Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! Hope you're getting pampered on your special day.
And, speaking of special days, the week started off with a very special one for graduates of this year’s Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program. The 39 members of the Class of 2019 have a nickname for the program’s leader, Emily Stitch. Well, actually, there are two — “Leadership Mama” and “Atilla the Hun” — both bestowed with much love and respect at the end of a yearlong study of key issues facing our community. They were all in a celebratory mood at this year’s graduation celebration June 4 at the Marriott.
Before Emily, a 1991 graduate of the program, introduced this year’s graduates, attendees heard from BRAC President Adam Knapp and Alumni Board President-elect Danny Fields, Class of 2014. Kara Still, a member of the Class of 2015, handled the roll call of the classes.
Joining the impressive list of alumni are Aaron Bayham, Celtic Studios; Jonathan D. Blake, Hammonds Sills Adkins & Guice; LaMiesa D. Bonton, Bonton Associates; Em Cooper, Louisiana Department of Education; Adonica Pelichet Duggan, New Schools for Baton Rouge; Alsie Dunbar, SGS Oil & Gas North America; Chrissy Dupuy, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Bryan Fontenot, Brown & Brown Insurance; Tommy Freel, LaPorte CPAs & Business Advisors; Lance Glaser, Performance Contractors Inc.; Brace B. "Trey" Godfrey III, 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge; Carissa Graves, Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School; LaDonna B. Green, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group; Druit Gremillion Jr., Breazeale Sachse & Wilson; AnnaBeth Guillory, Ochsner Health System; Sarah C. Haneline, BASF; Stuart D. Helo, CSRS Inc.; Joshua G. Hollins, Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development; and Monica Hughes, Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
Also, Seth Irby, Emergent Method; Dorothy Kemp, LSU Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes; Elizabeth Howard Kline, Woman's Hospital Foundation; Matthew LaBruyere, Louisiana Board of Regents; Mandy B. LaCerte, University View Academy; Anne Segura Manint, General Health System/Baton Rouge General; Kristy Mayes, Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation; Elizabeth Minton, Teach for America; Antoinette Patterson, American Dream Realty; Pheriche Perkins, Louisiana Department of Education; Rawlston D. Phillips III, Sun Plus Inc.; Kathryn Pittman, Postlethwaite & Netterville; Brandis Rawls, Springhill Suites Baton Rouge North; Daniel Richard, Louisiana Scrap Metal Recycling; J. Tracy Rutledge, Red River Bank; Mardrah Starks-Robinson, Louisiana Department of Health; Brittany Sykes, Urban League of Louisiana; Eric Troutman, Troutman Insurance Agency; Katie Valenciano, St. Joseph's Academy; and Todd Weldy, Placid Refining Co.
The Women’s Community Rehabilitation Center hosted its third annual Tea Time on June 8 at the Woman’s Clubhouse. An UpLIFTED program, WCRC is a residential treatment center for women in need of mental health services who are often homeless that helps put them on a path of recovery and independence.
Welcoming guests was Executive Director Kristi Bourgeois, who introduced the afternoon’s speakers — program graduate Domonique Thomas and client Mandy Brian. Both women received a standing ovation after sharing their heart-tugging stories.
Thomas, who grew up on the streets of New Orleans, thanked the staff for never giving up on her. “They wanted me to get better,” she said through tears. Brian echoed that sentiment of support. “They saved my life,” she said.
Thomas is enrolled full time at Baton Rouge Community College. Brian recently received her peer support certification, allowing her to assist others struggling to get their lives back.
Rock for Spots
Later that evening, I popped in at The Varsity, where sound checks were underway for the second annual Rock for Spots, a fundraiser for Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center that doubles as an awareness campaign. Rocking the night away were four local bands, all with doctors as members. They included Fret Medics, led by local surgical oncologist John Lyons, who came up with Rock for Spots; The V-Tones; Blue Verse and Jerry C & the Malignancy.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S. but can easily be detected and is often curable if caught early. Melanoma is the one of the most lethal form of skin cancer, but it can be detected by checking skin regularly for moles or skin changes.
This August is the 50th anniversary of one of the most historical events of the 1960s — the Woodstock Musical Festival. And the Knock Knock Children’s Museum is planning a big celebration to commemorate the event. Knock Stock is a children’s musical festival set for Aug. 16-18 in the museum’s “Big Back Yard.”
The two-day event’s musical line-up includes Peter Simon, Polly Pry, Ziggy & the Junkyard Band, Baton Rouge Music Studio, Dorothy LeBlanc, School of Performing Rock and the Baton Rouge School of Rock.
Junkyard Band member River, with a bit of help from puppeteer Clay Achee, helped Jimmy Frederick, the museum’s director of marketing and communications, announce the celebration at a news conference on June 4. And if this was an indication of what’s to come, you want to circle the August weekend on your calendar.
For details, visit knockknockmuseum.org.