Thrive July 2021

Page 1

JULY 2021

Back to School Guide G U I D E

Special Se ctions:

Purrfect Pets

Home Front On the

Real Esta

te Guide


Connecting people who

care with causes that


Insert inside: Community Foundation Southwest Lo uisiana

first person


Paul Pettefer



in 2021


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021


Contents In This Issue

Regular Features

Places & Faces


Purrfect Pets

16 Louisiana Plantation Trail 20 Mae’s Mission – Game Night

Wining & Dining


18 Who’s News 31 Solutions for Life tenot

la Fon Ace, Owner: Kay

22 Toga Grill 24 The Cellar at Crave

Style & Beauty

26 Etie’s, a Children’s Shoppe 28 Campus Couture 29 Lipstick is Back!

Home & Family


Bea, O wner: B ai

ley Cas ti

On the Home Front


Real Estate Update

46 Plants that Will Withstand the Storms



Back to School Guide

Mind & Body

62 Functional Movement Screening 63 Summer Vein Health 64 - 74 SPECIAL SECTION:

Aging Well in 2021

Money & Career


Insert inside: Community Foundation Southwest Louisiana

76 first person with Paul Pettefer 78 Is Early Retirement Right for You 80 Canfer Lumber Mill 81 Social Security Decisions Impact Retirement

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021


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



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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021





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Places & Faces

t c e f r Pur Pet owners think of their pets as their “babies” and like “parents,” they believe their pets are positively perfect. And who are we to disagree? In this year’s special section on Pets, we celebrate felines, canines, assorted other companions, and the people who love them. You’ll find stories on how stress affects pets, how to keep your pets healthy in the summer heat, the health benefits of pet ownership, and a story on the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office canine patrol. While they aren’t considered “pets,” these VIP dogs serve our community and form lasting bonds with their partners.

Pets Clay - Owner: Christi Miller Reeves

Maggie - Owner: Terri Aubey


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

h t l a e H

s t i f e n e B

of Pet Ownership

Cookie the Cockatoo - age 43, and his neighbor and best friend, Dublin Owners: Jim and Debbie Serra

by Kristy Como Armand

We’re all familiar with the phrase “man’s best friend,” when referring to beloved pets, most specifically dogs, but more and more research is finding that a pet may also be man’s best medicine.

to spend time outdoors, get exercise and socialize. Several studies have found that regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.” A research analysis published two years ago in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, found dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduction in dying from any cause. If the person had already suffered a heart attack or stroke, having a dog was even more beneficial; they were 31% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. The mental health benefits of pets are also welldocumented. Numerous research reports have found that people’s good mood increases and bad mood decreases around pets. For many people, pets can help manage loneliness and depression by providing companionship. The bond between people and their pets has been found to lower stress and anxiety. Pets help those with Alzheimer’s also. Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal

Most pet owners feel having a pet brings an extra level of love and companionship into their lives, but owning a pet has also been found to provide multiple health benefits – both physical and mental. “There are many health benefits of owning a pet,” says Dr. Andrew Bradberry, family medicine specialist with Imperial Health. “Some are more obvious -- having a pet increases opportunities

ners: M belline - Ow


a ike, Barbar

and Lucas

in the home, and their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog. When it comes to allergies, you might be surprised about the benefits pets offer. Dr. Bradberry says the old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet, and if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided. “However, a growing number of studies have suggested that children growing up in a home with ‘furred animals,’ such as a cat or dog, or on a farm where there are large animals, will have a lower risk of developing allergies and asthma.” While pets may bring a wide range of potential health benefits, pet ownership may not be right for everyone. “Owning a pet is a serious commitment that comes with certain financial costs and caregiving responsibilities,” says Dr. Bradberry. “The decision to own a pet deserves careful consideration, but if you choose to do so, it’s good to know you may be giving your mental and physical health a boost.”




Places & Faces | Purrfect


Jeter - Owner: Timothy Feist

Attached at the hip is an accurate description of the human and pet dynamic right now. The pandemic and recent storms significantly changed the everyday routine for us, but also for our pets. Often that meant 24/7 togetherness as humans turned to their furry friends to lower stress and anxiety levels. A recent global study revealed a majority of pet owners are worried about how their animals are coping with life changes, upended routines and new norms. There may be cause to worry. Animals absorb what their owners are feeling, so if you are chronically stressed, your dog or cat may be too.

s s e r t S H ow s t e P s t c e f f A

So how do you know if the family pet is stressed? There are some tell tale signs to look for: • Increased barking or sudden aggression • Decreased appetite or refusal to eat • Gastrointestinal changes (diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence) • Excessive chewing, lip licking, grooming and yawning • Destructive chewing (shoes, household items) • Avoiding eye contact or whale eyes (when dogs show the whites of their eyes) • Hiding – cats can be overwhelmed by having unexpected people around • Urinating outside of the litter box or other unwelcome bathroom changes

When left unchecked, animal stress can lead to real health ailments. Local veterinarians report a recent spike in stress-related health issues brought on by a variety of potential triggers. New Home – Dogs and cats who are away from familiar territory can be fearful and anxious. • When moving, unpack their things first – remember bedding, favorite toys, bowls and treats. • Set up a safe place for them to retreat if new surroundings get overwhelming. Tuck in a piece of clothing or something that smells like you. • A long slow walk through the new neighborhood will tire dogs out and allow them to mark and sniff their new territory. 10

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

by Kerry Andersen

• If the family home looks unfamiliar due to storm damage or repairs, designate a special, familiar spot for pets to regroup. Whether a crate, bed or cat retreat, pets need quiet time too and a place to call their own.

Age-Related Memory Loss and Confusion breed stress. Cats can’t find the litterbox and dogs wander the house looking for familiar places and faces. • You can help by keeping them mentally engaged with interactive puzzle toys like a snuffle mat or puzzle feeder that offer rewards. • Aging cats benefit from stimulating views – consider installing a bird feeder outside a window. • Introducing a new pet may be a traumatic experience for cats, especially older felines, and should be avoided if possible.

Loud Noises like fireworks and thunder increase cortisol levels in animals and are especially traumatic to their sensitive ears. • Keep them inside where they are safe and monitored. • Cover your pets’ crate with a blanket for an extra sense of security. Provide a favorite chew toy like a snuffle mat or puzzle feeder for distraction. • Make sure your pets get plenty of exercise early in the day, so they sleep through loud events. • Turn on the tv or radio to drown out offending sounds.

• Consider hiring a dog walker for consistent exercise. A tired pet will focus on sleep instead of missing you!

You can learn to spot signs of separation anxiety by setting up a camera when you leave so you can understand how your pets behave while you are away. EFFECTIVE STRESS BUSTERS • Vets say daily exercise is the number one way to reduce stress. Play fetch, visit a dog park or take a leisurely scent walk where dogs explore with their noses and you follow their lead. • Create and stick to a routine with clear expectations; cats particularly thrive with consistent routines and regular mealtimes. • Soothing scents and sounds really do work; lavender, vanilla and ginger are especially calming for animals. Playing classical or mellow music can slow your pets heart rate. • Cuddling!

Separation Anxiety can be triggered by the passing of a family member or pet, being left alone for the first time after long periods of constant companionship or attending a new boarding facility. • Ease your way into separation by taking short trips outside your home without your pet as a ‘test run’. You want them to get comfortable with being alone again. • Visit a new day camp ahead of time so it’s familiar. • Cats combat stress through environmental enrichment, so increase their play, provide interactive toys and make sure they have places to hide (cat condo). Nova &


s: Tiff - Owner

s any Are


ey Laure

and Cas

Zena - Owner: Karen Smith

Max - Owner: Kay Miller

Callie (L) and Ballerion (R) - Owner: Tori Hebert Murphey - Owner: Kay Marcantel

Sami K - Owner: Catherine Parrino

Bentley - Owner: Lisa Leubner Mickey - Owner: Rachel Garner

Emmy veng lou - Owner: Sarah Cle

Fenway- Owner: Caitlin Guillory


Ellie the Morkie - Owner: Candice Hicks

Cooper - Owner: Sharamie Moore


Sophia - Owner: Kara Newingham

Percy - Owner: Ian Conlee Simba - Owner: Hunter Dawdy

Nola Roux- Owner: Carrie LaFargue

Riley- Owner: Amy Landry

Poppy- Owner: Susette Duplechin


speare - Owner: Katie

k Blac

Clyde - Owner: Amanda Booth

Honey - Owner: Caitlin Guillory

Pearl - Owner: Rob and Keri McCorquodale


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Henri- Owner: Matthew Welsh

Callie - Owner: Karen Smith

Max - Owner: Kay Miller

Places & Faces | Purrfect Pets

t c e t o Pr s t P r e u o Y

ClaraBelle - Owner: Liz and Seth Trahan


by Kristy Como Armand

As the “dog days of summer” begin, it’s important for pet owners to remember that humans are not the only living creatures affected by the Southwest Louisiana heat and humidity. Pets also face increased risk of heat stroke as the temperatures rise in July and August. “Just like people, pets will naturally seek out methods to cool themselves off during hot weather,” says Dr. Jae H. Chang, veterinarian at Prien Lake Animal Hospital. “If pets are housed outside, it’s important to provide them with the resources to do so, such as a shaded area and an abundant supply of water.” Pets most susceptible to heat stroke are animals with shortened muzzles such as bulldogs, pugs or Persian cats; overweight pets; those with thicker coats; and those with respiratory problems. Dr. Chang says older animals are also at increased risk. “They are weaker and might experience an adverse response to increased temperatures more quickly than younger dogs. The same goes for kittens and puppies who have not yet reached maturity.” Heat stroke is a condition that affects other pet species, as well, including rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, ferrets and other small mammals. “Pet owners often think they can bring these pets outside ‘for just a little while to get some sun, but these pets get overheated and can decline rapidly,” says Dr. Chang.


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“All of these little guys are very susceptible to high temperatures. The best place for them during the hot summer is indoors in the air conditioning.” He says pets will tell you by their actions if they are affected adversely by hot weather, so it is important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion. If your pet has been out in the heat and exhibits frantic breathing, a bright red tongue, lethargy, vomiting, or staggering, it may be suffering from heat stroke. In severe cases you will notice your pet’s lips begin to turn pale blue or gray. If you notice any of these symptoms, Dr. Chang says to move the pet into the shade or indoors with air conditioning immediately. “Apply cool – not cold – water to your animal to gradually lower their body temperature and seek immediate veterinary care.” He offers these additional tips for keeping your pets safe in the summer heat: • Provide access to shade at all times. If possible, try to keep them indoors during the hottest times of the day.Always supply your pet with fresh water and make sure the dish or water bottle is out of the sun. Put ice in their water bowl to keep it cooler longer. • Limit activity when temperatures are high. Walk dogs in the early morning or late hours of the day when the sun is least harsh and bring water along for them.

• Walk your dog on grass or dirt to avoid burning their paws on hot pavement. • Pets can get sunburn too. Sunscreen can be used depending on the location of the sensitive skin. Use care in picking the product as cats and dogs are prone to licking themselves and should not ingest most lotions. Only use sunscreens that are specifically labeled for use in dogs and cats. Do not use sunscreen on other types of pets. Dr. Chang says the most important pet safety rule to remember is to never, ever leave your pet in the car when temperatures are high, even with the windows open. “The number one cause of heat stroke in dogs is being left in a hot car. The internal heat of a car can quickly increase 40 degrees or more above the outside air temperature, especially in direct sunlight. No pet owner should ever take this risk. The best thing for your pet may be to leave them at home.” If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke or exhaustion, contact your veterinarian immediately. For more information about summer pet care and health concerns, call Prien Lake Animal Hospital at 337-474-1526 or visit


ley, Alla udre y and

Brile y Hug


Banquo, Owner: Erica McCreedy

Morgan Aspen, Owners:

k Algero

Daniels and Nic


Places & Faces | Purrfect Pets

n o s p Pu P a tr ol

You don’t have to be human to be a hero. by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz, photos by Shonda Manuel

K-9 units are an invaluable asset to police departments across the United States, including right here in Calcasieu Parish. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) has 11 K-9 officers, with six on patrol, one on the ACT (Anti-Crime and Tactical) Team, one with corrections, one on explosives and two with interstate interdiction (Combined Anti-Drug Task Force CAT Team). So how does man’s best friend turn into a hero? Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Sergeant and K-9 Field Supervisor Nathan McKee says these dogs are trained for this line of work. “The CPSO uses an outside vendor to recruit K-9 officers. The dogs begin their training with the vendor when they are puppies and usually come to us around two years of age. Once they are selected for law enforcement, the K-9 and their handler attend a five-week, offsite training camp.” CPSO looks for specific types of traits and behaviors when selecting dogs for K-9 service: obedience, playfulness, search drive and a good amount of courage. The first step of training is bonding and obedience—both key factors to a successful working relationship. “Obedience is the basis of all duties,” said Sgt. McKee. “On the handler’s part, they have to understand patience—you are working with a free-thinking animal. The handler must establish a bond of trust and command with the K-9. How we do this is simple. The handler and K-9 spend time together, play fetch, petting, etc. We start

with simple commands like you would with your own pets to foster a relationship and build on that foundation.” CPSO’s dog of choice is the Belgian Malinois breed. The American Kennel Club describes this breed as smart, confident and a world-class worker. They are agile with intense drive and focus, can undertake a variety of tasks, and quickly learn and respond to commands. The K-9 officers with CPSO are either single- or dual-purpose. Singleduty K-9 officers focus on a single purpose like detecting odor for narcotics and explosives. Dual-purpose K-9 officers are trained to not only detect narcotics, but also to track and apprehend people when necessary. “Our K-9 officers are athletes,” said Sgt. McKee. “Our unit trains together every week as a group, and then individually on each shift. In addition, once a year we complete a week-long maintenance training on all skills.” To be a K-9 handler, officers must complete the first-time officer program with a supervisor, have three years of patrol experience, perform well under pressure and be physically fit to complete duties, including carrying a 70-pound K-9 officer. “Our K-9 officers are one of us, part of our team and our families,” said Sgt. McKee. “CPSO provides a kennel and housing for their handler’s property to continue constant bonding and to ensure they are readily available should we be called to duty.” When it comes to duty, McKee explained how vital these K-9 officers are. Their mere presence alone de-escalates situations and thereby prevents further acts of violence. When that isn’t the case, the K-9 officers will apprehend suspects who officers are unable to control, for them to be

taken into custody. Given their line of work and the athletic abilities they use daily, K-9 officers usually retire around 9-10 years old. But, it can be sooner depending on their health. All K-9 officers receive regular care from a local, certified and licensed veterinarian to ensure their health comes first. When the K-9 officer retires, their handler is given the option to adopt them. “Our K-9 officers are incredible tools,” said Sgt. McKee. “As much as we think of them as a family member, in the eyes of law enforcement they are our partners and we are grateful to have them by our side.”

K-9 Officer: Sam - Police Officer: Sgt. Nathan McKee 14

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Noah- Owner: Kara Newingham


Belle - Owner: Darcie Portie

Beasley- Owner: Dana Sorrells

Piper - Owner: Erica McCreedy Whit - Owner: Haley Campbell

Marilyn - Owner: Kathy Casteel

Earl G rey

Benny - Owner: Emily Porche

ez squ ly Va - Owner: Kimber

Fathra - Owner: Lisa Langford

Lily - Owner: Candy Guillory

Jake - Owner: Angela Guth


Places & Faces

Take a Step Back in Time on the River Parishes Plantation Trail

Oak Alley Plantation

by Madelaine Brauner Landry

Are you fascinated with history, discovery, and a fondness for old things? You might consider exploring Louisiana’s River Road for tours of its unique plantation homes. There are various compelling reasons to visit. The importance of sightseeing properties from the Deep South’s antebellum past is hard to ignore. Human beings were held in bondage, a slave experience we cannot deny or ignore. The lives of wealthy plantation owners are also enlightening, and these sites offer a treasure trove of archives containing art, photography, books, and music that help reveal many mysteries. The following is hardly an exhaustive list. River Road boasts approximately 12 plantations, most open to the public. Whether you choose a day trip, or one that evolves over a few days, allow yourself to slow down and explore other historical sites you will find along the way. Some are in ruin; some are recognizable from film and television. This journey can be an eye-opening historical and personal experience that will provoke many emotions. Its diversity will not disappoint. Magic is instilled in the traveler who realizes that what initially compelled them to take the trip will not necessarily be what they take away when it comes to an end.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

1811 Kid Ory Historic House (LaPlace)

Promoted as one of the oldest structures in St. John the Baptist parish, the 1811/Kid Ory Historic House tells the story of an 1811 slave rebellion, as well as the dawn of jazz, two noteworthy historical events. Using diverse media to engage visitors, these museum walls share tales from the “big house” from which it was created. This site was home to a variety of owners from 1797-1922, but it is currently not furnished as a residence. It serves as a repository of artifacts, historical musical instruments, interactive displays and panels for art and photography. Testimonies of the enslaved, as well as an archive of Kid Ory Creole jazz memorabilia are its primary features.

Laura Plantation (Vacherie)

The exciting part of this site is its ongoing contribution to research to the story of enslaved people in Louisiana’s Creole past, as well as its home’s history that includes four generations of female ownership. Laura reveals its captivating story starting with its builder, Guillaume Duparc, a French Naval veteran of the American Revolution. His sugar farming complex sat on high ground with access to the Mississippi River, and included land originally settled by Native Americans or purchased from the Acadians. Female descendants eventually became responsible for the daily operations of the original home and business. Laura’s story unfolds in a 2017 museum exhibit entitled “From the Big House to the Quarters: Slavery on Laura Plantation.”

San Francisco Plantation

Kid Ory Historic House

Houmas House

Houmas House (Darrow)

Laura Plantation

By contrast, Houmas House allows its visitors to experience sugar plantation life in the post-Civil War era, renovated to reflect life in the 1880s. The site offers a guided mansion tour that covers a 250-year history that highlights its architectural features, furnishings, expansive gardens, and details of plantation life as the South sought to sustain its former glory. It also offers three restaurant/dining options and overnight accommodations. Featured in almost twenty films, Houmas House sits in a large curve of the mighty Mississippi, on high ground first settled by the Houmas Indians. This fertile land created plantations that grew cotton, sugarcane, corn, indigo and tobacco, as well as provided rich hunting for early settlers. For more extensive travel and site details, visit attractions/historic-homes.

