Thrive's February 2019 Issue

Page 1

February 2019

Health Features

first person with John Chavanne


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Celebrate Heart Month this February.

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3 19-0108

Contents In This Issue Places & Faces

6 – 13 Special Section: 40 Years of Mardi Gras Revelry

Style & Beauty

16 A Guy’s Guide to Wearing Stripes 18 Close to the Vest 20 Get Your Glow On

Regular Features

8 First Person with John Chavanne 14 Who’s News 44 Happenings 69 Business Buzz 70 Solutions for Life


Wining & Dining

22 – 31 Cover Story: A Food Lover’s Guide to Dining in SWLA 32 Unique Valentine’s Day Treats

Home & Family

34 36 38 40 42

Tips for Drone Enthusiasts Former Sulphur Resident Makes a Heartfelt Donation Romance 101 for Guys Surviving Loss on Valentine’s Day Teach Children to Put their Best Digital Foot Forward

Mind & Body

45 – 24 Health Feature: Get to the Heart of Your Health 52 – 59 Health Feature: Dental Health Month 60 Basketball Scores More Injuries than Other Sports

Corrections to the 2019 Art Calendar: Kristie Ford is the artist of the cover photo, entitled "Last Rays of the Day", not Summer Boudreaux. The medium of the November artwork by Marjorie Trahan Cormier, entitled "Dog and Dragonfly", is watercolor, not mixed media.


Money & Career

62 64 66 68

What to Expect from a Tax Preparer Southwest Louisiana’s Top Ten Jobs for 2019 3 Ways to Talk with Aging Parents About Finances Safe & Secure: Preventing Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

@thriveswla | Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and to be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions. 4

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

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

Here we

GROW again

Millions $200 $190 $180 $170 $160 $140 $120 $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0

Our annual numbers are in and once again 2010

show continued growth and financial stability. Lakeside’s performance since our 2010


to providing the highest quality personalized banking services. We’re proud to be part of the unprecedented growth in our region, and we 2016

are positioned for even stronger growth in the future.


The way banking should be.



management practices and our commitment

Assets Deposits Gross Loans


opening demonstrates the soundness of our

$200 $190 $180 $170 $160 $140 $120 $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0


Assets Deposits Gross Loans






Places & Faces

40 Years Mardi Gras of


Mardi Gras began having a presence in Lake Charles as early as 1895, but it was in 1979 that Anne and Dr. Lee J. Monlezun formed the Krewe of Krewes organization. This season, Krewe of Krewes is celebrating its 40-year anniversary. Lake Charles is home to an impressive 60-70 krewes and is the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in the state. From small town courir de Mardi Gras trail rides and chicken runs to parades and the pageantry of balls and the Royal Gala, Mardi Gras is a party you won’t want to miss!

Krewe of Krewes Parade photo by


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019


Places Places & &Faces Faces

first person

with John Chavanne, Master of the Masquerade photos and story by Angie Kay Dilmore

Some people set out from an early age with a specific career track in mind and pursue it with determination until they land that first job. Others seem to stumble almost unexpectedly into an occupation that is utterly perfect for them. John Chavanne fits into the latter category. After a brief stint as a pre-med major at McNeese State University, one of Chavanne’s earliest jobs was selling men’s suits on commission in an area department store. He learned to fit and alter garments from the seamstresses there – a key step on his serendipitous journey to becoming one of the Lake Area’s premier costume designers. His mother and grandmother were also skilled seamstresses who made most of the clothes for him and


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

You currently live in a home a mere three blocks from where you were raised. What’s it been like, living in the same community your whole life?

They’ll take the traditional hard-core Mardi Gras from New Orleans, bring it to Lake Charles and interpret it into their own way of doing things and every krewe is different. I rarely make the same costume twice.

There’s a sense of security about it. It’s not that I didn’t want to move from home. I like this place! Even with all its fickleness and idiosyncrasies, it’s home.

Are any of your costumes in the Mardi Gras Museum?

Where do you find inspiration when designing your costumes? You name it. But I don’t want to be inspired by something someone else has already done. I want to be inspired by my clients’ ideas, by what they want. So I begin by asking them a lot of questions to get a feel for their vision of the costume. My costumes are truly custom-made from the ground up.

What is your favorite costume embellishment?

his siblings when they were young, which influenced Chavanne, as well. Nearly 30 years ago, through his work with the department store and menswear, Chavanne became involved with local Mardi Gras krewes. One was the Krewe of Illusions. They were known for big extravagant costumes and “pushing the envelope,” as Chavanne says. “Being involved with that krewe first gave me the idea that this sewing thing could be creative.” The following year, he displayed his Mardi Gras costumes in the department store, garnering more attention. His career as a costume designer grew and flourished from there, all through word of mouth from his satisfied clients. Chavanne currently works with thirteen krewes who continue to “enable his sequin fetish.” Thrive magazine recently sat down with Chavanne in his studio, where he talked about Carnival, costumemaking, and the source of his creativity.

Feathers. I will strip them, sculpt them, curl them, dye them – in three different colors. Finding a new way to use an old feather just tickles me.

What is the cost of an average Mardi Gras costume? Too much and I don’t charge enough! Over in New Orleans or Biloxi, people might spend $10,000 - $15,000 or more per costume. And there are similarities between their costumes. Lake Charles is known for doing things their own way.

Yes, a bunch. I also donated an old antique sewing machine to the museum.

Tell us about one of your most memorable commissions. I was awarded a sweet costume contract from Bacardi several years ago. They wanted to introduce their Torched Cherry flavor rum and threw a party in New Orleans called Bacardi Gras. Right in the middle of my busiest time of year. But with help from my mom and a cousin, I pulled it off.

Do you make costumes for events other than Mardi Gras? Absolutely. I’m busy year around. Halloween, renaissance festivals . . . and pirates!

What do you love most about your profession? Everyone who leaves my studio is smiling. I love to make people smile. Someone comes to me because they have a big event and they want to have fun. I help them do that. And because I don’t advertise, I don’t want people to stop talking about me.


Places & Faces

The Spirit of SWLA Mardi Gras:

The Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu by Stefanie Powers | photos provided by Lake Charles/SWLA CVB

The exuberant season known as Mardi Gras is upon us here in Southwest Louisiana. Twelfth Night (January 6) marked the beginning of the revels, which include fabulous krewe balls, parades, parties, chicken runs and so much more. Our area boasts the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana, and there’s something for everyone! This season will be a long one, with Fat Tuesday falling on March 5. This gives everyone plenty of time to partake in all the fun. And we know the best place to start! The Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu is a hidden gem in downtown Lake Charles, located on the second floor of the Central School Arts and Humanities Center. Established in 1998, the museum has six rooms filled with memorabilia starting from the earliest days of Southwest Louisiana’s Mardi Gras, along with a large collection of lavish court costumes, all previously worn by Lake Area krewe royalty. The initial Mardi Gras celebration was held in 1895 with a parade that started at the loading docks of the lake (the present-day location of the Civic Center), proceeded through the town and then ended up back to the docks where residents enjoyed a community dance. The very first krewe was the Krewe of Cosmos, founded in 1951. Gradually, other krewes were formed in Southwest Louisiana and by 1979, Anne Monlezun, co-founder of Krewe de la Famille with her husband, Lee J., formed the Krewe of Krewes organization so that krewes could join together to create a Fat 10

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Tuesday parade for the community. Museum Director David Faulk points out that the Krewe of Krewes celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and there will be something special at the museum to honor this milestone. “We are also working on some improvements throughout the museum at the moment that we are excited about,” he continues. If you don’t know much about Mardi Gras, that will all change when you take a tour. And even if it’s all very familiar to you, you will definitely learn something new by the time you leave. What makes the museum so unique is that it appeals to everyone—from children to senior citizens, and it’s a popular field trip destination for area students. The museum covers it all: the history of Mardi Gras and its traditions, krewes, king cakes, music, Twelfth Night, Fat Tuesday, parades, throws— you name it. There are photos, videos and news clippings from years past, a parade float that everyone can climb aboard, and a special Captain's Den dedicated to krewe captains. Dazzling costumes spill out into the long hallway. It truly is a feast for the eyes. So, come to The Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu and immerse yourself in the colorful world of Carnival in Southwest Louisiana. And laissez les bon temps rouler! Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, 809 Kirby Street, Lake Charles, LA (337) 430-0043. Tuesday Saturday: 1-5 p.m. Adults: $10; Children and Senior Citizens: $5; Large group rate: $4.

Give your Krewe a New View

For more information, to schedule a tour, or to reserve a date for your event, call (337) 421-6200.

5656 Nelson Road, Lake Charles OAKCROSSING.NET


Places & Faces

Mardi Gras Feb. 23

Vinton: Vinton Mardi Gras Celebration Knights of Columbus will host a gumbo cook-off at 8:00 a.m., parade at 1:00 p.m. starting at Vinton Middle School and ending at Knights of Columbus Hall. Feb. 26 Krewe of Golden Years 8:00 a.m. – noon, Lake Charles Civic Center. Senior citizens who have passed down Mardi Gras traditions celebrate the season with food and a Mardi Gras dance. Free to seniors 60 and older. Feb. 28 Lighted Boat Parade 7:00 p.m., Lake Charles Civic Center Lakefront Sulphur: City of Sulphur Mardi Gras Parade 6:00 p.m., Cypress St., S-Curve to S. Huntington St. Mar. 1 Merchants’ Parade 7:00 p.m. Downtown/Midtown Lake Charles Mar. 2 Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook-Off 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall. Admission is $5. Krewe of Omega Parade 2:00 p.m. Downtown Lake Charles


Schedule of Events photos by

Mystical Krewe of Barkus Parade 2:00 p.m., Starts at Lake Charles Civic Center Amphitheater and runs along Gill St. Fantastically-disguised canines parade in full Mardi Gras attire, all vying for the tile of “Mystical Dog.”

Royal Gala 7:00 p.m., Lake Charles Civic Center. See the extravagant, glittering, royal promenade of more than 60 krewes. Tickets are $6 in advance, or $7 at the door. Children 5 & under are admitted for free.

Mar. 3

Mar. 5

Taste de la Louisiane 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Lake Charles Civic Center. A sampling of traditional Louisiana cuisine for a $10 admission fee.

“The Zone” Noon – 5:00 p.m., located between the Charleston Building and the Parish Courthouse on Ryan Street. This is a kid-friendly event with free fun activities, entertainment, and food.

Mardi Gras Zydeco Dance 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Lake Charles Civic Center. Live band playing Mambo and Zydeco. Children’s Day Noon –3:00 p.m., Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall. Free event open to children ages 3-11, combining Mardi Gras fun with culture, music, and learning. Mardi Gras Madness 5K 2:30 p.m. – The start of the race is at the corner of Lakeshore Dr. and Gill St. This race coincides with the Mardi Gras Children’s parade route. Enjoy food, King Cake, music and beverages at the finish! Children’s Parade 3:30 p.m. Downtown Ryan St. to Sale Rd. Mar. 4 Lundi Gras Day Party 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., Blue Martini, Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters, this masked party (cocktail attire) will feature a variety of Cajun dishes, cocktails & live music. Tickets cost $75. http://www.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Second Line Stroll 1:00 p.m. Jeeps on Parade 2:00 p.m. Motor Gras Parade 3:00 p.m. Downtown/Midtown Lake Charles Krewe of Krewes’ Parade 5:00 p.m. Mardi Gras Shoebox Float Contest On display at the Lake Charles Southwest Louisiana Welcome Center, 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive through Wednesday, Mar. 6. The People’s Choice Award will also be presented on March 6, at 10:00 a.m. Iowa: Iowa Chicken Run Knights of Columbus Hall 503 E Highway 90, Iowa. Parade at 10:00 a.m. To find out more about Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana, visit or call the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at 337-436-9588.

Official 2019 Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana Poster Available The official 2019 Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana poster, created by local, renowned artist Candice Alexander, is available for purchase in a variety of sizes and on a multitude of specialty items such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, keychains and more. The poster can also be customized for specific Mardi Gras krewes. Alexander’s design was inspired by vintage Mardi Gras costumes she and her team pieced together. The costumes were put on a live model and photographed in a portrayal of a queen reaching out to the viewer. Alexander took away some of the likeness in the portrait to give the queen more stoic, universal features and added her own artistic flair to the design. Each print is original with its own custom glitter embellishment. Alexander will donate 25 percent of each print sold to Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana, Inc., a nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating more than 20 community Mardi Gras events and parades each year. Prints, custom frames, and specialty items are all available for purchase at Candice Alexander Art Studio, located at 900 Ryan Street (first floor of the Charleston Hotel). Items can also be purchased at

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Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana...

Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Alliance for Positive Growth Names 2019 President, Board Members The Alliance for Positive Growth is pleased to announce the selection of its 2019 Executive Board Michael Hankins of Directors and Board of Directors. Michael Hankins, Hankins Development, LLC, has been named president. Serving alongside Hankins on the Executive Board of Directors will be Vice President/Treasurer, Jackie Roe, Secretary, Mary Kay Hopkins, Tommy Eastman, Bart Yakupzack and Ex Officio, Matt Redd. Members of the Board of Directors will be Lee Bruney, Tom Chamberlain, Tim Flavin, Max Guthrie, Trey Hays, Chris Khoury, Ralph Lewing, Billy Loftin, Jr., Brent Lumpkin, Kevin Melton, Cynthia Roy, Tanis Sewell, Allen Singletary and Larry Thomas. For more information visit

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Names ER Director West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital announces that Kenneth Adamson, RN, has been named emergency department director. In Kenneth Adamson his new role, Adamson is responsible for directing and overseeing daily operations of the emergency department. Adamson graduated from Lamar State College in Orange, Texas with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. He brings over 22 years of experience in nursing and most recently served as transfer center nurse and house supervisor at Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Announces Promotion West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital is pleased to announce that Yolanda Doucet has been promoted to admissions Yolanda Doucet supervisor; she was previously senior admissions representative. Her new role involves planning, coordinating, and managing the activities of the admissions department. Doucet has been with the organization for over 10 years.

Chavanne Stine Gains National Society Consulting Role Chavanne Stine consulted with the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons as their Development Director which Chavanne Stine hosted their 6th Annual Surgical Conference in Cleveland. This follows her recent leadership in event management for the American Professional Wound Care Association’s National Conference held in Cleveland. Stine has worked in the event management industry for over 12 years and is a graduate of McNeese State University. Before beginning her consulting business, she served in non-profit executive management for 10 years in Lafayette, La. Stine serves on the board of directors for Holden’s Hope. To schedule a consultation appointment regarding your special event or conference, call (337) 501-5414.

Lake Charles Memorial 2019 Board of Trustees Lake Charles Memorial Health System announces the 2019 Board of Trustees officers and members. The board is a group of community leaders in finance, medicine, public policy and business who volunteer their time and talents to advocate and lead the health system. • Joe Miller, Jr., Chairman • Mitchell Adrian, Chairman-Elect/ Vice Chairman & Secretary • Louis M. Todd, Sr., Past Chairman • Charles Whitson, Treasurer • Larry M. Graham, President/ Assistant Secretary • Seth Billiodeaux, MD, Medical Staff President • Cliff Courville, MD, Medical Staff President-Elect • Mohammed Sarwar, MD, Medical Staff Past President • Judge Gene Thibodeaux • William “Randy” Condos, MD • Richard Martinez, MD • Christopher Thompson, MD • Denise Emerson Rau • Neil Aspinwall, PhD

Police Jury Elects New President, Vice President for 2019 The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury recently elected Kevin White as its 2019 president and Shelly Mayo as its vice president. Shelly Mayo & Kevin White White is serving his first term on the Police Jury as juror for District 1, which includes portions of the Moss Bluff area and Ward 1. He is the director of NDT Business Development for the Louisiana Division at JZR. White has a fiancée, Missy Statum, and two daughters, Kelsie and Karlie. Mayo is also serving her first term on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury as juror of District 3, which includes part of the City of Lake Charles and portions of Ward 3. She’s a graduate of W.O. Boston High School and McNeese State University and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

SOWELA Instructor Honored at National Conference Dr. Marie Coleman, Instructor of Business Administration at SOWELA Technical Community College, Dr. Marie Coleman was recently presented with the Outstanding Research Poster Award at the Annual Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) Conference in in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Coleman’s poster was part of her dissertation work while completing her doctoral degree. It featured insights from her research study designed to determine if a correlation exists among high school counselors’ specific demographics, their educational experiences (i.e., professional development, training, and other coursework) and the advising of high school students. The study focused on the factors public high school counselors consider when advising college-bound students to enroll in career and technical education (CTE), the factors public high school counselors consider

advising career-bound students to enroll in CTE, and the counselors’ perceptions of CTE. Posters were scored by conference researchers using a rubric to determine which had the greatest impact on career and technical education.

Lake Arthur Branch Manager Vicki Ryder Retiring After 41 Years, Community Welcomes Connie Tregle After an impressive 41-year career with JD Bank, Lake Arthur Connie Tregle Branch Manager Vicki Ryder is retiring. A great cook, a spirited community volunteer known for her customer service, Ryder has been a fixture in community banking in Lake Arthur. Experienced community banker Connie Tregle has been appointed Lake Arthur branch manager. Before joining JD Bank, Tregle worked for almost 30 years in banking in both Cameron and Lake Charles. She moved to Lake Arthur after Hurricane Rita and embraces the role banks play in their community.

Prebula Joins The Ammerman Experience The Ammerman Experience welcomes Patricia Prebula to its team of communications professionals. Patricia recently joined Patricia Prebula The Ammerman Experience to strengthen and expand its services into Louisiana and throughout the gulf coast. Continuing her role as President of Prebula Public Relations, LLC, Patricia's real-life crisis management experience in the petrochemical and refinery industry will support The Ammerman Experience with Spokesperson, High Emotion Public Meetings and Crisis Management training. Patricia has over 32 years in government relations, lobbying, media relations, crisis management, employee relations, community

outreach and strategic communications. As president of Prebula Public Relations, LLC, since 2006, her career experience includes directing and developing public relations strategies for CITGO, PPG, Axiall, Lotte Chemicals, Indorama Ventures and consulting for Entergy Louisiana. Patricia received her B.S. degree in Business from McNeese State University.

Imperial Health Opens Primary Care Clinic in Iowa Imperial Health is pleased to announce the opening of a new primary care clinic in Iowa, LA. Family Nurse Practitioner Darci Portie, APRNDarci Portie FNPC, and her staff offer experienced healthcare services for residents in the region, backed by the resources of Southwest Louisiana’s largest multi-specialty medical group, Imperial Health. The Iowa Primary Care Clinic provides convenient access to routine care, treatment for illness and injury and management of chronic conditions for patients. “We are committed to providing personalized care and timely appointments. We offer the care you need, where you need it – in Iowa,” said Portie. The Imperial Health Iowa Primary Care Clinic is located at 607 N. Thomson Avenue. The office is open Monday – Friday by appointment only, and accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (337) 582–5555 or visit


Style & Beauty

A Guy’s Guide to Wearing Stripes

by Emily Alford

When it comes to menswear, guys don’t usually get to pick from a ton of patterns. Oftentimes, the men’s sections of department stores are full of both graphic tees (which are too casual for a lot of events) and boring buttondowns in solid colors. Luckily, this year, stripes have become one of the most popular looks for stylish guys who are sick of solids. Here are few of the best ways to try out this spring’s most sought-after menswear look:

Go vertical A short-sleeved, striped buttondown is the easiest way to try out the stripe trend. Short-sleeved button-downs have gotten a bad rap in the past (thanks a lot, Dwight Schrute from The Office), but this year, they’re incredibly stylish. The best looking striped button-downs are in bold colors with white stripes. Fit matters, so make sure it’s not so tight that the buttons pull but not so loose it appears shapeless. Pair your button-down with pants in a slightly deeper shade than your shirt, so if you get a light blue button-down, pair it with a pair of darker, but complementary, blue slacks. Or, if you really want to be on trend, wear your white-striped shirt with a pair of pristine white pants or jeans for a clean, well put together look.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Layer up Black and white horizontal striped tee shirts are also on-trend for men, but wearing them on their own can give off a French mime vibe. To try out the trend without looking like Marcel Marceau, layer your black and white striped tee with an unbuttoned short sleeve shirt in a solid color, or, for the really fashion forward, even a Hawaiian print.

Try out some trousers Relaxed fit pants with a vertical stripe are another incredibly stylish choice for those with an affinity for stripes. These pants are casual enough for weekend wear, but can also be dressed up for special occasions. Pair them with white, low-top sneakers and a fitted sweater for the weekend, or wear them with a white, longsleeved button-down and loafers for a slightly more dressed-up dinner or special event look.

Experiment with accessories It’s a real shame there aren’t more accessories available to men, but this year at least striped accessories, like socks, are pretty easy to find. For a sportier look, wear a classic pair of striped athletic socks from brands like Adidas with shorts and sneakers. Or, if you’re wearing a sleek, fitted suit to a wedding or Mardi Gras ball, ditch those boring black dress socks for a black and white striped pair that matches both your suit and tie to make your look more fun. Stripes are much more interesting than standard solid-color clothing, but they don’t have to be a bold departure from your normal look. There are plenty of ways to experiment with more sedated stripes to give your wardrobe some variety without getting too wild.


Style & Beauty

Close to the Vest How to Wear Spring’s Most Stylish Trend

by Emily Alford

Early spring is a tricky time for fashion. Temperatures can feel like winter one minute and spring the next, so it’s hard to know if you should dress for December or May. Historically, the vest hasn’t gotten nearly enough love as a transitional weather staple to take your winter wardrobe on into spring. Luckily, this year the vest is getting its proper respect, and the opportunities for both men and women to try out stylish spring vests have never been better!

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Moto madness One of the most popular looks for women on the spring runways was the moto vest: a leather vest cut like the popular biker jackets. However, for those of us who don’t own Harleys, the look tends to be a little bit intimidating. The key to looking cool in a moto vest is to try and soften it up a bit. Pair your vest with an offthe-shoulder top and a pair of fitted jeans for a casual look. Or, if you want to dress it up a bit, a moto vest with a lightweight dress in a gauzy material is an excellent blend of hard and soft that feels girly and tough at the same time.

Pretty fly After years of athleisure, it was only a matter of time before other sports, like fishing, became high fashion. Angler-inspired vests are huge for both men and women this year. However, wearing these vests without looking like you’re headed for a weekend of fly fishing can be a bit of a challenge. For men, pair fishermen vests with khaki shorts in the same color and wear a fisherman vest over a simple, pressed white button-down for a dressy-casual, safari-inspired look. For women, a fishing vest over a feminine floral dress is another way to mix up the menswear trend. A cool look for both men and women is the denim-on-denim trend; denim button down with mom or dad jeans, topped with a fishing vest. This easy, causal look is actually straight off the runway.

Puff it up Puffer vests are perennial spring favorites for a reason: they’re warm enough for chilly early spring weather, but more lightweight than heavy coats, which are often too warm for February and March. But a big problem with puffer vests is wearing one without looking like you’re about to go camping. Good news puffer vest enthusiasts! Both men and women can wear puffers throughout the spring to your heart’s content; the trick is adding accessories that make it fashionable. For women, add a statement bag and a fashion scarf to your puffer vest look to make it clear you haven’t just gotten back from a weekend in the woods. Men, pair your puffer with a fitted sweater or a casual pair of khakis and a flannel shirt to feel both warm and magazine-ready.

If you’re looking for a fast, fun way to spruce up your spring wardrobe, adding a vest or two into the mix is a relatively inexpensive way to add some variety. Bonus: just think of all the things you can carry in those extra pockets!


Style & Beauty

Get Your Glow On with a rejuvenating facial by Stefanie Powers


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Winter is here, and while we don’t get the extreme cold of our northern neighbors, we still have to deal with the change in temperature. And different skin types have different reactions to the weather. For example, the humidity of Southwest Louisiana in the summer is actually good for dry skin, as the dampness in the air will help your skin retain moisture. It’s not so good for oily skin, as it causes an increase in oil production from sebaceous glands. Colder temperatures and wind can be harsh on your skin. But, whatever your skin type, there are masks and facials tailored specifically for you. Lauren Burk, LE, LMT is a senior esthetician/licensed massage therapist at Bauhaus Salon and Haus Spa in Lake Charles. “Hydrating masks are popular for dry skin with the colder weather,” she says. “Anything with hyaluronic acid or enzymes are a go-to.” Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body and works as a magnet for moisture, helping your cells retain as much of it as possible so your skin feels and appears hydrated, plump and healthy. For oily skin, charcoal masks are beneficial. “They help to reduce excess oil to keep you shine free,” Burk says. “We work with PCA’s detox mask. It contains Japanese white charcoal to help reduce oil and minimize

pore size. It’s a fan favorite!” As far as sheet masks go, Burk says they are an easy “pick-meup” for dull skin. “They’re great for a pre-event refresher. They’ll help to plump up and hydrate the skin to allow your makeup to apply much smoother.” When you want to go a step beyond a mask, then it’s time for a facial. “Globally, the HydraFacial is the most recognized facial and for good reason,” Burk says. “It is very similar to a ‘wet’ microdermabrasion. It gives you a deep cleanse by opening the follicle with a suction, and removing any congestion or debris while simultaneously infusing different acids, antioxidants and correctives. This technology allows the skin to receive these awesome ingredients at a deeper level than just applying them with your hands.” Another great thing about the HydraFacial is that it’s good for all skin types. “I’ve been working with this machine for about six months and am amazed at the results my clients have achieved,” Burk continues. “There’s nothing better than the HydraFacial glow!” Burk says that if you want to revamp your skincare routine, always go to a licensed professional. “Never forget to invest in your skin! It’s going to represent you for the rest of your life.”

