Thrive July 2022

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JULY 2022

JULY 2022

Special Sections:


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022



In This Issue


Wining & Dining

6 Summer Sippin’ 8 The Lowdown on Local Ice Cream

Money & Career


16 Family Works: LCP/FASTSIGNS

Find the

Best Bank

Style & Beauty

for You

18 Facials with Benefits 20 All that Glitters 21 Expert Advice on the Best Sunscreens


Mind & Body

24 Ask a Doctor 30 Edgemont Healing Center

Home & Family 32-51 COVER SECTION:

Places & Faces


Take a Day Trip to . . .

58 60 63


Recovery Spotlight: Sam Houston Jones State Park Christmas in July Solutions for Life

@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 2022

52 Managing Editor Editors and Publishers Creative Director Design and Layout Business Manager Advertising Sales Submissions

Angie Kay Dilmore Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Barbara VanGossen Sarah Bercier Katie McDaniel Stevenson 337.310.2099













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Wining & Dining

r e m m ’ u n S Sippi Local Bartenders Share Their Secrets

Ember Grille's Alebrije

compiled and edited by Angie Kay Dilmore

In the heat of summer, sometimes we just want to sit on the patio and sip a chilled cocktail. Thrive caught up with a few local bartenders who wanted to share their favorite summer cocktail recipes. Shake, pour, savor! Kelly Huddle, Lead Bartender at Ember Grille

Ember Grille & Wine Bar Kelly Huddle, lead bartender at Ember, calls this drink the Alebrije. “When my son was little, he loved the movie Coco, especially the “spirit animals” that were in the movie, the alibrijes. When I created this drink, it reminded me so much of those characters and it also features mezcal, which is native to Mexico. This cocktail is refreshing, lightly smoky with a pop of sweetness and heat. I love how well the cucumber and jalapenos play with the mezcal.” 6

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Alebrije 1 ½ oz. Del Maguey Vida ¾ oz. fresh lime juice ¾ oz. simple syrup Small handful of diced English cucumbers 3 jalapeno slices Muddle cucumbers and jalapenos with simple syrup. Add rest of ingredients and ice and shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice that has been rimmed with candied violet sugar.

Hastings makes a Blueberry Gin Sour

Crust Pizza, Watermelon Rita photo by Aaron Young

Crust Pizza

Jace Wallace, Bartender art Crust Pizza

Jace Wallace, bartender at Crust Pizza in Lake Charles,

infuses Altos Tequila with bold, flavorful watermelon Jolly Ranchers and adds Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, agave, and cold-pressed Sugartown watermelon juice to create his Watermelon Rita. “Combining all of these ingredients leaves the drink with a bright red color and a sweet, fresh taste that will remind you of Louisiana summer!” Watermelon Rita 1 1/2 oz. Jolly Rancher Watermelon Altos Tequila 1 oz. Triple Sec 1 oz. fresh lemon juice 3/4 oz. Sugartown watermelon juice 1/4 oz. agave syrup Combine tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, and agave into a mixing tin. Shake vigorously and pour into glass. Then top with watermelon juice.

Villa Harlequin

Jordan Hastings, Bartender at Villa Harlequin

Bartender Jordan Hastings created Villa Harlequin’s Blueberry Gin Sour, which consists of Gray Whale gin, fresh blueberries, house-made Sweet & Sour, egg white and orange zest. Jordan started mixing drinks at age 21 with a local catering company, Raising the Bar, owned by Jacob Trevino. She attributes much of her knowledge of spirits and her mixologist skills to Jacob. Prior to joining The Villa Harlequin team, Jordan tended bar in Jackson Square, NOLA. “Living in New Orleans, Jordan enjoyed experiencing the NOLA restaurant and bar culture, where she acquired the pallet and inspiration for many of her craft cocktail creations,” says Villa Harlequin co-owner Michael Sperandeo. Blueberry Gin Sour 2 oz. Gray Whale Gin handful of fresh blueberries 2 tbsp simple syrup 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 egg white splash of Amarena cherry juice Muddle fresh blueberries in cocktail shaker with simple syrup and lemon juice. Add gin, egg white and cherry juice, dry shake for at least a minute to get it nice and foamy. Add ice and shake again; strain into coupe glass or brandy snifter; and garnish with orange zest. Cheers!






