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SANTA December 2015



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Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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

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December 2015

This holiday season, we ask everyone to cherish the blessings of the season, and to bring the giving spirit of the holidays with them into the New Year.

Boys Village

Tour Lafitte

School Teams MCNEESE

Heart Walk



There’s no better time than the holidays to focus on giving. At PPG, we strive to give generously throughout the year. We are very proud of our employees, who donate thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to make our community a better place.

Ethel Precht Breast Cancer Walk

Surrogate STEM Education Grants Santa Program PPG Friends

Wrapping up a Year of Giving



PPG Foundation


eC har les Com ple x

Happy Holidays from all of us at PPG

December 2015

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Contents 14

10 In This Issue


Wining & Dining 6 Festive Party Snack to Get into the Holiday Spirit 8 Holiday Drinks to Get You in the Mood for Caroling 10 Walk-Ons Comes to Lake Charles

Places & Faces 14 45 Years of Rudolph 16 Lighing Up the Lakefront 20 Miss Louisiana Maaliyah Papillion


Regular Features 12 First Person with Santa Claus 23 Who’s News 32 Business Buzz 64 McNeese Corral 66 Solutions for Life 67 Happenings

Modern Days of


Money & Career 28 How to Survive the Company Party 30 New Economic Impact Study

Look for our 2016 Calendar in January featuring beautiful artwork from local artists!

Home & Family 34 5 Ways to Make the Most of Tech Gifts 36 The Problem with Puppies for Christmas 38 The Sound of Christmas Music 48 Star Wars: The Force of the Force

Style & Beauty

2 0 1 6


54 Sweaters: The Ugliest Holiday Tradition 56 We’re Mad for Plaid

Mind & Body 60 Preventing and Treating Shingles

61 10 Things You Should Know About Influenza and the Flu Vaccine DON’T JUST LIVE, THRIVE!

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

Editors and Publishers

Kristy Armand Christine Fisher

Advertising Sales ads@thriveswla.com 337.310.2099

Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen

Submissions edit@thriveswla.com

Managing Editor

Erin Kelly

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel Stevenson

Assistant Designers

Shonda Manuel Kris Roy Mandy Gilmore

Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

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December 2015

All our wonderful dogs are available for adoption through 4Paws Society. Call 287-3552 for more information and to learn about other programs that are available.


ELS, RUN! RUN SQUIR-oRld chiweenie boy lovears to e This 2-year ls, even though they re chase squir as he is. ig almost as b

poodle THAT’S MY NAME!

7 years This precious senior girl is about on. up curl to lap a love ld old and wou


little This perfect reat g a s ve guy lo tch. game of ca

December 2015

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Wining & Dining

PARTY SNACKS to Get You in the

Holiday Spirit by Emily Alford

After a year of waiting, the holidays are finally here! It’s officially time to break out the tinsel, light up your yard, and start seriously planning your festivities. If you’ve been invited to tons of parties and don’t want to bring the same old pigs in blankets or veggie trays that sit sadly on sideboards year after year, why not make snacks reminiscent of Christmas Day feasts that pack in the flavor and double the fun? Here are a few recipes that turn holiday staples into party appetizers that guests can graze on without have to break out a knife and fork. Pumpkin Pie Dip: It has all the flavor of pumpkin pie in snackable servings. Just take a can of pumpkin and mix with a package of cream cheese, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, and a half-cup of sour cream. Blend your favorite pumpkin pie spices into the mixture and chill. Serve with gingersnaps or graham crackers to mimic a pumpkin pie crust. Goat Cheese and Cranberry Tarts: Let’s face it, cranberry sauce rarely steals the show at holiday meals, but these mini-tarts will have everyone raving about your culinary prowess. Just shape prepared puff pastry into individual cups

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(a mini-muffin tin works beautifully), fill the bottoms of the cups with a dollop of goat cheese and cover with cranberry sauce, either canned or homemade, bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, and viola, you’re basically a French pastry chef, and cranberry gets its rightful place as a show stopper. Ham with Spicy Pineapple Sauce: A perfectly glazed Christmas ham is a thing of beauty, but you may not want to go all out with scoring and baking one for, say, an office party. In that case, Mark Chapman, chef at L’Auberge’s Ember Grill and Wine Bar recommends adding a fun sauce to perk up a premade ham. “Ham is a holiday staple in many households, but try having it as an appetizer with a spicy pineapple sauce for a delicious starter course,” Chapman says. Spicy pineapple sauce is pretty simple stuff. Just combine a can of pineapple chunks with one minced habanero pepper (or less, depending on your spice tolerance), and a handful of mint leaves. Simmer the mixture for five minutes and remove mint leaves. Cut your pre-made ham into chunks, serve with toothpicks, and dip away!

December 2015

Indulge from Plate to Cup by Jen Breen

Coffee and Dessert Pairings for Your Palate

Food and drink pairings aren’t just for wine and cheese. You can also be strategic about how you couple your desserts and your coffee. There are two kinds of coffee drinkers—those who would be satisfied by day-old gas station brew as long as it contained caffeine, and those with more discerning tastes. These are the ones who know the difference between New Orleans and Colombian roasts, who truly appreciate the bold and biting flavor of a delicious cup of joe. No matter what group you fall in, take time to consider your brew, and then take delight in enjoying it with a rich and decadent dessert. Remember, it’s still December. Your New Year’s resolutions don’t start until January 1. Here are some pairing tips from Louisiana’s own Community Coffee.


If you’ve got a lovely slice of chocolate cake, brownie or chocolate cream pie, consider yourself lucky. Then pour yourself a nice warm cup of dark roast, French roast, or coffee and chicory. Bold chocolate deserves bold java.


Let’s talk about bananas foster, tiramisu, cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, custard, cream pie, lemon pie, key lime pie—airy desserts with a twist. Not as decadent and not as bold. Pair these with breakfast blend, house blend or 100% Colombia Altura.

Giftdance Baskets in our heads!

Visions of

We can help turn your gift basket visions into the perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list!


What’s a complex dessert? These are the sweet treats that really know how to pile it on. Think peanut butter and chocolate pie or chocolate truffle cake. Lots of layers, lots flavors. French roast and dark roast both work well with these, but you can also reach for Sumatra Mandheling.

No matter the size, a Crave gift basket made with our selection of wines and spirits, gourmet treats and gifts will make for a holly, jolly Christmas this year! Gift Certificates Available


Cobblers, carrot cake, crème brulee with berries, berry salads, rich cherry pies, fruitcake—these pair best with the five-star hotel blend, house blend, café special or the 100% Colombia Altura.


If you’re a shameless conquerer of carbs and prefer desserts like angel food cake, bread pudding, crumb cake or pound cake, pour yourself a roast with a light touch, like breakfast blend. December 2015

Be sure to ask about our new wine club, Crave UnCorked!

421-0040 | 2801 Ryan Street, Suite 100 l crave-foods.com l Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Wining & Dining

to Get You in the Mood for Whether you need a little liquid courage before you hit the mistletoe or you just like to serve your guests a cocktail before a big Christmas meal, Stephen Tyson, general manager of the Ember Grille and Wine Bar at L’Auberge has you covered. One of the main drinks Ember will serve this year, according to Tyson, is the Apple Bourbon Sour. “The house-made apple butter, together with your favorite bourbon come together with just the right amount of sweetness and spice,” Tyson says.

If you’d like to try it at home, just shake a shot of bourbon, some apple cider, lemon juice and a tablespoon of apple butter in a shaker with ice until blended. Or if you’re looking to get a little wild with your Christmas cocktails, you can take a page from NYC’s Sidebar and shake up some crème de menthe, vodka, and crème de cocoa. Garnish your martini glass with a candy cane and get the party started.

by Emily Alford

Maybe you want something more sedate but still festive. Just mix gin, ginger ale, and cranberry simple syrup garnished with mint and fresh cranberries for a drink that’s as pretty as it is refreshing. If you make all three of these, you’ll cover the full flavor palette of the Christmas holidays. If you drink all three of these, your caroling might get a little more interesting!

Stephen Tyson, with Ember Grille and Wine Bar at L’Auberge.

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December 2015

Plant-Based Foods

You Should Try Today

The glorious thing about plant-based eating is that your grocery store or farmer’s market is full of an incredible array of foods, flavors, and textures that are just waiting to be discovered. Even a typical grocery store has a produce section that carries seasonal and ethnic foods that often get passed-over, but are convenient, inexpensive, and yummy. If you’re stuck in a rut of getting the same lettuce-tomato-onion-type foods that you always get, take a walk! Look at some of the other plantbased foods and see how you can work them into your diet. Not sure where to start? In the spirit of a number that signifies longevity, here are six plant-based foods that are healthy and tasty, but not part of the average diet. What are some delicious food discoveries you’ve made and put on your grocery list each week?

Jicama Jicama, also known as a Mexican potato, is a big, heavy, brown fruit that really does look like a weird potato. The excellent thing about jicama is that it is very crisp and crunchy, but has a mild flavor like a cucumber. Jicama can be sliced and used with dips as an alternative to chips, eaten in sticks like any other crunchy veggie, or added to salads for a snappy texture without confusing the flavor profile. It’s a great summer side dish served with a spritz of lime juice and a dusting of chili powder if you’d like a little kick!

December 2015

by Vanessa Chamberlin

bok choy


In Asian cuisine, bok choy is a staple! For most of us, though, we’d never think to work bok choy into a dish, which is unfortunate because of how versatile and healthy this veggie is. Bok choy can be added to a salad, but it can also be eaten like you’d eat celery with a little hummus or nut butter. It can also be added to soups or stir-frys, or braised or grilled on its own, and given a little seasoning to become a brilliant side dish.

A lot of people feel strange about eating cactus, but prickly pear cactus (also known as nopal) tastes great and it’s so good for you! It can have positive effects on blood sugar and managing diabetes, and it can help lower cholesterol. It’s best to buy it cleaned already because the spines can be difficult to deal with if you’re new to the food, but many average grocery stores (and I imagine every Mexican or Hispanic market) carry cleaned nopal ready to cook. Similar in texture to something like a green pepper, nopal is great in dishes like scrambled tofu, or really anything sautéed. It tastes like other green veggies (think green peppers or green beans) with just a little lemony tartness. It goes really well with spicy dishes.

pluots Pluots are an incredible, juicy little snack that comes from mixing a plum with an apricot. Plums aren’t terribly uncommon, but not a lot of people are familiar with pluots. It’s a shame because they’re easy to carry in a lunch, they’re a little sweet with the benefits of both plums and apricots, and they’re another inexpensive fruit. They might be seasonal depending on where you live, but look for a fruit that’s a little smaller than a plum, and more yellow, in the plum area of your grocery store.

rutabaga Rutabaga is popular in some countries around the world, but it frequently gets forgotten in the U.S. With a little bit of a punch like a radish, rutabaga is an awesome root vegetable. If you like the spicy snap of it, it’s great to be eaten as a raw veggie. Others would enjoy rutabagas along with things like potatoes, parsnips, and squash in a coldweather harvest stew.

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dandelion greens The wonderful world of leafy greens leaves us with plenty of options at pretty much every grocery store, but dandelion greens aren’t something most people eat every day. The green leaves are great in salads and slaws, but they can also be boiled like spinach or sautéed and seasoned. They’re just a little bitter, but fun to try, and you can even forage for them if you’re really up for an adventure! Even with great options and an endless menu of flavors and colors, most people fall into a routine of eating the same things all the time. This is your wake-up call to use plant-based eating as a way to expand your diet, and bring in fantastic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans that you otherwise never would have enjoyed.



Wining & Dining

America’s Best Sports Bar Comes to Lake Charles

by Angie Kay Dilmore

“Welcome to Walk-On’s!” sings a chorus of cheery staff at the recent Grand Opening of Lake Charles’ newest addition to the rapidly growing restaurant scene. Franchisee C.O. Vallet and Brandon Landry, co-founder and owner of WalkOn’s Enterprises, also greeted eager patrons. “After 35 years in the service industry, I’ve never been so excited about a business,” says Vallet. A walk-on is an athlete who tries out for a team and has not been drafted, invited, scouted, or awarded a scholarship. He or she just wants to play. Jack Warner and Brandon Landry “walked-on” the LSU basketball team in 1997. During those college years sitting on the bench and the team bus, these two budding entrepreneurs forged a friendship and a game plan for an upstart sports bar. In 2003, they opened their first Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar in Baton Rouge near the LSU campus. There are now seven Walk-On’s across the state with plans to expand the chain further. Lake Charles is their first franchise. “I knew there was a gap in the market in Lake Charles,” says Vallet. “This is the perfect location for a Walk-On’s.”

10 www.thriveswla.com

Situated at 5313 Common St. south of McNeese State University’s Cowboy Stadium, Walk-On’s is the ideal place to gather before or after a game, watch televised sports, enjoy a great meal with family, celebrate occasions, or hang out with the gang. With their growing popularity, it is no surprise Walk-On’s was named the Number One Sports Bar in North America by ESPN in 2012. According to Landry, what sets Walk-On’s apart from other sports bars is their fantastic food. “Typically, when you think of sports bars, you think bar food. It’s the kind of place you go to watch a game, drink beer, and if you get hungry, eat something. We’re completely the opposite. People come to our restaurants to eat first; everything else is secondary.” The chefs at Walk-On’s specialize in a variety of hand-pattied burgers, homemade stuffed potatoes, sauces, and dressings, hand-breaded fried foods, and creative salads. Choose from tempting dishes such as Fried Alligator, Tomato, Bell Pepper, and Gouda Soup, Ahi Tuna Wrap, Pepper Jelly Spinach Salad, Voodoo Shrimp. “What

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other sports bar serves crawfish etouffée, duck and andouille sausage gumbo, bacon-wrapped shrimp over grits? It’s unheard of,” says Landry. Drew and Brittany Brees were so impressed by the culture and quality of the food at Walk-On’s, they joined Landry as co-owners in May 2015. Walk-On’s seats 300 but does not feel cavernous. Brick archways and woodwork offer a warm industrial warehouse atmosphere. Sit at one of the large tables with self-pour taps or a cozy table for two. A patio with open garage doors provides patrons an outdoor dining experience in pleasant weather. Walk-On’s features 50 beers on tap, 75 television screens, and superb service by “America’s cheerleaders.” Vallet believed in the Walk-On’s brand from the beginning and had the vision to bring the franchise to Lake Charles. “When I first experienced Walk-On’s in Baton Rouge years ago, I knew they had a winner.”

December 2015

Have a White Christmas. at Walnut Grove Lunch: Tu - Fri, 11am - 2pm l Happy Hour: Tu - Fri, 4-6pm l Dinner: Tu - Sat, 5 - 10pm



1400 Market Street, Lake Charles

Wishing you the Gift of


this Holiday Season


he physicians and staff of Imperial Health extend the warmest of holiday greetings to our patients and the communities we serve. It has been an exciting year for our physician-owned group. As we look forward to continued growth next year, we strengthen our shared commitment to work together to provide exceptional care for our patients. CARDIOLOGY

P. Hooper Nichols, M.D. Juan Teran, M.D.


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Brian Wilder, M.D.

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Blake LeBlanc, M.D. Bridget Loehn, M.D.


John DiGiglia, M.D. Thomas LeBeau, M.D. Jason Morris, M.D. Keane O’Neal, M.D. Todd Peavy, M.D. Arthur Primeaux, M.D. Melissa Rasberry, M.D. Richard Sanders, M.D. Steve Springer, M.D. Errol Wilder, M.D. Benjamin Williams, M.D.


imperialhealth.com | (337) 433-8400 December 2015

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Miguel DePuy, M.D. Carl Fastabend, M.D. Corey Foster, M.D. Richard Gilmore, M.D. Jake LeBeau, M.D. Thomas Mulhearn, M.D. Michael Turner, M.D.

