Grandparents group has annual conference

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana held its annual conference May 9 at the Holiday Inn South in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana is third in the nation for grandparents who rear their grandchildren due to the parent’s inability to do so. The program included a panel of legal experts and workshops on childhood obesity, bullying, human trafficking, money management, positive thinking and helping children through grief, loss and abandonment. Community agencies were present to discuss how they can assist.

If you need assistance, want to become part of a support group or more information, call (225) 229-8257, (225) 355-5442 or (225) 810-3555.

‘Orphan Brigade’ topic for Waddill UDC event

Nola Labat spoke about the “Orphan Brigade” when Joanna Waddill Chapter 204 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy met May 12 at the State Archives. The Confederate unit from Kentucky got that nickname because Kentucky remained in the Union.

New officers were installed: Sarah Brooks, president; Shirley Latham, vice president; Barbara McCormick, second vice president; Carolyn Maggio, treasurer; Rachel Grace, recording secretary; Terry Reed, corresponding secretary; Labat, historian; Jan Grace, registrar; Karen Pelton, recorder of military service; Frankie Platte, poet laureate; Marian Harden, custodian of flags; and Margaret Tyler, chaplain.

Dow Retirees hold annual crawfish boil

The Dow Retirees Club held its annual crawfish boil May 14 at the Dow Plantation House in Plaquemine.

President Phil Prejean welcomed guests and thanked sponsors Burns Estate Planning of Hammond and Allianz Life Insurance. Jim Cox directed the cooking activities of 1,200 pounds of crawfish, plus corn and potatoes. Assisting him were Leroy Pugh, Robbie Robbins, Tommy LeBlanc, Bubbie LeBlanc, Art Bourg and Mickey Hunt.

Audubon DAR Chapter holds memorial service

The John James Audubon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held a memorial service on May 19 in the Bluebonnet Library for Ann McNabb Karth, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Betty Dean Platte Lawrence and Mary Elizabeth “Bettye” Baskin Wood, both of Baton Rouge. Lynda Normand, Liz Walker and Margaret Tyler gave eulogies.

Lawrence and Wood were past chapter regents.

Guests were State Regent Sue Simpson; Honorary State Regent Carolyn Brown; Wood’s daughters, Amelia Elizabeth Simpson, of Houston, and Kathryn Merritt, of Baton Rouge; Lawrence’s son, Harold, and his wife, Rhonda.

Simpson spoke about her project for the coming year and the Iris Pin to help fund the project. Brown said the chapter’s recommendation of Warren Perrin for an Americanism DAR Medal of Honor was approved.

Stella Tanoos reported on the Houma Indians Project. There will be a letter-writing campaign to help them achieve federal recognition as a tribe.

Hostesses were Carole Gloger, Shirley Newsham, Henrietta “Boots” McArdle, Walker and Normand.

DAR membership is open to women at least 18 years old who can prove lineal bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.

Altrusa of BR installs officers for 2014-15

Altrusa International of Baton Rouge installed 2014-15 officers on May 19 at Drusilla Seafood Restauant: Jackie Robbins, president; Marti Didier, vice president; Carol Davis, treasurer; Amy Drago, secretary; and Donna Embree and Janie Starks, directors.

The Altrusa Foundation Board announced its 2014-15 officers: Diane Bezdek, president; Didier, vice president; Carmel Streater, secretary; Cherryl Alford, treasurer; and Mary Eleanor Cole, Jo Ann Morgan, Dawn Meng and Cathy Craddock, directors.

Randy Nichols, with the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless, will speak on “One Stop Homeless Service Center” at Altrusa’s 6 p.m. Monday, June 6 meeting at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant.

For information, contact Didier, (225) 939-0460.

VanLandingham leads LBS bonsai workshop

Jim VanLandingham led a bonsai workshop for the Louisiana Bonsai Society on May 17. VanLandingham is a bonsai expert from Florida.

Six members who attended the workshop were among members who showed bonsai at the May 20 meeting. They also discussed the workshop to be held June 21 at the Eastside Volunteer Fire Department. It will be led by David Easterbrook, who was curator of the Montreal Bonsai Collections for about 30 years.

Admission is $15 for the morning lecture and to observe the afternoon workshop, and $35 to participate in the workshop. Lunch is included. Contact Lowell Tilley, (225) 272-6744 or

The next regular club meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. Guests are welcome.

Winchesters selected Family of the Month

Chad and Veronica Winchester received the May Family of the Month Award by the Knights of Columbus Council 9692 on May 25 at St. Jude Catholic Church. Knight Rick Graham and the Rev. Mike Collins presented the award.

Veronica is chairwoman of the St. Jude Hospitality Ministry, working with the church staff to coordinate and host receptions. She is a Eucharistic minister, Mass greeter, belongs to the Giving Tree Ministry and has assisted with the Brown Bag Lunch Program. She has worked Vacation Bible School and Children’s Liturgy of the Word. She has chaperoned St. Jude School field trips, been a Field Day volunteer, helped with Teacher Appreciation Week and Grandparent’s Day.

Chad is a member of the Men’s Club and the Hospitality Ministry and assists Veronica for receptions. They belong to the Family Life Ministry, have worked with the Cub Scouts and work the annual fair. Chad has volunteered with SJS intramural sports teams, has assisted the school by playing guitar for a grade performance on Grandparent’s Day and coaches a baseball team comprised primarily of St. Jude students.

Their son, Ethan, attends St. Jude School, is an altar server, a Mass greeter and has assisted the Hospitality Ministry with reception set-ups and clean-ups. Bill Wilhelm chairs the award committee.

BR’s Robillard receives master’s degree at Rice

Baraynia Robillard, of Baton Rouge, graduated May 17 from Rice University with a Master of Business Administration degree.

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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.