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about this issue....

without you, and I loved every second of working with you.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Emily

– Coco Chanel

Welcome to spring, my fellow fashionistas! It’s that time of the year again - time to put away the heavy coats and boots and bring out the flowy dresses and strappy sandals. When I started planning this issue, I knew I wanted to go in a totally different direction than in the past. I envisioned something that would look at home on my coffee table next to Vogue and Cosmopolitan. First, I had to find a photographer who could relate to my vision – without thinking I was insane or driving me to that point. I knew within five minutes of talking to Lee Cave at C Studio that he was the man for the job. When I left his studio after our first meeting, I knew this issue would be something special. Our next challenge was to find a cover model. I told Lee I wanted someone with experience, but I was not prepared for Amanda. I don’t have to sell you on what an amazing model she is – the cover speaks for itself. What I found to be so special

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Lee, Emily, Amanda, Allie about Amanda is how down to earth she is for someone who has modeled around the world. She drove in from out of town on four different days to do this shoot. She also helped with makeup, coached the other girls when they needed it, and brought her hair stylist, Allie, to do the girls’ hair. With the addition of Amanda and Allie, our fashion entourage was complete and we were ready to start shooting. The shoot took two very long days. I learned quickly that introducing a totally different concept than people are used to can be very difficult...and that most

Southern Belles are not too keen on crazy high fashion hairstyles. The terrified looks on the girls’ faces when I instructed Allie to “mess up” their perfectly coiffed hair were some of the most entertaining moments of the shoot. As tired as I was when we finally wrapped on the last model, I knew it was worth it. We achieved exactly what I wanted when I first envisioned this issue, and we had a great time doing it. Thank you to everyone who helped make it a success… and a very special thank you to Lee, Amanda and Allie. I couldn’t have done this

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Lee Cave, a 19-year Hattiesburg resident, is the founder and owner of C Studio. C Studio offers a genuine, inventive style that has raised the bar for the entire Pine Belt. C Studio prides itself in producing quality, first class portraiture – everything from families, weddings and modeling portfolios to pets. With 20 years of experience behind the lens, Lee is committed to modern and unparalleled photography. Also a premier graphic design house, C Studio offers a unique and fresh perspective for logos, business cards, invitations, announcements, ad layouts and commercials. Through working with the preferences of clients, C Studio is able to respect the right to individuality and uniqueness. For timeless, artistic portraiture to be admired for a lifetime, or graphic design to be admired by the community, visit C Studio. ABOUT THE MODEL: Amanda Williams is a William Carey graduate and international model from Picayune. Her motto is, "Never forget the purpose of the journey, occasionally stop for a good cup of coffee, sing at the top of your lungs (in public if possible), and be creative, even if the routine doesn’t call for it." ABOUT THE STYLIST: Allie Stockstill is a graduate of Toni and Guy Hairdressing Academy, one of the leading cosmetology schools in the country. She is originally from Picayune and is currently employed by Salon 38 in Hattiesburg.

Happenings ....................................... 4-5 Signature Events .................... 53-71 2011 Mardi Gras Parades ........... 6 Pastries & Politics ....……………...........…... 53 Tour of Homes ...……………………............. 53 Mystic Krewe of Zeus .................... 8 Elvis Relay for Life Concert.......................... 54 Petal Distinguished Young Woman ............. 55 Krewe of Elks ..................................... 11 Red Carpet Event ........................................ 56 Sweet Home ..................................... 57 Meet Larry Russell ....................... 13 Home Krewe of Elks King & Queen Party .............. 58 Literary Treasures ........................ 14 Krewe of Elks Court Party ........................... 59 Sims New Years Eve Party .......................... 60 FestivalSouth Strickland Holiday Party .............................. 61 Cast your vote in the first Best of the Pine Belt 2011 competition ........................... 16

Beauty & The Beast

Saenger Theatre presents classic ................ 19

Irish-Italian Festival

Food, fun and everything green .................... 30

Dresses for Hope Student collects dresses for giveaway..........

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Silk, Satin & Sequins S.E. Moore’s creations span seven dazzling decades ............................... 26

A vintage vibe ................................... 31 Drama Queen Kaz Zumbro designs with a flair.................... 33 A Fashionable Affair Bake it, decorate it and they will come .......... 35 Baby, oh baby! Local bakers revel in Mardi Gras tradition .. 49 Top Chef Q&A Meet Joel Edwards of brownstones .............. 51 Signature Traditions ................... 52 Signature Q&A Rodney Richardson, President and Creative Director of RARE Design .............................. 72

Night at the Museum ................................... 61 Back to Basics ............................................. 62 Blue & White Ball ......................................... 63 Big Brother/Big Sister Picnic ....................... 64 Oak Grove Retired Teachers ....................... 65 James Retirement ....................................... 65 Kellar Retirement ........................................ 66 Parrothead Social ........................................ 67 Easterling Retirement .................................. 68 Friday Night Flights ..................................... 69 Ryder Cup Luncheon .................................. 70 Ryder Cup Banquet ..................................... 71 Signature Magazine • March 2011 • vol 5 number 12 publisher David Gustafson editor Beth Bunch contributors Dana Gower • Marlo Matthews • Lee Cave advertising representatives Emily Hall • Missy Pickering • Jessica Wallace art director Bill Benge Signature Magazine is a product of Hattiesburg Publishing, Inc., publisher of The Lamar Times, The Petal News, hubcitySPOKES, Camp Shelby Reveille and Signature Magazine. For information on submitting items for consideration, call (601) 268-2331 or email beth@HubCitySpokes.com. To mail information or photos, send to Signature Magazine, 103 N. 40th Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS 39401.

ON THE COVER: Photography: C Studio Hair: Allie Stockstill, Salon 38 Clothes/Accessories: b.t. threads Model: Amanda Williams

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Mississippi Museum of Art Through July 17, the The Orient Expressed: Japan’s Influence on Western Art, 1854-1918, will be on display at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. Visitors to this eleventh exhibition in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series will learn about the cultural phenomenon known as Japonisme, through the presentation of more than 200 works of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries. First identified by French art critic Philippe Burty in 1872, Japonisme became a worldwide movement that deeply impacted the visual arts. The resulting influence of these pieces on the visual and decorative arts as well as architecture, music, theater, literature, graphic design, and even fashion was overwhelming and continues to this day. For more information, visit msmuseumart.org or call 1-866-VIEW ART. The museum is located at 380 South Lamar Street, Jackson.

Bridal Show Simply Amazing Weddings & Events will host a Spring Bridal Show from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at the Laurel Conference Center, formally the Ramada Inn, in Laurel. There will be a fashion presentation featuring the newest gowns,veils and accessories. All brides will be admitted at no charge and the first 25 brides to register will receive a gift bag. Admission at the door is $5. Many door prizes will be given away including cake samples and more.

Mardi Gras 2011 Though it’s traditionally a French celebration, Mardi Gras is the biggest party in America and kicked off this year on Jan. 6 with things winding up on March 8 or “Fat” Tuesday, the last day of the Carnival season. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, the day on the Christian calendar before Ash Wednesday

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and the beginning of Lent. It's known as "Fat" Tuesday because of the tradition of indulging in rich, fatty foods on the last night before the season of fasting begins. Even though there is only one Mardi Gras day, Mardi Gras season begins weeks earlier – as early as November in some places – so you'll find parades, parties, and delicious Mardi Gras fare starting long before Fat Tuesday. A trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras is a bucket list-worthy pilgrimage for young adults looking for the party of a lifetime. Although you find signs of Mardi Gras all over New Orleans no matter when you visit, the real concentration of Mardi Gras events happens in the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. The first parades of the 2011 Mardi Gras season began on Feb. 19, but the schedule really picks up steam beginning one week before Fat Tuesday, so if you want to be in New Orleans for the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations, plan to arrive in the first week of March, and stick around through March 8. See parade schedule, Page 6.

Beautiful Basics Series The Beautiful Basics Series, sponsored by Forrest General’s Spirit of Women, continues in 2011. All events are held at Hattiesburg Country Club beginning at 11:30 a.m. Cost to attend is $15 for Spirit of Women members and $25 for non-members. Lunch is served. Upcoming programs in the series include: March 9, Garden Gorgeous – Presented by Thomas E. Eaves, Registered Landscape Architect. April 13, Fashion Forever – Presented by local personality Chalie Rae and Phillip Pitts, owner of Parris Jewelers. May 11, Travel Talks – To be announced.

At the Saenger... American Family Theater presents Beauty and the Beast at 3 p.m. March 12. Enjoy your favorite childhood story through the magic of live musical performances as American Family Theater presents Beauty and the Beast at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater. Watch as Beauty fights to save her father while finding the meaning of true beauty and love within the Beast himself. Known for wholesome and entertaining presentations of favorite childhood stories that are suited for the entire family, American Family Theater performs on more than 300 stages each year. Tickets to Beauty and the Beast range in price from $10 to $12 and are available at the

Saenger Theater Box Office (601.584.4888) and online at HattiesburgSaenger.com.  The Lamar County Jr. Miss Pageant, now known as the Distinguished Young Woman program, is set for March 19

Irish-Italian Festival St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is once again hosting a myriad of activities in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. A fun run, parade, mass and festival, complete with good music and good eats will take place March 18-19 at the church located on the fringe of the Southern Miss campus. The Irish/Italian Parade is set for the morning of March 19 along Fourth Street. There is no entry fee, so come and be a part of the activities. King is Jeff Hammond of USM and queen is Sister Carmelita Stinn, SFCC. Forrest Co. Sheriff Billy McGee will reign as grand marshal. Father Tommy Conway will preside over activities.

Festival of Flowers – Mobile In 16 years, 150,000 visitors have been amazed by the grand floral displays and life-sized gardens at the Festival of Flowers in Mobile, Ala. The 18th Annual Festival of 2011 promises to be the largest outdoor flower show in the Southeast – a true one-ofa-kind experience! "All Things Bright and Beautiful" is the theme guiding the spectacular displays of the 2011 festival. Gardening takes on a new dimension as nature reveals delightful ways to give pleasure to the senses. The Festival of Flowers is acknowledged as the premier flower and garden event of the greater Gulf Coast. The Festival takes place during what is perhaps Mobile's prettiest month, with trees leafing out and bloomers displaying their splendor. It is arrayed under tent and sky with over 300,000 square feet of exhibits that enchant, entertain, and educate visitors at this feast for all the senses. Proceeds from the 2011 Festival of Flowers will benefit Providence’s Cardiology Dept. with the purchase of advanced EchoVascular technology. This year’s show takes place Thursday, March

24 - Sunday, March 27 at the Providence Hospital Campus, 6801 Airport Boulevard, Mobile. Hours are Friday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10a.m. - 5 p.m. Single-day tickets are $10 with children 12 and under being admitted free. Group rates are available.

HUBFest... March 26, Downtown Hattiesburg. HUBFEST celebrates art, music, food & fun! The festival will include juried arts, crafts, activities for children, multiple entertainment acts encompassing various genres of music and more. This event is organized by the Area Development Partnership and presented by Festival South. Entertainment lineup to be announced in near future.