Tyson Green, D.P.M. Kalieb Pourciau, D.P.M.


Ronald Kober, M.D.


Yoko Broussard, M.D.


Alan Sconzert, M.D.


Jonathan Foret, M.D. Steven Hale, M.D. John Noble, M.D. George Trappey, IV, M.D.


William Lowry, M.D. Craig Morton, M.D.


Luke Williams, M.D.


Enrique Mendez, M.D.



Places & Faces E

very year on Christmas Eve, the North Pole’s most prominent resident dons his famous red suit and hat and prepares his magic sleigh and trusty flying reindeer for a night flight to deliver gifts to children all over the world. It’s impossible to quantify the number of songs and stories written about him, but do we really know Santa Claus—this elusive figure who shoots down chimneys with gifts and a penchant for milk and cookies? After several determined requests and strange phone calls with elves, we connected with Claus’s publicist, Mr. Frosty, to conduct an interview with Santa himself. Here’s what he had to say.

first person with

12 www.thriveswla.com

Santa Claus

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

by Jen Breen

December 2015

Many homes in Southwest Louisiana do not have chimneys. How are you able to bring gifts? I’ve been doing this for a long time. Back when I started, every home had a chimney. This was before there were ovens or heaters, so the chimney was a central part of life. It’s funny; people often assume that you continue to operate in the same way as the way you start out, but we pride ourselves in being innovative here at the workshop. If a home has a chimney I’ll probably use it, but believe me, there are a number of ways to pop in. Mail slots, laundry vents, heating and air conditioning systems. And yes, sometimes the front or back door. I’m a big man but I can become tiny when I need to. (Laughs: Ho! Ho! Ho!) Even with Christmas magic, how is it possible to travel around the world with so many stops in one night? Well, I actually have closer to two nights, because when one side

of the of the world is sleeping on Christmas Eve, the other is already celebrating Christmas Day. Plus it’s helpful to live on top of the world. When you’re traveling on the winds, it’s always easier to move faster and downwind. Why do you live in the North Pole? Don’t you get sick of the extreme cold? The North Pole suits me, Mrs. Claus, and the elves. We’ve made many friends along the way, but we also tend to travel a good bit during the off season. We start to miss the cold if we are gone too long, though. What is your real name? To many, it’s Santa Claus. Some people in the United States like to call me Kris Kringle or Jolly Old St. Nick, but I am known by many different names. In the United Kingdom, I am known as Father Christmas. In France, it’s Pere Noel. Italy, Babbo Natale; India, Santa Claus and Baba;

Japan, Hoteiosho; Brazil, Papai Noel; Morocco, Black Peter; the Netherlands, Sinter Klaas; Russia, Ded Moroz. Those are just a few. How old are you? (Laughs: Ho! Ho! Ho!) It’s a good thing Mrs. Claus isn’t here, because you might get a mouthful of candy canes if you were to ask her that question! I’ve many birthdays and after you have that many it can be hard to remember an exact number. Hmmm … let me think. Maybe around 1700. Could be a little more or less, but certainly somewhere around there. Does the light in Rudolph’s red nose ever go out? It fades every once in a while. Rudolph has bad summer allergies. Luckily for us it’s not a problem on Christmas Eve, because we make sure to give him his allergy medicine before we cross into warmer climates.

Are milk and cookies really your favorite food? (Laughs: Ho! Ho! Ho!) On Christmas Eve there’s nothing I enjoy more than milk and a good cookie, but I have a lot of favorites and Southwest Louisiana is home to many of them. In fact, all of us in the workshop have favorites. I have a friend in Southwest Louisiana—whose name will remain secret—who gives me huge pots of gumbo for the elves. And I have someone set me up with boudin, too. Mrs. Claus is crazy for boudin and barely lets me have any. That’s okay, I’m more of crawfish man. The reindeer love okra. These aren’t things you can find in the North Pole. Have your own questions for Santa? Write to him: Santa Claus 325 S. Santa Claus Lane North Pole, Alaska 99705.

Make Your


We Love Santa!


You’ve got enough to do this holiday season without worrying about the Holiday dinner gone wrong. Let us lighten your load with one of our holiday specialties! Ham • Turkeys • Brisket • Boudin • Sausage • Chop Beef Assorted Pies & Fudge • Party Trays also available

PERFECT FOR GIFTS & OFFICE PARTIES 506 East Prien Lake Road • 478-3354 December 2015

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Places & Faces


of Rudolph by Angie Kay Dilmore

When Julie Ragusa was eight years old, her mother enrolled her in the Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance. She still remembers her first day—a room of pink tights and black leotards, led by a gracious ballerina unlike anyone she’d ever met. “I thought Lady Leah was beautiful and interesting and so very creative,” Ragusa says. She danced with Lady Leah and the Lake Charles Civic Ballet (LCCB) for 10 years and was joined by her sister Jackie. The annual performance of Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, was always a favorite. “We especially loved dancing the part of Santa’s reindeer,” Ragusa says. “In fact, we loved it so much that, once when we were grocery shopping with our mother, the ‘reindeer music’ played and we started dancing and leaping through the aisles, much to my mother’s dismay. She pretended to be embarrassed but I think she secretly enjoyed the show.” Today, Ragusa’s daughter Gabriella dances with Lady Leah’s daughter, Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough, who now serves as the Lake Charles Civic Ballet’s artistic director. “Gabriella has been dancing with Lady Holly for five years and is thrilled to be an elf in the upcoming performance,” Ragusa says. “As a board member, I’m usually working backstage during performances, which

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is the perfect seat to see Gabriella perform.” The Civic Ballet’s production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has not only become a community tradition in Southwest Louisiana—it’s a multigenerational celebration for emerging and aspiring dancers. Lady Leah, co-founder of the Lake Charles Civic Ballet, choreographed the company’s original production and it is her voice that continues to narrate many of the productions, including Rudolph. Lady Holly grew up in the ballet studio and on stage, and performed as a principal dancer for many years. Her two daughters Cagle, age 12, and Caroline, age 9, have had a similar upbringing and also dance with the LCCB. Though the girls still see their grandmother often, Lady Holly says it is incredibly special for her daughters to hear their grandmother’s voice when they are dancing onstage. When Board member Donita Helms danced ballet as a child, her parents served on the LCCB Board for many years, even after Helms no longer danced. “My mother was, among other things, the school performance chair and my father helped build sets, worked backstage, even took photos if that is what Lady Leah asked,” she says.

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December 2015

Santa Has Elves. You Have Neighborhood Mini Storage. We’re your One-stop Shop for Holiday Storage, Shipping and More! Hide your holiday gift surprises safely out of sight at one of our three convenient Southwest Louisiana locations. After the holidays are over, we’re also the perfect place to store your holiday decor. If you need to send holiday packages by special delivery, we can make sure they arrive safely. We have all the boxes and packing supplies you need, along with on-site UPS and FedEx shipping services. STORAGE Regular & climate-controlled storage Variety of unit sizes Month-to-month lease options Secure, 24-hour access

Helms performed as a LCCB principal dancer and now her daughter Grace is a principal dancer, too. Both have performed the title role in LCCB’s production of Cinderella; Donita in 1988 and Grace in 2014. “It means so much to share the love of dance and performance with my daughter,” says Helms. “I grew up in the wings of the Rosa Hart Theatre and now have the joy of watching my daughter from those very same wings. I am thankful for Lady Leah and LCCB every day for forming my life and completing it with many blessings. I am thankful that my daughter’s life is enriched through Lady Holly and the long-standing history, tradition and dedication to dance and the total theatre experience.” The Lake Charles Civic Ballet will present its time-honored original production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Saturday, December 12, for both matinee and gala performances at the Rosa Hart Theatre. School groups are welcome on December 10-11. LCCB brings this traditional Christmas story to life through dazzling classical dance and music. “Rudolph is a production for all ages,” says Lady Holly. She encourages people who may have seen the production as a child to see it again. “Rudolph is like a good book. It’s always new. Every time you see it, you’ll notice something else you didn’t see before.”

SHIPPING/MOVING U-Haul equipment rental Boxes & moving supplies Shipping services: UPS & Fed Ex

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For more information or to buy tickets, go to their website, http://lakecharlescivicballet.com.

December 2015

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Places & Faces

Making Spirits

Bright Lighting Up the Lakefront by Katie Harrington

Each year thousands of tiny lights twinkle and shine to light up the Lake Charles lakefront and Lake Charles Civic Center grounds. The Christmas display continues to grow each year.

Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said the Public Works Department, overseen by Mister Edwards, is tasked with a multitude of projects that make life better for those working and living in the city. “Decorating the lakefront for Christmas is a huge undertaking for our employees. However, it’s a job, they take great pride in. This is a very important part of what the City does,” said Mayor Roach. “We have a very beautiful lakefront and a lot of money has been invested to make the Civic Center and the grounds surrounding it what they are today. This is a great way showcase that investment and create a great experience for the community.” Although city officials don’t have an exact tally on the number of lights residents and visitors can expect to see each year, they do know how many 18-wheeler loads it will take to get all of the decorations to the Civic Center. “Throughout the year the decorations are stored out at the Public Works yard on Broad Street,” said Public Works Director Mister Edwards. “When it comes time to decorate

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each year, we hire a local hauler to bring around six-and-a-half 18-wheeler loads of decorations to the Civic Center grounds.” Even though the public doesn’t see the decorations being put in place until the end of October, or beginning of November, the preparations to install the displays start much earlier. After all, just like a private residence has to test the lights to make sure they still work, someone has to test the City’s displays and décor to make sure they all operate properly. “Our electrician and a couple of other crew members start early testing the lights and changing out bulbs where needed,” said Building Maintenance Supervisor Donald Willis. Once the displays have been delivered to the Civic Center grounds, the Public Works crews have a schedule they follow to decorate the different parts of the lakefront. Even with a timeline to keep, flexibility is key. “With a small crew, we set one section up at a time. This year we were planning to start with the Twelve Days of Christmas, but with the way the weather has been we had

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to do the Promenade first instead. Once the sections are set out, we can go back and start the process of wiring everything.” From start to finish, the installation, wiring and testing takes right around a month. While the Public Works crews install and wire the decorations on the Civic Center grounds, the Civic Center staff helps with the wiring of the lights displayed in the circle drive in the front of the building. “Last year it took us 28 days to have everything ready in time for the lighting ceremony that takes place the first weekend of December,” said Willis. “Our crew has the installation down to a science, but we can’t always control the weather, so that’s why some years it takes a little longer than others.” This annual process has been the norm for Willis for more than a decade. “I came on board in ’98 and I remember climbing a tree then,” Willis said with a chuckle. “It was really small then, just right there in front of the Civic Center, and then it started gradually growing. There were a

December 2015

couple of years that we tried to plant a real Christmas tree and that didn’t work out.” When asked what his favorite piece of the display to install was, Willis thought about it for a brief moment and then answered with a quiet certainty. “To be old fashioned, the artificial Christmas tree because that’s Christmas. We put up the tree and add the bows, and it’s just like what you do at your house.” Those heading out to check on the City’s light display this year can expect to see a few new items, according to Willis. “We have 21 new nutcrackers that will be set up along Lakeshore Drive at the north end of the Civic Center. We also have a nativity scene that will

be set up right at the entrance of the Civic Center, as you go into the circle drive.” Willis added that the nativity scene is a pretty large display that includes 12-14 pieces. “There are a lot of kids, and adults as well, who like to see the decorations each year, and I know it makes me proud to be able to pass by and see the work our guys have completed,” said Edwards. “You hear people all the time talk about going to see the Christmas lights in Natchitoches; it’d be nice to hear them talk about seeing the lights in Lake Charles.” One message Edwards did want to pass along is that parents should keep safety in mind when visiting the light displays. “Because

of the weight and size of the pieces in the displays we have to use a variety of things such as guide wires and artificial fences to keep them in place. We want to remind everyone that the lights are there to be viewed, not walked up to and touched. We just want to make sure everyone enjoys viewing the lights, but does so in a safe manner.” The City of Lake Charles’“Light Up the Lake” festivities will take place on Saturday, December 5, and Sunday, December 6, and will feature a street parade, fireworks, Santa’s Workshop and more. The lights will remain on display through the end of the year. For more information, visit www.cityoflakecharles.com.

Give your furniture new life this holiday season! Maison Blanche Furniture Paint • Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint • Baroque Gilders Paste • Home Decor & Gifts 4185 North Highway 171 – Gillis, LA - (337) 855-6378 December 2015

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Places & Faces Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, an original work, has been performed since 1968. This beautiful story, told through the wonder of dance, is a Lake Charles tradition. Children of all ages will delight as they experience Santa and his elves working furiously to finish all the toys for the trip around the world and the triumph of Rudolph as he saves Christmas!

Dec 10, 11 & 12 Rosa Hart Theatre

Lake Charles Civic Center For school group reservations or ticket information: 337.802.5779 or 337.477.1581 or lakecharlescivicballet.com

From Our Porches to Yours, Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Sharing special moments in special places with those you love is what creates treasured holiday traditions. It’s also the spirit behind Walnut Grove. As you celebrate the joy of the season, imagining celebrating future holidays in a place where community is more than just a word— it’s a way of life.

W. Sallier Street, Lake Charles www.walnutgrovetnd.com Call (337) 497-0825 for more information. A variety of home styles and commercial properties are available.

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December 2015

Lighting Up

’ 0 4 Lakefront 6.5 The height of the artificial Christmas tree in front of the Civic Center, in feet



The number of 18-wheeler trailers it takes to transport the City’s lighting displays


The number of crew members tasked with lighting up the lake



5 ’ 0 5 The height of the tree of lights located south of the PPG Fountain on Civic Center Grounds, in feet

The day in December for the lighting ceremony


The number of pieces in the Nativity scene

Number of new Nutcrackers added to this year’s display

Source: City of Lake Charles December 2015

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Places & Faces

Here she is, Miss Louisiana USA 2016

Maaliyah Papillion

by Robin Barton

On October 24, Maaliyah Papillion’s life changed forever when she was crowned Miss Louisiana USA 2016. The 21-year-old Lake Charles native competed against 34 young women from Louisiana for the title. Growing up, Maaliyah would watch pageants on television, and seeing the confidence and class the contestants projected is what drew her to compete; she saw it as a way to better herself. In 2011, she began participating in pageants, but considered it a hobby. Today, as Miss Louisiana USA, Maaliyah is the well-rounded, confident young woman she once envisioned. Maaliyah is a junior at McNeese State University, majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. She will continue her education throughout her reign and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology. Eventually, Maaliyah plans to open her own practice, working with adolescents who have addiction problems or who are suffering the emotional effects of addictions within their families. 20 www.thriveswla.com

The Miss Louisiana USA organization looks for diverse young woman who are not only beautiful, but intelligent and willing to share their hearts

I LOVE MY COMMUNITY AND VALUE THE LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED FROM GROWING UP HERE. and minds as ambassadors to Louisiana and the nation. Maaliyah is extremely proud to represent Southwest Louisiana and the state during her reign. “To me, representing my community is such a great Thrive Magazine for Better Living

honor. I love my community and value the lessons I have learned from growing up here. I couldn’t be happier to be chosen as the representative from my local region and also for the entire state,” she says. As Miss Louisiana USA, Maaliyah will have the opportunity to bring awareness to causes and platforms that are very important to her. She is currently on the board of the Southwest Louisiana International Club, an organization which specializes in helping new citizens who have migrated to the area get acclimated with their new surroundings. Being a part of this organization, she is able to personally impact other people’s lives by ensuring that they become accustomed to their new setting, finding work and housing, and by helping them make a smooth transition into their

December 2015

new life. Maaliyah also has plans to partner with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), to promote her platform of safe and responsible driving. “I will be working with MADD this year and we have some very exciting events planned. I’m looking forward to visiting local schools to serve as an advocate for safe driving. I will also be traveling throughout the state attending MADD events. I hope that by me doing this, I will be able to reach someone who needs to hear this important message. The catastrophes caused by drinking and driving are 100% preventable and I hope everyone will take this message to heart. By working with MADD, I will get a chance to make a difference and influence my community and state for the better. I know I can help raise awareness for this issue by standing up for what is right and also by leading by example,” she explains. Maaliyah will also be working with Operation: That’s My Dress, a USO organization that provides formal dresses to young girls in military families, female service members and military wives whose lives are impacted with the hectic lifestyle of being in the military. Winning the title of Miss Louisiana USA catapults a young woman to instant fame where they automatically and instantly become role models. It is important that this young woman understands that along with the prizes and glamour, comes a responsibility to the pageant system, sponsors, community, and to the state of Louisiana. Maaliyah is proud to consider herself a role model not only for young girls, but for anyone who has a dream. She says, “Becoming Miss Louisiana USA was not an easy task, but I did it. I accomplished my goal by first believing in myself and working to reach my full potential. I believe that all things are possible for the person that believes and I hope to covey that message all year long.” Outside of Miss Louisiana USA, Maaliyah enjoys traveling, yoga, exercising outdoors, and playing with her three-year-old Akita, Duke. She says her favorite thing about growing up in Lake Charles is, “the fact that everyone knows everyone. I think it gives our community a sense of unity and uniqueness.” For more information about the Miss Louisiana USA pageant, or to request an appearance from Maaliyah, visit MissLouisianaUSA.com.

