CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Taslin Alfonzo, director of marketing and communications for West Jefferson Medical Center

ST. CHARLES BOAT LAUNCH: The West Bank Boat Launch Citizens Advisory Panel is seeking available properties on the west bank of the parish to serve as potential sites for a public boat launch. The committee is seeking property owners interested in donating, selling or long-term leasing their land to St. Charles Parish. Any property owners interested are asked to contact the committee by calling (985) 783-5102 or emailing by Nov. 30.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT SINGERS: Volunteers are invited to sing with the St. Matthew's United Methodist Church choir and the New Orleans Civic Symphony when they present their Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12. Rehearsals are held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the church, 6017 Camphor St., Metairie. The phone number for the church is (504) 888-1155.

SECOND HARVEST COMMUNITY KITCHEN: Demand for after-school meals for children has increased, creating a need for more than 70 additional regular volunteers in the Second Harvest Food Bank Community Kitchen, 700 Edwards Ave., Harahan. The volunteers will help prepare the Kids Cafe meals. Shifts are available Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and from noon to 2:30 p.m. A Friday shift is from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. To volunteer, contact Vanessa Cave-Herazo at or (504) 729-2850.

ST. JOHN OFFICERS OF THE MONTH: Sgt. Matt Woodruff and Deputy Steven Hughes of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office warrants division were honored as officers of the month by the St. John Business Association during the group's meeting Nov. 8 at Petra's Restaurant in LaPlace. They were recognized for their work in arresting 56 people, including 20 wanted on felony charges, in October.

ST. JOHN SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Three officers from the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office are among 26 recent graduates of the the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program conducted at the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Training Facility in Luling. The 18-week program included training in firearms, physical fitness, Louisiana criminal and traffic law, conducting interrogations and investigative techniques. Those certified on Dec. 9 were deputies Keith Duronslet, Katie Evans and Michael Hicks. Evans was valedictorian of the class, with the highest average in academics. 

LOUISIANA FILMMAKING: A romantic drama set at Fort Fisher in Plaquemines Parish was selected for screening at the Austin Indie Festival. "A Night Without Armor" is an independent film from Allen Chadow Films in Gretna, directed by Steven Alexander and written and produced by Chaun Domingue. It can be viewed on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Fandango Now, Google Play and Vudu.

PLAQUEMINES PARISH YOUNG MARINES: Capt. Mark Sauer of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office, was the guest of honor at a ball for the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office Young Marines, held Oct. 14 at the Port Sulphur YMCA. Young Marines Pvt. Nathan Favré was honored as the unit's Young Marine of the year. Young Marines Cpl. Nya Burks was nominated for battalion Young Marine of the year, and received the highest physical fitness award. Young Marine privates Sterling Barthelemy and Skia Barthelemy were promoted to Young Marine private first class. The PPSO Young Marines are accepting applications until Feb. 16 for the class scheduled to commence in the spring. For information contact Deputy Norman Phillips at (504) 934-6884 or

GIRL SCOUTS LOUISIANA EAST: Cynthia Thomas, president of St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans, is recipient of the Outstanding Woman Award from Girl Scouts Louisiana East. The award presentation was at the first annual Girl Scouts Juliette Low Leadership Luncheon, which celebrates outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations that exemplify the legacy of Girl Scouts of the USA’s founder, Juliette Low, on the anniversary of her birth.

WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER: Taslin Alfonzo, director of marketing and communications for West Jefferson Medical Center, recently received the Individual Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America's New Orleans Chapter, one of seven total awards for exceptional work in marketing, advertising and public relations. The other awards included awards of excellence for social media and external relations, and a certificate of merit for integrated marketing. The hospital also received a Pelican Award for radio advertising and a certificate of merit for an advertising campaign. 

SHADES OF PRAISE: The Shades of Praise gospel choir will hold a fundraising concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Nims Fine Arts Center at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, 4301 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. "Celebrate the Child" will include a music performance by Shades of Praise gospel choir, under the direction of Al Bemiss, and guest choirs from Academy of the Sacred Heart. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Children 12 and under get in free For tickets, visit or mail checks to Shades of Praise, P.O. Box 750766, New Orleans.

PROJECTPALOOZA IN LULING: Middle and high school students can get ready for their science and social studies fairs at Projectpalooza workshops to be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 at the West Regional Library of the St. Charles Parish Library, 105 Lakewood Drive, Luling. Students will be able to print, color, cut, glue and decorate their project boards using library craft supplies, including markers, glue, borders, colored paper, scissors and tape. Students can bring their own project boards or purchase one at the library for $2. For information, contact librarian Lauren Pitz at (985) 764-2366 or

"A CHRISTMAS CAROL": The Hampstead Stage Company, based in New Hampshire, will present "A Christmas Carol" at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at the West Regional Library, 105 Lakewood Drive, Luling; and at 6 p.m. Nov. 30 at the East Regional Library, 160 W. Campus Drive, Destrehan. The free performances are best suited for ages 5 and up. For information, contact public relations librarian Lauren Pitz at (985) 764-2366 or

 RIVER REGION BALLET: Claire Elaine Girardot, daughter of Heidi and Dave Girardot of Destrehan, will perform the role of Clara in the River Region Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker," which will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 3 in the auditorium at Destrehan High School, 1 Wildcat Lane. Tickets are $20 at There will also be a children's matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, with tickets available for $15. Girardot, 15, is a student at Mount Carmel Academy and is studying dance at River Region School of Dance under the direction of Heidi Adams.

LaPLACE GIRL SCOUTS: Through Dec. 16, members of Girl Scout troops 20047 and 20772 of LaPlace are collecting pajamas and teddy bears for children in the Court-Appointed Special Advocate program in St. John the Baptist Parish. Their goal is to collect gifts for 100 children. Donations drop-offs in LaPlace are at the First National Bank USA, 377 Belle Terre Blvd.; Riverside Academy, 322 Railroad Ave.; and Dunkin Donuts, 1334 W. Airline Highway. For information or donation pick-ups, email

BEIGNET FEST: A Holiday Artists' Village has been added to the rescheduled Beignet Fest, which will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Festival Grounds at New Orleans City Park. Performers will include the Brass-A-Holics, the John "Papa" Gros Band, the One Love Brass Band and the Hill Country Hounds. A map and full menu of beignet dishes can be found at Proceeds from food and beverage sales benefit the Tres Doux Foundation, which makes grants to local autism programs.

MEETING THE PRESS: Betsy Fischer Martin and Jonathan Martin will be the featured speakers when the Bureau of Governmental Research holds its annual lunch at noon Thursday, Dec. 7, in the Grand Ballroom of the New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal St. The theme will be "Meeting the Press in an Era of Fake News, Partisan Politics and High-Stakes Elections." Betsy Martin is an executive in residence at American University and Emmy-winning former producer of "Meet the Press." Jonathan Martin is the national political correspondent for The New York Times and former National Review reporter. The moderator will be Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of The Aspen Institute. For tickets, $125, contact Amanda Kaiser, communications and development manager, at (504) 525.4152, ext. 108, or

NEW ORLEANS MISSION: Novelist Ron Hall, author of "Same Kind of Different as Me," will offer remarks during the "Changing the Face of Homelessness" gala benefiting the New Orleans Mission from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave. There will also be music from Christian pop artist Jonny Diaz. Tickets are $150 at For sponsorship information, contact Gary Crosby at (504) 287-1814 or

AARP SMART DRIVER CLASS: An AARP Smart Driver class will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Ochsner/Elmwood Fitness Center, 1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan. Those completing the course will receive a certificate that may qualify them for a car insurance discount. The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers. To register, call (504) 828-3962.