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APRIL 2012

They have a CLUE about what it takes to succeed.

Inside Calcasieu Parish POLICE JURY

April 2012

General Services Guide

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

Others who can benefit from inpatient rehabilitation are postoperative patients, accident victims and cancer patients. 24 Hour Nursing Care • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy Speech Therapy • Nutritional Counseling and Monitoring Case Management Call for a free assessment today. One Hospital Drive, Ste. 101 • Jennings, LA 70546 • Phone: (337) 821-5353 • Fax: (337) 821-5355 or 5366 jenningsrehab@yahoo.com • www.jenningsrehab.com 2 www.thriveswla.com

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

April 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Contents 12

26 62

In This Issue

Cover Story

Home & Family 9 Surviving the Swarming Season

48 Thirteen Thriving 30-Somethings

12 Spring Cleaning Safety

14 GO RED for Women

Volunteer Month 19 Do Good, Feel Good 21 A Volunteer’s Heart 24 Bayou Beautification

Money & Career

Regular Features

22 By the Numbers 31 Business Buzz 38 First Person: with Mark Merchant, PhD 42 Who’s News 72 Community Contributors 82 Ready to Wear 86 Happenings 90 Solutions for Life

26 Giving Teens Credit 28 Sandwich Generation Solutions

48 Cover photos by Shonda Manuel

Places & Faces 36 Ahoy Matey! - Contraband Days 40 Mac Burns - WCCH Golf Tourney

Editors and Publishers

Kristy Armand Christine Fisher

Creative Director/Layout

Barbara VanGossen

Assistant Editor

Erin Kelly

Mind & Body

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel

Assistant Designers

Shonda Manuel Kris Roy

54 Smoking: Dangerous Head to Toe

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 ads@thriveswla.com Emily Porche Britney Glaser

62 Exercise Your Right: Tips on Trainers 66 Kids & Cavities 68 Muscle Activation Matters

Submissions edit@thriveswla.com Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

Style & Beauty 74 Bobbing Along 78 Charming Jewelry Choices 80 Springtime Skin Care

Oops! In our March issue, George Clyde was inadvertently omitted from an announcement in Who’s News. Clyde was named treasurer of the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation. He has served on the Foundation Board since 1997.

Don’t just live, thrive!

FOLLOW US ON: Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. 4 www.thriveswla.com

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April 2012

MeMorial Medical Group Here’s a great thought…. Physician Specialties Cardiology Cardiovascular Surgery Ear, Nose & Throat Gastroenterology Family Medicine Internal Medicine Hematology Neurosurgery

doctors working together to coordinate your care. Or how about a primary care physician who works with your orthopedist…. your cardiologist….your gastroenterologist…your oncologist….so that all of your health providers are on the same page when it comes to your medical issues. Or maybe physicians who network, as a team, and complement each phase of your healthcare treatment…64 physicians…24 family medicine residents…. representing 20 specialties and subspecialties combined. And how about the ability to access such a network of doctors and specialists with one phone call…one mouse click. Isn’t that what you want?


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Home & Family

Break Out Your Freshest Ideas.

It’s Home and Garden Season. 6 www.thriveswla.com

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April 2012

Okra & Cucumbers Soak the Summer Sun The warm soil of early spring makes an ideal breeding ground for a favorite Louisiana staple—okra—and a favorite all-around versatile vegetable, the cucumber. Both thrive from good beginnings but also need to be protected from common crop culprits, like worms and caterpillars. If you’re in Louisiana, have a vegetable garden and love to eat gumbo, then you may be planning to plant some okra—if you haven’t already. Although best-known for gumbos and stews, this nutritious vegetable’s pod mucilage also acts as a viable thickening agent. It’s a warm-season crop and is found in many summer gardens when few things will grow well. Soak the okra seeds overnight in warm tap water to soften the hard seed coats—if the seed coat is too tough, lightly scratch it against sandpaper to loosen it. Plant the seed about ¼- to ½-inch deep, and space plants 15-18 inches apart in well-developed rows with only moderate soil fertility. Soil pH should be 5.9 to 7.2. If the soil is too acrid, growth will be reduced and plant leaves will pucker. Start with a fertilizer of lower nitrogen and higher phosphorous and potassium. About 3 pounds of 8-24-24 per 100 ft. of row is all you need preplant. Sidedress this long-term crop every month or more with nitrogen, using almost 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 100 ft. If growth is rank, production may drop off; so avoid overfertilizing and reduce sidedressings. Okra likes hot weather; when the pods start coming on strong, be sure to keep plants well picked to extend pod-setting growth. Old pods left to go to seed reduce total yields. Harvest pods every other day. There’s no such thing as a pod too small—it’s much better than one a little too big. Ideal pods have a non-fibrous tip that snaps when pushed with the thumb. Discard all hard pods as soon as they’re discovered. In mid-summer when plants are tall, they may be cut back to 18 inches to resprout and regrow to a workable height. This is a good time to sidedress with fertilizer to restore new growth. Okra pods are tender and store well for about a week in refrigeration. Blanch and freeze any that won’t be eaten soon. Some problems we see on Louisiana okra include stink bug pod damage, nematodes, aphids, fire ants, high fertility production loss, skin irritation to gardeners, pod rot in extended rains, pod bruising with rough handling and post-harvest pod desiccation. Common problems with okra are aphids—watch for a buildup of colonies on the undersides of the leaves and cabbage worms, which resemble velvety green caterpillars. In their early stages, these insects will cause damage by eating holes through the leaves. Sometimes they’re not easy to see because they are fairly small and blend well. Aphids are also a threat to cucumbers, which are one of the most popular garden vegetables, perhaps with the exception of tomatoes.

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Home & Family |

Home and Garden

Cucumbers are usually started by planting seeds directly in the garden. Sow two or three seeds in peat pots, peat pellets or other containers three to four weeks before the weather is most certain to be frost-free. Thin to one plant per container. Plant transplants 1 to 2 feet apart in rows 5 to 6 feet apart when they have two to four true leaves. Do not allow transplants to get too large in containers or they will not transplant well. Like other vine crops, cucumbers do not transplant successfully when pulled as bare-root plants. Plant seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and thin the seedlings to one plant every 12 inches in the row or to three plants every 36 inches in the hill system. If you use transplants, plant them carefully in warm soil 12 inches apart in the row. Cucumber plants have shallow roots and require ample soil moisture at all stages of growth. When fruit begins setting and maturing, adequate moisture becomes especially critical. For best yields, incorporate compost or well-rotted manure before planting. Cucumbers respond to mulching with soil-warming plastic in early spring or organic materials in summer. Use of black plastic mulch warms the soil in the early season and can give significantly earlier yields, especially if combined with floating row covers. Side-dress with nitrogen fertilizer when the plants begin to vine. Cucumber beetles should be controlled from the time that the young seedlings emerge from the soil. In small gardens, the vines may be trained on a trellis or fence. When the long, burpless varieties are supported, the cucumbers hang free and develop straight fruits. Winds whipping the plants can make vertical training impractical. Wire cages also can be used for supporting the plants. Do not handle, harvest or work with the plants when they are wet. Pick cucumbers at any stage of development before the seeds become hard. Cucumbers usually are eaten when immature. The best size depends upon the


use and variety. They may be picked when they are no more than 2 inches long for pickles, 4 to 6 inches long for dills and 6 to 8 inches long for slicing varieties. A cucumber is of highest quality when it is uniformly green, firm and crisp. The large, burpless cucumbers should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and up to 10 inches long. Some varieties can grow considerably larger. Do not allow cucumbers to turn yellow. Remove from the vine any missed fruits nearing ripeness so that the young fruits continue to develop. The cucumber fruit grows rapidly to harvest size and should be picked at least every other day. Source: University of Illinois

Take a break from the stresses of your life and join us for our Healthy Woman Spa Day. This special event will feature a range of seminars, demonstrations and screenings all designed to help you look and feel your best every day of the year. You can talk with spa and beauty vendors, receive free health screenings, relax with chair massages or get pumped up for fitness lessons. It’ll be a great way for you and your friends to enjoy a day of pampering.

Pamper Party! Healthy Woman Spa Day Saturday, April 21 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. • Women & Children’s Hospital 4200 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605 $8 admission if you pre-register by April 9 / $15 admission at the door Event T-shirt included with registration while supplies last. Pre-register online at Women-Childrens.com/HealthyWoman or call 337-475-4064 for more information.


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April 2012

3/19/12 4:12 PM

Surviving the

Swarming Season by Kristy Armand

We all know the signs to look for: flowers blooming, birds singing and bees buzzing. What’s not mentioned are mosquitoes biting, ants nesting and termites destroying.

In Southwest Louisiana, swarming insects are an inevitable annoyance that accompanies our enjoyment of the great outdoors. Spring is the season that many insects come out of their dormant winter hibernation and swarm as they search for food, shelter and mates. Robert Soileau, Manager of J&J Exterminating in Lake Charles, says our warm, humid climate definitely provides a very welcoming environment for swarming insects, as well as providing an ample and easily accessible supply of water and food – in the form of plant and animal life.” He adds that the problem with insects in the spring is part perception and part reality. “We spend more time outdoors during the spring months, so we tend to notice bugs more, and when they are swarming, they are much more visible than when we see one or two at a time.” Soileau says the mild winter we experienced, combined with the early arrival of warm spring weather triggered earlier and more widespread swarms of numerous insects. “It’s very common to come across swarms in the air and on the ground this year. We’ve received more calls than usual about swarming pests. And while some bugs are just an annoyance, othes pose real threats to home, yard and/or health. “Knowing what the most common swarming pests are, as well as being aware of any risks they pose, can help you protect your family and your home throughout the spring and summer months.” 1 Termites Soileau says termites are more commonly found in wet, humid areas, “so they love Southwest Louisiana.” While termites aren’t a health threat to people, they can wreak havoc on the wooden foundation or walls of buildings. “In spring and summer, termite activity increases dramatically, as the insects swarm and feed on any wooden structures,” he explains. “In our region, we have two prevalent types of termites, and they exit their dormant period at slightly different times, extending the swarm season. Native termites swarm late winter and early spring, mainly during the day; Formosan termites swarm in late spring, typically at dusk.” He says spotting swarming activity in or around the home is a good indication of an infestation for which homeowners should seek professional assistance. Termite colonies can number in the hundreds of thousands and they are active 24 hours a day. Once termites infest a home, they aggressively begin chewing through floors, walls, carpeting and even wallpaper, creating lasting damage that comes with a huge price tag – up to tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s so important to take preventive measures and to respond immediately if you suspect an infestation. 2 Mosquitos Mosquitoes are the most recognizable Southwest Louisiana insect and are most often found in and around standing pools of water, which is where they lay their eggs in the spring and summer. Soileau says with the increased risk of West Nile Virus, mosquitoes continue to be, not only a nuisance pest, but also a major health

April 2012

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Home & Family |

Home and Garden

threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile Virus infections have appeared more frequently across the United States in recent years, which makes mosquito control even more important. In addition to the potential for West Nile Virus, mosquitoes can also cause itchy, unsightly marks as well as severe allergic reactions in human beings. While most mosquitoes can be handled by decreasing the amount of standing water, wearing long sleeves and insect repellent, yards that are connected to particularly wet areas may need more intensive pest control.

ants. A well-established ant colony can produce hundreds of swarmers, and all the ant colonies of the same species in an area produce swarmers at the same time.� Soileau says winged ants are often confused with termites due to the similar size. Ants are a concern because not just because they can sting humans and animals, they can also damage electronics when infesting outdoor equipment such as air conditioning units, sewage systems etc. Carpenter ants can also cause structural damage, similar to termites, as they tunnel their way into wooden structures.

3 flying ,stinging pests Stinging pests, bees, wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Soileau says these types of pests are a big threat in our area in the spring and summer, and can be aggressive in nature, often stinging as a way to protect their colonies or larvae from human beings who attempt to remove an infestation on their own. Stings from some insects can cause skin irritation or a serious allergic reaction in some people. They can make nests and hives in overhangs, bushes, and trees around your home. If left untreated, these can grow considerably in size, increasing the likelihood of stings.

To learn more about spring pests and how to protect your home and yard, call J&J Exterminating at 474-7377 in Lake Charles or 463-4574 in DeRidder or visit www.jjext.com.

4 ants Ants are social insects, meaning if you spot one, there are many more to follow. And although we typically think of ants as crawling, Soileau says in the spring and summer, ants swarm. “There are numerous ant species prevalent in Southwest Louisiana and they all reproduce in the spring and summer with winged swarmers, male and female ants that fly out to start a new colony of

www.lnla.org Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional

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April 2012

The Psychology of

Spring Home Sales by Christine Fisher

For Sale signs are cropping up like wildflowers in yards across Southwest Louisiana, a sure sign that spring is here. Springtime has historically been a busy season for home buying and selling. Close to 40 percent of all homes are bought or sold in the spring, according to the National Association of Realtors. For most people, selling their home and buying a new one isn’t an impulsive decision. It usually takes months of thought and preparation to decide and then get the home ready to put on the market. That is followed by weeks and sometimes months searching for a new home. Families with school-aged children, which are a large percentage of homebuyers, are busy in the late summer and early fall as school begins, after that, the holidays quickly approach, so most people put moving on the shelf until the holiday celebrations subside. Spend a few weeks getting the house ready for potential buyers and voila, it’s spring: the real estate season. “Families are wanting to re-locate during summer vacation, so they can be settled by the time school starts in the fall,” said Rebecca Slone, realtor with Century 21 Bessette Realty. “That means they are going to open houses and setting up appointments to see homes during the spring. They’ll make their decision and begin the buying process in order to have it wrapped up in the summer.” Adults in general are more in the homebuying mood once the weather warms up and the days are longer. Most people are ready to get outdoors after the cold and rain of winter. “Even though our winter is mild, we see an increase in activity in the spring,” said Slone. Also, many buyers apply their tax refunds toward down payments, adding to the spring rush. Between school commitments, the holidays and even tax refunds, there are plenty of logical reasons home-buying season perks up in the spring, but there are also psychological indicators, too. “In the spring, people are ready for a fresh start,” said Slone, who has sold

April 2012

real estate for 14 years and has witnessed the spring rush each year. “Spring is typically a season of renewal and change. A home is a personal investment; many people feel a home expresses their personality, social status, and gives them a sense of belonging. When it is time to change those qualities, springtime is often the natural choice.” So, if you’re among the 40 percent who are listing your home this spring, consider these springtime tips for a quick sale: Take advantage of the spring flowers to add pops of color to your landscaping. They can take a ho-hum house and make it appear fresh and inviting. If gardening isn’t your thing, a few well-placed flowers can make a big impact. Concentrate them near your walkway and your front door. Keep your grass mown. It may be tempting to put off firing up the lawn mower for as long as possible, but you’ll be turning away prospective buyers before they ever see the inside of your home. The lawn and exterior of your home are your first impressions and they count. If the weather is nice, open your windows for a little while before the house is shown. It can help rid stale or cooking odors. Be sure to close them before any potential buyers visit, you don’t want them to think the air conditioner is on the fritz!

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Take a look at your patio furniture. Be sure to give it a scrub if it needs refreshing after the winter. A few potted plants on a porch or deck are a nice touch. “Keep in mind that just as you are putting your home on the market now, there are a lot of other homes that have just come on the market, too. Price your home accordingly. Work with your realtor on arriving at a fair price so that you’re home doesn’t languish on the market,” said Slone. With a little luck and hard work, you’ll find the right buyer for your home and you’ll settle into a new place before it’s time for that summer vacation.



Home & Family

Add Safety to Spring Cleaning Checklist by Kristy Armand

Spring has sprung! If you find yourself involuntarily drawn to the aisles of cleaning supplies, storage bins and power tools when shopping at this time of year, you’re not alone. Research from the American Cleaning Institute found that 3/4 of Americans say they engage in spring cleaning each year. You might be surprised to hear that spring cleaning is actually rooted in ancient history. An annual cleansing of the home and preparation of the fields for planting coincided with the venal equinox, which, in many cultures, marked the beginning of the new year. These traditions of cleaning and incorporated many rituals used to symbolize renewal and optimism for the new season. Ultimately, spring cleaning may have more to do with simple biology, according to researchers. During winter, we’re exposed to less sunlight due to shorter and often overcast days. The lack of exposure to light triggers our bodies produce melatonin, a hormone that causes sleepiness in humans. As spring begins and we’re exposed to more sunlight, our bodies produce much less melatonin. Scientists suggest that the urge to clean in the spring is a natural inclination that arises as we wake up from winter’s melatonin-induced daze and feel more energetic as the days grow longer when spring arrives. Suddenly we notice the dust under the furniture, the dead limbs in the trees and the cluttered closets, and actually have the energy to do something about it. But before you haul out the buckets, ladders and lawn equipment to spruce up your home and yard, Joni Fontenot, director of the Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana, advices caution due to the risk of injury that accompanies spring cleaning activities. According to the Home Safety Council, unintentional home-related injuries cause 21 million medical visits and nearly 20,000 deaths on average, each year -- many resulting from the kinds of activities conducted while spring cleaning. “Awareness of the potential injury risks, along with preventive measures, are critical to ensure that an injury doesn’t derail your cleaning plans,” Fontenot says.

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April 2012

The Safety Council offers the following recommendations to prevent injuries while you get your home in yard spruced up this spring:


Inside: • When cleaning out closets or re-organizing, keep stairs, steps, landings and all floors clear. Avoid creating so many piles that you can’t safely maneuver around them. • Keep electrical cords for cleaning tools clear of walkways. • Carry loads you can see over, and keep one hand free to hold banisters and railings. • Be careful walking on wet floors, and alert others in your home of any wet surfaces. • If you need to climb, use a stepladder or ladder. When using a ladder, stand at or below the highest safe standing level. Before using, make sure the rungs are dry. • Follow safety recommendations when using cleaning products, such as wearing gloves and masks. Do not mix products together because the contents could react, causing dangerous results. Make sure these products are properly stored and out of the reach of small children. • When cleaning out medicine cabinets, check expiration dates and throw out expired medications as they often lose their effectiveness or may become dangerous. Make sure medications are stored out of the reach of young children. • In homes with young children, never leave a bucket or any standing water unattended. Store buckets empty and upside-down.

• Wear protective goggles and ear protection while using outdoor machinery to prevent sight and hearing-loss injuries. • Keep all garden tools out of children’s reach and store them with tines, blades or spikes pointing downward. • The best place for children under 12 when you’re using a lawn mower or other motorized equipment is indoors. Some tools are so noisy you can’t tell if a child is nearby. • Even hand-powered ones can kick up sharp rocks, sticks, and small toys that could strike eyes or skin, and blades can chop fingers or toes. Clear the area of debris before mowing. • Never take a child as a passenger on a ride-on mower - he could slip and fall under the rotating blades. • Fuel mowers outside and only when the motor is completely cool. If necessary, store small quantities of gasoline outside the home in a detached garage or shed, tightly sealed in an approved safety container and out of the sight and reach of children. • Start the mower outdoors to avoid raising carbon monoxide levels inside the garage. • Store pesticides in their original containers and out of the reach of children, and only mix and store pesticides in containers not used for eating or drinking.

For more information on backyard safety or any other safety topic, call the Safety Council at 436-3354 or visit www.safetycouncilswla.org.

Wishing you a happy and blessed Easter!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 www.brightonbridge.com • 1-888-878-0337 Brighton Bridge Hospice for compassionate and professional care.

April 2012

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It’sTime to Get Ready, Set and Keynote Speaker:


Jennifer Galardi

Most women take the time and effort to put their best foot forward each day. It might be slipping on that knock out dress or strutting in those great pair of shoes. However, women often forget that it is what is on the inside that really matters: keeping your heart healthy and learning about a woman’s unique risks and signs and symptoms of heart disease. Well, what if you had an occasion to wear that knockout red outfit with 450 of your closest friends and neighbors, all in support of a cause that affects millions of women each year? This year’s Southwest Louisiana Go Red For Women luncheon will be held on April 12th at L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. Chaired by Dana Keel, Citgo, Governmental and Communtiy Affairs Manager, the luncheon will begin at 12 noon with registration and pre-luncheon activities starting at 10:30 a.m. There will be a variety of festivities ranging from heart health information booths to a silent auction filled with items that are sure to get anyone’s heart pumping. Guests will be hearing from multiple speakers, including local heart survivors who will share their stories of strength and survival. 14 www.thriveswla.com

Guest speaker is Louisiana’s First Lady, Supriya Jindal and this year’s keynote speaker is Jennifer Galardi, celebrity nutrition and fitness expert. Jennifer is a nationally recognized star of bestselling dance and fitness DVD’s and has spent years understanding the importance of health and nutrition to women. The leading cause of death in women is heart disease, affecting 8.6 million women world-wide each year, killing approximately 500,000. These numbers are a staggering reminder that heart disease can affect any one, regardless of age, health, or family history. The Go Red For Women campaign started in 2004, when the American Heart Association realized that even though hundreds of thousands of women were falling victim to heart disease each year, women just weren’t taking notice of the dangers of the disease. To raise awareness about heart disease, they created Go Red For Women as a way to empower women through passionate appeals to take charge of their heart health. National sponsors of the campaign include Macy’s and Merck Pharmaceuticals, while major local sponsors include presenting sponsor, L’Auberge Casino Resort, CITGO, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Jeff Davis Bank, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, SWLA Center for Health Services, Lake Charles American Press, First Federal Bank, First Federal Investments, Healthy Image Advertising and First National Bank in DeRidder. Media Sponsors are Thrive, KPLC, KMI Printing, and Adsource. Donations from the local and national AHA Go Red For Women initiative supports awareness, research, education and community programs to benefit women. In 2010, the American Heart Association set a strategic goal of reducing death and disability from cardiovascular disease and strokes by twenty percent while improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by twenty percent by the year 2020. “We want women (and men) in Southwest Louisiana to come to this year’s Go Red For Women Luncheon at L’Auberge Casino Resort,” said the GRFW Chair, Dana Keel. “This year’s luncheon will be a special time for our friends and neighbors in Southwest Louisiana to unite and fight heart disease, which claims too many lives of women each year. Women are caretakers of others, but this is OUR time…time we can invest in caring for ourselves.” According to SWLA’s American Heart Association Regional Director, Janice Ackley, “The Go Red For Women luncheon is a reminder that their heart health should become an important part of a woman’s daily routine. What a great, festive environment to learn with a few hundred other women! With

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April 2012

empowering and inspirational speakers, a fantastic, heart healthy lunch, health education and screenings, and a great auction…it is time well spent investing in yourself or the women you care about.” So, the time is now to get ready, set and let’s GO RED! How can you go wrong! For more information about the AHA’s Go Red For Women Luncheonon this year’s luncheon and to purchase tickets, please visit www.heart. org/swlagored or call 337-794-1404. t Guest Speaker: Supriya Jindal


2012 Go Red Leadership Team

Left to Right: Back Row: Shireen Santhanasamy, Cameron Communications; Stephanie Ryder, KPLC TV; Chip Arnould, Entergy; Paula Gaspard, Firestone; Randy Robb, Chennault Authority; Patricia Prudhomme; La Coalition for TFL; Nora Popillion, Delta Downs Front Row: Janice Ackley, American Heart Association; Dana Keel, Chair, CITGO; Pam McGough, McNeese; and Leslie Harless, First Federal Bank Not Pictured: Celia Case, SWLA Call Center; Barbara Hardy, HH2000; Patricia Philmon, Merrill Lynch; Roland Terrell, Terrell and Associates; and Nancy Tower, Sasol North America.