December 2015

The Quick Lift


Here at La Belle, we like to call the Quicklift® our ‘signature procedure’! The Quicklift®, is a minimallyinvasive facelift procedure—and could be the answer to your needs! This procedure is designed to produce a natural appearance, and not the ‘wind swept’ look you may have seen from facelifts of the past. The downtime after this procedure is minimal, and the actual technique of the surgery is much less involved compared to other facelift procedures—which means prescription medication is rarely ever prescribed, and the healing time is much quicker when you choose the Quicklift®! Dr. Jay Appurao, M.D, F.A.C.S, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, as well as the American Board of Surgery, amongst other distinguished honors. Dr. Jay has been practicing general surgery for thirty years, and cosmetic surgery for fifteen years--and he is the only surgeon in Louisiana who has the Quicklift® franchise! To find out more information on this procedure, please visit our website at: labellecosmetic.com. Chin Implants



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Places & Faces

Hot Holiday Stops

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—especially in these popular holiday hotspots. The best news is, they’re just a drive away. Are you in the holiday spirit? If so, get in the car and take a road trip.

Shangri La


Instead of fa-la-la-la-la, think Shangri La. Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, Texas, is worth a trip any time of the year, but Christmas is particularly special because they host evening strolls through magically transformed landscapes. They also feature festive holiday lights along with community-decorated Christmas trees lining the pathways. Upcoming evening stroll dates are December 17-19, December 22-23, and December 26, so you have plenty of opportunities to find the best time for you. Got kids? Explore the Children’s Garden, which has been lighted as a Candyland. Admission to Shangri La isn’t steep—just $6 for adults and $4 per child—but if you bring a non-perishable food item, you get a 50 percent discount on admission per person for one evening. Donations support Orange Christian Services.

Moody Gardens The Moody Gardens Festival of Lights in Galveston runs through January 10 and features more than one million lights within 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays and nightly live entertainment. Moody Gardens also offers an outdoor skating rink and a new Arctic Ice Slide. This year, Moody Gardens will celebrate “the silliest holiday celebration under the waves” with ice sculptures inspired by SpongeBob Squarepants. SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and Squidward will make appearances—all carved out of more than two million pounds of ice. The sculptures were created by a team of more than 20 internationally acclaimed professional ice carvers from Harbin, China.

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If you live in Louisiana—or anywhere, perhaps— do yourself a favor and visit Natchitoches this season. The quaint historical city boasts more than 300,000 Christmas lights and 100+ riverbank set pieces, which turn on every night at dusk through January 6. Downtown attractions include carriage tours through the historic district, with shops and restaurants open late for tourists. All events take place in the Landmark Historic District along the Cane River Lake and along the Cane River Lake south of Natchitoches. The Annual Christmas Festival is ranked the third best holiday light show, falling behind Rockefeller Center and Disney World. Natchitoches also offers a holiday tour of homes this time of year. You can stroll through places like the Metoyer Brown House, a two-story late Greek Revival home; the Chamard-Dunahoe House, a unique and historic French Colonial currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which features an extensive display of Old World Santas; and the Prudhomme-Rouquier House, circa 1790, which is the only known two and one-half story bousillage structure in North America. While you’re strolling through homes, you may as well visit the famed Steel Magnolias house. Constructed pre-1841, this house at 320 Rue Jefferson was allegedly used as a hospital during the Civil War. Today, it’s famous for serving as a filming location for Steel Magnolias and for being the most photographed home in Natchitoches.

December 2015

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

SOWELA Student Receives the Tracy Beaugh Rising Star Award

the Administrator and Executive Director of an assisted living facility for ten years. Most recently, Estes worked as an HR/Business Consultant. Her professional accomplishments and credentials include; Licensed Nursing Facility Administrator, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and certification as a Six Sigma Green Belt.

Glaser Earns Miguel Award

Erik Jessen, Graphic Arts Program Coordinator; Christine Manuel, Award Recipient and Ramona Landry, Krewe member.

Christine Manuel, a graphic arts student attending SOWELA Technical Community College, received the “Tracy Beaugh Rising Star Award” presented by the Krewe of Athena. The award was created by the Krewe in honor and remembrance of former SOWELA graphic arts faculty member, Tracy Beaugh. The Krewe awards $500 each semester to a graphic arts student with award recipients chosen based on a competitive process. Tracy was a founding member of the Krewe of Athena, as well as the Vice President of Public Relations for nine years and the Captain in 2009. For information on scholarships at SOWELA, visit www.sowela.edu/scholarships.

Tonya Estes Joins the Leadership Team at Lake Area Medical Center Tonya Estes has been named Director of Clinic Practice Management for Lake Area Physician Services, at Lake Area Medical Center. Estes, a Tonya Estes native of Lake Charles and a graduate of McNeese State University, brings over 20 years of experience in public and private healthcare leadership to Lake Area Physicians. She has served as a Hospital Admissions Supervisor, a Healthcare Consultant for skilled health care facilities across Louisiana and Texas, launched a Healthcare Technology company and was

December 2015

The Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund will honor KPLC-TV morning news anchor and health reporter Britney Glaser at a December 8 luncheon in the L’Auberge Casino Resort Event Center. Britney Glaser Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will deliver the keynote address. Glaser started her news career at KPLC in 2006 and currently serves as co-anchor of the highly rated 7News Sunrise show in addition to producing health segments for the station. She has been recognized by the Louisiana Associated Press with five awards for investigative reporting and two for in-depth reporting; earned two meritorious reporting awards from the Louisiana State Medical Society for series work on rare diseases and genetic selection; and was awarded the 2013 Michael E. DeBakey Award for Journalism from the Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington DCw for a series focused on alligator blood and its relations to a new antibiotic. However, it is Britney’s passionate work with her latest series, “The New Family Tree,” that led to multiple award nominations. The stories encourage viewers to consider becoming adoptive or foster parents, and they are hitting the mark. At least five of the children featured have now found permanent families with five to six more awaiting final placement. In addition to bestowing the award on Glaser, the Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund has selected Jillian Corder as the recipient of this year’s Professional Conference Award. The fund will reimburse Corder, a KPLC-TV reporter, for her expenses to attend the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Conference to be held in New Orleans. Tickets to the luncheon are available through www.ticketmaster.com or call (337) 491-6688.

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Landrieu Elected to CASA Board The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association – one of the nation’s leading child advocacy organizations – has elected Mary Landrieu, a former three-term senator from Louisiana, to the National CASA Board of Trustees. Landrieu will begin her term on January 1, 2016. Landrieu chaired the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. She is an adoptive parent of two, co-founded the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) and successfully inserted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision requiring states to provide Medicaid coverage for former foster youth up to age 26—coverage that had previously only been included in the legislation for their non-foster care counterparts.

Dr. Donald Boudreaux Jr. Brings Southern Oral & Facial Surgery to Lake Charles Dr. Donald Boudreaux Jr. is now seeing patients at Southern Oral & Facial Surgery (formerly Dr. Randy Alexander’s practice) in Lake Charles. Dr. Donald Boudreaux Jr. Dr. Boudreaux is from New Iberia and graduated from LSU School of Dentistry. After dental school, Dr. Boudreaux entered one of the most prestigious Oral and Maxillofacial residency programs in the country at Parkland Hospital (UT Southwestern Medical Center) in Dallas, Texas, where he received his medical, anesthesia and surgical training. He has been in practice in New Iberia for over 9 years and is board certified in Oral Surgery by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Boudreaux’s areas of interest include wisdom teeth, dental implants, bone grafting, intraoral pathology, and dental pre-prosthetic procedures. Southern Oral & Facial Surgery is located at 2708 Aster St., Suite A, in Lake Charles. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (337) 478-9843.



Modern Days of

Gifts You Didn’t Know You Wanted

by Erin Kelly

Two turtle doves may have been a nice gift back in the day, but this is 2015 and times have changed. Yes, there are tried-and-true mainstays – five golden rings still make for a nice holiday surprise, for example – but in general, eleven lords a’leaping isn’t going to cut it. And if you show up at your true love’s house with three French hens, you might get the door slammed in your face. Unless the hens are cooked and smothered in gravy. Then you might get a pass. Forget calling birds and laying geese. Here are a few modern gifts for your consideration.

A Pencil in a Sprout Tree Think about the last time you wrote with a pencil. Did you stop and think: I wish this pencil could be shoved into dirt and grow into coriander? Well, you’re in luck. The people at Sprout had the same thought, and they’ve developed plantable pencils. According to Sprout (sproutworld.com), the nub of the pencil contains a seed capsule with high quality, untreated seeds. It’s water soluble, making the pencil easy to plant after use. The pencil then grows into delicious fresh herbs, crispy vegetables, or edible flowers. The pencil itself is made of natural materials. The body is cedar wood and the lead isn’t lead at all; it’s a mixture of clay and graphite. Depending on the seed variety, the Sprout pencil can germinate within one to three weeks, and most plants grow indoors and outdoors. 24 www.thriveswla.com

2-person dinner Reports from 2007 show that the turtle dove population in Europe has recently fallen by 62 percent. So they might be hard to come by. No worries. Instead of giving your true love two turtle doves, how about dinner for two at one of Lake Charles’s newest premiere restaurants? We’ve got two in mind—LaVoglia and Calla. LaVoglia is an authentic Italian restaurant with delicious standards like manicotti, chicken parmigiana and baked ziti, as well as signature dishes. Calla, located in the Walnut Grove development at 2020 Walnut Street, is a unique vision of cuisine and atmosphere, with innovative spins on creative, seasonal and sustainable dishes. Think: blue crab beignets and rabbit rillettes.

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December 2015

3-hour tour French hens? Blah. Go for a three-hour culinary tour of New Orleans. Established in 2004, the New Orleans Culinary History Tour takes attendees on a social history of Big Easy food and drink. It was established by proprietor and former Xavier professor Kelly Hamilton, who has an M.A. in history. The tour isn’t just a gathering of tidbits about random cuisine. It’s well-research and documented, with a historically accurate—albeit delicious—point of view. For information, call (877) 278-8240.

4 crave wines If you want to make your holiday shopping easy, give the gift of the Crave UnCorked Wine Club. Crave UnCorked makes the perfect gift for virtually any occasion and is ideal for amateur wine drinkers and connoisseurs alike. For a quarterly membership of $125, members receive four carefully selected wines, conveniently delivered to their homes, along with tasting notes and serving suggestions. Members also receive a variety of additional benefits including special discounts on wine accessories, invitations to special tasting events, gifts and more. Gift certificates for membership are available. Call (337) 421-0040 or visit www.cravegiftbaskets.com.

5 golden rings! This one never gets old, right? If you’re looking for golden rings to fit your true love’s finger, familiarize yourself with today’s five most popular cuts: the “cushion cut,” which is considered a combo of a round brilliant cut and emerald cut, with soft edges and romantic undertones; the “emerald cut,” which has a vintage look and feel, yet still remains timeless; the “round brilliant cut”—basically, the classic that never goes out of style; the self-explanatory “oval cut,” which has seen an upswing in popularity, maybe because the cut of the stone can sometimes create a larger illusion of carat size; and—last but not least—the “princess cut.” The princess is a square-shaped cut that has a traditional look and feel and is typically set in four prongs.

Merry Christmas from all of us at

6 Liquid Lipsticks Caitlin Picou, founder of Kismet Cosmetics, has said she added liquid lipsticks to her Covington-based cosmetics line for many reasons, including the fact that they are now the “in-thing.” According to Picou, liquid-style lipsticks are in demand by customers who prefer a less classical application. Fashion is no longer just about what you’re wearing, Picou says—it’s the entire look, from the right pair of shoes to the best brand of lipstick. Liquid lipstick contains the pigment of regular lipstick, with the glide and shine of lip gloss. According to Kismet, the Golden Girls of Louisiana State University (Picou’s alma mater) exclusively wear her “Hey Baby” liquid lipstick when they perform during sporting events.

And a special THANK YOU to the SWLA community for voting us BEST SALON again in 2015! Because of your continued support, this year has been the biggest blessing in disguise—we love you all.

803 West McNeese Street Lake Charles, LA 70605 www.signaturessalon.biz 337.478.4433 December 2015

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7 Bacon Samplers The Bacon of the Month Club, brought to you by Bacon Freak (baconfreak.com), is for everyone who loves bacon. A subscription includes delivery of two packs of gourmet bacon every month. Bacon Freak’s dry-cured bacon doesn’t shrink in the pan, so when you cook a pound of bacon, you get a pound of bacon. Varieties include hickory, jalapeno, pepper, maple, bourbon and Cajun. With more than 50 varieties, there’s something different each month. You can get a three-month subscription or sampler packs— including a seven-pack sampler, which includes a T-shirt and gift box.

8 Pints of Ice Cream Everyone loves ice cream. Anyone who doesn’t like ice cream is either not of this planet, or lactose intolerant. The only thing better than selecting your own ice cream flavor is customizing a flavor just for you. Yeah, that’s right—at eCreamery.com, you can create your own flavor of ice cream, gelato or sorbet, with more than 30 flavors and 40 mix-ins to choose from. Dream up your own flavor. Design and personalize your label. Then wait for eCreamery to deliver it to your doorstep.

10 fetching nails

9 Ladies Dancing You may think ballroom dancing isn’t for you, but you’d be wrong. All you need are dance lessons through Lake Charles’ own Boogie Woogie Ballroom or McNeese Leisure Learning. And you’re not limited to the ballroom. Also offered: adult ballet, jitterbug and swing. Don’t make the excuse that you have two left feet. Set yourself straight with right and left.

26 www.thriveswla.com

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A good manicure or pedicure never hurt anyone. This is a gift you can give yourself, or someone else. Manicures with customized designs remain popular; instead of settling for your run-of-the-mill French manicure or standard red polish, consider swirls and flourishes and everything in between.

