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P E O P L E

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JUNE

| JULY 2020

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Congratulations

SSA CLASS OF 2020 Rebecca Audibert Madeleine Bechac Margaret Benit Abigail Blaum Annamarie Borgatti Emily Borne Anna-Camille Braud Haley Brown Sidney Browne Tayler Cangelosi Kate Cantrelle Helen Case Margaret Cazenavette Ann Margaret Christopher Paulina Claros Sarah Clifton Kendall Coste Caroline Dalton Erica Desforges Camryn Donahue Mallory Donahue

Prayer

Isabel Esquerre` Brielle Falgout Molly Fallen Megan Farrell Julia Fontana Kathleen Garraway Margaret Guidry Abigail Hayes Emma Hillberry Juliette Hingle Bailey Ho Anna Hummel Kaitlyn Jakes Skylar Knaak Elizabeth Knight Caroline Krutzfeldt Olivia LaCava Madison Livaccari Grace Luscher Luci McCaleb Ellie McHale

Work

Alexandra McLaughlin Cayla Means Macy Migliore Ella Moll Marianne Monroe Presli Nelson Katherine Nolan Emily Oliveri Gabriella O’Neil Maria Orazio Haley Oubre Claire Perret Lauren Pierce Raleigh Quinlan Anna-Kate Rabalais Emilie Ravain Sarah Rawls Lauren Riecke Hope Robinson Sophia Sacco Amanda Scheyd

Study

Mary Frances Scoggin Marion Scott Mina Sheikh Kelly Shirer Madison Smith Allison Swider Ava Trahan Brooke VanAs Mattie Whitaker MaryElla White Chloe Williams Rebecca Williams Lauren Yawn

Community


Every May, college, high school, elementary and kindergarten students look forward to graduation. It marks the celebration of their accomplishments and is a stepping stone to the next phase in their lives. With COVID-19, students were forced to vacate their schools, to finish up their school year online and to miss the traditional graduation ceremonies. For families everywhere the right of passage that they had waited years for was cancelled, postponed or modified. EDGE of the Lake wants to honor and congratulate these students, so we asked parents to send in pictures of their graduates. Go to page 8 to view the EDGE of the Lake Class of 2020! These 138 students represent the hundreds of students that have graduated. Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Your futures are bright! For Lisa Ward, the owner of the Southern Hotel, every waking moment for the last eight years has been about the hotel – creating it, nurturing it and growing it – so the shutdown, as was the case for a lot of people, hit her hard. We touched base with her and she graciously gave us an intimate peek at the hotel’s art collection that she lovingly curated. We are looking forward to when we can all return to what has affectionately become known as ‘Covington’s Living Room.’ I hope that you enjoy this issue, which we have strived to put together under unusual circumstances. PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell EDITOR Nadine Cross ART DIRECTOR Erich Belk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou COPY EDITOR Mary-Brent Brown CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ron Bartlett Charles Dowdy Meghan Holmes Chris Masingill Liz Genest Smith STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Johnny Chauvin Kevin Garrett SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Eloise Cottrell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rebecca Blossman-Ferran Erin Bolton Jamie Dakin Debi Menasco Stephanie Miller

ON THE COVER

Graduation Johnny Chauvin

The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by EDGE Publishing. @ 2020 with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Please email comments or story ideas to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. EDGE PUBLISHING • 69170 HWY 190 SERVICE RD. SUITE 1 COVINGTON, LA 70433 • 985.867.5990


Sometimes a presence is so reliable, you don’t even notice it changing.

At St. Tammany Health System, we’ve been innovating and caring with compassion for 65 years, which makes now the perfect time to update our name. It’s the same team you know and trust, consistently earning national acclaim for overall care and highly specialized needs.

World-Class Healthcare. Close to Home.

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08 KIDS

2020 GRADUATES

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ST.TAMMANY NOW

ECONOMIC NEWS

034 ART

THE SOUTHERN HOTEL

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GIVING BACK NON-PROFITS

064 PARK

NOSE PARK

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OUTDOORS TUBING

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RESTAURANT REVIEW MY TURN BY LOUIS OCHOA

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CHARLES OFF THE AIR

PREGNANCY GUIDE

Page 34 Southern Hotel’s Homage to Covington

Painting by Leslie Dudley


2020 Grads Intro

Elizabeth Ashleigh Knight St. Scholastica Academy

Wilkins Dowdy Hammond High Magnet School

Kelly Louise Shirer St. Scholastica Academy

Jacks Dowdy Hammond High Magnet School

Sarah Grace Clifton St. Scholastica Academy

Haas Ferran Saint Paul’s School


Amanda Haley McNeese State University

Alexander Thompson US Merchant Academy

Abigail Cappy Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Aimee Dillon Slidell High School

Allison Moore Fontainebleau High School

Addyson Belk Mary, Queen of Peace

Alexis Bailey Ponchatoula High School

Aberee Lucius Covington High School

Alexander Delaune Fontainebleau High School

Allison Bonner Louisiana State University

Ada Kathryn Marion University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Abagail Cooper Fontainebleau High School


Bailey Brouillette Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Ashlyn Martinez Fontainebleau High School

Ashley Englande Gros Archbishop Hannan High School

Blake Babin Salmen High School

Barrett Shane Hodgson Mandeville High School

Bailey Lupo Slidell High School

Brady Meibaum Saint Paul’s School

Brett Hidalgo Archbishop Hannan High School

Brooke Whitman Lakeshore High School

Madison Alexandra Cooper University High School

Bonnie Racine Fontainebleau High School

Braden Ortiz Fontainebleau High School


northlake christian school

class of 2020 Maicey Rooney valedictorian

Dallas West Salutatorian


Cade Knight Bowling Green State University

Caitlyn Ledet Fontainebleau High School

Derek Frederick Jr Mandeville High School

Callie Dufrene Fontainebleau High School

Cameron M. Clifton Mandeville High School

Coby Stevens Pearl River High School

Carley Pizzuto Fontainebleau High School

Caroline Cross Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Drew Prude Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Caroline Mae Krutzfeldt St. Scholastica Academy

Carson Reed Jacob Saint Paul’s School

Emily Sherman Mandeville High School

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Dylan Elfer Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Drew Segreti Northshore High School

Chloe Best Fontainebleau High School

Daniel Smith Fontainebleau High School

Daniel R. Zuckerman Saint Paul’s School

Cameron Tregre Mandeville High School

Dorian Bradshaw Mandeville High School

Dillon Sabathe Northshore High School

Caroline Johnson Mandeville High School

Claire Gulledge Mandeville High School

Chloe Grosch Louisiana State University

Caleigh Rodriguez Covington High School EDGE June | July 2020

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Ethan O’Leal Slidell High School

Ford Favre Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Gavin Marolla Slidell High School

Gavin Sikes Slidell High School

Grace O’Berry Mandeville High School

Grace Traina Mandeville High School

Jacob Shoultz Covington High School

Jeffrey Ruth Jr. Fontainebleau High School

Joshua Bonnett Saint Paul’s School

Kaelyn Taylor Fontainebleau High School

Kameron Dakin Slidell High School

Karley Fasullo Fontainebleau High School

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NTCC’s faculty and staff would like to congratulate the Class of 2020! NorthshoreCollege.edu | 985-545-1500


Jacie Leigh Bellina Hammond Eastside Magnet School

Jack Andre Pearl River High School

Jack Early Saint Paul’s School

Gracie Lagarde Christ Episcopal School

Madison Fradella Madisonville Elementary School

Hannah Wintz Mandeville High School

Harrison Perry Slidell High School

Hudson Fradella Madisonville Elementary School

Isobella Bruce Florida State University

Katherine Elizabeth Huval Mandeville High School

Kayleigh Fradella Madisonville Elementary School

Kody Dakin Slidell High School

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Madison Livaccari St. Scholastica Academy

Lani DeSoto Slidell High School

Mary Katherine Gray Mandeville High School

Mary Katherine Thomas Mandeville High School

Lindsey Benson NOCCA

Matthew Galloway Pearl River High School

Mehgan Hillman Pearl River High

Mackenzie Matherne Fontainebleau High School

Molly Clare Fallen St. Scholastica Academy

Molly Heurtin Christ Episcopal School

Madeline Claire Matthews Fontainebleau High School

Nathan Chatelain Fontainebleau High School

EDGE June | July 2020


Laken Adcox Fontainebleau High School

Madison Wiebelt Slidell High School

Lauren Alyssa Pierce St. Scholastica Academy

Lexus Venable Covington High School

Matt Wallace Louisiana State University

Lucy Vanderbrook Christ Episcopal School

Luke Croxton Christ Episcopal School

Michael Johnson Jr. Mandeville High School

Macy Mecom Lakeshore High School

Madeleine Bechac St. Scholastica Academy

Mya Walgamotte Slidell High School

Halle McKenzie Northlake Christian School EDGE June | July 2020

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Sophia Sharp Louisiana State University

Tatum Burkett Slidell High School

Taylor Buras Mandeville High School

Pedro Jimenez Antenucci Southeastern Louisiana University

Reece Lusich Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Ridge Berard Mandeville High School

