Thrive May 2021

Page 1

MAY 2021


first person

- Amy Dunn, director of ETC

Women ’ s Wellness Keep an Eye on your Vision CARS & DRIVERS GUIDE


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 • 2

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021



The Community Health Center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will open this summer. The center will provide a variety of healthcare services to our community, including primary care, walk-ins, and specialty care for general surgery, gynecology and fracture care with plans to expand service lines in the future. All patients are welcome—those with Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and those without insurance.

703 Cypress St., Suite A, Sulphur


Contents In This Issue

Regular Features

Wining & Dining

8 Bayou Boards by Gabrielle 10 Summer Wines

Mind & Body


20 Recovery Spotlight 27 Happenings 30 Business Buzz 65 Solutions for Life 74 Who’s News


Women’ s Wellness

22 Gardening Doesn't Need to be a Pain




Money & Career 28

first person

- Amy Dunn, director of ETC

31 Lake Charles City Court Announces Fresh Start Amnesty Program

Places & Faces



20 21

50 Volunteer Groups Abound in SWLA

Style & Beauty

52 Olive and Indigo 54 Trim Down & Tighten Up

Home & Family

57-64 SPECIAL SECTION: CARS & DRIVERS GUIDE 66 Mother’s Day Tips 68 Escape the Heat this Summer 70 How to Save Money When Traveling 72 The Villages at Imperial Pointe Break Ground

@thriveswla | 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 to be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions. 4

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

68 Managing Editor Angie Kay Dilmore Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director Barbara VanGossen Design and Layout Sarah Bercier Business Manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions


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Wining & Dining

The Art of Charcuterie

Bayou Boards by Gabrielle, LLC Charcuterie is a French word that translates to “cooked flesh,” and refers to the butcher shops in 15th century France that sold cooked, salted and smoked pork products. But the culinary art of smoking and salting meat dates back to ancient Rome. Think salami, prosciutto, and sausages, among others. Thank you, Rome! This type of meat preparation came about due to the lack of refrigeration in those times. Since preserving meats was a necessity, smoking, salting, and aging were used to change the meat texture and give it a longer shelf life. The charcuterie of today includes so much more, such as cheeses, olives, pickles, crackers and/or bread, raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts. What’s not to love about a fine assortment of upscale finger food, whether you’re at a big event, or in the comfort of your own home?


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

That’s where Bayou Boards by Gabrielle, LLC, comes in. Southwest Louisiana locals Gabrielle and John Wainwright started their charcuterie business in 2020. Gabrielle got the idea while traveling overseas. “I went to Europe in 2015 to visit my sister and to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain,” she recalls. “During my trip, before every dinner, the chef/owner would create a charcuterie board for us. We also visited outside markets that had every accompaniment, charcuterie, and cheese that you could use to create small plates. This began my love for charcuterie. Afterwards, I started creating charcuterie boards for family events.” Gabrielle and John each have their own unique role in the business. Gabrielle does the marketing, board creation, inventory management and more. John, having a compliance background, ensures that Bayou Boards operates in compliance with the rules and regulations that go with a food enterprise. He also enjoys keeping up with the accounting books. "We really do complement each other well," she says.

by Stefanie Powers

Bayou Boards began as an online-only business while they worked towards establishing a storefront. Coincidentally, they opened a week before Hurricane Laura hit, but were able to reopen a few weeks later. Stop in to pick up wine, jams, crackers, wooden charcuterie boards, ready-made boards and sparkling waters. You can also place an order via their website and click on “Book a Board.” You have a choice of either a spicy, sweet, or savory spread to complement your order. There’s even a S’mores Board for your sweet tooth. Currently, Gabrielle says that Adult Lunchables, Smalls, and Mediums are their most popular boards. “Our BYOB (build your own board) platform has also been a huge success. BYOB allows you to customize your board and can be used on most of our board sizes.” And they now have a permit to sell liquor. “We all know that cheese and wine go perfectly together,” she says. “We will also be offering cold alcoholic beverages in cans so that you can grab a board and something yummy to drink this summer!”


Every morsel of food is inspected for quality, and Gabrielle and John ensure they provide the cleanest, most sterile environment for their food items so that your board is as safe as it is delicious. “My husband and I treat our customers like our own family,” she says. “We want that warm, welcoming experience when you come into our store. We thank Southwest Louisiana for their continued support and we look forward to what we can bring to this area in the near future!” Speaking of family, the Wainwrights welcomed their new baby boy into the world last month. Thrive magazine wishes them the very best!

Bayou Boards, LLC is located at 1508 Hodges Street, Suite A, Lake Charles. 337- 317-3600, Open M-F, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.





We are now available on Eats 2 Go, Gubers & Waitr!

119 West College Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-3651 | Monday – Thursday: 11am–10pm | Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm Closed Sunday | Happy Hour 4–7pm


Wining & Dining


r e m for Sum

g n i p p i S

Though some wine drinkers prefer to stick with what they know and drink the same types of wine throughout the year, most wine experts recommend imbibers match their wine selections to the seasons. Gus Olah, owner of Hokus Pokus Liquors, says wine choices are all about climate and food. “As the weather gets warmer, we see a lot more whites and rosés. Lighter wines are easier to pair with spring and summer foods.” Here are a few tips to broaden your palate and pick the best whites, rosés, sparkling wines and reds for the spring and summer seasons.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021



The acidity in white wine enhances its refreshing, crisp qualities, making white a go-to in warmer weather. But different whites offer different qualities. When the weather is warmer, opt for dry whites with high acidity and light to medium bodies as they tend to be crisp and refreshing. Olah recommends offvarietal white wines, such as Albariños and Torrontés from Argentina – perfect for summertime seafood dishes. His personal summer favorites are sauvignon blancs and french white bordeauxs.



There’s no need to reserve sparkling wines for celebrations! They offer many of the same attributes that make sauvignon blanc or rosé ideal for warm weather – fresh acidity and clean flavors – while the soft effervescence makes it refreshing and palate-cleansing. Crisp, light sparkling wines pair well with lighter ingredients we tend to crave in the spring, like fresh fruit and greens. Good sparkling wines tend to be more expensive than other varieties, but there are affordable options. For everyday use, look beyond champagne, a type of sparkling wine that requires it to be made in the champagne region of France. Spanish Cavas and Italian Franciacortas and Proseccos offer delicious, affordable alternatives.



With characteristics of both red and white wines, rosé is an incredibly versatile wine. It pairs well with seasonal foods like spring vegetables, lighter meat proteins or fish, and celebrates the season with notes of red berries, flowers, and citrus. Olah says all rosés, especially french rosés from Provence, are popular this season.



Olah encourages wine aficionados not to shy away from reds in warmer weather. “Lighter varietal reds also pair well this time of year. A popular grape coming on to the red scene and doing very well right now is Gamay. It’s a lighter, refreshing beaujolaisstyle wine from France.” On warm days, lighter reds can be enhanced when served slightly chilled to help bring out the more subtle floral notes. Olah says, “Venture out and try some of the lighter reds out there.”



Temperature is a crucial aspect in serving wines, yet we often serve whites and rosés too cold and reds too warm. Whites and rosés that have been removed from the fridge approximately 15 minutes before serving have enhanced flavor while still achieving a crisp mouthfeel. For red wine, 30 minutes in the fridge before serving can enhance the floral flavors. But don’t go overboard: an overchilled wine of any color will lose its more delicate tasting notes. Ideal temperatures for wines are 45° for whites and rosés and 55° for reds. Also, when pairing wines with food, visualize the weight of the dish. For example, complement a delicate dish like a seasoned white fish with a light, subtle wine. Conversely, more complex, heavy dishes like lamb are perfect with bold wines like a Bordeaux. However, the most important question is always, What do you love to drink?

Join us for Friday Wine-Day! Complimentary wine tasting Locally Owned & Operated Since 1940 Gift Cards Available

So, rather than sticking to your same old favorites, change the wine you drink with the seasons and experience a wider range of varietals and pairings.

After almost five months of rebuild and recovery after the storms, Hokus Pokus Liquors, located at 1915 Country Club Rd, Lake Charles, reopened in January 2021. 337-474-0447.

Download our App! (337) 474-0447 1915 Country Club Road, Lake Charles


Mind & Body



National Women’s Health Week

begins on Mother’s Day each year. The designation is a reminder to women to take care of themselves, and to make their health a priority. In recognition of Women’s Health Week, consider making a few healthy lifestyle changes such as cutting back on soda consumption, taking a daily walk, or going to bed an hour earlier to get more sleep. In this annual special section, we feature a hodgepodge of topics to help you be your best self. You’ll find information on how weight gain can be related to hormonal changes as you age, how genetic testing can identify breast cancer risk, the importance of bone density testing, and a unique story on how your personality type can impact your health.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021


Hormonal Weight Gain The scenario is so common that it’s become a trope. A husband and wife decide to get healthy, so they make lifestyle changes together. The man drops twenty pounds or more with ease, while the woman doesn’t lose an ounce. Why is this? The simple answer: hormones. “For most of history, humans were tossed between states of feast and famine. Women, being the source of new people, as well as having the ability to feed infants in the form of breast milk, had to be able to capture and maintain energy so that they could carry on producing and feeding the next generation,” says Joshua Bacon, MD, Memorial Medical Group Family Medicine. This means that when it comes to losing weight, women are not only struggling with exercise and calorie restriction, but sometimes working against genetics that haven’t quite caught up to the 21st century. Hormones that are more present in women’s bodies than men are also the ones more likely to lead to weight gain. “Women have vastly increased circulating levels of estrogen compared to men, and estrogen leads to the accumulation of fat tissue. Moreover, having increased levels of fat tissue leads to an increased level of estrogen, thereby making it even easier to store fat,” Dr. Bacon says. “These hormones are present at different levels throughout a woman’s life, prompting different challenges at different times.” For patients undergoing the changes of puberty, there is a surge of estrogen preparing the body to tackle the challenges associated with reproduction. In the course of human history, much of that challenge was the lack of calories. As such, when puberty hits, it can cause weight gain.

Conversely, when estrogen drops around menopause for older women, it can cause exhaustion and lack of energy which leads to weight gain. Estrogen is also a hormone that often keeps other illnesses at bay. “Patients tend to develop acute and chronic illnesses more frequently than they did when they were younger, and this may lead to a state of stress,” Dr. Bacon says. “States of stress result in increases in endogenous steroids (stress hormones) which often can lead to weight gains.” For some women, however, weight gain can be attributed to insulin resistance. Most people think of insulin as a blood sugar hormone, but in the big perspective, it is a growth hormone. Having persistent, excessive amounts of this growth hormone will often lead to weight gain. Insulin resistance is also a symptom in polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance that can lead to fertility issues (among many other symptoms) in women of childbearing age. It is important for women to pay attention to their bodies for any hormonal changes that could indicate an imbalance. “The most common things I hear from patients that suggest I need to investigate their hormones are: a rapid weight gain, new hair growth or loss, facial hair, new onset acne, skin changes, changes in voice, changes in mood, changes in menstrual cycle,” Dr. Bacon says. “If an imbalance is found, it is something that can be treated with both medical and nonmedical interventions.” Often, though, medication is not the cure-all. These medications help a patient with the hormonal derangements that can lead to weight gain, but losing the weight that a patient carries already will require education and diligence on what to do to decrease their levels of circulating insulin and increase their levels of glucagon. Dr. Bacon is accepting new patients at Memorial Medical Group on Nelson Rd. Call 337-480-7999.


Mind & Body |

Women's Wellness


Bone Health by Christine Fisher

For women in their sixties, the risk of breaking a bone increases each year. Declining levels of estrogen make a significant difference in the strength of a woman’s bones. As the years go by, bones naturally weaken. This change happens silently over a long period of time. Many women are unaware that their bones are brittle until they fracture or break a wrist or hip. “Some of my patients tell me they were doing routine things, like gardening, or housecleaning. They lost their footing somehow and fell, and they ended up breaking a bone,” said Dr. Scott Bergstedt, ob/gyn with OBG-1 of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. Dr. Bergstedt explained that after menopause, bones weaken each year. In the first five to 10 years after menopause, 25 – 35 percent of bone density can be lost. “It varies from woman to woman, as each


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

individual’s risks determine the likelihood for osteoporosis. Knowing the risk helps women do what they can to boost their bone health and hopefully avoid the pain and hassle that broken bones bring,” he said. Bone density testing helps determine the strength of the bones and the probability of a fracture. It’s a simple, noninvasive procedure that takes a few minutes but can give needed information about bone health. It’s recommended for women 65 years and older, and for anyone with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Some people may confuse bone density testing with a bone scan. They are two very different procedures. Bone scans require an injection of radioactive material into the blood stream for contrast purposes. Bone density scans, or DEXA scans, are available at many physician offices and hospitals. There are some portable types used to scan heels, and give an indication of bone strength. These are known as peripheral

devices. While these can give an idea of bone strength, the preferred method of testing bone health is known as a central device. The DEXA scan is available West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. During the test, the patient lies down while a mechanical arm passes over their body, emitting a small amount of radiation; about a tenth of the radiation during an average chest x-ray. It takes about ten minutes for the test. Results show how the patient compares to other individuals of the same age, race, and gender. It calculates any deviation, giving a fairly good idea of overall bone health. As with any kind of health concern, understanding the risk involved is the first step in developing a treatment plan. If a DEXA scan reveals bone weakness, boosting bone health is the key to preventing osteoporosis. “The purpose of a bone density exam is to analyze the risk and attempt to avoid further bone loss,” said Dr. Bergstedt.

SOME WOMEN ARE AT HIGHER RISK FOR OSTEOPOROSIS. THESE INCLUDE: • Slender, small-framed women • Caucasian or of Southeast Asian descent • Family history • Smoking • Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption • Physical inactivity • Some medications

THE WAIT IS Talk with your doctor about methods to increase bone strength. These may include medications, increased calcium and vitamin D, getting more exercise including weight bearing exercise and eating healthier. Hormone therapy can reduce a woman’s risk of getting osteoporosis, but because of side effects, women should research the associated risks and thoroughly discuss them with their doctor. Utilizing diagnostic technology like the DEXA scan can make a real difference in the quality of life for many people. If an increased risk for osteoporosis is discovered and treated, it can help avoid having to repair a broken bone, and a fractured way of life.