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Wining & Dining

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What’s Old, What’s New, What’s Different

A Food Lover’s Guide to Dining in Southwest Louisiana by Angie Kay Dilmore

Southwest Louisiana is known for many wonderful qualities, most notably its amazing food! This area flourishes with restaurants serving most any kind of food you can imagine – some with a storied history, some brand new, and some that were here, were gone, and have come back in exciting and delicious ways. This month, we celebrate the gastronomic greatness that calls SWLA home. The establishments featured here are only a small fraction of the hundreds of excellent restaurants that dot our epicurean landscape. We encourage our readers to be adventurous when dining out. Sure, we all have our favorite go-tos, but step outside your culinary comfort zone now and then, try something new. You never know what you might discover!


Harlequin Steak and Seafood

Wining & Dining

First up,

those well-established establishments. The places everyone knows and loves and have been around for decades. They have a legacy in the Lake Area. They’re packed full, even on weeknights, and sport a line out the door on weekends. And for good reason . . . awesome food!

Harlequin Steak and Seafood Mr. And Mrs. Edward E. Hunter opened Harlequin Steaks and Seafood in 1956. When their grandson, Nic Hunter, was 13 years old, he started working in the restaurant from the ground up. By age 17, he was managing the establishment. “It has been a blessing and joy to continue the legacy of my grandparents,” says Hunter, current mayor of Lake Charles. “The restaurant has thrived thanks to hard work and the support of our loyal staff and customers. And we’re really excited today to be celebrating 63 years serving the Lake Area.” Hunter says Lake Charles is home and he works hard to give back to the community he believes in. “I try to not only serve a great steak and baked potato, but to make this business a part of the community. The better community we have, the better in the long run it is for everybody. Here at Harlequin Steaks and Seafood, we try to make a positive impact on every aspect of Southwest Louisiana.”

Darrell’s Po’boys Darrell’s has been thrilling friends and fans since 1985. Initially, the concept was simply a means for Darrell DeRouen and


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

his friends to have a place to hang out and play cards when they got off work. For big events such as Super Bowl Sundays, Darrell and his wife Susie would prepare po’boys for the crowd. The sandwiches were such a hit, their friends encouraged them to start selling them. Now at their third location at 119 W College St. (the first two were on Ryan St. and then Common St.), they continue to grow. This Lake Charles foodie destination recently opened a new drive-through window for faster take-out service. Their menu has not changed over the years – eight po’boys offered . . . with chips. “Why fix something that isn’t broken,” Darrell always said. Their Darrell's Special and the Surf & Turf po'boys are the most often ordered, but the smoked BBQ brisket, sautéed shrimp, BBQ sausage, ham, turkey, and roast beef each have respectable followings of their own. The bread is cooked to order and their BBQ sauces and gravies are cooked in-house daily. Darrell passed away in August 2013. Susie now owns the establishment and his grandson Tyler Benoit manages the place. All six of their grandchildren have worked at Darrell’s at some point. Check them out and see for yourself why Darrell’s is consistently voted the best po’boys in SWLA. Just be sure you have plenty of napkins!

Harlequin Steak and Seafood

Darrell's Po'boys

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Nelson's Donuts Mr. Nelson Rodgers and his wife Joyce opened Nelson’s Donuts at 813 E. McNeese St. in December 1968 and celebrate their business’s golden anniversary this year. Mr. Rodgers is now retired and his son Kevin Rodgers runs the day-to-day operations. His grandson Nelson (Gage) Rodgers works as a cutter while attending SOWELA. Initially, only donuts were sold at the shop. Over the years, their menu expanded to include kolaches, croissant sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, King cakes, and custom orders such as donuts for weddings. While the menu has changed, one thing has remained the same – hot fresh-glazed donuts are still their most popular item. Nelson’s sells 300-500 dozen glazed donuts PER DAY!

Nelson's Donuts


Southern Spice

Wining & Dining Peking Garden


Peking Garden

Southern Spice

Mr. and Mrs. Tong Thy “Jay” Huang immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in 1976. They worked in the restaurant business in New Orleans, Houston, and here in Lake Charles. In 1984, they bought the China Garden Restaurant and re-opened it as the Peking Garden. It’s been one of the area’s most popular Chinese restaurants for 35 years. Yueh Shing Chen Huang, aka “Mrs. Jay” developed the Hunan-style Chinese menu and recipes. Several dishes, such as Dr. Bono’s Soup, Robert McHale's Shrimp Noodles, and Dr. Cormier’s Eggrolls are named after long-time regular customers. Peking Garden is also well known for their large, colorful tiki drinks, such as the Mai Tai and the Flaming Volcano (big enough for two!) In addition to great food, visiting Peking Garden is like entering a Chinese art museum. It is furnished with fine furniture and antiques, dark wood paneling, large traditional Chinese paintings, lamps, bronze lions, a wooden Buddha, and other works of art. Sadly, Mr. Jay, a good friend to many area residents, passed away in 2017. The restaurant is now run by Mrs. Jay, who keeps her husband’s legacy alive.

Myron and Danita Leleux opened Southern Spice at 3612 Ryan Street in 1997, along with Roger Benoit, who has since retired. By 2002, they outgrew that original location and moved to their current spot at 3901 Ryan Street. After Hurricane Rita in 2005, Southern Spice was one of the few restaurants that re-opened quickly. Even with a limited menu, they were quite busy, as one can imagine. A couple of waitresses have worked for

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Southern Spice

the LeLeux’s since the restaurant opened. They say Southern Spice has a loyal customer base and has seen the same regulars for 21 years. Good food would explain their dedication. While they do have daily specials and occasionally offer a new item, the menu has basically remained the same over the years – plate lunches, seafood, steaks, po’boys, and burgers. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In 2011, the LeLeux’s son, Brandon, opened a second Southern Spice in Moss Bluff.

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Pronia's Deli and Bakery


Monday - Friday 2PM - 7PM


Monday - Friday 11AM - 2PM $7.99 Monday - Kids Eat Free with any size pizza purchase

Pronia’s Deli and Bakery Pronia’s has been in the deli business since 1989. Three generations of the Pronia family work on the premises. Founders Leroy and Annette Pronia still come in daily to help. Several of their children and grandchildren also work at the Deli, including son-in-law Bryan Bergeron. Celebrating their 30th anniversary this

year, they continue to provide Lake Charles food lovers with authentic deli sandwiches, made with homemade bread, Cajun sauce, sweet pickles, and olive mix. “We try to incorporate our own signature flavors as much as possible to make our products unique to us,” says Bergeron. The bakery, which was added more recently, specializes in cupcakes, wedding cakes, sweet dough pies, cannolis, and king cakes.

Tuesday - Teacher Tuesday's 10% off for all educators Wednesday - $7.99 Ritz Burger with roasted potatoes or chips 1/2 off House Wine all day.

3420 Ryan Street . • Lake Charles, L A • (337) 419-1001 Sunday-Wednesday 11 AM- 9PM • Thursday-Saturday 11 AM- 11PM

Pronia's Deli and Bakery





Wining & Dining

New on the Scene New restaurants in the lake area seem to pop up every day. Many are chains; our thriving local economy naturally lures big businesses, and that’s great! Others are family-owned. In either case, our collective community tends to enthusiastically support these grand openings before the ribbon is even cut – everyone wants a taste of the new place! Over time, a new business settles into a rhythm, and they either make it, or they don’t. Lake Charles can be fickle when it comes to food.

Laguna’s Mexican Grill and Cantina Laguna’s opened just last fall but quickly became a household name for local diners in the know. Noble Simpson and Mr. Honorio, businessmen and friends from Alexandria, La., knew Lake Charles was ripe for a new Mexican restaurant and they found the ideal spot at 1201 Lakeshore Dr. It’s the perfect location for watching the sunset over Lake Charles, whether dining indoors or on their large patio, says bartender and assistant manager Shay Dunnehoo. Open a mere four months, foodies across the lake area are raving about Laguna’s menu items, particularly their beef fajitas, carne asada, fish tacos, and quesadillas. Dunnehoo mans a fully-stocked bar and is wellknown for his cucumber margarita and mango margarita with a sugar rim. It you’re looking for a great place to eat and relax after all the Mardi Gras festivities, stop in at Laguna’s Mexican Grill and Cantina. 28

Laguna's Mexican Grill

Paul's Rib Shack SWLA meat lovers are likely familiar with the bright red food truck, Paul’s Rib Shack and BBQ. Paul Pettefer opened this popular event staple in 2017. Inspired by a catering gig last spring at tree-covered Citgo Park, Pettefer began searching for a permanent location. “I asked God to help me find my own set of trees to open a barbecue joint under,” he says. He found the perfect spot at 4800 Nelson Road, where he serves his BBQ on Fridays and Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., as well as on Waitr during those hours. He’s been remodeling the building onsite and plans to open his brick and mortar establishment sometime this March or April. There will be indoor dining, a back porch, and outdoor tables with all-day shade under the majestic oak trees. And that tantalizing smell of smoked meats!

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Paul's Rib Shack

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Bahama Buck's With the popularity of mom and pop shaved ice stands throughout Southwest Louisiana, national snow cone chain Bahama Buck’s took a daring chance on Lake Charles and opened a franchise at 4740 Nelson Rd. Touted as 'the greatest sno® on earth' and open year around, they also serve smoothies, signature sodas and Bahamian beverages, Frostalattes, lemonades, fruit bowls with the superfood Açaí berry and

tropical fruit cups (in season). Get into an island groove this winter and check out Bahama Buck’s. Next up on the lake area dining horizon, watch for Salata Salad Company, Poké Geaux, and Nothing Bundt Cakes (Now Open!). Seafood lovers can look forward to Shuck’s Louisiana Seafood House, out of Abbeville and known for their premium oysters, and the Fiery Crab Juicy Seafood and Bar coming from Lafayette.

BRISKET•PORK RIBS•TURKEY•BEEF RIBS•PULLED PORK•AND MORE! Food Truck Open Friday & Saturday 11am - 7:30pm Restaurant Opening Spring 2019!! (337) 794-9891 •


Family is... It’s family that supports us and grounds us in what truly matters. That’s why at Olive Garden, we’re all family here.

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The home of juicy steaks, spirited drinks and Aussie hospitality. Enjoy steak, chicken, ribs, fresh seafood & our famous Bloomin’ Onion. 2616 Derek Drive • Lake Charles • (337) 477-3161 Mon-Thu: 11am-10pm • Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm • Sun: 11am-9pm

Delivery Coming Soon! 2/26 • Delivery Hours Starting at: 4pm

What was Old is New Again

eer + Craft B FOOD d e t f a r handC

Then there are those establishments that were popular back in the day, were closed for various reasons, and have make a spectacular comeback. The owners’ ingenuity allowed them to reinvent a dining concept and come back bigger and better than ever.


The Villa WED & THURS 11:30am - 9:00pm FRI & SAT 11:30 - 10:00 pm 1165 E. McNeese St. • Lake Charles

Pronia’s Deli and Bakery is a locally owned business who has been in Lake Charles for 30 years as of 2019! We specialize in many delicious sandwiches and other deli items along with many bakery items such as cakes, cupcakes, baklava, cannoli and more! Monday – Friday: 10am-5:30pm Saturday: 10am-1:30pm Sunday: Closed 3101 Kirkman St | Lake Charles (337) 478-0785 30

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

During the 1990s, Mike Sperandeo worked alongside his father in their popular family-owned restaurant, Italian Villa, on Ryan St. That establishment closed in 2004, but in early 2017, Sperandeo revived his father’s legacy and opened The Villa, located at 324 Pujo St., Lake Charles. For posterity, and because they were really great dishes, he kept some of his father’s best recipes on the menu, but he also added an element of gourmet flair and sophistication, with items such as pan seared scallops with butternut squash risotto, and lamb sirloin with hasselback potato, caramelized fennel, crispy leeks, and red wine demi-glaze. “The menus still change from time to time which includes changing the wine and cocktail lists as well,” says Sperandeo. And he continues to revamp his business plan. Last year, he added Sunday Brunch, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. He also added a Happy Hour, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Tues.-Sat., with drink specials and a happy hour menu.

