Nine members of Friendship Force of Baton Rouge and one member from New York visited Brazil from Oct. 3-22.

The club spent the first three days at Iguazu falls, taking a drenching boat ride beneath the waterfalls. Members attended a dinner buffet and dance show, featuring colorful costumes and cultural dances, including samba and tango. They toured a nature preserve and bird park, and danced aboard a dinner cruise to Brazil's border with Paraguay.

Next the group flew to Ribiero Preto, a city of over 700,000 people, where they stayed with members of that Friendship Force club for a week. They visited churches and historical sites, a working shelter for homeless men, a revitalized downtown building, a coffee plantation, a brewery, markets and art museums. They dined on Brazilian barbecue, black beans and rice, acai sorbet and fried bananas.

The group then took a bus to Piracicaba, a river city of about 365,000, where they met their new hosts for the final week of their journey. Most members spoke only Portuguese, so communicating with hand gestures, photographs and some Spanish was essential. They toured wineries, shared buffet meals, visited a sugar cane farm with a water park and walked around the city.

Friendship Force of Baton Rouge will host members from California, Missouri and Texas in November. If you would like to travel domestically and internationally, making new friends through home stays, visit or on Facebook.

Civil War Round Table learns about Butler

LSU Professor Aaron Sheehan Dean spoke on one of the U.S. Civil War’s most controversial and complex figures, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, to the Baton Rouge Civil War Round Table on Oct. 17.

Butler was appointed the military governor of New Orleans after Union naval forces, under the command of David G. Farragut, captured the city in the spring of 1862. New Orleans residents strongly disliked Butler for his looting of the city, illegal trade practices and general orders to control the population, Dean said. Butler also is credited for instituting public works programs that benefited New Orleans.

Alpha Lambda hosts district meeting

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International held its Southeast District meeting Oct. 26 in New Roads at St. Mary of False River Church Hall. Delta Kappa Gamma promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

Alpha Mu Chapter received the Attendance Award. Sharon Hornsby, an Omicron member, was awarded the Rose-in-Bloom Award. The Rosebud Award was presented to a Rho member Leslie Martin. Golden Rose Award certificates were received by Fran Major and Catherine Olinde, both Alpha Lambda members.

The Rev. Pat Broussard welcomed those attending and recognized Donna Dial, Alpha Lambda Chapter, and Shirley Leggett, Alpha Mu Chapter, for their many years in the teaching profession. Alpha Lambda used bicycles and flowers to decorate the church hall, name tags, agenda and table centerpieces.

Vidrine, Dawson honored by Masonic Lodge

St. Albans Masonic Lodge 28 honored Elizabeth Jackson Vidrine and Shannon Hastings Dawson with Honesty and Integrity Awards on Oct. 28 at the Masonic Lodge in Jackson.

Ross K. Nichols gave a talk on the meaning of honesty and integrity, along with examples of how these characteristics are important to everyday living.

Neither recipient could attend so their families accepted their awards. Accepting for Vidrine were her parents, Susan and Jody Vidrine. Ricky Dawson accepted the award for his grandson. Vidrine is from St. Francisville and attends University High School in Baton Rouge. Dawson lives in Bluff Creek and is the son of Maggie and Ryan Dawson.

The Honesty and Integrity Awards recognize good citizenship, involvement in school activities and extracurricular activities and good grades.

BRWTA raises $23,686 for wheelchair tournament

The Baton Rouge Wheelchair Tennis Association announced at its Nov. 4 board dinner that it has raised $23,686.87 to help support the 2020 Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.

The tournament will be held March 17-22 at the Paula G. Manship YMCA. The BRWTA raised the funds through its Edward Jones Investments/Tex Morris “Hallowheel” charity tennis and pickleball tournaments held Oct. 18-20 at BREC’s Highland Road Park. The tournaments attracted more than 200 players from eight states who competed in men’s and women’s doubles (tennis and pickleball) and mixed doubles (pickleball).

The tennis tournament included a separate “Up-Down” draw where wheelchair players were paired with able-bodied players for doubles competition all weekend. The event also featured the Hallowheel Adaptive Tennis Carnival, where 16 children with disabilities were introduced to wheelchair tennis and enjoyed a morning of tennis instruction, games and prizes.

Since 2015, the Hallowheel tournament has raised nearly $86,000 for the Cajun Classic. The Hallowheel charity tennis tournament was created in 2015 by Emily Greene and Rusty Jabour, who co-chair the event as a fundraiser for the Cajun Classic. In 2017, Tex and Cindy Morris co-chaired the inaugural pickleball tournament as part of the fundraising activities.

Tim Mueller speaks to Photographic Society 

Tim Mueller, a Louisiana-based professional photographer who shoots corporate, industrial and editorial assignments, spoke to the Louisiana Photographic Society on Oct. 17 about his work and how he manages his business. He shared his photography skills and how he became a professional photographer.

Winners from the October photo competition are Denise Burns, Judy Momenzadeh, Robin Stevens, Linda Medine, Kitty Kuhnert, Diane Richards, Jill Ann Robinson, Steven Cambre, Gene Bachman and Ed Richards.

Richard Vallon, a professional photographer from New Orleans, will speak about tripods and mirrorless cameras when the LPS meets Nov. 21 at the East Baton Rouge Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. He has been teaching various photography classes for the last 28 years at UNO and also teaches at Lakeside Cameras.

LPS meets on the third Thursday of each month with a program to further educate photographers. All photo enthusiasts are invited to attend.

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