Ex-POWS hear Bertrand speak on Vietnam trip

Eleanor Bertrand showed photos and spoke about her December trip to Vietnam to the Red Stick Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War on March 3 at Hollywood Casino.

Bertrand gave history about the Vietnam War, cities of interest, battles, the “Hanoi Hilton” prison and the POWs. She shared stories of four veterans: Marine Col. John Walter Ripley, Air Force Col. Murphy Neal Jones, Army Lt. Douglas Fournet and Army Lt. Col. John Powell. The club will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 7, at Hollywood Casino.

Middle-school STEM contest winners named

Four girls from Baton Rouge middle schools swept the grand awards at the 2015 Louisiana STEM Expo at Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School on Feb. 28.

Jasmine Gray, a sixth-grade student from McKinley Middle Magnet School, won first place with her demonstration, “Cornstarch Experiment.” Monica Deras, sixth grade, Kenilworth, took second place for “Tornado Tube and Fountain Connection.” Anusha Zaman, eighth grade, Glasgow, won third place with “Hookah vs. Cigarette Smoke,” and Carley Whitty, sixth grade, Kenilworth, won fourth place with “Wimhurst Machine.”

Dozens of students participated in the expo, which was open to all Louisiana middle school students. Speakers included U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas, LSU Boyd professor Isiah Warner and local businessman Brian Rodriguez, president of Gatorworks.

Other category winners were Zoe Patton, Hailey Hansberry, Alacya Derozen, Julia Rodriguez and Mystique Price.

Ourso Foundation gives more than $100,000

The E.J. and Marjory B. Ourso Family Foundation has donated more than $100,000 to projects that benefit children and religious organizations in south Louisiana.

A board overseeing the Ourso Foundation granted $75,000 to St. George Catholic Church and $25,000 to Catholic High School in Baton Rouge.

St. George will use the grant to help build a new church building with space for 1,200 parishioners.

Construction of the $15.2 million church will begin this spring.

Catholic High School will refinish the gym floor for the first time since the building opened in 1963.

The cost of the project is $25,000 and is the first phase of improvements to the gym.

The Ourso Family Foundation also made other grants: American Heart Association, $10,000; Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baton Rouge, $10,000; Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, $4,930; and Youth Oasis, $10,000.

The Oursos donated more than $46 million to education and religious charities and to other nonprofits across Louisiana over their lifetimes, and continue that legacy through the foundation.

Tara High Class of ’75 searching for alumni

The Tara High School Class of 1975 is looking for alumni for its 40-year reunion this summer. Email tarahigh75@gmail.com for information.

Pride High Class of ’65 to hold 50-year reunion

The Pride High School Class of 1965 will hold a 50-year reunion at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at Sammy’s Grill, 20335 Old Scenic Highway, Zachary. Contact Glenda Hunt, (225) 931-2795, or Phyllis Williams, (573) 255-3625.

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 people@theadvocate.com. 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.