Danna Stone Spayde received the Orchid Digest Diamond Award of Excellence for her 30 years of service at the Baton Rouge Orchid Society's awards night on Jan. 16.

President Wesley Matthews and Hospitality Chairperson Nancy Morrison received awards of appreciation from the American Orchid Society. Matthews' award was for his chairmanship of the society’s 2018 show. Morrison was recognized for the refreshments she prepares for the annual shows and monthly meetings.

At the next meeting of the society at 7 p.m. Feb. 20, Fred Clarke, owner of Sunset Valley Orchids in California, will lead a webinar on growing Catasetum orchids. At 6:30, members will conduct a free clinic where plants can be brought for diagnosis of problems and cultural advice. Meetings are held at the Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane.

The Green Growers group will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at 425 Nelson Drive. It meets on the second Wednesday of the month.

At the 10 a.m. Feb. 25 meeting of Orchids for Seniors, Melinda Winans will present a program on edible flowers. The group meets at Independence Park, 7500 Independence Blvd. 

All meetings are open to anyone interested in learning more about orchid culture in the Baton Rouge-area's unique climate. Visit batonrougeorchidsociety.com for information and to subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Holloway speaks to Canary Islanders

Charles Holloway, professor of world languages at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, presented his discoveries of the dying Brulée Spanish dialect of Ascension Parish to the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana at its Feb. 2 meeting at the East Baton Rouge Parish Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library.

The language can be traced back to the Canary Islander (Isleños) settlers of 1778.

All meetings of the society are open to the public. Information about it can be found at canaryislanders.org or email the president of the group at president@canaryislanders.org.

Suburban Reviewers hear Abadie

Michael T. Abadie, a chaplain for motorcyclists, author, musician and business owner, spoke to the Suburban Reviewers Book Club Feb. 6 at Cafe Americain Restaurant in Denham Springs.

Abadie has published two books, "Turning on to the God Frequency” and “Shiny Side Up: Motivating Motorcycle Messages." Both are available on Amazon. “Turning on to the God Frequency” asks the reader to consider that the Almighty God is far more understanding of human flaws than he may have previously been given credit for, Abadie said. He is a Baton Rouge native and graduate of Broadmoor High School.

Beta Sigma Phi honors chapter sweethearts

The Baton Rouge City Council of Beta Sigma Phi entertained chapter sweethearts on Feb. 10 at the Gabriel’s House of Events in St. Gabriel.

Recognized were: Marge Gill, Laureate Alpha Alpha; Jodi Solito, Xi Delta Chi; Sandy Granata, Xi Gamma Iota; Anne Smith, Preceptor Epsilon; Grace Brown, Preceptor Alpha Eta; Tricia Duke, Preceptor Pi; Pat Tennyson, Iota Master; Jackie Rachal, Lambda Master; Eve Mire, Mu Master; and Juanita Coutee, Torchbearer Beta.

City Council President Anne Roberts, of Laureate Alpha Alpha, was mistress of ceremony. A video depicting events from each sweetheart’s life was played. Karen Kimble, of Mu Master, presented each sweetheart and read her resume. After the presentations, the sweethearts pulled a charm from a cupcake to go on their silver bracelet from City Council.

The Louisiana Vintage Dancers accompanied by The Kitchen Sessions, a Celtic string quartet, entertained the attendees. Laureate Alpha Alpha’s Nikki Gautreau and Patsy Thomas chaired the tea which was co-chaired by Kimble and Jean Duhon and assisted by Torchbearer Beta’s Virginia Huffman and Jean Leyda.

LSU junior wins national advertising honor

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication junior Bailey Tinsley was named one of the top 15 American Advertising Federation Students in the U.S., a top honor that brings with it prestigious internship opportunities.

The award recognizes students who show stellar academic achievement, involvement in their local Advertising Federation chapter and potential as an advertising professional. Students who win the award are assigned to top advertising agencies, along with client and supplier companies as part of the Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Internship Program.

Tinsley, a native of Plano, Texas, was assigned to the ad agency Slingshot in Dallas as part of the 10-week internship program. Students are paid a stipend of $4,800 and a housing allowance or a $1,500 scholarship to cover their travel and living expenses.

Tinsley expands a multiple-year winning streak for students with LSU’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation. This is the fourth consecutive that year a Manship School student has been named a Stickell intern: Tiffany Landry is a 2018 award winner, Maura Maher won the award in 2017 and Nichole Wierschem was selected for the honor in 2016.

Torchbearer Beta hears about presidents

Torchbearer Beta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met Feb. 6 at Juanita Coutee's home. Also attending were Jean Leyda, Linda Musso, Sandy Bailey, Virginia Huffman and Verlyne LeBlanc.

The members brought the fronts of greeting cards for the St. Jude Ranch as their February service project. The card fronts are used to create new greeting cards and sold to support St. Jude’s projects.

Huffman spoke on the similarities of United States presidents, their children and daughters who married in the White House.

Emerge Center, Foundation announce new board members

The Emerge Center and The Emerge Foundation have announced the election of new board members.

New Emerge Center board members are Dr. Catherine Katzenmeyer, pediatrician, Baton Rouge Clinic; and Paul Saltaformaggio, wealth adviser, Hibernia Wealth Management.

The center’s 2019 board officers are Melissa Gregg Blake, chair; Mike DePaul, vice chair; Janna Oetting, secretary; Stephen Cangelosi, treasurer; and Robert Pettit, immediate past chair. 

New foundation board members are Dr. Johnnie Hunt, dentist, Pediatric Dental Specialists; Jody Montelaro, vice president of public affairs, Entergy; Anthony O'Connor, commercial lines sales associate, BXS Insurance; Melissa Samuel, vice president of human resources and associate general counsel, Bernhard LLC; Arthur Scanlan, public relations director, Eatel; Drew Tessier, director of public affairs, Union Pacific; Beau Wolfe, vice president of business development, MAPP Construction; and Paige Dampf Wormser, learning innovation instructor, Knock Knock Children's Museum.

The foundation’s 2019 officers are Katie Sternberg, chair; Colleen Waguespack, vice chair; Sherry Spies, secretary; and Will Owens, treasurer.

The Emerge Center is a nonprofit organization that empowers children with autism and individuals with communication challenges to achieve independence through innovative and family-centered therapies. The Emerge Foundation provides sustained philanthropic support to The Emerge Center and The Emerge School for Autism.


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 people@theadvocate.com. 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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