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SWLA Music Scene

For as long as I can remember, people have told me that our Lake Charles music scene isn’t what it should be, that we don’t have supporters, that we simply don’t have a music community that can stand on its own feet. But as I’m writing this, tonight, March 16th, there are sixteen live music shows in Lake Charles. Let me repeat that: sixteen. This eclectic and feverish combination of venues, music genres, and musicians spanning just a few hours on a Friday night doesn’t manifest on its own; we’re seeing the beginnings of a new music renaissance in Lake Charles, and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The number of gigs is growing and the need to invest in local music is taking hold of restaurants, fundraisers, non-profit organizations, and so forth. With Southwest Louisiana focusing on really making the effort to support all things local from visual art to produce, it’s only natural that local music be included in this campaign. Visiting a downtown bar to see Ashes of Babylon or John Guidroz may seem to have little effect on the bigger picture at hand, but larger crowds not only encourage local musicians to keep producing and to keep performing, it also supports a demand for great music in the area which has a wider impact in the community. It’s always been about quality in the Lake Charles music scene, not quantity, and the musicians and producers in our music community are not sitting

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by Erica McCreedy

by idly waiting for the city to make the first move. Even if we are seeing some of the same band names on posters, we have a vibrant ecosystem of singers, songwriters, musicians, and bands that are generating albums and live shows right now that expand the realm of great music in Lake Charles through innovative and creative compositions in constant communication with genres like new wave, funk, metal, shoe gaze, blues, and everything in between. Perhaps the reason why our music is so unapologetically driven to the bones is that audiences are full of locals who recognize home-grown talent. Chris Shearman has been playing in Lake Charles since 1998 and has either played with or seen practically every musician in the area. “Those who support live music do it passionately. People here respect hard working musicians and good music. They always will.” Lake Charles audiences are blended with other musicians who have inside access to their comrades which builds music’s communicative ability to share ideas and experiences through something as simple as making the effort to see a friend of a friend’s band play at Luna. Paul Gonsoulin has become a staple in the area with his fingers in several bands including Bobcat, Lucy in Disguise, and Hot Damn! I Shot My Man, and he remarks, “Being in multiple bands has given me the opportunity to play for a really wide net of people. It has opened me up to the different types of music fans here.” It’s time to stop constantly placing our city on the bad end of that same old analogy that the music in Austin or in New Orleans is better. Lake Charles is not and will never be Austin. It’s time to be proud that we are from the Chuck and that we can really make things happen here because we have such a networked music scene and because all of the small efforts translate into something much larger to yield a music community that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

April 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



VolunteeR N AT I O N A L


In this age of “what’s in it for me?” rationale, some may think volunteering has gone by the wayside along with cassette tapes and those car maps that you can never re-fold. Thankfully, the desire to help remains strong. The army of volunteers both in Southwest Louisiana and nationwide continue to give of their time and talents, and in the end, the volunteer is the one who often reaps the most reward.

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April 2012

The Benefits of Volunteering In this increasingly busy world we live in, it can be hard to imagine fitting one more thing into our lives. But when it comes to volunteering, most people probably don’t realize that, in addition to being able to help others, there are actually some other benefits to volunteering – social benefits and health benefits. Volunteering can help you reach out to the community, find new friends, learn new skills or sharpen ones that you already have, and even advance your career. “I think that volunteering gives people a real sense of self-worth and pride,” said Beverly McCormick, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana. “It’s also a way that they can have new experiences, be a real part of their community, and help people at the same time.” McCormick said recent studies have shown that people who volunteer often have lower blood pressure, have a better sense of well-being, and their overall physical and emotional health can improve. “Think about it this way,” she said. “When you focus on helping others, you really don’t have time to focus on your own troubles.” One recent survey by UnitedHealthcare/VolunteerMatch provided data that showed volunteering not only enhances volunteers’ physical and mental health but also strengthens relationships between employers and employees.

“Volunteering is a part of the fabric of the people of Southwest Louisiana,” McCormick said. “The people here are so compassionate, caring, and giving,” McCormick said. If you have a desire to become a volunteer, simply get in touch with the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana. Its staff will meet with you and work to find the perfect spot for you, whether it’s at a local agency or at the Volunteer Center. Whether you have a couple of hours a week or many more to give, your time will definitely be appreciated. And, just think, in helping others you might even feel better, look better, and perk up your social life. For more information about volunteering, call the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana at (337) 513-4616, or visit www.1-800-volunteer.org.

Among its findings: • More than 68% of those who volunteered in the past year reported that volunteering made them feel physically healthier. • 29% of volunteers who suffer from a chronic condition said that volunteering had helped them manage their chronic illness. • 89% of volunteers agreed that volunteering improved their sense of well-being. • More than three-quarters of volunteers who participated in service activities through work reported that they felt better about their employer because of the employer’s involvement in their volunteer activities. Volunteers are needed locally for doing anything from repairing computers to answering telephones, to assisting in hospital gift shops. Time commitments can range from a few hours to as much time as you have to give. McCormick said that this region is full of volunteers but that additional volunteers are always needed.

April 2012

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Connecting Life and Learning

At PPG Lake Charles, we demonstrate our true commitment to progress with a real commitment to education, investing both time and money in a wide variety of educational programs that support and benefit teachers and students throughout Southwest Louisiana. Our employees contribute hundreds of volunteer hours each year to make these and other community programs possible.


MCNEESE NATURELAB We created this 600 acre “Classroom in the Woods” which is now operated by McNeese State University. The NatureLab provides a unique educational experience enjoyed by students, teachers and various clubs and organizations in Southwest Louisiana. With more than 10,000 feet of trails, the facility provides the opportunity for the community to learn about natural wildlife and plants, ecology, conservation, species diversity and much more. Since 1998, the facility has hosted thousands of students, and serves as a living, thriving example of PPG’s environmental commitment. The NatureLab has been awarded Corporate Lands for Learning Recertification from the International Wildlife Habitat Council for its contributions to wildlife habitat, environmental stewardship, native biodiversity promotion and environmental education.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION PPG is a proud participant in Partners in Education, providing mentoring and educational resources to four area schools : • LaGrange High School • Vinton High School • Our Lady Queen of Heaven • Sam Houston High School • St. Theodore Holy Family

PPG FRIENDS & PPG+1 These employee volunteer groups make a difference in the lives of young people by contributing thousands of volunteer hours for mentoring, tutoring and coaching, as well as supporting such organizations as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Special Olympics, and many others.

Global Identity Standards: Download Files

TEACHER’S INSTITUTE PPG created the Teacher’s Institute to provide area educators the opportunity to learn about the internal Symbol: Black operations of a large chemical facility and to illustrate how PPG does its part to protect our environment. Activities include plant tours, one-on-one sessions with plant workers, fire training, team building techniques, lectures and total quality management techniques which ultimately are credited to the teachers’ certification. 20 www.thriveswla.com

This event is held twice annually to allow high school students the opportunity to learn about careers such as environmental engineering, operations, industrial nursing, accounting, human resources, etc. The students are given plant tours and are matched with PPG representatives who work with them during the day so they can experience a “typical work day” in that field.



State Police Troop D & PPG sponsor this camp annually, allowing over 40 campers from local area middle schools to learn about boating safety, team building, seatbelt safety, land navigation, first aid, CPR, fire safety and many facets of the Louisiana State Police. These students also learn about the environment and our natural habitats during this one-week period.

Symbol: PPG Blue (or Panton


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012



Jo Ann Beam serves as a patient representative volunteer at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

of a Volunteer

“they are very loving people.” Sherry Schofield director of volunteer services at LCMH

Richard Ott mans the front desk at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

April 2012

Volunteer montH

Virginia Turner wakes each day, heads to work at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and puts in her eight hours as a dedicated and driven worker—all without receiving a single paycheck. “I had a friend that invited me to come. I had always wanted to try volunteering and that’s how I got started,” Virginia says. “I’m a retired school teacher. I like to be with people and I wanted to give back to my community. I like serving other people. I enjoy it. Virginia is one of 65 members of the Volunteer Auxiliary at LCMH. The Auxiliary was established in 1968 with an inaugural 50 active members. Through the decades the Volunteer Auxiliary has provided selfless service and aid to hospital employees and patients alike. Virginia is not the type of person to spend retirement rocking the years away. In 2011 she was named Volunteer of the Year, logging 2,000 hours. Fellow Auxiliary member Betty Brown started volunteering at the hospital in the fall of 1998. “I think it’s a very good organization,” Betty says of the Auxiliary. “After you have been here so long it’s kind of like an extended family. If somebody is sick you know about it. If somebody passes away, we go to the funeral as a group. You get to know each other pretty well, especially the ones you work with.” Betty’s husband of 45 years, Myron, also volunteers at the hospital choosing to work in a waiting room. The volunteers provide many services around the hospital including running the gift shop, manning the front desk, keeping the waiting rooms stocked with magazines, and even preparing beautiful flower arrangements for our patients and visitors. “They are very loving people. They care about others and that’s the number one thing,” says Sherry Schofield, director of volunteer services at LCMH. “They come up here hoping they can do something to help someone else and they find out they, in return, receive more than the person they’re helping. It gives them a sense of feeling worthy.” The Auxiliary donates all proceeds from the hospital gift shop to purchase equipment for Memorial. Last year the Auxiliary wrote a check for $100,000. The generosity of these volunteers does not end at the hospital doors. Each semester three McNeese State University health care students receive a $1,500 scholarship. “I do it because I like it, not because I want to get paid for it,” Brown says. “I think it would help a lot of people, especially if they are sitting at home with nothing to do. If they would volunteer it would give them something to look forward to even if they did it just once a week.” The Volunteer Auxiliary is open to anyone age 18 and over of all backgrounds and abilities. For more information, contact Volunteer Services at 337-494-3213 or www.lcmh.com/volunteer.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



VOLUNTEERISM BY THE NUMBERS 63.4 million people 26.5% of citizens volunteer in America

837,553 Louisiana residents volunteered 121 million hours of service through or for a nonprofit or community organization in 2010 Source: volunteeringinamerica.gov




per hour is the estimated dollar value of volunteer time in the U.S. Source: independentsector.org

8.1 billion hours volunteered

169 billion


the value of these hours

of Fortune 500 companies have employee volunteer programs

Source: bls.gov

Source: pointsoflight.org


of volunteers work to meet needs of neighbors by collecting, preparing, distributing food


of volunteers mentor youth



of volunteers help students by tutoring and teaching

of volunteers contribute through general labor or providing transporation Source: Worldvolunteerweb.org 22 www.thriveswla.com

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

Volunteer montH

An Easy, Delicious Way to Support Local Charity

DINE OUT, FIGHT AIDS, and Win Great Prizes

The Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council (SLAC) is hosting the Lake Area’s thirdannual Dining Out For Life® fundraising event on Thursday, April 26. Local restaurant participants will donate a percentage of proceeds from that day to SLAC, helping us continue to provide excellent services to low-income individuals and families living with HIV/ AIDS. “This event does not only benefit our clients, it benefits our local economy as well,” said Christina Duhon, Office Manager. “Dining Out for Life is a win-win-win!” says spokesperson Ted Allen, host of the Food Network show Chopped. “The event helps bring new customers into neighborhood restaurants, it gives everyone an opportunity to make a contribution just by having breakfast, lunch or dinner with friends, and all money raised in each city, stays in that city.” Join local restaurants to Dine out, Fight AIDS! While there, patrons can enter to win fantastic raffle prizes. Tickets can be purchased with a Dining Out for Life Volunteer. Dining Out for Life® was created in 1991 by an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia, and has since become an international event that incorporates more than 60 cities across the US and Canada. In 2009 Dining Out for Life® raised over $3.5 million for more than 50 AIDS Service Organizations (ASO’s) across North America. For a list of Lake Area participating restaurants or to sign up to volunteer visit our Website at www.diningoutforlife.com/swla.

April 2012

Five Decades of Technology & Innovation Making the Products you use at Home, Supporting the Community we call Home. For more than 50 years in Southwest Louisiana The nearly 400 local employees of Sasol North America’s Chemical Complex (located adjacent to the City of Westlake) make ingredients for products like detergent, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, medicines, food wraps, paper coatings, catalytic converters and much more. These ingredients are largely biodegradable and help to make our lives safer, cleaner and healthier. When not at work, Sasol employees are involved in their communities as coaches, tutors, boosters, board members and more. Sasol’s alcohol unit started up in 1961. It was recognized as a “technological marvel.” Recently, Sasol broke ground for a new unit using “first-of-itskind” technology and announced feasibility studies for two large expansions.

For more information visit www.sasolswla.com

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Volunteer montH

Calling Volunteers to the Bayou! Clean Bayou set for May 5

Contraband Bayou intersects our city, and even though most everyone have heard people talk about the little waterway, it doesn’t get much of the credit it deserves. The bayou is constantly bombarded with trash that decimates its mini-ecosystem while at the same time destroying its image as that Louisiana staple we have in our backyard that we at times forget is even there. With its appropriate name, locals have pulled from its muddy waters Lake Charles artifacts dating back from the 1800s, and the bayou has become the backdrop to local Jean Lafitte legends. In 2010, a non-profit organization called Clean Bayou rallied the locals to tackle the project of cleaning Contraband Bayou. Under the direction of Eric Stevens, Clean Bayou became a true inspiration. “After Hurricanes Rita and Ike, Contraband Bayou was in complete disarray with trash, tires, and debris,” said Darren Martel,the organization’s media committee leader. “This was literally clogging the waterway and suffocating any possibility of aquatic life.” This intense undertaking utilizes volunteers donating time to ensure that the waterways in Southwest Louisiana, beginning with Contraband Bayou,

24 www.thriveswla.com

are turned back into healthy bayous that support a healthier environment. “We’ve had a ground swell of support from the community. People have come together to help in this cause from Team Green to Mayor Randy Roach,” Martel continued. On May 5, Clean Bayou is rallying the troops back together for the first clean up of Contraband Bayou since 2010. “Our first year, we pulled literally 7 tons of trash and over 200 tires from Contraband Bayou,” Martel continued. “With regular clean ups, Contraband Bayou can be the first waterway that the Lake Charles community saves, and there’s always more to be done.” Clean Bayou’s goal is to ensure that the Louisiana environment can become better and better with community involvement. Clean Bayou is currently looking for volunteers to help with the May 5 clean up event. Volunteers are asked to register online at www.cleanbayourswla.org. Additional information is available there and on the group’s facebook page.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

Finding a Good Match Perhaps you’ve been thinking about volunteering for some time now but didn’t know how to get started. A good place to begin is by thinking about why you want to volunteer. Then, think about what you would enjoy doing. The types of volunteer opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are the ones that would most likely be fun and fulfilling for you. Beverly McCormick, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana, said that when someone calls the center and expresses an interest in volunteering, they are directed to its program called Hands on Southwest Louisiana. “We sit down with them and try to find the perfect fit for them in terms of where they will end up volunteering,” she said. “This is how we match up our volunteers.” For instance, if you have a love of pets, you could perhaps be a foster parent for homeless pets via LAPAW (Lake Area Partnerships for Animal Welfare). If you enjoy working with children, there are opportunities as a Big Brother or Big Sister volunteer. Some of the things that are taken into consideration during the volunteer matching process, according to McCormick, include: • What your interests are. • What skills you bring to the table. • How much time you have to give. • What social issue you are most concerned with. “You know, volunteering is like trying on a pair of shoes,” McCormick said. “It’s very important to find the perfect fit! Volunteering benefits everyone, too. You’re helping others but you’re also gaining a sense of achievement and self-

One Person Can Make a Difference

For Karen Bruce, a McNeese State University student majoring in Family and Child Studies who will graduate in May, volunteering was initially something that came about as part of her curriculum. “I needed to fulfill an internship and I decided to do it through volunteering,” Bruce said. The 27-year-old and her husband, who works as a rice farmer, live in Ragley with their two children who are 4 and 6. She contacted the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana and after she was approved to become an intern with the agency, she underwent two weeks of training and then began working as a volunteer for 2-1-1, which is a comprehensive information and referral system, and is one of the programs of the Volunteer Center. “One thing that really surprised me was the amount of need out there,” Bruce said. “So many people have lost their jobs or are going through other hardships and it affects their abilities to be able to take care of their obligations,” she said. “We are able to get their information and then try to point them in the right direction so that they can possibly get those obligations met. I almost always hear a sense of relief in a caller’s voice when I can give them information that may help them. It’s a great feeling.” Bruce volunteers for about 12 hours each week and said she has learned a lot through this process. “One thing that’s really important and I try to remind myself of this is that nobody can help every person or solve every problem,” she said. “We try so hard, though. If it’s possible to help, we will do what we can to steer people in the right direction. Volunteering is very rewarding and I’m glad that I’m doing it. I know that I’m making a difference.” Many local agencies utilize volunteers but most of them could always use more. Volunteers help others but in the process they often help themselves. April 2012

worth. And most people find that when they are focusing on helping others they have very little time to focus on their own troubles.” Don’t ever think that you aren’t needed or that there are already enough volunteers in our area. “We do have a lot of volunteers in Southwest Louisiana but we could always use more,” McCormick said. “Everyone is gifted and talented in some area and their hearts and time are always needed. If you want to volunteer, we will find a spot for you.”

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Money & Career Today’s teen has more buying power than ever before. Whether it’s concert tickets, celebrity-endorsed t-shirts, or ripped jeans, they are plunking down serious money to pay for their cool, if overpriced, things.

DoesYourTeen Deserve Credit? by Christine Fisher

26 www.thriveswla.com

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

As these fashionable teens near the end of high school and begin college, many begin the push to obtain a credit card, but new government reforms have tightened the strings on credit for young people. According to John W. Fusilier, CEO of First National Bank in DeRidder, kids under 21 will face a more difficult time in the quest for credit. “Applicants under 21 years old now have to prove they have ‘independent means’ to repay their debts; which means they will need to show they have income from a job or they’ll need to have an adult co-sign for them.” It’s no surprise that this reform happened. Credit card companies have liberally provided older teens with credit for years and, not surprisingly, balances have steadily increased on teens’ cards. “Teens were getting credit before they understood how to handle it,” Fusilier said. “Some had the financial education to be responsible, but many did not. They would begin their twenty-something years thousands of dollars in debt.” The reform puts credit cards in the hands of parents, and many must answer a tough question: whether to co-sign or not. Fusilier cautions parents to consider it thoroughly. “When you co-sign for anyone, you are just as responsible for their debt as they are. Your credit score is affected by what they do. If they rack up a big balance and can’t pay it, you’re responsible and you’re credit score goes down.” Fusilier said big balances aren’t the only thing that can damage a good credit rating. “A single missed payment can knock up to 100 points off a credit score. If subsequent payments are missed, more damage is done. And, forget going over the limit; even charging close to the limit reflects poorly on one’s credit score.” Fusilier suggested using half or less of a credit limit, especially when establishing credit early on.

April 2012

Co-signing so that a young person can get a credit card will give them real-world experience, but parents need to be sure they can handle it. Responsible credit card holders should keep track of their balance, make payments on time, avoid spending beyond their means, and pay the card off in full each month. “These tactics are difficult for adults, much less, teenagers,” said Fusilier. Some older teens and college students do have the maturity to handle a credit card, which is why the co-signing option is available. “These young people are great at checking their balances regularly, saving the credit card for only a few purchases, and use it mainly as a method to establish their credit, not as a way to pay for things they can’t afford,” he said. “In cases like this, it works as it should.” For young people who aren’t quite ready for credit cards, or for parents who are looking for other options, a debit card will likely fill the gap. Opening a checking account gives the young person a place to deposit their paychecks, and access to a debit card. This can give them experience using plastic and work their way up to a credit card. To maintain the account, the balance should be checked regularly, or the transactions recorded as they are made. “It still requires some effort on the young person’s part, and that helps them become familiar with financial transactions and staying on top of their spending,” Fusilier said. Another option he suggested is to use the debit card as a cash-only option. “This is a good place to start. They can work up to using the card as a debit card once they and the parents feel comfortable.” In the end, the decision to put plastic in the hands of a young person rests with the parents. They are the best judge of their son or daughter’s maturity and financial knowledge, but it’s important for parents to be aware of the ramifications it can have on their own account.

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Money & Career

Financial Solutions for the Sandwich Generation by Kristy Armand

You’re rushing back home from work to

daughter to the college she hopes to attend in the fall. You can’t help but worry about healthcare expenses pick up the school project your son left on the kitchen this medical crisis means for your parents, who live on a counter when you get the call. Your 84-year-old father fixed income. What type of health insurance or medical has had a stroke and is in surgery. Of course you’ll supplements do they have, anyway? You hope you’ll be drop everything, but first you’ll have to clear your work able to stretch your finances to help them, if needed. schedule and hope your boss will understand. Then you’ll have to reschedule the weekend trip with your “We are seeing more and more of this financial squeeze as baby boomers pass through middle age,” explains Denise Rau, Certified Financial Planner and President of Rau Financial Group. “Adults at this phase of life are facing two equally demanding financial needs: supporting teens and young adults, while providing financial assistance for health and long-term care expenses of aging parents. All of this is taking place at a time when career stress is typically at

28 www.thriveswla.com

a peak, and when their financial priorities should also be paying down debt and saving for their own retirement – which may have been delayed by the recent recession. Baby boomers have been called the sandwich generation, but when it comes to finances, it’s really more like a tripledecker club with all the trimmings.” If you are feeling trapped in the middle of equally important financial obligations, it may comfort you to know you are not alone.

