BR Retired Teachers hear school leaders

Executives of three local school systems spoke to the Baton Rouge Area Retired Teachers Association on Sept. 8.

John Dilworth, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools superintendent; Ulysses Joseph, Baker School System superintendent; and Robert Williams, Central Community School System director of student services, spoke about initiatives in their systems. Stephen Addison, EBR Schools finance director, gave a benefits update.

Lee Faucette reported on legislative issues, and Jean Wascom asked members to report volunteer hours. President Robert Wilson announced the date and time of the District IV Retired Teachers fall meeting, and District President Jerry Boudreaux reminded members of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association fall meeting.

Carol Peltier chaired the hostess committee, which included Lois Holloway, Alice Irving, Gay Peters, Lucille Johnson, Alta Wilson, Linda Landry, Aaron Biggers, Art Lamm, Cleona Parisi, Gail Starks, Wayne Berry, Joan Carona, Sue Ellen Graham, Phyllis Heroy, Jesse Brumfield, John DeJean, Bertha White and William White.

Nu Gamma Omega has business seminar

Nu Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority held a “Starting Your Own Business” seminar on Sept. 17. Gwendolyn Etienne, chairwoman of the chapter’s Economic Security Initiative, presided. Gloria D. London, director of the Southern University Agricultural Center’s Center for Rural & Small Business Development, spoke on the basic tenets of starting a business. E.C. Coffey of the Small Business Administration discussed available SBA programs, and Nikatra Whitfield, a loan officer of Accion Louisiana, discussed funding opportunities. Eileen Briscoe of the Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge spoke about council programs and workshops.

Chapter members participating included President Linda E. Brown, Vice President Chandra Stacie, Eileen Kennedy, Adrianne Williams, Doris Broden, Cassandra Washington, Albertha Williams, Clyde Watkins and Danielle Staten.

Southern’s Agricultural Center also collaborated with Nu Gamma Omega for an “Everybody Has the Right to Breathe Clean Air” event on Sept. 24 as a part of the annual Women’s Week sponsored by the Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge. The workshop focused on the harmful impact of tobacco and secondhand smoke.

Frankie Poland, Agricultural Center regional coordinator, provided visuals that demonstrated healthy and unhealthy lungs and spoke about tobacco products, tobacco industry artifacts and targeted marketing by the industry.

Refreshments were served, and the group had an opportunity to interact one on one with the presenters.

Baker Masons donate medical equipment

Baker Masonic Lodge 441 held a party on Sept. 19 to celebrate the arrival of special medical equipment for local youngster Jeremiah Cory.

Cory’s medical condition requires the full-time use of oxygen, and being tethered to a large oxygen bottle greatly limited his mobility. So, lodge members worked to identify equipment that would allow him better movement. They found a manufacturer in Denver who contacted Cory’s doctors and preset the equipment to his needs. The lodge bought the equipment and had it shipped to the lodge.

Once the equipment was delivered, the lodge invited the family to a celebration and presented the oxygen generator to them, along with outdoor toys for the children to enjoy together now that he can go outside and play with his brother and sister for extended periods of time.

Altar Society elects new slate of officers

The St. Louis King of France Catholic Church Altar Society elected officers when it held a red, white and blue luncheon meeting on Sept. 19 in the Parish Activity Center: Teenie Bajon, president; Martha Desselles, vice president; Angie Yarborough, secretary; and Linda Musso, treasurer.

Monsignor Leo Guillot and guests Maybelle Cannon, Marie Harrell and Helen Viccellio attended.

Bajon thanked Calvin Bajon for cooking hamburgers for the luncheon, and thanked the officers and the committee that helped decorate and serve: Rita Valentine, Susan Ricaud, Nancy Tate, Betty Baughman, Jennie Guzzardo, Evelyn Simoneaux, Bonnie Granada, Terrie Martin and Emeline Desselles.

Nominating Chairman Lou Macaluso conducted the election.

Rotarians honor six at Peace Day concert

The Baton Rouge, Capital City and Sunrise Rotary Clubs and the Young Professionals Rotaract Club held the second annual Peace One Day “Musical Window to the World” concert on Sept. 20 at First United Methodist Church.

The event honored volunteers who work toward peace and non-violence in the Baton Rouge community. Honorees were Brian Babin, who performs music in hospitals, nursing homes and other venues; Nell Meriwether, who performs volunteer ministry at First Baptist Church; Arlene C. Smith, Hurt, Help, Heal, Hope Retreat Center; Fred Skelton, First United Methodist Missions; Joyce Marie Jackson, chair of International Trends and Services for the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links; and Gerry Malone, St. Vincent de Paul. Police Chief Donald D. White presented the awards.