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Mind & Body |

Women's Wellness

Are y ou at Increased Risk FOR BREAST CANCER? Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in the United States. There were more than 275,000 new cases in 2020 and approximately 40,000 women were expected to die of breast cancer last year. Prognoses have improved over the years and early detection is integral to survival rates. Screening to detect cancer as early as possible, and understanding that some women and men may be more at risk than others, is the next battle in the fight to defeat breast cancer. “Most of the recommendations start screening for breast cancer annually with a mammogram at age 40,” says Memorial Medical Group Breast Cancer Surgeon Amanda Ellington, MD. “Overall lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 12.8 percent, but keep in mind that there are times in a woman’s life where she is at elevated risk. Women are at a higher risk at age 60 than they are at age 20.” The incidence of breast cancer by age group can be deceiving. Patients less than 40 years old make up less than one percent of cases of invasive breast cancer and 40-50 year-old women make up less than two percent of cases. But, if every woman only started screening mammograms at age 50, 45,000 cases of breast cancer would be missed.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Five percent of breast cancer cases occur in women under the age of 40, which amounts to 13,000 cases a year. With most health organizations not recommending mammograms until age 40, that means that some women may not get the screening they need as early as they need. That’s where Ellington says genetics come into play. “It’s very important to identify a subset of the population who needs increased screening and/or earlier screening,” says Ellen Richardson, RN, a nurse navigator with Memorial Medical Group Genetics. “We do that by stratifying patients with a breast cancer risk assessment. It identifies women or men with an increased risk who should be screened earlier.” Risk assessment is a quick and easy tool that women can use to determine if they are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Every woman should have a risk assessment by age 25 or 30, and they stop being administered between ages 70-75. There is no laboratory testing or physical exam. It is essentially just a series of questions. These questions range from age of first live birth, personal medical history, any biopsies as well as a family history of cancer diagnoses—breast and otherwise. Using these tests, Ellington and her team calculate an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Anyone with a lifetime risk of 20 percent or higher qualifies as high risk, but what does that mean?

“High risk patients are screened differently than the general population,” Dr. Ellington says. “They are screened earlier than average patients and we add breast MRI to annual screening mammography. These women receive a more sensitive test to try and pick up abnormalities due to their increased risk.” Patients who are higher risk are also encouraged to have a professional breast exam every six months rather than annually, and there are further surgical interventions that could be recommended, depending on the patient and their personal degree of risk. An extreme example would be a bilateral mastectomy. High risk populations are not the only people who will develop breast cancer, so it’s important for all women to follow the screening guidelines for breast cancer and to monitor any changes or symptoms they may experience. “Regardless of risk, always tell your physician about a breast symptom—whether it’s a mass, pain, et cetera,” Dr. Ellington stresses. “Regardless of your risk, those things need to be worked up.” Complete your high-risk breast cancer assessment online at or contact Ellen Richardson at

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Mind & Body |

Women's Wellness

The Personality of your

HE ALTH by Christine Fisher

Are you a yeller? A percolator of ideas? A wallflower or perhaps a people magnet? Personality affects the way people react and respond to all kinds of situations. It also affects their approach to health.

For example, a diabetic will need to check their sugar levels regularly, diligently take medication, and watch what they eat. “A meticulous personality will likely take this challenge and manage their health very well. Someone more laid-back may not be as attentive and have more physical problems,” says Dr. Kelly Fuqua, family medicine physician with Calcasieu Family Physicians of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

While everyone is unique, most personality traits can be combined into the following areas:


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Optimistic VS Pessimistic The heart of an optimist is generally stronger than that of a pessimist. Out of 97,000 women of postmenopausal age, those who scored higher for optimism had a nine percent lower risk for developing heart disease and a 14 percent lower risk of dying from all causes than women who scored lowest for optimism. According to a study by the Women’s Health Initiative, women with a high degree of hostility and cynicism were 16 percent more likely to die than their more optimistic counterparts. All the women were free from heart disease at the beginning of the study.

Pessimists may see these results and feel even more hopeless. “In cases like this, it’s important to point out that everyone has challenges in life, even optimists,” Dr. Fuqua says. “It’s how we deal with them that makes the difference.” Attitude has an impact when it comes to heart disease. “A person’s outlook and how they handle challenges play a significant role in their predisposition to heart disease,” Dr. Fuqua explains.


E x trovert


I ntrovert



The way a perfectionist strives to do their best in all aspects of life may lead some to think it’s the most healthy of personalities, but in some cases, it can backfire. On the positive side, they tend to set high standards for themselves and work hard to achieve their goals; conversely, the high amount of pressure they put on themselves could lead to physical problems. A group of Canadian psychology professors studied the lifespan of 450 adults aged 65 and older with no reported chronic diseases for six years. Those with high perfectionism scores had a 51 percent increased risk of death compared to those with more laid-back scores. The psychologists reasoned that if perfectionism showed this associated risk of death in a healthy population, it might have an even greater impact on those with a chronic disease, which would put their bodies under even more stress. Those with a more laid-back personality take an easy approach to life. They don’t usually get angry, hold grudges, or plot revenge; but their lassaiz-faire attitude could put them in harm’s way if they think health concerns could never happen to them. “Lifestyle choices have the most impact on health, so the laid-back types should pay attention to their habits,” Dr. Fuqua explains. “Genetics make up a small portion of health risks; the larger piece of the pie comes from behaviors such as exercise, nutrition, coping with stress levels, and not smoking.” In the end, an optimistic, easy-going extrovert may fare well when it comes to their health, but if that’s not you, don’t force the issue. Personalities are pretty much ingrained from the get-go. Recognize the strengths and weaknesses within your personality type and strike a balance in your approach to health.

People who enjoy being in large groups and the center of attention are extroverts. They gain energy from being with others and typically say whatever they are feeling. Usually looking at the broad picture, rather than fine details, they tend to brush aside health warning signs until they become too big to ignore. “If they do see their doctor, it’s typically not for a checkup; it’s for something like the flu, a backache, or pulled muscle,” explains Dr. Fuqua. “Getting regular screenings, such as a cholesterol check, seldom enters their mind. They may think about it and say they’ll get to that one day. In some cases, a heart attack, or other significant health event, is their first wake-up call that they need to pay attention to their health.” Extroverts are good about making time to exercise, as long as it’s with a friend or in a group, because the social setting appeals to them. “While this investment in their health is great, it doesn’t completely off-set their tendency to ignore health screenings, elevated cholesterol or poor health habits. Overall, though, extroverts tend to be healthy. Their strong social connections are great for reducing stress caused by their busy schedules,” Dr. Fuqua says. Because of an introvert’s tendency to keep their emotions to themselves, they may have more trouble with health problems like arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and headaches. “They internalize their feelings rather than share them. Often, this erodes the immune system and triggers the production of stress-related hormones,” Dr. Fuqua noted. Introverts do well with routines, so regular check-ups fit them nicely. They thrive on researching topics of interest, so they’re usually up to date with the latest information on health concerns they’re facing and diligently manage them.


Mind & Body

Recovery Spotlight CALCASIEU COMMUNITY CLINIC The not-for-profit Calcasieu Community Clinic, located in Hardtner Hall on the McNeese State University campus, was founded in 1999 and opened in 2001 by a group of concerned physicians to address the health care needs of persons who fall through the health care coverage cracks. Since then, they’ve provided over $7 million dollars in medical, pharmaceutical, dental, and vision services to low-income, working, uninsured residents of Southwest Louisiana at a 100% fee subsidized rate. The clinic is


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

staffed by volunteer practitioners, and satellite services are offered on a voluntary basis by providers throughout Southwest Louisiana.

The Clinic suspended services in March 2020 due to the pandemic and had planned a September re-opening. But then Hurricanes Laura and Delta came, presenting a new set of challenges. Hardtner Hall sustained significant water damage during the storms. The entire clinic area needed to be gutted and rebuilt, says Kayla Rigney, Executive Director. But throughout the closure, staff members continued to serve their clients. “While Hardtner Hall [the College of Nursing building] was closed for repairs, the Clinic staff took essential items to their respective

homes in order to continue operations for existing patients on a virtual level by filling prescriptions and covering the cost through grant funding provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation,” Rigney says. “Through continual contact with existing patients, a generous grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and the cooperation of Albertson’s Pharmacy on Ryan Street, the established patients were able to continue to receive their life-sustaining medication at no cost during the period of closure.” The Clinic reopened their doors in March 2021. They see patients on Thursday afternoons beginning at 4:00 p.m. New patients are asked to arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. Eligible persons are employed, (or recently unemployed) and uninsured.

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Calcasieu Community Clinic is a not-for-profit, free health care clinic located at McNeese State University’s Juliet Hardtner Hall College of Nursing. The clinic provides free ambulatory medical care and pharmaceuticals to the low-income, working uninsured in the five parish area of Imperial Calcasieu including Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis.


Persons are asked to bring photo ID, proof of employment, and a tax return, if available. Clients are screened for eligibility and see a practitioner the same evening. Often, necessary prescription medication is provided as well. For more information, visit the website at or call 337-478-8650.

Call for information. 337-478-8650

550 Sale Rd, Lake Charles, LA •


Mind & Body

Gardening Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain

by Kristy Como Armand

Many people find gardening to be a peaceful and therapeutic activity, but it is also hard work for your body. It’s important to be aware of proper body mechanics while working in the yard.

Dr. Sarah Clevenger, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist says common gardening activities, such as digging, planting, weeding, mulching, and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints. “This is especially true for older adults and those who normally live a sedentary lifestyle,” she explains. “Certain parts of the body, such as the shoulders, neck, back, and knees, are the most vulnerable to injury during gardening, but with awareness and preventive measures, injury can be avoided while working in your yard.” She says prevention is the best medicine to avoid any injuries while doing gardening work. “Gardening works a lot of muscles and joints and involves a range of motions, including standing, leaning, kneeling, crouching, bending over, squatting, twisting and lifting. Strong core muscles and flexibility are key to preventing injuries that may happen during gardening, so if you’re gardening, maintaining or improving your yard, these will help you avoid pain and injury.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Dr. Clevenger offers the following suggestions for avoiding injuries and minimizing the impact of gardening on your body:

• Warm up before you begin. A brisk,

10-minute walk and gentle stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.

• Protect your back. Use good body

mechanics when you pick something up or pull on something, such as a weed. • Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals, and keep your back straight as you lift or pull things. • Keep objects close to your body when lifting. • Maintain the natural curves of the spine as you work – avoid overextending in any direction. • Avoid twisting your spine or knees when moving things to the side; instead, move your feet or pivot on your toes to turn your full body as one unit. • Keep your movements smooth – avoid sudden twisting or reaching movements. • Let tools ease the lifting burden. Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools. Be sure to keep your back straight while using a wheelbarrow.

• Change positions frequently. This will

help you avoid stiffness and cramping. Pay attention to your body and if something starts to feel strained, take a break, stretch that body part in the opposite direction it was in, or switch to a different gardening activity.

• Protect your knees. If kneeling on both

knees causes discomfort, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground. Use knee pads or a gardening pad when kneeling if possible, or sit on a sturdy tool or chair to avoid putting pressure on your knees.

• Don’t strain your wrist. Avoid bending your wrist upwards when pulling things or using gardening tools. Instead, keep your wrist straight and use your shoulder muscles to pull and lift.

• Stretch when you’re done. Stretching the muscles you’ve used that day can reduce stiffness and soreness.

• Don’t tackle too much at once. While it may be tempting to tackle a gardening project in as little time as possible, it’s better to pace yourself, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and ask for help when needed.

The most important recommendation? “Listen to your body,” stresses Dr. Clevenger. It will let you know if you are overworking it. Significantly increasing pain indicates that you need to modify your activity or movement.” If you experience pain that lasts more than a day or two, Dr. Clevenger says you have probably done too much. “Take some time to rest and if the pain subsides, consider how you can apply some of the tips listed above to avoid aches in the future. If pain persists, you should see a doctor to identify the source of the pain and get any treatment recommendations.” For more information, visit

orthopedic, sports, and pelvic health experts

Lauren Pitre, PT, DPT, ATC Physical Therapist / Clinic Director

Jerrell Zeno, PTA

Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Assistant

Johnnie Kleinschmidt, PT, PRPC Pelvic Health Program Director / Physical Therapist

Johnnie is from Vinton and is one of only two practitioners in Louisiana who has her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification.

Lauren is a Lake Charles native, certified in dry needling. She has successfully established herself as one of the best physical therapists in the area.

She is a highly sought after expert who treats pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Lauren specializes in:

She has a dual BS in Athletic Training & Exercise Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

If you had a hysterectomy, endometriosis, or experience any symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, then her pelvic therapy may be the answer.

• • • • •

Orthopedic rehabilitation Sports therapy Pain reduction Getting patients back to their active lifestyles

Pelvic floor dysfunction includes the following symptoms:

Jerrell is originally from Sulphur. He graduated from Mcneese in 2004 and recieved a degree in Physical Therapy Assisting in 2017. He loves to help people reach their potential and enjoys spending time with his family and friends. If you were ever blessed with the opportunity to work with Jerrell, then you know he is the life of the party, a true gentleman, and an excellent clinician.

Constipation, straining and pain with bowel movements Pelvic muscle spasms • Incontinence or frequent need to urinate Pain or pressure in the lower back, pelvis, genitals, or rectum Painful intercourse for women


1714 Wolf Circle, Lake Charles, LA



Mind & Body |




Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Certain changes to your vision are an expected or normal part of getting older. Although these changes may weaken your vision, there are actions you can take to manage and maintain your eye health for years to come—such as wearing glasses or contacts, visiting your eye doctor regularly, or getting minor surgery done. Other vision changes may require more advanced treatment, and more frequent visits with your eye doctor.

COMMON EYE CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE Some common age-related vision problems that are easily treated include presbyopia, cataracts and dry eyes. Presbyopia. At around age 40, you may start to notice a shift in your vision that makes it more difficult to focus on near objects, such as a book, computer screen or restaurant menu. This is due to presbyopia, which happens as the lens inside the eye loses its ability to change shape. This is a normal change in vision that can be corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. Cataracts. The lens of your eye may develop cloudy areas over time, causing blurry vision—which is a sign of cataracts. Although cataracts are described as an age-related eye disease, they are very common in older adults and easily treated with surgery. In fact, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries in the U.S. Dry Eyes. Our bodies naturally produce less tears as we age. This may cause burning, stinging or other discomfort. Dry eye is easily treatable with prescription dry eye medications, so consult your eye doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

MORE SERIOUS EYE ISSUES THAT MAY DEVELOP AS YOU AGE Family history, genetics or age can bring on eye issues that may need more advanced treatment or maintenance.

Glaucoma. Abnormally high pressure in an eye can result in damage to the optic nerve, causing glaucoma. This condition is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60—partially because symptoms or warning signs, other than slow vision loss, are rare. While vision loss from glaucoma cannot be recovered, your eye doctor can work with you to slow or prevent complete vision loss if found early. Regular eye exams are critical to diagnosis and treatment. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). When your central vision becomes blurred, it is often a sign of AMD. This disease is caused by your macula (a small area in the center of the retina) deteriorating, and it affects your ability to do things like read or drive. Over time, you may notice the blurry area enlarging and start seeing blank spots. Early AMD, however, doesn’t have any symptoms, so seeing your eye doctor regularly is your best bet for diagnosis and slowing the progression of this disease. Diabetic Retinopathy. The early phases of diabetic retinopathy usually come with no symptoms, but some individuals may notice trouble reading or seeing objects at a distance. As the disease progresses, blood vessels in the retina begin to bleed into the gel-like fluid in the center of the eye, which causes dark, floating spots or streaks resembling cobwebs. It’s important to treat this condition right away—and regular exams can provide an avenue for early diagnosis.


Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. A diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish can help protect your eyes, as can getting out and walking, jogging or exercising three to five times per week. Wear sunglasses and other protective eyewear. Sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays; protective eyewear such as goggles or safety glasses can help lower your risk of eye injury on the job. If you smoke, make a plan to quit. If you have diabetes, make sure it’s under control and let your eye doctor know! For more information or to schedule an appointment with Hart Eye Center, please visit or call 337-439-4014.

Visit your eye doctor regularly. If you are 18 to 60 and asymptomatic/low risk, schedule eye visits every two years. If you are 61 or older, plan to see your eye doctor annually.

Retirement… Are We There Yet? Let’s Build a Plan.


Marty DeRouen CFP ®, CHFC ®, LUTCF Wealth Management Advisor Martin DeRouen, David Girola provides investment brokerage services as a Registered Representative of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a subsidiary of NM, brokerdealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA and SIPC. Martin DeRouen, David Girola is an Insurance Agent(s) of NM. Martin DeRouen, David Girola provides investment advisory services as an Advisor of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, WI,

For at-risk or symptomatic individuals, consult your eye doctor on the recommended space between appointments—you can usually expect annual appointments, but you may need more depending on your situation.

David Girola CFP®, CLU® Wealth Management Advisor

a subsidiary of NM and a federal savings bank. There may be instances when this agent represents companies in addition to NM or its subsidiaries. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


Mind & Body |


E YE H E ALTH REFLECTS OVERALL HEALTH Having regular eye exams is important not just for your vision and eye health, but also as a way to spot early symptoms of other health conditions. “You may not realize that when we do a dilated eye exam, we are able to detect signs of other medical conditions that affect the eyes,” says Donald Falgoust, M.D., board certified ophthalmologist and founder of Falgoust Eye Medical & Surgical in Lake Charles. “In addition to checking your vision, part of a comprehensive eye exam includes looking closely at the structures inside the eye. Technological advances allow us to more easily detect and monitor any changes to the blood vessels and tissue in the eye that look suspicious, and that may indicate the need for further evaluation by the patient’s regular physician.” According to Dr. Falgoust, the small changes detected during an eye exam very often indicate a health problem of which the patient is unaware, such as heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, among others. “The good news is this type of early detection very often leads to earlier and more successful treatment.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

In addition to the detection of previously undiagnosed medical problems, a comprehensive eye exam is also the best way for an eye doctor to determine if any health conditions a patient has is affecting their eyes. “Many chronic conditions can impact eye health and vision, causing dry eyes, damaged blood vessels and other symptoms that can range from being mildly irritating to vision threatening,” says Dr. Falgoust. “It’s important to discuss any other medical conditions you have been diagnosed with so preventive steps can be taken to reduce any risk to your eyes.” Examples of pre-existing conditions that could pose a risk to the eyes include diabetes, autoimmune diseases, high blook pressure, rosacea, shingles, liver disease and sickle cell disease. Medications used to treat medical conditions can also impact vision and eye health, so Dr. Falgoust says it’s also important to share this information with your eye doctor as well. “The strong link between eye health and overall health is an important reason to have regular eye exams,” says Dr. Falgoust. “Don’t assume that if you aren’t having vision problems you don’t need an eye exam. Many conditions do not have noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed.”

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends a complete medical eye examination for healthy adults at least once in your 20s and twice in your 30s. “Those with a diagnosed eye condition or with a family history of eye problems should be seen sooner,” says Dr. Falgoust. “In your 40s, follow your eye doctor’s recommendation for how often you should come in for a comprehensive exam. It’s important to follow this recommendation, especially as you age. Your risk for eye disease increases as you get older and early treatment can help preserve your vision.” He adds that any change in your vision or the appearance of your eye is also a reason to see an eye doctor. “The worst thing you can do is ignore a warning sign. Taking care of your eyes is the best way to ensure good eye health and vision throughout your life.” For more information or to schedule an eye exam or cataract evaluation, call Falgoust Family Eye Care at (337) 477-0963 or visit www.falgousteye. com.


Chamber Fest-Presented by CSE Federal Credit Union CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) is proud to present West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Fest! Southwest Louisiana’s newest outdoor festival will take place at Heritage Square in Sulphur on Saturday, May 29, 2021. This inaugural event features a 5K run followed by a fun-filled day complete with local food trucks, vendors, live music and more! The West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce aims to provide a voice for economic, educational, social and public growth in our region. For more information visit CSE is the largest credit union headquartered in Southwest Louisiana with assets over $460 million. If you would like more information about CSE, please contact Colleen Desselle, Director of Marketing & Business Development, at CSE is federally insured by NCUA. Membership and Eligibility required. Spring Art Walk Spring Art Walk (S.A.W.) is back and will take place on Saturday, May 8, from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. in Downtown Lake Charles at the intersection of Ryan and Broad Streets. Nearly 50 art and food vendors will line the streets to showcase their talents. Businesses like Stellar Beans and The Gophr App will host art demonstrations and pop-up galleries. Westlake High Drama Department, Young Band Nation, and other performing arts groups will entertain the crowd on the central stage. Come out and see what S.A.W. is all about!

SOWELA Offering Two-Week Introduction to Construction Class Starting May 10 SOWELA Technical Community College’s Office of Workforce Solutions is offering a two-week Introduction to Construction class starting Monday, May 10, at its Main Campus in Lake Charles. Curriculum includes the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) Core and OSHA 10. The cost of the class is $50 with students receiving a $500 stipend at the end of the course for successful completion of all assignments and testing. The course is designed for individuals interested in learning entry-level construction skills. Training covers safety principles; construction math principles and application; introduction to hand and power tools; how to read and understand construction drawings; introduction to rigging slings, hoists, hitches and other hardware; procedures and techniques for proper material handling; and basic communication and employability skills. Class is held Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. during both weeks. Students who complete all modules of the class receive OSHA 10 and NCCER certifications, as well as a certificate of completion from SOWELA. Registration is open on a first-come, first-serve basis. A limited number of training seats are available. For more information or to apply, visit call (337) 421-6560 or email Gallery by the Lake announces bird photography competition and exhibition Show us what you’ve got! Gallery by the Lake announces its third “Hit Me with your Best Shot” Bird Photography Competition and Exhibition, celebrating the joys and benefits of birdwatching and showcasing the work of wildlife photographers from across the US. Fifty selected images will be displayed beginning August 20th in the Gallery by the Lake’s exhibition space in the beautiful Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center in downtown Lake Charles, as well as in a virtual gallery at www.gallerybythelake. org. The judges for this competition will be the editorial staff of Bird Watchers Digest. Entries are now being accepted online until July 17th through Call for Entry at php?ID=8873. Winning images will be selected by June 15th and delivery of framed pictures will be accepted from June 15th to July 17th. More information about the contest can be found on Gallery by the Lake’s website at The project is being supported by a grant from the City of Lake Charles as administered by the Arts Council of Southwest Louisiana.


Money & Career Born and raised in Lake Charles, La., Amy Dunn’s parents, Bob and Marilyn Dunn, were active in their church and various organizations and taught Amy and her two sisters the importance of community involvement. Amy graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1988 and worked as a Mental Health Technician in the newly opened adolescent psychiatric unit at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. She pursued a Master of Social Work degree at LSU, graduating in 1993. She’s been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1997. Amy was first introduced to the Educational & Treatment Council, Inc. (ETC) as a teenager when her mother began working there. At age 19, Amy volunteered for a day camp hosted by ETC for financially disadvantaged children. “After that, I was hooked and knew I wanted to work with kids,” Amy says. Thrive magazine recently caught up with Amy, and she shared the joys of working with an organization that has helped thousands of SWLA youth and the daunting challenges this past year has brought to ETC.

first person with


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Amy Dunn, Executive Director, Educational & Treatment Council

by Angie Kay Dilmore

Describe your career journey at ETC. I was hired as a case manager at Harbour House, The Emergency Shelter for Children in January 1991. The first intake I had on my first day at the shelter was a sibling group I had worked with at the ETC day camp five years earlier. I loved being a case manager! I had wonderful coworkers and supervisors who mentored me, and I learned much about the profession and myself. Of course, the children were the best teachers. I worked with some amazing youth. I became the clinical director at Harbour House in 1994 and then director of residential programs in 1998. In 1999, Martha Parnell resigned as the ETC Executive Director and I was hired as the new executive director. I will always be grateful to the support I received from family, Martha, friends, and coworkers who encouraged me to apply, as well as the board members who selected me. What do you find most rewarding about your work at ETC? Knowing that our services make a difference in the lives of our clients. We have dedicated staff that embrace our belief that all families and youth have strengths and that it is our role to help build on those strengths. Our clients often deal with very challenging issues and we are grateful that they let us work with them to improve their situation. I love when former clients make contact years later to let us know they are doing well. What are the challenges? In a typical year, the biggest challenge is procuring and maintaining the grants and contracts needed to fund the programs and services for our clients. There is no financial obligation to ETC clients. We are primarily funded by contracts and grants with local, state, and federal agencies. ETC also relies on contributions from the community and fundraising events. This year has special challenges due to the pandemic and the hurricanes.

Amy & Joe - Mt. Nebo in Jordan

How did the events of 2020 affect the services of ETC? 2020 was definitely a challenging year. Like everyone, COVID-19 changed the way we did business. Our programming at Harbour House and the Transitional Living Program had to be adjusted so that we could ensure the safety of youth and staff. Our community programs had to offer services virtually instead of making visits in the homes of clients. We cross-trained our community program staff so that they could work in the residential programs as needed. But while our services may have looked different, we remained focused on our mission and serving clients. The hurricane evacuations involved multiple moves of staff and youth in order to find the best options. The two buildings owned by ETC – Harbour House and the ETC Outreach Center – sustained significant damage from both Hurricanes Laura and Delta, rendering each facility uninhabitable. The apartment complex which houses the Transitional Living Program was also damaged. Like many, we’ve had contractor issues that resulted in repair delays. And the winter freeze in February caused more damage and further delays. Harbour House is currently operating at a reduced capacity in a temporary location. Our community programs are fully operational. Our insurance company has been great (thus far) despite the numerous claims (two building claims each for Hurricanes Laura and Delta, four vehicle claims from Laura, contents on both buildings for Laura, extra expense claim for Laura, freeze claim for building and contents at Harbour House). Needless to say, there’s a lot to track. When was ETC started? Giles Gilliam, clinical social worker, founded ETC in 1975 on the basic premise that community involvement and support is essential for resolving community problems. For 46 years, ETC has targeted services to youth and their families from at-risk populations. The first programs of ETC were outpatient drug abuse treatment for adolescents and high school equivalency training for youth who did not perform well in the typical classroom setting. From humble beginnings, the agency grew steadily through the decades. In 1985, ETC opened Harbour House, The Emergency Shelter for Children, to fulfill a community need for a safe place for youth in crisis. Since opening, Harbour House has had over 9,500 intakes representing more than 153,000 days of care. While remaining faithful to the mission, agency programs and services have adapted based on best practices and the changing needs of the community.

What is new on the horizon for ETC? While we have served homeless youth for decades, in the past couple of years we have initiated services for families experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless. In late 2020, we were awarded a new federal grant to provide rapid re-housing and support services to eligible homeless families. The goals of the project are to quickly move families with children into affordable permanent housing and to help them gain skills and resources to avoid future episodes of homelessness. We look forward to implementing the program this year. What are ETC’s needs and how can the community help you? ETC could not have survived all these years without the generous support of the community. Fundraising is expected to be a challenge this year because so many individuals, businesses, and churches have been hurt by both COVID-19 and the hurricanes. We use donations from the community in a variety of ways to directly benefit our clients, such as creating a more homelike living environment at Harbour House, as well as for things like work uniforms, apartment starter kits, and other special needs of our youth and families. How do you spend your free time? When we aren’t working, my husband, Joe Stark, and I love traveling and spending time with his young adult sons. I have accompanied Joe on mission trips through Christian Veterinarian Mission to Uganda and Honduras. (He works with the animals and I do other things.) We also toured the Holy Land a few months before everything shut down due to the pandemic. It was an incredible trip! For more information or to make a donation to ETC, go to

ETC Outreach Center


Money & Career

Lakeside Bank Rated One of Nation’s Strongest Banks Again this Year The nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm, BauerFinancial, Inc., has once again awarded Lakeside Bank their highest 5-Star rating. Lakeside has earned this recognition again this year, which indicates that Lakeside Bank is recognized as one of the strongest banks in the nation. The ranking reflects excellent performance in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality and much more. Lakeside has two locations in Lake Charles, as well as Sulphur and Westlake. BauerFinancial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions with rigorous standards since 1983. No institution pays for its rating, nor can they elude it. Consumers may obtain a bank’s star-rating by visiting For more information about Lakeside Bank, visit, or call (337) 474-3766. CSE Federal Credit Union Launches Digital Financial Education Center for Adult Learners CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) announced the launch of an interactive, online financial education initiative through a partnership with the nation’s leading education technology innovator, EVERFI, Inc. CSE’s “SMART Financial Education Center” is available as a complimentary resource to help SWLA community members learn how to manage their finances and plan for the future.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

• According to EVERFI, today Americans across the country lack financial education to make informed decisions.

• 68% of high school students do not understand credit scores. • 4 in 10 adults cannot cover emergency expenses. • 59% of employees cite financial matters as top cause of stress.

CSE’s “SMART Financial Education Center” offers an assortment of adult financial education learning topics, with subjects including building emergency savings, mortgage education and retirement planning. Each learning topic is 3-10 minutes in length and is designed to encourage participants to build financial confidence via a series of interactive activities. The interactive, mobile and tablet-friendly program is available in English and Spanish. Visit to get started today! Hackberry Rural Health Clinic of WCCH Reopens Facility West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital announces the reopening of the Hackberry Rural Health Clinic in Hackberry. The Hackberry Rural Health Clinic has been operating out of a temporary facility as a result of damages sustained to the main building during Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The Clinic is located at 1020 Main Street in Hackberry. The office is open: Monday/Tuesday/Thursday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please call (337) 762-3762.


FRESH S TA R T A MNES T Y PROGR A M Lake Charles City Court will offer a one-month Fresh Start Amnesty Program beginning April 19, 2021 for individuals who have missed court dates, overdue fines and/or outstanding warrants in the past. According to Judge Jamie Bice, the Court, with the full support of Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney Stephen Dwight and Ward 3 Marshal Nathan Keller, is offering this amnesty period to provide a much-needed fresh start after a year that has dealt setbacks to many people. “The COVID-19 pandemic and two hurricanes have disrupted

lives and caused financial hardship for many in our community,” says Judge Ron Richard. “Offering amnesty is one way we can help ease the financial burden for these individuals as our community works to recover from the challenges of the past year.” During the one-month amnesty period, individuals can take care of outstanding court matters with no fear of arrest or prosecution. Warrants for failure to appear and failure to pay will be recalled. Warrant fees and other fines may be removed or reduced, with an option for payment plans. Where applicable, new court dates will be set, with no additional fees. “The amnesty program is beneficial for both the individuals involved and for the Court,”

says Judge Bice. “It provides a simple way for citizens to stay out of jail and get back to rebuilding their lives. For the Court, it helps us conserve resources while clearing outstanding cases and collecting a portion of past due fines.” Individuals seeking amnesty can go in person to Lake Charles City Court, 118 W. Mill Street, through Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Payment can be made by cash, certified check or credit card (Visa/Mastercard). Personal checks WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. For more information, call 337-491-1565.

