Around Zachary for June 9, 2016 _lowres

Stacy Gill

I attended three funerals last week. Not to be too depressing, but when faced with your own mortality or the mortality of others, the thought really propels you into a state of appreciation for life and living each day to its fullest.

Though it can be difficult if not impossible to change our habits or routines overnight, the thought of “the end” has a way of making us prioritize the really important people and things in our lives instead of sweating the small stuff, getting mad or spending time doing something you really dislike as opposed to something you love or that you haven’t done in a while.

I mean, do you really want to be folding clothes knowing it might be your last day on the planet instead of calling your loved ones and telling them you’re thinking of them? Or what about writing a letter to an old friend, enjoying a fabulous meal with your family instead of spending mind-numbing time on social media or watching television?

Personally, I’d rather be outside, not inside; running, skipping or riding, not standing in line; laughing, not arguing or crying; and loving, not hating. (I really hate to use the hate word.)

I’m not saying we should all go out, go nuts and to heck with the consequences, but prioritizing certain aspects of our lives, if only for today, might be worth paying a few things forward.

So, here’s to today, not next week or next month. Today.

How will you spend it?

In the meantime, around Zachary ...

Change of Heart health fair

In recognition of February’s National Heart Month, Fitness Design for Women is teaming up with Councilwoman Laura O’Brien, the American Heart Association, Self magazine and Change of Heart to educate the women of Zachary about heart disease.

On Feb. 24, all classes at Fitness Design for Women will be free for nonmembers. Also, residents are invited to stop by Zachary City Hall’s Council Chambers at 4700 Main St. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a light lunch, health screenings, blood pressure and weight checks as well as information about health risk factors.

The event is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association and Self’s Change of Heart movement. A $20 donation is encouraged, and in return, Change of Heart will make a $5 contribution from each $20 donated to the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement to support educational programs to increase women’s awareness about their risk of heart disease and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.

Participants will receive a “goody” bag including a water bottle, Go Red pin, magnets and other free prizes along with a one-year subscription to Self magazine.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing approximately 295,000 women each year. That’s one in every four female deaths, and it’s why I urge you to know your risk factors,” O’Brien said.

For information, call Fitness Design at (225) 654-9565.

ZAG meeting

The next meeting of the Zachary Artists Guild will begin at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Zachary Chamber of Commerce, 4633 Main St.

Members should plan to bring artwork for a constructive critique. For questions, call Pam Kaster at (225) 921-3431.

Tuesdays at The Pointe

The first in a three-part concert series, Tuesdays at the Pointe, begins at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Pointe at Americana inside the Americana development off La. 64.

Hosted by the Regional Arts Council of Zachary, the first concert will feature nine classical musicians including pianist Henry Jones of Southeastern University’s College of Music. Jones will serve as accompanist and perform as a soloist.

The concert series showcases The Pointe at Americana, the newest events venue in Zachary. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. Dress is business casual.

For information, visit

Newcomers meet

The Zachary Newcomers Book Club will meet at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Zachary Library, 1900 Church St., in the meeting room.

February’s book selection is “The Known World” by Edward P. Jones. Copies are available for check out at the library.

For information, contact Debra Kula at

The Newcomers Club will meet for coffee at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 26 at St. Paul’s Study, 4826 Main St. Call (225) 570-8966 for information.

Concealed permit class

The Baton Rouge Police Department is offering a concealed handgun permit class from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Feb. 28.

The class will be held at the BRPD Pistol Range, 999 W. Irene Road, Zachary.

BRPD firearm instructors will teach the course that consists of handgun nomenclature and safe handling procedures of a revolver and semi-automatic pistol, ammunition knowledge, fundamentals of pistol shooting, handgun positions and the use of deadly force and conflict resolution.

The class is intended for those who plan to apply for a Louisiana Concealed Carry Permit or those who own firearms and want to learn basic handgun safety.

The class is open to anyone aged 21 and older. Participants must provide their own handgun and ammunition, and cost to attend is $100.

Class size is limited to 50 people per session; participants are urged to register early by calling the BRPD Range at (225) 389-8275.

Send your news or Around Zachary events to Stacy Gill at or call (225) 993-0066.