The Northlake-Mandeville Rotary Club recently held its annual President’s Farewell and Installation Banquet at The Lakehouse on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville.

Visiting Rotary officers included District Gov. Brian Hall and Assistant District Gov./Lake Territory Elizabeth Van Sant. Outgoing President Steve Saux was on hand to greet all guests as they ascended the main staircase of the historic restaurant to beautiful sunset views on the large balcony.

The Bob Boettner Award for the new member of the year was awarded to Lauren Hebert Lee. Kathy Fielding Smith was honored with the Rotarian of the Year Award.

Following cocktails on the porch, guests were treated to a wonderful meal of hors d’oeuvres and sumptuous pasta dishes and salad.

New officers for the 2014-15 year include: Bill Allin, president; Doug Gardner, vice president; and Tiffany Anton, secretary.

Members of the advisory board of directors are Larry Burch, Lee, Mike Bradley, Tom Quinn, Ben Motion, Debbie Stuart and Charlie Foy.

More information on the club can be found at www.mandevillerotary.org.

Peace Lutheran answers call of ‘Where Y’at?’

Peace Lutheran Evangelical Church on West Gause Boulevard in Slidell is known for providing volunteers and organizing mission trips to aid those in need.

For the past four years, the mission center on the church grounds has welcomed and charmed local residents evacuated from the south shore, as well.

On the fourth Monday of each month, the group hosts a “Where Y’at?” lunch and bingo celebration. Participants either bring a covered dish, or, every other month, the church provides the meal. Tables are decorated with thematic, seasonal tablecloths and centerpieces each month. The buffet line encourages everyone to get to know their tablemates, and it’s not unusual to hear that someone has a connection with a new friend. Everyone enjoys one another’s company, then the bingo bonanza begins.

Following Katrina, the church became a place of refuge and reunion for displaced residents from St. Bernard Parish.

“Our pastor, Barb Simmers, and Stephanie Smith were very instrumental in trying to get people gathered together again to share stories and build new connections,” coordinator Jeannette Sandelin said. “Not everyone who participates is a member of our church, and we welcome all.”

In fact, the group has incorporated many Catholic traditions into the monthly celebrations, including a St. Joseph’s Altar in the spring.

The church recently held a USO dance to honor veterans, and every three months there is a Senior Social.

“We love that we are able to bring back the Chalmette tradition and get everyone together again, having fun and socializing,” Smith said.

For more information on joining in on the “Where Y’at” luncheon bingo fun, or to find out more about activities scheduled at Peace Lutheran, call the church office at (985) 641-6400.

Missie Arata Noel is the society and features writer for the St. Tammany Advocate. She can be contacted by email at jrnoel@bellsouth.net.