Get a

Lake Charles Ward 3 City Court, along with the Ward 3 Marshal, Mayor of Lake Charles and Calcaiseu Parish District Attorney are offering a one-month Fresh Start Amnesty Program to allow individuals to take care of court matters without fear of arrest or prosecution. The program ends May 19, 2021.

No Arrest. Warrants Recalled. Reduced or Removed Fees. Judge Ron Richard

Individuals seeking amnesty must go to Lake Charles City Court and make arrangements in person.

Call (337) 491-1565 for more information.

Judge Jamie Bice


Places & Faces

20 21 In Southwest Louisiana/Southeast Texas, we may be holding our collective breath as we enter into the 2021 Hurricane Season. While our communities have made impressive strides towards recovery, we are not there yet, and we bristle at the thought of what this next storm season might bring. Which is all the more reason why hurricane preparation is so imperative.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Accuweather meteorologists predict another busy hurricane season and urge residents in hurricane-prone regions such as ours to begin preparations now. That said, forecasters do not believe this year’s projections will be as devastating as last year’s. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was one for the record books, with 30 named storms – the most on record – and 12 direct strikes to the U.S, smashing the previous record of nine in 1916. For only the second time in history, forecasters in 2020 resorted to the rarely-used Greek alphabet to name tropical storms late in the season.

Together, we weathered the storms. And we’re ready for the next one. Last year was a historic storm season for Louisiana. Just like always, our communities stood strong. We appreciate your cooperation and

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK is May 9 – 15, 2021 . . .

and we’ve got you covered with timely, informative articles on topics such as the 2021 forecast, tips and checklists to help you organize your prepping and planning, generator safety, understanding your insurance, and more. For more information on hurricane preparedness, go to www.

understanding as our crews worked to restore power. At Entergy Louisiana, preparing for storm season is a year-round commitment. We’ve rebuilt and reinforced the power grid, we’re working safely within COVID-19 protocols, and our teams are ready to respond to whatever comes next. Learn how you can stay prepared at

A message from Entergy Louisiana, LLC ©2021 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

20 21 HURRICANE FORECAST Southwest Louisiana’s own Ben Terry at KPLC-TV chimes in on the 2021 Hurricane Forecast: It should come as no shock that forecasts call for another above average hurricane season, with Colorado State University’s initial forecast calling 17 named storms, eight hurricanes, with four of those becoming category 3 or greater in intensity. The new “climate normals”, a 30-year average between 1991 and 2020 also reflect an increase in the number of storms in any given year, with the new numbers showing an average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes making up a normal Atlantic hurricane season. These numbers increased from the normal values used in previous years that indicated a normal hurricane season consisted of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two to three major hurricanes. 2020 was one for the record books with 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes, far exceeding any seasonal forecast. Even though we ended up with historic numbers in the 2020 season, only two of those storms, Laura and Delta, had direct impacts on Southwest Louisiana. Unfortunately, those were two of the stronger storms to make landfall in the U.S. just six weeks and 12 miles apart from each other. While there is no skill in forecasting where or if storms will strike the U.S. coastline, there is also no way to know if the odds will be in our favor this hurricane season either. Your best plan would be not to fret over the forecasted numbers, but rather stay prepared and informed this hurricane season, because it only takes one storm regardless of how busy or quiet the season is overall.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

2021 HURRICANE NAMES Ana Bill Claudette Danny Elsa Fred Grace

Henri Ida Julian Kate Larry Mindy Nicholas

Odette Peter Rose Sam Teresa Victor Wanda

DID YOU KNOW . . . Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center and are recycled every six years. If a storm is deemed too deadly or costly, it is retired from the list and replaced. We won’t be seeing a Hurricane Rita or Laura again! Until 1979, the Atlantic storms were all given female names. Since then, women’s and men’s names alternate. As of this year, in the event there are more than 21 named storms in one season, the additional storms will no longer be given Greek alphabet names but will be named from an alternate list of names approved by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


National Hurricane Center: To contact NHC Public Affairs: On Facebook, search “NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center” or @NWSNHC NHC has FIVE Twitter Accounts! • Interactive Outreach (@NWSNHC) - Their primary mechanism for engaging the public and partners in two-way conversations. Covers general topics such as education and outreach, NWS products and policies concerning tropical cyclones, significant events, or just fun facts – from across all NHC branches. • For information specific to Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean: @NHC_Atlantic • For the eastern North Pacific: @NHC_Pacific • For information on storm surge: @NHC_Surge • The Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch: @NHC_TAFB

Community Foundation of SWLA Releases Hope Video

HOPE. It’s what has sustained us through

the months of recovery since the 2020 hurricanes and what continues to fuel our resiliency as we work hard to rebuild Southwest Louisiana. This is the inspiration for the Community Foundation’s SWLA Hope video, where they showcase the strength and spirit of the people who live here, as they change their focus from what happened to what we are going to make happen for our community. Creating opportunity from devastation is a commitment we all share and that’s what the video is about. According to Foundation President and CEO Since1993, 1993,Southwest SouthwestCall Call Center’s Center’s mission mission and Since and purpose purpose has hasbeen beento to be Sara Judson, the name encompasses the mesbe on-call so their customers do not have to be. The company provides on-call soand theirpurpose customers has do not have to be. The company customer mission been mission and purpose has beento tothroughout be sage of the video. “There is no doubt the hurcustomer support to businesses support services toservices businesses throughout SouthwestSouthwest LouisianaLouisiana and the have to be. company provides and ofThe the US – all day, anytime, every day. ricanes of 2020 have challenged us in ways we ve toofthe be. The company customer rest therest United States – all day, every day. sses throughout Southwest Louisiana could have never imagined, but through it all From answering phone calls, email messages and everything in ghout Southwest Louisiana and the Traditional answering service is not all theycan do.streamline From dispatch to email to me, every day. we have never lost hope. Hope has sustained between, Southwest Call Center monitors business ery day. voice mail and even conference canabout use Southwest Callin communications. Businesses nocalling; longer businesses have to worry responding us through the months of recovery so far, and messages and everything in to streamline theirour business communications. alCenter timely manner because agents are working 24/7 to make sure your hope continues to fuel our resiliency as we ll they do. From dispatch to email to nitors caninquiries streamline business customer’s are responded to consistently and in a timely manner. work hard to rebuild Southwest Louisiana.” The Lake Charles-based callcall center is committed “business ng; businesses canabout use Southwest Callinto providing The Lake Charles-based center is committed to providing “business ger have to worry responding The video features local performers singing as usual” service during disaster events or weather-related emergencies. as usual” service no matter what is going on – from hurricanes to ommunications. are 24/7 to make sure your Evenworking an evacuation doesn’t stop them. The have a remote agent staff Call on rooftops, which provides a literal represengovernment mandated evacuations or stay-at-home orders; Southwest and volunteer-based ride-out crew tomanner. keep the community covered with oCenter consistently in a timely tation of the song’s chorus, “Shout it from the finds a way.and The company has provided uninterrupted service to it’s committed providing “business uninterrupted service. rooftop, we’re coming back better than before.” clientsto since rbusiness is committed to 2005. providing “business nts oron weather-related Southwest Call Center is emergencies. committed Dancers, people enjoying life and other posioing – from hurricanes to Call Center is committed to toSouthwest treating their customers right by staff m. The have a remote agent tive scenes of recovery across the region are or stay-at-home orders; Southwest Call treating their customers right by answering responding tocommunity every incoming contact also featured. keepcallthe covered with every professionally, taking an accurate sofrom provided uninterrupted service to it’s a client’s customer professionally, “The production of this video is the result message and delivering it according to their accurately and dispatching it as per our specifications – all day every day. of many talented people working together to client’s instructions everytime. ed basically create a hurricane recovery theme to 629 S Martin Luther King Hwy, Lake Charles song for Southwest Louisiana,” says Judwering ct337-310-2435 l son. “From the moment the Healthy Image curate ly, Marketing team came to us with the idea, the to their Since1993, 1993, Southwest Call Center’s Center’s mission to Since1993, 1993,Southwest SouthwestCall Call Center’s Center’s mission and has to willing support of everyone involved has been our Since Southwest Call mission and purpose purpose has hasbeen been to be Since mission and purpose purpose hasbeen been to beand incredible. 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Businesses no have to worry responding recovery by every call professionally, taking anlonger accurate treating their customers right by answering every professionally, anaaccurate to worry about responding in professionally, ataking timely manner every incoming contact every call professionally, from client’s customer professionally, responding to every incoming contact from a call client’s customer Center to streamline their business communications. their social message delivering itour according toare their everyaancall professionally, taking an accurate message and delivering it according toand their because our agents are working 24//7 make taking accurate from customer a timely manner because agents working 24/7 to make suremedia yourpages. “Sharing the message and dispatching it as pera client’s our from client’s customer professionally, accurately and dispatching itaccurately as toper our of this video within and outside our region will sure your customer’s inquiries are responded to professionally, message and delivering it according specifications – all day every day. message and delivering it according to their specifications – all day every day. client’s instructions everytime. customer’s inquiries are responded to consistently accurately and dispatching it asper per our and in a timely manner. client’s instructions everytime. consistently and in a timely manner. tospecifications their accurately and it as help“business keep the spotlight on our recovery in a – alldispatching day every day. our to providing The Lake Charles-based call–call center isday. committed client’s instructions everytime. specifications all day every The Lake Charles-based center is committed to providing “business positive way,” says Judson. “Let’s send a loud, 629 Martin Luther Kingdisaster Hwy, Lakeevents Charles or weather-related emergencies. 629 S Martin Luther Kingas Hwy, LakeSCharles usual” service during strongto message that Southwest Louisiana is as usual” service no matter what is going on – from hurricanes l 629 S Martin Luther King Hwy, Lake Charles 337-310-2435 l Even337-310-2435 an evacuation doesn’t stop them. 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and volunteer-based ride-out crew toprovided keep the community covered with Center finds a way. The company has uninterrupted service to it’s uninterrupted service. business clients since 2005.


Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. These lists can help you prepare for a storm and arm you with resources you may need after a storm.

BE PREPARED BY PACKING AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT One of the first things on your hurricane prep to-do list, even before a storm looms in the Gulf of Mexico, is to assemble an emergency supply kit; something you can grab and go, if need be. A basic emergency kit could include the following items: Food and Water: • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days • At least a three-day supply of nonperishable foods • Pet food • Manual can opener


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Tools and Maintenance items: • Flashlight(s) and extra batteries • Basic tool kit including wrench or pliers for turning off utilities, if necessary • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air • Plastic trash bags • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelterin-place Personal Items: • Moist towelettes, toothpaste, personal hygiene products • Glasses and contact lenses • Sleeping bag for each person • At least one complete change of clothing for each person First Aid Kit: • Latex or other sterile gloves • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding. • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes • Antibiotic ointment • Burn ointment • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant • A thermometer

• Prescription medications you take every day

(periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates) • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies • Scissors and tweezers • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant • Non-prescription drugs: aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, laxatives. Miscellaneous items: • Copies of important papers such as insurance documents, medical forms, and IDs • Paper, pencils and pens • NOAA weather radio with tone alert (and extra batteries) • Whistle so you can signal for help if stranded • Maps of the local area • Inverter or solar charger to keep mobile phones charged • Cash or travelers’ checks • Books, games and playing cards


If a hurricane is predicted to be severe, an order to evacuate may be given. Please heed these directives for your own safety. Before the storm makes landfall, follow these steps to plan ahead for your evacuation strategy:

• Know the local hurricane evacuation

route(s). Plan your route but have alternative routes in mind in case of road closures. If you don’t have a vehicle, contact family, friends, your local government, or aid agencies to make other arrangements. • Plan where you might stay. Do you have friends or family outside the evacuation zone who may be able to accommodate you? Hotels are another option, but make a reservation as early as possible, as they can fill up quickly. • Collect copies of important papers such as medical insurance cards, homeowner’s insurance policy, emergency contact information in a gallon Ziploc bag and take them with you. • Pack paper maps in case you lose your phone signal or you run out of battery life. • Make considerations for your pets. Will you take them with you, leave them with someone else, or board them at a kennel? Please do not abandon your pets. Take pet food and vet contact info with you. • Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.


If a storm is imminent in the next 24-48 hours and you’ve done little prior preparation, don’t panic. Here’s your last-minute list.

• Track the storm path and projected risk

areas at Monitor weather conditions with a battery-powered NOAA weather radio to receive the most up-to-date information, including forecasts, watches, or warnings. • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep it closed, so the food won’t spoil quickly if you lose electrical power. • Bring all lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants (and anything else that could be picked up by the wind) inside. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. • Fill up your bathtub, sinks and other large containers with fresh water. This will serve as an important reserve should you be without running water after a storm. • Make sure all your family vehicles have at least a half-tank of gas, as filling stations may be closed or unable to pump gas during power outages.


• Avoid walking through flood waters, as


• In an emergency situation, always call 911 • 211 Helpline – Information from the United Way of SWLA

• Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness -- 337-721-3800

• Louisiana Attorney General Hurricane Hotline – 1-866-351-4889

• LA State Police Troop D – 337-491-2511 • Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office – 337-4913600

• Road Closure Hotline – 1-800-469-4828 • American Red Cross -- http://www.redcross. org

• FEMA – • LA Department of Children & Family Services --

• LA Department of Transportation -- http://

• LA Department of Health & Hospitals -

• National Weather Service Southern Region --


• Entergy -- 1-800-ENTERGY • Beauregard Electric – 1-800-367-0276 • CenterPoint Energy -- 1-800-477-0177

they may contain pollution, debris, and potentially dangerous wildlife. • Check on elderly neighbors. • Avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion during clean-up. • Beware of downed power lines. • Follow manufacturers guidelines when using a generator to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.


Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

PREP & PROTECT your Property It takes time to get your home hurricaneready, and the process of protecting your property from a major storm should begin long before a tropical weather watch is issued. Start now with this list and prepare your home inside and out. Whether you shelter in place or evacuate, your home and property will need some simple preparations to help protect it from hurricanes and their aftermath. Not only will you be ready, but you’ll have peace of mind, no matter the forecast.

HOME Outdoors: • Ensure you have hurricane shutters, or 3/4-inch-thick outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home. Pre-drill holes in the plywood (experts recommend the holes be 18 inches apart) and keep the plywood off the ground in a shed, crawl space, or attic until needed. Store screws and screwdriver nearby for convenience. • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. • If a hurricane is imminent, secure or bring indoors any outdoor furniture, garbage cans, or other items that could be blown by high winds.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

• Purchase a portable generator for use during power outages. • Cover your air conditioner. Consider a manufacturer-approved

protective cover rather than a do-it-yourself solution such as a tarp or garbage bag, which could void your warranty and trap moisture inside. • Check for foundation cracks and patch if necessary. • Fix broken or damaged shingles and tiles. • Clean out your gutters. • Ensure storm drains are clear. • Turn off irrigation systems. Indoors: • Prepare an interior room preferably, or a room with no windows, as an emergency shelter. • Install surge protection to safeguard appliances and electronics. • Seal windows and doors. Close and lock all windows. • Consider bracing for your garage door, which often blows in during a storm. • Protect your documents. Passports, birth certificates, tax forms, photographs, family heirlooms, artwork, and anything else that it’s important to you should be relocated or locked away in a waterproof storage pre-storm. • Elevate sofas, chairs, tables, beds and other furniture to protect from minor flooding. • Fill bathtubs with water to have water for flushing toilets and washing. Fill several large clean containers with water for drinking.