December 2015

11 Pipers Smoking Your favorite hipster or occasional pipe smoker will appreciate a custom-built pipe box gift from Pipes and Cigars (pipesandcigars.com). Rather than provide a sampler of what P&C likes, they allow you to build your own. You can choose a pipe, three different tobacco varieties, select a pipe tool and pick your pipe cleaners. They even throw in a Free Decatur Z-Plus Pipe Lighter.

12 Retro Pop Boxes Retro Pop Boxes are an amazing gift for the nostalgic among us. If you long for yesteryear, you can sign up for a one-year subscription and get a piece of sentimentality delivered to your doorstep every month. Open the box and revisit the days of yore. Just choose your decade and wait for the past to come knocking.







December 2015

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Money & Career How to


Company Party by Kim Staflund

The holidays are prime networking time. Office parties, holiday lunches, gift exchanges. For people who prefer to stay home with cocoa rather than network with coworkers, this can be terrifying, overwhelming, or both. Here are some tips to help you survive. Be proactive Make an effort to get to know colleagues and clients better before the big holiday party. That way you’ll feel more at ease once you’re there. Are you connected to them on social media? Check out where they went to school, what organizations they volunteer for, and what interests them. Give kudos Speaking of social media, LinkedIn is a gold mine for networking introverts. As the largest business networking site in the world, LinkedIn acts as your online resume where you can highlight your expertise within your field—but it’s also the perfect vehicle to share genuine kudos for a job well done. You can do this through endorsements or recommendations. What better way to break down invisible barriers than to give a heartfelt thank you for all to see? It could provide for a pleasant conversation ice breaker.

you’ll have a job, ensure others have found their places at the tables or that they’ve bought raffle tickets for the gift basket. This minimizes—and possibly eliminates—those “awkward silence” social situations that occur when you’re seated next to people you’re unfamiliar with, but it also gives you a sense of purpose. Listen up So what if you find yourself seated beside a stranger with nothing to say? Ask them about themselves, then listen. This is an effective tactic in sales because it allows you to learn more about your client, but it also works in networking situations. It takes the pressure off you. Just ask someone—an extrovert, preferably—to tell you a bit more about themselves, and they will. They may even go on and on. So be prepared to listen.

Get involved Introverts are often mistaken for being shy. But we know that’s not always true. We just prefer quality time over quantity in our interactions with others. One way to spend quality time with your clients or co-workers is to get involved in the holiday festivities. The company holiday party typically has a set purpose, so there’s no need—nor any time—to maneuver around uncomfortable small talk. Instead,

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December 2015

STOP and THINK Before You Send

Who hasn’t typed out an angry email—complete with detailed, disgruntled thoughts and opinions— and wanted to send it into the universe? In the world of work, it’s impossible to escape the occasional temptation to tell it like it is, especially when confrontation is just a few keystrokes away. Before you get rubbed the wrong way and start shipping off your vicious tirades, however, it’s probably best that you step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and consider a few things.

Just like every snowflake, every Lakeside customer is one of a kind. Sending our warmest wishes this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at

Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean you have to send it. You want to get your frustrated thoughts out there? Go ahead. Type out the email. Just don’t fill in the “to” field—at least not yet. Put your thoughts down. Release your frustrations. Say what you want to say. But don’t address it to anyone. If you feel the need to send it, address it to yourself. Wait. Give it some time. You may feel differently in an hour or a day. It may even take longer. But distance has a way of changing perception. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you before you’ve had a chance to let things calm down. Read it, then read it again. Let’s say you’ve got your thoughts in your email, and you’re determined to send it off. Read it more than once. Check for typos. Make sure your tone is as intended. Get a second opinion. If you have a trusted confidant, ask them to read the email before it goes anywhere. Tell them your intent, and ask if you’ve achieved it. Step out of your shoes. Try to approach the email as an objective party—or as the person receiving it—and consider the repercussions. What might happen after you hit send? Think about it. Carefully. December 2015

4735 Nelson Rd., Lake Charles | 474-3766 2132 Oak Park Blvd., Lake Charles | 502-4314 2203 Sampson St.,Westlake | 502-4144 Thrive Magazine for Better Living




Money & Career

New Economic Impact Study Positions Ship Channel as Leading Economic Driver

A study released by the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District dramatically underscores the far-reaching economic impact of a single physical feature— the Calcasieu Ship Channel—on the Lake Charles region, the state of Louisiana and the nation. The study, titled “Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Calcasieu Ship Channel,” concludes that the health of almost half of the Lake Charles metro economy depends on the health of the channel. For instance, nearly one-third of jobs in the Lake Charles metro area are tied to the channel and the port authority, and maritime commerce accounts for 46 percent of the Lake Charles economy’s total $14.8 billion of business activity. “The document demonstrates to stakeholders just how vital this waterway is to Southwest Louisiana. The fact that we are a ‘port city’ has brought tremendous economic benefits to our area,” said Bill Rase, executive director of the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District. “And the study gives us a preview of how our economy will benefit from the $80+ billion in capital investments announced for the area—80 percent of which is being made because of the Calcasieu Ship Channel.” The Calcasieu Ship Channel was engineered in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s to straighten, widen and deepen the Calcasieu River from Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico, making Lake Charles a deepwater port, although it is 34 miles inland. The ship channel became a highway for the delivery of goods, both inbound and outbound, and dozens of companies built facilities on the channel to produce, process, send or receive those goods. The Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District has grown to become the 11th-busiest port in the United States by tonnage, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers figures for 2013, the latest year available. All that channel activity, the report concludes, is a major driving factor in the economy of the region, the state and the nation.

Some key findings of the study (figures are for 2014): • The ship channel is responsible for nearly 36,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area, or 31 percent of the total employment in the Lake Charles metro area, and 50 percent of local tax revenue is generated from industrial production or maritime services tied directly to the ship channel. • Over 80 percent of the manufacturing employment in Lake Charles is strongly tied to waterway-dependent industries. • Some 46 percent of the GDP in Lake Charles directly depends on the ship channel for either raw material receipt or for the shipment of finished product. • An additional $1 billion of earnings and $1.3 billion of personal income is generated outside of the Lake Charles economy from the ship channel’s production and services. • Industries relying on the ship channel produce nearly 13,000 additional jobs outside of the local economy. The total number of jobs in Louisiana generated by the ship channel is nearly 50,000 jobs or almost 2 percent of the state’s workforce. • The ship channel and associated industrial production contributed $916 million in federal taxes in 2014; that figure is expected to rise to $1.3 billion in 2023. These impacts will grow tremendously in the next several years as the regional economic boom continues to materialize. If the proposed 19 industrial projects tied to the ship channel are completed and operational in 2023, the study states that the region will see a 25 percent increase in channeldependent jobs, a 78 percent expansion in channel-dependent GDP and more than double the local tax revenues generated from channel–dependent companies. “We’re happy to see that so many people—from plant operators to retail store clerks to construction workers—have jobs because of the ship channel

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and its maritime activity,” said Barbara McManus, president of the Port of Lake Charles Board of Commissioners. “This is why the Port Authority works so hard to protect and maintain the channel—it truly carries the lifeblood of our area.” This economic impact study was conducted by CSRS and Taimerica Management Co. The findings will provide the data the Port Authority needs to continue lobbying efforts at the local, regional, state and federal levels to secure adequate funding for channel operations and maintenance,” Rase said.

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December 2015

RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER BUT GOING THE EXTRA MILE. Your aspirations keep us on our toes. Having served the area for nearly 70 years, JD Bank knows how challenges you take on today often prepare you for bigger future payoffs. Combining genuine personal service with new technology and practices, we help foster your plans and celebrate your successes. Each time you reach a personal goal, it’s another victory for our community as a whole.

JD Gets Me


800.789.5159 jdbank.com

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Money & Career All you need to know to stay in the know! CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Earns an ‘A’ Grade The independent hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group, announced that CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital earned an A in this elite national ratings program, recognizing its strong commitment to patient safety. The report showed key shifts among many hospitals on the A, B, C, D and F grades, rating them on errors, injuries, accidents and infections. To see CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital’s full score, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit www. hospitalsafetyscore.org.

L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles Serves 779 Complimentary Meals to Honor Veterans and Service Personnel

L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles offered complimentary meals on November 11 in honor of Veterans Day. The resort’s award-winning Le Beaucoup Buffet served 779 veterans and active duty military personnel a free breakfast or lunch as a show of gratitude for their service. The annual event is part of the L’Auberge Cares community initiative and is a source of great pride and enjoyment for team members.

Lake Area Medical Center Earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ Lake Area Medical Center announced today that it has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. Lake Area Medical Center was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance during 2014 in the measure set areas of Surgical 32 www.thriveswla.com

Care, Immunization and Perinatal Care. Lake Area Medical Center is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction. For more information about the Top Performer program, visit www.jointcommission. org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx.

Lake Area Medical Center Congratulates 16 Physicians Lake Area Medical Center is proud to acknowledge the sixteen members and independent members of their medical staff who recently were recognized in the Louisiana Life magazine by their peers as a Best Doctors for 2015. In the specialty of Cardiovascular Disease: Carl Fastabend, M.D., Richard Gilmore, M.D. & Michael Turner, M.D. In the specialty of Family Medicine: Thomas Le Beau, M.D. & Arthur Primeaux, M.D. In the specialty of Obstetrics / Gynecology: Eugene Fontenot, M.D. & Stanley Kordisch, M.D. In the specialty of Orthopaedic Surgery: Alan Hinton, M.D. & Thomas Ford, M.D. In the specialty of Otolaryngology (ENT): Keith De Sonier, M.D. & Mark Williams, M.D. In the specialty of Pathology: Reginia Burton, M.D., Stephanie Richard, M.D. & John Van Hoose, M.D. In the specialty of Pediatrics / Neonatal Medicine: Juan Bossano, M.D. In the specialty of Plastic Surgery: Ralph Colpitts, M.D. The complete 2015 Best Doctors listing for the state of Louisiana, along with the survey methodology can be seen at www.louisianalife.com.

Lafayette Breast Surgeon Opens Lake Charles Clinic Dr. Tyshaun James-Hart, board-certified breast surgeon with the Women’s Multi-Specialty Group at Women’s & Children’s Hospital, has opened a Lake Charles clinic. Dr. James-Hart specializes in the treatment of benign breast diseases such as fibrocystic disease, fibro adenomas, breast abscesses, and breast pain, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. She conducts a Genetics/High Risk Clinic to identify and target people at greater risk for genetic mutations and/or developing breast cancer. The clinic is open from 9am to 4pm on the third Thursday of each month at 401 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, Suite 200. Call (337) 989-7350 today to schedule an appointment and learn more.

Lake Charles, Sulphur Become Gig Cities Suddenlink announced that it is now offering an Internet service with an up to 1 Gigabit per second download speed in Lake Charles and Sulphur, making this one of the first Suddenlink-served areas in Louisiana to receive this service. As part of Operation GigaSpeed, Suddenlink introduced a first phase of Internet speed increases in Lake Charles and Sulphur late last year. In addition to launching the 1Gigabit Internet service, residential high-speed Internet customers with current download speeds up to 75 and 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) are being moved to services with download speeds up to 100 and 200 Mbps, respectively, at no added charge. Suddenlink’s standard residential Internet download speeds in Lake Charles and Sulphur are now up to 50, 100, and 200 Mbps, along with the now available up to 1 Gig service.

Memorial Medical Group Physicians Among Louisiana’s Top Docs The Memorial Medical Group recently had five physicians make the list of Louisiana’s top doctors in a recent survey of their peers conducted for Louisiana Life magazine for 2015. Cardiology: Dr. J. King White Family Medicine: Dr. Alan LeBato Orthopedic Surgery: Dr. Nathan Cohen Pulmonology: Drs. R. Craig Broussard and Ben F. Thompson, III Critical Care Medicine: Dr. Ben F. Thompson, III For more information on Memorial Medical Group physicians, including those highlighted as Louisiana Life’s Top Doctors, visit www.lcmmg.com Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Pictured are: (left to right) Lake Charles City Council President Dana Jackson; Sulphur Mayor Christopher Duncan; Suddenlink Vice President of Mid South Region Operations Robbie Lee; Suddenlink Director of Operations Kim LaPoint; Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach; and President/CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance George Swift.

December 2015

Kiwanis Club Recognizes Community Heroes

The Lake Charles Kiwanis North Club honored local outstanding leaders at its annual Installation of Officers and Community Awards Dinner. Awards were presented in the categories of Community Service, Religion, Education and Law Enforcement. Recipients included Ms. Nita Barker, Founder and Director of the Girlie Girls Mentoring Program; Dr. Wilton J. Red, Pastor of Throne of Grace Fellowship Church; Ms. Shaalom St. Mary, Principal of CPSB school Oak Park Elementary; and Ms. Cynthia Clay Guillory, Assistant District Attorney with the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office. Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world.

Walnut Grove announces 5K Race Winners Walnut Grove, a traditional neighborhood development, held the 3rd annual 5K and Nutty Fun Color Run benefiting the Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School Eagle Fund on November 7. The winners of the 5K are as follows: Female Overall, Jennifer Farque; Male Overall, Benjamin Guilbeau; 14 and Under Female, 1, Mollie Maze, 2, Leahmiyah Piinell; 14 and Under Male, 1, Devin David, 2, Christian Ney; 15-20 Female 1, Cecile Girard, 2, Allison Fountain; 21-30 Female, 1, Nicole Alexander, 2, Marilyn Klusman; 21-30 Male, 1, Josh Meche, 2, James Mulvey; 31-40 Female, 1, Emilee Winstead, 2, Preble Girard; 31-40 Male, 1, Casey Johnson, 2, Michael Lisansky; 41-50 Female, 1, Kimberly Vasquez, 2, Tara Chaumont; 41-50 Male, 1, Alan Lebato, 2, Errol Wilder; 51-60 Female, 1, Terri Pavlovich, 2, Penny Goldman; 61+ Female, 1, Brandy Wheeler, 2, Shirley Shaw; 61+ Male, 1, Jack Wheeler, 2, Otto Strasburg.

Real Men Wear Pink Campaign Winner Announced In its inaugural year in Southwest Louisiana, prominent area men took a stand against breast cancer by supporting the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Throughout the month of October, the Real Men participants encouraged men and women in their lives and in the community to take action in the fight against breast cancer by learning more about early detection methods and scheduling a mammogram. Together, the Real Men Wear Pink of Southwest Louisiana raised over $13,000.00 for the fight against breast cancer with Sam Wilkinson, Chief Risk Officer and Director of Human Resources at First Federal Bank of Louisiana, receiving the honor of highest fundraiser with $3,639.00. The American Cancer Society saves more lives from breast cancer by investing in groundbreaking breast cancer research to better understand, prevent, find, and treat the disease. The Society is currently funding more than $86 million in breast cancer research grants.

Robotic surgery. Less pain. Less scarring. Less time in the hospital.* Lake Area Medical Center brings you the benefits of robotic surgery. This technology allows surgeons to perform delicate and complex gynecological, urological and general surgery procedures. For many, minimally invasive robotic surgery may mean a quicker return to an active life. To learn more about robotic surgery, visit LakeAreaMC.com/Robotics.

4200 Nelson Road • Lake Charles 337-474-6370

*Patient results may vary. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks and benefits of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation.

December 2015

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11/16/15 1:04 PM

Home & Family Features and functions. It can be tempting to buy the latest model with a plethora of fancy functions, but if the person you’re buying for won’t use them, you may be better off saving money on a version with a lighter feature package. Remember, too, that for those with little tech experience, the excess can be overwhelming. Your best bet: shop for the features you need, but don’t over-reach.