Rylee Lusich Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Sadie Jenkins Covington High School

Sarah Elizabeth Tucker Lakeshore High School

Regan Olivia Bolton McNeese State University

Gabriella Ybarzabel Southeastern Louisiana University

Benjamin Robert Picola University of Louisiana at Lafayette


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Parker Layton Mandeville High School

Patrick Champagne Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

Payton Tripp Louisiana State University

Taylor Kinchen Hammond High School

Thomas Bourgeois Saint Paul’s School

Tiffany Mitchell Covington High School

Tori Armstrong Southeastern Louisiana University

Travis J Vidrine Slidell High School

Tristan Avant Saint Paul’s School

Sarah Masters Mandeville High School

Shanna Baudier Lakeshore High School

Sophia Sacco St. Scholastica Academy

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Brentley Caelyn Burlett Abita Springs Elementary

Holly Savoire Louisiana State University

Brooke Appe Northlake Christian School

Lexys Breaux Northlake Christian School

Lillian Stegen Northlake Christian School

Madison McKean Northlake Christian School

Simon Bertrand Willie Lakeshore High School

Adam Ybarzabal Louisiana State University

Hannah Fersch Southeastern Louisiana University

Maicey Rooney Northlake Christian

Dallas West Northlake Christian School

Abigail Hartline Pope John Paul II Catholic High School

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PROOF SHEET

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COMMUNITY LEADERS

Mike Cooper St. Tammany Parish President

Randy Smith St. Tammany Sheriff

Right now we are still faced with many unknowns because of COVID-19. What we do know, however, is that people in our community are willing to step up in a crisis, take responsibility and lend a significant hand in the response. The St. Tammany Economic Recovery & Resiliency Advisory Council was asked to prepare, in a very short window of time, a reopening plan for our community based on public input, industry standards, public health professionals’ advice and guidelines from federal and state agencies, with the overall goal of balancing the health of our community with the health of our economy. I want to thank the Advisory Council as well as every person who participated in shaping this plan for our phased reopening. As we continue to slowly and gradually reopen, I am asking every citizen in St. Tammany to continue to step up. I am asking every citizen to exercise personal responsibility and continue to wear a mask in public, social distance and practice frequent hand-washing and personal hygiene. The responsibility of each of us is to thwart the spread of COVID-19. Our future opportunities to continue to reopen depend on successfully reducing the spread. We have sacrificed a great deal to get where we are now, and I am grateful for these sacrifices. As we continue to adhere to best practices, we will see our personal investments continue to produce results. I want to thank business owners who are working to adhere to guidelines, even in the midst of losses, as they reopen their businesses. I also want to thank our frontline workers in all fields for their tireless dedication since this virus entered our community. And finally, I want to take a moment and send a special message to our graduates. Congratulations on the milestone you’ve reached. Now is the time to go out and reach so many more. Let these past challenging weeks fuel your determination to succeed, and remember that your future is here. Congratulations and God Bless you.

As we start getting back to “normal,” I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU! Thank you to our health care workers. This pandemic has shown everyone what our deputies already knew – YOU ARE OUR TRUE HEROES! Thank you to all of the nurses, doctors, medical assistants and the workers in our hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. You have all put your lives on the line to care for the sick in our community, and for that I cannot thank you all enough. This pandemic and the connected Stay at Home order caused us all to make some major adjustments to our daily routines. The necessary closure of our schools was likely one of the biggest adjustments for many of our families. I would be remiss if I did not thank our teachers and school administrators, who literally overnight had to adjust to a drastically new way of teaching, providing a necessary sense of normalcy and stability for our children. I would like to thank our business owners who adhered to the governor’s order while also providing our residents with the necessary supplies, food and items they needed and at the same time keeping their customers and employees safe. Our small businesses are the backbone of our community, and many of these businesses stepped up to provide meals for our healthcare workers and first responders. This is what “being a community” means. We cannot thank you all enough for that support. And finally to our residents – THANK YOU! Thank you for listening to the order, staying home, maintaining a social distance, wearing masks…To all of those people who did everything we asked so that we could get past this trying time, THANK YOU! Together we will all get thru this, and as we have in the past, we will come out of this struggle stronger. Also, congratulations to all of our graduates – kindergarten, high school and college alike. We are so very proud of you and wish you all the best in your futures.

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St. Tammany NOW Introducing EDGE of the Lake’s partnership with St. Tammany Corporation

A

s the economic development organization for St. Tammany Parish, St. Tammany Corporation strives to continue to strategically align the economic landscape to be the destination of choice for highly skilled talent and business formation, attraction, expansion and retention. Now more than ever, the journey to being the destination of choice for families, businesses, and talent begins with accurate, timely, robust information. Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries are making decisions that impact their organizations, employees, customers, clients, and communities. Providing access to relevant and current data and research is essential for thoughtful, intentional, wellinformed, strategic decision making for businesses and organizations throughout our region. The AnalyST is St. Tammany Corporation’s comprehensive research and data publication suite. Quarterly trend reports, industry-specific briefs and commentary, and key economic and community data indicator tracking are a few of the features of this initiative. St. Tammany Corporation is pleased to partner with Northshore Media Group to launch “St. Tammany NOW” in their EDGE of the Lake Magazine. This will be a curated section of this periodical focused on local economic development and commerce. In upcoming issues of EDGE of the Lake, you can expect this section to cover economic trend information from our research and data publication suite, The AnalyST, highlights from our workforce development and talent retention initiatives, and business and industry spotlights from across our community. As we embark on a new adventure towards a new normal, it is our intention that this content showcases opportunities for future business formation, sparks ideas for innovation and discovery, and fosters a passion for lifelong learning right here in St. Tammany and on the Northshore.

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Chris Masingill Chief Executive OďŹƒcer St. Tammany Corporation


COMMUNITY LEADERS When my team and I gathered in mid-March to create a game plan for dealing with COVID-19, we knew without a doubt that our people would get through this. While we could not fully visualize the challenges COVID-19 would bring to our community, we knew that our people had overcome big challenges before – like Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac, and a 500and a 1000-year flood in less than six months. Why? Because our people persevere. When we talk about resilience, I think about Tangipahoa Parish. Our people face struggles head on, and together we move to make things better. Where there is a need, our people rise up and band together to meet that need—and frequently exceed it. Over the past two months, I have watched our people go above and beyond the call of duty to Robby Miller Tangipahoa Parish President help one another. For some, that meant staying home and maintaining the social distance that kept our hospitals from being overrun. For others, it meant “masking up” to protect the people they serve in essential businesses. And how about those wonderful volunteers who made masks to distribute to the community or the groups who provided meals to show their appreciation for our frontline workers? When asked what our biggest asset is here in Tangipahoa, I never hesitate to brag on our people. They truly make our parish great! Tangipahoa’s spirit of perseverance has made all the difference in our response to COVID-19, and it’s just one more reason why I believe we sincerely live in the best parish of Louisiana.

Donald Villere City of Mandeville Mayor

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I am pleased to announce that the City of Mandeville has been honored with the Distinguished Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the current fiscal year. This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. Many thanks to our Finance Director, Frank Oliveri, for preparing the budget year after year. We have now received this prestigious honor for the past five years in a row. The City is enjoying a healthy economy. Our goal is to provide a safe, well-planned City with a strong infrastructure foundation built from sustainable revenues and economic opportunity to benefit the health and well-being of our residents. Our mission is to create vibrant neighborhoods, nurture a strong business community and preserve beautiful green spaces. Our budget invests in the infrastructure, people and equipment necessary to meet the needs of an expanding, maturing community. As of today, it is recorded that the population in city limits is 12,656. Time has been gracious to Mandeville. We are a City low in crime and rich in history, cultural arts and environment. We have a great school system and are extremely protective of our greatest resource: our families and children. Furthermore, we have been good stewards of our resources, using federal and project grants whenever possible as well as making knowledgeable decisions as we move forward to engage in effective capital projects that will benefit our residents now and in the future. Although we will see a dip in sales tax revenues this year due to the coronavirus, our economic outlook is cautiously optimistic. Finally, we are looking ahead to a positive future with the type of growth that will enhance our culture and quality of life. Our Administration, Staff, Council and City Employees continue to work together to ensure effective productivity resulting in sustainable revenues and a bright future for the City of Mandeville.


