Woman's Club elects officers, executive board

The Woman’s Club elected officers and executive board members at its year-end general membership meeting July 11.

Officers are President Lana Merliss, First Vice President Rosemary Lane, Second Vice President Lois Saye, Recording Secretary Pat Richards, Corresponding Secretary Diane Finley, Treasurer Pat Pike, Membership Chairman Debbie Harris, Parliamentarian Mae Calvin-Belton and Immediate Past President Jane Dimattia.

Karen Cordell was elected to a two-year board term, joining returning members Carolyn Chaney, Mae Calvin-Belton, Lowry Griffon, Angie Inzerella, Jackie Kreutzer, Mary Ladner, Margaret Rome, Saye, Dimattia, Finley, Harris, Lane, Merliss, Pike and Richards.

Genealogical and Historical Society tours Main Library

The Baton Rouge Genealogical and Historical Society toured the new East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library on July 17, with an emphasis on the the genealogical section, including the Baton Rouge Room.

This section specializes in Louisiana and southeastern states' records and has databases that can be resourced from inside and outside the library. Leslie Smith, genealogy librarian, led the tour, explaining options that genealogists, amateur and professionals have. They include courses in which students are awarded a certificate and a party upon completion.

John Sykes, local historian, will speak about Goodwood Plantation at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the EBR Bluebonnet Library. His talk will cover its history and plans for the future. For information, call Mary McKeough, (225) 924-8921.

Yates awarded Baton Rouge Art League scholarship

Annabelle Lee Yates, an LSU junior art student, has received the Baton Rouge Art League's annual $1,000 scholarship.

Yates, 20, daughter of Cheryl and Darrell Yates, of New Orleans, is a studio art major with concentrations in painting and drawing. Yvette Creel, who heads the scholarship standing committee, introduced Yates to members at the Art League’s annual picnic at the Walden Clubhouse.

League members also recognized Montez LeGrande, who has chaired the organization’s annual art exhibition and reception for the past 11 years. LeGrande reported 141 artists entered the exhibition held April 9 at LSU’s Rural Life Museum.

President Sharon Keaton said Immediate Past President Susan Smith will take LeGrande’s duties for the 2017 art show.

Members Vera Bahlinger and Rita Wallace chaired the picnic meeting. Assisting them were Judi Betts, Millie Bonacorso, Cynthia Campbell, Susie Carpenter, Maria Darden, Gay Hoover, Sarah Losavio, Oria Marrero, Kathleen McDonald and Cindy White

Veach elected American Hibiscus Society president

Local hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybridizer Damon Veach was elected national president of the American Hibiscus Society at its convention in late June in Houston.

Veach is the first member of this national group to gain this honor twice. Chapters are in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and the American and British Virgin Islands.

The AHS was founded in 1950 in West Palm Beach, Florida, by commercial growers who were also hybridizers of tropical hibiscus. Their main focus was to create a nomenclature database that developed into a registration process providing breeding information to future generations of hybridizers.

Veach has been an AHS member since the early 1980s and maintains around 300 varieties at his Baton Rouge home, including several new seedlings, such as his own Cool Brees, named in honor of Drew Brees. He has his own breeding program but has new seedlings he is growing from seeds acquired from Tahiti, Moorea, New Zealand, Australia, Florida and Louisiana. One of his major goals is to preserve the older varieties that are nearing extinction but are the basis for providing genes for all the newer varieties.

City Year Baton Rouge wins national honor

City Year Baton Rouge, a national education-focused nonprofit that partners with public schools, received the Stephen G. Woodsum Best of City Year Award from the national organization, City Year Inc., on July 13 in Boston. The award is given annually to select City Year sites that have performed exceptionally against numerous organizational goals.

This past school year, 72 City Year Baton Rouge AmeriCorps members served as tutors, mentors and role models for nearly 3,200 students in seven schools: Broadmoor Middle, Capitol Middle, Celerity Crestworth Charter, Claiborne Elementary, Melrose Elementary, Merrydale Elementary and Winbourne Elementary. The award recognizes that about 83 percent of students tutored by City Year in Baton Rouge improved their scores on state assessments and 39 percent moved from below proficient to proficient or above on state assessments.

This is the fifth consecutive year City Year Baton Rouge received this honor.

City Year Baton Rouge was selected along with seven other City Year sites among 27 sites across the country for the annual award. Sites are assessed against more than 75 performance goals including service impact, corps member recruitment and retention, financial health, staff development, board leadership and stakeholder development.

Bush earns National Latin Exam Scholarship

Natalie Bush, of Baton Rouge, has received a $1,000 award from the National Latin Exam Scholarship Committee.

Bush, a graduate of St. Joseph's Academy, attends Baylor University.

Scholarship applicants are seniors who plan to continue studying Latin or Greek for at least one year in college. Students are judged on their overall academic standing and on an original essay. Bush is one of 21 recipients out of 926 who applied.

Amateur Radio Club hears about exhibitions

Jon Reise and Todd Huovinen spoke about their recent visits to amateur radio exhibitions when the Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club met June 28.

Reise visited Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio, and Huovinen attended Ham-Con in Dallas, where new equipment was displayed and technical seminars were given. Dana Browne gave a wrap-up of the yearly ARRL Field Day exercise at the BREC Highland Road Observatory on the weekend of June 25.

Brett Hebert, National Parks on the Air coordinator, reported on the club's activities operating on the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park Cultural Center sites and on Mississippi National Park sites. National Parks on the Air is a cooperative venture with the National Park Service and the Amateur Radio Relay League to promote the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park System. Hebert and his wife, Synomen, and daughter, Brynn, are amateur radio operators, and the entire family and other club members operate their radios from national parks during this special year.  

President Richard Burroughs outlined programs for the next six months. For information on amateur radio, visit brarc.org.

Keltner completes Air Force basic training

U.S. Air Force Airman Hunter D. Keltner graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Ann Keltner and Kenny Keltner, of Baton Rouge, grandson of Donna Keltner, of Lenoir City, Tennessee, and nephew of Walter Gibbs of Yemassee, South Carolina. He graduated in 2012 from Catholic High School.

Singletary-Courtney reunion Sunday in St. Amant

The Singletary-Courtney family reunion will be held Sunday, July 31, at Faithful United Methodist Church on La. 431 in St. Amant. Church service is at 11 a.m., followed by lunch, praise and singing until 3 p.m. Those attending are asked to bring a covered dish.


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, LA70821, or emailed to people@theadvocate.com. Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. 

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