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January 2015





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Contents 14



In This Issue

Regular Features

Wining & Dining

18 First Person with Brooks Donald Williams

6 All That Glitters: Golden Nugget Expands Area’s Culinary Offerings 8 Winter Wine Wisdom 10 Stirrin’ Up a Good Gumbo

21 Cameron Connection

laces & Faces P 14 Local Music Educator a Grammy Finalist 16 Tritico Theatre: Putting Her Name in Lights 22 From Vietnam to McNeese to Entrepreneurial Success 26 – 29 Cover Story: Clear Your Home,

24 Who’s News 34 Business Buzz 42 The New Family Tree 44 By the Numbers 64 McNeese Corral 65 Happenings 66 Solutions for Life!

Office and Mind

Money & Career 30 Linkedin: A User’s Guide for Networking and Job Hunting 35 Little Ways to Save A Lot in 2015



Sneak Peak

at February’s Thrive:

Home & Family 36 Beat the Midyear Slump

Our Annual Look at the Region’s Economic Growth Spurt. Where do we stand, how are we handling the changes and what’s still ahead?

40 Hidden Household Hazards Style & Beauty 46 Pantone’s Color of the Year 2015 48 Choose Your Best Boots 51 It’s All in the Eyes—Look Younger this Year

Valentine’s Feature:

Best Proposal Stories Tell us yours on the Thrive Facebook page.

Mind & Body 52 Winter Allergies Can Lead to Sinus Misery 54 Joint Replacement May Improve Heart Health 61 Flu Vaccine Remains Important

Mardi Gras Insert:

It’s party time in SWLA!


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

Editors and Publishers

Kristy Armand Christine Fisher

Creative Director/Layout

Barbara VanGossen

Advertising Sales Lauren Tarasiewicz ads@thriveswla.com 337.310.2099

Assistant Editor

Katie Harrington

Submissions edit@thriveswla.com

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel

Assistant Designers

Shonda Manuel Kris Roy Mandy Gilmore

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

January 2015


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Wining & Dining

All that Glitters:

by Katie Harrington

Golden Nugget Expands Area’s Culinary Offerings When the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Lake Charles opened late last year, it added more than 740 hotel rooms and suites to the area. It’s line-up of amenities also includes seven restaurants and five bar and lounge options. Locals and visitors alike are taking full advantage of the newest dining options in town. Tilman Fertitta, chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Fertitta Entertainment, Inc., also owns Landry’s Inc., a company that operates more than 500 high-end and casual dining restaurants around the world. Thanks to this, area diners now have the opportunity to choose from a variety of restaurants that provide new options for those looking for anything from a private or family dinner to a business lunch or sports viewing party. Here’s a rundown of what food lovers can expect when heading out the Golden Nugget to dine. NIGHTLIFE AND ENTERTAINMENT


If a cocktail and live entertainment is the Holy Grail you seek, then consider these options.

For a more substantial meal, feast on these options:

Blue Martini Forty-two signature martinis, specialty cocktails, fine wines and spirits are all available at Blue Martini, along with live entertainment every night. Bar 46 Located in the center of the casino, steps away from the high-limit gaming area, Bar 46 also offers bar-top video poker.

Rush Lounge Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Rush Lounge provides a place for guests to relax, enjoy cocktails, listen to live music, gamble and watch the latest game. H20 Pool & Ultra Lounge This outdoor lounge combines a poolside ambience with contemporary seating, a fire pit, a swim-up bar, lazy river and more.

Ice Bar Handmade cocktails are the staple in this icyinspired lobby bar.

Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse Voted one of the Top Ten Steakhouses in America, Vic & Anthony’s features prime beef, fresh seafood and more, along with an extensive wine collection. Grotto Italian Ristorante Transport yourself to the setting of a trattoria in the Old Country while enjoying authentic Italian cuisine. Fresh antipasti, chicken, veal and fish entrees along with homemade pastas are all staples of Grotto’s menu. Lillie’s Asian Cuisine A fusion of Chinese and Japanese flavors with a Pan-Asian flair greet diners are Lillie’s. An extensive sushi and sashimi menu that includes Ahi, Sake and Unagi are also available. Saltgrass Steak House This award-winning steakhouse, famous for serving Certified Angus Beef®, is now a reality for Southwest Louisiana diners. Also available is a wide selection of seafood, chicken, BBQ, baby back ribs, burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. Breads, dressings, soups and desserts are made from scratch daily. Claim Jumper Restaurant Inspired by California’s Gold Rush history, this restaurant puts a modern twist on traditional American cuisine. Choices include burgers, sandwiches, fresh-baked pot pie, specialty salads and more. Made fresh daily, among other items, is the six-layer Chocolate Motherlode Cake, featured as one of America’s “Top 5 Most Decadent Desserts” on Food Network.

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January 2015

Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar Tapas, tacos, enchiladas and much more make up the menu at Cadillac. The Tequila Bar features more than 70 boutique tequilas along with signature margaritas and hand-crafted cocktails. Landry’s Seafood House Founded in 1947, Landry’s Seafood is a Gulf tradition that opened its first location in Lafayette. Serving up fresh Gulf seafood, Landry’s offers gumbo made with dark brown roux, fresh fish and shrimp, oysters shucked to order and more. And, if you still have room left after all these stops, check out The Chocolate Box. Offering high-end confections, handmade truffles and specialty candies and sweets, The Chocolate Box also serves gelato, milkshakes, coffee and more.

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January 2015

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Phone (337) 478-0785 eatmorecake6127@yahoo.com

3101 Kirkman St. Lake Charles, LA



Wining & Dining

Winter Wine Wisdom

When the weather chills you to the bone, it just makes sense to reach for wines that will warm you up.

by Kristy Armand

“We change lots of other things as the weather gets colder – clothes, home décor, foods we prefer. It’s only natural that we do the same with wine,” says Fran Avery, co-owner of Crave, a gourmet food and gift store in Lake Charles. She says lush, rich wines are more popular in winter. “I think, instinctively, we are more likely to choose wines that have more texture and layers, with a lot of dimension in colder months.” Melanie McMullen, Crave co-owner, says these wines with added depth and dimension leave you with a warm, toasty feeling, and are typically red wines. But don’t assume that white wines have to be left out in the cold during the winter months. “It’s a myth that red wines are for winter and whites are only for spring and summer. If you love white wine, you don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy

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it again. Any alcohol has a warming effect, and you may want to consider serving your white wine less chilled than you would in the summer, but the key is to choose what you enjoy, whether it’s white or red. That’s what’s important regardless of the season.” If you’re still not quite sure what wines you should sip on in winter, Avery suggests letting your menu be your guide. “Chances are you’ll be serving more of your favorite comfort foods during the winter months, with creamy sauces, savory roasts and hearty soups. If you choose a wine to complement these types of dishes, you’ll be gravitating toward heartier, spicier wines,” she says.

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Crave offers the following suggestion for perfectly pairing wines with winter comfort food: Shiraz: Hearty and spicy, this red wine goes well with spicy food, red meat and herbed sauces. Merlot: Easy on the palate, this red is perfect for novice wine drinkers and goes with just about anything. Pasta, red meat and smoked or grilled foods make for the best pairings. Cabernet sauvignon: This wine is extremely robust, so let its flavor shine and pair it with a red meat that has been simply prepared.

January 2015

Pinot noir: This wine is delicate and fresh, making it an excellent choice for tomato-based pastas, grilled salmon, chicken, lamb and vegetables. Chardonnay: This wide-bodied and velvety white wine is a good choice for grilled fish and chicken dishes as well as creamy sauces and soups. Sauvignon blanc: Lighter and fresher than chardonnay, this wine pairs even better with white fish and also works well with poultry, salads and soups. Crave is located at 2801 Ryan Street in Lake Charles. Call (337) 421-0040 for more information or visit www.cravegiftbaskets.com.


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Wining & Dining

Stirrin’ Up a Good

Gumbo by Katie Harrington

If Mardi Gras reigns king over Louisiana’s festivals, then gumbo is the king of Louisiana’s lauded cuisine. It is a dish that transcends all classes and no two bowls taste the same. It is a prime example of Louisiana’s melting pot of cultures, with ingredients coming from many different backgrounds. For example, okra is West African in origin and file (dried and ground sassafras leaves) is believed to be a contribution of the Choctaws and possibly other native tribes. The first documented serving of gumbo occurred at a gubernatorial reception held in New Orleans in 1803. In 1804, gumbo was served along the Acadian coast at a Cajun gathering. Today, the most well-known renditions include seafood and chicken and sausage, but this barely scratches the surface of what can be included in a pot of this Louisiana comfort food. Duck, oyster, eggs and much more can be found in today’s gumbos. One of the biggest feasts for gumbo lovers is held each year during Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana. For nearly 20 years, chefs of all skill levels have been stepping up to the pot and vying for the bragging rights that come with winning the annual Gumbo Cook-off. Several of the longtime competitors were happy to share some of their tips and tricks with Thrive. It’s All About That Base Jimmy Mallet with the Krewe of Komova said his krewe has been cooking in the cook-off for as long as he can remember. The Krewe of Komova has won the cook-off numerous times in different categories and last year they took home first place in the amateur wild game division. When asked about his secret to stirring up a good gumbo, Mallet commented that it all starts with the roux. “You have to have a homemade roux to start.” In addition to a homemade roux, Mallet added that he likes to add bay leaves to his gumbo for extra flavor. “I like to make a gumbo that has a 10 www.thriveswla.com

medium consistency. You don’t want it to be too think or too thin.” Echoing Mallet’s sentiments about the homemade roux, Gena Richard Millslagle with Krewe du Sauvage, who won first place in the professional seafood division at last year’s cook-off, said a lot of people just put water in their gumbo but with seafood the secret really is in the sauce. “The trick to a good seafood gumbo is using a good broth as a base, not water.” “I like a good, dark roux for the base of my gumbo and the consistency has to be just right,” added Trace Wing, another member of Krewe du Sauvage’s cooking team. “A major step is getting your seasoning just right, too.” Adding in the Protein Once your roux or base is perfected, it’s time to add in the protein. Whether you’re cooking a wild game, seafood or chicken and sausage gumbo, selecting the right proteins is an important step. “With a seafood gumbo it’s critical to only buy seafood fresh from a reputable seafood market. Stay away from frozen seafood,” Millslagle said. Mallet added that with wild game gumbo, if you’re using ducks then you are already getting a lot of flavor naturally from that, but you can amp it up a few notches with your sausage selection. “You want to pick an excellent quality sausage that has a good smoked flavor for an extra punch.” If chicken and sausage is more your style, you can increase your flavor with a this little trick. “I like to cut up all my sausage and brown it first,” said Wing. “After that is done, I drain off about 90 percent of the grease and then brown my chicken in what remains. This step allows the chicken to pick up the smoked flavor of the sausage. After all the meat is browned, I add it into my gumbo.” Let it Fly Even though the Internet is packed with recipes for stirring up a good gumbo, our chefs weren’t too Thrive Magazine for Better Living

keen on sticking to a recipe. “When you’re cooking Cajun or French food, you just have to improvise and cook on instinct,” said Millslagle. “It’s better to sit back and trust what the pot’s going to bring you.” Wing had a similar game plan when it comes to cooking gumbo. “We just throw it together and let it fly.” He did add that whatever you do, don’t let it burn. “Definitely don’t burn it. If you leave it on the heat too long it is possible to burn the roux to the bottom of the pot and that’s no good.” Bring on the Competition The 19th annual World Famous Cajun Extravaganza and Gumbo Cook-off will be held on Saturday, February 14, at the Lake Charles Civic Center in the Exhibition Hall. Teams are forming now and entry forms and rules are available at www.swlamardigras.com. The public can come out and taste from every pot at the cook-off. There is a $5 entry fee at the door. Learn more at www.swlamardigras.com.

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Places & Faces

Golden Nugget Ups SWLA’s Ante as Gaming Destination by Katie Harrington

photos provided by Landry’s, Inc.

If you’ve ever wondered what $700 million looks like, venture to the new Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Lake Charles and you’ll quickly see. The 1.3 million square-foot property opened its doors to the public for the first time last month and is the fifth Golden Nugget property for Texas-based businessman Tilman J. Fertitta. Fertitta, CEO and the sole shareholder of Fertitta Entertainment, Inc., said his Louisiana roots run deep with his mother being from Golden Meadow. A self-described opportunist, Fertitta said when

Blackjack Table

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he saw the Lake Charles property and license become available, he immediately jumped on a plane, flew to Las Vegas and found himself sitting in the office of Anthony San Filippo, CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment, then holder of the license. “I told him, what you want is me out of Houston because I will help grow the market more than anybody else. With these two properties next to each other, there’s nothing else like this in the United States except in Vegas—but not even on the Vegas Strip do you have two properties of this quality who have golf courses, beaches and marinas beside two Thrive Magazine for Better Living

casinos. Right here in Louisiana, we have the most unique gaming opportunity.” Fertitta’s sentiments were echoed at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony last month by Louisiana Speaker of the House, Representative Chuck Kleckley. “This facility is a game changer. This has raised the bar in Southwest Louisiana.” Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, said that Lake Charles has already hit the jackpot with the Golden Nugget. “There have been construction jobs for the last 18-24 months to put this place together. This has already paid off for this area and we’re grateful for that.” The opening the Golden Nugget marks the first time in almost a decade, since Hurricane Katrina hit, that all 15 of the state’s riverboat licenses have been up and operational. The hotel and casino features 740 luxury hotel rooms and suites; an 18-hole championship golf course; a world-class spa; extensive retail options; an 18,000 square-foot ballroom; 30,000 square feet of meeting space; a one-of-a-kind pool; private January 2015

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beach front and marina; and a number of Landry’s signature restaurants. An innovative casino floor featuring 70 table games, a state-of-the-art poker room, and 1,600 of the world’s newest slot machines redefines the gaming experience across the industry. “Golden Nugget Lake Charles is like no other gaming resort, offering a first-class, Las Vegasstyle atmosphere right here in the South,” said Fertitta. “We know our strong Texas and Louisiana customer base will enjoy having these unbeatable, luxury amenities closer to home. This marks our fifth Golden Nugget opening. Our Vegas, Laughlin, Atlantic City and Biloxi properties, each required a dramatic renovation and rebranding; whereas Lake Charles is our first ground-up development and articulates our style through and through.” For more information and a complete listing of amenities, visit www.goldennugget.com/ lakecharles. January 2015

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Places & Faces

Local Music Educator a Grammy Finalist Ever since he was a kid, Huber “Mickey” Smith, Jr. has always dreamed of winning a Grammy, and this local educator, musician and music advocate may soon see his dream come true. Smith, the band director at Maplewood Middle School, is one of 10 finalists up for the second annual Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. More than 7,000 initial nominations for the award were sent in from all over the country. “It’s like a dream. Growing up as a kid and musician, winning a Grammy was the ultimate,” he said. “It’s surreal that there is now a chance it can come true – and it’s for doing what I love – teaching.” According to the Grammy in the School’s website, the award was established last year to recognize educators from kindergarten-college levels “who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in their schools.”

them successful in life. “I use music as a vehicle to teach life principles which help open doors to more opportunities,” Smith said. Smith recalls a student he taught when he was band director West Orange-Stark Middle School. He was a troubled student and was about to be expelled from school. The principal sent the boy to work with Smith. “I was able to make a change with him and he started doing better in his classes,” he said. Smith has inspired countless students in the same way. “It’s not just about the music. Music is a part of the human experience. Music adds to their humanity. It teaches them patience and about a

Smith said it really is an honor to be nominated. “I do hope I win. I get to represent something greater than myself – I get to represent Southwest Louisiana and what is great about our area.” Smith said he had no idea he had made the list of the top ten finalists – until the morning of Dec. 5, when he heard his name, along with the names of other Grammy finalists, on CBS This Morning. “I was floored,” he said. “It was just as much a surprise for me.” Smith found out he had been nominated for the award in February. Every few months, Grammy in the Schools organizers released a smaller, updated list of those educators who advanced to the next round – and Smith’s name was on the list every time. Before the Dec. 5 announcement, he said hadn’t heard anything in a few months. Smith fits the award’s criteria to a T – he is fiercely passionate about teaching and music education. “It is critical for student development,” he said. He doesn’t teach them just about music; he teaches them the fundamental principles that will make

“ It’s not just about the music. Music is a part of the human experience.”