Trees and Landscaping: • Remove weak or dead limbs from trees and shrubs to prevent these items from becoming projectiles in high winds. • Trim trees and shrubs away from your house to help make them more wind resistant and lessen the likelihood of them damaging your house.




Pool: • Do not empty the pool water. • Turn off pool power and circuit breakers to protect pool electrical system. • Wrap the pool pump, time clock, light transformers, and electric heaters with waterproof plastic. Tie securely in place to prevent sand and water from entering. If flooding is expected, disconnect these devices and store them in a dry place. • To prevent contamination from debris and excessive storm water, add a granular pool shock and a large dose of pool algaecide to quickly eliminate organic contaminants that enter the water. • Do not cover pool. Storms can cause falling branches and other debris that may damage pool covers. It’s easier to remove debris from the pool than to replace a cover.

Ross Byrley Agent 4566 LakeByrley St. • 478-8349 Ross Agent

4566 Lake St. • 478-8349 AUTOMATIC HOME STANDBY GENERATORS GenSet Enterprises is SWLA’S #1 emergency automatic home standby generator dealer. Yes, we sell the number one stand-by generator in the world. GENERAC, but along with every unit comes good old fashioned customer service. Not only a company that sells Generac generators, bur offeres installation, warranty, maintenance, but also customer service by certified factory trained technicians.

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Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

GENERATOR USAGE & Know the Facts to Protect SAFE T Y Yourself and Your Family As most of us learned last year in the aftermath of back-to-back hurricanes, a generator can definitely come in handy after a severe storm. But for safety, they need to be used with caution. According to a September 2020 NPR article, eight of the 15 Hurricane Laura-related deaths confirmed by the Louisiana Department of Health were attributed to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from portable generators. Generators create fumes of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can build quickly in enclosed spaces. At certain levels, just five minutes of exposure is enough to be fatal. It is imperative that generator users know how to operate and maintain their generator, especially on long-term outages.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021


• Determine what size generator you need. • Add up the power requirements of the appliances

and devices you will want to use. Check the back and sides for a label with this info. • Add up the wattage of all the light bulbs you will want to use. • Find the total amps you need by dividing watts by volts. • Choose a generator that produces more amps than you need. Some machines draw up to three times as much power when starting up, and others lose efficiency over time. Often, the best option is a permanently installed stationary generator.


• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline,


The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.

• To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands. • Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite. • Store fuel for the generator in approved safety cans. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the generator label. Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask your local fire department. Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. To guard against accidental fire, do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. • Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. Known as “backfeeding,” this practice puts utility workers, your neighbors, and your household at risk of electrocution. • Remember, even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded, resulting in overheating or generator failure. Be sure to read the instructions. • If necessary, stagger the operating times for various equipment to prevent overloads.

propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area. • Keep these devices outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY - DO NOT DELAY. • Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. Test the batteries frequently and replace when needed. • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. Safety tips listed in this article provided courtesy of the American Red Cross.


Plan Ahead & Prepare Now. Jennifer Mabou

Voted #1 Insurance Agent in SWLA

(337) 527-0027 • 1633 Beglis Parkway, Sulphur



Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

Making Sense of Your


by Stefanie Powers

Whether or not we want to face it, Hurricane Season 2021 is fast approaching. With so many SWLA residents still displaced or living in damaged homes, we must review our homeowners insurance policies to determine exactly what’s covered and what is not, so there are no surprises if another storm hits. Craig Doland, Allstate agent/owner at HightDoland Agency in Lake Charles, offers some insight. “It’s important to know the difference between flood and hazard insurance,” he explains. “Typically, the only insurance that covers rising water or storm surge is flood insurance. Most homeowners insurance, including hazard insurance, clearly excludes flood. If a pipe bursts and floods your home, that is not a flood. If the sewers back up into your home from drains or toilets, that is not a flood. If something strikes the home and breaks a window or puts a hole in the roof and water is blown in or rains in, that is not flood. Flood is rising water or surge that comes in and gets into the home from the bottom up.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Doland says that the most important thing people need to do is read their declaration page every time their insurance is renewed, and call their agent with questions. “Those are the documents that are sent out either through the mail, or via email if you have opted for electronic delivery. The packet can be anywhere from two to 20 pages, but within it, there are several pages called the declaration pages." These pages list the dollar amount of coverage on your home, along with other structures, personal property, liability limits and more. “It will also clearly show the deductibles selected,” Doland adds. “There are several types of deductibles for coastal areas, and you can have more than one. Tropical Cyclone deductible (TCD) applies to hurricanes or tropical storms. Wind and Hail (W/H) deductible applies to any wind or hail damage. All Other Peril (AOP) deductible applies to everything else. Some policies may have all three; some may only have one.” Doland recommends reading the actual policy jacket, which includes the details and the definitions of the policy, how claims are settled, what is covered, and what is excluded. “This is sent out when the policy is first written and may or may not come with every renewal,” he explains. “Many do not, so it is important to keep a copy or an electronic copy.

The policy jackets can be from 20 to over 100 pages and can seem intimidating, but I tell people to look for the exclusions, or what is not covered. No policy covers ‘everything,’ as each policy will have things that are excluded and/or have limited coverage.” Doland says one of the numerous things he has learned from the tragedy in SWLA is that many people never look at their renewal declaration pages. “So often, I heard, ‘Well, I didn’t know I had that deductible’ or ‘I didn’t know my home was only covered for that much.’ These are conversations I had with friends, family, customers, and the population in general, regardless of what insurance company they use. This is a concern because companies communicate to their customers through mail or email at every single renewal.” Doland admits he doesn’t always read everything he gets in the mail or emails. “But, when it comes to something as important as your home, cars, boats, life, etc., everyone should take five minutes and review the policy documents for information and accuracy.” Disclaimer: The information here is general and does not address specific policies, coverages, etc. Please contact your agent to address specific questions or concerns.


Start an emergency fund to cover unexpected storm costs. Go digital with your banking by enrolling in eStatements and using digital wallets like Google Pay™, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay®. Have an emergency credit card to only use during a disaster. Safely store your financial files in a waterproof and fireproof case. Review your insurance policies to ensure you are protected.

Protecting homes in SWLA for over 45 years


Get cash before long lines appear at the bank. Make an evacuation budget and stick to it. Handle urgent financial issues like loan payments or card expirations. Stay in contact with your bank for operating hours. Put a travel notice on your debit and credit cards.

For more tips on hurricane preparedness, visit

(337) 433-3611 | @ffbla |


Protecting homes in SWLA for over 45 years 2002 Walnut Street | 337- 474 - 2020 |

3405 Lake Street | 337-474-2020 |


Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS


BEF O R E T H E STOR M We’ve all been there – the hurricane evacuation announcement has been made and it’s time to act. The next few hours are crucial for your family, your home, and your peace of mind. We’ve learned in the last several months what we’d do differently for the next hurricane. “We won’t know what our home and community will look like after a storm, but we can do our best to safeguard what we can – like our finances – to ensure that the aftermath is more manageable,” said Lisa Ledano, Branch Supervisor of the First Federal Bank Nelson Branch. 44

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

BEFORE A HURRICANE IS IN THE GULF Start an emergency fund. Build up an emergency fund throughout the year, and it can help later when you are waiting on insurance reimbursements. These savings can help cover expenses that accumulate during an evacuation like hotel rooms, gas, and food. Go digital. Sign up for eStatements and enroll in online and mobile banking with your bank. “eStatements are more secure and easier to access than paper statements, especially if there is a disruption in mail service or if you can’t return to your home immediately after a storm,” said Ledano. Mobile and online banking are essential for keeping track of expenses and transferring money. Your digital wallet, like Google PayTM, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay®, makes it easy to pay on-the-go from your phone. Have an emergency credit card. Using a credit card during an evacuation is a great way to avoid draining your cash and stay protected from fraud. Be sure to keep this card away from your wallet during other times of the year or else you may be tempted to use it. Review and protect your financial files. Don’t wait until the evacuation to read your homeowners insurance policy in your stack of important papers. Take the time to organize your files in a waterproof and fireproof case that’s easily accessible. “Most people don’t know the details of their insurance policies until they have to make a claim,” Ledano commented. “Take time to review your policies with your insurance agent to ensure you are properly covered.”

JJ-LC_Thrive-hlfpg,vert-MAY_4-21-21_JJExt_LC_Thrive-hlfpgvert-June_4-21-21 4/22/2

WHEN A HURRICANE IS IN THE GULF Have cash on hand. “We all know people who wait until they evacuate to get cash then find themselves in line for hours at their bank,” noted Ledano. When a hurricane begins to form, it’s a good time to get the cash you need for immediate and unexpected needs. Check your bank’s operational hours during a storm to make sure you don’t miss your window for accessing your money.

G E T TH E S HIE L D! TERMITE swarms are here NOW. Is your home protected?

Handle urgent financial issues. If you have a loan payment coming up, contact your bank to see due date extensions or refunds for late fees due to the hurricane. Check your cards and accounts to make sure everything is up-to-date and you don’t have any problems accessing your money. “No one wants to be across the state calling customer service in a hotel parking lot because your new card hasn’t been activated yet,” said Ledano. Stay in contact with your bank. “If you bank local, chances are your bank is also keeping an eye on the storm, so they’ll understand your worries,” said Ledano. Find out if your bank plans on closing or if other services will be suspended during an evacuation. Also, notify your bank if you plan on evacuating so they can put a travel notice on your debit cards. For more tips on keeping your finances protected, contact First Federal Bank at (337) 433-3611 or visit Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

IT’S A GREAT TIME TO REVIEW YOUR POLICY. Don’t wait until the next hurricane is in the Gulf to ensure that your home is covered. Call Dana Sorrells today for peace of mind and quality service.

Dana Sorrells Account Manager Personal Lines


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Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

WHAT IS AN MSP? It is a way for you to outsource the dayto-day management of your IT needs, but the specifics vary on the services provided based on your business needs. Essentially, they are your business’s IT department, helping you increase productivity and profitability.

Your Business Needs I.T. Why Managed Services Should be Part of Your Hurricane Preparedness Business Plan As we enter the hurricane season each year—June 1 to November 30 – researchers continually predict above average seasons. The 2021 forecast predicts 16-20 named storms, 7-10 hurricanes with 3-5 of those being major hurricanes. History tells us that these storms can leave many without power, safe shelter and other resources for days, weeks and even months on end. Southwest Louisiana is still recovering from last year’s hurricanes— Laura and Delta, along with Winter Storm Uri. The infrastructure in the region is still compromised and organizations are still in the recovery process. Businesses cannot eliminate disasters, but proactive preparation can mitigate loss.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

PLANNING STARTS WITH PREPAREDNESS BUSINES UNDERSTANDING THE THREATS TO YOUR BUSINESS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS: • Is the area prone to severe weather events? • What is the likelihood or frequency of an extended power outage? • What if you lost Internet connectivity? • Can you quickly detect and contain a cyberattack?

Emergency Preparedness Financial Checklist

A disaster is, by definition, an unexpected event. Even with some from notice of an impending catastrophe, organizations can suffer serious losses. That’s why it’s critically important to have an up-todate and tested business plan to ensure your personnel know what ATM/Debit Card: Get one BEFORE an to do in the face of a disaster to maintain critical operations and emergency strikes. It may take up to 2 weeks minimize disruptions—and a managed service provider (MSP) can before you receive your card by mail. be an important ally in business continuity planning. “The only way to protect your business from the unpredictable Cash: Anticipate a sufficient amount of aftermath of a storm is being prepared, and it all starts with having cash on hand in a variety of denominations. a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure your organization ATMs near you may experience service disruptions. can continue operating,” says Brett Dering, owner of Kinetic IT Solutions in Lake Charles. “Outsourcing the management of your IT Online Banking: Confirm that you infrastructure and disaster recovery solution will help your business can successfully login online to access your maintain normal operations at all times, especially during a disaster account info from anywhere. situation. We can help monitor your systems and applications and provide 24/7/365 support, regardless of what is happening at your Telephone Banking: Write down physical location. It is our job to maintain your infrastructure and your financial institution’s phone number to get account info, in the event internet service ensure its uptime and availability, while enabling your personnel to is unavailable. focus on your business goals.” A disaster recovery plan doesn’t just focus on procedures for restoring systems and infrastructure during and after an event, but also hardware failures, viruses and hackers. The plan identifies all IT functions within the business and their critical dependencies. LAKE CHARLES  SULPHUR For example, what is an acceptable amount of downtime for each 337-533-1808  function? How will you communicate Federally Insured by NCUA with customers? Could personnel work from an alternate location? “When planning for the unforeseen, we look at the big picture. This includes increasing network security as remote workers connect to your company network. Personnel may be displaced and working from guest networks at hotels, coffee shops and other often-insecure With a dedicated IT team, locations. We also look at what software, your company will have connection, phone and equipment needs specialists ready to assist EDUCATION your business may have both in and out with any and all techof the physical office and offer training to HEALTHCARE related issues, giving you employees on the technology to make peace of mind knowing sure they can work remotely effectively,” that productivity won’t be Dering added. interrupted with IT concerns. CONSTRUCTION Technology is always growing, adapting Ready to expand your and changing, and businesses too need team? Call us today or visit to grow, adapt and change along with it, SMALL BUSINESS our website to schedule a which means business plans aren’t a “oneFREE IT consultation to help and-done deal.” “These plans need to be your business grow and visited and adapted,” said Dering. “An MSP be prepared for whatever partner can help you create a plan for storms come your way. LEGAL future IT growth or IT road mapping. By planning ahead, you can ultimately set ACCOUNTING your business up for successful growth.”




To learn more about how managed IT services can help your business or to get started on building your disaster recovery plan, please visit or call 337-513-4272 to schedule your FREE IT consultation.

