BayouLife Magazine November 22

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Make your Thanksgiving table picture perfect with these festive ideas for holiday entertaining. Taylor Bennett created three different looks for these spirited settings using a variety of linens and customized place cards.


Scratch Bakehouse is a home-based, cottage bakery specializing in quality sourdough goods with a faithful cus tomer base, but it began as a wellness journey.


It’s time to give thanks. This season, gather around the table for a Louisiana Thanksgiving feast full of flavor and seasonal offerings.


From fur coats to cozy sweaters, these autumn looks combine the season’s best styles. Find these and more at area boutiques.


Ater spending more than three decades away from Monroe, Monti Sharp is ready to reconnect with his hometown.

APRIL 2018


Founded by Tommy Hatfield, owner, and president, Kinloch Plantation Products is one of a few key companies producing pecan oil, which is considered one of the healthiest types of cooking oils on the market.


As they prepare for a new chapter in their lives, the Land family is eager to share the story of their home, Luna Moon, with the hopes of manifesting someone, who like them, deeply lives the poetry of growing roots.


Kristie Bardell recently became Executive Director for The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana (CCNELA). She is no stranger to that organization because she has worked with CCNELA over the past three years to advance adolescent health outcomes in our region.


Make your imprint on someone’s life this holiday season by giving your time and financial contribution to one of these deserving non-profit organizations.

124 87 167 NOVEMBER 2022 38 BLcontents

Thankfulness. When Trent and I moved home from Austin, TX back to Louisiana, we really weren’t sure how we were going to feel about it. We knew that it would be great to be back near family, but most of our friends already had kids...and we were really late to that game. To look at how things have evolved in the last 14 years since we’ve been back is incredible. Our community has really changed, we have leaders providing opportunities for economic growth and cultivating the arts in our region. There is something to do every week (remember to check out our calendar every month). I can’t say there aren’t times I’ve been discouraged. This last year was really challenging, but through those times, I’ve met some amazing people. Life goes through ebbs and flows, but one thing that has really resonated with me is gratitude. I’m thankful for God in my life, for my family, for my friends, my co-workers... my community.

BayouLife Magazine gives me an outlet to express my gratitude to the people in this community. I love highlighting people, businesses and places that make Northeast Louisiana a great place to live. This issue, especially, gives us the opportunity to spotlight some of our local philanthropic organizations that are integral in helping those in need. From disaster relief through the United Way to food donations from the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, these organizations are at a critical need for monetary support for their programs. If you are looking for a way to make an imprint on someone’s life this holiday season by giving your time and financial contributions to deserving non-profit organizations, we’ve compiled a list on pages 174-193 of several charitable and arts organizations throughout north

Louisiana. These organizations make a difference in the lives of our friends, neighbors and children. Be thankful this holiday season and give back in a profound way.

This month we have some interesting articles, including Georgiann Potts’ interview with Kristie Bardell on page 167. Bardell recently became Executive Director for The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana (CCNELA). She is no stranger to that organization because she has worked with CCNELA over the past three years to advance adolescent health outcomes in our region.

On page 38 read about Christina Poole’s journey into Scratch Bakehouse a home-based, cottage bakery specializing in quality sourdough goods

I adore our fashion shoot this month. We rented an A-frame cabin in Farmerville for these nature-inspired photographs. Savannah Thomas, Meka Bennett, Taylor Bennett and Kelly Moore Clark did an excellent job capturing the vision for this shoot.

We have so many great articles, delicious food features and fun Thanksgiving ideas in this magazine. We hope you truly enjoy reading it. Make sure to get out and vote, to love your neighbor and to SHOP LOCAL!


1201 Royal Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Phone 318.855.3185


PUBLISHER & OWNER Cassie Livingston


Cindy Foust



Katelyn Tolbert

Courtney Thomas

Sarah McElroy

ART DIRECTOR Taylor Bennett


Kelly Moore Clark


B. Raj Bhandari, MD

Brandi Chambless

Dan Chason

Kenny Covington

Cindy Gist Foust

Starla Gatson

J Marshall Haynie, MD

Kerry Heafner

Pam Lavender

Paul Lipe

Erin Love

Meredith McKinnie Guy Miller

Georgiann Potts Cathi French-Roberts

.Delia Simpson

Beatrice A. Tatem Vanelis Rivera

Judy Wagoner

Robert Wright


Kelly Moore Clark

Andrew Bailey

Monti Sharp


Into the Woods Fashion photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK model by SAVANNAH THOMAS clothing available at PALETTE HOUSE & PLUME

BayouLife Magazine is published and distributed by Redbird Publishing, LLC. Postal subscriptions ($30) can be ordered online at BayouLife Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited photographs, manuscripts, or other materials. Opinion columns do not represent the views of the publisher. Reproduction of contents without express written permission is prohibited.

18 Cassie

Journey Into Autumn

A Seasonal Discovery of You


by. It seems last week society was planning for the start of school and already, has begun preparing for the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season. Crisp morning air and glaringly bright skies, longer nights, and cozy evenings, are seasonal indicators reminding us autumn has arrived. Autumn reveals itself as an exciting time of year; a “turn over a new leaf” quality inspired by nature. It is a time of the year symbolic of shifts in life, “getting ready,” taking charge, a return to routine and starting anew. Autumn is shaped by the rhythm of the quiet and change in the environment suggesting there is more to come in the year. In my opinion this time of the year has a mellow, somber, peaceful feel, where the cooler temperatures of the outside meet the warmth of the inside. It is a time when we observe foliage going through stages of transition and leaves changing from green to brilliant colors of red, yellow, orange, and brown. Fruit - like apples are at their best and pumpkin patches are once again filled with children eager to select the pumpkin they want to carve. As we journey into autumn and experience it unfolding at its own pace, let us be mindful of the impact seasonal change has on us emotionally, mentally, physically, and socially. Time will “fall back,“ signaling once again it is time, we ready ourselves for a shift in nature, a shift in life, a shift in ourselves.

Autumn like each season of the year has its own characteristics. It is an emotional time of the year filled with memories, traditions, customs, and occurrences associated with the season. Autumn is to be appreciated as a time when people transition emotionally, mentally, and physically. As the season changes, one may notice a shift in their mental health. It is therefore important to give attention to the degree of impact seasonal change has on one’s mental state. How we perceive change in our lives depends on how the shifts are experienced. How shifts in life impact one’s wellness depends on the individual. Seasonal change can be experienced as energizing, peaceful, meaningful, fulfilling, stressful and demanding. For some autumn is when people begin to slow down, turn inward, and experience a decrease in energy level. While others report an increase in sleeping, difficulty waking up in the morning, overeating, greater degrees of depression and a shift in mood. For many the beginning of autumn feels like the busiest time of the year. Others regard it as a season set aside for enjoying the fullness of the harvest of life, as a time of renewal to reconnect with family and friends. In keeping with nature, autumn is a time when many emotionally hibernate from the demands of life. I encourage clients particularly those with a history of mood shifts

triggered by seasonal change to use this time to turn inward, to become reacquainted with self, to embrace desired features of self while reflecting on the aspects of life they want to change.

As you journey into autumn this year take the time to discover yourself. Focus on your mental, emotional, physical, and social health. Note the emotional shift you experience as the season transitions from the sunshine and heat of the summer to the colder darker nights of the winter. Recognize the mental health benefits of the season and take measures to incorporate them in your life. In response to the cooler temperatures make the most of the season and break out cozy sweaters, take brisk morning walks, warm drinks and spend time outdoors surrounded by the beauty of nature. Research has shown spending time in nature and taking in cooler temperatures provides a mental health boost resulting in overall wellness, clarity of thought and happiness. Practice resiliency to fight winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Autumn is a good time to hibernate and rest; to spend quality time with a select group of family and friends. Savor the treats of the season such as pumpkin spiced coffee and squash soup (a personal favorite). If you are one who prefers other seasons this might be the time to do something you have never done before that is associated with autumn. I grew up in a region of the country where autumn was more than the bridge between summer and winter but a distinct season with equal billing. It was known for creating it’s mosaic like background of robust colors that helped to connect humanity to nature. Like the colors of autumn take steps towards being bold in yourself.

Autumn this year has arrived as the world is reopening. With all the shifts taking place life is moving fast. As many strive to be open to the world we are experiencing a global backdrop of threats to our national security, talks of nuclear weapons and Armageddon, Ukraine and Russian conflict, American citizens wrongfully imprisoned overseas, increase in food and gas prices, election and voting problems at home, increase in suicide, depression and anxiety, violence near and far. Some are enduring extreme situations and facing challenges beyond their own comprehension. We must be mindful everything has a season. Leaving us to question, are we ready to be open to these shifts. This autumn embrace new beginning and turn inwards giving attention to the shifts impacting our relationships our mind, body, mood and soul.

For more information on counseling and outreach services contact Dr. Beatrice A. Tatem at Wellness Initiatives, LLC 2485 Tower Drive, Suite 10, Monroe, La 71201. 318-410-1555 or at


Pickled Pink


cut into

sure there



1/2 inch


1/2 inch space from the rim


adding vinegar, water, salt and

bring to a boil. Make sure to

brine over the vegetables

the top. Gently top jar to remove

jars. Let cool and store in the


styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK
Pickling is a simple way to preserve produce from harvest before colder temperatures move in. We’ve put together an easy stepby-step on how to get started. WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 1 pound of fresh vegetables 2 sprigs of fresh herbs (dill, rosemary, or thyme) 1 teaspoon spices 2 garlic cloves, smashed 1 cup apple cider or white vinegar 1 cup water 2 teaspoons pickling salt 1 tablespoon sugar Prepare jars by washing in soapy water and
well and let dry. Wash and dry vegetables and
desired shapes. Add the herbs, spices and garlic
you are using evenly between jars. Pack vegetables
jars making
of jar. Make a
sugar in a saucepan and
and sugar. Pour
and leave
any air bubbles. Seal the
refrigerator. NOTE: This pickling recipe must be stored in refrigerator and can be used up to


Historical Impressions

The Chennault Room at the museum is resplendent with military and personal memorabilia as well as information that tells the story of General Chennault and the American Volunteer Group. The AVG is of course more popularly known as the Flying Tigers. Most of the items in the collection attract the eye due to their uniqueness or impressiveness. But tucked away almost unnoticed in the far corner is perhaps the most important piece of history in the room. This item is a small, very ordinary journal with some travel information displayed on one of the opened pages. This journal is important because it documents the reason this collection even exists. This journal is important because it contains information that stopped a relentless enemy and saved a nation.

China was attacked by the Empire of Japan in the summer of 1937. Shortly before this happened, retired U.S. Air Corps aviator Claire Lee Chennault was contracted by the Chinese government to evaluate and train the Chinese Air Force. By 1940 it was clear to Chennault that the Chinese Air Force would never stop the Japanese Army Air Service due to its obsolescent aircraft, illtrained pilots and shortage of equipment.

After consulting with Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek, Chennault left China to return to the United States “to get as many fighter planes, bombers, and transports as possible, plus all the supplies needed to maintain them and the pilots to fly the aircraft.” The pages opened on display in Chennault’s journal document the many legs of air travel flown to get Chennault from China to Washington D.C.

As the journal shows, Chennault left Kunming on October 21, 1940 and reached Hong Kong the following day. After spending some days in Hong Kong, Chennault boarded a Pan American Airways clipper on November 1 to begin

the series of seven flights that were necessary for air travel between China and the American capitol city.

Chennault met with numerous people as his trip progressed that November and these meetings were documented in most of the subsequent pages in the journal. The people he met with were widely diverse including many representatives of the U.S. military, Chinese military officers stationed in America, aircraft industry executives, government officials and other civilians.

Perhaps the most fascinating information contained in the journal also gives insight into the workings of Chennault’s mind. Three of the pages list types of fighter aircraft along with pertinent information about each one. In order, the aircraft listed are the Bell Aircobra [Ed.the P-39], Brewster [Buffalo F2A], P-40 [Tomahawk], P-40D [Warhawk], Grumman [P-] 36A and [P-] 36B [the Navy’s F4F3 Wildcats]; Lockheed 322 [a variant of the P-38E Lightning], N.A. 73 [an early export variant of the North American P-51 Mustang], Vultee Vanguard [P-66] and an unknown 4-man aircraft simply designated as #18500 which appears to be a light bomber. The information listed for these aircraft often includes cruising range, ceiling and armament; and sometimes includes notes on aircraft armor, minutes to altitude or range at altitude, bomb load and characteristics such as fixed or folding wings. Chennault also has notes to remind himself to “inquire about [the] dimensions of fields & runways for military planes” as well as needed runway length, width and the construction thickness of the surface.

It is obvious Chennault was evaluating the available types of fighter aircraft in production so he could determine which best suited the needs of air warfare under the conditions present in China and which he should therefore attempt to obtain. Although we will never know for sure, it is possible Chennault had already decided the

P-40 was the best choice for China’s aircraft needs because he made additional notes for only the P-40:

Notes on P-40 landing 30o Flaps, land fast, hold stick forward lightly.

Technical : lengthen tail oleo strut from 24” to 27 7/32”. Shorten main oleo’s from 7 ½” to 7”.

In addition to aircraft data, Chennault jotted down notes on personnel acquisition. He thought about separation and return to U.S. service, passports, insurance, and who he needed to meet with to discuss getting U.S. aviators and ground crew released for service in China. He also made himself reminders about certain equipment needs including radios, floodlight trucks, oxygen and oxygen masks.

Perhaps the most surprising entries are Chennault’s notes comparing a U.S. armored division to a German Panzer division. It is fascinating to see an air force pilot thinking about how army tank divisions would stack up against each other if America entered the European war.

To be quite clear, Chennault’s November 1940 trip made possible the creation of the American Volunteer Group. Chennault’s November 1940 trip gave China the chance to avoid being overrun by the Imperial Japanese Army and becoming a Japanese vassal state. Chennault’s November 1940 trip ensured the Japanese Empire would not get unfettered access to the resources in China that might have made them that much harder to defeat.

The journal is sealed in its display but you can still read all of Chennault’s notes if you are interested. The museum can provide an electronic copy of the transcribed journal upon request. Tell them I said it was okay! :)


Spiced Pear

styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK
WHAT YOU NEED: 1/2 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean 5 cardamom pods 1 pound (about 2) ripe red pears 6 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar Club soda Combine vanilla, cardamom, sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Roughly chop the pears (reserving a few slices for garnish) and add to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Let cool. Strain and stir in apple cider vinegar. Refrigerate. Line glasses with pear slices, fill halfway with vinegar mixture and top with club soda.
This non-alcoholic spritzer is a seasonal sip that will dazzle your taste buds. With flavors of cardamom and vanilla, this spicy mocktail is perfect for holiday gatherings.

Alumni Spotlight

DEBBIE AND JOHN LUFFEY, JR. KNOW THE VALUE OF community and the importance of education. Though both ULM alumni, the couple didn’t meet until after their respective tenures at ULM, then called Northeast Louisiana University. Debbie attended the institution after graduating from West Monroe High School, intent on pursuing journalism. She had worked on the high school newspaper and immediately joined the Pow Wow staff. After being named Journalism Student of the Year, Debbie felt a pull in another direction, particularly towards working with children. After transitioning to Speech and Hearing Therapy, Debbie was again named Speech Therapy Student of the Year. Her mentors included Dr. E.J.J Kramer and Dr. Bill Rambin. In those debate classes, Debbie found her voice. Dr. George Brian selected Debbie to serve as a special assistant to Broadway star Mercedes McCambridge during her local production. The arts fed Debbie’s soul. Art classes allowed Debbie to express herself creatively, and she still relishes the artistic practice today. Having initially chosen ULM to be with her friends, Debbie expanded that network after pledging Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority.

Five years prior to Debbie’s ULM tenure, her future husband John continued his family’s legacy at the institution. His father worked as an accounting professor on campus before John’s birth. His mother Rosemary attended education classes and often brought John in a bassinet. He attended classes for free as an infant and became a permanent staple on campus. Some highlights included serving as batboy for the college baseball team, for which his uncle George Luffey was the coach. John appeared in campus theater productions, drawn to the arts like his future wife. When John graduated from Neville high School, he knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps before charting his own path. He majored in accounting, even taking summer classes before the typical fall term commenced. Though diligent in his studies, John embraced campus life. He was integral to the establishment of ETA Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha - “Pike,” which has welcomed ULM students for the last 50 years. John completed his accounting degree in 3 short years, even passing the infamous CPA exam at only 21 years of age. He credits the ULM faculty with his superb education.

After graduation, John attended law school at Louisiana State University and then obtained an LLM in Tax Law from New York University. He returned home to practice law where he has served this

community for the last 46 years. John volunteers at ULM, teaching classes and hosting seminars in the College of Business. He is currently serving on the ULM Foundation Board. An avid golfer, John serves on the Board of the Louisiana Golf Association as a rules official for major golf events, and he proudly supports the ULM golf team. John is proud to be a product of ULM, literally since birth, and pledges his eternal gratitude to the institution.

After graduation, Debbie devoted her time to community service. She served as president of the Junior League of Monroe and helped with fundraising for various nonprofits in the area. Her knowledge of fundraising strategies has enabled many community agencies to excel. Debbie currently serves on the Foundation Board of St. Francis Hospital and has chaired the annual Golf Auction for the past six years.

As a couple, Debbie and John Luffey have spent their lives rooting for ULM and supporting the institution. They cheer on the Warhawk football team from Suite D and regularly attend basketball and softball games on campus. As grandparents, they are passing on the family legacy of the local institution, instilling in their children and grandchildren the vitality of a college education and the benefit of having an institution in your own backyard. A local institution makes the college dream a reality for local citizens and serves as a bedrock of the local economy. Over the decades, Debbie and John have been encouraged by the evolution of ULM, particularly the wide range of majors and course offerings and the unique ways of obtaining a degree in a digital world. The caring ULM faculty and staff enrich the experience for students in search of opportunity. As beneficiaries of that institutional care, Debbie and John are proud and grateful ULM alumni.

The ULM Alumni Association reaches, connects and celebrates alumni and friends to build lifelong relationships, and commit to the university’s missions of academic freedom, scholarship, diversity, excellence, integrity and service. We represent alumni who honor the traditions of our university and who share a sense of achievement and pride. We create a network of professionals, establish scholarships and advocate for our University through community engagement. Members of the Alumni Association support countless initiatives, and annual memberships are just $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our new alumni network at


Meagan Russell of Nib & Flow hand-lettered names on pears for this tablescape. By using fresh seasonal elements, like pears and pumpkin napkins, this look uses nature to create a cohesive look.

Forage for fall décor to use in your holiday tablescape. Hand-lettered names are written on autumn leaves to set the scene for these perfect place settings.

Festive Tables

A printed menu elegantly elevates this place setting. Combining holiday hues in yellow, green and orange, this gorgeous tablescape is ready for holiday guests.

Make your Thanksgiving table picture perfect with these festive ideas for holiday entertaining. Taylor Bennett created three different looks for these spirited settings using a variety of linens and customized place cards.

styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK

Eat, Drink and Be Thankful

Surround Yourself with Good Company and Better Whiskey

FALL IS IN FULL SWING AND WINTER IS JUST AROUND the corner. Here at the store we thought that we’d show off a few items that are perfect for the season and pair well with a variety of dishes and company. It’s the perfect time of year to fill up on incredible food and make great memories with loved ones, and we know that you need the perfect libation to make it “unforgettable.”

We’ll start things off with a kick as we begin with some whiskey. The whiskey we want to highlight is the Old Forester 1910 Bourbon The 1910 is part of the Whiskey Row series which takes its name from the historic street in Louisville, Kentucky where many distilleries have called their home. The Whiskey Row series are each named after an important year in both the distillery and bourbon history. This particular expression is in reference to a fire that started on the bottling line in, yes you guessed it, 1910. When the fire broke out the bourbon that was waiting to be bottled had to be moved and stored while repairs were being made. The decision was made to put the bourbon back into new charred oak barrels and we got the first ever double oaked bourbon. This happy accident is what led to the inspiration for Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon. Old Forester 1910 is an absolute treat that is packed with rich caramel and layered vanilla and is consistently one of their most sought after products.

Next we want to discuss several wines that will be perfect throughout the holiday season. We thought we’d highlight these products as they can safely be brought to a gathering or you can just enjoy them by yourself. Let’s start off with Arcadian Clos Pepe Chardonnay. We are massive fans of Arcadian as they produce some of our favorite cellarable wines. Current vintage of this chardonnay is 2013! Arcadian uses very classical French winemaking techniques to produce truly outstanding wines. This chardonnay is rounded with a rich textured mouthfeel. The palate shows bright orchard fruits with a touch of tropical fruits as well. This pairs incredibly with fresh fish from the grill, roasted chicken, and salads.

For those of you who will be enjoying a turkey we really haved, LOVED, the Italo Pietrantonj Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo. This is a wine that is pressed early during fermentation and maintains a bright character that is perfect with turkey, ham, and dressing. This wine has a lovely candied red color that leads to a nose of cherries, cranberries, and strawberries. This has a bright palate with a zingy finish that is made for pairing with food, but is highly quaffable on its own.

If you are looking for a big and tasty red for the cooler weather we really enjoy the wines from Wolf’s Head. The Haymaker is a deep red blend that opens with aromas of violets, blackberries, and a touch of chocolate. The palate reveals more dark red berries with an addition of cigar box spice to balance things out, and a rich velvety finish will leave you ready for more. This wine is a great pairing for beef or pork tenderloin with roasted potatoes and vegetables.

This next grouping of wines is from the Rivesaltes region of France in the Languedoc where they have a rather unique winemaking process. These wines are typically made from varietals of grenache which are then fortified like port or sherry, but then they do something distinctly different. Winemakers then put the juice in big glass bottles that are then sat outside for a year before being transferred to barrels where they will age for up to 50 years. These wines have intense flavors of golden raisins, dried dark cherries, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, plums, brown sugar, and more. These wines are intensely flavored and have been huge hits with every person who has tried them. This is one of our go-to drinks during the holidays as the perceived sweetness is welcoming to anyone. We have offerings of 6 year, 12 year, and 18 years old from Terrassous, and you’ll be shocked by their affordability.

We have so many great products that we can’t wait to share with you over the holiday season. We love helping our customers find great pairings and gifts this time of the year. Be sure to come in and check out our collection of private barrel whiskies that make for amazing gifts for the whiskey lovers out there, and don’t forget about the Doe’s Eat Place steaks for grilling during all the events that will be coming up soon. We always like to thank everyone for their continued support and for letting us be Your Spirits Guides here at Washington Wine & Spirits.

6 oz Filet - $13.87

10 oz Filet - $23.12

1.5 lb Bone In Strip - $22.49

20 oz Ribeye - $29.99

2 lb Bone In Ribeye - $46.99

1.5 lb T-Bone - $22.49

2 lb T-Bone - $29.98

2.5 lb Porterhouse - $42.48

3 lb Porterhouse - $50.97

2-5 lb Sirloin - $13.99/lb


Meredith’s Musings

In early April, I saw an advertisement for The Judds: The Final Tour. A nostalgic pain hit my chest. My mom had, and still has, an old-school boombox in the entryway to the living room. At Christmastime, Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee bellowed from the speakers. And periodically, the Judds’ CD would play. I always liked the tone of the music. I liked the idea of a mother/daughter duo, a powerful all-female chart-topping team who personified the aesthetic of country music and challenged it just the same. Wynonna is still considered a rebel with a powerful, soul-filled voice. Naomi Judd was always the more palatable of the twosome, pretty and supportive. But still, you could always sense a tension between the two of them, a reverberating dynamic that showcased love and the inevitable discord that plagues mother/daughter relationships. They seemed real to me, in a way that musicians rarely do.

Upon spotting the ad, I immediately thought about Mother’s Day and how I’d love to take my mom. She doesn’t attend concerts on her own, but I knew she would enjoy this one. I also thought attending a mother/daughter concert with my mother felt kismet - the opportunity one doesn’t pass up. I called my friend to see if she and her mother might want to come with us. This friend and I had tried taking our mothers to see Cher years before, another musician my mom loves. Cher canceled the last few dates of the tour due to a throat issue, and we never got to go. I purchased the tickets, bought an extra for my mother-in-law since the concert was in Dallas where she lives, and waited. Anxiously, I couldn’t wait to give Mom the tickets. She would be expecting a plant or perhaps a homemade card from my girls. I wrote out a long note, using iterations of the Judds’ song titles in the narration. Mom and Dad were coming over on Mother’s Day, and I couldn’t wait for her to open the card and see the tickets.

A week before Mother’s Day on April 30, 2022, my phone buzzed.

The headline read: Naomi Judd dead at 76. I almost dropped my phone. In the following days, news trickled about Naomi suffering depression, a battle she had waged for some time. I had no idea. I adored an image and gave little thought to the woman behind the persona, the mother on country music’s biggest stage. And selfishly, I thought about the concert. I thought about how this tragedy affected me.

In the following weeks, I saw interviews with Wynonna and Ashley Judd, details about the incident, analysis of long-term family dynamics, the cluster of an evolving news story that refuses to let people grieve in peace. Wynonna announced that the tour would continue, with special guests joining her onstage. She would proceed with the tour to honor her mother. She claimed its what the fans wanted and what she believed her mother would want too. It was Wynonna’s choice to make, and I respect and trust her perspective. In a few weeks, my mother and I will make that trip to Dallas along with my friend and her mother. We will enter that stadium with other Judds’ fans and embark on an emotional few hours. I doubt few of us have any idea what to expect. Nevertheless, we will stand, cheer, and cry our way through the Judds’ repertoire. We won’t be the only mother/daughter pairs in that audience. We will share space with mothers who have lost daughters and daughters who have buried mothers. And the star on stage will attempt to fill that space without her co-star, in life and in music. She will most likely put on a brave face. Perhaps she will melt down. I trust Wynonna to tell the truth, like I instinctively did so many years ago. This year, I’m thankful to share this time with my mother, in the presence of a best friend and her mother, alongside Husband’s mother. Here’s to the mothers, those who stand beside and behind us, those whose legacies spur our spirits, and those gone, yet not forgotten.



The words “simplify” and “minimalistic” have been batted around quite a bit these days and my guess is that many people are becoming increasingly more curious about them. Simplifying and minimizing can mean different things to different people. In my opinion, it is not really about the amount of items that you have but the amount of the important items you have as well as the order in which they take up space in your life. In other words, if you have accumulated so many items that there is no rhyme or reason to anything anymore, you are not living the simple life. Can you relate? If so, what has stopped you from beginning the simplifying and organizing process? Is the thought of getting organized too overwhelming? Or maybe you don’t have time. Either way, I hope this article lights a fire in you that you can’t put out. There are so many great reasons to simplify and organize that I better just go ahead and get started. Please keep reading below:

Simple = Clean A simple space not only looks cleaner, it is cleaner. Not to mention it is easier to get it to that state.

YES! Getting rid of unneccessary clutter will allow you to clean faster and easier thus creating a home that is cleaner and more enjoyable for everyone.

Simple = Less Chaos Think about your mornings for a minute. How chaotic do you feel while trying to get your kids, much less yourself, out of the door and to school and appointments on time? Now, picture yourself as a calm, organized mom who is ready for anything that may come her way. Yep…you can have that by simplifying and getting organized.

Simple = Discipline. Simplicity and order exemplifies discipline. Your children will learn from your everyday discipline of cleaning and organizing and will almost instinctually display it later in life when they have created lives of their own. Okay, okay…this doesn’t always happen, but I can guarantee that your children will notice if their home is cluttered or organized.

Simple = Less Stress. It is scientifically proven that clutter and disorganization breeds stress and uneasiness. How can you nurture your relationships under such

circumstances? For that matter, how can you nurture yourself?

Simple = Confident. If I, or anyone, were to show up at your house right now how would you feel? Confident in your surroundings are embarrassed by them? Getting organized guarantees that the answer to this question would be final –confident!

Simple = Fun. When your home is simplified and orderly, everything takes less time so that means more time for fun!! Not to mention, you will be confident enough to entertain friends and family in your home. How fun is that?

Simple = Productive How much time do you waste looking for things? How often do you pace back and forth because you forgot what you were doing? If you live in clutter, I can bet this is a common occurrence. Clutter makes it extremely hard to get stuff done! End of story.

Simple = Timely In other words, you will never have to be late again! Well, things happen so I can’t guarantee this one, but you know what I mean. You are much more likely to arrive to appointments and events on time when your surroundings are simple and organized.

Simple = Peaceful. Disorder creates overwhlem.. Overwhelm isn’t very peaceful. Clear the clutter to create a more serene environment. You will be able to enjoy the small things, such as sipping hot tea, reading a good book, etc.

Simple = More Joy By getting rid of the items that you aren’t using, you will make room for more of the things you do love and use. A new dress? Why yes…let me toss a few of the items that I don’t wear anymore! A new book? I would love that! Let me get rid of those that I have already read and don’t think I will read again. Think about it… why are you holding on to items that aren’t serving any purpose or bringing you joy?

Simple = Attractive Consider this scenario – Two women are up for a promotion. One is frequently late to work, comes a bit frazzled, and never quite has the right outfit on. The other is always on time, confident, and always looks streamlined and well-dressed. Who is going to get that promotion? My bet is on the one who is obviously more streamlined and organized.

Simple = Gain. By simplifying and getting organized you are gaining so much! Never think of getting organized as “getting rid of.” Instead you are gaining all of the things I just mentioned above!

So, which reason gave you the push you needed? Please share with me!


Butler’s collection of short stories recounts the experiences of Vietnamese Americans living in Louisiana. Each of the twelve stories is told from one character’s perspective with the topics centered on cultural differences between Vietnam and the United States. As an American reader, I was struck by how the Vietnamese American characters view America as both outsiders and insiders, lured to the country for the promise of a better life. The dichotomy of wanting to both immerse themselves in the new culture and salvage the remnants of where they originated is palpable. The struggle to assimilate breeds psychological effects and generational conflicts.

In one notable story, a young woman is grieving the death of her great grandfather and takes in his beloved parrot named Mr. Green who only spoke to her grandfather and resented the presence of anyone else. As the woman adapts to the bird, she replays memories with her grandfather, particularly his view of women’s limitations. While he felt a deep devotion to the girl, he saved some information and activities only for her brothers, simply due to their gender, and relegated her to the background. The boys didn’t value the traditions or respect their elder’s preferences. Now living in America, the woman has adapted the custom of female empowerment and struggles to love the

memory of a man who didn’t see her as a fully capable person as a result of her womanhood. As the bird ages, he begins plucking out his own feathers, stripping his skin of protection. The woman watches the bird deteriorate just as she watched the final days of the grandfather who only loved her as much as custom would allow.

The longest story in the collection, entitled The American Couple, features a group of game show winners vacationing in Puerto Vallarta. The Vietnamese American couple buddies up with an American couple, both men having served in Vietnam from opposite countries. While the females relate on surfacelevel matters, having little in common, the men engage in a silent battle, struggling with military baggage long since buried. The wives witness sides of their husbands unknown to them, and the Vietnamese couple reach a breakthrough that elevates their waning connection. The story explores the possibility of a new environment surfacing old wounds and exposing truths difficult to keep hidden.

Butler’s collection won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1993. Having served in Vietnam as a translator, Butler fell in love with the country and its people. This collection surfaces American stories from the shadows of literature. Butler writes thoughtfully and carefully, paying homage to the people and culture and staying knitted to their American reality

“I can speak these words and perhaps you can see these things clearly because you are using your imagination. But I cannot imagine these things because I lived them, and to remember them with the vividness I know they should have is impossible. They are lost to me.”

“A Good Scent from A Strange Mountain”
by Robert Olen Butler
“It is the custom of the Vietnamese, especially of the old school of manners, not to tell you things that are unpleasant to hear. The world need not be made worse than it is by embracing the difficult things.”

Christophe and Joshua, fraternal twins, have just graduated high school. Raised by their maternal grandmother Ma-mee, the boys have never known life not by each other’s side. Faced with meager job opportunities and low-wage realities, the twins’ dynamic is complicated by one receiving a coveted job offer at the docks. Life is changing, leading the boys on different paths. Where one takes on back-breaking, but honest work, the other resorts to selling drugs to make up for the lack of child support checks from the boys’ mother. Ma-mee is the emotional constant in the young men’s lives, the one who nurtures and believes in them, bearing the burden of raising her daughter’s children while their mother pursues her own career outside of Bois Sauvage, the poor black town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When their mother returns for a visit and their drugaddicted father resurfaces, the boys must navigate strained relationships while their own paths diverge.

What Jesmyn Ward does so well is to give voice to those stories often unwritten. She

writes about the world she knows, the people she relates to, the families that must endure poverty, racism, and a world that thinks of them as Other. Ward doesn’t apologize for her characters or judge them for their choices. She simply writes life as it so often happens to them in a place where prosperity is an unimagined reality. Her keen attention to human emotion and close familial relationships grips readers, as we all crave connection and often find it in the unlikeliest of places. Ward’s writing is backdropped by the beating heart of the landscape, an ode of sorts to the Gulf Coast, a place Ward admits she both loves and hates. The themes of home, love, and brotherhood are explored in this story, alongside the complicated decisions people make when presented with so few options.

Jesmyn Ward’s first novel did not receive the critical acclaim of her later novels like Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing, but here readers find the roots of her characters who embody black life in the Gulf South, characters fashioned in the likeness of the people from her childhood. While this novel is fictional, Ward’s biography Men We Reaped tells the story of her upbringing and six young black men in her life who died in a span of only four years. Ward won The National Book Award for fiction for Salvage the Bones in 2011, and has received critical acclaim as a distinguished voice in southern literature.

“Where the Line Bleeds” by Jesmyn Ward
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“Would every night of the rest of his life be like this one: dreading the morning, the endless monotony of the repetition of days, or work that he hated, spiraling off into old age.”


Scratch Bakehouse is a home-based, cottage bakery specializing in quality sourdough goods with a faithful customer base, but it began as a wellness journey. Around 2017, Christina Poole was having some health issues. “I was having food sensitivities where I wasn’t able to eat simple foods,” she says. As a devoted wife and mother of two young children, she was driven to find a way to gain control of her well-being. She knew that there were better options for a lot of the foods she was eating. Healing her gut took the form of consuming whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding additives.

“That’s how I discovered the wonderful world of sourdough!”

riginally from West Monroe, Poole attributes her love for baking to her mother who was born and raised in Greece and lived there for almost twenty years. When Poole was thirteen, she spent a summer in her mother’s homeland and was able to experience a quality of life that would take hold much later in her life. “You would just walk down to the square to get your bread that was made that day. It was just pure, like an ancestral-eating kind of approach,” she says. Additionally, she grew up in a household where her mother was making meals from scratch, a quality she has always appreciated and has readily adopted.

Not wanting to go back to buying commercially produced loaves, she began teaching herself the meticulous art of bread baking. At the time, sourdough had yet to skyrocket in popularity, though it was already esteemed as one of the healthiest bread varieties due to its simple, natural ingredients. At first, she was just making the air-bubble-filled bread for her family, but when she began to share with friends, she noticed that there was clearly a community need. “I think people really like the idea of going and picking up their bread to have for dinner,” she says, mentioning the increased interest in her product which spread quickly by word of mouth. Another reason for the rapid rise in orders is due to the

grueling hours dedicated to sourdough-making. It’s a long process of close to thirty hours. To make one of her most popular items, her sourdough donuts, Poole goes through a three-day process. “Some people don’t have the time to do that. And I get that. So I wanted to make that available.”

A common misconception about sourdough is that it’s a flavor, but it’s actually a process. “People will buy ‘sourdough’ bread at the grocery store thinking they are getting the same thing as when they buy with Scratch Bakehouse. But commercially processed ‘sourdough’ just has some sourdough cultures added for flavor, but still uses commercial yeast and has dough conditioners, preservatives, etcetera,” she informs. Scratch Bakehouse’s Classic Sourdough is made using only three ingredients—water, flour, and salt. Every loaf made takes approximately two to three days, which allows for optimal nutrition, flavor, and digestibility. More specifically, the lactic acid found in this naturally leavened bread helps decrease levels of phytic acid in the bread. In turn, allowing for the absorption of beneficial vitamins and minerals found in wheat. In fact, many people who can’t tolerate gluten are able to eat sourdough since the wheat is properly broken down during the fermentation process. “I strongly believe in making your food work for you, not against you,” enthuses Poole, adding, “ I believe clean,


Scratch Bakehouse’s Classic Sourdough is made using only three ingredients— water, flour, and salt. Every loaf made takes approximately two to three days, which allows for optimal nutrition, flavor, and digestibility.

quality ingredients are the cornerstone of nourishing, body fueling, and great tasting food.”

Poole bakes every day, so she often approximates sourdough-making to having an extra child, particularly maintaining the starter. “It’s really not very hard to make a starter. You just need about five to seven days, about a week. And you need flour and filtered water,” she explains, referring to her website which has a detailed section on activating your sourdough starter. “I don’t think the first time I tried to make a starter it worked,” she admits, fascinated by the fact that the process is one that has been done for thousands of years. For many, the process may sound daunting, since you


Poole’s magical bakes come from a passion that has been fueled by her upbringing and attention to personal health. “It’s such hard work, but it’s so rewarding,” she says, mentioning that at times she has to set her alarm for 3:30 in the morning just to check how the donuts are rising. “You don’t do it for profit,” she says. “You do it because you just love to create food.”

have to feed it constantly, but Poole assures that it is completely doable, even if you have a full-time job: “You could make your dough in the evening before going to bed and shape it in the morning, throw it in the fridge during the day, and bake that evening…you just have to want to do it.”

Currently, Poole offers four artisan sourdoughs. For those who appreciate a hearty crust, the Classic Artisan, a large rounded loaf, is bound to make the perfect dinner companion, as the bread is great for olive oil dips. Growing in popularity is the Soft Classic Artisan, made with flour, water, sea salt, olive oil, and local honey. It’s a classic flavor with a softer crust and crumb! Sandwich lovers will be happy to see two loaves that will elevate any combination of ingredients, one of which is the Everything Bagel. This classic sandwich loaf is rolled in sesame seeds, flakey sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds. Italian influences appear in two ways in Poole’s kitchen—focaccia and pizza. The rectangular focaccia loaf is available in three flavors, with Italian herbs and flaky sea salt, everything bagel seasoning, or cheddar and jalapeño. Pizza enthusiasts can either purchase Poole’s artisan sourdough pizza dough or a pizza kit which includes one dough ball, house-made San Marzano marinara, and freshly shredded mozzarella. Buon appetito!