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Tributes & Treasures Southern Hotel’s Homage to Covington

STORY LIZ GENEST SMITH PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

T

here’s no doubt that a visit to Covington’s award-winning Southern Hotel is an absolute feast for the eyes. Once voted a “Top Ten New Hotel in the South” by Southern Living Magazine, its striking collection of handpicked local art, photography and vintage postcards is worthy of an upscale gallery, but there’s much more to it than just sophisticated ambience. Whether you’ve attended an event, stayed in one of its luxurious guest rooms, sipped a craft cocktail at the Cypress Bar, or sampled a little fine dining at its Oxlot 9 restaurant, knowingly or not, you’ve been treated to a carefully crafted visual homage to Covington. “When I travel, I like to learn something about the local culture and history,” preservationist and co-owner Lisa Condrey Ward explains. “We have so many talented artists, and I felt like we needed to tell a story.” If you recall what the hotel – now lovingly referred to as “Covington’s Living Room” – looked like in the decades before the 2014 renovation, or if you’ve seen any of the truly depressing archival images, you probably want to know exactly what drives a practicing attorney to tackle such an enormous undertaking. This was no lark or little side hobby, the stage was set for this labor of love long ago. At an age when most of us were working menial jobs and/or paying entirely too much attention to our social lives, Lisa was completing her first restoration. While taking a year off between college and law school, the 21-year-old made a harmless inquiry into a dilapidated old house in her hometown of Lake Providence, LA, and next thing she knew, with her dad’s help, she was converting the 1902 home into a bed and breakfast. While her father helped her with that first project that would lay the groundwork for restoring the Southern Hotel, Lisa also credits her mother for helping to set her on this preservationist path. “My mother used to drag me on pilgrimages to Natchez to look at historic homes, and I grew to appreciate the structure, history, and design,” she tells me. “If I hadn’t decided to be a lawyer at age 14, I might have chosen this for a career.” After completing law school, getting married and starting a family, Lisa and her husband, Joseph Ward, decided to move to the Northshore. They wanted to raise their five children outside the city – not just in a suburb, but in a place with its own identity. They landed in Covington, and Lisa developed an early attachment to the Southern Hotel building. It was in terrible condition and scheduled for demolition at one point in the 1980s, but luckily was saved and became a courthouse. “I had my first judge trial in this building, and I kept an eye on it for years,” Lisa recalls. “I talked to people about how Covington needed a hotel, but it languished and became a hideous eyesore covered in aluminum when it was converted to house retail stores.” When the time was finally right, Lisa leapt at the chance to acquire the building. It became a family affair when she, her husband, and her brother and sister-in-law Ricky and Gayle Condrey bought it in 2011. They got to work rescuing and restoring the structure’s Spanish Mission architecture, complete with airy archways, exposed wood beams and painted porcelain tiles. EDGE June | July 2020

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As the 42-room boutique hotel neared completion, the space was calling out for beautiful adornment and finishing touches. Luckily, Lisa had started collecting furnishings and art years before – enough to fill 19 storage units! An eclectic array, Lisa admits that “it’s all over the map,” from folk art to abstract art and beyond, which makes a tour of the facility an absolute joy. So, let’s take a look at some of the hotel’s most notable pieces, shall we? Garden House Mural: Xavier Gonzales It sounds like pure magic and/or serendipity that an adjacent 1937 Colonial Revival-style building – which once served as Covington’s post office, then the St. Tammany School Board annex, and finally became the Southern Hotel’s “Garden House” – just happened to contain a very important art piece. Back in 1939, Spanish artist Xavier Gonzalez, who was teaching in the art department at Tulane University’s Newcomb College, was commissioned by the U.S. government to participate in a collaborative art project taking place across the country as part of the New Deal. The goal was to provide American citizens with both enjoyment and hope while trying to survive the Great Depression. Gonzalez’s contribution was the “Tung Oil Industry” mural, depicting a visual evolution of St. Tammany’s lumber industry, which included the harvesting of tung oil. His murals can also be found at the Art Deco-style New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Lisa: “The post office sold the building to the school board for one dollar! Everyone knew the mural was there, but few people ever got to see it. Thank goodness it was never demolished.” Cypress Bar & Poolside Murals: Grahame Menage Any tour should certainly include the dreamy, nostalgic murals in the Southern’s gorgeous Cypress Bar, painted by internationally acclaimed British-born artist and designer, Grahame Menage. Lisa was struck by his murals that grace the walls of Restaurant R’evolution in the French Quarter, so she commissioned him to create murals for her hotel based on her collection of Victorian hand-tinted postcards from Covington’s bygone days. The poolside mural is the more recent addition, modeled after vintage travel ads, but reimagined to promote Covington. Lisa: “I love the graphic old British Railways travel posters from the 1920s and 30s. I sent Grahame a couple of images and within thirty minutes, he sent me exactly what I was looking for.”

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Southern Writers: Francie Richie (Covington) This piece, located behind the reception desk, really gets guests talking as they try to name the Southern writers captured in this cluster of caricatures. Eudora Welty is featured prominently, and others include William Faulkner, Anne Rice and Walker Percy, who is, of course, a favorite son of Covington. Lisa: “I love Eudora Welty and all those Southern writers. They tell our story – of what it means to be Southern.”

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The Hunt Scene: Emily Ozier/Emyo The hotel’s striking library, also known as the Red Room for its vibrant walls, houses the inaugural painting in Lisa’s collection. It showcases the expressive style and bold strokes for which artist Emily Ozier, aka Emyo, is renowned. Lisa: “It’s a scene from her farm that’s not trying to be a true landscape representation. It makes me think of the history of Covington: wide open spaces, people on horseback, the country lifestyle.”

Blue Horse: Scott Ewen (Covington) Scott Ewen is a Covington artist who’s become quite well-known for his distinctive figurative and landscape paintings. Lisa originally saw a video online of Ewen painting this while listening to Johnny Cash. The horse was initially brown, but when he changed it to white, it really grabbed Lisa’s attention. Lisa: “It’s one of the first pieces by Scott that I’d ever seen, and one of the first that I bought for the hotel. The rural setting makes me think of all the horse farms around here.”


Beyond curating the hotel’s collection, Lisa is actively involved in the local arts community. Along with establishing the city’s annual White Linen Night for Public Art, she founded the Covington Public Art Fund to raise money for public art displays in Covington, and she sponsors artists during the city’s Spring for Art, Fall for Art and Three Rivers Art Festival, often allowing them to showcase and sell their art in the hotel. True to her word of wanting to tell Covington’s story, Lisa and her partners found other ways to honor local history and culture. The hotel’s Oxlot 9 restaurant’s name references the town’s historical grid system, made up of squares that once served as holding pens for the wagon-pulling

844.866.1907 southernhotel.com

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oxen while their masters conducted business. The facility’s two suites are named after local author Walker Percy and Thomas Sully, a celebrated Louisiana architect. There’s even a meeting room dedicated to the Krewe of Olympia, which displays artifacts and memorabilia of the 50-yearold local Mardi Gras krewe. As civilization begins to slowly open up amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the Southern Hotel is finally re-opening its doors and sharing its treasures with overnight guests, artists, and history and art lovers, alike. And stay tuned for Lisa’s next community art project – TBD – which promises to add even more color and culture to Covington’s historic downtown.


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NORTHSHORE CARES

COVID-19 curtailed events all around the country, and non-profits have been profoundly affected. For some non-profits, their ability to serve their client base has been impacted since often their events require in-person volunteering. For almost all non-profits, fundraising activities have been cancelled or postponed at a time when the needs of our community have increased.

On the following pages we look at how some of our local non-profits have adapted to these changes. These organizations are looking for our help, as they help those in need. If you can offer help, through a donation or through volunteering, please reach out to assist them. Every dollar and every hour makes a difference.

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ecause Children’s Advocacy Center - Hope House is part of the first response team when issues of child sexual abuse arise, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been a particularly critical time for the organization and the children it serves. According to national estimates, one in 10 children will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday. It’s an unfortunate reality that child abuse doesn’t stop during times of global crisis. As social fear, stress and desperation increases, so too do cases of abuse. Despite these challenges, Hope House has continued to provide essential services to child abuse victims across the Northshore, including forensic interviews that help bring offenders to justice, and ongoing therapy to help children heal emotionally. In the first Quarter of 2020, Hope House conducted more forensic interviews with child abuse victims than in any preceding quarter in its history – 83 in St. Tammany Parish and 29 in Washington Parish. In that same time frame, they also provided therapy for 56 victims and conducted 450 counseling sessions. With social distancing requirements in place, Hope House has reformatted its free child abuse prevention programs – Stewards of

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Children for adults, and Play It Safe! for kids ages Pre-K through 12th Grade. These programs, which are typically taught in a classroom setting, are currently available online – a change that has proved to be highly successful. For every adult that takes one of these trainings, it’s estimated that 10 children are safer and less likely to become victims of abuse. From January to April 2020, Hope House provided abuse prevention training to approximately130 adults and 300 children. “Despite having to change the delivery of our abuse prevention programming, we are extremely encouraged by the growing number of individuals who are now tuning in online,” says Hope House Executive Director Thomas Mitchell. “If this trend continues, we will break all of

our prior training records! This goes a long way toward keeping our kids safe.” Hope House is an unfunded mandate, which means its essential services are required by the state, but government does not provide any funding for them. During these difficult times when community events are cancelled, businesses are struggling and people are confined to their homes, organizations like Hope House have seen a significant reduction in critical funding. The organization’s capital comes primarily from corporate and individual donations, and community fundraisers. But like many other nonprofits, Hope House has been forced to adapt and develop alternative fundraising methods. They recently launched an individual monthly giving campaign whereby citizens can contribute a nominal amount toward a specific purpose – whether it is funding a child’s therapy, providing abuse prevention training for local parents, or even providing a teddy bear for a victim. If you would like to become a Monthly Giving Partner of Hope House, or if you would like to register yourself or your child for one of their free online abuse prevention trainings, visit www.cachopehouse.org.