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

The Lowdown on

July is National Ice Cream Month, and as the heat of a Louisiana summer swelters, there’s no better time to enjoy some local ice cream creations. Southwest Louisiana offers cone-fuls of unique spins on your favorite frozen treats.

IceinCream Calcasieu Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Boombox Frozen Pops & Ice Cream


by Matt Dye

Hop in your DeLorean and travel from the 1950s to the 1980s at Boombox Frozen Pops & Ice Cream, located at 2825 Country Club Road next to CC’s Coffee. Started as a two-man gourmet popsicle stand, Boombox has been delivering signature ice cream flavors with names based on 80s hits since 2014. The establishment has a vibe you can feel when you walk in, with a faux wall of cassette tapes and Max Headroom on the monitor. You can play it safe with No Cream Compares 2 U (Cookies & Cream) or try one of the more unique creations in Bacon the Law or My Heart Goes Bam Bam, aka vanilla with Fruity Pebbles.

Just down the road at 2735 Country Club Road, tucked behind the Goodwill parking lot, is Lulu’s Specialty Snocones & More. Pulling in, you might be discouraged by the line, but don’t be as Lulu’s is drive-thru only and very efficient at what they do. You’ll find some of the most decadent ice cream concoctions in these parts. Reese’s Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Butterbeer Potion . . . these specialties are overloaded with flavor. The two cheesecake varieties come with a slice of cheesecake! There are also snocones and a variety of ballpark-type food options.

Open Sunday – Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Open Tuesday-Friday 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Berry Cheesecake at Lulu’s Specialty Snocones & More

Last but not least, K’s Frozen Delights & More at 1842 Ruth St. in Sulphur has ice cream any way you want it. Their menu has everything from cones to milkshakes, but they’ll also roll up that ice cream on a cold slab or twist it up with some treats like you might find if you were stuck in a blizzard. And that’s before you get to their stuffed snow cones. They also serve a wide range of diner foods. Open Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Sunday noon - 6:00 p.m. K’s Frozen Delights & More

It’s going to be a long summer, which means there’s time to get out there and try all these places for yourself.

Giggles Ice Cream & Gourmet Coffee

Head south on Gulf Highway to Brown’s Shopping Center, and tucked in through a Subway entrance is a trip back in time at Giggles Ice Cream & Gourmet Coffee. Designed after a 1950s ice cream parlor, Giggles has more than a few unique flavors such as “C” is for Cookie and Garbage Can, which is vanilla ice cream with 7 different candy bar chunks. With a variety of coffees, pastries, and lunch specials, Giggles is a great place to take the family.

Recently opened at 3825 Ryan Street is Ant Trail Ice Cream & Munchies. Featuring a fun picnic like décor and homemade ice cream, Ant Trail has some super creamy treats. While there’s traditional flavors like Vanilla and Strawberry, they also have nontraditional varieties such as Nutella, Cajeta, and Angel Kiss. You can also get many of these same flavors as popsicles. In addition, you’ll also find treats with a Latinx flavor, such as a Choco Banana and Churros with Caramel, as well as several fruit juices.

Be sure to ask for extra napkins! Ant Trail Ice Cream & Munchies

Open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Open daily 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Over in Sulphur at 2405 Maplewood Drive is a kid favorite – PT’s Snowballs & Ice Cream. While better known for their snowballs, PT’s does serve up Blue Bell goodness in large serving sizes and affordable prices; so much so that a single scoop cone can easily do the job. They also boast a two-port drive-thru to make getting in and out even faster, as well as a varied collection of coffee drinks to help kickstart your day. Conveniently open Monday – Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sundays.