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According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 10 million baby boomers between the ages of 45 and 65 find themselves “sandwiched” between financially dependent parents and children. Nearly one-third of boomers provided financial assistance to a parent last year, and about half are supporting at least one young or adult child. “Most boomers are definitely feeling a financial squeeze from family obligations,” says Rau. “And while much of this is unavoidable and just part

April 2012

of being a responsible parent and adult child, it doesn’t mean these circumstances have to throw you completely off track of your own financial goals. The key, as always, is having a plan that will allow you to balance your family’s financial needs with your own financial security.” For example, Rau says many boomers are tempted to cut back on their retirement savings to save for the earlier goal of funding their children’s college education. She advises exploring other options before making this financial decision. “You aren’t doing your children any favors if you put them through school only to become financially dependent on them down the road. And keep in mind, in most cases you can easily get financial assistance for college expenses, but you’ll have a hard time getting a scholarship or student loan to fund your retirement. You are basically on your own. That’s why it’s so important to make retirement saving a priority. This isn’t something you should plan on taking care of after you take care of everything else.” And when it comes to making decisions about how to best provide any needed financial support for your parents, Rau says the first step is to sit down with them and have an honest discussion about their finances. “This is difficult for many people to do, but you can’t know how much – if any -- help they need, much less figure out how you can stretch your budget to assist them, without getting an accurate assessment of their financial situation.” She says it’s important to look at everything, including all sources of income and expenses, as well as assets and liabilities. Once you have an idea of their cash flow, budget and net worth, you can help them explore their options, which may include cutting back on expenses, reviewing insurance coverage and deductibles, moving to a smaller home or liquidating certain investments. She advices consulting a financial planner to help determine the best decisions for your parents’ future, based on their age, health, overall financial status, and their priorities.” “The bottom line is that if you’re a boomer, you’ve likely got a lot on your financial plate – whether you prefer to compare yourself to a sandwich or not,” adds Rau. “And although your natural inclination may be to serve yourself last, doing so can have far-reaching financial implications that will impact you and your family for years to come. Remember, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure that you are able to take care of yourself and your family as you get older. Don’t lose focus on your future financial security as you cope with the immediate demands of helping your children and/or your parents. It may not be easy, but you have to keep your long-range financial goals as your top priority.” For more information about personal financial planning, call Rau Financial Group at 480-3835 or visit www.raufinancialgroup.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. April 2012

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Money & Career

30 www.thriveswla.com

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April 2012

All you need to know to stay in the know! IBERIABANK Celebrates 125 Years IBERIABANK Corp. celebrated 125 years in March. Founded in New Iberia in 1887, IBERIABANK Corporation is the oldest and largest bank holding company headquartered in Louisiana. “While we are new to the Southwest Louisiana region, our 125 years of history speaks volumes for the experience we have in serving our clients well,” said Phil Earhart, Southwest Louisiana President.

Jazzercise Now Offered in Moss Bluff Jazzercise, the world’s leading dance fitness program, has opened a location at 1815 Sam Houston Jones Parkway in Moss Bluff. Four classes are offered per week, under the guidance of certified Jazzercise instructor Rachel Claret. Jazzercise offers a blend of fitness and jazz dance. Every 60-minute class includes a warm-up, high-energy aerobic routines, muscle-toning and cooldown stretch segment. Jazzercise combines elements of dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, kick-boxing and more to create programs for people of every age and fitness level. Classes in Moss Bluff are offered Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:15 a.m. and Monday and Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m.

Banners Series Named Top 20 Event The Southeast Tourism Society recently honored the McNeese State University Banners Series as a 2012 Top 20 Event for the month of February. Every spring, the annual Banners Series features regional, national and international performers ranging from lecturers and gallery exhibits to musical and dance performers. This year’s series runs through May 12. The STS Top 20 Events marketing program highlights the “best of the best” from events in each of the following STS member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Center for Orthopaedics Announces Expansion Project Center for Orthopaedics will soon begin construction on additions and renovations to their Lake Charles office, located at 1747 Imperial Boulevard. The addition will add 5600 square feet to the facility’s current 34,500 sqaure foot footprint. The main lobby will be expanded and 16 new exam rooms will be added to meet the group’s growing patient population. As part of the construction, 900 existing square feet are being renovated for a new C-arm imaging suite for musculoskeletal injections. Construction will begin within 30 days and will be completed by the end of the year. The Lake Charles office has been open for less than three years, but the group has grown rapidly, from just four doctors in 2009, to 11 doctors today, making it the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group . The medical staff includes six orthopaedic surgeons, two physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, two foot and ankle specialists and one hand surgeon.

Trahan comments, “Group Core has really gained popularity with both men and women. Its cutting-edge training methods and sports exercise focus bring significant results.” Group Core is a fantastic supplement to anyone’s training regimen. If you run, play tennis, golf or even lift weights, core training will help make you faster, quicker and stronger. Dynamic Dimensions of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital has been serving the area for approximately 15 years and has locations in both Moss Bluff and Sulphur. Twenty-four hour access is available at each location. For more information or to inquire about membership, please call a membership coordinator today in Sulphur at (337) 527-5459 or in Moss Bluff at (337) 855-7708.

Lake Charles Urgent Care Receives Certification Lake Charles Urgent Care, located in Lake Charles, has received the Certified Urgent Care designation from the Urgent Care Association of America. The clinic provides patients with walk-in, extended-hour medical attention with licensed providers for a large scope of medical conditions and has met all of the Urgent Care Association of America’s established criteria. Lake Charles Urgent Care accepts unscheduled, walk-in patients during all hours of operation. Urgent care fills the gap between primary care and hospital emergency rooms.

L’Auberge Team Members Donate to Locks of Love L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles team members recently donated 13 feet of hair as part of an internal Locks of Love Campaign. On March 15 team members from various departments and their family members displayed their compassion for others by volunteering to have their hair cut in the Spa du Lac Salon. In order to contribute, the hair had to be at least 6-10 inches in length. L’Auberge mailed the donation to Locks of Love who will use the donated hair to provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 with medical hair loss. Pictured are L’Auberge Lake Charles team members and their family members.


Dynamic Dimensions Launches Group Core™ Dynamic Dimensions is now offering Group Core, an athletic-based group fitness class. The class, which focuses on muscles from the shoulders to the hips, is a key to flexibility and strength. “Core training is such an important component of fitness and wellness. We are extremely excited to add Group Core to our current list of group fitness offerings, as it is an athletic training program that participants enjoy and one where they see immediate results,” says Suzy Trahan, wellness director at Dynamic Dimensions. Group Core trains participants like athletes in 30 action-packed minutes. Expert coaching and motivating music guide them through functional and integrated exercises using one’s own body weight, weight plates, a towel and a platform – a challenge they’ve likely never encountered before. April 2012

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In honor of National Nutrition Month in March, Thrive partnered with Chick-fil-A and gave away a 3-foot cow and 2 free meals to our Facebook winner, Amy Veuleman. Amy took her 2 sons to claim her prizes. Continue to check out Thrive on Facebook and Twitter for various fun contests that you can enter and win. www.thriveswla.com


Money & Career

Stop the Madness

Anger Management in the Workplace by Kristy Armand

Do you feel your blood pressure rising as you drive into work each morning? Is a certain co-worker pushing you closer to the edge every day? Does the sound of your boss’s voice grate on every nerve in your body? If so, then you’re not alone. Psychologists and HR consultants say that today, more than ever before, workers feel stress, frustration and growing anger at their jobs, which is leading to lost productivity, derailed careers, and, in extreme cases, assaults on others. “Anger and conflict are big issues in today’s workplace, We’re seeing more people express anger or get into heated conflict in ways that range from inappropriate to high-risk,” says Chauntelle LeJeune, MA, LMFT, LPC, Therapist with Solutions EAP (Employee Assistance Program). “Regardless of how anger manifests itself in the workplace, angry employees create a workplace environment that is negative, hostile and frightening for employees. Employers pay a high price – whether they are responsible for creating or allowing such an environment – in lost productivity, employee retention problems, and potential legal repercussions. That’s why it is so important for employers to address anger management issues and take preventive steps to create a non-volatile workplace.” A recent Gallop poll highlights the issue, with two out of every ten Thrive-LC-Team.qxp:Layout 2 been 11/14/11 10:53 AM some Page 1 employees surveyed stating they had angry enough to “hurt”

co-worker in the last six months. As many as 18,000 workplace assaults are reported each week in the United States. (This includes incidents involving customers, clients, students and other non-employees.) Fortunately, the majority of angry employees aren’t potential attackers, according to LeJeune. “Most of the people with anger issues are not violent; but are simply people who have a difficult time expressing anger in an appropriate way – at home or at work. For many, rage is not so much an explosion but rather a slow build-up of perceived slights and injustices over time.” She explains that it’s important to understand that anger is a normal, usually healthy emotional state that ranges from mild irritation to blind rage. It is the body’s natural response to perceived threats. Problems occur when

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anger gets out of control. Sometimes this occurs as an impulsive “lashing out” at those who irritate or annoy. It can also be a problem when intense feelings of anger are suppressed or inhibited and then redirected to someone else -- an unsuspecting family member or co-worker, or even toward oneself in the form of anxiety or depression. Anger management training can help people with who have problems control their feelings of anger and keep them from boiling over into destructive behavior in the workplace. LeJeune says a big part of the problem is that many people don’t have the skills to cope with anger effectively. “Anger is an adaptive response to internal and external events. We generally feel angry in response to feeling threatened, hurt, challenged, scared or hurt. As with anger in general, anger in the workplace is very often related to unrealistic expectations. For example, you may take for granted that if you do good work, you will have opportunities to advance, only to find out that your company is outsourcing your department and you face a pay cut. You may have expected your job to be challenging and to offer you opportunities to be creative, only to find that your assignments are dull and repetitive. As a supervisor, you may be pressured from management to meet certain expectations but not be given the resources to hire qualified employees that can help you achieve goals.” According to a Yale University study on workplace anger, the greatest catalyst for employee rage is a real or imagined slight by a supervisor or manager. Next is a perceived lack of productivity by coworkers, followed by tight deadlines and heavy workloads. The study warns that these factors help create “underground chronic anger,” an emotion that isn’t expressed overtly but nevertheless affects one-quarter of the working population. The ill effects of chronic anger are high job stress, working below potential, and lack of teamwork with peers. “The individual suffers -- in terms of decrements in happiness, satisfaction and feelings of betrayal, and the organization suffers -- individuals feeling angry put in less overall effort and their stress is likely to have an unknown but potentially substantial impact on effectiveness and productivity,” the report concludes.

In the anger management work Solutions EAP provides to clients, LeJeune says she tries to get people to understand the process of anger and how it affects them personally. A specific event or interaction is not the source of the anger, as many people believe. “The event occurs and you have thoughts about the event. These internal thoughts lead you to assign feelings to the event or situation. It is these feelings that what can lead to an inappropriate expression of anger.” She says the key is redirecting your internal thoughts; choosing what you tell yourself. “When you start to feel angry and out of control, you have to stop, think and redirect your actions.” This is not to say that anger is not a justified reaction in certain situations. “But if you stop and think, you’ll be able to more calmly evaluate the situation. Anger is a sign that something needs to change. It could be your thoughts, or if you feel your thoughts and feelings are realistic, then you can take steps to change the situation. By stopping and thinking, though, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to best respond,” says LeJeune. She says when anger in the workplace is constructively managed, it leads to improved communication, increased productivity and career enhancement. “If a company creates a positive environment – where workers receive regular and honest appraisals about economic threats, for example – the likelihood of destructive employee anger is reduced. Having an employee assistance program that offers anger management training for individuals as well as training designed to help supervisors recognize potential problems can help companies better deal with anger issues in the workplace,” says LeJeune. “As with most things, shining light on a problem and addressing it directly can help diffuse difficult situations before they develop,” she adds. “And in today’s competitive work environment, there are more reasons than ever to create a more attractive, peaceful, productive work environment – one without anger.”

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Lakeside Announces Opening of New Building by Kristy Armand

Country’s Only New Bank Moves into Permanent Home In 2010, the country was in the middle of a recession, the financial market meltdown still dominated the headlines and trust in banks was lower than anyone could remember in our lifetime. In the middle of all this economic gloom and doom, one new bank defied the odds and was granted a charter – the only one awarded in 2010 – by banking regulators. That bank was Lakeside in Lake Charles. The idea for Lakeside came from local real estate developer Andrew Vanchiere (now a board member). He was dissatisfied with his existing bank in 2007 and decided to do something about it. He rounded up a group of local businessmen who raised the start-up capital and recruited the bank’s management team. The bank opened late in the summer of 2010 in a temporary building while construction of the 6000-square-foot main building began. Lakeside is actually the only new bank in the country in the past two years, with the exception of three specifically organized to acquire failing banks. Technically, banks are granted charters from their primary regulatory agency, which for community banks is the Louisiana Office of Financial Institution. But any charter granted is contingent on the applicant receiving deposit insurance from the FDIC. This agency has been very reluctant to grant approval to applicants after being overwhelmed with troubled and failing banks in recent years.

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So how did Lakeside become the exception? According to bank president and CEO Mike Harmison, it was a combination of factors. “We had the capital, a conservative business plan, local board leadership and an experienced management team. And while this was impressive to the regulators, the strong economy in Southwest Louisiana helped convince them that we had what was needed to succeed.” It appears the regulators’ trust was not misplaced. In just two years, Lakeside has gone from being the country’s only new bank to reporting triple and quadruple percentage growth in the key areas for financial strength and stability. Several experienced local banking leaders have joined the bank’s leadership team in recent months, and the new main office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles, is now open. Plans are underway for the opening of additional Lakeside branches later this year. “Our growth and success is a testament to the trust our customers have placed in us,” says Harmison. “The opening of our new building represents a big milestone and we have even bigger plans for the future. Our commitment to providing the region with excellence in local banking is stronger than ever.” For more information about Lakeside and its services, call 474-3766 or visit www.lakesidebanking.com.

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April 2012

The Taste of Success with Big Easy Foods Slice through it, and it’s a boneless triple taste of poultry -- turkey, duck and chicken. It’s also the centerpiece of a Lake Charles business that makes Louisiana food that’s served on dinner tables nationally. The Tur-Duc-Hen is created at Big Easy Foods, a block-long facility that stretches from Ryan to Hodges streets. Larry Avery and Mark Abraham are managing partners in the growing company, in which Jim and Scott Abraham are also partners. Big Easy makes 60,000 Tur-Duc-Hens and a half-million boneless stuffed chickens each year at its 30,000-square-foot facility. There’s also a storefront facing Ryan Street that sells selected items and an online business that, during its holiday peak, handles 2,000 units a day. Louisiana’s unique food drives the business. “We own about 98 percent of the market share of turduckens in the United States,” Avery said. “We’re food manufacturers, selling our products to grocers who sell them all over the country,” Abraham said. In all, Big Easy makes 28 products. Beyond the Tur-Duc-Hens and stuffed chickens are shrimp, boudin, sausage, Cajun entrees, seafood-stuffed cornbread, meat pies and seasoning. The Lake Charles site is where most of that food is created and packaged. Raw and cooked must be handled separately-- so on any given day and location at the Big Easy facility, chicken is being prepped for stuffing, heatand-eat entrees are being packaged, sausage is being smoked, stuffing is being prepared and so on. In addition to the Lake Charles facility, “we have two shrimp processing plants in Dulac (about 20 miles south of Houma) for fresh, wild-caught shrimp,” Avery said. “Machines remove the heads, the shells are taken off, and then the shrimp are graded and packaged by size. We really push that these are wild-caught shrimp” -- with better taste and texture than imported, farm-raised shrimp -- “and come in individual quick frozen, or IQF, packages.”

It was after that, that Avery and Abraham decided to team up in the food business. “In business, about 90 percent of what you know is transferable -- customer service, for example,” Avery said. “The other 10 percent, you learn -- such as manufacturing.” Along the way in their new venture, “we set off on acquiring other companies, all food-related,” Avery said. “We acquired 10 of them. Some were already in business, and we expanded their business. Others were Louisiana companies that we were supplying. For one of them, we made the stuffing for their chicken.” “We’d come across people who were in related businesses, and we began acquiring some of those businesses,” Abraham said. That brings us to today. It’s now 2012. How do partners manage to get along with each other for so long? “Been fine,” Abraham said, gesturing to Avery. “We get along well. And there’s plenty for both of us to do.” “If you think you have to have it your way every time, you’re not going to have a partner,” Avery said. “You can’t do everything. You can’t grow that way,” Abraham said. “So you get the right people -- and you let them run their department.” Continued on p59

Larry Avery and Mark Abraham

ROAD TO SUCCESS The business now known as Big Easy Foods has roots that go back about 15 years -- and even further, if you consider the entrepreneurial backgrounds of its founders. Abraham is part of a family that had been the longtime proprietors of the local Abe’s grocery stores. Avery built his Sulphur firm, Aquatec Engineering & Supply, into an enterprise with offices in 12 cities nationwide -- and then sold it in the late 1990s. “It started when my brothers and I bought a boudin and sausage plant in 1993,” Abraham said. “Meanwhile, Larry Avery had built some ministorage units and I was in the process of building one also. My banker told me Larry put a Bible under the slab of his and that prompted me to call him to discuss the business. After that, we became partners and Neighborhood Mini Storage soon expanded to Sulphur, Moss Bluff, Prairieville and Gonzales.”

April 2012

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Places & Faces

Contraband Days Gets Rebranded

Contraband Days, one of Southwest Louisiana’s most cherished festivals, has undergone a rebranding and was recently reintroduced by the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau as the Contraband Days, Louisiana Pirate Festival. The 12-day festival features food, carnival rides, live entertainment and family-friendly festivities and hosts an attendance of more than 200,000 people during the first two weeks of May. Contraband Days kicks off every year with a pirate ship docking in Lake Charles to “take control” of the lakefront. A gang of “pirates” then raise their Jolly Roger flag and force the mayor to walk the plank before the festivities and pageantry begins. Last year, the festival began an extensive branding exercise to pinpoint the demographics and interests of target audiences to ensure the offerings and branding of the festival were effectively communicating the spirit of the event. Several focus groups and interviews were held on the local level as part of the research. The research was conducted by the O’Carroll Group in Lake Charles involving telephone surveys, in-person interviews and a creative think tank to bring out findings and new ideas to propel the festival to the next level. Peter O’Carroll conducted the interviews and focus groups, and partnered with Saurage Research for telephone surveys in the five-parish area. “Our study showed what people like—and what they want—at Contraband Days,” O’Carroll said, “The Contraband Days board has responded with some great entertainment and an exciting new look for the 2012 festival.” One of the results of the rebranding was the slight name change, as well as more kidfriendly entertainment and a focus on families. 36 www.thriveswla.com

The new logo and website design were created by Oran and Michelle Parker of Parker Brand Creative. Parker Brand researched depictions of Jean Lafitte and anything of historical interest to the legends of Jean Lafitte to produce the creative of the logo. “We are honored that Parker Brand was chosen to re-imagine and create the new Contraband Days logo. This is a 55-year-old event with legendary and historical roots. We knew that the new mark should reflect those beginnings and everything that Contraband Days is aspiring to be with its rebranding initiative. We feel strongly that the new logo system we’ve implemented honors everything that Contraband Days has been for 55 years, and has enough longevity to remain valid 55 years from now,” said Parker. The rebranding also unveiled the festival’s 55th anniversary commemorative poster, produced by Lake Charles artist Candice Alexander. Alexander incorporated the new logo for the festival into the piece, along with other historical and iconic elements from the Lake Charles Area. The original work is a mixed media creation, with a map inspired by the 1985 film The Goonies. Beginning the first week in April, the poster available for purchase on the Contraband Days website, as well as at the office Contraband Days office, located at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The purchase price is $39. For more information, visit www.contrabanddays. com or call the festival office at (337) 436-5508.

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April 2012

2012 Schedule May 1

8 a.m.: Louisiana Music Educators’ Association - Instrumental State Festival

May 2

8 a.m.: Louisiana Music Educators’ Association - Instrumental State Festival 10 a.m.-noon: “Just for Jesus” presents BIG DADDY WEAVE -LCCC Coliseum -FREE Youth Concert in Celebration of the National Day of Prayer

May 3

8 a.m.: Louisiana Music Educators’ Association - Instrumental State Festival Noon: Profit and Loss Association Luncheon - LCCC Coliseum 4 p.m.: Festival Gates Open Todd Armstrong Carnival Rides Galley Alley Food Booths Galley Alley Dining Area -Sponsor: Lloyd Lauw Collision Center Pirate Marketplace Emerson Pony Rides 5 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 6 p.m.: Power Church - Kid’s World Stage 6 p.m.: Water’s Edge Band - LCCC Coliseum 7:30 p.m.: “Just for Jesus,” Profit and Loss Association, and LA Radio Communications presents TENTH AVENUE NORTH - LCCC Coliseum. 8 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 9:30 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage

May 4

4 p.m.: Festival Gates Open Galley Alley Food Booths Galley Alley Dining Area -Sponsor: Lloyd Lauw Collision Center Pirate Marketplace Emerson Pony Rides USS Orleck Laser Tag - LCCC Contraband Days Rm. (2nd Floor) LIVE Music - Contraband Days “Pirate’s Cove” (Artist TBA) LIVE Music - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage (Artist TBA) 5 p.m.: Todd Armstrong Carnival Rides 5 p.m.: Lake Charles Cannon Firing to Protect City - Seawall

April 2012

5:30 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 6 p.m.: Buccaneers begin shore landing - Seawall 6 p.m.: RYAN ANDREAS (As seen on “America’s Got Talent”) - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 6:15 p.m.: “Pack-In” St. Louis High School Choir - Kid’s World Stage 7 p.m.: St. Louis Show Choir - Kid’s World Stage 7 p.m.: Jean Lafitte and Buccaneers Force City Mayors to “Walk the Plank” - Seawall 7:30 p.m.: BEVERLY McCLELLAN (As seen on “The Voice”) - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 8 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 9 p.m.: The International Dance Company - Kid’s World Stage 9:30 p.m.: THE MOLLY RINGWALDS - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 10 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage

May 5

2:15 p.m.: Lake Charles Fire Department Demonstration - Kid’s World Stage 3 p.m.: Power Church - Kid’s World Stage 3:30 p.m.: MAPS AND MAKERS - presented by Louisiana Indie Radio - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 5 p.m.: PETER SIMON - presented by Louisiana Indie Radio - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 5 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 6 p.m.: Bell City Show Choir - Kid’s World Stage 7 p.m.: RUSTY METOYER & THE ZYDECO KRUSH - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 7:30 p.m.: RYAN ANDREAS - (As seen on “America’s Got Talent”) - Outdoor “Pirate’s Cove” 8 p.m.: BRYNLEE DAIGLE - Kid’s World Stage 9 p.m.: THE ZAPP BAND - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 9 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 9:45 p.m.: THE KATELYN JOHNSON BAND - Kid’s World Stage 10:30 p.m.: LIVE Music - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage (Artist TBA)

6 a.m.: “Tour Lafitte 2012” Registration and Packet Pick Up - LCCC Grounds 7:30 a.m.: “Tour Lafitte 2012” Start - LCCC Grounds 10 a.m.: Festival Gates Open Galley Alley Food Booths Galley Alley Dining Area -Sponsor: Lloyd Lauw Collision Center Pirate Marketplace Emerson Pony Rides USS Orleck Laser Tag - LCCC Contraband Days Rm. (2nd Floor) 11 a.m.: THE CHRIS SHEARMAN EXPERIENCE - presented by Louisiana Indie Radio - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 11:30 a.m.: Sign-up for “Spittin’ Image” Contest - Kid’s World Stage 11:30 a.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage Noon: Todd Armstrong Carnival Rides 12:30 p.m.: “Spittin’ Image” Contest - Kid’s World Stage 1:30 p.m.: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion” - Kid’s World Stage 12:30 p.m.: BOBCAT - presented by Louisiana Indie Radio - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage 2 p.m.: STARTISAN - presented by Louisiana Indie Radio - Outdoor “Malibu Rum” Stage

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Places & Faces

first person with

Mark Merchant, PhD Erica McCreedy

First Person is a monthly Q&A that features compelling people who excel in their chosen endeavors. Ideas for future Q&As? Email edit@ thriveswla.com.