Oak Alley Plantation (Vacherie)

Always a must when touring River Road plantations, Oak Alley also offers dining and overnight accommodations. This home has been a sugar plantation, an abandoned investment property, cattle ranch, and a beloved local icon that escaped destruction plans from the Army Corps of Engineers. Today’s Oak Alley is designated a National Landmark, and boasts a non-profit Foundation whose mission is to interpret, maintain, and preserve each component of its fascinating history. Open to the public for almost five decades, it remains dedicated to its unique “narrative integrity,” as its secrets reveal not only a magnificent landscape, an exquisitely appointed home, but also a place of human enslavement and inescapable painful history.

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San Francisco Plantation (Garyville)

In 1827, Elisée Rillieux, a man who counted himself among the gens de couleur libres (free people of color), had a vision. He bought tracts of lands, and slaves, establishing a sugar plantation 40 miles downriver from New Orleans in St. John Parish. His speculation paid off, and San Francisco developed successfully through various owners, surviving the Great Flood of 1927, a legislative action that preserved many River Road plantations, and massive restorations by ECOL and Marathon Oil. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, it was renovated through scientific analysis of materials and structure, returning it to its pre-Civil War antebellum splendor. It displays a distinctive style and color scheme enjoyed by over 100,000 visitors annually.


Michael Naquin (337) 520-4073


Home Family Places &&Faces

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

Lakeside Bank Welcomes Twenda Hanson Lakeside Bank has named Twenda Hanson Vice President/ South Lake Charles Market Manager. Originally from Lake Twenda Hanson Charles, Hanson brings more than 42 years of experience in the banking field to her new position at Lakeside. She has extensive experience in both personal and commercial banking, as well as customer service and staff coaching and development.

She has held a variety of positions during her banking career in Southwest Louisiana, including bookkeeper, teller, personal banker, assistant branch manager and small business lender. She most recently served as a financial center manager. Hanson has completed numerous banking compliance training courses and is also a licensed notary public. Hanson will be working at Lakeside’s Main Office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles.

Dawn Johnson-Hatcher

Memorial Names New Chief Financial Officer


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Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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

Dawn Johnson-Hatcher has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer for the Memorial Health System. Dawn has served on the administrative team as Vice President of Finance since 2018. Dawn came to Memorial with more than 25 years of healthcare financial experience. Prior to joining Memorial, Dawn previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital. She has also served as the Assistant Chief Financial Officer and Financial Security Officer for Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley and Assistant Chief Financial Officer of El Dorado Hospital both

located in Tucson, Arizona. She holds a degree in Business Administration and a master’s in business administration, both from the University of Phoenix in Tucson. WCCH Names Odom Chief Nursing Officer West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) is pleased to announce that Robbin Odom, MSN, BHA, RN, CPHQ, CPPS, HACP, LSS has been named Chief Robbin Odom Nursing Officer. In her role, Odom will be responsible for organizing and administering the Nursing care and associated patient care departments according to the hospital’s mission and vision. She will collaborate with members of senior leadership, medical staff, and clinical areas to provide quality services to hospital customers and our community. Odom brings over 25 years of healthcare management experience with her to WCCH. She began her nursing career as a registered nurse in 1991 and has since successfully served in various senior leadership roles, including Interim CEO, during her career. Odom holds a Bachelor’s in Health Administration from Kennedy Western University and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Walden University. She is currently a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Louisiana Organization of Nurse Executives, the Louisiana Hospital Association, and the National Association for Healthcare Quality. She also holds numerous healthcare certifications. CSE Announces Lori Hagan as Main Office Branch Manager Lori Hagan has been chosen as the newest Branch Manager for CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE). Hagan comes to CSE with Lori Hagan


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

over 30 years’ experience branch management and financial services. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from McNeese State University. Hagan will manage overall branch operations for the Main Office of CSE, located at 4321 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. CSE is federally insured by NCUA. Membership and Eligibility required. CSE Welcomes Member Business Lender Tray Braud CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) announces the addition of Tray Braud, Member Business Lender. Braud succeeds Jim Swift, Tray Braud Business Loan Officer, who retired at the end of May 2021. Braud brings over 10 years of experience in the financial sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Finance from McNeese State University. Braud will provide services for Members seeking business loans, under the direction of Chief Lending Officer, Jennifer Erickson. CSE is federally insured by NCUA. Membership and Eligibility required. Chantlin Achieves Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Status The Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education (CBDCE) announced that Cynthia Chantlin, Cynthia Chantlin Diabetes Coordinator at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital achieved Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist status by successfully completing

the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators. Candidates must meet rigorous eligibility requirements to be able to take the Examination. Achieving certification status demonstrates to people with diabetes and employers that the health care professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for people with diabetes. Currently, there are over 15,000 diabetes educators who hold CBDCE certification. Chantlin has served as a Diabetes Program Coordinator at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) for 5 years. Prior to serving in this capacity, she served as a Registered Dietitian at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. The diabetes program at WCCH, a program recognized by the American Diabetes Association, holds education classes weekly and individual education is provided to patients when needed. A support group, led by Chantlin, will resume once COVID-19 guidelines allow. Poche Named West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Physician of the Quarter West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) has named Mahlon P. Poche Jr., M.D., Emergency Medicine Mahlon P. Poche Jr., MD as the recipient of the 4th Quarter 2020 – Physician Award. The award recognizes a clinical physician who consistently achieves high standards in the practice of medicine. Dr. Poche received his Medical Degree from Tulane School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed a Family Practice Residency Program from LSU in Baton Rouge, at Earl K. Long Medical Center. He is currently meeting his maintenance of certification by the American Board of Family Practice. Dr. Poche has been a member of the WCCH Medical Staff since September 2003 and is currently an active Emergency Room staff

member of Professional Emergency Medicine Management Group (PEMM) at WCCH.

Anna Marcantel

Tammy Gillett

Ochsner CHRISTUS Health Center – Lake Area Welcomes Nurse Practitioners Marcantel, Gillett CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana welcomes nurse practitioners Anna Marcantel and Tammy Gillett to Ochsner CHRISTUS Health Center – Lake Area. A cum laude graduate of McNeese State University, Marcantel earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Alabama in 2008. She diagnoses and treats chronic and acute health conditions. She has experience in family planning, including IUD and Nexplanon insertion and removal, and she coordinates care through pregnancy and postpartum. Gillett has 25 years’ experience in obstetrics, gynecology, family planning, hormone replacement, STD management and colposcopy. After graduating from McNeese State University in 1985, she earned a certificate of advanced practice in nursing from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso. To schedule an appointment at any Ochsner CHRISTUS Health Center throughout the Lake Charles area, call 337.491.7577 or visit Ochsner. org/doctors to schedule online.


Places & Faces

FUNDING THE GREATER GOOD When Mae’s Mission launched in 2019, founder Emily Porché knew that something special had happened and the nonprofit world in Southwest Louisiana would be better for it. “Over the last few years, the need to recognize and support the often-forgotten nonprofits in our community has grown,” said Porché. “So many nonprofits have small budgets, little to no staff, or don’t have the resources to host a large fundraiser. Mae’s Mission became a way for these nonprofits to receive no-strings-attached funding.” With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Mae’s Mission pivoted to fund nonprofits directly affected from the year 2020.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

The first round of funding provided dollars to organizations that were affected by COVID-19. “The grant helped nonprofits that had to furlough their staff, cancel events, or saw a reduction in income because of COVID-19,” Porché said. “Then we turned around and focused our next grant cycle on nonprofits that were hit again by the hurricanes. Where there was a need, we wanted to help fill it.” Named for Porché’s daughter, Charlie Mae, Mae’s Mission has granted $18,000 in the last year to organizations like Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, Room In The Inn, Hobo Hotel, Merryville Society & Historical Museum, the Children’s Theatre Company, and others. The grant money is given without strict reporting requirements or stipulations; simply put, the nonprofit can use it for nearly anything they need. “When you see the resiliency and strength of a community like the Lake Area, you feel inspired to give back as much as you can and become part of the greater good,” added Porché.

Named for Porché’s daughter, Charlie Mae, Mae’s Mission has granted $18,000 in the last year to organizations like Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, Room In The Inn, Hobo Hotel, Merryville Society & Historical Museum, the Children’s Theatre Company, and others.

Funding comes from a unique source – online crowdsourcing. Mae’s Mission’s Board of Directors is made of engaged community leaders who decided to put skin in the game when it came to fundraising. For two summers in a row, Mae’s Mission hosted a competitive Facebook fundraiser, and paired with other sponsorships and donations, the organization was able to raise a strong amount of funds. “We don’t keep what we raise; we always plan to give it back to the community,” Porché said. Mae’s Mission’s next goal is to host its first annual fundraiser, which will fund the next round of grants. On August 21, the Burton Coliseum will be the site of the Mae’s Mission Game Night, a single elimination tournament of everyone’s favorite competitive games, like Charades, Pictionary, Hedbandz, and Taboo. Businesses and individuals are invited to form a team and go for the gold.

Board members from L, Demetria Boutte, Chris Klein, Joseph Darbonne, Charla Blake, Emily Porché, Chad Crain, Patricia Prudhomme, Erica McCreedy, and Pete Pohorelski.

“With this fundraiser, we can fund more nonprofits that have fallen through the cracks in our area,” explained Porché. “We also wanted to host a very different type of event that will bring out the fun, competitive spirit in everyone.” A cash bar, concessions, games, and a raffle will also be on-site. The tournament game play is for those ages 21 and over. Team registration fees begin at $400 and the deadline to sign up is July 23. Learn more at Mae’s Mission Game Night is sponsored by CITGO, CSE Federal Credit Union, CHRISTUS Oschner Health Southwest Louisiana, and Thrive Magazine.

A single elimination tournament of games! AUGUST 21, 2021 BURTON COLISEUM

Team Check-In begins at 5pm Games begin at 6pm Team Registration Fees start at $400 4-8 player* teams *players must be 21+

competing for:

Game Night Champion Best Dressed Team Most Fundraised Team

games to be played: Pictionary Taboo Charades Hedbanz Surprise Final Round Game!

Cash Bar | Concessions | Tailgate Games $20 RAFFLE TICKETS Cash, Cards and Checks accepted

A fundraising event benefiting

Register your team at: Deadline to register is July 23, 2021 Questions?


Wining & Dining

Let ’s Eat

" TOGA"ther


GRILL by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

In 2009, Jamal Chloun, along with his four kids—Sammi, Hadi, Ilham and Khaled—opened Toga Grill in Lake Charles, and in 2017 they remodeled and expanded what was once a small store into a large restaurant with double the seating capacity and bar area. But Toga Grill’s homemade Lebanese and Greek cooking dates back to 1950 when Jamal’s dad started selling falafel sandwiches from a pushcart in Lebanon.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

“I came to the United States in 1978 with a dream,” said Jamal Chloun, owner of Toga Grill. “I graduated from what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Business Management in 1984 and moved to Lake Charles in 2007 with my family to make my dream of continuing to share my family’s recipes with people a reality.”

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601 S. Pine Street • DeRidder, LA 70634 • (337) 463-7442 • Today you can find Jamal and his kids working around the restaurant keeping the family tradition going—a family working TOGAther. “Toga Grill welcomes you to try and enjoy our tasty collection of diverse Mediterranean food,” said Jamal. “We serve a colorful array of fresh lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian dishes and sandwiches. At Toga Grill you will find the culinary traditions of various Middle Eastern countries. Our dishes incorporate spices typical of Lebanese and Greek cooking, such as saffron, cumin, paprika and mint which make those dishes a feast to the senses!” In 2020, Toga Grill, like many restaurants, was forced to close their doors due to COVID-19 restrictions. Then, Hurricanes Laura and Delta hit, causing them to shutter their doors for three more months to repair damages. “We are truly thankful for our loyal customers who have continued to show their love and support, despite going through their own personal struggles after being hit with a pandemic and the devastating storms in our area,” said Jamal. “Our hearts go out to everyone in our community as we continue to rebuild and become stronger TOGAther.” To dine in, visit Toga Grill at 4439 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. To view the menu, make reservations, order to-go or other information, visit






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

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


Wining & Dining


OPEN by Kristy Como Armand

The Cellar at Crave has opened for business. Located at 2801 Ryan Street, Suite 200, in Lake Charles, The Cellar offers a unique new experience for Southwest Louisiana, one that is much more than just retail. The Cellar features a curated collection of fine wines, champagne, whiskey, bourbon, cheese & charcuterie, specialty items and serving pieces. However, in addition to shopping, visitors are invited to take a seat and relax with their favorite drink in a truly distinctive space. Oak barrels provide the base for the tables with comfortable chairs and there is additional seating at the antique bar. A leather sofa and pub chairs highlight another cozy area, which faces a beautiful wall-mounted fireplace. The wood behind the wine display wall is made of reclaimed fencing from Hurricane Laura. In a nod to the more distant past, enlarged framed photo prints showcase the history of Lake Charles. Natural wood and iron, combined with leather accents, custom lighting and luxurious finishes create a warm, welcoming space. Owner Catherine Parrino, who also owns Crave Gourmet, a specialty food and gift store next door, says The Cellar is a natural complement to Crave. “We wanted to bring something new and different to Lake Charles, something our Crave customers had been asking for.This space allows us to focus more on wine and spirits, while also providing the versatility for a wide range of events, from tastings and classes to private parties and more.” The Cellar offers the services of a sommelier to answer questions and/or assist with choosing wine for the perfect food pairing or occasion. There is also a private dining room that can be reserved for special events. “Opening a new business can be daunting in the best of times; it was extremely challenging working through the hurdles we faced in Lake Charles over this past year. However, this is something I’ve been planning for quite some time and I truly believe this ended up being exactly the right time to open,” says Parrino. “Lake Charles needs this and we are so excited to share The Cellar with Southwest Louisiana.” Learn more on The Cellar’s Facebook page,


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

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of Oak Crossing! Saturday Saturday Saturday October Saturday October 12, October October 4-812, pm 12, 4-8 12,4-8 pm 4-8pm pm 1911 Historic 1911 1911 1911 Historic City Historic Historic Hall City City City Hall Hall Hall Saturday October 30, 4-8 pm Nelson Road

Tickets goTickets on sale Tickets Tickets August go ongo sale go 16 onAugust on at sale 9am sale August August 16 at 16 9am 16 at 9am at 9am

Tickets go on sale August 6 at 9am

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A Children’s Shoppe by Angie Kay Dilmore

bby Ferguson made her dream come true when she opened Etie’s, A Children’s Shoppe in 2018. Her budding business in Sulphur, La. was located in the very building where her great-grandparents, Charles and Cora Etie, opened a general store in the 1920s. Today, Abby sells clothing and accessories for children from preemies to youth XL, toys and games, and books.

Post-Hurricane Laura


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

The Southwest Louisiana community embraced Abby’s endeavor and all was well . . . until 2020. “The COVID-19 shutdown forced us to find new ways to reach people,” Abby says. “We had to close the storefront for two months, and we relied heavily on social media during that time. We offered free shipping, free local delivery, and curbside pickup. With schools being shut down, we had many customers looking for ways to keep their kids entertained. We brought in a lot of new merchandise to help meet those needs – from educational games and activities to outdoor toys.”

When businesses were still closed around Easter of last year, Abby offered private shopping appointments for customers who wanted to shop in a social distanced environment. “The response from the community during that time was great,” Abby adds. “People seemed to want to support local business. We made it through and with extra safety measures in place, and we fully re-opened in June 2020. Two months later, Hurricanes Laura and Delta ravaged the region. “Our roof failed, and the store took on a tremendous amount of water, and then continued to take on water for weeks because there was no way to tarp our roof. We lost almost all our inventory and most of our fixtures and built-ins. A few weeks after Laura, roofers began replacing our roof, but Hurricane Delta damaged the work that had been started. The Etie’s building is concrete, so the structure was fine. But almost everything else (roof, floors, ceiling, built-ins) needed to be replaced.” With help from family and friends and especially her father, Abby salvaged what she could and, like so many residents in the region, waited for the roof repair, which happened in January 2021. “It was hard to be patient. I was so ready to get back into the building. Once major repairs like the roof were done, we began the arduous task of rebuilding the interior.” Once again, family and friends, even her young sons helped in any way they could.

Cleaning up after the storm

Post-Hurricane Laura

Etie's today

When Abby realized her shop wouldn’t reopen by Christmas (every retailer’s busiest season), she worried about the future of her store. But a “guardian angel” came to Etie’s rescue. Vicki Nezat, owner of Victoria’s on Oak in Sulphur, gave Abby a room in her store free of charge to temporarily set of shop for the holiday season. “It was wonderful,” Abby says. “I’m so grateful to her and proud to be part of a community where one business owner will sacrifice space so that another business owner can stay afloat.” Etie’s, A Children’s Shoppe has been reopened for business since June of this year. They are located at 206 S. Huntington St. in Sulphur, La. For more information, call 337-888-3019.

Etie's table at Victoria's Oak in Sulphur


Style & Beauty


e r u t Cou by Kerry Andersen

Whether you are nine or 19, there is something about back-to-school shopping that makes us giddy, even more so after a year that kept students away from the classroom and their social interactions. As college students return to campus and in-person learning, Mimosa Boutique owner Lauren Monroe says, “Relaxed dressing is here to stay, but loungewear is now elevated in a way that is easy to wear and pulled together. The key to acing fall campus fashion is finding outfits that are the right mix of comfort and polish.”

Matchy Matchy

Step out in Style

Blazers, Jeans and Bodysuits

Ranch Dressing

Matching sets are having a major moment. Whether it’s a tank and shorts, or a sweatshirt and track pants, coordinating pieces are the new collegiate uniform. Soft lavender and tonal tan and blue will be everywhere but worn in a monochromatic look that screams put together, even if you are falling asleep at your desk!

The fastest way to look polished and get to class on time is to grab a blazer and throw it over your favorite jeans. Get ready for a more relaxed straight leg style jean that is dramatically high waisted. Blazers range from menswear styling to leather. Pop one over a bodysuit, another top fashion trend, or wear with shorts for an edgy modern look.

Graphics 101

Graphic tees are a musthave for fall. Easy to throw on with a skirt or shorts, they are a fun way to showcase your personality. Tie a knot at the bottom for a customized fit. 28

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Combat boots are making a comeback in 2021. Pair them with shorts or wide leg pants for a trendy vibe or wear them with a flowy dress for a more edgy look – the same goes for sleek, pointed booties. Sneakers continue their big fashion moment, whether white, animal print, colored or platform, they’re on fashionable feet everywhere (and often peeking out beneath the hem of a dress).