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he coronavirus outbreak poses challenges for The Blood Center. As the primary supplier of blood for almost 50 hospitals and outpatient facilities throughout Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi, we have historically depended on remote blood drives to maintain the community blood supply at an adequate level. During the school year, our most successful blood drives are often at high school and college campuses. As we all know, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 13th Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ordered the closure of all public schools, and he announced restrictions on public gatherings. As the threat posed by the pandemic became more and more apparent, businesses, churches and community groups cancelled scheduled blood drives at their locations. The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, and Governor Edwards have issued appeals for healthy individuals to donate blood. This “stamp of approval” has eased the fear of many potential donors as to the safety of the donation process. Rather than relying so heavily on our mobile blood drives, we have pivoted our efforts to encourage donors, including those associated with churches, businesses, schools and social groups, to come to the donor centers. The Northshore is fortunate to have three operational donor centers: Hammond (1116 McKaskle Drive), Mandeville (4350 Hwy. 22 near Rouse’s) and Slidell (770 Gause Blvd).

One group that has stepped up to help is the Mande Milkshakers. They issued a challenge to all of their dancers and milkmen to donate. It’s been fun seeing so many red polka dot dresses with their sleeves rolled up! We hope many other groups will follow suit, especially service organizations like the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs. The Blood Center has ramped up its already stringent safety protocols at the donor centers. In normal times, we can accommodate walk-in donors, but now we strongly encourage appointments. This allows us to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines to the greatest extent possible. We also strongly encourage donors to complete their day-of-donation questionnaire before entering the donor center via the FASTLANE section of our website. It speeds the process and minimizes personal interaction, which of course is a concern at this time. The very first question asks if you are feeling well. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, we did not take blood from those who were ill. If you make it through the FASTLANE questions, you are then given an in-person mini-physical, including taking your temperature. If you have ever thought about donating blood or organizing a blood drive, please do so now at one of our donor centers. There are many individuals right here on the Northshore who are counting on blood transfusions so they can have a fighting chance. Even if you are ineligible to donate blood, you can still help save lives simply by spreading the word. thebloodcenter.org / 1.800.86-BLOOD EDGE June | July 2020

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hat different times we are living in. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early March, adapting and adjusting has become necessary. The Hospice House, a three-bedroom home in Slidell, welcomes end of life, terminally ill patients to live out their final days, free of charge. Patients of area hospice agency partners spend their final days, typically 90 days or less, in comfort and dignity and being spoiled by the staff. A caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care is with the patients 24 hours a day to ensure the patients’ needs and wants are provided.

All of the Hospice House’s services are provided at no cost to the patient, their family or their insurance company. The Hospice House runs solely on donations and fundraisers, including the annual Crawfish Cook-off. Unfortunately, this year the Crawfish Cook-off, Hospice House’s largest fundraiser and the source for the majority of its annual operating budget, was cancelled due to COVID-19. The loss of the event will result in a $150,000$200,000 revenue shortage and further delay the goal of building a second home to service St. Tammany Parish. Hospice House’s response was to adapt and adjust. Director Miranda Parker and Assistant Director Cheryl Scaglione quickly shifted gears and are focusing on fundraising creativity in 2020. Their goal is to raise the funds they need to support the Hospice House’s mission through lots of smaller donations. One creative idea was to post their operating expenses on the Hospice House website with the hopes that the

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public will be generous in assisting with those expenses. The pair have also asked the public and all potential Crawfish Cook-off goers to consider donating what they would have spent at the event that was canceled. On the Hospice House Facebook page there is a list of the fees for many items associated with the event, from entry fees to beverages and food. Over the years, artist Adam Sambola has generously donated an original piece of art for the foundation to create posters and t-shirts for sale at the event. Now, previous years’ limited edition posters are available for purchase at a discounted rate of $15. All posters are hand signed and numbered by the artist. The community that supports the Hospice House year after year has continued to do so during this pandemic. NOLA Southern Grill in Slidell hosted a give back night in March donating a portion of their sales. Several of the utility companies that service the Hospice House, including Coastal Environmental Services and In-Telecom Consulting, have donated their services to help ease the burden that comes with the lack of funding from the event. The Krewe of Dionysus even hosted a benefit lunch to bring in funding. Though the many small sources of revenue will not replace the full deficit of the Crawfish Cook-off, the continued awareness and support of the community will keep the Hospice House going, despite the global pandemic. thehospicehouse.org / 985.643.5470


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n addition to changing our everyday lives, this COVID pandemic has also changed things for our beloved pets and even the homeless animals in our community. Because Northshore Humane Society is an independent, non-governmental rescue, our ability to help animals is directly supported through the generosity of the community. Like many others, when this pandemic hit we were concerned because of the level of uncertainty. Northshore Humane Society has been through a lot of challenges in its 60+ years of existence, but something like this is uncharted territory. Because Northshore Humane Society provides such an important service for the community, the ability to keep our doors open is paramount. What did we do? Our staff and volunteers have quickly adapted, keeping our rescue and community veterinary clinic open and thereby ensuring we can continue to save the lives of homeless animals. Below is a breakdown of our changes: Our rescue center is comprised of three areas – intakes (new animals), foster homes and our adoption center. In order to manage the number of people on the NHS campus at one time, our rescue center is now open by appointment. Since the COVID outbreak, numbers in all three of these areas have increased and we are continuing to rescue and adopt animals in need. Our community clinic has turned to curbside service like many other operations. People remain in the safety of their cars through the entire experience while their animals still

receive the same quality of care their owners have come to expect. Our community clinic is a significant source of funding for our mission, and we are grateful people have been so understanding and patient during these challenging times. The one area of our rescue that has been hit the hardest is our fundraisers. Due to the outbreak, two large fundraisers Woofstock and LarryFest - were canceled, as well as our summer camp program. Additionally, fundraisers scheduled for the remainder of the year may also be affected. Individual donor support has become more important than ever as we try to recover the necessary funds lost by the absence of these events. The next organized giving opportunity, GiveNOLA Day, will be held Tuesday, June 2nd. This communitywide fundraising day usually raises over $20,000 for our mission, so we are very hopeful for another successful year. Through this time, the support of our community has never wavered and it’s clear our state will again be resilient! People continue to choose our clinic for their pets’ veterinary needs, families are fostering and adopting animals while working from home and individual donors continue to support our cause. Northshore Humane Society will continue to serve those in need for as long as the community will allow us! For more information on the programs and services we offer or to get involved today, please visit northshorehumane.org.

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he Slidell Memorial Hospital Foundation was created in 2008 to support Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH), a local nonprofit community hospital, through fundraising efforts. Our purpose is to aid SMH in their efforts to improve the quality of life in our community. Fundraising efforts enable us to grant funds to the hospital that provide patient support programs, upgrades, equipment additions and renovations that serve the community. Our community is incredibly generous and supportive of SMH and has been even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen increased support from the community to thank and encourage our everyday heroes at SMH. During the pandemic, the Foundation’s focus has been on directly supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of the staff, the financial future of SMH and helping grateful patients and their families leave their legacy. As an example, Mary Virginia Howell Christopher was lost to COVID-19 at the age of 97. Due to social distancing requirements, Mrs. Christopher’s family was not able to be with her in person. The staff at SMH helped them be there virtually before she passed. As they honor the life of their family matriarch, whom they called “Grambo,” the Christopher family wants to help others be present with loved ones virtually in the hospital by providing devices and apps for those who are not able to be with family in times of need. The family started The Grambo Connection Fund at the Foundation to provide this and other needed services to families beyond COVID-19. This family fund is a specific example of how hospital philanthropy connects the power of generosity to impact the health and well-being of our community. Although the SMH Foundation is financially healthy and stable, our fundraising strategies include fundraising events – such as our signature special event, the Rooftop Rendezvous – which, as expected, are on hold due to our unknown future. These events represent 45% of our budget. Our purpose has not changed over the last couple of months, nor will it; we have only refined our fundraising efforts based on the needs of our community. Our Foundation is a small shop with only 2 employees, a volunteer board and 6 volunteers that work in the office to deliver our mission and fundraise. Although we are apart at this time, we continue to work together independently. Our success is due in no small part to their commitment to their work and our purpose. The Foundation will remain committed to our purpose and focused on providing a vehicle for patients and families to express gratitude and give back, and as a way for community-minded individuals, corporations and foundations to invest in our nonprofit community hospital.