USM Symphony Enjoy an evening of great orchestral jazz and exciting arrangements at 7 p.m. March 26 alongside three magnificent Southern Miss alumni and extraordinary jazz trombonists – Tom “Bones” Malone from the David Letterman Show Band; Steve Wiest, director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas and Tom Brantley, associate professor of music at the University of South Florida. For ticket information: individual tickets prices are $20, $18, $16 and ($10 for children only). General Admission events are $18. Souther Miss Ticket Office, 601-2665418 or 800-844-8425or online at www.southernmissstickets.com

Live at Five, Farmers Market 5-9 p.m. April 2 thru 30, Town Square Park in Historic Downtown Hattiesburg. Live at Five is an evening filled with music, food and fun for all ages. This is a free concert series that takes place every Friday evening in April and October. Food is sold by local restaurants and beverages by Sacred Heart School. For more information call 601.583.4329 or visit www.downtownhattiesburg.com.

Pine Belt Farmers Market Thursday, April 2 - Saturday, October 31. 3 -7 p.m. Come out each Thursday in the Town Square Park in Historic Downtown Hattiesburg for an opportunity to listen to live music while picking up some locally grown produce. The Market is open from 3-7 p.m. More information, call 601-583-4329 or visit www.downtownhattiesburg.com.

Zoo Birthday Bash The Hattiesburg Zoo will celebrate 61 years this spring as it hosts its Birthday Bash on April 2, held in conjunction with the Hattiesburg Zoological Society’s Zoo Blues. The Birthday Bash will include animal encounters, keeper chats and special animal enrichment activities, as well as games, crafts and birthday cake. Located in Kamper Park, Zoo Blues will highlight local talent as well as musicians from across the state. The Zoo’s family-friendly festivities will make this anniversary celebration a must-attend event for the Pine Belt. For more information, check us out at hattiesburgzoo.com or become a fan of the Hattiesburg Zoo on Facebook.

Passionate for... Forrest General’s Spirit of Women is launching a new event series designed to inspire passion in women of all ages – passion for parties, health and life itself. Join local experts Catherine Strange and John David Williams in learning how to throw the best party of the season – in any season. All events will be held from 11:30-1 p.m. at Canebrake Country Club. Lunch will be served. Cost to attend is $15 for Spirit of Women members and $25 for non-members. To register for one or more of these events, call the Spirit of Women reservation line at 601-288-4968. Upcoming programs include: April 5 – A season of renewal: Easter and Spring Celebrations May 3 – Celebrations for all Ages: From Children’s Parties to Dinner Clubs! June 7 – Summertime Celebrations: From Beach Parties to Backyard Barbecues For reserved seating, you may purchase a table for 10 for you and your friends. All other reservations are first-come, first-serve.

ment will be held at Timberton Ball Park next to William Carey University, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The Surgical Services Department is seeking teams and individuals to umpire and help with the concession stand, as well as anyone interested in participating as an event sponsor. The cost to play is $15 per person. For information please contact Shirley Smith at 601-433-2964 or 601-288-5634.

Hattiesburg Concert Band 3 p.m. April 10, Saenger Theater

Roots Reunion South Mississippi musicians will showcase their talents at this year’s spring edition of the Roots Reunion live radio show from 7-9 p.m. April 16 in Hattiesburg’s historic Saenger Theater. Organized by the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage and the School of Music’s entertainment industry program, Roots Reunion gives local musicians an opportunity to share with the public the musical traditions of Mississippi. The show usually features a mix of blues, bluegrass, folk and classic county performers. The show is free and open to the public, and will be broadcast live on WUSM 88.5 FM. It can also be heard online at http://www.USM.edu/wusm. For more information about Roots Reunion, contact the Southern Miss Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at 266-4574.

Relay Softball Tourney Forrest General’s Surgical Services Department will host their Fifth Annual Relay for Life Softball Tournament on April 9. The tourna-

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Although the Mardi Gras parade season is well underway, there are still plenty of parades to choose from across the area. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a variety of parades are scheduled from Saturday, March 5, leading up to Mardi Gras. Saturday, March 5: • 13th Annual Biloxi Children's Mardi Gras Walking Parade – 11 a.m., Biloxi Town Green, 710 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Children's parade with wagons, strollers and bikes, all decorated in the Mardi Gras tradition. The parade begins at the corner of Lameuse and Martin Luther King Boulevard. • Krewe of Diamondhead Mardi Gras Parade – Noon, Diamondhead. About 30 units with mostly elaborately decorated golf carts, beginning at the Community Center. • Third Annual Krewe of Legacy Mardi Gras Parade – 1 p.m., Pass Christian Area. Floats, horse and buggies, golf carts, antique cars and more parade throughout a five-mile circular route north of Interstate 10, beginning and ending at Neco's Market Place. • Jackson County Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade 1 p.m., downtown Pascagoula. Parade begins at Pascagoula and Ingall Avenue. • 41st Annual Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Day Parade – 2 p.m. Downtown Gulfport. Parade route through downtown Gulfport, starting at 19th Street. Sunday, March 6: • 81st Annual Pass Christian Mardi Gras Parade – Noon, Pass Christian. Parade starts at the corner of Davis Avenue and Second Street. Kathleen Koch is serving as Grand Marshal. • 24th Annual North Bay Area Mardi Gras Association Parade 1:30 p.m. D'Iberville Area. Parade begins at St. Martin Community Center. Mardi Gras Day, March 8: • Fourth Annual Krewe of Diamonds Mardi Gras Parade 1 p.m. Downtown Bay St.

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Louis. Parade route is down Main Street. This is the Gulf Coast's only predominantly African-American Krewe (orignally the Krewe of Real People). • Gulf Coast Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade 1 p.m., Downtown Biloxi. The Gulf Coast Carnival Association traces its roots back to 1908 and Biloxi's first Mardi Gras parade. • Krewe of Neptune Mardi Gras Parade – Immediately following the Gulf Coast Carnival Parade, Downtown Biloxi. Founded in 1981 and patterned after the old-line New Orleans Mardi Gras krewes, all floats come from Louis Massett and Associates of New Orleans. • 41st Annual Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Night Parade – 5:30 p.m., Downtown Gulfport. More than 60 floats are scheduled to participate in the night parade. Mobile also has a number of parades left as Mardi Gras approaches. Saturday, March 5: Noon – Floral Parade 12:30 p.m. – Knights of Mobile Parade 1 p.m. – Order of Angels Parade 6 p.m. – Mystics of Time Parade Sunday, March 6: 2:30 p.m. – Joe Cain Parade 5 p.m. – Le Krewe de Bienville Parade 5:30 p.m. – Les Femmes Cassettes Parade Monday, March 7: Noon – King's Parade and Floral Parade 3 p.m. – MLK Business and Civic Organization Parade 3:30 p.m. – MLK Monday Mystics Parade 4 p.m. – Northside Merchants Parade 6:30 p.m. – Infant Mystics Parade Mardi Gras Day, March 8: 10:30 a.m. – Order of Athena Parade 12:30 p.m. – Knights of Revelry Parade

1 p.m. – King Felix Parade 1:30 p.m. – Comic Cowboys Parade 2 p.m. – Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association Parade 6:30 p.m. – Order of Myths Parade New Orleans, traditional home of the Mardi Gras Parade, gears up for the final parades of the Mardi Gras season. Saturday, March 5: • Krewe of Bush – 9 a.m., Bush • Krewe of NOMTOC – 10:45 a.m., Westbank • Krewe of Iris – 11 a.m., Uptown • Krewe of Tucks – Noon, Uptown • Krewe of Salt Bayou – 2 p.m., Slidell • Krewe of Endymion – 4:15,Mid-City. Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa are scheduled as Grand Marshals for this year's parade, which is also scheduled to include Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos, Pat Benatar, local musician Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and the rock band Train. Founded in 1967, this krewe is the largest in Mardi Gras history, rising to "super krewe" status in 1974. Grand Marshals also preside over the Endymion Extravaganza held in the Louisiana SuperDome immediately following the parade. • Krewe of Isis – 6:30 p.m., Metairie • Krewe of Mardi Gras – 6:30 p.m., Houma Sunday, March 6: • Krewe of Okeanos – 11 a.m., Uptown • Krewe of Mid-City – 11:45 a.m., Uptown • Krewe of Thoth – Noon, Uptown • Terreanians – 12:30 p.m., Houma • Krewe of TUT – following Terreanians, Houma • Krewe of Montegut – 2 p.m., Montegut • Krewe of Bacchus – 5:15 p.m., Uptown • Corps de Napoleon – 5:30 p.m., Metairie

• Grand Isle Independent – 5:30 p.m., Grand Isle Monday, March 7: • Krewe of Proteus – 5:15 p.m., Uptown • Krewe of Orpheus – 6 p.m., Uptown • Krewe of Zeuse – 6:30 p.m., Metairie • Krewe of Cleopatra – 6:30 p.m., Houma Mardi Gras Day, March 8: • Jefferson City Buzzards (Marching Club) – 6:45 a.m., Uptown • Lyons Carnival Club (Marching Club) – 7 a.m., Uptown • Corner Carnival Club (Marching Club) – 7 a.m., Uptown • Pete Fountain's Half-Fast Walking Club – 7:45 a.m., Uptown • Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club – 7:45 a.m., Uptown • Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club – 8 a.m., Uptown • Krewe of Rex – 10 a.m., Uptown • Societe' de Saint Anne (Marching Club) – 10 a.m., French Quarter • KOE (Marching Club) – 10:15 a.m., French Quarter • Lions – 10 a.m., Covington • Krewe of Coving – after Lions, Covington • Krewe of Argus – 10 a.m., Metairie • Krewe of Jefferson – after Argus, Metairie • Krewe of Elks Jefferson – after Jefferson, Metairie • Krewe of Grela – 11 a.m. Gretna • Krewe of Houmas – 11 a.m., Houma • Krewe of Kajuns – following Houmas, Houma • Krewe of Elks Orleans – 11:30 a.m., Uptown • Krewe of Crescent City – after Elks, Uptown • Krewe of Skunks – 1 p.m., Lacombe • Krewe of Chahta-Ima – 1 p.m., Lacombe • Krewe of Bonne Terre – 4 p.m., Montegut

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ystic Krewe of Zeus members dined and danced on Feb. 19 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center celebrating the opening of their Mardi Gras season. Carnival was the theme of the evening. Krewe members received invitations displaying a colorful, dancing jester highlighting this year's Carnival theme. The jester, handdrawn by local artist Patsy Gray, sat atop a panoply of glittering gold, purple and green papers. As announced in the invitation, the familiar phrase "Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!" generated an extra sense of anticipation. At the entrance of the center, a presentation of black velvet, highlighted with golden overlays, formed a backdrop for a magnificent jester. This 12-foot tall Carnival symbol was adorned in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, representing justice; green, representing faith; and gold, representing power. Assisting guests' with their coats were the Misses Olivia Elaine Enger, Harley Grace Felsher, Anne Love Helveston, Elizabeth Faulkner Mapp and Virginia Lee Secrest, daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Eric Wiggins Enger, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edwin Felsher, Dr. and Mrs. Wendell Raymond Helveston, Louis Edgar Mapp, Jr. and Mrs. Richard Keith Easterling and Dr. and Mrs. Bradley Neal Secrest, respectively.