PT’s Snowballs & Ice Cream



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Money & Career

Find the Best Bank for You

Is it time to open a bank account but you’re not sure which bank to choose? Switching banks takes effort, so selecting the right bank is an important decision you only want to make once. If you’re wondering which bank is best for your needs, take these steps to get familiar with the options available and choose the institution that fits your needs.

continued on p12

SCAN HERE to learn more

*Annual Percentage Rate. Credit union membership required. Restrictions apply. Amount approved dependent on different variables.

If you live, work or worship in Calcasieu, Cameron or Beauregard Parish, YOU CAN JOIN SWLACU!


Money & Career | Choose the Best Bank for You

Define your

Current & Future

Banking Needs

Explore your

Banking Options

You probably have immediate requirements that a bank must satisfy. For example, you may need a place to deposit your paycheck, or perhaps a bank that charges lower fees than your current bank. The best bank for you will not only meet those needs but also your anticipated needs in the coming years.

Several varieties of financial institutions are available. Most offer similar products and services (especially if you’re only looking for checking or savings accounts and a debit card for spending), but there are differences.

As you evaluate banks, consider whether you’ll grow out of an institution, or if banks excel in areas where you anticipate future needs. For example:

These are the brick-and-mortar banks with national (and multinational) operations that you’re probably most familiar with and hear about in the news. You may see numerous branches on busy street corners in large cities, making them the best banks for those who travel frequently.

Will you stay in the same location?

Does the bank offer robust online or mobile services?

If you’ll start a business, can the bank handle business accounts?

If you plan to get a mortgage or refinance, does the bank offer discounts to customers who use other services?

While it’s wise to plan ahead, things change, and it’s hard to predict the future. For this reason, most people start by focusing on banks that offer a wide range of basic products.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Big Banks

Products and services: These banks offer checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and personal and home loans. Fees: These tend to be higher because of the increased overhead of big banks with physical branches, but it’s possible to get fees waived (by setting up direct deposit, for example).

Rates on savings and CDs: The annualized interest rate (APY) isn't the highest because of the banks high overhead.

Branch and ATM locations: The largest banks have hundreds of branches around the country, so they're often the best banks if you prefer in-person transactions or simply want to avoid paying foreign-bank ATM fees.

Community Banks These operate in smaller geographic areas, primarily accepting deposits and lending locally. In addition to being an essential part of the local economy, these are also the best banks for individuals who prefer a customer-centric approach.

Products and services: These banks also offer deposit accounts and loans, although large businesses and the ultra-wealthy may need to obtain specialized services from big banks.

Fees: They tend to be lower than at big banks, and fee waivers are often available with less stringent requirements.

Rates on savings and CDs: They vary and are sometimes higher than at big banks; you can often snag even better deals with advertised specials.

Branch and ATM locations: They’re available locally, but you may have to pay out-of-network fees if the bank doesn’t participate in a national ATM network.

Credit Unions

Online Banks

These are member-owned, not-forprofit organizations. To open an account, you need to qualify and become a member.

These are banks without physical branches. Opening an account with them is the an option for those who prefer to bank digitally. That said, going fully online with your money can be tricky—physical locations still have value when you need in-person assistance.

Products and services: The smallest credit unions might offer fewer products than big banks do, but you can almost always find checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans,

Fees: They tend to be lower than at banks, and it’s relatively easy to find free checking.

Rates on savings and CDs: They're often higher than rates at big banks but are sometimes lower than those at online banks.

Branch and ATM locations: If your credit union participates in shared branching (as many do), you’ll have access to thousands of free locations nationwide.

Products and services: Free checking and savings accounts are often the main attraction, but other products may be available.

Fees: They tend to be lower than bank fees because having no physical branches translates into less overhead. Accounts are often free unless you bounce checks or make certain transactions (wire transfers, for example).