The Global Artist Society presented a variety of music. Performers were Jimmy Jules, accompanied by pianist Oscar Roddignoli and bassist Josue Ramirez; violinist Unkyoung Kim, accompanied by cellist Paul Christopher and pianist MinJeoung Kim; and the Heritage Choir. Donations and sponsorships from the events will assist the Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center and the Rotary Foundation Global Grant to provide a community health center in a remote area of Swaziland.

Stirling DAR hears talk on Constitution

State Rep. John Bel Edwards, of Amite, spoke to the Alexander Stirling Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on the Constitution on Sept. 21 at the Jackson Methodist Church.

Edwards, a West Point graduate, served in the Army during the Vietnam conflict. He stressed that we can best honor our commitment to our veterans by closely following the precepts of the Constitution.

Registrar Anne Klein introduced Arlene Folmar and Mary Anna Leverett, who have completed their application papers to join the DAR. Regent Beth Dawson reported on the DAR Continental Congress held in July and included the presentation of the Medal of Honor to Dr. Billy Penn. Members spoke about activities from Clinton, Jackson and St. Francisville commemorating Constitution Week.

Lauren Pourciau was elected the Outstanding Junior Member. Attending the State Workshop in Pineville in August were State Librarian Nancy Bickham, Beth Dawson and Brenda Ellzey. Samantha Bickham and Lauren Pourciau served as pages.

Meeting hostesses were Kathleen Erickson, Patricia Babin, Keith Schwendimann and Brenda Triche.

MP Toastmasters plans two new clubs

Miracle Place Toastmasters finalized plans to form two new clubs on Oct. 3. Members Dixie Taylor will form a club at Unity Church of Christianity on Old Jefferson Highway, and Sarah Holliday will form a club in the Greenwell Springs and Monterrey area. Miracle Place Toastmasters will assist both clubs.

Toastmasters is designed to help people become effective public speakers and leaders. Miracle Place Toastmasters meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays. Contact Ashanti Witherspoon, (225) 620-6302.

Iberville DAR installs two new members

The Iberville Parish Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met Sept. 20 at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library.

New members Terry Guidry and Stella Tanoos were installed. Guidry’s Revolutionary patriot was Jacob Lanius, of Pennsylvania, who paid a supply tax in 1783 in Hellam Township that counted as patriotic service. Tanoos’ patriot ancestor, Joseph Carlin, fought in the Revolutionary War under Bernado de Galvez as a corporal of the Attakapas Militia.

Member Verna Roberts presented the West Baton Rouge Library with two new books, both written by Mary Elizabeth Sanders, a member of the chapter before her death. They were “A Soldier’s Journey” and “Avoca Plantation Receipts.”

Bonsai group hears leaf-pruning program

Jim Scarton, Louisiana Bonsai Society vice president, did a program on leaf pruning red maple bonsai and elm bonsai when the group met Sept. 20. He explained how the leaves are old enough that they begin to loose their chlorophyll and don’t produce much food for the plants. Cutting or removing the leaves triggers budding new leaves which helps the bonsai to keep growing during our long growing season. If the bonsai is healthy, the new leaves will last long enough to change to fall colors when the weather turns cold, he said.

Lowell Tilley did a short program on preserving deadwood on bonsai. He explained how sometimes a bonsai has a problem and a branch or part of the trunk dies. After the problem has been corrected, the deadwood can be treated to prevent decay giving the bonsai character and making it look older, he told the group.

The next club meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. Tilley will do a lecture/demo showing how to plant a juniper on a rock. There will also be a discussion about doing bonsai landscapes using rocks and plants. Members will bring some of their bonsai to be discussed, and they will also talk about preparing for the Fall Bonsai Show to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 5-6 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center. It is open to the public, and admission is free. There will be bonsai lecture/demo at 2 p.m. both days.

The Louisiana Bonsai Society is a not-for-profit organization open to all those interested in the hobby of bonsai. For more information, call Lowell Tilley, (225) 272-6744 or email

Tilley will teach three LSU Student Union Leisure Classes, “Bonsai Appreciation.” “Caring for Your Bonsai” and “Beginners Bonsai Workshop,” at the end of October and beginning of November just before the LBS Fall Bonsai Show. For more information, visit or contact Tilley.

The “Club News” column runs every Tuesday and Wednesday, and Friday as needed, in The Advocate. Items and photographs should be submitted to “Club News,” Advocate People section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. Photos may not include more than 10 people and will be used on a once-a-month per organization basis. Photos will be returned if stamped, self-addressed envelopes are provided.