Friendship Force holds monthly board meeting

Friendship Force of Baton Rouge held its monthly board meeting March 11 at the Jones Creek Library.

President Keith Corkern reported on the Feb. 21 game day. He reminded members of the Friendship Force Southwest Regional Conference to be held March 27-28 in Houston.

Trudy Ivy said nine people will go on the April trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. Thornton Cofield handed out information on the April visit from New Zealand. Lynn Robbins discussed the September visit to Canada. Trudy Ivy volunteered to be Hospitality Committee chair.

For information about Friendship Force, email

Romero, Stein speak to Civic Associations

Eric Romero, city-parish information service director, and Mary Stein, EBR assistant library director, spoke to the Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations on March 12.

Romero’s topics included the city’s open data website, redesign of the 311 calling system with development of mobile device apps, the launch of geographic information interactive maps and public engagement through social media and digital platforms. He said Baton Rouge is one of 47 U.S. cities or counties to have this system to provide information to the public, including salaries, police and fire incidents and adjudicated property. The website is

Stein, assisted by Andrew Tadman, library coordinator of reference and computer services, spoke about “City Key” which provides access to city property records to find out who owns lots in order to report blighted property, collect homeowner’s dues or file liens. The website is

The federation meets the second Thursday of each month at the BREC Tennis Center, 7505 Independence Blvd. The next meeting is April 9. Single-family homeowner associations are invited to join. Contact President Nancy Curry, (225) 925-1674.

Newcomers Encore installs new officers

The Newcomers Encore Club of Baton Rouge installed officers March 12 at Juban’s Restaurant: President Pam Strickland, First Vice President Nancy Beaver, Second Vice President Mary Mitchum, Recording Secretary Susie Gremillion, Corresponding Secretary Linda Ferris, Treasurer Dolores McCain and Assistant Treasurer Linda Bidwell. Outgoing president Sherry Byers presided over the installation.

Chairpersons were recognized: Connie Thomas and Carolyn Rizzuto, accommodations; Sandy Brechtel, newsletter; Karen Clausi, mailings; Sheree Murray and Ann Frazier, door prizes; Carolyn Friedy, historian; Margot Kiefhuss, hospitality; Gayle Ramsey, outside activities; Monica Bishara, publicity; Mary Jane Clark, reservations; Dee Grant, Linda Wright and Margot Kiehfuss, service basket; Karen Sellers, social; Maxine Gossom, 50/50; and Grace Hall, member at large.

The Newcomers Encore Club, formed in 1974, is involved in area philanthropic, general interest and social events. Its website is

McMains directer gets scholarship from LANO

Renee Craft, executive director of McMains Children’s Developmental Center in Baton Rouge, is the first recipient of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations’ Southwest Airlines Scholarship.

LANO and Southwest Airlines offer LANO members a limited number of airline ticket scholarships for professional development opportunities. Craft was chosen to receive round trip airfare to the 2015 United Cerebral Palsy Annual Conference based on her application and her organization’s work.

The McMains Children’s Developmental Center’s mission is to identify and treat children with cerebral palsy, developmental delays and learning disabilities so they can reach their potential and function as independently as possible. The center helps children in the Baton Rouge area and surrounding 12 parishes.

For information on LANO’s Southwest Airlines scholarship, visit

Iota Master elects new slate of officers

Iota Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi elected officers on March 12: President Cheryl Foster, Vice President Claudette Hill, Treasurer Pat Tennyson, Recording Secretary Pat Buturla, Corresponding Secretary Virginia Wagner, City Council Representative Essie Mongeau and Extension Officer Darlene Poindexter.

Tennyson was hostess, and Grace Burley was co-hostess. The meeting had a St. Patrick’s Day theme.

The chapter donated clothes to the Parkview Baptist Church clothes closet. Easter baskets and candy were collected for the children who go to St. Vincent De Paul at Easter.

Foster spoke about the Vermillionville Healer Garden. Research is being done there on using plants native to Louisiana for medicinal purposes.

Lane HEROs donate to Heart Association

Members of Lane Regional Medical Center’s HERO Club (Hospital Employees Reaching Out) have donated $3,000 to the American Heart Association. Regional Heart Walk director Lee Rayner and heart survivor Julianne Caperton, 7, joined in the celebration to accept the donation.

More than 300 employees contribute to the HERO Club to raise funds for local organizations, including American Heart, American Cancer, March of Dimes and Susan G. Komen. The club also supports projects at Lane, such as providing life-saving cancer treatments at the Radiation Oncology Center and helping employees in times of need with the Employee Benevolence Fund.

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.