The West St. Tammany YMCA recently held its annual Northshore Heroes Luncheon at Tchefuncte Country Club. Nine community volunteers and activists were honored at the event, lauded for their outstanding contributions to the area.

Honorees included Preston Hammons, Charlie Hardouin, Lucinda Keller, Leroy James, Rick Littell, Vern Nordman, Nancy Peck, Henry Strain and Phoebe Whealdon.

The welcome and introductions were provided by Cynthia Russell, the YMCA advisory board chairwoman. The presentations were announced by meteorologist Jay Gallé. Richard “Rick” Littell gave the keynote address, sharing his experiences with volunteerism as a “calling” as opposed to an “obligation.”

Each honoree had a table at the event, featuring a dessert tower as a centerpiece. Music for the reception was provided by Adam Bock.

Since 1980, residents of our area have been coming to the West St. Tammany YMCA to improve and sustain their health and well-being, their outlook on life and their friendships. The YMCA awards relate to the mission and fundamental principles of the YMCA.

The West St. Tammany YMCA continues its mission to help build social responsibility, increase youth development and encourage healthy living at its facilities at 71256 Francis Road in Covington. For class information and volunteer opportunities, call (985) 893-9622 or visit

Northlake Newcomers spring luncheon

The Northlake Newcomers Club recently held its final luncheon for the season before taking a break for the summer. The group met at the Vintage Court in Covington.

Guests were greeted by the membership committee chairwomen in the front foyer of the renovated church. Highlighted by the soft glow of the room, guests were treated to amazing views of the lovely gardens, which complemented the centerpieces of individual tea pots with colorful blooms.

The guest speaker for the gathering was the CEO of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, James Boyd. Boyd shared dates of coming events for the orchestra, and answered questions regarding concerts and fundraising. Following lunch, a giant raffle basket from Stein Mart was awarded, with all benefits from the raffle going to support St. Tammany Hospice.

The group schedules monthly luncheons from October through May, with its annual membership coffee in September.

President for the organization, Dannie Goodwin said, “We like to have fun. We provide fellowship through social activities, including more than 57 activity volunteers to satisfy everyone’s interests.” Committees within the society include afternoons at the movies, beginning crochet, gardening, book club, and canasta.

For more information on the club, visit

Missie Arata Noel is the society and features writer for the St. Tammany Advocate. She can be contacted by email at