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The cocktail room filled with sounds of revelry as the merrymakers were welcomed by King Zeus LXX, Robert White St. John, and his Consort, Mrs. St. John, and the cochairmen of the Dinner Dance, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wesley Rouse, III and Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Louis Schwartz. Cocktails were served from a circular bar, and glass chandeliers, suspended at varying levels throughout the room, danced in the light of purple and green. An 8-foot tall Jester served as the cynosure of the room. With the sounds of a trumpet leading the way, guests were summoned into the ballroom. The ballroom was a sea of opulence with gold swags cascading from ceiling to floor. A massive chandelier, with swirling ribbons of gold, was suspended in the center of the room enhancing the elegance. The Zeus Crest adorned the walls. The former Kings of the Mystic Krewe and their Consorts dined at tables in the center of the room and lit from above, befitting their prominence as past rulers of the Krewe. Their tables were embellished with cloths of deep purple and adorned with cascading large feathers and masks, assorted in design and standing 3-feet tall. Members of the Krewe dined at tables dressed with floor-length ebony cloths. Crystal and gold cylinders, lit from below and filled

with purple and gold soft feathers and jeweled masks, sat atop mirrored chargers that centered each table. Toasts were presented to the reigning monarch and royalty under the direction of the Toastmaster, Jesse Ward Conville. Upon conclusion of a sumptuous meal, the partygoers danced to the sounds of the Andy Smith Band. Members of the Krewe serving on the Dinner Dance committees were: Decorations Co-Chairmen: Dr. and Mrs. Joe Hand Campbell and Mr. and Mrs. Christian Lee McQueen Entrance: Dr. and Mrs. William Clair Baker, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bevon, co-chairmen; Dr. and Mrs. Orlando Joseph Andy, Dr. and Mrs. James A. Antinnes, Dr. and Mrs. Rocco Anthony Barbieri, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. John Webster Chain, Dr. and Mrs. Curtis Scott Childress, Dr. and Mrs. William Duncan Donald, III, Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Hudson, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Quinn Johnson, Dr. and Mrs. John Boone Roberson, Dr. and Mrs. James Norton Sikes, Mr. and Mrs. James Eugene Slaughter, and Mr. and Mrs. Gregory James Underwood Kings' Tables: Mr. and Mrs. William Gregory Brett and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Kyle Polk, co-chairmen; Dr. and Mrs. Grif Alan Leek, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Keith

Weathers, and Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Henderson Winchester Members' Tables: Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Troy McIntire, Jr. and Dr. and Mrs. William Louis Reno, III, co-chairmen; Mr. and Mrs. Derek Royce Arrington, Mr. and Mrs. Craig Lee Best, Dr. and Mrs. William Francis Entriken, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Sherard Flathau, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Henry Klein, III, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Choate Molleston, Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Preston Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. David Michael Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Michael Reed, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jacob Shemper, Mr. and Mrs. David Judean Ware, II, and Mr. and Mrs. Graham Delane Whitehead Publicity: Mr. and Mrs. Jay Stewart Walker and Mr. and Mrs. Corey Evan Tator Reservations: Dr. and Mrs. Gardner Lee Fletcher and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wesley Rouse, III Invitations: Mr. and Mrs. Sean Patrick McGee, Dr. and Mrs. David Scott Moore and Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Mark Parsons. Menu: Dr. and Mrs. Robert Byrne Brahan, Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Kennard Allen McKay. Telephone: Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson Birge Stewart, chairman; Mr. and Mrs. James Walker Howard, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Harry McArthur, III, and Dr. and Mrs. Charles David Richardson, II

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The Krewe of Elks opened their Carnival Season with a Cocktail Party held Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Elks Lake Lodge. The entrance road to the Lodge was marked with a huge sign in purple, green and gold welcoming guests to the “Krewe of Elks Carnival.” Massive Mardi Gras masks on posts held the bannerlike sign in the air. The drive in front of the building was outlined in torches with blue lame streamers and sparkling ground lights. A gigantic crown of lights sat atop the building. As one entered the building you could hear the sounds of whales frolicking and laughter of those attending the event whose theme was “Under the Sea.” Ushers Bob Johnson, Kent Mohawk, Phil Sudduth, David Brown, Greg Barrett and Curtis Goff escorted members and guests from their cars. In the grand ballroom guests were greeted by the reigning King Elk XLIV, Steve Oshrin and his wife, Joanne; the reigning Queen Elk XLIV, Richie Malone and her husband, Sidney and Krewe Captain Chris Herrod and his wife, Christy. The massive ballroom took on the appearance of an underwater kingdom of amazement and frivolity with bubbles, schools of fish and beautiful creatures of the sea. The Fruit Table featured silver tri-level compotes outlining the table. Bananas and strawberries were displayed for dipping into various chocolate sauces. Tropical fish swam overhead. The Seafood Table formed the centerpiece of the room giving the appearance of being underwater. Blue, sea green and turquoise fabric was draped above the table with dolphins, whales and porpoises swimming through. King

Nep-tune dominated the center of the table with large pieces of blue coral erupting to the surface. Shrimp, oysters and other seafood delicacies were served. The Sweets Table featured a mermaid surrounded by coral. German chocolate squares, lemon squares and other delightful morsels were served. The Carving Station dominated one corner of the room with a school of colorful fish swimming overhead. A master carver could be seen serving a mouth-watering roasted pig. The Traditional Table featured a seahorse circling a chest filled with treasure. Dips, cheeses and other party foods filled the table. Tables for guests and members were interspersed throughout the ballroom forming quaint areas for conversation. The tables were covered in ecru linen with overlays of blue silk. Large vases with lighted crystals and floating sea creatures completed the tables. The bar tables were at one end of the enormous room with large lighted signs pointing the way. Chairman for the event was Diane Warren. The Table Chairmen are – Seafood, Nicole Rose; Meat, Emma Rose Cubley; Sweets, Janet Pascale; Traditional, Sue Lyon and Fruit, Christy Herrod. Social Committee members are Lionel Campbell, Pammie and Kirk Harpole, Thelma Roberts, Janice Stambaugh, Jennifer Cook, Shelia Calhoun, Janice Cullen, Joanne Oshrin, Bonnie McNair, Chris Thompson, Libby Moudy, Pam Nobles, Magaret Langford, Judy Carney, Joan Slay, Joyce Lee, Tiny Hicks, Ruth Centanni, Nadine Sumrall, Peggy Pittman, Sylvia Davis, Charlotte Shoemake, Brenda Goff, Nellie Phillips, April Phillips and Diane Warren.

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Those who know Larry Russell might liken him to the Energizer Bunny....not the pink, furry, drum-toting part, but the “keeps going and going and going...” part. Russell isn’t yet 50, but for the amount of work he’s already done and the businesses he’s owned, he really ought to be much older. A certified respiratory therapist, Russell is the owner of Lovie’s, a gift shop and cafe on Hwy. 98 West. But for the majority of his career, his job has been in the medical field. Born in Jackson, Russell grew up in the Silver Creek area of Lawrence County. It was there he attended school and graduated. As someone who had always enjoyed the medical field, Russell went to Hinds Jr. College to respiratory therapy school and worked at Hinds General. After graduation it was back home to work in the local hospital. He later became director of the department which he ran for 20 years. In 1998, he and a business partner purchased their first nursing home, which grew into building facilities across the state in Columbus, Starkville, Amory, Madison and Byram. Again, he wanted to be there for the community. Russell actually got into the retail business as a way to go to market and purchase goods wholesale that could be used to furnish the nursing homes. “Being on a Medicaid budget, there wasn’t a lot of money to provide nice stuff for the residents,” he said. “The gift store, Ole River Gallery in Monticello, provided a vehicle to to that.” Russell has a soft spot for the geriatric population, having been a caregiver all of his life. But at the time, with so much going on, they weren’t able to give their residents the attention they deserved. “Growing a small chain, it’s just the nature of the beast,” he said. So, when a buyer approached, even though they weren’t ready to sell, Russell said, “it was God who sent those people.” It was on Russell’s drive through Hattiesburg in early 2010, that he saw a ‘Store Closing’ sign at Lovie’s. Thinking they might have fixtures or other items for sale he might could use, he stopped and talked with then-owner Dawn Beam, who had owned the business, but was getting ready to run for judge and felt like she couldn’t maintain the store to the standards it needed and campaign at the same time. “We sat down, talked and really connected She had something that I would have liked to have created,” he said. “I loved the building and wanted it to continue on. There was atmosphere, the homemade fudge and the cafe in back and it just couldn’t close. So I bought it.” Ever the one to want to preserve small town living and the downtown

area, Russell had owned a restaurant in Monticello, Henri’s, across the street from his gift shop. “Margaret, who had owned it for a number of years was older and was tired and wanted to sell it. I told her she couldn’t close it, so I bought it,” he said. He ran the business for a year, until a reinvigorated Margaret came back and wanted to buy Henri’s back. He sold it without any hesitation or reservation. To Russell, the retail business has been another caregiving experience. The staff works hard to make Lovie’s customers feel special, as do his mother, niece and sister-inlaw, who run the Monticello store. “Our dream for Lovie’s was to give it a new face, some place that people could feel good about coming to...a place with a friendly atmosphere where customers are cared for. We try and provide a little more service, because that’s all we have to offer – our products and who we are. “We have a unique space, the homemade fudge, cafe and several protected lines such as Vera Bradley, Troll Beads and Kameleon.” It’s Russell and his employees’ caring nature that he believes makes this part of the business work and keeps people wanting to come back. Russell commutes to Hattiesburg on a daily basis, but says the hourlong drive, sans the radio, is a good time...his thinking time. Divorced, Russell has three sons – Jacob 21, Benjamin, 18 and Nathan, 15.

Russell loves animals and back on the 10 acres he owns in Monticello, he has plenty of space for a menagerie – from exotic birds and goats, to alpaca, swan, geese, koi, horses and dogs. His love of animals also meant that a pet store had to be somewhere in his business history. Russell opened The Critter Corner after buying the stock from a goingout-of-business pet store in Louisiana. Fish, puppies and unfortunately snakes, which Russell didn’t want to sell, but his manager told him people would buy. “And she looked after them,” he said. Monticello is home, always has been, always will be, even though he said someday he wouldn’t mind a second home in Hattiesburg. Monticello is where Russell’s family lives and helps look after the business and the animals, and where youngest son, Nathan, a Justin Bieber lookalike, attends school. Middle son, Benjamin, attends Copiah-Lincoln Community College and is most like his dad, helps out at the businesses, and has a head full of fresh ideas. And then there’s Jacob, a Motocross fan, who attended the Motorcycle Mechanic Institute in Orlando and is now a Honda technician, but wants to stay in Mississippi. “I can’t get rid of him,” Russell laughed. While married, his wife tired of the banking business and thought she might like to have a florist. So they invested in a florist, hiring a design-

er and the works. But in the end, it was Russell who learned the tricks of the trade and was out designing flowers and catering weddings, parties and such for family and friends. Sometime during all of this the family was home to exchange students for a year at a time and during one period, three at one time. By this time, you’d think the guy would be worn out. But Russell, always on the go, wouldn’t have it any other way. And now he’s settled back down again, somewhat. The purchase of Lovie’s in February 2010 sparked a fire in Russell, who is busy renovating the adjacent space that Beam’s law office vacated in December. Instead of taking down the many walls in the new space, Russell and his multi-talented and creative staff, decided to make the existing structure work for them. The additional space will be a series of rooms, all with their own unique facade and made to look like separate businesses, similar to what you’d see on a traditional Main Street and what Russell has been so careful to try and protect and help grow throughout his business years. The new space will also provide more seating area for the cafe, where lunch is served from 11 a.m.2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The space will also be available for parties, luncheons and private dining. “I have a wonderful staff – a great cook and managers, a designer who does incredible floral arrangements, very talented experts in a variety of areas, as well as the women and college students who work part time. I couldn’t do it without them,” said Russell, nor does he want to. Russell believes in community. And because of that he believes Lovie’s needed a cause or charity to support. Vera Bradley, one of the protected lines he carries, is a big supporter of breast cancer, so Lovie’s is going to throw their support in the same direction. “We’ll have a reason to exist beyond our everyday business.” “It’s all a part of community and you need that. Each community has special things and we really want to be a part of that,” he said. “If you give to the community, then the community gives back to you. And Lovie’s can give back.” “God has been good to us and you help people and return those blessings as you go. That’s how I was raised.” Hobbies? “THIS is my hobby,” he said. “I keep telling people, ‘I'm going to be tired one day,’” he said. Russell recently saw a plaque with the following quote, which he wholeheartedly believes, “If your life is in balance, your soul will fly.” Russell is soaring.

