Hope House CEO talks about human trafficking

Hope House President and CEO George Mills talked about awareness and activism in the face of human trafficking, sometimes called sex slavery, in Baton Rouge, on Aug. 5 at the annual pie-and-ice-cream social sponsored by Presbyterian Women at Broadmoor Presbyterian Fellowship Hall.

The I-10 and I-12 corridors make the Capital City a hub for human trafficking, Mills said, urging anyone who suspects such activities to call the police. He said law enforcement and Homeland Security are working hard to combat the crime.

Before his presentation, Mills outlined the work of the nonprofit Hope House, which he said is the only faith-based rehabilitation center for victims of human trafficking in the state. Located in a rural setting, chosen for safety and healing, the facility became a reality in October 2013 after a fundraising campaign begun in 2007.

“We offer the women 18 and over a chance to renew their lives as we handle the physical, mental and spiritual needs, as well as life skills,” Mills said. “There is a reason we are called Hope House.”

For more information about Hope House, call (225) 290-7598.

Bonsai societies hold expo in Baton Rouge

The Louisiana Association of Bonsai Societies held its annual Louisiana Bonsai Expo, “Day of Bonsai,” on Saturday, July 25.

The event, hosted by the Louisiana Bonsai Society in Baton Rouge, included a display of nine bonsai specimen competing for the Vaughn Banting Award for design excellence, a bonsai lecture and demonstration, a series of talks about bonsai, a raffle of the bonsai used in the demo and door prizes.

Boyd Snellgrove, president of the Bonsai Society of Acadiana, won the award. He also did a presentation on how to develop bougainvillea bonsai.

The conference started with a bonsai lecture/demo conducted by Lowell Tilley and Robert Reed. They styled a juniper into an informal upright bonsai to demonstrate how plant material from a local nursery can be used to create a bonsai. George Kennedy-Stone won the raffle for the demo bonsai.

Reed and Kirk Vaughn, of the Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society, gave a short presentation about the history of the New Orleans club and the importance of belonging to a bonsai club. That group will be hosting the expo next year.

Zach Smith, a member of the Louisiana Bonsai Society, did a presentation on collecting water elms and other native bonsai material. He had a very unusual water elm in the expo display, and is the owner and operator of Bonsai South.

Dawn Koetting did a slide presentation of bonsai in the Fourth U.S. National Bonsai Exposition.

Both Koetting and Snellgrove had bonsai accepted for the display.

Koetting is a member of the Louisiana Bonsai Society, the Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society, Gulf Coast Bonsai Foundation and is a co-leader for the Houma — Thibodaux bonsai study group.

The program closed by drawing tickets for door prizes donated by various bonsai club members.

LABS is comprised of five bonsai clubs — Louisiana Bonsai Society, Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society, Bonsai Society of Acadiana, Lake Charles Bonsai Society and Shreveport Bonsai Society. More than 35 people attended the expo.

Genealogical group plans fall program

Plans for the second annual Folklife Fellow-bration were discussed when the Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society Board of Trustees met Aug. 8.

The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Louisiana State Archives. The half-day program will celebrate the Italian experience in south Louisiana and feature keynote speakers and exhibits. The program is free and open to the public.

At the meeting, Paul McKeough was named to the Board of Trustees for the society.

For information on the society or the fall program, contact yday1@bellsouth.net

Iota Master chapter holds summer social

Members of the Iota Master chapter of Beta Sigma Phi gathered July 18 for their summer social at the home of Grace and Bob Burley.

In observance of National Hot Dog Day, the 20 people attending celebrated with hot dogs and all the trimmings.

Pat Buturla gave a short program on the way people across the U.S. garnish their hot dogs. Social Committee members Cheryl Foster, Jane Haupt, Pat Tennyson, Grace Burley and Buturla provided the food for the event.

Buturla also received a scrapbook honoring her for her service to the chapter during the last sorority year.

The chapter is making plans for Beginning Day, which will be held on Aug. 27 at the home Foster, club president.

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.