While freshly-made bread is hard to beat, it’s Poole’s Sourdough Italian Bombolonis that have been selling out in a matter of minutes every week. These donuts are made with soft enriched dough and are usually rolled in sugar and then filled with a pastry cream filling. “I’m not a huge donut person,” she says, though she has been delighting in coming up with seasonal flavors. On her recent menu, she is offering three homemade fillings—spiced apple, maple pecan, and pumpkin cream—in addition to the unfilled classic bomboloni

rolled in caster sugar. “It’s definitely a treat,” she says, explaining that she uses grass-fed butter, organic eggs, milk, and sugar in order to keep them as healthy as possible. She even fries the donuts using organic coconut oil! “It’s a good balance!” These fried dough balls have become so popular that she went from making about forty donuts to over one hundred per week.

For all her bakes, Poole always takes into consideration seasonal flavors, though for the donuts she likes to always have vanilla bean pastry cream. “I feel like that’s such a classic flavor.” When winter comes around, for the donuts, she plans on doing gingerbread and white chocolate glaze, cheesecake with a cookie butter drizzle on top, or an orange and cranberry compote. “I love to do fruit compotes,” she says, listing some of her favorite fruits to work with like peaches and strawberries. Ultimately, she’d like to add sourdough cookies and super seed sourdough crackers to her online menu, incorporating different types of whole grains. “I’d also love to someday mill my flour in-house. The more I can do with my own hands, the better.”

Poole’s magical bakes come from a passion that has been fueled by her upbringing and attention to personal health. “It’s such hard work, but it’s so rewarding,” she says, mentioning that at times she has to set her alarm for 3:30 in the morning just to check how the donuts are rising. “You don’t do it for profit,” she says. “You do it because you just love to create food.”

Learn more about the wonderful world of Poole’s Sourdough bakes by visiting her website or her Instagram page @scratch_bakehouse. All ordered bakes are delivered for pickup to For His Temple Foods thanks to the gracious patronage of Dana Milford.


Harvest Wreath


Grab a bunch of cornstalks, some floral wire, and a wreath form. Starting with the base of the stalk (it is heftiest and usually where the weight of more cobs are) wire it in a lower corner and then gradually bend the stalk, wrap and wire it along the form - tucking leaves to shape as needed. Fold back the corn husks partially to reveal the colors of the corn. In minutes, you can have a harvest wreath worthy of any place in the house.

article and photo by HEATHER LAND

Iam a lure tinkerer. I tweak, paint, twist or change something about almost every hard bait I throw into the water. I change spinnerbait blades, treble hooks, shave the plastic lips off crankbaits, and have even went as far as tearing a lure completely a part and rebuilding it almost from scratch to my own liking. Overkill? Perhaps, but such is the mindset of this bass fisherman.

Every now and again I find a lure or a technique that doesn’t need anything done to it in order for it to be effective. As many recipes will say, “Just add water.” Today’s lures, even though they are mass produced by their respective lure companies, really don’t need a lot done to them for them to be effective fish catchers. However, it is the fact they are mass produced that I believe changes their overall big fish catching characteristics.

In this month’s Bayou Life article, I want to show you some lures and techniques, some I have kept quiet about throughout the years, that are simple and don’t require a lot of angler input. I had discovered these through my own trial and error as well as taking the old ways of the past and bring them to the modern-day world of bass fishing. Here are a few examples: I first saw a “Herb’s Dilly” when I was fishing with my father at Lake Altus in Oklahoma back in the early 1970’s. I will never forget the unique sound that came from this gurgling topwater as my father rapidly cranked it across the lakes surface, occasionally being interrupted by the sound of a large bass engulfing the lure. This was a few years before a buzzbait was introduced to the fishing world, so the Dilly was the forerunner of the buzzbait overload we see now.

I have used the Buzzjet and while I have had some success with it, the lure seems to do better on clearer water lakes. It was instrumental in two tournaments I won fishing with Daron Fuller on Caney Lake some years ago. The key to the Buzzjet’s success is finding the right cadence with your lure retrieve. If you reel it too fast, the lure will not work effectively, too slow, then it won’t work at all. I have read where a lot of anglers will use a stop and go retrieve but I have had my best success using a straight, slow and steady retrieve. This is one of the few topwater lures that I will only use monofilament with, and I always use 20-25 lb. test.

I have been a Zara Spook fan since I was a kid. I first remember seeing how deadly a Spook could be watching on a show Jimmy Houston did peacock bass fishing in Brazil. A short time later, I remember reading about Roland Martin throwing a Spook using his flipping stick to get more distance out of his cast. Back in those days braided line hadn’t been introduced, so heavy monofilament 17-20 lb. test was used. I used the heavy line, flipping stick idea to catch one of the biggest bass I have ever caught out of the Ouachita River in a tournament I fished back in the late 80’s.

Fishing With Kenny

Back when I first starting using a Spook, the only ones you could buy were made of wood. Fast forward forty years later and the Spooks you purchase now are made of plastic. I still have a couple of the wooden versions that I only use in tournaments and having used both the wooden and plastic versions and I can honestly say the old wooden Spook will catch bigger fish.

Fast forward a few decades and through eBay I was able to purchase a few of the older model Herb Dilly’s. I have come close to winning The Majestic Tournament on D’arbonne Lake a couple of times over the years with this almost fifty-year-old bait. It will not get you as many bites as a buzzbait, but the overall size of the bites will be better-quality fish. The way to distinguish the original Dilly bait is how the hook is held onto the spoon. The newer versions use a cheaper hook held on by a pop rivet, while the older model uses a stout 5/0 hook that is secured by a small flathead screw. By far, the older version is the better choice.

The Depp’s Buzzjet came to my attention about ten years ago while I was researching Japanese fishing shows. While the interaction on the shows is always in Japanese, the lures they would be using were shown in English. The thing that struck me when I saw a couple of shows featuring the Buzzjet was the size of the bass the anglers caught with it. My thought process automatically became, “if they can catch those large bass on their heavily pressured lakes, why wouldn’t it work here on ours?”

Old lures, new lures, this sport is always evolving to another level but often, this leads anglers to forget tried and true methods of catching bass. When was the last time you used a floating lizard around grass and cypress trees in the springtime? Or what about swimming a twelve-inch worm over scattered grass patches? Has anyone used a ¼ chrome/blue Rat L Trap lately? What about a Heddon Tiny Torpedo, when was the last time you tried that on schooling fish? The list goes on and on.

For the record, my first bass was caught off my grandmother’s pier at Lake Lafourche on a 6-inch chartreuse worm, in May of 1972. I bet I could rig up that same worm today and go catch a bass on it, and I bet I would feel the same thrill I had fifty years ago, starting what has become a lifelong addiction of chasing these little green fish.

Well, it looks like we have run out of time and space for another month. I hope we have given you some information that will you put more fish in the boat and enjoy being on the water. Now that we are in the middle of hunting season please be extra careful in the woods and on the water. Make sure you catch one for me and I will see you next month!


Crowning the Tiger

Ella Scott Burkett crowned as 2022 Neville Homecoming Queen

THE HIGHLIGHT OF NEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL’S homecoming season last month was the crowning of the homecoming queen during the halftime presentation. This year Ella Scott Burkett was chosen as the 2022 Homecoming Queen. She was presented along with six other senior maids during the Tiger festivities including: Mallory Washington, Ella Smith, Claudia Sitton, Briley Kelly, Xiandr’ea Clay, and A’Keyla Howard.


Ella is the daughter of Ashley Burkett, NHS Class of 1987, and Scott Burkett. She is the granddaughter of the late Carol Payne and Dr. Bill Batemen. Ella Scott was inducted into the National Honor Society during her junior year and has maintained honor roll for four years. She is also a four-year member of the Renaissance. Maintaining a 3.6 GPA, she is enrolled in Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and honors courses.

She represented Neville as a member of Louisiana Girls’ State and has been a member of the Neville cheer team for four years. She is a member of Lambda Sigma Chi, where she served as a Pledge Advisor during her junior year. Ella Scott attends St. Paul’s Methodist Church and is an active member of Neville’s Young Life. She was nominated by linebacker #22 Rudy Dozier.


Mallory is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Washington. She is the granddaughter of Zetta M. Grant and Emma Washington. Mallory was a freshman Tigerette and joined he Bengal Belles during her sophomore year and currently serves as captain. She was named an All-American Dancer, Drill-Down Queen, as well as being asked to audition for the UDA Staff. She has been in the Talented Art Program since elementary school and has received many honors for her art works.

She is a member of the track team, holds a 3.7 GPA, and is enrolled in Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement classes. She dances with Linda Lavender School of Dance and is a member of the Zeta Phi Omega

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Cinderella Debutante Guidance Clinic. She attends Greater Faith Church and has been accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, a performing arts school in Los Angeles. She was nominated by defensive lineman #7 Matthew Fobbs-White.


Ella Grace Smith is the daughter of Paige and French L. Smith, IV. She maintains a 3.7 GPA, and attends St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. She is a member of Lambda Sigma Chi Sorority and is a Neville High School cheerleader. She was nominated by linebacker #6 Henry Cagle.

Claudia Catherine Sitton is the daughter of Amy Hernandez and Chris Sitton. She is an honor roll student and a member of the Neville High School cheer team. She is a member of Lambda Sigma Chi Sorority and attends St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. She was nominated by running back #11 Jacob Robinson.

Briley Grace Kelly is the daughter of Karen and Bob Cooper and Bobby Dale Kelly. She maintains a 3.9 GPA and is a member of the Neville High cheer team. She is a member of Lambda Sigma Chi Sorority and attends Grace Episcopal Church. She was nominated by quarterback #13 Brooks Anzalone.

Xiandr’ea Jacinth Clay is the daughter of William Clay and Alyeasha Adams. She is a member of the Neville High School Bengal Belles and maintains a 3.6 GPA. She attends the West Monroe Assembly of God Church and dances with Carolyn’s Dance Land. She was nominated by running back #4 Frank Mansfield.

A’Keyla Vonique Howard is the daughter of DaVona and Antonio Howard. She maintains a 3.7 GPA and is in the Talented Art Program. A’Keyla is a four-year varsity member of the NHS Lady Tigers basketball team and was a LHSAA Top 28 semi-finalist and is a twotime district champ. She attends Morning Star Baptist Church. She was nominated by defensive lineman #8 D’Angelo Woods.



This squash is a favorite for winter recipes. By scraping the flesh with a fork, you’ll get strings that resemble spaghetti, it’s the perfect alternative to pasta noodles. Cut in half, drizzle with olive, salt and pepper, poke holes in the skin and roast it cut side down.


This squash is easier to handle after cutting the neck from the body and working with each section separately. This winter wonder is hearty enough to play a main entrée or pair with sweet or savory ingredients.

Winter Squash



This mild-flavored squash is named for its acorn-like shape. Choose one with a dull green rind - orange acorn squash will be tougher to use. It’s buttery taste make it perfect to stuff, roast, mash or purée into a soup.

styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK
52 NOVEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM BAYOU HOME Pumpkin Fest THIS THANKSGIVING, PUMPKINS ADD POPS OF COLOR. PLACE THEM HERE AND THERE FOR SUBTLE SEASONAL DÉCOR. The most subtle pops of fall come here and there from sprinkling miniature pumpkins around the house in unexpected places - the pantry, open shelving, by the bathtub, in a jar on the bookshelf, set amongst your pot plants and other niches. One here, two there, a few stacked, it’s mighty simplicity.
article and

Untold Stories of the Sycamore

The miracle of a seed has long been used in persuasive illustrations of dying to self in order to find new life. Often representative of a life well-lived or a message aptly delivered, the seed’s gift is reflected in the parables of Jesus as either a person or a personal message that advances the kingdom of God.

Further, the words of Jesus remind His devoted followers that one must lose his life to find it. All of this is captured into the concept of the dunamis power of God. That little Greek word dunamis, representing strength, power, and ability, can be epitomized by the seed of the sycamore tree that is stately enough to produce shade, strong enough to live hundreds of years, yet noble enough to provide instrumental grade wood that creates music worthy of a king’s ears.

Last spring, I received a call from my dear colleague Linda Edwards of John Rea Realty. Involved in a conference room remodel at the office, she told me of the newly commissioned conference table as a soon-to-be focal point. We ended the call with me agreeing to write a story, having one phone number of a mill where the table was being crafted of sycamore wood.

Thinking I would need about three weeks to get the information, I had no idea that I was about to begin a journey of unraveling intrigue, untold tales, and voices of wisdom past and present. I thought I would be writing a simple informational piece about a cool repurposed tree, instead I found the heart of the story entwined with many community advocates who have touched this project. Specifically, I travelled back to the story’s beginning, long ago, arriving at the heart of one community icon which led me to another.

This table began with a particular sycamore tree that grew

from one small seed buried in the Monroe soil over 100 years ago. This is the story of a father’s time well spent with his daughter. It is the chronicle of a tree, a painting, an opera singer, and the Bible aficionado known as Emy-Lou Biedenharn. The lasting impact of Emy-Lou’s beloved sycamore tree is ingrained into the community she loved and to this very day is still serving a noble purpose.

Emy-Lou Biedenharn was born in 1902, relocating to Monroe, Louisiana at the age of twelve with her parents Joseph and Annie. Upon her mother’s death in 1936, her father, who had become famously known for bottling Coca-Cola, became her rock. Other than her love for the Word of God and the arts, he was her constant companion, though her sincere love and respect for everyone was always evident from childhood. She was a playful delight who in her growing up years created an informal girls’ club named The BIV Club, consisting of about ten girls throughout a community mix of Monroe schools.

Because her gift of music opened doors around the world, when she came home to Monroe as a young woman, she brought arts, culture, fashion, and other treasures from the places she had toured. Never departing from her childhood roots in scripture, she often sat with her father after her mother’s death underneath the shade of the now grown sycamore tree. Rooted at the corner of Riverside Drive and Forsythe Avenue, the tree had grown into maturity, just as had EmyLou, since being planted in 1914 when the family moved into the home.

These memories with her father were so enduring, that following his death she acquired Don Marr’s painting The Sycamore after randomly seeing it on display at the Hotel Arlington in Hot Springs. It was love at first sight, symbolizing her father’s life cut short. She remembered the countless hours in conversation underneath its shady expanse. Emy-Lou lovingly displayed the painting in the sitting room of the family home where it remains today.

Fast forward about 60 years and the aging tree was, sadly, taken down, according to Ralph Calhoun, Executive Director of The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens of Monroe. “For a decade,

The Sycamore table in John Rea Realty’s conference room

the tree had fewer and fewer green leaves each year. Then, dead branches, some quite large, began falling. Finally, because it was located beside a busy intersection, it was removed for the safety of pedestrians and vehicles.”

Biedenharn horticulturalist Frances Hutson contacted Kyle Snellenberger of Ouachita Antique Woods and struck a deal with him—the tree in exchange for a bench to display in the Bible Museum. Snellenberger agreed. He cured a portion of the trunk, using the boards to craft the bench while Hutson busied her time growing scions from the tree.

Meanwhile, Kyle’s father Chris who had originally remodeled the Monroe-based John Rea Realty conference room years ago caught wind of the need for a new table. Referring to his son as a wood magician, he made the connection to Kyle who has known John since his own childhood. “Kyle has just received a call about a sycamore tree that was taken down at the Biedenharn home.”

When I began writing this story, I thought I was going to be writing a story only about the making of the table. I visited with Kyle for a long time, interrogating him about the millwork process, the circumference of the tree, and how the heavy finished masterpiece was able to be moved into the conference room door. But before long, I realized there was much more to this story. I was unraveling Emy-Lou’s mystique that still ties a modern river town back to her lasting influence.

I knew that if anyone else could dig for details on this story that it would be Ralph Calhoun. Ralph did everything possible to assist, including crawling in attic space to find the receipt of The Sycamore painting so we could develop a timeline. Frances was a continued resource as we spoke frequently about the characteristics of sycamore trees.

One of Frances’ saplings from the tree has now been replanted to continue the tradition of the sycamore at the corner of Riverside and Forsythe. Kyle’s bench is on display in the museum at the Stations of the Cross exhibit, two generations of Snellenbergers have remodeled the John Rea Realty conference room, and thousands of people in the community will continue to be advised around the sycamore table at John Rea Realty.

The further I delved into my research about Emy-Lou’s tree and the painting, I realized that the wisdom of a father had been bestowed upon a daughter in the presence of the living tree. Considering the tree’s final fate, I thought of how I could even put a number on the amount of people John Rea has been a father to throughout his lifetime, including myself. Now with the tree still serving a worthy purpose, it rests in the presence of another father’s wisdom as John is known for being a father and mentor to his agents, an advisor to his clients, and an advocate for his community.

John Rea started his business in the 1970s and has since then handled thousands of transactions. He began the Love Your Community movement that famously gathers business leaders, clergy, elected officials and other influencers to express the ongoing progress of Northeast Louisiana. He holds a weekly men’s Bible study and his wife Selene holds one for women. His sister Barbara Thomas is also a

huge part of business operations, the ladies’ Bible study, and mentoring agents. Front office manager Beverly Mardis is a smiling face for guests as she acts as a liaison between the agents and the community, booking reservations to the conference room. One of his long time agents, Kathy VanVeckhoven stated of John, “He is always present and has an open door policy. He is never too busy to listen to me or anyone. He has taught me that listening is one of life’s greatest skills and he certainly leads in that field. He encourages people of all walks of life. I am blessed to be a part of the John Rea Realty Family—it is a true family!” Vanveckhoven, who has been with John Rea for twenty years, attests to his community involvement such as civic organizations and Bible study groups. She knows that the new sycamore table will be a gathering place for events such as the annual brokerage Thanksgiving meal.

Ever since the ancient days when tax collector Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree in the city center of Jericho to see Jesus, all sycamore trees historically have become the symbol of regeneration, clarity, protection, reliability and strength. This will be no different today when the people of Northeast Louisiana gather around the sycamore table at John Rea Realty. It will be here where they will discuss their major investments, hold Bible studies, and find valuable mentoring for business professionals. From one generation’s Love your Community advocate to another, the sycamore tree will live up to its reputation. In the confines of a community that has blessings abundant, future generations will benefit from the seed that produced the sapling of the sycamore that produced the table in the conference room located at 1901 Royal Avenue.

While writing this story, Ralph and Frances were generous enough to allow me some private time in the Biedenharn home to view the painting and to show me where the new sycamore sapling is growing. After all these many months of pondering this project, I got a real glimpse into the past when I sat at Emy-Lou’s piano, looked over at her golden harp, and sat on her timeless lime green sofa underneath The Sycamore painting. I wondered how a next generation of people can be so impacted by one person, for when we speak of Emy-Lou today it’s like we really knew her. I walked over to the Bible museum and realized that her Christ-centered faith was at the root of it all. It took just a moment of reverential quiet to gather my thoughts at what had been on the throne of her heart.

Having every confidence that a community legacy will be in good hands, I know the discussions held around the sycamore table will impact the lives of people in this generation and the one to come. What I thought would take three weeks to discover took several months. I will never forget spending my summer inside the minds of two great community icons like Emy-Lou Biedenharn and John Rea. Emy-Lou’s BIV Club creed etched in time is still in effect today: On this leaf our memory pressed, let our names forever rest! Like the seed dying to the earth, these are two legacies who are forever planted in the hearts of the people and continually producing fruit at the city center of Northeast Louisiana.


Nature’s Gift


Gather a basket of pinecones for anything and everything fall. String them on a strand of wooden beads for a garland that can transition right into the winter months. Use the warmth of clove, orange, black pepper and cinnamon with a few drops of each essential oil on your pinecones and place them around the house - strung on the garland, scattered on the tablescape, in the bathroom… anywhere. They will bring a very subtle scent of fall to your space.



There’s something magical about fall! Mainly, I think, it’s the much-anticipated relief from a long, hot, and dry summer like we just had. While I love living in Louisiana, something about fall always takes me back home to the Carolinas. The Southern Appalachians just glow when the leaves change colors. There was nothing like being up on the Blue Ridge Parkway on a crisp, clear fall day and finding a rocky bluff to recline on while watching the sun go down behind the cacophony of color. After dark, lights from the little towns in the valleys below formed their own constellations and whiffs of smoke from distant fireplaces along with the general aroma of the surrounding woods perfumed the air. Those old mountains will take care of you if you let them.

Down off the escarpment in the Piedmont, fall took on another type of magic. Apple festivals were, and still are, the order of the day in the counties surrounding the area my dad grew up in. The Uwharrie National Forest along the Pee Dee River would also be ablaze with color. One stand-out in the woods across the street from our house, where I often sought solitude, was the brilliant red leaves of sourwood trees, a veritable weed in the iron-rich Piedmont clay. In the prairie-like power line right of way behind those woods, rosinweed, with its tall stalks of yellow sunflowers growing from basal rosettes of large, lettuce-like leaves, was interspersed among waist high stands of straw-colored broomsedge. A chorus of crickets chirping in the purple haze of late afternoon and dusk let me know that winter was around the corner. In town, fall rains would knock the yellow leaves off the gigantic willow oaks that once lined First and Second streets. Mounds of leaves would form at peoples’ curbsides and once a week, city crews would go around vacuuming them up. Oh, the compost they would have made!

Fall also ushers in a colorful landscape here in the ArkLaMiss, even if the colors develop a little slower. It all starts immediately after June 21st, or the summer solstice, when we in the northern hemisphere have the maximum number of daylight hours. In terms of plants, we call this the longest photoperiod. After the solstice, it’s all downhill, so to speak. The number of daylight hours decreases, ever so gradually, first by seconds, then by minutes, and finally by hours. At first, we may not notice the decrease

> The flowers of Plume Grass enhance the fall foliage. Photo by Monica Boudreaux. < The aptly-named Red Maple provides brilliant fall color in the ArkLaMiss. Photo by Monica Boudreaux.

in daylight. But, plants do. Because they photosynthesize for a living, plants are finely tuned into how much sunlight is striking Earth at one point in time. They are also tuned into how much darkness they receive as opposed to daylight. They respond by ceasing production of chlorophyll, the main photosynthetic pigment and the pigment that reflects green wavelengths of light (thus, we see leaves as green). Chlorophyll that remains in leaf tissue is broken down. Other pigments such as carotenoids and xanthophylls, which were always there and just masked by chlorophyll, are now visible. Anthocyanin, a red pigment, is also visible. This water-soluble pigment is sequestered in the vacuoles of plant cells and is produced as chlorophyll is broken down. In deciduous trees and shrubs, leaves are eventually jettisoned because of a series of hormone reactions. While there is a case made every fall and winter for leaving fallen leaves where they landed in your yard, I would make an even stronger case that these fallen leaves make excellent mulches and will be a welcome addition to compost piles.

Mind you, this is a somewhat simplistic explanation of how our scenery gets painted in fall. Biochemistry that space here doesn’t allow an explanation for is at play. No matter. Let’s just enjoy it. Not only does the ArkLaMiss really look like fall, but the first cold snaps last month made it feel like fall, too!

Are you buying firewood for these chilly fall nights? Take some precautions when purchasing firewood. First, be aware of what is and what is not a cord of firewood. A standard cord is 128 cubic feet. This is typically measured 4 feet high by 4 feet deep by 8 feet long. Firewood is typically sold by the “face cord” or “short cord.” This measures 4 feet high by 8 feet long by 2 feet deep. The definition of a “rick” varies among states. In

our area, a “rick” is approximately one third of a cord.

Notice whether the firewood you’re buying is seasoned or green. Seasoned firewood will weigh less than green wood because of the lower water content. Seasoned wood will produce more heat, which is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. In our region, oak and hickory are the main heat producers. Black walnut, hackberry, honey locust, mulberry, persimmon, and sassafras are also good fuels. Try to buy firewood locally so as not to necessitate transporting it over parish lines. Forest pests like the emerald ash borer are spread by transporting firewood across parish lines and the results can be potentially devastating.

If the soil in a section of your garden has been tested and results indicate it needs liming, now is the time of year to do that. “Lime” refers to the chemical calcium carbonate. Dolomitic lime also contains magnesium, an important nutrient in chlorophyll production. Calcitic lime lacks magnesium. Liming agents often take at least two months to regulate the soil pH. Liming now, following recommendations, will ensure that part of your garden has received required levels of calcium and is at the optimum pH for spring vegetables and ornamentals.

All of us at the LSU AgCenter hope you and yours have a joyous fall season and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tune in to Louisiana Living every Tuesday at 4:30 for In the Garden with Kerry Heafner of the LSU AgCenter.
The Southern Appalachians just glow when the leaves change colors. There was nothing like being up on the Blue Ridge Parkway on a crisp, clear fall day.
Try to buy firewood locally so as not to necessitate transporting it over parish lines.
Kick It Up This winter kick things up a notch with these must-have boots from area boutiques. From alligator to fringe, these boots are perfect for cooler weather. HEMLINE BOUTIQUE HERRINGSTONE’S THE NUDE NOMAD WOODSTOCK MONROE R AND B TREASURES BOUTIQUE DUSTY & COMPANY


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Holiday Feast

It’s time to give thanks. This season, gather around the table for a Louisiana Thanksgiving feast full of flavor and seasonal offerings.

styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK
hosting Thanksgiving
turkey roast
to your holiday table with
delectable homemade-fromscratch apple pie with
golden decorative crust, fresh apples and cinnamon.


Looking for an easy side dish? Grab a single-serve or pan of Newk’s Five Cheese Mac & Cheese. Asiago, Vermont white cheddar, Parmesan and Ammerländer Swisses are folded into elbow pasta then topped with yellow cheddar.


The perfect appetizer starts with a freshly made pimento cheese ball coated in crushed pecans and crispy bacon. Pick up a large side of grape salad covered in a sweet cream cheese mixture, topped with brown sugar and crushed pecans.


There’s nothing that says fall like a Harvest Cookie from CC’s. These delicious treats are made with a tasty combination of rolled oats, cranberries, raisins and nuts.

perfect holiday gathering starts with a superb spirit. This bourbon uses 100% fresh ingredients, including the highest quality Kentucky limestone water, as well as a Kentucky grown heritage rye from a local farm and corn from a farm a few miles from the distillery.

Happy Holidays

From the City of Bastrop

ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH, MERCHANTS IN Bastrop will host their annual Holiday Open House from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Put on your shopping shoes and join local businesses in a fun-filled afternoon of shopping, refreshments and holiday spirit.

Whit’s Pharmacy will be displaying all of our Christmas merchandise, including ornaments and indoor and outdoor décor for this year’s Holiday Open House. We will have men’s gifts, baby gifts, Woodwick candles, garden flags and door hangers, windchimes, and home decor. We are also an authorized dealer of Duke Cannon, Gingersnaps, Michel Design Works, and Snoozies for all ages. Don’t forget to come in and register for our free door prize!

Owned by Steve and Teresa Pearce, Pearce Pharmacy, has been in operation as a sole proprietorship since 1985. We have an assortment of great gift items, potpourri, candles, along with many decorative items. During the Christmas season we offer jellies, dips, and soup mixtures along with cheese straws for those unexpected parties that you would need to take or prepare quickly at home. We also offer free gift wrapping with your gift purchase.

The Market has a great variety of gift items including candles, new lines of designer jewelry, PJ Harlow sleepwear, and a variety of gourmet foods. The Market is fully-stocked with the ever-popular Niven Morgan Christmas candles and bath products. They have clothing by Ivy Jane, Uncle Frank, Kut, and Liverpool and Crown Linen. They also have furniture and a wide selection of unique home décor. Now carrying Consuela bags and Swig Life products. As always, The Market will have refreshments.

Steve’s Jewelry invites you to shop our Holiday Diamond Sale, Nov 10th - Dec 24th. Save up to 50% off jewelry and gifts storewide. Be sure and register for our 8th Annual Diamond Giveaway to win a 1 carat solitaire diamond ring or pendant (your choice) valued at $4,000 with any purchase of $200. Don’t miss our once a year Vahan Trunk Show, Nov 10th - Nov 19th, featuring over 100 bracelets to choose from at savings up to 40% off select styles. Steve’s Jewelry is honored to be serving the ArkLaMs for 45 years with honesty and integrity offering quality jewelry at affordable prices. On staff, we have a Graduate GIA Gemologists, GIA Diamond Grader and Jeweler offering expertise for all your jewelry needs. We also do custom designing for that special piece of jewelry on your wish list. You dream it; we creeate it! Come see

us for an enjoyable shopping experience with personal service, great savings, and free gift wrapping.

Celebrating our 1st anniversary, Vintage Willow Treasures Past & Present will be providing a unique shopping experience for those attending the Holiday Open House. Not only do we offer unique vintage pieces, we also have new gift items, and home and garden decor. Stop by and check out a variety of vendors offering clothing, jewelry, beautiful plants, dried arrangements, vintage furniture, and an assortment of items for home. We are also offering baby and wedding registry. Visit us on Facebook for more details on this local vendor market located on the Square in the heart of downtown Bastrop.

Tucked away in Morehouse Parish, The Flower Tree has been delighting clients with their custom arrangements for homes and special occasions for over 40 years. In addition to fresh and silk designs, the shop features gift lines highlighting southern made décor. Stop by the day of the open house to get started on your Christmas shopping.

Arnett Jewelry can help get you ready for the holiday season. Beautiful Jewelry, gifts, boutique clothing, shoes and accessories perfect for gift giving. Our selection of Christmas décor, ornaments and serving trays and our gourmet food selections will help prepare you for friends and family coming over. We make your shopping easy! Custom monogramming, Bible imprinting and gift wrapping done in store. See you at Open House!

There’s nothing more important than supporting small businesses during the holiday season. The merchants in Bastrop are eagerly awaiting a great crowd for this highly anticipated event. Find the best offers of the season at these locally-owned stores: Whit’s Pharmacy, Pearce Pharmacy, The Market, Steve’s Jewelry, Vintage Willow Treasures Past & Present, The Flower Tree and Arnett Jewelry. Happy holidays from the City of Bastrop.


Start Smiling Stronger

Choose NELA Dental for Your Dental Implants

NELA DENTAL IS PROUD TO offer our patients the best options to meet their implant needs. Our highly, accredited team uses the latest technology and best-practice standards to ensure your smile will be stronger than ever before.


A dental implant has three separate components: the implant, the abutment, and the restoration. These three pieces work together to form the unit that is referred to as a dental implant. It is a fixed permanent solution and functions like a natural tooth.

The actual implant portion is made of titanium; a stable, biocompatible material that fuses with surrounding bone and tissue and becomes a part of the jawbone. Once the implant has fully integrated with the jaw, the abutment portion is affixed to retain the dental restoration.

The benefit of a dental implant is that it fills the space left by the missing root and provides a stable and durable base for a dental restoration. Dental implants placed at our offices also prevent deterioration of the jawbone, keep surrounding teeth from shifting, and eliminate the sunken appearance left by a missing tooth.

When finished with a dental crown, dental implants work like a natural replacement for one or more missing teeth. Denture-wearers also enjoy the benefits of dental implants. Dentures can be held in place with dental implants for stability and provide the wearer with added comfort.


The holidays are here! Don’t let your current teeth keep you from enjoying one of the

best parts of this time of year, the food! For those with missing or decaying teeth, dental implants can improve your smile not only cosmetically but structurally as well.

An implant-retained denture is a denture attached to implants inserted into the jaw. This is different from a regular denture which rests on the gums. Denture wearers often find their dentures can be held in place with dental implants for added comfort and stability. Some patients even experience improved speech; a welcomed benefit for many. Implant-retained dentures may provide patients with more confidence. Another major benefit of implantretained dentures is the ability to enjoy foods previously considered off limits.


Now with Teeth in a Day, you can get your dental implants completed in just one day! NELA Dental is your home for this one-anddone, dental implant services. In fact, it is one of the few dental practices offering this procedure in the state of Louisiana.

NELA Dental always strives to utilize the best in advancing technologies. Through the use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) and 3D printing, dental implants can be placed, and long-term temporary teeth can be printed and placed in one day. This process allows for more chewing ability and much less pain while healing. It also allows you to test drive your teeth, so you get the teeth you want.


Dr. Vance Costello is the only practicing dentist in North Louisiana with the ABOI/ID board certification, and one of only four ABOI/ ID Diplomates in all of Louisiana. Certification

by the ABOI/ID attests to the fact that a dentist has demonstrated knowledge, ability, and proficiency in implant dentistry through a rigorous examination process. The American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry Diplomate (ABOI/ID) designation symbolizes the highest level of competence in implant dentistry. Costello worked tremendously hard for nearly a decade to achieve this prestigious designation.

In addition to this accreditation, Dr. Costello has completed the American Academy of Implant Dentistry’s Comprehensive MaxiCourse and is Fellow of the AAID. Also, he’s an instructor with Advanced Implant Educators (AIE) and Implant Know-How.

Dr. Daniel Raymond is also highly-certified for dental implant procedures. Raymond has completed an implant fellowship with the International Dental Implant Association (IDIA). As a member of the IDIA, he continues to build his continuing education portfolio as he works alongside industry experts to learn about the latest practices and techniques to provide his patients top-level results.


Whether it’s for dental implants or a checkup, visiting the dentist is the key to overall good oral health. We accept most major dental insurance plans, third-party payments, and offer flexible financing options. Call one of our convenient locations in Farmerville and Monroe to schedule your appointment.

Don’t let anything stand in your way of a great smile this year, contact NELA Dental and Start Smiling Today!



3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 15 oz. can pumpkin purée

1 cup Kinloch pecan oil 5 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract (Crumb topping)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup pepitas

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons butter, melted

To make the batter, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use non-stick spray to coat 3 8x4 inch pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in bowl. Whisk brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs and vanilla in bowl until smooth. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add sugar mixture. Stir until blended and divide evenly into pans. To make the crumb topping whisk flour, sugar, pepitas and salt in a small bowl. Add butter; stir with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over pans. Bake until loaves are golden (50 to 70 minues). Remove from pans and transfer to wire rack. Let cool and slice.

Pumpkin Bread


styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK

Classic Pecan Pie

styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A PIE MADE WITH LOUISIANA PECANS. THIS HOMETOWN RECIPE IS THANKSGIVING’S BEST. WHAT YOU NEED: 1 pie dough 4 eggs ½ cup raw unrefined sugar 1 cup Steen’s syrup 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups whole pecans ½ teaspoon coarse salt Roll out dough and transfer to 9-inch pan. Crimp pie crust around the rim. Line with parchment paper and fill with uncooked beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until bottom is cooked. While crust is baking, whisk eggs until slightly thickened and add sugar and mix until combined. Add cane syrup, melted butter, salt and vanilla and mix. Arrange pecans in pie crust. Pour the egg mixture over arranged pecans and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 45 minutes until the filling is set.

Let Us Give Thanks

The Medical Spa by St. Francis Medical Group - Upcoming Events

ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH, THE MEDICAL SPA will be celebrating National Botox Day again this year with some specials! Botox cosmetic is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the U.S. and is celebrating a 20th anniversary since FDA approval in 2002. We love the results our clients get from using Botox. These injections are used to treat lines in the upper face such as frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and crow’s feet. Botox provides a smoother, refreshed look with results in just 7-14 days. Results generally last 3-4 months depending on the dosage. National Botox Day is a great opportunity for new or existing customers to take advantage of savings and double the point offerings. Buy one, get one $50 gift cards will be available for purchase through Alle. You must be an Alle rewards member to purchase, so be sure to sign up prior to the event. These gift cards sell quickly! Alle members can also receive double the points when treated with Botox during the timeframe of November 16 - 30. The Medical Spa will be giving away 50 units of Botox on November 16, 2022, in celebration of National Botox Day! Be sure to follow us on social media for ways to enter for your chance to win!

Don’t forget, Cyber Monday is November 28, so stop in or call us to take advantage of the deals, which will include 20% off products and buy one, get one 50% off Geneo facials!


Often clients ask what they can do to achieve better skin and the OxyGeneo Facial is a favorite treatment here at The Medical Spa. This non-invasive facial gives our patients that instant glow everyone loves especially in these cooler months. Geneo works from the inside out to refresh dull skin, reduce fine lines, and improve overall skin texture and appearance. Geneo facials are customized based on your skincare needs, and the three-step process includes exfoliation, infusion, and oxygenation. The Oxypods are made with 100% natural ingredients to deliver natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to improve your skin’s overall heath and appearance. The Geneo serums contain a blend of active ingredients that are infused into your newly oxygenated and exfoliated skin during the ultrasound and neo-massage process. The ultrasound process not only infuses these incredible ingredients, but also helps to shrink pores and lift the skin

while the neo-massage enhances blood flow to the skin and reduces inflammation. We currently offer the Geneo Revive, Illuminate, Balance, Hydrate, Detox and the newest, Geneo Glam.


Do you struggle with thinning, patchy, and over-tweezed brows? Well, we’ve got a new product to support eyebrow growth! Obagi Nu-Cil Eyebrow Boosting Serum is clinically proven to fortify brow hair for fuller, denser, darker-looking brows in as little as eight weeks! This serum contains the same Nouriplex technology, a complex blend of four high-performance ingredients, as the Obagi Nu-Cil Eyelash Serum that provides thicker, luscious eyelashes. These two serums together are the ultimate duo for the eyes!


Rebecca Justice, RN, received her Associate of Science in Nursing degree at Darton College in Georgia. She brings nine years of nursing experience to the spa. Rebecca is excited to specialize in aesthetics and assist The Medical Spa patients with skincare and treatment options. She loves seeing the excitement and confidence the patients achieve after visiting the spa. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Be sure to come by The Medical Spa this month to take advantage of our specials, events, and to find out more about the medical grade skincare products offered here! We are in the James R. Wolff Building (also known as the P&S Building) in downtown Monroe. Our address is 312 Grammont Street, Suite 406, across from St. Francis Medical Center. Also, be certain to follow The Medical Spa by St. Francis Medical Group on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our weekly specials, sales, promotions, and giveaways.


I REMEMBER how thankful I was when I graduated from seminary and was free of all debt except for that which I owed for the new which I had just purchased. The primary reason for my gratitude was that an education can be very expensive, and it is not unusual for a young person to be burdened with a very heavy debt by the time of his graduation. I was so fortunate to have finished four years of college study and three additional years at graduate school with no financial obligations hanging over me. I was able to manage this due to some scholarships, some assistance from the church and my family, but primarily through campus jobs and summer employment. And I was extremely grateful to God and to all those who had helped me meet my financial responsibilities.

I share this with you as an encouragement for us to consider how blessed we are and to develop in our hearts a spirit of thanksgiving. This, I believe, is very important, not only because this is the “Thanksgiving” season, but because a grateful heart is honoring to the Lord and good for our spiritual state. When we appreciate it when someone shows us a kindness, we are prompted to express our thanks for that thoughtfulness; it just feels “right,” and it feels good.

The One to whom we should offer our highest praise is God Himself, because as we are told in the Bible, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.” (James 1:17) God IS so good! But I fear that sometimes my thankfulness is too feeble compared to His gracious favor. And are there not occasions when His gifts, His blessings are not acknowledged by any expression of thanks from us?