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Art and literature have deep roots in Hattiesburg – with significant historical and physical landmarks located on nearly every street corner, and oral accounts being told over dinner tables all across town. In the heart of this rich culture, lie several jewels among Hattiesburg’s many treasures. On March 2, 1996, the doors to a new 54,000 square-foot library were opened to the Hattiesburg community. The Hattiesburg Public Library now stands as a fixture on Hardy Street, providing residents and visitors with regular programs that include five different book clubs, weekly story times, and craft events for children. The Hattiesburg Library contains more than 150,000 volumes of literary works, offering readers with continuous reading experiences. Literary programs continue to grow in the Library, to encourage early reading in children, as well as to further literacy in adults throughout the Pine Belt. Open Monday thru Thursday 8am – 8pm and Friday thru Saturday 10am – 4pm, the Hattiesburg Public Library provides a venue for encouraging the deep literary culture found in Hattiesburg. Details on library activities can be found at the Hattiesburg Library’s website www.hattlibrary.com or by finding the Library on Facebook and Twitter. The building serves as a Gateway to Downtown Hattiesburg with architectural details drawn from design elements prominent in Hattiesburg’s original 1930s library and the community’s overall architectural landscape. The Library features a courtyard on the lower level that offers a protected outdoor space for children’s programs, as well as a natural environment for all library users. The Mississippi Room replicates the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson with the original brass handle from the door to the New Capitol Building built in 1920. With Mississippi heritage apparent in all features of this room, it truly speaks to the natural resources, industry, and community of all of Mississippi. Suspended in the atrium of the Hattiesburg Public Library hangs a colorful 167-foot, circular mural

painted by internationally-renowned Hattiesburg artist William Baggett. “The Spirit That Builds” mural serves as a visual saga of Hattiesburg’s history from the American Indians to modern times, and celebrates the concept of “people working together towards a common goal, with an emphasis on collaboration, team spirit, and a strong work ethic.” Through the Gateway and into downtown, sits another cultural jewel. Originally opened in 2002 and renovated from 1920s grocery, Main Street Books in Downtown Hattiesburg offers an additional level of cultural heritage to the Downtown District by focusing on the works of Mississippi writers. This unique hotspot for locals has received accolades from residents, visitors, and travel publications. Hailed by Southern Living Magazine as “a fine independent bookstore,” Main Street Books in Historic Downtown Hattiesburg has something to offer everyone. Main Street Books is located at 210 Main Street and constantly adds new features to the store, as well as well-known local and regional authors for book signings and events. With more than 200 authors featured in the wide selection of literature, Main Street Books continues to grow its literary collections to meet the interests and needs of its customers. This Spring, Main Street Books will unveil a new Christian section of its store, offering fiction and non-fiction Christian literature, as well as gifts and Bible imprinting. This hometown favorite is owned by Downtown residents Jerry and Diane Shepherd. The venture of owning a local bookstore has been one of love. “Our hearts are so into this,” they say. “We feel blessed to be a part of such a unique community where friends, old and new, stop by just to say hello.” Hattiesburg flourishes in cultural opportunities and special events throughout the city and Historic Downtown District. With architectural gems, unique shops, affordable attractions, and live musical performances, Hattiesburg is truly a cultural masterpiece.

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FestivalSouth, Mississippi’s only multi-week, multigenre music festival, is still several months away, but that doesn’t mean that a lot of planning isn’t already going on. Last year’s inaugural festival saw thousands of people flock to venues throughout Hattiesburg for two weeks of everything from classical piano, vocal and chamber music recitals to Blues, Broadway and Bluegrass. This year Signature Magazine is partnering with FestivalSouth to not only provide the official program for the two-week event, but to launch the first-ever Festival South Best of the Pine Belt “competition” where area residents will be given the chance to vote in 10 different categories – arts & entertainment, lodging & dining, shopping, politics & personalities, kids, media, best specific food, outdoors & recreation, services, best thing we missed. “Best of the Pine Belt 2011 is a way for local citizens to sound off about the Pine Belt’s best restaurants, arts, entertainment, shopping, politics, personalities and much more,” said Signature publisher David Gustafson. Voters can log on to the website: www.festivalsouth.org/best and begin voting today until April 17. There is no limit on the number of times a person can vote. “This is completely free,” said Mike Lopinto, festival consultant. “Nominate yourself or others as many times as you want. Free posters and logos are available on the website to help local businesses and individuals promote.” FestivalSouth created the Best of the Pine Belt competition to promote the diversity of the region. Voting categories were selected to represent a broad cross-section of this area. An intense vetting process will take place once voting ends to determine the winners, who will be announced in the June issue of Signature Magazine. “The power is really in the hands of the people,” said Betsy Rowell, Hattiesburg Downtown Association executive director “It’s their time to tell everyone about the best things in the Pine Belt. Of course, there’s a huge promotional value for businesses, but there’s a greater value for the Pine Belt people, because when the voting ends we will have a cus-

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tomer-created guide to the best places to eat, shop and play.” FestivalSouth kicks off June 4 with both free and ticketed events to local residents and cultural tourists. The festival offers something for music lovers of every taste for two consecutive weeks. Arts entertainment ranging from classical piano, vocal and chamber music recitals – to Blues, Broadway and Bluegrass events will be featured in venues throughout downtown Hattiesburg. Featuring everything from “Best Non-Profit Organization” to “Best Pet Groomer” and “Best Chips & Salsa,” there are dozens of categories and plenty of opportunities to let your opinions be known. Voting at the Festival South website (www.festivalsouth.org) will continue through mid-April. Winners will be announced in the June edition of Signature at a special reception planned to kick off the festival. FestivalSouth and Signature Magazine give you an opportunity to tell everyone your favorite people, places and things in the Pine Belt! Simply go online to www.festivalsouth.org and click on a category you'd like to vote on and fill in your favorites. Vote as many times as you like in all categories through Only online votes will count.

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By Nicole Ruhnke

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n 1929, the Saenger Theater movie palace opened to bring motion pictures to life in Hattiesburg. After nearly 82 years, not only does the Saenger offer motion pictures, but it has also become one of Hattiesburg’s most cherished live entertainment venues. The Saenger is known for offering guests “not your ordinary night out,” with events ranging from musical theater performances to the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant. The enchanted tale of Belle, the beauty, who finds love on a quest to rescue her father from the Beasts’ dungeon will provide an entertaining afternoon for families in Hattiesburg. American Family Theater is no stranger to the Saenger Theater stage, having presented childhood favorites A Christmas Carol, Babes in Toyland, and Cinderella in recent years. Known for wholesome and entertaining presentations of favorite childhood stories that are suited for audiences of all ages, American Family Theater performs on more than 300 stages each year. The organization was established in

1969 in Philadelphia with the goal of bringing high quality live theater to schools and venues across the United States. Since the American Family Theater’s inception they have expanded to 330 cities in the United States and Canada and have performed overseas in India, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore. “Hosting American Family Theater productions in the Saenger Theater is always a treat,” said Saenger Manager Matt Lane. “Their commitment to excellence is evident in all aspects of their productions. Beauty and the Beast is one of America’s most loved stories, and the Saenger Theater is proud to present this musical for the entire family to enjoy.” Beauty and the Beast will be presented on March 12 at 3pm in the Saenger Theater. Tickets for this event are $10/$12 and are available at the Saenger Theater Box Office, which can be reached at 601.584.4888 or online at HattiesburgSaenger.com. Nicole Runkne is Communication Manager for the Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commission

The Spring calendar is filling up quickly with exciting events that include performances from some of Hattiesburg’s most talented residents of all ages. On March 26, the USM Symphony orchestra will provide an evening of orchestral jazz and exciting arrangements featuring three distinguished alums who have gone on to become extraordinary jazz trombonists. Tickets for this event can be purchased from SoutherMissTickets.com. April brings many opportunities to enjoy live entertainment in Hattiesburg beginning with the production of The Wizard of Oz presented by StageStruck, Hattiesburg’s children’s theater, on April 8 and 9 with tickets beginning at $10. Next in the Spring line-up, don’t miss another performance by the City of Hattiesburg Concert Band on April 10. This all-volunteer community band enjoys providing free performances at the Saenger Theater for Pine Belt residents to enjoy. The return of Roots Reunion on April 16 will also serve as the kick off to New Harmonies, an exciting traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute celebrating America’s roots music. A live radio show in its 13th edition, Roots Reunion will feature blues, bluegrass, folk and classic country performances. Finally, Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera will present Drowsy Chaperone May 5-8 at the Saenger Theater. Tickets can be purchased by calling 601.583.5694. “The Saenger Theater continues to provide Hattiesburg with unmatched live musical performances that can be enjoyed by the entire family,” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commission. “The Saenger provides a unique venue for both residents and visitors to experience something extraordinary in Hattiesburg. With respectable companies such as American Family Theater returning to Hattiesburg again and again with top-notch performances, the Saenger Theater will continue to serve as Hattiesburg’s Center for the Arts.” The Saenger Theater is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility. Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing and promoting tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area.

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What started a decade ago as a small celebration of the holidays of St. Patrick and St. Joseph by members of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg has become one of the most anticipated springtime events in South Mississippi. And organizers of this year’s 10th edition of the Irish-Italian Festival and Parade, set for March 19, are planning for this year’s events to be the biggest and best yet as they welcome visitors from the Hattiesburg area and beyond for the festival, along with its parade, 5K runwalk, golf tournament and bike race. “For the

last decade, we’ve been blessed to be able to hold this festival and have fellowship with people from different faiths and all walks of life, and we look forward to continuing that tradition this year and beyond,” said Rev. Tommy Conway, pastor of St. Thomas. “It’s a fun event that gives us a chance to connect with the larger community, and the proceeds support many worthwhile charities and causes in our area.”

This year’s parade “royalty” includes Forrest County Sherriff Billy McGee as the grand marshal; U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, who serves as USM’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics, as king; and Sister Carmelita Stinn, SFCC (Sisters For A Christian Com-munity), who celebrated 60 years of religious life in August 2010. The “royalty” was announced to the public

during a press conference at St. Thomas on Feb. 25. Irish-Italian Festival events this year include:  The festival is from 5-10 p.m. March 19 at the church, following a 4 p.m. Celtic mass. It will include live musical entertainment, food and refreshments, art and gift auctions, games for children and a raffle for a chance to win a trip for two to Ireland or $2,000, among other prizes. A menu featuring Irish and Continued on next page 

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Italian-style dishes, including spaghetti. Irish ham, cabbage and the popular “Italian meatball on a cone,” and other items such as Vietnamese spring rolls, Italian sausage dogs and pizza will be available.  The Irish Italian Festival Parade is Saturday, March 19, at 10:30 a.m. with lineup beginning between 8:309 a.m. at The University of Southern Missis-sippi’s Hillcrest Residence Hall. It will travel west from there down Fourth Street, ending at Reed Green Coliseum across from the

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church. Businesses and organizations that want to be in the parade should contact Mary Lou Sheffer at 817-372-4022 or e-mail sheffer6@yahoo.com; or call the church at 601-264-5192 for more information, to get a parade entry registration form, download one online at www.stthomas-usm.org  The Father of Waters Pipes and Drums, Mississippi’s only chartered pipe and drum band Scottish band, will march in the parade and perform a concert im-mediately afterward on the front lawn of the church.