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~ Huber “Mickey” Smith

January 2015

work ethic. It helps them see the world in a new perspective. It shows them what life can be,” he said. “Music opens a door that stays open. It doesn’t matter what age you are – you still appreciate music.” Smith, who grew up in Mossville, started playing the saxophone in middle school. His then 90-yearold grandmother bought him a used sax so he could play. But he didn’t get passionate about playing until he was in high school. “Jay Ecker, the band director at Westlake High School, showed me what it could be. He helped me develop a fire for music. I worked at it and it took off.” he said. Smith earned a scholarship for McNeese State University and initially, he majored in business administration. It wasn’t long before he changed it to music education. He earned both a bachelor and master’s degree in music education from McNeese. “I naturally gravitated toward music. I knew it was my calling,” he said. Smith works tirelessly at his calling. Since he joined the staff, the band at Maplewood Middle School has grown from 48 members to 170. A similar thing happened while he was at West Orange-Stark – the band grew from 36 members to 280 members. But Smith’s passion doesn’t stop in the classroom. He is involved in several local music groups and initiatives. In 2007, Smith organized the annual community music series fundraiser, “Music with a Mission,” which pairs area renowned jazz musicians with local students. “The kids feel like rock stars. I wanted to give folks something to remember and share with others,”

January 2015

Smith said. The money raised from ticket sales to the event is used to fund activities for the year, which include buying instruments for students who can’t afford them. In 2011, Smith also formed a partnership between Maplewood Middle School’s beginning band class and the McNeese State University Woodwind Pedagogy class. This Service Learning initiative is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with instruction to enhance learning and teach civic responsibility. In the program, McNeese students learn how to play several woodwind instruments during classes and then, they sit in and play along with the Maplewood band students. “Our students look forward to playing with the McNeese students. They form relationships. They have friendly little competitions. It’s a win-win,” Smith said. The program has been particularly helpful for Smith’s special needs students. “These students have thrived and many have received school and district honors,” he said. “The service learning partnership and my teaching approach has helped me reach students that others can’t.” Smith attributes much of his success to his wife and college sweetheart, Eugenia, who is an eighth grade English teacher at S.P. Arnett Middle School. “She is awesome and so generous. Since she is a teacher, she understands the calling,” he said. The couple have two children, Mikayla, 10 and William, 5. Smith’s family, friends and colleagues anxiously await the music educator Grammy award announcement, which will happen at the end of January.

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If Smith wins, he will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award and $10,000 honorarium. He will also get to attend the 57th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, 2015. Even with his eye on the top prize, Smith is already a winner. Because he is a finalist, he will receive a $1,000 honorarium, as well as matching grant from Grammy sponsors. “I don’t take any of this lightly. If it doesn’t go any further, I am blessed beyond measure.” For more information on Smith, visit his website mickeysmithjr.com.



Places & Faces

Tritico Theatre: Putting Her Name in Lights

Anita Tritico

by Brett Downer

For three decades at McNeese -- and for twice that time in the community at large -- Anita Tritico was a publicist, promoter and patron of the performing arts. Her husband, attorney Joe Tritico, became an enthusiastic passenger along for the ride, serving as a benefactor, scholarship underwriter and even occasional performer. Today, thanks to a community effort in their memory, the new wing in McNeese’s arts center bears their name: the Tritico Theatre. In dedication ceremonies during the winter break, family members, theatre alumni and McNeese faculty gathered to unveil a portrait and new signage at the theatre. The naming of the theatre is unusual in that it is not because of a single donation, but from the ongoing “sale of seats” in the auditorium. A walk through the theatre finds plaques mounted on seatbacks with corporate names, familiar Lake Charles families and even personal greetings. For theatre students and colleagues at McNeese, Anita Tritico was “Mrs. T” — a fixture on campus since 980, displaying a warmth that seemed the size of her native Texas. She was the production coordinator for 31 years, in charge of publicity and opening-night receptions — meaning her nights often ran late and her car’s trunk often stayed overloaded. She also was in charge of makeup, maintained photo scrapbooks and advised the Alpha Psi Omega theatre society. She took lunch at her desk, tiled her work space with Post-It notes and kept a candy dish stocked for the students who circulated in and out of her office in need of life advice or a sugar fix.

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January 2015

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All that activity made “Mrs. T” especially popular — and valuable. An earlier 30 years of arts and civics efforts foretold her legacy at McNeese. Tritico had a longtime association with the Lake Charles Little Theatre — starting as a new-in-town bride in 1948 as a makeup volunteer. A few years later, she was cast by Rosa Hart as a leading lady in the comedy “Light Up the Sky.” She was the Makeup Committee chairman for the Little Theatre for years. She also was president of the Junior League in 1957-58; the Lake Charles Symphony was organized in her living room. She was a charter member of the Arts and Humanities Council. She served on the board of directors of the Lake Charles Symphony, Lake Charles Ballet Society and Imperial Calcasieu Museum. She was Southwest Louisiana’s 2007 Arts Patron of the Year. She died in 2011 at age 82. Her memorial service took place in the theatre that now bears her name. Joe Tritico was a standout local attorney whose family had deep roots in Lake Charles. His courtroom efforts (and colorful clients, from Sheriff Ham Reid to an accused murderess) attracted headlines, his reputation was built on guts and ethics, and he served as the federal magistrate in the city. He won scores of awards from legal, civic, social and Catholic organizations. However, to young theatre students attending cast parties at the family’s Ryan Street residence, Joe Tritico was simply the gentleman with the grin who eased January 2015

from guest to guest, welcoming them with a handshake. While he reserved his dramatic flourishes for the courtroom, he did appear onstage from time to time; his final appearance in a play was, appropriately, a courtroom drama — playing a juror in “Inherit the Wind.” He died in 1994 at age 83. In 2010, a community campaign got underway to earn naming rights for the theatre. Anita Tritico, who was then battling health issues, was reluctant about having a theatre named after the family — her work in theatre had been behind the scenes, and happily so. However, as Joy Pace, former director of McNeese’s theatre program, described it, Tritico agreed to the effort because the money raised in the campaign would be going toward theatre scholarships. (The Triticos had long funded a theatre scholarship that continues today.) An informal committee launched a fundraising effort  that is now administered by the McNeese Foundation. Richard Reid, McNeese vice president for advancement and executive vice president for the McNeese Foundation, noted at the dedication that the effort to secure seat sponsorships continues. Donations may be sent to The Tritico Theatre, c/o McNeese State University Foundation, P.O. Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609. Checks may be made payable to the McNeese Foundation, with the note “Tritico Theatre” on the check’s memo line.

RODEO. It’s the NEW Old

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Places & Faces

first person with Brooks

Donald Williams

by Lauren Jameson photo by Erica Fisher

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

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

January 2015

Brooks Donald Williams, McNeese State University’s head women’s basketball coach, said basketball has always been a part of her. “I have always loved the game. I used to sleep with a basketball. I would shoot in my bed long after I was supposed to be asleep. I would get up before everyone in my family and dribble up and down the driveway before school when I was a little girl. It was always a passion,” she said. Over the past eight seasons, Williams’ love of – and dedication to – the game has helped catapult McNeese Women’s Basketball into the limelight. In 2011, she led McNeese to its most successful season in history by winning the Southland Conference title -- the second one in the team’s history. That year, she was named Louisiana’s “Coach of the Year.” Williams efforts have helped increase game attendance more than 140 percent. Williams talked to Thrive about McNeese Women’s Basketball’s success and future goals, as well as her love of the game. How did you find your way back to Southwest Louisiana? This is home for me. I grew up in Jennings so having the opportunity to come home to Southwest Louisiana was extremely important to me. I have family and friends who I grew up with who are in this area and have helped us get Cowgirl Basketball up and running. It has truly been a team effort of so many. My support system is incredible. My home community is everything to me. It has been an honor for me to come back home and serve this area. It truly is a dream. You said you can’t remember a time when you didn’t play basketball. Who influenced you? In Jennings, we had such a rich tradition of girls’ basketball. I grew up watching state championship after state championship and dreamed of playing like those girls. They all inspired me to work hard because they did. I remember watching them and thinking how much harder I would need to work to become a champion like them. It was truly a championship culture. I fell in love with the work, the competition, the sound of the ball bouncing, the swoosh of the net, the camaraderie of working with others for one common goal, and the relationships you form along the way. You have a very young team – two seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen – how do you think they’ll do for the rest of the season? It must be quite an adjustment for all involved. They are working hard to get accustomed to the collegiate level. The speed and physicality are so different at this level, so it takes time. I think this team is special. We are being patient and just trying to coach them each and every day to get them better for conference play. I really think things could develop into something special if they continue to stay the course. We are excited to see who emerges as the season progresses. I have no doubt we will have some surprises. That’s always the exciting part of coaching.

January 2015

How do your players like playing teams from larger schools? Our players love competition and love challenges. Whether we are playing big or small, we prepare each day the same way. We take care of us first and prepare for our opponent second. I do think there is some excitement going into a “big” school environment as an underdog and coming together to compete against them. We play Division I basketball, so in order for us to continue to move forward, playing and beating “big” schools is something we must continue to be comfortable doing on a regular basis. It is something our program has done exceptionally well in the past several years and we hope to continue to work hard to be competitive with this young team. The team has gone to the Southland Conference Tournament six times under your leadership. How do you think this year’s team, being young, will do this year in conference? We expect the Southland to be tough this year. Everyone is familiar with each other. A slew of teams return top players. It is going to be a battle and that is what we have been preparing for since day one of summer. We want to get better each night and want to be playing our very best basketball at conference tournament time. Our goal is to compete for a conference championship and play in post season. Our standards and expectations are high but we believe in what we do and the young ladies we have in our program. We know it is going to take time and hard work. What is your secret to success? The program has thrived during your time at the helm. It is an extremely simple formula. We have been surrounded by wonderful young ladies and they have made the program what it is today. They bought into it from day one. They have an unbelievably tough work ethic and they have stayed the course through tough times. They trusted the process and believed in a vision when there was nothing there to see. I can’t say enough about the young ladies in our program.

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We have been surrounded by the best. They have great character, toughness, selflessness, energy, effort, relentlessness, blind faith and so many other qualities – other than talent. These things have helped us achieve the success we have had and are continuing to have. We have been truly blessed. What are some of your goals to continue the team’s success in the future? Our motto this season is “continuing the tradition, but raising the bar.” That is exactly what we want to do. We want to build upon what the young ladies who have come before have already done. They have set the stage for some special times ahead. We have an opportunity to move this program forward and we believe we have the young talent to continue to do it for years to come. One of our main goals is to continue to gain community support and have a larger and more consistent fan base. We have had such a wonderful following throughout the years; we feel like it can even grow into something more special through marketing efforts and community involvement with our student-athletes and our department. So, I guess it goes without saying that this your dream job? This job has been a dream, no question about it. McNeese is special. It is home. There is something about McNeese that is hard to describe to other people. McNeese has a family feel about it that makes it really special. I am also doing what I love and anytime you are able to do that, you are living a dream. I am thankful for that every single day. I always say what we do is not a job, it is a lifestyle, and one I am truly blessed and honored to be a part of. I take great pride in the opportunity we have as coaches to impact young people positively. I am so thankful McNeese has given me that opportunity here in Southwest Louisiana, a place that is dear to my heart.



Places & Faces

Charpentier Historic District Launches Free Multimedia Tour and Smartphone App for Visitors The Charpentier Historic District has now been brought to life with a self-guided, Smartphone application that highlights the rich history of the city as well as the carpenter-architects who created Lake Charles’ unique style of architecture. The free app can be downloaded in your app store by searching “Lake Charles Historic Tour.” Without architects in the area until the early 1900s, the 40-block Charpentier Historic District reflects the personalities of the carpenters and builders who constructed the Victorian mansions that still stand today. The district, with its intricate woodwork and distinctive columns, is nationally recognized as having Lake Charles-style architecture on the National Register of Historic Places. Some highlights of the tour include the Great Fire of 1910, Ghost Stories and Legends, and the history of Lake Charles.

“We hope the app will encourage both visitors and residents to experience and appreciate our rich architectural and cultural history,” said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitor Bureau. Whether you drive or walk, this app with give you turn-by-turn directions. The application features 30 minute to 1 hour tours, videos, photos, as well as social media sharing capabilities. You can even create your own Charpentier Historic District virtual postcard to share. The Lake Charles Historic District tour is available in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, German and includes closed-captioned (in English) for those who are hearing challenged. To see a video preview of the app go to, www.visitlakecharles.org/historic or for historical resources, visit www.calcasieupreservation.org.

photo by www.monsoursphotography.net

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

January 2015

LNG Export Facility Announced in Southwestern Louisiana The Calcasieu Pass Project, south of the city of Lake Charles, will be built, operated and manufactured in Louisiana, and will create 1,500 construction jobs, 326 indirect jobs and 100 permanent jobs for the community.

Venture Global LNG announced it is developing a liquefied natural gas export facility, the Calcasieu Pass Project, in southwestern Louisiana, which will bring hundreds of jobs to the local community. “I am honored to officially announce the Calcasieu Pass Project that will deliver reliable, safe, low-cost LNG exports to the world,” said William Wicker, CEO of Venture Global LNG at a press conference in Cameron Parish today. “Louisiana is leading the way in industrial development and job creation, and we are proud that the project will create high quality, high-paying jobs and revenue for the state.”

