Photo provided by Alzheimers Association Louisiana ChapterÑBrian Berrigan is the new executive director of the AlzheimerÕs Association Louisiana Chapter in Metairie.

The second annual “Rhythm on the Route — Metairie’s Battle of the Bands” has been announced by the Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Violet Peters, chief executive officer and president of the JCVB, said the program is an effort to help Metairie Mardi Gras krewes “attract larger and more notable marching bands.”

“The contest will be judged by professional marching band directors and musicians on musical performance, marching performance and general effect” during parades, Peters said. “The top prize for each parade is $3,000, with second and third awards of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.”

The contest is open to all organized bands consisting exclusively of high school and middle school students, Peters added.

For information, call the JCVB at (504) 731-7083 or go to the website

New director named

The Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter, 3445 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 902, Metairie, has appointed Brian Berrigan its new executive director.

Berrigan has 25 years of experience working in fundraising at such nonprofit organizations as the Ochsner Health System Neuroscience Institute, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Louisiana Chapter, and the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province.

“The services of our chapter will continue to grow to meet the needs of the residents of Louisiana,” Berrigan said. “We are introducing our early-stage support groups in new areas and are excited to continue to expand our program and education offerings.

“The support groups are designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers and people in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.”

Timothy Kemery will lead the group, which meets from noon to 1:30 p.m. the first and third Mondays of the month at the Rosa Keller Library and Community Center, 4300 S. Broad St., New Orleans.

For information about the group, send email to or call (504) 648-4084.

Garden club to meet

The Shady Oaks Garden Club will have its Mardi Gras meeting at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 at the home of Anne Gauthier.

The theme of the month is “Enhancing Our Neighborhood,” and the speaker, Dan Johnson, a flower show judge and owner of Greenman Dan Landscape of Metairie, will give a PowerPoint presentation and lecture.

Co-hostesses for the month are JoAnn Christopher, Judy Derbes, Trisha Cook, Glenda Evans, Caroline Frederic and Pat Prewitt.

The month’s floral design is a creative mass design by Mary Ellen Miller. Pat Engel will give the horticultural study about pentas. And the butterfly study on the pearl crescent will be by Marian Gibbs.

The January garden of the month winner was Myrna Meyer, and the community garden of the month winners were Suzzette and Ted Prechter.

AARP class

A new smart-driver class will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 7 at East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Blvd., Metairie.

The class is open to everyone 50 and older.

Those completing the class will receive a certificate that may qualify them for a discount from their automobile insurer good for up to three years.

The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for others.

For information and to register, call Dr. Carl Drichta at (504) 302-1712.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events on the east bank of Jefferson Parish. She can be reached at or by calling (504) 430-8053.