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Photo by Sara Christopher


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hile COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of thousands within our community, the need for mental health care continues to rise dramatically. The effects of physical distancing have led to an increase in stress, anxiety and depression for so many living with mental health conditions and many more experiencing these symptoms for the first time. Our community will be feeling the effects for a long time to come. Throughout the pandemic, NAMI St. Tammany has remained committed to its mission of providing education, advocacy, awareness and support to individuals living with a mental health condition and their families. At the core of its programming, NAMI St. Tammany offers free support groups and education programs to family members, caregivers and individuals coping with mental illness. Traditionally, these programs are held at venues throughout the community. With the stay-at-home mandates in place, NAMI St. Tammany is utilizing unconventional ways to provide the same free services. Transitioning to an online platform allows participants to meet in a safe, virtual environment while partaking in the services they have come to depend upon. NAMI St. Tammany stepped up its online meeting applications, trained volunteer facilitators and successfully offered these support groups and education programs in a virtual setting, while adhering to the policies

and procedures set forth by the national program guidelines. These online groups have shown tremendous growth. We have had a lot of positive feedback from participants who transitioned with us, proving the necessity of taking this next step. NAMI St. Tammany also advocates for those with a mental illness, while creating awareness and educating the community on the importance of mental health care. One of their largest awareness and fundraising opportunities is the NAMIWalks St. Tammany event. Each year hundreds of individuals join together at the Mandeville Lakefront to raise funds while showing their support for mental health care. Just last year, over 800 individuals participated in the NAMIWalks St. Tammany event, raising over $110,000 to support these free resources and support groups, which are needed now more than ever. With the restrictions and uncertainty of our current environment, the 2020 NAMIWalks St. Tammany event has been postponed to October of this year. This event is more than just fundraising, it is about creating advocacy, awareness and showing support for anyone living with a mental health condition. NAMI St. Tammany will continue providing free services and support groups in hopes of expanding these for the thousands in need. There should never be a financial barrier to mental health care. The right services, support and tools can help people with a mental health condition work towards their recovery; NAMIWalks St. Tammany helps to accomplish that goal. While our community continues to navigate the stress and anxiety related to this pandemic, NAMI St. Tammany’s Executive Director, Nick Richard, reminds everyone that “it is okay not to be okay.” Each day brings new circumstances for all of us, so it’s important to keep in mind that you are not alone . . . we are all in this together.

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AY There! In mid-March when the government issued the first national “stay-at-home” order, New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center quickly put plans in place to protect their valued riders, volunteers, staff and, of course, their beloved team of therapy horses. At that time, their major annual fundraiser, the Garden Party, was only weeks away, but was quickly rescheduled for mid-May. Unfortunately, with the extension of “stay-at-home” orders, and out of an abundance of caution, they decided to delay the Garden Party until 2021. Delaying the Garden Party until 2021 was a huge blow to New Heights as revenues from the annual event account for 30% of their operating budget. Revenue from past Garden Parties enabled New Heights to meet both the financial and physical growth accelerated by the demand for their programs and services. The COVID pandemic has greatly impacted New Heights, but they know it has also posed extreme hardships for many of their Garden Party sponsors and vendors, creating a great loss of revenue for all involved in their event. “We know we are all in this together,” said Lisl Moyer, New Heights’ Executive Director. “All nonprofits are redefining how to move forward. We are working diligently on creating a reopening plan that is safe for all involved.” Prior to the pandemic, 70% of New Heights’ riders required financial assistance. With the emotional and financial impact of COVID-19, New Heights is anticipating the need for scholarships as well as services to soar even higher. While their riders and volunteers have been socially distancing at home, essential New Heights’ staff have been working diligently to keep the facility in tip-top shape.

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In addition to barn and pasture improvements and regular upkeep, the staff have been training and caring for the needs of their treasured animals. Just like us, their gentle team of therapy horses need “groceries” too. It costs New Heights about $3,000 per year to care for one therapy horse. They have 12 horses. To generate year-round funds needed for food, farrier and veterinary care, New Heights is launching a “Hay for a Day” campaign. Please consider sponsoring hay for a day for $8, for a week for $56, $240 for a month, or $1,248 for six months. Sponsor the hay, treats, farrier, and veterinary care of one therapy horse for one year for $3,000, and New Heights will have a saddle pad embroidered with your name on it. Once it is safe, New Heights will reopen in phases and welcome their treasured volunteers and riders back to “experience their healing through the power of the horse.” To become a Hay for a Day sponsor, volunteer or learn more about New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center, visit NewHeightsTherapy.org or call 985.796.4600.


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ur Daily Bread is in a unique position to serve those who are in need of food assistance during these trying times. As many have been affected by the economic turmoil of COVID-19, our community needs us now more than ever. We view this as an opportunity to love and serve more people with compassion and welcome all who need us with open arms. When the spread of COVID-19 began, we had to quickly adapt and make changes to serve the people who need us, while ensuring their safety as well as the safety of our volunteers and staff. With recommendations from the CDC and Second Harvest, we quickly began implementing a drive-thru system that allows us to distribute hot meals, food boxes and emergency bags of food. Unfortunately, we had to shut down the client-choice food store and our offices. But we have been able to successfully take applications over the phone and online, so that no one is denied the food assistance they desperately need. Like many other organizations, we have implemented new procedures to protect our staff and volunteers, including cleaning frequently with disinfectant and requiring gloves and masks. Our staff and volunteers have done a great job handling all these changes and filling the new needs that arose due to COVID-19. Since disaster response operations began, Our Daily Bread has experienced a great deal of growth in the number of individuals we serve. In April alone, we distributed a total of 14,498 Hot Meals, 2,995 Emergency Bags, and 2,077 Food Boxes. We have seen tremendous support and help from partner organizations, donors and volunteers who are stepping up to help those in need. We receive ample food donations from Second Harvest Food Bank, WalMart, truckers, local grocery stores and restaurants and community members. In order to continue serving those in need, we still require donations and funding for other expenses like staff compensation (as our staff hours are increased to handle the work load) and operating expenses (electricity, gas, etc.). We also need donations of, or funding for, supplies for the hot meals, including clam shells for to-go meals, anti-bacterial cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer/soap, napkins, gloves, deli sheets, plastic cutlery kits and specific food items like seasonings and #10 canned vegetables. We are asking for help through our website at ourdailybreadhammond.org/takeaction OR you can text “helpthehungry” to 22525. For more information, visit our website at ourdailybreadhammond.org. Thank you for your support; together we can make a difference!

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OW is the time to put our faith into action and to focus on the last word of Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement: HOPE. On a normal basis we focus on building homes and communities, but these are not normal times. Thirty-one of our homeowners have had their employment hours cut or have lost their jobs. The great majority of our homeowners are A.L.I.C.E. (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) and are essential workers in our community. To assist our homeowners, who have experienced a loss of income, we set up an Escrow Grant Program. Funds in this grant program have been utilized to grant qualified homeowners funds to pay their monthly escrow amount. By placing these families in forbearance, homeowners’ unpaid monthly mortgage amounts will be added onto the end of their mortgages.

As of mid-May, Habitat’s ReStore, homeowner services and construction have been shut down for more than eight weeks. The ReStore plays an important role in the Habitat STW mission by serving as a place for people to shop and drop off their new and gently used items. It is also a major financial contributor to our affiliate. As a result, we have experienced a loss of over $165,000 as of mid-May. Those funds were to be utilized in the construction of homes that are currently in progress. Another loss our affiliate has had to deal with is the absence of volunteers on the construction site and a sudden halt in construction with five homes that need to be completed immediately. We will need both volunteers and additional funds to assist us in completing the homes in a timely fashion.

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There are a couple of ways that you can support our mission. You can make a contribution to assist with the completion of the homes. To make a donation simply text “buildback” to 44321 or mail a check made payable to Habitat for Humanity STW to 1400 North Lane, Mandeville, LA 70448. Your continued investment will help us support our homebuyers without interruption, help us complete five new homes that have been delayed due to this crisis and work on critical home repairs once the crisis lifts. The opportunity of homeownership provides an asset to these families and provides the opportunity for children to grow up in a stable home setting. As a result, youth growing up in Habitat homes are frequently able to do better - educationally, health-wise and financially - in life than their parents, thus breaking the cycle of generational poverty. During this pandemic, it is even more evident how important it is to have a safe, stable place to call home. As much as we wish there was a playbook for our current situation, it has not yet been written. What has been written is the command to love our neighbors and to act with kindness wherever we can. We thank you for the close and loving community and helping us build homes, community and HOPE during this unprecedented pandemic and the uncertainty we are all facing. habitatstw.org / 985.898.0642


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local pastor recently said, “I pray that when we look back at 2020 and the Covid-19 virus, we will see Christ rather than the crisis.” At STARC of Louisiana, I can tell you that we will look back and see just that. We will also see that we have kind, caring and dedicated staff members who personally chose to focus on the security and comfort of the individuals we serve, rather than focusing on fear and things that can overwhelm us. We will see that our individuals with intellectual and developmental disABILITIES (many of them non-verbal who can’t tell you the symptoms, who struggle with wearing a face mask, and who struggle with washing their hands over and over again) have been shielded by caring staff members who have chosen to personally absorb the daily unsettling news and implement every safety measure possible . . . all the while making sure that our participants have enjoyed art projects, music activities, physical exercise and informative programs (one client who loves history has connected with a program offered by the World War II Museum). Interaction with friends and family through Face Time, zoom and other technologies have proven to be invaluable . . . ensuring physical distancing while also ensuring social connections. Thankfully, as survivors of Katrina that destroyed or seriously damaged all but one of STARC’s 14 facilities and all of our vehicles, we are better prepared to deal with crisis management, and we are ready to adapt by doing things differently with a “can do” attitude.