Do you think it matters to God (and other benefactors) whether we express thanks, or not? In Luke 17 we are told about time when Jesus was travelling from Galilee to Jerusalem and was accosted by ten lepers who cried out, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” He told

them to go to the priest who could declare them clean and readmit them to regular society. As they went, they were healed, and one of them returned to Jesus, praising God and thanking the Lord. Then the Lord asked him, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Our gratitude does matter to God, and our expressions of thanksgiving are beneficial to our spiritual well-being.

When we consider how God has blessed us, our minds probably turn to the physical. These things –food, clothing, health, jobs, family, and the like – are important and we should thank Him for His generous supply in this area. He should also be thanked for the spiritual blessings that come from His love. At the top of this list would be the Gift of His Son Who sacrificed Himself to atone for our sins and to gain us admission into His heaven. The Bible gives us some hints relative to what heaven is like, but actually, we can only imagine what God is preparing for all who love and trust His. But we can be confident that heaven will be awesome and something for which we can thank Him in advance.

Even when we go through times of difficulty and testing, as many of us are currently doing, we still have cause for thanksgiving. All that we are given due to the love of the Lord, can make our momentary trials easier to bear. So this is what I am going to try: the next time I am tempted to complain about the cost of filling my truck’s gas tank with fuel, or when I am frustrated with how badly my football is performing, or when drivers all around me are doing their utmost to aggravate me with their driving performance … I think you get the picture … I am going to do my best to focus on some of God’s undeserved goodness to this sinner, trusting that those memories will produce better behavior in me!

So, happy Thanksgiving, and may part of your joy be the product of a grateful spirit which prompts expressions of “thanks” to the Lord and to other benefactors.

article by PAUL LIPE opinion expressed is that of the writer


Strong Support for Judge Jeff Joyce

Kickoff Event Huge Success


Fourth JDC District Judge position created by the election of Judge Danny Ellender to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. Judge Ellender was declared the winner of the election since he was unopposed. Judge Ellender will take office in January of 2023.


Jeff graduated from Neville High School and Tulane University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History. Jeff earned his Juris Doctorate at Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Prior to taking the bench, he practiced law with the firm of Crawford & Anzelmo, which later became Crawford & Joyce. During this time, Jeff practiced in City Court, District Court and various Courts of Appeal. He practiced in the Federal Court system as well.

Judge Joyce was first elected in 2010 as the Judge of Division “B” of Monroe City Court. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2020 without opposition. This position rotates between criminal court, civil court, and juvenile court. The juvenile jurisdiction of Monroe City Court hears the same cases as the District Court.

Jeff is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and has served as president of the Young Lawyers of the Fourth Judicial District Court and was named Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Fourth Judicial District Bar Association. He has served as president of the Fourth Judicial District Bar Association; president, vice president, secretary and treasurer of the Louisiana City Judges Association; and has served on the New Judges Mentor Committee. This position allows him to educate newly elected judges on the differences they will face in their transition from practicing law to leading the courtroom. Jeff is currently vice president of the Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and will take over president of that association next year. In addition to professional committees, Jeff has served on many community committees and has been an American Red Cross board member for many years.

Judge Joyce also serves as a panelist/speaker/lecturer at conferences and continuing education seminars.


Jeff Joyce is the son of Gay Hargrove Joyce Morris and the late Judge John R. Joyce. Jeff is married to Kathryn Amman the daughter of Martha and Judge Fred Amman, retired. Kathryn and Jeff have two daughters Lillian “Lillie” Amman Joyce and the late Kathryn “Katie” Virginia Joyce. Jeff and Kathryn are members of St. Paul United Methodist Church where

Jeff is active in Charis, the men’s retreat ministry, Living Water Sunday School and sits on numerous church committees.

Jeff participates outside of his church in weekly men’s bible studies, family bible studies and men’s ministries with ACTS, Koinonia, First Baptist Monroe, Christ Church, First West and Fair Park Baptist. He is a member of St Paul’s United Methodist Men’s group which fundraises for the Methodist Children’s home in Ruston, La. He is a past president of this group and still helps with the annual Christmas party, where gifts and a meal are provided to the children at the Methodist Children’s home.

The Joyces are active with the Wesley Foundation and have assisted with providing meals to the college students and fundraising efforts to support this ministry.


Since 2010, St. Jude holds a very special place in the Joyce family’s heart. After Katie’s initial treatment in 2010, they began Team Katie Joyce in 2011 and have run the St. Jude marathon in December ever since to help raise money for St. Jude. This December 2, 2022 will be the 11th year that Lillie, Kathryn and Jeff have run the St. Jude marathon with friends and family who are on Team Katie Joyce.

After Kathryn and Jeff lost Katie to cancer, they wanted to help give back to St. Jude for all that St. Jude had done for the Joyce family.

In 2016, Kathryn and Jeff became volunteers of St. Jude as Parent Mentors in the Parent Mentor Program which matches them with other parents of terminally diagnosed children and bereaved parents who have also lost children.

They provide parents with encouragement and help on how to navigate this new journey of grief and loss which in return helps them personally in their journey.

Kathryn and Jeff also began volunteering as part of a parents focus group that is bringing a new mentor program to the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic in Baton Rouge.

If you would like to learn how to volunteer or sign up for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon go to Dec.,or%20text%20SJMMW22%20to%20785833.


Join us in supporting Judge Jeff Joyce

Patty & Dixon Abell

Maria & Kevin Alexander

Nancy & Gene Allen

Hannah & Tom Allen

Marcy Allen

Mark Anderson

Ana & Donald J. Anzelmo

Anzelmo Law

Sallie & Charles Anzelmo

Mary Beth & Larry Arbour

Brenda H. & William Armstrong

Renee & Don Arrington

Bob Baldwin

Katy & Darren Balsamo

Camille & Berry Barham

Jimmy Bershen

Kathy & Murray Biedenharn

Kathy & Hank Biedenharn

Mandy & Brad Booth

Martha & Greg Boyce

Lindsey & Brett Braddock

Alana & Chester Bradley

Chap & Ann Breard

Miranda & Danny Breard

Diana & Mike Breen

Amy & Alan Breithaupt

Sara & Robert Brewer

Shane Bridges

Francie & Stuart Briscoe

Caroline & Alan Brockman

Kristin & Harris Brown

Anthony Bruscato

Cassie & John Bruscato

Nerissa & John Bryant, Jr.

Lee Burford

Sara & James Butler

Linda & George Campbell

Guy Campbell

Abby & Mennon Campbell

Holly & Brian Campbell

Charlen Trascher Campbell

Traci & Robert Canterbury

Lynna & Ricky Caples

Holly & Chad Carter

Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center

Melanie & Sean Christian

Betty Earle & Bob Erle Clark

Barbie & Tom Clark

Eddie Clark

Victoria & James Close

Ally & Kyle Coburn

Kelly & Paul Coburn

Ruthie & Billy Coenen, Jr.

Ann & Henry Cole

Ann & William Cookston, III

Catherine & Collins Coon

Misti & Hardeman Cordell

Jill & Clay Couvillon

Christy & Max Cox

Lana & Edwin Craft

Susan & Brian Crawford

Catherine & Christian Creed

Brent & Gina Creel

Josh & Molly Creel

Wayne Creel

Nicole & Michael Creighton

George W. Cummings, III

Richard Crowe

Betty & Jay Cummins

Cummins & Fitts

Lawrence J Danna Davenport, Files & Kelly

Kristi & John Davis

Lauren & Heath Davis

Ben & Katie Dean

Michael Ann & Jott Delcambre

Shelia & Donald Dickson

Tiffany & Christian Dodson

Suzette & David Doughty

Becky & Mickey Dubos

Susan & Terry Duke

Christie & Michael Echols

Lori & Dan Edgar

Mary Kathyrn & Eric Edwards

Carolyn & Abdalla Elias

Jana & Brandon Elkins

Nelly & Jeff Elkins

Barbara D. Estis

Perry & Brett Estis

Lyndsey & Jason Ewing

Stewart Ewing

Drew & Joe Farr

Edgar Feinberg, II

Nina & John Ferracci

Robin & John Fincher

Megan & Jeff Foote, Jr.

Heather & Billy Forbis

Patchez & Peter Fox

Lala & Morris Funderburg

Meredith & Rob Garner

Paula & Jay Garrett

Wendy & Stewart Gentry

Leigh Ann & Stacy Goff

Gordon McKernan

Claire & Hardy Gordon

Heather & G.G. Grant

Annie & J.D. Greco

Greg G. Green

Greg R. Green

Elizabeth & Jeff Guerriero

Monica & Mark Guerriero

Stacy & Jon Guice

Misti & Ben Hajj

Bridget & David Hampton

Kathy & Tom Hargrove

Nichole & Arnold Harris

Stephen L. Harrison

Jansen & Michael Harvey

Meredith & Tommy Hayes

Thomas M. Hayes, III

Stephanie & Charlie Heck

Miranda & Ryan Hemrick

Laura Hennen

Sam O Henry, IV

Susan & Charles Herold, III

Annetta & Cecil Hill, Jr Dr. Dan Holt

Laura & Jack Holmes

Andi & Chris Holyfield

Linda & Joe Holyfield

Susan & Kevin Hopper

Margaret Horne

Wade House

Brenda Howell

Becky & John B. Hoychick

Susan & John Hoychick

Judy & Dallas Humble

Erin & Ethan Hunt

Vicki & Billy Husted

Susie & Mike Husted

Katrina Jackson

Mickey & Dickey Jackson

James Machine Works, Inc.

Palmer Jarrell

Evelyn & Jeff Johnson

Jodi & Bishop Johnston

Charles D. Jones

Holly Jones

Kristi & James Jones

Mary & Adam Karamanis

Stephen Katz

Ann & Elton Kennedy

Melanie & Gene King

Landry Law Firm

Sean Landry

Dee & John Ledbetter

Amado Leija

Carly & Mario Leija

Jodi & Matt Lyle

Rickey Lowery

Debbie & John Luffey, Jr.

Sarah & Michael Mahaffey

Sherry & Eric Mahaffey

Ashley & Bobby Manning

Brennan Manning

Brenda & Charles Marsala

Damon Marsala

Kathy & Ben Marshall, IV

Emily & Wes Martin

Brook & Scott Martinez

Valerie Van Matherne & Kenny


Angela & Jamie Mayo

Melanie & Keith McGough

Anita & Bruce MckKeithen

Leesa & David McMillin

Elizabeth & Phillip McQueen

Jeffrey Messinger

Jay Mitchell

Deirdre & Hal Moffett

Kalee & Matthew Moore

Sarah & Scott Moore

Lynn & James Moore

Arabella & James Moore, III

Gay & John Morris

Cherry & Randy Morris

Emily & Jay Morris

Jean & Owen Moses, Jr.

Margaret & Brent Moses

Cameron Murray

Wendy & Mark Napoli

Rhonda & Mark Neal

Jan & David Nelson

Nelson, Zentner, Sartor & Snellings

Starla & Bob Noel Mackenzie & Chris Noren

Tracy & Darren Oglesby

Jennifer & Tap Parker

Kathy & William Patrick

Carolyn & Harvey Perry

Cindy & John W. Perry, Jr

Holley & Jonathan Perry

Megan & J.W. Perry

Ainslee & Ben Peters

Nancy Kay & Ben Peters, Jr. Pierre & Pierre

Cindy & Kirby Price

Shelly & Alex Rankin

Yvette Reeves

Jennifer & Mark Reddaway

Mary Ann Riddle

Amber & Jay Roark

C. Joseph Roberts, III Hope & Dan Robertson

Hollis Ann & Chris Robinson

Larry & Peggy Rogers

James Ross

Mary Lou & James Rountree

Diana & Jay Russell

Jessica & Thad Ryan

Kayla & Thad Ryan

Bernard Sager

Marion & Matt Sanderson

June & Lavalle Salomon

Connie & Gregory


Sangisetty Law Firm

Sandy & Will Sartor, Jr.

Amy & Michael Sawyer

Brienne & Scott Shelby

Rachal & Stewart Shelby

Megan & Will Shelby

David Shively

Stephanie & Nat Smith

Paige & French Smith

Snellings, Breard, Sartor, Inabnett & Trascher

Sol’s Pipe & Steel, Inc.

Rebecca Sonnier

Kelly & Tim Southern

Jennifer & William Sparks

Susan & Gray Stephens

Evelyn & Arthur Stewart

Wanda & Raymond Stewart

Jennifer & Michael Street

Peggy Sullivan

Leah & Kevin Sumrall

Carol & Steve Swander

Jeanne & Steve Taylor

Jada & Dino Taylor

Michelle & Brad Terral

Robert S. Tew

Kathleen & Tony Tramontana

Mike Traxler

Terry & Elee Trichel

Cassundra & Mike Tubbs

Michelle & Mark Turrentine

Rob Vanderford

Mike Venable

Doll & Ken Vines

Sharon & Hershel Vinyard

Frances & Lamar Walters

Cindy & Muddy Waters

Karen & Brooks Watson

Julie & Dewey Weaver

Ashley & Fred West

Ashley & Ned White

Nancy & Alan Williams

Michelle & Scott Wolleson

Regina & Doug Wood, Jr.

Claudia & James Woods

Pat & Ronnie Woods

Jill & Lewis Young

Maggie & Scott Zentner

Marion & Tommy Zentner


The Secret To Getting Through Holiday Stress


Someone mentioned how many days it was until Christmas and my heart skipped a beat. Christmas is around the corner, and I have not even discussed Thanksgiving plans! My body reacted to stress triggered just by the thought of the holiday season. How many of you just had a heart palpitation? According to the American Psychology Association, research shows that regularly spending just a few moments on positive thinking and gratitude can help boost happiness, lower stress, improve your health and help you build stronger relationships –all of which can come in handy during the holidays. But how do we get to gratefulness when we are overwhelmed?

Luckily for us as humans, we have the ability to “rewire” our brains. Put simply, we can see the situation in a whole new light. For instance, my first thought to the holiday season was “Oh my gosh, how will I get it all done?” This thought was fleeting, however, when I recalled all the things I had to be grateful for. I am grateful for a husband who loves to cook and does it well. I am grateful for nieces and daughters-in-law who help me decorate at our annual “Margarita Christmas Tree Trimming” party. (Serve these girls a mixed drink and they get it done!) Just remembering this time we share together makes me smile. Acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives (counting blessings) can have tangible benefits for our mental health and long-term well-being. Gratitude shifts attention away from life stressors and helps us focus on the positive aspects of life. The more you intentionally focus on the positive, the more grateful you are and the more natural it becomes. You can’t dwell on the “bad” if you are focusing on the positive. So how do we even begin?

Here are a few simple ideas on how we can focus on gratitude this holiday season.

MAKE A LIST OF THINGS YOU HAVE. Rather than focus on things you want. This time of the year is often focused on receiving gifts. I must admit, after receiving a moped one year I now make a list of ideas my husband can utilize when buying me a gift. (Rhonda Burdeaux & Cindy Stone help me out with this.) But seriously, make a list of the things you already have. Count your blessings and note how it makes you feel to have these things in your life.

WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE. The act of saying thank you shows appreciation for gifts or services you receive. Try thanking

someone for being a good friend or helping you in an intangible way. As your relationships are strengthened, your gratitude will also increase.

PRAY. Praying will help nurture gratitude and help you focus on things outside of yourselves. From the blue sky to the red ladybugs, there is so much to be thankful for.

PRACTICE ACTS OF KINDNESS. The holiday season is a wonderful time to help others who are less fortunate. Volunteering, donating canned goods and toys, or baking cookies for a neighbor are simple and easy ways to show others that you care. As a bonus, while these acts of kindness serve others, they also help to boost mood and gratitude.

MAKE SOMEONE FEEL SPECIAL. Harness the power of your cell phone to send out some good vibes, such as a text or Facebook comment, to tell your friends why you appreciate them.

LOOK FOR SILVER LININGS. Even the most difficult life challenges come with some benefit—you just have to look to find them. Being sick draws the compassion of friends. Making a mistake teaches you a lesson.

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. If you struggle to come up with something to feel grateful for, put yourself in the shoes of someone who is experiencing misfortunes greater than your own. My momma says, “There is always someone worse off than you.”

LET GO OF UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Who cares what Susie Q’s perfect wreath looks like on her perfectly decorated front porch? I’m doing good to find the front door somedays! My home (or life) doesn’t resemble anything found in Bayou Life. My job is to care for elderly and disabled people, and it’s not a job you walk away from just because its 5 p.m. I find joy in serving this community. My lopsided gingerbread house works just fine for me and my grandchildren. We have a lot of laughs creating it!

While the holidays can bring their share of challenges, focusing on the things you’re thankful for and expressing that thankfulness can help you deal with them effectively. Take time out every day to recognize the things you are grateful for, and you will realize joy and the good in your life.


Brewed for the Holidays

600 Years of Belgian Heritage


are extremely proud of their Belgian roots. Their story can be seen on every bottle of Stella Artois. If you look closely, hints of their origins are proudly displayed.

By 1366 roots of Stella’s brewing tradition had been established in the city of Leuven, Belgium– which is also where the original Den Hoorn brewery was founded. Den Hoorn laid the foundation for the quality taste and standard Stella Artois is known for. The symbol of the Den Hoorn Brewery is proudly displayed in Stella Artois’ cartouche to this day.


Sebastian Artois was admitted to the Leuven Brewer’s Guild as a Brew Master in 1708, and only nine years later purchased the Den Hoorn brewery. In memoriam, you can find his last name on the brewery and every bottle of Stella Artois around the world.


The Artois Brewery was so beloved internationally and locally, a special batch was created as a Christmas gift to the people of Leuven. That special batch was the first to officially include “Stella” in its name. “Stella”, meaning star in Latin, pays homage to this original occasion, accompanied by a star on every bottle.

So next time you see a bottle of Stella Artois, take note of the rich history paired with the rich flavor on and in every bottle.


Pouring the perfect Stella Artois® is key to enjoying the perfect Stella Artois®. The brand’s time-honored nine-step ritual helps ensure that consumers everywhere are served as they would be in Belgium. After hundreds of years of brewing experience, there is only one way to pour a Stella Artois® and it is important that all those who serve Leuven’s gold standard lager pay as much attention to serving Stella Artois® as we do to brewing it.

Not only has it been proven that correctlypoured Stella Artois® results in satisfied consumers and increased brand loyalty, but bartenders, too, become true brand ambassadors once they have mastered the art of serving Stella Artois®. The annual Stella Artois® World Draught Master Competition – established in 1997 - heralds the importance of this pouring ritual. Bartenders from around the world compete to demonstrate their beer-serving prowess before a panel of distinguished judges who carefully scrutinize each and every step.


A brewery with a history that dates back nearly 100 years has ventured out from its popular Pilsner with a limited-edition dark lager. In time for the holidays, Stella Artois has introduced Midnight Lager, a 5.4% ABV beer that’s available in 12oz bottle, 6-packs. Midnight Lager pours a dark, jet black with a brown frothy head from a 12oz bottle. This appearance is the result of the beer’s use of roasted dark malts that are quite evident in the aroma of the dark lager. The beer’s roasty

qualities bring forth dark chocolate and coffee notes on the palate that is balanced by the use of Herkules and Saaz hops


Stella Artois, a brand of Anheuser-Busch, released Solstice Lager, the brand’s first-ever limited-edition golden lager. Inspired by the summer solstice, the lager contains notes of citrus essences and is triple-filtered for a smooth, crisp finish, the company says. It also has a malty sweetness, has an alcohol by volume of 4.5 percent, and is 105 calories for a 11.2-ounce bottle. The limited-edition imported beer is available in six-packs and 12-packs.

Locally, Marsala Beverage employs about 100 full-time employees. Marsala Beverage, LP is the largest malt beverage, wine/spirits and non-alcoholic distributor in Northeast Louisiana. Their success is based on the fact that they never lose sight of delivering what is really important – quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for our customers’ needs. Annually, they deliver over 2.4 million cases of beverages to over 700 retail accounts.

Please find us at www.marsalabeverage. com or follow us on social media: Facebook: Marsala Beverage Twitter: @marsalabeverage1 Instagram: @marsalabeverage


Let’s Talk Bunions

Common Questions About Bunions


specializing in disorders of the foot and ankle, I have seen my fair share of patients suffering from bunions. Folks have a lot of questions about bunions, and I thought I might take a minute and answer some of the most common questions and concerns patients have about them.


A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. This occurs gradually when some of the bones in the front of your foot move out of place causing the tip of your big toe to get pulled toward the smaller toes. This forces the joint at the base of your big toe to stick out.


The exact cause of bunions is unknown, but there are several risk factors that are attributed to them:

• Wearing tight ill-fitting shoes- shoes that are pointed, narrow or too tight can make people more susceptible to bunions.

• Wearing high heels- shoes with higher heels push the toes forward and crowds your toes.

• Certain types of arthritis, particularly Rheumatoid arthritis-inflammatory conditions can increase you chances for developing bunions.

• Heredity-inherited problems with the structure and anatomy of the foot can cause bunions.


They do! The reason men have bunions tends to be due to genetics. It’s an inherited predisposition relating to the shape of your foot and its biomechanics. If you have flat feet, then

you tend to roll inwards as you walk or run, instead of your foot rolling evenly from heel to toe. This adds extra pressure on your tendons and ligaments around your toe joint, making it less stable and more likely to form a bunion. However, it is not as common for men to get bunions as it is for women.


Women are about ten times more likely to get bunions than men. One of the more obvious reasons is choice of footwear - most fancy shoes are not built for comfort and often crowd the toes, adding extra pressure. Other reasons include women choosing careers that require long standing times, and they tend to have weaker (more limber) ligaments.


Unfortunately, bunions do not go away on their own and often get worse with age. There are more conservative, nonsurgical options including:

• Choosing comfortable shoes with a wide toe box

• Wearing a bunion pad

• Using ice for inflammation

• Anti-inflammatory medication


When pain is interfering with your daily activities, it is time to talk about surgical options. There are several surgical procedures to treat bunions and it is important to discuss what option is best for you with your orthopedic foot & ankle surgeon.

Surgical procedures for bunions can be done as single procedures or in combination.

They might involve:

• Removing the swollen tissue from around your big toe joint

• Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone

• Realigning one or more bones in the forefoot to a more normal position to correct the abnormal angle in your big toe joint

• Joining the bones of your affected joint permanently in more severe cases

A common misconception about bunion surgery is that the surgeon is removing the bony growth. We are re-aligning and straightening the bones in the big toe to reduce the protrusion.


Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure which means you will go home the same day. After a short time in recovery, you will be released to go home. You will need to have a friend or family member to drive you home. Once you are home, it’s important to follow any specific guidelines that your surgeon has discussed with you, including:

• Avoiding putting weight on your big toe

• Elevating your foot to reduce swelling

• Keeping your wound and bandages dry

• Taking prescribed medications

Your surgeon may prescribe physical therapy to strengthen your foot and ankle. Typical recovery time is 6-8 weeks. To ensure the best outcome long term, make sure you choose proper footwear.

If foot and ankle pain is interfering with your quality of life or even if it’s just to get answers, give us a call. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Haynie, please visit: or call: (866)759.9679.



From fur coats to cozy sweaters, these autumn looks combine the season’s best styles. Find these and more at area boutiques.
SAVANNA THOMAS PHOTOGRAPHY KELLY MOORE CLARK HAIR AND MAKEUP MEKA BENNETT Special Thanks to the owners of the Hidden Hideaway A-Frame in Farmerville PALETTE HOUSE AND PLUME This luxurious plaid coat has a perfectly minimal shawl collar, long sleeves, and welt pockets. It is worn with a buttery soft black knit jogger and coordinating top.
BLUSH BY ELLE Looking for the perfect outfit for transitional weather? This shirt dress features a gathered balloon sleeve and leopard print. Made of super soft material, this dress is a flattering length for all sizes.


Pretty lace and sheer details lend flirty charm to this mini-length shirt dress framed by long sleeve with slit cuffs. Accessorize with a felt hat and these Westerninspired leather boots with decorative stitching and a curved topline.



AND GIFTS This soft off-white waffle weave sweater with distressed neck and hemline is paired with fabulous faux leather camelcolored joggers. Accessorize with leopard booties and a cheetah and fleur-de-lis clutch.


A gorgeous green satin dress with ruching is worn beneath a classic plaid shirt jacket with beautiful embroidery. Add a felt hat with ribbon detailing and a vintage-inspired reversible cozy blanket that comes with a matching drawstring bag for easy transport.

WOODSTOCK MONROE Jump into the holiday season in this rust-colored top with flounce hemline and gathered sleeves. Pair it with these high rise straight leg jeans with distressed ankle hem. Accessorize with matching scarf and these platform-style ivory boots with python print.


Cozy up in this cute plaid button-down top paired with a high-waisted black jean. Complete the look with a green felt hat with leather band and brown bootie with elastic ankle.


These 80s-inspired jeans are designed to flatter your frame with a neatly cinched waistband. Pair with a soft washed satin top with cowl neckline and luxurious long coat with pockets. Accessorize with a light blue felt fedora and these standout sneakers.

A Night at the USO Gala

On October 15th, at the beautiful Bayou Pointe on ULM campus

The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum held “A Night at the USO” gala featuring Code Blue and the Flatliners. They celebrated 21 years of service to veterans and the community. It was 1940’s dress and food was locally sourced and prepared by local chefs including seafood provided by sponsor Louisiana Seafood. The support from the community helps to continue their mission and even more importantly serve the veteran community.

On the BayouScene

1 Bill and Deborah Mahan, Tim Sherman

2 Tim and Gigi Sherman

3 Debbie and David McLemore and Sara and John Shamblin

4 Angela and Robbie Mcbroom

5 Gordon and Carolyn Gates

6 Leona and Michael Shaw

7 Kimberly Peters, Angie and Chaz Lingenfelder, and Amber Baron

8 Gus and Jane Campbell

9 Mayor Staci Mitchell and Nell Calloway

10 Pam and Fred Hill

11 Hunter McFadden, Luis and Elise Sanchez

12 Katie Collins and Jayme Watson

13 Hollie Boudreaux and Nell Calloway

14 Robyn and Jason Garsee

15 Stacy Lurate and Brian Bulloch

16 Stephen and Kristen Hatfield

17 Shereka Devall and Darren Broadway

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

In a cast iron pan, melt together 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar until the sugar starts to caramelize. Add one cup of pecans and stir to combine - stir often to keep from burning. Pour candied pecans on parchment or wax paper until cool. *Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon for a cinnamon sugar pecan.

Candied Pecans


styling by TAYLOR BENNETT photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK

November in Downtown Ruston

Your Place for Hometown Holidays

IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT the holidays are right around the corner.

November is packed full of exciting events to get you in the mood for the holiday season in Downtown Ruston. Start the month off with a show at The Dixie Center for the Arts on November 3rd, featuring WOR, who injects new energy into 18th-century melodies from the Flanders region of Belgium. Friday, November 4th, Grammy award-winning artist Terrance Simeon will be in concert at The Dixie Center for the Arts. Tickets are free on the North Central Louisiana Arts Council website, until the night of the concert, they will cost $5 at the door. This free community event will be one you do not want to miss. Get your free ticket at

November 17th from 5- 8 pm will be the Holiday Open House, where our Downtown Merchants will have extended hours so you can get a jump on your holiday shopping. Don’t forget that Saturday, November 26th is

National “Shop Small” Saturday. We encourage you to venture out and enjoy all the amazing small businesses that Downtown Ruston has to offer in our 20-block historic district. You will also find the outdoor Holiday Maker’s Market from North Central Louisiana Arts Council on W. Mississippi Ave. on the block between Trenton and Vienna. Here you will find oneof-a-kind gifts from makers in and around our region. And if that wasn’t enough, the Ruston Art Encounter will be hosting their bi-monthly event where you’ll find musicians and culinary delights in and around Downtown.

To end the evening in the most perfect way, join us for the traditional Kickoff to Christmas event in Railroad Park. Here you’ll experience the feeling of the holidays with the sights and sounds of the season. There will be hot cocoa and apple cider, cookies, and a visit from the jolly elf! Be sure and bring your camera to capture a photo with him and our other photo opportunities in the park that evening. And

the best part of all, join Mayor Walker as he marks the official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the tree. This hometown holiday experience will be the event to get you in the spirit for the entire holiday season!

December will be full of more fun activities and shopping opportunities. Mark your calendars for these special days and watch our calendars and social media for changes and additions:

• December 8th - Holiday Sip and Stroll (extended shopping hours)

• December 8th – Community Sing-a-long in Railroad Park

• December 10th- Cookies and Photos with Santa at the Historic Fire Station


Look and Feel Your Best

Louisiana Center for Women’s Health

WHEN YOU DON’T LOOK YOUR best, you’re not going to feel your best. Over a period of decades, our clinic has acquired the equipment and expertise to offer a palette of state-of-the-art procedures to maximize your appearance.

We strive to offer our cosmetic services and procedures at affordable prices, which represent real value in today’s world. These various high-tech services can be obtained at our private clinic here in the Monroe area for a fraction of the charge for the same procedure in other cities. We are aware that our patients are interested in getting the best value, and we are structured to deliver this.


Everyone can benefit from the Hydrafacial procedure. It is inexpensive, gives immediately noticeable results, only takes about 30 minutes, and has no social downtime. The procedure is extremely pleasant and relaxing. We have the latest Hydrafacial equipment and a dedicated

technician to perform it in a private setting. The procedure minimizes skin discoloration and brightens skin tone, instantly minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin is saturated with antioxidants and peptides to maximize skin glow. Uncover a new layer of skin with exfoliation and resurfacing.


We are among the earliest adopters of Vaser Liposuction in the world. In fact, we have taught and demonstrated this unique procedure for doctors from as far away as Seoul, Korea.

Vaser liposuction uses a very small incision of less than 1/4 inch to emulsify and remove fat. The procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia, saving the expense of a hospital or surgery center. The results are immediate, unlike various noninvasive treatments which may or may not work.


Hormone pellets have helped thousands of men and women achieve hormonal balance for restoration of their health. We offer hormone pellets and hormone testing in our clinic. The pellets look much like a grain of rice and are placed under the skin where hormones are released as they dissolve over a period of months. For most people, this is the easiest way to replace missing hormones. If you have fatigue, depression, anxiety, decreased sexual performance, muscle wasting, insomnia, or weight gain, it might be appropriate to have your hormones checked.


Our clinic has state-of-the-art lasers for the treatment of numerous medical and cosmetic problems. Unfortunately, this involves too much information to include in this space but will be detailed in future articles.


We also offer Botox, Juvederm fillers, and various cosmeceutical beauty correcting formulas, all priced competitively.

Please call 318-387-3113 if we can provide you with additional information.


Freedom Focus: Freedom

For the Busy Woman

Save Time and Energy

HI! MY NAME IS CRYSTAL COLEMAN, AND I’M THE founder of Freedom Focus. I created this business as a way to help women have more freedom in their day-to-day lives. So many of us go non-stop from the time our eyes open to the time they close. We suffer from decision fatigue and exhaustion. I set out to change that. My mission is to help women save time and energy to use on more important and joy-filled priorities.

This all started when I had my daughter. I started seeing how easy it was for my time and energy to get drained by necessary, daily decisions that didn’t serve me in creating a life of freedom for my family. I thought, “How cool would it be if there was one place I could go that has everything I need for the draining day to day decisions?” Since I didn’t know of anything like what I had in mind, I decided to create it myself. That is how Freedom Focus was born, and more accurately, how the FF Hub was born.

I began to compile all the decisions that we as busy women make constantly and break them down into narrowed, specific categories. I continued doing this until I had a hub of resources that women could go to and find exactly what they needed quickly and easily. Now, you no longer have to scour the internet for the recipe that fits you/your family’s dietary needs or the workout for where you are on your fitness journey. I’ve got it all in one place to serve you exactly where you’re at.

From recipes and workouts to help for the holidays and time saver tips (and so much more!), the FF hub is here to help make your life easier. Plus, you also get access to Freedom Virtual Events where we will talk through real struggles of busy women and how we can overcome them. FF (Freedom Focus) isn’t just an ever growing hub of resources to serve you and help you every day, it’s also a community of women supporting you, rooting for you, and in the trenches with you.

If you’re a busy woman who needs to save time and energy but doesn’t want to be bogged down by decision-fatigue anymore, the FF hub is for you. And, if you’re a woman who wants a community of women to be supporting you, praying for you, and cheering you on, the FF community that comes with it is here too. For the cost of a latte a month, you can get full access to recipes, workouts, help with the holidays, time saver tips and so much more. The FF hub is here to make your life easier! If you’re ready to join us, visit and use promo code: BAYOULIFE at checkout to try it out for FREE!

Much love and gratitude, Crystal


Your Hometown Urologist

Robert D. Marx, M.D., Your Hometown Urologist


Thanksgiving is the perfect time to schedule a vasectomy. While you may have to refrain from participating in the annual family touch football game, it’s a great time to enjoy family, delicious food and a long weekend of rest.

Vasectomy is a medical procedure in which two tubes (the vas deferens) that carry sperm from the testicles to the urinary tract are tied and sealed. This prevents sperm from passing into the seminal stream and fertilizing a woman’s egg. Although it is permanent, it is surgically reversible in most cases. Reversibility is dependent upon time elapsed since the vasectomy.

When it comes to forms of permanent male birth control, a vasectomy is the ideal permanent surgical procedure available to men. The procedure carries a very low risk of complications and is available to be performed as an outpatient procedure with localized anesthesia. Dr. Marx performs a no-

cut technique, which is the least invasive. The patient is sedated and local anesthesia is used in order to achieve a painless procedure.


Prior to a vasectomy, patients may be asked to prepare by:

• Not shaving the area

• Bringing a pair of tight-fitting underwear or athletic support to the surgery to minimize swelling

• Arranging for transportation home to prevent extraneous movement

• Avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs prior to and following the procedure, which thins the blood and can cause excessive bleeding


After the vasectomy is completed, patients are advised to rest for two days in order to reduce swelling and allow the vas deferens

to heal. Discomfort may last for up to a week after the procedure. If pain persists beyond one week, an anti-inflammatory may be used. This can happen, but Dr. Marx usually refers to this as being “tender and touchy up to 6 weeks.” Patients are encouraged to avoid heavy lifting, straining or squatting for 1 week. If you do any of these activities for work, you may need to take off work or arrange for light duty. Dr. Marx can give you an excuse. Patients are also advised to keep the area dry for a week in addition to other care instructions.

If you are considering a vasectomy, call today to discuss your options with Dr. Marx.

Robert D. Marx, M.D. is this community’s hometown urologist. He was born and raised right here in Monroe, Louisiana. He graduated from NLU, now ULM, and graduated from medical school and completed his residency at LSU Shreveport. He has been in practice for over thirty years and conveniently operates at Glenwood, Monroe Surgical and P&S.


Making a Difference One Sleep at a Time

Find Your Perfect Sleep Solution at American Mattress Outlet

IF YOU LIVE IN NORTH LOUISIANA, YOU’VE UNDOUBTEDLY seen American Mattress Outlet on signs scattered around sporting events, or a whimsical caricature of the owner, Robby Compton, on a Mr. P’s tee dressed as a superhero holding a mattress over his head. “I love seeing our t-shirts and sweatshirts around the community. My sister-inlaw, Lissy Compton, will call me and say ‘Hey, I have an idea for a t-shirt,’ and the next thing I know there’s a drawing of me dressed as a turkey. I order a ton, and I give them away to anyone that wants to wear one.”

Compton’s aptitude for generosity is one of the reasons he enjoys working in the mattress industry. He spent years at Hibbett Sports as a district manager and then moved into commercial real estate, securing new locations for the corporation, and later in development for a company in Beaumont, TX. When it was time for a move home, Compton was unsure of what the future held for him. On a whim and with advice from a friend with liquidation experience, he founded American Mattress Outlet. “In the beginning we rented a large space, stacked them high and let them fly. In the first week of opening, I realized that selling mattresses may be profitable.”

As months went by, Compton’s business model changed and the brands he carried streamlined as the focus shifted to an affordable luxury brand, Southerland. Around this time Compton grasped how much his business made an impact in other’s lives. “I didn’t realize how much I could really help someone until I had a customer come into the store

looking for a mattress. After we talked for a while, he told me he had cancer and had not slept in the same bed with his wife for years. He had a resorted to sleeping in a recliner in order to be comfortable. We found him a split king bed, and it was life-changing for he and his wife. It was in that moment, the passion passed the pursuit.”

From those first days, the selection of mattresses went from three styles to over 27. Not only does American Mattress Outlet provide a wide variety of beds to choose from, they also have adjustable bases made by Malouf and BedTech, and a range of pillows. “One of our most popular is the Malouf Shoulder Zoned Gel Dough. This pillow has a unique shoulder cutout that allows proper shoulder alignment and puts the neck at a 90 degree angle. Changing your pillow is small investment that can make a huge difference.”

Making a difference has been one of the driving forces behind American Mattress Outlet. Compton, along with his wife Leslie, are invested in North Louisiana. Looking to the near future, they have plans to open a second location at 208 West Alabama Avenue in downtown Ruston. “We plan to open the store in January. It’s been a goal since 2020 and something we’ve prayed about, and now it’s happening.”

American Mattress Outlet is Northeast Louisiana’s premier mattress dealer. Stop by today and visit Robby Compton and his team at 2200 North 7th Street in West Monroe. Find them online at or call 318.366.5565.


The MACI Solution to a Pain-Free Knee

MACI Knee Cartilage Treatment

KNEES TAKE A BEATING, BUT THERE is a way to a pain free knee: MACI Knee Cartilage Treatment. Whether you’re working, shopping, or participating in sports, your knees absorb a huge amount of pressure with every step. Over time, repetitive motion and the natural wear and tear lead to deterioration of the cartilage within the knee. Falls, accidents, and sports injuries can also cause damage and tearing. Cartilage is a cushion that sits between your bones and allows for smooth joint movements. Damage to the cartilage can cause pain, making it difficult to stay active and go on with daily life.

Cartilage doesn’t have the ability to absorb nutrients to heal on its own. If left untreated, cartilage lesions and defects can expand and progress over time causing even more damage to the knee possibly leading to osteoarthritis.

The MACI (Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) offers a safe and cost-effective solution to cartilage damage. This elective procedure uses your own cells to

regenerate damaged parts of your cartilage. MACI is offered to patients who have undergone arthroscopic procedures and are appropriate candidates. Clinical trials show that MACI outscored other microfracture treatments in reducing pain and improving joint functionality. MACI is widely accepted by insurance providers with an 89% approval rate.

Most patients who have undergone MACI and continue with postoperative therapy, obtain complete relief and functionality within 9 months. Treatment for each patient is customized to fit their goals and objectives.