Panorama Music House Jay Ecker managed the popular original Rikenjaks at 331 Broad St. back in the early to mid2000s. After it closed in 2006, the location was home to several other establishments over the years. After sitting empty for a number of months last year, Ecker, who successfully revived the Rikenjaks concept at 3716 Ryan St. in early 2016, developed a plan for a brand new use of the Broad St. site. Panorama Music House, which Ecker plans to open March 4, will focus on food, spirits, and of course, music. The venue will feature local, regional, and touring bands. Open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and late night with an available private party room. The name Panorama comes from the vintage sign Ecker is repurposing from the old Panorama Burger House.

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The Villa



324 Pujo Street, Downtown Lake Charles | (337) 436-6251

The Villa

Panorama Music House


Wining & Dining

Unique Valentine’s Day Treats by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Gail Simmons has said, “There is no better way to bring people together than with desserts.” This Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking to make relationships even sweeter, a great way to do that is with unique Valentine treats. In Southwest Louisiana, it’s a piece of cake to find something equal parts impressive and delicious to share with the special people in your life. Happy Donuts of Lake Charles, true to their name, serves up a little bit of happiness with every order. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this donut shop is limited to only traditional donuts and kolaches. If you’re looking for exciting Valentine treats, Happy Donuts has you covered. They make a variety of treats to satisfy your Valentine’s Day sugar-coma needs. Be sure to ask for their box of assorted Valentine’s donuts. You’ll find yourself with an array of donuts, some covered in chocolate with strawberries and a strawberry glaze, others heartshaped and filled with strawberries and cream and topped with powdered sugar, or even some covered in angel cream, chocolate, and candy hearts. This assortment is perfect to bring into work or send to school as a classroom treat. Happy Donuts, whose locations are all individually owned, also offers heartshaped Valentine’s king cakes topped with all manner of delightful additions like fresh strawberries, chocolate shavings, pink icing, and powdered sugar, and can be filled with nearly anything your taste buds desire. Happy Donuts delivers orders over thirty-five dollars for free and can also be found on the Waitr app. All of these treats can be ordered as late as Valentine’s Day. Another delicious haven Southwest Louisianans flock to fulfill their dessert desires is Cypi’s Cake Box. Located at 520

West McNeese Street, Cypi’s Cake Box, well-known for their incredible desserts, also boasts a Valentine’s King Cake. Their king cake is big enough to bring to work or a special event, and is covered in delightful pink icing with sparkling hot pink sprinkles along with a variety of fillings. You can pre-order one of these mouthwatering cakes with original, cream cheese, Bavarian, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, or praline turtle filling. Along with the warmth and kindness you will receive when you walk through the door, Cypi’s Cake Box also offers couples’ cakes and gourmet apples for you and your special someone. The apple flavors include turtle, Oreo, chocolate, white chocolate, and candy sprinkles. If you’re looking for something more traditional, they also offer chocolate dipped gourmet strawberries. Want to go the do-it-yourself route? You can make Valentine’s Oreo Pops at home. These are quick and easy and require minimal ingredients. You will need one package of double-stuff Oreos, lollipop sticks, a package of white candy melts, a package of pink candy melts, sprinkles, and parchment paper. Carefully push the lollipop stick through the cream filling until it resembles a lollipop. Line a baking sheet or cutting board with parchment paper, then melt the candy melts as directed. You can use tiny amounts of vegetable oil to thin the mixture to get it to just the right thickness. Dip the lollipops in the melted coating, and then place them on the parchment paper to set. Before they set, decorate them with sprinkles, and voila! You have an easy, economical Valentine’s treat.

Valentine's Oreo Pops

Happy Donuts

Cypi's Cake Box


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019


Chocolate Bars

Some people recognize chocolate as the only sweet option for Valentine’s Day. If you know and love someone who thinks the world revolves around this sweet treat, make them homemade chocolate bars! • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder • 4 tbsp of melted coconut oil • Vanilla stevia to taste • Any add in(s) you would like • A little bit of water to thin the mixture if necessary.

To make these chocolate bars, combine the coconut oil with the stevia drops. Stir your mixture, then add the cacao or cocoa powder. Stir your mixture again until it gets thick. Pour into any flat container or candy molds, then freeze until it becomes a solid candy bar. With all of the decadent options Southwest Louisiana has to offer, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth and delight your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.


Home & Family

Heads Up! Tips for Drone Enthusiasts

by Brooke Lawton


Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment


I see the flares burning at local industries and can’t help but wonder what they’re burning, or if something is on fire. Is it dangerous?


Flares are a safety mechanism.

Flares process excess gas by burning it off. This safety mechanism minimizes air pollution and helps prevent industrial accidents. The noise that sometimes accompanies a flare is from the steam that’s used as a coolant. When the steam is introduced, it creates a hissing or rumbling noise. The steam cools the system, reduces smoke and minimizes air pollution. We know flares can cause concern and questions, and we try to minimize their use as much as possible because they’re so costly. Understanding why the flares are used can hopefully put any concerns to rest.

Joe Andrepont


Lake Area Industry Alliance


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

senior community affairs director with local industry

Unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, have really taken off recently, with the Consumer Technology Association estimating that 1.5 million drones were given as Christmas gifts in 2018. But are there rules that droneusers should follow, or a certain type of etiquette that should be incorporated when using them? Cody Porche, owner of Porche Aerial Imagery, said there are definitely some guidelines that anyone using a drone should take note of. "Etiquette-wise, we suggest all drone pilots familiarize themselves with the rules of flying as well as airspace rules," Porche said. He said that his company flies drones nearly every day and in a variety of different scenarios or locations. "I'd say most would be very surprised where you aren't supposed to fly without proper authorization," Porche said. "Also, if you plan to fly for anything other than hobby purposes, it is crucial that you obtain a Part 107 certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)." Porche said that it's important for citizens who use drones to "familiarize themselves with their drones, follow all rules and regulations, and be courteous to others while flying." In commenting as part of a review of what it deemed "The Best Drones for 2019," pcmag. com stated: "While they might seem like toys, a high-quality drone is a serious investment." It reiterated what Porche said in advising certain users of drones to take heed of FAA

guidelines - or be prepared to face potential fines or jail time.

Buying a Drone

Some use drones for photography or just as a fun hobby while others utilize drones in their businesses. Drones have become a bigmoney business, with pcmag. com saying that the market for consumer drones was growing at a rapid pace and sales last year were in excess of $1 billion. The advances in flight technology, flight modes, and controls, along with the advancements in portable photography and video technology, have caused a boom with amateur and professional photographers and videographers; the appeal being that one can see things more clearly than if simply using a zoom lens. When pricing drones, you could spend $100 or you could drop several thousand dollars, depending on what you're looking for. There are so many models to choose from and a plethora of things to consider when deciding to purchase your own drone - everything from size and color to price and specifications. As with most things, you usually get what you pay for. If you're planning to use a drone for either consumer or commercial purposes, be sure to do some comparison shopping and seek opinions of others who have experience with using drones. New drones are always being developed with additional features regularly being added which makes it an exciting time indeed for drone enthusiasts.

For drone safety, follow these six rules: 1. Never fly close to any type of manned aircraft 2. Request special permission to fly drones within five miles of an airport 3. Maximum flying altitude for drones is 400 ft. above ground level. 4. Your drone must always be within your sight 5. All unauthorized drones must stay clear of fires 6. Follow flight restrictions around racetracks and stadiums


Shelley and Don Harder, along with their three children, donate a cuddle dot to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. At the presentation were Dr. Ben Darby, far left and Janie Fruge', WCCH CEO, far right.

Former Sulphur Resident Returns to Make a Heartfelt Donation to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital by Christine Fisher

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital recently received a donation of a Cuddle Cot for the Sallye Jean Toniette, M.D. Women’s Center. Cuddle Cots are used for those who may experience the loss of a baby. The cooling method of the Cuddle Cot allows parents, siblings and family members precious time with their baby after experiencing this loss. Through the generosity of their friends and family, this donation was orchestrated by Don and Shelley Harder who experienced this tragedy in 2002. “Sharing my story and making this donation allows


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

me to help others who might be in this position at some point,” Shelley says. “We are grateful for this donation from Don and Shelley. We recognize the sadness they endured and we celebrate their son, David Murl and his legacy. We know families in the future will receive comfort from this gift,” says Janie Fruge, CEO of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. Shelley Vincent Harder, a 1992 Sulphur High graduate, has many fond memories of growing up in Sulphur. After high school, she went away to college, married Don, and

they settled in Indiana. She experienced a miscarriage and then found out she was pregnant again in 2002. At 20 weeks into the pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed the baby’s heart had stopped. Devastated, Shelley recalls her first thought upon hearing the news was that she needed to come home to Sulphur for further testing and the comfort of her family. Dr. Ben Darby was her physician when she lived in Sulphur, so she and Don made flight arrangements and arrived in Sulphur the next day for Dr. Darby to take over

her care. “He was as kind as I remember. I will always remember his compassion. He told me that because I was 20 weeks along, I would need to deliver this baby,” Shelley says. “It was one of the most difficult times in my life but I received the most loving care at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. Friends from my childhood were nurses there and they cared for me like family.” David Murl Harder was born on November 2, 2002. It is thanks to the WCCH nurses that Don and Shelley have mementos of him. “They took pictures and gave us his footprints. Don and I were coping with this new reality and through it all, the nurses were true angels. They were so aware of what I would want in the coming weeks,” she says. Over time, Shelley learned that other members in her family had experienced babies who were stillborn. “These occurred years ago and there weren’t many details known of these babies, there were no pictures. In one case, the baby was quickly taken away and the mother didn’t even know the gender. I felt blessed to have the photos and footprints of David Murl,” she says. Many years after this experience, Shelley met Linda Znachko through her church in Indiana. Linda founded “He Knows Your Name”, an organization dedicated to giving children dignity and honor in death by celebrating their life. Through Linda, Shelley learned of Cuddle Cots and Linda’s efforts to bring them to as many hospitals as possible. The idea resonated deeply with Shelley. She began telling her family and friends about her desire to raise the funds to buy a Cuddle Cot and donate it to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. “I knew it needed to come to WCCH and to Sulphur,” she says. Within a few months, thanks to the generosity of her family and friends, Shelley raised enough money to buy a Cuddle Cot. Today, Shelley and Don have three children ages 14, 12 and 10. Shelley is passionate about sharing her story in hopes it helps other families. “We want this to be a blessing to other families,” she says. For more information about the Cuddle Cot, call (337) 527-4100.


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

600 W McNeese Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-9913


Home & Family

Romance 101 for Guys


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

A 2018 national report, "The Happiness Index: Love and Relationships in America," shows that 64 percent of Americans are "very happy" in their romantic relationships with a partner or spouse and nearly 50 percent report being happy with their sex lives. That’s good news for couples today. But if the stars in your eyes are a bit dimmer than they once were, don’t despair. While romance can trickle slowly out of a relationship, it’s not too late to get it back. “Counselors will tell you that the leaks in a marriage or love relationship are a hazard of daily life,” says Drexel Gilbert, author of 30 Days to Better Love: A Guide for Men. “Careers, children, bills and a variety of daily responsibilities add to the problem, one drip at a time.” But, she says, men who haven’t given as much attention to the relationship as they should can reignite the romance through simple and inexpensive actions. “You don’t have to plan a European getaway to let your wife know how special she is to you,” Gilbert says.

Instead, she suggests:

Sit beside her. If you’re sitting in an easy chair while your wife is on the sofa, it’s time to make a move. Sit beside her as you watch television, entertain guests, read, talk, or listen to music. “A psychologist once told me that a couple’s physical distance implies the level of their emotional distance,” Gilbert says. “He also said that couples who routinely sit beside each other are likely to be more affectionate in their relationship.” Talk to her. This one is exceptionally easy – or at least should be in theory. In reality, while a lot of talking goes on in relationships, it’s often about the kids, bills, chores, careers, or car repairs. Gilbert suggests making a conscious effort to have more meaningful conversations. Watch a movie together and talk about why you did or didn’t like it. After church, talk about the sermon and how it might apply to your lives. As you drive down the road, turn off the radio and ask her opinion about something that’s important to you. The second part of

that is really listen to what she has to say. Give her flowers . . . often. Women love to receive flowers even if some of them insist they don’t. It needn’t always be a bouquet. It can be a single flower. It can be a flower picked from your own garden. In a pinch, it can even be a daisy you draw on a piece of paper and leave with a sweet note on the kitchen counter. Be a gentleman. “Somewhere along the way in the struggle for equality and the battle for respect in the workplace, we forgot that it’s still all right for men to be courteous to women,” Gilbert says. Open the car door for her. Hold her chair at the restaurant. Stand up when she goes to the ladies’ room and stand up again when she comes back. Hold the umbrella over her head even if it means you get wet. “Putting the romance back into a relationship is not rocket science, but it does take effort,” Gilbert says. “You’ve got to try.” It's so worth it!

