Lagniappe club hears about veterans facilities

Alex Juan, Louisiana director of women's veterans affairs, spoke about veterans homes and cemeteries around the state to the GFWC Lagniappe Woman's Club's January meeting.

The club selected Lana Merliss as its 2018 outstanding member.

Lynn Golda conducted a raffle to benefit the club's scholarship program. The club plans to raise money for the Save the Honeybees campaign and pay for a gaggle of geese to donate to an impoverished family in a developing nation.

LSU student gets grant from Altrusa

Altrusa International of Baton Rouge presented Frances Tosca with a $4,000 grant from the Altrusa International Foundation on Jan. 21 to help pay for her final semester studying nutrition and food sciences at LSU.

Tosca said she hopes that by becoming a registered dietitian in addition to her existing degree in psychology, she will be able to have a holistic approach in working with the aging population to improve mental, physical and emotional health.

Club President Marti Didier and Altrusa Club of Baton Rouge Foundation President Diane Bezdek said grants beginning at $250 are available through sponsoring Altrusa Clubs from the Altrusa International Foundation to improve the economic well-being and quality of life through the foundation’s commitment to community service and literacy.

Funding is provided by voluntary contributions from members, Altrusa Clubs and the public.

Cattle drives topic for Audubon DAR

Stella Tanoos spoke about long-ago cattle drives from Texas through the Atchafalaya to New Orleans at the John James Audubon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution luncheon Jan. 21 at Mike Anderson’s Seafood Restaurant.

Her research revealed the work and hardships required to bring herds of cattle to market. Tanoos developed her presentation based on research from the diary of William Berry Duncan. It was made clear throughout the journal how much he missed his home and his family.

State Regent Zora Olson brought greetings from the state and invited members to attend the state conference in March in Lafayette.

Bridget May will speak on "The Colonial Revival, the Spinning Wheel and DAR Insignia” when the chapter meets Feb. 18. DAR membership is open to women 18 and older who can prove lineal, bloodline decent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. For more information contact

CASA adds 16 volunteer advocates

The Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates Association kicked off 2019 with Juvenile Court Judge Adam Haney swearing in 16 new volunteer advocates on Jan. 22.

Once assigned to cases, the volunteers will work to help abused and neglected children reach safe homes with forever families.

The newly appointed volunteers are: Shawanza Alston, Brennan Ardoin, Aris Richard-Griffin, Andrew Kumiega, Tara Leonard, Jennifer McElveen, Colette Riha, Stephen Rhodes, Mary Rodgers, Danielle Rogers, Cara Sullivan, Wanda Thomas, Taffie Welch, Karen Whatley, Crystal Williams and Tomaka Williams.

Volunteers who are expected to complete training in March are: Cierra Augillard, Tana Boudreaux, Amy Cimo, Noah Hoggatt, Mary Margaret Keys, Tyler Litt, Jonnae Miller and Cynthia Oby. Volunteers have six months to complete training before being assigned a CASA case.

CASA still needs volunteers to continue serving every child in East Baton Rouge Parish who needs a voice. More African-American and male volunteers are still needed as CASA strives to have a diverse group of volunteers to match the diverse group of children in care. CASA is now accepting people into its next training course, which begins March 26.

No special background is required to become a CASA volunteer. The first step is to attend a 45-minute orientation at the CASA office, 848 Louisiana Ave. Upcoming sessions will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5; noon Monday, Feb. 11; 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16; 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20; 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25; and 10 a.m. Saturday, March 2.

For information, call (225) 379-8598, visit or email

Beauregard Town honors Susan Turner

The Beauregard Town Civic Association honored Susan Turner for her support of good design, historic preservation, planning and the importance of community at its annual members' meeting Jan. 23 at Beauregard Gallery & Bistro.

Bonnie Hunt, mother of Alexandra Engler, traveled from New Hampshire to present the association's 2019 Community Spirit Award to Turner. This award, given annually in memory of Engler, recognizes an individual or individuals "who contributed time, effort, spirit and community service resulting in the betterment of Beauregard Town."

