Growing begonias topic for ‘Reflections’ event

Mark D. Mese showed slides of different types of begonias and how to grow them in Louisiana for the Burden Horticulture Society “Reflections in the Garden” program on June 6.

He said direct sunlight and poor drainage will kill most begonias in Louisiana. They like very loose, well-draining growing medium, high humidity, and shade. He explained techniques for propagating begonias.

“Reflections in the Garden” is a monthly lunch program about horticulture and gardening. Peggy Coates, director of Hilltop Arboretum, will speak at noon Monday, July 11, at the LSU AgCenter Burden Conference Center, 4560 Essen Lane. For information about BHS, visit

School volunteer effort outlined for Altrusa

The Altrusa Club of Baton Rouge met on June 20 at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant.

Diane Bezdek, service chair, reported on volunteer activities Altrusa has provided at the Dufrocq School, including frozen snacks being provided to students June 17 and 24. Bezdek said 81 students are enrolled in the camp, which provides educational sessions and field trip and athletic activities. Snacks were provided by Janie Starks, Carolyn Robinson, Jackie Robbins and Bezdek.

Robbins volunteered to take the “Free Little Library” home to paint it. It will be installed in the front of the school and will hold books for the students and neighborhood children to take home.

Gerry Malone said more than 150 books were delivered to Dufrocq School for its library and that 500 books were ready to be distributed to students who qualify for the Uniform for Kids program. Jo Ann Morgan and Bezdek are responsible for delivering magazines to the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room. Donations are sought, especially large print, children’s magazines and woodworking and mechanics for men.

Marti Didier said Natalie Cole will continue to support the essay contest for Black History Month, awarding gift cards to the winners, in honor of longtime member Mary Eleanor Cole, who died in July 2015.

For information on Altrusa, contact Lynn Nettles, (225) 753-9307, or Didier, (225) 939-0460.

LPB executives honored for supporting veterans

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 177 presented LPB President Beth Courtney and LPB Senior Producer Kevin Gautreaux with Purple Heart Proud Supporter Pins on June 22.

The pins are bestowed by Purple Heart recipients to other veterans or civilians who have shown ongoing commitment to serving veterans’ needs. Former 1st Lt. Robert L. Schilling and retired 1st Sgt. Roosevelt B. Gipson Sr., both Vietnam veterans, made the presentation and said that it acknowledges LPB’s continuing work to make the public aware of issues that veterans face.

LPB is one of 23 public media stations across the country participating in the public media campaign, Veterans Coming Home (#vetscominghome). The May episode of LPB’s “Louisiana Public Square” was devoted to challenges and opportunities Louisiana veterans face after their active service.

Walmart shoppers give $53,800 to Food Bank

Baton Rouge residents generated more than $53,800 for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to help fight hunger in its 11-parish service area through Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change,” Walmart announced June 24.

The campaign encouraged people nationally to take action against hunger and help families in need through online and in-store purchases and donations. Nationwide, the campaign raised more than $17.4 million to support the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks.

In the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s service area, more than 137,000 people face hunger.

Carvin selected to join Phi Sigma Theta at LSU

LSU student Ryan Carvin has been selected to Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society. He is the son of Tara and Glenn Carvin, of New Orleans. Phi Sigma Theta recognizes academic achievement in undergraduates.

Perkins named finalist for Pre-Teen Louisiana

Sydney Renee Perkins, daughter of Reginald and Natasha Perkins, of Independence, was selected as a finalist in the Pre-Teen Louisiana Scholarship and Recognition Program July 1-3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Pre-Teen Louisiana is an invitation-only event for girls ages 7-12 based on academic records, awards and honors and participation in outside activities.

Finalists were evaluated on academic achievement, volunteer service, school honors and activities, development of personal skills, general knowledge, communicative ability and on-stage acknowledgement of accomplishments.

Pre-Teen Louisiana awarded more than $5,000 in educational bonds and awards.

Walker competing in state preteen pageant

Alaina Lakera Walker, National American Miss Baton Rouge PreTeen, is competing for the title of National American Miss Louisiana at the state pageant at the Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge Hotel.

National American Miss pageants have five age divisions for girls ages 4-18. Alaina, 12, is in the PreTeen age division. The pageant winner will receive a cash award, crown and banner, and will compete in the National Pageant in California in November.

Alaina’s activities include reading, art, dancing and volunteering. Her platform, The Military Binder, supports troops through art therapy. She attends Iberville Math, Science & Arts Academy West in Plaquemine and is a 2016 National History Day Regional winner as well as a Duke TIP scholar and Starship Scholar at her school.

National American Miss pageants celebrate America’s future leaders and equipping them with life-long skills. Each year the pageant awards $1.5 million in cash, scholarships and other prizes. Emphasis is on the developing self confidence, learning good sportsmanship and setting and achieving personal goals.

Redemptorist ’66 class to hold 50-year reunion

The Redemptorist High School Class of 1966 will hold a 50-year reunion Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Grande Pavilion in Gonzales. Class members who have not been contacted may e-mail Reba,

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.

Follow George Morris on Twitter, @GWMorris.