REAL ESTATE | (337) 513-4272 | 1638 Ryan St., Lake Charles


Places & Faces | E YES ON THE TROPICS

BE WAR E OF C O N T R AC TO R F R AU D PO ST-HU R R I CAN E S Calcasieu Parish District Attorney and Sheriff Announce Creation of Contractor Fraud Response Team

Stephen Dwight, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney, and Tony Mancuso, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff, are working together to fight contractor fraud within the parish and have formed a Contractor Fraud Response Team. “The incidence of contractor fraud is on the rise and we are taking action to send a clear message to criminals who take advantage of our citizens as they work to rebuild and recover from last year’s hurricanes,” said Dwight. “We will pursue, arrest and prosecute anyone committing contractor fraud in Calcasieu Parish.” Mancuso says a hotline has been established for reporting contractor fraud.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

“This is something we take very seriously, and we want to make it easy for citizens to report cases of fraud. These criminals are taking advantage of citizens at a time they need help the most. We will not allow this to go on unchecked in our parish.” He adds that prevention is also important, asking citizens to always check references and to be alert to the warning signs of common contractor scams, such as door-to-door solicitations, demands for cash, unusually large down payments, no references, no permanent address, high pressure sales or scare tactics, no insurance or license, or no contract. When it comes to contractor fraud, Dwight explains that in some cases, the matter may be civil and not criminal. “There are some critical distinctions. Examples of civil matters are when faulty

work is done, or when a substantial amount of work has been completed but the contractor fails to complete the work. Contractor fraud is considered a criminal offense when the contractor fails to perform work 45 days after receiving payment unless a longer period is specified in the contract. It is also considered fraud when a contractor does work without a construction license.” Both Dwight and Mancuso urge citizens to report suspected fraud even if they are unsure whether actual criminal fraud has been committed. “We’ll look into the situation and determine if a crime has been committed,” said Mancuso. “If it has, we will file charges.” The Contractor Fraud Response Team number is 337-437-3405.



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Places & Faces

SERVICE ABOVE SELF Volunteer Clubs Abound in Southwest Louisiana

by Angie Kay Dilmore

As we’ve witnessed in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, Southwest Louisiana is a community of helpers. They reach out to their neighbors, even strangers, and lend a hand, often putting others’ needs before their own. For those with a heart for service, there are clubs for that: Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Club, the Junior League, and random folks with common interests who join together to make the Lake Area a better place. The following are only a sample of the many local outlets for people to access volunteer opportunities and find fun and camaraderie. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Every club is committed to service that is close to its heart and crucial to its community. To ensure their mission moves forward, they have created award-winning programs for people of all ages and abilities. They also join in global projects to effect change in communities around the world. Some clubs partner with local Key Clubs in area high schools and colleges. The only Circle K International (CKI) club in the area is at McNeese State University. The Junior League of Lake Charles promotes literacy.

Seven Slot Society


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

There are several Kiwanis Clubs throughout the region. Kiwanis of South Contraband meet weekly for lunch and members hear from community organizations, leaders, businesses, and more. They donate nearly $15,000 annually to various projects in our community. Full or Associate memberships are available based on member availability. For more information, contact Club President Robin Basone at 337-764-0389 or see their website sw-contraband.kiwanisone. org, or their Facebook page, @ KiwanisSouthwestContraband.

The Aktion Club is a co-sponsored Kiwanis group and is the only community-service club for adults living with disabilities and allows members to develop leadership qualities in serving their communities.


Lake Charles – Elizabeth Leone – 337-433-3620 South Lake Charles – David Shamia – 337-433-3620 West-Cal – W.C. Hayes – 337-496-4335 DeRidder – Ronnie Marshall – 337-462-8354 Jennings – Chanyon Robinson – 337-824-3424 No contact info was available for the clubs in Calcasieu, North Lake Charles, and Sulphur.

The Junior League of Lake Charles dates back to 1933 and promotes voluntarism, develops the potential of women, and improves the community through various programs, funding, and volunteer training. The Children’s Museum, Family and Youth Counseling, the Lake Charles Symphony, Calcasieu Community Clinic and many other invaluable organizations were conceptualized, created, funded, and gifted to SWLA by the women of the JLLC. Total membership includes over 600 civic-minded Southwest Louisiana women who provide over 5,000 volunteer hours a year.

• Improved mood. There is no better feeling than serving your local community and bringing hope and opportunity to families, neighbors, and friends. • Leadership opportunities. Take the lead on service projects or opportunities within your club and grow from the experiences of motivating others. • Fellowship. Get together and network with like-minded people. • Better health. Research shows that helping others makes us happier and more satisfied in life.

JLLC membership is open to women who reside in SWLA and are at least 22 years old. Membership opens each spring for the following League Year, beginning in September. For more information about the Junior League or how to join, please contact Melanie Breaux at 337-436-4025 or see their website, Seven Slot Society of SWLA is a social and service organization for Jeep enthusiasts/owners. It was formed in 2014 by President Jared Chandler and his friend Russ Conrad, who “cooked it all up in his kitchen on some late nights, along with food and several beers!” They wanted a club that was community oriented and inclusive to all. “It doesn’t matter if you like to go rock crawling in your Jeep or keep it on the pavement, you belong,” says Chandler. Meetings are held once a month, usually at local businesses or restaurants. They host several off-road trips throughout the year – one in Hot Springs, Arkansas in May and another to Moab, Utah in August. They participate in local charity events with groups like Brennan’s Blessings. Dues are $20 annually and an application can be found on or on their Facebook page. Chandler encourages anyone interested to come checkout a meeting! The Lake Charles Happy Hour Rotary Club is a community service club established in 2016. The club is known for service projects like The Little Free Pantry, yard cleanups with the Autism Society of SWLA, Christmas Gift Wrap at the Women’s Shelter, and several other community projects. For those with fun in mind, people may know the club from the St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl. Proceeds from this event help serve the community. Happy Hour Rotary Club is part of the larger Rotary International umbrella and is one of 14 Rotary Clubs throughout SWLA. Go to www.rotary6200. org for more information on other SWLA Rotary Clubs. Rotary members are a group of like-minded individuals who have a heart for helping their community. For more information or to join the Lake Charles Happy Hour Rotary Club, write to lchappyhourrotaryclub@ They meet Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. Lake Charles Happy Hour Rotary Club does yard cleanup with Autism Services of SWLA


Style & Beauty

Olive & Indigo It is the kind of airy, inviting boutique you pop into while on vacation in a lazy resort town.

Door propped open and white gauzy curtains blowing in the breeze against an interior that looks like it dropped right out of a hip Instagram post. Behind the counter, coowners and arbiters of style Lauren Miller and Suzanne Johnson give off a cool girl vibe that is well earned. Many will remember Johnson and her creative merchandising sensibility for 505 Imports, a furniture store that scoured the world for unique pieces and brought them to Southwest Louisiana. That is where the dynamic duo began handcrafting jewelry and where Olive & Indigo was born. What started as a shop-in-shop concept in 2015 is now a full-fledged storefront expanding to include clothing, artisan gifts and more. The brick-and-mortar location opened in the summer of 2020 on the corner of Broad and Bilbo in downtown Lake Charles. Launching a business in any environment is challenging but the months after Olive & Indigo opened brought a pandemic and a pair of hurricanes.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

While they were fortunate to avoid severe storm damage, Johnson says “seeing devastation all around us was a lesson in gratitude, flexibility and putting customer needs first.” In response to those challenges, the boutique offers curbside pickup, local delivery, online shopping, and personalized design services. Jewelry is the star at Olive & Indigo. Miller describes their collection as easy to wear with an artful global influence. “Custom stamping is popular. Choose a piece in your favorite metal and we will imprint it with your birthdate, zodiac sign, zip code or just about anything with personal meaning.” Add gemstones and a custom length chain for a one-of-a-kind look. Hammered disc earrings are another customer favorite along with initial charms made for stacking and hoop earrings of varying size and thickness. Everything goes together in an effortless way, either custom made in their studio or carefully sourced and unique to the market. The owners chose a thoughtfully curated collection of goods to offer along with their

by Kerry Andersen

jewelry. You will find gold embellished wine glasses hand painted by Lake Charles artist Cyndi Cagle ($18 each) displayed next to offerings from across the globe created by artisans looking for a better life. Everything here is curated with intention. That includes a selection of all-natural unisex bath and body products which fill the space with soothing scents like lavender, sage and rose (soaps from Los Poblanos Organic Farm are hand poured in New Mexico, $12). Explore their line of house blended essential oils, perfect for diffusing or spritzing, along with incense to create a vibe that matches the Olive & Indigo aesthetic. In the back of the bright shop is an expanded dressing room filled with cozy seating. Says Suzanne, “Call us and we are happy to host a small group of your friends for an afternoon of shopping or a custom jewelry session. Or reach out for help building an easy, interchangeable wardrobe that cuts down on closet clutter and makes getting dressed less about stress and more about style and comfort."

These are pieces (Grade & Gather Breezy VTop, $48) with timeless silhouettes by brands using natural fabrics from companies run by women committed to social change. This is not just lip service – a portion of all boutique proceeds are donated to Women for Women International, an organization that provides support and vocational training to women in conflict zones. A line of sustainable leather goods from Able rounds out the offering of wardrobe essentials (natural black leather bucket bag, $148). Olive & Indigo will participate in Artwalk on May 8 and Chuck Fest on October 16. Olive & Indigo is located at 343 Broad St., Lake Charles. 337-513-7920. Open Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Wednesday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Style & Beauty

Trim Down & Tighten Up With summertime quickly approaching, many of us are turning our thoughts from sherpa-lined jackets and boots to cookouts, vacations, and bathing suits. 2020 was an unusual year with pandemic and hurricane-forced gym shutdowns and quarantine leaving many sitting behind a computer most of the day while leaving us less motivated to trim down and tighten up for warmer weather. Luckily, with non-invasive body contouring options like Coolsculpting and Morpheus 8 on the rise, it is easier than ever before to achieve your sculpted, smooth body before bikini season. Coolsculpting is currently the number one non-surgical fat reduction treatment on the aesthetic market. It uses FDA-approved technology called “cryolipolysis” to essentially freeze away stubborn fat in nine body areas resulting in up to 25% permanent fat reduction per session. These areas include submentum (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thighs, abdomen, and flank along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as the banana roll), and upper arms. The number of fat cells varies from person to person, but it doesn’t change much once you are an adult. These fat cells just expand or shrink with weight loss or gain. 54

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Coolsculpting is an ideal option for people who have reached their goal weight and have stubborn pockets of fat that remain despite diet and exercise. The number of treatments needed is unique to each patient and the area being treated. One can expect to see results in as little as 12 weeks. One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Coolsculpting is, “Does it hurt?” According to Kara Babaz, FNP-C and Coolsculpting provider at Renaitre - A Williamson Cosmetic Center, “Not at all! The patient will feel a cold sensation followed by tingling and then the area will go numb. Our patients are always very comfortable and usually watch Netflix or work on their laptops while undergoing the procedure.” Additionally, there is no down-time or restrictions after the procedure making “trimming down” easy to fit into a hectic schedule. But what about “tightening up?” This is where the other part of Renaitre’s dynamic duo, Morpheus 8, comes into play. Morpheus 8 is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive procedure used for subdermal adipose remodeling and collagen induction for face, neck, and body. It uses radiofrequency energy to coagulate fat combined with micro needling to help induce collagen, resurface, and tighten skin. One can effectively treat many areas to include the face, neck, abdomen, arms, and thighs and achieve results in as little as three sessions done six weeks apart. Acne scarring, cellulite, stretch marks, and that annoying “chicken neck” are a few other problem areas that Morpheus can address. Results will continue to improve even up to six months after the last session and can be repeated as needed.

There is minimal downtime with Morpheus 8. Expected aftercare instructions include not wearing makeup for 24-48 hours after the procedure, no exercise or sweating, and avoiding sun exposure. Morpheus 8 can be used alone for skin tightening and superficial fat reduction and can also be used after completion of Coolsculpting treatments to further enhance body contouring outcomes. It can be used on all skin types safely and is well tolerated by utilizing minimally invasive anesthetic techniques. “It is one of my favorite procedures to perform because of its effectiveness and ability to address so many of my patients’ skin concerns associated with aging,” says Renaitre’s registered nurse Morgan Fairchild. Because of its versatility, there is no question why it is considered part of the dynamic duo of body contouring. No matter your age, it’s important to feel good in your own skin. With these advanced technologies making it easier to trim down and tighten up locally and without surgery, you can have the summer-ready body you have always wanted. Kara Babaz FNP-C is a Nurse Practitioner at Renaitre- A Williamson Cosmetic Center with over 10 years of experience. She is extensively trained in many aesthetic areas to include Botox, Dermal Filler, Sclerotherapy, Coolsculpting, and Morpheus 8. Call Renaitre - A Williamson Cosmetic Center at 337-508-2559 for a complimentary consultation and let the body contouring experts customize a plan that’s right for you.


Home & Family


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Home & Family


Most of us rely on our vehicles to get us from Point A to Point B on a daily basis. As an integral part of our lives, we take cars for granted, until they break down, or they need to be in the shop for a few days for maintenance or repair, and we’re reminded how very much we depend on them. This special section is dedicated to cars and the people who love them. You’ll find articles with tips on car buying, maintenance, restoration, local car washes to help keep your car looking spiffy and spotless, and a story on how to navigate the paperwork involved with car ownership while the local OMV offices are closed.


Home & Family | CARS & DRIVERS GUIDE

NEW RIDE, NO HASSLE H O W T O TA K E T H E S T R E S S O U T O F B U Y I N G A N E W V E H I C L E Buying a new car can be an exciting time for anyone. The prospect of purchasing a shiny new set of wheels, loaded with the latest features and emanating that new car smell is enough to drive car lovers straight to the dealership. But the process of buying a new car can also be a frustrating and confounding experience. At best, you’ll spend – or finance – a significant sum of money; at worst, you may get burned. Indeed, the car-buying process can be a financial minefield, especially if you’re dealing with salesmen who are not on the level. So, before you take your first test drive, follow these tips to make your car buying experience a little easier for you and your wallet.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021


Car salesmen have one primary goal – getting you to sign on the dotted line. Whether you can truly afford the car is of no consequence to them; that’s your job to determine. Experts say you should spend no more than 25 percent of your monthly household income for all the cars in your garage. In addition to monthly finance payments, this figure should include all annual fuel and car expenses. There are many home budget calculators available online to help you determine the car you can comfortably afford.

DETERMINE IF A NEW CAR THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU Customers today have the option of buying certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles or leasing

a car – new or a CPO – for a predetermined period of time. If you decide to go the CPO route, you’ll get the most car for your money, but you will be given a shorter warranty period. Unless you pay for a Carfax report, you also won’t know the car’s entire history. Leasing a car may get you into a more expensive make and model but you’ll never own the car outright. The lease terms may also limit the number of miles you can travel with your car within a year. Go beyond this limit and you’ll have to either buy additional miles or face significant penalties. A new car, however, will afford you a full warranty and a lower interest rate than if you were to finance a used car. You may sacrifice a few features but, depending on the dealership from which you buy the car, you may get free maintenance. Most new vehicles today also come with free roadside assistance.

ONCE YOU’VE NARROWED YOUR SEARCH, DETERMINE VEHICLE INVOICE PRICES. Websites like Kelley Blue Book are helpful in educating customers on the difference between a car’s invoice or wholesale price, its manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and the dealer’s asking price. Some also give the average price for which the cars sold in a particular area. Armed with this information, you’ll know ahead of time how much the dealer paid for the cars you are interested in. Your goal should be to negotiate a price that is as close to the dealer’s cost before any discounts are applied. When it comes to car buying, being forewarned is being forearmed. Do your research and print out the numbers before you head to a dealer. You may want that snazzy new ragtop, but it may be the wrong car at the wrong time for you. Buy a car that’s just as comfortable to afford as it is to drive.

