Links hosts mock trial for Rosebuds Club

The Baton Rouge Chapter of the Links hosted a mock trial reading for their Rosebuds Club on April 17 in Judge Lisa Woodruff-White’s courtroom.

Members were given a part to play in a mock criminal trial. Parts included prosecutors, defense attorneys, the defendant, witnesses, jury members, the bailiff and the judge. Local attorneys donated time to assist the students. Jury members found the defendant not guilty of murder and theft.

The Rosebuds Club is a small group of fifth-grade girls at Buchanan Elementary School who participate in activities sponsored by the chapter, which adopted the school.

La. Bonsai Society holds spring show

The Louisiana Bonsai Society held its Spring Bonsai Show April 18-19 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center.

Howard Merrill coordinated the show. The club sold bonsai to support the club and had a bonsai lecture each day. The show exhibited a large assortment of club members’ bonsai.

Lowell Tilley showed how larger, more complex bonsai are done in stages over years of development. He bought material from a local nursery four years ago, potted it, wired it to set the initial design and grew it for three years. He showed how to create deadwood to make it look older.

Robert Reed showed how to start small juniper bonsai. He started with a juniper in a nursery growing pot, pruned and wired the branches, then trimmed the roots and put it in a bonsai pot to create a small bonsai.

Merrill will lead a program about air layer rooting techniques on May 19. LBS meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. For information, call Tilley, (225) 272-6744 or email

Louisiana Lions hold 92nd State Convention

Louisiana Lions held their 92nd State Convention April 24-26 at the Holiday Inn South in Baton Rouge.

Lions Club International Past President Clement Kusiak, from Baltimore, Maryland, reported on Lions Clubs International programs and projects.

Mayor Kip Holden welcomed attendees and presented a proclamation naming Kusiak honorary Baton Rouge mayor-president. State Archivist Florent Hardy and Miss Louisiana 2014 Lacey Sanchez also spoke.

A memorial service was held to honor Lions who died since the previous year’s convention.

Quartararo receives Kiwanis Club honor

Philip Quartararo, a charter member of the Baton Rouge Early Risers Kiwanis Club and retired professor at Southern University, received the 2015 Ralph L.W. Schmidt Outstanding Kiwanian Award from the LSU Kiwanis Club April 28 at the Club at Union Square (LSU Faculty Club).

The award, which represents Divisions 8A and 8B of the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District, was presented by Selection Committee Chairman Olin K. Dart Jr. The LSU club established the award four years ago in memory of Schmidt, a charter LSU club member.

Quartararo was awarded life membership in Kiwanis International in 1992 and has served as club president and Division 8B lieutenant governor.

Dream Day conducts annual Fishin’ Galore

The Dream Day Foundation held its annual event for St. Jude patients and their families, the 2015 Fishin’ Galore, on May 2 in Clinton.

There were 129 patients, over 900 family members and 500 volunteers participating.

Highlights included motorcycle rides by local law enforcement, ATV rides, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, games, a clown, guests from “Swamp People” and “Swamp Pawn,” demonstrations from animal trainers and law enforcement, and fishing. Hannah Savoy, 24, a St. Jude patient survivor from St. Amant, caught the biggest fish, a bass weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces.

Nicole de la Fuente of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Kappa Gamma as a group received the Darian Chustz Award for outstanding 2014 volunteer during the closing ceremony. They held fundraisers contributing $116,873 as well as volunteering at the Fishin’ Galore event.

Dream Day Foundation is a local non-profit organization that raises funds for patients of St. Jude. Contact Jo Ann Slaydon, (225) 771-9438 or, for information.

CASA receives $5,000 grant from State Fair

The Capital Area CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Association has received a $5,000 grant from the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation’s Worthy Cause Program. The grant will fund training for new CASA volunteers.

CASA volunteers advocate for abused and neglected youth living in foster care to help them reach safe, permanent homes.

The Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation’s Worthy Cause Program mission is to “promote educational, cultural and other opportunities for children and young people in the greater Baton Rouge area who have demonstrated achievement or who may be in need.”

To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, call (225) 379-8598, email or visit

BRMHS student named Presidential Scholar

Celeste Runnels, who attends Baton Rouge Magnet High School, was named a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar on May 4 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Runnels is one of 141 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments June 21-23 in Washington, D.C.

The teacher chosen for recognition by Runnels was Rikki Willis, of Baton Rouge Magnet High School.

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.