The Louisiana Future Farmers of America Foundation hosted its first Blue & Gold Gala on Feb. 20 at the Crowne Plaza. Special guests included Louisiana Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Mike Strain, Louisiana Sugar Queen LXXVII Erin Blanchard, of Cecilia; and the night’s speaker, Layne LeBlanc, past FFA National officer.

The evening wrapped up with dancing to the music of Cold Grits.

PRAL Social

Also on Feb. 20, I headed to Mid City and the City Roots Coffee Bar, located at the Electric Depot on Government Street, for the Public Relations Association of Louisiana’s social. It was nice to see buddies Bob Johannessen, Julie Baxter Payer, Caroline Isseman and Ginger Gutner.

Baskets of Hope

On Feb. 18, I joined LSU football coach Ed and Kelly Orgeron, several members of the team and cheerleaders for the delivery of national championship Baskets of Hope to patients at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

As the gang made its way to the pediatric intensive care unit, Louisiana Executive Director Ann Ollendike pulled a cart, LSU balloons streaming overhead, filled with the baskets containing all kinds of goodies. The smiles on all the faces — patients, parents, grandparents, the Orgerons, players and cheerleaders — was all anyone needed to know what a truly special this visit was.

Brotherhood Sisterhood Awards

Capital Area United Way presented this year’s Brotherhood Sisterhood awards to Bobby Thompson and Gerri Hobdy at a Feb. 14 breakfast at Boudreaux’s. Myra Richardson received the Pass the Torch Award. These awards recognize individuals in our community who have, throughout their lives, worked toward the elimination of bias, bigotry and racism across ethnic, gender and religious lines.

Thompson was recognized for his work as a longtime facilitator for Dialogues on Race as well as serving on the board of Humanities Amped and the Together Baton Rouge executive committee. A member of the Unitarian Church, Thompson also volunteers with Volunteers in Public Schools.

Hobdy is director of community relations with Baton Rouge Community College, where she works with nonprofits and business industry leaders to create partnerships for the college. She previously served as director of community relations for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation overseeing grants made by the foundation. She also serves on the boards of Capital Area Human Services District, Better Business Bureau, Mid City Merchants and as chairwoman of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Richardson has impacted the community both locally and nationally, serving as Louisiana’s ambassador for Women’s March on Washington and as the youngest elected board member to the East Baton Rouge Democratic Parish Executive Committee. She is the creator of a local youth group, The Wave, and co-creator of Justice X.

Serenity Garden

The Salvation Army’s Serenity Garden was dedicated on Feb. 13, and several volunteers with the organization were recognized. Lauded for their efforts were Kelly Anderson, Youth Volunteer of the Year; Mike Jones, Behind the Shield Award; Marvin Borgmeyer, Board Member of the Year; Morris “Mash” Bonadona, Volunteer of the Year; and Drexler Edwards, Employee of the Year.

Also recognized were the Zachary Rotary Club, Top Kettle Volunteers; First United Methodist, of Gonzales, Civic Organization of the Year; La Capitol Federal Credit Union, Angel Tree Company of the Year; and ExxonMobil, Volunteer Company of the Year.

Valentine’s luncheon

The Capital Area Medical Society Alliance celebrated on Feb. 11 with a Valentine's Member-Guest Luncheon at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Guests enjoyed a fashion show from Head Over Heels. 

Newly elected officers of the group are President Becky Davis, President-elect Janel Chapman, First Vice President Tess Rodriguez, Second Vice President Karen Stephens, Recording Secretary Kara Hebert and Treasurer Randa Patrick. The luncheon also honored past alliance presidents.

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