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Home & Family | CARS & DRIVERS GUIDE


As spring turns to summer, vintage cars start rolling out of garages and onto trailers and highways to be shown off at any number of car shows along the I-10 corridor. These beauties are known to turn heads of adults and children alike, but for most of the driving public, entry into this world of car restoration feels like something only gearheads do.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

While you’ll probably be an expert on turning wrenches when you’re finished, getting into this game only takes the desire, some spare coin, and a little free time to get started on your own masterpiece. Jonathan Unglaube, a 21 year old SOWELA student and member of the Cajun Mustangers, might have grown up in his father’s garage, but car restoration wasn’t always a family affair. “When my dad brought home his first car, my grandfather asked him why he hated himself,” he says with a chuckle. He admits you do have to have a high tolerance for frustration when dealing with restoring cars, but that it’s well worth it. So, where to get started? “The key when putting a car together is to research,” Jonathan says. And in the 21st century, it’s never been easier. The new class of car experts aren’t found only in junkyards or used car lots, but instead on a plethora of online forums geared to the hobby. There you can research car types, where to find potential fixer-uppers near you, and a passionate fan base eager to point you in the right direction.

“Online drastically changed the game. You no longer have to go and find a frame or a wreck and hope that it is what you were looking for. My dad got started before after-market parts, so he would have to go to the junkyard and cut them out of a car.” The internet makes getting started easier, but this is still a hobby that takes both money and free time. Jonathan started three years ago when he purchased his ’67 Mustang Coupe at an estate sale in Westlake. “I drug mine home for $1500. The ’67 was originally the grandkid’s college present. This car was pieced together. The floorboards were originally street signs, it was sitting on cinder blocks, and it was ripped into a million pieces. It took us two days of searching through a barn to find them all.” Since then Jonathan estimates he’s put a little over $20,000 into the car, but stresses that “you do that slowly.” Over the course of the rebuild, he’s also learned a number of things about working on cars, and has appreciated the time he’s gotten to spend working with his father, Ralph Unglaube. And if there’s something he doesn’t know or wants to try, there’s always a video on YouTube or a post on an online forum with some helpful advice. But he also points out that if you do the research and have an idea what you want, you can get started at any time. “I would buy parts on the side over three years, so I had parts stacked on shelves just ready because I know I’d need this, so when I put the car together last year, the parts were already bought and ready to roll.”

Now, with a little help from free time during the pandemic, Jonathan’s three-year project is on the road and running off to car shows. There, he points out, is another great place to get ideas and to network with other people as you begin your restoration adventure, which he admits never really ends, as he’s always tweaking something or taking inspiration from another enthusiast’s upgrades. Next on the list for Jonathan is a hunt for a 1969 Chevy Truck and helping his little brother, Alex, with his own ’73 Mustang. As for the ’67 . . . “I wouldn’t sell my car. This one has sentimental value to me because it’s the one that me and my dad put together.”


Home & Family | CARS & DRIVERS GUIDE



In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Offices of Motor Vehicles (OMV) nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. With the Lake Charles and Sulphur OMV offices still closed due to significant hurricane damage and no re-opening dates yet announced, how do we renew a driver’s license or car registration, take the tests required to get a driver’s license, or any of the many other reasons we visit the local OMV?


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

The OMVs in Jennings and DeQuincy are open, but the latter requires an appointment. Most OMV functions can be managed by mail or online at or If possible, residents should use the OMV’s online services to complete relevant transactions. But there are some exceptions and alternative ways to conduct business. Many Auto Title Companies and Public Tag Agents have assumed the functions of the OMV. Tara Pederson, owner at Pedersen Title Co., says they offer most OMV services regardless of their closure. “The main services people utilize are vehicle registration/license plates, handicap hang tags, duplicate titles, duplicate driver’s license/ID, DL/ID renewals, and notary public work. We also process quite a few learner’s permits and intermediate DLs,” she says. We do not offer CDLs, Temporary Instructional Permit (TIP) cards, reinstatement clearance, and out of state driver’s license transfers.

For first-time driver’s license applicants, Pedersen says a student must first be issued a TIP card from an OMV office such as the Jennings location and register with a local driving school. Students take both their written and driving tests at the driving school. Once the student has a TIP card they are able to utilize a title company for their learner’s permit and intermediate driver’s license. Pedersen says title companies such as hers are also able to issue REAL ID cards. “Beginning October 1, 2021, in order to board a domestic flight (any flight within the United States) a REAL ID or valid U.S. passport will be required. A passport is STILL required for international travel regardless of REAL ID status.” Pedersen suggests customers call before coming to ensure they have all proper documentation required. For more information, call Pedersen Title Co. at 337-478-5454.


As vehicle technology continues to evolve, so does the maintenance required to keep everything running properly. Take oil changes, for example. The price for service has gone up over the years, but it is likely you only need your oil changed every 10,000 miles rather than every 3,000 miles. Another traditional maintenance item is drive belts. If you’ve purchased a new car in the past few years you may have noticed that some manufacturers have moved away from the use of belts which eliminates the need to replace them. So, sometimes maintenance updates save owners money, and other times they can be more costly.

MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST FOR TOP VEHICLE PERFORMANCE • Check oil regularly and keep up to date with oil and filter changes. • Top off fluids as required. • Check tire pressures or watch for tire pressure sensor warning lights. • Periodically check your lights to ensure they are working. • Maintain your state inspection schedule.

A new maintenance requirement that you may not be aware of are tire pressure sensors (TPS). TPS have replaced traditional tire valve stems on many modern vehicles, and they conveniently communicate the pressure level in your tires to the dashboard and warn you if one or more of your tires are running low or have too much air. These sensors help prevent you from driving around with a nail in your tire or worse, a flat tire you may be unaware of. Some TPS are more advanced and even show you the exact amount of pressure in each tire, including the spare. There is nothing worse than getting a flat only to find out your spare doesn’t have air either. How do TPS operate? These sensors require power so they can communicate with the rest of the vehicle and send the data from the tires to the warning lights on your dash. A small button-style watch battery keeps the sensors working properly but eventually, these batteries die and that’s when a tire pressure sensor needs to be replaced. Your dash light will come on and stay on until a new sensor is installed in your tire and then programed for your car to communicate with it. TPS batteries last anywhere from three to five years. Kenny Guillory, Service Manager at Lake Charles Toyota, says, “If any of your sensors fail in the first three years, it may still be covered by the factory warranty. After that, maintaining the TPS becomes regular maintenance.” It is also common that when one TPS stops working, the others are likely to fail soon after. If you have any questions about tire pressure sensors or general vehicle maintenance, email questions to questions@lakecharlestoyota. com or text them from their website, Scott Waldrop is the Marketing Director at Lake Charles Toyota.


Home & Family | CARS & DRIVERS GUIDE

LOCAL CAR WASHES May is the perfect month to clean the car inside and out and get it ready for those summer road trips. Whether covered in pollen, dust, or dirt, several local car washes are available to help make your vehicle sparkle and shine. With a wax, tire cleaning, and a thorough vacuuming, you might feel like you’re driving off in a new car! (Cue the iconic Rose Royce tune, “Car Wash”)



Oil change hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Customers can pull in and get their vehicles washed here but there are a variety of other services available, including oil lube and filter service as well as a tire center for alignment, tire rotation, etc. The self-serve vacuum will have the inside looking fresh, too. Car wash and quick lube hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed on Sunday. 1310 E. College St., Lake Charles. 337-474-1999.

CORMIE’S CAR & PET WASH At this spot, you can get your vehicle looking spiffy, and make sure your pooch is clean, too. It’s all self-serve and there’s an automatic car wash. Take care of your ice and water needs with the vending machines located on the premises. For car/ice/water, open 24 hours; dog wash hours are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. 4917 Big Lake Rd., Lake Charles. 337-661-5955.


by Brooke Lawton

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Get your vehicle looking in tip-tip shape and get an oil change while you’re at it when you stop by Don’s. Finish off by vacuuming the interior and you’re all set. Car wash hours are Monday-Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

4050 Nelson Rd., Lake Charles. 337-480-1188. 3700 Ryan St., Lake Charles. (The car wash received damages in the hurricanes and won’t be open for a few months.) You can still get an oil change at this location, though. Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. 337-479-0315. 2325 E. McNeese, Lake Charles. (This location received damages in the hurricanes and is temporarily closed.)

MIKE’S CAR WASH & THE LUBE SHOP At Mike’s, customers can get express washes, full-service oil changes, transmission service, state inspections, system flushes, and more. Car wash hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Lube hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday. 1970 Country Club Rd., Lake Charles. 337-508-2007. 1605 Ruth St., Sulphur. 337-527-5300.


for life


from Solutions Counseling & EAP by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

Learning to Be Still, Part III This is the last article in my series of sharing with you the things I have been doing to try to keep from drowning these days. And the struggle is real, let me tell you! In the last two months, we have discussed meditation, breathing techniques, body scanning, muscle relaxation, visualization and gratitude focus. This month, I want to share with you my new favorite daily activity: STRETCHING. Yes, you read that correctly. Yoga introduced me to the importance of stretching. Turns out I like getting out of bed without moaning and groaning. I also like having something I can do throughout the day when my back is aching from sitting too long. Yes, I know when you stretch, you aren’t “being still,” as the title of the article suggests, but this series has been all about re-centering yourself. And stretching helps me tune in, remember to breathe, and generally feel better. I’m hoping it will help you do the same!

So, here are some easy stretches for you to consider incorporating into your daily routine: Neck and Shoulder Rolls. Slowly, very slowly, roll your neck

in one direction, then the other. Pause for a couple of breaths at any place that is tight or tense. Then, roll your shoulders forward and backward, pausing and breathing again in those tight places. So many of us carry our stress in the neck/ shoulder region.

Forward Folds. My favorite! Stretch your arms up as high as you can (I even stand up on my tiptoes), then fold down and reach for your toes. Note - I never reach my toes or the floor on the first try. Let your torso hang as you feel your spine starting to stretch. Grab your opposite elbows and continue to hang, swaying slowly side to side. Now, reach for your toes again. You’ll be closer! Once I finally reach the floor with my hands, I slowly walk them from side to side to the outsides of my feet, stretching out my side body.

You can also do Forward Folds in the seated position (maybe while you are at work, hint, hint). Or you can stretch out your legs on the floor and reach forward towards your toes. The main thing for all three stretches is that you fold at the crease of your hips instead of hunching your back.

Butterfly Poses. Yep, just like you remember from gym class.

Sit on the floor with your feet together and knees apart. Hold your feet while you lean forward. You can also bring your feet closer to you. Remember to breathe and hold the position a bit. Butterflies are great for stretching out hip flexors, inner thighs, and your back.

Chest Openers. Great for relieving tension in your shoulders

and back. Bring your arms behind your back, interlace your fingers, and pull your shoulders back to stretch your arms backward. This is another one you can do in your office chair.

Cat-Cow. Another favorite of mine. Get down on your hands

and knees. Curl your toes under, arch your back and look up – you’re a cow! Now, uncurl your toes, round your back towards the ceiling and look down – you’re a cat! Do several repetitions, breathing in for Cow and breathing out for Cat. Anytime my back is hurting, I do some Cat-Cows and Forward Folds and start feeling better. I really encourage you to incorporate stretching into your daily routine, if your medical provider approves. Many of us have been working to survive these last several months. We are tired, and so “over it.” I’m not even surprised anymore when things do not go according to plan. That’s just how it is these days. The things I have shared with you the last three months are the way I have kept it together (well, semitogether, anyway) during these trying times. I’m happy to share them with you and hope you find them useful as well.


Home & Family

Mom the Star is

Tips to help make her day extra special

Work Out the When

Simply Celebrate

Siblings in Sync

Mother’s Day celebrations can occur up to a week before and after. For those with several motherly figures such as grandmothers, mothers-in-law, or godmothers, make time to call, visit, or recognize everyone. It is also possible to find days and times that give each special woman in your life the appreciation and recognition they deserve, coordinating with family members (especially siblings) as necessary.

Mother’s Day need not include extravagant gifts. Special celebrations often incorporate thoughtful experiences rather than gifts. Cherish the chance to share a unique experience by planning a day all about her. It can be as simple as delicious brunch with her favorite dishes, or a road trip to her favorite local museums, so long as it shows appreciation. Other sweet gestures include cleaning the house while she relaxes with some rosé and a playlist you made just for her, running those forgotten errands, or making a scrapbook of your favorite childhood memories together.

Instead of competing for who can find the best gift, collaborate with your siblings to discover the best 2021 gift. If you and your siblings live in different cities or have different schedules, coordinate in advance so that everything is perfect for Mom’s big day. Whether it’s a handwritten letter from each of you along with a small memento, or a luxury item that you split the cost of, the gift will mean more coming from all of her beloved children.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Husband’s Helping Hand

Not Your Average Mom

Turn the Page

Dads, if your kids are too young to understand the meaning of the holiday, take the lead by pampering your wife with her favorite treats, along with a card signed by her little ones (toddlers and infants can “sign” by leaving a handprint using finger paint). For those old enough to lend a hand, let them help select a flower arrangement, or guide them in making a card. Mom will love the sweet gesture that shows her children’s love and your appreciation for all she does.

Maternal figures come in many forms, and you may be lucky to have several women who have offered endless love and support. Mother’s Day is a wonderful occasion to celebrate all the women who have nurtured and guided you throughout the years, whether a teacher, mentor, sister or aunt. Consider those who have supported and helped you grow and recognize them this Mother’s Day.

If there’s a mother figure in your life with whom you’ve lost touch or had a falling out, Mother’s Day may be the perfect opportunity to reach out and rebuild the relationship. Whether you give them a call to wish them happy Mother’s Day, or send a surprise bouquet, express your gratitude for their presence in your life and your desire to renew the relationship.

FREE VEIN SCREENINGS IN MAY! Bring your Legs in for a Closer Look in May

o Swelling in legs or ankles o Aching o Varicose veins o Itchy legs

o Leg cramps o Skin changes o Slow healing wound

o Heavy, tired legs o Restless legs o Spider veins

Call 312-8346 to schedule.

Dr. Carl Fastabend

Louisiana’s only full-time, comprehensive vein specialist 711 Dr. Michael Debakey Dr., Ste. 100 | Lake Charles


Home & Family

Courtesy of Grand View Lodge

Escape the Heat at These Cool Vacation Destinations by Andrea Guthmann

Ready to plan your summer escape? Here are some hot destinations where you can cool down, whether mountain resorts, peaceful lakes, or hip college towns.