A limited number of free hot dogs and drinks will be available for lunch following the parade.  The Irish Italian Festival 5K Run/Walk will be held Friday, March 18, at the Southern Miss Gateway, Longleaf Trace at 5:30 p.m., with registration starting at 4 p.m. Shirts and prizes will be available. For more information, call Jamie at 601.583.0886.  The Irish Italian Festival Golf Tournament will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 12, at Timberton Golf Course. Contact Young Yu at

601-544-5457 for more information about this event.  The Irish Italian Festival bike race will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at the Longleaf Trace. Call Russ Fransted at 601-466-8622 for more information. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is located at 3117 W. Fourth St. in Hattiesburg. Information about the festival, parade run/walk and bike race, including a registration form for the parade, is also available and will be updated online at www.stthomas-usm.org.

Dresses of Hope By Beth Bunch Editor With the Dresses of Hope project well underway, you’d think its founder, Kelly Liles, was probably a senior at Oak Grove High School busily working on her senior project. That’s not the case. The Oak Grove junior, the daughter of Gary and Tina Liles, is just a very caring individual who wants to do what she can to help others. Kelly created Dresses of Hope, a non-profit organization, after reading this past summer about a similar program, Donate My Dress. “After reading the article I thought, ‘Mississippi really needs one of those’ and it inspired me to start one,” she said. According to Liles, the mission of Dresses of Hope, is to provide donated prom dresses and accessories to high school girls with financial needs who cannot afford the costly expenses of prom. Dresses of Hope is currently in the process of gaining 501(c) 3 status under the IRS Code. “We hope that our services will provide young women with opportunities that are otherwise unavailable,” said Liles. “It doesn’t seem fair that I get the prom experience and they don’t, simply because they couldn’t afford a dress.” Since this is quite an undertaking, Kelly and those who are helping her are starting small. “Going into the unknown, you want to limit yourself the first year,” she said. That’s why only 200 dresses will be available to girls at Hattiesburg and Oak Grove High Schools this first year, 100 for each school. It’s Liles’ desire to expand the program to more schools next year if all goes well, whether it’s her senior project or not. Dresses were accepted until Feb. 28 at which time they were sorted and organized for shopping with giveaway dates set for March 5 and 12 at the Edwards Street Fellowship Mission. Liles was quick to point out that a disclaimer on the referral form states that girls may not find a dress they like or one in their size, but if they do, “that’s awesome.” The collection process started at home when Kelly’s sister, Krissy, a junior at Southern Miss, donated two dresses that had been hanging in her closet since her high school days. And Kelly is sure that her friends and classmates at Oak Grove will come to her aid. As have members of the Junior Auxiliary of Hattiesburg who were doing their part and collecting dresses for the cause. “In the first wave of dresses they brought in 10 dresses, 2 pairs of shoes and some jewelry” said Liles. “I know there are girls out there who have hundreds of dollars worth of dresses just hanging in their closets that won’t ever be worn again,” said Liles. “This is a good opportunity for them to donate and share them with others. I’m sure

there will be a lot of donations. I’m looking forward to getting and giving. “Girls who get dresses may keep them or donate them back to the cause, so another girl might have the same opportunity they had,” Liles said. “It’s up to the girl. This may be the only dress like this she ever has so she may want to keep it.” Donations included:  Prom Dresses (all sizes, in good condition, made no earlier than 2002)  Accessories (shoes, jewelry, handbags)  Dry-Cleaning (businesses only)  Dress racks and hangers  Storage space (preferably climate-controlled)  Alterations  Monetary donations According to Liles, monetary donations help the project in a number of ways. “Once the IRS 501(c) 3 fund is established these funds will help us purchase items not available through collections such as plus-size dresses,” she said. During football season, members of the Oak Grove Beta Club, of which Liles is a member, set up a table asking for donations for the cause. They raised about $200, which will be used as needed. In addition to her Beta Club activities, Liles is also a member of First Priority, Student Council, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and will be competing in the Lamar Junior Miss program March 19. She also is a member of the Golden Spirits dance team at OGHS and dances with La Studio Academy of Dance. She also participates in youth activities at Heritage UMC. To become eligible for a dress, services are limited to girls, currently enrolled at either Hattiesburg High School or Oak Grove High School and attending their high school prom. Oak Grove’s prom is set for April 9, while HHS’ prom is later in the month on April 22. Girls seeking a dress must be recommended by their high school counselor or a social service worker through the Student Referral Form. “This ensures they are financially eligible to receive the services offered by Dresses of Hope and aren’t just there to get a free dress,” said Liles. Student Referral Forms are reviewed by the DofH staff to determine eligibility. Depending on how many requests they have for dresses, Liles said it might be necessary to schedule appointments for choosing dresses. “We’ll just coordinate things as we go,” she said. Liles said they would also have older girls and women on site to help girls choose a dress that works for them on a first-come, first-serve basis. “We don’t want girls to feel embarrassed by having girls their own age there to help them,” she said. “Everything will be private and discreet.” Kelly said depending on donations, girls might

be able to choose a dress and shoes or a dress and a handbag or a piece of jewelry. “We’ll just work it accordingly.” As far as styles, the enthusiastic junior said “anything goes – from long to short and even cocktailstyle dresses.” “Friends keep asking, ‘How do I know if this is a good dress to donate?’ and I told them to ask themselves, ‘Is this something I’d wear to prom?’ And if their answer is yes, then it’s good to donate.” As far as obtaining the perfect fit, Liles said girls getting dresses will be responsible for having their own alterations done. “It would be great to have someone to help with any minor alterations that might be required, but that will depend on someone stepping up and volunteering their services,” Liles said. Kelly designed her own Dresses of Hope website – www.dressesofhope.org – after getting some input from a teacher. Kelly is hoping that this endeavor and collections go so well that she’ll have dresses left over for next year’s drive. If that’s the case, her church, Heritage United Methodist Church, has already offered storage space. If you would like to send Dresses of Hope a money donation or donate a dress or other accessories, please contact Liles by emailing dressesofhope@gmail.com or visit her website, dressesofhope.org. At Oak Grove, Liles is a member of First Priority, Student Council, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and will be competing the Lamar Jr. Miss program March 19. She also is a member of the Golden Spirits dance team at OGHS and dances with La Studio Academy of Dance. She also participates in youth activities at Heritage UMC.

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By Beth Bunch / Editor

Stevens E. Moore doesn’t need fancy labels to distinguish his beautiful hand-wrought creations. He knows them intimately – from every delicate stitch and inch of silky, satiny fabric to the intricately beaded design work. These are gowns and finery worn by beauty queens, blushing brides and many a Carnival king and queen. Moore, a Hattiesburg icon and master of his art, is known near and far – from pageant dressing rooms and the brightly-lit stage to runways and rose petal strewn wedding paths. S.E., to his friends, learned his amazing artistry at the hands of his mother, Lyda Moore, at the tender young age of 14. An old treadle sewing machine was her weapon of choice. “Back then girls had a senior reception and wore hoop skirts with lots of ruffles that had to be hemmed,” recalls Moore, who helped and thus became engrained in a vocation and avocation that would carry him through life. You wouldn't exactly call what Moore does for a living as ‘a needle pulling thread,’ but rather a beautiful and intricate art form. Moore served in the Army from 1950-52. Following his military service he enrolled in the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City where he studied dress design. Upon returning to the Pine Belt he entered the University of Southern Mississippi and earned a degree in art and marketing, a field that was once known as Home Economics. He still questions why they ever did away with the class that taught young women, and some men, many important life skills. It was while at USM that Moore designed the first Dixie Darling outfits which replaced the old hoop skirt costumes once worn by the dance line. The original DD costume consisted of a black velvet top with Continued on next page 

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clients. While he works solo, his dear mother, prior to her death several years ago, returned the favor of helping her son out, by lending a helping hand. “She used to do a lot of beading for me,” Moore said. She died in January prior to a particularly busy Carnival season – the year the Krewe of Zeus was doing “Under the Sea” – when eight identical maids dresses had to be made and beaded. But with a little help, Moore had the dresses ready for fittings within a day’s time. “If you don’t think I didn’t do a lot of talking to Mother then,” he said. For his creations, Moore purchases much of the fabric he uses locally, but does visit Josette’s in Biloxi to buy “pieces of jazzed up material.” He has also purchased from Promenade Fine Fabrics on St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans. Moore likes to work with different fabrics from lames to chiffon and silk. “Some fabrics work better than others,” he said. “It depends on the design of the gown and what it has to carry, as far as beadwork, a train, and other design details.” Moore doesn't design jewelry, but he does make suggestions for accessorizing his creations. And at times he has had to add

Continued from previous page gold braid over a scooped neckline and shorts that had a gold tassel on each side. White boots with black fringe and white gloves completed the look. During an 11-year stint when he lived in Mobile, Moore served as vice president of Raphael’s, one of Mobile’s premiere women's clothing stores, which at one time flanked the famous Battle House Hotel, in downtown Mobile.. Moore has learned through trial and error and his nimble fingers have designed everything from street clothes to debutante, cocktail, evening and pageant gowns, as well as costumes for many a Carnival king and queen, members of their court and Hub City production groups such as the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera. In years' past, during one particular Miss Mississippi pageant in Vicksburg, Moore could boast 42 of his creations on the stage, having designed for the likes of Miss Mississippi Kathy Manning, Susan Akin, who was crowned Miss America 1986 and Diane Evans, a second alternate in the 1983 Miss America pageant. This past year was the first time Moore hasn’t had a gown in the pageant. And while it may have been quite a few years since he was creating designs for some of these Miss Mississippi and Miss America contestants, Moore still hears from some of them – receiving graduation invitations from their children and Christmas cards. “It's fun to hear how they and their children are doing,” he said. In addition to his beautiful pageant gowns, Moore has dressed quite a few Hattiesburg-area brides. One of the wedding gowns he created was shipped to Italy to a young woman who had studied at Southern Miss. “One particular bride was so happy with her dress that she kept it hanging on her bedroom door,” Moore said. “It makes her real happy.” As for styles and designs, Moore does listen to ideas and suggestions from his patrons, but he works best if left to his own devices. “I do better if you let me create what I think looks best on you and fits your body type,” Moore said of the designs he creates. However, he does welcome some input from those for whom he is designing. “I want them to feel comfortable in

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what they will be wearing,” he said. And while he doesn't use a pattern, per se, he does have some basic patterns he uses at times for size and shape. Moore has been known to cut the fabric while on the client, maybe giving the decolletage a bit more of a snip or altering a sleeve or split. You’d think with the complexity of his designs Moore would spend days or even weeks on a gown, but the seasoned designer said he can put together a Mardi Gras queen’s dress in two or three days, if he has to. But as with this year's king and queen regalia for the Krewe of Elks, the finery was completed six weeks out. His first Mardi Gras costumes were in 1953 for Francis Miller and

Lynn Williams. And at one time he had created Zeus costumes for 44 straight years. In addition to costumes for Hattiesburg royalty, Moore has also designed and created for kings and queens in Mobile and New Orleans. A hallway in his home is lined with framed photographs and articles of his designs throughout the years and attests to his devotion to his work and his

stones and jewels to shoes, boots or other pieces, especially for the regalia of Mardi Gras royalty. While dresses are his forte, Moore has helped decorate quite a few Pine Belt homes – from the draperies and bedspreads to pillows and other accoutrements for the complete home decorating look. In addition to his design work, for many of his customers, Moore has been known to do alterations for formal gowns they’ve purchased that need a little tweaking here or there. These days the old treadle sewing machine has been replaced with several other sewing machines and electronic gizmos which help make his job somewhat easier, but he does still have the machine that was his mom’s. A retrospective exhibit in 2007, sponsored by the Hattiesburg Arts Council, paid tribute to

Moore's many years of work and outstanding designs. The event at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center exhibited many of the gowns, now in private collections, designed by Moore. His pieces were displayed in a setting just like the many paintings, photographs or sculptures that have found their way in the gallery and brought former clients, fans, family and friends from near and far. “It was actually lot of work to get the dresses hung and displayed,” said S.E. Moore doesn't consider his job a chore, but a labor of love. “I love what I do, or I wouldn’t be able to work the hours I do,” he said of his days which might run from 7 a.m. until midnight some days or 10 p.m. on others. And while not young, the 84-yearold design king shares a birthday, Jan. 8, with yet another king – Elvis Presley. His goal is to make each dress he creates stand out. “I make each gown so each individual client will feel that their gown is the best,” he said.