Support and guidance. Who doesn’t want a tech hero waiting in the wings to answer questions, help with set up and solve problems? With so many tech gadgets connecting via apps through your smartphone, you may be surprised to learn that your wireless company offers comprehensive tech support. Tech experts are available via chat, phone and email to provide help across any device or platform. They can help with things such as troubleshooting a specific operating system or connecting devices to a digital home network.

Power source. Even devices with superior battery life run out of juice eventually. Help extend the usability of your tech gift by supplying extra batteries or a charging plug if they aren’t included in the original packaging. Or consider a car charging system to help restore battery life on the go.


to Make the Most of Tech Gifts

Add-on accessories. The market for tech devices is far and wide with options that simply add some bling to more practical choices that help protect devices from damage. Most devices don’t truly require many additional accessories, but covers and cases that help protect devices against dropping are a smart investment. Other smart bets are accessories that will enhance the product’s use, such as a pair of quality headphones.

No matter the occasion – holidays, birthdays or promotions – technology gifts are always on the top of wish lists. With today’s devices spanning a wide range of price points and features, selecting the right item is just the beginning. When buying a tech gift, there are several things to keep in mind. Ensure your intended gets maximum enjoyment from your tech gift with these tips from Asurion, a nationwide mobile technology insurer.

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Smartphone protection. An insurance plan helps protect your purchase from loss, theft and accidental damage, ensuring it can be enjoyed longer. Research your options before shopping, and be sure to thoroughly explore the coverage plans; typically only your wireless carrier offers comprehensive coverage for both loss and theft. Other third party products usually only cover accidental damage and may have other restrictions to limit coverage.

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December 2015


Celebrations & Gifts Start Here!

How to Throw a Regifting Party— and Still Stay Polite

Thoughtful and unusual gifts for everyone on your list!

by Beth Winslett Fontenot

We all have them. Tucked away in a closet or drawer are gifts we’ve been given that we weren’t exactly thrilled to receive. Whether it was the wrong size, wrong color, wrong style, or simply not our taste, those gifts will never see the light of day. Don’t let those gifts gather dust when it could be such fun to throw a regifting party where everyone can re-home an unwanted gift and get a new one. Since the third Thursday of December is the most common day for office holiday parties, it is designated as Regifting Day. Why not invite everyone to dust off their unwanted gifts, rewrap them, and make it a party? The week after Christmas is also a good time for such a party, or perhaps during the post-holiday blues of January. There are etiquette rules for regifting. • Never regift something you have already opened and used. • Make sure what you are regifting doesn’t contain a monogram or personalization. • Make sure there are no personal notes tucked in the box. • Be careful not to regift something that anyone at the party has given you! • Only regift items to people who don’t know the original giver. Once everyone arrives at the party with their gifts, you can play the regifting game in a number of ways. Whether you give everyone a number as they arrive and open gifts in numerical order, or you choose to go alphabetically by first or last name is up to you. For regifting party ideas, visit www.regiftable.com. The good thing about a regifting party is the opportunity to find a home for something that would otherwise gather dust in your closet. If you don’t get something you can use, you can always save it for next year’s party.

December 2015

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3101 Ernest St. | 337-564-6705 mypapersmith.com |



Home & Family

The Problem with Puppies for Christmas by Erin Kelly

The kids have pestered you all year for a dog. You told them no. You gave good, logical reasons: Pets are a lot of responsibility. Someone will have to walk it and feed it. They need lots of attention. The kids begged and pleaded and you never gave in. Then you heard the call of holiday bells and had second thoughts. You imagined their surprise to get an adorable little puppy on Christmas morning, wearing a red bow and slopping their faces with kisses. In best-case scenarios, that Christmas-card picture or YouTube video has a happy ending. But the sad truth is that many holiday puppies eventually find themselves in dog shelters or Facebook posts, needing new homes. “Dogs should never be purchased on a whim. Pets play significant, major roles in family life and they need and deserve a great deal of consideration before they walk through the front door,” says veterinarian Dr. Jae Chang with Farr Veterinary Hospital in Lake Charles. “Not only do you have to make absolutely sure that your family is ready for a pet, you have to make sure you buy the right kind of dog for your family.” You might think Labs are cute, but are you prepared to give them to attention, exercise, and care they deserve? Are you ready to tackle the respiratory issues of a purebred pug? The oftenconsistent barking of an attentive beagle? The jumping and playful personality of a Jack Russell terrier? Dogs are not a one-size-fits-all investment, Dr. Chang says. They each have their own personalities and unique set of responsibilities. “Too often, people decide they want a dog, so they just go out and get one. They have this picture in their head of a cute and obedient dog romping around, sitting down when they’re told, never making a mess in the house. But dogs are all different, just as people are all different. And they take a lot of work, especially if you get them as puppies,” Dr. Chang says. “They don’t intuitively know how to sit, or how to be quiet, or how to use the bathroom outside of the house. You have to train them to do these things and it takes a great deal of patience and determination. That’s the picture families don’t see on Christmas morning.” Once the initial excitement of sloppy kisses and wagging tails fades, the dog starts ripping the pillows and eating the wrapping paper and within a few weeks, the dog—who was meant to be a beloved addition to the family—becomes an unwanted pest. “It’s heartbreaking to see how many dogs are unwanted not long after the holidays,” Dr. Chang says. 36 www.thriveswla.com

If you do want to buy a dog for Christmas, Dr. Chang offers this advice for making sure it’s a well thought-out decision: If you’ve decided on December first that your family should get a dog and you’re scheduled to pick one up two weeks later, you may not be ready. Buying a dog is a major family decision that should never be made on the fly, Dr. Chang says. Why not give yourself a few months to do research? If you still decide you want a dog in a few months, surprise the family on Valentine’s Day instead. Think about the dynamics of your family. What kind of dog fits best? Do you have very small children, or teenagers who are never home? How responsible are your children? Will they take care of the dog, or will it fall to you? And if so, are you prepared to step up to the plate?

adopt, you also ensure that you’re not inadvertently buying from a puppy mill, Dr. Chang says. “If you decide to buy a purebred puppy, be sure to ask about its living conditions. Be wary of anyone who doesn’t want you to buy the dog directly from the premises. Legitimate dog breeders should be proud of the condition in which they keep their dogs, and the care and attention they show them,” Dr. Chang said. “Ask if you can visit the facility where the dog was raised. If they refuse, consider it a red flag.” For more information about choosing the right pet for your family, call Farr Veterinary Hospital at 474-1526 or visit www.farrvet.com.

Think about your available time. Dogs require time and attention. Does your family have that? Will there be time in the day to take the dog for walks and for playful interaction? Do you have time to train the dog or take the dog to training classes? Think about your home. Some dogs require a tremendous amount of space and exercise. How much space do you have? What size dog makes the most sense? Research, research, research. Individual dogs have their own personalities, but some breeds are known for certain characteristics. Some are more playful than others. Some demand exercise, while others are more sedentary. There are dogs who are meant to be outdoors, and others that should stay indoors. Know what kind of dog you want or need, and what kind you’re getting. Consider adoption. There are many advantages to adopting a dog rather than purchasing a purebred. Dogs who are up for adoption often spend time in a foster home, so you have an opportunity to ask the foster parent about the animal’s personality and temperament. In some cases, you may be able to purchase an adult dog that’s already been trained, which is a tremendous bonus. When you Thrive Magazine for Better Living

December 2015

Make the move. Elevate your lifestyle.”

Don’t Underestimate the Thank You Note

by Beth Winslett Fontenot

Is the handwritten thank-you note a passé tradition when a text or email can get the job done more quickly and without the added hassle of a stamp? Or maybe the bigger question is: Should thank yous be relegated to such impersonal forms of communication?

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The art of the handwritten thank you note seems to be a dying one, but according to The Emily Post Institute, sending a written thank you note is always the right thing to do. Verbal, email, or phone thank yous are permissible for close family members, but the handwritten note is preferred because it’s special and so much more personal for the receiver. Each year December 26 is recognized as National Thank You Note Day. So while you are out Christmas shopping, pick up a package of thank you notes, a new pen, and don’t forget stamps. In the afterglow of Christmas Day, take out time to craft special thank yous to the people who were thoughtful enough to shop for a gift for you. Hallmark.com offers a template for writing thank you notes. Begin with a greeting to the person, using their name. Using the words “thank you,” express your appreciation. Indicate how you plan to use the gift or spend the cash. State when you hope to see the person again, and then restate your thanks in a different way. End with a warm regard, such as “Sincerely” or “With Love.” Make your kids write thank you notes, too. Kids who aren’t taught to write thank you notes will become adults who don’t write them and won’t teach their kids to write them. Then the art will truly be lost forever. Getting a handwritten note in the mail is a rare treat these days. Go ahead. Make someone’s day.

December 2015

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Home & Family

The Sound of

Christmas MUSIC

by Brett Downer

The phone call to Gary Shannon came a week before Thanksgiving. “Is this the radio station that switches to Christmas music at the holidays?” Shannon assured her it was, and told her the tradition was continuing this year. “Thank you,” the caller chirped. “I’ll be tuned in 24/7.” For the 13th straight year, 92.9 The Lake is Southwest Louisiana’s holiday soundtrack. Christmasphiles can catch around-the-clock yuletide songs on the morning commute, during leisure time at home or on the sly at work. As program director, Shannon loads the monthlong holiday jukebox. He helps play it, too, on the weekday drive-time “Gary and Heather” show. What determines the songs that are played? “It’s a trade secret,” Shannon deadpanned in his familiar baritone. “Bing Crosby, of course … and the standards are part of the mix — and new crooners like Michael Buble’ with the Sinatra sound. But you also have to play “Please Come Home for Christmas’ around here.” He has his own favorites on the playlist. “Nat King Cole could sing a restaurant menu, so “The Christmas Song’ for sure,” Shanon said. Others,

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meh — such as the Chipmunks. Whatever the holiday songs, though, listeners want them and listen to them. “I get stopped in stores” about the all-Christmas programming, Shannon said. “And then there are our online listeners as well. We can chart them where they’re listening. Australia. Russia. All over the United States.”

‘ALWAYS MAKE ME SMILE’ Shannon’s morning co-host, Heather Partin, is happy to listen to the all the holiday fare. “I love Christmas music,” she said. “I start playing my CDs on Nov. 1 — and it takes a lot of willpower to wait until that date each year.” And: “Yes, I’ll even admit that I have played a few CDs at other times throughout the year.” Partin helps to share lots of Christmas music every morning, and in naming her own favorites, “narrowing it down is really, really difficult,” she said. She offered actress Megan Mullally’s “Silent Night” from the 2001 album “NBC Celebrity Christmas” (“you can still get the CD on Amazon, so go get it — really … go now,” she said); Aaron Neville’s “Louisiana Christmas Day”; and “Christmas Canon” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Also, “O Holy Night” holds a special meaning for

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her — particularly versions by Josh Groban, Marie Osmond, Perry Como, Andy Williams and Aaron Neville over the years. “It was my grandmother’s favorite Christmas carol,” Partin said. “I can remember listening to her Perry Como and Andy Williams Christmas albums each year as we made the traditional Italian fig cookies for Christmas. “The song always makes me smile — and at the same time makes me a little sad. I look forward to hearing it each year at Christmas Mass.” One more: She also loves “Christmas Can Can,” a mashup of Christmas songs by Straight No Chaser, the a cappella singing group. “I used to dance in a can-can dance troupe,” Partin said. “Really, I did. There were seven or eight of us and we performed for schools, events and parties. “If you’re dancing the can-can, your music has to be Offenbach’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld.’ I love that song. (It’s her ringtone, too.) Fast-forward quite a few years past my can-can days, and while looking for a Video of the Day for the station, I came across the song on YouTube. These guys are great! I’ve posted the video every year since and it always makes me laugh.” KHLA-FM’s all-holiday format runs through

December 2015

midnight Christmas evening. Gary and Heather and their colleagues have plenty more music to play.

fresh shelf life Spreading holiday cheer in another way is a pixie who pops up in all sorts of local places — with the spottings tracked on social media. By day, Kayla Rigney is the executive director of the Calcasieu Community Clinic. During the Christmas season, however, her alter ego is a lifesized Elf on the Shelf. She’s an elf off the shelf, actually — perching at local landmarks, special events and the desks of movers and shakers. Rigney’s elf comes with a bio and a mini-posse. She has a name (Sassy), a frequent elfette partner in crime (Bold, who between yuletides is better known as C.C. Hartman) and, last year, a traveling photographer (Summer Boudreaux of The Bigger Picture). Sassy’s back for 2015, Rigney said. The socialbutterfly elf will be building on last year’s 50-plus appearances. “My inner child rules,” she said. It’s also Christmas that rules right now. Music is part of that plan — and she’s particular about the songs she likes best. Her favorite song of all? “It’s ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.’ You can quote me on that,” Rigney said. “That one just rocks on its own merit.”

December 2015

c’mon, get happy Veteran multi-media newswoman Laura Heller is an unofficial guru of local Christmas fandom. She’s a set-up-early, take-down-late devotee whose Christmas collection ranges from retro to recent. For Christmas music, hits from mid-century are among her favorites. One is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry. “This is for my kid self,” Heller said. “I wore Gene Autry’s Christmas album out growing up — and I played this particular song over and over.” Others include the Chipmunks’“Christmas Don’t Be Late — “one of my talents is that I can sing like a chipmunk,” Heller shared — and Elvis Presley’s “Why Can’t Everyday Be Like Christmas,” because of the closing lyrics: “Why can’t that feeling go on endlessly? If every day could be just like Christmas, what a wonderful world it would be.” She also likes a passage in “Toyland” sung by Maureen McGovern: “While you dwell within it, you’re forever happy then.” “Those are the happiest years — and they go by too fast,” Heller said of the song. “Like the song says, once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.” Heller also offered a wild card: “My Christmas Card to You” by the Partridge Family. “We played the album “A Partridge Family Christmas Card” over and over when I was a kid,” Heller said. “So my earliest memories are of this song.”

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Home & Family

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? CHANGE IT! The TOP 10 Worst Christmas Songs, and Why? by Brett Downer

This is Casey, countin’ ’em down for the holidays … and these songs oughta be down for the count. It’s time for — (drumroll) — the Top 10 Worst Christmas Songs of the rock era. Rankings are determined by local media folks contacted by Thrive. Here are the songs that get a lump of coal: 1. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” 1979 Elmo & Patsy HEATHER PARTIN, 92.9 THE LAKE: “Why is this song still around? Anyone still find it funny? They even made a cartoon out of it. As if the song itself wasn’t bad enough, they stretched it to 22 minutes to be sure to explain all the lame jokes in meticulous detail.” LAURA HELLER, KPLC-TV: “This song’s like ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ — what’s so funny about people getting hurt? Grandma getting killed by Santa’s reindeer: Never going to be funny. Even if it isn’t true.” Score: 5 lumps of coal 2. “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” 1953, Gail Peevey GARY SHANNON, 92.9 THE LAKE: “… And it gets requests.” Score: 4 1/2 lumps 3. “Celebrate Me Home,” Kenny Loggins, 1977 HEATHER PARTIN, 9.29 THE LAKE: “I’m a fan of Kenny Loggins, but … the way he slides into ‘Please, celebrate me home …’ is just terrible. Sounds like he’s desperately grasping for the note and can’t seem to get a hold on it. And he doesn’t do it just once, he does it 14 times! Fourteen times! Seriously?” Score: 4 1/2 lumps

4. “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” countless duets since 1949 LAURA HELLER, KPLC-TV: “A friend put it best: ‘Why glorify a song that is essentially about date rape?’” Score: 4 lumps 5. “Feliz Navidad,” Jose Feliciano, 1970 (and successors) HEATHER PARTIN, 92.9 THE LAKE: “Any singer, any style, any time, any way, any how. This song gets on my last nerve! I should love it — it’s happy, it’s upbeat, it’s fun. No! No! No! This song is terrible. It seems like we play about 75 versions of this song, but I know it can’t be that many … it just seems like it. Gary knows to turn down the monitors any time it comes on or he’ll have to deal with me being surly for the duration of the song.” Score: 4 lumps 6. “My Two Front Teeth,” Spike Jones, 1947 GARY SHANNON, 92.9 THE LAKE: “I like (satiric bandleader) Spike Jones. But not this Spike Jones.” Score: 3 1/2 lumps 7. “Little Saint Nick,” Beach Boys, 1964 LAURA HELLER, KPLC-TV: Isn’t this song annoying? It’s like the Beach Boys had to come up with a Christmas song and this is it. Santa’s sleigh is magic. Its speediness doesn’t come from “a four-speed stick” or all the other car jargon. Trying too hard to appeal to the male population.”

