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Orchid Society hears from Florida expert

Bill Thoms spoke on the culture of the largest genus of orchids, Bulbophyllums, Oct. 21 to the Baton Rouge Orchid Society.

Thoms has won numerous awards for orchid culture. He and his wife, Doris Dukes, have grown orchids in central Florida for more than 40 years. They are accredited orchid judges.

Membership is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about growing orchids in the unique climate of the Baton Rouge area. For information, visit batonrougeorchidsociety.com.

Food Incubator topic for Reflections meeting

Gaye Sandoz spoke about the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator Program to the Burden Horticulture Society’s “Reflections in the Garden” Nov. 2.

Sandoz showed slides about the history and development of the program, which helps Louisiana entrepreneurs develop and market food products by providing a sterile kitchen, food science consultation and packaging and labeling. For more information, visit nfs.lsu.edu/outreach/incubator.htm.

“Reflections in the Garden” is a monthly lunch program about horticulture and gardening. Charlie Ruffolo, with the Louisiana Culinary Institute, will speak about holiday cuisine at noon Monday, Dec. 7, at the LSU AgCenter Burden Conference Center, 4560 Essen Lane. For information, visit burdenhorticulturesociety.com.

Cortana Kiwanis hears African refugee’s story

Dauda Sesay spoke to the Cortana Kiwanis Club Nov. 5 about coming to the United States as a refugee from Sierra Leone.

Sesay, the club’s newest member, came to the U.S. with the aid of Catholic Charities. He was 16 years old and in school when the civil war came to his town. He was wounded and lost many of his family and friends.

He woke up in a hospital and, through a U.N. program, was sent to America for medical treatment. He didn’t know if any of his family was living, later learning that some survived. He went to Baton Rouge Community College and now works at Dow Chemical, is married and raising a family.

The Cortana Kiwanis Club meets at 7:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 3332 S. Sherwood Blvd. Contact Lowell Tilley, Lowelltilley@gmail.com, (225) 272-6744, for information.

Stirling DAR gathers at War Veterans Home

The Alexander Stirling Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met Nov. 11, Veterans Day, at the Louisiana War Veterans Home in Jackson. Members passed out 140 certificates of appreciation to veterans who live at the home, gave each a dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies and also distributed a poem of appreciation and chocolate.

Five members attended the LSDAR Fall Board Meeting Nov. 14 in Vidalia. Attending were Regent Lauren Pourciau, State Librarian Nancy Bickham, State Membership Chairman Anne Klein, Chapter Outstanding Junior Member Samantha Perritt and Beth Dawson, State DAR Service to Veterans chairman. Pourciau is state chairman for junior members and in charge of the Junior Shop.

Red Stick Kiwanis hears state treasurer

State Treasurer John Kennedy spoke to the Red Stick Kiwanis Club Nov. 13 at Lake Sherwood Village.

He was elected to his fifth term as treasurer in October. He oversees the state’s $7 billion investment portfolios, local and state bond issues and returns millions of dollars in unclaimed property each year. A Madisonville resident, he also is an adjunct professor at LSU Law School and is a substitute teacher for public schools.

He said raising taxes isn’t necessarily the answer to the state’s budget problems but recommends doing away with some of the costly consultants on the state’s payroll. He said Medicaid needs to be screened more carefully.

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.