Top off any outfit with a structured rancher hat for a polished on-trend look. The wide brimmed hats add a stylish punch that can be customized with colorful bands. Look for structured felt or a more casual straw material and you’ll be earning top fashion grades.

The Gold Standard

Jewelry for fall is simple but stylish. Grab a pair of gold hoops to finish any outfit. They can be traditionally round or look for updated oval or rectangular shapes. Necklaces will be delicate but layered in different lengths and textures. More is better! Mimosa Boutique is located at 3125 Ernest Street in Lake Charles. Open 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday. Shop online at


Style & Beauty







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for life


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

Does Hope Really Spring Eternal? Here’s Hoping It Does! I decided I’d better write an article about hope for all of us. I know I certainly need it. As the rest of the world is “opening back up” and resuming their new normal lives, we are still struggling, aren’t we? Some of us are still not back in our homes from the hurricanes ELEVEN months ago! And some of us had just made it back into our homes and businesses only to have them flooded. Or be re-traumatized by being stranded and watching the water draw ever nearer to our buildings. Then there is the fact that our beautiful Southwest Louisiana is still looking pretty ragged. Or maybe you’re reminded of our sad state of affairs when you try to go out to eat and the restaurant is either understaffed, out of menu items, or not open during their regular hours. There is plenty for us to be bummed out about, that’s for sure. All of the above, along with the exhausted/burned out/”I can’t believe I’m still having to deal with all of this” people I have been talking to all day every day led me to think, “We all could use a little hope right about now.” So, what is this “hope” I speak of? It is “expecting with confidence positive outcomes.” It is believing things will get better. It is being able to picture Southwest Louisiana five years from now, thriving, beautiful and back on track. Why do we need hope? What will be, will be, right? True, but hoping and believing things will eventually be okay is what helps us get through our present circumstances. During this time in Auschwitz, Victor Frankl realized the difference between those who survived the brutal concentration camps and those who did not was hope. Those who continued to visualize a happy future and be hopeful were better able to endure their horrible situation. If they could find hope in their unbelievably awful circumstances, surely we can find hope in ours. Now, what to do? What steps can you take to increase your hope? Try these: Daily Optimism. Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism, writes: “Optimists don’t avoid life’s storms, but they weather them better and emerge from them better off.” So, every morning, before you even get out of bed, decide to be optimistic just for today. Decide to have faith everything will be okay. When challenges arise, ask yourself, “What would I do if I truly believed everything will be okay?”

Double up on gratitude – AM and PM. I often assign Gratitude Journals to my clients. Shifting focus to what we DO have rather than what we don’t helps us be more positive, thus more hopeful. Normally the Gratitude Journal is done only once a day. But when you are really struggling, prescribe yourself a double dose. Keep in mind, you’re looking for the little things: a nice breeze, light traffic, a good cup of coffee. Starting and ending the day being thankful both sets the tone for the day and helps settle you down for the night. Remember, it’s all there – the good and the bad. But what you choose to focus on will determine your mood/attitude/ success. Look for the good news. Yes, the airwaves are full of scary, bad news. Yes, bad things are happening. Heck, even watching the Weather Channel is traumatizing for many of us. But even when bad things happen, good things are happening right alongside. I’ve witnessed and heard stories of people helping neighbors with clean up, bringing meals to exhausted workers, running errands for sick friends. Speaking of news, limit the amount of news you expose yourself to. And sometimes reading the news is better than watching. Without all the dramatic music and serious voices, we can actually assign the right amount of emphasis to the news story. Trust your resilience gene. As Margie Warrell says, “Stormy seas introduce us to aspects of our humanity that calm waters never do.” It is in overcoming challenges that we grow and develop. Remember that caterpillar becoming a butterfly? She can only do that through the struggle of emerging through her cocoon. It’s the struggle that develops and strengthens her wings, thus allowing her to fly. Trust that whatever you are going through right now will help you evolve in some way. You will be better in some way for having gone through it. I know you can’t see that right now, so you will have to trust and believe in yourself. Yes, hope is a risk. But it is a risk worth taking. So choose optimism over pessimism. Choose to focus on being grateful and positive. Choose hope.


Home & Family

On the

Home Front Real Estate Guide

Home ownership is like the arc of a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. We shop for a home, purchase a home, furnish a home, maintain a home, and when life takes us in a different direction, we sell a home. Everyone’s story is unique. This special Real Estate Guide is designed to meet you wherever you are in the home ownership cycle, whether a first-time home buyer or a seasoned home seller.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

r e f i n Jen Spees Residential Mortgage Loan Originator


CALL A PRO! Jennifer Spees

(337) 51 3-1668


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Home & Family |

On the Home Front


by Kristy Como Armand

It’s no secret that the real estate market is booming across the country. The big question is how long it will last. Recent data shows that median home prices are up an average of 20% in the United States where a seller's market seems to have a firm hold. Home sales soared after a brief dip at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, setting new records in both sales and prices. Housing market activity is still being fueled by historically low mortgage rates and high demand, while the lagging supply of homes continues to play a role. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are being removed across the country, the recovering economy is resulting in more and more buyers entering a market that already had a limited supply of housing inventory. In Southwest Louisiana, the housing market faced additional challenges beyond the pandemic. The region experienced two major hurricanes, an ice storm and a flood in less than a nine-month period – events that led the Weather Channel to call Lake Charles “America’s Most Weather-Battered City” in a recent report. Well over $30 billion in damages (and counting) occurred and overall recovery will take years. But according to Tara Demarie, Broker/Owner with Century 21 Bessette Realty, Inc., the real estate market in Southwest Louisiana is proving to be as resilient as the people who live here. 34

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

“The healthy economy we had at the start of the pandemic, along with historically low interest rates, have kept buyer demand strong,” she says. “Unfortunately, since Hurricane Laura last August, we have seen a drop in active residential listing inventory month after month. Inventory is 60% lower than this time last year, which has been the case for all of 2021. As a result, we are experiencing multiple offers on most homes listed for sale.” Tobie Hodgkins, Associate Broker/Owner, says they were expecting inventory numbers to climb over the summer, but that has been impacted by the additional damages caused by the winter ice storm and May flooding. “In addition, there is an ongoing shortage of both contractors and materials, and homeowners are continuing to fight with insurance companies for property damage repairs, so we are now expecting the inventory of residential properties for sale to remain low at least through the end of the year.” Demarie says there are advantages for a seller in a market like ours, but there are also risks. “With inventory this low, there is an opportunity for sellers to get top dollar for their property but sellers still need to understand that most buyers require a loan to purchase a home so the home must still appraise. An experienced Realtor can help reduce a seller’s risk by preparing a market analysis to recommend the appropriate list price, help evaluate one offer over another to make sure the seller is netting the most money, verify

that buyers have been pre-approved by a lender or has the appropriate cash to buy the home and ultimately get everyone to the closing table. There is so much more to consider than just the offer price.” This market can be risky and almost impossible for a buyer to navigate without the help of an experienced Realtor, adds Hodgkins. “Often, by the time a listing shows up on a website, it is already under contract. We are seeing multiple offers on most listings, offers at or above list price and buyers willing to waive inspections and, sometimes, even appraisals. A Realtor can make sure a buyer is aware of a new listing as soon as it hits the market, help a buyer negotiate to get their offer accepted but also make sure that they are not taking on unnecessary risk.” Looking ahead, most experts expect the strong housing market to continue into 2022 across the country, with some balance being restored as new construction ramps back up, improving the inventory of available homes. The same is true locally. Unlike other parts of the country, who had been experiencing an inventory shortage of residential properties for quite some time, Demarie says we have had a balanced market with healthy inventory levels and strong buyer demand in SWLA since 2016, even during the pandemic.

“Our current inventory shortages are directly related to the damages caused by the natural disasters in our region. We fully expect our inventory levels to climb over the coming months and hopefully be back to pre-hurricane levels by the end of 2021 or early 2022.” Hodgkins says another reason they do not expect any kind of big market correction is because most buyers in SWLA require a loan to purchase a home, which is always subject to appraisal.

“Not that we have not seen some offers over list price and buyers who are willing to pay the difference between list and appraised price, but that is not very common. As a result, we are seeing prices climb slightly, but nothing extreme and certainly not to the levels in other parts of the country. We also believe our economy will continue to be strong, especially with the amount of rebuilding taking place now and continuing for several years. Even with all the challenges we are facing in our market, our sales are up this year compared to this time last year, and although we expect to see interest rates rise slightly this year and again next, buyer demand will still be strong, so we expect that trend to continue.” For more information about buying or selling a home, visit or call 337-474-2185.

RECOGNIZING REAL ESTATE SCAMS by Erin Allen Recently, Realtor Stacy Fusilier got a call about a home she’d listed for sale. The caller, who wanted a rental, was about to send $1,000 to someone claiming he owned the property and wanted a nice family to have it. Before she wired the money at Walmart, per his instructions, she decided to search the address online and found Stacy’s name on the listing. The house wasn’t for rent. The man, who the police found is in West Virginia, wasn’t the owner. Fortunately, Stacy prevented the monetary exchange. Unfortunately, this situation isn’t unique. Looking for housing in Southwest Louisiana right now is tough. Many homes are damaged, and this makes our community vulnerable. So how can you recognize scams (or prevent your property from being targeted)?

DO YOUR RESEARCH If you’re considering buying or leasing from an individual, especially one you don’t know or haven’t met, search the address online. Multiple listings with different prices, or listings outside reputable places like a realty company’s website, are red flags.

If you find a realtor associated with the property, contact him or her directly for information. Sometimes scammers create fake properties. Consider driving by a property to confirm its existence, condition, and its for lease or sale status. If you’re out of town, ask a licensed realtor to confirm the details.

KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT Legitimate real estate transactions never require large payments without the buyer or renter being able to physically see the property or prior to submitting a lease application (beyond something like a small application fee). If you cannot speak to and verify the identity of the property manager, owner or realtor, it might be a scam.


Before wiring funds, call the intended recipient at a number you know is valid to confirm the instructions - and be wary of requests to change wire instructions you already received.

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY AND YOURSELF Oftentimes, scammers take photos from legitimate existing or old listings. It’s a good idea to brand your photos or otherwise digitally protect them. If you believe you have been the victim of a real estate scam as a buyer, renter or property owner, save all communications with the individual, and contact law enforcement. Erin Allen is the sales manager for Flavin Realty in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

In transactions involving licensed realtors, payments go through title companies, not agents. For rentals, lease payments go directly to the management company (if there is one).


Home & Family |

On the Home Front

Home Improvement Ideas

to Boost Resale Value

by Kerry Andersen

As we near the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Laura making landfall in Southwest Louisiana, many homeowners are just now wrapping up extensive insurance claims and starting the arduous task of repairing their homes. Some will rebuild with an eye toward putting things back just the way they were, but realtors say resist that urge, and seize this unique opportunity to make updates to your home that will boost the resale value of your most valuable asset. Licensed realtor Marilyn Boudreaux says, “Kitchens and bathrooms continue to be the focal point of the home and the best place to attract the attention of buyers and boost the value of your home. Start by upgrading built-in or jacuzzi bathtubs with a sleek free-standing soaker tub. You might even consider a more modern tub shape like oval or square, and remember, bigger is better!” Boudreaux adds, “If budget allows, you can’t go wrong with quartz or granite countertops and new stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen. After that, there are four sure-fire improvements to focus on during the rebuilding process that will net the highest return on investment for homeowners and make your property attractive to potential buyers.” • If you are starting from scratch with your post-hurricane remodel – knock down those walls! Opening up the floor plan will create a spacious layout that modernday buyers seek. For example, consider connecting a bedroom and bathroom to create a true master suite or opening up the kitchen and living room into one large multi-purpose living space.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

• New flooring is a costly update, but according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it can help sell your home faster and for more money. NAR says homeowners will recoup 106% of the cost of installing new hardwood floors. Refinishing existing hardwood flooring nets 100% of the cost at resale. In Southwest Louisiana, Luxury Vinyl Plank is a popular pick because it looks like real hardwood but is more affordable. Its water-resistant quality is appealing to pet owners and more durable in natural disasters. • You don’t need to spend a lot of money to boost your return on investment (ROI). Replacing kitchen and bathroom cabinets is costly, but you can affordably install new knobs and drawer pulls to create a cohesive, modern look. Switching out older fixtures for stylish new ceiling lights quickly brightens up and modernizes your living space. Shiny, upgraded faucets and showerheads give bathrooms and kitchens a facelift, new functionality, and a bottom-line boost.

• Keep it neutral! Boudreaux says resist the urge to paint every room in the house with your personal favorite color. If the goal is to resell your home now or in the near future, a neutral color palette is your best bet. A clean slate allows buyers to envision their furnishings in your space. Also consider painting dark stained cabinets in a lighter hue and choosing white as a trim color. Top Sherwin Williams neutral picks are Accessible Beige (SW7036), Agreeable Gray (SW7029), and Alabaster (SW7008). One final thing to consider as you rebuild your home is curb appeal. Boudreaux says many homeowners are not able to match damaged exterior bricks during repairs, so they are choosing to paint them for a consistent look. Be sure to set aside funds for a landscaping refresh; choose hearty plants with easy maintenance like boxwood hedges and knock out roses. Colorful annuals planted in pots by your front door are a welcoming and affordable touch. Marilyn Boudreaux is a licensed realtor affiliated with Century 21 Bono Realty. Visit www. to sign up for a free guide to increasing your home’s value.

Come on over

DREAM HOMES START HERE MORTGAGE AND HOME EQUITY LOANS Whether you are buying your first home, building your dream home or even remodeling, come on over to First Federal Bank. We have loan products tailored to meet your needs and help achieve your financial goals.


Apply Online

(337) 433-3611


Home & Family |

On the Home Front

Tips for First-time HOME BUYERS

by Malloree Lavergne

Deciding to buy your first home is no small feat—and should be met with a great deal of planning and preparation. If you are looking to purchase your first home, Southwest Louisiana Credit Union has some tips to help you have a successful home-buying experience from start to finish.

need to work on to build your credit. Your credit score is determined by five factors: payment history (35%), amount of debt owed (30%), age of credit history (15%), new lines of credit (10%), and credit mix (10%). Strive to make payments on time, keep a low revolving utilization rate (under 30% of your credit limit is best) and keep current credit card accounts open. Also check to make sure your information is correct on your report and dispute any errors directly with the credit bureaus.

Start saving EARLY

It’s time to be real with yourself. There are free online calculators that can help you determine what you can comfortably afford. Just input your income, debt, credit score and the amount you will have saved for a down payment to see the recommended amount to spend.

You can never start too early when it comes to saving for your first home. Down payment costs, closing fees, move-in expenses and other miscellaneous deposits or costs can add up quickly. To cut costs and save more, compare car insurance rates to ensure you’re getting the best deal, refinance your auto or student loans to lower monthly payments, and cancel subscriptions you aren’t using. Make sure you’re stocking away your savings in a high-yield savings account, money market account, or CD to get the best bang for your buck.

Build your CREDIT Review your credit report now to see where you stand. You can get a free credit report from each reporting agency (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) per year. See if there’s anything you 38

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Decide what you can AFFORD

Get PRE-APPROVED Getting pre-approved can help speed up the homebuying process and help you stand out from other potential buyers. To apply for pre-approval, gather your income documentation, such as the most recent 30 days of pay stubs, bank statements and the past two years of federal tax returns, and visit your preferred lender. They will do a credit pull and verify your income, assets and debt by reviewing the necessary documents. Taking this extra step will show home sellers and real estate agents that you are a serious buyer.

Explore MORTGAGE OPTIONS • When it comes to mortgages, you’ve got options. Explore the variety of loan options available to you through your lender, who can help you decide what works best for you depending on several factors. Common types of mortgages include: • Conventional loans. This type of mortgage is not backed by the federal government. Qualifying requirements can be tougher, but conventional loans come with options that fit a wider group of buyers and properties. Down payments can be as low as 3%. • FHA loans. These are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and offer competitive interest rates. Down payments can be as low as 3.5%. • USDA loans. This type of mortgage is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is for homebuyers looking to purchase in rural areas. These loans usually require no down payment. • VA loans. These are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and are for current and veteran military members. VA loans usually require no down payment.

Southwest Louisiana Credit Union is located at 2255 E. McNeese St. and can help you get started on your home-buying journey. To learn more, visit

Our Realtors Have the KEYS to the Home of Your DREAMS Whether you’re building from the ground up or searching for a fixer upper, the agents at CENTURY 21 Bessette Realty have the experience, the resources and the determination to make your dream home a reality. Contact us today. We’ll help you find your way home. | 474-2185 3025 Lake Street, Lake Charles Each office independently owned and operated. Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission.


Home & Family |

On the Home Front


r e y u b e n o m i o t H duca sses E Cla First-time home buyers can learn the details of homeownership in free homebuyer education classes hosted by the Calcasieu Parish’s Housing Counseling Agency and Project Build a Future. The class walks participants through the entire process of buying a home, step by step. It covers all the fundamentals of homeownership, including the pros and cons of purchasing a home, the role of realtors, mortgages (mortgage terminology, mortgage originators, mortgage underwriters and underwriting criteria, mortgage attorneys; and mortgage underwriting criteria), financial management and proper budgeting. Other topics include down payments, closing costs, insurance and how to apply for grants. Residents who are interested in buying a home, are in the process of buying a home, or even if they already own a home, are


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

encouraged to sign up for these classes. Please note that the definition of “first-time homebuyer” is anyone who has not owned a home in the past three years – even if the person owned a home previously. “Taking a homebuyer education class gives potential homebuyers a chance to get unbiased information about what you can expect from the homebuying process,” said Yolanda Smith, Calcasieu Parish Housing Counseling Agency Case Manager. “In addition, these courses are often a prerequisite to be able to participate in first-time homebuyer programs and downpayment assistance programs.” Classes are free to all attendees regardless of income. To register, visit housingcounseling, click on the “homebuyer group counseling” tab and fill out the application. Applications are also available at the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Human Services Department office, 2001 Moeling St., Lake Charles. The office is open from 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Participants will receive a certificate when successfully completing classes.

