The Louisiana Photographic Society has elected new officers: Ed Richards, president; Dana Merrill, vice president; Janet Gelpi, treasurer; and Tammy Tate, secretary. Cathy Smart is past president.

At the January meeting, field trips and various other educational opportunities for members were scheduled. Each month, there are competitions at the local, regional and international levels. The society's goal is to advance photography skills whether taking, printing or storing a photo. For new members, LPS offers a mentor program.

The society will host an educational session with Darrell Miller on protecting and organizing your photos on March 22 at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, the site of its monthly meetings on the third Thursday of each month.  All photo enthusiasts are invited. For information, visit

Community: Preceptor Alpha Eta hears mystery author R.J. Lee

Koi and Pond Society tours fish farm

The Deep South Koi and Pond Society toured Ornamental Pond Fish in Port Allen on Jan. 26. Owner Mike Christensen led the tour and answered questions about fish care and pond maintenance.

The society is open to anyone interested in learning more about the hobby of pond construction and maintenance and fish keeping. Meetings are held on the fourth Sunday of the month. For information, call (225) 383-3554 and leave a message or visit

Camellias topic for 'Reflections' meeting

Dr. Trent James, a Baton Rouge Camellia Society member, showed slides and described varieties of camellias on Feb. 3 at the "Reflections in The Garden" meeting. He is an authority on growing and judging camellias.

Reflections in The Garden is a monthly lunchtime educational series about horticulture and gardening sponsored by the Friends of LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. For information, visit

Audubon DAR celebrates Washington birthday

The John James Audubon Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated George Washington's birthday on Feb. 17 at Mike Anderson’s Seafood restaurant. A life-size cutout of Washington greeted members as they arrived and were welcomed by Denise Lindsly and Ann Shore.

Members visited the committee displays and signed cards for residents in the Louisiana War Veterans Home and for World War II veterans around the state. Another display highlighted each member's Revolutionary patriot, and members placed pins on a colonial map of the 1700s showing where each patriot was from.

Regent Margaret Tyler presented a program from the DAR Museum Correspondent Docent program entitled “Myth or Truth, Stories We’ve Heard about Early America.” The slide show included many objects that, over time, have been called by incorrect names or have false stories associated with them.

Historian Denise Malesic presented members copies of the chapter history book she wrote. Registrar Bridget May introduced new member Carol Evans.

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

Community: Beta Sigma Phi holds Sweetheart Ball

Lagniappe club hears about Dream Day

Tiffany Mansur, executive director of the Dream Day Foundation, spoke to the GFWC Lagniappe Woman's Club on Feb. 17 at Broadmoor United Methodist Church.

The foundation works with the St. Jude Children's Hospital to give young patients a weekend away from the hospital to enjoy outdoor activities like boating and fishing. The foundation flies patients and their families to Baton Rouge and pays for hotel accommodations for the activities.

The club voted to donate $200 to ADF, Adult Literacy Advocates, the Baton Rouge Food Bank, Cancer Services, Heifer International, Iris Domestic Violence Center, the Louisiana Hemophilia Foundation Children's Camp Fund, OLOL St. Jude, The Salvation Army, Pinwheels for Prevention, Wild Babies Sanctuary, Female Veterans and Metanoia Manor.

Couvillon sings for Philharmonic Club

Soprano Janelle Couvillon performed for the Philharmonic Club of Baton Rouge on Feb. 19 at Linda Manes' home.

Couvillon sang a number of song, accompanied on piano by Manes, who also played a few of her favorites. Hostesses were Shelley Hays and Sue Brys.

BRCWRT hears about female Civil War soldiers

Historian Shelby Harriel spoke about how women joined the ranks of soldiers in both the Confederate and Union armies without revealing their gender when the Baton Rouge Civil War Round Table met Feb. 20.

These female soldiers fought in the most notable battles of the Civil War, such as Shiloh, Antietam and Gettysburg. Harriel said she found that they joined to be near their husbands or brothers, to escape abusive domestic environments, for a steady income or for patriotic reasons. Male recruits on both sides were young, and women could easily blend in and conceal their identities by cutting their hair and wearing baggy clothing.

The women marched, camped and fought alongside the men, she said, and some made it through the war without being discovered. Others who were killed or captured and sent to prisoner of war camps were discovered to be women. Harriel said researching the identities of female soldiers is a difficult task because they joined the military service under assumed names.

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