The Jefferson Chamber recently held its third annual Grand Prix at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale. The 30 teams revved up their engines and competed for the No. 1 spot at the 750-acre, $70 million facility south of the TPC Louisiana Golf Course. Each team had five drivers taking turns going as fast as 50 mph around the curvy track. Karts used by children went as fast as 25 mph.

Jefferson Chamber President Todd Murphy said this was a twofold event.

“The success of the Grand Prix is to bring corporations out for team-building exercise, and today we have 30 teams, which is a sellout,” Murphy said. There were about 350 spectators. “It’s a fun event and it brings people to the West Bank, an area we want to grow. It gets people exposed to the community.”

The Grand Prix was devised as a different kind of fundraiser, according to Boomtown Casino General Manager Charlie Frederick.

Together with former Boomtown General Manager Barry Regula, Frederick said, “we came up with the idea of having corporate teams competing against each other on go-carts. The first year, we had 17 teams; now, the third year, we have 30 teams. People like it and it’s a lot of fun.”

Kassi Guerra, of the Postlethwaite & Netterville accounting firm, said she “absolutely” enjoyed the competition. “We have already started planning for next year. Being a part of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce allows us to follow several of P&N’s core values: being united with the community and teamwork.”

The Postlethwaite & Netterville team finished in seventh place.

One recent development at the NOLA Motorsports Park is the announcement that IndyCar racing will come to the venue on undisclosed dates in 2015, in the form of the three-day Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

“We are very excited about the 2015 IndyCar race that will take place here,” said Dr. Laney Chouest, owner of NOLA Motorsports. The state plans to commit $4.5 million to be used for facility and track improvements to ensure that NOLA Motorsports Park meets the standards required for a major IndyCar race.

Tour de Jefferson

The Jefferson Chamber is taking registrations for the Tour de Jefferson family bike ride beginning at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the wave pool at Bayou Segnette State Park, 7777 Westbank Expressway, in Westwego.

Participants can choose from 11-, 37- or 50-mile routes. The registration fee for adults is $30 through Oct. 19, when the cost will rise to $35. The fee for children ages 13 to 17 is $15. Registration includes food, drinks, safety, rest stops, SAG support and an after party.

Send email to tdj@jefferson chamber.org or call (504) 835-3880 for information on how to get involved.

Richie Kernion Memorial Golf Fore Life Tournament

The Richie Kernion Memorial Golf Fore Life Tournament will be held Monday, Oct. 20, at English Turn Golf Club.

The four-person scramble is held annually and benefits Louisiana Right to Life.

Registration opens at 10 a.m., lunch begins at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for noon. An awards presentation and post-tournament reception will be held immediately following the event.

The cost is $125 per golfer and $500 per team, which includes food, beverages and a gift bag. The cost to sponsor a hole is $150. Other sponsorship levels also are available.

The tournament is named for Richie Kernion, a friend to the anti-abortion movement who provided personal help to needy mothers-to-be and children suffering from debilitating illnesses. Shortly before his death, he worked tirelessly in support of Danielle Inn, a home for expectant mothers in Covington.

For information on the tournament or to register a team, visit the website at www.prolifelouisiana.org/golf or call (866) 463-5433.

Sal Serio genealogy program

Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, will lead a series of 14 genealogical seminars for beginners and intermediates at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

All occur from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays during a seven-week period during the fall.

The sessions are designed as introductions to basic genealogical research. They are open to the public and free of charge.

The courses will focus on the following genealogical issues. Some of the courses will be presented by Serio and some will be presented by guest speakers.

  • Introduction to family research and vital records on Sept. 17
  • Cemeteries, obituaries and census records on Sept. 24
  • Immigration records and the Latter-Day Saints and Ancestry websites on Oct. 1
  • Archdiocese records, with guest speaker Jack Belsom, and using libraries for research on Oct. 8
  • German research, with guest speaker Earl Sundmaker, and Italian research on Oct. 15
  • African-American research, with guest speaker Gaynell Brady, and French research, with guest speaker Augusta Elmwood, on Oct. 22.
  • Military research, with guest speaker Shirley Lynch, and a discussion of how genalogy and family research solved a 70-year-old World War II mystery on Oct. 29.

For information regarding this program, contact Serio at (504) 838-1100, ext. 2505, or sserio@jplibrary.net.

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about the people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at ydeshazier@gmail.com or call (504) 367-0905.