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803 North Division Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 337-433-5246 Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School provides academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment.


Home & Family

Surviving Loss on Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day is almost here. Everywhere you go you see colorful, enticing ads for flowers, jewelry, and photos of blissfully happy couples. Does it make you smile or make you want to curl up into a ball and hide? There are millions of people who are without that special love, through death, divorce, separation, or personal situations. If that iconic Valentine’s red heart is broken in your eyes, there are steps you can take to put a patch on it, even for just this one dreaded day. You’ll find there can be pleasure, joy, and smiles; even if it’s not in the form you envisioned. Happiness comes in the most surprising ways: • First acknowledge that you’re feeling alone and in pain; it’s natural. • Give yourself permission to feel down and even depressed; it’s your right. • Make certain to get dressed, get out of your house, and socialize. It’s a temporary fix, but it helps.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

• Reach out to someone else who needs love.

• Give a valentine card or heart to a little child. Sometimes they get left out in school. Watch the smile on their face. • Buy yourself a present. Repeat to yourself that you are loved by others. • Help a stranger; volunteer at a charity or a shelter. It will make you feel better. • Take yourself or go with a friend to a movie. • Find time to exercise. • Thank someone who has loved you (a parent, relative, friend, children, grandchildren). Wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day. • Remember the good times and remind yourself that there will be more to come.


Home & Family

Teach Children to Put their Best Digital Foot Forward by Diana Graber

Harvard is one of the most prestigious colleges in the world and possibly the most difficult one to get into. Imagine the hard work, dedication, and sizable helping of smarts it takes for a student to earn acceptance to this prestigious Ivy League school. An amazing accomplishment to be sure. Now imagine a kid losing this hard-earned acceptance, all because of something posted online during a moment of adolescent immaturity. Yet in 2017, Harvard rescinded offers of acceptance to at least 10 incoming freshmen because of inappropriate messages and memes these young people posted in a “private” (nothing is private online) Facebook group. Clearly, there can be serious offline consequences for online actions. Increasingly, what kids post online and what others post about them (a.k.a., their “digital footprints”) can influence their future. According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey, more than two-thirds of colleges say it’s “fair game” to visit an applicant’s social media profile to help them decide who gets in. Nearly one in ten of the colleges surveyed said they had revoked an incoming student’s offer based on something they found online. Conversely, according to another Kaplan survey, of those admissions officers who do check a prospective student’s social media sites, 47


percent report finding information that gave them a positive impression of prospective students – up from 37 percent the previous year. More and more, colleges, employers, landlords, pet adoption agencies, and just about everyone else are turning to social media to learn more about the people they want to accept, hire, rent to, entrust with a living thing, or get to know better. So it’s important for kids to make wise decisions when building and maintaining their digital footprints, starting the moment they first venture online.

Google Thyself

Parents should set aside time with their children to Google them, themselves, and selected friends and family in order to see what comes up. A word of warning, though: It’s a good idea for adults to Google themselves privately first in order not to be caught off guard. You just never know. Then, follow these steps: 1. Google your child to see what appears. Discuss: What was positive? What, if anything, was negative? What could you do to improve your digital reputation? 2. Next, Google your spouse/ relatives/children’s friends. Try using different search engines and remember to search any

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

nicknames used on social media accounts, too. Then, ask the same questions as above. Also ask: How might others judge your spouse/ relatives/children’s friends based on what you found online? 3. Talk about proactive steps your children might take to balance their digital reputations in favor of positive content. 4. Finally, set up a “Google Alert” to receive regular updates on your children’s web mentions. This is easily done by signing into a Gmail account, if you have one, and entering the search terms (i.e., your children’s names) that you want Google Alert to track. That way you’ll be notified if something is posted that might impact their digital reputations.

The days of slowly “Getting to Know You” are as ancient as the song of the same name. Today, everyone is a just a few keystrokes away from being able to make a snap character judgment. The good news is that when it comes to kids, parents can help them make their online reputations as awesome as they are. Diana Graber is a digital literacy educator and advocate and author of Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology. She is the cofounder of Cyberwise, a leading online safety and digital literacy organization, and the founder and creator of Cyber Civics, a popular and innovative middle school digital citizenship and literacy program currently being taught in more than 40 U.S. states, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Africa.

Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio Participant in Education in Virtues Program

“Nurturing All Children and Achieving Academic Success in the Spirit of Christ”

New Family Registration Now Open

Diverse Student Body Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services

Pre-K 3 – 8th Grade • Extended Day Care

2510 Enterprise Boulevard | Lake Charles, La. 70601 | (337) 436-7959 |

St. Margaret Catholic School welcomes all children regardless of race, creed, or nationality.


Home & Family


American Heart Association Announces 2019 Southwest Louisiana Heart Ball The American Heart Association will host the 2019 Southwest Louisiana Heart Ball on April 13. This year’s event will be held at the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles. Funds raised at the Southwest Heart Ball will help the American Heart Association to continue the fight against cardiovascular diseases and defects – the #1 killer in the state of Louisiana and in the country. The American Heart Association funds research and educational programs both locally and nationally to lower these numbers. Funds raised are invested back into the SWLA community


through educational outreach programs, CPR training and certification, and funding for groundbreaking medical research. Tickets can be purchased for $100 and tables for $2000 at or call (337) 540-4773. For further information, visit OR on Facebook at American Heart Association - Louisiana. Local Heart Foundation Presents a Night in Rio Tim and Tammy Andreas founded the Local Heart Foundation in 2017. Their mission is to inspire hope and improve quality of life for local individuals and families currently dealing with heart disease. They will hold their largest fundraiser

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

of the year on March 16, at the Lake Charles Country Club. At “A Night in Rio” you’ll experience the sights, sounds and culture of the Rio Carnival in Brazil. Guests will enjoy live music by the band “Three Thirty Seven” while having the opportunity to participate in auctions and shopping.

Guest speaker John Winterton, MD, cardiologist, will talk about heart health and diabetes. There is no charge to attend and the group is open to the public.

For more information, call (337) 419-0033 or email

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its Pink Crusade breast cancer support group on February 14 at 6pm in the hospital’s board room. Guest speaker is Anne Treme, RT, RDMS, DVT, RDCS will talk about how to keep your heart healthy. The group is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

Heart Health and Diabetes is Topic at Upcoming Support Group West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its diabetes support group on February 12 at 11:30am at the hospital’s cafeteria conference room.

For details, call (337) 527-4282. Live Better, Stay Strong is Topic of Upcoming Breast Cancer Support Group

For more information, call (337) 528-7320.

Mind & Body

Heart Get to the

of Your Health

One in every three deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease. About 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day; an average of one death every 38 seconds. While these statistics may be shocking, don’t lose “heart.” Research and treatment of heart diseases have made great strides in recent years. And there are lifestyle changes you can adopt that will increase your odds of avoiding heart disease. February is National Heart Month and we encourage you to take good care of your ticker. In this special section, you’ll read the success stories of three heart disease survivors, as well as a story on the cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate (because, after all, we also celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, right?)


Mind & Body

Stand Up to Heart Disease The Stories of Three Survivors by Andrea Mongler

People often associate the term “heart disease” with coronary artery disease, or CAD, a condition that occurs when plaque builds up inside arteries, causing them to harden and narrow, which can lead to a heart attack. But CAD is only one of several types of heart disease. In fact, heart disease is a blanket term that also includes congenital (or birth) heart defects, heart rhythm disorders, peripheral artery disease, and stroke. Sometimes even someone who consistently makes healthy lifestyle choices might suffer from heart disease. With medical care, surviving heart disease is not uncommon and it affects people in many different ways.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Heather Hendrix Heather has always been physically active. She played sports as a child, participated in marching band in high school, and ran a 5K or two in college “without really trying.” So, when she was in her 20s and began feeling tired all the time, she didn’t think much of it. Instead, she figured grad school and student teaching were just wearing her out. But exercise had become difficult too. Hendrix says she felt like her heart was pounding out of her chest after just two minutes on a treadmill. Then she almost passed out. Three separate times in one summer. “And I had never almost passed out before in my life,” Hendrix says. “So, after the third time, I was like, ‘OK, I need to go see a doctor.’” In September 2010, at age 27, she was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, or ASD. In plain speech, she had a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. An ASD is a congenital heart condition, which means Hendrix was born with it. She just never knew it. That’s because she never noticed any symptoms as a child, which is common with ASDs. Eventually, though, the condition was too much for her body — her lungs in particular — to handle. Basically, the hole in her heart increased the amount of blood flowing through her lungs. For a while, her lungs handled this adequately. Eventually, though, the condition caused high blood pressure in her lungs, called pulmonary hypertension. The pulmonary hypertension caused Hendrix’s fatigue and racing heartbeat. It eventually would have caused her heart to fail, too. In January 2011, a few months after her diagnosis, Hendrix had surgery to repair her ASD. And, as she puts it, “my heart is now normal.” These days, she feels strong and healthy. She has gotten back into running and is actually more committed to it than ever before. Her advice? “Take care of yourself. Listen to your body. If something is not right, get it checked out.” Hendrix, of course, speaks from experience.

Join us April 13th

Social Hour 6 pm to 7 pm Program at 7 pm Burton Coliseum, Lake Charles For ticket information visit:

or call Adrianna King 225.666.4282


Mind & Body

Blake Soto Blake describes his childhood as wonderful. He went to school, played outside, and was surrounded by a loving family. He was a normal kid who did what normal kids do. Unlike most other kids, though, Soto had to be careful not to overexert himself. That’s because he was born with congenital aortic stenosis, which meant that his aortic valve — which connects the heart’s left ventricle and aorta — didn’t open and close properly. The result was that his heart had to work harder than usual to pump blood. This didn’t cause too many problems for Soto as a child, but he was limited from running for extended periods. If he did, he experienced chest pain and shortness of breath. So he made adjustments — like karate instead of soccer — and enjoyed life. “My parents pushed me to do as much as I could, and I have no regrets,” he says. By the time he was in his late teens, his energy levels were low and he easily became exhausted. Then, in 2008, when he was 19, he learned that his


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

aortic valve had become very calcified. Basically, calcium deposits had built up on the valve, causing it to stiffen. A year later, he underwent surgery to get a new valve, from a pig. But his body rejected it, so less than a day after his surgery, he had another operation — this one to replace the pig valve with a human donor valve. The second operation was a success. “All of a sudden I felt much better and had all this energy, but I couldn’t do anything because I was still healing,” Soto says. Once he recovered, though, “it was pretty amazing. I started running and training for races and doing CrossFit, and I haven’t looked back.” His replacement valve won’t last forever, and he’ll eventually need a new one. But for now, he’s going strong. “I am coming up on year 10 since my surgery, and everything looks great,” Soto says. “Do I think about the next one? Absolutely. But I’m not worried.” After all, he’s done it before, and he can do it again.

Karen Kleinman Karen knows a thing or two about heart health. As director of the Heart & Vascular Center at Memorial Medical Group, it goes with the territory. Kleinman knows the warning signs of a heart attack, she knows what to do if you think you’re having one, and she knows the protocol that should be followed for a heart attack patient. She just never expected to experience those things as a patient herself. When she had trouble getting through a walk around her block one Saturday in early 2018, she wasn’t very worried. She’d recently undergone foot surgery, and her doctor had just given her the all-clear to start walking again. Kleinman is a daily walker, so she was thrilled to get back out there. When her trip around the block drained her energy, she attributed it to the two-month break she’d had to

take to recover from her surgery. Other than being energy-depleted, she felt fine. Nothing hurt, and nothing seemed amiss. The next day, though, Kleinman didn’t feel right. She describes feeling as though she’d swallowed a large pill that had gotten lodged in her upper chest, just below her neck. Though she hadn’t eaten lunch, she took an antacid in case it was indigestion. It didn’t help. At this point, she began to suspect she might be having a heart attack. She didn’t really think she could be though. “You convince yourself it is really nothing,” Kleinman says. She had no pain — in her chest or otherwise — but not all heart attack patients do. That’s especially true for women. That funny feeling in Kleinman’s upper chest though — what the American Heart Association describes as “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or fullness” — was a warning sign. Kleinman took an aspirin and headed to Memorial.