8. “It’s a Marshmallow World,” Dean Martin, 1966 BRETT DOWNER, THRIVE: “Ol’ Red Eyes sloshes his way through cringeworthy lyrics that ought to come with a sap spigot. Unlistenable. What — you have the version by Wayne Newton? I’ll confess to whatever you want.” Score: 2 1/2 lumps 9. “Santa Baby,” Eartha Kitt, 1953; Madonna, 1987; Taylor Swift, 2007 LAURA HELLER, KPLC-TV: “Here’s another one you hear over and over. It’s supposed to be cute and flirty, but Santa’s no pimp, girlfriend. Let’s not joke about that either.” Score: 2 lumps 10. Special Mention: “My Favorite Things,” 1965 HEATHER, 92.9 THE LAKE: I’m a fan of “The Sound of Music,” but when did it become a Christmas song? It pops up on Christmas stations and albums and in stores. It doesn’t even mention Christmas! Who started this and how do we stop them? The only time I want to hear this is if I’m watching “The Sound of Music” and Julie Andrews is singing it to a bunch of children on a rainy night in Austria. Score: 1 lump

Score: 3 lumps

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

December 2015

Music has Charms A new study concludes that belting out show tunes improves brain health, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens. Researchers at Virginia’s George Mason University chose an elder care facility with a focus on patients with moderate to severe dementia. One group of patients was designated as “listeners” and another actually got together and performed song from such musicals as The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Oklahoma. Before-and-after tests showed cognitive

improvement among the singers. Apparently the listeners derived no benefits. Neuroscientist Jane Flinn told London’s Guardian newspaper that: “Even when people are in the fairly advanced stages of dementia, when it is so advanced they are in a secure ward, singing sessions were still helpful. The message is: don’t give up on these people. You need to be doing things that engage them, and singing is cheap, easy and engaging.”

Seeing is Believing LASIK at The Eye Clinic

Make a dream of clear vision come true for yourself or someone you care about this holiday season with the gift of sight: LASIK from The Eye Clinic’s Laser Center. The end of the year is the perfect time to schedule LASIK, allowing you to take advantage of available health savings or flexible spending account funds. We’re making it even easier with these special offers:


Free Lasik Screenings Available Monday – Saturday by Appointment.

theeyeclinic.net 877-95-FOCUS | 1717 Oak Park Boulevard | Lake Charles December 2015

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Home & Family

Tricks for

StressFree Holiday Entertaining While the holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year,” it can also be the most stressful. Gift giving, family gatherings and travel coordination can all be stressors, but at the top of the list, playing holiday host just might be the biggest tension producer. “When it comes to minimizing stress as a hostess, it’s all about the things you can control,” said psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, bestselling author of Better Than Perfect. “While you can’t control what your uncle Bill says at the dinner table, you can set yourself up for success when it comes to your home. Clean feels good – keeping your home in order before, during and after entertaining is half the battle and means less stress for you.” Lombardo and Scotch-Brite teamed up to offer the following tips and tricks to get your house in shape for the holidays while reducing the pressures of entertaining. Prioritize: Clean less-used rooms first as they will stay cleaner longer; tackle the bigger messes and clutter in the mostused rooms closer to the big event. You can quickly go over those lesser-used rooms again right before guests arrive for last minute sprucing. Double Duty: According to a survey by Scotch-Brite Brand, 80 percent of Americans have avoided cooking or baking a recipe because the cleanup might be too difficult. To get around this fear, use cleaning products that serve a dual-purpose and can do the work for you.

knock over a glass or drop a dish. Steal some of your child’s modeling clay to pick up broken glass and shards that your broom might miss. Citrus Solution: Between dirty dishes and food prep, the kitchen sink sees its fair share during the holiday season, and a good amount of food can get stuck in your disposal. To cut down on odors, run some lemon rinds, followed by cold water, through the garbage disposal to fend off the stink. Be Our Guest: If you have overnight guests, give the bed in the guestroom a little bit of love. As you wash the sheets, clean your mattress with a vacuum and spritz it with a little lavender oil, which promotes relaxation. Make sure to fluff the pillows and open windows for at least an hour to bring some life back to the room. Keep the Outdoors Out: Place doormats on the inside and outside of your front door to protect your floors from dirt. You might even consider putting a shoe rack at the front door to encourage guests to take their shoes off before entering the house. This will keep guests from bringing the outside in, which includes dust, dirt and allergens. A Little Help from Your Friends: When family and friends ask if they can do anything to assist with your gathering, start taking them up on the offer. Whether it’s bringing a bottle of wine, whipping up an appetizer or arriving an hour early to assist in set up, tap your attendees for even the littlest things.

Child’s Play: With a full house and a full dinner table, someone will inevitably

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December 2015

Standing Together for a Better Community CITGO Lake Charles employees make a difference by giving to the United Way. Since 1975, CITGO employees have given more than $13.4 million. These funds stay here in Southwest Louisiana, helping people through the 28 agencies and 53 programs of the United Way. We stand together to make a difference, for generations to come.




Š2015 CITGO Petroleum Corporation December 2015

Š2015 CITGO Petroleum Corporation

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Home & Family

Got 1 Minute? 3 Art Games to Boost your Kid’s Brain

by Ruthie Briggs-Greenberg

Engaging your child in art can be done with everyday things, at any time. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, kids with more art experiences had higher GPAs than kids who lacked those experiences. How do you start? Here are some quick and easy ideas to get you going: 1. Ask Junior: How many things can be done with spoons? The obvious answers will come quickly: eating, scooping, and maybe using it to propel something small across the table. Then the ideas might run out. This is where you say, “Keep going.” Your child has just spent a solid minute thinking outside of the box—or in this case, the silverware drawer.Thinking beyond the obvious frees your child’s mind to use their imagination. Imagination leads to solutions. Let’s get back to the spoons. If you weld spoons together, you could build skies, or a wall, and then you could make a house of spoons. The question leads your child, and you, to think strategically to solve a puzzle. This method of thinking creatively builds ideas that don’t exist. That’s how art starts. You’ve spent a minute and engaged in strategic thinking.

it teaches them to have answers. Get Junior thinking and they will come up solutions to all kinds of life situations. One minute art games lead Junior to strategic thinking, problem solving and visual recall, and these strategies are useful throughout life.

2. Grab a pencil and a piece of paper. Ask Junior to draw a bicycle with circles, and lines. Did you set the timer for one minute? If your coffee has kicked in, you can try it too. What does this game do for Junior? It makes them think about design principles of how shapes fit together for practical use. If you want a hint, a very basic bike can be drawn using 5 circles and 11 lines. 3. Open the cupboard and let Junior look at it for eight seconds. This is not the time to obsess over the fact that there is high fructose corn syrup in half of the breakfast cereals. Close the cupboard. Ask Junior, “How many colors can be made from the colors on the boxes inside the cupboard?” You’ll probably get: “I don’t know.” Who thinks about cereal boxes and art? Ask Junior to open the cupboard and see if there is red, yellow and blue inside, if so, you have the three primary colors. All colors can be made from the three primary colors. Play a color addition game (go on, the first part wasn’t even 20 seconds). What is red plus yellow? Orange. Was there a yellow box on your shelf? A blue one? Sure there was, everyone has that blue box of pasta on the second shelf, so now you have yellow plus blue. You get the picture. Now you’ve covered visual recall. Junior has now used art, or thinking about art, to fire up those synapses before school. Thinking about art will carry over into other areas of study, such as math, language, and science. Ultimately, art allows us to create something from nothing by strategically analyzing a problem and solving them. School doesn’t train our kids to think of possibilities,

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CRAWFORD CRAWFORD At Crawford Orthodontics, We’ll Give You one More Reason to Smile this Holiday Season The end of the year is a great time to begin orthodontic treatment, allowing you to take advantage of flexible benefit account deadlines, as well as annual insurance deductibles that have been met. We offer a variety of advanced orthodontic techniques that create beautiful smiles. We accept most insurance and flexible benefit plans, and offer convenient payment options

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

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December 2015

Each day, an abused or neglected child is removed from an unsafe home and placed in Louisiana’s foster care system. They remain in the system until their home environment is safe—but for many that never happens. Of the 4,000 children currently cycling in state foster care, about 350 are ready to be adopted today. More than 60 of them are in Southwest Louisiana, right here in our community. . KPLC reporter Britney Glaser, in partnership with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), highlights one child each month who is legally ready to be adopted. Thrive is supporting The New Family Tree by featuring each month’s story.

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Brother and Sister Just Want to be Wanted by a Mom and Dad 4,800 children in Louisiana, ranging in age from infants to teens, are in limbo today, waiting in foster care to be reunited with family or to be adopted into a new family. Two of those kids are 14-year-old Deborah and 13-year-old John, a brother and sister who have spent many, many months in foster care. Their hope is that there is a mom or dad who wants them. While this brother and sister are in a loving foster home, it is not a forever family. Their only hope for that now is through adoption. “We can actually have a family where we’re free to be ourselves,” said Deborah,” and have a family where our parents are accepting and that actually want us and love us.” John echoes that simple desire, “I’ll have a family that cares for me,” he said. Department of Children and Family Services, Lake Charles region adoption supervisor, Carla Wilson, said the ages of this sibling set present a challenge, but they still have a lifetime of love to give. “They’re at an age where it’s really important that they know what a family is like, because they’re starting to plan for their future,” she said. For John, he wants someone who will continue pushing him in school and with the school band, where he plays trumpet. Deborah wants someone to encourage her through her final high school years and ultimately, college. “I think what would make me successful is I’m a hard worker and I focus on what I want and I set a goal and I try to reach it,” she said. “A good forever family would be someone who’s going to be there for me and love me and actually take care and take interest in what I believe in.” Deborah and John understand they could be adopted into different homes. They say it is important to be able to stay in touch with one another. To make an inquiry about these children or to learn more about adopting through foster care, call 337-491-2470.

Quick Facts on Adopting a Foster Child

601 S. Pine Street • DeRidder, LA 70634 • (337) 463-7442 www.thriftyway.com • thriftyway2@thriftyway.com December 2015

• Minimum age is 21. • Single people can adopt. • Many of the children in state custody are considered “special needs,” which is defined as the following: older child, race/ ethnic background, sibling group, medical conditions, physical/ mental/emotional handicaps.

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• Children in foster care are there as a result of abuse, neglect or abandonment. • The certification process typically takes 90 days to complete. Once matched with a child, the process to legally adopt a child takes about one year.



Home & Family

When Life Throws Curves, Keep Swinging The 2015 State 5A Champion Barbe Buccaneers will host their 15th Annual Dinner and Auction at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, December 10, at the Buccaneer Room of the Lake Charles Civic Center, Buccaneer Room. This year’s auction items include popular area hunting and fishing trips, sacks of crawfish, crawfish tables, BBQ Pits, LSU and McNeese tickets, Golf packages at area resorts, kayaks, ice chests, washer boards, gift baskets, and batting lessons. New this year is a homemade baked goods sale. Keynote speaker at this year’s event is Coach David Vince, author of When Life Throws You Curves, Keep Swinging.

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David spent 29 years as a high school and collegiate baseball coach with 470 victories despite walking on two prosthetic legs and never personally playing baseball. Coach Vince has successfully coached in eight countries and Hawaii and has worked as a professional baseball scout for the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays. The Barbe Buccaneer Baseball Team was recognized nationally by Baseball America as one of the nation’s top 10 baseball programs of the decade. The program receives no financial support from the school or the Calcasieu Parish School Board, and depends on the

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community to continue a winning tradition that includes 8 – 5A State Championships, the most of any school in Louisiana. Tickets are $15 each and on sale now from any BARBE baseball player, or by calling Head Coach Glenn Cecchini at (337) 912-9524 or Miranda Booth at (337) 540-3055. Tickets will also be available at the door. Patronsponsorships are available at several different levels and stadium signs may still be purchased. Season tickets for reserved seating will go on sale soon.

December 2015

Second Harvest Food Bank Introduces School Pantry and Backpack Program in Two Local Schools Oak Park and Fairview Elementary Schools Participating In Programs

Your Home for the

Holidays Awaits If you’re dreaming of a new home this holiday season, whether you’re buying or selling. CENTURY 21 Bessette Realty, Inc. has the keys you need. Our experienced agents can help sort through the listings and locations to find the perfect one. And, don’t worry, we’ll give Santa your new address!

From left to right: Powell Smith of Morgan Stanley, Oak Park Principal Shaalom St. Mary, Oak Park counselor Cheryl Lewis, Raising Cane’s General Manager Michael Humphrey, Development Manager of Second Harvest Food Bank Mary-Kay Rath, Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, and Ed Ellington, Natalie Fontenot and Billy Rose of Morgan Stanley.

Second Harvest Food Bank recently celebrated the grand opening of the School Pantry program at Oak Park Elementary and the transfer of the Backpack Program to Fairview Elementary. The new school pantry program is an innovative way to bring food pantry resources into the school setting. According to Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” research, 22.8 percent of children in Calcasieu Parish are food insecure. Each School Pantry site hosts afterschool food distributions at times convenient for working parents. The distribution provides families with both non-perishable and nutritious perishable food items such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Each school has customized and organized their distribution system to best accommodate the families at their respective schools. The program launched in October and has received positive feedback from families. Second Harvest Food Bank also operates the Backpack Program throughout the school year, feeding thousands of children across South Louisiana. Currently, the Backpack December 2015

Program serves more than 1,700 children in 34 schools in 23 parishes. Backpack bags contain a two-day supply of easy-to-open, nonperishable, high protein food items such as stew, beefy mac, fruit cups, cereal, shelf stable milk and juice. The Backpack Program transitioned from Oak Park to Fairview Elementary to help 80 children over the weekend and school breaks. The schools participating in these programs were identified by Second Harvest Food Bank as areas that have more than 96 percent enrollment in the free and reduced federal meal program. Because so many children live in poverty, most schools in Calcasieu Parish meet that requirement. Financial support from donors are vital to providing School Pantry partners with resources such as pantry shelving and racking; freezer and cooler equipment to ensure food is stored properly; and a steady supply of nutritious food to stock pantries throughout the school year. For more information, visit no-hunger.org/.

Bessette Realty, Inc. 474-2185 | century21-bessette.com 3025 Lake Street, Lake Charles Each office independently owned and operated.

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Home & Family

The Force of the Force Three Star Wars superfans talk prequels, best films, and what makes the franchise resonate after 40 years. by Erin Kelly photos by Shonda Manuel

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December 2015

Star Wars fan Victor DiGiovanni shows the influence the franchise has made on his career in videography. December 2015

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Home & Family

Star Wars fan Chris Bacarisse’s collection of vintage action figures.