January 2015

“Venture Global’s investment of $4.25 billion in Louisiana is the latest in an impressive series of projects here in Southwest Louisiana that showcase our state’s tremendous energy infrastructure and our outstanding workforce,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said. “Cameron Parish affords the company great access to both natural gas supplies and deep-water access for shipping LNG to customers around the world. With billions of dollars in new investment for projects like Venture Global LNG, Louisiana is moving forward with nextgeneration energy infrastructure to connect to world markets and to create the best jobs for the future.”

will operate with a midscale, modular technology to capitalize on low-cost natural gas production under the direction of a top management team, including energy, engineering and financial experts. The Calcasieu Pass Project has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy to export 10.0 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG to countries with whom the U.S. already has a free trade agreement. Additionally, the project is seeking authorization from both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the US department of Energy to export 10.0 million tonnes per annum of LNG to non-FTA countries. The timeline for the project includes the regulatory and government filing process and securing commercial agreements through the year 2016, with operations beginning in late 2019. More on the project can be found at http://venturegloballng.com/vg-lng/.

The export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana will be 203 acres along the Calcasieu Ship Channel where it meets the Gulf of Mexico. The plant that

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Places & Faces

FROM VIETNAM TO MCNEESE TO ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS Ben Nguyen’s Amazing American Story by Brett Downer

Line up Lake Charles’ latest crop of thriving entrepreneurs, and you might be struck by the McNeese Cowboy from Saigon whose award-winning business startup is serving fellow college students at LSU. Benny at his graduation in December.

We’d better go over that again. Meet Vietnam-born Ben “Benny” Nguyen, 25 — his last name sounds like “when” — who won a local business-pitch competition in 2013. Through his savings, a bicycle and sheer will, he launched and now operates Bookstoop, a college textbook and notes marketplace. The website is bookstoop.com and LSU students already use it. Various university, Chamber and business leaders have supported — and honored — Nguyen along the way. He’s quick to acknowledge the encouragement he has received here. In handling twists and turns most people never face, it would seem his chance of success was not a matter of if, but Nguyen. A lifelong resident of Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, Benny arrived in the United States in the spring of 2010. He was greeted by an aunt and uncle who lived in Washington, D.C. From there, though, he was on his own. He was quickly en route to Lake

Charles to study at McNeese State University. Good picks on both counts, as he described it. “I never regretted choosing McNeese,” he said. “Lake Charles was warm and welcoming. I had no family here, but it was to become like a second home.” That was important, Nguyen said, because international students face three potential challenges. “First is the language. If you don’t know English well, it’s very difficult. When you step outside the door, you need to be able to communicate. “Second is the way to work, to eat — the culture. In Vietnam, for example, we have street food everywhere. Here, we have to drive to a restaurant. Because I have had no car, I have gone with friends — or gotten food from the grocery store and cooked it myself. “Also, the idea of ‘office romance’ is very different,” he said. “Over there, big companies hold group weddings for their own employees! People work together and marry

each other — and the companies celebrate the marriages. One company just had a wedding for 26 or 27 couples.” A third challenge, he said, is “being far away from your family. This was my first time in the United States ... we have been able to (stay in touch) with email, phone and Skype.” In facing those obstacles, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he said. “It was an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone.” Nguyen may have been better prepared for that than most. “I had been raised to be very independent — to make things happen for myself,” he said. “My family taught me that when you step out of your own country, you’re stepping into another world.” There are everyday logistics required to chase a dream, of course — and for Nguyen, that meant living with two other students in an off-campus apartment and either walking or riding a bicycle to

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January 2015

get wherever he needed to be. To launch his business, he used all of his savings, engaged family members as startup investors and continued to ride his bicycle around town to spare the expense of a car. He also built contacts and connections — and, in winning McNeese’s first business-pitch competition in 2013, latched onto the resources of the McNeesebased SEED (Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development) Center. He credited three people in particular: --Dr. Keith Credo, his instructor at McNeese. “He’s the one who got me to get in the business-pitch competition,” Nguyen said. --Nick Villaume of The Dev Department, a firm providing development support. “Nick and his family have been friends and very helpful,” Nguyen said. “Nick took me to LSU — without an appointment — to knock on doors to launch Bookstoop.” --Danielle Trahan, administrator of the SEED Center Business Incubator for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “A big sister,” Nguyen said. “Lots of experience, and cared about me She helped me succeed — and when I needed it, she kicked my butt.” The contest that Nguyen won is meant to inspire future business leaders. “We truly believe that the entrepreneurial spirit in Lake Charles, McNeese and the five-parish area is doing well and only going to increase as the area grows and prospers,” Dr. Credo told Thrive. As for his McNeese studies, Nguyen graduated summa cum laude last month. His bachelor’s degree includes a minor in entrepreneurship. “It took a

huge effort from my family to go to college,” he said. “For the last four-and-a-half years, I spent my time right. I’m pretty excited.” Earning a degree and growing his business “is my chance to show some return on the investment,” he said. “I am very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had.” There’s one more expansion of capital to report: Benny doesn’t have to depend on a bicycle. As a graduation gift, family and friends chipped in hundreds of dollars to help him buy a used car. The Honda CRV is the first vehicle he has ever owned. Within 48 hours of getting his driver’s license, in fact, he drove to LSU to do some soft-sell marketing for Bookstoop during Dead Week. He and his team showed up at the library to offer free cookies, bottled water and codes for study materials to weary but appreciative students who were prepping for finals. “That lifted the moods of the students,” he said. Maybe their grades, too. Nguyen will spend more time in Baton Rouge during the spring after the business had “a very successful first semester” at LSU in the

fall, he said. First, though, he will recharge his batteries by visiting his relatives in Washington, D.C., through mid-January. All that travel could be expected from someone who has crossed the globe — 9,445 miles, to be exact, from his hometown to the McNeese campus — to chase his dreams. “I’m an explorer,” he said. “Whether I fail or succeed, I’ll still learn something, experience something. I’m fearless.”

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2 Locations to Serve You Benny in front of the SEED Center with his godmother.

January 2015

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Places & Faces

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

five healthcare companies in the entire state of Louisiana to be recognized. Lake Area Medical Center ranks No. 17th on Modern Healthcare’s list of the medium-size provider organizations for Best Places to Work in Healthcare. For a complete listing of winners, please visit www.modernhealthcare.com/ bestplaces.

IBERIABANK Names Business Banking Group Manager Dr. James Jancuska

Dr. Farjaad Siddiq

Local Urologists Join Lake Area Physicians Medical Group Lake Charles Urologists Dr. James Jancuska, Dr. Farjaad Siddiq and Dr. Kenneth Ewane have joined Lake Area Physicians and the medical staff of Lake Dr. Kenneth Ewane Area Medical Center. Drs. Jancuska, Siddiq and Ewane specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of an array of urological disorders and diseases. The physicians offer comprehensive care for conditions ranging from kidney stone disease and urinary incontinence, to advanced surgical treatment options for prostate cancer and other urological cancers. Their medical practice, The Urology Center of Southwest Louisiana is located at 234 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive in Lake Charles. For more information, visit www.LakeAreaPhysicians.com or call (337) 439-8857.

IBERIABANK has announced the naming of Jason Martinez as Vice President and Business Banking Group Manager for Southwest Louisiana. Martinez brings over 17 Jason Martinez years of financial and commercial lending experience. He has been a Vice President with IBERIABANK for three years. For more information, call (337) 312-7023 or email Martinez at Jason.Martinez@iberiabank.com.

Precision Pump and Valve Announces Promotions and New Hire

Tony Lane

LAMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Bryan S. Bateman accepts award

24 www.thriveswla.com

Healthy Image Welcomes New Communications Team Member Robin Barton has joined the Healthy Image Marketing Agency staff as communications specialist. She has over 10 years of experience in Robin Barton the marketing and event management fields, with a background in collegiate athletic marketing. Originally from Tarboro, North Carolina, Barton received her undergraduate degree in recreation and leisure studies and master’s degree in sports management from East Carolina University. During her tenure at ECU, she also worked as a marketing intern and graduate assistant. For more information, call (337) 312-0972 or visit www.ehealthyimage.com.

Brinkman Graduates from Port Manager Program Sonya Lavergne

Lake Area Medical Center Receives Ranking

Lake Area Medical Center, a 2014 Best Places to Work in Healthcare winner, announced their ranking on this prestigious list produced by Modern Healthcare magazine. Lake Area Medical Center is one of the top 100 healthcare companies across the country to earn the award, and one of

years invested into the company, Lavergne will now be a part of their team of business developers for outside sales.With a degree from McNeese State University in Agricultural Business, Barry Barlow has 20 years of experience working the in industrial plants industry. Barry joins the PPV team as a business developer for inside and outside sales. For more information, call 337-491-1103 or visit their website, www.precisionpv.com.

Precision Pump and Valve (PPV) announced the promotion of two employees and welcomes a new member to their team. Tony Lane began his career in the oil and gas industry after attending McNeese State Barry Barlow University and now has 33 years of experience. Lane was promoted to quality control manager for PPV’s new VR-Certification shop in Lake Charles. Sonya Lavergne, a graduate of McNeese State University with a BS in Business Management and Marketing began her career at PPV in outside sales and later balancing inside sales, as well. With two Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Donald Brinkman was certified as a Professional Port Manager by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). Completion of the four-year certification Donald Brinkman program places Brinkman amongst the top ranks of other global maritime professionals. Brinkman has served as the director of engineering and maintenance at the Port of Lake Charles for seven years. He is a McNeese State University graduate, having achieved a master’s degree in engineering management and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

January 2015

Fusion5 Elects Three New Board Members Fusion 5, Southwest Louisiana’s premier young professionals organization, recently announced the addition of three members to its board of directors. Shonda Manuel, Alberto Galan and Blake Brignac will Shonda Manuel Alberto Galan serve one-year terms, which will begin in January 2015. Manuel is the associate creative director at Healthy Image Marketing and the photographer for Thrive Magazine. A native of Lake Charles, Galan is an administrative analyst in the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Administration Office and an adjunct instructor at Sowela Technical Community College, where he teaches Introduction to Criminal Law. Blake Brignac Brignac is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 2013, Brignac spent five years as a food scientist for a large food manufacturer. A graduate of LSU, Brignac provides well-rounded financial strategies and a heightened awareness of the challenges facing business owners.

IBERIABANK Names Business Banking Relationship Manager IBERIABANK has announced the naming of Dawn Primeaux as Vice President and Business Banking Relationship Manager for Southwest Louisiana. Primeaux most recently served as Branch Manager for IBERIABANK’s McNeese location. She continues with over six years of banking experience. For more information, call (337) 312-7033 or email Primeaux at Dawn.Primeaux@iberiabank.com.

Dawn Primeaux

Local Franchise Recognized for Growth The Lake Charles Valpak franchise, owned by Daniel Wainwright, was recently recognized as second in the nation for growth in 2014. The Valpak “Blue Envelope” brings savings to local consumers through monthly coupon mailers. For more information, call (337) 513 0229 or visit www.valpak.com/ lakecharles. Daniel Wainwright


Russell Castille Sulphur/Lake Charles


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Caleb Waldmeier Lake Charles


4091 Nelson Road Lake Charles, LA 70605 January 2015


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January 2015

Clear Your Home, Office and Mind

by Erin Kelly

Learn how to de-clutter your life CLEAR YOUR MIND Before you accept any massive undertaking, it’s best to begin with an uncluttered mind, which allows you to plan, focus and execute. It’s easy for our brains to get cluttered in today’s worlds. We’re surrounded by errands, projects, and responsibilities. At times, it seems our minds never get a chance to breathe, much less rest. According to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, “if anything needs decluttering, it’s our minds.” Unfortunately, decluttering a mind is even more challenging than decluttering your house or office. There are no tangible papers or items for you to pick up and throw away. The mind isn’t like an inbox that can be sorted through and acted upon, Babauta says. So, what to do? Zen Habits offers these tips: • Take a deep breath. Breathing is much more than an instinctual mode of survival. Sometimes it can mean the difference between a calm soul and a frantic mind. Try to focus on your breathing. Make it meditative. Breathe in deeply and exhale. This is effective when you’re frustrated or angry, but it’s also effective as a daily habit. • Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You’re not going for the Great American Novel. You just need a place to express your thoughts. One way to release the clutter in your brain is to move it to another place—in this case, on paper.

January 2015

• Know what’s important. According to Babauta, if you want to simplify or declutter, the first step is identifying what is essential to you. Write down what’s most important to you in life. Once you’ve identified what’s most important to you, you’ll better understand what’s not essential. Eliminate as many of those things from your life as possible. • Don’t rush. Many of us are in a hurry to get from here to there; sometimes we shift into autopilot and drive to work without a second thought. Slow down. Take your time. Instead of shifting to autopilot, take time to appreciate your surroundings.

UNCLUTTER YOUR SPACE Before you can clean your office space, you need to actually have office space. Start with any area of storage—these include surfaces, cabinets and drawers. Weed out the cabinets. Throw away the pile of papers sitting on the corner of your desk that you haven’t looked at in six months. Delete unnecessary voice messages and emails. This will give you room to store the things that actually matter.

• Try single-tasking instead of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking has become a way of life these days. Why not try to focus on a single task, if only for a short time?

Another way to clear your mind is to make sure you get enough sleep. “Don’t take sleep for granted,” said Dr. Jana Kaimal, board certified sleep specialist and medical director of the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisina. “If you’re wellrested, you’re better equipped to handle the business of daily life, which makes for a healthier mind and body. Life can get the best of us when we’re tired, and when life gets the best of us, we tend to worry more and feel more stressed. That can easily make your brain feel full and tired.”

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According to professional organizer Melody Granger, there are a few pieces of paper you can throw away now to get the de-cluttering party started: • Old to-do lists, even if the list is “undone.” These are the scraps of paper that have scribble written on them filled with tasks that you planned to do, but never got around to. Chances are your life won’t end if you decide not to do these things, Granger says. Instead, lighten your load. • Empty used envelopes • Advertisements that arrive with bills • Junk mail that doesn’t interest you • Scraps of random papers that you don’t need, like old unnecessary receipts or grocery lists • Business cards of people you don’t intend to contact

continued on p28



If you’re inundated with clutter that you can’t simply toss in the garbage can—papers with sensitive information, for example, or documents that you’re legally obligated to keep for a certain number of years—then consider having a shredding party or hiring a document management company.