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If you’re one of those people who has saved clothes from years’ gone by waiting for them to become fashionable again, then there’s a good chance this is your year. According to Hattiesburg-area boutiques, “The best way to describe the looks for spring/summer 2011 is to think to decades’ past.” According to Brittany Walker at b.t. threads, “The ’60s and ’70s reappear this season in many ways.” She said the ’70s are seen in bold prints and bright, fun colors. “Also representative of the ’70s are slinky, easy dresses,” which are making a return, as are high-waisted jeans. Walker recommends pairing highwaisted jeans with a bohemian, blousy top for an instant flashback to the ’70s. “The 60s-era is represented through fun shift jackets,” she said, “many of which feature a cap sleeve or a shorter sleeve, and makes it the

perfect transition piece into the spring months. These jackets are a pefect pairing for jeans or fun summer dresses.” Don’t think of wimpy demure pastels for this season’s fashions, but rather bold colors for both spring and summer. “You’ll see lots of blue hues as any shade of blue goes – from royal to aqua. The bolder the better,” she said. “And you’ll also want to bask in the warmth of eyepopping yellows.” But while bold primary colors will hold their own, floral prints will also dominate this season. “However, rather than the normal sweet florals of the past, the floral prints this season are bright and make quite a statement,” Walker said. For those not quite so bold, she said whites and neutrals are also prevalent, with “crisp white, nude and blush tones being most popular.”

The military look, a popular leftover from fall and winter, will also transition into spring with short sleeve and sleeveless military jackets and cropped, skinny military pants. “It’s all about the 70s this spring,” agrees Ashley Page, owner of Irie. “A must-have this season is a pair of high-waisted flare jeans.” She suggests tucking a cute button-down blouse into them, grabbing some wedge heels and you are set! For a more tailored look in the office, Page said you can’t go wrong with a white buttondown top and highwaist trousers. “Prints are a huge trend also,” she said. “From bright and bold prints to pretty florals, expect to find them on 70s-inspired slinky dresses and blousy tops.” She said even nautical stripes and polka dots have been spotted here and there. According to Ashlynn McMahon,

manager at McB’s, “the ’70’s are key!” “This era runs the gamut from the bohemian look to the sophisticated look,” McMahon said. And don’t despair, but “you will even see some disco interpretations.” She echoed Page’s theme of the nautical look. “This is anywhere from fisherman knit sweaters, easy breezy knits and wovens, to lightweight denim and preppy stripes,” she said. She made note that the utility and aviator details still continue into this spring. “This is your olive drab color, cargos and non-denim bottoms,” McMahon said. “In later deliveries you will see a turn into more of the global and tribal references.” No matter how you choose to dress this season, whether up or down, as long as you’ve got a vintage vibe among the wardrobe in your closet, you’ll be in fashion.

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Don't be surprised if one of these days in the not-so-distant future when you're flipping channels on the television you come across an awards show and think the young lady at the microphone looks familiar – like somebody you went to school with or somebody your kids or grandkids might have known. It could very possibly be Oak Grove senior Kristan Alexandra Zumbro accepting an award for costume design in a movie, mini series or documentary. It's highly possible. She's already won quite a few awards and accolades for her costume design during her years at OGHS and recently won a scholarship for her years of creative endeavors. Costumes she has designed are quite extravagant, unlike the basic “uniforms” Zumbro and her fellow students wear to school on a daily basis. “They get tiresome,” Zumbro said, “but you don't have to think about

what you're going to wear and everybody does look nice.” Zumbro confesses that she has “always been drawing...from a very young age. When I was in kindergarten you could give me some crayons and I was happy.” And while she doesn't design “everyday” clothes for herself, costuming is her forte. On occasion she’s put together a Halloween costume or two or a unique costume for an A-kon convention, but more on that in a minute. Zumbro’s affinity and passion for costuming is strange for someone who had never really been exposed to theater until her freshmen year. Her 9th-grade year she was a member of the drama department’s “baby class,” the first foray into theater for Zumbro. She explained that students learn the basics of all aspects of theater “to make sure you’re well rounded” – from acting to backstage and technical work to design. “It was a lot of fun and Mrs. A (Suzanne Allmon, drama instructor) asked Kaz to be the department's designer. “There's so much more that goes into it. The actual drawings for costumes isn't even half of it,” Zumbro said She explained that it takes reading the scripts, coming up with designs and then drawing, drawing, drawing. De-ciding what will and won't work and thinking about what looks good on stage under lights.” And then there's the vast quantities of re-search required. “I've never done so much research before. It's an amazing experience,” she said. Her research also requires thinking about the colors and customs that are important to different cultures and pulling ideas from designers of that culture.

The design work Zumbro has done during her Oak Grove years has been predominantly culture based – Japanese, Scottish and Inuit or animal interpretations, such as Jungle Book where the main character was a panther. And then there was the children's show, Alice in Wonderland, which won Zumbro a first place award for her costume design. “The costume design was so whimsical you couldn't base it on anything. “It literally had to come from the imagination. That opens things to a wide interpretation,” she said. Zumbro’s most recent award came from costume designs she put together for the Mississippi Theater Assoc. Festival and not an actual production. For competition, students choose from several plays of the festival’s choosing. Zumbro chose Bocon, a Mexican show. Her costume designs featured a multitude of brightly colored feathered costumes with elaborate masks, her favorite part of costuming. For such a competition, Zumbro is required to produce five to eight renderings that have to be swatched, picking out the fabrics and other accessories to be used in the costume and presenting it alongside the drawings. She was also required to present a written concept for her work and ideas. For these costumes, Zumbro researched the Mexican culture, especially the Aztec and Mayan cultures. “They are beautiful cultures and I fell in love with them. “ “The theater is an awesome way to share this love and I hope it comes through in my designs,” she said. Zumbro draws her designs by hand, scans them into a computer and uses the Photoshop computer program to bring them to life with color. But from looking at them you’d never know that the vibrant colors are anything but hand painted with a variety of color variations with a Continued on page 46 

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Continued from page 33 smooth transition between colors. To say costuming has taken over her life would probably be a large understatement. “It's my favorite thing in the world,” she said. She admits to sitting in class at times and thinking about a show she has seen at a festival and trying to think how she could costume it. “That's why a lot of times you'll find doodles all over my papers.” She also serves as the drama department’s co-technical director and propmaster, the person responsible for all the accessories that are needed throughout a production. In the beginning she brainstorms with her director and after weeks of going back and forth comes up with a final design. “It's fun to create something like a giant sea creature and see it evolve and change over time from a basic octopus to an octopus with different attributes to several people making up the various parts of the creature. She draws inspiration from everything. One of those inspirations is Yoshitaka Amano, a Japanese concept artist who began his career as an animator and has become known for his illustrations for Vampire Hunter D and his character designs, image illustrations and title logo designs for the Final Fantasy video game series. Zumbro is also a big fan of Disney and the Disney Animation Studios. “Walt had a way of portraying magic. He tried to capture a magic look where you wouldn’t see a person in a costume, but rather witness some being you wouldn't normally see.” The tall thin blond would like to be a small part of this large Disney world...somewhere down the road. And while we all have little things hidden away about ourselves, Zumbro’s “secrets” might surprise some. In addition to her drawing, Zumbro is a huge fan of video games, AKon, anime (animation originating in Japan) and manga (comics and print cartoons in the Japanese language). Her older brother and best friend, a video game fan, is the one who intro-

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duced her to the gaming world. Her Playstation 2 is something she could not live without. A-Kon is an anime-based convention held each summer in Dallas, and has become an annual road trip for Zumbro and friends. “So many people have the same interests as you; it’s a great learning experience,” she said. In keeping with her love of design and costumes, Kaz designed and modeled a costume for last year’s convention that won her Fan Favorite. Another of Zumbro’s loves is traveling. “It’s my favorite thing,” she said and does it as much as possible. So far her most favorite destinations are Scotland and Austria. Zumbro was lucky to be among a group of 34 Oak Grove drama students who were chosen to perform at the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival in 2009. The festival showcases the finest in American High School Theater and the OG students performed “Jungle Book” four times during their two-week adventure. “It was an awesome experience,” she said. For her senior project, Zumbro is “sticking” with what she knows and enjoys most and will be designing an entire prom ensemble – from her dress to her date’s attire – using duct tape. “I thought it would be a fun senior project,” she said. She’s thinking of a Mermaid/King Triton theme, something she’s not seen. At OGHS, Zumbro serves as president of the International Thespian Society and is president of Club Otaku (a video game club or “nerd club” as Zumbro also calls it, for which she is the founder). But she spends most of her time dedicated to the various drama commitments – competition, dinner theatre and children’s shows. “It’s a joy to do and I pour my heart into it,” she said. While her forte is behind-the-

scenes work, Zumbro does enjoy occasionally being on stage. “It’s a lot of fun,” she said. Zumbro’s own fashion sense has her piecing things together and altering pieces that she finds. The 80 percent off rack at a local department store is one of her favorite shopping venues. “I like to get something that no one else wants , at an incredible bargain, and alter it....take the really large buttons off, alter the collar or sleeves, and make it my own”...like the XL Kermit the Frog T-shirt she bought at Walmart, cut the neck out of, belted and paired with a black cami and leggings. It’s who she is and what she does. Maybe the fact that she also loves the work of Mississippian Jim Henson, who is a huge inspiration for his work with puppets, helped with the Kermit ensemble. Her music of choice, especially when designing is that of pianist Nobuo Uematsu, whose works provide inspiration for her. She also is a fan of Japanese rock and Korean pop, “so different from what we have here,” she admitted. After graduation Kaz plans on attending Ole Miss where she will major in theatrical design, technical theatre and international studies with a minor in Japanese. Dex Edwards, an associate professor at UM, who holds an MFA in Directing from the university, has been an adjudicator at Mississippi Theater Association for three years. “He’s helped me so much to grow, progress and move on,” Zumbro said. “He wants me to go on to Yale after that and end up working on Broadway, “which would be a dream come true,” she said. “I’m so excited about Ole Miss. It will be opening a new chapter in my life.” And if anybody is ready it’s Zumbro.