Mary Jane Marcantel, community police ambassador for the downtown area, discussed current priorities and initiatives of the police department to improve their services. Gabriel Vicknair, Downtown Development District assistant executive director, spoke about downtown's progress and current projects.

Amateur Radio Club honors two members

The Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club honored Todd Huovinen and Brook Samuel on Jan. 29 for outstanding service to their club and to the growth of amateur radio.

Huovinen received the Stan Preston Award for years of work in promoting amateur radio and "continued Good Samaritan activities via amateur radio." The Stan Preston Award is presented in memory a 1937 charter club member.

Samuel received the Baton Rouge Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of amateur radio within the club and his profession.

For information on the club, visit

SU students earn Rockefeller scholarships

Three Southern University students have been awarded the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship for students pursuing a degree in forestry, wildlife or marine science at a Louisiana public college or university.

Asija Rice, a senior urban forestry major, and graduate students Simbrey Majors and Wilbert Thomas, received the scholarships. Thomas, who is in his 60s, hopes to join Southern's faculty once he receives a Ph.D. in urban forestry.

Undergraduate students who receive the scholarship are awarded $2,000 annually; graduate students receive $3,000 annually. The cumulative maximum award is $12,000 for three years of undergraduate study and two years of graduate study.

Interested students should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Rockefeller State Wildlife scholarship application available on the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance website.

Kirkpatrick named BRG Foundation board chair

Scott Kirkpatrick has been named chair of the Baton Rouge General Foundation Board of Governors. Kirkpatrick is an attorney at Roedel Parson's Baton Rouge office, where he is a lobbyist on state issues.

Laura Parr and Jim Purgerson Jr. were each elected to serve a three-year board term, which began Jan. 1. Parr is the incoming BRG Auxiliary Board president. Purgerson is senior vice president and senior lending officer of Citizens Bank & Trust.

Other board members are: Rick Bond, Bond Construction; Michael Albritton, ASA Properties; Patrice Jones, treasurer, CPA; Gwen Hamilton, immediate past chair, New Schools for Baton Rouge; Sandra Holub, Albemarle Foundation; Mark Goodson, CSRS; Rick Lipscomb, WHLC Architecture; Phyllis McLaurin, retired, JPMorgan Chase; Dr. Ernest J. Mencer, retired director, BRG Regional Burn Center; Keith O’Neill, Culinary & Nutrition Solutions at HHS Inc.; Bart Phillips, Baton Rouge Cargo Services Inc.; Dr. William Russell, Pennington Cancer Center; and Edgardo Tenreiro, ex officio member, BRG president.

Cox to donate $37,250 to local charities

Cox Communications will award $37,250 to local nonprofits in the Greater Baton Rouge area through Cox Charities Community Investment program, which is funded by employees. The company received 190 applications from local nonprofits in this now-third year grant cycle, accepting proposals from Aug. 21 to Sept. 28.

Branded under the theme “Give Where You Live,” the employee-giving campaign launched in 2016 in Cox’s Southeast Region, which includes Acadiana, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Florida’s Gulf Coast, Central Florida and Middle Georgia. Dollars raised in each market stay in the market in which they were generated via payroll deduction.

In Baton Rouge, Cox Charities Advisory Council members chose the following organizations’ respective programs as recipients of this year’s Community Investment fund:

  • Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area — TLC for Caregivers
  • The Arc of East Ascension — The Adult Day Training Program
  • Baton Rouge Youth Coalition — 2018-19 “Get Your ACT Together” Initiative
  • Big Buddy — Voyager Career Exploration
  • Cancer Services — Camp Care for children with cancer and their siblings
  • Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless — One Stop Homeless Services Center Computer Lab and Expanded Services
  • Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge — Family Safe Haven
  • Forward Arts, Inc. — Freshhh Heat
  • Girl Scouts Louisiana East — Girl Scouts Outreach (Alternative Program Delivery)
  • The Hospice of Baton Rouge — Camp Conquer
  • Lighthouse Louisiana — Pre-Employment Transition Services Greater Baton Rouge
  • Metromorphosis — Small Business Development Program

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.