In an effort to encourage people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, Jefferson Beautification Inc. will hold its 23rd annual Arbor Day celebration Jan. 7 at the Oswald–Dubea Arboretum at LaSalle Park, 6500 Airline Drive, Metairie.

Beginning at 1 p.m., tree and bench dedications will be held inside the park.

Trees will be dedicated in honor of JBI past President Anne Favret and Jefferson Parish Councilman Paul Johnston. Also, a pecan tree “for the birds” will be donated by David and Florence Hatch.

Trees will be dedicated in memory of Carla Michelle Belile, Roger Louis Corbeille, George Dubea, Lionel and Jackie Dubea, Raymond Dubea, Valerie Fitzgerald Gaffney and Alton D. Smith.

Benches will be dedicated in memory of Rene Netto and Dr. Christopher Tremel Smith. A special bench will be dedicated and named “A Faithful Walker.”

JBI is a volunteer nonprofit organized in 1990 to provide funding for tree planting and beautification projects on public green spaces in Jefferson Parish and to promote tree planting and beautification through education and public awareness.

Beulah Oswald-Soto is the executive director and acting president of JBI.

For information, call the JBI office at (504) 737-7583 or go to

KBA donates to local groups

The Kenner Business Association recently awarded nearly $4,000 to five nonprofit organizations as part of the business group’s mission to improve quality of life in Kenner and the surrounding community.

The nonprofit organizations are the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, Angels’ Place, Vineyard Church, Jefferson Dollars for Scholars and the Kenner Community Dream Builders.

“In each of their unique ways, these organizations are making our community a better place to live and work,” said Mary Sharon Howland, president of KBA. “Their individual missions are important to our business leadership, and we are proud to play a small role in their success.”

The Metropolitan Center for Women and Children provides individual and group counseling for domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking survivors, and serves as a transitional shelter for battered women and their children.

Angels’ Place assists families of children who are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

Vineyard Church in Kenner provides a variety of ministries to strengthen faith and promote family values.

Jefferson Dollars for Scholars in Metairie is one of the nation’s most successful chapters of Scholarship America, the largest privately funded scholarship organization in the world.

Kenner Community Dream Builders is dedicated to improving the city’s parks and playgrounds.

Garden club to meet

Shady Oaks Garden Club Inc. will start off the New Year with a meeting at the home of Fran Hymel at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8. This meeting’s theme is “Structurally Strong,” and it will include an update on the drainage project in River Ridge from guest speaker Chuck Prewitt.

Co-hostesses will be Evelyn Heinemann, Mollie Frasier, Pat Engel, Jeanne Fabacher, Vivienne Martin and Beulah Oswald. The floral design for the meeting will be a structural design by Cile Whittington, and the horticultural study will be on the goldenrod and will be given by Evie Heinemann. Anne Gauthier will present the butterfly study on the buckeye butterfly.

On Jan. 12, the Community Volunteer Committee, headed by Sylvia Giovingo, will make floral arrangements for the entrance urns at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Later in the month, the Little Shadows Junior Garden Club Committee, co-chaired by Mary Ellen Miller and Rae Morgan, plans to hold an Arbor Day ceremony at Hazel Park–Hilda Knoff Elementary School.

The garden of the month winner for December was awarded to Molly Prokop, president of the club.

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