Soon after she arrived, she learned that she was indeed having a heart attack. It was a surreal experience for Kleinman, who couldn’t believe she was seeing things from a patient’s perspective. As she puts it, the staff and physicians — people she works with every day — “just kicked into action. It really was an incredible process.” And before she knew it, it was over. She attributes her heart attack to genetics — her father had heart problems, but she wasn’t at high risk otherwise. She ate a healthy diet, exercised, and kept her blood pressure under control with medication. Kleinman says it’s important for everyone — women in particular — to heed the warning signs, even if they assume they aren’t at risk. “Women tend to take care of everyone else in their life and not necessarily themselves,” she says. “We need to learn to listen to our bodies.”


Mind & Body

Six Healthy Reasons to Enjoy Dark Chocolate by Matthew Welsh Chocolate lovers, take heart! Chocolate is a treat enjoyed worldwide, especially on Valentine’s day, but did you know that this delicious indulgence packs a powerful punch when it comes to potential health benefits? Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health when consumed in moderation. According to Dr. Jake LeBeau, interventional cardiologist with Imperial Health Cardiovascular Specialists, the key is to consume at least 70% cocoa to reap the major benefits from this favorite Valentine’s Day treat.

says dark chocolate contains small amounts of mono- and polyunsaturated fats (the “good” fats) which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.

So, the next time you have a chocolate craving don’t think twice about indulging in a piece or two and remember these health benefits:

According to Dr. LeBeau, the compounds in dark chocolate are highly protective against the oxidation of LDL. Flavanols aid in several factors to reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart as well as the brain. By preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, antioxidants in chocolate may help safeguard against heart attack and stroke.

Powerful Source of Antioxidants Antioxidants are chemicals found naturally in foods that can help prevent chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Just two ounces of dark chocolate contains the same number of antioxidants as one six-ounce glass of red wine.

Rich in nutrients Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and potassium. In addition, Dr. LeBeau


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Decreases LDL Levels Several studies have shown that the antioxidants in dark chocolate, known as flavanols, help lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol while boosting “good” HDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.

Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

May Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure Studies show that the compound prostacyclin in dark chocolate is able to help lower blood pressure by increasing vasodilation, the opening and loosening of your arteries and blood vessels. “When blood flows more smoothly throughout your body, your body is able to receive all

the nutrients and oxygen needed without complications,” says Dr. LeBeau. One study found a link between consumption of chocolate and improved bloodvessel function, which consequently eases blood pressure, an important indicator in cardiovascular health.

Aids in Brain Function Dark chocolate is revered for its ability to boost cognitive function by improving cerebral blood flow. According to a Journal of Nutrition study, the intake of flavonoid-rich foods, such as dark chocolate, improved cognitive performance in participants, especially elderly participants. Cocoa also contains stimulants, like caffeine and theobromine, which may be the key link to why cocoa can improve short-term brain function. When it comes to choosing your chocolate, Dr. LeBeau explains that the potential benefits of chocolate are only as great as it is dark. “The bitter-taste in dark chocolate is from the cocoa flavonoids. And even though these are naturally-occurring components, manufacturing processes, such as fermentation and roasting, can affect the levels of antioxidants that are in the final chocolate product. Milk chocolate and white chocolate do not offer all the same benefits found in darker chocolate, he explains. “Choose your chocolate wisely, and you can enjoy a sweet treat along with several health benefits.”

AHA Announces

Top Research Advances of 2018 The American Heart Association SWLA had a very busy year and completed successful fundraising campaigns with their 2018 SWLA Heart Ball and 2018 SWLA Heart Walk. What do their dollars accomplish? Read on and learn about the research the AHA has supported. Community-based approaches to lowering blood pressure, using the genome to predict cardiovascular risk and employing advanced brain imaging are among last year’s top heart disease and stroke research advances, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). As one of the top funders of heart-

and stroke-related research worldwide, the AHA has been compiling an annual list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Grouped by topic, check out the website for top research accomplishments published in 2018, including several high blood pressure studies that underscore the link between hypertension and heart disease and stroke. Want to learn more about our local SWLA Heart Ball? Go to Want to learn more about our local SWLA Heart Walk? Go to

How DoesYour Heart Score? 77.78%

582.35% 64.66%

Find out, with a coronary calcium test at Imperial Health Imaging Center. One in three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. We use advanced, non-invasive CT technology and low-dose radiation to take an in-depth look at your heart and blood vessels to determine your level of calcium buildup. This calcium score can help your doctor determine if you are at risk, or have, coronary artery disease, even if you are not displaying symptoms. The test is painless and takes just minutes, and could give you an early start on beating heart disease. Call Imperial Health Imaging Center at 312-8761 to take advantage of this special offer.


Consider coronary calcium testing to assess your heart health if you have any of these risk factors: • family history of heart disease • high cholesterol • high blood pressure • smoke • overweight • diabetes • inactive lifestyle • high stress

$75 Cardiac Calcium Score Test

through 2/28/19 - cash price only

(337) 312-8761 1747 Imperial Blvd. Lake Charles


Mind & Body

Dental Health Month

We’re Bringing Smiles to Moss Bluff! Lake Area Dentistry is pleased to announce its expansion into Moss Bluff with the addition of our new location at 644 N. Hwy. 171 in Moss Bluff. Call us today to make an appointment with Dr. Andrew Doucet and staff. We look forward to seeing you soon! We offer all aspects of General Dentistry, including: • Family • Preventive • Restorative

• Sedation • Implant • Emergency 52

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

LAKE AREA DENTISTRY Lake Charles 700 W. McNeese St. 478-8470 Jeffery A. Hennigan, DDS Nathan H. Bray, DDS Ashley Moffett Azevedo, DDS

DeQuincy 824 W. 4th St. 786-6221 Peter T. Bayles, DDS Andrew J. Doucet, DDS

Carlyss 4985 S. Hwy. 27 583-2756 C.J. Ardoin, DDS

Moss Bluff 644 N. Hwy. 171 855-2742 Andrew J. Doucet, DDS

February is also National Dental Health Month. Some people may not realize that dental health is related to heart health. You’ll find that story on page 54. You’ll also find tips to care for your teeth and prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as a story on the advances and benefits of braces for adults. Chew on these stories!

Redefine Yourself

You’ve earned the lines, but you don’t have to show them! Dr. Ralph Colpitts, plastic surgeon with the Plastic Surgery Center of SWLA, is now offering a variety of cosmetic procedures at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. Dr. Colpitts is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has been performing cosmetic surgery in the Lake Area for over 36 years.

AREAS INCLUDE: • Eyes • Face

• Breast Enhancement or Reduction

• Liposuction • Tummy Tuck

Call (337) 497-1958 to schedule a confidential consultation. You’re on the way to revealing a more confident you!

Ralph Colpitts, MD plastic surgeon

914 Cypress Street, Sulphur


Mind & Body

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart? Could your brushing habits be affecting your risk of heart disease?


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

It’s possible. According to Harvard Health, people with oral health issues such as gum disease exhibit higher rates of cardiovascular issues like heart attacks and strokes. “It’s clear that a link between oral health and heart health exists,” said Dr. Tim Robinson of Robinson Dental Group in Southwest Louisiana. “The evidence shows that people with poor oral health are more likely to have a heart attack.” The question is, why? Scientists have several theories:

Know the Signs Gum disease, or periodontitis, occurs when bacteria in plaque builds up between the gums and teeth, and it’s a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The American Academy of Periodontology lists the symptoms of gum disease as follows: • Red, swollen or tender gums, or other pain in the mouth

• Bacteria in the mouth can spread to the rest of the body. Microorganisms found in gum disease, a widespread condition that leads to tooth loss, have been found in blood vessels elsewhere in the body and can be linked to vascular damage.

• Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food

• Poor oral health increases levels of inflammation throughout the body. Moderate to severe gum disease causes an increase in C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that rises during wholebody inflammation. CRP is used to measure a person’s risk of heart attack.

• Pus between the gums and teeth

• The connection could also be explained by shared risk factors, like smoking. Smoking is a major cause of both gum disease and heart disease. Other shared risk factors include lack of access to healthcare and lack of exercise. Whatever the cause, the takeaway is simple. “Prioritizing your overall wellbeing, including oral health, will significantly reduce your risk of all sorts of diseases and conditions, especially heart disease,“ said Dr. Robinson. “All parts of our body are interconnected, and the health of one area has a major impact on everything else.”

• Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before • Loose or separating teeth • Sores in the mouth • Persistent bad breath • A change in the way the teeth fit together when one bites down • A change in the fit of partial dentures Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, warning signs of a heart attack include the following: • Chest discomfort • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body • Shortness of breath • Cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness


Heart disease prevention:

Prevention is all about maintenance and avoiding behaviors that are proven to put you at risk. To prevent gum disease, it’s important to prioritize the following:

• Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels

• Brush multiple times a day, especially after meals • Don’t forget to brush the tongue, a hotbed for bacteria • Replace your toothbrush at least every three months • Floss daily • Rinse with mouthwash • Maintain regular dental visits • Stop smoking

• Maintain a healthy diet and weight • Exercise regularly • Limit alcohol • Don’t smoke • Get enough sleep • Manage stress • Manage diabetes Robinson Dental Group has offices in Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, and coming soon to Sulphur. For more information, go to

• Avoid sugar, drink plenty of water, and eat foods high in nutritional value

Welcome to our Newest Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist L.M. “Chip” Warshaw, Jr., MD ear, nose and throat specialist

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital welcomes L.M. “Chip” Warshaw, Jr., MD, otolaryngologist. Dr. Warshaw is a graduate of Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans and brings over 27 years of experience in ENT to our communities. Dr. Warshaw practices at ENT Associates of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital and specializes in complications of the ear, nose and throat, and head and neck surgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in ENT and head and neck surgery. To schedule an appointment, please call (337) 439-2040.

(337) 439-2040 1327 Stelly Lane, Ste. 3, Sulphur


Mind & Body

Dental Care

Brush Up on the Basics

by Taylor Trahan Henry

It’s something you do twice a day, every day. But are you doing it correctly? In the early morning rush or the too-tired-to-care evening, it’s easy to breeze right through brushing and flossing without taking the time your oral hygiene deserves.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

“Taking care of your teeth can help prevent a multitude of issues like bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease,” says Dr. Harry Castle with Oak Park Dental in Lake Charles. "It can also help you keep your teeth as you age.” Brushing your teeth twice a day is the first, and biggest, step you should take for improved dental health. Your toothbrush should fit comfortably in your mouth and should be replaced every three months or when the bristles become frayed. You should also change toothbrushes if you have been sick with a cold, flu or other viral infection. Electronic or batteryoperated toothbrushes can help reduce gingivitis more effectively than a manual toothbrush. They are also great options for patients with arthritis or other issues that make it difficult to brush effectively. Now that you’ve got the right equipment, form is key, says Dr. Castle. Hold your toothbrush at

a slight angle, aiming the bristles towards the space where your teeth meet your gums. Brush all surfaces of your teeth – outside, inside and chewing surfaces – gently with a short back-and-forth motion. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too! Storing your toothbrush properly will help keep bacteria, mold and yeast growth at bay. Always rinse your toothbrush after brushing and store it in an upright position to allow it to air-dry. Although it’s safe to store your brush in a holder or bag to travel, Dr. Castle says you shouldn’t routinely store it in an enclosed container. This can trap moisture and provides an ideal breeding ground for germs. “While proper brushing is the first step, flossing allows you to clean the areas of your mouth that the toothbrush can’t reach,” says Dr. Castle. Break off about 12-18 inches of dental floss and wind most of it around the middle finger on one hand and then wind the rest around the middle finger on your other hand. Then, get a tight grip on the floss with your thumbs and forefingers. Gently guide the floss between your teeth. When you reach your gum line, follow the curve of your tooth back down. Be sure to unwind fresh floss as you go along. Once you finish flossing be sure to rinse your mouth vigorously to remove any loosened particles. Water will do the trick but mouthwash can add an extra layer of improved dental hygiene. “Your oral hygiene depends mostly on you developing healthy practices,” says Dr. Castle. “But no matter how diligent you are, everyone should visit their dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.” Your mouth also serves as a helpful

Dentistry for the entire family.


tool in detecting early signs and symptoms of disease. Cleanings and regular check-ups can be preventive for both your dental health and your overall health. Problems that start with oral hygiene can cause other illnesses within the body. “Gum disease can put you a risk for serious health problems like heart attack or stroke,” warns Dr. Castle. When it comes to oral hygiene, you’re never too young to get started. While parents can teach their children these habits early on, they should also begin dental care with a dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. For more information on oral hygiene and proper practices or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Harry Castle, visit or call 337-478-3232.