Here is the remaining 2021 class schedule: • Saturday, Aug. 14: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., hosted by Calcasieu Parish Police Jury • Tuesday, Oct. 4: 5:00-9:00 p.m., hosted by Project Build a Future • Wednesday, Oct. 5: 5:00-9:00 p.m., hosted by Project Build a Future • Saturday, Nov. 13: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., hosted by Calcasieu Parish Police Jury All classes are held at the Allen P. August Multipurpose Annex, 2000 Moeling St., Lake Charles. Participants can opt to attend two, four-hour, back-to-back classes or attend one, eight-hour session. For more information, call the Calcasieu Parish Housing Counseling Agency at 337-721-4030, ext. 5125.

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Home & Family |

On the Home Front

Should you Pay Off your s n o C d Mortgage Early? The Pros an

by Stefanie Powers

If you own a home, you most likely have a monthly mortgage payment, which is far better than paying rent to a landlord. A home is an investment. At some point, you may consider paying off your mortgage early. Let’s discuss the pros and cons. One of the biggest benefits in paying off a house note is interest savings. Every month that you pay your mortgage, you also pay interest on the total balance that is left. By paying that balance off early, you eliminate years of added interest payments that are charged for the loan. Depending on how much remains on your mortgage, this could be thousands of dollars in savings. Paying off your mortgage in full also reduces the financial burden on your household and gives you more resources to either save or invest. Buying stocks could net you higher returns in the long run. It can also help in retirement by lowering your monthly household costs and stretching your retirement dollars further. The biggest disadvantage in paying off a mortgage early is that it will typically require a large amount of cash to pay the amount of the principal. This could jeopardize a family’s ability to save for college and retirement while having enough put by for any other financial needs down the line.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

If you do have the financial means to pay off your mortgage, consider the following: • Do you like the security that comes with owning a home free and clear? If so, then you may want to pay off or reduce the size of your mortgage. And if your local real estate market declines, there’s less of a chance of owing more than you own. • When do you plan on retiring? If your mortgage is relatively small, you could invest the money once used for mortgage payments. Your retirement goal may be a factor when making this decision. If you don’t plan on retiring for 10 years or more, you could have time to build a nest egg if you invest the money that was once used on the house note. If you plan to retire sooner, entering retirement without a mortgage could give you more flexibility in your later years. • Have you considered your tax savings? Mortgage interest is typically tax deductible. When you first assume a mortgage, the interest payments are the highest, so many homeowners benefit from a big deduction. This could be important if you are in a higher tax bracket. If your interest payments are relatively low, then the tax savings could be less of a factor. • What are your plans for the home? Owning a home outright could be an advantage if you plan to sell it during the next few years. You could potentially leave your existing residence with more home equity. • What is your overall debt? If you carry other forms of debt, such as a college loan, or large credit card balances, perhaps you should consider paying off your other debts first before reducing or eliminating your mortgage.

Understanding the Mysteries of

Credit Scoring Understanding how credit scores are calculated is really not common sense. It is actually a bit complicated, and boring. But, fact of the matter is that maintaining good credit scores will result in a better interest rate, less down payment and overall better credit rating in the near future for any purchase you may need to make. For example, let’s say you have an old, crusty credit card that you have had for years. You have never paid it late, but you don’t use it anymore because there is a prettier, shinier one in your wallet with better “points.” Old crusty could be the golden ticket in your total credit scoring algorithm. It must be made active to get it back in the game. Use it to put a tank of gas in your car and pay it off every month. This is how to leverage existing accounts and make them work for you and your credit score. We’re going to talk basics here about the credit scoring algorithm. While no credit reporting companies figure scoring the same, there are some basic rules.

by Jennifer Spees

• 35% of your score is based on how you

pay your bills: The scoring system places a lot of emphasis on how you have paid your bills in the past and places even more emphasis on your most recent bill paying activity.

• 30% of your score is based on how

much of your available credit is being used: Not only does it look at how much credit you are using vs. how much credit you have been given; it also considers the total sum of all of these amounts. For optimal credit scoring, keep your credit usage (owed balances) to 30% (or less) of the high credit amount you have been given. Total. Like, on all accounts combined.

• 15% of your credit score is based on

length of credit history: This one is easy. And goes back to the crusty credit card. The longer you have a particular credit account, and paid it on time over the years – the more points you get. Let’s think of this as extra credit. You don’t necessarily want to cancel or close that credit card you have had since you were 20 years old. However, now that you are possibly a more seasoned credit crackerjack, try to call and re-negotiate the terms.

Just make sure it doesn’t result in closing this account and opening a new one.

• 10% of your credit score is based on

a mix of credit: Yes, you need to have installment debt (auto and home loans) AND revolving debt (credit cards, lines of credit) to maintain a healthy credit score.

• 10% of your score is based on new

applications: We’ve all been there. You’re in a department store checkout line and the employee says, “Would you like to apply for our department store credit card today? Just for applying you will save 10% on today’s purchase.” DON’T DO IT! SCREAM NOOOOO, take your purchases and run. This means they will pull your credit, and a new inquiry will appear. That should be like kryptonite to a credit scoring scholar as yourself.

Jennifer Spees is a residential mortgage loan originator with Louisiana Mortgage Associates. Contact her at 337-312-1320.


Pam Thompson Agency Manager

(337) 421-1291

Insurance products are not insured by any federal government agency. Not FDIC insured; not guaranteed by the bank. Insurance is offered through First Federal Insurance Services, LLC, a registered agency in the state of Louisiana. First Federal Insurance Services, LLC, is a service corporation of First Federal Bank of Louisiana.


Home & Family |

On the Home Front



d n a s i t i What t i d e e N Why You by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

“Title insurance is a form of insurance homeowners are required to purchase in nearly all purchase and refinance transactions,” said Ron Richard, owner of Landmark Title Services of Lake Charles. “Unlike other forms of insurance, title insurance protects borrowers and lenders from issues that occurred in the past, rather than issues that may arise in the future.” There are two types of title insurance: a mandatory lender’s policy that covers the lender, i.e. the mortgage company, and an optional—but highly recommended—owner’s policy that covers the homeowner. Like they sound, the lender’s policy only protects the lender in the amount of the loan, while the owner’s policy protects the owner from any potential legal issues that may come up relating to the ownership of the property. In addition, the lender’s policy expires once the mortgage is paid off. Both types of policies are typically offered as a bundle together. “A title is a document that states the legal owner of the property,” said Richard. “It protects both mortgage lenders and owners against past defects or problems with the legal ownership of a property, including things like forged documents, lien claims, undisclosed easements, ownership claims made by others and mistakes from the previous title agency.” That’s a lot of vague terminology, so Richard provides some examples of the potential scenarios that, should they arise, title insurance would provide protection: • You bought your house last year from a seller who inherited the property. However, you find out later that the seller has an undisclosed step-brother who also owns half of the property, according to the will. In this case, title insurance would help you offset the legal costs of challenging his claims to your property. 44

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Title insurance is one of those mysterious fees buried inside the pile of paperwork you receive at your mortgage loan closing . . . but what is it?

• You bought a house, but it turns out that the seller had an overdue bill on a previous home addition. Now there’s a contractor’s lien on the property from several years ago that predates your mortgage. Without title insurance, you’d be held liable as the current homeowner. • Part of your property turns out to be inaccessible due to a mistake by a past surveyor. Your property records are different than expected and the value of the home is affected as a result. Without title insurance, you wouldn’t be compensated for the financial loss. So how much does title insurance cost? Let’s take a look at the services title companies often provide during the mortgage process—title service and settlement fees. Title insurance is a percentage of your purchase amount and is regulated on a stateby state basis. The cost is called “title insurance premium,” and is a one-time cost paid at closing. Settlement services include the fees incurred during closing such as the cost of escrow, wire fees, activities involved for underwriting the title insurance policy—such as the title search fee and the cost to resolve issues. Settlement service fees also vary by state, usually under $1,000. Cost aside, title insurance can potentially help you avoid a financial nightmare and legal battle later. It is truly an investment that no homeowner can afford to do without. For more information or questions about title services, visit Landmark Title Services of Lake Charles website: www.landmarktitleserviceslc. com, or call 337-477-8782.



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Places & Faces

Creating a Hurricane-Resistant Landscape

Which Trees are Best?

by Kristy Como Armand

There’s no doubt that residents of Southwest Louisiana have learned hard lessons about hurricane preparation and hurricane recovery. As rebuilding and recovery continue from the storms of 2020, making property improvements to withstand future weather events is a primary concern. This includes your landscape. “While completely hurricane-proofing your landscape is impossible, you can choose trees that are more likely to withstand hurricaneforce winds and heavy rain,” says Chad Everage with Landscape Management. Trees are often seen as a threat in severe weather situations. Branches can become hazards and trunks can fall across structures or roads, causing property damage and delaying recovery efforts after a storm. “But this doesn’t mean you should plan a landscape free of trees,” says Everage. “What trees are planted, and how they are planted, will increase the chances of their survival and can provide a valuable buffer zone against storm damage. Research has found that foliage density and topography can modify wind speed and direction.”

Everage explains that windresistant trees have some of these common characteristics: • • • • • • • • • • •

Native species Slow growing Hard woods Young to middle-age Healthy and vigorous Well-maintained Low center of gravity Deep, penetrating radial roots Open branching character Heavy stout leaders Flexible limbs and short leaf branching • Small, fine-textured leaf • Deciduous leaves (sheds leaves seasonally)

Picking the proper tree species is important, but Everage says other factors also contribute to hurricane-resistance as well. “A tree can be either wind-resilient or failure-prone based on where it is planted and the care it has received.” He offers the following advice: Right Tree, Right Place. Choose indigenous (native) trees that are wellsuited for your landscape. Avoid conflict between trees and hardscapes and match planting space to the full-grown size of the tree. Plant larger trees away from your home, power lines, and other structures. This reduces the risk of branches—or trees—falling on your home and/or knocking down power lines. Grouping. Trees in groups tend to sustain less damage than single trees standing alone. Planting groups of mixed trees together can greatly enhance wind resistance. The trees buffer each other as well as your property. Roots. Trees with wide spreading root systems are less likely to topple in strong winds, so it is important to allow trees enough room for their mature size. 46

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Circling/girdling root systems are one of the most common reasons for tree failure. Circling roots will never grow out in the landscape. As the canopy of the tree increases, the root ball stays small, which can result in toppling during a storm.

“There are no guarantees when it comes to major hurricanes and the damage that can result,” says Everage. “But planning and proper tree maintenance can help reduce the risk of potential damage to your landscape and your property.”

Maintenance. Regular pruning promotes healthy growth and removes dead, dying, or diseased limbs that may break off in strong winds. Assess trees regularly, paying close attention to the branches. Remove limbs that are dying, damaged, or weakly connected to the trunk. Thinning or reducing the crown can reduce trunk movement during a hurricane. You can also prune to reshape the tree. When done correctly, reshaping can make trees more resistant to wind damage. If branches are large or high in the tree, it’s best to get professional help.

For more information about choosing trees for your landscape, or any other landscape service or material, call Landscape Management at (337) 478-3836, or visit

Plant “Survivor,” not “Victim” Trees! The LSU Ag Center studies of trees following hurricanes classifies trees as “survivor trees” and “victim trees.” Survivor trees are more likely to survive hurricane winds. They are compact, with a major tap root and well-developed secondary roots. These trees also have well-tapered trunks with a low center of gravity and flexible stems that can bend without breaking. By contrast, victim trees are weighted down by a dense canopy and have a high center of gravity. These trees are usually fast-growing, weak-wooded and shallow-rooted in heavy clay or wet soils, and either snap or uproot in strong storms.

Examples of Survivor Trees • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Bald Cypress Live Oak Sabal Palm Windmill Palm Mexican Fan Palm Black Gum Cow Oak Iron Wood Shumard Oak Winged Elm River Birch Crape Myrtle Southern Magnolia Willow oak

Examples of Victim Trees • • • • • • • • • • •

Pecan Pine Some Red Oaks Red Cedars Ornamental Pears Willow Silver Maples Box elders Cottonwoods Hickorie Some Elms

Come Join Our Team! Be a School Crossing Guard

• Must be at least 18 years of age and in good physical condition • Hiring full time and alternatives for the upcoming school year • Hourly pay of $12.50 up to $14.50 • Hours are Monday - Friday • 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Contact CPSO Deputy Ken Moss at 337-263-4378 CALCASIEU PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE • SHERIFF TONY MANCUSO


Home & Family

Back to School Guide G U I D E

It’s that time of year again! Back to school. It always sneaks up on us, catches us off guard, and feels like an intrusion on the summer that we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to yet. That said, we nonetheless want you to be prepared to send your kiddos back to the classroom. After the craziness of last year, you might be wondering what this year will look like! In this special Back to School section, we’ve included articles on getting the kids’ school year off to a healthy start, how to form great study habits, and of course, information on what you and the kids can expect in the 2021-2022 school year.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021


Calcasieu Parish School Board












Calcasieu Parish











MILLION+ Meals served annually




34 years





consecutive years of excellence in financial reporting






@CPSBSCHOOLS *All stats are pre-COVID and hurricanes. While numbers are down, we do anticipate them rising once school starts.



Home & Family |

Back to School Guide

What to Expect in the

2Sc021 - 22 hool

by Angie

Kay Dilm



After the events of last year – with schools closed early, opening dates delayed, virtual learning, masking and social distancing due to COVID-19, and later schools closed post-Hurricanes Laura and Delta – students and parents might be wondering . . . What will school look like this year?

While no one can control weather events or global pandemics, local school systems do have plans in place for the 2021-2022 school year. Calcasieu Parish School Board Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus says that, despite the many obstacles, he and the Board continue to work towards stability and normalcy. “We fully expect the 2021-2022 school year to look normal with a couple of exceptions. There will be hurricane recovery continuation in most of our schools. Some schools will have temporary classroom space while others will be in their regular buildings. After our experiences last year with remote learning, all our students will be assigned a device when they return to school – grades 3-12 will have a laptop, while grades Pre-K-2 will be provided access to an iPad. The district also has new online learning systems to 50

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

enhance technology offerings. Virtual learning is still available for those students who qualify. Employee training is ongoing this summer. We will also create opportunities for students to make up for lost instruction with academic enhancements and interventions in regular classroom settings and in small groups. We expect all of our schools to be open and ready to go in August to provide quality instruction at every level.” Another new development for CPSB students this year is the feeding program. All CPSB students will be eligible for free breakfasts and lunches. The U.S. Department of Agriculture qualified all CPSB schools for the Community Eligibility Provision due to the recent challenges faced by our community. The Diocese of Lake Charles Office of Catholic Schools continues to work on their “post-pandemic” plan for the 2021-2022 school year. Currently, they do not anticipate requiring masks nor anticipate daily temperature checks. Their schools will continue to monitor symptoms and proceed accordingly with positive cases of COVID-19. Their mitigation measures of good hygiene practices, cleaning and sanitizing their facilities, and limiting visitors will remain in place. The Diocese is monitoring the updates provided by Louisiana Department of Health, the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Education as this school year begins. Kimberlee Gazzolo, Superintendent of Schools at the Diocese, says their schools will be fully inperson starting in August. “Through the lessons we learned this past year, our schools are ready

to move to virtual learning should the need arise. We have made significant purchases in technology and invested time in professional development for our teachers to be able to make the transition quickly if needed. As we return to school mid-August, three of our campuses will be in temporary buildings. We are working diligently to complete hurricane repairs on our other three campuses. The rebuilding process is underway for those schools that suffered extensive damage.” Thanks to generous donations, the Diocese has established the Bishop’s Hurricanes Relief Tuition Fund. “Through this fund, we have been able to award partial tuition scholarships to numerous families that sustained damage from Hurricanes Laura and Delta,” says Gazzolo. “We are grateful that with this support, it may ease the burden of families desiring to stay at their Catholic school.” Diocese schools open on August 18, except for Our Lady Immaculate in Jennings, which will begin classes August 11. At Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School (EDS), parents and students can expect a normal school year, says Lisa Leubner, Director of Admission and Marketing. Regarding COVID-19 protocols/ procedures, EDS will follow guidelines issued by Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Education, as will most all SWLA school systems. At the time of this writing, no guidelines as yet have been issued. EDS fall classes begin on August 16.

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Home & Family |

Back to School Guide

Get Their School Year Off to a

y h t l a e H rt! Sta

One of the best ways to improve your children’s performance at school is to ensure they are at their best – physically and emotionally. Thrive asked a local pediatrician and a dentist to chime in on the best ways to get your kids’ school year off to a healthy start.


y Dilm

ie Ka by Ang

R. Borden Wilson, MD, is a pediatrician at The Children’s Clinic. How often do you recommend children see their medical doctor? I recommend every school-aged child have an annual physical exam. For many families, it’s convenient to schedule the exam during summer break. We’ll check a child’s growth, heart, blood pressure, and routine labs to make sure they are physically healthy. It’s also important to check their developmental and emotional well-being and make sure their routine vaccines are up to date. What concerns should parents bring to a pediatrician visit? An annual exam is a terrific opportunity to address any past or on-going health concerns. Parents should bring an up-to-date vaccine record (if they are new to Louisiana) and a list of any current medications. I also want to know about their child’s daily habits, academics, interests, and activities. I like to discuss their diet and sleep habits. If there were academic struggles from the previous year, have they been addressed, and if not, create a plan to address them. I like to hear if a parent has any concerns about whether their child’s extra-curricular activities are best for their emotional and physical well-being.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Are there any updates on routine vaccinations? The only update most parents need to know about is for the COVID-19 vaccines. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for people 12 years and older. Over 300 million people have received COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. An intense vaccine safety-monitoring system has shown the vaccine to be safe and effective. While side effects like soreness, fever, headache, and fatigue are common, serious side effects are extremely rare. I hope the vaccine will be approved for all children six years and older before school starts. What about vision screenings and what are some vision warning signs? Eye exams are performed at birth and all future checkups. By three months old, babies should be able to fixate and follow objects. By four months old, eye alignment should be symmetric (i.e. no inward or outward drift of an eye). If either eye becomes misaligned after four months of age, your child’s doctor should be notified immediately. Older children who have pain, lightsensitivity, or itchiness in the eyes; keep books or electronic devices very close to their faces; or have trouble with schoolwork should have their vision screened.

