African violets topic for 'Reflections'

Laura Moser, from the Sundowner’s African Violet Society, led a program about African violets for the “Reflections in The Garden” program on March 5.

She spoke about African violet history, development, cultivation, care and propagation.

Mary Johnston, floral designer and owner of Merry Floral, will speak April 2 about “Design Goes Natural." “Reflections in the Garden” is a monthly lunch and learn program about horticulture and gardening sponsored by the Friends of LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. More information is at

Sternberg speaks to Suburban Reviewers

Mary Ann Sternberg showed slides and spoke on the history and life along the River Road from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to the Suburban Reviewers Book Club March 6 at Sara Easterly's home in Denham Springs.

Sternberg also spoke about Bayou Manchac and told stories of people along the River Road. Sternberg has written “Along the River Road: Past and Present Louisiana’s Historic Byway,” “River Road Rambler: A Curious Traveler Along Louisiana’s Historic Byway,” “River Road Rambler Returns: More Curiosities Along Louisiana’s Historic Byway” and “Winding Through Time The Forgotten History and Present-Day Peril of Bayou Manchac.” Her books can be found on

Meeting hostesses Elise Dendinger, Cissy Grantham, Lynn Jones, Judith Nesom and Easterly served lunch.

Retirees learn about plastics in water

LSU Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Mark Benfield spoke to the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club on March 12 about the current and future threats of plastic residue in Louisiana waterways.

Benfield has been analyzing Mississippi River water from north of Baton Rouge to south of New Orleans. Obvious pollution is plastic bottles commonly found in ditches, but minuscule plastics are found in products like facial cleansers and toothpastes, which are flushed down the sink. When plastics break down and contaminate waterways, they become toxic to aquatic life and up the food chain to humans.

Benfield urges consumers to find substitutes for items like plastic produce and grocery bags, cups, lids and straws; to avoid exfoliates and toothpastes with “poly“-type ingredients; and install a washing machine filter to trap plastics that synthetic fabrics release in the wash cycle.

Pat Lee, Judy Lithgoe, Doreen Maxcy and Robin Montgomery provided refreshments.

For club information, email

Broadway hits highlight Music Club event

Music Club Chorus members performed songs from four highly successful shows in musical theater for the Music Club of Baton Rouge on March 13 at the Woman’s Club.

Marty Stone directed the singers, who were accompanied by Louis Wendt, piano, and Kim Sands, cello. Les LeBlanc was sound technician.

The chorus performed songs from “Hello, Dolly,” including “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and the title song; “Fiddler on the Roof,” including “Evening Prayer,” ”Matchmaker,” “Tradition” and the title song; “A Chorus Line,” including “What I Did For Love” and “One”; and “The Lion King,” with the selections “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “The Circle of Life.”

Rita Lovett was program chairwoman. Linda Henning and Diane Lynch were hospitality co-chairs for the refreshments. Assisting were Miriam Bensman, Helen Campbell, Andreé Chol, Berryl Fourroux, Dot Harman, Lois Kuyper-Rushing, Dorene Mayeaux, Ruth Patrick, Barbara Seals and Patsy Wolf.

Baton Rouge DAR attends state conference

Baton Rouge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution members attended the 109th State Conference on March 15-17 at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel.

Sarah Brooks and Lillian Whitteker served as pages. Conference guests were National President General Ann Turner Dillon, Ohio Regent Nancy Wright and New York Regent Nancy Zwetsch.

Events included a Heritage Club reception hosted by Dillon and a reception honoring State Regent Zora Olsson, who was nominated for vice president general for the next term.

A memorial service was held March 15 at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church to honor DAR members who died in 2017. Past Chapter Regent Grace Bozeman, Evelyn Barrow and Carolyn Maggio were chapter members who were memorialized.

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

Murder trial topic for Livingston Historical

Attorney Hobart O. Pardue spoke about a murder trial in which he used a deck of cards to successfully defend his client when the Edward Livingston Historical Association met March 15 at the Livingston Library.

Jeana Wiser and Edgar Gomez, from the Louisiana Historic Preservation office, said they are inventorying buildings in Livingston Parish north of Interstate 12. They asked for public participation and that this information be spread so people will be aware when they knock on doors. This information can lead to a building being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Stephen Davidson promoted the idea of a rural life museum in Springfield, possibly located in the 1832 parish courthouse, which is vacant. He noted that Springfield is also the site of an 1800s Spanish fort that dates to the time of the West Florida Rebellion that won the Florida Parishes independence from Spain in 1810. For information, call the Springfield Town Hall, (225) 294-3150, or Davidson, (225) 413-9220.

Ron Traylor will speak on "Myths of Slavery" when ELHA meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the Livingston Library. The public is invited to attend.

SLU vocalists score at singing competition

Nine Southeastern Louisiana University vocal performance students and one alumna were finalists — including three first-place winners — at the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition recently at McNeese State University in Lake Charles.

Placing first were Sara Cage, of Baton Rouge, junior women’s division; Claire Putnam, of Covington, senior women’s division; and Southeastern alumna Michelle Guillot, of Slidell, younger advanced women.

Other students recognized include William Dopp, of Independence, a student in Southeastern’s Community Music School, second place in high school men’s division; Earl Pool, of New Orleans, second place in the Hal Johnson spiritual category; Cody Sires, of Chalmette, second place older advanced men and women; Logan Watts, of Walker, third place sophomore men; Haylee Zeringue, of Donaldsonville, third place sophomore women; Terelle Bibbins, of Slidell, third place senior men; and Anne Labranche, of Mandeville, fourth place junior women.

St. Joseph's Academy wins Tech Challenge

The 12th Louisiana High School Technology Challenge took place online on March 7, with just over 300 high school students representing 23 registered high schools. The University of Louisiana at Monroe hosted the event.

The winning teams were:

First place: St. Joseph's Academy, Baton Rouge, John Richardson, team coach.

Second place: St. Thomas More Catholic High School, Lafayette, Robin Herrington, team coach.

Third place: Catholic High School, Baton Rouge, Sheri Schoonmaker, team coach.

Fourth place: Northwest High School, St. Landry Parish, David Reed, team coach.

Fifth place: Zachary High School, Christie Burns, team coach.

Istrouma Class of '60 sets reunion

The Istrouma High School Class of 1960 will hold a reunion from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at Oak Lodge Reception Center, 2834 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Cost is $60 per person in advance. Contact Evert Talbot at (225) 978-1798.

Port Allen Class of '68 sets reunion

no photoThe Port Allen High School Class of 1968 will hold its 50-year reunion from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Don Bergeron’s Mid City Market, 8200 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge. The cost is $40 per person or $75 per couple, due by April 30. For information, email Ronald Sonnier,; John C. Nelson,; Carolyn Baye,; or Pam Berry,

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.

Follow George Morris on Twitter, @GWMorris.