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April 2012


in the marshlands of Southwest Louisiana, Mark Merchant, PhD, is searching for the Holy Grail of microbiology, and it’s very possible he found it swimming in our bayous and swamps. Dr. Merchant, a professor of biochemistry in the department of chemistry at McNeese, has become a leading researcher on the benefits alligator blood — yes, alligator blood. His research studies the functions of alligator blood, the human immune system and how the study of alligators can directly aid in the eradication of major diseases like cancer, AIDS, and other superbugs that resist typical antibiotics. Dr. Merchant currently lives in Nederland, Texas, and is known for his groundbreaking research on crocodilians (alligators, crocodiles, caimans, etc.) which has drawn global attention to Southwest Louisiana’s role in microbial research. With a sharp eye and intense fascination of the American alligator — that animal we normally don’t give a second look at — Dr. Merchant’s research has a very real possibility of changing the course of immunology in American medicine. Although crocodilians have long been known more for deadly attacks than their role in microbiology, Dr. Merchant and his team of researchers have steadily changed the way society views these powerful animals. In 2008, he presented research to the national meeting of the American Chemical Society outlining how proteins in gator blood could provide a source of powerful new antibiotics. In the years since, Merchant’s research has become even more progressive. Dr. Merchant is now considered the leading researcher in investigating the naturally occurring peptides of the crocodilian population, which could help create a new class of antibiotic drugs for humans and animals. Thrive talked to Dr. Merchant about his research, his findings and what lies ahead.

April 2012

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background as a leading biochemist. I attended Lamar University from 1984 to 1988 to pursue a double bachelor’s in chemistry and biology. I earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1992 from Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. I conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow for four years at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. For ten years now I have been working at McNeese as a professor of biochemistry.

What have you discovered about their innate immune system? We have discovered so much about the crocodilian immune system. Through our research we have shown that these animals have a very active serum complement system which is a system of enzymes that act as a first line of defense against all types of infection. We have also shown that crocodilians express enzymes such as phospholipase A2, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, and chitotriosidase, which all help these reptilians fight off potential infection.

What is your role at McNeese? My primary role is as an educator. I am always a teacher first in the field of chemistry and a researcher second.

In 2008, you were pursuing research that could indicate that these blood properties have the potential to drastically alter immunology and be used toward Herpes simplex virus, yeast infections, and even HIV/AIDS treatment. Have there been any updates or progress in your research since then? There has been huge progress. Since 2008, we have been successful in isolating a specific protein that is produced by alligator white blood cells, and these proteins have extremely potent antimicrobial properties. Our aim is to examine the infrastructure of these proteins for antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal uses.

What triggered your interest in biology and in the research side of the field? Ever since I was young, I’ve always been interested in alligators. I grew up fishing and hunting in the bayous and marshes of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. I was always surrounded by alligators and I found them fascinating animals despite the public’s general fear or aversion to them. What drew you to your research on crocodilians? Crocodilians are extremely territorial animals and are often involved in aggressive disputes, especially during the mating season for males or in the defense of nests for females. These disputes can end with substantial injuries to one or both of the participants. Because crocodilians have large, powerful jaws, these injuries can be extensive with even loss of entire limbs. However, despite the fact that these animals live in environments that are laden with potentially infectious microbes, these injuries more often than not heal rapidly without any signs of infection. For this reason, we began to study the crocodilian immune system.

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What is on the horizon for you, and what are new research projects you’ve been looking into? Our research team is dedicated to further developing this immunology project to determine if there is a potential clinical use for this protein in humans or for veterinary uses. In addition, we would like to isolate these proteins from other crocodilian species and compare them to the American alligator. We are also continuing our work on the components of crocodilian immunity to better define their immune systems.



Places & Faces

Golf Tournament Honors Memory of Sulphur High Champion C R A I G M C L AC HL A N “ M AC ” BURNS

Craig Burns had an unbeaten golf record for the Sulphur High School Tors until his son came along. Following in his father’s footsteps, Craig McLachlan “Mac” Burns became a state gold medalist in his senior year of high school. A lifelong Sulphur resident, he played rounds at Frasch Park and joined the American Junior Golf Association before graduating from Sulphur High in 1990 and enrolling at McNeese. “He had other interests, but he didn’t play other sports,” said his mother, Lucy. “Once he discovered golf, he focused on that.” His long list of golfing accolades—1989 regional and state championship titles; 1989 St. Louis Golf Invitational Championship medalist; first-place finish in the 1989 Bayou Oaks Golf Invitational; playing in the 1988 Future Masters Golf Tournament in Dothan, Ala.; and winning the 1990 Division I State Championship to receive the Louisiana High School Boys Golf Medalist Award—earned him a golf scholarship in his sophomore year of college. Mac majored in business administration, played golf and was accepted to Kappa Alpha. “Mac was a character. He wasn’t an angel, but he was the closest thing to an angel for me,” Lucy said. “He was likable, very personable.” Mac’s big personality and talent paved the way for him to live a life filled with potential, both on the green and in life. When he died in a one-car accident on January 25, 1992, the grief was overwhelming—not just for Lucy and Craig, but for friends and family who knew the Burns family. Almost immediately

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those friends and family decided to channel their grief over Mac’s death into an ideal tribute celebrating his life. Within months, the inaugural Mac Burns Memorial Golf Tournament was organized and in action, ultimately raising $22,000. “It was an unbelievable tribute to Mac’s life. The fact that he will be remembered in such special ways is unbelievably touching. It was such a thoughtful gift to remember Mac and his story. I couldn’t think a better way for a community to express how they felt,” Lucy said. “I couldn’t believe it.” The tournament gained momentum each subsequent year. Through 2010, all proceeds were donated to McNeese to establish a self-perpetuating scholarship fund. Once that goal was reached, the Burns family chose to unite their tournament with the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation’s annual golf tournament to help enhance health care in the WCCH district. To date, the tournament has raised more than $300,000. This year—the tournament’s 20-year anniversary—a Mac Burns/West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation Scholarship to McNeese was established for a graduating senior choosing a career in the medical field. The amount of the scholarship will be a total of $1,200 for one year of collegiate work, payable in $600 increments. “The fact that the tournament will help other young people makes it very special,” Lucy said.

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April 2012

This Year’s Tourney The 2012 Mac Burns/West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 12, at Frasch Golf Course in Sulphur. This year’s tournament marks the third year that the Mac Burns tournament and the WCCH Foundation golf tournament will be held jointly. The tournament will follow a 4-man scramble format with a double shotgun start at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This year’s entry fee is $320 per team and covers food, drinks, shirts, range balls and mulligans. Various levels of sponsorships, including hole sponsorships, are available. For more information or to participate in the tournament, please call 527-4241. For information on the McNeese scholarship, contact Debby Nabours at 527-4144.

Craig Burns stands next to a photo of his son, golf champion Craig “Mac” Burns.

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Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest News? You tell us! Send press releases to Louisiana... Who’s edit@thriveswla.com with the subject line “Who’s News.”

Ebersole Joins The Clinic in Moss Bluff Hixson Named Best Financial Advisor John Hixson has been recognized as one of the 2011 Best Financial Advisors in the country by Medical Economics Magazine. He was the only advisor in Southwest Louisiana to receive John Hixson this honor and only one of five in Louisiana. Hixson, a graduate of Baylor University and Georgia State University, is a certified financial planner with Financial Management Professionals. After serving as vice president and member of the board of directors for Magnolia Financial Corp. for nine years, Hixson became a shareholder in Financial Management Professionals, which provides financial planning and portfolio management for individuals and businesses.

Dancers Win Showstoppers Event

Dancers with the International Dance Company competed in Showstopper, a national dance competition held in Baton Rouge, and received top honors with Bellywood Bounce, which earned first place overall. The team also won one gold award and will go on to compete in the Showstopper National Finals in Galveston this summer.

Sulphur RN Receives Scholarship Jeffrie L. Duberville, RN, BSN, of Sulphur has received the Johnson & Johnson MSN-NP Student Scholarship award presented by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation. Duberville is one of 32 nationwide recipients for the scholarship, which seeks to provide for NP preparation and assist with doctoral, post-MSN and MSN-NP education.

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Kenneth Ebersole, APRN, CFNP, has joined the clinical team at The Clinic in Moss Bluff, a division of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group. Ebersole will collaborate with local Family Practice Kenneth Ebersole, APRN Physician, Jason Morris, M.D., to provide health and wellness services to the residents of Moss Bluff and the surrounding areas. Ebersole, a Sulphur native, earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing degree from McNeese State University. He is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 23 years of experience in the medical field. Ebersole specializes in the care of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, colds, the flu and other minor illnesses. Prior to joining Dr. Morris’ clinical team, Ebersole was in private practice at Minor Medical Clinic in Moss Bluff.

South Beau Elite Wins Championship

The South Beau Elite Senior Co-ed Level 2 cheer team of Longville won the title of National Champions placing first in their division at The Disney World Contest of Champions held at the ESPN Wide World Sports Complex in Orlando Florida February 26th. The Youth Level 1 Team placed second in their division by only a few points.

Manning Named to Board Angie Manning, communications director at the Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of Angie Manning Louisiane-Acadie Inc., a nonprofit umbrella organization that represents Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Acadians and Cajuns in Louisiana and encourages networking and increased connections between Louisiana organizations.

Memorial Hospital Honors Artists Lake Charles Memorial Hospital recently honored students who participated in the Young at Art Program Isabella Harris in December. The program, which spotlights artwork from a different local elementary school each month, was designed to Hope McDaniel make a positive impact on hospital patients, employees, and the young artists themselves. December’s display featured artwork by Lauren Broussard students from St. Margaret School. A panel of Memorial volunteers recognized fifth graders Isabella Harris, Hope McDaniel and Lauren Broussard with a $50 savings bond.

Harrington Joins Healthy Image Marketing Agency Seasoned public relations professional Katie Harrington has joined the staff at Healthy Image Marketing Agency as a public relations specialist. A Lake Charles native, Katie Harrington Harrington graduated Magna Cum Laude from McNeese State University with a degree in mass communications/public relations. She brings with her experience in healthcare marketing and a strong public relations background built by working in the Southwest Louisiana tourism industry. She is an active member of the community, April 2012

currently serving as acting president of the Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana Board of Directors and as a member of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana Board of Directors. Healthy Image Marketing Agency is a full-service advertising agency located in Lake Charles, La. For more information on their services or to view samples of their work, log onto www.ehealthyimage.com or call (337) 310-0972.

interpretive reading - Kirsten Wofford, second place in interpretive reading - Kathryn Petry.

City Savings Bank Announces Promotions

Live United Essay Winners Announced Winners and Runners-Up in the 3rd Annual Live United Essay Contest were recently honored at a Calcasieu Parish School Board Meeting. They were Sabrina Martinez and Payton Whitehead of St. John Elementary; Maddison Guillory of M.J. Kaufman Elementary; Jillian Elliott of Westwood Elementary; Vanessa Zambrano of Frasch Elementary; Alexandra Albrecht of T.S. Cooley Elementary; Antonia Lubrano and William Albrecht of S.J. Welsh Middle; and Joe Von Talbert and Mia Salters of Reynaud Middle.

John Marcello

John Bostick

Barbara Bloom

Veronica Primeaux

Francois Wins Nissan from McDonald’s

Franklin Francois won a Nissan Z from McDonald’s after receiving a winning 2011 Monopoly piece with his Real Fruit Smoothie as part of a restaurant promotion. Pictured are Steven Hunter, marketing supervisor at McDonald’s, from left; Doug Gehrig, owner and operator of McDonald’s of Southwest Louisiana; Francois; Ajay Patel, owner and operator of the Kinder McDonald’s; and Renee Pettersen, McDonald’s director of operations.

Students Receive Awards

Students of Orangefield High School recently participated in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation. Winners of the Orangefield High School District Finals of the 2012 Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation were, from left: First place in declamation - Haley Permenter, second place in declamation - Kirby Clayton; first place in April 2012

City Savings Bank has announced several promotions. John Marcello was promoted to Executive Vice President. He has worked with City Savings Bank for 30 years. Marcello is a graduate of McNeese State University and has received diplomas from the Louisiana Bankers Association School of Banking at Louisiana State University and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado. Marcello is the president of the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce, and past president and board member of the DeRidder Lions Club. John Bostick has been promoted to Branch Administration Officer. In addition to his new duties, he will continue to serve as Branch Manager of City Savings Bank’s Moss Bluff branch. Bostick has been employed with City Savings Bank since April of 2002. He is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University. Barbara “Babs” Bloom has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. She has been employed with City Savings Bank since 1996 and is the bank’s Partners in Education representative with Pinewood Elementary. During this time she has worked as Executive Secretary, Loan Department Manager, Loan Review Officer and Internal Auditor. Bloom is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University. Veronica Primeaux has been promoted to Internal Auditor. She has been employed with City Savings Bank since 2002. During this time she has worked as Teller, Head Teller, Lender and Customer Service Representative. Primeaux, her husband, Frank and their two children reside in Moss Bluff.

White Joins Heart & Vascular Center Cardiologist J. King White, MD, FACC, has joined the the Heart & Vascular Center of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. Dr. White received his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical J. King White, MD, FACC School in Shreveport. He went on to complete his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He is board certified in cardiology through the American Board of Internal Medicine/ Cardiovascular Disease, and is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In addition, he teaches interventional cardiology procedures to physicians from all over the country. Dr. White has served as lead investigator in many medical studies throughout his career. He also performed the first coronary artery stent in Southwest Louisiana, and pioneered the carotid artery stent procedure that is widely used today.

Dr. John Noble Named President Elect of LOA Board John Noble Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon with Center for Orthopaedics, has been named president elect of the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association (LOA). LOA is the state John Noble Jr., MD society of orthopaedic surgeons and is an affiliate of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Noble is originally from Lake Charles and has over 16 years of experience in his field, the last 11 of which have been at Center for Orthopaedics, the largest, independent musculoskeletal group in Southwest Louisiana. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, serves as the Head Team Physician for McNeese State University’s Athletic Department and is a Clinical Instructor of Orthopaedics for LSU School of Medicine. Dr. Noble is also a Board Member of the Louisiana Emergency Response Network, which is responsible for the development of a statewide trauma system. Dr. Noble is actively involved in numerous research projects and is a frequent speaker at conferences across the country. He will assume the presidency of LOA in 2013.

continued on p44 Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Places & Faces | Who’s News Higginbotham Joins IBERIABANK Andre Higginbotham has been named vice president and commercial relationship manager for Southwest Louisiana for IBERIABANK. Higginbotham joins the Company with nine years of banking experience where he most recently served as Business Banker for Capital One Bank (formerly Hibernia) in Lake Charles. In his new role for the Company, he will be instrumental in business development as part of the Southwest Louisiana Commercial Team. Andre Higginbotham Higginbotham earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a native of Lake Charles, and is a member of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance’s 2012 Leadership Program.

Family Foundation Honors Volunteers Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, the endowment arm of Family & Youth, honored Kay Barnett, Glen Bonin, and Chennault International Airport Authority at the Philanthropy Celebration and Awards Reception, presented by Entergy, at L’Auberge Casino Resort. Pictured are Julio Galan, President & CEO of Family Foundation; Randy Robb, Executive Director, Chennault International Airport Authority; Glen Bonin; Kay Barnett; Steven Scheurich, Vice President Customer Service & External Affairs, Entergy.

Eisner Achieves President’s Club Status

Richard Eisner

Dr. Kulaga Receives Certification

First Federal Investments financial professional Richard Eisner, located at First Federal Bank of Louisiana, was recently recognized for his considerable achievements with selection to PrimeVest’s 2011 President’s Club. This special recognition goes to elite financial professionals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment, delivered dedicated client service and achieved the highest level of performance for the previously concluded year.

Joseph P. Kulaga, DC, recently became certified as a chiropractic sports physician. Dr. Kulaga is currently with the Center for Chiropractic and Rehabilitation. A graduate of McNeese State University, he received a doctorate at Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena. Dr. Kulaga is also certified in KenesioTape for patients as well as athletes. The Center for Chiropractic and Rehabilitation offers laser therapy, spinal rehabilitation, spinal Joseph P. Kulaga, DC decompression therapy, ultrasound therapy, therapeutic massage and spinal manipulation. For more information, visit www.lakecharleschiropractor.com or to make an appointment, call (337) 502-5303.

Ditch the Itch In Louisiana, we’re ready to eat, party and have fun any time! Everyone is welcome to let the good times roll – except for the mosquitoes. Whether you want a one-time mosquito treatment for your next fais-do-do, or you want ongoing protection so you can enjoy your back yard, J&J Exterminating has a variety of mosquito treatment options. As the largest Louisiana-based pest control company, you can trust J&J Exterminating to shield your home and yard. Reclaim your space and call J&J Exterminating for mosquito control.

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April 2012

April 2012

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Re-enacting the Battle of

Spring! Welcome

Alice Babst-Prestia, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology

• Currently accepting new patients • In network with most insurance providers Dr. Alice Prestia, MD APMC

4150 Nelson Rd., Building E, Ste. 2 • Lake Charles, LA 70605 P: 337-475-8949 • F: 337-475-8946

Pleasant Hill

Re-enactments of the Battle of Pleasant Hill will be held April 13 – 15 on the actual battle field located three miles north of the Village of Pleasant Hill on Hwy 175 in Toledo Bend Lake Country. The 2012 re-enactment will be a historic learning experience to treasure during our state’s bicentennial celebration. Considered one of the nation’s greatest re-enactments, the Battle of Pleasant Hill portrays the historically recorded events of the battle with the help of more than 400 re-enactors. The town will commemorate the event with a parade, pageant, period dance, church service and open camp activities held throughout the weekend. Daily re-enactments will begin at 2 p.m. The battle took place on April 9, 1864 and was one of the major battles of the Civil War. As part of the Red River Campaign, it was fought by Union soldiers who sought to march on to Shreveport and Confederate soldiers who sought to keep control of the area. An estimated 3,100 people were killed in the battle; 1,100 Union forces and 2,000 Confederate. Admission to all activities is free with a $5 parking fee. For more information or a schedule of events, visit www.toledobendlakecountry. com or call Mary Lee at (318) 796-2777.

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April 2012

The Spring Pilgrimage is a highlighted event.

Natchez: One of 100 Places to See in Your Lifetime Natchez, Mississippi, the oldest and most historic Southern port city on the Mississippi river, has been selected as one of Life Magazine’s 100 Places to See in your Lifetime, the ultimate guide to the world’s greatest destinations. Other sites chosen included the Great Beach at Cape Cod, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, the Florida Keys, Hawaii’s volcanoes and Washington, D.C. The city’s gorgeous views, local charm and hstoric sites also earned Natchez a listing in the New York Times Best Seller 1000 Places to See before You Die. The book features Natchez’s great biking and walking trails, unique restaurants and grandiose architecture. Natchez was also recognized as the Best Small City for a Weekend by AAA Southern Traveler Magazine. The magazine said that Natchez “embodies the stately architecture, easy charm and genuine hospitality that you’d associate with small Southern towns,” and highlighted its elegant antebellum homes as one of its most popular attractions, as well as the town’s popular Spring Pilgrimage, which gives visitors an opportunity to view the historical mansions in full splendor, “decorated with spring blossoms and attended by hoop-skirted belles.” “We are thrilled with the recognition from these prestigious publications,” said Marsha Colson, Director of Natchez Pilgrimage Tours. “It is such a remarkable way to start a new decade and we look forward to consistently outdoing ourselves.” The Spring Pilgrimage runs through April 14. This year’s tour of 30 antebellum mansions showcases 150 years of architecture, gardens and April 2012

stories from simple colonial times to the opulent King Cotton era. Costumed descendants welcome guests into family homes filled with 100-year old memorabilia and ephemera, family stories and authentic, preserved interiors. Evening entertainment includes The Historic Natchez Tableau, a tapestry of music, dance, and tableaux that depict the Natchez fantasy world that was once the home of half of America’s millionaires. Stone House Musicale—a 19th century intimate piano concert with renowned classical musician and native Natchezean Joseph Stone at his family home; Southern Road to Freedom—a stirring gospel tribute to the African American experience; Southern Exposure a hilarious 1950’s Broadway spoof about the Natchez Pilgrimage presented by the Natchez Little Theatre. For tickets, brochures, bed and breakfast reservations, and information on all things Natchez, please call Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at 800-647-6742 or visit: www.natchezpilgrimage.com.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



by Erin Kelly photos by Shonda Manuel

Their Success is No Mystery F

or many, the twenties are a bridge between youthful whimsy and real-world problems. Then come the thirties—the years when things are just starting to fall into place, when the road toward your future is paved and your journey gains momentum. For some those years come earlier and for others, they come later. But for these thirteen local thirtysomethings, the time to thrive is now. This group has proven that the thirties are a time to take the world in all its glory; they motivate, inspire and work toward building a good life for themselves, their families and others.

