed. For more information, call (877) 721-4673 or go to http://www.bridesabc.org.

Special school fundraiser

Archbishop Shaw High School will sponsor its annual Celebrity Waiters Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 11 at the Four Columns, 3711 West Bank Expressway, Harvey.

There will be food, door prizes, an auction, a raffle for $5,000 and music by the Victory Belles of the National World War II Museum.

Tickets are $50. Proceeds will benefit the school’s technology program and its financial aid scholarship program.

For tickets, call (504) 347-9895.

Big Book Sale April 11-13

The Friends of the Jefferson Parish Library will hold its semiannual Big Book Sale from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 11 to April 13, and April 14 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

More than 65,000 gently used books will be on sale including novels, cookbooks, art books and biographies.

The sale also includes DVDs, CDs, music tapes, puzzles and records.

Admission is free. All proceeds will benefit the Jefferson Parish Library.

For more information, call (504) 455-2665 or send an email to friendsjpl@yahoo.com.

Annual conference in Kenner this weekend

The Southern Regional Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans will hold its annual conference Friday through Sunday at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

The theme of the event is “Fear Not, Only Believe.” Guest speakers include Rev. Dave Pivonka, Peter Herbeck and Dr. Carol Razza.

For details, call the CCRNO office in Metairie at (504) 828-1368.

Festa Italiana in Kenner

Kenner’s historic Rivertown will host the annual “Festa Italiana” Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the historic district, 405 Williams Blvd.

There will be live music, local crafters and Italian food. The festival will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, with live entertainment each day.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. For more information, contact Christy Cannella at (504) 830-3720.

Crawfish boil in River Ridge

The Men’s Club at St. Matthew the Apostle School will host a crawfish cook-off at 3 p.m. Saturday at the school, 10021 Jefferson Highway, River Ridge.

Teams of four can register as either a noncorporate team for $400 or a corporate team for $500. Teams will be provided with water, crawfish and trays.

To register, call (504) 232-2267. Tickets in advance are $20 per person for adults and $5 per person for ages five to 13. Children under 5 will be admitted free. Tickets will be available the day of the event at $5 more per person.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about Jefferson Parish. Email her at ejbarkoff@gmail.com.