What can parents do to help their children prepare for a healthy return to the school year? • Start your child’s school bedtime and wake-up time a week before school starts so they are not adjusting during their first few days of school. • Turn off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime and ensure your child gets enough sleep (10-12 hours for younger children, 8-10 hours for teenagers). • Provide your child a distraction-free area at home for homework and study. • Extra-curricular activities should allow ample time for study and rest. If there are concerns about focusing or completing homework, discuss this with your child’s teacher or pediatrician. • If your child seems nervous about returning to school, ask them about their worries. Consider visiting their classroom and teacher before school starts. Communicate with their teacher about their worries. After school starts, continue to have an open dialogue with your child and teacher about how the school year is going. If problems arise, address them promptly with your child’s teacher, school, and/or pediatrician.

Harry Castle, DDS provides dental care for the whole family at Oak Park Dental. At what age should children first visit the dentist? Around age three. And the most important thing we can do to protect children’s teeth is to bring them in every six months. That way, we can really clean their teeth. How can kids’ teeth be protected from decay? There are four key things in protecting a child’s teeth: • Fluoride treatments put a hard barrier on the teeth that makes them less impervious to the acids and bacteria that cause decay. It wears off about every six months and needs to be replaced. This is the most important step we can take to prevent decay. • Sealant is another important preventative measure. Sealant is a clear resin that is applied to the teeth and fills in the grooves in teeth that are impossible to keep clean at home. The procedure requires about three minutes and sealant application can last up to 10 years.

Go back to school with a Healthy Smile!

Call us today! 337-478-3232

• Routine Exams • Braces • X-Rays • Fluoride Treatment • Sealants

• Electric toothbrushes are significantly more effective than regular toothbrushes. They destroy the plaque on teeth. I recommend Sonicare – it is affordable and effective. • Diet – Sweets can be limited, but with kids’ lives today, it’s really hard to control a child’s diet. This is why dentist visits every six months are so important; so their teeth can be cleaned and protected by a professional.

What would you like parents to know about their children’s dental health? Parents ask me all the time – are the baby teeth important? Yes, they are because they are holding the space for the permanent teeth. It’s important to take care of the baby teeth so the permanent teeth have a place to come into at just the right time.

1616 W McNeese Street, Lake Charles Insurance Accepted • Financing Available • VIP Dental Plan


Home & Family |

Back to School Guide

Tips to Help Students Develop Great

y d Stu its b a H Good study habits don’t come naturally to kids, but students can master these skills at an early age and carry them throughout high school, college, and beyond, says Renee Reina, owner of Sylvan Learning in Lake Charles. “All learning is a process and exposure is key. As a child practices certain skills over time, they become mastered habits and help build on learning new skills.” Here are some tips to help your child develop strong, effective study habits. • Identify distractions. Some kids are easily distracted while trying to study. This is especially true of kids who have trouble with focus. At home, hearing siblings play might make it hard to concentrate. At an afterschool program, having friends around might make it tempting to goof off. Establish an effective study area with your child. Evaluate the space to identify potential distractions. Work together with your child to lessen those distractions. Your child might wear headphones, for instance, or find a quieter place to study.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

• Establish a daily routine. Study habits are just that – HABITS that need to be developed, Reina says. “Review what was learned in school that day and go over assigned homework. This needs to work within the family schedule, but the earlier after school the better.” • Know your child’s strengths. Kids don’t always recognize their own strengths, especially when dealing with difficulties. But focusing on strengths can help give them confidence. Point out strengths to your child, for example, “You remember details really well. That will come in handy when writing that book report.” Encourage your child to think about other strengths that can be used as tools for studying. • Work around weaknesses. It’s equally important for kids to recognize their weaknesses and make adaptations during study time. Help your child brainstorm solutions. For example, if your child has a hard time sitting still for an extended period, suggest planning extra study time to allow for frequent breaks. If your child needs some help with homework, plan study time when a family member or tutor is available.

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• Set goals and utilize checklists. Goal setting and making lists are as much about organization skills as it is good study habits. Goals and lists can help kids keep track of responsibilities and work more independently. Reina suggests students and parents track grades and homework assignments via schoolbased websites and apps to keep on task and know which subjects need extra attention. • Help your child learn to prioritize. Learning how to prioritize is an essential skill for studying. Keeping track of due dates is helpful, but it might not be the only way for your child to prioritize homework. Some kids prefer to start with easier work before moving on to the harder stuff. Others prefer to tackle the tough things first. Trial and error will help determine which method works best for your child. • Teach your child specific study skills. Help your child learn specific skills that will improve their study habits, for example how to organize their backpack, break assignments down into smaller steps, and note-taking strategies.


Home & Family |

Back to School Guide

SOWELA Moves Forward with New Partnerships & Programs

Despite the obstacles from recent natural disasters, SOWELA Technical Community College continues to improve opportunities for students by forging new partnerships and adding new training programs for SWLA students.

SOWELA and LSU of Alexandria (LSUA) have signed articulation agreements between their Business Administration programs making it easier for students to transfer credits from SOWELA to LSUA. The new agreement lasts three years with the option for renewal. Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, SOWELA students enrolled in the college’s Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration will have the opportunity to transfer a maximum of 57 credit hours and apply them toward completion of their Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in LSUA’s College of Business. Effective this month, SOWELA will acquire the Lamar Salter campus located in Leesville, Louisiana. Lamar Salter is currently part of Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Alexandria, Louisiana. This campus realignment was approved in order to improve administrative efficiency and the delivery of instructional and workforce training.

SOWELA’s Forest Technology program is now available at the technical community college’s main campus in Lake Charles. The Forest Technology Degree program is one of only two in the state of Louisiana and only one offered in Southwest Louisiana. The Forest Technology program prepares students to produce, protect, and manage woodland resources. Coursework also includes how to maintain and operate related equipment and harvest raw forest materials for converting into a variety of consumer goods. SOWELA now offers a new Pipeline Technician program. As a part of the TC Energy Pipeline Academy, the purpose of the 10-week program is to provide classroom instruction and practical shop experience to prepare students for employment in a variety of jobs in the pipeline industry. The program provides supplementary training for persons previously or currently in related pipeline positions.

Bring Innovation to Your

CULINARY CAREER SOWELA’s Culinary Arts program is available 100% online or on-campus. Chefs-in-training complete a rigorous curriculum approved by the American Culinary Federation and earn the National Restaurant Association Pro Management Certification. (337) 421-6550 •

56 56 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living • July • July 2021 2021

Enroll now! Scholarships and financial aid available to those that qualify.

SOWELA accepts TOPS Tech Awards scholarships for Louisiana students interested in pursuing a degree in any of SOWELA’s technical programs. They will continue to offer students a free laptop and Internet hotspot lending program this fall, as a continuation of efforts to help support students through the challenges faced due to last year’s hurricanes. The school currently offers online, hybrid and in-person options dependent on course availability and requirements since the Spring 2021 semester. SOWELA’s main campus is in Lake Charles with satellite campuses in Jennings, Oakdale and Leesville at the soon-to-be-acquired Lamar Salter campus.


OLS Family!

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We have seats available for Pre-K, 2nd Grade, and Middle Bruce M. Thompson, MD School classes. Register now to join our Tiger Family that will nurture your child’s mind and spirit fromR. the start! David Wallace, Sr., MD

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Sulphur Office Moss Bluff Office South Lake Charles Office Moss Bluff Office Sulphur Office Charles Office 536 Cypress St. 117 Gloria Dr. 4111 Lake St Sulphur, LA Gloria 70663 Charles, LA 70611 Lake Charles, LA 70605 536 Cypress Street 117 Drive ke StreetLake 528-5712 (337) 855-1386 (337) 478-0086 Moss Bluff(337) Office Sulphur Office

s Office eet 86

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536 Cypress Street 337- 528-5712


Susan E. Drez, MD Foster C. Kordisch, Jr., MD Practitioner Deborah M. Decker, MD Bruce M. Thompson, MD Beth APRN, Stephanie M.Savoie, Treme, MD Anatole J. Karpovs, MDMD David R. Wallace, Sr., CPNP Stuart Landry, MD E. Price, MD Shannon Boudreaux, Kipp B.G.Ardoin, MD Katie APRN, CPNP Bryan S. Karriker, MD Susan E. Drez, MD Beth Savoie, PNP Jay R. Maust, II, MD Megan Thibodeaux, APRN, CFNP PAC Stephanie M. Treme, MD Deborah M. Decker,Lauren MD Caraway, Anatole Karpovs,MD MD Katie E.J.Price, Dietitian PNP Shannon Boudreaux, Kipp B. Ardoin, MD Beth Savoie, PNP Tonya McKnight, RD Susan E. Drez, MD Megan Thibodeaux, FNP Stephanie M. Treme, MD Lauren Caraway, PAC Lactation Katie E. Price, MD Consultant Shannon Boudreaux, PNP Juan M. Bossano, MD R. Borden Wilson, MD Therese Deroche, RN, Megan Thibodeaux, FNP Neonatology IBCLC Neonatology

of Southwest Louisiana since 1962


Kipp B. Ardoin, MD

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Pediatric Critical Care Counseling


Angela Lee, LCSW Casey Simpson, LCSW


Home & Family |

Back to School Guide

McNeese State University Plans to Welcome Students, Faculty, Staff and Community back to Campus Fall classes at McNeese begin Monday, Aug. 16, and return to a traditional in-person delivery format at full capacity. Repairs are still being made after the storms and campus may look a bit different in places, for example, the Bookstore is temporarily located in Parra Ballroom, but McNeese administration is nonetheless looking forward to a great 20212022 school year. McNeese will offer a new doctorate program this year. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in advanced practice psychiatric mental health begins this fall. This program will prepare graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to assess, evaluate, diagnose and treat a wide variety of mental health conditions for children and adults.

Upcoming Events

Tailgating and seating capacities will return to near-normal for Cowboy football. The first home game in Cowboy Stadium is set for Saturday, Sept. 4, against the 2019 NCAA Division II National Champion University of West Florida. Homecoming will be Saturday, Oct. 23, against the University of Incarnate Word. Students get in free with a valid McNeese ID. For season ticket information, contact the Athletics Ticket Office, 337-562-4678 or www. Theatre at McNeese will return in August! The McNeese Theatre Roundup is set for Thursday, Aug. 26, at 5:30 p.m. Auditions for the first stage production, “The Lion in Winter,” will be held Friday, Aug. 20, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. The performance will run Nov. 3-7. The 2021 theatre season will take place in Tritico Theatre inside the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. 337-475-5040 or performingartsboxoffice. 58

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Banners at McNeese will host Rouge et Blanc on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Oak Crossing event venue in Lake Charles. Tickets go on sale Aug. 6. 337-475-5997 or www.banners. org/rouge-et-blanc

Campus Projects

The Contraband Bayou Project will wrap up this fall. This project includes installing garden and plaza areas for students to enjoy and rebuilding an existing foot bridge that connects Student Central and residence halls to the main campus via The Cowboy Way. The planning phase has begun to replace Farrar Hall. This building was severely damaged during Hurricane Laura and a new 80,000-square foot facility will be built to house the Burton College of Education and Department of Psychology and to provide learning and research space. Planning is also underway for a new Student Union to be located on the site of the Memorial Gym across from the Student Parking Garage. The new facility will replace the existing Holbrook Student Union “Old Ranch” and will include new dining spaces, campus bookstore, meeting rooms for student organizations, study areas and a museum to celebrate the long history and national titles of the McNeese Rodeo teams.

Did you know?

• McNeese offers 54 degree programs and 15 undergraduate and graduate online programs • The university has been ranked for 10 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best regional universities in the South. • The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $2.8 million grant to McNeese to create a Center of Excellence to support the local and national liquid natural gas (LNG) industry.

W elcome B ack! Welcome Back!

McNeese State University is excited to welcome our students, faculty, staff and community back to campus! Fall classes will return to full capacity with face-to-face instruction. Convenient online classes will still be offered for students who prefer more flexibility to accommodate their busy schedules.

The first home game in Cowboy Stadium is set for Saturday, Sept. 4, against the 2019 NCAA Division II National Champion University of West Florida. * Tailgating and seating capacities will return to normal for Cowboy football.



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

St. Margaret is ready to welcome all of our Vikings back from summer vacation. We will continue to ensure a safe and effective learning environment for all who attend. Contact for grade level openings. We look forward to seeing you on August 18, 2021!

Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio Participant in Education in Virtues Program Diverse Student Body Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services

Pre-K 3 – 8th Grade • Extended Day Care 2510 Enterprise Boulevard | Lake Charles, La. 70601 | (337) 436-7959 |

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


Home & Family |

Back to School Guide

Bishop Noland

Episcopal Day School

South Campus Open

Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School South opened their new campus last September and is currently accepting new students. Serving seventh through tenth grade students and adding a grade each year through twelfth, this 40-acre campus offers state-of the-art facilities created to encourage collaboration and community with the student experience in mind. A student-centered schedule considers the wellbeing of the students and their overall health and success. During classes, students have time for project-based learning, collaborative projects, cross-curricular activities, and independent studies. Designed to help students relax between classes, it builds time into the day for activities normally added to responsibilities before or after school. They also enjoy the beauty of the campus in a park-like setting, including a lake that provides opportunities for learning related to air and water quality, fishing, and lake management. Students have open access to teachers for help when needed. An advisory program provides students with a personal connection to their school and teachers. It also provides support for social-emotional needs and college preparation. Purposeful planning helps students design a path that highlights their passions and provides opportunities for goal setting and plan implementation. Classes at the South Campus begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Bus transportation between both campuses is available. Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School South Campus is located at 5665 N. Gray Market Drive, Lake Charles, LA. For more information go to or call 337-433-5246 to schedule a tour. Find them on Facebook and Instagram.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

NOW ENROLLING Two Years Through 10th Grade


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en Now Op


7th - 10th Grade 5665 N. Gray Market Drive Lake Charles

Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School provides academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment.

EDS does not discriminate on the basis of race,color,national and ethnic origin,or gender in admission of its educational policies,admissions policies,scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.

FREE! Multiple sessions offered this summer.



Do I know how to… •


Reality Check will give teens the knowledge and resources they need to successfully handle real-life challenges as they transition to adulthood. Each course is taught by deputies and experts in their respective fields. This one-day program will cover some of the most confusing situations teens are likely to face: • • • •

Roadside safety Importance of credit score Dealing with peer pressure Protecting identity online

• Impact of driving under the influence • Much more!

REGISTER NOW: (337) 491-3851


Mind & Body

Measuring the Progress of

Movement in EXERCISE

by Christine Fisher

When most people exercise for several weeks, they want to begin to see results. After all, many people work out in order to get in shape and lose weight. Seeing results is motivating.

In many cases, results occur within the body first and aren’t visible right away. “Members will tell me they haven’t lost weight yet after coming to work out for several weeks, but I’ll remind them of how much they’ve progressed with movement,” explains Shelby Hodges, exercise specialist and fitness coach with Dynamic Dimensions Fitness. “Their range of motion and flexibility are better. They are improving and the weight loss and toning will be visible soon.” One of the ways Dynamic Dimensions Fitness (DDF) aims to help members track progress is through the Functional Movement Screen. It’s a tool available to all DDF members and used to evaluate seven fundamental movement patterns to see how much the member is able to accomplish without any pain. A retest is done every eight weeks to gauge improvement. The screenings performed will not in themselves cause injury, or increase the severity of a current area of pain or injury. “The Functional Movement Screen can help uncover muscular and joint imbalances and compensations. This information helps us in developing appropriate strength and conditioning programs along with corrective exercises that can help improve these areas,” Hodges explains. “It also helps us uncover areas that can be improved before progressively overloading the body, which can help in lowering the risk of injury.” The screening tool is designed to place an individual in real-life basic movement patterns where deficits become noticeable if appropriate stability and mobility are not used. “One example of this is to stand on one foot for a minute. Many of us would have to drop the foot and reset to complete the full minute, unless we have good balance,” Hodges says. 62

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

The seven movement patterns that are tested are: 1. Overhead squat 2. Hurdle step 3. In-line lunge 4. Shoulder mobility 5. Rotary stability 6. Trunk stability push up 7. Active straight-leg raise The scoring takes into consideration if the individual can perform the complete movement without compensating in any way or feeling pain. The Functional Movement Screen is not intended to diagnose orthopedic problems but rather to demonstrate opportunities for improved movement in individuals. “In the retest that we do after eight weeks, we can measure improvement in mobility, balance and range of motion,” Hodges says. “It helps us to know when an individual is ready to move to a higher level of exercise or a new type of exercise. It also helps us track how well the current exercise program is doing for that individual.” Dynamic Dimensions Fitness offers group fitness programs, personal training, aquatics and free weights. For more information, call the Sulphur location at (337) 527-5459 or the Moss Bluff location at (337) 855-7708.


Varicose Disease by Kristy Como Armand

As we move into the hottest months of summer in Southwest Louisiana, “fun in the sun” transitions to “beat the heat” for most people. This is even more important for those who have venous conditions, such as varicose veins, because the summer heat can worsen pain and other symptoms. To better understand why heat affects varicose veins, Dr. Carl Fastabend, founder and medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, and the only full-time, comprehensive vein specialist in the state, says it helps to first understand why varicose veins form. “Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart, but sometimes these valves stop functioning properly, and venous reflux disease can develop, causing blood to pool in the legs. This can lead to a progression of symptoms, including varicose veins, which are surface veins that have become enlarged, swollen, twisted, and/ or bulging due to vein disease.”

Dr. Fastabend explains that varicose veins tend to worsen during the summer months because the body’s natural reaction to heat is to dilate the blood vessels to help cool the body. “For someone with varicose veins, this increased blood flow puts even more strain on the valves, making it even harder for them to work properly – and easier for blood to stay in the vein. This can aggravate what is already an uncomfortable condition, resulting in worsening symptoms, including painful, visible veins; swelling in in the legs and feet; tired, aching legs; itchy, dry skin; and heaviness.” Some people assume that varicose veins are primarily a cosmetic concern, but Dr. Fastabend says varicose veins are often a sign of underlying vein disease and may require treatment to prevent a more serious venous problem from developing. “It’s also important for those with varicose veins to understand that safe, effective, minimally-invasive treatment is available that provides immediate relief and results,” says Dr. Fastabend. “You don’t have to live with a restricted quality of life because of varicose veins. The help you need is available.”