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Melissa Bender isn’t afraid of a challenge. She works oneon-one with youth who are transitioning out of the juvenile justice system, she and her husband are parents to foster children and she volunteers her free time to help non-profit organizations like the Junior League and the Banners Series. A recent transplant from Ohio, she settled into Louisiana as a stranger and has affixed herself into the local tapestry by getting involved. “I believe it’s possible to be content with where you are in different areas of your life, yet still always work to achieve new goals,” Bender says. “One who is thriving is generally a person others want to be around, due to their positive attitude and encouraging nature.” Bender’s encouraging nature is what propels her as a social worker with ETC’s Transitional Living Program, where Bender helps youth transition out of the state foster care and justice systems and into a supervised apartment

living program. While she admits that her job can be challenging at times, she is rewarded and motivated by their successes. “This can be anything from them obtaining a GED, to buying a car, to doing laundry on their own for the first time. A lot of people hear statistics about the youth involved in foster care and the juvenile justice system. When you get to know these youth as individuals, you learn that they aren’t much different than any other adolescents.” Before moving to Lake Charles, Bender worked with youth in urban Columbus, in a setting life with crime. Despite working in an area where she could hear gunshots and gang violence on a daily basis, she says she loved her job, because she was surrounded by inspiring supervisors and co-workers. “My hope is to mentor newer social workers in the same manner others helped—and continue to help—me,” she says.

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April 2012

Kay Morgan’s energy seems to be boundless. She volunteers for the American Cancer Society Leadership Council, the Southwest Louisiana Bar Auxiliary Board of Directors, Kid Power board of directors, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral School ParentTeacher Organization and the Calcasieu Medical Society Foundation. She also works full-time as marketing director for Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group, is an involved parent with two young children and manages to do all of it with a positive attitude and cheerful disposition. “When I was a senior in high school, I overheard my mother say, ‘It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.’ That saying has stuck with me over the years and has become my motto. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, you must always strive to be kind and considerate to everyone you meet,” Morgan says. “I grew up on a rice, soybean and cattle farm in DeRidder. My dad, mom, grandparents and aunts and uncles taught me what hard work and faith were all about. I carry those cherished gifts with me through life and I want to pass them on to my own children. I strive to be a good role model. I want my children to value hard work and determination and to always be mindful of other people’s feelings and needs.” For Morgan, community outreach is more than a networking tactic; it’s something that fuels and inspires her. “I’ve spent my entire career in the healthcare marketing field and am so motivated by the doctors and employees I work with who are making a difference in people’s lives every day. In my experience, life is more rewarding when you lend a hand. People in general make me a happier person. A positive or heart-felt encounter with a stranger, or someone I know well, gives me inspiration to get out there and do more,” Morgan says. Taking care of patients has taught Dr. Brian Harrell, an attending physician, that life is fragile and shouldn’t be taken for granted. “Because of this I believe in living life to the fullest,” he says. “Whether it’s experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of a Friday night, small-town football game or listening at the bedside to the concerns of a patient who is critically ill, all the experiences of life should be treasured. Although setting goals and striving to achieve them is an important component to thriving in life, one must also be able to take time to enjoy and be thankful for the simple aspects of life.” For Harrell, living life means striving to be an exceptional physician as well as immersing himself in local culture. He has performed in productions with ACTS Theatre, belongs to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Choir, serves on the board of directors for New Life Counseling, works with the Calcasieu Community Clinic and is the self-published author of a historical novel, Crimson Stained the Bayou Pines. He is also a two-time competitor in the Bourbon Chase, a 200-mile 12-man relay across Kentucky. “I feel it’s important to live a life of example for my patients,” says Harrell.

April 2012

Attorney Nadine Dunbar Gills is motivated by many Scriptures in the Bible, but one in particular stands out to her—the one that says you reap what you sow. Gills, who cites God as her greatest inspiration, said it is her mission to reap good things, put her best foot forward and get the most out of life that she can. “If you sow excellence in everything you do, you will reap excellent rewards,” Gills says. “I have long since realized that if I want to get the most out of my life, then I have to put the most into it.” At only 30 years old, Gills, a graduate from Southern University Law Center and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, has demonstrated a commitment to professional and community roles. She has accepted several pro bono appointments representing Children in Need of Care and has established the Lunch with a Lawyer mentoring program, which gives her the opportunity to expose high schoolers to the legal profession. Previously, Gills served as an executive staff member of the Offices of Governors Kathleen B. Blanco and Bobby R. Jindal. She has also worked in the Legal Department of JP Morgan Chase, the Office of the Attorney General, the 14th Juvenile Detention Center Office of the District Attorney and has served as an adjunct professor of paralegal studies. “‘Thriving’ means that you enjoy good personal relationships while maintaining a sense of control in a world that feels out of control and above else, a sense of resilience,” Gills says. “For me, it means consistently working to build a meaningful life while having a positive impact on others by doing what I love.”


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Nomica Guillory wears many crowns. She is a motivational speaker through Excellence in You, a business she founded. She is a professional model who has walked runways in Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York. She’s been photographed for print catalogs such as JCPenney, Dilliard’s and Foley’s. She is a mother and wife with degrees in nursing and mass communications. She’s served as keynote speaker at several events, including the recent Junior Women’s Conference. She is director of telemedicine for a local hospital and has taught modeling at the Mayo Hill School of Modeling in Houston. And those are just the figurative crowns. She also has the literal crown—in 2006, she was named Mrs. Louisiana and went on to compete for the Mrs. America pageant, where she placed third out of 51 contestants. “I often seek the next level in whatever capacity that may be—education, career, or assisting others. I strive to create a journey full of fervor and moments of fulfillment,” says Guillory. “It is my hope that others see my small steps as foundation for the future, their journey or for their bigger steps. After having my son at the age of 16, it is my biggest desire that young girls can see through my journey that life is about choices. Challenges, choices and tests will present themselves, but it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s about how well you stand in the moment that defines failure or success.” Although she has enjoyed professional modeling and the platform that the Mrs. Louisiana crown has given her over the years, she says that the true definition of beauty has little to do with what people see. “Beauty is defined by character, integrity, honesty and spirit. It is defined as the ability to empower, inspire, lift up and make the next moment better for yourself and those around you. It’s ironic how true beauty has absolutely nothing to do with physical appearance and everything to do with the inner being.”

After Tommy McClelland was named athletics director for McNeese State University in 2008, he hit the ground running with a single goal: Make McNeese Athletics number one in the nation. But he’s quick to point out that while having a winning record is preferable, it’s not always necessary to be “number one.” A winning team is one that’s comprised of individuals who work together for one common goal. Whether it’s an organization or athletics, when people come together and work together, that’s when you win,” McClelland says. “Our core focus is about developing the whole athlete, not just the part that you see on the field or on the court.” He said that his goal as a leader is to help young people succeed—not just at sports, but in life. During his tenure, McClelland has implemented programs such as Partner with the Pokes and the Cowboy Round-Up Tour. He played a vital role in spearheading efforts to improve athletic facilities on campus and improving the fan experience. Under his leadership, McNeese has won the Southland Conference football championship twice, as well as the Southland Conference soccer tournament and the regular season championship. He was instrumental in setting single-game attendance records in volleyball, softball, soccer and women’s basketball. His favorite saying: “Championships in the classroom, in the field, on the court and in life.”

Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough was raised on the stage. Her mother founded Lady Leah Lafargue School of Dance and from there, Kaough moved alongside other young dancers, perfecting the meticulous and demanding steps required of ballet. The dance has since become her life. She is artistic director of Lake Charles Civic Ballet, the 2011 co-recipient of the Mayor’s Arts Organization of the Year Award and director of her late mother’s school. Kaough is also a New York Guild-certified Pilates instructor with a long client list. In her role as artistic director and instructor, Kaough mentors, choreographs, edits, evaluates costuming and sets and manages the budget, and still manages to get home and help her two children with their schoolwork and piano lessons. “I am motivated by the desire to live up to the quality of work set by my mother, the need to set an example of hard work and perseverance for my daughters, the joy of seeing my students gain confidence and grow as dancers and performers and my faith that I can do it all with God’s help,” she says. Her dedication is fueled by a love and appreciation of the arts—specifically, ballet. “We have an unusual opportunity to give our audiences a reprieve from their daily worries, a window in which they can be carefree and joyful, laugh and smile. They are immersed in a total theater experience complete with music, sets, dancing, poetic narration and lavish costumes.”

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

Billy Edwards wakes up every day with a specific goal in mind: Make today better than yesterday. “I do so with no regrets and never looking back,” he says. For hundreds of patrons, artists, writers and musicians in Southwest Louisiana, he’s achieved his goal ten-fold. Edwards’ Common Street coffee house, The Porch, has become a gravitational force for arts and culture in the area. More than a year ago, Edwards partnered his business with the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and has since become an active participant in arts advocacy. He serves on the Arts Council and on the board of directors for the Lake Charles Symphony. He displays works of local artists in his business and uses it as a venue to support fiction and poetry readings and live music. “Art, in every form, is the heartbeat of a community,” says Edwards, who has a degree in music education. “I have had the privilege of seeing what music can do for children of all ages. It gives them an outlet, a way to express themselves, when many times they’re not able to. It allows people to find their identity. This not only happens with music, but in all of the arts. When my wife and I were in a position to open The Porch we wanted to make sure we were doing everything possible to give the arts a place to grow in Lake Charles. We want to do everything we can to ensure the heartbeat of the Lake Area is as strong as ever.”

When Jen Kober was asked to introduce Sinbad before his performance at the Isle of Capri in 2005, it was a turning point in the emerging comedienne’s life. She was a local radio personality at the time with plans to break into the stand-up comedy scene as soon as she got a break. Sinbad unknowingly gave her one. Instead of spouting out a run-of-the-mill intro, Kober took the mike and used the opportunity to perform 20 minutes of stand-up designed to get Sinbad’s attention. It worked. Sinbad made a few calls and in less than a couple weeks, Kober had shows booked in California and throughout the northwest. Her career momentum has only gained more steam in the years since. Kober has headlined at more than 300 college shows across the country. She’s appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, Curb Your Enthusiasm and in several films. Last year, she appeared on Happy Endings on ABC and recently played a role in a new MTV movie, Worst Prom Ever. She recently completed tapings for an episode of Up All Night, a sitcom starring Christina Applegate, and is entering season three of Treme, an HBO drama starring John Goodman. A sitcom of her own is also in development, with hopes that it will catch the eye of network execs. All the while, Kober stages shows in her hometown of Lake Charles. “I’m editing a one-hour special and so much of it is about Lake Charles. I was worried that the material was too localized and that people wouldn’t find it as funny if they weren’t from here, but I played it for an audience in California and it went over really, really well, so I guess you don’t have to be from Lake Charles to find it funny. It does make it a whole lot funnier, though.” April 2012

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The list of civic activities that involve Becky Dupre is long and exhausting. She has served as assistant chair for Done in a Day, a project sponsored by the Junior League, and as chair for Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana Children’s Day event. She is involved in a fundraiser to raise awareness for autism, participates in a leadership class through the Chamber Southwest, and has volunteered with the Women’s Shelter, Arts & Humanities, Breathe Right and Camp Winton. Last year she was lead chair for the Mistletoe & Merchant Lounge. Her to-do list also includes a full-time job as an account executive at the American Press—not to mention her family at home. In her opinion, being productive is key to inspiring others to do the same. “Volunteering is important to me because it helps to develop skills, both personally and professionally, that will make an impact for improvement in the world around me. When I volunteer, I think of it as an exchange of thoughts and ideas. When we work together as a community, we use the skills and abilities of others to complete a task or a project, which can only leave room for empowerment.” Dupre, a Lake Charles native, said she has a sense of civic pride that inspires her to make the city the best it can be. “To me, thriving means growing in every aspect of your life, not only in your personal and professional life, but also growing your community as well.” After a difficult divorce, Keisha Broxton Payne found herself in a precarious situation: She was a single mother with no college education and in need of income. She self-published a book of poetry and organized spoken-word events throughout the city, but that showed little promise of propelling her anywhere, since she had no way to market herself or the events. With a budget of $400, she was able to hire someone to build a marketing website for her, but couldn’t afford to pay for updates. She decided to solve the problem herself by becoming a self-taught designer. From a single computer in her bedroom, she learned HTML coding and started to market her skills to businesses and churches in the area. She has since built websites for several local establishments, including Combre Funeral Home and Christian Baptist Church. “Anyone can be happy when all is well, but to see the person still inspired in the face of adversity—that keeps me going. I’m inspired by the single mother or father who doesn’t allow circumstances to interrupt their child’s life. I’m inspired by the unemployed father struggling to make ends meet, the widowed wife, the motherless child. Basically, the unacknowledged superheroes.”

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Since its founding in 2007, The Water’s Edge Gathering has become one of the most rapidly growing churches in Southwest Louisiana, resulting in the Water’s Edge Band, the Water’s Edge Riders and the Water’s Edge Community Theatre. Congregants of the Water’s Edge range from middle-aged men in business suits to tattooed twenty-somethings in jeans and T-shirts, and they have all arrived under the guideship of Pastor Tony Bourque. Pastor Bourque’s ministry has been described by his parishioners as one that reaches the common ground of all walks of life in a society that continues to segregate itself. “My role and passion is to teach people how to serve hurting people like Jesus did when He was here on Earth,” Bourque says. “We want to make the gospel visible by our service and love.” Bourque says he is inspired by creativity. “God is our creator. He created us in His image. When we tap into our creative passion, vision is born.” When Aaron Davis was a little boy, his step-father gave him the following advice: “Give 100 percent or don’t bother.” He’s held onto those words his entire life and passed them along to the young students of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, which he operates from a studio in Sulphur. Parents describe Davis as a humble leader who supports his students both in the studio and outside of it. In less than a year of opening the BJJ school, his students have won 18 gold medals, 12 silvers and 13 bronze. He spends time with them not only as a coach, but also as friend, helping them sort out their struggles with self-esteem, confidence and resilience. After every match, no matter the outcome, he reminds his students that they are winners as soon as they step on the mat, because it means they have overcome fear. Davis, a lifelong wrestler, is an MMA fighter with an amateur record of 4-0 and professional record of 3-3. He has competed in the Pan Americans in California and won third in his division, becoming Louisiana State Champion three years in a row. He has also won two golds in the North American Grappling Association. He said his first wrestling coach, Zeke Wainwright, was one of his role models when he was a kid. “It was not always about winning or losing to him, it was more about learning how to be a good competitor.” He said he uses Wainwright’s example when he works with his own students. “I would like for them to remember to not be judgmental and always strive for their full potential. Most importantly, I hope they don’t just let life pass by, but attack it from all angles at every opportunity.” Davis will graduate from McNeese in December with a degree in nursing.

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April 2012

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April 2012

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Mind & Body

The Dangers of Smoking Go from Head to Toe

by Erin Kelly

Most of us are aware of the dangers of smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths every year in the U.S.—that’s nearly one in five. Cancer is the perhaps the most commonly cited health concern associated with lighting up and for good reason: Being a smoker greatly increases your chances of developing cancer, and not just of the lungs. However, cancer isn’t the only potential danger lurking in the lives of everyday smokers. The CDC notes that smoking harms nearly every area and function of the body, from your head to your toes.

“It’s astonishing how encompassing the dangers are,” said family practice physician, Phillip Conner, M.D. “There are few lifestyle activities that have such an effect on the body, affecting everything from hair and toenails to the functionality of the lungs and heart.” A recent report from the Surgeon General found that cigarette smoke ravages the human body, wreaking havoc on nearly every organ and function, including the reproductive, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. The Surgeon General’s Office recommended that physicians expand their warning messages to patients and provide detailed explanations on how cigarette smoke affects personal health. “Most people are aware that smoking kills. But the message has become overly simplistic. Patients need to be aware of not only how it kills, but how it affects everything from sperm count and fertility to periodontal disease,” Dr. Conner said. The CDC has found that cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemical agents. Every time smoke is inhaled into the body, those chemicals start to work on the body, beginning with the mouth. The chemicals in cigarettes include numerous cancer-causing agents, such as benzene, butane, arsenic, ammonia, methoprene, formaldehyde and tar.

Head to Shoulders

Smoking is a significant risk factor for stroke, according to cardiologist Thomas Mulhearn IV, M.D. But recent studies indicate that it also has other affects on the brain. Researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh found that the cognitive abilities of smokers and non-smokers changed gradually over time—not by much, but by a noticeable fraction. According to the study, smoking may not only stunt your growth, it can also stunt your intellect. In addition to depleting the brain of the oxygen it needs to function properly for both physical and mental health, smoking is a major risk factor for throat cancer, accounting for up to 80 percent of cases, according to hematologist and oncologist Mohammad Khan, M.D. Continued on p56 54 www.thriveswla.com

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

The plumes are water vapor, not smoke.

What you see is actually water vapor. A significant amount of heat and water are required in the industrial process. Cooling towers are used to cool the hot water that is generated when heat is removed from the process. Industry reuses the water as much as possible, and then cools it before returning it to local waterways. Temperature, humidity and wind all affect the visibility of the water vapor and how quickly it’s absorbed into the air. You may notice it more on a cool, humid evening when there is very little wind. The fact that it’s more visible at some times than others is a result of weather changes, not changes within the industrial process. These cooling towers are an environmentally friendly way to keep local industry working.


Q: A:

There are big plumes of smoke coming from industries. Is this pollution?

Savings | Checking | Loans | Online Solutions

Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment

3600 Nelson Rd. & 488 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles | msfinancialfcu.org | 337.437.3994


Carol Collins

public relations director with local industry

Visit www.laia.com to learn more and submit your question about local industry and the environment.

April 2012

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Mind & Body | Dangers of Smoking

Continued on p54

Smoking also harms the teeth and gums. According to the American Dental Association, smoking may be responsible for up to 75 percent of periodontal diseases among adults. The damage occurs when the toxic compounds of cigarette smoke erodes the attachment of bone and soft tissue to the teeth, resulting in receding gums, which exposes the tooth and increases risk of tooth decay. The CDC has found that only 20 percent of non-smokers over the age of 65 are toothless, compared to 41 percent of smokers. Tobacco in all its forms is also the number-one risk factor for oral cancer in individuals over the age of 50. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer each year; of those, only slightly more than half will be alive in five years—a number which hasn’t significantly improved in decades. “The death rate for oral cancer is higher than others because it’s often not detected until it’s reached a more serious stage,” said Dr. Khan. “Those who drink as well as smoke have an even more dire susceptibility—when working together, cigarettes and alcohol create a risk factor that is 15 times greater than the rest of the population.” The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer and endocrine cancers of the thyroid or skin, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Historically, at least 75 percent of those diagnosed at 50 and older have been tobacco users. In addition to oral cancer, delayed healing after oral surgery, and periodontal disease, smokers often suffer from stained teeth and tongue, bad breath and a diminished sense of taste and smell, according to the American Dental Association. The chemicals in cigarettes also cause brittle hair and skin, Dr. Khan said. “When you smoke, you disrupt the proper flow of oxygen to the body. This lack of fresh oxygen causes hair to brittle and also causes skin to sag, resulting in premature wrinkles,” Dr. Khan said. Smokers are also far more susceptible to sore throat, cough and laryngitis.

Torso The effects of smoking on the lung and pulmonary systems are well-known, pulmonologist Johnny Belenchia, M.D., said. Lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and heart disease are commonly recognized side effects, but smoking can also trigger other adverse health conditions, such as heartburn, ulcer, Crohn’s disease and complications with the gallbladder and liver. “It’s believed that the decrease of proper blood flow through the body has an effect on the body’s ability to defend itself against infection. Smokers are not only more vulnerable to conditions like Crohn’s disease, but they are also more likely to relapse and have a longer recovery time,” Dr. Belenchia said. Studies have further shown that cigarette smoke reduces the amount of bicarbonate in the body, which causes problems with the neutralization of acid in the stomach, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Other research shows that smoking may increase the amount of acid secreted by the stomach over time. The increased rate of heartburn in smokers is caused by a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter—the muscular valve at the lower end of the esophagus that prevents acidic juices from rising. About 20 percent of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to smoking, according to Dr. Mulhearn, because smoking is a major cause of coronary artery disease. “The risk of heart attack and heart disease greatly increases when a person smokes and that risk becomes even more substantial the longer it continues,” Dr. Mulhearn said. “People who smoke a pack a day double their chances of heart attack, compared to non-smokers. The statistics are even worse for women who take birth control and smoke. Studies show that women who smoke and take birth control pills substantially increase their risk of not only heart attack, but stroke and peripheral vascular disease.” 56 www.thriveswla.com

It is estimated that about 35,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year as the result of cigarette-smoke exposure.

Reproductive Systems Research on how smoking interacts with the male and female reproductive systems has received increased attention in recent years, with interesting results. A report funded by the Sequoia Foundation found evidence that suggests that smoking alters hormone levels which affect pregnancy and other hormone-dependent conditions. Researchers found the female smokers menstruated less and more irregularly than non-smokers and that their hormone levels were also irregular relative to ovulation. They found that smoking caused a shortening of time for follicle development before ovulation, which could impact a woman’s reproductive function. Female smokers are three times likelier to have trouble conceiving, less likely to carry a baby to full term, and more likely to have a miscarriage. Smoking was also found to adversely affect the onset of menopause and create a weakened defense to hormone-dependent cancers. A comprised reproductive system isn’t limited to female smokers. According to the American Council on Science and Health, cigarette smoking can decrease both the quality and quantity of sperm because of the effects of nicotine on the nervous system and the low testosterone concentrations that have been found in male smokers. According to the ACSH, the quality of sperm in male smokers is 22 to 57 percent less than their non-smoking counterparts.

Legs and Feet The majority of problems associated with smoking and the lower extremities are the result of compromised blood flow, cardiologist Carl Fastabend, M.D. said. “Habitual tobacco restricts blood vessels, which can cause high blood pressure as well as a number of other conditions,” Dr. Fastabend said. “This can result in pain of the limbs, even at rest.” According to Dr. Fastabend, smokers who exercise are more likely to suffer pain in their legs and feet because of the lack of proper blood flow caused by restricted blood vessels. Narrowing of the arteries can cause localized pain in the calves as well as the buttocks, thighs or legs. When trying to quit smoking, a physician can be your greatest ally. For help, call the physician line at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital at 491-7577.