We have seen participants who were very disappointed that some of their “long looked forward to activities” had to be cancelled: their annual Starlight Ball prom night that has been put on by the Adams and Reese Law Firm for 30 years, where they wear tuxedos and evening gowns and often arrive in limousines; STARC Art night where artists with disABILITIES display their God-given talents and sell their work to individuals in our community; Special Olympics where they are all winners and have the chance to collect another ribbon as evidence of that. These are only a few events that will not be in the memory bank of our STARC participants this year. We will reflect on the somber conversations of the administrative staff and Board members when the reality set in that our two largest fundraisers of the year would necessarily be cancelled: Jazz on the Bayou (hosted at the beautiful home of Ronnie and the late Gardner Kole) and the STARC for Life Breakfast, which gives our community at large the opportunity to financially invest in the on-going work at STARC where dreams can become realities. This year’s breakfast would have raised funds to expand our residential community home program which allows 8 men or women to live together as a family, under the careful supervision of 24 hour staff. Individuals with disABILITIES are living longer (thanks to enhanced and enriched lives) causing families to realize that they won’t outlive their loved one, thus the need for residential community homes. Finally, we will look back (hopefully with 20/20 vision and fresh eyes) and evaluate our methods of delivering services. The daycare services as well as the adult work training programs continue to be closed, which affects our ability to provide routine services and threatens the revenue streams that come from those services. STARC will remain optimistic because of our experience with the never-ending changes that occur in the lives of those we serve. Through the SPOE (Single Point of Entry) contact at STARC, newborns, children, teenagers, adults and seniors with intellectual and developmental disABILITIES can be linked or provided with needed services. Please call us at 985-641-0197 and let STARC connect you with Services, Training, Advocacy, Resources, or Community connections.

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hat if ? What if the Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation did not exist? What if over 600 patients along with their family members never had the opportunity to experience the warmth, love and care provided by our dedicated staff at the Richard Murphy Hospice House during those final days? What if the three bedroom Richard Murphy Hospice House located at 1109 South Chestnut Street in Hammond was not an option for our community? What would we do? The “what if ” is becoming a question we are all too often asking ourselves due to COVID-19. The impact that this pandemic has had on all organizations, including the Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation, has been an eye opening experience as it has unfolded and impacted our community and nation. Unbeknownst to many, the Richard Murphy Hospice House is not funded by

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the state or federal government and does not receive any type of medical reimbursement. Instead, the Richard Murphy Hospice House is funded by the heart and soul of our community through sponsorships, memorials and monetary donations. The generosity of our community provides us with the means to care for our patients and maintain the upkeep of the Richard Murphy Hospice House. Due to the current pandemic, the Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation has had to learn to navigate the balance of patient care and maintaining safety of the patients, families and staff, while continuously brainstorming financial options. Donations, sponsorships and fundraising remain vital for continuation of our current services and maintenance of the Richard Murphy Hospice House. Numerous individuals and businesses are reeling from changes in financial status due to COVID-19. Fundraising

has been directly impacted, with many fundraising opportunities being delayed or cancelled. The annual Richard Murphy Hospice gala fundraiser has been rescheduled to August 8, 2020, with uncertainty still looming about whether the event can be held at that time. This brings the “what if ” of funding to the question of what will we do, as an organization, to recover financially from this pandemic. As we return to what will be a new sense of normalcy, support for our local businesses will be vital to the success of organizations such as ours. The Richard Murphy Hospice House will not be a “what if ” because we will find a way to care for our patients and families thanks to our community. Please visit our website for more information: www.richardmurphyhospice.com


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or the ladies in the You Night Sisterhood, 2020 has been a trying year that has given further need to the organization’s mission of helping women embrace life beyond a cancer diagnosis. Founded in 2013, You Night has helped over 700 women in the New Orleans and St. Tammany areas who are presently battling or have battled a cancer diagnosis. The organization offers year-round empowering support programs that address emotional and mental care as a critical part of healing. You Night is best known for its Runway Empowerment Program, where the ladies work together as a team for several months prior to the show as a way of forging friendships and finding support through unique, uplifting experiences. The Runway Program helps the ladies find superpowers that they often didn’t know they possess. This attitude and these skills carry over into their everyday lives. However, with both of the organization’s runway shows cancelled (they usually have over 850 audience members), the biggest challenge was not only how the organization would find funding, but how it could still honor the commitment it made to the 50 members of the class of 2020. “We simply could not let these ladies or their family members down,” said Lisa McKenze, You Night Founder. “Our team doubled-down on its efforts to do everything in our power to find a creative solution that would deliver the same empowering experience that cultivates life-long friendships.”

The creative solution is a huge pivot this year that will involve a state-of-the-art filmed runway show livestreamed to friends, family members and the general public later this year. This new format will allow sponsors to get involved at various levels with all sorts of sponsor benefits. “After presenting our new ideas to the board and to our major sponsors, the response has been extraordinary, as everyone sees this as an opportunity to help even more ladies who are looking for a sisterhood of support.” McKenzie said that the pivot allows You Night to offer all of the wonderful gifts that are given each year to the current class members, while also giving the team the creative opportunity to amp up their skills, utilizing technology and more community involvement. Several local musicians are pitching in to help make 2020 spectacular with this year’s theme, “Purple Reign – Let Love Reign.” The show must go on, and it will go on. The You Night board of advisors and sponsors has been stellar in their support, and although we will face challenges and are looking for additional sponsors to join our amazing community, we stand united to come out stronger than ever.

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e keep calling it “the new normal,” but really there isn’t much that feels even remotely normal about life in the age of coronavirus. The pandemic has changed the way most people do almost everything, from the way we make groceries to the simple act of telling one another hello. At St. Tammany Hospital Foundation, however, at least one thing hasn’t changed. We’re still dedicated to sustaining the healing work of our healthcare heroes at St. Tammany Health System, and we’re still dedicated to fortifying the hospital’s promise to provide world-class healthcare close to home. We’ve just had to figure out the most effective way to do it in a world of social distancing protocols, stay-at-home orders and an economy brought to a screeching halt. For starters, that meant the postponement of our annual Get Lucky! Golf Tournament – previously scheduled for late May – to Aug. 27, out of social distancing concerns. Additionally, while we have yet to finalize and announce details, we modified our annual celebration of 2019 donors. (The foundation’s fall events are still on the calendar – for now.) Early on, we also established a Disaster Relief Fund to provide unrestricted support for St. Tammany Health System as it navigates the pandemic. Fueled by significant support from private donors, businesses and grantors, the fund has made an immediate impact. For example, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in April gifted the hospital with two GermAway UV Mobile UVC Surface Sterilizers to clean small spaces such as bathrooms. These two units serve as high-tech

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complements to a pair of larger Solaris UV Lytbot cleaning robots, the purchase of which – originally scheduled for delivery later this year as part of our donor-fueled expansion initiative – was fast-tracked by the foundation to keep our patients and colleagues safe during the COVID outbreak. Meanwhile, our team worked out a plan to position ourselves as ambassadors between St. Tammany Health System and the community, acting as a conduit for the outpouring of support for our colleagues. Since the hospital’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced in mid-March, the foundation has facilitated more than $50,000 in in-kind donations from our community, ranging from donations of personal protective equipment to meals for our indefatigable colleagues. Additionally, we established a “Sustaining St. Tammany Fund” to provide a way for people to say “thank you” to healthcare workers and to support local businesses at the same time by purchasing gift cards from local establishments, then donating them for distribution to hospital workers. Our work continues in numerous other ways, as well. In fact, with the arrival of COVID-19 in our community, it’s clear that our work supporting the hospital is as important as it has ever been. And so is yours. Members of the community who want to help are welcome to make a monetary donation; participate in the Sustaining St. Tammany project; donate supplies, PPE and meals; or make a thank-you note for healthcare workers. Visit www.sthfoundation. org/SupportSTHS to learn more about how you can help.


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e at Miracle League have been lying low over the last several weeks. Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our athletes, many of whom are already immunocompromised. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our Spring Baseball season after only one game! We were super bummed about that, but took the opportunity to take to social media and introduce our athletes as reasons for the #stayinghomesaveslives movement. Truly, by staying home, the lives you save could be one of ours! We took a break from fundraising during this time. We realize that there are organizations who provide crucial services to our community that need whatever surplus funds may be currently available. Our Annual Golf Tournament was originally scheduled in April and has been rescheduled to November 12th. Our golfers love this event and are looking forward to being on the greens! We are most excited about our Annual Radio-thon on the Lake 94.7. Mark us down for July 21st to tune in and help us make up our lost time. This event is completely virtual – just turn your radio dial to 94.7, download the app or listen from your computer to hear the stories and testimonials from athletes, families, donors and volunteers who believe in our cause and want you to join the team! Our athletes are looking forward to getting back on the field and every dollar helps us get there. We also participate in Give NOLA Day, hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation. This event was postponed from early May to June 2nd. This annual event is also completely virtual. What better way to make a difference in your community without ever having to leave the sofa - since it has molded around us at this point! As always, we are recruiting volunteers! Each athlete gets their own “buddy” to work with, so it takes a lot of volunteers to pull off each game. Our rosters have grown to a total of almost 100 athletes! Games are typically on Saturday mornings on our field at Coquille Parks and Recreation. Please consider joining us for the BEST baseballs game you will ever witness! For more information, please follow us on Instagram or Facebook, visit our website at www.miracleleaguenorthshore.org, or call us at (601) 431-0696. We look forward to being at the field and everyone yelling PLAY BALL again!!