Rates on savings and CDs: They're often higher than you can find anywhere else.

Branch and ATM locations: Physical branches are generally nonexistent, but online banks either participate in robust nationwide ATM networks or reimburse ATM fees (up to certain limits).

Pro Tip: Some

banks with physical branches also have an online-only arm (Capital One 360, for example). Maintaining one account at a physical bank branch and another online allows you to receive in-person customer service and still enjoy low fees and high interest on your deposits.


Squeeze more green into your accounts with ZydeCash. ZydeCash includes high-yield checking and savings accounts with a debit card, printed checks as you need them, and robust access to your account(s) online and through our mobile banking app on all your smart device(s), with no minimum balance. Securely apply online or stop in to any JD Bank Branch.


If you need financing for an ATV, Car or RV, are planning a dream vacation or you just need extra cash flow for expenses, JD Bank is your trusted Louisiana lending resource and we have the expertise to develop the loan solution that's right for you. A personal loan helps build credit and increase your credit score. Talk to a dedicated JD Bank Consumer Lender today.


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800-789-5159 | JDBANK.COM |


Money & Career | Choose the Best Bank for You

Making Sense of

Bank Rates & Fees

Examine interest rates and account charges as you shop for a bank to determine how much you’ll earn on your deposits. Also, figure out how much will you pay for loans and what maintenance and transaction fees apply. The best rates and fee structure for you will depend on the specific product you need and your financial goals:

Checking accounts: Low fees are particularly important for these accounts; free checking is even better. Otherwise, monthly maintenance fees and stiff overdraft penalties can make a serious dent in your account, costing hundreds of dollars annually.

Savings accounts: A high annual percentage yield (APY) is important if you plan to keep a large sum of money in the account over the long term. Even so, a slightly lower interest rate on savings isn’t going to make or break you financially, so don’t be lured by the highest APY unless you’re among the wealthy. However, do look for low fees to avoid negating what you accrue in interest.

Loans: If you plan to take out a loan to buy a house, car, or for another reason, shop among numerous lenders; you don’t necessarily have to be a customer of every potential bank. Settle on one that offers a low interest rate and fees to minimize your costs over the life of the loan.

Shop Around for

Technology & Convenience

As you narrow your list, look for important features you’re likely to use on a day-to-day basis to make your everyday interactions with your bank as effortless as possible. These include:

Remote deposit: If you ever get paid with a physical check, the easiest way to deposit it is to snap a picture with your bank’s app.

Bank-to-bank transfers: Look for banks that offer free electronic transfers to other bank accounts. This is standard with most online banks, but brick-and-mortar banks may offer it, too. Transfers make it much easier to manage your money and change banks.

Texting and email alerts: We all get busy, and it’s nice to get a heads up from your bank when something is happening in your account. You might also want a quick update on your bank balance without needing to log into your account. Banks with texting options and automatic alerts make banking easy.

ATM deposits: Going to a branch during banking hours isn’t always possible (or convenient). ATM deposits let you bank on your schedule and even add funds to some online banks.

Bank hours: If you prefer to bank in person, ensure the hours are suitable for your needs. Some banks and credit unions even offer weekend and evening hours (at least at the drive-through).

Pro Tip: Banks are Pro Tip: When it comes to earning interest

on savings or certificates of deposit (CDs), even a difference of 1% APY between banks might not be that impressive. Assuming you keep $3,000 in savings, that’s a difference of around $30 per year between banks. If one of those banks charges $10 per month to keep your account open, the obvious choice is to choose the bank with lower fees.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

supposed to be a safe place for your money. Ensure that any account you use is insured, preferably by the U.S. government. Banks should be backed by FDIC insurance. Federallyinsured credit unions should be backed by the NCUSIF.

Open an


Let us help you make a plan.