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April 2012

Shift into Gear Fun-sational Guide with an Auto Loan! to Summer!

The Everything-Parents-Need-to-Know-About-All-the-Fun-Stuff-Kids-Want-to-Do

Summer Resource Guide 2012

Apply Online 24/7 at www.csefcu.org

Coming in May. Reserve your space now! This special pull-out supplement in the May issue of Thrive will provide parents with a guide to all the area’s summer activities for kids, as well as special offers from select businesses.

This handy pull-out guide is something parents will refer to all summer! If your business, group or organization is offering summer camps, classes & activities for kids, we’ll be happy to include your information in this guide. Send the details to katie@thriveswla.com by April 13.


Call or email to reserve your advertising space today! (337) 310-2099

*Membership & Eligibility Required

“I Stayed Close and Now I’ve Gone Far.” ~ Scott Friedeck Entrepreneur, World Traveler LSC-O Graduate, 2002

More than 30 programs to choose from No out of state fees for LA. residents Register now for Summer 1, Summer 2 and the Fall Semester


410 Front Street • Orange, TX • (409) 883-7750 • www.lsco.edu A Member of the Texas State University System • An Equal Opportunity Institution April 2012

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Mind & Body

Tablet Splitting is Risky The downturn in the economy coupled with the rising cost of prescription drugs has many Southwest Louisiana residents looking for ways to save money on the medicines they need. This includes skipping doses and splitting tablets. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Medical Association and local Family Medicine Physician and member of the Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group, Arthur Primeaux, M.D., advise against the practice of splitting tablets unless the drug’s labelling says that it is okay to do so. “Tablet splitting often involves buying higher strength tablets and then breaking the tablets in half or quarter doses as a way to lower drug costs,” says Dr. Primeaux. “For instance, a 30 mg tablet may cost the same amount as the 15 mg tablet. So a patient may try to save money by buying the 30 mg tablets and splitting them all in half.” This might seem like a smart money-saving strategy, but the practice can be risky. There are many dangers associated with this issue. “There have been cases when people have purchased higher strength tablets intending to split them, but then they forgot to split them,” Dr. Primeaux adds. “Instead, they took the whole tablet. This led to accidentally taking too much medicine.” Studies have shown that the actual dose in each half of a split tablet is often different. So, while the two halves may look the same, they don’t necessarily contain equal amounts of medicine. Even if the tablet is scored with a line that runs down the middle, one half may actually have more medicine than the other. Some tablets are too small to split, may have an unusual shape that makes them hard to split, or may crumble more easily when split. Also, some people may not be able to split tablets correctly. These factors make it difficult to accurately split a tablet.

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“Patients may mistakenly think that any pill can be split. But some pills, such as capsules and time-released drugs, should always be taken whole,” Dr. Primeaux warns. “For example, some tablets are coated with a substance that helps to release the medicine slowly. Splitting these tablets destroys the coating, which means you might absorb the medicine too fast or not at all.” What if you still want to split a tablet? FDA has approved drugs that are okay to split. “If the tablet is approved for splitting, the information will be provided in the drug’s professional prescribing information,” says Dr. Primeaux. “If you are considering splitting a tablet, FDA recommends that you get advice directly from your doctor or pharmacist to determine whether it is appropriate or not for a particular drug.”

“Patients may mistakenly think that any pill can be split. But some pills, such as capsules and time-released drugs, should always be taken whole.”

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– Arthur Primeaux, MD

April 2012

Big Easy Foods

Continued from p35

LOUISIANA’S CATCH Avery talked about Big Easy Foods’ preparation for the Boston Seafood Show, which attracts store owners, distributors and food brokers from across the country. Gulf shrimp is a key product -- one that is still recovering from the Gulf oil spill and, in some cases, the resulting perceptions. “Our seafood is the most tested there is, and there’s never been a problem,” Avery said. “I can’t say that for all of the foreign seafood that’s tested.” “Our sales are way up,” he said. “The shrimping industry -- about 40 of us -- pushed for a country-of-origin label, and did a campaign on wild American shrimp. With wild-caught shrimp, there’s a flavor you don’t find in pond-raised shrimp. Odds-on, it’s going to taste better.” Plus, “shrimp is part of our culture,” Abraham said. “We want the shrimp industry to succeed. It’s a premium product. We believe the quality and taste of wild-caught shrimp rises to the Starbucks level of coffee or the Angus level of beef.”

AROUND THE NATION Big Easy has 165 employees in three locations. “We will probably grow that 20 percent,” Avery said, “when the Lake Charles facility expands later this spring.” The company’s products are now available in stores nationwide, from local groceries to the national Publix and Costco chains. The fastest-growing area, they say, is the Northeast. “You might not think it, but markets like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, they really love this Louisiana food,” Avery said. “I really think that it’s becoming identified as a type of cuisine, like Italian.” The growth at Big Easy Foods, and the sales figures outside Louisiana, would seem to agree. For more information on Big Easy Foods, their products or to order online, visit www.bigeasyfoods.com.

April 2012

You may blame your symptoms on allergies, but they may actually be caused by Dry Eye Syndrome. This condition is one of the most under-diagnosed eye problems and can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Dry Eye Symptoms Can Include: • Itching • Irritation • Redness • Excessive Tearing

• Burning • Grittiness • Blurred Vision • Eye Strain

If you are experiencing any of these, you may have Dry Eye Syndrome. The Eye Clinic offers specialized treatment options to manage these symptoms and provide relief. Call us today.

Lake Charles • Sulphur • DeRidder • Jennings • Moss Bluff

(337) 478-3810 • 1-800-826-5223 www.theeyeclinic.net

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Mind & Body

Pediatric Sinusitis More than just the sniffles

by Christine Fisher

o o o o h o c a

The fluctuations of weather in Southwest Louisiana coupled with viruses passing quickly from one school child to the next means that sniffles, coughs and colds are almost inevitable. Usually, a cold will last a few days, causing a few sleepless nights for both the child and their parents, and then they bounce back quickly. But, what happens when the cold won’t go away? “When a child remains ill with cold symptoms beyond the usual week to ten days, a sinus infection may be the reason,” explained Amanda LaComb, MD, family medicine physician on the medical staff of Jennings American Legion Hospital. “Pediatric sinusitis can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be subtle and varied.” She said symptoms of sinusitis in children differ from those of an adult. “Children often demonstrate a cough, bad breath, crankiness, low energy, and swelling around the eyes with a thick yellow-green nasal or post-nasal drip.”

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Other symptoms of sinusitis in children include: • a cold lasting more than 10 to 14 days • low-grade fever • headache, usually in children age six or older • irritability • earache

Young children have immature immune systems and are more prone to infections of the nose, sinus and ears, especially in the first several years of life. These are most frequently caused by viral infections, or colds, as well as allergies.

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April 2012

When sinusitis occurs, most children respond very well to therapy. “Nasal decongestants or topical nasal sprays may provide short-term relief of stuffiness,” said Dr. LaComb. “Medications used for children to treat sinusitis are similar to those used for adults, but they are adjusted for the age and weight of the child.” She said it is important for children to take the medicine throughout the recommended duration, even if the child begins to feel better within a few days. Sometimes, sinusitis is an ongoing problem. If a child has one or more symptoms of sinusitis for at least 12 weeks, he or she may have chronic sinusitis. If the chronic sinusitis occurs more than four to six times in a year, it is usually recommended to see an ENT specialist for medical or surgical treatment of the sinuses. “Environment can also aggravate sinusitis and other respiratory illnesses in children,” said Dr. LaComb. Exposure to tobacco smoke in the home is a major problem. “Parents need to realize even if they avoid smoking inside the house, it is still a problem. Their hair and clothes become contaminated, so when they walk back into the house, smoke exposure can occur.” Smokers are usually unaware of the smell of tobacco smoke, and therefore, cannot readily tell when smoke is present. Some children with chronic sinusitis experience problems when attending daycare if other children have viruses. In older kids, exposure to viruses at school may be a problem. Awareness of symptoms and seeking treatment in a timely manner can help children get through the effects of sinusitis.

o o o! !


ABOUT NECK PAIN - SEMINAR People often jokingly refer to something being a “pain in the neck,” but when neck pain is real, it’s not funny at all. Neck pain is one of the most common reasons people see their physician, and can range from a crick or stiffness, to severe, debilitating pain. Chronic neck pain can limit your daily activities and lead to fatigue, depression and anxiety. But you don’t have to live with neck pain. There are a wide variety of non-surgical treatment options that can restore pain-free motion. Learn more about the causes and treatment options for neck pain from Dr. Craig Morton, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with Center for Orthopaedics, at this free community seminar.



Thursday, April 26, 5:30pm

Center for Orthopaedics • 1747 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles Seating is limited and pre-registration is requested. Refreshments will be served.

Call 721-2903 or register online at www.centerforortho.com • April 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Craig Morton, MD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist www.thriveswla.com


Mind & Body

Exercise your to Choose a Fitness Right Professional by Erin Kelly

As Americans have become less healthy, more overweight and more susceptible to preventable conditions like heart disease and diabetes, the number of people searching for qualified fitness professionals and programs to lead them on the right path has garnered more attention than ever—from fitness reality shows on television to boot-camps in the boondocks—but before you get on the phone and hire a personal trainer or join an extreme fitness regimen, make sure you’re doing what’s best for your physical health and well-being. “Most health-service professionals have to pass some kind of certifications or exams that include oversight and verification of knowledge and skill. The same is true with fitness professionals,” said Suzy Trahan, ACSM certified health and fitness specialist, ACE certified personal trainer and director of Dynamic Dimensions fitness center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. “But most people don’t know what qualifications to ask for and assume that anyone who works in a fitness center has the training to provide fitness advice.” According to Trahan, receiving instruction from an ill-qualified or ill-equipped personal trainer can be hazardous to your personal health, “and that isn’t an exaggeration.” Qualified fitness professionals have an understanding of proper use of gym equipment, the effects of medical history on fitness regimens, how to tailor a program to fit individual health and fitness levels, realistic and safe goals for each client, appropriate and inappropriate work-outs on an individual basis and physical safety. Qualified professionals also have a

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far greater understanding of physiology, so they understand how far the body should—and more importantly, should not—be pushed. “There is a formal education associated with the right credentials and you want to make sure that your trainer has them, for the sake of your physical wellbeing and to help you achieve your goals,” Trahan said. “You don’t want to take it on blind faith that they are properly trained.” To find out if your personal trainer is appropriately certified, ask them for their credentials and then conduct your own research on the Internet—find out if their credentials are considered legitimate and then contact the certifying organization to verify that the credentials are real and current, Trahan said. You can always contact a certification agency to verify a trainer’s status. Most certification renewal periods run between 2-4 years and require that personal trainers take continuing education designed to keep them up-to-date on the latest information and training techniques. Once you’ve established that your personal trainer is qualified, make sure that he or she behaves like a certified trainer. “If your trainer doesn’t ask for any personal information, such as medical history, medical conditions, fitness level or so on, that’s a red flag. Your personal trainer should also discuss your goals with you so a program can be designed specifically for you,” Trahan said. “Personal fitness is personal—there is no blanket program that fits all people.” Make sure your trainer is also knowledgeable about how all the gym equipment functions. Improper use of equipment can result in physical injury, and according to Trahan, there are several pieces of gym equipment that aren’t self-explanatory and can easily be used improperly. “Many people assume that if they have hired a ‘personal trainer,’ then that trainer has all the knowledge needed or required to provide guidance. That’s just not the case,” Trahan said. “Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can take for granted. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure you are getting the expertise you are paying for.”

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2012

Expert Advice on Choosing a Personal Trainer The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Council of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) are great resources for reviewing approved credentials in the fitness industry and for finding certified fitness professionals. Once you know their certifications are in order, they also suggest using these criteria when choosing your personal trainer:

Work Experience and Area Of Specialization

Talk To the Trainer

Ask how many years of experience a personal trainer has working with clients, particularly those with your needs or limitations. Does he/ she have expertise in a certain area of fitness or prefer to work with clients at certain levels of fitness?

Developing a personal, yet professional relationship with your trainer is very important. Trust your instincts. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer; is this someone you will like spending time with? The personal trainer you select should motivate you using positive, not negative, reinforcement. The knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer who fits your style is the one to hire — because that is the professional who will help you achieve the best results.

Education While an NCCA-accredited certification is the professional credential you should look for in a personal trainer, a college degree in exercise science or a related field is a definite plus. This lets you know that your personal trainer has a solid educational foundation in exercise program design.

Ask For References Ask the personal trainer for names, phone numbers and even testimonials of other clients he/she has worked with, particularly those who share similar traits and goals. If possible, call previous clients to see if they were satisfied with their training experience and results. Ask if the personal trainer was professional, punctual and prepared, and whether the individual needs were addressed. Talk to fellow members of your health club or friends who are currently working with trainers for their recommendations.

April 2012

Professional Liability Insurance and Business Policies Many personal trainers operate as independent contractors and are not employees of a fitness facility. Find out if the trainer you want to hire carries professional liability insurance. A reputable personal trainer should make sure you understand the scheduling, cancellation policy and billing procedures. The best way to avoid confusion and to protect your rights is to have those policies in writing. Source: www.acefitness.org

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Mind & Body

Don’t Let Golf Injuries Handicap your Game by Kristy Armand

Warm weather means golfing weather to millions of people in the country. Golf has become one of the most popular sports in the country, but most amateur golfers know relatively little about preventing golfing-related injuries.

Before you hit the links, you might want to hit the gym. Research suggests that strong hip muscles can make a big difference in your golf performance. A recent study presented by the American College of Sports Medicine found that golfers with strong hip muscles have lower handicaps and longer driving distances than those with weak hip muscles. “This research demonstrate the importance of hip muscle strength in stabilizing the trunk and balancing forces from the lower parts of the body to the arms during a golf swing to improve overall performance,” says John Noble, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon with Center for Orthopaedics. “It was found all the hip movements tended to be stronger in the best golfers who had the lowest handicaps and longest driving distances. Hip muscles

64 www.thriveswla.com

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play an important role in balancing the forces transferred between the lower body and upper extremities during the golf swing. Stronger hip muscles may provide better trunk stability that may in turn be related to better golf performance.” The hip is not the only part of your body that can impact your golf game. Dr. Noble adds that an overall strength and conditioning program is an important part of preventing musculoskeletal injuries. “The idea that golf is an injury-free sport is a misconception,” says Dr. Noble. “As with any sport, injuries can occur in golfing if your body is not ready to take on the stress of a repeated movement. For those of you who golf on a regular basis, you know how important it is to be mentally prepared to hit a golf ball. It is also important to be physically ready to hit the ball. Proper

April 2012

warm-up, flexibility and swing mechanics not only help your game, but will also help you to avoid putting your clubs away in early summer due to a golf injury.” Dr. Noble explains that overuse injuries are the primary source of problems for golfers. These types of injuries occur more frequently in those individuals lacking adequate flexibility and strength of the stomach, shoulder and elbow muscles. They occur when the forces of an activity exceed the muscle’s ability to absorb the force. He says when this occurs, it is the tendon that is overstressed. Leading the list of common golf injuries is golfer’s elbow. Golfer’s elbow occurs in the dominant arm as the club head strikes the ball or ground. One of the best ways to avoid elbow problems is to strengthen the forearm muscles and slow the swing so that there will be less shock in the arm when the ball is hit by the golfer. Many golfers also suffer from impingement syndrome of the shoulder. This condition is an inflammation of the shoulder’s rotator cuff tendons caused from the “pinching” of the tendons between the bones of the shoulder. Dr. Noble says for golfers, this most often occurs in the front region of the arm and is felt at the finish of the swing. “Strong rotator cuff muscles are the best way to prevent this from happening.” Low back pain is a very common complaint among golfers. This can be caused by a poor swing. The rotational stresses of the golf swing can place considerable pressure on the spine and muscles. Also poor flexibility and muscle strength can cause minor strains in the back that can become severe injuries. “Fortunately, back injuries in golfers are generally only strained muscles, but in more severe cases, the lumbar disc can become irritated or rupture,” says Dr. Noble. To prevent these types of injuries, he says special emphasis should be placed on core strength in the back, torso, hips and shoulders. One way to begin such a conditioning routine is to add push-ups and crunches to your training. A well-rounded strength, flexibility and endurance program three times per week will help overall body conditioning and reduce your risk of injury on the course. Cardiovascular conditioning can help delay the onset of muscle fatigue, and Dr. Noble adds that you should also drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially during the summer months. In addition to working on overall conditioning, Dr. Noble says that another important injury prevention strategy for golfers it to take the time to warm up before hitting the links – just as you would before any playing any other sport “Recent research shows that active stretching movements are better for jump starting strength than are passive stretching exercises,” says Dr. Noble. “Warming up properly will not only help your game that day, but will also lower your risk of injury and improve your overall level of fitness. “ For more information about any musculoskeletal problem, call Center for Orthopaedics at 721-7236 or visit www.centerforotho.com. April 2012

We’ve Mig rated

to our New Home

We’re proud to announce that Lakeside’s new 6000-square-foot main office on Nelson Road in Lake Charles is open for business.

We invite you to visit our beautiful new bank, meet our friendly staff and learn about our generous account options, including free checking. Be sure to register for all the great prizes we’ll be giving away throughout the spring.

It’s the perfect time to Join the Migration to Lakeside, the region’s fastest growing local bank.

The way banking should be.

4735 Nelson Rd., Lake Charles Thrive Magazine for Better Living


LakesideBanking.com www.thriveswla.com


Mind & Body

Parents: Sugar Isn’t the Only Cavity Culprit

by Erin Kelly

For years sugar has been blamed for a large variety of frustrating behaviors— hyperactive children, expanding waistlines, headaches, three o’clock energy crashes, poor nutrition. When it comes to tooth decay, we looked to sugar once again, quick to blame it for all our tooth-decaying woes. But sugar does not stand alone when it comes to causing cavities, according to pediatric dentist Eric Sanders, DDS. Parents who are on the lookout for their children’s teeth shouldn’t just confiscate the candy and cake, Dr. Sanders said. They should also keep an eye on sports drinks, sodas and even potato chips and fruit. “You can brush twice a day and avoid the sweet treats and still get cavities,” Dr. Sanders said. Sugar isn’t off the hook, of course. The reason it’s a main cavitycausing culprit is because of its high acidity. “Acidity is the true perpetrator.” According to Dr. Sanders, everyone has natural bacteria in their mouth that forms plaque. When plaque interacts with food deposits it produces acids that damage, demineralize or dissolve tooth enamel over time. The resulting acids can attack teeth for 20 minutes or more after you’ve finished eating and if the attacks are continual, it will break down the hard enamel on the surface of your teeth and eventually lead to tooth decay. Because some foods are already high in acidity, it can further complicate or hasten the process, Dr. Sanders said. “The higher the pH level in your mouth, the more cavity-prone you become.” These cavity-causing foods and drinks include sugary snacks like cookies, lollipops, bubble gum and Kool-Aid, but also encompass things like coffees, teas, fresh fruit, potato chips, non-dairy creamer, beer and grain products and other carbohydrates and starches. “Obviously some of these foods, like fresh fruit, are very nutritious and shouldn’t be sacrificed for the sake of cavities. Instead, consider ways to counteract the negative effects that fruit acidity will have on you or your child’s teeth,” Dr. Sanders said. Dr. Sanders provided the following tips for parents who want to prevent cavities in their children and themselves: • According to the American Academy of General Dentistry, a high level of saliva in the mouth is effective in slowing the progression of tooth decay because saliva helps to restore the natural balance of acid in the mouth. When the acidity is high on a regular basis, the saliva

• • • • • • • •

• • • •

doesn’t have an opportunity to restore the balance. People who eat a highcarbohydrate, high-acid diet, should temper it with foods that are lower in sugar and starches. This gives the saliva an opportunity to do its work. Are you or your child fans of chewing gum? If so, choose sugar-free, xylitol gum to increase the amount of saliva in the mouth, which will also help restore the pH. Reduce consumption of sugary sodas, fruit juices and fruit drinks. Prepare snacks that raise the mouth’s pH, such as yogurt, cheese, sesame seeds, celery, water, carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli. If your child eats something sugary or cavity-causing, encourage them to follow it up with a handful of peanuts or some other food item that is friendly on the teeth. Brushing immediately after eating something sweet isn’t necessary. Instead, drink water to neutralize the pH balance in the mouth. Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride strengths tooth enamel, which raises its defense mechanisms against acid. Drink through a straw. It’s best if the straw is positioned toward the back of the mouth to limit the amount of time the beverage is in contact with the teeth. It’s better to consume sweet, sugary treats with a meal, when the mouth is producing more saliva. The added saliva created by a meal, rather than a quick snack, will help neutralize the acid in the mouth and could help rinse some of the cavity-causing particles. Drink lots of water. Fluoridated water is ideal for preventing tooth decay. Brush teeth twice a day and floss at least once. Limit substances that rob the mouth of healthy saliva. This includes alcohol and even many medicines, such as antihistamines. If your child is involved in sports, have them drink water rather than energy or sports drinks whenever possible.

For more information about dental care for children, call Dr. Sanders at 433-5437 or visit www.lc-kid-dentist.com

3817 Maplewood Dr. • Sulphur, LA 70663 337-625-2020 • www.janotvision.com Find us on Facebook!

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April 2012

Easter Basket Fillers with

It’s time to break out the shorts and swimsuits. But if unsightly spider veins in your legs have you hiding behind your towel, Dr. Carl Fastabend at the Vein Center now offers sclerotherapy, a quick, painless treatment to help you step boldly into the new season. Find out if this treatment will work for you with a simple screening at our fun ladies’ night out.

Staying Power

‘ Chocolate and marshmallow bunnies, jelly beans and cream-filled eggs are all great, tasty gifts for Peter Cotton Tail to deliver this Easter, but these items have far fewer calories and will last much longer than the sweet treats. Consider mixing some of these in to your baskets: • Small outdoor toys (jump rope, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls) • Play-Doh • Favorite books • Sticker books • Art Supplies (crayons, color books, markers) • Puzzles

at our

Vein-ity f o t h g i N




FREE Vein Screening THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 5–8 PM Lake Charles Racquet Club 870 Bayou Pines West Drive

It’s time to stop hiding your legs and show them off instead. Call 312-VEIN to pre-register.