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hile we are starting to slowly and carefully reopen our offices, please know that the St. Tammany Youth Service Bureau (YSB) never experienced an interruption in our valuable services to our clients. I am so proud of the staff and administration of YSB for their creativity and unrelenting efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to assure that each and every client’s needs were met while the world navigated this unique situation. Some of those efforts are highlighted below. Our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers utilized virtual technology to participate in pretrial conferences with the court, as well as Child in Need of Care hearings in Slidell City Court and Family Preservation Court in the 22nd Judicial District Courts of St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. In addition, five prospective volunteers continued their training with the use of virtual classrooms. Our Options team, which leads an outpatient treatment program for adolescents who are experiencing problems with alcohol and/or other drugs, continued their weekly supervision through telehealth visits or phone conferences. Parenting STEP and anger management programs were provided via Doxy.me, and the psychoeducational Substance Abuse Focus Group programs converted to an online Zoom program.

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Our Families in Need of Services (FINS) and Truancy Assessment and Service Center (TASC) staff capitalized on the waiver of attendance requirements and reached out to those clients who were determined to have more pressing, underlying concerns within the home. High-risk families were contacted with important information regarding the services provided to them by YSB and the recommendations made in the Informal Family Service Plan Agreements. Our employees and volunteers truly shone during this difficult time. They showed us why they are so important to our clients and to our entire community. At the outset of this pandemic, we were deeply saddened to cancel Chef ’s Soiree because for us, it’s not only one of the best events on the Northshore, it is our largest fundraiser of the year, providing YSB with the vast majority of our private donations. We are committed to continuing the invaluable work of YSB, but we are aware that times are tough. Although many other non-profits and small businesses in the community are in similar situations, we are reaching out to our supporters and asking you to consider making a donation to help us provide advocacy, counseling, education and intervention to the youth in our community, as well as our families. For more information about how you can donate and help the Youth Service Bureau, please visit our website – ysbworks.com


Life hurts. We Can Help. The doctors at Advanced Pain Institute have been double board certified and fellowship trained in pain medicine. Those certifications are so important when it comes to managing chronic pain. They are aware that ineffective pain management can lead to a marked decrease in the overall quality of life At Advanced Pain Institute, the pain experts want their clients to understand that there is no need to live with ongoing, fatiguing pain. They aim to bring relief to those who feel their condition has lowered their quality of life. The pain experts are committed and well-prepared to ease the pain that will truly enhance lives. “Through my background, training and years of experience, I am well prepared to help with the pain.� ~ Dr. Mohamed Elkersh

It is time to take control of your pain today. You can find out more information and schedule an appointment by calling 985.345.PAIN or visiting their website at PainExperts.com..

THE PAIN EXPERTS Steve Lee, MD

Ann Con, MD

Mohamed Elkersh, MD

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COMMUNITY LEADERS

Mark Jonhson City of Covington Mayor

Greg Cromer City of Slidell Mayor

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As Monty Python sang in Life of Brian, “Always look on the bright … side of life.” This spring both the residents and employees of Covington have been remarkable. Because our residents were mindful of social distancing at our parks, we were able to keep them open. It was nice to see so many folks strolling along side streets, riding bikes downtown and kayaking the Bogue Falaya – enjoying the quaint aspects of our little city. Our City employees have been outstanding. Fire and Police never missed a beat. Public Works’ crews went on standby: Routine maintenance was put on hold so workers would be available in cases of immediate need. Purchasing, Payroll, Permits et al began working from home. Department employees rotated in and out of City Hall on an as-need basis. The business of the City never wavered. Boogie Falaya and 4 Unplugged at the Trailhead in June? Sparks in the Park this July 3rd? Billy Joel tribute at the Fuhrmann? White Linen Night for Public Art in August? With proper outdoor social distancing, we just might see all of these. Look on the bright side of life. And finally, to all our graduates. We are proud of all you have accomplished and wish you all the best in your futures. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Over the last several days, President Trump, Governor Edwards and Parish President Cooper have issued National, State and Parish emergency declarations, respectively. All St. Tammany Parish public and parochial schools will be closed until April 13. A ban was also put into effect prohibiting most gatherings of 250 or more people through April 13. Most special events in the City of Slidell have been postponed or canceled. I want to ensure citizens that public health and safety is our number one priority. I ask everyone to stay calm, not panic and use common sense. Stay informed by reliable news sources and follow CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines to prevent the spread of this virus to the elderly and those with autoimmune issues. The City of Slidell is in frequent contact with the State of Louisiana and St. Tammany Parish Government and is following their recommendations on how to keep our community safe. Team Slidell – Slidell Memorial Hospital, Slidell Police Department, St. Tammany Parish First District 1, and the City of Slidell – is working together to continue providing efficient and effective services to our community. I’m concerned for our businesses here in Slidell. Please keep patronizing our local businesses. They need your support now more than ever. If you are sick or concerned about being out in public, there are many services that will deliver groceries and food from local stores and restaurants straight to your front door. For the latest information about City of Slidell news and events, please visit MySlidell.com and the “City of Slidell, Louisiana” Facebook page.


Are You Experiencing the First Signs of a Hearing Loss? We often have our teeth checked, our eyes checked and our blood-pressure tested, but when was the last time you had a hearing test? Hearing loss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process over the years, so it isn’t noticeable at first. But at some point, things will start to change. A few common signs of hearing loss include finding conversations hard to follow, turning the TV’s volume up louder than usual, and asking people to repeat themselves. Dr. JJ Martinez, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA Doctor of Audiology, Board Certified Audiologist

You might not think too much of it at first, or, despite any frustrations it is causing you, you might decide to put treatment off for “another day.” Often friends and family are the first to notice one’s hearing loss before it becomes a real challenge for the sufferer.

Slidell | Hammond | Mandeville

Sound familiar? If so, then SLENT Hearing & Balance Center encourages you to visit one of our hearing centers in Hammond, Slidell or Mandeville, LA for a hearing test. We’ll test your hearing, and identify if a hearing loss is at play, and if so, provide you with some treatment options. A recent worldwide study* confirmed that eight out of ten hearing aid users reported they had a profound positive impact on their quality of life, including improved relationships at home and work and a better sense of safety and independence.

Download Our Free Guide “The Early Symptoms of a Hearing Loss to Look Out For” Written by Dr. JJ Martinez Visit slenthearing.com/free-guide *Source: Findings of EuroTrak 2015 (ET 2015) and MarkeTrak 9 (MT9) worldwide studies about hearing loss and hearing aids.

Call 985-273-5795 Visit www.slenthearing.com

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Nose Park Hours 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.


1st Avenue Park: Now Known As “Nose” Park STORY RON BARTLETT PHOTO JERRY COTTRELL

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own at the end of Jahncke Avenue in Covington, just before it turns into Old Landing Road, is a roadside park with some extra special features. It offers a circular paved walking trail, a variety of playground equipment, picnic tables both in open sun and tree-shaded, plus a covered pavilion overlooking the tranquil Tchefuncte River. Oh, and a giant nose. Its official name is “First Avenue Park,” and it was a project promoted by Covington City Councilman Matt Faust in the mid1990’s. The park occupies the land that was once the city’s sewage processing plant. That meant it had large circular tanks filled with sewage. When the city got a new sewerage system, the sewage treatment plant was no longer needed. Some people used the site as a garbage dump for a while, and that caused a problem, not only for the nearby river, but because of all the broken glass mixed in with the garbage. Turning the area into a park required a great deal of effort, including removing the layer upon layer of broken glass. At first, the city tried to demolish the old facility with their own work crews, but it turned out to be a monumental task given the plant’s solid reinforced concrete construction. When that wasn’t going fast enough, officials were able to get a federal Land & Conservation grant for half of the $60,000 price tag to hire a contractor to finish the job. After four years of site cleanup and landscaping efforts, the park officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 17, 1996. “It’s not every day you turn a sewerage plant into a park and greenery,” said Councilman Faust at the ribbon cutting ceremony in 1996. That five-acre park has now become known as “Nose Park” because of the big nose sculpture created by Al Ormsby that sticks out of the ground near the front of the park. A nearby resident built a small garden next to the sculpture, and it was called “The Nose Garden.” The park is even called Nose Park on its Google Maps label, accompanied by positive reviews. The riverside covered pavilion is a popular spot, with its own observation deck as well as a boardwalk that goes down to the level of the river for a closer look. The pavilion, built by Randy Aultman, is wheelchair accessible, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the peaceful bend in the river.