Once you choose an account at your preferred bank, it’s time to open and fund it. Some institutions let you do everything online, which is a quick and easy option if you’re tech-savvy. If not, make a visit to the branch, and bring identification and an initial deposit. If you’re moving to a new bank, use a checklist to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. You don’t want to pay fees for any mistakes. The Bottom Line: There isn’t a single best bank account out there. Different types of banks are available and have different products, rates, fees, and features. The choice comes down to which bank offers the combination of terms that best meets your needs. In fact, it’s acceptable to have more than one bank account if you can manage the accounts responsibly. Your goal is to get the best terms wherever you can find them.

Butch Ferdinandsen

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPS, CRPC Investment Advisor Representative Securities offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (WFS) member FINRA/ SIPC. WFS is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of WFS.


Our team is READY TO LEND

Kala Kuhlthau

Aaron LeBoeuf

Twenda Hanson

Roy Raftery

Aimee Gilmore

Jonathan Boudreaux

Bryan Armentor

(337) 474-3766 |

Bobby Broussard


Money & Career



WORKS Local business legacies

FASTSIGNS Early in his career, Peter Romero had been working with a local office supply company. With his wife’s support, he and a partner opened Lake City Printing (LCP)in 1977. “I was the salesperson, and my partner did most of the production; then I handled delivery and bookkeeping.” In 1986, Romero became sole owner. But he wouldn’t be the last Romero to work in the business. In 2000, his daughter, Ashley, joined the LCP staff. She had worked there in high school during the summers, and after a variety of other jobs, she returned to the family business. “Ashley wears many hats in the business and works in the art department, customer service, and billing department,” Romero says. “She has proven to be a great team player.” In 2008, Romero’s son, Matthew, returned from LSU and also started working at LCP. He had plans to expand the business in a related but different way. They purchased the property next door to LCP, and in 2016 opened a FASTSIGNS franchise. “Matthew has won several awards with FASTSIGNS,” says Romero. A primary reason for the success of the business is Romero’s ability to interact with clients. Ashley says her father is a remarkable salesman. “Everyone likes him. He’s fun to talk to. And he’s very caring. ” In terms of his skills, Romero says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He recalls his own father and says, “My daddy was a coffee salesman and he never met a stranger. He would go to grocery stores just to meet people. Like him, I’m a true people person. That’s my strength.” 16

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

by Angie Kay Dilmore

Now age 70, Romero says he has no plans to fully retire. “I still enjoy my business. I have a great general manager, Adrian Andrepont, and that allows me to have a flexible work schedule. And it is very rewarding for me to see my children every day. It’s one of the reasons I continue to work.” Romero’s “children” hope their father continues working for many more years, as well. “Any time I have a hesitation or concern, I ask him his thoughts and opinions,” Matthew says. “He’s done a phenomenal job and has a lifetime of experience. I want him around for as long as he can be here.” Ashley says, “I love seeing my dad every day. We’re really close, and it’s a pleasure to work with him.” Romero considers himself very fortunate. “I had some breaks that went my way and some that didn’t. But I have always enjoyed interacting with my customers and employees. LCP could not have lasted 45 years without great employees. We have 25 employees, and three have been with us over 30 years. Our business continues to grow. No other printing company between Houston and Baton Rouge matches our capabilities.”

L to R, Matthew, Ashley, and Peter Romero





Style & Beauty

FACIALs with Benefits by Kerry Andersen

Senior esthetician Lauren Burk at Bauhaus Salon + Haus Spa says, “Estheticians use more advanced products than the ones that are part of your athome daily routine including more aggressive exfoliants and cutting-edge treatments that deliver quicker results.” 18

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Always put your best face forward! In the purely literal sense, that sage advice comes down to skin care. Technological advancements have dramatically improved skin care ingredients in recent years. They now protect us from the sun, blur our wrinkles and infuse moisture into our dry spots. If you want to boost your results even more, book an appointment to see a trained professional.