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501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr. Lake Charles

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April 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Mind & Body

Muscle Activation


by Kristy Armand

When trying to understand the fundamentals of Muscular Activation Techniques, it helps to view the human body as a car. Connected by electrical wires that send messages to various parts of the system, a car runs properly when it’s well-maintained, but over time that maintenance becomes compromised by every day wearand-tear and, in some cases, a devastating accident. Like the human body, a car is made of individual parts which constitute an entire system. That’s also how the human body functions, according to John Foret Jr., BS, RTS, MAT, the only certified Muscle Activation Technique specialist in Louisiana and the founder of Muscle Activation of Louisiana. MAT is a revolutionary process that operates on the understanding that stress, trauma and overuse trigger muscular imbalances in the body by upsetting the neurological connections between the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. MAT seeks to correct that upset. MAT is designed to treat the body’s muscular contraction function as a whole, Foret said. The technique is based on the sciences of biomechanics and neurology. “Every time our muscles contract, it’s because they’re receiving a message from the brain. When we suffer from an injury due to trauma or overuse, the message to the muscle can become compromised, which means that the muscle won’t contract optimally and can’t dictate its position and regulate tension during movements and normal muscle function. To make up for the

lapse, the other muscles go to work so the body can perform the required movement,” Foret said. “This overcompensation often results in increase muscle tension and tightness causing pain and progressive degeneration and subjective complaints.” When one muscle takes up the slack for another, the body fails to function to its greatest potential, according to Foret. This means slower injury recovery, and less effective function. A MAT specialist seeks to restore mobility to a specific injured region by looking and probing your entire muscular system from head to toe. MAT process does not involve high tech equipment, but instead relies on the experience, skill and knowledge of the specialist. MAT can work on its own or in conjunction with other treatment disciplines, such as physical therapists chiropractors, athletic trainers and massage therapists. MAT’s focus is on muscle function, and Foret says when muscle function is optimal, “you will have the experience of true stability.” “MAT is a specific and unique process for evaluating an individual’s ability to develop efficient muscle contraction(s) by first measuring and comparing specific limb and trunk motions of the body right side to left side,” says Foret. “To jumpstart specific muscle fibers, two techniques are used; tendon palpation, which MAT calls DAFAMAT (Digital Force Application to Muscle Attachment Tissues) and PIC (Positional Isoangular Contractions) isometric exercise to restore neuro drive and increase positional stability, which in turn allows greater movement patterns and strength.” “During each MAT session my thought process has me constantly

John Foret treating client Carli Quinn with MAT.

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April 2012

assessing, monitoring and adjusting, for each person has a unique muscular system that calls for individualization of the technique,” Foret says. “MAT is a process, but sometimes results can be immediate.” He says one of the biggest complaints I get from clients is that they suffer from muscle tightness, which often causes pain. “These are often active athletes—professional, amateur, or your weekend warriors—who can’t seem to shake the discomfort. That’s where MAT steps in. MAT practitioners view muscle weakness as a form of protection in the body and we get to the root of the pain by addressing overall muscle weakness and activating those specific muscle fibers that are not functioning as they should be.” MAT is not a practice reserved just for athletes. Foret has also successfully treated older patients whose aches and pains are related to aging and normal wear-and-tear. “I often get calls from people of all ages and activity levels. I have clients who have sought MAT to help slow the aging process by properly addressing muscle weaknesses which often cause mechanical wear to a particular joint.” Foret has treated clients for back pain, knee pain, patellofemoral syndrome, neck stiffness, rotator cuff and shoulder discomfort, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, hip pain, tight hamstrings and much more. He has worked with athletes at all level of competitive play, including several collegiate programs as well as players for the New Orleans Saints. Because he is the only practitioner in the state, he has traveled for special situations across Louisiana. Foret is originally from Lake Charles and earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance from McNeese State University. He has worked in the health and fitness field for 17 years, and is also a certified Resistance Training Specialist. For more information on MAT, call Foret at 540-1770. His office is located at Center for Orthopaedics 1747 Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles.

Family Medicine.

Your Family. Our Focus. PREVENTION | DISEASE MANAGEMENT l OLDER ADULT CARE | WOMEN’S HEALTH At West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, we’ve made family medicine a priority, partnering with trusted physicians throughout Southwest Louisiana. Your first line of defense in keeping your family healthy requires strong, experienced family medicine physicians and a hospital with a reputation for excellence and an unsurpassed tradition of caring. When it comes to your family’s healthcare, we’ve raised the bar and redefined the healthcare experience with a program that encompasses all ages, sexes, each organ system and every disease entity. That’s why the doctors you trust, trust us.

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Scan the QR code for physician office on location continued p64 information.

April 2012

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Mind & Body

Breeze Through Testing Week The birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming signaling that spring is finally here. Teachers and students alike are focused on the final nine weeks of school and wrapping up a busy school year. Before that final bell rings in May though there is still one major hurdle for everyone to conquer…state mandated testing week. Local students will face these tests this month and for fourth and eighth graders, they can mean the difference between moving on to the next grade level or not. For other students, this is their chance to practice these critical test-taking skills. No matter which test or which grade level your student is facing this year, one thing is certain, it all adds up to a lot of stress. Going into testing week with a good, solid set of test taking strategies and some fun ways to unwind at the end of the day such as a playing a board game or simply enjoying some fresh air before bed can make for smooth sailing during this challenging week.

HOW TO BE BETTER PREPARED: At home: • Get a good night’s sleep. • Eat a good, healthy breakfast. • Arrive to school with plenty of time to get settled.

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During the test: • Read the entire question first. • Look for key words in the question. • Read all answer choices before choosing the correct answer. • Answer easier questions first. • Stick with your first answer. • Pace yourself. • Check your work carefully.

April 2012

Southwest Louisiana Gears Up for the 12th Annual Fast Pitch 56 Softball Tournament The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) Fast Pitch 56 tournament returns to Sulphur for its 12th consecutive year at Frasch Park, April 27-28. This two-day event features the top 56 high school softball teams in seven classes from all across Louisiana vying for the championship crown. The tournament is a tremendous economic stimulant for the local economy, bringing in millions of dollars with an estimated attendance of around 21,000 people. Hotels across Calcasieu Parish sell out for the weekend making this a win-win situation for not only Sulphur, but all of Calcasieu Parish. “These teams don’t just travel to play ball for the weekend; in between games, they eat in our restaurants, visit our attractions and much more,” said Eric Zartler, senior sales manager/athletics for the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to again have the opportunity to host these young ladies, as they compete for the state championship title.” We are asking all local businesses to help us by displaying “Welcome LHSAA Fast Pitch 56 Tournament” on their marquees or signs during the tournament to show the spectators a little southern hospitality and invite the community out to cheer on these talented young women. Admission to Friday’s games is $10 per session. Saturday the admission cost is $10 per session or $15 for the entire day. For more information, contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau at (337) 436-9588 or (800) 456-SWLA, or visit www.visitlakecharles.org.

Caring for You, As You Care forThem

As a woman, you nurture, comfort, protect, provide for, guide, discipline, delegate and advise every day. The physicians, nurses and staff of OBG-1 have provided excellence in women’s health care for over 30 years. We pledge to continue providing you with the care you need so you can continue to care for those you love. Physicians: Ben Darby, MD Scott Bergstedt, MD

Nurse Practitioners: Tammy Gillett, APRN, NP Marilyn Watson, APRN, NP Certified Nurse Midwives: Bonnie Leger, CNM Allison Hansen, CNM

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Summer Leger, LPN Nursery

Right at Home With over 200 years of combined experience in the healthcare field, the Jennings American Legion Hospital Leadership Executive Committee is leading the way for quality care provided by our experienced clinical team. You may have to travel for some things, but quality healthcare isn’t one of them. With Jennings American Legion Hospital, the healing touch is right here at home.

Leadership Executive Committee

April 2012

1634 Elton Road l 616-7000 l www.jalh.com

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Community Contributor$ Barbe to McNeese

Local businessman Beau Barbe has donated $20,060 to the McNeese State University Foundation to establish the Dr. Don Paul Barbe Pre-Med Scholarship. Looking over the criteria for the endowed scholarship are, from left, his son, Louie Barbe IV, Beau Barbe, Marianne White, coordinator of planned giving and donor research for the foundation, and Dr. George Mead, dean of the College of Science.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield to Family & Youth Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation supported Connection Count! Professional Development Conference with a $10,000 donation. Family & Youth’s 14th annual conference connects professionals and practitioners from throughout Louisiana as they expand, enhance, and share knowledge, expertise, and “know how” related to services for children, youth, and families. Pictured: Julio Galan, Family & Youth President & CEO; Thad Minaldi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield board member; Ann Knapp, Blue Cross and Blue Shield board member; and. Candis Carr, Connections Count! Conference Director.

Children’s Trust to Family & Youth Judy Harrison, Executive Director of The Children’s Trust Fund presented a $12,000 donation to Julio Galan, President & CEO Family & Youth to support the Connection Count! Professional Development Conference. Family & Youth’s 14th annual conference connected professionals and practitioners from throughout Louisiana as they expanded, enhanced, and shared knowledge, expertise, and “know how” related to services for children, youth, and families. Pictured are Julio Galan, Family & Youth president and CE, Candis Carr, conference director, Judy Harrison Children’s Trust Fund Executive Director, and Malcolm Meyer, President of Children’s Trust Fund Board of Directors.

Pinnacle Entertainment to the Black Heritage Festival The Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation, funded by the parent company of L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, recently donated $5,000 as the Gold Sponsor of the Black Heritage Foundation’s 72 www.thriveswla.com

Black Heritage Festival. The festival has been a part of Southwest Louisiana’s culture since 1988 and will hold its 24th annual event at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Saturday, March 10. For more information on the Black Heritage Festival, visit www.bhf.org. Pictured from left are Keith W. Henson, L’Auberge Vice President and General Manager; Kerry Andersen, Pinnacle Entertainment’s Regional Director of Community and Public Affairs; Darleen Wesley, Black Heritage Festival Board Member; and Judith Washington, Black Heritage Festival Executive Director.

Delta Downs to SWLA Alliance Foundation Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel today announced that it is partnering with the SWLA Alliance Foundation to promote economic development in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis Parishes. Pictured from left to right are: Adrian King, Delta Downs Director of Marketing; Steve Kuypers, Delta Downs Vice President and General Manager; Ann Barilleaux, SWLA Alliance Development Director; George Swift, SWLA Alliance President/CEO; and Nora Popillion, Delta Downs Entertainment & Public Relations Manager.

Albertson’s to Autism Program McNeese State University’s Autism Program was one of 60 organizations in six states that won grants in Albertson’s LLC inaugural Community Partners Challenge. The autism program was awarded a $7,500 grant from Albertsons through the McNeese Foundation. Organizations were invited to submit requests for grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 and the most-voted for programs online in various categories were awarded grants. In total, 1.8 million votes were cast in the 15 days that the challenge was open for voting. The Albertsons Community Partners program helps schools and non-profit organizations earn money for their programs when their supporters shop at Albertsons stores. On hand for the donation are from left: Gary Haines, Albertsons store manager, Tom Tuminello Sr., foundation board member, and Scott Williamson, autism program director.

L’Auberge to Salvation Army L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles donated $21,370 as the Presenting Sponsor of the Salvation Army Empty Bowl. Guests enjoyed an array of soups prepared by local restaurants and received a handcrafted bowl to commemorate the evening. All proceeds benefit the Salvation Army and its ongoing efforts to help those in need in Southwest Louisiana. Pictured are

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April 2012

Jean Bolton, chairman of the Salvation Army advisory board; Keith W. Henson, L’Auberge vice president and general manager; Michelle Johns, chairman-elect Empty Bowl; and Major David Craddock, commanding officer, Salvation Army Lake Charles.

Mackey to McNeese Foundation Dr. and Mrs. Charles S. (Gail) Mackey have donated $5,000 to the Anita and Joe Tritico Performing Arts Scholarship/ Tritico Theatre fundraising campaign at McNeese State University through the McNeese Foundation in memory of Charles’ mother, Virginia Barnes, who was an active member in the early years of the Lake Charles Little Theater and worked with Rosa Hart on costumes and make-up. On hand for the donation are from left: Joy Pace, McNeese theatre coordinator, Dr. and Mrs. Mackey, and Richard Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president for the foundation.

April 2012

KMI to McNeese The McNeese State University Banners Cultural Series is annually supported by donations from area corporate sponsors. Knight Media Printing Inc. has donated $6,000 for the 2012 Banners Series. On hand for the donation are, from left, KMI representatives Natalie Clark, graphics coordinator, and Chuck Ehlers, president and CEO, and Mary Richardson, director of the McNeese Banners Series.

L’Auberge Casino Resort to CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Foundation Keith W. Henson, Vice President and General Manager of L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, presents a $11,125 check as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 Run with the Nuns Motorcycle Ride and Charity Event to the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Foundation, represented by Anna Catherine Viator, (L), Annual Events Manager, Kay C. Barnett, CFRE, (second from left), Executive Director of Development and Sister Ann Margaret Savant, Board of Directors and Hospital Admitting Representative. Assistance with organizing the event was provided by the Blue Knights LA VIII Chapter. Proceeds from the event benefitted wellness and diagnostic services at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Style & Beauty

Hello, Bob by Christine Fisher

Women love a good bob. This haircut is versatile, adapts to many types of hair textures, and can be cute, sassy, classic or edgy depending on the cut and style.

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April 2012

A bob hairstyle is usually between the chin and shoulder with both the back and front being close to the same length. It could be all one length or layered, but it typically has a swingy movement as opposed to a pixie cut, for instance, with very short layers. “It’s timeless,” said Lensi Levy, senior stylist with Signatures Salon. “It changes over the years, but the basic idea stays the same. Women love it because with a few minor tweaks, it can be updated to remain current.” The bob has been around for years. While women had short hair way back in the days of the Roman Empire, the bob hit a wave of popularity during WWI, when women cut their hair and joined the workforce to keep war supplies ready. Back then, the bob was considered daring and dangerous; a way for young women to express their independence and equality with men. Today, the bob remains at the top of the list of flattering haircuts because it’s easy to manage; it works for virtually every age and looks good on all face shapes, with minor adjustments. “We can customize a bob to fit just about any hair texture and type. Having bangs can change the look or you can go with long, side-swept bangs or no bangs at all,” said Levy.

Wavy Bobs Women with curly or wavy hair can sport a bob well if it’s generally kept to one length or with long layers. The curls are allowed to be natural, but corralled. “A bob is a good choice for women who’ve had long hair for a while and are ready for a change. It’s shorter, but not too short and still offers the flexibility to change it up some by flipping the ends up or pulling the front part back for a half-up do,” Levy said. Celebrities have sported bobs for years, varying the length or layers slightly to keep it trendy. Because it can be adjusted to fit a particular face shape, it’s a classic style that continues to look current.

Levy shared a few of the most popular versions of the bob:

Volumizing Bobs Opting for a shorter bob will give fine, silky hair more volume. Long locks can weight that texture type down too much; by staying above the shoulders, fine hair can shine. Angled Bobs By keeping the front length a little longer than the back, the bob takes on a new look. Angled bobs work well on most hair types, but it’s a great option for thick hair. The angle helps keep the hair manageable and thins it out a little so it’s not overpowering.


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Treatments are provided under the medical direction of facial cosmetic specialist, Mark Crawford, MD.

April 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Style & Beauty



by Kristy Armand

Long gone are the days when wearing glasses was considered a “fashion don’t.” Fashion designers and style icons have come to embrace eyewear as a chic accessory that helps define a unique, personalized style. “Eyewear is far from being thought of as purely functional,” says optometrist Dr. Mel Gehrig with The Eye Clinic and Optics Unlimited. “Many patients – men and women – are excited about choosing new frames and think of their prescription eyewear and sunglasses as essential pieces of their wardrobe.” Your glasses are the first thing people see when they look at you. They create an instant first impression and frames should be chosen with care to reflect your personality. Dr Gehrig says that many people get frustrated when trying to find eyewear that gives them the improved vision they need, as well as the look they want. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to sacrifice style for function. You can have both. There have never been more choices that reflect the current trends. A qualified eyewear provider can make sure you get the lenses you need to best correct your vision, and the frame style you love to showcase your style.” He adds that with all the new materials and creative designs being used in frames today, it’s easy to create an eyewear wardrobe that gives you a variety of options. “You don’t have just one pair of shoes, one jacket or one pair of earrings, do you? Your look changes from day to day and so should your eyewear. It’s the perfect way to add an updated personal touch to your overall look.” Wondering what the latest trends are in eyewear? Here’s a sneak peak at some of the most popular frame styles for spring and summer:

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April 2012

Women’s Trends The rustic outdoorsman is reinvented with classic male style for a look that is quintessential to every guy’s spring wardrobe. Timeless specs in honey and amber tones ooze rustic and manly appeal, while leather and wood add an earthy, yet upscale touch. Aviators continue to be a flawless frame choice, and round frames and tortoise are still going strong.

This season designers took feminine looks to new heights, unleashing a more delicate side to the femme fatale. Pretty pinks and pastels, soothing amber and honey hues and soft milky tortoise update classic shapes and inject new life into this spring’s take on cat-eyes. Rose-tinted lenses and subtle touches of glitter will provide ladies with the ultimate beauty rush they’ve been searching for. A spring wardrobe would not be complete without the season’s must-have accessory: statement frames. From daring geometrics to kitschy designs, the spotlight is on both sunglasses and regular frames as wearable art. Swooping temples, bold prints and patterns, shapes, intricate details and brow bar accents make these abstract driven pieces a one of a kind masterpiece. Traditional sporty frames - like aviators, shields and wayfarers - are getting girly makeover this season. Bright hues, color blocking and clear and colored translucents are out in full force, with colored or mirrored lenses adding just the right amount of edge. For those seeking specs appeal, geek chic style frames with a feminine touch are an absolute must.

For Men & Women This is a great look for both men and women, in ophthalmic and sunglass frames. This is a perfect style for anyone searching for either an understated look, or a bold one, as they come in all sorts of sizes and colors. While this is nothing new to the fashion world, gradient lenses are more visible than they have been in years. Instead of a solid sunglass lens, choose one that is darkest at the top and fades into a lighter color at the bottom. Optics Unlimited eyewear stores are located adjacent to all locations of The Eye Clinic in Lake Charles, Sulphur, DeRidder, Jennings and Moss Bluff .

Men’s Trends Grunge and sporty influences collide with color this spring for a new take on traditional punk rock fashion. Matte finishes, metal detailing, shields and blacked out styles keep it tough for those who crave an edgy alternative. Updated aviators, two-toned frames and funky colored lenses give these adventurous frames a pumped up vibe. The legend of Buddy Holly lives on as designers have taken this retro rocker’s impeccable taste in eyewear and applied it to this season’s hottest frames. From the classic wayfarer to clubmaster-inspired frames to keyhole bridges, these shades and glasses are infused with the iconic styles from the past. Blacks and classic tortoise are key, while spotted and milky tortoise add an updated twist to this vintage look.

Source:Vision Council

April 2012

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Style & Beauty

DIY Jewelry Designs by Christine Fisher

Beautiful Smiles Bloom at Crawford Orthodontics

Summer’s just around the corner - making spring a great time to start planning orthodontic treatment. We offer a variety of advanced orthodontic techniques that create great smiles. We accept most insurance and flexible benefit plans, and offer affordable, convenient payment options to fit any budget.

We’ll give you - and your kids - something to smile about.

(337) 478-7590 701 West College Street, Lake Charles www.drcrawfordorthodontics.com Call today to schedule a free consultation! 78 www.thriveswla.com

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April 2012


The of Personalized Jewelry No longer do you need to peruse a jeweler’s glass case to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t see the perfect piece, now you can design it yourself. The design-your-own-jewelry trend is not new, but it’s enjoying a resurgence thanks to several lines of jewelry offering an extensive selection of beads and charms along with the essential bracelet, necklace and even belt buckles to act as the anchors. “You can build a piece of jewelry that celebrates you,” said Annette St. Romain, owner of Bijoux Fine Jewelry. “Build-your-own-bracelets have been strong for several years now, and we’re seeing more and more jewelry lines come out with more and more options. These pieces have tremendous sentimental value because you create a piece to reflect your own style, memories and accomplishments.” Completing a bracelet with charms can be done over time, selecting just the right charm to commemorate an occasion. Or, if you simply like to create, you can build a necklace, ring or pin to go with any outfit, just by choosing the charms and beads you like. The components come in a wide variety of styles, colors, textures, metals and shapes. “In addition to Storybooks, I just purchased the Chamilia and the Kameleon lines here at Bijoux. They are a fresh, updated take on designing your own jewelry. Chamilia has a So-Ho collection that’s contemporary and urban; they also have a Swarovski collection that has a lot of sparkle. Kameleon has all the traditional jewelry pieces plus sunglasses, belt buckles and watches. You can pop in different charms or stones in their pieces to customize it with your mood or your outfit,” explained St. Romain. “All of these various lines are perfect for the woman who likes options. She doesn’t want to wear the same thing day after day. This type of jewelry keeps up with her ever-changing look.” The do-it-yourself idea appeals to the masses, but what about those who aren’t as designer-savvy as they’d like to be? St. Romain gave a few tips on choosing pieces to create a cohesive look:

LaserCenter AT T H E E Y E C L I N I C

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The improved vision provided by glasses and contacts can’t compare to vision after LASIK, according to Faren Kleckley White. Faren received LASIK at the Eye Clinic’s Laser Center as a college graduation present and says her view on life has never been clearer. Now she can focus on things that count – like her career as a registered nurse.

LaserCenter AT T H E E Y E C L I N I C

LASIK at The Eye Clinic’s Laser Center

A Difference You can See

Choose a color scheme. Select three colors that go well together, such as blue, green and white or red, yellow and brown. Use these as the pops of color, with silver or gold metal beads and charms filling in. That way, it doesn’t look too busy with too many different things going on.


Check your wardrobe. What colors do you wear often? What outfits make you feel confident and happy? Take your color and style cues from them. If a ruffled blouse and belted cardigan are your thing, you might enjoy a more romantic and feminine style with sparkly beads and sentimental charms. If jeans and a t-shirt is your go-to uniform, a sleek approach with clean lines might be just what you’re looking for.

Choose what you like. Chances are, if you like it, it’ll go with everything


LASIK makes a perfect Graduation gift. Gift certificates available.

else you’ve chosen. “The point of designing your own pieces is that you can build a jewelry wardrobe that you love. Mix and match them for a lot of different looks,” St. Romain said.