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Tubing Do the Bogu


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STORY MEGHAN HOLMES PHOTOS KEVIN GARRETT FOR LOUISIANANORTHSHORE.COM

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he Bogue Chitto River is a tributary of the Pearl, which serves as the dividing line between Mississippi’s southern tip and Louisiana’s Florida Parishes. The Choctaw named the Bogue Chitto “big creek” and traveled up and down the length of the Pearl and into the surrounding delta to trade with other Native Americans in the region. Today’s river traffic is often of a different variety, more about recreation than commerce. The river is among the region’s most popular tubing destinations, a great spot to enjoy warm sun and cool, gently flowing water. Several outfitters make it easy for visitors to grab a tube and let the Bogue Chitto’s typically meandering current do the work for them as they float a mile or two downstream. “It’s one of the best ways to have clean lazy fun,” said Ragan Bonnette, who co-owns Louisiana River Adventures with his wife Haley. “You come out and rent one of our tubes, and we shuttle you upriver on an old school bus. There are two- and four-hour trips, depending on how far we take you upstream. A lot of people also spend time on the sand bars alongside the water, having lunch and relaxing, and that adds additional time to the float.” The Bogue Chitto isn’t particularly deep, typically four feet or so, though it’s deeper in some places and others are quite shallow. The river is also relatively clear, despite the shifting sandy bottom that characterizes rivers in this region. Currents shift the sand from shore to shore over time, creating large sandbars perfect for lounging riverside. Cow pastures and the occasional camp line the river’s edge, and turtles perched on downed limbs are not an uncommon sight. Egrets and bald eagles may also make an appearance, but Bonnette explained, “We are doing a lot of business on this part of the river, so there isn’t a whole lot of wildlife. You’re out in the country, enjoying the water and time with friends and family.” Tubing trips typically cost around $20 per person per tube and take most of the day, meaning hours spent in direct sunlight. Sunscreen, as well as sun hats and sunglasses, are recommended. Visitors may want to wear water-appropriate shoes for exploring sand bars and the shoreline. Ice chests with food and drink can be floated downstream. You can drink alcohol on the river, but remember to stay hydrated and be aware of your surroundings. “I’ve seen some people start the trip and end it as two different people,” Bonnette said, laughing. “But honestly, this is also the perfect family-friendly activity. We have people who come from all over the world to see the river.” For more ideas on how to explore your Northshore, visit LouisianaNorthshore.com

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Tubing

OUTFITTERS LOUISIANA RIVER ADVENTURES Opens 9 a.m. Last float begins at 4 p.m. Open seasonally April through September 12409 Camp Circle Rd., Franklinton, LA 985.795.2004 www.louisianariveradventures.com

TUBING IN THE PARK Opens 9 a.m. Located inside Bogue Chitto State Park 17049 State Park Blvd.,Franklinton, LA 985.515.4485 www.facebook.com/tubinginthepark

BOGUE CHITTO TUBING CENTER Opens 9 a.m. All floats must be completed by 7p.m. Open seasonally beginning in April 10237 Choctaw Rd., Bogalusa, LA 985.750.1173 No children under age 5 www.boguechitto.com

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My turn:

by Louis Ochoa

ABOUT LOUIS OCHOA In every issue, EDGE of the Lake invites a local chef or restauranteur to visit another eatery on the Northshore. Louis Ochoa has been in the restaurant business for thirty years. He owns a variety of businesses including NOLA Southern Grill, Pinewood Plantation and the Sadie Jane. He grew up in Metairie and moved to Slidell thirty years ago. Louis considers himself a foodie who loves trying new restaurants and staying on top of the latest food trends.


I was a first-time guest when I walked into Pyre Provisions in Covington. Right away I was impressed by the clean lines and trendy, modern wood look that represents the way they prepare food: smoke and wood grill techniques. The smells hit you hard when you enter, makes your mouth water. My girlfriend and I were seated in a booth. I had a Tito’s Texas Lemonade, and she had a frozen champagne type daiquiri called the Frose. The drinks were very refreshing after coming in from the hot Louisiana outdoors. We ordered the Asian Brussel Sprouts for an appetizer. They were perfectly roasted and came with house cured pork belly, radishes and sesame seeds, all tossed in a vinaigrette. It was delicious, and the elements complimented each other very well. It appeared that a lot of the meals were served family style, so we split an entrée. We chose the Prime Beef Brisket with the classic Texas rub. The brisket was cooked perfectly with nice thick, tender slices on a platter. You almost didn’t need a knife to cut it. All of the sides looked tempting. There was a greens and ham hock dish I saw on another table that looked really good. We eventually decided on the Cast Iron Roasted Cauliflower. The cauliflower was individual florets, broken up, roasted, and then tossed in butter with wonderful house seasonings. The meal was reasonably priced, and you could tell everything was made in-house. Our waitress, Mary, was attentive and super friendly. Her timing was perfect. We asked questions about the menu and other offerings and she had knowledgeable answers. She made us feel welcome the whole time we were there. And they used hand-held devices that allowed them to place the order right there from the table, which helped with the timing of the meal. I heartily recommend Pyre Provisions. If you like meat and tastefully done, interesting sides, then this is a good place to check out. PYRE PROVISIONS 70437 LA-21 Suite 100, Covington 985.888.6129


OFF THE AIR with Charles Dowdy

Charles Dowdy is a broadcaster and writer living with his wife and four children on the Northshore. You can hear him each weekday morning from 6 to 10 on Lake 94.7.

A Guide to Men’s Pregnancy Guides I admit that I have a tendency to exaggerate (my wife calls it lying), but the books I’m about to discuss are actual books. With real pages. These are books that teach men how to deal with their pregnant wives or raise their young children. There’s Babies and Other Hazards of Sex: How to Make a Tiny Person in Only 9 Months With Tools You Probably Have Around the Home. Then there are the knock offs on the women’s pregnancy Bible, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. They are What to Expect When Your Wife Is Expanding and What the Heck Were You Expecting?: A Complete Guide for the Perplexed Father. There’s also She’s Having a Baby: And I’m Having a Breakdown and my personal favorite My Boys Can Swim: The Official Guy’s Guide to Pregnancy. (If you can’t figure out that last one, then blame your parents or your high school science teacher.) These books can be broken down into two categories. These are either books for men written by women or books for men written by women pretending to be men. The books for men written by women always focus on women even though they are supposed to be for men. These books say things like, “During the first trimester if your wife says she is hungry you must meet her needs exactly. If she says she wants peppermint ice cream with chocolate fudge then that is what her body, hence the baby, craves. While you may have vanilla ice cream with caramel topping in the freezer this is not what her body, hence the baby, craves. So you must get out of bed, get dressed, get in the car and go meet her needs. Failure to do this could be detrimental to the health of your unborn child.” Or “Vitamin E Cream should be applied to the stomach to help prevent stretch marks. Early on in the pregnancy the husband might want to practice for this important application by liberally applying lavender oil to the woman’s shoulders and feet. To keep from confusing the fetus this should be done on a daily basis.” The books for men written by women pretending to be men are even worse. In these books the men are testosterone bombs who use phrases like “Me man, you diaper.” These books comprise of very short, simple sections with headings like “Breast or Bottle” lest the short attention spans of us

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dumb men get lost between Sport’s Center, beer and the discussion over how to feed our new child. Guy’s Guide to Pregnancy was written by a woman who was not pregnant and even the cover is unrealistic. The cover features a touchy feely picture of a man standing behind a pregnant woman and reaching around her stomach. Some type of trick photography was involved or this guy’s arms actually drag the ground while he walks. Or maybe there are two men behind her, anyway, this monkey of a man is palming this ridiculously obese stomach like he’s Dr. J. The woman is smiling and has one hand placed over the man’s hand that is squeezing her stomach. The picture was obviously taken in the instant before she drove her elbow into this man’s nose then ate three of his fingers. 101 Secrets a Good Dad Knows by Walter and Sue Ellin Browder clearly makes my case. I can tell you now that Walter had nothing to do with this book. Walter probably slept in his Lazy-Boy while Sue Ellin hacked this thing out. 101 Secrets is “filled with instructions for simple projects that will make a Dad look like a hero to his children, such as: How to Skip a Rock, How to Change a Sparkplug, How to Carve a Whistle, How to Identify Five Icky Things Under a Rock and Which Properties to Buy in Monopoly.” There’s no mention of a follow-up chapter about carting Dad to the emergency room after he whittles off his thumb or gets bitten by an unidentified icky thing. The book claims “knowing how to do these things will raise children’s self esteem, increase their confidence and foster self-reliance.” This book might also scare children to death when they realize their dolt of a Dad needed instructions to learn how to skip a rock. Besides, I personally subscribe to a slum lord philosophy when buying Monopoly properties. Does this mean that I missed something as a child? Is this a reflection of my father’s ability to raise children? Or is this simply what happens when a woman decides to write a book for men? One more thing: if Sue Ellin feels confident enough to push this book onto the public, what else is she up to? Somebody better wake up Walter.


Profile for EDGE of the Lake

Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2020  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique people that make up our community. Expect the unex...

Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2020  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique people that make up our community. Expect the unex...

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