Lake Life Live life at a slower pace at an old-school lake resort in Minnesota, land of 10,000-plus lakes. Grand View Lodge, 130 miles north of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, will take you back to an era before Facebook, when being social meant talking face to face. Almost a century old, the iconic timber lodge with its classic Northwoods vibe is one of Minnesota’s most legendary vacation destinations. Owned by the same family since 1937, a stuffed moose, antler chandeliers, crackling fireplace and vintage photos greet you in the cozy lobby, while wi-fi, cable and high thread count sheets make it easy to relax at the end of the day. Stay in the main lodge, a classic cabin, or the resort’s upscale boutique hotel. A daily events calendar offers something for everyone. Fishing excursions on pontoon boats and inflatable banana boat rides are complimentary, or relax at the Glacial Waters Spa. Or you can just sit back in the Adirondack chairs and enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and stately lawn below.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Rocky Mountain High Experience new heights at one of Colorado’s top ski resorts. These year-round destinations offer cool mountain air and fabulous outdoor adventures, whether your idea of fun is a zipline or gentle hike, alpine slide or spotting wildlife. Consider The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, one of a handful of RockResort properties honoring the legacy of the hotel brand’s founder and conservationist Laurance Rockefeller, whose aim was to build luxury resorts in spectacular natural settings. Bordered by the White River National Forest, it’s a nature lover’s paradise nestled among four acres of aspen and pine trees. A more budget-friendly option is Y of the Rockies. Nothing like your neighborhood YMCA, Y of the Rockies, outside Rocky Mountain National Park and also in Winter Park, has rustic lodges with cabins that generations of families have enjoyed. Kids will delight in activities like crafting and roller skating.

Burlington, VT, home of University of Vermont

Courtesy of Grand View Lodge

Back to School College towns aren’t only for students. With COVID-19 concerns still lingering, many travelers are foregoing the bright lights of big cities like New York and Chicago for places with fewer people where they can both enjoy the outdoors and still have a cultural experience. College towns offer tourists a delightful assortment of budget-friendly, often free, cultural programming, lectures and concerts. College campuses are often sublime settings in charming smaller towns that empty out once students leave for the summer. That means you might score bargain hotel rates in scenic spots from Eugene, Oregon to New Haven, Connecticut. The Graduate boutique hotel chain, found in college towns across the country, gets an A for style that’s soaked in nostalgia. After a day hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains, you could rest your head at Graduate Knoxville then head over to football legend Peyton Manning’s hotel bar, Saloon 16, named after the number he wore as a University of Tennessee Volunteer. The pandemic has made this a tough year for many of us. Taking time this summer to escape the heat and change your landscape could be good for your body and soul. Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, photo credit YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park

Spring Fever. CATCH IT!

Spring has arrived! Let Landscape Management help you make your yard BLOOM! Our experienced team can create a custom design for your yard and outdoor living area. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, we can create a plan, help you choose your plants from our retail nursery, lay out your beds and guide you as you transform your yard from drab to dreamy.

Visit our retail nursery for all your plants and landscape materials! 5005 Cobra Road, Lake Charles | (337) 478-3836 M-F: 7am – 4pm Sat: 8am – 2pm (Seasonal Hours)


Home & Family

How to Save Money when

Traveling After this past year, people are more than ready to hit the road (or board the plane, train, bus, or boat.) But with airfare, food, gas, and lodging, travel can be pricey. Knowing how to avoid spending more than necessary can help you stretch your budget and give you more memories for less money. Your vacation doesn’t need to be expensive to be memorable, and saving money doesn’t make the experiences any less special. Follow these five tips to help keep travel costs down: GO OFF-PEAK

Save money by traveling when others (think families on a school calendar) cannot. The prices of not only airline tickets but also hotels and rental cars vary significantly based on demand. If you want to travel to Disney World with your kids, for example, steer clear of the weeks around President’s Day or the Fourth of July. Consider going to a summer resort destination in the fall. Or head to a ski mountain and hike in the summer.


Planning your travel can itself be fun and can get the whole family excited about the upcoming vacation. Thinking ahead also saves money. Airfares climb fast in the weeks right before departure. An annual survey by finds that flyers get the best ticket prices if they buy at least three weeks ahead of their travel date—but no more than four months prior. Airlines price tickets higher when they first publish the fares, according to the research, and then gradually lower prices until you get to that ideal ticket-purchase time window.


If you prefer experiences over expensive indulgences, you may come away with a more memorable vacation. Camping in a beautiful park may cost less than a hotel in ho-hum surroundings. The travel industry likes to market luxury, but good company can make any meal or outing more fun, no matter how much you spend.


The revenue airlines collect for something other than flying you from point A to point B has quadrupled over the past decade – think fees for baggage, extra leg room, and other niceties such as boarding early. Minimizing those charges can save a lot. The first-bag-free feature that some airline-branded credit cards offer, and other perks, can be valuable. Similarly, you may be offered non-essential add-ons at the rental car counter, ranging from satellite radio to enhanced roadside assistance. Optional rental car insurance may be redundant with coverage a credit card or your own auto policy already provides. Non-bank ATM fees are another expense that can add up when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Check with your bank to see if they have a policy of refunding ATM fees.


Be willing to go to the next town over for a cheaper hotel, or fly at a less convenient time to reduce the fare. Renting an apartment or cottage instead of a hotel has become much easier thanks to vacation-home rental services. And it may save you a lot of money, especially if it means you can buy groceries and cook for yourself instead of eating every meal out. Sometimes “living like a local” can help save money and make your vacation even more interesting. Finally, don’t feel like everything has to be perfect—no matter the expense—when you go on vacation. Travel experiences tend to improve in your memory. When you look back on a trip, the lessthan-perfect parts will fade and you’ll mostly remember the good stuff. Source: Charles Schwab


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

IndustryInsider Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment

Q: A:

What is the plan if an emergency occurs at local industry? We work with local and state authorities to keep the public informed.

If there’s an incident at an industrial facility in our area, communication plans are in place for industrial facilities and local officials. Industries are required to report incidents to local officials within a specific time frame and those officials are responsible for communicating with the public. Local industries work closely with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana State Police, the National Response Center as well as the Local Emergency Planning Committee. There is a seamless flow of information between state and local emergency officials and local industries. The goal at every industrial site is zero incidents, but we must be prepared should an emergency occur. We take community safety seriously and we communicate quickly with all appropriate agencies. This is our home, too, so we work hard to ensure that our families, friends, and neighbors receive timely and accurate information.

Ron Tower

industry representative

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


Home & Family

The Villages of Imperial Pointe Celebrates Construction Groundbreaking Developers marked the beginning of the construction phase for The Villages of Imperial Pointe at a groundbreaking event last month attended by Governor John Bel Edwards, Congressman Clay Higgins, members of the Southwest Louisiana legislative delegation, Mayor Nic Hunter, and other local officials and business leaders. Dr. John Noble, managing partner of The Villages of Imperial Pointe and orthopaedic surgeon with the Center for Orthopaedics, explains that The Villages of Imperial Pointe will be an independent living facility, age-restricted to those age 62 and older. The $44 million dollar project will include 129 units in this first phase, with plans for expansion. The Villages will offer enhanced apartment living with a variety of amenities for residents to enjoy, including dining choices, a fitness center, cabana area, business center, coffee shop, 24-hour security and more. “This development represents our contribution to the rebuilding of Southwest Louisiana,” Dr. Noble said. “It’s a project we have been planning for several years and we feel the timing for the beginning of construction is just what our community needs, seven months after two major hurricanes devastated our region. The housing shortage we had before the storms is even worse now and we are excited to help address that problem.” In his comments, Governor John Bel Edwards thanked Dr. Noble for his leadership in bringing this project to the construction phase, in spite of the challenges the Southwest Louisiana region has faced.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

“This is an indication that the region is recovering and moving forward. The progress I see every time I visit is incredible, but we know there is still a long way to go. What’s so inspiring is that you are not waiting for help to move forward. However, I want to assure you that my office is working hard to ensure that Southwest Louisiana gets the help and support needed as recovery and rebuilding continues.” The Villages of Imperial Pointe is located within the larger Imperial Pointe development at the corner of Nelson Road and Imperial Blvd. in Lake Charles. Imperial Pointe is designed to be a village for healthy living spread across 75 acres. “Our mission is not just to provide facilities for treating illness, but to create easily accessible services and resources to keep our community healthy, all in one convenient, well-designed location,” said Dr. Noble. “Other planned components include an assisted living and memory care facility, mid-rise residential apartment complex, a gated subdivision, wellness facility, restaurants, retail space, medical office buildings, a potential hospital, and other recreation facilities and amenities. The first 20 acres of Imperial Pointe have been developed and are home to several medical offices and businesses, including FNB (First National Bank), The Eye Clinic, Rehab One, the Center for Orthopaedics, Imperial Health Imaging Center, Medicis Pharmacy, Hope Therapy Center, CHRISTUS Ochsner Wound Center, Imperial Health Endocrinology Center and Southwest Louisiana Podiatric Medicine and Surgical Residency.

Mortgage Rates are Low. Buy or Refinance NOW Lakeside offers a variety of flexible, low-rate options and Christa will find the best one for you.

ACT NOW. Stop by and visit with Christa at 2132 Oak Park Boulevard or call her at 502-4836.

Lake Charles – 4735 Nelson Rd. | 2132 Oak Park Blvd. Sulphur – 2612 Maplewood Dr. Westlake – 2203 Sampson St.

Christa Comeaux

Mortgage Loan Officer

(337) 502-4836 | MYLKSB.BANK NMLS # 787045


Home & Family

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana... Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Gus Schram III

Robert Piper

Committees formed to build new St. Louis campus, repurpose existing campus The Board of Pastors of the Diocese of Lake Charles announced the formation of two committees: one to oversee the establishment of a new campus for St. Louis Catholic High School, and another to determine the future use of the present St. Louis campus. Robert Piper was named chair of the Future Campus Committee, which will direct the planning and construction of the new St. Louis campus on a 37-acre site on Corbina Road in southeast Lake Charles. Gus Schram III will chair the Landry–St. Louis Property Repurposing Committee, which will study and recommend future development and use of the present school campus on Bank Street. St. Louis Catholic High School sustained severe hurricane damage in 2020, and the school is now operating in temporary modular buildings. After considering various options, the school’s Board of Pastors decided to rebuild the school on the Corbina Road site and repurpose the Bank Street property.

Johnnie Kleinschmidt


Pelvic Health Expert Joins MAXX Physical Therapy MAXX Physical Therapy announces that Johnnie Kleinschmidt is joining their highly skilled team as Pelvic Health Program Director.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Johnnie Kleinschmidt is a seasoned physical therapist and certified low pressure fitness practitioner. She is best known for being the first to open a specialty clinic in SWLA/SETX dedicated specifically to the treatment of pelvic therapy. She is only one of two practitioners in the state of Louisiana who has her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification. She specializes in the treatment of pelvic disorders in women, men and children, and has recently transitioned her practice to MAXX Physical Therapy. Kleinschmidt’s pelvic floor therapy is a specifically designed program of exercises, postures, massage, biofeedback, manual therapy and electrical muscle or nerve stimulation. Each patient is prescribed a treatment plan tailored to the individual to address their particular complaint. Her patients are taught to relax and coordinate the movement of their pelvic floor muscles. Several different techniques are used in her practice; these include visceral mobilization (the manipulation of organs) and manual orthopedic (muscle and joint manipulation) physical therapy. For more information, visit CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Foundation Names New Executive Director of Development CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Health System and the Patricia Prudhomme members of the CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation Board are pleased to announce Patricia Prudhomme has accepted the role of Executive Director of Development for the CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation.

Patricia will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with supporters of CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Health System to expand our healing ministry of Jesus Christ through the power of transformative philanthropy. As Patricia transitions into her new role, Kay Barnett is retiring from the post after 17 years of service to CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation. Kay led a team that raised millions of dollars through the years for CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana. Lakeside Bank Names Aaron LeBoeuf Chief Lender Lakeside Bank has announced the promotion of Aaron LeBoeuf to the position of Chief Lender. Aaron LeBoeuf LeBoeuf has served as a Senior Vice President at Lakeside for the past year. Originally from Sulphur, Louisiana, he earned a degree in Business Management from McNeese State University. LeBoeuf has 18 years of banking experience, with an extensive background in commercial, residential and consumer lending. Prior to joining Lakeside in early 2020, he was with First Federal Bank of Louisiana for eight years, where he held the position of Senior Vice President-Private Banking Manager. Contact LeBoeuf at Lakeside’s main office in Lake Charles by calling (337) 474-3766.


Robbin Odom Earns Patient Safety Credential The Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Robbin Odom Safety (CBPPS) recently recognized Robbin Odom as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS). Odom currently serves

as the Vice President of Quality and Safety for Lake Charles Memorial Health System. Odom earned this credential in part by passing a rigorous, evidence-based examination that tests candidates on their competency in patient safety science and application. With the conferring of certification Odom is privileged to use the CPPS credential.

May 12th - HR Analytics July 14th - COVID Vaccines in the Workplace Aug 11th - Workplace Bullying, Harrasment and Microaggressions Sept 8th - Employment Law Summit Oct 13th - Racial Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Learn more at ICSHRM.SHRM.ORG.

NOT ON OUR WATCH The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office have formed the Contractor Fraud Response Team to help protect our citizens by pursuing, arresting and prosecuting anyone committing contractor fraud in Calcasieu Parish. Call 437-3405 to report suspected contractor fraud.

We Will Arrest and Prosecute!

Tony Mancuso, Sheriff | Stephen Dwight, DA


You’re having a baby!


OB Care Loves Babies! ob care, a full-service obstetrics clinic, wants you to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and childbirth experience regardless of your financial situation. OB Care, a part of the Lake Charles Memorial Health System, has taken care of new moms in southwest Louisiana for over 20 years. Care, not cost, should be your focus. That’s why OB Care accepts private insurance, Medicaid, or self-pay, working with expectant moms to develop an affordable payment plan. OB Care surrounds you with compassionate, certified o.b. specialists to guide you through your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum journey. routine prenatal and post-delivery care fetal monitoring

high risk pregnancy care

• prenatal, breastfeeding, and childbirth classes ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS Monday – Friday • 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Currently located at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women. Watch for our new location in May at 760 Bayou Pines East. 337-562-0510 #obcarelovesbabies 76

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • April 2021

Articles inside

The Villages at Imperial Pointe Break Ground article cover image

The Villages at Imperial Pointe Break Ground

pages 72-73
Escape the Heat this Summer article cover image

Escape the Heat this Summer

pages 68-69
Who’s News article cover image

Who’s News

pages 74-76
How to Save Money When Traveling article cover image

How to Save Money When Traveling

pages 70-71
Mother’s Day Tips article cover image

Mother’s Day Tips

pages 66-67
Olive and Indigo article cover image

Olive and Indigo

pages 52-64
Volunteer Groups Abound in SWLA article cover image

Volunteer Groups Abound in SWLA

pages 50-51
Business Buzz article cover image

Business Buzz

page 30
first person article cover image

first person

pages 28-29
Lake Charles City Court Announces Fresh Start Amnesty Program article cover image

Lake Charles City Court Announces Fresh Start Amnesty Program

page 31
Gardening Doesn't Need to be a Pain article cover image

Gardening Doesn't Need to be a Pain

pages 22-23
Happenings article cover image


page 27
Summer Wines article cover image

Summer Wines

pages 10-11
Bayou Boards by Gabrielle article cover image

Bayou Boards by Gabrielle

pages 8-9
SPECIAL SECTION article cover image


pages 24-26
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