28 www.thriveswla.com

“You can hire someone to come to your business and take care of shredding all your necessary documents, right there on site,” said Eric Avery, co-owner and executive vice president of Avery Archives, a full service records and information management company based in Lake Charles. “In a business that deals with tons of paperwork, such as a law or accounting office, it doesn’t take much for the papers to pile up. Document management can easily become a low-priority task in an office with so many other things to do. Ideally, the documents would be managed on a daily basis, but it’s easy for things to pile up and get out of control.” Often the time it takes to gather materials for shredding and actually getting them shredded is a hindrance for businesses. Avery Archives offers on-site shredding for businesses with a mobile shredding truck. But once you leave your office, you have to go home—and for many, that’s just walking into another cluttered space.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

World-renowned professional organizer Peter Walsh offers these quick tips to keep your house clutter-free: • If your whole house is a mess, tackle one room at a time. Remember that improvements in one room can become contagious to the rest of the house. • For every one new item, get rid of an old one. • Involve your children; find ways to make it fun for them. • Use a hanger system to determine which clothes you wear most. • Ask yourself if you really need something. If you hesitate, you don’t. • Establish a “magic triangle” in your kitchen between the stove, refrigerator and the sink. Keep the items you use most in that area.

January 2015

SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE If your calendar is packed with time commitments, take a long, hard look at all your obligations and find areas where you can “unobligate” yourself. Focus on commitments that relate to what’s most important to you. “Don’t be too hard on yourself, generally speaking,” says Babauta. “If you have twelve goals in life, you’ll never have time or energy to focus on a single one. Have an idea of what you want out of 2015 and beyond, and whittle it down to what relates most to your wants, needs and values. Focus on that and reduce the background noise. Too often we obligate ourselves for other people at the expense of ourselves. Make a goal to focus on you this year.” Reducing debt can be another great way to simplify your life. Too much debt creates stress all around—logistically, mentally, and physically. It can be daunting to sort out your financials, especially if the picture is bleak, but ignoring the problem will only clutter your life even further. “Don’t be captive to your debt. You can start right now, today, to free yourself from it,” says Lyles McDaniel, senior vice president with Lakeside Bank. “It’s not as if you’re going to pay off every loan tomorrow—but if you start small, you’ll get there and you’ll feel less helpless. Take an assessment of your financial situation and figure out ways you can address it.” Another way to simplify your life is to simplify your language, according to Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest.

Change your day. Change your sleep. When you don’t sleep well, it’s a struggle to make it through the day. Staying focused at work, finding the energy to get up and get moving and even making healthy food choices can be a challenge. The sleep specialists at the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana can prescribe a sleep regime for your sleep problems and help you turn good nights into great days. Make a change. Call us today!

January 2015

Change your life. Sleep Specialists Jana P. Kaimal, MD Michelle Zimmerman, NP

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4820 Lake St., Lake Charles (337) 310-REST sleepdisordercenterofla.com www.thriveswla.com


Money & Career User’s Guide for Networking and Job Hunting by Ellen Frazel

LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. Here are some tips on how you can get “In” on the networking. Perfect Your Profile On LinkedIn, your first impression rests on your profile. • Complete your profile with as much detail and experience as possible. There’s room for all sorts of experience: volunteer, unpaid internships, summer jobs, student organizations, skills, and interests. • Add work samples to the “Summary, Education, and Experience” section of your profile so that viewers can see the quality of your previous work. • Customize your profile’s hyperlink in the section called “Customize Your Public Profile” so your profile link is short and clean with

your name, instead of bogged down with numbers at the end. In this section, you can also select which parts of your profile the public can see. Your name, headline, and a good photo are recommended so that people can find you and recognize you.

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January 2015

Network Once your profile is in good shape, it’s time to get connected. • Connect with people from your email contact lists by clicking “Add Connections” in the drop-down menu and selecting “Invite Your Contacts.” • Customize your connection requests with a nice note about how you met or what you have in common. • Join LinkedIn groups–the more groups you join, the more profiles you can view and people you can message because you do not need to have a first-degree connection with other members of a group to have access to their profiles. • Help others and they will return the favor. Endorse people for skills, write a recommendation for someone on their profile, or send a friend or acquaintance a job posting. • Ask fellow alumni, family friends, or friends of friends for an informational interview if they work in the field you are interested in pursuing.


• Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature to look up a company and select “Relationships” to filter the results and see if you have any first- or second-degree connections who could hook you up with any employees of that company. Job Hunt If you want to use LinkedIn to job hunt, you’re in luck: it’s built for just that. • Use the “Resume Builder” tool to turn your LinkedIn profile into a resume. • Find a job through the LinkedIn Job Board by searching by industry and location; you can save up to ten job searches by clicking “Save This Search” and this will allow LinkedIn to send you alerts when similar jobs become available. • You can even apply to a job on LinkedIn by clicking “Apply Now” and entering your contact information and using your LinkedIn profile or uploading a resume.

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2744 Country Club Rd. Address Line One Address Line Two Lake Charles, LA 70605

Rau Financial Group began with the simple idea of helping people realize their own financial dreams and has steadily grown over the past 10 years. My staff now includes three CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS and three LPL Financial Advisors. Together we offer our clients over 100 years of combined experience in the investment field. Three years ago, we moved into our new, larger office on Ryan Street to better serve our clients.


As we celebrate this 10th anniversary milestone, we sincerely thank our clients for the trust they have placed in us, and we remain fully invested in helping every client achieve their financial goals.

Denise Rau, CFP®, President


January 2015

Math Enrichment

Give us a call to learn more about our services:

(337) 480-3835 • www.raufinancialgroup.com

1634 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC *Securities and Financial Planning offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC

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Money & Career

Local Coalition Provides Access to Healthcare Information by Katie Harrington

In Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes, nearly 17 percent of the population—or more than 37,000 people—are uninsured. A collaborative effort of several local organizations provides local residents with the resources necessary to make an educated decision when it comes to selecting a healthcare plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital is now leading an effort, along with the United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana and the Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services, to help streamline the process of securing personal

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health insurance coverage. “Our main goal is education,” said Andre Storey, vice president of Ancillary Services, at CHRSITUS St. Patrick Hospital. “This is not a political program. It’s a how can this help you as a person, your son, your neighbor, your small business program.” In the first open enrollment period that ended in April of last year, around 3,800 residents in Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes enrolled in the healthcare exchange and are now receiving the care they need. “We learned a tremendous amount from the challenges and experiences during open enrollment one,” Storey added. “Now that we are in the midst of the second open enrollment period, we want to make sure consumers in Southwest Louisiana are receiving the proper information so they can make educated decisions when it comes to their healthcare of their family.” This second period of open enrollment is now open and runs through February 15.

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The coalition aims to streamline the process for those looking to purchase healthcare coverage through the exchange by pulling resources together and making information more easily accessible. “There may be a huge boom happening in this area, but there are still a lot of people who aren’t covered,” said Storey. “The goal of this effort is to empower individuals to take advantage of the ACA. There are a lot of independent contractors, etc., in the area who can benefit from this program. If we can help them navigate the exchange system a little easier, then we want to do that.” Ultimately, the group hopes to increase access to health care coverage in Calcasieu and the surrounding parishes. For more information or to ask questions about enrolling in the program, send an email to CHRISTUSenrolllakecharlesLA@christushealthy.org, visit www.christushealth.org/getinsured, or call 211 to locate your nearest enrollment site.

January 2015

Loan The

Will Be the

Easy Part

of Your Home Improvement Project

When you decide to tackle a home improvement project, you’ll be making lots of decisions. Ceramic or travertine tiles? Stucco or brick for the archway? Sporty, sleepy or aviary blue for the dining room?

Put Personal Insurance on Your “To Do” List for 2015

We’ll make one decision a simple one. Choose Lakeside Bank for your personal or home equity loan to finance your renovations. Our low, competitive rates, experienced lenders and our ability to make quick, local decisions will help you get the financing you need stop waiting and start improving. Give us a call today to learn more, and join the migration to Lakeside, the region’s fastest growing bank.

by Robin Barton

The New Year is a time of renewal, a time to reflect on the past, and to plan for the future. As you start 2015, now is the best time to review your personal insurance needs, according to Stephen Lyons, President of Lyons Insurance, Inc. “Reviewing your personal insurance needs and policies on an annual basis can help you maintain sufficient coverage for where you are in life, and for your future. Changes in your status or situation can have a big impact on the coverage you and your family need.” As part of this review, Lyons says it is important to consider what can affect your personal insurance needs. Are you moving? Did you purchase any new electronics, sporting equipment, guns or jewelry that need to be added to your policy? Are you having a baby? Do you have kids in college? Are you retiring? Is your marital status changing? “Reviewing these questions with your insurance agent is a great way to insure adequate and up-todate personal information for proper coverage on the things that matter most to you,” he advises. Don’t let the term “personal insurance review” scare you into thinking it will be a long, lengthy meeting with your insurance agent, he adds. “In most cases, the review can be done within an hour’s time January 2015

and a proper review of your insurance program can lead to better pricing and improved coverage for you.” In addition to your personal insurance planning, Lyons says the New Year marks a convenient time to create a home inventory. “You never know when a home disaster, like a fire, flood or other natural disaster, will strike, so be prepared by having all your belongings documented. Developing a home inventory is a comprehensive way to account for your personal property.” He says this also does not have to be a complicated process. “An ideal approach is to simply go through each room in your house and making a list and/or take photos of its content.” He recommends listing large and expensive items individually (like appliances, jewelry, fine arts and furniture) and grouping together smaller items in sets (books, linens, toys, etc.). Also, remember to inventory the items in your attic, shed or basement and keep receipts for any substantial purchases. For more information on personal insurance planning, contact Lyons Insurance, Inc. by calling 337-478-4466 or visit www.lyonsagency.com

The way banking should be. Visit the


booth #55 at the HOME SHOW.

4735 Nelson Rd. • 474-3766 2132 Oak Park Blvd. • 502-4314 2203 Sampson St., Westlake • 502-4144 LakesideBanking.com

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Money & Career All you need to know to stay in the know! Lake Charles Partnership Grant Applications Released The Arts Council of SWLA has announced that applications for the Lake Charles Partnership Grant are available for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Applicants may apply for up to $3,000 for project assistance for events occurring between April 2015 and March 2016. Eligible applicants may also apply for up to $2,000 for organizational support, which provides funding for operating expenses of arts organizations, such as salaries and supplies. Applications may be downloaded at www. artscouncilswla.org or picked up at the Arts Council office, and must be received, not post-marked, by February 2 at 5pm. For more information, call (337) 439-2787.

Walnut Grove Institute Seeking Submissions from Local Artists The Walnut Grove Institute and the Arts Council of SWLA are currently seeking submissions from local artists for its upcoming series of juried exhibitions at the Walnut Grove Post Office. Two artists will be chosen to exhibit their work for each of the first two quarters of 2015. Deadline to submit work January 5. Interested artists must email 10-15 digital images of 2D ready to hang artwork with titles, mediums, sizes, and prices to the Arts Council

34 www.thriveswla.com

at ericam@artscouncilswla.org. Submissions are not guaranteed an exhibit.

Chamber Banquet to Share Secrets of HighImpact Leadership The 111th Annual Chamber SWLA Banquet will be held Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Golden Nugget Casino Resort in Lake Charles. Chamber President and CEO George Swift said this year’s keynote speaker will be Alison Levine, the team captain of the first American women’s Everest expedition and author of the New York Times best seller “On The Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership.” She is an adjunct instructor at West Point in the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership and is a strategic advisor for the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point - which is an executive education program that shares the institution’s leadership best practices with senior level-executives from the public and private sectors. “The Chamber believes Levine will inspire all of us and provide thought provoking ideas that will bolster our leadership as we embark on historic population and economic growth in our five parish area,” Swift said. Levine is the author of the New York Times best-selling book “On the Edge” and contributed

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to the book “Leadership in Dangerous situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services and First Responders.” Away from the academic world, Levine has climbed the highest mountain peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles - which is known as the Adventure Grand Slam - which fewer than forty people in the world have achieved. Levine has accomplished her goals through three heart surgeries and a neurological disease that causes arteries that feed her fingers and toes to collapse in cold weather leaving her at extreme risk for frostbite. CITGO is the title sponsor for this year’s event. Golden Nugget is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors are: Flavin Realty, Inc., Stockwell Sievert Law Firm, MidSouth Bank, Hunt, Guillot and Associates and Union Pacific Railroad. Tickets are $80 per person with tables of 8 for $640. To reserve your seat online, visit our online registration site at www.allianceswla.org. For more information, contact Avon Knowlton, Executive Vice President at the SWLA Economic Development Alliance at 337-433-3632 or by email at aknowlton@ allianceswla.org.

January 2015

Little Ways to Save A

LOT in 2015

by Aminah Trahan

Small savings can lead to big rewards, as Lake Area resident Aminah Trahan tells us. Use her money-saving tips to launch into a productive and lucrative New Year.

So, here we are— 2015. Time to make your plans. What will you resolve to do this year? If you’re like many Americans, saving more or making more is on your list. Not the most glamourous thing on your list perhaps, but the rewards could be. Saving money or reducing debt shows up on the lists of most popular New Year’s resolutions every year. Sadly, those same things also show up on the lists of resolutions we failed to keep. If you’re looking for little (hidden) ways to stuff your pockets without extreme couponing or giving up your favorite little pleasures (Latte Factor, anyone?), you’ll find this an extremely helpful article. If you love it, clip it. If you’re like me, you will use your cell phone to take pictures of your very favorite ideas then put them to work for you! Post them on your social media page, your screen saver, whatever. You will be reminded to let these little tricks work for you all year. To have more money lining your pockets you have two choices: spend less or earn more. The end. For most folks, anyway. Now, an inheritance or the lottery might seem quicker. But, unfortunately, if you don’t know how to manage what you have now, you won’t know how to manage if you find instantly wealth. With minimal effort and a little time, one or two little things you commit to now will add up. Take that money-saving satisfaction right into 2016. Let’s take a look at the broad strokes. It is really important to spend a little time studying your (real) habits. Not what you think you’re doing with your money. Where do you spend? It’s okay! Let that little voice of judgment take a rest. This part is just

January 2015

to figure out where the money goes. You must actively decide if you want to send that money somewhere else. I’m mocked mercilessly by my friends because twice a year I choose a month to record all my expenses, from the vending machine to the mortgage. (I HATE writing those deductions in my little book!) But like most of us, I tend to underestimate what I’m actually spending. This exercise keeps me honest. This is just to get a picture. The deliberateness of this exercise is what’s important. The real dollars and cents. One of my favorite suggestions for saving is to look at your little Money Book (that’s what I call mine) and determine which stores you’re actually shopping the most. Then, I head off to www.giftgranny.com (I hate sharing this with you, because you’re probably going to buy up all my favorite gift cards!), and purchase discounted gift cards for those stores. There are many other gift card discounters out there. Just type in discounted gift cards into your search engine. Yes. I love coupons. But, coupons often entice us to spend on things we don’t really need. Think about it. You might get $1 off of a $2 item and that’s great! Fifty percent savings works for me. But, if you didn’t need it … well, you just spent $1 you didn’t have to really spend. What about 25 cents off a $4.50 pack of chocolate cupcakes? Only about a 6% savings. Do you really need those cupcakes? Do you want to write them in your Money Book? Don’t get me wrong. Every penny counts in the savings game. I just encourage you to systemize your way of thinking. Percentage off is a great way to do that. If you spend most of your grocery money at Walmart, you can save by purchasing a discounted Walmart Gift Card. Percentages vary, so you should know what a good deal looks like at your favorite stores.