New Patient Exam & X-Ray $236 Value

Code: 0150, 0272, 0330

OAK PARK DENTAL Family Dentistry

Specialty Practice

1616 W. McNeese St. Lake Charles, LA 70605

Call today for your appointment!


17 Annual Valentine’s Day Clinic th

FREE Dental Day! Extraction, Filling or Cleaning Only Provided to Individuals with NO Dental Insurance

Thursday, February 14, 2019 Doors open at 8:00 a.m. Patients will be seen on a first come first serve basis

Financial Options Available Insurance Accepted

General Dentistry Dentures & Partials Implants Braces Periodontal Treatment Veneers & Lumineers Teeth Whitening IV Sedation Sleep Apnea Treatment


Mind & Body

More Adults are Embracing Orthodontic Treatment by Kristy Como Armand

When you think of the typical patient in an orthodontist's office, an awkward middle schooler with a mouth full of metal brackets may come to mind, but things have changed. Not only are more adults seeking a straighter smile in record numbers, there are more choices than ever in materials for achieving the results they want. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, adults today make up nearly half of orthodontic patients hoping to get that perfect smile. “Braces have evolved considerably since the adults of today were teens,” says Dr. Craig Crawford with Crawford Orthodontics. "We have more convenient options that deliver quicker results for adults. In addition to improving your appearance, orthodontics can also improve your oral health, which is of more concern for adults. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint pain." Dr. Crawford says there are a variety of reasons an adult may decide the time is right to seek orthodontic treatment. Some are experiencing crowding, which can become more noticeable in adulthood. In some cases, gum disease has caused teeth to move, changing the person's bite. "Many adults decide


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

to get braces simply because they just want to look better,” explains Dr. Crawford. "Quite a few of our adult patients have wanted braces for years, but their family may not have been able to afford them when they were younger. Now that they are adults, they can take care of this part of their appearance for themselves." Also contributing to the rise in adult orthodontic patients is improvement in orthodontic technology, such as transparent aligners, which make treatment much less noticeable. The main reason more adult patients choose clear aligners is that they appear invisible. Dr.

Crawford says this helps conceal the fact that the patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment, which can be embarrassing for some adults. Clear aligners can help hide existing gaps, another appealing cosmetic benefit. For mild cases of misaligned teeth, these may only need to be worn at night, a very popular option for adults. “Unlike traditional braces, our adult patients also love having the ability to remove their clear aligners when they eat and brush their teeth,” says Dr. Crawford. “This gives patients the freedom to eat what they want and to continue their usual hygiene routine of brushing and flossing.”

Email or Text Notification when your RX is ready!

Dr. Crawford says when traditional braces are required, newer clear, ceramic brackets, instead of shiny metal, are an option that appeals to adult patients. The ceramic brackets blend in with the teeth's natural enamel and are also more comfortable than traditional metal. Newer, space-age wires apply an even, gentle pressure over time, making it a much more comfortable process compared to the painful, vicelike adjustments many teens experienced in the past. Another big advance that adults appreciate? Much fewer messy, chalky impressions. Crawford Orthodontics uses a new intra-oral scanner to take a series of rapid digital photos of teeth that are used to create 3D models used by Dr. Crawford to formulate a

customized treatment plan. These advances have also led to shorter treatment time, which is more appealing to adults considering braces. Dr. Crawford says on average, adults can expect orthodontic treatment to last 12 to 20 months. If you are ready to look into braces for yourself, the first step toward a straighter smile is a consultation. "Once you are properly screened for periodontal and dental health, there really is no age limit for braces," says Dr. Crawford. And that's something to smile about. For more information about braces for adults, call Crawford Orthodontics at (337) 478-7590 or visit

ThriftyWay PHARMACY #2

Friendly service from your home town pharmacy. • Citywide Delivery Service • Drive-Thru Pick-Up Window • E-Mail and Call in RX Service

601 S. Pine Street • DeRidder, LA 70634 • (337) 463-7442 •

There’s strength in our numbers. We’re proud to be the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group. Our experienced specialists work together to provide our patients with the type of care they expect and deserve—personalized, attentive, respectful, and of the highest quality. And when it comes to technology, we’re bringing the latest advances to Southwest Louisiana so you won’t have to leave home to get the care you need. Our team of doctors includes these specialties: orthopaedic surgery physical medicine and rehabilitation foot and ankle care/surgery primary care sports medicine

interventional pain management hand surgery neurosurgery

Whatever your musculoskeletal concern, we’ve got you covered from head to toe.

Lake Charles | Sulphur


Mind & Body

Basketball Scores More Injuries than Other Sports

The headlines might have everyone convinced that football is the sport responsible for the most injuries, but a recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report shows that is not the case. Football makes the top five, but it doesn’t lead the way. That honor goes to basketball. Statistics from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the NCAA’s Injury Surveillance System show that more than 1.5 million basketball-related injuries are treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms each year. Whether you play for the middle school championship or the NBA title, basketball can lead to injuries. According to primary care


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

sports medicine specialist Alex Anderson, MD, with Imperial Health Center for Orthopaedics, it’s the highly physical nature of the game that contributes to the high rate of injuries. “With basketball, a lot of injuries occur from body contact, and this is a sport without much protective gear – there are no pads, no helmet, no shin guards and no face masks. In many ways, it’s a lot like hand-tohand combat, with a rapidly moving ball dictating the quick, intense action that takes place within the relatively close confines of a small court. Players at all positions are at risk of injury,” adds Dr. Anderson. He explains that basketball injuries can be separated into two general categories: overuse injuries and traumatic injuries. “Injuries caused

by Kristy Como Armand

by stressing an area over and over until it is damaged and begins to hurt are overuse injuries. Several of these types of injuries are commonly seen in basketball players.” Patellar tendinitis, or "jumper's knee," is one of these. It is characterized by pain in the tendon just below the kneecap. Achilles tendinitis is another common overuse injury in basketball players. Dr. Anderson says this injury of the tendon connecting the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone causes pain in the back of the leg just above the heel. Some basketball players overuse the tendons in their shoulders from shooting, passing and/or blocking. The rotator cuff of the shoulder is composed of four muscles. Dr. Anderson says the tendons that attach

these muscles to the shoulder bones can become inflamed and painful, particularly when you do repetitive overhead activities, such as shooting the basketball. Dr. Anderson explains that traumatic injuries are those caused by a sudden forceful injury. One of the more common traumatic injuries in basketball is a jammed finger. The severity of a jammed finger can range from a minor injury of the ligaments, which connect bones, to a broken finger. Another type of traumatic injury is a muscle pull or tear. In basketball players, these injuries occur primarily in the large muscles of the legs. One of the most common of all basketball injuries is an ankle sprain. “This typically occurs when a player lands on another player's foot or the ankle rolls too far outward,” says Dr. Anderson. “When this happens, the ligaments connecting bones and supporting the ankle are stretched or torn partially or completely.” Knee injuries are among the most serious basketball injuries, according to Dr. Anderson. One type is a sprain, a small tear in the ligaments or joint capsule that is not

severe enough to cause your knee to give way, but that may weaken it. A twisting injury can tear the meniscus, the tissue that acts as a cushion between the bones of the upper and lower leg at the knee. A more severe basketball injury is a complete tear of one or more of the ligaments that support the knee. Dr. Anderson says the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of these. This ligament connects the upper and lower leg bones and helps hold the knee in place. “If you damage your ACL, your knee will probably hurt and give way persistently. In most cases, surgery is needed to reconstruct the ACL and restore stability. While a relatively common procedure, it is one that requires a number of months of recovery and reconditioning.” Because of the high risk of injury when playing basketball, prevention should be a focus for every coach and player. Dr. Anderson says some of the most important precautions take place before you go on the court: Have a pre-season physical examination and follow your doctor's recommendations for basketball injury prevention.

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• Hydrate adequately - waiting until you are thirsty is too late. • Maintain proper fitness - injury rates are higher in athletes who have not adequately prepared physically. • After a period of inactivity, progress gradually back to full-participation basketball through conditioning activities such as aerobic conditioning, strength training, and agility training. • Select basketball shoes that fit snugly, offer support, and are non-skid. • Before practice or a game, always take time to warm up and stretch. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. • Avoid overuse injuries. Listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury and help avoid "burn-out." For more information on any type of sports injury, call Center for Orthopaedics at (337) 721-7236 or visit

The Home Health Agency of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, under the medical direction of Drs. Jason and Kelly Fuqua, was nationally recognized for outstanding patient satisfaction by the Home Health Care Providers and Systems Survey, or HHCAHPS, with HHCAHPS Honors Elite. While the honor is greatly appreciated, we feel privileged every day to provide the quality care our patients need to remain comfortable at home. The honor is truly ours.

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Money & Career

What to Expect from a Tax Preparer


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

by Andrea Mongler

The U.S. tax code is notorious for its complexity. Even so, millions of Americans do their own taxes every year. If you’re one of them but you’re considering hiring a tax preparer this year, you might wonder what you should expect. First, you can look forward to some extra free time this tax season. When you hire a tax preparer, your main role is to provide your prior-year tax return along with your W-2 or 1099s and other tax documents you receive in the mail. Your tax preparer is also sure to have some questions for you, but once you’ve provided the necessary information, he or she will take it from there. “The first year someone works with a tax preparer is a little more timeconsuming,” says Sam Harrison, a director at CPA firm McElroy, Quirk & Burch (MQB). “I will ask more questions that first year because I want to make sure we don’t miss anything. But once I get to know you, there are things I just know — how many kids you have, for example.” Still, MQB sends paperwork to its existing clients every January in order to determine

Visit to search for one in your area. He also emphasizes the importance of hiring someone who has experience with similar clients. If you have rental property, for example, work with someone who has other clients with rental property. Finally, you should expect to feel confident in and comfortable with your tax preparer. If you don’t, find a new one. “Some people don’t mesh. That’s just the way things work,” Harrison says. “You always want to make sure you are comfortable communicating with your tax preparer, whether that’s by email, in person, or phone calls. A good means of communication and just making sure things mesh is very important.”

whether their tax situation has changed. How much you can expect to pay your tax preparer likely depends on how complicated your tax situation is and on the number and types of forms you need to file. Like many firms, MQB charges an hourly rate. Harrison says that unless your tax situation has substantially changed, you can expect to pay a similar fee from one year to the next. According to the IRS, the price for getting a tax return prepared by a professional may range from $60 to more than $1,000, with an average cost of close to $200. If someone wants to base your bill on the size of your refund, though, that’s a red flag. “That’s a situation that can possibly lead to a faulty filed return,” Harrison says. Along the same lines, one thing you should not expect is a big refund. Though you may very well get one, anyone who promises that you will before even looking at your paperwork probably isn’t aboveboard. Harrison recommends choosing a tax preparer who is credentialed: a CPA, tax attorney, or enrolled agent.

For more information on McElroy, Quirk & Burch, call 337-433-1063, go to their website,, or email Harrison at .

Since our inception in 1925, MQB has broadened its range of accounting and financial service to cover practically every financially related need of business and individuals. You’ll find that MQB’s service is marked by personal attention. MQB places a high value on rendering top quality professional service for each client.

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Money & Career

Southwest Louisiana’s

Top Ten Jobs for 2019 by Andrea Mongler


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Anyone who’s spent any time in the Lake Charles region in the last few years is surely aware of the construction boom. From massive industrial projects to the wide variety of residential construction, the evidence is hard to miss. Unsurprisingly, the massive amount of construction that’s been taking place here is reflected in local jobs numbers. In fact, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, in Southwest Louisiana, half of the 10 occupations with the largest projected three-year growth (by number of jobs) from 2016 to 2019 are related to the construction industry. Read on for the commission’s list along with some job descriptions from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): 1. Hand Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers. According to the BLS, these workers “move materials to and from storage and production areas, loading docks, delivery trucks, ships and containers.” Considering the fact that this is a coastal area where shipments constantly come and go, it should come as no surprise that these workers are in high demand.