“MACI patients have shown great results,” states Dr. Kristopher Sirmon, “I have patients of all ages who responded well to treatments and returned to their normal activities as early as 6 months.” Dr. Sirmon, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, has incorporated MACI into his practice.

“Of course, a knee arthroscopy procedure is still the gold standard”, Dr. Sirmon explains. “We go in, debride any damages, during which

we take a sample of their cartilage and send it for a biopsy. If an isolated lesion is found, we give the patient the option to proceed with MACI.”

During the rehabilitation, patients can engage in exercises with the assistance of therapists while using braces, walkers or crutches. Weeks after, patients begin to report decreased pain and improved mobility. After 3 months, patients may return to light recreational activities, without bracing or crutches, to rebuild muscle strength and endurance. After 6 to 9 months cartilage will be fully incorporated.

MACI is a safe and precise technique that allows surgeons, like Dr. Sirmon, to tailor treatments to the needs of each patient. “As a physician, I am always looking for ways to provide my patients with the best possible care,” states Dr. Sirmon. “MACI is a step forward in medicine and I’m happy to know there is a solution for my patients.”

Dr. Kristopher Sirmon earned his doctorate from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans in 2009. He completed his residency at the LSU Health Sciences Center. Dr. Sirmon has been practicing at North Louisiana Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Clinic in Monroe, Louisiana, since 2014.

To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Sirmon, please call (318) 323 - 8451 or visit northlaortho. com.


R&B Treasures Boutique & Gifts

Who We Are and Where We Came From

name is Ray. Recently, we celebrated 41 years together and I’m happy to say that we are still in love to this day. R and B Treasures Boutique was named after, you guessed it, us! We decided to invest in this business together, since we do everything together. We have six wonderful kids and eleven grandkids! Family is and has always been a huge part of our lives.

Even though my husband is a big part of this business, we are a women’s and children’s clothing store. I have always loved clothes and shoes with matching jewelry and handbags. Fashion has always enthralled me, even when I was a young girl. Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money, so when I received “fancy” outfits, I treasured them. There were times that I would, let’s just say, not be the model daughter and I would get in trouble. For punishment, my mother would withhold my treasures until I was able to think clearly and act accordingly.

Growing up, I knew that I had to have a strong work ethic and that if I wanted to have nice things, I had to work for it. Raising a family is not a walk in the park and bills do add up at the end of the month. I know what it’s like to work hard to make ends meet. So, when Ray and I decided to open the boutique, I wanted to share my love for all things fashion and give others a chance to a fair price. I handpick the clothes

in my store and make sure they are in style and affordable to all. If I wouldn’t pay the price on the tag, then I don’t expect my customers to.

We have a wide variety of women’s clothing and sizes which include small to 3x. A few of our brands include: Yellowbox, Topanga Scents, Kancan Jeans, Judy Blues, and Myra Bags. Recently, we started stocking little girl clothing with sizes starting at 12/18 months all the way to a size 7x. If clothing isn’t your forte, we do offer gift items as well.

We will be having a Thanksgiving sale November 16th through the 19th. We are currently located in Yancey’s Pharmacy & Gifts in Rayville, Louisiana. Stop in to visit and have a nice shop around. Bring the girls and get matching outfits for your girl’s night out! Come by and see us soon, so we can make our treasures yours.

R and B Treasures Boutique 103 Christian Drive Rayville, La 71269 318-303-3583



article by VANELIS RIVERA photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK

TThe South loves pecans. Their distinctly buttery flavor has been adored in pies, cakes, cookies, pralines, and even craft beer. This edible seed is rich in protein, fiber, heart-healthy nutrients and can be traced back to the sixteenth century. In fact, the name comes from an Algonquin word used to refer to a variety of nuts like walnut and hickory nuts. Currently, the United States produces close to forty percent of the world’s pecans with Georgia leading production. Its popularity is undeniable, but most apparent during the holiday season. Regardless of how or when you enjoy this savory American staple, its abundance is a testament to its versatility, one that Kinloch Plantation Products is eager to share with the world.

Founded by Tommy Hatfield, owner, and president, Kinloch Plantation Products is one of a few key companies producing pecan oil, which is considered one of the healthiest types of cooking oils on the market.

Founded by Tommy Hatfield, owner, and president, Kinloch Plantation Products is one of a few key companies producing pecan oil, which is considered one of the healthiest types of cooking oils on the market. Hailing from Winnsboro, Louisiana, Hatfield’s family was originally in the lumber business. Around 1996, he was “looking for something else to do” and a friend mentioned the pecan oil industry, which was in its beginning stages. It would take him a few years to move forward with the idea, slowly putting the company together around 2003 and finally opening for business in 2005.

It took a while for the company to find its stride. At the time, not many folks had heard of pecan oil. But learning the industry helped Hatfield and his team better understand the benefits of their product by way of the main ingredient. “They’re the healthiest nut, really, on the market,” says Hatfield, referring to the plethora of health benefits of the bite-sized treat. A USDA study shows pecans are richer in antioxidants than any other popular nut, including almonds, cashews, macadamias, peanuts, and walnuts. Additionally, they are low in saturated fats, have over ninety percent of unsaturated fats, and are rich in vitamin E (which has amazing antiinflammatory properties). With a pedigree like that, any kitchen would be incomplete without it.

Another learning curve for Hatfield was becoming familiar with the pecan growing industry, which has quite a few moving parts. The common practice consists of growers selling directly to shelling companies, which in turn sell the nuts wholesale. Currently, Kinloch pecans originate in Texas and go through quite a journey before heading to Louisiana. First, the company buys the nuts from a sheller, and then they are shipped to California where the nuts are pressed. The oil is then placed in 1000-liter totes, and driven back to the Winnsboro plant for bottling.


Another Kinloch product that no gourmand should be without is Kinloch’s balsamic. Made under strict standards, the cooked grapes are aged in barrels that arrive directly from Modena, an affluent city in Northern Italy. The company partnered with an Italian grower for a simple, yet savory reason—because gourmet balsamic pairs beautifully with their pecan oil.

Over the years, Hatfield has received a number of compliments on the company’s slim glass bottles which are packaged like a fine wine, and handsomely display their logo, a picture of his wife’s family home. This quaint, river-style cottage called Kinloch Plantation represents a history that can be traced “way back” to the mid-1800s. His wife’s family arrived in the United States from France by way of Scotland where they “picked up” the surname Kinloch, known as a habitational name. Ultimately, the gesture is one that not only honors his marital union, but also the diverse heritage of the south.

Sold as a specialty product, Kinloch Pecan Oil is predominantly sold by small vendors, boutiques, and a few grocery store chains like Whole Foods. Because pecan oil sales have been eclipsed by trending oils like coconut and avocado oil (but not for long), many are just discovering what Kinloch likes to call “the secret of the South.”

This company’s oil is extracted by a chemical-free process known as expeller pressing where no external heat is used. There are no additives, preservatives, or stabilizers introduced during the refining process. In other words, customers are getting one hundred percent pecan oil. Additionally, the oil has been deodorized, providing a neutral flavor that enhances the flavor of any ingredient. Light and

mellow, it makes the perfect base for salad dressing, infusing herbs, or a butter substitute in baking. With its high smoke point of 470 degrees, the flavor of the pecan oil does not overpower the food and is ideal for searing, grilling, braising, stir-frying, baking, and sautéing.

Another Kinloch product that no gourmand should be without is Kinloch’s balsamic. Made under strict standards, the cooked grapes are aged in barrels that arrive directly from Modena, an affluent city in Northern Italy. The company partnered with an Italian grower for a simple, yet savory reason—because gourmet balsamic pairs beautifully with their pecan oil. The complex, aromatic, and subtly acidic undertones make Kinloch’s balsamic vinegar an immediate pairing to dinner favorites such as pasta, beef, soft cheese, or fresh fruit. The depth of sweet and sour flavor of this high-quality, aged balsamic is the drizzle your salad has been craving and the gift your kitchen pantry can’t wait to hold. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a treat!

Always tapping into their customer base, Kinloch is currently working on a cookie, one that has already been making waves at conferences. “People just absolutely love the cookies,” says Vice President Bert Hammons. They are called Contemporary Tea Cakes


Tea Cakes


½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

½ cup Kinloch Pecan Oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2-½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans tossed in 1 table spoon of flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and pecan oil. Beat egg and vinegar and combine with butter mixture. Sift together flour, salt, and soda. Set aside.

In the mixer, add the flour—mix ½ cup at a time until all of the flour mix is gone. Add vanilla and pecans, and mix in the mixer.

For small cookies, use the large end of a melon scoop. For larger cookies, use a teaspoon. Flatten dough balls with a fork, and bake until edges are light brown, about 13 to 15 minutes. Yields 85 small cookies.

Bon appetite!

and the company decided to add them as a product because they have yet to come across anyone who hasn’t loved them. “A couple thousand of them go through the show and they’ll all be gone by the time we get back,” he adds.

Though a small, family-owned business, Kinloch products have traveled all over the United States, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and even Japan. “We sent seven thousand bottles over to Japan the year before last,” informs Hatfield. Even then, their most significant purchaser is none other than the multinational technology company, Amazon. With over five hundred global ratings, this certified Louisiana product has a five-star rating. One review raved about their first experience writing, “Wow! What a thrill to have a great-tasting oil that gives my food a subtle difference. My first use was to fry a fish filet and it gave it such a nice flavor that I couldn’t wait to try it with other foods.”

If you consider yourself an everyday gourmet, elevate your daily meals and perfect your haute cuisine endeavors with their specialty products—Kinloch Pecan Oil and Kinloch Balsamic Vinegar. Local, fresh, and healthy, let your palate get the best of what Louisiana has to offer.

Kinloch Plantation Products offers a wide range of recipes on their website https://pecanoil. com. So, go snag their delightful products at 1304 Corneil Street, Winnsboro, LA 71295, and enjoy one of their tasty recipes.

Vice President Bert Hammons

Surgery Clinic of NELA: Prioritize Your Health

Hear From The Patients Who Experienced Significant Life Improvements


of Northeast Louisiana, home of Delta Vein Care, wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season—full of happiness and health. We are truly thankful you continue to trust us with your care.

Speaking of health, we want to remind you how important it is to maintain your health.

To improve your wellbeing, we encourage you to embrace all our clinic offers—from general surgery to weight loss surgery to vein care. It can be tempting to delay medical care. However, the long-term ramifications of prolonging medical care aren’t worth it, as health conditions can worsen when left unattended.

Surgery Clinic Patient Jason Nelson wants you to know that “the quicker you act, the quicker you heal.”

Last year, the Monroe native noticed a mass in his lower groin area, and while it was unnerving, it did not hurt. So, like many, he waited for the site to heal.

Approximately six weeks later, Jason

experienced a slight dull ache, which prompted him to seek medical treatment.

He said, “When you conduct your research, even on Google, you learn very quickly that the quicker you act, the quicker you heal. And being proactive is cost-effective; you lessen the chances of the injury becoming an emergency.”

Jason is one of many patients who has benefitted from the da Vinci; this robotic technology significantly improved Jason’s outcome because minimally invasive surgeries mean less recovery time and less pain.

Another patient, Barbara Houston, a very active person, began dreading nighttime leg pain several years ago.

She said, “I could not sleep because the pain in my legs and feet was so significant. My legs also felt extremely heavy. “I decided it was time to seek help.”

The Monroe native visited Delta Vein Care, where she immediately felt welcome and reassured.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I had so much hope after our first meeting, and that meant everything to me,” Barbara said.

Barbara vividly remembers her first night following the first procedure. “I was pain-free for the first time in years. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was given my life back. I knew I could once again live a normal existence.”

Her advice for others? “I want people to know about this treatment; I want them to know you don’t have to simply live with this kind of pain.”

As we enjoy and appreciate this holiday season, remember one of your greatest blessings: your health. Prioritize your wellbeing and book a consultation with our clinic today.

The Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana, home of Delta Vein Care, houses surgeons Dr. Walter Sartor, Dr. Bart Liles, Dr. Patrick Smith, and Dr. Mohamed Bakeer. Contact the clinic with questions about general surgery, vein care procedures, and weight loss surgery.


Arts Council Announces



IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN... THE THIRD annual ARTVENT! fundraiser for the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council. Beginning December 1st for a total of 12 consecutive days, the Arts Council will be drawing for 12 prize packages to be given away to 12 lucky daily winners. There are over $30,000 in prizes with each prize package worth over at least $1000.

Tickets to enter are just $50 each and give you a chance to win every day. Artwork is included in each prize package. A few highlights of the 12 different packages include a special multi-course catered dinner for 6 with entertainment hosted at the Neville House; flowers for a year (one arrangement per month) from Southern Flower Exchange; several twonight stays at different area B&B’s and one in New Orleans; in addition to a 7-night stay at The Beach Club Resort and Spa in Gulf Shores. There’s also a beautiful 20-inch strand of pearls from Flair Jewelers; a table to Dancing with the Louisiana Stars, theatre tickets, ballet tickets, dinner gift cards; 2023 ULM Football tickets,

museum passes, Clementine Hunter collectible dinnerware and so much more! Each prize package has been thoughtfully curated by the Arts Council and their gracious donors and can be found on the Arts Council website at www.

There are a limited number of tickets available. You can get your tickets on-line via the Arts Council’s website as well as from any Arts Council board member or through the Arts Council office by calling 318.397.6717 or 318.397.6754.

“ARTvent began during COVID because of our inability to host our regular fundraising events,” explained Barry Stevens, President of the Arts Council. “It proved to be such a success that we’ve continued it. It’s grown each year due to the generosity of our donors and sponsors. People love to support the arts in our region, and they enjoy a chance at winning great prizes.”

Sponsors this year include Dave’s Bayou Lodge & Outfitters, Origin Bank, Rosalie

Estates LLC, Scott Powerline & Utility Equipment, BayouLife Magazine, North Delta Title, Cross Keys Bank, John Rea Realty, Newk’s Eatery, Mid-South Extrusion, Progressive Bank, Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, and Van-Trow Toyota.

About the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council

The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council seeks to nurture a vibrant regional arts culture through support, promotion, and education. The Arts Council strives to be a transformative force for the community by encouraging a passion for the arts, promoting partnerships and collaboration, and ensuring access to the arts for all. Activities of the Arts Council are supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.

12 Days of Prizes to Support

Lead Me Not Into Pigmentation

Pulse-Light Therapy… for That FLAWLESS Face

IT’S THE NEW WAY TO KEEP AGING at bay. Beautiful skin is the hallmark of youth. With intense pulsed light therapy… you can improve the color and texture of your skin without surgery. It can undo some of the visible damage caused by sun exposure, noticed mostly on your face, neck, chest, and hands.

An evenly-colored, pigmentation-free complexion is very important for maintining a youthful look. Blotchy skin doesn’t reflect light very well, making the complexion look dull. But unified skin tones do reflect light… and can wipe years off our appearance.

While it may sound like a laser treatment… it’s not a laser. IPL uses multiple wavelengths of light…whereas lasers use one continuous light wavelength. This means we can enter into the machine’s computer the skin color, body area, and skin type to generate specific settings. During the treatment, multiple wavelengths of light enter the skin at different levels. This allows us to treat many different

problems, such as freckles, age spots, melasma, and rosacea. Rosacea is a facial redness caused by spider veins and acne-like outbreaks. About 90 percent of our patients are very satisfied with their level of clearing…especially with the redness of rosacea. People suffer from that for years and it makes a huge difference to them. IPL can erase a whole array of pigment problems, including freckles, sunspots, and spider veins around the cheeks and nose. It also tightens those unsightly pores.

This magic wand can smooth and soothe facial woes, and delete fine to moderate lines and wrinkles.

Best of all, there’s no downtime. It’s truly a lunch-time therapy.

During the procedure, light energy is sent through the epidermis but the energy is concentrated in the dermis, the deeper part of the skin. Because the light generates heat, it stimulates cells to form more collagen, as much as 20 percent more. Because it plumps the skin, it’s like getting a collagen injection but using

your own collagen.

There’s no downtime because no healing is involved. It leaves the outer skin completely intact because it’s not damaged. It doesn’t need to heal.

Most treatments take about 45 minutes per area. Afterward, there is just a flush, not really redness, which goes away in less than two hours. You can apply makeup right afterwards. Depending upon the severity of pigment… several treatments (one to three) may be needed to remove all pigment.

Uneven skin tones can add as many years to your skin as having fine lines and wrinkles. After IPL, you will look younger because your skin tone is more even.

If you’re afflicted with stubborn sun spots, IPL is a good skin care option. For a free consultation or to schedule an appointment, call 318-361-9066. For more information about IPL, visit our website


A Local Family Business


veteran owned company that has been committed to serving Northeast Louisiana for nearly three decades. We specialize custom designed systems that focus on security and life safety systems for residential and commercial applications. Our staff has industry led training in system design and installation standards. We provide free consultation to aid you in assessing and mitigating your security and life safety vulnerabilities. We understand that every customer has specific requirements and are committed to align best practices, top-shelf equipment, and professional installation to bring you the most value.

Studies have shown that homes are 300% more likely to be burglarized without a security system. Most burglaries occur between 10 am and 3 pm, average time in the home ranges from 90 seconds to 12 minutes. Commonly sought-after items are firearms, prescriptions

drugs, electronics and jewelry. Past studies by the Justice Department revealed that burglary victims knew the burglar 30% of the time and the burglar was a stranger in 24% of the crimes. Most of the time (46%), the burglar’s identity was never established.

Camera systems are becoming more common at residential and commercial locations as affordability increases. They aid in deterrence, assist in monitoring activity at entry/exit points, blind spots, and avenues of approach on site. Camera systems have become invaluable to law enforcement in solving burglary cases that currently have a solve rate just over thirteen percent. Most burglars live within 2 miles of site. Video doorbells reduce burglaries up to 55% as a third of burglaries occur through the front door. Check with us to see how you can remotely view live and playback footage.

Automated Alarm Co maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Automated Alarm is in compliance with all known state regulations for employee licensing and insurance through the State Fire Marshall’s Office. We are proud members of the Northeast Louisiana Homebuilders Association and Louisiana Life Safety and Security Association.

Automated Alarm wants to remind you that security starts with a hard target mentality. Light up your location, lock your doors, remove objects that restrict visibility, and have a trusted agent check your mail and pick up your newspaper if you are out of town. If you have a security alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system — Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them. We look forward to the opportunity to serve as your security and life safety company.

Automated Alarm Co. 210 Kansas Lane, Monroe, LA 318-345-2378


Mark Sisk Expands His Team

Leading NELA Realtor Adds Team Member, Benefiting Customers and Clients

MARK SISK AND ASSOCIATES, Inc. at RE/MAX Premier Realty would like to welcome Talin Khatchadourian to the team!

Talin Khatchadourian, a Los Angeles, California native from an Armenian family, took a leap of faith in 2016 and moved to Northeast Louisiana to be with her boyfriend, Josh Eddy. Moving from a big city to a small town away from family and friends was a big change, but she loves this community and is proud to call Northeast Louisiana home.

With a background working in radio and tanning salon management, building customer/client relationships, and managing an ever changing schedule, Talin has learned more about herself and has grown in ways she never would have expected. From that, she wanted to take her business acumen and her background in client services and sales and apply it on a much larger scale. After

much thought about a career change, Talin shifted her focus to full time in real estate. Her journey to becoming a Realtor has not been easy, but she feels it was a call from God, and it’s one of the best decisions she’s made in her life. Talin was first licensed at the start of 2021, and her business has soared ever since. In her short time in real estate, Talin has had so much success in helping people buy, sell, and invest in property. Talin’s only regret is not getting into real estate many years ago, but she truly believes it was the timing in her life for it all. Talin feels so fulfilled in a job that’s so rewarding by simply being honest, truthful, and helpful.

When Talin is not slaying real estate business, she enjoys her time with her boyfriend and their fur babies, a guinea pig (Moose) and a dog (Kira). She and her boyfriend love to travel and since she’s made the move to Northeast Louisiana, it’s made it

that much more possible. They have been to Miami, Colorado, different parts of Mexico, Jamaica, and Hawaii just to name a few. She is also active in community events and loves meeting new people. Talin is so thankful for all the people she’s met along the way in her years here in Louisiana. Some have become clients, friends, and some have even become family.

Talin is accepting new clients and is very excited to be joining Mark Sisk and Associates, Inc. She’s ready to talk REAL ESTATE with you, so give her a call today!

Talin ‘Khatch’ 318-232-2755

1220 N 18th Street, 2nd floor Monroe, La 71201




HYDRATION ISN’T SIMPLY ABOUT DRINKING a certain amount of water every day; the quality of the water you’re drinking is actually more important than the quantity. Tap water and even bottled purified water is mostly devoid of the alkalizing minerals your body relies on for proper hydration. Without these minerals, the water you’re drinking is likely too acidic to be absorbed by your cells and just goes straight through you. This means you may be drinking water all day, but you’re still dehydrated at the cellular level.

The best water for properly hydrating your body is natural spring water, which flows over various rocks and is rich with a healthy variety of minerals. Your cells soak this up! When that isn’t available, properly filtered tap water or store bought purified water with added minerals is a good option. You can add minerals into your filtered drinking water simply by squeezing some fresh lemon or lime juice into it and adding a pinch of Celtic sea salt. In addition, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and the water that’s contained in them are rich with minerals, so eating plenty of those is one of the most effective ways to hydrate your body.

Now that your body is properly hydrated, it will start flushing water and eliminating toxins through those fluids. This happens several ways, one of which is through the urine. Drinking water that contains alkalizing minerals raises the pH of your urine, making it slightly more alkaline, too. This supports your kidneys and encourages them to excrete more acidic toxins.

Sweating is of course another way your body excretes fluids and eliminates toxins. In fact, studies have shown that some toxic elements are eliminated though sweat far more effectively than through urine. A blood, urine and sweat study from 2012 showed sweating was the most effective way of mobilizing and eliminating toxins like BPA and phthalates. Whether you’re working up a sweat by working out or by sitting in a sauna matters, though. Active sweating has been observed to contain fewer toxins than passive sweating. Perhaps this is because while the body is expending so much energy on physical activity, energy for the process of detoxification is down regulated. The health value of regular exercise can’t be discounted, but when it comes to encouraging detoxification through sweat, two to three weekly sauna sessions may be more effective. Keep in mind that sweating also excretes lots of fluid and minerals, so be sure to rehydrate really well!

A third way that your body excretes fluid is simply through the breath. You excrete somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.35 liters of fluid every day through your breathing. This corresponds to about 10-20% of your total daily water loss. The quality of water excretion from your lungs is only as good as the quality of your breathing, though. As the number of years you’ve been living increases, the quality of your breathing tends to decrease.


Stop for just a moment and notice your breathing pattern. Is the top of your chest rising and falling? Maybe your shoulders, too? This upper chest and shoulder movement indicates vertical breathing, which is very shallow. Your diaphragm is your main breathing muscle, and it sits horizontally at the base of your ribcage. When you’re breathing

BEING RELEASED. Diving Deeper into Detoxification: How Toxins are Eliminated BY SHANNON DAHLUM

properly and utilizing your diaphragm, you’ll notice a more horizontal movement pattern to your breath; your ribcage expands outward in all directions on your inhale, and collapses inward on the exhale. Your shoulders shouldn’t rise and fall at all. Keep in mind that your diaphragm can’t properly contract if you’re standing or seated with slouched posture. Healthy, upright posture is key for proper breathing!

Now that you’re sitting up tall and you’ve established a horizontal breathing pattern with your shoulders relaxed, let’s work on your exhale. When you’ve finished your exhale and are ready to draw in your next breath, pause. Instead of inhaling, exhale again. And again. Keep going until you’ve forced out every last bit of air from your lungs. It may be surprising to see just how much air is still left in there after your normal exhale! It may also come as a bit of a surprise just how much effort it requires to push all of it out.

After years of vertical breathing, which mostly utilizes muscles in your upper chest and shoulders, your diaphragm has been underutilized and grown weak. Your lung capacity diminishes and you become a very lazy breather; more specifically, a lazy exhaler. This means your respiratory detoxification is suffering.

Remember the diaphragm is a muscle, so keeping it strong and performing well requires using it, just like any other muscle in the body. You can improve the strength of your diaphragm and your ability to eliminate toxins through your lungs by training your breathing. Here’s one exercise you can try:

1. Ensure you’re sitting, standing, or laying flat with a straight spine, and your ribcage is aligned over your pelvis.

2. Establish that horizontal breathing pattern: ribcage expanding on the inhale and falling inward on the exhale. Shoulders remain relaxed and down throughout.

3. After a regular inhale, start to exhale in pulses, either through your nose or mouth. Blow the air out as if you’re blowing out birthday candles, but in short bursts. Count how many exhale pulses you can get from one breath, but don’t cheat by rounding your back! Your belly will contract farther inward with each exhale, but be sure to maintain your posture.

4. Make a note of how many exhales you got on this first attempt; this is your baseline.

This will really challenge your breathing muscles, and depending on how much you’ve been using them, you may really feel them begin to burn. You may feel lightheaded at first, so if this is the case for you, be sure to only do it while seated or laying down. Eventually you’ll be able to work up to doing it while washing dishes, folding laundry, etc. Notice when you start to see your number of exhale pulses increase. This means those all important breathing muscles are getting stronger and your breathing pattern is likely improving. If nothing else, all that practice forcing extended exhales has been helping your detoxification process along!

Detoxification is a complex, multi-faceted process. To support healthy toxin elimination through fluid excretion, the most important practices you can incorporate are the daily intake of healthy mineralized water, regular bouts of passive sweating, and exercises to improve your breathing pattern.


Hudson, Potts & Bernstein

HUDSON, POTTS & BERNSTEIN, LLP IS PROUDLY congratulating Robert M. Baldwin, senior partner, on his 40th anniversary practicing with the Firm. Known for his straightforward style, “Bob” Baldwin has tried, and won, hundreds of cases throughout his illustrious career. Focusing primarily on commercial litigation, Bob represents clients in all walks of life. New clients inevitably come to learn what his colleagues already know: Bob is a man of honesty and integrity whose bravado is exceeded, paradoxically, only by his humility. Bob Baldwin has been a Hudson Potts staple for his entire 40-year career.

Bob is a north Louisiana local. He grew up in Bernice, Louisiana. He graduated Louisiana Tech University in 1979. While at Louisiana Tech, Bob started Baldwin Construction Company where he performed home construction and remodeling while working on his undergraduate degree. His experience as a small business owner working construction, and his steadfast commitment to education, sowed the seeds of his future success as a lawyer.

Bob attended Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center after completing his undergraduate studies at Louisiana Tech. Bob’s ability to out work his competition served him well at LSU. Bob was a member of the Moot Court Board and made the Chancellor’s List during three semesters. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1982.

Bob joined Hudson, Potts & Bernstein as an associate in 1982. Once again, Bob was an early standout known for outworking those around

him. Bob’s unique skillset – his academic credentials coupled with a business acumen obtained from years as a small business owner and his deep knowledge of construction – gave him an immense advantage over the competition. This skillset led to success after success in and out of the courtroom. Bob became a partner in 1987.

Throughout his career, Bob has been an active member of the local bar, previously serving as Seventh District Representative of the Young Lawyers Section, on the Pro Bono Advisory Board of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Fourth Judicial District Bar Association, and the North Louisiana Legal Assistance Corporation as chairmen. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, the Louisiana Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice and a past member of the Fred J. Fudickar Inns of Court.

His case list features every type of case: commercial litigation, civil rights, class actions, construction disputes, insurance disputes, personal injury, property disputes, contracts, and workers compensation. Today, Bob’s practice is focused primarily on commercial litigation – representing various businesses ranging from large national corporations to small local businesses.

Bob is a passionate outdoorsmen and family man. He is married to his wife of 42 years Lynda Gaar Baldwin. Lynda and Bob have two children: West and Parker. They have one granddaughter, Amelia Mae Baldwin.

Congratulations, Bob, on a job well done. Here’s to 40 more!


Intensive Outpatient Program


(IOPs) are treatment programs used to address addictions, depression, eating disorders, or other dependencies that do not require detoxification or round-the-clock supervision. They enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives in a way that residential treatment programs do not. Whereas residential treatment requires that clients reside on site, clients in intensive outpatient programs live at home. IOPs are sometimes used in conjunction with inpatient programs as a way of helping clients to more smoothly and seamlessly adapt back into their families and communities. They are designed to establish support mechanisms, help with relapse management, and provide coping strategies.

Ideal candidates for intensive outpatient treatment have a safe home environment. This means encouraging family members and friends who are ready to support their loved one in their recovery efforts.

IOPs are generally not recommended for those with severe cases of addiction or cooccurring disorders. Generally, these cases are referred to inpatient treatment since they require more immersive treatment and 24-hour supervision.

Our Cypress Bend IOP provides a higher level of care than outpatient psychotherapy, but is a lower level of care than an inpatient program. Our medically supervised program provides the services of physicians, nurses, mental health therapists, and other trained professionals who are experienced in improving the quality of life for those in need.


An IOP Gives Participants Opportunities

• Increase Self Awareness and socialization

• Receive education to increase knowledge, normalize treatment issues, and motivate towards positive changes

• Practice coping strategies in a safe, real- world environment

• Improve decision making skills

• Master skills and learn new skills to replace maladaptive coping strategies

• Observe healthy behavior modeling

• Improve symptom management and healthy expression and regulation

• Learn healthy interpersonal boundaries

• Learn productive ways to manage triggers and symptoms related to mental health diagnosis

• Learn skills tailored to specific personcentered goals

• Improve relapse tolerance

• Receive support from peers for increased growth and development

Group Sessions Will Focus On:

• Coping skills

• Anxiety & depression education

• Stress management

• Communication & assertiveness

• Problem Solving

• Cognitive coping & processing

• Relaxation Skills

• Self-Awareness & Socialization

For more information on our effective treatment and support to empower life long recovery, contact us at 420 Vine St. Bastrop, LA. 71220 Phone: 318-283-3950 Group times

meet Monday – Thursday 10:00 am- 12:20 pm. Transportation provided along with lunch and snacks while attending sessions. Medication is managed by our board-certified Psychiatrist. Come and Join Us Where Change Starts!

Helping You Get Your Life Back on Track

Top Ten Christmas Gifts

Hello BayouLife readers as I report in from what is now the cusp of the holidays and the weather outside is definitely frightful…frightfully hot, that is. Oh, we had a cool snap this week, and what I mean by snap is there was a drop in temperatures just long enough to snap your fingers. But alas, it wouldn’t be “fall” around here if we didn’t have ceiling fans and flip flops to look forward to on Thanksgiving, right? Speaking of Thanksgiving, that will be a crazy busy week for me as my son gets married the weekend after (not that I will get lost in my feelings this month like I did last) and my life will be totally made because for the first time in years my entire family will be together for a holiday.

I’m already mentally working myself up to just soak up this time, because the older I get, the more I realize these times are precious. My readers are probably thinking that the older I get, the more I sound like a Hallmark card…but what’s true is that there is no price on spending time with your family and friends. It doesn’t matter if you are able to take some elaborate vacation or just go to the movies one night, spending time with the ones you love is truly a gift.

Speaking of gifts, has anyone out there started their Christmas shopping? This is where I would insert the emoji that is raising her hand because, I, Cindy G. Foust, have bought one gift. For my husband. I typically wait until Black Friday and just shop till I drop and get all my gifts bought, but this year I’ll just be too busy. Well, that’s a joke, I’ve only ever gone Black Friday shopping like one time and this lady yanked a Fisher Price farm set out of my hands so she could save $5.

So, on the outside chance that some of you are going to pass on the Black Friday madness this year, too, but are wondering what you are going to get those kids in your life, your wait is finally over.

I took the liberty a few years ago of writing a column on the “Season’s Hot Must Have Toys” and let me tell you, I got a lot of positive feedback. If you’ve been with me in what is now nearly 10 years (in case Cassie forgets January is my 10-year anniversary), you know I am a problem solver. I like to seek out problems and “fix-it” as often as possible so I did the research for my readers and here’s what I got. Incidentally, research in my day simply meant waiting on the Sears Wish Book or JCPenny Christmas catalog to come in and dog ear the pages of the treasures you wanted. Man, those were the days weren’t they, when all you had to worry about was whether you were getting a Barbie Dream House or a Huffy? Anyway, where was I? I had to narrow it down to the “top 10” toys by the way, or else I would get fired from my decade long (oh, the memorable columns we share) stint if I didn’t. So what’s hot? First on the list is the Magical Misting Crystal Ball. “Kids will be amazed when they use their magic wands to really summon a magical creature from a crystal ball filled with mist! (Note: Good Housekeeping Institute testers say the mist smells like a rock concert.) Once it’s summoned, the Mixie can do things like perform spells and tell fortunes.” I think this is where I will insert the “huh?” What happened to the Magic 8 Ball days where you ask the ball if “James liked you” and shook it wildly hoping for a “yes?” This toy is likely to catch your house on fire…so moving on to number 2

To Buy, Or Not To Buy This Holiday Season

which is the Squishmallows Mystery Box. For those of you, like me, who doesn’t know what in the cat hair a Squishmallow is, it’s the toy that splits the difference between a stuffed animal and a plush pillow. Is there a need for that in this world? Why don’t you just buy a stuffed animal and a then a pillow, but that’s just me? Third on the list is the Cry Babies First Emotions Doll. Wait. This interactive baby doll helps kids name and identify their emotions. Wait. Can babies talk now? How are they going to “identify their emotions” if they can’t even hold a cup? On top of that, the baby looks constipated and her eyes scared the bezees out of me, so I am sure it will give comfort to your baby who is working to identify their emotions, too. Moving on (and wishing for the days of Monopoly and Twister) to number 4 which is the Madrigal House from Encanto, none of which I have ever heard of. It only has 587 pieces, so yes, this is a treasure. Number 5 is National Geographic Geodes Breaking Set. Okay, you have to supply your own hammer? I know I will get criticism from the geologists out there but is this a thing? Seems like you could just hand your kid a hammer and tell them to go in the yard and smash a rock and not spend $50, but okay. Number 6 and are you ready to become a genius? It’s the Genius Starter Kit and I was going to buy it for myself until I read that it comes with all you need to do tangram challenges, solve rudimentary physics puzzles, learn to draw, do basic arithmetic and practice spelling and vocabulary. The instructions are already over my head so, nah, passing on this one, too. Number 7 is Throw Throw Avocado. Hummmm. This game challenges players to collect matching sets of cards while dodging the soft, squishy avocados. I think we will just stick to dominoes around here, but a squishy avocado probably doesn’t hurt

as bad as the domino does when we throw it at each other. Number 8? Finally one I can sink my teeth in is the Barbie Dream House! Yes! Except this one has a slide that Barbie can take right into her swimming pool? Number 9 and get ready for it…Little Mama Surprise. Friends, what has our Christmas gifts come to? I’m glad little children can’t read my column because this “Little Live Pets Mama Surprise guinea pig” gives birth to three babies. Just feed and brush mama until her heart starts to glow, then place her in her hutch, and she will have a baby that comes with a special care package. Repeat the process and she will birth three babies in total. I truly just had a heart attack and rolled my eyes at the same time. And finally, number 10 on the hot, hot list is, CoComelon as this season’s toy MVP, and its main character, JJ, a cartoon star, is on everything from beach towels to sugar cookies! I personally have never seen nor heard of this character, but apparently, it’s being listed as the “toys you won’t be able to find.” You’ve been warned to get your CoComelon village started now!

I hope this list helps you decide what you need to get in your virtual toy carts (that’s kind of a joke) because I am truly making fun of some of the choices. Next month, though? I’m going in the trenches with my second roving reporter column and I’m asking the experts… the kids. My December column will feature the wish list out of the mouth of our Bayou babes, so get ready for it. In the meantime, my prayer for you and your family is to have a wonderful, safe and glorious Thanksgiving season.

Cindy G. Foust is a wife, mom, author and blogger. You can find her blog at the for weekly columns about home life, parenting, small business stories and insight with a smidgen of literacy. Give her a like or follow on Facebook and Instagram.


Kilpatrick Funeral Homes

Renewing Your Spirit

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT FALL IS ALREADY here. Days are getting shorter and starting to get colder, and the holidays are around the corner with holiday decorations hitting the shelves the week before Halloween. This time of year adds an extra measure of pain to those already bearing more than they can. There is an empty seat at the table and the heaviness of all the ways the one you love is missing make traditions seem unexciting.

Death, illness, massive life events all sour the season in ways those outside your loss cannot understand. Whether you have always loved the holidays, or avoided them, the first several seasons after a loss or big life event can truly hurt. So many people want to make this a good holiday for you. Part of your family want tradition to stay exactly the same, others want to change everything. Conflicting desires, broken hearts, lots of attention when you would rather just hide under the sheets until the holiday is over.

You may find yourself feeling more emotional, isolated, or that you’re going backward as you face new challenges as the holidays approach. Grief is like a roller coaster with many twists, turns, ups, and downs. One minute you may be doing okay and the next you’re not doing so well. So, it is important to recognize triggering thoughts and the feelings they bring up. Then, find healthy ways to express your feelings by talking with someone, keeping a journal, or joining a support group. Now is the time to start thinking about what you can do to occupy your time this winter. Talk with your family and make a game plan about how you will support each other should feelings emerge, as well as how you will spend the holidays.

Sometimes changing things up is the right thing to do. For instance, if you always hosted the big dinner at home, go out to dinner instead. Take time to share stories with family members and friends. But don’t wait for someone else to start the conversation about your loved one; because he or she may worry it will only upset you. Opening up will let others know its okay to jump in and reminisce.

A new tradition you can start is to honor that special person and do something in their name. The list is unlimited on the lives you can touch in their honor. For instance send flowers to the nurses who took such good care of your dad. Buy winter coats for a local charity in your friend’s name. Make a donation to your local food bank. Give blankets, food, or toys to an animal shelter or rescue organization in memory of your pet. If your loved one was a Veteran contact the local Veterans Nursing Home with many opportunities to choose something that’s meaningful to you or the one you lost.

Please keep in mind that there is no right way to grieve. Every person and every family member grieve different. Emotions are going to collide especially during the holiday season when the emphasis is on rebirth and renewal. So, care for yourself; listen; reach out where it feels good to reach; curl in when you need to. Make this season as much of a comfort to you as you can.

Your loss is not forgotten, and we are thinking of you and your family during this holiday season.