Dr. Fastabend offers some suggestions for relieving heat-related symptoms of varicose veins:

• Stay as cool as possible. • Swim and walk. Both exercises can improve circulation which helps with swelling and overall vein health. • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids. • Elevate the legs whenever possible. • Wear loose pants to allow the blood to flow with no added resistance. • When traveling in a car, plane, or even sitting at work, try to give yourself leg room to stretch out your legs to help with circulation. • Wear compression socks or stockings – even if only for a portion of the day. For more information about vein disorders and treatment options, contact the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana at 337-312-VEIN or visit


Mind & Body | Aging Well




RETIREMENT LIVING WITH PREMIER AMENITIES FOR TODAY’S ACTIVE SENIORS • All-Day Dining with Chef-Prepared Meals • Fun Social Activities & Outings • Daily Wellness & Fitness Programs • Heated Swimming Pool & More! Call Today to Schedule a Private Tour!

(337) 549-4839

5851 Gray Market Drive | Lake Charles, LA 70605 64

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

in 2021

What does it mean to age well? What does that look like? Is it good physical or mental health? Financial security? Happiness and contentment? Most experts would say all the above. Seniors today want their voices to be heard. They want to be relevant in their communities. So in this special section on Aging Well in 2021, we discuss issues that resonate with seniors today, including topics like where they might live in their more advanced years, sexual health, and the importance of planning their own funeral. We explore a variety of aspects on what it means to live life to the fullest.

Getting Older Doesn't Need to be a

PAIN by Kristy Como Armand

Baby Boomers — people born between

the years 1946 and 1964 — are getting older. Approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day. By 2030, all Boomers will be at least age 65.

s a group, Baby Boomers are living nearly twice as long as previous generations, and for the most part, are remaining much more active. And while this on-the-go population segment may not want to slow down, a wide range of aches and pains is starting to cramp their style. In a recent study, more than two out of three Boomers said they suffer from muscle and joint pain at least once a week. However, this generation is less resigned to simply accept injury and pain as an inevitable part of aging, and, according to William Lowry Jr., MD, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with the Center for Orthopaedics, they don’t have to. “We often see older adults who want to keep doing all the things they did when they were younger but find themselves struggling due to chronic pain. Fortunately, we have many more options to offer people who want to maintain an active lifestyle as they age.” Dr. Lowry says the original source of pain is typically just the natural wear and tear that occurs to joints over time. “As you get older, your joints start to show the signs of years of use, just like anything else, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop using them.” He explains that Boomers often unknowingly make their problem worse by cutting back on their activities when they experience joint pain. “Their knee or back hurts after physical activity, so they stop doing that activity. This results in a loss of muscle strength, decreased range of motion, reduced circulation to the area, and stiffness. So the next time they need to exert that part of their body, they experience more pain and stiffness due to inactivity. Pretty soon, that knee or back is painful any time they move. It’s a vicious cycle that can quickly lead to an extreme reduction in activity and chronic pain.”

The good news is that Baby Boomers do not have to live with the pain. “There is so much we can do to provide pain relief. Many Boomers are reluctant to seek help because they feel surgery or joint replacement is their only option. But that is definitely not the case. We have an arsenal of non-surgical interventions that can often eliminate – or at least delay – the need for surgery for joint pain,” says Dr. Lowry. He says the first step is a comprehensive physical exam to assess functional status, which helps identify the source and cause of the pain. “With older adults, it is very common for the muscles that stabilize and support the joint to be weak. This can lead to instability around the joint, which can worsen arthritis and pain. If we can correct that with a program of physical therapy and strength training, that patient can not only be pain-free, but also be able to return to a more active lifestyle.” Other non-surgical treatment options may include over-thecounter or prescription medications, injections, heat and cold therapies, electrotherapies, massage, bracing, rehabilitation programs, nutritional recommendations and therapeutic exercise. “The treatment is determined based on each individual’s unique situation – their pain level and functional capacity. When it comes to pain management in these cases, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all approach,” says Dr. Lowry. To schedule an appointment for joint pain or any other musculoskeletal problem, call Center for Orthopaedics at 721-7236 or visit


Mind & Body | Aging Well


Top Concerns of Seniors & How to Manage Them by Angie Kay Dilmore

Over the past century in the United States, the proportion of persons aged 65 years or older increased more than threefold, from 4.1% to 12.9%, according to the American Journal of Public Health. Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) continue to set new aging standards, drive public policy, and impact our culture in diverse ways. And there’s much to feel positive about. As the second-largest living adult generation (their children, the Millennials, are the largest), Boomers are healthier and live longer than previous generations, primarily due to the many medical advances during their lifetime. Yet that’s not to say they don’t have a care in the world. Seniors have plenty of valid concerns to ponder. Here are six issues that occupy space in the average senior’s thoughts:

Health Matters

In addition to health insurance and drug cost concerns, various diseases (and how to prevent them) are at the forefront of elderly minds. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, heart disease (leading cause of death for people over age 65), cancer, diabetes, mental health issues, vision and hearing loss, sleep disorders, and injuries due to accidents (falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults) . . . these illnesses and other issues can be major worries. Family history and age can play roles in the risk for many medical conditions. However, numerous health problems can be prevented or the progression slowed by making smart, healthy choices and maintaining regular doctor visits. 66

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Healthy lifestyle choices that can help or prevent many illnesses include: • Eat a balanced diet – Lots of fruits and vegetables; whole grains; lean, unprocessed meats; dairy products in moderation; and limited sweets. • Physical activity – The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderateintensity aerobic activity per week and strength training twice a week. • Social interactions – Five percent of older adults are home bound, rarely leaving the house except for important medical appointments. More than 40 percent of seniors regularly experience loneliness, according to a University of California, San Francisco report. Studies show that married people tend to be healthier and live longer, and a strong social life has been linked with many health benefits, like less risk of depression and longer life span. But a new study reported by Harvard Health suggests that interacting with a wide range of people may offer even greater benefits. Consider taking a class at a local college. Or volunteer for a local charity, which provides not only social interaction, but a sense of purpose, as well. • Restorative sleep – Most things change as humans age, including sleep patterns. A whopping 46% of adults age 65 and older have trouble falling asleep and sleeping well through the night regularly. Hormonal changes, stress, chronic pain, certain illnesses, and sensitivity to environmental factors can be blamed. But quality sleep is critically important. Adults need seven to eight hours of restful sleep each night. To improve sleep quality, maintain a consistent sleep schedule (go to bed and arise at the same time each day). Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and spicy foods close to bedtime. Stop the use of electronics, ie cell phones and tablets, an hour or two prior to sleep. If poor sleep persists, see your doctor.

Financial Wellness

As seniors are living longer, historical models of retirement have become outdated. Financing the retirement years today may look different than a decade or two ago. Savings, pensions, social security payments . . . so many factors come into the equation. The key is to have a sound financial plan. If you are concerned about funding your retirement and living comfortably, consider these suggestions: • Consider a part-time job. Depending on the nature of the position, not only will you bring in added income, but you’ll get out of the house and socialize with people. • Down-size your home and possessions. As people age, they begin to realize that less is easier to manage, physically, mentally, and financially. The fewer “things” you need to maintain, the less cost and stress. • Consult with a financial advisor for guidance. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of resources or less to work with, getting the advice of a professional can put you on the right path to your best living.

Socio-Political Concerns

According to a Pew Research study, persons ages 65 and older made up 23% of the 2020 electorate. But because older citizens are more likely to vote than younger generations, their sway can be even more significant. Sure, seniors are concerned about the state of socio-political matters that affect them directly, such as Social Security and Medicare, but they are even more concerned about the world their children and grandchildren will inherit. They want to know what the future holds for our country, our democracy, our environment . . . and they want to know how they can make a difference. • Continue to exercise your right to vote. • Volunteer to work at polling stations or for candidates’ campaigns. • Contact your state and federal representatives and express your opinions. It is their job to serve you. • Join advocacy groups that promote causes you care about.

Keeping Up with Technology

Whether it’s FaceTime with the out-of-state “kids”, a text to your daughter to pick up some eggs on her way to visit, learning how to work the new Smart TV, getting in on the video game fun with the grandkids, clipping coupons on

the grocery store app, paying bills online, keeping up with friends on social media, or sending a letter to the newspaper editor via email, there is no getting around the fact that technology is a part of our lives, for better or worse. And old dogs CAN learn new tricks! • Take a Leisure Learning computer class at a nearby college. • Check with your local senior center for tech tips. • YouTube has tutorials on basically everything. • Visit your library for how-to books.

Housing Options

Maintaining independence is high on most seniors’ list of concerns. The majority of older adults state a preference to “age in place” yet one third of people over age 65 need assistance with at least one activity of daily living (e.g. eating, bathing, dressing). But today’s seniors have a wide variety of housing options, depending on the needs of the individual or couple. • A first step is often downsizing to a smaller, single-floor home, which is easier to maintain and navigate. • If you wish to age in place, modifications can be made to your home that facilitate this option. Home care aides can visit to help you with activities of daily living and light housework. • Assisted living facilities usually provide small apartments, meals, housekeeping, transportation, fun activities, and companionship. • If none of the above are options, skilled nursing facilities and memory care centers provide a higher level of care.

End-of-Life Details

Few people want to talk about end-of-life concerns, but there is peace of mind knowing your affairs are in order. Plan early and be ready for anything because life can be unpredictable. • Arrange a meeting with your loved ones and have the important conversations. This may seem hard, but they need to be aware of your wishes so they can carry them out. • Meet with your lawyer and either update or create a will and an advanced directive for medical care preferences. Also, name your executor and financial and medical power of attorneys. • Organize a binder with everything your loved ones will need to know when the time comes – financial, insurance, and utilities account information and account numbers, PIN numbers, passwords to everything, addresses and phone numbers, a list of all subscriptions, any special requests, and everything you can think of that will help them take care things when you aren’t able.


Mind & Body | Aging Well


Vibrant Smile AS YOU AGE ne of the secrets to aging well is taking care of your smile. Your teeth and mouth endure a lot during your life, and proper attention and care can help slow the hands of time. Here are a few tips from Robinson Dental Group to help you maintain a vibrant, lasting smile.

Skip the Soda and Sugary Foods

Sugary, acidic foods and beverages damage your enamel – the protective coating on your teeth – making your teeth more prone to erosion and cavities. Try to limit wine, sodas, citrus fruit and the like when you can. If you do have one of the above, rinse your mouth with water right after, then brush about 30 minutes to an hour later. Look for foods/drinks that support your dental health such as calcium-rich milk, cheese, and nuts.

Grab the Toothbrush . . . and the Floss

Brushing for two minutes, two times a day is a no-brainer, but flossing? It’s equally as important as brushing and should be done at least once a day. Brushing and flossing serve the same purpose – removing plaque. However, doing only one or the other leaves a significant portion of your mouth with plaque buildup. While flossing may seem less important, the difficult-to-reach spots it cleans between your teeth and underneath your gums are the spaces that harbor the most destructive bacteria. Bottom line: brush AND floss to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.

Keep Your Appointments

The easiest way to keep a healthy smile is by visiting your dentist every six months for a cleaning. Regular dental appointments ensure that your oral health is on track and can help you identify problems early.

Brighten & Whiten

Our smiles naturally yellow with age, but that doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. There are several options for whitening your teeth, whether or not they are sensitive. In-office remedies, such as the one-visit GLO


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

professional whitening treatment, uses light therapy to help you achieve as bright of a smile as you want with as little sensitivity as possible. Bleaching trays with whitening gel are an at-home solution. What’s the difference between professional dental whitening and store-bought kits? Professional teeth whitening contains high concentrations of whitening gel that is far more potent than what you’ll find in a store or kits purchased online. Plus, a dentist can monitor the process every step of the way to ensure your smile is just as bright and white as you would like it to be.

Consider Other Dental Treatment Options

Whether you have smile lines that you want to decrease or a chipped tooth that needs to be fixed, there are in-house treatments to enhance or restore your smile such as veneers, implants, Invisalign®, or even Botox® or Juvéderm®. For a smile makeover, veneers allow you to choose the exact color, size, and shape that you want your teeth to be. Your dental team will ensure each tooth looks uniform yet natural. Invisalign® clear aligner therapy is a relatively quick and easy alternative to braces that can give you that straight smile you’ve been dreaming of. Botox® and Juvéderm® can help reduce unwanted lines and wrinkles around your eyes, nose and mouth, as well as give you youthful volume in the lips and cheeks. To restore your smile, composite fillings are an easy and simple way to repair teeth that have been chipped, broken, or damaged by tooth decay – and they can be made to match your natural tooth color, so they’re virtually undetectable. If you have one or more missing teeth, implants may be the perfect solution. They are durable, long-lasting tooth replacements. Another option is natural-looking partial or full dentures for individuals who have lost a significant amount or all of their teeth. For more information about Robinson Dental Group, please visit www. or call us at 337-474-3636.







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Mind & Body | Aging Well

Keeping the



Just because your body is aging, doesn’t mean that your sexual health should be ignored. Your body changes as you age, but what shouldn’t change is that people deserve to be sexually healthy and enjoy their sex life as much as they can. In fact, issues with your sexual health can be a sign or symptom of a greater problem that should be addressed with a physician. Memorial Medical Group Family Medicine Specialists Ben Groves, DO and Kira Groves, DO have laid out a few areas to keep in mind if you are experiencing a decrease in sexual desire or function as you get older:

Post-menopausal women:

The natural cycle for women eventually leads to menopause. This means a woman’s body decreases in estrogen and progesterone production.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Fertility ceases, and this may or may not lead to a decrease in sex drive. It does, however, over time lead to thinning and dryness in the vaginal tissues. This can cause pain or difficulty enjoying sex. This is treatable with lubricants and pelvic physical therapy.

Chronic pain:

Chronic pain of any kind can decrease energy and sex drive. Side effects from medications for chronic pain may impact your sex drive, as well. Other medications can be added to deal with those side effects, but the goal is not to decrease the quality of life. A doctor can put together a good holistic plan to treat pain and improve sexual health.

After cancer or cancer treatment:

The overall cancer journey can impact sex life and intimacy with your partner.

The mental load and symptoms from cancer and treatment can temporarily decrease desire for sex. In some cases one may regain your desire for sex after the treatment is over. In other situations, medications or additional treatments may be needed to return to normal. For men and women, treatments such as radiation can greatly impact nerve endings. Scar tissue can form in the vagina for women. Therapy is available to regain nerve function and improve sexual function. For women there are tools available to help dilate the vaginal region and regain sexual function, especially after radiation treatments to the pelvic or abdomen regions. All cancer patients may benefit from medical or psychological therapy to help with any personal issues with body image and confidence.

Heart Disease:

Disease in your heart means that you probably have disease in other parts of your vascular system. A major component of sexual function is blood flow, and if the blood flow is poor in the genital areas sexual function and enjoyment may be difficult. Treating cardiovascular health and preventing heart disease can help with sexual function as you age.


Neuropathy causes nerve damage in all areas of the body, not just in your feet.

By the time this begins, nerve functions are not usually able to come back after being lost. Treating your diabetes properly can prevent this affecting your sexual function as you age.

As you age, your sexual function may not look like it did in your 20s, but it can still be fulfilling. Talk to your doctor about how you can improve your sexual wellness and continue to live your life to the fullest.


Drs. Ben and Kira Groves are accepting new patients and offer same day appointments at 2750 Aster Street in Lake Charles. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 337-480-8900.

In the older population, depression seems to go unnoticed and untreated. Lack of sexual function may be one of the signs of depression. Lack of desire in regular daily activities, fatigue, and inability to sleep is not necessarily normal. When depression is treated, desire for sex may come back.

Make Yourself

AT HOME Call 337-439-0336 for more information, or to reserve a room.

Beautiful construction and design feature contemporary finishes throughout the entire campus, including new furniture. • Private accommodations available • Television in each room with free cable & Wi-Fi throughout • 3 restaurant-style dining rooms • Secure memory care community • Custom programs to promote physical, emotional & social wellbeing

The Lodge is adjacent to the main building and serves as Lake Charles’ most advanced rehab-to-home community. • Private entrance • 20 spacious private suites with private restrooms • State-of-the-art therapy gym, including Neurosage & Omni Cycle • Family conference rooms • Private dining room with in-room dining service available


Mind & Body | Aging Well

PROMISING ADVANCES in Memory Care Found at The Verandah Assisted Living & Memory Community in Lake Charles

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2021 more than six million Americans over age 65 are living with Alzheimer’s dementia. While that number is quite staggering, the good news is that memory care therapies continue to improve, offering hope to those affected by Alzheimer’s disease as well as other memory-related disorders. Leslie Von Der Ahe, RDN, LD, LNFA, Executive Director at The Verandah Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Lake Charles, says her residents are already benefitting from many of these leading-edge therapies available at her community. Located in the beautiful neighborhood of Graywood, The Verandah combines PersonCentered Care with a robust Life Enrichment Program that embraces six Pillars of Wellness: physical engagement, sensory stimulation, spiritual support, social connection, intellectual discovery, and emotional expression. The pioneering Life Enrichment Program draws from a philosophy rooted in the Montessori Method, which was initially developed for early childhood education but modified to provide sensory stimulation, encourage cognitive stimulation and build 72

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

on existing social skills among seniors with memory-related diseases. “By modifying the Montessori method to honor the age and experiences of our Memory Care residents, we are able to ease the symptoms of dementia-related disease to help enrich their daily lives,” said Von Der Ahe. The Verandah also features an innovative Sensory Spa, a new therapy that can reduce tension, agitation, anxiety, depression, and anger, which are common behavioral side effects in seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Residents enjoy sensory stimulation that activates one or more of the five senses (taste, smell, vision, hearing, and touch) with the goal of evoking positive feelings. “By planning meaningful, stimulating activities and considering our residents’ unique interests, we can create personal experiences in our custom Sensory Spa and make a significant difference in our residents’ lives,” continued Von Der Ahe. Residents also benefit from a revolutionary Virtual Reality (VR) therapy that helps promote joyfulness and calm. The program features state-of-the-art VR headsets and several special VR software programs that allow residents to choose from a variety of experiences such as traveling to virtual locations, cooking classes,

performances, and more. Along the way, many residents uncover distant memories, which in turn reduces stress, anxiety and aggressive or responsive behaviors. Nutrition also plays a vital role in memory care. The Verandah’s all-day dining program is based on the MIND Diet, developed at Rush University, and shown to lower Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously. Both nutrientrich and delicious, these meals feature green, leafy vegetables, other non-starchy vegetables, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, fish, beans, and poultry, while avoiding ingredients such as butter and margarine, cheese, red meat, fried food, and sweets. “Our top priority at The Verandah is and always has been the health, wellbeing and safety of our residents,” said Von Der Ahe. “We continue to research and implement a number of innovative therapies that can help our seniors with memory-related disease thrive.” For more information, contact Leslie Von Der Ahe,, (337) 478-9500.


