Charlie Whinham, public information officer for the Louisiana Office of Tourism, spoke to the Chronologically Gifted and Talented group on Oct. 16 at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church.

Whinham travels the state promoting Louisiana. Some of the unique places in the state he touts are New Orleans, Toledo Bend and Poverty Point. He encouraged members to talk about the extreme friendliness of the people, more so than any other state.

The Rev. Barrett Ingram gave the invocation and Marion Forbes was in charge of registration. Annabelle Armstrong presided at the monthly luncheon and was assisted by Barbara Long and Cathy McRae. The event was catered by Von Raybon. Virginia Holloway made raspberry pie.

Audubon DAR hears about genealogical research

Bridget May spoke on genealogy research and sources for documenting ancestors for DAR supplemental applications when the John James Audubon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met Oct. 21 at the East Baton Rouge Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library.

May made a presentation showing proper research methods and showed step-by-step directions for filling out applications online.

The chapter learned details on its Christmas collection drive to fill backpacks with small items for veterans at the Raven’s Outreach Center and Magnolia Care Center. Members selected backpacks to take home and fill. Members discussed plans for the Christmas parties at each location and plans for Wreaths Across America at the State Capitol.

Members completed the National DAR Service to America projects involving Woman’s Hospital and the Friends of the Animals Dog Adoption House. Members also worked at home on documenting photos for Section 6 of the Magnolia Cemetery.

Hostesses for the meeting were Amy Fontenot, Bridget May, Betty Jo Snellgrove and Nola Labat.

DAR membership is open to women 18 and older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. She must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage and death. For information, contact

Early BR buildings topic for DAR meeting

John Sykes, director of BREC's Magnolia Mound, presented a slideshow on early buildings in Baton Rouge to the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on Oct. 21 at the Louisiana State Archives.

Sykes showed the structures as they looked in their early years and how they appear today. Of special interest was modernist-designed buildings by A. Hays Town. The old Paramount Theater, built in 1920 and no longer in existence, was remembered by many members.

Carol Steinmuller and Millie Bonacorso provided refreshments.

Members discussed Veterans Day events on Nov. 11. Lea Evans also reported on the Day of Service activity on Oct. 11, the birthday of DAR. The chapter hosted a celebration for veterans living at the Magnolia Care Center Home for Veterans, visiting with the veterans and serving them sandwiches, chips, soft drinks and cookies.

DAR membership is open to women 18 or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. For information, email

Altrusa hears about BRCAC work

Suzanne Jolissaint, forensic and clinical services director for the Baton Rouge Children's Advocacy Center, spoke to the Altrusa Club on Oct. 21 at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant.

Jolissaint said the organization “conducts forensic interviews by specially trained nonlaw enforcement personnel.” In 2017, the BRCAC served 736 youthful clients in 4,207 encounters in East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville and Pointe Coupee parishes. About 73% of these youth had experienced physical abuse, 79% had experienced sexual assaults and 33% witnessed violence, including acts of homicide or attempted homicide. Its website is

Diane Bezdek, foundation president, said a recipient for the Mary Eleanor McLure Cole Memorial Fund had been selected, and a $1,500 tuition assistance was awarded to Callia Cox, a student in the food nutrition service program at LSU. Bezdek, Amy Drago and Carolyn Robinson reported on service projects.

President Marti Didier has appointed Jackie Robbins and Cherryl Alford as assistant treasurers for the club. Lynn Nettles reported on the Inter-Civic Club meeting.

For information on Altrusa, contact Nettles, (225) 752-9246, or Didier, (225) 939-0460.

Gaines DAR learns about Pledge of Allegiance

The Heirome Gaines Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution discussed the beginnings of the Pledge of Allegiance at its October meeting. Regent Mondra Fazely spoke, and a video by Red Skelton was shown.

The next meeting will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant. Prospective members are encouraged to attend.

Jorgensen qualifies as Mayflower descendant

Kay Jean Jorgensen, of Baton Rouge, has successfully documented her ancestry to qualify for membership in the Society of Mayflower Descendants. She was able to trace her heritage to passenger John Alden, who arrived in the harbor near Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the ship Mayflower in 1620.

Alden was one of 41 adult male passengers on the Mayflower who signed the Mayflower Compact on Nov. 11, 1620. They had come to settle in a new land and to find a new home and government for the benefit of themselves and their posterity.

If you have information or documentation that leads you to believe you may be directly descended from a passenger on the Mayflower voyage of 1620, you may be eligible to join the society. For information, visit


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 Living 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.

Email George Morris at