Skin Solutions

Put Your Best Face Forward This Holiday Season

THE STAFF AT DERMAMEDIQ IS HAPPY TO offer patrons with options to help them feel and look their best as we navigate through our crazy lives. As we approach Thanksgiving and a season of gratitude, Dr. Sowma and the friendly staff at DermaMediQ want to show their appreciation to all of their clients. Starting November 8th, join the staff of DermaMediQ as they host their Fall Specials Week celebrating over 14 years in business with offers that only come around once a year. Find discounts on fillers, specialty treatments and skincare items that will not only lift your skin, but also your spirits. The holidays are the time when you want to put your best face forward, literally. And DermaMedicQ can help you do just that. Whether you are taking family Christmas cards, going to a holiday party or hosting family and friends, you can ensure you look your best this holiday season!

For the past sixteen years, Dr. Sowma has been providing medically supervised beauty regimens at DermaMediQ. Dr. Sowma is Board Certified in Aesthetic Medicine and is dedicated to providing quality skincare to men and women of all ages. She locates which areas of the face can benefit from treatments such as fillers, without overtreating. The result is a natural, rejuvenated and refreshed face for every patient. Her attention to detail sets her apart from other doctors, and her friendly demeanor will leave you feeling comfortable and relaxed. She provides non-invasive aesthetic treatments that includes Botox®, Juvéderm™, Emsculpt, Radiesse, Kybella®, Bellafill, Restylane, Fractora, Morpheus BodyTite Pro, Lumecca, Diolaze, Thermashape, acne treatment, Sclerotherapy (for spider veins on legs), Obagi Blue Peel, Obagi Skin Care products, laser hair removal, permanent makeup, Photofacials and prescriptions for Hyperpigmentations. The staff at DermaMediQ not only has an eye for aesthetics, but the medical knowledge necessary to safely provide patients with the relaxed and rejuvenated look they want. Combined, they have over 50 years of experience! After you complete your procedure at DermaMediQ, you can choose from a variety of quality skincare products they offer to keep your radiant glow! They carry Jane Iredale, a line of completely natural cosmetics made exclusively from micronized minerals and pigments, perfect for sensitive skin. DermaMediQ also carries Skin Medica and Obagi, a line of products backed by 30 years of science and innovation.

No matter your age or issue you want to address, Dr. Sowma and the amazing staff at DermaMediQ can help you achieve your beauty goals and truly put your best face and body forward! Their friendly staff is currently taking appointments by phone and ensuring the health and safety of their patients by taking all necessary precautionary measures. For a full list of procedures, and all the great products and services that will be discounted during the week of November 8-15, call their office at (318) 807-1060. For more information including before and after images, visit their website at


Woodstock’s New Owner

Courtney Riley Takes Over on Third Street

WELCOME TO WOODSTOCK, I’M COURTNEY Phillips Riley, and I am so happy to announce we have reopened under new ownership! I may be the new owner, but I am a familiar face to customers who have been shopping at Woodstock since 2017. I am incredibly honored to have worked for 3 of the previous owners, and that they are now entrusting me to keep the flame of Woodstock alive. If you would have asked me 6 months ago if I wanted a storefront, my answer would have been no. When Christy Bolton approached me about taking over, it was an (almost) immediate yes!

Several years, a few owners, and two (failed) attempts to quit later, I am now taking the reigns on the beloved garden district shop. For those of you who don’t know me, I also own a mobile boutique, Traveling Chic Boutique. After graduating from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and minor in Marketing, I started my retail career at Woodstock, followed by opening TCB. Retail is the only world I know, as I have spent these past 5 years at Woodstock during the week, and traveling with my vintage Airstream boutique on the weekends.

The biggest question I have gotten is, “Are you keeping Woodstock the same?” And the answer is yes and no! I plan to merge my boutique into the store by offering trendy and casual clothing, while also putting my spin on things and offering items that I know and love from Woodstock. I am lucky to have worked for all 3 owners in that I can offer the best of the best from each of their tastes and styles, which is what has kept you, the customers, coming back and shopping time and time again. Furthermore, my love for vintage finds, local goods, and trendy clothing is evident when you walk in the doors. I want Woodstock to be a fun place to come and shop for a gift or an outfit for any moments in life!

I can’t go without saying a special thank you to to my husband and my parents for helping me through this time of transition and for their continued support as I begin on this new journey. I am so excited to be serving this community and I ask y’all to come see me for all your gift, decor, and clothing needs...or just pop in to say hi!


Address: 1806 N 3rd Street, Monroe, LA Website: Facebook: Woodstock Monroe Instagram: @woodstockmonroela Email:


St. Francis Medical Group Continues to Expand

ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL GROUP IS EXCITED TO welcome Dr. Hunter Harrison to our team. Dr. Harrison specializes in family medicine and is now accepting new patients at his clinic in West Monroe.

When initially choosing a career path, medicine was nowhere on the radar for Hunter Harrison, DO. After graduating from Louisiana Tech with a degree in psychology and shadowing local physicians, Dr. Harrison quickly fell in love with the clinic setting and the potential relationships he could develop with those in his community, as well as his patients. For patients who are generally in good health, Dr. Harrison recommends a yearly wellness check. “This allows us to make sure someone is up to date on immunizations, cancer screenings, and catch potential issues like elevated blood pressure or blood sugar early,” Dr. Harrison says. “For those with underlying chronic medical conditions, routine follow-up visits allow us to make sure treatments are working and hopefully prevent complications down the road.”

Dr. Harrison feels that “establishing a relationship with a primary care physician can be one of the best investments for a person’s health.” Trust, compassion, and understanding are paramount to establishing an effective doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Harrison’s goal for his patients is to understand the “what” and “why” of a specific treatment plan he has tailored to them, and he wants his patients to feel heard

and part of the decision-making process when it comes to their care. One of his greatest joys is spending time with his growing family, and spending time outdoors, whether that be camping, fishing or hiking. In the fall, he enjoys watching football and loves being involved in all the opportunities to support the arts and local artists in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

Hunter Harrison, DO Family Medicine

St. Francis Primary Care Clinic - West Monroe 200 Professional Drive | West Monroe, LA 71291 Office: (318) 966-6350


As they prepare for a new chapter in their lives, the Land family is eager to share the story of their home Luna Moon with the hopes of manifesting someone, who like them,deeply lives the poetry of growing roots.



There are those that want to own land and then those that grow alongside it. Heather Land and her family are the latter. For over fifteen years, they have lived in a parcel of lush green pasture of originally 144 acres located on the outskirts of Ouachita Parish. Step by step, they have transformed what began as rolling hills and a spacious pond into a modern homestead complete with gardens, farm animals, and a palpable feeling of serenity. As they prepare for a new chapter in their lives, the Land family is eager to share the story of their home Luna Moon with the hopes of manifesting someone, who like them, deeply lives the poetry of growing roots.

“It was just pasture,” says Heather, as she sits cozily in an upholstered armchair, the golden afternoon light brightening the living room through a glass garage door. Outside, two white turkeys gobble close to the glass pane, eager to be as close to her as they can.

“In fact, where the house sits now was another rolling hill that we had to kind of taper down and we used the dirt to create the pad.”

The Lands had a lot of construction before them when they first purchased the property, including building a driveway, establishing plumbing, and wiring electricity. Originally, the house was a custom erected steel building. “There were no front doors. I just had two windows. And then upstairs the common space was our bedroom. We had a bathroom. We had the laundry in the closet that goes to now what is the attic,” says Heather, pointing to the living room area, now brimming with natural light from French doors providing a panoramic view of their wraparound porch and front pasture. A far enough look reveals a herd of cows and some horses.

At a certain point, the Lands allowed themselves to dream a bit more, which is when Heather began thinking of the ways she could make the metal building they already called home look like a farmhouse—warm and inviting. Already drawn to the industrial feel of the house by way of the metal purlins and concrete floors, she began to build its personality. “So I just took that and ran with it.”

One of the major changes began with exchanging the original sold metal bay doors with windowed roll-up doors. “I wanted to erase the division of the outdoors and in,” she says, referring to one of her favorite views, the pond, now busy with the fluttering hijinks of a variety of ducks and geese. Her bathroom, which is in the same wing of the house as the kitchen was also a point of reconstruction. “How do I get every square inch of that view, right, and still have a bathtub and a shower,” she remembers considering. The result—a white tile shower, a vintage bathtub, and four large rectangular windows that make the bathroom feel like a greenhouse.

Everything in the house is very open. “I don’t like walls. We don’t have many doors,” says Heather, adding, “I want the house to feel welcoming. I want you to walk through the door and not be able to pinpoint what it is that you are feeling other than you’re supposed to be here.” Hitting on all of the senses, the interior of Luna Moon is intentional and immediate. Walking through the door feels like you are being hugged by layers of warmth—the softness of the furniture, accents on the walls, and pops of color from rugs to the brick fireplace.

“I like everything in the house to have a purpose, really,” maintains Heather who doesn’t incorporate many “beautiful little vignettes” as decor. Instead, the trinkets hanging around every nook


ABOVE: Another large furniture staple of the home, which the family will be leaving behind as well, is a large kitchen island from England. Heather spotted it at the Traditions On Trenton warehouse and was told, “It’s a mon ster. Someone’s gonna have to build a house around it.” Instantly, she knew she would be the one to build around it.

“I love everything old. I love everything used,” Heather says, recalling how she imagined that she had found an old warehouse that she had to turn into a farmhouse. “So in this hard space of metal and concrete, we brought in wood to soften, and we brought in reclaimed brick for texture and authentic aesthetic and interest.”

and cranny of the first floor are more akin to a collection, life slowly building around the home, beautifully effortless. “That’s always my goal, for everything to look real, look used, and to be inviting,” later adding, “I want it to feel like you can come in from outside and sit on the furniture, you can put your bare feet on the furniture, you can pull a book off the shelf.”

Everything has a story at Luna Moon. Next to Heather, a worn leather chair is draped with a textured throw. “You see this chair. It’s a hot mess, but it sits comfortably and it serves its purpose,” she asserts, also making mention of a “little dresser” in the dining room that holds all of her daughters’ schooling and games. It’s tattered but whimsical, and most importantly, it evokes the beauty of eclectic living. “That’s my aesthetic,” she stresses. Heather keeps scanning the room looking for pieces that stick out to her. She lands on her dining room table, and after taking a beat says, “That table makes me happy.” It belonged to her grandfather who had it made “years and years and years ago.” At one point, a portion of it burned, and the legs got charred, but was salvaged by her mother and aunt. Heather ended up building a temporary top out of two by ten pieces of wood. “We never did a proper top,” she says, though it would never be necessary. The moment she noticed that its surface had become layered with paint and glue, she realized, “Ah, this is our life. These are our fingerprints all over it.”

Another large furniture staple of the home, which the family will be leaving behind as well, is a large kitchen island from England. Heather spotted it at the Traditions On Trenton warehouse and was told, “It’s a monster. Someone’s gonna have to build a house around it.” Instantly, she knew she would be the one to build around it. “It was the hub of the first house we built together. And it’s been the hub in this kitchen ever since. And now it will stay. That’s because it belongs here,” she says, pointing out the extension she built alongside her husband with wood that came from old porch posts that her aunt gave her and barn wood from Tennessee.

The Lands wanted a place that felt like a getaway, but what they have created over the years can be described as a sanctuary.

BELOW: Heather says of her dining room table, “That table makes me happy.” It belonged to her grandfather who had it made “years and years and years ago.” At one point, a portion of it burned, and the legs got charred, but was salvaged by her mother and aunt.


ABOVE: The Lands wanted a place that felt like a getaway, but what they have created over the years can be described as a sanctuary. From raised beds to a pond, this idyllic home is suited for the kind of life where you can plant your feet and allow the power of seclusion to guide every step.


“I’ve called it my island because that’s what it felt like for me,” she says, intentionally referring to her home as sacred, calm, nourishing, and peaceful. “It’s inspired me in so many ways. And the girls, you know, they grew up barefoot, and running outside and climbing where they could, exploring, hanging from trees and trying to zip line from the roof of the golf cart.” In other words, Luna Moon has all the makings of an idyllic childhood.

“The house has evolved as we have evolved as a family. We have continued to create the space conducive to the life we were leading. And in return, we have evolved as visionaries, buildors, and creators. It’s all been very life-giving,” Heather explains. Essentially, they have wholly embraced their corner of the world. “There’s something wonderful about this, seclusion and walking through the woods,” professes Heather, who keeps returning to the word intentional. “Our blood, sweat, and tears are in this place, all with nothing more than the intent of creating a lifestyle for ourselves and for our girls.” With that said, the family welcomes anyone who is hungry for the kind of life where you can plant your feet and allow the power of seclusion to guide every step.

All serious inquiries can be sent to Heather Land on her Instagram account at @evolutionofland.


ULM College of Pharmacy

Celebrates “Pharmily” Reunion

HOMECOMING IS MORE THAN A FOOTBALL game, it’s an opportunity for the past, present and future to connect. Alumni and students come together to share laughs, reminisce over old memories, and make new ones. The ULM College of Pharmacy’s “Pharmily” did just that over the weekend of October 7th.

On Friday, October 7th, the college held it’s annual Pharm.D. Career Fair, where pharmacy-related businesses from across the U.S. spent the morning meeting students and sharing information about jobs, residencies and other opportunities. Many students were able to interview for prospective positions during the afternoon and line up jobs for the future. ULM College of Pharmacy preceptors were also invited to attend a free preceptor conference to earn required continuing education credits. Our preceptors play a big part in training students and giving them the necessary hands-on experiences needed to prepare for graduation and starting their pharmacy careers.

Friday evening those celebrating milestone reunion years were treated to a Class Reunion ReWINEd event — a private wine tasting and food pairing led by Russell Kicey of Tonore’s Wine Cellar. Alumni from the classes of 1972, 1982, 1992 and 2002, and their guests, enjoyed tasting various wines and learning about the wines and wine making process. Special guests in attendance were Brian Bond, Mike Cooper, Leroy Frederick, Errol Moran, and Mark Mouton, all celebrating their 50th year pharmacy school reunion. The fun continued as attendees headed downstairs to dance the night away to the sounds of D.J. Kyle, enjoy food and spirits, and catch up with other pharmacy alumni at the College of Pharmacy annual alumni party. Some lucky guests walked away with pharmacy swag and other door prizes.

The fun continued Saturday on ULM’s main campus, with the annual Pharmacy Super Tailgate Party. It was a beautiful day and pharmacy alumni, students, faculty/staff and their families and friends were treated to a fun-filled day of good eats, games and fellowship. The Cajun cuisine at the tailgate is always something to look forward to and included jambalaya, fresh cracklins, lamb chops, pork with white rice, and chicken with mango sauce. Tailgaters also enjoyed fried fish and hushpuppies catered by Ben Christmas and Rob’s Cookie Cakes sponsored by Morris Dickson. As tradition has been, the tailgate was sponsored by the Louisiana Pharmacists Association (LPA), Louisiana Wholesale Drug (LWD), and the Louisiana Independent Pharmacists Association (LIPA), with some of the organizations’ members and ULM pharmacy alumni serving as cooks for the Cajun feast. Following the afternoon of tailgating fans headed to Malone Stadium for some Warhawk Football.

Anyone interested in joining our ULM College of Pharmacy “Pharmily” or learning more about pharmacy school, can take part in one of many opportunities listed on the website. Go to: prospective to learn more. Thanks to all who came out to celebrate with us and we look forward to seeing you next year!


Walsworth & Company

Fall Into the Season with Walsworth


premier furniture, wedding registry and gift retailer. From beautiful velvet accent chairs to custom upholstery, jewelry to candles, and everything a bride wants for her new home, Walsworth & Co. has you covered.

Local interior design and furniture shop, Walsworth and Company has been a downtown staple since opening its doors in 2014. Featuring a premier decorator showroom that was recently renovated, Walsworth and Company offers selections from furniture, bedding, and lighting, with fully customizable and unique pieces from The MT Company, Uttermost / Revelation, Wesley Allen, McKinley Leather Furniture, Riverside and Universal Furniture allowing you to commission pieces that reflect your unique style and specifications.

Their walls are adorned with curated works of art, intricately designed mirrors, and unique wall hangings all complemented by plush sofas, coffee tables, dining and bedroom furniture. In addition to their vast selection of furniture finds, Walsworth & Company has a robust collection of accent pieces fit for any space, from area rugs and throw pillows to vases and coffee table accessories. With such a broad selection, it’s no surprise that Walsworth & Company is the decorator destination for the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

Along with providing our community with one of the most expansive home decor choices in the area, the team at Walsworth and Company have created Down the Aisle, the premiere wedding registry of Northeast Louisiana. Down the Aisle boasts more than 1,400 square feet devoted to “must-haves” for the modern bride including place settings, beautiful glassware, flatware, bedding and more.

Walsworth and Company also offers choices to find the perfect unique gift for nearly any occasion. They carry candles from Nest, Nouvelle Candle Company, Capri Blue, Nouvelle and Orleans. Looking for a little sparkle? Walsworth & Company offers gorgeous selections from Ronaldo and Mariana.

Want to retreat from the cooler weather? Relax and unwind with our luxurious bath collections from Lollia or Spongelle. These soothing scents will have you ready to cap the night off in a buttery soft pajama set from Barefoot Dreams or PJ Harlow - both companies off chic lounge wear and cozy accessories for sweet dreams.

With fall and the holiday season upon us, Walsworth & Company is sure to have all of the items you need to complete your shopping or wish lists. After shopping, simply leave the wrapping to the professionals; where you can always expect a beautifully wrapped gift anyone would be thrilled to receive.

Whether its time for a new accent piece, holiday home makeover, or if it simply time to pamper yourself. The staff at Walsworth and Company are fully prepared to assist you.

Mark your calendars for this year’s highly anticipated Holiday Open House on Sunday, November 6th from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. and the Champagne Stroll on Thursday, November 17th from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Dupont Jewelers

Celebrating 70 Years in the Jewelry Business


on Forsythe has been open for ten years. My father started our jewelry business in 1952. I grew up working in the jewelry store as a thirteen-year-old, then when I was sixteen, I went to my first jewelry school, Holland School for Jewelers in Selma, Alabama. Later after high school, I attended Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas, where I studied Jewelry Design and Gemology. The thing I enjoyed the most at school was hand-fabricating jewelry from a flat metal plate. This technique, which I am known for in my jewelry designs, ensures the finest quality jewelry possible because the metal has structure. The metal is dense and hard, making it much less likely to tear when worked. Jewelry you will find in a jewelry store is mass-produced by a process called lost wax casting, but this process produces a product where the metal has no structure and is much softer.

An example is when a ring bends easily on the bottom. Fabricated metal doesn’t bend,

dent, scratch, or wear out like commercial jewelry. It also takes a higher polish than cast jewelry because it is so much harder. Handfabricated jewelry will last for generations, whereas a cast piece typically lasts twenty to thirty years. I have exclusively been constructing handmade jewelry for the last ten years, customizing jewelry to my customer’s tastes. I enjoy nothing more than creating a unique one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry made without a model or mold tailored to the specification of my customer. Over the last ten years, I have designed hundreds of engagement rings, wedding bands, and jewelry commemorating special occasions like the birth of a child or an anniversary. If you come in soon, we may have time to make that special handmade one-of-a-kind gift of a lifetime before Christmas.

This Christmas, we will celebrate 70 years since my dad, Edwin Dupont, opened our jewelry store in Rayville with an anniversary sale. Our inventory has never been more

extensive or unique. Customers can save up to 50% on select purchases from our stock, and everything is discounted by at least 20%. So now is the time to take advantage of our 70th Year Anniversary Sale while the selection is the best. We have tennis bracelets, stud earrings up to two carats, beautifully designed pendants, and rings. Layaway available!

From a customer: Molly says, “The most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen! Thanks, Mr. Dupont, for your exceptional talent and creativity for my 24th Wedding Anniversary! I’m still in tears and shock over the magnificent brilliance and clarity of every stone! 8 carats of eye-popping diamonds! God is good!” facebook/dupontjewelers

Trade - Restore - Redesign - Sell Dupont Jewelers on Forsythe in Monroe

Makers of Handmade Fine Jewelry


St. Francis Oncology & Hematology Clinic

Now Open At St. Francis Cancer Center

THE ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL GROUP IS PROUD TO announce the opening of the St. Francis Oncology & Hematology Clinic. Serving patients in this clinic are the following providers: Scott Barron, MD; Coy Gammage, MD; Barry Weinberger, DO; and Rebecca Hood, APRN, FNP-C. Conveniently located on the second floor of the St. Francis Cancer Center Building at 411 Calypso Street in Monroe, the clinic is just around the corner from St. Francis Medical Center.

Also at this location is the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Institute, offering comprehensive radiation oncology services, as well as St. Francis PET Imaging and the St. Francis Oncology Infusion Clinic. St. Francis recently invested nearly $4 million, creating a soothing and beautiful space for patients visiting the St. Francis Oncology and Hematology Clinic and the St. Francis Oncology Infusion Clinic.

“Bringing these services and oncology physicians together in one convenient location greatly enhances the care experience of patients fighting cancer,” said St. Francis Medical Center President Dr. Thomas Gullatt. “Being able to stay close to home and receive high-quality cancer care that is coordinated and accessible can help reduce the worry and stress associated with a cancer diagnosis.”

These highly experienced doctors and nurse practitioner are supported by a team of over 30 healthcare professionals working together to provide the best patient outcome and experience possible. Clinic hours are Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday, 7 a.m. - 12 noon. Clinic

staff can be reached at (318) 966-1970.


Dr. Scott Barron received his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Barron also completed his oncology Fellowship at the LSU School of Medicine. He has been on the St. Francis Medical Staff since 2001.


Dr. Coy Gammage received his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport. He completed his fellowship in hematology/medical oncology from the LSU Health Sciences Center, where he also completed his residency in internal medicine. Dr. Gammage joined the St. Francis Medical Staff in 1997.


Dr. Barry Weinberger earned his medical degree from the Des Moines School of Osteopathic Medicine &Surgery. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Dr. Weinberger completed his internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He continued his educational training with two Fellowships at the National Institute of Health Clinical Center - one in oncology and the other in hematology. Dr. Weinberger has been a member of the St. Francis Medical Staff since 2003.


Holiday Open House

Shop Local This Holiday Season

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 and join these businesses for a Holiday Open House. Parterre, Haven, Artistic Designs, Palette House and Plume, Woodstock, In House Interiors, and Randy Smith Jewelers. This Open House will be an all-day event starting at 10:00am. From 3:00-7:00 businesses will have light refreshments and they will be open late until 7:00. Every participating shop has donated a gift certificate or item to create one large door prize for this event. In addition, the Neville House has generously donated a one-night stay for a girl’s night. This package is valued at over $700, so you will want to be in this drawing! The more shops where you make a purchase, the more chances you have to win this fantastic door prize! Shopping local this holiday season is the best way to support businesses that are there for you all year long.

HAVEN | 1127 FORSYTHE AVENUE | 318.398.3298

Haven is an upscale design and gift shop. This boutique offers fine bedding, a large selection of home accessories and gifts for both men and women. They offer beautiful complimentary gift wrap and personalized service.

PARTERRE | 813 PARK AVENUE | 318.323.7009

Inspired by travel, friends, and personal collections, Parterre collaborates with artists and vendors to bring you beautiful, unique accessories and statement pieces to add to your surroundings, whether inside or outside. With our exceptional inventory and bountiful plants, Parterre has what you need for the holiday season or any season!

PALETTE HOUSE & PLUME | 1901 N 3RD STREET | 318.654.4879

Palette House & Plume is a home furnishings and clothing boutique located in the historic garden district. They are a curated boutique for your home and wardrobe offering a variety of furniture, home goods, gifts, and clothing.


Come shop with Randy Smith Jewelers. They have a wide selection of new, estate, and antique jewelry. All of your jewelry needs can be found at Randy Smith Jewelers.


In House Interiors recently opened its doors in August. They carry instock case goods along with home decor and gifts. They are a warehouse style furniture store that prides itself on selections that are affordable and make a statement!

WOODSTOCK MONROE | 1806 N 3RD STREET | 318.340.9830

Woodstock Monroe offers a little bit of everything! From vintage finds, local goods, trendy clothing, and more; they have you covered for the holiday season!


Artistic Designs recently added a new Gift Shop featuring items with unique stories from Monroe and around the world. Our framing design center offers a selection of picture frame moulding and mat boards along with ready-made and easel back frames.


The Ultimate Gift Destination

Prepare for the Season With Haven’s New Arrivals


it is time to get your house ready for those guests that will be arriving soon. With Haven’s new expansion, there are so many choices for in-stock bedding, you are sure to find something you love. Haven’s staff can help you pull a new look together, whether you are looking for a coverlet or just new shams to change the look of your current bedding. Stunning abstract art or throw pillows can provide a quick update. Haven has small tables, and several in-stock chairs in both swivel and stationary styles to provide a quick refresh for your guest room or living space. Stunning design accessories in lacquered boxes, trays, and bowls can pair beautifully with new design books for the perfect coffee table look this holiday season. A new rug display shows many options, and most can ship out within a week.

Haven is the ultimate gift destination, and it is not too early to start your Christmas shopping! Haven has expanded every section of their shop. The bath section has several new lines mixed in with customer favorites. Library of Flowers has beautiful packaging and scents perfect for gift giving. Kai’s signature scent is a great choice, as well as the popular aloe-based Caren which is perfect for sensitive skin.

Barefoot Dreams does not disappoint this fall and Haven always

has an amazing selection. New cardigan styles are in-stock with more on the way. A poncho debut and a lounge set in the light color sea salt will surely be a hit. Plenty of Barefoot Dreams throws and socks in every color. For the men, Cozy Chic bamboo shorts, light weight t-shirts or lounge pants are a great gift. Barefoot Dreams is that one gift that everyone loves to receive!

Haven has added several pajama styles to their already amazing line up. Fun prints, short sets to appeal to the younger generation, and a beautiful new lavender color from PJ Harlow. Pair any of these with a robe or slippers and you will have the best gift under the tree.

Join Haven and several other local businesses for a Holiday Open House on Thursday, November 17th from 10:00-7:00. Light refreshments will be available from 3:00-7:00. Participating shops donated to a large door prize! Every purchase from a participating shop will be entered into the drawing to win this prize valued at over $700. This is a great way to kick off your holiday shopping, while supporting local businesses.

Also, be sure you join Haven for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. The first handful of purchases each day will receive a free gift. Follow Haven on social media to stay up-to-date on new merchandise arrivals and events!


Blush by Elle Boutique

Mark Your Calendars for A Holiday Open House


trendiest boutique, located at 214 NorthPark Drive, just half a mile from Ouachita Christian School. You’ll find women’s clothing in sizes small-2X, jewelry, gifts, and Swan Creek Candles. Some of our favorite pieces come from Judy Blue Jeans, Mia Shoes, and Taylor Shaye Designs. From great gift items to an assortment of clothes, there is a fashionable find for everyone in store.

Owned by Ellie Dyess, Blush by Elle originally was conceived as an online store in December, 2018. Along with selling clothes to virtual consumers, we also participated in numerous pop-ups at locations around the Twin Cities. With the support of our community and loyal shoppers, our dreams of owning a brick-and-mortar became reality when we opened our storefront in September, 2021. Since then, we’ve focused on adding amazing options for women of all sizes, along with fun finds to our already expansive collection.

Always in style, we love this year’s fall trends and have a great selection of items to choose from. This season you can expect to see a wide array of colors, from traditional fall favorites like mustard, maroon and olive to hot pink. And, we have staple items every woman needs in her closet: denim jackets, leather ankle booties, and little black dresses. What’s our favorite look for fall? Leggings or Judy Blue Jeans (they are flattering for every figure), a basic tee paired with

a flannel and boots.

Not only do we have this season’s best looks, we also have the area’s best scents. Upon entering Blush by Elle, you will be greeted with the sweet smell of one of our holiday candle collections - a musthave for the upcoming season. Our quaint little storefront is filled with the season’s newest arrivals, and we guarantee our customer service and personal shopping experience will have you coming back again and again. Not only do we offer these services, gift wrapping is complimentary.

At Blush by Elle, we strive to support small, local, and womenowned businesses. Over half of our vendors check these boxes and we are continually adding to that list. There are weekends that we host other locally-owned small businesses popped up in our shop. There’s always something fun happening at Blush by Elle.

We would love to invite readers to our first Holiday Open House on Saturday, November 19th from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. We will be releasing our holiday clothing collection, gift ideas, and will also have a few local vendors including Linc-ed Forever Permanent Jewelry. So come by and get your holiday shopping done, and enjoy a few sweet treats while you’re here.


Gardens of Somerset: Losing a Parent to Memory Loss

How to Cope with this Heart Wrenching Reality for Our Loved Ones


it is to lose a loved one, but when that loved one starts to lose their memories, it can be even more heart-wrenching. Dealing with a parent’s memory loss can be incredibly difficult. However, there are things you can do to make the situation easier. Here are a few tips:

1. Try to be patient. This is probably the most important thing you can do. It’s easy to get frustrated with your parent when they can’t remember something, but it’s important to try to be patient. They’re not doing this on purpose, and they’re probably just as frustrated as you are.

2. Keep a routine. Routine can be really helpful for people with memory loss. It gives them a sense of stability and can help them feel more in control. Try to stick to a regular schedule for meals, activities, and medications.

3. Simplify their surroundings. Too much stimulation can be overwhelming for someone with memory loss. Try to declutter their home

and simplify their surroundings. This will help them feel less confused and stressed. It’s also a good idea to remove anything that could be dangerous, like knives or heavy objects.

4. Encourage socialization and activity. Isolation can be really tough for someone with memory loss, and staying isolated can actually cause their symptoms to worsen. It’s important to encourage socialization and activity of all types. Engaging in physical, social, and mental activities contributes equally to decreasing the risk and potentially improving the symptoms of memory loss in older adults.

Gardens of Somerset: How We Can Help

If you’re struggling to cope, we can help. Gardens of Somerset is a vibrant senior living community that offers a wide range of amenities and services to our residents. We know how difficult it can be to deal with memory loss, and we’re here to help.

We offer a variety of programs and activities that are designed to help our residents with memory loss. We have a special memory

care unit that is staffed by trained professionals who are dedicated to providing the best possible care. Our memory care apartments are designed to promote independence and provide a safe and secure environment.

We offer daily nursing services, which include medication management, assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming, help with other activities of daily living, and so much more. We also offer round-the-clock security and a call system that allows residents to summon help at any time. Our wonderful staff is available to meet with residents and their families to discuss memory care options. We can help inform you on how to handle the idea of such a big transition and guide you on the best way to set a new resident up for success when moving in to our community.

If you’re looking for a supportive, caring community that can help your loved one with memory loss, we hope you’ll consider Gardens of Somerset. Please contact us to schedule a tour or to learn more about our community.


Hopkins Dermatology

What’s New

DR. JANINE HOPKINS, M.D., F.A.A.D. IS A BOARDCertified Dermatologist and experienced physician practicing in Monroe since 1996. She received training through a progressive program with an emphasis on surgical and cosmetic dermatology at LSU’s School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Dr. Hopkins is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the former secretary and treasurer of the Louisiana Dermatological Society; she also served as the past state chair for the Dermatology Foundation, and is a member of the American Society of Dermatological Surgery, and the Ouachita Medical Society.

Dr. Hopkins’ practice focuses on skin cancer prevention and detection, general dermatology, laser treatments, and cosmetic procedures with an emphasis on non-surgical facial aesthetics and body contouring. Dr. Hopkins lectures at medical meetings in the U.S. and internationally on both laser and facial aesthetics. She uses her expertise, education, and training to focus on what will work best specifically for each patient’s skin and body type.

While attending and lecturing at professional medical meetings, Dr. Hopkins is constantly learning new techniques and technologies. We are now introducing the newest treatment offered at Hopkins Dermatology, Avéli – the long-term solution setting a new standard in cellulite. Avéli delivers a long-term reduction in the appearance of cellulite in the buttocks and thighs for a wide variety of women covering the full spectrum of cellulite complexity. Smoother skin in the procedure area is visible shortly after a single in-office procedure once swelling and bruising subsides. While many treatments approach cellulite blindly from the outside-in, Avéli is the only minimally invasive procedure that uses a hand-held device guided by an expertly trained provider—to manually target and release the septa bands causing cellulite from the inside-out. This procedure is now available exclusively by Dr. Hopkins in Monroe Louisiana and Southlake Texas.


join us in celebrating our grand opening for Suite B of Hopkins Dermatology. Special packages will be available for purchase.


LA 71201

Tuesday November 29th 6:00 PM 2509 Broadmoor Blvd.
B Monroe,

Golden Gatherings and Memories

Revival Design & Consign Remembers Those Who Are No Longer WIth Us


of amber, we give thanks as we begin to celebrate the holidays that round out the year. Amongst those holidays and traditions, we also remember the golden memories of those who are no longer with us. We reflect on the moments and revel in the wonderful impact they had on our lives.

This past year has been one of many firsts in my life. This will be the first Thanksgiving without my mom, Jan Downing and grandmother, Jean Downing as well as the second without my dad, Ron Downing. It has put a big change in our family traditions. I will miss my mom’s oyster dressing as much I miss my grandmother’s pies and sweet potato casserole.

It is also the first season without two of my dearest friends who exemplified in the art of entertaining, Deanie Baker and Dianne Cage, who always knew how to bring together the perfect gathering. They worked their magic in the most amazing ways. Deanie left us the day after Christmas last year, and Dianne left us just last month. From the holidays to celebrations of life, they knew how to pull it off. Of course, they worked better on their own turf with their own visions. I imagine right now that Victor Cascio is probably keeping the peace as they battle it out in the kitchen working on holiday dishes.

Golden gatherings abound this season at Revival. On November 5th from 11am- 5pm, and November 6th from 1pm-5pm will be holding our

Holiday Open House to celebrate our 3-year anniversary. We will host a Sip and See on Thursday, November 17th from 5pm-8pm.

As we move toward the Christmas season, Revival will host a threenight art show. It will begin on December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd featuring Monroe, Louisiana native/Los Angeles actor and artist, Monti Sharp, in his first show in Louisiana. “Through the Kaleidoscope” features depictions of pop culture personalities, nostalgic toys, whimsical portraits of pets, and vibrant interpretations of his faith. We are delighted to showcase his talents.

With any gathering, it’s those signature touches that add a bit of panache. We have been curating the perfect collection of pieces for entertaining as well as gift giving. From gold and black matte stainless champagne flutes and martini glasses to etched heron barware, we have found the perfect accompaniments for your gathering. We also have beautiful serving pieces arriving to dramatically elevate your tablescapes.

As the seasons of our lives change, so do the moments we celebrate. We redefine and reevaluate our priorities in life. The gatherings that we host bring new memories as we remember those golden ones we will cherish in our hearts and minds.

Allow us at Revival to assist you over the holiday season for all your gift and entertainment needs. Revival is located at 300 Walnut in Historic Downtown Monroe. Our hours are Tuesday- Friday 11am-5pm and Saturdays 10 am- 4pm. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends.


Sweet Loves Scratch Bakery and Coffee Bar

Bringing Great Family Recipes to the Alley

AS A CHILD WHEN SOMEONE WOULD ALWAYS ASK the million-dollar question, “What do you want to be when you grow up”, I would always tell them, I want to own my own bakery where my mom, and grandmother could work with me. Years would go by of working various jobs, getting married, and having babies, and my husband and I finally start the process of opening our own Bakery, Sweet Loves.

My mother’s mom (my grandmother- I called her Mom) has always been my person. We would get up in the morning and eat breakfast, watch The Price is Right, and then have a mayo sandwich, before the magic started. At the age of 3, I remember my grandmother telling me today we are going to make tea cakes. Little did I know at the time how much that one simple little thing would bring me so much joy later in life. It became a thing that once a week we would make tea cakes and the recipe was “secret!” She would always tell me the key to the perfect tea cake is to roll with it in your hand. Fast forward to me opening the bakery and I could not wait for her to come on grand opening to see half of her recipes on display. So just know when you purchase a tea cake from my store, my heart jumps for joy each time because they hold a special place in the heart. My mom was always the one making cakes in the family. She loved

to create and try different kinds. The holiday season has always been my favorite, so we always go all out! Thanksgiving we will have pies, cakes, bars and cookies stocked in the cases to purchase. I tell everyone that if you want to be guaranteed a treat for your holiday celebration, make sure to go ahead and give us a call to get on the books. Once Thanksgiving is over, we will swap over to a Christmas wonderland! It was always a tradition that my mom and I shared to make Christmas candy. Keeping that tradition alive we will have fudge, divinity, pecan tarts, candied nuts, and much more in our cases daily for purchase!

Let’s not forget the coffee. When I started this whole journey, I wanted to have a place where you could come and get cake and coffee like the old days. Coffee and sweets to me just go hand in hand and I’m happy that I can offer that.

My customers have no idea how much it means to me when I see the smile on their face or the story they tell when they get something their family used to make and haven’t had in years. Makes all the long days and journey to get here worth it! From the bottom of my heart thank you for letting me live out my dream.


Think You May Have a Sleep Disorder?

The Sleep Specialists at Delhi Hospital Sleep Center Can Turn Your Sleepless Nights Around

MENTAL HEALTH, PHYSICAL HEALTH, QUALITY of life and safety. All of these can be significantly affected by one thing—a bad night of sleep. And while we all experience an occasional sleepless night, when it becomes a nightly occurrence, sleep insufficiency can put your life and the lives of others at risk. Because when you are tired, you are less alert, less focused and more irritable, which can lead to dozing off while driving or working and make everyday tasks more difficult to perform.

Did you know that more than 40 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders and conditions that make it hard to sleep during the night and stay awake during the daytime? Most notably, 18 million of those suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is the result of airways in the back of the throat failing to stay open while you sleep, despite your body’s efforts to breath. The result? Snoring, pauses in breathing, choking and gasping for air in the middle of the night. All of these symptoms not only interrupt your sleep—leaving you tired and groggy during the day—but they also reduce your blood oxygen levels and can lead to more chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and depression.

Another common sleep disorder is insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Acute insomnia is typically due to life

circumstances like a stressful week at work or receiving bad news. However, people can suffer from chronic insomnia if they experience symptoms three or more times a week for three or more months in a row.

If yourself or a loved one is experiencing sleep problems, our Sleep Specialists can turn your sleepless nights around! The Delhi Hospital Sleep Center is led by Dr. Mohammad Cheema, who is a Board-Certified Sleep Specialist, President of the LA Academy of Sleep Medicine, and specializes in Pediatric & Adult Sleep Medicine. Dr. Cheema is joined by Dr. Corey Albritton, Internal Medicine Physician and Kevin Holcomb, RPRSGT, CRT. Together, they provide medical expertise to diagnose and treat the full spectrum of sleep disorders, close-to-home at Delhi Hospital.

Talk to your primary care provider about a referral or give us a call at 318-878-6341 so you can achieve optimal health through better sleep.

Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art Sleep Center and learn what to expect during your sleep study at



I‘ve known Bill Petrus for over 40 years and consider him a close friend. He and his wife Lori own TP Outdoors in Monroe and Bill is the host of TP Outdoors Adventures Television Series which airs on most local channels in Northeast Louisiana for almost 12 years. There are a lot of things that I’ve seen put a sparkle in Bill’s eyes but few compare with his annual Wounded Warriors Hunt and his Handicapped Hunt. This year it was held at Mercer’s Whitetails in Richland Parish. Festivities included meals furnished by Sheriff Gary Gilley and the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office and Catfish Charlie’s in Monroe. Hunters were allowed to shoot management does and were even asked to shoot predators as a bonus.

One of the hunters was Tyler Jones of Eros, Louisiana. Tyler was afflicted with Arnold Chiari malformation and spina bifida at birth. Has had over 32 surgeries and is a paraplegic who is confined to a wheelchair. But being confined hasn’t stopped this young man from hunting. His obsession with New Orleans Saints football, video gaming and none other than Elvis Presley keep his days full. That was until he was convinced to go to a MedCamp of Louisiana summer camp where he met and later married the love of his life. Now after being married 4 years, he lives to enjoy his wife and family. Tyler started hunting at an early age. His dad, Chris outfitted him with a shooting stick and Tyler is able to shoot and shoot well. In fact to date, he has taken 7 deer. His hunt in his words:

“My sister Elanie Jones and I showed up for the first hunt and were really excited. We (Elanie, Ethan Hall and me) got into this big box stand and saw an 8 point buck, still in velvet and two bobcats. That was really cool. I didn’t get a shot at a doe so Mr. Bill called and invited me back for the second hunt. We went to a different spot and a doe did come out. I fired and she dropped. Since there were other hunters out, we waited. All of a sudden I saw movement and here came another doe with a spike. Ethan texted Mr. Jeff and they let me shoot again. I dropped her in her tracks. What a hunt!” I will never forget that experience.

Our second hunter highlight is on Josh Butler. Josh is a veteran of the US Army. On August 9, 2018 he was a victim of a home invasion. He was stabbed 24 times (including both eyes) shot in the back with a crossbow, suffered fractured ribs and a cracked skull, leaving him completely blind, deaf in one ear and only partial hearing in the other. You may ask how a blind man shoots a gun? To hear Josh tell it the concept is simple: “Trust your spotter. Having had the military background as a military policeman, trusting your team mate is the key to success.” I asked him how his handicap has affected him and he chuckled. “The only thing I can’t do is swing a hammer. In fact

my friend took away all the hammers I owned. I can weld; I redid my whole shop from woodworking to electrical and even plumbed it. I can do just about anything I put my mind to.” That was apparent on the Veterans Hunt and I’ll let Josh tell his side:

“The first weekend I hunted, I only saw bucks and had a doe on me right at dark. I passed on a late shot as I don’t want to shoot at a deer and wound it. So I just enjoyed that great food that the Sheriff fed us and visited with old friends and new ones. The next week, Bill Petrus called and asked if I could hunt on the next weekend. I’m sure his ears are still ringing as I was excited to be invited again. My spotter on this round was Dustin “Duck” Campbell who I visited with while we were eating Catfish Charlies. I had the hot spot that morning and we told Bill. By the time I got back to the stand, Bill had snuck another ground blind in down from me. We picked at Bill but it was fine as I wanted my friends to have a chance, too. I waited as Doug told me there was a deer in my lane and it was a big doe. I had to slide my rifle out the left side window very carefully. I shoot a 450 Bushmaster with an Omega scope and it is very accurate. I got set up and had my


spotter Doug in my ear ’...little left...back to right....whenever you are ready.’ That’s the hard part to not wiggle after getting the okay to shoot. I squeezed the trigger and the deer went down, shot right through the neck. We waited on Bill and the camera crew who walked up and said, ‘Why did you shoot a coon Josh?’ My stomach almost went through my throat and Doug didn’t say anything. I’m thinking surely they didn’t pull a rotten joke on me and I shot a coon! The bad feeling passed soon as the high fives started as we got to the deer. I not only had killed a doe, I killed the largest doe taken either weekend. It was a hunt of a lifetime for me.”

Both hunters were thankful for the hunt but reiterated WHY we hunt. The friends we meet, the fellowship and most of all the appreciation shown by the hard work that everyone put in to make these hunts possible. To hear them recalling their hunts made me feel like I had been there myself. To witness men who have lost things that we cannot appreciate is a testimony to the goodness in people. Thank

you to all the folks who put this together but especially to Jeff Mercer, Bill and Lori Petrus and to all of the guides, workers and participants. There is good in this world and it is refreshing to see outdoorsmen helping each other. Hats off for a wonderful event and memories of a lifetime.


NASH: How Serious Is This Silent Disease?

Everything You Need to Know About NASH

NASH (NON-ALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS) IS A progressive liver disease that occurs from the accumulation of an abnormal amount of fat in the liver. It’s called “non-alcoholic” because the patients affected by NASH drink less than three drinks per day for men and less than two drinks per day for women. This silent disease affects 14% of middle-aged US adults.

The excess fat will lead to liver inflammation and liver cell injury. This may lead to advanced liver fibrosis (scarring), which can progress to liver cirrhosis. In fact, up to 10-15% of adults with NASH may have cirrhosis.

NASH is a silent disease because most patients don’t feel any symptoms until the disease has progressed to advanced stages. Some patients may experience pain in the upper right abdomen. An ultrasound may detect excess fat (steatosis) in the liver. Normal liver enzymes on routine blood tests do not rule out NASH.

Causes of NASH & Risk Factors: NASH affects about 14% of the US population, which equals about 47 million people. NASH is a consequence of a sedentary lifestyle and is associated with excess fat and sugar in the diet. NASH has more than doubled in the last 20 years due to the epidemic of diabetes and obesity. NASH affects one in three adults over age 50. It is the number one reason for liver transplant in women and the second most common reason in men, only second to alcohol. NASH affects 25% of adults worldwide and more than half of patients with diabetes. Risk factors for NASH include the following: overweight/

obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol/triglycerides, hypertension, 50+ in age, Hispanic ethnicity, and metabolic syndrome.


Liver biopsy is the gold standard; however, a presumptive diagnosis can often be made based on the patient’s medical history, laboratory tests, and new innovative imaging tests. FibroScan® is the first device to be FDAcleared. It is the recognized standard for the non-invasive assessment of liver health. It works by emitting a pulse of energy, which is felt as a slight vibration on the skin. FibroScan then measures the speed of this energy to rapidly determine liver stiffness that correlates to liver health. The exam is painless, takes 5-10 minutes, and provides an immediate result.


Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments for NASH. Modifying your dietary and lifestyle habits is the best way to keep NASH from worsening. Additionally, proper control of the associated conditions such as diabetes, lipid abnormalities, and hypertension, will help slow the progression of NASH. We offer clinical trials through our affiliate, Delta Research Partners to help discover safe and more effective treatments for NASH and other diseases. Delta Research Partners has locations in Monroe and Bastrop.

For more information about our current clinical trials, visit


On October 5th, the Downtown Gallery Crawl in Monroe and West Monroe was held at multiple galleries. Mixed media artist Margaret Moses exhibition was on display at The Neville House. Guests were able to meet the artist and view the exhibition, along with light hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the beautiful Neville House.

Dr. Michelle McEacharn, University of Louisiana Monroe’s Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, along with her family, donated $25,000 to establish the McPhearson/McEacharn Opportunity Scholarship at a press conference Wednesday, September 28th at the Laird Weems Center.

Ruston has added a brand new mural to it’s beautiful city. The Valspar Be Bright Mural reveal was held October 12th in downtown Ruston. This day was full of smiles, hugs, good food and live music. This piece was designed by KaDavien Baylor, a graduate from La Tech, who came back to his collage town to design the most amazing piece of art.

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | NOVEMBER 2022 147 Bayou Buzzworthy


After spending more than three decades away from Monroe, Monti Sharp is ready to reconnect with his hometown. Besides, he says, there’s no place like it. Leaving Monroe was never what Sharp wanted to do, he explains. But it was necessary, as remaining in Ouachita Parish meant not having access to the resources he needed to pursue his dreams. And what he dreamed of doing was acting — specifically in a production of Sam Shepard’s True West.

“I was just channel-surfing one night, and I saw it,” Sharp says, remembering his first encounter with the play. “It was starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. Of course, I didn’t know who they were, but I was just amazed by this world that I was watching on this PBS program. I was like, ‘I want to do that. I want to do that play; I want to act like those guys.’”

Thus began his search to do just that. He started writing letters to universities and training academies and sending away for informational catalogs about their facilities. One particular institution caught his eye: the University of North Carolina School for the Arts.

“That year or shortly thereafter, Tom Hulce won the Oscar for Amadeus, [and] he went to North Carolina School of the Arts,” Sharp recalls, “and I thought, ‘That’s it. If he won an Oscar and he went there, that’s where I want to go.’”

So, he did. However, UNC is not where Sharp’s interest in theater and performing was born. That ball was in motion long before, his engrossment beginning at around age eight or nine.

“When I was a little kid, we used to get dropped off at the library on the weekend,” he explains. “On one occasion, I ran across a book on stage makeup just randomly; it was fascinating. They showed the process shots and how they turned, I think it was Dustin Hoffman, into a 100-year-old man in a movie called Little Big Man. It showed how they turned Hal Holbrook into Mark Twain by doing this old age makeup.”

The book Sharp just so happened to pick up that day piqued his curiosity, and the questions began running through his mind: what did things like nose putty really feel like? What else could you do with special effects and makeup? His inquisitiveness, partnered with his habit of helping his brother memorize lines for speech tournaments, opened the door for Sharp to step into the world of theater.

He was poised to be involved with the technical side of performing until his first onstage experience. After that, Sharp says, he was hooked; he began seeking out any opportunity he could find to perform.

“The Monroe Little Theatre was always there; I used to audition for plays there, but I never got cast,”

he says, recalling his eagerness to act. “But I thought that’s kind of how it is for actors. You have to keep after it. I considered rejection a badge of honor.”

Fortunately, The Little Theatre wasn’t the Monroe native’s only chance to perform. Between speech club, choir, student government, and area high schools’ art fairs, Sharp’s high school years provided him plenty of space to do the things he loved and hone his creative abilities.

Post-high school, Sharp headed to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana University, to major in advertising design, a field of study he chose because he enjoyed drawing. While there, he joined the radio, TV, and film department’s weekend news program, Campus Closeup, as an anchorman. That led to his first professional media gig, a job at KNOE doing weekend news and radio. Sharp wouldn’t stay at NLU very long, though. Partway through his undergraduate studies, he transferred to the UNC School of the Arts.

After graduating, he began his professional acting career doing off-Broadway productions in New York City before transitioning to the small-screen as David Grant in the popular daytime drama Guiding Light in 1992. This role, which he played until 1995, earned him a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series and a Soap Opera Digest Award for Best Newcomer in 1993. The actor’s big-screen debut came in 1995 when he appeared as Officer Brown in the Hughes Brothers’ Dead Presidents.


OOver the past 30 years, Sharp has racked up quite the list of credits, more recently appearing in programs including “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Killer in Suburbia,” and “9-1-1.” Despite building a successful acting career, it’s another profession that brings Sharp back to Monroe: art. At the time of this article’s writing, Sharp is preparing a collection of his paintings and drawings to be exhibited in his hometown in early December.

The exhibition will include portraiture, including depictions of some popular celebrities — “I have drawn some famous faces not necessarily because they’re famous, but because there’s something about their faces that impacts me and seems familiar,” Sharp explains — as well as pieces that speak to his faith and spirituality.

Besides the charcoal and graphite depictions of some of Hollywood’s best and brightest, patrons can also expect to see images of objects some may dismiss as mundane, he says, revealing that he tends to see deeper meanings in these items. “We’re certainly in a time now where it seems to be that the right way to go is very flashy,” he goes on. “You got to have a lot of money, you got to have the right products, you got to be rich, you got to associate with the right people. We overlook the ordinary.” He quotes a New Testament passage from Hebrews to reinforce his appreciation for everyday things and people, “The Bible says, ‘Be kind to strangers, for you know not when you entertain angels unawares.’ We go through life, I think, in a way that’s directly in opposition [of that]. If you’re ordinary — you’re not with the right people, wearing the right clothes, or you don’t have enough money — not only do we not pay attention to you, we might just do bad things to you.”

Even in the thick of his acting career, Sharp was creating art, though not at the same level he does now. He currently sells his pieces through his website,, but previously, art was a means of coping with what he was

experiencing. Sharp didn’t even consider his creations worth displaying until a close family member changed his mind.

“I was on a soap opera in New York, and my mom came up to visit,” he tells BayouLife. “I went to work one day, and she stayed at my apartment. When I came home, she had cleaned the place, and some of my drawings and paintings were hung on the wall. That was kind of a shock for me because I didn’t really view them as something you’d want to look at. But she said differently.”

At the urging of his late mother, Sharp began saving the pieces he made. She even taught him to strip the paint off of thrifted picture frames and revamp them to display his originals.

“Over time,” he says, “I built up a collection and started thinking more about certain techniques and processes I had become aware of and never tried. It all became a life of experimentation and curiosity.”

Art, as it turned out, gave Sharp’s investigative spirit the freedom to explore just as acting did. But that’s not the only commonality the two share, he declares, explaining, “Ultimately, it all sort of fits in the same mold — theater, painting, communications — it’s all about sharing and wanting to express some aspect of my experience that may not be served best by words.”

These experiences he shares through the pieces he creates and the characters he portrays, Sharp explains, aren’t always things he’s aware of. Sometimes, the message conveyed comes from his subconscious. Regardless of whether he planned for his art to spread a certain message or not, his pieces are a means of communicating, and that, Sharp says, is part of what keeps him engaged with creating.


“As I seek to communicate, what I get in return is a deeper understanding of myself, what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it,” he says. “It’s that journey that’s like the carrot in front of the horse. It keeps [me] going because [I’m] constantly learning not only about those [I] share the work with, but about myself as I evolve and change.”

Communicating so openly through both acting and making art leaves you exposed. And while that kind of openness and honesty can be nervewracking, Sharp says it’s worth pursuing. He says, “It’s important to stay vulnerable in life; [it] ensures that we remain sensitive to others, and that’s a very important part of our responsibility to other human beings.”

Another part of our responsibility to one another, he says, is to love each other, and do it with intention. Spreading love is Sharp’s greatest desire, and he aims to do so whenever possible, whether on set waiting for a director to call “action” or in his studio with a paintbrush in hand.

“I just feel like no matter what I’m doing or where I’m doing it, [there] is a choice,” Sharp muses. “We can be loving, we can be kind, we can embody the fruits of the Spirit or not. And even if it’s just a handshake, a smile, eye contact, a warm word, or a few minutes of talking about a painting with someone you may never see again, those moments are important. They make a difference, and ultimately, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do in some way: make a difference.”

Monti Sharp’s art will be on display in Downtown Monroe on December 1st and 2nd. In the meantime, you can see what he’s creating by following him on Instagram @sharpartstudio or visiting his website


ULM School of Pharmacy Reunion


Kicey of Tonore’s Wine Cellar.


On the BayouScene 1 Mike and Ruthie Cooper 2 Taylor Pollard, Laura and Lance Nickelson 3 Jamey and Mary Rhea 4 Morris and Mart Rabb 5 Nancy Farrar and Cindy Wallace 6 Michelle White and Katie Scogin 7 Xavier and Alison Williams 8 Katie and Jonathan Scogin 9 Mike Cooper, Errol Moran, Mark Mouton, Brian Bond and Leroy Frederick On Friday, October 7th, at The ULM School of Pharmacy those celebrating milestone reunion years were treated to a Class Reunion ReWINEd event — a private wine tasting and food pairing led
Alumni and their guests enjoyed tasting various wines and dancing the night away to the sounds
DJ Kyle. 1 2 3 4 6 5 7 8 9

ULM’s Trio Programs

Child Care Access Means Parents in School Grant

Pictured left-right: Craig Pooler (Division Director Higher Education Programs), Tammy Anderson (ULM TRIO CCAMPIS Assistant Director), Catherine Estis, (ULM TRIO Executive Director), Marques Thomas (Management and Program Analyst Higher Education Programs), Gabby Watts (Office of Postsecondary Education Senior Advisor to Deputy Assistant for Higher Education Programs)


Programs have been awarded $1,472,088 over the next four years as part of the CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The funding is designated to alleviate the financial burden on parents with young children who are pursuing a college degree, improving the likelihood of academic success. The CCAMPIS 2022-2026 was the only award received throughout the state.

“We are proud and excited to receive the CCAMPIS grant to support eligible ULM student parents and their children,” said Tammy Anderson, TRIO CCAMPIS Assistant Director.

“It’s transformative,” said Dr. John Sutherlin, ULM’s Chief Innovation and Research Officer, “CCAMPIS is not just a childcare grant. It is a retention program.”

The grant will be administered through the ULM TRIO Programs under the auspices of Catherine Estis, Ph.D., TRIO’s Executive Director. Students receiving financial assistance will receive vouchers to use at area childcare centers. ULM’s TRIO CCAMPIS Program will support the recipients with its full complement of student support services, including college and career success coaches, assistance navigating the financial aid process, and referrals to additional community and government resources. Dr. Estis states “Childcare can be a barrier for student-parents, so having safe, high-quality, affordable early-childcare and education can help students succeed and create brighter futures for their families.”

“The financial resources and community partnerships will provide opportunities for parents to further their careers, improve their earning potential, and experience the pride associated with earning a degree while showing their children the value of higher education,” said Estis.

The university was notified of the award while the ULM TRIO Team by the Office of Post-Secondary Education while attending the 2022 Council on Opportunity in Education hosted in San Diego, CA.

There is still availability for this program for the current academic year. For those students who may feel they would be eligible or know any student-parent who they think may be eligible, more information and an application can be found by contacting ULM’s TRIO Programs at 318.342.1097 or Tammy Anderson, ULM TRIO CCAMPIS Assistant Director at



Stone Grand Opening

On the BayouScene 1 Drake Robertson and Polly Ball 2 Robyn Jennings, Brandy Brinson, Emery Beckham and Lucy Douglas 3 Lauren Brownlee and Gacie Demoss 4 Mary Elizabeth Halbrook and Patricia Willis 5 Tia Culpepper and Ashley Butler 6 Kinsley Thomas and Micheal Landry 7 Ethan and Erin Hunt 8 Drake Robertson and Sarah Katz Tuesday, October 4th, Ivy & Stone hosted their Grand Opening with the proud new owner, Drake Robertson. The night was filled with great food from Crumbs Catering, friends, customers,family and lots of shopping! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Louisiana Tech’s Division of University Advancement

Tech Realigns Leadership Resources Focused on Philanthropy and Engagement

TODAY, LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY’S DIVISION OF University Advancement announced its realignment of leadership resources focused on philanthropy and engagement with Tech alumni.

“With this realignment, we are strengthening our commitment to embracing the reality that engagement is evolving yet continues to be the leading indicator of philanthropic support for the University,” said Brooks Hull, Vice President for University Advancement and CEO for the University Foundation. “This restructuring shows our confidence in cultivating relationships with our Tech Family members and showing the impact of their loyalty.”

Devin FergusonDevin Ferguson, who is Executive Director of Development for the College of Engineering and Science, will now serve as Assistant Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement. He will lead a team focused on strengthening relationships, engaging alumni, and managing portfolios by using the most advanced channels for communication and technology designed to engage more of Tech’s graduates.

Ferguson will also lead the unit in establishing metrics to determine the success of initiatives in accordance with the University’s strategic goals.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the Louisiana Tech University family in an area of work that I am passionate about,” Ferguson said. “I

am especially grateful for the confidence and mentorship Brooks Hull has shown by trusting me with this new career challenge.

“I believe higher education can have an enormously positive influence on an individual’s life, just as it did my own, with effects that continue to be felt long after a degree is conferred. I am excited for the opportunity to work alongside our team in new ways to create connections with the life and future of our University where relationships are forged and transformative education and research happen daily.”

Ferguson earned his Master of Nonprofit Administration from North Park University in Chicago and has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education. He began his career in philanthropy at his alma mater, serving as Director of Alumni Relations for more than 9 years, before joining Louisiana Tech in 2018.

He was recognized as one of EverTrue’s 40 Under 40 in 2020 and has presented at several conferences including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) – District IV, the Southeastern Annual Giving Conference, and Engineering Development Forum, where he also currently serves as a member of the board. Ferguson has also previously consulted for nonprofit organizations in the areas of startup, communication, and fundraising.




For Crystal Fox, childhood trauma manifested in an eating disorder when she was 15. Her mother left her when she was 3 years old. Though her great-grandmother cared for her, Crystal longed for the nuclear family environment that she witnessed in other homes. This absence led her to seek perfection, striving for good grades and excelling in sports, in hopes that her efforts would be enough for her mom to return. To add to the heartache, her great-grandmother passed away weeks before her 13th birthday. A desire for safety and control in her life resulted in an extreme focus on food and body. The perfect storm of childhood trauma, sexual abuse, abandonment, loss, and a perfectionistic personality led Crystal to start restricting her food intake and to eventually develop Anorexia Nervosa, severe caloric restriction and fear of foods that results in one’s loss of 15% or more of body weight. Due to the trauma in her childhood, anorexia sold her the illusion that if she were thinner, she would be safer.

Crystal continued to struggle with the eating disorder as she started college at ULM. There she played softball and her eating disorder gradually developed into bulimia, consuming larger amounts of food and purging via multiple compensatory methods. With the physical demands of the illness and the sport, she couldn’t keep up and ended her softball career. Still struggling, she transferred to Louisiana Tech after her freshman year to major in Nutrition and Dietetics. During her senior year, Crystal had a medical complication landing her in the emergency room where the doctor explained the serious medical consequences of eating disorders. After several medical scares, Crystal chose to seek professional help for her eating disorder. Crystal felt ashamed of revealing her college major to doctors and therapists. She had yet to realize the power of her future recovery and lived personal experience in her eventual profession.

While pursuing a master’s degree, Crystal fell back into anorexia. She went through multiple treatment centers for her eating disorder including one in New Orleans - tragically, the only one in Louisiana. There she focused on nutrition stabilization and healing from trauma. After she was nutritionally stable, her anxiety and mood also improved. While in treatment, she learned


about the prevalence of co-occurring disorders - hers being anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Crystal learned healthy and adaptive coping skills and realized that she had to deal with the roots of her eating disorder to fully heal. Crystal buried so much emotional pain that her body subconsciously expressed those emotions through self-destructive eating disorder behaviors. Every eating disorder has multiple roots - the key is identifying and facing them.

At 26, she married her husband Jeremy, and they started a family. Due to her physical history, Crystal experienced fertility issues, resulting in multiple miscarriages, most recently losing her son Mason this past December. What kept her grounded in the hard times was a focus on the values and skills-based therapy presented in treatment. She valued education, career, family and desired a daughter to give the love she did not receive from her own mother. She now has two daughters, Macie and Maelen. Crystal is now in long-term recovery and is a registered dietitian and licensed nutrition therapist helping others who struggle with various types of eating disorders. Crystal owns and practices at Healing Nutrition Therapy of Louisiana in Monroe, in partnership with Dr. Candi Hill of Hill Psychological Services. The outpatient clinic allows Crystal to help

those whose stories she deeply understands. Patients suffering from eating disorders require a multidisciplinary approach to treatment including: a licensed therapist, registered dietitian, medical doctor, and a psychologist. Crystal and Dr. Hill are currently working on expanding and building an intensive outpatient clinic to better serve these patients in our area. Crystal also wants to focus on clinical education by training medical professionals to identify and adequately respond to this patient population.

Research shows that the earlier the intervention, the better. A few warning signs for a loved one suffering from an eating disorder can be: preoccupation with food, weight, and body image, constantly going to the restroom after meals, restrictions in food quantity and type, and weight fluctuations. If one obsessively checks their body weight, exercises excessively, becomes isolated and secretive, has major mood or personality changes; these all could be a sign of an eating disorder. Finding an eating disorder specialist to help is key. When approaching a loved one with concerns, avoid statements laced with judgment or shame, and educate yourself before initiating the conversation. The National Alliance for Eating Disorders, along with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) are good places to start.



After graduating from Louisiana Tech University, Kerrigan May was anxious to start a new career in a new town. A few weeks before making the move from Ruston to Dallas, Kerrigan and her father visited Six Flags. Between rides, Kerrigan would chug an entire bottle of water, trying to relieve the severe dry mouth she’d been experiencing. In addition to cotton mouth, Kerrigan had noticed significant hair and weight loss, despite eating regularly every two hours in considerable quantities. She and her family assumed the symptoms were stress-related with graduation and major life changes on the horizon. The following week, Kerrigan attended an LSU game with her mother and stepfather. After a year of symptoms, Kerrigan was down to only 80 pounds, despite the noticeable appetite. Her family became concerned.

The next week, Kerrigan showed up to work and barely made it through the day. Ghostly pale, her coworkers insisted she go home. Kerrigan’s mother assured her they were all recovering from a stomach bug, and she probably suffered the same. When Kerrigan went home, she slept through her work alarm the next day. She called her mom’s friend, who lived in Dallas, and asked for a ride to the hospital. When the car pulled up, Kerrigan limped out of her 5th floor apartment. She collapsed in front of a neighbor who carried her downstairs to the car. In and out of consciousness, Kerrigan vaguely remembers being turned away from a clinic and eventually wheeled into a hospital. The staff knew she was diabetic on sight, but Kerrigan had no idea.

The staff encountered Kerrigan barely conscious, taking over 100 breaths per minute. Her blood sugar was in the 600s - a normal reading is 85-130. They gave Kerrigan an A1C of 15.4, which measures a patient’s sugars over a 3-month spana normal reading is 4-6. Kerrigan was three times higher than average. She remembers the hospital seeming impatient with her, assuming she was a diabetic who wasn’t managing her disease. When she explained that she didn’t know she was diabetic, that her family had no history of the autoimmune disease, the staff became concerned. Type 1 Diabetes is typically a juvenile diagnosis. Kerrigan was 23 years old.

Two years prior, Kerrigan had experienced a severe case of strep throat that lasted over a month. Doctors posit that the virus attacked her pancreas, the part that produces insulin. Kerrigan’s

pancreas no longer produces insulin to regulate her sugar. Type 1 Diabetes means a patient is insulin dependent, and Kerrigan would have to rely on supplemental injections for the rest of her life. When Kerrigan prepared to leave the hospital, four days after learning of her disease, she was petrified. She didn’t know how to prick her own finger or give herself a shot. During her stay, the nurses pricked her fingers every hour and inserted IVs and central lines. Her body was bruised, and Kerrigan was exhausted.

Two months later in December, Kerrigan returned to the hospital with a hyperthyroid issue. Her blood pressure was 190 over 160, her resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute. The diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) that she had experienced two months prior had shocked her system, and she would need continuous thyroid medicine. Distraught, Kerrigan knew she had to quit her job and move back home. She needed care and to adjust to a new reality. She would be a diabetic for the rest of her life. Kerrigan remembers feeling embarrassed, as if she didn’t take care of herself. As someone who always strived for perfection, she felt exposed, visibly imperfect.

After returning home, Kerrigan was scared to eat and disrupt her blood sugar. She avoided social situations and let the disease control her life for 9 months. The following September, Kerrigan was offered a job with Republic National Distributing Company, handling wine distribution in the Monroe/West Monroe market. She took classes at the Diabetes Care Center and learned to manage her illness. She decided to take back control of her life.

Despite the traumatic ordeal and the diagnosis, Kerrigan is thankful for her family and friends who helped her get through this difficult time in her life. She is also grateful for the medical technology and all the advances it has made within the 5 years she has been a diabetic. She wears an Omnipod Insulin Pump which regulates her blood sugar throughout the day and after every meal, and it connects to a Dexcom which is a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). What could have once been a death sentence is now a manageable condition. Because of these people in her life, the family who stood by her side through the health scares and doctors who showed her how to care for herself, she got her life back, and she’s living it fully. Diabetes didn’t beat her.

She got her life back, and she’s living it fully, Diabetes didn’t beat her.


Brittany and Justin had waited 2 1/2 years to find out they were having their first child. When Brittany gave birth to son Braylon 5 1/2 weeks premature, she knew she had a fighter on her hands. Though only 4 pounds, Braylon bypassed a NICU stay. Brittany felt herself lucky and looked forward to parenting this little “red-headed peanut,” as the nursing staff dubbed him. At 8 months, during a routine pediatric visit, the doctor suggested therapy, as Braylon was not hitting development milestones like rolling over and sitting up. The therapist became concerned after two months of therapy produced little to no progress.

They took Braylon to a local neurologist and then for a second opinion in New Orleans because he showed signs of cerebral palsy. The doctors cautioned that Braylon may never be a star athlete and would not make predictions on when or if he would walk or talk. They remember sitting with the news, adjusting to the idea of parenting a child with significant delays. When Braylon reached 2 ½ years, he developed a severe sickness over the summer that presented as a severe sinus infection. Brittany and Justin carried their son to the pediatrician weekly, assured it was only a viral infection, for which only the symptoms could be treated. Assuming their son had cerebral palsy, they remained on watch for fever spikes that could lead to seizures. Over the summer, Braylon lost his appetite completely, and Brittany returned to the doctor. Her Mama heart knew she needed more answers.

Braylon was admitted to St. Francis and endured numerous tests, labs, and MRIs. His small frame had diminished by 2-3 pounds, a significant visual change. Everyone was concerned about his weight loss; the pictures now still make them frustrated that something was missed. Braylon was then transferred to New Orleans Children’s Hospital for a full gastrointestinal workupyet still, no definitive answers. Now with Braylon on a feeding tube, and with no pediatric GI doctors in Monroe, they worried about bringing their son home and experiencing complications. Though Braylon needed the nutrients to combat the weight loss, the feeding tube made matters worse. Braylon vomited constantly. When Brittany and Justin took Braylon to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for an unrelated issue, the doctor immediately admitted him. The doctors found a viral infection called Cytomegalovirus

had made its way into Braylon’s GI tract, causing his severe sickness.

The doctor hesitated to pursue the invasive treatment, as most viral infections resolve on their own. The family made trips back and forth to the Arkansas hospital for several months, rarely home for more than 3-4 days. A few days before Christmas, they decided to pursue treatment. Braylon’s family brought Santa presents to Arkansas before the 7-week treatment. He was finally free from this terrible virus in January.

But in early February, things took a turn. Braylon presented with 105 fever, wouldn’t wake up, and was sicker than ever before. Braylon was airlifted from Monroe to Arkansas for septic shock. Brittany recalls holding him as his vital signs continued to worsen, the scariest night of their journey thus far. After a few weeks of recovery, his immune system was too weak and the terrible cytomegalovirus returned.

The virus’ return alerted doctors to another problem. Braylon needed a higher level of care and was again airlifted to a specialist in Cincinnati. For 13 months, Braylon remained on the Blood & Cancer floor of the hospital and was finally diagnosed with Dyskeratosis Congenita, which explained the previous delays and viruses. Everything he had been through now made sense. Braylon was in bone marrow failure and needed a transplant that required chemotherapy. They found a donor quickly, but it would be months before his transplant. Brittany and Justin watched their son suffer in pain. A bone marrow transplant harvests all the cells from the donor and injects those cells into the patient. No one knows how the body will react - sometimes it attacks other organs. For the weeks following, Braylon didn’t move, refused to be touched, and cried constantly. They made friends with other sets of parents having children treated in the same unit - 10 of those children lost their fight. They still keep in touch with the families from all over the country.

Braylon was one of the lucky ones on that floor. That little fighter is now 11 years old. He exudes joy and draws people in, as he never meets a stranger. He still experiences delays. He didn’t walk until he was six years old and he struggles to articulate full sentences. He will always have challenges in life and as they don’t know what the future holds, they take one day at a time and celebrate every small victory!

Braylon was one of the lucky ones on that floor. That little fighter is now 11 years old.


Julie Emory and her husband Daniel had only been married for a year when they decided to try and have a baby. For the first five months, Julie felt the disappointment each time the over-the-counter tests read negative, but in the sixth month, the infamous plus sign popped up. Over the moon about finally carrying a child, Julie kept the news to herself for the first trimester, nervous that sharing might compromise this new reality. When her belly started to protrude at 12 weeks, Julie finally confided in her friends and family, overjoyed to share the excitement and anticipation with loved ones. At 15 weeks, Julie noticed spotting, and out of supreme caution, called her doctor. Though spotting during the early stages of pregnancy is quite common, the doctor scheduled an ultrasound. Everything looked normal - the familiar heartbeat reverberated through the room. In an abundance of caution, the doctor had Julie see the ultrasonographer for a more in-depth scan.

Calmed by the doctor’s optimism, Julie entered the room and endured a quiet ten-minute period with the stenographer showing little emotion. As Julie and Daniel left, they realized the stenographer had not provided any pictures of their baby - odd. Before they made it out of the parking lot, the doctor called the couple to come back to her office. Daniel stayed behind, assured by Julie that everything was okay. The doctor’s face no longer appeared optimistic. “I wish your husband was still with you,” she uttered. And Julie’s heart sank. They were informed that the baby appeared to have Anencephaly, a neural tube defect that inhibits the skull and brain from forming, a condition that was terminal. The condition was caused when Julie’s body didn’t break down the folic acid she routinely ingested via prenatal vitamins. She did what she was supposed to do. Unfortunately, the issue cannot be detected until the unthinkable happens. Julie and Daniel had to sit with the grief of a terminal child still in Julie’s womb, a child they had hoped and prayed for earnestly. Ironically, without the spotting, Julie wouldn’t have found out about the condition until 24 weeks when the advanced ultrasound takes place. Julie feels God wanted her to know

sooner. For a week, Julie carried a visible pregnancy with a tragic secret. After a specialist confirmed the diagnosis, Julie prepared to deliver their son at 16 weeks, 3 days shy of her 30th birthday. Julie was induced on a Friday at midnight; only she and Daniel were in the room. She requested her family not be present. She didn’t know how she would react during the gut wrenching ordeal and preferred to grieve and labor in private. The nursing staff puttered in and out nervously, unaccustomed to a situation so dire opposite from the anticipation of a traditional delivery. One nurse stumbled over her words, insisting “it” would be very small. Julie recoiled at the term, at the lack of personalization. This was still her baby. 48 hours later, Julie gave birth to their son at 12:05 AM, September 11, 2009, three days after her 30th birthday. Paralyzed after the ordeal, Julie and Daniel returned home - no baby, no joy, just immense loss.

Weeks later, Julie still bled daily, often lots of blood. No one could remember how long bleeding was normal; everyone else had been busy caring for a newborn. When Julie developed a fever and started throwing up, Daniel insisted she see call the doctor. The next month was torture, consisting of multiple blood transfusions, surgeries, and a DNC. And yet, the bleeding continued. As Julie was grieving her son, her body continued to expel blood, often suddenly and in large quantities - once filling a bathtub. When the doctor suggested another exploratory surgery, she cautioned that there was a 50/50 chance Julie would lose her uterus, and with it any chance of carrying a child. Julie prayed harder than ever before, for the first time releasing her expectations and submitting to God’s plan. The surgery determined that Julie suffered from placenta accreta. During delivery, the placenta attached too firmly to the uterus. Julie’s body still thought it was pregnant and had been supplying blood to a now-empty womb.

Julie is grateful for the son not meant for this earth, for the two children she later carried to term. Daughter Landon is now 11 and son Ruddick is 9 - both active and rambunctious and full of life. Julie is grateful for her faith, for seeing the beauty in God’s plan, and for the opportunity to share her story.

Julie is grateful for the son not meant for this earth, for the two children she later carried to term.


Nathan Stanley knows the struggles of addiction and the power of prayer. Nathan’s parents divorced when he was four years old. When his mother returned to the house to pick up some belongings, he rushed toward her. She lengthened her arm, met her palm to his forehead, and said, “You smell like a squirrel. Don’t touch me.” For two months after, Nathan didn’t utter a word. His father carried him up and down a gravel road near the house, trying to get Nathan to talk. Nathan knows the sting of rejection, of feeling unworthy, unclean, and unwanted. Though his father tried to be enough for him, Nathan would spend the next three decades looking for encouragement, searching for validation. Throughout adolescence, Nathan primarily stayed with his father. Girlfriends and their offspring rotated in and out of the house. Nathan didn’t see a healthy, consistent relationship during a pivotal period. He stayed with his mother for a few months, but she, too, cycled in violent, aggressive, alpha males. One man beat Nathan so severely with a willow limb that he had open gashes from his head to his knees. Another almost broke his arm. Domestic violence was normalized from the beginning. At 9 years old, Nathan was sexually abused by a teenager from church - the memory still haunts him to this day.

At 13, Nathan ran away from home, seeking solace and refuge on anyone’s couch, anywhere away from where he’d been. He turned to cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana - a habit that would continue for 23 years. In high school, Nathan consistently carried a bag of weed, a pipe, and a lighter - his prize possessions. During one sojourn, Nathan met some men who practiced Wicca, a modern pagan religion. Nathan became a solitary practitioner, delving into pain pills and soft drugs. The men used the alternative religion to excuse sexual violence on a 13-year-old boy. Nathan’s grades suffered, though he retained a cool kid persona and fell deeper into addiction. On a trip to California, he tried meth for the first time. The sense of euphoria engulfed him. Adapting to the life of a wanderer, Nathan picked up a hitchhiker, traveled to Salt Lake City, slept out of his truck in Colorado for several months. He was lost, searching for something, but unsure what.

At 18, he followed his family tradition and joined the army. He cleaned up, traveled to Fort Benning in Georgia and then Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He attended Air Assault school, elite rappel training for helicopters. But after a year, Nathan went AWOL - twice. He served 8 months in jail for a felony charge. He was labeled a military deserter and received an Other than Honorable discharge. He landed a well-paying job doing industrial construction, but his meth habit skyrocketed. In 2010, he took some safety classes and eventually returned home and opened his own business. He thought he had his addiction under control. His cousin introduced Nathan to the motorcycle culture, and his addiction resurfaced. He lost his business and spiraled. Over the course of one year, Nathan went from 265 to 130 pounds. He realized he was an addict, though he didn’t want to accept it. He remembers speaking to God saying, “If you’re real, show me.” Suddenly men from other motorcycle ministries started witnessing to Nathan, showing him alternative ways to be a part of a group and live right. Wherever Nathan went, someone from Bikers for Christ or other affiliated motorcycle ministries would show him love and counsel him. Nathan knows God put people in his life to help him.

