Paula Dawson received the 2019 Junior Achievement Karl Flemke Pioneer Achievement Award at the Junior Achievement USA National Leadership Conference on July 18 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The award is given to first-time J.A. presidents who have demonstrated outstanding contributions and achievements to the organization. The award is named after Karl Flemke, president of Junior Achievement from 1982 until his death in 1994.

“Winning this award is a tremendous honor, but it really represents the hard work of the staff and board of directors of Junior Achievement Greater Baton Rouge and Acadiana,” Dawson said. “Our volunteers and educators are the backbone to this amazing organization. Together, we served over 16,500 students in 2018-19, empowering young people to own their future economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic choices.”

Junior Achievement of Greater Baton Rouge and Acadiana saw a 16% increase this year in student reach of traditional programs into both existing and brand-new territories as a result of expanding fundraising efforts.

Additionally, J.A. Baton Rouge and Acadiana earned the Five Star award for the second year in a row. The award recognizes staff and boards of Junior Achievement areas that meet national standards in operational efficiency and strong representation of the brand.

Pond Society celebrates 26th anniversary

The Deep South Koi and Pond Society celebrated the 26th anniversary of its founding with a birthday barbecue on June 22 at Gerald and Janis Bonds' home. Those attending enjoyed the hosts' pond, koi and gardens.

Members discussed details of the society's Sept. 22 Tour of Ponds.

The society meets on the fourth Sunday of each month except November at various locations. It is open to anyone who is interested in learning about ponds, koi and goldfish and water plants. For information, leave a message at (225) 383-3554 or visit

Outstanding Mature Girlz visit 19th JDC

Judge Don Johnson, of the 19th Judicial District Court, hosted the Outstanding Mature Girlz organization on July 10 in his courtroom.

OMG, which teaches leadership skills, life skills and values, got to see what takes place in the courtroom and had the opportunity to ask Johnson questions about pursuing a career in law and being leaders in their respective communities. Johnson spoke about the importance of getting an education and how learning is lifelong, as his goal is to receive 10 degrees.

Anders speaks to Red Stick Kiwanis

Advocate columnist Smiley Anders spoke when the ​Red Stick Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge​ marked the 60th anniversary of its charter on July 19 at Lake Sherwood Village.

Anders, who began writing his column in 1979, offered examples of the homespun humor enjoyed by local and regional readers, calling his daily column “a collection of silly stuff, jokes and interesting stories from my reader-contributors.”

“The massive volume of goodwill given to others in our city and region, people instantly stopping what they are doing to help others in need or distress” are the kind of items Anders most enjoys including in his daily column, he told the group.

“So many nameless heroes among us selflessly help when cars break down, tires go flat and purses get stolen. They do good deeds because it’s the right thing to do,” Anders said.

At 81, the Natchez, Mississippi, native, and 1959 journalism graduate of LSU said he plans to continue writing his column for as long as he’s able.

Gerard Ruth​, a charter member, briefly discussed the club’s anniversary and raffled off a flower arrangement and a floral painting.

Nu Gamma Omega holds youth fashion camp

Nu Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority ended its Summer Youth Fashion Design Camp with a fashion show on July 19. Participants presented their creations they worked on during the week.

The event was held in partnership with the Apparel and Merchandising and Textiles Program of the Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. Those attending made blankets out of T-shirts and gave presentations on their inspiration for the T-shirts. They also made dresses out of newspaper to display their design talents.

Cox Communications donated five Chromebooks, which were presented to participants of the camp based on their completed work.

LBS holds Louisiana Day of Bonsai

The Louisiana Bonsai Society held its annual Louisiana Day of Bonsai on July 20 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center.

Bonsai artist Brussel Martin, owner of Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery in Olive Branch, Mississippi, demonstrated trident maple tree bonsai forest planting and styling Shimpaku junipers. The day also included a bring-your-own-tree workshop by Martin, a silent auction, a raffle of the demo trees and a lunch-and-learn program on maples native to Louisiana by Charles Canfield, of the Shreveport Bonsai Society.

A blooming water jasmine from the collection of Boyd Snellgrove, a member of Bonsai Society of Acadiana, won the Vaughn Banting Award for the best bonsai tree.

GFWC holds summer workshop

The General Federation of Women's Clubs in Louisiana held its summer workshop on July 20 at Debbie Harris' home in Baton Rouge.

Members from six clubs across the state attended. Lucinda Martinez, of Thibodaux, is state president. Members made no-sew blankets to be donated to the Woman's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and visited Debbie's Wildlife Babies Sanctuary, where abandoned young wildlife is cared for and returned to the wild.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.

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