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On the inside front cover of my Money Book, I record the best savings price for each gift card I purchase. Here are some I have listed in my Money Book right now: McDonald’s 14%, Red Lobster 17%, Wal-Mart 4%, Victoria’s Secret 17%, and Old Navy 20%. You can also set email alerts to be notified when your favorite gift cards are available. You can still use the store’s coupons and get each store’s discounts and promotions. Do most of your shopping at Target? Are you using their Target Red Credit card? If you have the self-discipline to pay it off every month, then using the Red Card is a great way to save 5% on EVERY Target purchase AND get free shipping from their website. Look at your big recurring expenses on a regular basis. Are you getting the best deal on your mortgage, insurance, cell phone? If you’re not sure, invest a little time shopping around. Are you using your slow cooker or batch freezer cooking? Always make two casseroles—one to eat, one to freeze. The drive-through restaurant looks a little less enticing when a home-cooked meal is just minutes away. For recipe inspiration, visit Pinterest or search online for ideas. Love the movies? Sign up for their weekly email coupons. See the matinee. Ask about refillable popcorn tubs. Explore new things or revisit an old hobby instead of heading to the mall for entertainment! No shopping because you are bored. The big picture when it comes to practical savings ideas is to plan how you’ll spend your money. Then, let the ideas flow around the plan. How can I save on groceries? How can I save on my entertainment? How can I save on dining out? You have the answers. You just need to spend a little time strategizing. Happy (savings) New Year!



Home & Family

Beat the Midyear Slump by Jody Bradley

At the beginning of the school year, your child may get excited about a new year of possibilities. They probably have no trouble waking up and being ready on time, or keeping a routine of dinner, sports, and homework. But as the school year progresses and the holidays come and go, something terrible happens. They hate to wake up, dread reading, and complain about studying. They move slower, grades are slacking, and someone is always forgetting something at school that they needed. Hello, midyear slump. The midyear slump is a very real phenomenon felt by students everywhere. The winter holidays are gone and summer seems so very far away. So how can parents combat this lack of educational enthusiasm? Rather than choosing the “boot camp” option, here are some positive ways to get them motivated and encourage them to push through the spring. Learning Can be Fun. Give them an educational boost in a fun environment with fun study practice on the computer or through apps like BrainPop, Fun Brain, Cool Math or StraightAce. These encourage learning in a way that is amusing and also challenging for your child. StraightAce even allows parents to track progress. New Incentives. Get creative! Change their incentives to different fun activities every so often so that it’s always new and something they will look forward to. Plan a trip to the mall for good test scores. Schedule a Saturday afternoon at the park or movies if their morning routine improves. Let them pick the restaurant for a family dinner after a big accomplishment. Give Fun Study Breaks. When they’re concentrating and giving it their best, give a reward of a short 5 to 10 minute break from a long study period. Sing silly songs, take a quick walk around the yard, do some jumping jacks together. Physical movement is great to get their mind recharged and ready to continue the hard work. Study Halls. Get together with other parents and create regular “study hall” sessions at home, where students gather to study and provide peer tutoring on homework. Rotate hosts each week. By thinking outside of the box, parents can provide encouragement and incentives to their children to improve their midyear efforts. When the novelty of a new and exciting school year has worn off, and summer is too far ahead to see, remember to stay creative and develop interesting incentives for your child to stay alert and focused on their academic goals. Motivation is the key to a finishing the year strong.

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January 2015


A Consumer’s Delight Deeply discounted goods may be a familiar after-Christmas sight, but do you know the origin of the “White Sale”? White sales typically refer to heavy discounts on household goods in order to sell a great deal of product in a short amount of time. John Wanamaker, founder of Wanamaker’s, the first department store in Philadelphia, is said to have begun the tradition of White Sales in 1878. At the time, bed linens were only sold in white, and his department store held a huge sale in order to move product. Since then, the tradition has expanded from bedding to other fabric goods, such bathroom towels and rugs. Today, white linens might be harder to find, but the sales are still here. The month of January is a great time to update the look of your bedroom or your bathroom.

by Allie Mariano

The best way to prepare for these sales is to take stock of what you need. Are your sheets looking ragged? Could you use new pillow shams? Maybe you’ve been working with the same colors for the last 15 years, and it’s just time for an update. If you’ve just moved to a new home or apartment, waiting until January can be a great way to save money and get your new place in tip-top shape. Once you have a clearly defined list, check the ads for discounts, look into department stores and home-goods stores to see which stores have the prices that fit your budget. January is also a great time to save on household appliances and electronics. Big appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers start going on sale in the fall. By the end of the year, the latest models are being sold, so



retailers will discount heavily to get rid of those lingering year-old models. If you plan well and do your research, you can make away like a bandit. TVs are perhaps the most popular January purchase, but it can be wise to wait until later in the month and watch the prices for a couple weeks. The same goes for other electronics, like computers and game consoles. Watch the prices until low availability converges with your price-point. All in all, January can be a great time to get a deal on larger purchases you’ve been waiting to splurge on.

PART 1 Residential and Commercial Property Now Available Imagine a simpler time, a better way of living. A place where community is more than just a word – it’s a way of life. Welcome to Walnut Grove. Nestled in 60 acres of natural beauty in the historic heart of Lake Charles, this premier traditional neighborhood development is uniquely designed to look and feel as if it naturally evolved over the course of the last century. A variety of home styles seamlessly blend traditional Louisiana architecture with modern amenities in this community that was built for connectivity, with a picturesque town square, wide open walkways, tranquil parks and the convenience of shops and restaurants just a short walk away. Walnut Grove’s commercial area incorporates a mix of professional businesses, boutique retail shops and restaurants, with options to rent or buy. Discover the difference at Walnut Grove. Call our sales office today at 497-0825.

West Sallier Street, Lake Charles www.walnutgrovetnd.com

Call (337) 497-0825 for information on residential or commercial property in Walnut Grove.

January 2015

Visit us at the Home Show: Booths 71 & 72 Thrive Magazine for Better Living

2070 Jabez Drive

call for an appointment www.thriveswla.com


Home & Family

Consider Monthly Utility Costs When Purchasing New Appliances

Whether you are in the market for a new home or thinking about upgrading your current one, be sure to factor in monthly utility costs, and not just initial purchase price, when choosing your appliances. “It is important to make informed decisions about the appliances you use in your home,” said Ann Barilleaux, marketing consultant, CenterPoint Energy. “When buying a new home, many potential homeowners fail to take utility costs into account and only think about principle and interest.” On the surface, electricity may seem like the inexpensive way to go, that is, until you do the math. For example, for water heating, the initial cost difference in purchasing a natural gas water heater versus an electric unit is approximately $500, however: • The operating cost for a natural gas water heater is about $14.50 per month/$176 per year. • The operating cost for an electric water heater is about $35 per month/$421 per year. • The net savings with the natural gas water heater is $19.50 per month/$245 per year. “Over time, those dollars really add up,” said Byron Hardy, senior marketing consultant, CenterPoint Energy. “In a new home, you could consider taking the monthly savings you earn with natural gas 38 www.thriveswla.com

and add upgrades such as granite countertops, a natural gas fireplace, or outdoor living space – all of which will increase the value of your home without increasing your net monthly expenses.” Overall, when you compare potential electric and natural gas bills, natural gas appliances offer significantly lower energy bills than homes with electric appliances. Even though cost savings are very important, also consider the performance of your appliances: Water heating. Natural gas water heaters heat water twice as fast as electricity, which means you do not have to wait as long for the system to recover before you can use more hot water.

load with an electric dryer. Plus, since the dry time is shorter, it is much gentler on fabrics. Cooking. Ninety-six percent of chefs prefer cooking with the precision and control of a natural gas range. Precise temperature control and even heat distribution mean better-prepared, better-tasting and healthier food. Before purchasing your next appliance, check for local utility rebates too.

Clothes drying. A natural gas dryer heats up faster than an electric one. In fact, you can dry two loads of laundry with a gas dryer for about the same cost as drying one Thrive Magazine for Better Living

January 2015

Top 10 Most Popular

Come Home to

Easy Living

and we’ll take care of the pests:

searches in


Rodents • Termites • Mosquitoes • And more!

Satisfaction guaranteed.

Each year, Google releases a list of the topics we’ve collectively searched for the most over the past 12 months. Expert say people generally search for depressing/scary topics more than anything else, and this list proves it. Google released two lists this year: one for U.S. search trends, and one for worldwide search trends. The lists have just a few differences. It’s also interesting to note that this is the first in recent years where an Apple product didn’t make the cut. (2010 had iPad; 2011 featured both iPhone 5 and iPad 3; 2012 had iPad 3 again; 2013 had the iPhone 5S in spot #2).

U.S. Trending Searches: Robin Williams World Cup Ebola Malaysia Airlines Flappy Bird ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ISIS Ferguson Frozen Ukraine

Global Trending Searches: Robin Williams World Cup Ebola Malaysia Airlines ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Flappy Bird Conchita Wurst ISIS Frozen Sochi Olympics

January 2015

LAKE CHARLES • 474-7377 DERIDDER • 463-4574 Thrive Magazine for Better Living

jjext.com www.thriveswla.com


Home & Family

Hidden Household Hazards

by Kristy Armand

By now, we are all aware (hopefully) of the need to cover outlets, keep poisonous household cleaning products locked away, and prevent children from playing with an object small enough to be a choking risk. But there are many other, less obvious, safety hazards lurking in most homes that pose serious safety risks for children. Each year, over 33 million people are injured by consumer products in the home. According to Joni Fontenot, spokesperson for the Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana, some hazards are from products consumers have been warned about for years. Others result from new products and technologies, or from everyday objects that are hazardous to unsupervised – and curious – children. “The home is where people feel safe and comfortable, but when it comes to toddlers and

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young children, parents often overestimate their child’s intelligence, and underestimate their abilities,” says Fontenot. “Constant awareness and vigilence is needed to prevent injuries from hidden hazards in the home.” Exercise equipment is a leading cause of home accidents, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than 25,000 children suffer injuries related to this type of equipment each year, most frequently from stationary

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bicycles, treadmills and stair climbers. Many of these injuries are related to power cords. “While it may be unpractical to unplug a piece of exercise equipment after each and every use, parental supervision is the primary means of eliminating such avoidable accidents if you have these types of machines in your home,” says Fontenot. “If you have a home gym, limit your child’s access to that room. Never leave them alone with the machines, and if possible, lock the door to the room the equipment is in.” Windows are another potential hazard that doesn’t make the home safety check list. “It seems obvious, but that’s probably why the risk is ignored,” says Fontenot. “Though a parent might not regularly open windows in the house, it does not mean a child can’t or won’t.” She says placing furniture close to windows is a commonly ignore overlooked safety hazard. Children can easily climb up and out of the opening. Relying on screens to protect against falls is an inadequate solution – these are designed to keeps bugs out, not kids in. Most screens will not hold the weight of a child. Window guards or stops are recommended to keep children safe. Another window-related risk is window treatments, and the cords attached to them. Fontenot says to prevent accidents, parents should use cordless blinds or keep cords and chains permanently out of reach of children by tying them up out of reach or by using tie-down devices. “Again, furniture should not be placed close enough to cords to invite children to climb. And you should never place changing tables or cribs within reach of window coverings.” Along those same lines, power cords throughout the home are a source of danger for children. They can cause electrical burns, strangulation, tripping, and serious head trauma from appliances being pulled down by little hands or feet. Fontenot says parents should unplug and secure power cords whenever possible, and move appliances out of the way. Furniture tip-overs are another potential pitfall for children in the home. Tipped over furniture sends roughly 15,000 children a year to the emergency room, according to the Center for Injury Research. These injuries occur when children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves bookcases, dressers, desks and chests. Fontenot says many January 2015

children will pull out a dresser drawer and use that as a “ladder” to climb and reach for something up above. “Parents should verify that all furniture is stable on its own, and for added security, furniture can be securely anchored to the floor or wall. Free-standing ranges and stoves can be installed with anti-tip brackets.” Parents should also keep tabs on toy and product recalls, in case any purchases are found to be potential hazards. A simple method to stay aware is to sign up for recall alerts via email from the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov. Fontenot says a child’s ability to get into certain types of trouble varies with the age and developmental stage of each individual child. “What’s important is for parents to be aware of both potential risks and how this relates to their particular child’s abilities and level of curiosity. A well-informed parent can take the steps necessary to eliminate hazards for their own child.” For more home safety information, call the Safety Council at (337) 436-3354 or visit www.safetycouncilswla.org.

We Have the Keys You Need Whether you are buying or selling your home, there are questions around every corner. CENTURY 21 Bessette Realty and our staff of experienced agents have the answers. We’ve won numerous awards for superior service, sales excellence and community involvement. That’s what we’ve built our reputation on for over 20 years.

Bessette Realty, Inc. Come see us at the Home Show at Booth #73.

474-2185 • century21-bessette.com Each office independently owned and operated. January 2015

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Home & Family

Each day, an abused or neglected child is removed from an unsafe home and placed in Louisiana’s foster care system. They remain in the system until their home environment is safe—but for many, that never happens. Of the 4,000 children currently cycling in state foster care, about 350 are ready to be adopted today. More than 60 of them are in Southwest Louisiana, right here in our community.

Aryana Looks Forward to a Forever Family KPLC reporter Britney Glaser, in partnership with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), highlights one child each month who is legally ready to be adopted. Thrive is supporting The New Family Tree by featuring each month’s story.

OFF THE LEASH! LLC Custom In-Home Dog Training


From her unstoppable energy to her adorable laugh, Aryana will draw you into her world where she is full of joy, despite most of her young life being stuck in a long waiting game that all too often comes along with foster care. Aryana has been loved in her foster home, but as she grows older it becomes critical that she find the stability of a permanent family, according to Department of Children and Family Services adoption specialist Desiree Bellard. “She would be great in a one-or two-parent home,” said Bellard, “just a family who is willing to accept her for who she is, which is a burst of energy.” Aryana says she is not scared to think about living with someone new, if they were willing to adopt her. When asked what she thought about being adopted, Aryana’s response was a spirited, “Yippee!” Aryana is legally free to be adopted today. For more information on adopting through the Department of Children and Family Services, call the Lake Charles office at 337-491-2470.

www.facebook.com/OffTheLeashLLC offtheleashdogtraining.com OffTheLeashDogTraining@yahoo.com Margaret Hebert ABCDT Certified Dog Trainer

For more information, call 337-491-2470. or 1-800-814-1584. Follow Britney Glaser’s “The New Family Tree” series at www.kplctv.com.