Nathan started attending church sporadically, searching for the truth. He took his last hit of speed in August of 2017, his last drink shortly after, and his last bit of marijuana shortly after that. He whittled away his destructive crutches and put his faith in God. When he asked his pastor at Pentecost Tabernacle in Delhi why he hadn’t been filled with the Holy Spirit, the pastor asked what he had yet to relinquish. He gave up the remainder of his vices that night. Two days later, he was filled with the Spirit, professing in tongues in front of 25 people. Now, Nathan regularly shares his testimony with Celebrate Recovery. Unlike some of his friends, Nathan doesn’t struggle to stay sober. He feels if he were to fall off the wagon, that God may not rescue him again. He won’t risk his testimony. He married April in 2019. They met in school, but reconnected in the church. Nathan is now the state coordinator and chapter president for the Azusa Streetriders, an apostolic motorcycle ministry. He is grateful for God’s timing and his testimony.

He remembers speaking to God saying, “If you’re real, show me.”

United Way NELA

United Way Kicks Off Annual Campaign at ULM Home Opener

UNITED WAY OF NORTHEAST LOUISIANA KICKED OFF its annual campaign at ULM’s home opener on Saturday, September 10th. The purpose of United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s annual Campaign Kickoff is to honor and recognize Pacesetter companies, debut the new campaign video, and inspire volunteers, donors, and the greater community to LIVE UNITED.

United Way Pacesetter companies are select workplace campaigns that are asked to lead the way and run in advance of the annual workplace campaign.

“Pacesetters stand out as community leaders – they know that an investment in United Way of Northeast Louisiana helps people and strengthens our community,” said Rick Guillot, Campaign Chair for United Way of Northeast Louisiana.

The following companies were honored and their dollar amounts announced during Saturday’s game:

Glenwood Regional Medical Center | raised $32,571 Lexicon, DBA Steel Fabricators of Monroe | raised $21,454 Origin Bank | raised $176,625 Jim Taylor Buick GMC | raised $10,144 Jim Taylor Chevrolet | raised $17,529

Overall, Pacesetter campaigns across the region totaled a 21% increase for the United Way of Northeast Louisiana campaign.

Thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors, Origin Bank and Raising Canes, United Way NELA was able to provide t-shirts, giveaways, chicken fingers, sides, and drinks at their tailgate tent during the pre-game festivities. Additionally, the partnership with ULM allowed United Way to hold its 2022 Campaign Kickoff event during the first home game and provided a discounted ticket price for all United Way volunteers.

“Saturday’s event was an exciting time to gather together as a community, honor our volunteers and Pacesetter companies, and share the mission and vision United Way has for this community,” said Janet Durden, President of United Way NELA. “Now is the time to get involved and help us make a difference.”

A United Way of Northeast Louisiana Workplace Campaign unites and inspires employees, giving them a unique opportunity to donate to and volunteer for causes that matter most to them. If your workplace is interested in running a United Way NELA Workplace Campaign, visit

United Way of Northeast Louisiana works with volunteers, donors, and other organizations locally to create lasting community change in the areas of Education, Income, and Health. For more information about United Way of Northeast Louisiana, visit, dial 211 on any landline or mobile phone, a free call 24/7, or text your zip code to 898-211 (MondayFriday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).


Kristie Bardell

Kristie Bardell recently became Executive Director for The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana (CCNELA). She is no stranger to that organization because she has worked with CCNELA over the past three years to advance adolescent health outcomes in our region. During that time, Kristie established partnerships with several nonprofit organizations, schools, interfaith leaders, and community members. Through this interaction, she cultivated critical relationships that will enhance CCNELA’s efforts. With over twenty years’ experience improving maternal and child health outcomes, she is well-positioned to expand those relationships, increase programming, and represent the needs of Northern Louisiana’s children and families. As she shifts roles from strategic partner to transformational leader, BayouLife salutes Kristie Bardell as our November BayouProfile.


Kristie Bardell recently described herself as “a southern belle navigating this thing called ‘life’.” Although a Louisianan by birth, she is an explorer by nature. Whether seeking out new places nearby within Louisiana, or exploring new parts of the United States, or adding stamps to her well-worn passport as she travels the world, this lady is ready to navigate her life to virtually anywhere that opportunities arise.


Kristie’s parents met while riding on a bus headed to college. Both were from Louisiana and had grown up in the River Parishes. Her father, Kerry Bardell, had a successful career working in the chemical industry in Baton Rouge where the young couple settled and started their family. Kristie’s mother, Brenda Bardell, had a successful career in early education and taught kindergarten. Both retired after spending over 25 years in their respective careers.

The Bardells had two daughters, Kimberly and Kristie. Both graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and then earned graduate degrees from the Tulane

Kristie’s career path has had the usual twists and turns, but her choices have always remained focused on one goal – taking jobs that gave her opportunities to change practices and policies to ensure that the work that was being done could be sustained.

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Today both have established, successful careers in the public health field and make their parents very proud.

Even though the Bardells lived in Baton Rouge, they often visited their relatives in the country. These extended family “connections” were very important to Kristie as they broadened her awareness of rural life. “Family and community were a central focal point of my childhood,” Kristie explains. “Meals together on Sundays following church service were special.” However, the gatherings during the holidays were even more special.

Holiday family gatherings usually began small, but grew as the days passed, according to Kristie. Multiple uncles, aunts, and cousins meant that most such gatherings were filled with laughter and love. “We would begin in Baton Rouge with just my immediate family, and then we would go to my grandparents’ houses. There more people would gather to celebrate,” Kristie says. “We would often end up at one of my aunts’ homes with lots of family and friends. I especially loved Christmas time and going to see the bonfires on the levee along the river!”

Kristie’s most memorable childhood experience was learning how to make a special crawfish bisque that was her paternal grandmother’s specialty. Marjorie Bardell made the bisque for the family every Easter Eve. Kristie remembers learning how to make it while listening to her grandmother share family stories as the two worked together. “Her stories illustrated the love she had for her children and grandchildren,” Kristie remembers. “She was a very loving person who came from humble beginnings who constantly encouraged her family. An acquaintance once told me that encouragement from someone who believed in her more than she believed in herself was the key to her success. For me, that was my grandmother.”


As a child, Kristie learned the importance of education. Her parents taught her the lessons of giving anything she pursued her very best, and to remain steadfast in her work – lessons that she still puts in practice every day.

At Baton Rouge Magnet High, Kristie became involved in many things to which she gave her best --- Girl Scouts, competitive swimming, tennis, and art. Kristie was fortunate to have a community around her that ensured she got support when she needed it. “If I was struggling in school, my parents would seek out additional resources like tutors to help me,” Kristie recalls. “Without that additional support and ongoing encouragement from my larger community, I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Kristie’s earliest career dream was to become a lawyer. She remembers that in high school, she was


always encouraging others to present their side of an issue and to make sure that both sides were heard. Kristie joined community service clubs and service organizations where ambassadors participated in activities and debated topics such as gender equality and healthcare.

Kristie enrolled at Xavier University of Louisiana in pre-law, but her career aspirations gradually turned to a new focus – public health. To pursue this new dream, she changed her major to biology as preparation for graduate school. She met Dr. Dereck Rovaris through the Ronald E. McNair Scholar program at Xavier. Dr. Rovaris became a key mentor for Kristie and helped her navigate her education journey to graduate studies at Tulane.

One reason for Kristie’s move toward public health was the challenges that she and others she knew faced. Some of those came about because there was not good information easily available on preventive health measures, there was confusion as to how and where services were available, and there was difficulty in engaging with health services providers. Once she had seen these

challenges firsthand, Kristie knew that a master’s degree in public health was her goal.

While in college, Kristie worked at a telemarketing service company and participated in two paid summer programs – one at Notre Dame and one at Louisiana State University. Both experiences widened her world view and would prove invaluable to her future career.


Kristie’s career path has had the usual twists and turns, but her choices have always remained focused on one goal –taking jobs that gave her opportunities to change practices and policies to ensure that the work that was being done could be sustained.

Kristie began her career working with the Louisiana Department of Health where she learned “. . . the power of intergenerational influences and lack of resources.” Her biggest takeaway was the importance of having those most impacted involved in determining strategies and decision-making. Here she learned the


The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana is dedicated to creating communities where children and families thrive. We strive to provide quality education in safe nurturing environments to meet the needs in the areas of early childhood, healthy living, parenting and youth development.


“When you’re going through a difficult time, you may feel like your book has closed, but it’s just a chapter,” Kristie advises. “You have to push through and turn the page. Only you know your story. Don’t give up on your novel; instead trust the process.”

power of working with the community to shift and improve narratives in public health and safety messaging.

Kristie then worked for the Louisiana Public Health Institute for a number of years, working her way “up the ladder” there from Non-Profit Manager to Managing Director. “I learned to harvest transformational relationships, not transactional relationships,” Kristie explains. “The difference is breaking bread with someone versus giving someone bread. I sustained relationships by ensuring authentic and ongoing communication. It is important to establish a connection cadence, understand needs and potential synergies to maintain both personal and professional relationships.”

In every position, Kristie learned valuable lessons and developed invaluable skills. From establishing data-sharing agreements that ensured organizations had a greater understanding of the data, to working in partnership versus duplication, and to creating coalitions to develop health improvement agendas that led to policy changes that are truly inclusive – these goals will all be achieved at CCNELA under Kristie’s leadership plan.


Seven years ago, a chance meeting in a New Orleans gym was the beginning of a major life change for Kristie. She and Naomi Hill became close friends and traveling

companions. “We traveled the world and quickly realized we were compatible soulmates,” Kristie says. “Naomi is my rock, biggest cheerleader, and champion.”

The couple became engaged in Denver in 2019. They began planning their wedding, and then the COVID pandemic hit. This “unexpected guest” meant that the wedding had to be postponed a number of times. It – now a “micro-wedding” – finally did take place in New Orleans complete with a hip hop violinist! The event was featured in New Orleans Wedding Magazine

Like Kristie, Naomi has a very successful career. A native Virginian, Naomi works with Cargill, Inc., where she has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources leadership. Today she is a Global Human Resource Director. The two have a pair of schnauzer mixes named “Marigny” and “Treme” after beloved New Orleans neighborhoods.

In spite of busy work schedules, travel remains a passion for both Kristie and Naomi. “Our favorite city is London, but we have enjoyed the spinach pie in Greece, and making Pad Thai from scratch in Thailand,” Kristie says with a smile.

The pandemic did more than just interfere with wedding plans; it also reminded Kristie about the value of living each day to the fullest. “COVID taught me that we only live once and that we should live for today because tomorrow isn’t promised,” Kristie says. During the

pandemic, there were times when family members and friends asked for Kristie’s advice on how to protect themselves from the virus. Thankfully, she was able to guide them based on her on-going research. As a result, she became even closer to her loved ones and colleagues.

Having to pivot to a virtual environment gave Kristie the opportunity to become innovative with ways to maintain relationships both professional and personal. She admits that this “new world” also taught her the importance of patience. Within her own neighborhood, Kristie transformed her backyard into a “pandemic oasis” and invited others to come over for puppy play dates – while maintaining a safe distance.


Kristie is an enthusiastic advocate for volunteerism, a lesson she learned from her family during her childhood. Her father had a portion of his paycheck donated to his company’s United Way workplace campaign which gave the family opportunities to donate and volunteer for a variety of activities. These experiences helped Kristie to see both the differences and the similarities of people from all walks of life. “Volunteerism allows people to look through the window of a community,” she says.

Since those early years, Kristie has especially enjoyed volunteering in organizations that mentor youth and focus on community empowerment. Habitat for Humanities’ Women Build initiative is a particular favorite. This program helps families build strength, independence, and stability. “When volunteering, it is important to me to work with organizations that focus on developing thriving communities,” Kristie explains. “This is just as important as dismantling barriers to create pathways for the next generation.”

Of all of her volunteer experiences, Kristie has found that those times when she could help provide basic needs for others have been the most rewarding. “The experiences that have really caught my heart have been those where I’ve donated food or supplies or clothes,” Kristie says. “Ensuring that a person’s basic needs are met is the foundation that must be achieved prior to addressing anything else,” she explains. “Food insecurity is something near and dear to my heart. I’ve worked hard to increase school food consumption programs.”


Kristie has many dreams --- traveling to Dubai and Ireland are at the top of her travel dream list. She is well-traveled, with


passport stamps from Thailand, Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, England, Greece, and France.

When she travels abroad, Kristie immerses herself in the local culture as much as possible. There she also eats the local foods, uses public transportation, and engages in community activities (a local festival, if she’s lucky!) that she happens upon. With a personal goal of one international trip and one new domestic trip per year, there is little doubt that Kristie will remain well-traveled.

Although exploring new places and cultures is a passion for Kristie, she also has dreams for CCNELA. She is committed to directing CCNELA toward helping to create even more strong, stable communities where children and families can thrive. To do that she has plans to create additional authentic relationships with bold, new (some unlikely) partners while, as Kristie puts it, “. . . outlining CCNELA’s value-added to these relationships. We will address social, political, and economic factors which can only be done by working together for the greater good through collaborations and shared power.”

One of the many life lessons that Kristie has learned is to accept the fact that life is not always easy. “When you’re going through a difficult time, you may feel like your book has closed, but it’s just a chapter,” Kristie advises. “You have to push through and turn the page. Only you know your story. Don’t give up on your novel; instead trust the process.”

That is excellent advice to all who have met challenges that seemed insurmountable. Many children and families in our communities struggle every day. The people of North Louisiana are thankful for people like Kristie and organizations like CCNELA who work every day to address those struggles.

Clockwise from top left: Kristie and Naomi in Greece; Kristie and sister Kimberly; Kristie and her mother, Brenda Bardell; Kristie photographed with her grandmother Marjorie Bardell.

St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Announces Internal Medicine Residency Program Earns Accreditation

ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE its Internal Medicine Residency Program has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). After receiving initial accreditation as a sponsoring institution in 2021, the St. Francis Academic Affairs team, along with many others, has spent time developing the program and preparing the physical space for future graduate medical students.

The pursuit of offering a Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program at St. Francis has been in partnership with the local medical school, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), whose mission is to prepare community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations.

Dr. Thomas Gullatt, President of St. Francis Medical Center, said, “I am very proud that St. Francis is investing resources in graduate medical education as another way to invest in our community. Our team, along with our partners at VCOM, have dedicated many months to ensure our program creates an excellent training experience in hopes that many of these physicians will stay in this region after graduation.”

As a medical hub for the Northeast Louisiana and Delta regions, St. Francis has been dedicated to serving this community for over 100 years. Introducing graduate medical education only serves to strengthen the hospital’s commitment by providing a pipeline of future physicians to combat primary care provider shortages.

The St. Francis Academic Affairs Department is led by Dr. Thomas Gullatt, Designated Institutional Officer, Dr. Navin Ramlal, Program Director, and Katy Temple, Manager of Academic Affairs. Medical students will begin applying to the Internal Medicine Residency program this fall and the inaugural class will begin in July of 2023. The program will last three years for each resident and 15 residents will graduate per class.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming our first class of internal medicine residents in July. They will be involved in an educational environment that promotes clinical competency, team building and resident wellness,” said Dr. Navin Ramlal. Katy Temple added, “We hope that they grow to love our community as much as we do and choose to lay down roots and practice medicine here.”

St. Francis aims to grow as an academic institution by adding graduate medical education to the increasing number of avenues for students rotating through the hospital in various educational and training capacities. The hospital is beginning with an Internal Medicine Residency program to utilize the strength of providers in its Hospitalist Program. In the future, additional residency programs will be added with the support of an expanding physician group and a lively hospital environment.

The physicians educated through the Internal Medicine Residency program at St. Francis will gain progressive autonomy towards becoming independent, clinically competent, and compassionate physicians that strive to be lifelong learners.

For more information on the program, follow the St. Francis Internal Medicine Residency Program on Instagram or visit



To provide services to area cancer patients and also to support the Louisiana Cancer Foundation.


Seldom Seen, but Strongly Felt.


The Cancer Foundation League (CFL) is affiliated with the Louisiana Cancer Foundation as the fundraising arm to help with outreach and to support LCF’s programs and services.  We aim to provide direct financial assistance to NE Louisiana individuals diagnosed with cancer.

The CFL is committed to improving the financial, emotional, and physical well-being of cancer patients in Northeast Louisiana (no matter where they are being treated).  We hope to help lighten the financial burden so that a patient and his/her family can concentrate their efforts on fighting the disease of cancer.

The CFL founded in 2002 was initially formed with a $25,000 donation from philanthropist Kitty DeGree and the contributions have grown over the years.  Local volunteers work hard to raise funds to help area cancer patients with non-medical bills, such as transportation to treatment, nutritional supplements, medications, lodging during treatment and some household bills.  Members of the CFL deliver Christmas baskets to cancer patients throughout NE LA each year.

Since our inception, The Cancer Foundation League has spent over $2,200,000 helping 5,800 cancer patients in NELA.


President-Marion Willson Vice President- Debbie Sawyer Corresponding Secretary- Donna Davidson Recording Secretary- Sarah Grant Treasurer- Erin Ethridge Assistant Treasurer- Machaela Ticheli Publicity- Liz McQueen

Patient Services/LCF Representative-Donna Jackson Immediate Past President-Debbie McNew Members at Large- Ashley Herring, Sherri Jennings, Melinda Winn


Gala- January 14, 2023 at 6:00 at Bayou DeSiard Country Club Fashion Fusion- March 11, 2023 at 7:00 at Monroe Civic Center Theresa Marsala Memorial Golf Classic- June 9, 2023 at Frenchmans Bend Country Club | Facebook - Cancer Foundation League



The Center for Children and Families is a non-profit organization that has been serving children and families for over twenty years with a mission to promote safe, healthy environments for children through advocacy, counseling, education, and prevention.


Last year in Louisiana, there were over 24,000 child abuse investigations, with nearly 4,000 of those children being removed from the home. Considering these statistics, it is no surprise that our state is currently facing a widespread mental health crisis, with the numbers of youth who are struggling with anxiety and depression steadily increasing each day. That’s where we come in. Our goal is to show up when no one else will, see value in every life, and offer hope for a brighter tomorrow. The Center for Children and Families is an umbrella corporation that houses a variety of divisions and programs to meet the needs our community: CASA of NELA, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Therapeutic Services, and Brokers of Hope.


On average, our agency serves over 4,000 children a year through counseling and advocacy services. Below is a success story from one of our community-based counselors who was able to be a source of hope for a family in need:

Recently, I worked with a grandparent who had just received temporary guardianship of his three grandsons. At initial assessment, I saw a loving, but overwhelmed, grandfather who was struggling with navigating his way through the child welfare system, while simultaneously having his entire world turned upside down by the addition of three energetic, little boys in his care. Over the course of the next five months, he was able to grow into a grandfather who was confident in his ability to raise his grandsons well, and by the end of services, receive permanent guardianship, enroll his grandsons in a new school, and use his voice to successfully advocate for the needs of each child.


There are multiple ways that you can help the mission of The Center for Children and Families and support your community.

GIVE: During the Christmas season, we focus on ensuring that each child served by our agency receives one new outfit of clothing and one toy or gift by sponsoring out wish lists to the community. If you would like to give the gift of hope this holiday season, reach out Liz Gaught at or call 318-398-0945.

REFER: We are currently accepting referrals for all of our programs. If you have or know of a child with behavioral health concerns, please call 318-398-0945 to make a referral or visit our website at www.

JOIN: We have a tremendous need for additional staff. If you are a social worker or counselor, please visit our website at to learn about job opportunities.

SHARE: We want to continually educate our community on the services we provide, so please follow us on Facebook and Instagram and share about the work we do.




Right now in Northeast Louisiana, over 4,000 children are in foster care due to neglect and abuse. It is imperative that these children have a voice in court. Currently, over 150 children in foster care are waiting for a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) here in Northeast Louisiana. CASA Volunteers help ensure that each abused or neglected child finds a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. The role of a CASA is to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the Court, collecting information through observation and interviews with key people in the child’s life and then reporting back to the judge.

Since our inception, CASA of Northeast Louisiana has advocated for more than 1,900 children and trained nearly 800 community volunteers. These CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and are a powerful voice for a child in need, making a lifelong difference, one child at a time. Below is a success story of a CASA volunteer right here in Northeast Louisiana as told through the perspective of an advocate supervisor.

Sadly, siblings within one family were recently identified as being at-risk due to major concerns with living conditions at home. One of our CASA volunteers was assigned to the case and began the important process of building trust and connection with each child as decisions were being made. By conducting regular home visits, the volunteer was able to assess the situation and gather information to advocate for the children’s best interest moving forward.

When it was time to report to the judge, the CASA volunteer was able to communicate what the children were experiencing in the home, while also advocating that these siblings remain together through any placement process. Because of the CASA’s diligence to speak up for the needs of these children, they were soon moved into an adoptive placement together and have now all been officially adopted. Each child’s developmental and social issues have been addressed, and the adoptive family continues to keep in touch with their CASA advocate to update them on their progress.


VOLUNTEER: You could be a part of the next success story and change a child’s story today. The be a CASA, you will need to be trained by our local staff. Our next training dates are January 26, 2023 and April 13, 2023. Please reach out to Keysha McDonald at or call 318398-0945.

GIVE: Our CASA program ensures that all children that we serve receive a Christmas gift this year. Our goal is that every child we serve will receive one new clothing outfit and one toy. If you would like to give the gift of hope this holiday season, reach out Liz Gaught at or call 318-398-0945.

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When a report of child abuse is suspected in a home, law enforcement and social services must open an investigation. If the child has experienced trauma, it can be even more traumatizing for them to retell their story especially if it is not handled correctly. The Children's Advocacy Center of Northeast Louisiana (CAC), which is a division of The Center for Children and Families, has partnered with local law enforcement and social services to provide a safe, unified approach to conducting forensic interviews for children and mentally challenged adult victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, human trafficking, or witnesses to violent crimes.

Before the CAC, these victims would have to talk about their experience to several different agencies and officials.  The victim could be moved all over the region to numerous locations in order to fulfill all of the required examinations, interviews and assessments.  Now, the CAC works to collaborate the efforts of all the agencies and officials who are involved in child victim cases in order for the process to be less traumatizing to the innocent.

All of the necessary steps— assessments, forensic interviews, medical exams, and victim support services, are conducted in one location.  Everyone works together for one common goal of protection and healing.  It is through this process that the CAC hopes to relieve some of the strain and trauma from those who have suffered through no fault of their own. CAC forensic interviews can only be accessed through law enforcement or social services.

The CAC also offers trainings to members of the community on identifying, reporting, and preventing child abuse and human trafficking. It is surprising to learn that 90% of the abused children are victimized by someone they know. This is devastating for anyone. We believe that knowledge is power. It is critical that we teach children how to stay safe and teach adults how to look for signs of abuse. These training opportunities may be held at our offices or offsite, and all of our trainings for community members are offered free of charge.


GIVE: Our CAC program wants to ensure that every child that comes through the doors will have a gift for Christmas. Each parent or guardian will be given a list of toys to select for their child. If you would like to make a donation or give a toy for our CAC, reach out Liz Gaught at or call 318-398-0945.

LEARN: One of the goals of the CAC is to empower children and help keep them safe by education. You can request a training by reaching out to Tamara Hardman at or calling 318-398-0945.

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The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana is dedicated to creating communities where children and families thrive. We strive to provide quality education in safe nurturing environments to meet the needs in the areas of early childhood, healthy living, parenting and youth development.


Headquartered in Downtown Monroe, we serve the northeast region of Louisiana.  With over 20 programs, we focus on providing services that educate, advocate, and care for the children and the adults who care for them.  Our programs include Early Head Start, which provides quality child care for children from birth through age three. Child Care Connections help parents find quality child care, as well as provides pro-active based coaching and training to child care providers throughout the year. Al’s Pals teaches preschool children the social-emotional and resiliency skills to make healthy choices. Signs of Suicide is vital now more than ever to help middle school students recognize signs of depression and suicide in not only themselves but others around them. Students, teachers, school nurses, and community members are also trained to recognize signs and concerns in students and youth. Our Family Resource Centers provide families in the Department of Children and Family Services and foster care system with family skill building and visit coaching to help reunite families. Union Parish Alliance for Community Transformation selects ambassadors to draw awareness and a plan to address underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in Union Parish.


Volunteer with us during Super Saturday, held the third Saturday of each month. In addition to cleaning our Early Start playgrounds, volunteers can also enjoy helping with the activities in the Origin Bank Family Garden intended to promote positive family interactions, garden-based learning, healthy living, art and movement. Become a member! Your financial gift is essential to helping us respond to our community when support is most needed. Your donation and membership allows us to support programming to create thriving communities. For more information on how to become a member or donate, please visit


Did you know you can designate your state tax dollars to stay and be used in Northeast Louisiana? The School Readiness Tax Credit is the ideal way to invest in the future of your community. Businesses with a Louisiana Tax ID can receive a dollar-for-dollar refundable tax credit in any amount up to $5,000. You have the power to decide to direct your tax dollars into programs that support early child care.


• Join our mailing list by visiting

• Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to mark your calendars for events like The Children’s Coalition Dragon Boat Festival, Super Saturday, Youth Summit, Staying Informed Conferences and so much more.

• Become a member or donate by visiting





When you think of the holidays, you think of loved ones making memories while gathered around a table full of food. But with the cost of living increasing over 9 percent this year, that is not the reality for many of our neighbors who live paycheck to paycheck. You can be a part of something bigger this holiday season by helping provide food to children, families and seniors in our community.

The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is the largest hunger-relief organization in the region and serves nearly 30,000 people each month through a network of partners and programs. Through generous community support, the Food Bank provides over 6-million meals annually to our neighbors facing hunger. At the Food Bank, we believe no one should go hungry.

OUR PROGRAMS Partner Agencies

The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana distributes food to about 60 non-profits who operate food pantries and meal programs throughout the 12 parishes in Northeast Louisiana.

Mobile Pantries

The Food Bank host drive-thru distributions providing nutritious food directly from our refrigerated truck in rural and underserved communities, and during disasters.

Senior Program

This program helps over 1,400 low-income senior citizens, aged 60 and older, stretch their food budgets by providing them with groceries each month.

BackPack Program

The BackPack Program provides children with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food to take home on weekends and school vacations when other food may not be available. We provide Backpacks for 900 students every week at 25 Ouachita, Jackson and Lincoln Parish schools.

Kid’s Cabinet

The Kid’s Cabinet School Pantry program provides food for low-income students and their families through distributions held at schools.

HOW TO HELP Donate Money

For every $10 donated, the Food Bank can provide 30 meals to our neighbors in need. Your contribution will help put food on the tables of families and seniors facing hunger. Donate by mail, phone or on our website. You can also host a fundraiser online to help our mission – visit for details.

Donate Food

Organize or participate in a food drive at your school, workplace, or civic club. Visit our website for a list of most needed items and tips for planning a successful food drive.


The Food Bank could not be successful without the many wonderful volunteers that pack food for our Senior and Mobile Pantry programs, assist with office work and help at events. Call our volunteer coordinator or visit our website to learn more.

Open a Community Feeding Program

If your church or non-profit agency is interested in operating a food pantry or a community meal program, we would love to speak with you. Learn more by visiting our website or call 318-322-3567.

Thank you for your generous support!




The Junior League of Monroe is an organization of women whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.


Since 1930, members of the Junior League of Monroe (JLM) have devoted countless volunteer hours to meet the needs of our community through various initiatives and programs. Community leaders often look to JLM for partnerships in developing new community programs as the needs in our community continuously evolve. As a result, JLM serves as the catalyst of turning ideas into successful programs, like CASA, Teen Screen, Shots for Tots, Teen Court, Operation Abstinence, Project Child, and many others.


Melinda Minniefield, President

Haley Holley, Communications VP

Jennifer Fox, Community VP

April Hammett, Financial VP

Baylie Churchwell, Assistant Financial VP

Shelby Kelmell, Fund Development VP

Lauren Smalley, Membership Development VP

Courtney Thomas, Planning and Research VP

Patience Talley, Advisory Planning Chair

Ashley Johnson, Nominating and Placement Chair

Sophie Barksdale, Corresponding Secretary

Cydni Hanks, Sustainer Advisor


Classroom Mini-Grants, sponsored by Drax, has provided local educators with opportunities, materials, and supplies for classroom projects for many years. This program offers classroom grants up to $500 to continue to impacting young lives in our community.

The Cinderella Project is an annual Dress Giveaway providing high school Juniors and Seniors prom dresses free of charge. The mission of The Cinderella Project is to support local high school girls by providing resources, that may not exist to them otherwise, and to instill confidence, self-esteem, and the importance of community service.

W.E.C.A.R.E., Women Empowerment Career and Resource Education program, continues the League’s mission of serving women in our community by providing professional attire and careerenhancing resources free of charge! This event enables women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools necessary to help them thrive in work and in life.


Join. In order to be considered for JLM membership, a candidate must be 23 years of age by April 13, 2023, possess an interest in voluntarism and community service, and obtain a sponsorship by two current JLM members. Visit to start the application process.

Sponsor. With your financial contribution, you can help the Junior League of Monroe assist women and children at risk. Your sponsorship will not only broaden your advertising footprint, but also assist us in building a better community! We offer 2 levels of sponsorships: company/community and individual/member. Visit to see our sponsorship opportunities.

Donation. Donations are accepted year-round. You may choose to donate to a specific initiative or to our general fund. Visit to donate!



Life Choices is a 501 (c) 3, non profit organization, primarily funded through the kindness of our community through churches, businesses and individuals. It began in 1979 out of Dr. Meade O’Boyle’s office as an alternative to abortion. Life Choices offers pregnancy tests and information in a caring and confidential environment. We provide information on choices regarding an unplanned pregnancy.

Life Choices also offers ultrasound, counseling,post abortive counseling and abstinence education. In addition, the HOPE program is designed for material assistance throughout the pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life. All of our services are free of charge.


Life Choices Pregnancy Resource Center, is a mission, in active obedience to Jesus Christ, that

young women and their unborn babies from the consequences of abortion by:

Equipping people involved in unexpected pregnancy to make life-affirming choices by giving them information on fetal development, adoption, and the procedures and risks of abortion.

Educating young people about the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of abstaining from sexual activity outside of marriage and equipping and encouraging them to live chaste (morally pure) and responsible lives.

Helping people suffering from post-abortion stress to find healing, and communicating the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.


Mark Anyan Phillip Brooks Tom Deal Paulla Foster Rebecca Frye

Frank Hoffman Wynn Lawrence Lynn Lincecum Wendell Manning Jason Saucer

Todd Sherwin Linda Trimble Cindi Wainwright Enaka Yembe

Life Choices of Monroe offers the following services to girls and women seeking pregnancy counseling, abortion counseling, and abortions in Louisiana:


emergency assistance

Life Choices also provides speakers for groups and events and abstinence educational material for schools and churches.


• Volunteer – Serve as a peer counselor or mentor to girls in our programs.

• Give Financially - Every 24 seconds a baby dies from abortion in the United States. We created our 24 club, where you can donate $24 a month to help save lives.

• Group Projects – Get your church group or friends involved to make baby blankets or host a baby shower for Life Choices.

• Donate – You can donate diapers as well as new or gently worn baby clothes. These items will be available for new moms participating in Life Choices programs.

• Church Liaison – We work with local churches and you can serve as a the contact person for Life Choices in your church.

• Prayer – On your own or with a Bible study group or church, you can intentionally and specifically pray for Life Choices, the staff and the girls participating in our programs.

• Pregnancy
• Ultrasounds   • HOPE program   • Community resource referrals   • One time


This Foundation was established in May 2017 to philanthropically support Morehouse General Hospital’s capital projects. The Foundation is an independent 501(c) (3), nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. All tax-deductible donations are used exclusively for hospital capital projects chosen by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Foundation provides support beyond what the hospital receives through government reimbursements and patient revenues.


Bastrop residents have a history of supporting quality healthcare by giving generously of their, talents, and financial resources. As a non-profit organization that receives local tax dollars to supplement patient revenues, Morehouse General Hospital is constantly seeking solutions to these challenges. Our citizens need to have peace of mind in knowing that quality and affordable healthcare is just around the corner. Your participation in the Morehouse Healthcare Foundation enables the hospital to stay on the cutting edge of medical technology by upgrading the facility and purchasing state-of-the-art equipment. Your investment strengthens healthcare excellence now and for future generations. Help us make Bastrop a better place to work and a better place to work and live!


As a steppingstone provides a secure foundation on which to walk, Annual Gifts Club provides the same foundation for continued healthcare growth and services within our community. This is your invitation to join with and annual donation of at least $100. In addition to the Annual Gifts Club, funds are also raised through community events such as the Healthcare Foundation Golf Classic with new events being added each year.


Morehouse Healthcare Foundation hosted its 4th annual Foundation Classic Golf Tournament on September 9th, 2022 at the Morehouse Country Club. The event included an afternoon of golf, contests, door prizes, raffle items, dinner, awards, and fun!

Thank you to these sponsors of the Foundation Classic Golf Tournament:


Alliant Management

Paramount Healthcare Consultants Origin Bank

Thomas & Farr Integrity Auto Sterlington Rehab Hospital Cherry Ridge Arnett’s Jewelry LeGrand Revival Design Image Care Ultrasound District Attorney Robert S. Tew MedCentris

Lucky 7 Tattoo Cypress Lake Aud’s Mods at Lucky 7 Renita Bryant, NP

Additional Donors: Super One Johnny’s Pizza Etc. Catering


Be sure to follow Morehouse General Hospital on Facebook and check out our website to stay up to date on all events and sponsorship opportunities. We couldn’t do this without the support of our incredible sponsors as well as the Bastrop community. We are honored to be able to continue providing solutions to improving the health of our local community members.



The Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum is a regional educational learning place where children are introduced to hands-on interaction through play. The Museum opened its doors in 1998 in downtown Monroe with 12 interactive exhibits and a commitment to offer families a place to learn and grow together. During its first full year of operation, over 15,000 children, parents and teachers visited and explored this new educational attraction. In 2004, the exhibit space doubled in size and several new permanent exhibits were added.

The Children’s Museum was founded by two educator/moms who both relocated to Monroe looking for a small southern town to raise their families and be active members of their new community. While researching the area’s needs, these educators felt strongly that the focus of their community involvement should be in early childhood education. The critical piece in the development of the museum was, and continues to be, enhancing educational opportunities for the children who are raised here. Because they love their adopted hometown and continue to see the benefits of raising their families here, they want the children who come to play to also see the benefit of raising their own families here. This is achievable by providing innovative experiences that continually engage and challenge young minds.

Over the years, The Children’s Museum has expanded its programming and events to include Santa’s Christmas Village, Easter Village, educational workshops, outreach programs, family concerts, birthday parties and much much more!

Today an average of 50,000 visitors come to play, learn, celebrate, and enjoy time together each year. And the future looks even brighter! A long-awaited opportunity has arisen that will allow us to partner with the City of Monroe and surrounding parishes to relocate to the center of Forsythe Park and construct a more spacious, modern museum that will meet the needs of children and families for the next generation.

Follow our progress on socials for both the current museum and our relocation pages too! And check out our new website:


The Children’s Museum is a not-for-profit Louisiana corporation. Major funding is provided through contributions from local, regional, and national corporations, civic organizations, foundations, grants, businesses, and individuals.

Our biggest fundraisers are Santa’s Christmas Village, Easter Village, and our newest addition, Skeletons On Tower. We also have sponsorship opportunities for our outdoor and drive in movie nights, free admission days, and family concerts and other family friendly events.


STEM: We bring the field trip fun to you! Choose from over 30 options.

Stuffee: Learn about the function of the human body and the importance of healthy food choices. Earth Balloon: Walk around and inside our 16 foot globe. Review the continents, oceans, animals, and more.


$6 per person (ages 1+) | Group Rate: $5 per person for groups of 15 or more

Family Memberships Include: FREE Admission for 1 year for you 4 family members. (Additional members can be added), Family Wall Plaque on display, Discounts on Summer camps and workshops and 1/2 price admission to special events including Santa’s Christmas Village and Easter Village.

Cost: $125 per year

Annual giving keeps us going! For donations visit Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum through PayPal or visit

Come play with us in our big “Purple Box of Fun!”



For the past ten years, the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation has been honored to help provide financial support for the hospital’s Women’s, Children’s and Critical Care Services. Funds are raised through two signature events, the St. Francis Foundation Golf Classic & Tennis Tournament and the 2 Cars 2 Winners raffle, along with generous gifts and sponsorships from individual donors and corporate partners.

Our fundraising activities have given us the opportunity to provide cutting-edge equipment and technology upgrades, enhance services and expand access to specialized care. We have also been able to add a much-needed helipad to increase critical access to lifesaving care for our entire region, rebuild our PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and expand our adult ICU (Intensive Care Unit), which was a vital resource during the global Covid-19 pandemic. Funds raised currently will go towards the renovation of the region’s only Level III NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), which includes layout changes to enhance workflow for our physicians and clinical staff and allow for increased bonding and educational opportunities for parents.


The Foundation is led by a volunteer board of directors comprised of individuals and business leaders from our community who work to ensure adequate resources are secured to support the hospital’s critical needs to continue the healthcare mission: Evelyn Johnson (Chair); Stuart W. Keyes, Lumen (Past-Chair); Steve Taylor, Car Town (Secretary); Jeremy Rogers (Treasurer), St. Francis Medical Center (COO/CFO); Christian Creed, Creed & Creed Law Firm; John Davis, M.D., Radiology Associates; Tori Fisher, Antares Ventures, LLC; Ashanti Jones, University of Louisiana at Monroe; Debbie Luffey; Damon Marsala, Marsala Beverage; Rolf Morstead, M.D., St. Francis Medical Center; Alise Oliver; Jessica Nugent, Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union; Jonathan Perry, Chauvin Bayou Market; Amber Shemwell, M.D., The Woman’s Clinic; Hillary Sirmon; Rev. Clarence Smith, SFMC Auxiliary; William Sparks, Sparks Nissan Kia; Mark Sutton, LA Construction Group; Colby Weaver Walker, Intermountain Management; Ashley West, Progressive Bank; Thomas Gullatt, M.D., St. Francis Medical Center, President; Aimee D. Kane, St. Francis Medical Center Foundation (President); Sr. Mary Ann Sepulvado, O.S.F., Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady and Cynthia Woodard.


A leader in Women’s, Children’s and Critical Care Services, St. Francis Medical Center is grateful to be able to provide such a high level of care for our patients. Families come from all over northeast Louisiana, as well as Mississippi and Arkansas, to have St. Francis deliver and care for their children through our Level II OB/Labor & Delivery, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Level II Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and dedicated Pediatric Unit.

