Parishioners from St. Rita of Cascia Church, 7118 Jefferson Highway, Harahan, are once again planning a Christmas luncheon for the residents and staff at Covenant House in New Orleans, and they need the help of volunteers to make the event a success.

“We need traditional holiday dishes, foods that generally appeal to teenagers,” explained Maria Blanchard, who, along with Ronalee Holmberg, is organizing the event. “There are about 160 residents and staff at Covenant House who will be served on Christmas Day, so we have many needs.

“We have enough volunteers to serve at the luncheon, but what we need is donations of cooked food.”

If you would like to help by preparing a dish, call Blanchard at (504) 813-1930 or Holmberg at (504) 738-3218 to see how you can help. 

Dedications at Country Day

Metairie Park Country Day School recently completed several construction projects: the new state-of-the-art 10,000-square-foot science and engineering building, the renovation of the Art and Lower School Science Building and the expansion and renovation of the Coleman Family Dining Room.

More than 100 guests joined the Country Day board of trustees and Head of School Matt Neely on Nov. 27 to celebrate the opening of the new building and the dedication of Brightway, which is the walkway outside the building.

The classrooms inside are named in honor of several families:

  • The LaCorte Family Classroom (physics).
  • The Sherry and Alan Leventhal Classroom (biology).
  • The Lydia Sneed Engineering Lab and the Willie D. Ward Gallery, both gifts of the Fred Heebe Family.
  • The Shea/Stokes Family Classroom (computer science).

“The new building ... has new equipment and innovative technologies such as a microcontroller, a fabrication center equipped with an industrial laser cutter, 3D and large-scale 2D printers, programmable robotics equipment and a math-modeling workstation,” said Julie Bordes, school director of marketing and public relations. 

Waggonner and Ball Architects designed the building.

Also, the Art and Lower School Science Building officially opened in a ceremony on Dec. 7.

The 10,000-square-foot building was renovated to provide space for a lower school science classroom, as well as lower-, middle- and upper-school art classrooms and studio space. Clerestory windows on the third floor add natural light to the art studios. 

Bordes said the Art and Lower School Science Building classrooms have been named for:

  • The Fred Heebe Family Classroom (art, first floor).
  • The Eugenie Jones Huger Ceramics Center (ceramics, adjacent to art courtyard).
  • The Howson Family Classroom (art, third floor).
  • The Roy M. Schwarz Jr. 1956 Classroom (art, third floor).
  • The Parents’ Association Classroom (metals, second floor).
  • The Paul J. Leaman Jr. Classroom (lower school science, second floor).
  • The Gustaf W. McIlhenny Foundation Classroom (lower school art, first floor).
  • The Valobra Family Conference Room (facilities, first floor).

“Generations of leadership made these transformative capital projects possible. I look forward to continuing to work with our community to educate, energize, and inspire our next generation of leaders," Neely said. 

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events in Jefferson Parish. She can be reached at