5 Key Areas to Address in Puppy-hood for a Well-Mannered Dog 1. Address Fear-Based Behavior Early - Socialization is of paramount importance

for puppies above all other training, including basic manners, because it impacts a dog’s behavior and confidence for their entire lifetime. The more socialized the puppy is to sights, sounds, smells and tactile stimulation, the less likely the puppy will be receptive to altering their perception and reaction to environmental situations.

2. Handle Your Puppy - Handling your puppy builds confidence and helps prevent fear-based reactions. Touch your dog in sensitive areas as well as petting your puppy while delivering treats at a fast pace. 3 Train Against Resource Guarding - Puppies will innately guard treasured items

which will follow into adulthood if not addressed in puppy-hood. We do not need to know the “Why?” of the guarding, but should train against it by teaching “Drop it.”

4. Set Boundaries - Whatever your allow your puppy to do, he will do as an adult. All the behaviors you allow your cute little 9 lb puppy to do, the 70 lb dog he grows up to be will want to continue to do. Proper reinforcement of boundaries is key. 5. Get Your Puppy Used to Separation - Canines can develop an over-reliance

on people. When puppy first arrives think of all the attention and loving he gets. If schedules change (such as going back to school/work) it’s a shock to the puppy who has never been by himself. Teach your puppy from a very young age to relax when left alone. Make alone time be associated with good things.

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Quick Facts on Adopting a Foster Child • Minimum age is 21. • Single people can adopt. • Many of the children in state custody are considered “special needs,” which is defined as the following: older child, race/ethnic background, sibling group, medical conditions, physical/mental/emotional handicaps. • Children in foster care are there as a result of abuse, neglect or abandonment. • The certification process typically takes 90 days to complete. Once matched with a child, the process to legally adopt a child takes about one year.

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January 2015

January 2015

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January 2015

National Hurricane Museum and Science center Receives 1 Million Dollars in Gifts

Entergy and State Farm co-hosted an event last month to present checks of $500,000 each to the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center (NHMSC). This $1,000,000 will go a long way in reaching the center’s fund raising capital contribution target to build this one-of-a-kind education center along the shoreline of Lake Charles. The National Hurricane Museum & Science Center’s mission is to tell the story of the impact of hurricanes on the people, land and economy of the nation. State Farm and Entergy share the Center’s goal of educating the public on the importance of hurricane preparedness and the urgency of building storm-resistant communities. Mr. Phillip R. May, President and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, along with state Senator (La – Dist.27), Ronnie Johns, CEO of Ronnie Johns State Farm Insurance Agency, and State Farm Vice President Agency-Sales, Mark Cockerham of Baton Rouge, each spoke at the check presentation event held at the proposed site adjacent to the Lake Charles Civic Center. Each leader challenged the corporate and community leaders in attendance to join them in their support of this NHMSC project. “At Entergy we recognize that preparation for tomorrow begins today,” said Phillip May, CEO and President for Entergy’s Louisiana utilities. “Our $500,000 donation to the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center will provide the necessary building blocks to take on that challenge and provide our communities with new protective technologies to help better predict and weather storms.” A strong advocate of the project, Senator Johns of Sulphur, said, “At State Farm we have known first-hand, along with the residents of all of Louisiana, the devastation brought about by coastal storms and hurricanes. These storms have had an immeasurable impact on the lives of coastal residents, as well as an impact in the multiplied billions of dollars on state and national economies. This Museum and Science Center will be an important education piece going forward.” State Farm’s Mark Cockerham said, “I want to commend Chairman Stream, the NHMSC Board, and Senator Johns, as well as many others, for January 2015

their vision and dedication to bring the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center into being. Education, awareness, a better understanding of building models and storm resistant construction, as well as a better understanding of some of the natural risks and challenges inherent for coastal communities, are just some of the needs this effort will help address.” Today’s two donations become part of the $38 million raised to date to build and open the facility. In the 2014 session of the Louisiana legislature, lawmakers approved over $28 million in funding support for the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center (www.NHMSC.com). “Our board members realized early on that, in

order for this project to be a success, we needed these two powerful corporations’ stamps of approval, to lend their iconic brand names to the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center” said Gray Stream, Chairman of the NHMSC Board of Directors. “Entergy and State Farm employees live and work with communities on a daily basis, and are always at the front lines when storms strike all over America. Who better to lead and help tell the preparedness and recovery story than these two giants? We believe with this type of continuous outpouring of support, we will soon see this Center built right where we are standing today,” Stream concluded.

THE INSTITUTE FOR NEUROPSYCHIATRY Welcomes Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

The physicians and staff of the Institute for Neuropsychiatry are proud to welcome Catherine Udofia, APRN, FPMHNP-BC, to our clinical staff. Originally from Tyler, Texas, Catherine has over six years of healthcare experience, three of which are in the mental health field. Her credentials include: • Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Texas at Tyler • Master of Science in Nursing – Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from University of Louisiana at Lafayette • Served as Charge Nurse of Psychiatric Inpatient Unit and Dual Diagnosis/ Chemical Dependency units for four years • ANCC Board Certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Catherine is now accepting new patients. Call 477-7091 for an appointment or to make a referral.

2829 4th Avenue #150, Lake Charles Thrive Magazine for Better Living

(337) 477-7091 www.thriveswla.com


Style & Beauty

Pantone’s Color of theYear 2015

Pantone’s color of the year for 2015 is Marsala—a deep, earthy red with hints of brown, purple, and plum. Like a full-bodied red wine, the color is elegant and rich. To avoid the potential to overpower, Marsala is best used in small doses to accent an outfit or a room. Nail polish or lipstick in this color brings a pop of drama to your look. Chunky jewelry reminiscent of the 1950s can add a funky-chic vibe to an outfit. Marsala is also great for a deep blush across the cheekbones. For eye shadow, try combining it with bronze for a play on the metallic trend. Shoes in this color are a sophisticated choice for both men and women. Loafers or brogans in a darker tone of Marsala are great for men, and they can coordinate their outfit by choosing a tie with Marsala stripes. For women, strappy heels that combine both

by Ellen Frazel

t 46 www.thriveswla.com

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

January 2015

leather and suede in Marsala can be a bold and fun addition to an outfit. Different textures bring out the many personalities of Marsala. When picking out an item like a wallet or a purse, a matte finish will give it a more natural look and a glossy finish will evoke a feeling of glamor. Rugs or upholstered furniture in this color bring the luxuriousness of Marsala to life. Hand towels or linens throughout the house conjure the color’s festive and cozy side. Marsala throw pillows or bedding create warmth and romance. When pairing Marsala with other colors, try grays, black, beige, and other neutral tones. Remember to keep your Marsala to a minimum and let it work its magic without stealing the show. From accent walls to Marsalatinted sunglasses, we may be seeing a lot of this color in 2015.

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January 2015

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Style & Beauty

CHOOSE YOUR Best Boots by Allie Mariano

This winter, the polar vortex might just strike again, making boots necessary, even in Southwest Louisiana. While boots are an important staple of the winter wardrobe, the options can be overwhelming. Do you want ankle boots or thigh-high boots? Will you wear the stiletto heel more than once? And what kind of outfit to choose? We have a comprehensive list of the best winter styles with outfit suggestions, to keep you warm and fashionable all through the winter. ANKLE BOOTS: Ankle boots are everywhere this winter. There are so many options that just picking one is a challenge. A basic, flat ankle boot with laces or buckles can be easily transformed from weekend casual to weekday office wear. On the weekends, pair the boots with loose-fitting jeans, a cute t-shirt, and a cardigan. Roll up the jeans just enough to show

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some ankle and show off your boots. At the office, pair ankle boots with a midi-length skirt and solid tights. A fitted sweater with a statement necklace will round out this look. KNEE AND THIGH-HIGH BOOTS: Boots with more coverage add a classic element to any winter look. Knee-height boots look great

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with leggings and a tunic. Add a belt to define your waist, or keep it loose to achieve a more casual look. Thigh-high boots might seem more intimidating, but the variety of colors and types of leather can make these boots less edgy. Thigh-high boots look great with a loose-fitting, solid mini-skirt and chunky sweater. This look is great for a friend’s holiday party.

January 2015

PUNK-DETAILS: Zippers and buckles are very popular this year. These details can be found on short and tall boots, alike. Make the look edgier with a leather jackets and dark skinnies, or pair your punk-y boots with a 90s floral dress with lace details. Either look will work well for a night around town or a trip to the museum. STACKED HEEL: While stilettos remain a mainstay in heeled-boots, stacked heels are gaining a great deal of traction. These types of heels are stable and reliable and maintain a very polished, professional look. Stacked heels look best with medium-length skirts and dresses. Try a solid colored shoe with a funky, patterned dress and minimalist jewelry. OPEN TOE BOOTIES: This look might have to wait until the vortex passes, or it can be pulled out on a mild, sunny Saturday. Open-toe booties add a surprising detail to otherwise basic boots.

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A Difference You can See

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January 2015

FREE LASIK Screenings available on Wednesdays & Saturdays by appointment. Call 1-877-95-FOCUS.

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Style & Beauty by Jody Bradley

The Scarf:

Tie it, Wrap it, Twist it Up!

Tired of the same old double-knotted scarf around your neck this winter? Sure, it beats the chill, but how about some creative and fashionable ways to spice up your winter wardrobe with it? The scarf is an accessory with endless possibilities. Here are a few to try.

Step 1: Take a square silk scarf and fold it into a long, thin piece. Next, find the middle of the scarf and put it on the front of your neck. Step 2: Bring the ends of your scarf around to the front again. Step 3: Tie a knot on the side of your neck and adjust it until you think it looks best. That’s it!

The only thing you need to do for the infinity scarf shrug is to take your infinity scarf and let it rest on your back. Slip your arms in like you would put on a backpack and adjust your scarf to make it look its best.

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Step 1: Fold the scarf in half. Step 2: Wrap the scarf around the back of your neck. Step 3: Pull both ends of the scarf through the loop. Step 4: Adjust so the scarf sits comfortably on your chest. Step 5: Leave the knot close to your neck or pull it further away for a looser fit.

For tons of ideas on scarf tying, go to www.scarves.net. Not only do they give a knot mastery list with simple directions, but they even have many styles and patterns for purchase. Also, check out Land’s End for the Pretzel Knot scarf and many other video tutorials at http://www. landsend.com/tieascarf/ . Be creative and dress up your style this winter season with a well tied scarf.

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January 2015

It’s All in the Eyes—Look Younger this Year by Katie Harrington

The eyes tell all—even your age. Studies have shown that when strangers are asked to judge how old a person is, the eye area is one of the biggest influences. “The area around the eyes is one of the first places to show signs of aging,” says Dr. Christopher Hubbell, a board certified dermatologist and medical director of Acadiana Dermatology and a Jeuné Advanced Medical Skin Care and MediSpa in Lafayette. “Bright, sparkling eyes radiate health and youth.” According to Dr. Hubbell, years of squinting, smiling, exposure to sunlight and diminishing skin tissue are just a few reasons why aging around the eye area is such a common issue. “All of these things cause crow’s feet around the eye and wrinkles above the brow. There isn’t a lot of natural collagen or elastin in this area so once you acquire a little sun damage, this is one of the first spots on the face to wrinkle.”

January 2015

A common cosmetic solution for this problem is BOTOX. “You can get a rested, refreshed look and erase the fine lines and wrinkles almost instantly with this treatment option,” adds Dr. Hubbell. A second sign of aging around the eyes pertains to your eyelashes. “Lashes that are thin, light and short can make your eyes look dull, lifeless and tired,” Dr. Hubbell says. “Fortunately we do have a treatment for this! LATISSE allows us to help patients get long, dark and full lashes. The result is eyes that sparkle and capture the right kind of attention.” Finally, a third indicator of aging around the eyes can be attributed to growth factors in the skin. “The main structure that we see in smooth, plump healthy skin begins to decline, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and dry, rough skin,” Dr. Hubbell explains. “We can reduce future negative changes and repair the fine lines, tone and texture through a combination of treatments.”

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Treatments such as BOTOX and LATISSE are combined with a variety of products. Products containing human growth factors stimulate collagen production. Peptides, molecules rich in amino acids can also boost collagen production and antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that break down skin cells. Retinol helps slough off dry skin and regenerate healthy skin. “The great benefit of all of these solutions is patients see quick results without surgery which means there’s no downtime,” says Dr. Hubbell. “It’s important though to only use a board certified skin expert when having one of these procedures, one that has years of experience in delivering healthy, beautiful and youthful looking skin.” For more information, or to learn more about the latest in skin care, visit www.skinexpert.com or contact Dr. Hubbell by calling (337) 989-7272.



Mind & Body

Winter Allergies can Lead to Sinus Misery by Kristy Armand

Sniffling and sneezing is a common sound this time of year, but don’t rush to diagnose yourself with a seasonal cold or flu. You could be suffering from winter allergies instead.

“The pollens of spring and summer are not the only allergy triggers,” explains Bridget Loehn, MD, ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist with the ENT & Allergy Clinic. “If you are allergic to dust, or more accurately the mold, pollen, mites and insect parts that linger in dust, winter can actually be a more miserable time of year than summer. Colder temperatures result in people spending more time indoors, in closed up homes and offices with heaters running more often. Dust that has settled into carpet, on surfaces and in ventilation systems is stirred up, triggering allergies that affect the eyes, nose, sinuses and throat.” She says common indoor allergy triggers include: Dust mites. These microscopic bugs flourish in mattresses and bedding. When their droppings and remains become airborne, they can cause allergy symptoms in people who are sensitive to them. Mold. This fungus thrives in damp, humid areas such as garages and bathrooms. When spores get into the air, they can trigger allergy symptoms. Animal dander. They may be our best friends, but pets can become worst enemies to anyone who is allergic to them. Most people are not allergic to pet fur, as is commonly assumed, but to a protein found in the dead skin flakes (dander), saliva, and urine of their pets. These proteins are inhaled and cause a reaction.

