Parish Lines: St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office offering holiday rides home _lowres

Photo provided by Lauren Faust -- Seventh graders from N.P. Trist and Andrew Jackson middle schools recently participated in a two-day 4-H Challenge Camp at Tickfaw State Park in Springfield. They included, first row, from left, Elena Templet, Alex Rojas, Emily Stout and Hannah Farragut; and second row, Hanna Boehm, Blaize Hingle, Victoria Pecunia, Thomas Plumstead and Carson Borel.

For the 31st consecutive year, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office will offer its free Holiday Ride Home program to prevent drinking and driving.

The program, which runs through Jan. 2, allows residents who have too much to drink during the holiday season to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 to receive a free ride home from a deputy, no questions asked.

“Why should you risk killing or injuring yourself or someone else or being arrested for DWI when we will bring you home in St. Bernard?’’ Sheriff James Pohlmann asked.

A sheriff’s deputy will pick you up and take you to your home in St. Bernard or, if you live outside the parish, you can be taken to a sheriff’s substation where you can make arrangements to be picked up.

Group honors first responders

The Knights of Columbus Archbishop Rummel Council 5747 honored a St. Bernard deputy, firefighter and paramedic at a banquet held Nov. 15 in its council hall on Paris Road in Chalmette.

Detective Dustin Gould, a six-year veteran of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, was named deputy of the year; Capt. Martin Nehlig, a 12-year veteran of the Fire Department, was named firefighter of the year; and Rhonda Serignet, who has been with Acadian Ambulance for eight years, was named paramedic of the year.

Grand Knight Russell Serpas Sr. said the Knights of Columbus gives the awards “to recognize the people who do so much for us.’’

4-H Challenge Camp

Seventh-graders from N.P. Trist and Andrew Jackson middle schools recently participated in the two-day 4-H Challenge Camp held at Tickfaw State Park in Springfield.

Campers included Elena Templet, Alex Rojas, Emily Stout, Hannah Farragut, Hanna Boehm, Blaize Hingle, Victoria Pecunia, Thomas Plumstead and Carson Borel.

The students worked together to solve challenges that build leadership, team work, critical thinking and communication skills. The 4-H members participated in healthy living activities, which provided information on eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise. Campers also went canoeing, explored nature trails, roasted marshmallows and went hiking.

Endowment fund

Meraux residents Robby and Susie Showalter recently established an endowed fund with the St. Bernard Kiwanis Foundation to benefit charitable organizations in St. Bernard Parish.

The Robby and Susie Showalter Family Charity Fund, a $50,000 endowed fund with the St. Bernard Parish Foundation Inc., will assure that $2,500 per year will benefit the community of St. Bernard Parish in perpetuity.

Robby Showalter, a founding member of the St. Bernard Kiwanis Foundation, as well as a 23-year member of the Kiwanis Club of St. Bernard-Arabi, said he is pleased to support a program that will provide an annual monetary benefit to the community.

“It is very heartwarming to be able to establish such an endowed fund to support our parish,” he said.

Susie Showalter, also a Kiwanis member for 15 years, said her family wants to make a difference.

“I have lived my whole life in St. Bernard, and this is just a way to give back to a community that has given so much to me and my family,” she said.

St. Bernard Kiwanis Foundation President William Pope said the organization appreciates the generosity of the Showalters.

“The Showalter family endowment is another example of why we formed the St. Bernard Kiwanis Foundation,” Pope said. “We wanted to give individuals and families an opportunity to make tax-exempt endowments for self-directed donations to charitable organization.”

For information about the Kiwanis Club, call Robby Showalter at (504) 616-7312.

Sports Hall of Fame

The St. Bernard Sports Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for its 2015 male and female amateur athletes of the year.

To nominate someone, contact one of the following board members: Eddie Appel, president, at (504) 301-6135; Jerry Graves, vice president, at (504) 343-4041; Bryan Frichter, treasurer, at (504) 554-2685; or Roy Cortes, board member, at (985) 246-8354.

Résumés are due by Jan. 1 and can be sent by mail to P.O. Box 1602, Chalmette, LA 70044 or email at

In other Sports Hall of Fame news, the group recently hosted its 20th annual golf tournament.

The winning foursome included Scott Gaillot, Zack Gaillot, Chris Cooley and Ross Macaluso.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit St. Bernard Parish athletic organizations.

Nunez Fast Track Program

Nunez Community College will again offer its Industrial Technology Fast Track program in January. Fast Track is designed to help those with an associate degree or higher attain an Associate of Applied Science degree in industrial technology within just 16 weeks.

PTEC is a high-wage, high-skill and high-demand profession with beginning salaries of more than $50,000. Most positions involve working on-site in manufacturing or processing facilities.

Fast Track classes are held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The semester is broken into four mini-sessions of four weeks each. The next Fast Track program will begin Jan. 19. Applications must be received by Friday.

Tuition is about $7,000, plus books and mandatory fees. Payment plans are available.

Space is limited. For information, contact Don Hoffman, director of technology programs, at (504) 278-6305. Fast Track applicants must apply at and also send a cover letter, transcripts and resume to

Mark your calendars

The 201st Battle of New Orleans anniversary events are set for Jan. 6 through Jan. 9. The commemoration events will take place at Chalmette Battlefield, Nunez Community College and Meraux Living History Park.

Kim Gritter writes about people, places and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at