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For those of us in South Mississippi, King Cakes during the season leading up to Mardi Gras seem as natural as naked babies, but to those up north – at least according to one North Pole resident – the whole concept of Mardi Gras would seem fairly foreign if it were even known at all. Paul's Pastry Shop is working to change that. During the Mardi Gras season alone, Paul's Pastry Shop in Picayune averages selling about 54,000 King Cakes, and expects to sell about 55,000 this season, due to Mardi Gras coming a little later in the year. And a good number of those end up not just within the borders of

Missy-Anna's in Petal has also joined the ranks this year with King Cakes made from their own signature recipe. Rebekah Walton shows off one of the finished products. 

Mississippi, but throughout all of the 50 states. "Monday, we sent one to North Pole, Alaska," Sherri Paul Thigpen said. In 1988, Thigpen purchased the company that had been established in 1970 by her parents. "My family bought a little bakery in 1970. We had moved here from California a few years earlier," she said. In 1972, the bakery began making King Cakes, becoming the first bakery anywhere to make King Continued on next page 

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Cakes with cream cheese and fruit fillings, she added. At Paul's Pastry Shop, King Cakes are available year-round and can be decorated for any occasion, from Mother's Day to Thanksgiving, but it is Mardi Gras with which they remain most closely associated. "Thousands of King Cakes are consumed at parties every year in Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast," the company's Web site states. "A cultural gumbo of European tradition, pagan celebration and religious doctrine, spiced with more than a dash of local flavor, today's Mardi Gras has evolved as an American phenomenon unique to the Gulf Coast region." That region is growing far beyond its borders, however, thanks to expatriates all over the country and to Paul's Pastry Shop. Just ask Jennifer Short. "I'm from Hurley, but my stepdad is from Picayune. That's how we know about Paul's," she said. Her husband, John, is in the military, which is how they and their

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three children have ended up in North Pole, Alaska. The Fort Wainwright military base is located at Fairbanks, but the Shorts live off base in nearby North Pole. "Mardi Gras and King Cakes are just a Southern thing," Jennifer said. During a recent telephone conversation with her mother, she mentioned how much she missed having a King Cake at this time of year. "She didn't say anything about it," Short said, but shortly after that a Paul's King Cake was delivered by UPS. "I was really happy," she said, as were her three children, ages 1, 4 and 5.

"She kept saying, 'More, more,'" Short said of her 1-year-old. "They ate half of it. I told my mom, 'You are the best mom, ever.'" Here in the Hattiesburg area – although Paul's King Cakes are readily available at stores such as Corner Market – there is far more competition, with local bakeries known for their own special brands of King Cakes. In Hattiesburg, Jody's Bakery on Highway 49 has long been one of the pre-eminent suppliers of King Cakes. Leading up to Valentine's Day, Jody's again was ready this year with her special heartshaped pink King Cakes, topped with red, white and pink sugar. With that holiday now passed, though, the festive Mardi Gras-styled cakes have again reclaimed their position among the most sought-after pastries. In Petal, Missy-Anna's has also joined the ranks this year, with King Cakes made from their own signature recipe. "They've been catching on," owner Carolyn Carlos said of the Joanna Lopez, owner of Jody’s Bakery, makes the traditional king cakes using purple, gold and green sugars, but leading up to Valentine’s Day they make special heartshaped King Cakes featuring red, white and pink sugar.

cakes, which come in traditional cream cheese and cinnamon pecan. As for the Shorts' King Cake, "It was a raspberry, lemon and cream cheese filling," Short said. "The raspberry was good, the lemon was okay and the cream cheese was awesome, but we also ate the whole thing, so the lemon can't be too bad, right?"

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he 2011 Pastries & Politics series, which is sponsored by the Hattiesburg Convention Commission was held recently at Lake Terrace Convention Center. Legislators are on hand to brief area constituents. Jimmy Havard, Pat Chambless, Sen. Billy Hudson, Dan Kibodeaux

T C.R. Stuckey Jr., Anthony Harris, Benny Prestridge

Grant Walker, Andrew Murff

Chris & Lafayette Howell, R. Lane Dossett

Catherine Lott, Haley Carter, Annie McMillan

Richard S. Poole, Lewis Myrick, Eric Martin

Grant Bennett, Tommy MacDermott

Tour of Homes

Tori Smith, Tiffany Gragg

Shelley & Dennis Dickinson

Haylee Upton, Gabbie Munn

Johnny & Johniece DuPree

Sonya Sanderson, Dana Farrar, Donna Farrar Smith, Kim Foster, Stacy Blackwell

Troy, Emily, Mary Brooke Gardner

Sonya Sanderson, Nancy Russ Livingston

Natalie Sanderson, Caitlin Seale, Max Palmer, Stephanie Craig, Elise Seale

Coustaur Taylor, Lillie Jennings, April D. Taylor

Natalie, Amy, Sonya & Hugh Sanderson

Caitlyn & Miriam Seale

ix homes were featured on this year’s 4th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes. Proceeds from the fundraiser benefits the South Mississippi Children’s Shelter and was sponsored by Crye-Leike Signature One Realty.

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Sara Abel, Allison Brewer, Tiffany Gragg, Shalita Harris, Jeanie Munn

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Bethany Sharp, Gail Deshields, Elvis, Susan Joyce, Flo Everett, Patsy Johnson

Duran Barron, Sandra Graham, Betty J. Merrill, Carolyn Stewart

James & Allen Hutto, Joan Davis, Michael Thornton

Nell Melton, Jim Stutts Irene Waites, Sherri Marengo

BJ & Linda Barrett, Jack & Sharon Ezelle

etal Post Office employee Mike Russell is a mild-mannered postal employee by day, but on nights, weekends and for special occasions, Russell becomes Elvis of Presley fame.And this year on Jan. 7, the day before Presley would have celebrated his 76th birthday, Russell did what he does best – give back to others.

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Mike Graham, Dot Gandy, Jenny Cole, Pam Powers

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Gayle McCaffrey, Bethany Sharp

Russell performed during a concert at the Petal Civic Center with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society’s Petal Relay for Life. About $1,400 was raised and the ACS and Russell are working together to make this an annual event that will celebrate Elvis's birthday and benefit Relay

Sherri Marengo, Mike & Sandra Russell

Fred & Katy Brown

Chris Downs, Bill Parker

Karlie Hall, Maggie Phillips, Laine Phillips, Morgan Domingue, Natalie Hall Molly Roberts, Brinley Barkurn, Haley Fordham he LeBonte Club of Petal recently sponsored the Distinguished Young Woman program, formerly known as Junior Miss, at the Petal Performing Arts Center. Emily Evans was named this year’s winner. Carley Wigley was second alternate and fitness winner, and Stephanie Yarber was first alternate and interview and poise winner. In addition to being named the overall winner, Evans also won the talent portion. Krystin McCurley, was named the scholastic winner; Holley Thames, Spirit of Program and Savannah Holmes, Be Your Best Self essay winner.

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Mary Mitchell, Summer Sly

Sandy & Lynn Smith

Baranda Anderson, McKenzie Ramey, Macy & Mallory Anderson Si & Cecile Thompson

Olivia Carley, Leighann Herrin

Mike, Carrie, Ansley & Tori Pasquale

Jennifer Updegraff, Annette Davenport

Cody Nagy, Daniel Harless, Cody Coker

Emily Evans

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Shelby May, Jordan May, Anjuli Trbuza,

Rebecca Thompson, Philip Rogers Jr, Millie Swan

Chris Milner, Angela Pace, Audra Cummings

Joe Marcello, Steve Jackson, Gladys Wolff

Donna Beard, Randa Anderson

Nancy and Bill Lewis

Evelin Corey

Mayor Johnny & Johniece DuPree

orrest General’s star employees of care walked the red carpet at the first “Red Carpet Event,” hosted by the hospital at the historic Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg. This awards event was modeled after the Academy Awards show and served to honor several categories of awards given to Forrest General employees.

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Donnie Sue Drane, Rev. Leon Drane Jr., Alice Twillie

Melissa & Bobby Bolin

Liz Harris, Stephanie & Alexandra Shows

Steve Brenton, Sheryl Young, Darlene Neylos, Amy Stevens, Kim Moore, Johnnie Oliver, Sharon Williams, Joyce Alexander, John Hampton

Andrew, Chris, Jennifer, Mary Ana & Trace Robinson

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Carlos Twillie, Brandi Hensey

Holli Quiroz, Jennifer Seymour

Kenny Williams, Nancy Pack, Beverly & Rick Bryant

David Burge, Wes Brooks

Josh Williamson, Jonathan Boone, Chris Boozer, Hank Lott

Sharmon Wichman, Melissa Greer, Cheryl Carriere

Shelly May, Brooke Bryan, Ashley Grant

Bill Granberry, Tina Hoda

Johnny Hansell, Jerome Brown

Barbara Wilson, Hope Broome

Marilyn Howell, Joy Lines, Danny Dickinson

ribbon cutting for the United Way of Southeast Mississippi’s 9th Annual Home Sweet Home Raffle was held onsite Jan. 14. This year’s event is once again sponsored by the Greater Hattiesburg Home Builders Association and Leaf River Cellulose. This year’s home is located at 46 North of Fields in the Bellegrass Subdivision off Hwy. 589 South. This year’s house is valued at $214,000 and features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a large great room with fireplace, home office, 2car garage and lots of porch space.

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Carl Peterson, Stacy Ravenscraft, Mike Pasquale

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Carolyn & David Lyon, Nadine & Jim Sumrall

Mike & Pam Nobles, Amy & Scott Stromeyer

Tommy & Jeanette Baylis, George & Zoula Huffman, Debbie & George Pollitz

Chris & Buck Thompson, Jimmy Mordica, Emma & Bobby Cubley

Andy & Peggy Moore

Sarah & Lionel Campbell,

he Krewe of Elks kicked off the Carnival Season with a King & Queen Party at the Hattiesburg Country Club. David Lyon was host, while Nadine Sumrall served as hostess.

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Margaret Langford, Rosie Mordica

Marlin & Kay Smith, Robert Shoemake

Tommy & Peggy Pittman, Sherry & Joe Winstead

George Pollitz, Joann & Johnnie Fairchild Charlotte & Robert Shoemake

Patsy & Denny Hawkins, Dianne Warren, John Thomsen

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Woody & Betty Lyon, Nadine & Jim Sumrall

Tina & Butch LeBlanc

Lea & Don Aultman

Sue Walters, Curtis Goff, Brenda Goff, Sarah Campbell, Kevin Malone

Judy & Dan McGee

Bonnie McNair, Kevin Malone

he Krewe of Elks continued the revelry of Carnivale Season with their annual court party at the home of Sarah & Lionel Campbell.

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Amy & Scott Stromeyer, Robin & Tight Morse

Tony & Janet Pasquale, Mike & Diane Warren

Tommy & Peggy Pittman, Chris & Christy Herrod

Jim & Nadine Sumrall, Sarah & Lionel Campbell

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Janet Blanton, Debbie Royals, Kathie Winstead

Sonia York, Forrest Robberts, Patty & Bobby Dews

Charlie & CIndy Sutherland, Delma & Lee Sims

Joyce Stringer, Roy Creel

Alex Lewis, Joyce Stringer

Johniece DuPree, Deborah A. Woullard

Elizabeth Morgan, Morgan Sims, Skye Bailey, Lori Halford, Sloane Surber, DeAnna Shuck Coustaur, April & Chandler DuPree Taylor, Johniece & Johnny DuPree, Monica DuPree

ee & Delma Sims held a New Year’s Eve Party at the family ranch. Friends and family gathered for food, entertainment and a fireworks extravaganza to cap off the evening’s activities. The band, Ocean Street, from Atlanta performed for the guests.

