Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, will lead a series of 12 genealogical seminars for beginners starting next week.

The sessions are designed as introductions to basic genealogical research and are free and open to the public.

The programs will be held Wednesdays beginning this Wednesday and continuing through Aug. 21. Hours are from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be held at the East Bank Regional, 4747 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

The topics are:

Wednesday — “Introduction to Family Research and Different Types of Forms Used.”

June 5 — “Vital Records – birth, baptism, marriage, death and other types.”

June 12 — “Immigration and Ship’s Manifests.”

June 19 — “Census.”

June 26 — “Cemeteries.”

July 10 — “Latter Day Saints and Web Sites.”

July 17 — “French Records.”

July 24 — “German Records.”

July 31 — “Italian Records.”

Aug. 7 — “Probate and Estate Research, with Guest Expert Paul Newfield.”

Aug. 14 — “Military Records, with Guest Expert Shirley Lynch.

Aug. 21 — “Libraries, Genealogy Societies and Photographs.”

For more information, call Chris Smith at (504) 889-8143 or send an email to

‘Legendary Locals of Metairie’

Also on Wednesday at 7 p.m., Catherine Campanella will discuss her latest book, “Legendary Locals of Metairie.”

Campanella writes about some famous people who have called Metairie home, including musician Johnny Wiggs, entertainer Peter Gennaro, writer Shirley Ann Grau, comedienne Ellen Degeneres, actress Becky Allen and former businessman Al Scramuzza.

Both programs are free and open to the public. Call (504) 889-8143 for more information.

American Legion marks Memorial Day

Jefferson Parish and members of American Legion Post 397, Harahan-River Ridge, will hold a Memorial Day event to honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Square in the neutral ground at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Causeway Boulevard.

The public is invited.

Order of St. Louis recipients

More than 200 area Catholics who have volunteered their time to their local churches were honored recently with the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond presented the award to the 228 recipients at a special ceremony on May 5 at the St. Louis Cathedral.

The Order of St. Louis IX award honors those members of the laity who have contributed their time and talents to the church.

This year’s recipients are:

East Bank

Harahan: Arthur Arceneaux and Ronald D. Cambias.

Jefferson: William Collins Jr., Aline R. Collins, Delta Willis.

Kenner: Grace Bourgeois, Kristen Cipriani, Craig Comeaux, Marie Comeaux, Louis Duvic Jr., Sandra Duvic, David Rittinger and Larry Sevenker.

Metairie:Gail Becnel, Evelyn Beyer, Jane Blessey, Alice M. Borgardt, Francis Celino Jr., Dorothy Charlet, Wayne Cooper, Jerry Cox Sr., Hilda Belle Cox, Drago Cvitanovich, Klara Cvitanovich, Daniel Dembinski, Marilyn Dembinski, Louis Grossimon, MGayle Grossimon, Ronald Harrison, Diane Harrison (posthumously), Marylynn Judlin, Walter Judlin III, Richard P. Kelt Sr., Marcy Mayeaux, Debbi Melancon, Claude Moolekamp, Portia Moolekamp, Charlton Rozands, Kristie Rozands, Marie Schwalb, Jose Miguel Sevilla, Carmen Sevilla, Judith Watts and Patricia Wilkinson.

River Ridge: Brian McAdam and Marion Thorn.

West Bank

Avondale: Eunice Trentacosta.

Belle Chasse: Madeleine Becnel and Beverly Hebert.

Bridge City: Marjorie Tarantino.

Crown Point: Malcolm Dauenhauer, Mildred Dauenhauer and Catherine Hock.

Gretna: Karl Belsom, Julie Belsom, Sally Fradella, Beth Goddard, Mireya Goodwyne, and Russell Kospelich.

Harvey: Judy Baudoin, Alan Couvillon, Sam Ditta, Sybil Ditta, Joseph Michelli, Todd Tassin, and Rosario Termine (posthumously).

Lafitte: Nelvin J. Perrin, Barbara Ann Perrin and Opal Ruttley.

Marrero:Nellie Alexander, Peter Bertucci, Barbara Bertucci, Lawrence Blanchard, Charlene Blanchard, Ronald Paul Boudreaux, Marjorie Ann Boudreaux and Laura Lassere.

Waggaman:Lorella Morvant.

Westwego: Edward Lambert and Priscilla Lambert.

Beth Israel rabbi moving on

A special farewell event for Rabbi Uri Topolosky of Congregation Beth Israel will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 2 at Beth Israel, 4004 West Esplanade Ave., Metairie.

Tickets to the adult-only event begin at $36 per person and include food and music.

Topolosky has accepted a position as rabbi of Beth Joshua, a synagogue house within the Melvin Berman Hebrew Academy in Aspen Hill, Md. He and his wife, Dahlia, and their four children will be moving this summer.

For tickets and more information, call (504) 454-5080.

Pet adoption planned

The Louisiana SPCA will hold a pet adoption day May 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie.

Volunteers will be on hand to help you select the right pet for you and your family.

A bake sale will also be held.

For more information, call (504) 368-5191 or go to

Clubs look back on state convention

The Louisiana Garden Club Federation, comprising 98 garden clubs with almost 3,000 members, held its state convention last month at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner with the theme “All that Jazz.”

Mary Jacobs, a member of the Chateau Garden Club and a resident of Kenner, was honored as the outgoing president, a position she has held for the past two years. Succeeding her is Yvette Hebert, of Alexandria.

A pre-convention tour for participants included visiting the French Market, Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral, George Rodrigue’s gallery and lunch.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Color Guard presented the colors and Parish President John Young, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and Councilman Ben Zahn welcomed everyone at the convention’s opening on April 16.

Beside the business and committee meetings, there were sessions in flower arrangements, the cultivation of butterfly gardens, environmental studies and bird watching.

Table displays from all parts of the state included birds, wildflowers, Blue Star Memorial Markers, a Swamp Project by Harahan student Chandler Koch, the Live Oak Society and a butterfly display.

Guest speakers included Coleen Perilloux Landry, of Metairie, who gave a slide show and lecture on “The Beauty of the Wetlands and Our Need to Preserve Them.”

For more information about the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, call Landry at (504) 887-1800.

Church sets empowerment workshops

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Marrero is hosting a series of empowerment workshops 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays in the church cafeteria at 455 Ames Blvd.

The series is sponsored by Sampson Therapeutic Services LLC and covers a variety of topics, including creating a personal vision, empowered parenting and better communication.

All workshops are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available.

For more information about The Empower Hour Series, visit or call (504) 265-8960.

AOL honors alumni

Academy of Our Lady high school will host the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards and Recognition Celebration on June 2 at La Maison Creole in Harvey beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Receiving the Archbishop Blenk Alumnae Award is the Honorable Belinda Cambre Constant, Class of 1974. The Immaculata High School Alumni Award is being presented to Carol Loupe Michel, Class of 1977.

Betty Schouest LeBlanc will be recognized with the Academy of Our Lady Fiat Award for Service for her 41 years of combined service to Immaculata High School and Academy of Our Lady.

All alumni from Immaculata High School, alumnae from Archbishop Blenk High School and alumnae, families and friends of Academy of Our Lady are invited.

Individual tickets are $35. Tables of 10 are available for $300. Paid reservations must be made by Wednesday.

To make reservations, visit the alumnae section of for details. For more information, contact Silvana Collins at or by calling (504) 341.6217, ext. 13.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about people, places and events in Jefferson Parish. Contact her at