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Perfumes. Perfume and cologne, while not truly allergens, can make respiratory allergy symptoms worse. Scented lotions, hairspray, air fresheners, and potpourri may also trigger reactions in some people. Symptoms of indoor allergies may include coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, runny nose, watery eyes and dark circles under the eyes. “In the winter, when cold season is also in full swing, allergy symptoms are often dismissed as being caused by a cold or allergies,” says Dr. Loehn. “Keep in mind that a cold typically lasts seven to 10 days. Allergies, however, can linger for weeks or months, as long as you are exposed to the allergen.” Treatments for winter allergies include antihistamines, decongestants and possibly, allergy shots. Dr. Loehn says although you can buy some allergy medications without a prescription, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any new medication. “It is very important to get appropriate treatment because if ongoing allergies are left untreated, or are treated incorrectly, they can lead to other respiratory complications, including sinusitis.” Over 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year, and one of the primary causes of the condition is allergies. Dr. Loehn explains that sinusitis is characterized by inflammation of the sinuses that prevents mucus from draining properly, causing pain, discomfort and, potentially, infection. Sinusitis shares some symptoms of a common cold, such as stuffy nose, headache and cough. Many people think sinusitis will go away on its own, and Dr. Loehn says for some sufferers, that is true. “But if symptoms of acute sinusitis last more than a week, see a physician. The condition can persist and lead to chronic sinusitis.” January 2015

There are effective treatments for sinusitis, including several newer advances that can help. Dr. Loehn says the first step is a review of your medical history and an exam or your ears, nose and throat. Medications are then recommended, if needed, and may include decongestants; oral antibiotics to control bacterial infection; steroid nasal sprays to reduce inflammation in the nose; and intranasal topical medication therapy – including antibiotics – delivered by a nasal nebulizer. If the problem persists, a more thorough check of the nasal passages may be needed. An endoscopy, which uses a slim tube with a camera at the end, gives a doctor a close look at the sinuses. “This lets us check for polyps, which can block the nasal passages, or physical abnormalities that make the passages too narrow for mucus to flow normally. Both problems can be corrected by endoscopic surgery that enlarges the sinus drainage areas, letting them

drain properly. Newer techniques, including balloon sinuplasty, make it possible to do most sinusitis procedures as outpatient surgery. The vast majority of people who have surgery for sinusitis have fewer symptoms and a much better quality of life afterward.” “If you suffer from sinusitis, there are options for relief, from medications to outpatient surgery,” says Dr. Loehn. “There’s no reason to suffer ongoing discomfort without seeking help from a qualified specialist.” For more information about allergy diagnosis and treatment, call the ENT & Allergy Clinic, an affiliate of Imperial Health, at 312-8564.

Prevention to minimize exposure to winter allergy triggers is a key factor in finding relief from symptoms. Dr. Loehn says a few changes in your home can provide remarkable relief, possibly reducing or even eliminating the need for medication. She offers the following suggestions:

• Cover pillows, mattresses, comforter and box springs in allergen-impermeable encasings that will trap the allergens so you reduce exposure while you sleep. • Throw out any shower curtains, wallpaper, or carpeting that contains mold. Wash moldy showers and sinks with a solution containing 5% bleach and a little bit of detergent. • Use exhaust fans when showering or cooking to remove excess humidity and odors. • Avoid putting carpeting or rugs in the bedroom, if possible, since carpeting is an ideal place for dust mites to proliferate. • Keep humidity in home below 50%. Lower humidity will help control the population of dust mites, which thrive in humid temperatures, as well as keep the mold count down. • Don’t put plants in the bedroom, since decaying leaves and increased humidity can stimulate growth of mold. • Use a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) to clean the dust and bugs from the air. • Have your heating, air conditioner and ventilation system vents cleaned at least once each year. • Avoid allergy triggers like cigarette smoke, wood smoke, perfumes and pet dander whenever possible.

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January 2015

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Mind & Body

Joint Replacement May Improve Heart Health by Kristy Armand

Hip and knee replacements restore mobility and quality of life to over 1 million people each year in the United States, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). Now a new study points to an important added benefit from these types of joint replacement procedures: a healthier heart. Research conducted at the University of Toronto in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery found that hip and knee replacements led to significant increases in physical activity in the arthritis patients undergoing the procedures. As a result, the patients experienced a reduced risk of heart disease. In the study, researchers followed 2,200 patients over the age of 55 with osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis associated with normal wear and tear on the joints. Over the course of the five-year study, they found that the risk of a serious heart problem or death from cardiovascular disease was 37 percent lower in people who had a knee or hip replacement compared to those who didn’t have such surgery. However, while the study found a link between having joint replacement surgery in people with arthritis and reduced risk of heart events, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Orthopaedic surgeon John Noble Jr., MD, with the Center for Orthopaedics, explains that joint replacement surgery is exactly what it sounds like: removing a damaged joint and replacing it with a new, artificial joint. “It’s important to understand that joint replacement is an elective procedure, not an emergency one. Most patients do not choose surgery as their first option to treat degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis. We try conservative treatments first, which can often help them stay mobile and pain-free for some time. But some patients suffer for years with the debilitating pain of osteoarthritis; delaying surgery until the pain has severely limited their mobility.” Because of the lack of mobility that typically results in cases of severe arthritis in the knees and hips, immobility has long been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular death, explains cardiologist Corey Foster, MD, with Cardiovascular Specialists. “People who have moderate to severe arthritis often have other conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are often related to physical inactivity. When you look at the activity levels recommended by the American Heart Association, for example, which is about 30 minutes a day, it may not seem like a lot. But for someone with severe arthritis who can’t take a step without severe pain in hip or knee joint, it’s impossible. It does not surprise me at all that after having a successful joint replacement procedure which allows a patient to return to a more active lifestyle that their risk of cardiovascular conditions would 54 www.thriveswla.com

Both Dr. Noble and Dr. Foster agree that more research is needed on the cause-and-effect relationship between joint replacement and decreased cardiovascular risk, but say the results from this longitudinal study are very promising and reflect what they have seen in their patients. “Our goal is to restore pain-free movement to our patients,” says Dr. Noble. “We know that by doing so, they will enjoy a healthier, happier life, and this study shows that the impact of joint replacement on overall health may be not only life-changing, but lifesaving,” For more information about osteoarthritis treatment and joint replacement, call the Center for Orthopaedics at (337) 312-0972 or visit www.centerforortho.com. For more information about heart disease risk management, call Cardiovascular Specialists at (337) 436-3813 or visit www.ccswla.com. Both groups are affiliates of Imperial Health.

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January 2015


We know We know you.

Painting the nursery, choosing a crib, and packing your overnight bag for the “big day” are all things you do to prepare for your baby’s arrival. At West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, we know babies. We’ve delivered them for over 60 years, and with our newly renovated labor/delivery suites and post-partum rooms, we’ve been preparing for that one amazing moment: when you finally meet face-to-face.

Your childbirth experience should be exceptional, and at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, we’re ready to deliver.

701 Cypress Street, Sulphur


January 2015

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Mind & Body

Lake Area Medical Center Now Offering Advanced Robotic Surgery Technology Robotic-assisted surgeries are now being performed at Lake Area Medical Center in Lake Charles. Robotic surgery was recently added to the hospital’s surgical service line as an alternative to traditional open surgery. The new technology is offering local surgeons and patients advanced options for care. Lake Area Medical Center’s new robotic surgery system has several unique features designed to provide superior clinical advantages and efficiency in the operating room. This includes an enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of operative field with up to 10x magnification, along with an


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January 2015

resolution camera is guided, along with delicate surgical instruments that become an extension of a surgeon’s hands. The robotic arms match the surgeon’s finger movements in real time synchronization, permitting delicate maneuvers to be performed without disrupting the surrounding healthy tissue. “By utilizing this state-of-the-art surgical technology we are offering our patients benefits such as significantly less post-operative pain, less blood loss, less scarring, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to normal daily activities,” says Farjaad Siddiq, M.D., FACS, a board certified Urologist and an independent member of the hospital’s medical staff. Dr. Farjaad Siddiq also serves as the Director of Robotic Surgery at Lake Area Medical Center. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the robotic-assisted surgery field and successfully performed the first robotic surgery at Lake Area Medical Center in early September.

exclusive florescence imaging method that allows surgeons to see below the surface of human tissue. Lake Area Medical Center is the only hospital in the Southwest Louisiana region to offer this elite imaging capability associated with robotic surgery. “We are proud to unveil our new robotic surgery program,” said Bryan S. Bateman, Chief Executive Officer at Lake Area Medical Center. “We believe our new robotic surgery system will help provide the best possible clinical outcomes and it is proof of our commitment to offer our patients and the community access to the latest advancements in minimally invasive surgery.” Lake Area Medical Center’s robotic technology takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. It can be used for a multitude of operating room procedures, including, but not limited to: prostatectomy, nephrectomy and hysterectomy. Using the robotic system, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions into which a high-

“These technological advancements provide surgeons with unparalleled accuracy, acuity and control that enable a minimally invasive approach for many complex surgical procedures,” Dr. Siddiq adds. For more information about robotic surgery procedures being conducted at Lake Area Medical Center, or to find a physician offering robotic surgery options, please log on to www.lakeareamc.com or call (337) 439-8857.

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Your Eye Problems

NEW HOURS: 8-5 M-F Walk-in, No Waiting

January 2015

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Mind & Body

New Help Available for PAD Sufferers Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Thomas Mulhearn, utilized the first LUTONIX ® Drug Coated Balloon PTA Catheter (DCB) in Southwest Louisiana in a procedure performed at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital last month. The LUTONIX ® Drug Coated Balloon PTA Catheter (DCB) is the first and only Drug Coated Balloon approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for minimally invasive treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in the femoropopliteal artery, a life-threatening condition, affects millions of Americans by narrowing arteries and reducing blood flow to the limbs, according to American Heart Association (AHA) estimates. Patients with PAD in the femoropopliteal arteries are at risk for lower-extremity amputation, particularly in people over the age of 50. Minimallyinvasive endovascular procedures such as angioplasty balloons and stents, medications and vascular bypass surgery are some of the accepted ways to treat PAD, but these options may be limited depending on the type of arterial blockage. Successful treatment of PAD requires improved blood flow (patency) for longer periods of time. A

recent clinical study demonstrated superior primary patency with the LUTONIX ® Drug Coated Balloon for the efficacy endpoint. The LUTONIX® balloon is coated with a drug that prevents re-narrowing of the treated artery to improve long-term results for patients with PAD. “We are committed to bringing innovations in care to our patients, keeping them here at home for their healthcare, and we are excited to be the first hospital in Southwest Louisiana to offer this new treatment option to our patients,” said Dr. Thomas Mulhearn. “The LUTONIX ® Drug Coated Balloon is a new firstline therapy for treating blockages without closing the door to other treatment options down the road, an important consideration as we help our patients manage this painful, progressive and debilitating disease.”

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The stent, although small at only five millimeters in diameter and 100 millimeters in length, packs a powerful punch.“Typically when we treat PAD using previous methods of plaque removal from the artery, we see the re-narrowing of the artery within about six months,” Dr. Mulhearn said. “This drugcoated stent is a novel approach because the drug prevents this re-narrowing from occurring. For more information about this new treatment option or any cardiovascular problem, call (337) 436-3813.


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January 2015

January 2015

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Mind & Body

Focus on Better Contact Lens Care for Healthier Eyes by Kristy Armand

Poor Lens Care Habits Lead to Eye Infections If you wear contact lenses, chances are you’ve taken a short cut – or two – in following the lens care instructions given to you by your eye doctor. An estimated 38 million Americans wear contact lenses, and most admit to slacking off when it comes to proper contact lens care. Research shows that habits such as wearing lenses too long, sleeping in lenses not designed for extended wear, failing to change lens solution regularly and not properly cleaning lenses are common. Most people aren’t too concerned about these bad habits, but ophthalmologist and corneal specialist Charles Thompson, MD, with The Eye Clinic, says you should be aware that you are putting you eye health and vision at risk by not taking the time to properly care for your contact lenses. New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released at the end of 2014 shows that Americans make nearly 1 million doctor appointments and emergency room visits each year for eye infections , with most of these due to the improper use and care of contact lenses. Dr. Thompson says that contact lensrelated complications are referred to broadly as “contact lens associated kerartitis.” This category can include conditions such as sight-threatening and non-sight-threatening infectious corneal ulcers, tight contact lens syndrome, corneal edema (or swelling) corneal abrasions and giant papillary conjunctivitis, a type of allergy to the contact lens material, to name the most common. He explains that infections of the cornea, the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye, are the most serious contact lens-related complication. “The cornea is an avascular structure, meaning no blood vessels are present, which affords us the ability to see clearly, but also results in delayed healing from infections and injuries to the cornea. What gives us an advantage optically, puts us at a disadvantage in response to corneal injuries.” Any contact lens-related complication, particularly an infection, can cause pain, inflammation, scarring of the cornea and, in severe cases, even blindness, according to Dr. Thompson. “The vast majority of these infections can be treated medically with eye drops targeted at the specific culprit, but

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prevention is a much easier path to take than treatment.” The biggest public misconception is that no lasting adverse effects can occur with contact lens use. “Problems related to contact lens wear account for a significant percentage of the patients I see each week.” For contact lens wearers, the biggest risk factor for infection is the improper care of their lenses. Dr. Thompson says that certain bad habits, such as sleeping with contact lenses, failing to clean and replace lens solution frequently, and letting contact lenses get wet while swimming, particularly in fresh water or poorly cared for pools, or in the shower, greatly raises the risk for contact lens associated keratitis. “Far and away, the most common form of misuse is sleeping in contact lenses,” says Dr. Thompson. The CDC reports that people who wear their contact lenses overnight are more than 20 times more likely to get keratitis. “Just remember that contact lenses offer many benefits, but they are still technically a medical device and are not completely riskfree,” stresses Dr. Thompson. “It might seem tempting to crash on the couch or hop in the shower with your contacts in to save time, but doing so can actually put your eyes at serious risk.”

Contact Lens Care Guide: Dr. Thompson offers these tips on improving your contact lens care habits: • Wash hands with soap and water and dry well before touching your lenses. • Take contacts out before bed, showering or swimming. • Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time you remove them. • Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store upside down with the caps off after each use. • Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months. • Do not “top off” solution in lens case • Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out.

For more information about contact lens care, call The Eye Clinic at (337) 478-3810 or the location nearest you, or visit www.theeyeclinic.net.

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January 2015

Flu Vaccine Remains Important By now, you’ve probably heard that a strain of flu, known as H3N2, has become the most common type of flu this season. This year’s vaccine is not as effective in covering H3N2 as national healthcare officials had hoped. But, health experts remind people that the flu shot continues to be effective in minimizing the effects should the flu be contracted. “The flu causes thousands of people to be hospitalized every year,” said Jody George, MD, family medicine physician with The Family Care Center of SWLA in Westlake. “It is a serious concern, especially for children, our elderly population and those battling other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. This year’s flu shot will help lower the severity should someone get the flu.” Known as cross protection, even if the current vaccine doesn’t cover a particularly active strain of flu, it still boosts the body’s immunity to flu, decreasing the harshness of the symptoms, and helping to avoid hospitalization and, in severe cases, death. Influenza, frequently called the flu, is a highly contagious infection that can come about suddenly and attack the respiratory system directly. Symptoms usually include: • Fever • Headaches • Dry coughing • Sore throat • Muscle aches

January 2015

Compared to the common cold, the symptoms of the flu are more prolonged and severe. Anyone is susceptible to getting the flu, but some are more vulnerable than others. At an increased risk are young children, infants older than six months, adults older than 65 years old and pregnant women. In most cases, the flu can be treated but in those with a weakened immune system, the virus can be fatal. The World Health Organization in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other health organizations throughout the world, formulates the flu vaccine each year. Data is analyzed and health officials formulate which strains of flu will likely be circulating the following winter. Occasionally, someone will get the flu vaccine, and then come down with a mild case of the flu; they may wonder if the vaccine caused it. “Cases like these are few and far between but people share these stories often making it seem more common. In these situations, the individual was already exposed to the flu and would have contracted it with or without the vaccine. It is highly likely that by receiving the flu vaccine, their case of the flu was milder than it would have been without it,” said Dr. George.