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Daniel Hanson, Marco Contrerers, Mason Sanders

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Jerry & Linda Simoir, Jimmy Havard

Kristen Fortenberry, Blue Giles, Haley Stewart, Mike Giles

Frances Warren, Beth Havard, Lisa Bowen

holiday party was held at the hunting camp of Steve and Shirley Strickland in Lux. The Bunco party was for members, friends and husbands.

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Becky Goudie, Patsy Glover, Frankie Banks, Cheri Henderson, Della Dawkins, Lynda Langston, Shirley Strickland, Debra Ann King, Daphne Cornet, Lynn Turner, Tricia Whitaker, Beth Stringer, Paulette Lewis, Suzannne Berry

Daphne & Curtis Cornett

Paulette & Burt Lewis, John & Tricia Whitaker

Patsy Glover, Della Dawkins

Shirley Strickland, Patsy Glover, Della Dawkins

Night at the Museum he African American Military History Museum gave children the chance to let their imaginations run wild at the USO’s “Night at the Museum.” The Museum came alive after dark for children 7-12, as museum employees provided tours, games, snacks and a special movie. Whether it was a chance to pretend to be a Buffalo Soldier in the Wild West or to land a plane on an aircraft carrier deck, children had the chance to explore, learn and have fun. Children also had the opportunity to discover famous African American soldiers, including Hattiesburg’s own hero Jesse L. Brown, America’s first black naval aviator and Ruth Bailey Earl, a representative of more than 500 black nurses who served in World War II.

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Tammy Morris, Hannah Cruthirds, Ashlan Jones, Asblee Russell, Shileah Green

Jamar Johnson, Solomon Toussaint, Tamar Johnson, JayLan McNair

Maranda McClendon, Kaitlyn Shaw, Tamya Woullard, Madison Lindsey

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Barbara LeCroy, Alice Essary

Debbie Dabbs, Gayle Shifalo, Susan McQueen, Brenda Morgan

orrest General's Spirit of Women’s Back to Basics series continued into the new year. The series is designed to renew focus on the beautiful basics of life, such as music, art, reading and enjoying the comforts of home. This session was titled “The Well-Read Home, featuring Donna Davis of the Hattiesburg Library.” Events are held at the Hattiesburg Country Club and included lunch.

Marlene Harris, Jeanne Carlson, Vickie Hanna

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Jo Hailey, Pamela Pridgen, Donna Davis

Liz Hill, Anna L. Walters, Glenda Miller

Fran Hegwood, Bobbie Dobbs, Bonnie Moore

Linda B. Adams, Elaine S. Kersh, Shirley Glaab, Becky Barnes

Dannie Ross, Cathey Aultman, Martha Bishop, Clara Boutwell

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Linda Stephenson, Alice Chambers, Gai Corley

Jo McDivitt, Anna Solomon Knight

Deidre Dodd, Carolyn Ramsey, Mary Bast

Martha Johnson, Peggy Langnecker, Jutta White, Betty Archer, Alice Ryan

Bettye King, Lela Ann Alcorn, Kathy Brown

Faye Crowder, Lois Grantham

Tab & Sam Buchanan

Jasmine Carlton, Jasmine Shaw

Karin Smith, Roderick Thurman

Kelsey Haggard, Bianca Temple

Donte Paicely, Jackie Pride James M. Honeysucker

Diana Gonzalez, Nayarda Robison

Christina Crayton, Jermaine King

Jasmine Shaw, LeCharles Green Ann & WIllie Chapman

Hansel Jackson, Teneika Sutton

Lydell & Jasmine Haynes

hi Beta Sigma held its annual Blue & White Ball this year at the C.E. Roy Community Center.

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Deidere Hollins, Lashonda Lane, Curtisha McGregory, Kambria Thompson

John Wayne McCullum

Demetrius Goodwin, Jalesha Atkins

Archie Barnes, Robert K. Thomas

LeCharles Green, Josiah Ball

Jacqueline Wilson, Marlo Matthews

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Ashley Betts, Roger Walker, Dontez Baker, Markeesha Overstreet

Joel Walters, Vickey Delancey, Bedricka Hinton

ig Brothers and Big Sisters of the Pine Belt had their holiday party at the Ogletree House on the campus of the University of South-ern Mississippi.

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Passion Dixon, Casey Daniels, Marigaye Guidry, Brittany Dixon

Sonya Thompson, Laquevia Coleman, Keyonia Roberts, Scott Bryant, Gervontae Duckworth

Jy’Ryria Selmon, Shanae Payton

Torri Jackson, Ashley Hall

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Aniaya Butler, She’Ron Simmons, Brittany Womack, Alizay Keys

Jeff Hooker, Randi Pigford

Lynda Barron, Judy Hankins, Anita Floyd

Scrappy Freeman, Judy Bookout-Morgan, Becky Shelton

Judy Hankins, Anita Floyd

group of retired Oak Grove teachers got together during the holiday for a Lunch Bunch party. The hostess was Judy BookoutMorgan.

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Rita Holcomb, Shirley Strickland, Scrappy Freeman, Anita Floyd, Gerry Edwards, Becky Shelton, Ann Pierce, Judy Hankins, Faye Blackwell, Lynda Barron, Ethel McMahon, Patsy Glover, Della Dawkins, Judy Bookout-Morgan

Shirley Strickland, Patsy Glover

James Retirement

Mary Ann Cook, Ann Posey, Kim Draughn, Debbie Kitchens, Rae-Leigh Ivey, Denise Holliman, Robin Blount

Petal School District Supt. Dr. John Buchanan, Peggy & Sammy James III eggy James, Child Nutrition director for the Petal School District, was honored at a retirement reception at the Petal Civic Center. Friends, colleagues and family members attended the afternoon event and contributed to a special surprise retirement gift – a certificate for a trip to Boston, Mass. Mrs. James was employed with the school district for 34 years, with the last 29 years spent in the Child Nutrition Dept.

Becke Bounds, Peggy James, Gail Kavanough

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Cafeteria Managers Kim Draughn, Billie Harold, Peggy James, Andrea Findley, Jeanine Galloway, Alice Garner

Hostesses Tracey King, Mary Ellen Watkins, Becke Bounds, Andrea Findley, Peggy James, Michelle Monroe, Margaret Tynes, Alice Garner, Leahne Lightsey

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Anita Jackie Kellar, L.J. Daniels II

Jackie Kellar, Doyla Ashe, Garrick Aube

Nora Dahmer, Cassandra McLemore, Kathy Hargrove

Sheila Lawrence, Cecile McCardle, Bobbie McWilliams, Regina Ladner, Helen Hammer

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Kemyata Brown, Charlotte Booth

Charme Nelson, Jennifer Green, Vivian Tuggle, Onna Helton, Dr. Lindalee Slegelmilch

Amanda Ross, Haley Martin, Rachel Delancey, Dennis Barnett, Pamela S. Mount

ackie Kellar of Oxford Health & Rehabilitation Center in Purvis was recently honored upon her retirement. Kellar had been employed at the center for 18 years. Administrator L.J. Daniels II was on hand to honor Kellar and Maurice Young, who served at the center for 20 years.

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Wes Lee, Stan Gieger, Lloyd “Hurricane” Munn, Wes Johnson

Kenny Lance, Mark Pallang

Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Cherie Meabon

group of Pine Belt Parrothead followers, those who love the music of Jimmy Buffett, formed their own association known as the Parrotheads. The group meets on a regular basis at Shuckers. Special guest at their holiday meeting was Greg “Fingers” Taylor, who played harmonica in Buffett’s Coral Reefers Band for a number of years. Buffett and Taylor met when Taylor was a student at USM

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Megan Anderson, Rachel Fuller, Gene Box, Erin Anderson

Roy Creel, Joyce Stringer

Stephanie Box, Mattie

Lisa McGaugh, Cherie Meabon, Rosemary Biglin

Darryl Martin, Andy Waites, Keith McCormick

Rick Grayson, DeWayne Morris

Candy Johnson, Denise Cartlidge

Gene Box

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Kendra Pope, Jerice Williams, Victoria Easterling, Dena Semmons, Gloria Jackson, Nyah Jordan

Pat Fluker, Craolyn Moody, Victoria Easterling, Shirley Scott, Angeline Smith

Pamela London, Hannah Hopkins, JoAnn Hine, Crolyn Moody, Victoria Easterling, Julie Nantz, Mrs. Easterling

Pamela Miles, Victoria Easterling, Pastor Janette Geddie

Cathy Herron, Victoria Easterling

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Amarius Jenkins, Victoria Easterling, Christine McLaurin

Sheila Lofton, Irene Williams-Jones

ictoria Jordan Easterling was recently honored with a retirement reception at the C.E. Roy Community Center. Mrs. Easterling is retiring after 25 years working with the State of Mississippi through the University of Southern Mississippi, the Hattiesburg Public School District, Pearl River Community College and the Forrest County Dept. of Human Services. Hannah Hopkins served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event which was hosted by the Easterling, Jordan and Jenkins families.

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Dena & Thomas Simmons

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Melissa Brown, Martha Elledge, Odis Ruth Travis

Marshae McNeal, LaKeisha Bryant, Tracey Seymour, Clauia Ellis

Amarius Jenkins, Victoria Easterling, Emma Pope

Farrah Scott, Eric & Suzanne Stockstill, Scott Blye Jennifer & Jason Easterling, Eric & Bridget Garner

Al & JoAnn Parente

ManLiu & Paul Feliu

Jordan Whittle, Wes & Melanie Girod

Pam Hudson, Pam Hattaway, Al Davis, Carrie & Bandy Singh

easons & Fine Wine Liquor Loft have joined forces to allow Pine Belt residents to take part in Friday Night Flights, a casual tasting of 8 select wines paired with complementing appetizers.

S Paula Odom, Randon Brockway, Haydee Franco

Mark & Paula Mayer

Xu Li, David Young

Tori Walker, Marcus Leigh

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Robyn Webb, Leah Henderson, Joan Ignatius

Sue George, Marion Hinton, Shirley Bedson

Julia Poxon, Annette Griffiths, Sheena Vultaceto

Melissa Rainforth, Christina Ignatius, Maria Hildebrand, Mary Hotwagner

attiesburg’s own Ryder Cup activities brought guests from across the big pond to Hattiesburg for a plethora of fun and fellowship, which included an opening and closing ceremony, a luncheon for the wives, dinner parties throughout the week and some amazing rounds of golf. Golfing activities were held at the Hattiesburg Country Club.

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Leta Corbin, Jo Ignatius, Joy Caldwell, Jan Mutz

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Bohni Ghindlay, Sue Truman, Pat Vultaggio

Victor & DeLane Smith, Marion & Robert Hinton

Joe & Jo Ignatius

Paul & Pat Vultaggio, Gary Fellows, Sue Truman

Bob & Sue George, Robyn & Mick Webb

Leah & Jim Henderson

Jeff & Amy Heimerdinger, Mary & Manie Hofugres

Peter Hoe, Steve Clohessy Nick & Julia Poxon

Lisa & Rick Conn, Liz & Pat Zachary

Joe Ignatius, Tim Mutz, Tony Soprano Bob Grindley, Joanne & Joe Ignatius, Berni Grindley

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Signature Magazine - March 2011