2. Construction Laborers. These individuals perform physical labor on construction sites. Specific duties can vary widely. 3. Carpenters. Carpenters work on many different types of projects, too. As the BLS puts it, carpentry work ranges from “installing kitchen cabinets to building highways and bridges.” 4. Structural Iron and Steel Workers. These workers “raise, place and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks,” the BLS says. 5. Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters. Although these are three distinct and specialized roles, they have similar duties that involve installing and repairing pipes in homes, businesses, and factories. 6. First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers. Construction and extraction encompass a large number of occupations, including Nos. 2 through 5 on this list. And those workers, of course, report to supervisors.

7. Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers. According to the BLS, these workers “use handheld or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts.” 8. Personal Care Aides. Personal care aides help people with disabilities, illnesses, or cognitive impairment with activities of daily living. This includes things like bathing, housekeeping, and

grocery shopping. With the elderly population growing as baby boomers age, employment of home health and personal care aides is projected to grow 41 percent nationwide by 2026. 9. Retail Salespersons. These workers sell a wide variety of merchandise, “such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel,” the BLS says.

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10. Cashiers. The retail salespersons category does not include cashiers, who have a category of their own. As the BLS explains it, their role is “to process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.” For more information, visit laworks. net/LaborMarketInfo/LMI_OccAllProj_ short.asp?years=20162019.

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Money & Career

3 Ways to Talk with Aging Parents About Finances The average life expectancy for Americans has increased to 78.7 years, which means many people have more years to enjoy the company of their aging parents. But all is not rosy. Those extended years also increase the odds that parents might deplete their financial resources or suffer from dementia and be unable to make their own financial decisions.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

This can leave adult children perplexed about when and whether they should step in and determine what’s happening with their parents’ money, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, a registered nurse and elder law attorney. “Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to have those conversations,” says Rosenblatt, co-author with her husband, Dr. Mikol Davis, of The Family Guide to Aging Parents and Succeed with Senior Clients: A Financial Advisors Guide to Best Practices. “Some stubborn parents simply refuse to talk about their money. No matter what their adult children say to them, they put it off, change the subject, or tell their children it’s none of their business.” Of course, many adult children aren’t in any particular hurry to broach the subject either, says Davis, a clinical psychologist and gerontologist. “They have their own discomfort about it and procrastinate,” he says. “Then a

crisis comes up and no one has any idea what the parents have or where to find important documents.” Rosenblatt and Davis say it’s critical that these conversations take place so that offspring can gather information about such subjects as the parents’ income and expenses, where legal documents are kept, and what kind of medical or long-term-care insurance the parent might have. The success of these conversations often comes down to how you approach the subject. Rosenblatt and Davis offer a few tips: End the procrastination by picking a date for the talk. Make an appointment with yourself to bring up the subject at a specific time. An opportune time to schedule this is after a birthday, a family event, or a holiday where other family members are together who may share in the responsibility for the aging parents in the future.

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Show respect. Tell your parents you understand and respect their reluctance to discuss their finances. You can even make the conversation about yourself rather than about them. Say that you’re concerned that if something went wrong, you would be completely lost as to how to help them. Address their fears head-on. Let them know you understand they are worried that if they talk about their finances their independence might be taken away. You might add that you want them to maintain their independence as long as possible and you’re willing to help accomplish that, but you can’t do it without the correct information. “Getting past an aging parent’s fear about talking about finances can be daunting,” Rosenblatt says. “But a wellplanned strategy for approaching the subject will give you your best chance.”

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Money & Career

Safe & Secure: By Taylor Trahan Henry

When it comes to caring for the elderly, initial thoughts turn toward preventing physical and mental abuse. While shielding against those two forms of abuse is important, there’s another form of abuse that’s actually more prevalent. Recent studies show that financial exploitation of the aging population is a crime on the rise, with 90% of the perpetrators having a personal relationship with the victim. Financial abuse or exploitation of the elderly is defined in the Older Americans Act of 2006 as: “The fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an older individual of rightful access to, or use of, benefits, resources, belongings, or assets.”


“Arming our customers and the public with the basic knowledge of how to combat financial exploitation is important,” says attorney La Koshia Roberts, Compliance and CRA Officer with Lakeside Bank. “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” There are steps you can take to ensure you or an elderly family member are protected against wrongdoing. By planning ahead, you can ensure that accounts and assets are protected. One key step you can take is establishing relationships with personnel at your bank. In today’s digital age, it’s so easy to complete transactions online but having face-to-face interaction with bank staff can help them get to know you and notice when something seems amiss. “Our staff is committed to protecting our customers,” Roberts says. “Not only does our institution provide resources,

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

Preventing Financial Exploitation of the Elderly but our team is also trained in recognizing potential threats.” A power of attorney or durable power of attorney can help ensure your assets will be protected even if you become incapacitated. Be sure to assign this to a trusted friend, relative, or attorney. As an added layer of protection, put all financial instructions in writing and be as specific as possible. Other good financial practices include using direct deposit for any paychecks or other forms of income, signing your own checks, and not allowing anyone to put his name on your account without your consent. Even if a family member helps you handle your finances, there is no need to list him on your main account. Your bank can set up a separate account in both your names with automatic transfers of limited funds. As more people use the internet for every-day activities,

including banking and shopping, there is greater potential for fraud. Seniors may be more vulnerable to scams and other fraudulent behavior because they often have the least experience with technology and the internet. It is common for criminals to use email phishing and phone calls to target seniors who may be more trusting and likely to divulge personal information. “Your bank generally will not ask you to confirm personal information via email or text message,” warns Roberts. “If you think a phone call, email or other alert is suspicious, contact your institution directly to confirm it’s valid.” You can never be too safe with your finances. When in doubt, always enlist a trusted and knowledgeable third party to review or handle documents. For more information visit

Proposed I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge with six lanes and a pedestrian walkway.

Chamber SWLA Releases I-10 Bridge Task Force Recommendations for the Replacement of the Interstate 10/Calcasieu River Bridge

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Pemberton Mortgage Group

American Mortgage Connection Announces Name Change to Pemberton Mortgage Group American Mortgage Connection, a local, family-owned mortgage broker firm, announced the business’ rebrand to Pemberton Mortgage Group. American Mortgage Connection was founded by Candy Pemberton in 1999 and has been a leading mortgage broker in the Southwest Louisiana area. After 20 years in the business, Candy is transitioning the business to her son, Blake Pemberton, who joined the group 7 years ago. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on January 17 to celebrate the official rebranding of Pemberton Mortgage Group. For more information, call (337) 477-3350 or visit

New 3 Tesla MRI Improves Imaging and Patient Experience at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Diagnostic Center The Diagnostic Center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) is pleased to announce its recent upgrade of a new 3 tesla (3T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. The Ingenia 3.0T from Philips Healthcare is a revolutionary machine designed to quickly perform the highest-quality MRI scans with patient comfort in mind. The Ingenia 3.0T incorporates a number of breakthrough technologies designed to deliver exceptional image clarity. It provides radiologists and physicians with precise, detailed magnetic resonance images needed to help confidently diagnose many different anatomical and structural problems in the body. To learn more about MRI at the Diagnostic Center of WCCH, call (337) 310-8834 or visit

The Chamber SWLA released the recommendations of their I-10 Bridge Task Force at a news conference on January 25. These recommendations, approved by the Chamber board, provide the state with a well-researched, detailed action plan to tackle the most critical interstate bridge project in Louisiana by a private venture and without incurring debt or using any tax revenue. More importantly, based on the I-10 Task Force’s proposed plan, the new bridge could be completed within three years with the cooperation of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). The current I-10 Calcasieu River bridge opened for traffic in 1952 and was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span. In 2016, the average daily crossings were over 80,000. The National Bridge Registry has rated the bridge a 6.6 out of 100. By comparison, the Interstate 35 West Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was rated a 50 when it collapsed. “Replacing this bridge has been topic of concern and debate for decades,” said I-10 Bridge Task Force Chairperson Keith DuRousseau. “The bridge is vital to the economic fabric of our region and we cannot afford to wait while the state and federal government continue to delay

and to allocate funds to projects in other areas. Our research was very eye-opening on the various delays and made us even more determined to find a solution.” The recommendation for the design of the bridge calls for a new six-lane bridge with shoulders and a pedestrian walkway, located immediately north of, and parallel to, the existing bridge, with ingress and egress at Sampson Street over the railway into the City of Westlake. The current bridge would remain open while construction of the new bridge takes place and tolls would be reduced for local residents. “We greatly appreciate the hard work and diligence of the task force,” said Phil Earhart, Chamber SWLA Board Chair. “Thanks to them, we have a well-researched and achievable plan for a new I-10 bridge.” The I-10 Bridge Task Force concluded that if the bridge is not replaced in the next five years, Southwest Louisiana, the state and the entire country could suffer drastic commercial and strategic consequences, adding that the cost of doing nothing could result in loss of life, devasting traffic congestion, loss of large scale capital investment and distribution delays. “It’s time to come together once again for the good of our region and ensure that a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge is built sooner, rather than later, for the safety and continued prosperity of our region,” says DuRousseau.



Solutions for Life

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

Never Put Off Until Tomorrow . . . (Part I) Are you a procrastinator? I think everyone is to some degree. I’m sure you’ve heard of the quote referenced in the title of this article. It’s changed a little from its original form when Benjamin Franklin said it: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Of course, Mark Twain came behind him with, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” I love Mark Twain! While we all procrastinate sometimes, chronic procrastination is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you are constantly late, missing deadlines, or pulling allnighters, I’m talking about you. If you feel like you are always disappointing others or apologizing for not taking care of things, I’m talking about you. Something called Delay Discounting is really to blame here. Delay discounting is our tendency to view something as less important when the deadline is further away. We begin to attach importance to it only when the deadline gets to a certain point of closeness to us. Chronic procrastinators tend to wait until the deadline is looming and breathing down their necks before they begin to take action. This leads to what I call “putting out fires.” The problem is, if you take action only when something is an emergency (a fire), not only are you teaching everyone around you they have to be in a state of emergency to get your attention, but also you keep yourself in a constant state of panic. People procrastinate for a variety of reasons:

• Fear of Failure. If you fear you will not

do something well, procrastinating is your insurance. “Of course I didn’t do well on that test – I didn’t even study for it.”

• Fear of Success.“I don’t want to be too

successful; I don’t want that kind of stress.”

• Fear of Losing Control. Turning things


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019

in late can often be a statement of “I’m not on your schedule.” I’ve worked with many kids who actually did the assignment, but just didn’t turn it in on time for this very reason.

• Fear of Separation. I have also seen

children who didn’t want to do too well or appear too smart because they feared they would not fit in with their friend group and would be ostracized.

• Fear of Attachment. “I don’t want

to be too successful because I don’t want to become the ‘go to’ person and have to interact with others that much.” People with social anxiety often procrastinate for this reason.

So, what’s the big deal here anyway? How much does being known as a procrastinator really affect your life? Actually, a lot. I promise it is standing in your way. Consider these consequences:

• Loss of time. Putting off doing

things wastes a lot of time. And, what most people don’t realize is the anticipation of (the thinking about, the feelings connected to) the project is so much worse than just doing it and getting it over with.

• Loss of opportunities. I wonder how

many things you have had to pass on over the years because you were not ready for them. You weren’t in a financial situation or a stable position to take on that new opportunity – because you had been procrastinating and not taking care of business.

• Being developmentally stuck.

Procrastinators generally don’t develop and become healthy nearly as much as they could. How can they – you can’t develop goals and think about the future when all you are ever doing is putting out fires!

• Damage to your reputation. Both at work and in your personal life, if you are known as a person who can’t be counted on to get things taken care of in a timely fashion, people will stop depending on you. At work, this means you become dispensable. At home, it basically means the same thing – “why would I stay in a relationship with you when I can’t count on you?”

• Poor decisions. When you wait until

everything is an emergency, you are always having to make decisions under pressure. Because you didn’t take care of the washing machine when it first started making that odd sound, now it must be replaced and there are no sales going on right now. You possibly could have repaired it if you had addressed it earlier. Or maybe you would have realized it was going to need to be replaced soon and started looking for good deals. If only you hadn’t procrastinated.

• Lower self-esteem. This procrastination

thing probably started because of low selfesteem. You lacked confidence in yourself, so you put off taking care of things. But now it’s become a vicious cycle. Now, you’re always needing to apologize for being late or missing deadlines. And other people in your life are always angry and frustrated with you. Plus, you’re looking around at all the things you need to do. So, the very action you took to protect yourself (procrastinating) is actually causing you to feel worse about yourself.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this article, congratulate yourself. For some people, this was too much to take in, and it was too close to home. For others, they saw the title, groaned, and turned the page, refusing to deal with it at all. For you, there is hope. Next month, we will discuss moving from being a procrastinator to a champion of time management!


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2019