It’s hard to imagine a time in pop culture history when Star Wars didn’t exist. Chris Bacarisse—Lake Charles resident, Star Wars fan, and child of the 70s—says it best: Star Wars defines a generation. “It was a whole new experience that changed movies forever,” says Bacarisse, who remembers when A New Hope and all its associated merchandise were unleashed on an unsuspecting public nearly 40 years ago. “When A New Hope came out in ’77 the toys were the coolest thing we had ever seen.”

How powerful is the force? When Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases this month, it will be the movie event of the decade. So far, all six previous films in franchise—even those with lackluster response from critics and fans—have been nominated for Academy Awards and become commercial powerhouses. The films alone have collectively earned more than $4 billion. Supplemental merchandising has made Star Wars the most successful film merchandising franchise of all time, with an estimated total value of nearly $31 billion. Star Wars has spawned generations of devoted fans, all of whom are anxious to see what director J.J. Abrams has in store for the latest film, which picks up 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire. Expectations are high among Star Wars die-hards like Bacarisse (“the new trilogy better be true to the original,” he says), and fellow fan Victor DiGiovanni, who saw the first film in theaters when he was nine years old. “Mind blown walking out of the theater,” he says, of the experience. “I devoured everything Star Wars produced. Toys. Novel. Comics. Star Wars even created my love of movie soundtracks and John Williams.” Like Bacarisse, he considers Star Wars a pivotal movement in American pop culture. “Why do so many people love it? The short answer is that Star Wars provided a new mythology for a generational changing of the guard. All the

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Star Wars fan Chris Bacarisse, owner of E2E Technology, holds his vintage Millennium Falcon.

December 2015

old Greek and other myths—Arthurian legends, Robin Hood, Zorro, Lone Ranger—were all from a relatively static era of technology. Things kind of worked like they had for thousands of years. Even through the early-to-mid-20th century, with the birth of actual technology, we didn’t create any new mythology. But then, in the mid-70s, we had the beginnings of the personal computer revolution. I was seven years old when our family got the first PONG game. That was the first time we’d ever hooked anything up to the TV. It was the first time a TV was more than just a TV,” DiGiovanni says. “So when Star Wars came out, there was a whole generation of kids who had a movie—a new mythology—that seemed to speak directly to them. It was magical and mythical, but it incorporated everything we loved: computers, holographic video games, laser swords, and on and on. It was the mythology of the future. And classic stories of good and evil fit perfectly within this new mythology. It was the perfect storm.”

Which film is the worst?

John Dugas, 25, wasn’t born when the original trilogy was released, but he still considers himself a Star Wars superfan. His sisters introduced him to the Star Wars universe when he was a toddler; he vividly remembers bringing Star Wars toys to his pre-K class and says he was a full-fledged fan by the time Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace—the first film of the prequel trilogy—was released in 1999. He dressed as Anakin Skywalker for Halloween that year. Like most Star Wars fans, Dugas admits that the prequels failed to live up to the originals. He considers Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones to be the worst of the three—“Anakin using the force to float fruit across a room is where I drew the line,” Dugas says—but DiGiovanni and Bacarisse cite Phantom Menace as the biggest disappointment. Bacarisse dubbed it “juvenile,” while DiGiovanni called it wooden and boring. “The prequels. It’s pretty much a dirty word for me,” DiGiovanni adds. Star Wars fan Ashli Waldrup and her dog Liza.

December 2015

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Home & Family

More of Bacarisse’s collection.

And which is the best? They all see eye-to-eye on the best of the six. “The Empire Strikes Back set the standard for what sequels should aim to accomplish,” Dugas says. “It expanded the scope of the cinematic universe and created such an unforgettable moment with the Battle of Hoth. I still cheer in vain as the AT-AT comes crashing to the ground.” Bacarisse says Empire Strikes Back is the best “by far,” because it was “more refined, darker, and more adult.” DiGiovanni agrees. “It was dark, menacing, less triumphant than the first movie. It was the first time I’d seen a movie willing to end on a down note. It had more Darth Vader. It had the revelation that Vader was Luke’s father. It had Boba Fett. It had the Super Star Destroyer. It had a deeper revelation and understanding of the Force,” he says. “It had Yoda.”

Which character would you most want to hang out with? When asked which Star Wars character they’d most like to hang out with, they each give different answers. Bacarisse went with Boba Fett, whom he described as “a renegade Mandalorian who’s probably got some cool stories,” whereas DiGiovanni chose Anakin Skywalker, post-Darth. “I think it would be fascinating to hear Anakin talk about the moral journey he took to land at his ultimate redemption,” he explains. Dugas was torn between Lando Calrissian and Obi Wan Kenobi.

James A. Leithead, Jr., D.D.S. Leithead Orthodontics, the office of ABO-certified Dr. James A. Leithead, Jr., has been serving the Lake Charles and Jennings communities for over twenty years! We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality orthodontic care to our patients and their families, and have made it our mission to create beautiful, healthy smiles of which our patients can be proud. We offer the best of today’s orthodontic technologies and techniques, and we strive to ensure all our patients achieve the smile of their dreams in a comfortable, friendly environment.

Lake Charles Office | 615 W. College Street Jennings Office | 310 N. Louise Street (337) 478-8091 • Info@leitheadorthodontics.com 52 www.thriveswla.com

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December 2015

“I’d only question Lando to see when and if he would betray me. I’m still bitter about him giving Han Solo up in Empire Strikes Back. I think Obi Wan Kenobi would be the most interesting character to spend time with by far. It’s an amazing journey from avenging the death of his master to sharing the force with Luke. I value his wisdom and would want to know how he views the world today in accordance with the Jedi Order,” Dugas says. When asked what makes Star Wars resonate after nearly 40 years, the 25-year-old had a simple and dynamic answer. “All of us have a tiny Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader occupying our shoulders,” he says.

December 2015

Games and models of Star Wars fan James Babin.

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Style & Beauty The

Ugliest Holiday Tradition Over the past two decades, the satirical Ugly Christmas Sweater Party has cemented its place as a modern tradition. It even claims its own holiday, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, on December 18.

But where did this phenomenon come from? Over-the-top sweaters were a standard in the 1980s, so it was only a matter of time until holiday themes hit department stores. Exaggerated Christmas sweaters, adorned with large holiday images—Santa Claus, reindeer and snowmen with bows and jingle bells were popular among elementary teachers, grandmothers and great-aunts. Chevy Chase donned one in his display of ultimate Christmas spirit in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. They fell out of popularity in the 1990s. Sometime between 2001 and 2002, when the elementary

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children of the 1980s grew into young adults, they sought out the sweaters of their former teachers to hold Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties. The gaudier, the better. While enthusiasts debate the origins of tradition, the City of Vancouver lays claim to being the home of the first Ugly Christmas Sweater party and holds a large annual event. The co-founders even trademarked “ugly Christmas sweater” and “ugly Christmas sweater party” in Canada. Over the years, the parties have extended into a tradition for revelers of all ages hoping to outdo each other in red and green outrageousness; making the ugly Christmas sweater into a booming business. No one wants to be the only one at the party not in bad taste.

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December 2015

Houston: Paisley Capital of the World In a report that reveals the real fabric of U.S. society, Houston has been revealed as the paisley capital of the US—and perhaps the zombie capital, as well. Spoonflower’s Decor Map of America analyzed top fabric pattern choices in cities nationwide that have been shown to favor specific design styles, from paisley to polka-dots, Victorian to mid-century modern, and Aztec to Native American. “Our map provides a unique insight into the decor tastes of America and the psyche of its cities,” says Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower. “It also pioneers an entire new field of what we’re calling ‘decor geography.’” The research reflects data from nearly 200,000 fabric purchases on the website Spoonflower. com, which allows customers to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift-wrap. Spoonflower designates as the “capital” of each design style the city where a higher share of customers than anywhere else has purchased that fabric style. Some of the findings of the study confirm basic expectations, while others are confounding. For example:

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December 2015

• New York City is capital of checkered fabric designs, akin to the patterns that have adorned New York’s checker taxicabs for years. • Houston is tops for zombie decor and it’s the capital of paisley, as in the paisley kerchiefs long the neckwear of choice for the well-dressed cowboy. • Arlington, Virginia, home to the national cemetery and major military memorials, is the top town for stripes. • San Diego, California, on the doorstep of Mexico, ranks tops for Aztec designs. • Native American decor is most popular in Oklahoma City, capital of a state where some 40 Native American tribes are headquartered. • Berkeley, California—historically seen as the hotbed of hippiedo—apparently has a penchant for all things Victorian. That may be due to the many Victorian homes in town and a simple desire for decor in keeping. • Greensboro, North Carolina, is the top for both stars and retro designs.

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Style & Beauty

We’re Mad for


Four Fun Ways to Wear Feminine Plaid by Emily Alford

Take what looks like a man’s shirt and make it your own. Retailers like The Gap and Band of Outsiders are making fitted plaid shirts in classic colors right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like one of the guys. Tuck your button down into a solid color A-line skirt and pair it with ankle booties and a denim jacket for a cute Friday casual or date night look.

Believe it or not, plaid coats made a big splash for Fall 2015 on runways from Miu Miu to House of Holland. The most feminine of these new coats featured a simple, bright tartan with a glamorous fur collar. And while these looks were pretty costly, you can find versions that don’t break the bank from more affordable vendors like Tommy Hilfiger for Macy’s.

The beautiful simplicity of the shirtdress makes it an effortless wardrobe staple that never goes out of style. Why not replenish your supply with a few new plaid options from fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 that offer a variety of styles for around $30 a pop? Belt them with oxfords for work or throw on boots and big sunglasses for the weekend.

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f you think plaid is just for the Brawny Man, think again. Plaid has made a major comeback this year everywhere form Seville Row, London’s chicest shopping street, to your local mall’s fast fashion outlet. And if you’re worrying that all this plaid will make you look frumpy, don’t. There are a million ways to play with plaid for a flirty look that’s every bit as feminine as more traditionally “girly” prints. Arguably, the best thing about soft plaid clothing is that it feels like pajamas but looks like daywear. And now that it’s back, you can feel cozy all winter while still looking like an in-the-know fashionista.

If you needed more proof that the 90s are hot right now, look no further than the resurgence of the plaid Tommy Hilfiger wrap skirt. Picking up one of these puppies will have you reliving your Clueless days in no time. However, this time around, don’t get so matchy matchy with your top and bottom. Instead, try a fitted top with a longer jacket that hits you just at the hem for a fun take on the power suit or even pair your plaid with lace on top to avoid that awkward, kilt-like look.

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December 2015

Never mind that we confused the makeup of French aristocracy in the 1770s with the face paint of a rock band from the 1970s. The important thing to remember is that for over 25 years LCI has worked alongside Louisiana business owners in virtually every industry—providing the expert guidance, personalized service, and custom programs they’ve come to rely on. So put our team to work for your company. :: lciwc.com :: 985-612-1230

Put us to work for you.

December 2015

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Style & Beauty

Men, It’s Time to Step Up Your Hair Game


Recent Google data shows that 2015 marks the first time in the search engine’s history that searches for men’s hairstyles have outpaced searches for women’s styles. And hairdressers from around the country are confirming that more men than ever before are coming in wanting to emulate the cool hairstyles they see on trendy celebrities. “I have seen first-hand men being more interested in having a style and really wanting to be educated on how they themselves can sport these big city looks,” says Lensi White, master stylist and network educator at Signatures Salon in Lake Charles. According to White, there

are a few main styles men are rocking from L.A. to NYC, and the good news is, these styles are easily obtainable for most men. The most important part of choosing a trendy new look, White says, is to make sure you partner with a stylist who can give you some good ideas about your hair type and recommend products that will keep your style in place. Don’t go it alone! “My advice is run, don’t walk, into a true professional’s chair and consult with them to come up with your own personal style,” White says. “If you sit in chair and they immediately start cutting without consulting-again, run. A true professional will ask and talk you through every part of a new do.”

For the last few years, Jared Leto has been more recognizable for his signature bun than his Oscar-winning turn in The Dallas Buyers Club. He’s started a style revolution as men around the country have grown out their manes and twisted them into loose buns at the base of their necks. The end result is surprisingly masculine, especially when paired with a power-beard, according to White. “Either a 5’oclock shadow or groomed beard looks really nice with this look,” White says.

UNDERCUT Both the man bun and the pompadour are made even more on-trend with the addition of an undercut, which means shaving hair along the sides and leaving it long on top. You can also get creative with your buzz cut. “Whether you want a hard part razored in, a clean fade, or just a heavier weight line, we can do it,” White says. “The options are endless!” 58 www.thriveswla.com

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December 2015

POMPADOUR The pompadour isn’t just for your grandpa anymore. Everyone from male models to rock stars have been sporting the short-onthe-sides-tall-on-top look for the last year or so. White says it works for anyone, if you can find the right product for your hair. In fact, a pompadour can be styled different ways just by using different hair products. “You can dress it up with a wax, like Bumble and Bumble SumoTec,” White says. “Or wear look more tousled and natural with Bumbles Don’t Blow It.”

Southern Oral & Facial Surgery Comes to Lake Charles Dr. Donald Boudreaux, Jr. is now seeing patients at Southern Oral & Facial Surgery (formerly Dr. Randy Alexander’s practice) in Lake Charles. Originally from New Iberia, Dr. Boudreaux graduated from LSU School of Dentistry. He then entered one of the most prestigious Oral and Maxillofacial residency programs in the country at Parkland Hospital (UT Southwestern Medical Center) in Dallas, Texas, where he received his medical, anesthesia and surgical training.

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Dr. Boudreaux has been in private practice for more than 9 years. His areas of interests include wisdom teeth, dental implants, bone grafting, intraoral pathology and dental pre-prosthetic procedures.


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Mind & Body Preventing and Treating Shingles Usually thought of as a childhood disease, the chickenpox can have lasting effects well into adulthood because the virus remains inactive in the body even after recovery. Years after you have had the chickenpox, the virus can reappear in the form of shingles. One in three Americans will experience shingles in their lifetime according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. There is no cure for shingles, but there are a variety of treatment options that can make symptoms less serious. “Shingles cause a blistering rash most often on either side of the torso,” said Tammy Mitchell, M.D., Family Medicine physician on the medical staff at Lake Area Medical Center. “The rash lasts two to four weeks, but some people still experience pain after the rash goes away.” Adults over the age of 50 are at risk at developing shingles, but the disease can appear in younger individuals who have had the chickenpox. Other risk factors include having other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, having undergone radiation or chemotherapy, and taking certain medications. The first symptom of shingles is pain, which, depending on the location, can sometimes be mistaken for other issues. A rash appears typically after the pain, but some experience the discomfort of shingles without a rash. Other signs of shingles include: • Burning, numbness or tingling • Sensitivity to touch

• Fluid-filled blisters • Itching • Fever

• Headache • Sensitivity to light • Fatigue

Visit a physician promptly if you have symptoms of shingles, especially if you experience pain or rash around the eye, you are 70 years or older, you or someone in your family has a weakened immune system or the rash is widespread and painful. For people who have had chickenpox, shingles is not contagious. However, someone who has not had chickenpox and who has direct contact with the shingles rash could contract chickenpox, not shingles. Chickenpox can be very dangerous for anyone with a weak immune system, newborns and pregnant women, so if you have shingles do not come into physical contact with these people. When your blisters scab over you are not usually contagious any longer. “There is no cure for shingles, but prescription drugs can speed recovery and reduce your risk of complications. Your physician may also prescribe creams or painkillers,” said Dr. Mitchell. “If you are 60 or older and have had the chickenpox virus it is recommended that you receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent contracting the disease.” Some people experience complications from shingles if they do not receive the right treatment. Shingles around the eye can cause painful infections and vision loss. The disease can also damage nerve fibers causing pain even after the disease is gone. If shingles blisters are not treated properly they can become infected. Talk to your primary care or family physician immediately if you suspect shingles.