Our NICU has a team of nurses, respiratory therapists, case managers, lactation consultants, physical and occupational therapists, neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners who have been providing the highest level of care for premature babies at St. Francis from more than 40 years. Our specialized neonatal transport team carries some of the most fragile, critical care babies from all over Northeast Louisiana. Additionally, the pediatric and PICU team consists of specialized physicians in the areas of neurology, neurosurgery and cardiology, along with specialized pediatric nurses, nurse practitioners and staff who care for the entire family.

Our adult ICU and Critical Care Services allow us to care for the sickest of the sick. These vital services are utilized by those suffering from trauma, stroke, cardiac arrest and an array of life-threatening conditions. Access to highly specialized physicians and medical staff is crucial for the health and wellbeing of our region and we are so pleased to be able to offer this level of life-saving care.

We continue to work to move St. Francis Forward with the pursuit of a Level III Trauma Center certification, our new Graduate Medical Education suite and recently accredited Internal Medicine Residency Program and the opening of the St. Francis Oncology & Hematology Clinic in the St. Francis Cancer Center.

Every gift to the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation allows us to meet the healthcare needs of our community and enhance the quality of care received at St. Francis. For information on how you can contribute, please go to or call (318) 966-7833. Thank you for your generosity and support!



For over 90 years, Strauss Theatre Center has been one of Louisiana’s leading community theatres. Plays, musicals, dinner theatres, and other artistic endeavors are produced by a talented group of hundreds of volunteers and a large, supportive membership. These crucial people have continued to be a strong artistic force in Northeast Louisiana, serving thousands of adults and youth.

In addition to producing live theatre in our community, we also operate as an event venue for anyone in our community who needs a host for their special event. Our theater is equipped to hold whatever function your heart desires. Our mainstage auditorium has been used for graduations, weddings, pageants, movie premieres, church services and more. The recently renovated lobby is a great space for intimate gatherings like baby showers, wedding receptions, birthdays, company parties, and anything else worth celebrating. Contact us today to learn more about renting our facility.


Fred Hill, President Vickie Kruzter, Vice President Patricia Morris, Secretary Everett Tolbird, Treasurer Dr. Jo Ann Alley Keith Beard Cassey Bernstein David Emery


Beth Heatherly Beverly Lewis Kelsea McCrary

Taylor Michiels

Taylor Nelson Nash Patel Tonya Taylor Pesek Bill Rambin

Ross Slacks

Emily Stogner

Pam Stratton

Danielle Kelley Tolbird

Christal Winfield-Wheeler

Megan Wilkins

Area and local businesses have always been the key to the success of any performing or fine arts organizations. We at Strauss Theatre Center always encourage our community to support those businesses that support the theatre. By sponsoring a show, you are helping to keep the community spirit alive, and we gladly advertise your business to our membership. Other benefits of a sponsorship include:

• Your name in the program, on our outside electronic marquee, social media, and all other publicity

• Recognition during the curtain speech for your show

• Tickets available to you for the sponsored show


The remaining shows are:

• Hamlet | Oct. 27, 28, 29, 30, Nov. 4, 5, 6 | Mainstage | Directed by Cathy Airhart Webb

• Always… Patsy Cline | Jan. 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 | Mainstage | Directed by Cassey Bernstein

• Valentine Cabaret | Feb. 9, 10, 11 | Dinner Theatre

• Arsenic and Old Lace | Mar. 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 | Mainstage | Directed by Brandi Gillmore

• Murder at an Irish Wake | Mar. 17, 18, 24, 25 | Dinner Theatre

• The Wedding Singer | Apr. 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29 | Mainstage | Directed by Greg Baccarini



There’s always something to do at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. The zoo is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., except for some holidays. Our zoo contains over 350 animals and over 150 different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, ranging in size from poison dart frogs to a hippo!


During the summer, you can beat the heat in the heart of Monroe at the Zooasis splash pad. It is just one of the many things to do at the zoo that can fill your whole day, all for a family-friendly price.

A visit to the zoo includes about 30 acres of mostly shaded paths past dozens of exotic animals from monkeys to birds, to lions with an additional 50 acres that can be seen from our Safari Boat Ride and our train ride.

Guests of all ages can then cool off in the splash pad (included in the cost of admission). We offer meals and refreshments at our Flaming Flamingo Café and souvenirs at the Wildside Gift Shop.

Enjoy a safari boat ride that glides past some exotic animals that you can only see while on the boat. The boat ride is unique in that we are the only zoo in the country that has this attraction. The boat ride is open during regular zoo hours. However, it may not be running at times during the winter season. Call ahead to verify if it’s running during colder weather. The excursion lasts about 20 minutes and only costs $3 per rider; 2 years old and under ride for free.

All aboard our zoo train ride that takes the guests through areas where some animals roam freely. The cost is $3 per rider; 2 years old and under ride for free.

We have several animal encounters including a walk-in aviary where you can feed around 400 colorful, playful budgies! You can also feed giant tortoises with our trained zookeepers. This experience is $5 per patron.


We’ve got lots of exciting things on the way to the zoo! A sloth exhibit and encounter will be opening by the end of the year. Stay tuned for details! We’re also looking forward to a $1.1 million dollar renovation of our exclusive Louisiana Purchase Exhibit. It will feature new exhibits, including an otter habitat and a gator-filled lagoon where guests will be able to feed the alligators!

We have several large fundraising events at the zoo each year. The first is Eggstravaganza. It’s an Easter egg hunt for children and is usually held on the Saturday before Easter. In the fall, it’s time for Boo at the Zoo where vendors set up booths for games, trick-or-treating, costume contests, and more. This event is typically scheduled for the Saturday before Halloween. The last big event of the year is Jungle Bells. This event is usually held the Saturday before Christmas and provides a ‘gift’ to our guests in the form of free admission to the zoo!



Located in the former home of the Masur family, the Masur Museum of Art is the largest collecting and exhibiting visual arts museum in Northeast Louisiana. We are dedicated to providing our community with a dynamic visual arts experience through exhibitions, public programming, and collections management.

The Masur Museum of Art is located at 1400 South Grand Street and has much to offer for guests of all ages and general admission is always free.


Currently on view in the Masur Museum’s River galleries until February 25, 2023, is the exhibition Art on Purpose: Creating a Lasting Legacy, featuring work by African American artists from the private collection of Will and Cheryl Sutton. A public reception for this exhibition will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023. More programming will be announced soon.

On view in the Masur’s main galleries until November 5 is the exhibition Things Are Heavy, featuring work by area artist Joey Slaughter. This exhibit includes contemporary sculpture, paintings, video, and installation work.

The Masur Museum of Art’s permanent collection numbers approximately 500 works of art and is largely comprised of masterpieces by regional artists, minor works by more broadly known artists, and, more recently, entire series or bodies of work commissioned from individual artists. As a whole, these categories provide context for one another as they relate to artistic and historic trends in the American South and beyond.


Opening in the main galleries on November 26th is the exhibition Mudlark, featuring work by Loren Schwerd, an associate professor of sculpture at LSU. This exhibition will feature sculpture, installation work, and found objects. The public reception date will soon be announced.


The Masur Museum of Art also offers art classes for adults and children, as well as monthly FREE drop-in art activities and community outreach programs. Please visit or our social media pages for more information. General admission to the museum is always free.



The Simple Project is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity that is dedicated to showing and spreading God's love and Word to the homeless and less fortunate in the Northeast Louisiana area.  The Simple Project was founded in 2008 with a few tables, chairs, an enclosed trailer, and a desire to do God’s will. In 2010 The Simple Project was turned over to a new board of directors, but the mission never changed.


Love and value others above one’s self, care for the poor, broken, and hurting in our community, and let those who may be less fortunate know, they are not forgotten.


Each week, different churches, clubs, schools, and other organizations sign up to provide a meal, drinks, snacks, and fellowship. The Simple Project provides all of the tables, chairs, and cleaning supplies.  The Simple Project also provides hygiene bags, toiletries, and clothes that have all been donated.


The Simple Project also assists and donates to other ministries in the area. They have and continue to partner with rural church’s food pantries and meal programs, veteran’s homeless shelters, and after prison ministries to name a few.


They are funded through the grace of God and the generosity of so many by private donations and do not receive any government funding.  “We are 100% GOD FUNDED!” If you would like to provide a meal please click the Meal Train link that is pinned at the top of their Facebook page.


In October of 2013, God provided The Simple Project with a new permanent location at 619 Wood St. in Monroe.

If you are interested in donating directly to their ministry, or if you have questions, please message them, via  Facebook or contact Brent Bearden at 318-348-3078.

Board of Directors

Brent Bearden - President Paul Ezell - Vice President Tonya Ezell - Treasurer Joey Cole - Secretary  Pete Castaldi Nikki Castaldi

Jeremy Evans Ashley Evans

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests by each of you to the interests of others.     Philippians 2:3-4



The Vine of Northeast Louisiana, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focusing on issues surrounding pregnancy and maternity. We are organized for educational and charitable purposes, including providing assistance to women of child-bearing age with lifeaffirming decisions that protect and preserve life. We exist to disciple women as they choose life for the unborn and hope for themselves. It is our desire to come along side women and show them the love of Jesus Christ, so that they may be filled with hope, by grace, through the Holy Spirit, at the opportunity of a life and a future for both themselves and their babies.


The Vine of Northeast Louisiana exists to disciple women as they choose life for the unborn and hope for themselves.


We envision a confidential and non-judgmental atmosphere where care and assistance to resources preserve and protect life, while restoring hope.


Preserving, protecting, and perpetuating life and hope.


The Vine of Northeast Louisiana is staffed mainly by volunteers and funded by donations. So, if you are looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our community that are facing difficult circumstances, please consider joining our volunteer team! If time is not on your side, but you would still love to help out, please consider making a monetary donation. We can’t do this without you! You are vital to the success of the ministry!


Pregnancy Testing

Urine based pregnancy testing and limited non-diagnostic ultrasound.

Peer Counseling

Confidential one-on-one peer counseling to discuss and explore factual based pregnancy options honestly and without judgement. A place to talk through your fears and concerns regarding the unexpected.

Mentoring and Ministry

We are here for both during and after pregnancy, helping to build a support system, through weekly small “DIRT” (Digging In to Real Truth) gatherings. We have groups for Pregnancy and Parenting, Post-Abortion Recovery, and Birth Mom’s.

Resource Referrals

For other needs, we have community partners we work with to help find answers and assistance that may be needed.

Please feel free to call or email with any questions regarding volunteering or donating.



Twin City Ballet achieves and inspires excellence in dance by offering mastery of the discipline, outstanding performances and community education and outreach. We take seriously our mission to provide quality training for our area’s talented young dancers, giving them opportunities to perform and provide superb entertainment for our community.


Twin City Ballet Company, under the Artistic Direction of Linda Ford, Gretchen Jones, Michelle Harvey and Linda Lou Bourland, is a premier regional dance company with over 50 years of commitment to community enrichment through artistic and educational excellence. Based in the Twin Cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana since 1970, the company offers a year-round program of performances and classes providing young dancers with training by an experienced faculty and world-renowned guest artists as performers, choreographers and teachers. The company embraces all styles of dance and has become a haven for exceptional dancers from a two-state region. The company enjoys the passionate support of its Board of Directors, Professional Board, Ballet Guild, enthusiastic Arts Council, area foundations and many local, state and national sponsors.

Twin City Ballet’s Honor Company includes a 20-member Senior Company and support and training groups. The company’s repertoire demonstrates our dancers’ versatile training, featuring classical and contemporary ballet, modern and jazz pieces.

The Twin City Ballet kicked off our season with our Twin City Lip Sync Battle on October 27, 2022, featuring amazing contestants from our community as well as our senior company and senior alternates as back-up dancers. We are blown away by the community support we see through this event. We are blessed by the Twin Cities. From November 29-December 2, we will host area school children for a performance of Santa’s Spy. With the global population on the rise, Santa is having trouble keeping up with his Naughty and Nice list. Determined not to let any child down, Santa employs the help of a select few of his elves . . . the cream of the crop . . . to be delivered to homes all around the world to secretly spy on children young and old, and to report back on who has been nice, and who has been naughty. On December 3, the Twin City Ballet will host a Holly Jolly Breakfast and matinee performance of Santa’s Spy, and will end the evening with our annual Festival of Trees and gala performance, featuring a beautiful holiday piece, Heavenly Peace, set by Leaia Alsup. We will wrap up our season in the spring under the starstudded sky at Kiroli Park with school performances and Ballet Under the Stars April 20-23, 2023.


Linda Lavender Ford, Artistic Director Gretchen Jones, Associate Director Michelle Harvey, Assistant Director Linda Lou Bourland, Assistant Director Ruth Gist, Business Manager

Charlotte Crawford, Costumer Brandi Cole, President Meghan Sellar, President Elect Miranda Moss, Secretary


December 3, 2022

Tashia Hines, Treasurer

Melissa Holton, VP/Marketing Ashley Burkett

Judy Cousans

Kimberly Donohue

Paula Ford

Cindy Foust

Jamie Guillot

Kay Harrison

Mallory Meredith Melanie Moffett

Emily Nunnelee

Meredith Pilcher

Meredith Smith

Beth Swanner

Kim Taylor

Jessica Thornhill

Breanna Young

Holly Jolly Breakfast • 9:30 a.m. | Matinee Performance of Santa’s Spy • 11:00 a.m. Festival of Trees • 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Christmas Gala Performance – Santa’s Spy & Heavenly Peace • 7:00 p.m.

April 20-23, 2023

Ballet Under the Stars, Kiroli Park



For over 67 years, United Way of Northeast Louisiana has been the unifying force that brings passionate individuals, businesses, government entities, and non-profits together to build a stronger, healthier community. This is accomplished by mobilizing partners and resources throughout the 12-parish region in a united effort to identify and respond to our community’s most critical needs.

Their agenda is the community’s agenda. United Way of Northeast Louisiana stands with residents, business leaders, and policymakers to take action and strategically invest in making a meaningful difference in the lives of people in Northeast Louisiana. This is achieved through three main aspirations – health, education, and financial stability for every person in our community.


Over the last year, more than 53,500 households were pointed toward a better quality of life through the work of United Way of Northeast Louisiana. More specifically, nearly 13,000 families were equipped with the necessary resources to be successful in school and in life, almost 12,000 households gained access to economic opportunities, and 8,000+ volunteers and partners were mobilized to cultivate healthy and safe living. United Way of Northeast Louisiana supports many essential, day-to-day services in Northeast Louisiana, and investments from the community help make this possible.

In addition to United Way’s ongoing work, they are tuned in to the most urgent and pressing needs. In 2021, United Way NELA 211 made 16,159 connections to help and resources. Of those connections, 95% of callers reported satisfaction with 211’s service. In 2021, 211 also implemented the new Louisiana 211 Referral and Care Coordinator, a staff member who provides direct client services by delivering on aligned, high quality 211 referral and care coordination services, leveraging technology and “people powered” processes. This Coordinator is trained and equipped to provide “closed-loop” referral and care coordination services.

United Way’s newly expanded Financial Health Services are accessible across all 12 parishes of our region. Examples of these services include:

• Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Products

• Asset Ownership Programs

• Credit Improvement Services

• Financial Coaching & Education

• Free Tax Preparation Assistance

• Housing Stability Counseling

• Incentivized Savings Program

• Workforce Development Soft Skills

Now, more than ever, United Way of Northeast Louisiana needs the support of people like you to do what they do best – improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.

For more information, call 211 or visit


Maintaining healthy and safe individuals, families, and communities in our area is one of the many priorities of United Way of Northeast Louisiana. This aspiration is achieved through two main goals. The first is that all of us live in a safe and healthy environment. The second is that our community is strong and more inclusive. By working with partner agency programs and coordinating collaborative and initiative efforts, United Way of Northeast Louisiana makes measurable and positive change in the health of our community.


It is crucial for our children to build a strong educational foundation in order to succeed as adults. United Way of Northeast Louisiana aspires to ensure that all children, youth, and young adults in our community excel after they graduate high school. This is achieved by ensuring children ages 0-3 enter preschool ready, by providing tools and support enabling elementary students to become ready for middle school, as well as equipping young adults to have the foundation needed to successfully enter the workforce. By working with local partner agency programs that share the same goal of advancing children toward a positive future and coordinating collaborative and initiative efforts, real change has been made in our community's children.


Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive economically in our community. This is achieved through providing accessible, adequate, and sustainable resources; by providing effective pathways to manage current income and eventually increase that income; and giving those most vulnerable the chance to live with dignity and independence. All of these goals come together to support our local economy as a whole. From partnerships with agencies providing programs for positive avenues, to financial stability, to collaboratives and initiatives that teach high school student financial literacy, United Way of Northeast Louisiana continues to see positive growth in our community.



To strengthen and value individuals and families through professional services and community leadership with compassion and integrity.


Founded in 1931, The Wellspring is one of the state’s oldest and most effective non-profits. The Wellspring is an umbrella organization focused on leading our community in serving people in need. Strengthening the lives of individuals and families is the tie that binds our programs together. We are steadfastly committed to the vision that has seen us now into our ninth decade – building thriving, healthy communities based on strong individuals and families.


Changing our community, one life at a time. The Wellspring makes Northeast Louisiana stronger by helping individuals and families from all walks of life overcome challenges, identify resources and develop workable solutions. Our mission is at work each day through the comprehensive, professional services The Wellspring offers:

• Youth development and empowerment services – We offer mentoring, social-emotional life skills, Chase Leadership Academy, Civic Engagement Institutes, job readiness and leadership programs for youth.

• Therapy and Supervised Visitation – The Counseling & Family Development Center (CFDC) specializes in family/relational work and provides evidence based, trauma informed services for those who have experienced violence, trauma and abuse. The CFDC is the Accredited Sexual Assault Center as well as the Supervised Visitation Center for this area. Learn more about this program by calling (318) 323-1505.

• Support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking – We offer comprehensive residential and non-residential services to adults and their children who are in or who have experienced violent, abusive relationships. The Wellspring is the lead agency in the Family Justice Center of Ouachita Parish and provides on-site services throughout Northeast Louisiana.

• Support for the homeless – We have an array of homeless and Veterans’ programs and services throughout Northeast Louisiana serving some of our region’s most vulnerable individuals and families who are homeless, chronically homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.


Cody Bauman, Chair

Darian Atkins, Chair-Elect

Cindy Gordon, Treasurer Aimee Kane, Secretary

Heather Guillot, Member-at-Large Dean Baugh

Donecia Banks-Miley

Judy Bell

LaTanga Blackson Mona Crawford


Christina Davis James Doughty Melissa Ducote Ashley Ellis Charles Gardner Gloria George Bill Hendrix Perry Stringfellow Tammy Washington

You can provide philanthropic support to The Wellspring in a variety of ways. Giving opportunities include corporate giving, individual giving, in-kind donations, honorarium and memorial gifts, event sponsorships, endowment and planned giving, and more. Donations to The Wellspring can be received over the phone at (318) 323-1505, online at, or by mail to 1515 Jackson Street, Monroe, LA 71202. To give on the go, download the Givelify app on your mobile device and select The Wellspring!


Christmas Tree Lighting Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 5:30 p.m. Patriot Square, Winnsboro

Holiday Open House Thursday, December 8, 2022, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1515 Jackson Street, Monroe, LA

For more information about our upcoming events, please call (318) 323-1505.


Guinness for the Holidays

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait


It began with the story of Arthur Guinness. Arthur was the first in a long line of Guinness Master Brewers. Through his leadership, the craft of brewing at St. James’s Gate Brewery was handed down from generation to generation. Arthur himself most likely developed his passion for brewing from his father, Richard, who was said to oversee brewing in the Celbridge estate of Dr. Arthur Price, later Archbishop of Cashel.

On 31st December 1759, Arthur famously signed a NINE THOUSAND YEAR lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. It was a testament to his belief in, and dedication to, his craft. He was a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit. That spirit would continue to inspire, making Guinness one of the most popular and recognized brands in the world. Every pint served, from Ireland to Africa, is evidence of Arthur’s undeniable legacy.

A perfectly poured draught pint is definitely the most popular way to enjoy a Guinness. What the company calls the “perfect pint” of Guinness is the product of a “double pour”, which according to experts should take 119.53 seconds. It takes a bit longer to pour than your average pint, but as Guinness has touted in ads, “Good things come to those who wait.”

Fear not, though. Draught is not the only way to enjoy a delicious Guinness. Available locally are Guinness Draught cans, which feature the widget. The widget is a small, white nitrogen filled ball that sits inside the can. The second the can is opened, the widget released the magic of surge bubbles, replicating the draught experience in a can. There are also 6 pack bottles, Guinness Extra Stout 6 pack bottles, and Guinness Blonde 6 pack bottles.

But that’s not all. Stay tuned for Guinness Zero. Guinness Zero is everything you love about a Guinness, without the alcohol. To create Guinness Zero, brewers start by brewing Guinness as they always have, using the same natural ingredients, before gently removing the alcohol through a cold filtration method. The resulting product is a non-alcoholic stout that is unmistakably Guinness, with hints of chocolate and coffee, smoothly balanced with bitter, sweet, and roasted notes.

It’s the season for gathering around the table with friends, family, and food. The rich and creamy taste of Guinness rounds out seasonal flavors beautifully. Try this Bread Pudding recipe with a Guinness cream cheese drizzle for your holiday table. Sláinte!

Holiday Guinness Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese Drizzle


Guinness Bread Pudding

1 cup milk

1 cup Guinness Draught 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, more for greasing pan

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup sugar

Cream Cheese Drizzle

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup whole milk 8 oz cream cheese (brick-style), softened


Guinness Bread Pudding

Pinch salt

1/2 loaf sweet egg bread like challah or brioche, cut into 2-inch cubes (about 5 to 6 cups) 2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm milk, butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue cooking just until butter melts; cool. Meanwhile, butter a 4-to-6-cup baking dish and fill it with cubed bread. Add eggs to cooled milk mixture and whisk; pour mixture over bread. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until custard is set but still a little wobbly and edges of bread have browned.

Cream Cheese Drizzle

Combine butter, cream cheese and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you may use an electric mixer) and beat until creamy, well-combined, and lump-free. Add vanilla extract and salt and stir well to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined. Drizzle over hot bread pudding and enjoy! Serve warm or at room temperature.

Be sure to like Choice Brands on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with new product releases. Feel free to message us for information on where to find your favorite brands. Find us at facebook. com/thechoicebrands,, and choicebrands.


Judge Joyce Event Success

A fundraising event in support of Judge Jeff Joyce was held September 15, 2022 at the beautiful bayou home of Carolyn and Harvey Perry. The floral arrangements, fall color roses in the foyer and blue and white hydrangeas in a blue and white container in the dining room were arranged by Mary Bernard and Carolyn Perry. The dining room featured incredible food by Thurman’s: shrimp cocktail, beef tenderloin, bacon wrapped artichokes, meatballs, mushrooms and smoked salmon. Beverages were provided by Chauvin Grocery.

On the BayouScene

1 Thurman Dickey and Carolyn Perry

2 Holley Perry, Mike and Jennifer Street

3 Fred Amman, Lauren Davis, Holly Jones, Kalee Moore and Holley Perry

4 Brent and Margaret Moses

5 James Jones, Jeff Joyce and Kristi Jones

6 David and Melanie Hammett and Amado Leija

7 Jeff Joyce, Christie Brodtman and Scott Leehy

8 Martha Amman and Melanie King

9 Katie and Cameron Murray

10 Charlen Campbell and Mennon Campbell

11 Ethan and Erin Hunt

12 Fred Jones and Matt Sanderson

13 Marion and Bill Willson

14 Sean Landry, Palmer Jarrell, Brett Estis and Billy Forbis

15 Thurman Dickey and Fred Amman

16 Amber and Jay Roark, Robert and Traci Canterbury

17 Jeff Joyce, Gay Morris and Harvey Perry

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 13

The Vine of Northeast Louisiana

On Thursday, September 22nd The Vine of Northeast Louisiana held a come and go open house since opening their doors on June 27th. They had a full day visiting with new and old friends with refreshments provided by Chicken Salad Chick, Daily Press and Baked on the Bend. Client Services Director Bethany Wilson and Executive Director Amy Sherman gave tours to friends & family of the The Vine and shared where the services that are provided take place. Get connected with The Vine on social media and visit their website at

On the BayouScene

1 Amy Sherman and Christy Stidham

2 Amy Sherman, Kathy Danna and Bethany Wilson

3 Amy Sherman, Trish O’Quinn, Bethany WIlson, Cynthia Lawson and Brittiny Williams

4 April Rodgers, Bethany Wilson and Kim Fitzgerald

5 Bethany Wilson, Erica and Jamie Johnson

6 Bethany Wilson, Kyle Klitzke, and Amy Sherman

7 Brian, Natalie, Harlow and Harper Bassil, and Bethany Wilson

8 Brookie Ogden, Jessica Stutts and Amy Sherman

9 Bethany Wilson and April Kirksey

10 Bethany Wilson and Rachel King

11 Kelley Frankowicz, Bethany Wilson and Kasey Burks

12 Doris Britton and Connie Scott

13 Christie Hill, Hallie Dye, Kasey Burks, Bethany Wilson, Shelly Harrell and Miranda Hsu

14 Amy Sherman, Alex Hall, Bethany Wilson, Karen Jernigan, Erin Powell and Janine Garland

15 Bethany Wilson, Michelle Gray, Coronda Williams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Calendar of Events

November 3

64 Parishes Publication Party

Join the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens for the first 64 Parishes publication party since 2019. This party is in celebration of the fall archaeology issue release. There will be complimentary copies of the issue, along with food and drinks, including beer from Flying Tiger Brewery!

Hours: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Cost: Free Address: Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe

Phone: (318) 387-5281

The Dixie Center for the Arts Presents: WӦR

With their finely textured arrangements, WÖR injects new energy into 18th-century melodies from the Flanders region of Belgium. Their music shines an inventive spotlight, with a modern twist, on the melodies in these manuscripts.

Hours: 7:00 PM

Cost: Adult $25, Students/Youth $10

Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270

Phone: (318) 255-1450

November 4

NCLAC Presents: Terrance Simien Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience takes his audiences on a multicultural tour of the world inspired by the many countries he’s visited. He creates a hypnotic blend of music that beckons you to your feet and into the groove.

Hours: 7:00 PM

Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270

Phone: (318) 255-1450

November 5

Twin City Raceway Classic Car Show

Join Twin City Raceway at their 1st Annual Classic Car Show. There will be a burnout competition, classes for classic vehicles, and an open class for 1988 to present.

Cost: $20.00 Car Show Registration,

$30.00 Burnout Competition, $40.00 TNT, $10.00 Spectator Car Show Entry Includes Admission

Address: Twin City Raceway, 3695 Prairie Road, Monroe

37th Annual Don Weems Chili Cookoff

Think you have the best chili on the bayou? Put it to the test at the 37th Annual Don Weems Chili Cook-off! The cook-off is open to the public. There is a maximum of 6 members per team and chili has to be cooked from scratch on site. May the best chili win!

Hours: 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Address: University of Louisiana Monroe, 700 University Avenue, Monroe

Phone: (318) 342-5420

North Louisiana Makers and Producers Market

North Louisiana Makers and Producers Market is working to bring artisans, makers, crafters, livestock producers, and food producers together in North Louisiana. This is a community service that gives our area a fun, healthy way to come together and get to know their local makers and producers!

Hours: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: Free Address: Paramount Healthcare Consultants, 1905 N 7th St, West Monroe

Phone: (318) 372-4753

Wineaux Fest

Come out to the first ever annual Wineaux Fest! It will be a day full of fall excitement from sharing wine, shopping with local farmers and artists, and listening to live music.

Hours: 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Cost: $10.00

Address: Thirsty Farmer Winery and Vineyard | 531 State Highway 144, Calhoun

ULM Alumni VIP Tailgating - ULM vs. Texas State

Join the ULM Alumni Association

in the Grove for tailgating before each home game! They are located in tailgate spots 65 & 66; this is the back left of the Grove. You may renew your membership at the gate to enjoy all benefits, including a free tailgate for ULM's 5 home games this season.

Hours: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: ULM Alumni Members- Free. Guests- $10.00. 12 & Under- Free Address: Pecan Grove, 700 University Avenue, Monroe Phone: 318-342-5420

ULM Football vs Texas State Cheer on the ULM Football team as they tackle Texas State!

Hours: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Cost: null Address: Malone Stadium, 514 Warhawk Way, Monroe

Ainsley's Angels 7th Annual Rollin On The River

Join Ainsley's Angels for the 7th Annual Rollin On The River 5K.

Hours: 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM Address: Ike Hamilton Expo, 501 Mane Street, West Monroe

Jeff Elliot Live at the VFW Come listen to the amazing Jeff Elliot in a family-friendly, smoke-free environment! All kinds of music will be played plus he takes requests!

Hours: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Address: VFW Rodney J Hobbs Post 1809, 1499 Hwy 594, Monroe Phone: (318) 345-4185

November 6

Twin City Marathon

Boston Qualifying Full Marathon and Half Marathon event taking place from West Monroe, Louisiana through Monroe, Louisiana and back. Hours: 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM Cost: Registration prices vary. Address: Ike Hamilton Expo, 501 Mane Street, West Monroe

Holiday Open House

Get into the holiday spirit with a Sunday shop and stroll on The Alley to kick off the Christmas season!

There will be refreshments to enjoy and lots of festivities and store specials.

Hours: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Cost: Free Address: Antique Alley, Trenton Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 396-2600

November 6, 13, 20, & 27

Sunday Karaoke Fun

Wrap up the weekend with Big Tuna Entertainment and Downtown Billiards for some Sunday Karaoke Fun!

Hours: 10:00 PM until Address: Downtown Billiards LLC, 524 Desiard St, Monroe Phone: (318) 497-3250

November 10

Flying Tiger Pub Run

Join Fleet Feet at the Flying Tiger Brewery every 2nd Thursday of the month for a free 5K Fun Run / Walk!

Hours: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Address: Flying Tiger Brewery, 506 N 2nd St, Monroe Phone: (318) 855-3146

November 10-12

Holidays in Cedartown

Holidays in Cedartown is a onestop shop to complete your holiday gift buying needs. There is a perfect assortment of vendors that can assist you in buying something perfect for the whole family!

Venue: Ruston Civic Center, Ruston, LA, 71270

November 11-13

Big Creek Trade Days

Big Creek Trade Days are held monthly on the weekend before the second Monday of the month with over 100 indoor and outdoor vendors, food trucks, and fun for all ages!

Hours: Friday & Saturday 9 AM-5 PM, Sunday 10 AM-4 PM

Cost: $5 per vehicle for the weekend

Venue: 327 California Plant Rd, Dubach, LA Phone: (318) 680-1304

For a full list of event happenings in Northeast Louisiana, see our website at

November 11-December 31

Freedom Trees

Get into the Christmas spirit and check out the Freedom Trees at the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum. These patriotic themed trees honor veterans and those currently serving in all branches of the military. The Freedom Trees will be shining bright for all to see starting on November 11th and will light the night through New Years.

Cost: Free

Address: Chennault Aviation & Military Museum, 701 Kansas Ln, Monroe

Phone: (318) 362-5540

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane is a milelong wooded drive decorated with over one million Christmas lights.

Candy Cane Lane will be open daily November 11-December 31 from 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Hours: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Cost: Family Vehicle-$20.00. Commercial Vehicle- $40.00.

Address: Candy Cane Lane, 170 Hwy 151 North, Calhoun Phone: (318) 801-0670

November 11-12

Louisiana State Games BMX State Championship

You do not want to miss the 2022 Louisiana State Games BMX State Championship! The sign-up is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The race starts at 6:45 p.m.

Hours: 6:45 PM

Address: Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe

Phone: (318) 614-4584

November 12

Bayou Jiu Jitsu League Tournament Register to compete or go out and support the Bayou Jiu-Jitsu League at their first tournament! Doors open at 7:00 AM for the competitors weigh in and 7:30 AM for the public.

Cost: Regular Registration Fee: $60.00 + $20.00 per additional division. Spectator Entrance Fee: $5.00 per person. Children under age of 12 are free.

Address: ULM Activity Center, 210 Warhawk Way, Monroe

Phone: (318) 393-4120

2nd Annual Bayou WAR 5K

Join the VCOM medical students in a fun team-based wilderness adventure 5K race treating common wilderness medicine scenarios. The race will feature various stations related to wilderness medicine along the trail for each team to complete to move forward. There will also be a traditional 5K offered to the community members. Proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge. Join the excitement!

Cost: $25.00 Pre-registration. $35.00 after Oct. 15th. $40.00 day of race.

Address: Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 480 Richland Place, Monroe Phone: (318) 348-6724

Children's Funday

The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens invites you and your kiddos to Children's Funday of 2022! This session's theme is Coke Bottle Snowmen!

Hours: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Cost: $5

Address: Biedenharn Museum & Garden, 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe

Phone: (318) 387-5281

Smackwater Live at the VFW

Make your plans now for a fun evening with the fabulous Smackwater Band at the Monroe VFW! They will bring a classic rock/R& amp;B/country/soul show for your listening & dancing pleasure.

Hours: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Cost: $10.00 Cover Charge

Address: VFW Rodney J Hobbs Post 1809, 1499 Hwy 594, Monroe Phone: (318) 345-4185

Eta Lambda Sigma RHOaring 20's Centennial Gala

The Elegant Ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated are celebrating 100 years of service and sisterhood. Join them November 12th in The Hanger at ULM for a roaring 20's themed centennial gala. Cost: General Admission Pre-sale$40.00. General Admission-$50.00. Tables of 8-$350.00 General Admission at door- $60.00.

Address: The Hangar at ULM , 700 University Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 791-0955

November 17

Champagne Stroll

Stroll The Alley on a beautiful fall afternoon while sipping champagne. Shop antiques, boutiques, specialty shops, and much more. Take part in the holiday festivities in downtown West Monroe!

Hours: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Cost: Free Address: Antique Alley, 100-400 blocks of Trenton Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 396-2600

Holiday Open House

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping with extended store hours and special holiday sales in Downtown Ruston

Hours: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Venue: Downtown Ruston

November 19

Santa Stop

The 18th annual Santa Stop will be Saturday, November 19, 10am1pm at 1500 North 19th Street, Monroe! It’s a free, interactive drive through event with family fun and a chance to get photos with Santa & win cool prizes!

Cost: FREE Address: 1500 North 19th Street, Monroe Phone: (318) 398-1983

Super Saturday

The Children’s Coalition opens the gates to the Origin Bank Family Garden every third Saturday of the month to host Super Saturday. This event features garden-based activities for children and adults, early childhood activities in the outdoor learning center, healthy cooking demonstrations using fresh produce grown locally, and community resources and volunteer opportunities.

Hours: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Address: Origin Bank Family Garden, 127 Hall Street, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-8775

November 21-December 31

Land of Lights

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Check out all the light displays in Downtown Monroe & West Monroe beginning at 5:30 pm each night!

Hours: 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Cost: Free | Downtown Monroe

November 24

Pub Run at Flying Heart Brewing

Join Fleet Feet Monroe every 4th Thursday of the month at Flying Heart Brewing!

Hours: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Cost: Free Address: Flying Heart Brewing & Pub, 204 Commerce Street, West Monroe

Phone: (318) 855-3146

November 25

KCS Holiday Express & Holidays on Main Marketplace

The KCS Holiday Express returns to the rails this holiday season! This is a festive, six-car holiday train, with intricate displays inside and out. Visitors will board the train, tour the inside, and meet Santa and his elves for free! Monroe Main Street will be hosting its first Holidays on Main Marketplace with a variety of vendors and creators. Come out to shop small and local this Black Friday!

Hours: Marketplace opens at 3:00 PM and the Holiday Express opens at 4:00 PM

Cost: Free Address: Desiard Street & North 3rd Street, Monroe

Phone: (318) 376-9346

November 25-December 23

Christmas Wagon Rides

Take a wonderful wagon ride through the festive twinkling Christmas lights in downtown West Monroe! The rides begin at 5:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night beginning November 25th through December 23rd. The wagon ride pickup is every 20 minutes in Alley Park.

Hours: Friday & Saturdays beginning at 5:00 PM

Cost: Adults- $10.00. Kids-$5.00. Address: Alley Park, 250 Trenton Street, West Monroe

Phone: (318) 396-2600

November 25-December 25

Christmas at Kiroli

Drive through a wonderland of Christmas lights at Kiroli Park beginning Friday, November 25! The drive-thru lights display will be open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. through Christmas Day. Season passes will be available to purchase online that allow unlimited trips through the park at night during the


Calendar of Events

holiday season.

Hours: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: $10.00 per vehicle. $20.00 per commercial bus or large van. Address: Kiroli Park, 820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe Phone: (318) 396-4016

November 26-February 4

Loren Schwerd Exhibition

Loren Schwerd is an associate professor of sculpture at Louisiana State University where she teaches three-dimensional design and all levels of sculpture.

Cost: Free Address: Masur Museum of Art, 1400 South Grand, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2237

November 26

Shop Small Saturday

Historic Downtown West Monroe's holiday wonderland is your home for shopping small and loving local on Shop Small Saturday and throughout the holidays! The holidays are all about family and community.

Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Address: Antique Alley, 100-400 blocks of Trenton Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 388-3920

Christmas Stroll

A one of a kind downtown Christmas experience filled with musicians, Culinary arts, performing arts, and a Christmas tree lighting.

Hours: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Venue: Downtown Ruston

ULM Alumni VIP Tailgating - ULM vs. Southern Miss

Join the ULM Alumni Association in the Grove for tailgating before each home game! They are located in tailgate spots 65 & 66; this is the back left of the Grove. You may renew your membership at the gate to enjoy all benefits, including a free tailgate for ULM's 5 home games this season. The VIP tailgate includes food, alcoholic

& non-alcoholic beverages, tailgate games, and a bounce house for the kids!

Hours: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: ULM Alumni Members- Free. Guests- $10.00. 12 & Under- Free Address: Pecan Grove, 700 University Avenue, Monroe Phone: 318-342-5420

ULM Football vs Southern Miss Cheer on the ULM Football team as they tackle Southern Miss!

Hours: 4:00 PM

Cost: Ticket prices vary Address: ULM Malone Stadium, 514 Warhawk Way, Monroe

A Kickoff to Christmas

Join Downtown Ruston for their annual Kickoff to Christmas featuring festive activities, holiday tunes, the tree lighting ceremony, and a special visit from Santa! Patrons can enjoy extended shopping hours and local dining in charming Downtown Ruston Hours: 6:00 PM

Venue: Railroad Park, Ruston, LA,

November 5, 12, 19, 26

Ruston Farmers Market

Shop, eat, and support local at the Ruston Farmers Market. Choose from a wide selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, honey, jams, and other locally produced goods.

Hours: 9 AM- 1 PM

Cost: Free to attend

Venue: Ruston Farmers Market 220 E Mississippi Ave, Ruston, LA Phone: (318) 957-1305

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