TRENDS in Assisted Living

Loe Hornbuckle, CEO Sage Oak Assisted Living & Memory Care, got into the elder care business because he says it was broken. He didn’t know how it was broken, just that it didn’t work like it was supposed to. “I lost my father in 2014 and he hadn’t received the care he deserved. I couldn’t bear the idea of other families dealing with what happened to me and my family, so I decided to change careers and start Sage Oak.” Hornbuckle says the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light many of the current flaws in long-term elder care, and the concept is prime for “disruption” which will lead to major industry reform. He feels the following changes are on the horizon:

Smaller facilities will become more common.

While every state is different, in Texas and Louisiana, a facility with 16 beds or less is considered small. According to a June 2020 article in Senior Housing News, small-house senior living may be well suited to handle the disruptions of the COVID-19 era. This may help boost the model’s popularity moving forward, but the industry will first need to overcome obstacles regarding the way these communities are developed, financed, and licensed.

Staff to resident ratios will become more important than amenities.

COVID-19 put a huge strain on staffing in an already staffing-challenged industry. With ratios of 1-12 or 1-15, many facilities lack the adaptability and lower margin of error as that of a facility with, for example, a 1-4 ratio. “Of course, this was always true, and something that industry insiders have known for years, but the pandemic made the residents and their families very aware of how important staff to resident ratios truly are,” says Hornbuckle.

Technology will finally fulfill its promises to the industry.

Hornbuckle says technology hasn’t really made much of an impact on elder care, especially when compared to the lofty claims made by the tech industry. His friend, Dr. Bill Thomas, founder and chairman at Minka and author of Aging Magnificently, says, “Gero-technology has not yet produced a breakout product, but one thing that improved during COVID-19 was Telemedicine.” “Sage Oak of Lake Charles opens this month and brings to Southwest Louisiana the forward-thinking disruptions to systematic and structural flaws present in some long-term care facilities,”says Jeremy Fruge, Executive Director at Sage Oak.“In five independently licensed, purpose-built, boutique settings, Sage Oak’s unique care model encompasses industryleading staffing ratios of 1:8 in Assisted Living and 1:5 in Memory Care; purpose-designed homes laid out with clear sight lines and no long hallways to help reduce falls; and delicious, nutritious, chef-inspired meals.” Sage Oak is located at 5650 Weaver Road in Lake Charles. For more information, contact Executive Director Jeremy Fruge at or call 337-563-0073.


Mind & Body | Aging Well

Your Memorial Wishes: A Final Gift for your Family Few of us want to think of how our life will end, or how things will continue after we’re gone. But one of the most meaningful gifts you can give your family is a plan for your memorial service. When your wishes are left behind, it eases the burden on loved ones who will be expected to make decisions and answer questions about how to proceed in the hours and days immediately after your death. “It’s about providing peace of mind to you, but most importantly, to those who are most important to you,” says Andy Hankins, licensed funeral director with Johnson Funeral Home. “When you plan your service beforehand, it makes things much easier for your family, who will already be going through a difficult time. We see the difference this makes for the families. Losing and saying a final farewell to a loved one is one of the most stressful situations a family faces. Having to make decisions about funeral and burial arrangements during this time just adds to that stress. Putting a plan in place ahead of time eliminates this burden.” What would your loved ones’ lives be like if you died and hadn’t properly prepared your estate and legal documents? Survivors also are often left to make decisions about funerals or memorial services while they are still grieving. Just 34 percent of people over age 50 have planned for their funeral or burial, according to the AARP. Meanwhile, funerals come with a hefty price tag that keeps rising, with the average cost in 2020 at $9,135, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. According to Hankins, your wishes can be as personalized and detailed as you want. “Instead of approaching it as a sad or morbid task, think of it as a positive thing—a gift to your family. Think about how you want your memorial service to look or feel. Most of us would prefer that people celebrate our lives rather than mourn our deaths. If so, consider how you’d like your loved ones to do that,” Hankins said. 74

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

A few things to consider: • Music and songs. Music is typically an essential element of a service. What do you want performed at your service? Something uplifting, that celebrates life? Something nostalgic from your past? Your favorite song, perhaps? • Traditions. If you have specific traditions you want to follow, make sure that’s clear. “Don’t assume your family knows,” Hankins says. “Discuss it with them so you can be sure they know your wishes and they won’t have to debate the decisions with each other.” • Readings. If you desire a faith-based service, you may wish to include your favorite scripture or readings,” says Hankins. “Those who prefer a more secular service could choose inspirational readings and personal philosophies.” • Eulogists. Is there someone specific you’d like to deliver your eulogy? If so, are there key aspects of your life you want that person to talk about? • Visitation and service. Do you want a viewing, visitation or wake before your service? “As for the service itself, you may want to consider whether you’d prefer a funeral service, memorial or graveside,” says Hankins. • Who and where. Who do you want to officiate, and where? • Donations or gifts. “Many people prefer that the attendees give a donation in their honor, rather than flowers,” Hankins says. “If that’s the case, make those wishes clear.” Once you have all your wishes documented, make sure your family or loved ones know where to find them. Keep the document in a safe and secure place, preferably with your other important papers. “You can also arrange payments beforehand, so no one is left with a financial burden,” Hankins adds. “This can also be a huge cost-savings for your family. Pre-paying for your funeral years ahead of time allows you to lock in today’s lower costs.” Hankins says there are numerous options for pre-arrangement policies and that is something his staff can assist with, along with other funeral preplanning services. For more information on funeral pre-planning or to schedule a free consultation, call Johnson Funeral Home at (337) 478-8687.



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Money & Career Paul Pettefer was born and raised in

Lake Charles – and he loves it. As a child, his parents owned Clay’s Marine. They lived on Contraband Bayou near McNeese. Thus, he grew up loving the water, owning boats from a young age, and duck hunting with his daddy. Paul attended Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Barbe High School, and McNeese State University. He expected to grow up and work in the family business, but the depressed local economy of the 1980s forced his parents to close the dealership. So he attended graduate school at Baylor University in Waco, Texas on a full scholarship instead. Upon graduation, he began his career in banking in Waco with what is now Bank of America. Currently, Paul owns four Laundry World coin-op laundromats and the popular Paul’s Rib Shack. Despite significant storm damage to all properties, as well as his home, Paul’s primary focus post-Hurricane Laura was to help the community. “When trouble strikes, we come to each other’s aid,” Paul says. “Our shared story and future bring us joy to help and support each other.” Paul is joyfully married to his wife of 28 years, April, and is dad to four beautiful daughters whom he calls his princesses. Thrive magazine recently caught up with this busy Bishop of BBQ, and he tells his story in more detail from here:

first person with


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Paul Pettefer Bishop of BBQ , Pitmaster, & Chief Fun Engineer by Angie Kay Dilmore

Describe your career trajectory after Bank of America. The desire to launch my own thing grew as my experiences in life grew. After a few years at the bank, advancing in a track to become a commercial loan officer, one of my coworkers at the bank opened his own financial planning business. I did the same, opening an independent shop in Dallas. As I got a few years into my banking life, I started looking for a way to live half my life making a living and the other half doing ministry stuff. A friend bought some small coin-op laundries on the side, and I started exploring that. God provided and I bought two Lake Charles locations in 2004 and added to them along the way. We added selling and servicing commercial laundry equipment, which my brother Bill leads. In 2012, I started my most recent project, #theRibList, which began as my friend-making initiative, smoking and sharing ribs from my driveway and sharing the Love of God through Jesus along with it. We were faithful in a few things, and now God has put us in charge of many (Matt. 25:21). We went from the driveway, to cooking at schools and events, to the big barbecue trailer, and now the fantastic place with the magnificent oak trees at 4800 Nelson Rd. I’m a blessed multi-preneur! Have you ever started a business that failed and if so, what did you learn from the experience? I’ve started a couple of projects that did not work as planned. I learned that you must close chapters and move on to the next one. Don’t forget what you learned, but don’t re-live the “what might-have-beens” and harbor bitterness. After each of the four natural disasters SWLA experienced this past year, you were one of the many helpers. Tell me about that. It was just before midnight the day before Hurricane Laura landed. I stood at my signboard at Paul’s Rib Shack, thinking that this was going to be a real deal problem, and we

Paul Pettefer in action. Photo credit: Emily Cutrer

were going to need to be strong in response, and I wondered what I could put on the sign to encourage people. I just stood there for a while, thinking and praying, and this question rose up in me: “What makes America strong?” In the heat, tired from the 18-hour workday behind me, and the foreboding nature of a big storm about to land before me, I wrote this response: What Makes America strong? We Trust our God, Help our Neighbors, and Love our Country. We returned the day after Laura, regrouped, and got to work. I joined a community cook site that Michael Boyer started at Nina P’s. We did Church in the Backyard at Paul’s Rib Shack. We opened the restaurant as soon as possible, about two weeks after Laura. Praise the Lord, our restaurant and oak trees were spared any big damage! I wanted to provide a place of respite for our neighbors as we were all pushing so hard to fix all the stuff that Laura broke. A place to breathe and remember that not all was lost. Was there ever a pivoting moment in your life, an event that changed your life direction? The most important thing is my life is that Jesus changed everything in 1989 when I attended an event at the Civic Center, heard the Gospel, and trusted Jesus. I knew something wasn’t right, because even when stuff went the way I wanted, I wasn’t fulfilled. God awakened me to the reality that I needed a Savior. As a result, my entrepreneurial activities in ministry have been as important as my business ones! Have you had a special mentor in your life and if so, how has he/she influenced your life journey? When I came to faith in Jesus in college, Tad and Phyllis Tadlock took me and others under their wings, inviting us into their home, teaching us Scripture, and showing me what it looks like to push all your chips in on the table in following Jesus. The other is Louie Giglio, the founder of the Passion Conferences and Passion City Church in Atlanta. At Baylor,

Paul with Pitmaster Sam Turner

my girlfriend at the time invited me to a Bible study called Choice. We went and Louie has been the primary spokesman for God in my life since then. We’ve had the opportunity to meet a few times, but I’ve watched his life and learned to follow Jesus from him and his crew. I admire his passion for Jesus and all-in lifestyle. He loves barbecue, so I figure we’ll get him here to Lake Charles so he can #GetOntheRibList before it’s all said and done. And now you are a mentor to many. What advice do you have for young people? I love this question. I have mentored quite a few young adults and have encouraged a handful of young business owners. Advice? Respect the Principle of the Path, as Andy Stanley calls it. Meaning, respect where you are now, the work you are doing now. Grow, learn, see what to do and what not to do. This prepares you for the next step. If you think your current thing is undeserving, you stop growing and learning. Respecting the Path readies you, your network, your skills, and your savings account to prepare you for your next step to be a successful one. Anyone who knows you, either in person or through social media, knows you are head over heels in love with your beautiful wife, April. How did the two of you meet? We met at Tad and Phyllis Tadlock’s house in Lake Charles. April was on a Revival Steering Committee at Baylor, and they had a retreat at the Tadlock’s. I met her and a bunch of other Baylor students. I ended up going to Grad school at Baylor, bumped into her at the Baptist Student Union during the first week of school and asked her out. She’s a keeper! Name the top three items on your bucket list. Louie Giglio eating our barbecue, becoming President of the United States, and having a full day off work.

Paul and the princesses


Money & Career

Is Right for You? We are living in uncertain times, especially in Southwest Louisiana. The COVID-19 pandemic and two devastating hurricanes in 2020 forever changed our lives. Many people lost their jobs or had their hours cut. When you are of a certain age, you start to weigh the pros and cons of either seeking re-employment and continuing to work or opting for early retirement.

Total the expenses to determine the monthly amount you will need to maintain the retirement you imagine for yourself. Remember, your budget will change as your life changes down the road. You might downsize and have fewer expenses on a smaller home or condo. At age 65, you’ll be eligible for Medicare, decreasing your health insurance bills —and so on. But a preliminary budget is a good starting point to see where you stand financially.

Many factors ultimately should determine if early retirement is right for you at this point in your life.

Consider Social Security. When do you plan on taking it? You can start at 62, but your compensation will be reduced if you take it early. Many seniors have no choice, but if you can hang on, it is much better to wait as long as possible so you can get the full amount.

Estimate your retirement expenses. How much money will you spend each month once you retire? Consider necessities, such as food, clothing, utilities, transportation, insurance, home maintenance and healthcare. If you still have a mortgage, credit card debt, outstanding loans, and so on, they must be factored into your budget. Add in expected discretionary expenses. Include travel, hobbies and entertainment. Assume these expenses will likely go up since you will have more leisure time on your hands.


by Stefanie Powers

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

How about part-time work after retirement? Many retirees do just that, either from necessity or boredom. If not, then you will need to save much more than if you plan to bring in some extra income. If you are still working, strive to max out your retirement accounts. A traditional IRA allows you to contribute to your retirement, as the earnings grow tax-free, and you get a tax deduction in the tax year you make a contribution. However, when the money is withdrawn in retirement, it’s taxed at your income tax rate in the year of the withdrawal.

On the other hand, a Roth IRA allows certain distributions or withdrawals to be made on a tax-free basis, and your earnings grow taxfree. However, Roth IRAs do not offer a tax deduction in the years they’re funded. How much should you have saved for retirement by age? Rule of thumb: If you are earning $50,000 by age 30, you should have $50,000 banked for retirement. By age 40, you should have three times your annual salary. By age 50, six times; by age 60, eight times; and by age 67, 10 times. If you reach 67 years old and are earning $75,000 per year, you should have $750,000 saved. Easier said than done, of course, as life has a way of thwarting our best-laid plans. Manage your retirement dollars. Once you have calculated the amount of savings and future income you will need, research various ways you can structure savings and investments to produce steady and dependable retirement income. It’s a good idea to have a financial advisor who can help you develop an investment strategy to make it easier to reach your retirement goals. Once you retire, your advisor can help you manage your income streams to ensure the money lasts. Income streams might include income from dividends, required minimum distributions, Social Security, defined-benefit plans, and real estate investments. Retirement is not the time to make quick, seat-of-the pants decisions. Mistakes can be costly, so take the time to research your options thoroughly, and don’t hesitate to seek qualified professional help.


Money & Career

Canfor Announces Plans for $160

Million Lumber Mill Near DeRidder Last month, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Canfor Corp. President and CEO Don Kayne announced the company has selected Beauregard Parish for final engineering and feasibility for a $160 million state-of-the-art lumber mill. Based in British Columbia, Canada, Canfor is one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper. The facility would be the first Louisiana investment for the company. Canfor would create 130 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $59,921, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also would result in 386 new indirect jobs, for a total of 516 new jobs for Beauregard Parish and the southwest region. The sawmill project is expected to support 175 construction jobs. “Agribusiness remains one of our key industries for growing Louisiana’s economy, and our state offers unique advantages that attracted Canfor here,” Gov. Edwards said. “This major new manufacturing project can resonate across the region’s economy in a variety of ways. We welcome plans for this foreign direct investment in Louisiana by this industry leader, and we look forward to the good jobs this project is expected to create in Beauregard Parish for the region’s skilled workforce.”

Canfor would locate the facility on an LED Certified Site at the Beauregard Regional Airport. The sawmill would process yellow pine from Louisiana forests, with the manufacturing capacity and flexibility to produce a wide variety of highquality wood products for Canfor’s customers. Start-up is expected to begin late in the third quarter of 2022. “Canfor is excited to be investing in a new worldclass sawmill in Louisiana that will support our growth and diversification in the U.S. South and ensure we continue to deliver high value products to our global customers,” Kayne said. “Canfor selected Louisiana for its first greenfield project in the United States because of the sustainable and high quality fiber supply, the skilled labor force and the long history of wood products manufacturing,” Canfor Southern Pine President Tony Sheffield said. “In addition, the significant incentives and support we are receiving from the State of Louisiana are helping to make this project possible.” To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s number one state workforce development program for the past 11 years. The package also includes a performance-based grant of $1.5 million, subject to the company reaching specified investment and payroll benchmarks. Should the project move forward, the company also is expected to recognize significant value from the use of Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax

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


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


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Exemption programs. “This project announcement would represent the largest initial investment in Beauregard Parish’s history,” parish Police Jury President Mike Harper said. “The vast renewable resources of Beauregard Parish initially attracted interest in the area, but the people, communities and quality of life sealed this agreement. This commitment promises a bright future for hundreds of families of this parish and region.” “I am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet with the executives of Canfor to share the wonderful story of our community,” DeRidder Mayor Misty Clanton said. “I am delighted to formally welcome them to DeRidder. We look forward to the opportunities for our people and the relationships that we will undoubtedly build. Our community is a place where business needs and goals can be met. It is a place where you can grow and prosper. We want everyone to reach their fullest potential in DeRidder. This indeed would move our city in the right direction.” “This significant project would bring jobs to Beauregard Parish,” said President and CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “Importantly, this would be the first industrial project at the Beauregard Regional Airport Certified Site. The future is strong for this property. Also, I want to thank R.B. Smith, vice president of workforce and business development for the SWLA Alliance, who has worked tirelessly with Beauregard officials and the company to make this project happen.”

David Girola CFP®, CLU® Wealth Management Advisor

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


Decisions Impact Retirement Benefits Among the elderly who are Social Security • beneficiaries, 48 percent of married couples and 71 percent of unmarried individuals depend on Social Security for half or more of their income, according to the Social Security Administration. The truth is, Social • Security was never meant to be a pension plan, but rather supplemental income to other retirement assets. Unfortunately, many retirees do not have enough savings, leaving them vulnerable. Regardless of how much retirement income is generated by Social Security, seniors should ensure they’re making sound decision about when and how to start drawing Social Security payments. Consider the following when making financial decisions in retirement:

Don’t expect advice from Social Security employees. They can provide basic information about how much money you would receive at what age, but they won’t review your entire financial picture and provide a strategy for maximizing your benefit. They are not licensed financial advisers. When you claim your benefit makes a difference. The age most people qualify for full Social Security benefits these days is 67, but you can draw reduced benefits as early as 62. If you can hold out until age 70, you’ll receive even more benefit. So what’s the right age? It depends. For some, taking Social Security at 62 is the best decision. For others, that could prove problematic. One’s financial situation and personal needs all play a role in decision-making. Marital status matters. Widows or widowers can delay their own benefits and claim their survivors benefit as early as age 60. They can switch to their personal benefits later if that option provides a higher amount.