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December 2015

10 Things you should know

about Influenza and the Flu Vaccine Fevers, runny noses, sore throats—yes, it’s that time of year again. Influenza is quite reliable, showing up every year usually in late fall, peaking over the winter then slowly waning as we move toward spring. There are records of its annual appearance since 1819 when the flu reached pandemic status. Thankfully, we have made great strides in managing the disease since then. What exactly is influenza? According to Robert Anderson, MD, of Calcasieu Urgent Care, influenza is a respiratory illness, which triggers systemic symptoms that can affect the entire body. It is a virus spread by infected droplets via air or contact. Droplets can be aerosolized through coughing, sneezing, even talking or spread by touch ultimately landing in the respiratory system causing infection. Symptoms usually start abruptly and reach peak within a few days of exposure – they include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. Some also experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children. “Most influenza cases last five to seven days with full recovery; however, there can be life-threatening consequences if the infection spreads further into the respiratory system causing pneumonia or into the bloodstream causing sepsis,” Dr. Anderson says. So, what do you need to know about Influenza and how can you best protect yourself and loved ones from contracting this virus? Here are a few tips: 1. The flu vaccine is essential for children. According to Dr. Anderson, immunization is the best way to protect children from the flu virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend annual influenza immunization for everyone ages 6 months and older – emphasizing the need for vaccination of household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of high risk children and children under the age of five. 2. Influenza vaccines are available in 2 forms: nasal spray or injection. Vaccination with the nasal-spray flu vaccine (LAIV4) is an option for healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. The inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) is given by intramuscular injection and is approved for children 6 months of age and older and is available in both trivalent (IIV3) and quadrivalent (IIV4) forms. The quadrivalent vaccine contains the same three strains as the trivalent vaccine, plus an additional B strain. Presently, there has not been a stated preference of one vaccine over the other by the AAP or CDC. 3.  Flu vaccines are safe for pregnant women. Studies show flu vaccines are safe for women in any stage of pregnancy per the CDC. Additionally, flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect the baby against influenza during the first six months of life when the baby is too young to receive a flu vaccination, Dr. Anderson says.

4. Now is the time to get vaccinated. Influenza vaccines are available now. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can occur as early as October, often it peaks in January or later. “Infants and children receiving the flu shot for the first time may require two doses of the vaccine, administered four weeks apart; therefore, it is important these children receive their first does as soon as possible to ensure they complete both doses before the flu season is in full swing,” Dr. Anderson says.

8.  If you do catch the flu and are vaccinated, you will contract a milder form of the disease. Dr. Anderson notes that flu vaccines are on average about 60 percent effective. Although we wish that number were higher, the good news is vaccinated people who do contract influenza experience a significant decrease in the length and severity of the disease per studies by The Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

5.  The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines. Flu vaccines may be given at the same time as other vaccines, but if by injection in a different location on the body.

9.  This year’s flu vaccine is expected to be more effective than last year’s vaccine. The 2014-2015 flu season was particularly severe as the predominant strain was an Influenza A strain named H3N2 which was not included in last year’s vaccine. This year’s vaccine contains the H3N2 strain.

6.  You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. It is a myth that you can contract influenza from the flu vaccine, according to Dr. Anderson. However, it does take about two weeks for one to build up immunity after receiving the vaccine – therefore, one may contract the flu shortly after being vaccinated if exposed during this tentative time.

10. There should be no shortage of the vaccine this year. It’s projected that 171 to 179 million doses of the flu vaccine will be available for the 2015-2016 flu season with roughly 40 million doses already shipped, making us optimistic vaccines will be available for all of our patients.

7.  The side effects of the flu vaccination are extremely mild, if any. Flu vaccines are created from killed or weakened viruses; therefore, mild systemic symptoms such as nausea, lethargy, headache, slight fever, muscle aches and chills can occur. As mentioned if experienced, the side effects are usually very mild, especially when compared to contracting the flu.

“Protect yourself and your loved ones from influenza this year,” Dr. Anderson says. Flu vaccines are usually offered by doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, college health centers, health departments and urgent care centers. For additional information on Influenza or the Flu Vaccine, contact Calcasieu Urgent Care at (337) 426-0919 or visit one of their locations in Lake Charles, Sulphur or Moss Bluff. December 2015

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Mind & Body

Sleeping Pill Concerns Exposed by Christine Fisher

Eating, making phone calls, going for a drive or online shopping are normal activities; but they become dangerous when done while sleeping. Although this sounds absurd, thousands of Americans deal with the side effect of engaging in behaviors like these after taking sleep aids. They perform these activities while not fully awake and often have no memory of them the next morning. Several years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered warnings to consumers about odd habits they may pick up while on sleep-inducing medications. Sedative-hypnotic drugs, commonly known as sleeping pills, including popular medications such as Ambien, Doral, and Lunesta, have been reported to cause several incidences of sleep driving, cooking while asleep, and other potentially harmful behaviors. “While sedative-hypnotic drugs are helpful for patients who are truly unable to get the necessary rest to function normally during the day, these drugs should not be taken without being aware of potential side effects, and they should always be taken under the care of a professional,” said Phillip Conner, MD, board certified sleep specialist with the

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Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana. Doctors should make sure they are prescribing these medications as part of a treatment plan, which will lead to their eventual cessation of use. “The root of why the patient cannot fall asleep or sleep restfully through the night must be determined before any type of medication is prescribed,” said Dr. Conner. “That is why a thorough work-up with a board certified sleep specialist is recommended.” While many may see sleeping medications as a welcome relief from a complex and stressful lifestyle, they don’t realize that sleep medications are not designed and manufactured for all sleeping difficulties. For example, said Dr. Conner, sedative hypnotics are not helpful and could worsen sleep apnea. Before patients ask for sleeping pills, they should avoid alcohol and coffee near bedtime, and ensure that their sleeping environment is conducive to a comfortable sleep, according to the FDA. And if the patient’s doctor finds that sleeping pills are necessary, the patient should use the medication as directed by their doctor, and avoid consuming alcohol with the medication.

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Patients must realize that the warnings on drug bottles and patient medication guides issued with the drugs are very serious, and they are based on research and scientific findings,” said Dr. Conner “Patients must adhere to the warnings and directions if they wish to gain the most benefit and avoid the most risk with all medications, most especially with sedative-hypnotics.” The many experts involved in the sleeping pill debate may differ in their ideas about how to regulate sleeping pill warnings, but all should agree that patients must not be blindly given medication, or given medication to quell symptoms without determining the cause. Even drug manufacturers warn that taking medications without being aware of underlying medical diagnosis can be dangerous and lead to potential serious side effects.” “No matter what your ailment is, and no matter how difficult it is to fall asleep at night, you and your doctor must work together to determine the cause of your sleeplessness,” said Dr. Conner. For more information about sleep, call the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana at 310-REST (7378).

December 2015

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We know it by heart.

Meet the Cardiologists of Imperial Health Miguel DePuy, MD

Jake LeBeau, MD

Richard Gilmore, MD

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December 2015

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McNeese Named Military Friendly School

McNeese Spring 2016 Registration Underway

McNeese State University has been designated a 2016 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds and publisher of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse. The Military Friendly Schools designation provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities. Gov. Bobby Jindal has also named McNeese as a “Governor’s Military and Veteran Friendly Campus.” In order to seek a Governor’s designation, state schools must offer admissions policies and academic and student support services tailored to military and veteran students signifying their willingness to assist service men and women in meeting their educational goals. The Military Friendly Schools designation is awarded to colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. McNeese will be showcased along with other 2016 Military Friendly Schools in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools, special education issues of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse Magazine and on MilitaryFriendly.com.

Registration for the 2016 regular spring semester at McNeese State University is currently underway through Jan 11. The spring class schedule is available online at www.mcneese.edu/schedule and all students should see an adviser, if required, to get their alternate PINS prior to registration. Jan. 4 is the deadline to apply for admission to be eligible for spring regular registration. Students must pay fees by 4:30pm on January 13 or all courses will be dropped. Classes begin Jan. 19 and students can go online to www.mcneese. edu and click on the “Students” tab and then select Banner Self-Service under Registration to begin the registration process. For more information about spring registration, contact the McNeese Registrar’s Office at (337) 475-5356.

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Congratulations to our Cowboys! 10-0! Your undefeated, Southland Conference champion McNeese Cowboys will enter the 2015 Division I Football Championship playoffs as the No. 4 seed, meaning the Cowboys will have a firstround bye and possibly two home playoff games. The Cowboys will host the winner of Southern Utah/Sam Houston State on Saturday, December 5, in Cowboy Stadium. The win over Lamar tied Coach Matt Viator as the school’s alltime winningest coach and he has been named as one of 15 finalist for the STATS FCS National Coach of the Year. GEAUX POKES!

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December 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

McNeese MFA Alum Receives National Book Award McNeese State University alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson has been awarded the 2015 National Book Award in fiction for his short story collection, “Fortune Smiles.” This award – one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes - is given in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature by the National Book Foundation. Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner are among the many critically acclaimed writers who have won the award. Winners receive $10,000 and a bronze statue. The collection features six novellalength stories and confronts themes of imprisonment, illness and loss, technological surveillance and the struggle of sympathizing with the morally abhorrent. The stories take place throughout the world, from Louisiana to Palo Alto, Calif., and from Germany to South and North Korea. Johnson graduated from McNeese’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in 1996. In 2013, he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son,” set in North Korea. “We could not be happier for Adam’s winning the National Book December 2015

Award,” said Dr. Jacob Blevins, director of the MFA program at McNeese. “He has now won the two most prestigious American fiction awards. Although it’s been some time since Adam was a student here, Adam’s success shows that the philosophy of our program and the support we are able to give the students in our program bring in quality students and provide a fertile ground for them to develop their art.” Over the years, Johnson has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Swarthout Writing Award, a Kingsbury Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His other books include the “Emporium,” a short-story collection, and the novel, “Parasites Like Us.” His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, Playboy, Paris Review, The New York Times and Best American Short Stories. Johnson is currently the Phil and Penny Professor of Creative Writing at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in fiction and creative nonfiction. He earned his doctorate in English from Florida State University.

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Solutions for Life

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

Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year It’s December, once again. Time for the mad rush, traffic and stress to escalate. Time to look at how perfect everything looks in the magazines and on TV and feel inadequate. Time to feel poor because you can’t afford to buy everything your kids want. Time to feel exhausted because you can’t seem to get everything done: the decorating, the cooking, the gift buying, the gift wrapping, the parties, the family obligations. Wait a minute! Isn’t this supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year?!” What has happened here? Where is all the joy and happiness? Why is everyone irritated and stressed? If I have pegged you in the previous two paragraphs, I’m sorry to tell you that you have been sucked in. You, like so many of us, bought in to the concept that this season should be easy to navigate. So, year after year you keep trying, thinking it must be you. You’re the only one who can’t seem to manage the holidays without feeling overwhelmed. Wrong! A very few years ago, I decided to get off the hamster wheel that has become the holidays. I had tried to “do it all” long enough. I wanted to actually enjoy this time of year (what a concept!). I am still living by my decisions today. Here is how my holidays are different these days: Decorating – I love the way it looks, but hate doing it. And, frankly, it’s not my gift. It is, however, the gift of a friend of mine. So, now she decorates, and I am her assistant. We get to visit and catch up, and I give her some cash for her time. But, I know she’d do it for free just because she loves it. Since she has been handling the decorating, I have learned that not every square inch of the house needs to be decorated. I’ve scaled back considerably, and put out only the things I really love. This saves a ton of time, and since there is less to look at, I can actually see everything!

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Cooking – Another thing I don’t love to do. Oh, I don’t mind making a few dishes, but I am tired of the days before a holiday being spent in the kitchen. I have learned to make a lot of the same dish and bring it wherever I go. I have also learned to make some things in advance and freeze them. And I have learned that buying some dishes is perfectly acceptable. I want the purpose of the holidays to be visiting and connecting with people I love, not about whether or not everything we are eating is homemade. Gifts – I’ve scaled back considerably here. My shopping list is much shorter than it used to be. I was buying presents for everyone! I also approach shopping differently. When I see something good, I give it to as many people on my list as is appropriate. Thankfully, both sides of the family have gone to a “white elephant” concept: all the adults each bring one good gift, put them all in a pile and draw numbers. Half the fun is stealing from each other, and seeing what you will end up with. It’s so much easier than buying something for every single person (and cheaper, you end up with nicer things, and you have fewer things to find a new home for!). Time – there’s only so much of it, and I want to spend it wisely. I love to sing, so I make the time to go to area nursing homes with my singing group. Church is very important to me, so that is always a big part of the holidays for me. I also have people I want to spend some time with! If all the gifts get thrown into bags instead of being wrapped, that’s just fine with me. The end result will be the same – a person gets a gift, and I saved a lot of time for things I’d rather be doing. There you have it: my tricks for actually enjoying the holidays. I hope some of this has spoken to you, and that you are challenged to find your own ways to make this “the most wonderful time of the year!” See you next year!

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December 2015

Arts Network Mark Your Calendar! Regional Seminar: Cultural Districts

Some Enchanted Evening with Erica PapillionPosey Scheduled

Jazz In The Arts presents “Some Enchanted Evening with Erica Papillion-Posey” on December 4 at 6pm at Treasures of Marilyn’s in Lake Charles. Also performing will be the Lake Charles Tipitina’s Internship students. VIP tables of 8 may be reserved for $400 and general admission for $25. For more information or tickets, visit jazzinthearts.com.

Central School Holiday Art Market The City of Lake Charles and the Arts Council invite the public to visit the Central School Arts and Humanities Center for a festive Holiday Art Market on Friday, December 11, from 3-7pm, on December 12, from 10:00am-5pm and on December 13, from 1-5pm. Set on the first floor of Central School, the Holiday Art Market will return with an array of fine and handmade items by local artists, with 10% of the proceeds benefitting the Francis G. Bulber Youth Orchestra, and A Spoonful of Sugar will be serving holiday treats. Because Central School is located in the Charlestown Cultural District, a state-designated region under the Louisiana Cultural Districts program, original artwork will be sold tax-free at the event. For more details, contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787.

The next edition of the Arts Council of SWLA’s Regional Arts Network (RAN) will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, December 8, in Room 108 of Central School in Lake Charles. The seminar will discuss tax exemptions for sales of art within the boundaries of state-designated cultural districts, of which Southwest Louisiana currently has four. Gaye Hamilton, Cultural District Program Manager for the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development will be presenting. The RAN quarterly series offers seminars and workshops on topics affecting SWLA’s cultural economy from cultivating business partnerships to social media strategies, and the luncheons allow for networking opportunities for area creative workers, young professionals, and community leaders. An RSVP is required, and there will be a nominal fee to attend. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, call the Arts Council office at (337) 439-2787 or visit www.artscouncilswla.org.

FREE Holiday Yoga Class Free all-level holiday yoga class on December 10 from 5:306:50pm at the Yoga Center of Lake Charles. Whether you’ve never tried yoga or you’re a seasoned yogi, come join us as we melt away holiday stress and give yourself the gift of peace and healing. We’ll also be accepting can goods for local food banks. For more information, call (337) 497-0017.

December 2015

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December 2015

Profile for Thrive Magazine

Thrive December 2015 Issue  

December 2015 Issue of Thrive Magazine

Thrive December 2015 Issue  

December 2015 Issue of Thrive Magazine

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