April 2012

Interest-Free Financing | Advanced Custom View LASIK | Board Certified Physicians 1-877-95 FOCUS | www.theeyeclinic.net | 1717 Oak Park Blvd., Lake Charles

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Style & Beauty

Bloom Help your Skin

this Spring by Kristy Armand

You’ve probably packed up your sweaters, boots and jackets and pulled out your shorts and sandals. Just as you have to adjust your wardrobe from winter to spring, skin habits have to be altered to help you face the new season with healthy, attractive skin. “Winter is hard on your your skin and spring is a great time to not only do damage control, but to put some good habits in place before summer, another season that takes a toll on the skin,” says aesthetic consultant Tana Garcia with the Aesthetic Center. She says winter’s lower humidity, in conjunction with heated indoor air and less fresh air can leave your skin looking dull, dry, rough, and even wrinkled and older. “Circulation and perspiration decrease for most people in the winter, which keeps the skin’s naturally shedding outer layer from turning over as quickly as it does in warm weather. This results in a loss of suppleness, making the skin drier and rougher.” Fortunately, Garcia says there are several easy ways to get rid of the signs of winter on your skin. She offers the following recommendations to head into warmer weather with your best face forward:

Lighten up.

Switch to a lighter moisturizer on your face. You’ll be perspiring more as the temperature rises and heavy moisturizers tend to clog your pores.


The sun activates the skin’s aging process, and overexposure to the sun can bring chronic damage, which in turn may lead to skin cancer. Avoiding the sun and using a good sunscreen daily with SPF 30 or higher can prevent problems before they occur. Look for moisturizes and foundations that have built-in SPF protection.

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April 2012


Drink six to eight glasses of water every day to hydrate your skin from the inside out.


Acne conditions may worsen due to increased sweating from warmer temperatures. When coming inside from working or playing, clean off the dirt and sweat with a mild cleanser.

spring clean.

Swap out any product you use on a regular basis if it hasn’t been replaced since before winter. The shelf life on skin care products and make-up is not infinite, and you will receive better results with fresh products.


April showers bring May flowers – and allergens. Seasonal allergies can affect your skin as well as your respiratory system. If this is true for you, work with your doctor to keep your allergies under control, and after spending time outside, take a shower when possible to wash away the allergens that might irritate your skin.

safely tan.

Avoid tanning salons that strip your skin of essential moisture and damage it with harmful rays. Instead, use a self-tanner. There are many safe gels and bronzers on the market that give a healthy glow without damaging skin.

We’re your


Garcia says facial treatments such as chemical peels or DermaSweep microdermabrasion are great ways to freshen up your skin for spring. Specific skin care products that firm, brighten and moisturize are also recommended as remedies for seasonal skin problems. “Spring is a beautiful season, and you deserve to feel beautiful too.” For more information about spring skin care, call the Aesthetic Center at 310-1070.

Remember the moments with Bijoux. www.bijouxfinejewelry.com


Fine Jewelers Diamonds

1705 Maplewood Drive, Sulphur



Custom Designs


Fine Jewelers

Save 20% on designer sunwear* now through June 30.

*Offer good for non-prescription sunglasses only. Some exclusions may apply. Cannot be combined with any other discount.

April 2012

Optics Unlimited has the hottest sunwear styles—just in time for spring and summer , , fun. , —we’ve got all the latest trends. Come in and see for yourself!



Custom Designs

Lake Charles • Sulphur • DeRidder Jennings • Moss Bluff

800-826-5223 • theeyeclinic.net

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Style & Beauty

Dive Into Color t

Colors and print can be intimidating. I can’t tell you how many times I am in a new client’s closet and they pull out an item, saying, “I bought this last year because it was so cute but I have no idea how to wear it.”

 The easiest way to wear a print or bold color is to pair it with a neutral. A lot of people tend to first think that they need to match the main bold color of the print. This ends up scaring them away from wearing it because it might be outside of their comfort zone; or, you become way too “matchy-matchy” that you no longer look fashionable. Let’s use this image as an example. To avoid feeling ‘too loud’ in these turquoise pants, find a pair in soft gray, bone, khaki, or white. If you want to add more color to the outfit, the safest way is to wear some turquoise earrings or some sandals with turquoise details. Then accessorize with gold or silver bangles and neutral purse. 

 Now, if you enjoy wearing color, this picture is a perfect example of pulling the main color in the print with your bottoms. To avoid going over board, stick to a neutral shoe and jewelry. Although the purse could be a fun color, preferably not the same color you have pulled for the bottoms (i.e. with the turquoise pants, I would suggest a warm gold purse, like the shade in the flowers of the shirt.)

 Bright colors are

everywhere this season! Hopefully this will help give you the courage to play with your wardrobe in order to maximize the use of what you have and to wear that piece with the tags still on. I’m here to help us all look wonderful! If you have any questions about mixing colors or anything fashion related, please feel free to send an email to edit@ thriveswla.com or post your question on the Thrive Facebook page. Your question may be answered in an upcoming column. If yours is chosen, you’ll win a Thrive t-shirt!

Ready Wear to


Whitney Manns is the owner of WM Wardrobe Consulting. For more information, visit WMwardrobeconsulting.com 82 www.thriveswla.com

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April 2012

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Jr. Saints do Well in State Tournament hosted in Sulphur

As the wrestling season comes to a close, the competition was fierce at the State Tournment in Sulphur. Junior Saints finished 6th overall in team pins. Bantam finished 3rd overall, Intermediate placed 6th overall, Novice placed 5th overall, and Cadet placed 6th overall. Individually, congratulations to Baylor Waggoner and Miller Leach for making the top 10 in the State in pins. Miller Leach took 1st in Bantam 90, Alex Yokubaitis took 2nd in Intermediate 60, Josh Vincent took 2nd in Intermediate 65, Baylor Waggoner took 1st in Intermediate 87 and is UNDEFEATED for the 2012 Season. Wesley Maze and Chase Spooner took 3rd in Intermediate 103 and 95, respectively. Robert Christman took 3rd in Novice 90, William Jicks took 1st in Novice 95, Channin Sells took 3rd in Novice 100, and Dwight Johnson took 2nd in Novice 165. Bryce Boudreaux placed 3rd in schoolboy 190, and the Cadets came out with victories with Rue Stevens taking 1st in Cadet 145, Robert McPherson took 2nd in Cadet 220, and Aaron Tanner took 2nd in Cadet 285. Registration for Jr. Saints starts this Fall! Follow us on facebook and our website www.jrsaints.com for more information.

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April 2012

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Coming up in April. . . Sunday, April 8 – Hodges Garden will host an Easter Sunrise Service hosted by at the Lakefront stage. David Hobson, director of the Centenary College Choir, will direct the performance along with a special appearance by area community choirs. The service is organized and promoted by the Friends of Hodges Gardens State Park, Sabine and Vernon tourist commissions and the Louisiana Office of State Parks. Gates will open at 4:30 a.m. and close at 5:45 a.m. and the service will begin at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21 – Saturday, October 20 – Every 3rd Saturday Downtown DeRidder will host DeRidder’s Famers Market. There will be a variety of homegrown and homemade products to purchase. Come out and shop for local foods and crafts from 8am until.

Coming up in May. . . Tuesday, May 1– The Staff Judge Advocate Office will host Fort Polk’s first half marathon at 6:00. Registration begins at 5:30 at the Warrior Community Center parking lot. The entire route will be on the installation. Anyone interested in participating and wanting to pre-register, please contact MSG Mines at Emanuel.mins@us.army.mil.

Saturday, May 19 – Sunday, May 20 – 2nd Annual Southwest Louisiana All Veterans’ Reunion will be held in DeRidder, Louisiana. The men and women who have elected to defend our country have worked tirelessly as warriors and peacekeepers. Through their service they have been moved from place to place and country to country, making the city they are in, for however short a period, their home. DeRidder, LA as a community has welcomed and supported many military families and veterans over the years. We would like to honor those who are here now and those who have come before with our Southwest Louisiana All Veteran’s Reunion and Festival.

April 2012

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Mark Your Calendar! Canadian and Acadian Musicians Connect for Louisiana Crossroads

The Louisiana Crossroads series continues as the City of Lake Charles presents “Exploring Quebecois, Acadian and Cajun/Creole Connections” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Central School Theater. The connections between the traditional music of Francophone Canada and Louisiana are undeniable but largely unexplored. This show brings together stalwarts on both sides of that line—musicians who have unprecedented expertise in their fields but also great stage presence and a desire to create new music based on the commonalities of their heritage. De Temps Antan, all current or former members of the legendary group La Bouttine Souriante, is at the pinnacle of Quebecois music. Since 2003, Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have been exploring and performing time-honored melodies from the stomping grounds of Quebec’s musical past. Using fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, our three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the unmistakable joie de vivre found only in traditional Quebec music. They will collaborate with Cedric Watson, the great young talent in Louisiana Creole Music, Ana Laura Edmiston, whose stellar vocal work with Feufollet has won her great renown, and David Greely, formerly of the Mamou Playboys, whose expertise in Louisiana fiddle and ballad styles is unmatched. The concert will be broadcast live via 100,000-watt regional National Public Radio affiliate KRVS, simultaneously streaming audio worldwide via krvs.org. Advance tickets are $10 on line at www.louisianacrossroads.org, or at the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana on the second floor of Central School. Tickets at the door are $12. For more information, please call (337) 491-9147 or visit the department of cultural affairs at www.cityoflakecharles. com.

Registration Now Underway for Swim School Dynamic Dimensions Fitness Centers of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, in partnership with Lake Area Swim Academy, recently announced that registration is currently underway for Swim School, a program that provides instruction on water safety and proper stroke technique for beginners and advanced students. Adult swim lessons, infant classes, and lessons for the physically challenged are also available. Swim School is held at the Moss Bluff location of Dynamic Dimensions each Monday and Wednesday, and at the Sulphur location of Dynamic Dimensions each Tuesday and Thursday. A variety of classes are available between 3:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., with each class lasting approximately 30 minutes. Classes are open to the general public. Members of Dynamic Dimensions will receive a discount. For more information, call 244-1652.

New Monthly Bird Walk at Sam Houston Jones State Park The Gulf Coast Bird Club will host a monthly bird walk at Sam Houston Jones State Park, with the next walks scheduled for 8-9 a.m. Saturdays, April 21, May 19 and June 16. No experience is required. It will start with Basic Birding Skills. Experienced sponsors will guide each walk through the park. Participants will meet at the Nature Station and walk from there to do birding via the swamp, board walk and covering the river and other open areas to view as many habitats as possible. Birding by ear will be stressed as well as by sight. The Gulf Coast Bird Club is dedicated to promoting the knowledge and conservation of birdlife, other wildlife, natural habitats and natural resources; and to fostering an appreciation of our natural environment and of the significance of its influence upon human life. For more information contact David Booth at 474-7325. For online information visit the website, http://sites. google.com/site/gulfcoastbirdclub/.

Joining Hands for Autism Autism Services of SWLA, the St. Nicholas Center and the Autism Society SWLA Chapter will host their 2nd Annual Joining Hands for Autism Walk/5K Run named “Joining Hands for Autism”. The purpose of the event is to spread autism awareness and to educate the public about the three organizations and how they support persons with autism and their families. The event will be held Saturday, April 14, at ICCS School in Lake Charles with live entertainment and refreshments for all attendees to enjoy. Costs are $25 for the 5K and $20 for the walk. For more information contact Autism Services of SWLA at 436-5001 or log on to www.autism-society.org/chapter167.

Internationally Acclaimed Storyteller Performs The Calcasieu Parish Public Library will present internationally acclaimed story teller Donald Davis in three performances on April 12 as part of National Library Week. Davis will share hilarious tales from his childhood while growing up in North Carolina. Performances are 10-11 a.m. at the Calcasieu Council on Aging, 3950 Hwy 14, Lake Charles; 2-3 p.m. at the Sulphur Regional Library, 1160 Cypress Street, Donald Davis Sulphur; and 6-7 p.m. at the Central Library, 301 W. Claude Street Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. He grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and most importantly, nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin. For Donald Davis, storytelling is a way of giving and living life. He invites each listener to come along, to pull deep inside for one’s own stories, to personally share and cocreate the common experiences that celebrate the creative spirit. Source: AFI

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April 2012

Gulf Coast Rollergirls Schedule Gulf Coast Rollergirls, with their premier women’s flat track roller derby team, the Lafitte’s Ladies, are rolling into the 2012 season. This is the second season for the Lake Charles-based Lafitte’s, with returning skaters and crowd favorites Jekah Wrekah, Panty DropHer, Dina de Las Muertas, as well as 18-year-old sensation Jade the Ripper graduating from Junior Derby and making an impressive start, in addition to transfers from Red Stick and Pearl River slipping into the purple and green this season. Tickets are available from 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the team’s venue, The Grindhouse, 932 Enterprise Blvd., Suite C, or by visiting www.gulfcoastrollergirls.com. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children 10 and under. Bring your own chair and refreshments. Food vendors are available. The home schedule is as follows, with doors opening at 7 p.m.: April 28, East TX Bombers; May 26, Red Stick Capital Defenders; June 9, Twin City Knockers; July 7, Pearl River Roller Derby; Aug. 25, Acadiana Rollergirls; Sept. 22, Brazos Valley Rollergirls; Oct. 20, Mobile Derby Darlings; Nov. 17, CenTex Sirens; and Dec. 8, NorthSide Fury. Away games are May 19, East TX Bombers; July 28, BERG Crescent Wenches; Aug. 11, Cajun Rollergirls; and Oct. 6, Cen-Tex Sirens.

Mac Burns/West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament to Be Held May 12 The 2012 Mac Burns/West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 12 at Frasch Golf Course in Sulphur. This year’s tournament marks the third year that the Mac Burns tournament and the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation golf tournament will be held jointly. The tournament will follow a 4-man scramble format with a double shotgun start at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This year’s entry fee is $320 per team and covers food, drinks, shirts, range balls and mulligans. Various levels of sponsorships, including hole sponsorships, are available. For more information or to participate in the tournament, please call (337) 527-4241.

Neck Pain Seminar Details Announced Dr. Craig Morton, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, will be the guest speaker at “Straight Talk about Neck Pain,” a free community seminar at Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles. The seminar will take place on Thursday, April 26, at 5:30 pm. Neck pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor, and can range from a crick or stiffness, to severe, debilitating pain. Chronic neck pain can limit your daily activities and lead to fatigue, depression and anxiety if left untreated. Fortunately, most neck pain can be successfully treated without surgery. Dr. Morton will discuss the common causes of neck pain and the wide range non-surgical treatment options available. Seating is limited and pre-registration is requested. Call 721-2903 or register online at www.centerforortho.com. Refreshments will be served. Center for Orthopaedics is located at 1747 Imperial Blvd. in Lake Charles, just off of Nelson, one-half mile south of Country Club Rd.

Casting Process Announced for Film Sedona Studios and LA2LA Productions, Los Angeles based film production companies, will shoot their upcoming movie ‘How to Love a Geek’ in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and will cast some of their supporting roles in Lake Charles. Slated to start production in June, the movie is the second film produced by Sedona and Director Michael McGowan, a Lake Charles native. His first film, “Reservation”, starring Ian Chidlaw, Dylan Diehl and Vyshonn King Miller aka ‘Silkk the Shocker’; is a horror set to be released this Halloween, but he wasted no time in starting his next. “I’m really looking to jump start and help develop [Lake Charles’] economic situation in film and the arts by casting some of our supporting roles and shooting there in and around the city.” said McGowan about making ‘How to

April 2012

Love a Geek’ so far from Hollywood. Sedona Studios is currently accepting resumes and headshots for their casting process on ‘Geek’. A wide range of characters need to be filled, including the female leads, a male lead, day players, and a lot of extras. Lake Charles’, and its surrounding areas’, citizens are encouraged to send their own resumes and headshots to sedonastudioscasting@gmail.com. “To capture the attention and possible love of her boss, a clumsy girl next door, takes on the tutelage of her extremely desirable co-worker in exchange for lessons in being a ‘geek’,” said Michael McGowan, Director, when asked to explain the synopsis of the film. Sedona Studios is a Los Angeles based production company, with credits in feature film production, animated web production, music and music video production.

Mayor’s Commission on Disability to Host “Find Your Ability with Disabilities” at Lake Charles Civic Center The City of Lake Charles Mayor’s Commission on Disability will host “Find Your Ability with Disabilities” at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Contraband Room and Mezzanine, 900 Lakeshore Dr., on Thursday, April 19, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event begins with registration and a continental breakfast at 8 a.m., exhibits are from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and workshops, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The workshops will include: Adult Autism Services, Geri Landry; Fitness and Nutrition, Carol Sensley; Affects of Income on SSI/SSDI, Donald Leger; and Vial of Life, Adele Mart. Entertainment will be performed by the Diamond Dancers from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The keynote address will be presented at 11:30 a.m. by Lynette Johnson, a motivational & inspirational speaker. Lunch will be served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event is free to the public. Sponsors of “Find Your Ability with Disabilities” are Walgreens, Lake Charles; Isle of Capri Casino Hotel, Lake Charles; and L’auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles. For more information, call (337) 491-1440.

City to Recognize 2012 National Community Development Week with Schedule of Local Events In recognition of 2012 National Community Development Week, April 9 – 14, the City of Lake Charles Department of Community Development & Services will host local events on April 11 and 12. On April 11, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Community Development Showcase will be held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Jean Lafitte Room, 900 Lakeshore Dr. The event will include exhibit booths, CD slides, and speakers. On April 12, the City will conduct a bus tour of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program funded projects. The bus will leave the parking lot of City Hall, 326 Pujo St., at 9 a.m. and the bus tour will conclude at 11 a.m. National Community Development Week is designed to focus local, as well as national, attention on the numerous outstanding accomplishments of the Community Development Block Grant program over the past 38 years and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program over the past 21 years. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call (337) 491-1440.

Tickets Available for Wild Beast Feast The 11th annual Wild Beast Feast will be held on Saturday, May 5 from 5pm to 10pm at the Historic Cash and Carry Building, 801 Enterprise Boulevard in Lake Charles. Ticketholders are invited to watch the chefs cook beginning at 3pm, then taste dishes from local hunters and fishermen throughout the evening. Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for children ages seven – 14 and free for children six years and under. Tickets are available at Gordon’s Drug Store on Lake Street, the Lake Charles Symphony Office, 809 Kirby Street or the day of the event. A cash bar will available. There will be a live and silent auction, including hunts and fishing trip opportunities. All proceeds benefit the Lake Charles Symphony.

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DHH Transitions W.O. Moss Psychiatric Services to CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital The Department of Health and Hospitals and CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital have worked together to transition the adult psychiatric services now provided at W.O. Moss Regional Hospital, a state-owned and operated hospital in Lake Charles, to CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Behavioral Health Services began serving these patients April 2.

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April 2012

The new adult psychiatry unit initially has 15 adult beds and provides high quality short-term treatment enhanced by Magellan Health Services, the statewide management organization for behavioral health that provides case management and discharge planning. David Buttross, M.D., is the adult unit’s medical service director. “Our mission as an organization is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and our goal is to serve the needs of the community through improved treatment and compassionate care. Adult psychiatric services is an area of need throughout the state and we are excited to partner with the state to ensure those needs are met for the residents of Lake Charles and the surrounding areas,” CHRISTUS Louisiana CEO Stephen F. Wright said. “This is yet another example of public and private entities working together to maximize health care benefits for the people of Louisiana,” said DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. “CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital is a strong force in the community, known for its commitment to providing exceptional health care. Budget cuts don’t have to mean fewer services. Through hard work and close community collaboration, we’ve been able to make sure that people in Southwest Louisiana will continue to receive high quality care while the Department makes more efficient use of taxpayer dollars - a true win-win situation.” CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Behavioral Health Services is currently undergoing renovations to accommodate the new adult psych unit. These changes will enhance clinical and aesthetic quality for patients.

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Solutions Solutions Employee Assistance Program for Life Brrr… It’s Cold!

Although the temperatures are warming up outside, it is winter for many of us. Life feels drab and dreary for those of us experiencing winter. We long for spring with its bright colors, increased energy and new life. I am stealing the term “winter” from the well-known motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. I watched him being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey recently, and I loved his take on this concept. He shared that he uses “winter” to describe a period of negative experiences. I found it a very helpful concept, and I hope you will as well. As I was watching the interview, I realized I have been experiencing a personal winter for some time now. I have been dealing with many changes in my life, and I have felt my world was a little “gray” for a while. You may be experiencing a winter as well. Maybe you are not doing well financially and you are feeling overwhelmed, maybe your relationship problems seem insurmountable, maybe your job feels unsafe and insecure, maybe you have a child who does not seem to be able to learn anything except via the hard way. So, let’s take a look at this concept. Here is what I know about winter:

Winter is inevitable.

Winter comes every year whether we like it or not. We can fight it, we can deny it, we can dread it, but it’s coming anyway.

Winter is necessary.

As much as I dislike cold weather and short days, I know that winter is necessary. Without winter, we do not get to experience the other seasons. If we do not have down periods, we cannot appreciate the up periods. Life is not stagnant – nothing stays the same forever.


by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

The world is brighter after winter.

One of my favorite places in the world is Vancouver, Canada. I love the beautiful flowers, the lush, green grass and the cool temperatures. Of course, I have been only in the summer time. My friends from the area tell me that the winters can be brutal with snow and rain, and their days are very short. In order to have the wonderful summers, they must endure the harsh winters.

The same will be for you.

When your winter ends, you will more fully appreciate your spring. You will raise your face to the sun to feel its warmth, and you will wonder at the beauty of all the new growth. And then you will look inside yourself and know that you are stronger and wiser for having endured your winter.

For every event…

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Good things happen in winter.

Winter is a time for staying home, building fires, eating warm food and generally taking care of yourself. The pace is slower in winter for all the animal kingdom. If you are experiencing a personal winter, you need to be doing the same thing – slow down, wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, and feed your soul with good books, and good friends. Instead of fighting the winter, begin to appreciate what the winter is giving you: time to reflect, to heal, to educate yourself on your situation.

Winter ends.

That’s why it is helpful to think about your situation as a season – seasons come and go. I can remember my grandmother talking about raising children, “If you like whatever they are doing, enjoy it. If you don’t like it, ignore it. Either way, it will go away.” Whatever you are going through will eventually come to an end.

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April 2012

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