To plan your retirement and make the most advantageous decisions, consult with a financial advisor.


Cybersecurity: Going from Risk to Resilience. While you might not think that your small business has anything that would entice a hacker, the truth is that you have a wealth of personal data and employee information like W2s and 1099s, that are extremely valuable to hackers. If you’re a small business, you need to figure how to up your web security game if you want to survive an attack. Whether it’s an intrusion, ransomware, or a simple DDoS attack, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can give you access to high-powered options like round-the-clock monitoring of your system’s security, help desk support, new equipment set-up, backups and more. Let Kinetic IT provide top-notch protection to keep your data safe and maintain high productivity levels.

Brett Dering

Managing Partner | (337) 513-4272 | 1638 Ryan St., Lake Charles



We are We pleased are pleased to present to present to you the to you Annual the Annual Water Quality Water Quality HEALTH HEALTH INFORMATION INFORMATION water for water drinking for drinking or cooking. or cooking. If you are If you concerned are concerned about about Report Report for the for yearthe 2020. yearThis 2020. report This is report designed is designed to inform to inform The sources The sources of drinking of drinking water (both water tap (both and tapbottled) and bottled) lead in your lead in water, youryou water, may you wish may towish haveto your have water yourtested. water tested. you about youthe about quality the quality of your of water yourand water services and services we deliver we deliver includeinclude rivers, lakes, rivers, streams, lakes, streams, ponds, ponds, reservoirs, reservoirs, springs,springs, Information Information on leadonin lead drinking in drinking water, testing water, testing methods, methods, to you every to youday every (Este dayinforme (Este informe contiene contiene informaciån informaciån muy muy and wells. and wells. As water As travels water travels over the over surface the surface of the land of the land and steps andyou steps canyou take can to take minimize to minimize exposure exposure is available is available importante importante sobre su sobre aguasupotable. agua potable. Tradüzcalo Tradüzcalo o hableo hable or through or through the ground, the ground, it dissolves it dissolves naturally naturally occurring occurring from the from Safethe Drinking Safe Drinking Water Hotline Water Hotline or at http://www’. or at http://www’. con alguien con alguien que 10que entienda 10 entienda bien). Our bien).constant Our constant goal goal minerals, minerals, and in some and incases someradioactive cases radioactive material, material, and canand can is to provide is to provide you with youa with safe and a safe dependable and dependable supply supply of pick of uppick substances up substances resulting resulting from the from presence the presence of animals of animals drinking drinking water. We water. want Weyou want to understand you to understand the efforts the we efforts or wefromor human from human activity.activity. The Louisiana The Louisiana Department Department of Health of Health routinely routinely monitors monitors make tomake continually to continually improve improve the water thetreatment water treatment processprocess for constituents for constituents in yourin drinking your drinking water according water according to to and protect and protect our water our resources. water resources. We areWe committed are committed to to Contaminants Contaminants that may that bemay present be present in untreated in untreated sourcesource FederalFederal and State andlaws. StateThe laws. tables The that tables follow that show followthe show the ensuring ensuring the quality the quality of yourofwater. your You water. canYou learn canmore learn more water include: water include: results results of our of monitoring our monitoring during during the period the period of January of January about the about Water theDivision Water Division and its’and facilities its’ facilities and services and services by by 1st to 1st December to December 31st, 2020. 31st, Drinking 2020. Drinking water, water, including including • Microbial • Microbial Contaminants Contaminants - such - as such viruses as viruses and and visitingvisiting the Citythe web Citysite web at site at bottledbottled water, may water, reasonably may reasonably be expected be expected to contain to contain at at bacteria, bacteria, may come may from comesewage from sewage treatment treatment plants, plants, Under the Under Public the Works Public department Works department listing, listing, click onclick the on the least small leastamounts small amounts of someofcontaminants. some contaminants. The presence The presence septic systems, septic systems, agricultural agricultural livestock livestock operations, operations, and and water tab. waterIf tab. you have If youany have questions any questions about this about report, this report, of contaminants of contaminants does not does necessarily not necessarily indicateindicate that water that water wildlife.wildlife. or simply or simply want towant learntomore learnabout more your aboutdrinking your drinking water, water, poses aposes healtha risk. health risk. • Inorganic • Inorganic Contaminants Contaminants - such as - such saltsas and salts metals, and metals, please contact please contact Russell Russell BuckelsBuckels at 337-491-1479. at 337-491-1479. which can which be naturally-occurring can be naturally-occurring or resultorfrom result urban from urban *All information *All information in this report in thishas report been has collected been collected and reported and reported Below, Below, you willyou find will many findterms many and terms abbreviations and abbreviations you you stormwater stormwater runoff, industrial, runoff, industrial, or domestic or domestic wastewater wastewater to you intoaccordance you in accordance with water withquality water standards quality standards established established might not might be familiar not be familiar with. Towith. helpTo you help better youunderstand better understand discharges, discharges, oil and gas oil and production, gas production, mining,mining, or farming. or farming. by the USEPA. by the USEPA. We are We pleased are pleased to report to our report drinking our drinking water water these terms, these we’ve terms,provided we’ve provided the following the following definitions: definitions: • Pesticides • Pesticides and Herbicides and Herbicides – may come – mayfrom come a variety from a variety meets all meets Federal all Federal and State and regulatory State regulatory requirements. requirements. of sources of sources such assuch agriculture, as agriculture, urban urban stormwater stormwater• Parts • per Partsmillion per million (ppm) (ppm) or Milligrams or Milligrams per liter per liter runoff, and runoff, residential and residential uses. uses. (mg/L) (mg/L) —one —one part per part million per million corresponds corresponds to one to one • Organic • Organic Chemical Chemical Contaminants Contaminants – Including – Including minuteminute in two years in twoOryears a single Or apenny single in penny $10,000. in $10,000. CITY OF CITY LAKE OFCHARLES LAKE CHARLES WATERWATER SOURCES SOURCES synthetic and volatile and volatile organicorganic chemicals, chemicals, which are which are• Parts •per Parts billion per billion (ppb) or(ppb) Micrograms or Micrograms per liter per (uz/L) liter (uz/L) The CityThe of Lake City of Charles Lake Charles obtainsobtains water from waterwells fromthat wells arethat are synthetic by-products of industrial of industrial processes processes and petroleum and petroleum — one — part one perpart billion per corresponds billion corresponds to one to minute one minute in in drilled drilled in the 500-foot in the 500-foot and 700-foot and 700-foot sands of sands the Chicot of the Chicot by-products production, and can and also cancome also from comegas from stations, gas stations, 2,000 years, 2,000or years, a single or apenny single in penny $10,000. in $10,000. Aquifer.Aquifer. Groundwater Groundwater or well or water welliswater foundis in found saturated in saturated production, urban stormwater runoff, and runoff, septic andsystems. septic systems. • Picocuries • Picocuries per liter per (pCi/L) liter (pCi/L) — picocuries — picocuries per literper is aliter is a zones beneath zones beneath the land’s the surface. land’s surface. It fills the It fills pores the and pores and urban stormwater • Radioactive Contaminants Contaminants – can –becannaturallybe naturally- measure measure of the radioactivity of the radioactivity in water. in water. fractures fractures in underground in underground materialmaterial such assuch sand, asgravel, sand, gravel,• Radioactive occurring or be the or be result theof result oil and of oil gasand production gas production• Treatment • Treatment Technique Technique (ITT) — (ITT)an —enforceable an enforceable or other or rock. other Ifrock. the water If the can water becan removed be removed from this from this occurring and mining activities. activities. procedure procedure or levelor oflevel technological of technological performance performance materialmaterial in useful inamounts, useful amounts, these areas theseare areas called areaquifers. called aquifers. and mining which public which public water systems water systems must follow must follow to ensure to ensure At the present At the present time the time Citythe of City LakeofCharles Lake Charles has 17 has wells17 wells In orderIntoorder ensure to ensure that tapthat water tapiswater safe to is safe drink, tothe drink, EPAthe EPA controlcontrol of a contaminant. of a contaminant. that provide that provide a clean,a sufficient clean, sufficient water supply water supply for all of forour all of our prescribes prescribes regulations regulations which limit whichthe limit amount the amount of certain of certain • Action • Action level level (AL) —(AL)the— concentration the concentration Of a Of a customers. customers. contaminants contaminants in waterinprovided water provided by public by water publicsystems. water systems. contaminant contaminant that, if that, exceeded, if exceeded, triggerstriggers treatment treatment or or OUR WATER OUR SOURCE(S) WATER SOURCE(S) ARE LISTED ARE BELOW: LISTED BELOW: Food and Food Drug andAdministration Drug Administration regulations regulations establish establish limits limits Other requirements Other requirements that a Water that aSystem Water System must follow. must follow. SOURCE NAME SOURCE NAME SOURCE WATER SOURCE TYPE WATER TYPE for contaminants for contaminants in bottled in bottled water, which water, must whichprovide must provide • Maximum • Maximum contaminant contaminant level level (MCL) (MCL) — the— the the same the protection same protection for public for public health. health. PROTECT PROTECT OUR OUR WELL SW#3WELL SW#3 Ground Water Ground Water “Maximum “Maximum Allowed” Allowed” MCL is MCL the highest is the highest level oflevel a of a WELL WELL (T) (T) Ground Water Ground Water RESOURCES, RESOURCES, USE WATER USE WATER WISELYWISELY !!! !!! contaminant contaminant that is allowed that is allowed in drinking in drinking water. MCI’s water. MCI’s WELL G14 WEST WELL PLANT G14 WEST PLANT Ground Water Ground Water WELL CH2 WELL (#2A CH2 (#2A Ground Water Ground Water are set are as close set astoclose the MCLG’S to the MCLG’S as feasible as feasible using the using the SOURCE SOURCE WATERWATER ASSESSMENT ASSESSMENT WELL WELL WEST PLANT WEST PLANT Ground Water Ground Water best available treatment treatment technology. technology. A Source A Source Water Water Assessment Assessment Plan (SWAP) Plan (SWAP) is nowis now best available WELL M2 VWELL M2 V Ground Water Ground Water • Maximum contaminant contaminant level goal level(MCLGI) goal (MCLGI) — the — the available available from our from office. our This office. plan This is plan an assessment is an assessment of a of a• Maximum WELL swtnWELL swtn Ground Water Ground Water “Goal” the level is the oflevel a contaminant of a contaminant in drinking in drinking water water delineated delineated area around area around our listed oursources listed sources throughthrough which which “Goal” is WELL Cl (S)WELL Cl (S) Ground Water Ground Water below there whichisthere no known is no known or expected or expected risk to risk to WELL G”8-RR WELL WEST G”8-RR WEST Ground Water Ground Water contaminants, contaminants, if present, if present, could migrate could migrate and reach and our reach our below which WELL Gus-RR WELL EAST Gus-RR EAST Ground Water Ground Water health. health. MCLG’sMCLG’s allow for allow a margin for a margin of safety. of safety. source source water. It water. also It includes also includes an inventory an inventory Of potential Of potential humanhuman WELL CHI (NIA) WELL CHI (NIA) Ground Water Ground Water • Maximum residual residual disinfectant disinfectant level (MRDL) level (MRDL) — — sourcessources Of contamination Of contamination within within the delineated the delineated area, area,• Maximum Ground Water Ground Water WELL Ml (U) WELL Ml (U) The highest level oflevel a disinfectant of a disinfectant allowedallowed in drinking in drinking and a determination and a determination of the water of the supply’s water supply’s susceptibility susceptibility The highest WELL • MCNEESE WELL • (M3) MCNEESE (M3) Ground Water Ground Water water. isThere convincing is convincing evidence evidence that addition that addition of of to contamination to contamination by thebyidentified the identified potential potential sources.sources. water. There WELL swg2WELL swg2 Ground Water Ground Water WELL#C3 WWELL#C3 W Ground Water Ground Water a disinfectant is necessary is necessary for control for control of microbial of microbial According According to the Source to the Source Water Assessment Water Assessment Plan, our Plan, water our water a disinfectant Ground Water Ground Water WELL GHIOWELL WESTGHIO PLANT WEST PLANT contaminants. system system had a had susceptibility a susceptibility rating rating of ‘MEDIUM’. of ‘MEDIUM’. If you If you contaminants. Ground Water Ground Water WELL WELL WEST PLANT WEST PLANT • Maximum residual residual disinfectant disinfectant level koal level (MRDLG) koal (MRDLG) would like would to like review to review the Source the Source Water Assessment Water Assessment Plan, Plan,• Maximum — The — level Theoflevel a drinking of a drinking water disinfectant water disinfectant below below please feel please freefeel to contact free to contact our office. our office. which there whichisthere no known is no known or expected or expected risk to health. risk to health. FOOD AND FOODDRUG AND DRUG MRDLGs MRDLGs do notdo reflect not reflect the benefits the benefits of the of usethe of use of Administration Administration regulations regulations establish establish limits limits for for disinfectants disinfectants to control to control microbial microbial contaminants. contaminants. contaminants contaminants in bottled in bottled water which water must whichprovide must provide the the • Level•ILevel Assessment— I Assessment— A studyAOf study the Of water the System water System same protection same protection for public for public health. health. We want Weour want valued our valued to identify to identify potential potential problems problems and determine and determine (if (if customers customers to be informed to be informed about their aboutwater theirutility. water Ifutility. you If you possible) possible) why total why coliform total coliform bacteriabacteria have been havefound been found have any have questions any questions about this about report, this report, want towant attend to attend any any in our water in oursystem. water system. scheduled scheduled meetings, meetings, or simply or simply want towant learntomore learnabout more about • Level• 2Level Assessment 2 Assessment — A Very — Adetailed Very detailed Study Of Study Of your drinking your drinking water, please water, contact please contact NICHOLAS NICHOLAS HUNTER HUNTER at at the Water the System Water System to identify to identify potential potential problems problems and and 337-491-1201. 337-491-1201. determine determine (if possible) (if possible) Why anWhy E, coli an MCL E, coliViolation MCL Violation has and/or has and/or Why total Whycoliform total coliform bacteriabacteria have been have been If present, If present, elevated elevated levels oflevels lead of can lead cause canserious cause serious health health found in found our Water in ourSystem Water System on multiple on multiple occasions. occasions. problems, problems, especially especially for pregnant for pregnant womenwomen and young and young children. children. Lead inLead drinking in drinking water iswater primarily is primarily from materials from materials DuringDuring the period the period covered covered by thisby report this report we hadwe the had the and components and components associated associated with service with service lines and lines home and home below noted below violations. noted violations. plumbing. plumbing. CITY OF CITY LAKE OF CHARLES LAKE CHARLES WATER WATER SYSTEMSYSTEM is is responsible responsible for providing for providing high quality high quality drinking drinking water, but water, but cannot cannot controlcontrol the variety the variety of materials of materials used inused plumbing in plumbing components. components. When your When water yourhas water been hassitting been for sitting several for several hours, you hours, canyou minimize can minimize the potential the potential for leadfor exposure lead exposure by by flushingflushing your tap your for 30 tapseconds for 30 seconds to 2 minutes to 2 minutes before using before using


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021

Our water system tested a minimum of 90 samples per month in accordance with the Total Coliform Rule for microbiological contaminants. With the microbiological samples collected, the water system collects disinfectant residuals to ensure control of microbial growth. DISINFECTANT CHLORINE 2020





0.58 -2.5





TYPICAL SOURCE Water additive used to control microbes.






0.1 -0.2













24 - 248






0.25 3.61






0.27 0.59


































0 - 0.12



0.2 - 0.58










5.86 7 81








Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, someelderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).


Discharge Of drilling wastes; Discharge from metal refineries; Erosion Of natural de osits Erosion of natural deposits: Water additive which promotes strong teeth; Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories TYPICAL SOURCE









0 - 0.1

















0- 2.28




Erosion of natural deposits








Decay Of natural and man-made deposits. Note: The gross beta particle activity MCL is 4 millirems/year annual dose equivalent to the total body Or any internal Organ. 50 pCi/L is used as a screening level.
































Environmental protection Agency Required Health Effects Language



Discharge of drilling wastes; Discharge from metal refineries; Erosion of natural deposits Runoff from fertilizer use; Leaching from septic tanks, sewage; Erosion of natural deposits


Erosion of natural deposits

No Detected Results were Found in the Calendar Year of 2020




No Detected Results were Found in the Calendar Year of 2020




2017 -2019







Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching from wood preservatives TYPICAL SOURCE





1.9 - 5.4






2.6 - 6




Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

Thank you for allowing us to continue providing your family with clean, quality water this year. In order to maintain a safe and dependable water supply we sometimes need to make improvements that will benefit all of our customers.





1.5 - 6.5




Byproduct of drinking water disinfection





2.5 - 11


We at the CITY OF LAKE CHARLES WATER SYSTEM work around the clock to provide top quality drinking water to every tap. We ask that all our customers help us protect and conserve our water sources, which are the heart of our community, our way of life, and our children’s future. Please call our office if you have questions.





14.5 - 18.9




Byproduct of drinking water disinfection





19 - 26.3




Byproduct of drinking water disinfection





13.2 - 24.2




Byproduct of drinking water disinfection





16.1 - 29.6




Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

There are no additional required health effects notices. There are no additional required health effects violation notices.

In the tables below, we have shown the regulated contaminants that were detected. Chemical Sampling Of our drinking water may not be required on an annual basis; therefore, information provided in this table refers back to the latest year of chemical sampling results. To determine compliance with the primary drinking water standards, the treated water is monitored when a contaminant is elevated in the source water.



Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

Byproduct of drinking water disinfection


Unique WOMEN. Unique HEALTHCARE. Every woman is different. Every phase of life is special. Cookie-cutter healthcare is not an option. Ask women what kind of healthcare they want and here’s what they say. “a hospital that’s all about women and babies” “a birth experience that centers on me and my baby” “answers about my baby’s health before they become questions” “a hospital with newborn critical care” “helps me understand if I am genetically at-risk for breast cancer” “doctors and nurses who put my baby’s safety, not convenience, first” “a center of excellence specifically for women’s surgical needs” “diagnostics for breast and bone health all in one place” “a breast surgeon who understands the impact of breast cancer for a woman” “a hospital that doesn’t feel like a hospital” “healthcare that keeps me wellthy (well + healthy)”

You’ll find this and more at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2021