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by Christine Fisher

“The flu shot does not cause the flu. The viruses in the vaccine are inactive. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to begin providing protection.” The flu spreads by tiny droplets from sneezes or coughs of an infected person. The virus is usually spread person to person or by touching an object such as a doorknob or computer keyboard, that has germs on it. “It’s possible to spread the virus before symptoms are noticed,” said Dr. George. Frequent hand washing will help prevent the spread of germs. If the flu does develop, Dr. George said it’s in everyone’s best interest for them to stay home and recuperate, rather than going to work or out in the community. “Seek medical treatment as soon as symptoms are noticed, follow the recommendations from your doctor and then rest at home to avoid getting others sick,” Dr. George said.



Mind & Body

Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve—we’re all haunted by this trinity of regret from time to time, but when does it go too far? Can you get rid of these ghosts?

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January 2015

Living with Regret:

Make the Most of Your Mistakes

by Jen Breen

According to a study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, 90 percent of people carry a major regret. The top regrets involve romance, family, education, career and finances. It’s the beginning of a new year and you may have the desire to turn over a new leaf, but if you feel bogged down by the regrets of 2014—or others that may be several years old—how can you break the cycle? Like many other highly motivated game-changers throughout history, 19th century American author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau saw regret as a valuable lesson and the beginning of a new opportunity. Thoreau said: “Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.” “No one gets through life without regrets, but it’s the way that you utilize them that matters,” said therapist Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, CEAP, LPC-S, LMFT, President of Solutions Counseling & EAP. “We all know people who are chained by their regrets, so instead of making yours into shackles, form them into springboards for change.” Here are a few steps to help you learn to live with regret and make the most of your mistakes.

Step One: Own Your Regret This first step is often the hardest, but most essential. In order to move beyond regret, it’s critical to properly identify it. Answering these questions truthfully will not only help you uncover the root of the sadness, but also your role within it. Stepping outside of the situation may even change your viewpoint. Do you regret something you did or didn’t do? Did you hurt someone? Was the circumstance beyond your control? “Once you have identified the regret, it’s time to take responsibility for your actions, said Forbess-McCorquodale. “Avoid blaming others, as this may throw you off track.” This step also calls on you to review the circumstances and outcomes. Could you have acted differently? “It’s sometimes helpful to enlist the help of a friend during this stage to serve as a sounding board,” she added

January 2015

Step Two: The Fix Now that you have examined the regret, it’s time to move toward fixing it. “Depending on the circumstances around the regret you may not be able to make a direct fix, like reaching out to apologize, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still mend the regret,” said Forbess-McCorquodale. “For example, if it’s not possible to apologize to a person you feel you’ve wronged, you might make a point to be nicer to others.” If your regret lies in something that you did not do, look at what you can do right now in your life. “Establish a new dream or use your talents to help someone attain theirs,” said Forbess-McCorquodale.

Step Three: Move On “It’s important when you feel regretful to take the time you need to grieve, and feel the sadness. This can help you to stop revisiting the regret,” said Forbess-McCorquodale. “However, make sure not to dwell, and be sure to also look at the work you’ve done to fix the regret.” Many people journal their thoughts about regrets and the steps they have taken to fix their actions, as both a way to move on and to create a guide to help with future sadness and regret. “When making amends, people may not always be ready to forgive or appreciate your efforts, but do not let that stop you,” said Forbess-McCorquodale. “Just remember that you have taken positive actions to fix the situation, and just as you cannot change the past, you also cannot change other people.” Solutions offers individual counseling and business EAP services. For more information, call (337) 310-2822 or visit www. solutions-eap.org.

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Darbeau Named ACS Fellow

Dr. Ron W. Darbeau, professor and head of the McNeese State University Department of Chemistry and Physics, has been selected as a member of the 2014 class of American Chemical Society Fellows. The 2014 class includes 99 scientists from academia, industry, government labs and small business who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society. Darbeau is the first McNeese chemistry professor to be selected as an ACS Fellow and only the third chemistry professor in the state to be selected.

Lundquist Named Bookstore Manager Donna Lundquist has been named bookstore manager at McNeese State University. Lundquist brings over 15 years of supervision and leadership experience in the retail industry. Her Donna Lundquist responsibilities include the overall planning and management of the bookstore and newly created Fan Zone.

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CHRISTUS St. Patrick Donation

St. Patrick Hospital donated $5,000 to the McNeese State University Alumni Association to help sponsor 2014 Homecoming week activities. Mike Wittler (center), alumni association president, accepts the donation from CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital representatives Heather Hidalgo, left, director of marketing and communications, and Donald Lloyd II, administrator.

Basone’ Receives Doctoral Degree

Rouge et Blanc To Be Held at McNeese in 2015 Rouge et Blanc, the premier wine and food festival and flagship fundraiser for Banners at McNeese State University, will be held on the McNeese campus in 2015. Patricia Prudhomme, director of Banners at McNeese, made the official announcement with the release of the Oct. 17, 2015, event date. This year, patron tickets increased from 1,500 to 1,750. Tickets for 2015 go on sale August 7.

Dr. Ginger Brown Basone’ received her doctoral degree in Education with Summa Cum Laude honors from Walden University. Dr. Basone graduated from MSU with her bachelor’s and Dr. Ginger Brown Basoné master’s in nursing, a master’s in business administration in the Texas A& M system, and a master’s certificate in hospital administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She currently works as a tenured assistant professor in the College of Nursing at MSU since 2005.

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January 2015

Mark Your Calendar! Diabetes Support Group To Focus On Techniques For Healthy Living On January 13, Leslie Petross, LDN, RD, CDE, will be the featured speaker at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s (WCCH’s) monthly diabetes support group meeting. Petross will lead a motivational discussion about how diabetes patients can successfully make healthy living a priority in the New Year. The diabetes support group at WCCH meets the second Tuesday of each month at 11:30am in the hospital’s cafeteria conference room. There is no charge to attend these monthly meetings. For more information, call (337) 527-4282.

Women’s Day of Reflection Planned “The Woman Within,” a women’s day of reflection, will be hosted by Fleur de Lis Theresians of SWLA on February 28, from 8:30 am - 2:30 p.m. The oneday event will be held at the Our Lady Queen of Heaven Family Life Center in Lake Charles. Early registration runs through February 14, and the cost is $25. Lunch is included. For more information or to register, call Rose Viau at (337) 802-287.

Regional Arts Network Seminar The next edition of the Arts Council of SWLA’s Regional Arts Network (RAN) will be held on January 13 from 11:30am - 1pm in Room 108 of Central School in Lake Charles. The quarterly series offers seminars and workshops on topics affecting SWLA’s cultural economy from cultivating business partnerships to social media strategies, and the luncheons allow for networking opportunities for area creative workers, young professionals, and community leaders. For more information or to RSVP, call the Arts Council office at (337) 439-2787 or visit www.artscouncilswla.org.

5:00 PM Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Road Runners perform- Main Fairgrounds 7:00 PM LA Fur & Wildlife Fur Queen Contest/ Crowning of King Fur • CPSB Conference Ctr., 512 Marshall St., Cameron/ Admission $5 8:30 PM Water’s Edge performs- Main Fairgrounds

New Traveling Exhibition Tells the Story of Abraham Lincoln’s Struggle “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition, will open on January 21 at Central Library located at 301 W. Claude Street in Lake Charles. The exhibition examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War—the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties. The exhibit will run during library hours through March 6 and is free and open to the public. Contact Central Library at (337) 721-7118 or visit www.calcasieulibrary.org for more information.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015 6:00 PM Little Miss and Mr. Cameron Parish / Miss Cameron Parish Pageants • CPSB Conference Ctr. 512 Marshall St., Cameron/ Admission $5 FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 2015 10:00 AM Dog Trials (registration begins- end of Earl Rd.) 11:00 AM Dog Trials Begin- Junior Puppies/ Seasoned Dogs to follow 12:00 PM Gates Open- Main Fairgrounds • $5 per person/ $15 weekend pass- (includes admission to Friday evening pageant)/ children 12 & under free • Trap ShootingSoutheast Fairgrounds • Carnival Opens-Main Fairgrounds

SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 2015 7:00 AM Late Registration 1st Annual Fur Festival 5k RunCameron Jetty Pier, end of Davis Rd. • (For Early Registration and additional information: register.cajuntiming.com) 9:00- 4:00 Antique Vehicles Showcase (No admission) 9:00 AM Gates Open- Main Fairgrounds • $10 per person/ children 12 & under free Gumbo Cook-Off (cooks allowed in at 6:30 AM) • Trap Shooting-Southeast Fairgrounds • Carnival Opens- Main Fairgrounds 10:00 AM Muskrat & Nutria Skinning Competition –Main Fairgrounds • Trap Setting Competition –Main Fairgrounds • Oyster Shucking Competition–Main Fairgrounds 11:30 AM Gumbo Cook-Off Judging Main Fairgrounds 1:30 PM Parade- Downtown Cameron (line up at Cameron Construction Yard) 2:30 PM John Dale Hebert performs- Main Fairgrounds 3:00 PM Duck and Goose Calling Competition- Southeast Fairgrounds 4:30PM Alligator Skinning Demonstration- Main Fairgrounds 5:00 PM Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band-Main Fairgrounds 8:30 PM Bag of Donuts performs-Main Fairgrounds

All events will take place on the fairgrounds located at the former Pat’s of Cameron (513 Marshall Street) in Downtown Cameron, unless otherwise stated. ICE CHESTS, OUTSIDE FOOD AND BEVERAGES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE FAIRGROUNDS.

January 2015

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Solutions for Life

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

2015’s Inner Resolutions It happened again. Somehow I got behind the absolute slowest driver at exactly the time I was most in a rush. “Why does this keep happening to me?” I thought, as I toyed with the idea of passing the person on the twolane road. Then I realized I already knew the answer. Typically at this time of year, I write about resolutions. While external resolutions are fine (losing weight, stopping smoking, etc.), I tend to focus on inner resolutions. Inner resolutions are those conscious decisions to be a better person. And this year my inner resolution is to learn the lessons put before me. See, I know why I keep getting behind slow drivers. It’s the same reason she keeps getting in unhealthy relationships. And he keeps getting taken advantage of by others. The reason is – we haven’t learned the lesson yet. Life is full of lessons, and we get to have as many “do-overs” as it takes to learn them. Once you learn the lesson, you move on to the next one. Lessons often look like obstacles – things that are in your way. I believe those “obstacles” are often put in our paths to force us to slow down and re-think our approach. I can’t tell you how many times being behind that “turtle” of a driver has given me the opportunity to look again at how I wanted to handle the very thing I was racing towards. Being forced to slow down without an alternate route allows me to choose my words/actions/attitude again – and more carefully. I heard a monk speak recently. He said that he is regularly stopped by law enforcement when he drives in his brown robes with his shaved head. He used to get angry and frustrated about being “profiled” because of the way he looks. Now, he tries to remember that he has just been given an opportunity to practice the thing he wants to work on in himself – patience. One of my favorite parables explains this article’s concept perfectly:

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The Hole On the first day, a man walks down a street. Suddenly the world goes dark. He thinks he is lost. Then he realizes he is in a deep hole. He tries to find his way out, and it takes a very long time. Once he is out the day is gone, so he walks back home. On the second day, the man walks down the same street. The world goes dark again. He is in the hole again. He takes a while to recognize where he is. Eventually he finds his way out, and so again he walks back home. On the third day, the man again walks down the street. He knows the hole is there and pretends not to see the hole, and closes his eyes. Once again he falls into the hole, climbs out, and walks back home, the day lost once again. On the fourth day, the man walks cautiously down the street. He sees the hole and this time walks around it. He is pleased. But the world goes dark again. He has fallen into another hole. He climbs out of the second hole, walks home, and alas—falls into the first hole. He gets out of the first hole and walks back home…to think.

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On the fifth day, the man walks confidently down the street. He sees the first hole and recognizes it. He walks around it, but forgets the second hole, which he walks directly into. He gets out immediately and walks straight back home – to weep and hope. On the sixth day, the man walks nervously down the street. The hole is there and he thinks, “I won’t fall into the hole again,” and walks around the hole. He sees the second hole, avoids the second hole, but as he passes, he loses his balance and falls in. Climbing out he walks back home, taking the time to carefully avoid all the holes. On the seventh day, the same man goes for a walk… and chooses to walk down a different street.

January 2015

Chenier Plain Alliance Formed Between Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas

Officials from three Southwest Louisiana parishes, Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion, and three Southeast Texas counties, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange recently signed a memorandum of understanding to cement their pledge to work together in the areas of bank stabilization, hydrologic restoration, marsh creation and ridge restoration. The Chenier Plain covers a five million-acre coastal region with two-thirds of the plain located east of the Sabine River in Louisiana and one-third west of the Sabine in Texas. Cameron Parish has more wetland acres than any Gulf Coast state, county or parish and the second highest rate of net wetland decrease. If you combine the Chenier Plain commercial fishing ports of the Port of Cameron in Cameron Parish with Delcambre and Intracoastal city in Vermilion Parish and Port Arthur in Jefferson County the annual catch is greater than the rest of the Gulf States other than Louisiana. According to America’s Wetland Foundation, more than 95% of Gulf of Mexico marine species spend part of their life in Louisiana’s wetlands yet approximately 25 to 35 square miles of Louisiana wetlands are lost each year. If the Chenier Plain trade ports were counted together, Beaumont, Port Arthur (Sabine Neches Waterway), and Lake Charles would rank higher than the New York/New Jersey Port Authority in tonnage. The Chenier Plain is also the site of two of the nation’s four Strategic Petroleum Reserve salt dome storage sites located in West Hackberry and Big Hill. Nature tourism in addition to hunting and fishing in the Chenier Plain offers some of the most varied outdoor recreation in the nation. Due to its variety of wading water and marsh birds the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge has been designated an “Internationally Important Bird Area” and the refuge is a part of the Creole Nature Trail All American Road and America’s Wetland Birding Trail. The Texas Birding Trail, located at the western edge of the Chenier Plain, leads the nation in visitor participation.

Prien Lake Mall

January 2015

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