Here are the top innovative treatments Burk says are readily available to enhance your skin care results while offering up a dose of relaxation and pampering too. Rezenerate Nanotechnology Pen This treatment is like microneedling but less aggressive. The esthetician chooses a custom cocktail of serums based on your skin concerns and loads them into a nanopen. The wand creates micropuntures when passed over the skin, delivering the serums deep into the skin and boosting absorption by seventy times more than applying ingredients topically. The pen’s vibrations also activate collagen and elastin producing cells at the base layer of our skin. Burk says the results are amazing! Dermaplaning This treatment is a form of exfoliation that uses a small surgical scalpel to painlessly remove the vellus hair (also known as peach fuzz) and the top layer of dead skin

from your face to yield a silky smooth appearance. By removing these two layers, the skin is better able to absorb treatment products which creates a beautiful base for makeup. Burk says it’s the most popular add-on skin treatment at the salon. HydraFacial The HydraFacial is the world’s most popular advanced skin treatment and uses patented technology to deliver a gratifying glow. The three step process cleanses and peels skin to uncover a new layer, then extracts debris from pores using painless suction followed by intense moisturizers and finishes by saturating the skin with antioxidants and peptides. In just thirty minutes you’ll be fresh faced. This is a goto treatment for those with dry skin.

LED Light Therapy This add-on therapy uses a light wand to boost any other treatment you receive. Red lights speed up healing, reduce inflammation, and stimulate collagen production. Blue lights target and kill acne bacteria. As a bonus, this 20-minute procedure can also boost your mood. Home versions of light wands are now available, but in-office therapy is stronger. Note: a series of treatments is required to experience maximum benefit. Oxygen Infusion A favorite ‘pre-event’ treatment, the oxygen infusion facial works from the inside out. Replacing the oxygen in your skin smooths out wrinkles and restores a youthful glowing appearance. Great for all skin types in need of an immediate pick-me-up.

Burk says, “Facials are for everyone – men, women, those looking to target specific skin issues or as an anti-aging measure. Men can benefit from clearing clogged pores and deep cleaning facial hair. We recommend treatment every four to six weeks depending on your facial concerns.” She adds, “If you struggle with acne, a trained esthetician can clear out your pores and teach you how to properly care for your skin (severe cases should consult a dermatologist too).” As science advances, so does skincare. Hot ingredients right now include Silymarin, a powerful antioxidant derived from milk thistle that has

skin calming and brightening benefits. Also look for products with Bakuchiol, a plant based alternative to retinol which is better for sensitive skin with the same wrinkle busting results. Now you’re ready to face the world! Bauhaus Salon is located at 4212 Lake Street in Lake Charles. Visit bauhaussalon. com, text 337.202.8754 or call 337.474.4000 for an appointment. In July, the salon is introducing the celebrity favorite luxury Cosmedix skincare line in conjunction with its Luminous Fruit Dermaplaning Facial. 4212 Lake Street, Lake Charles 70605 • (337) 474-4000

Looking for a Healthcare Provider for your Teen? We offer adolescent-centered care, ages 11-18

• general care • school & sports physicals • risk assessment • wellness & preventive education Guillermo Familykids Medicine Our goal is to empower to take theClinic lead in their own healthcare as they transition to adulthood.

Guillermo Family Medicine Clinic

501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., 2nd Floor | (337) 419-1958


Style & Beauty

All that by Kerry Andersen

There’s a certain joie de vivre that comes with living in Louisiana, an exuberance that spills over into our music, attire, and even makeup. In most cities, spotting someone wearing a feather boa and a neck full of beads would stand out, but in Louisiana, that’s just a typical Friday night celebrating the latest festival or party. The use of body glitter has long been the shiny icing on the festive cake for Mardi Gras and other celebrations. Now, all that shimmers and shines is taking center stage in the fashion world too with glitter offering an affordable way to add fun and whimsy to your wardrobe (regardless of age or gender). This is not the messy glitter of our youth but rather a new modern splashproof formula with zero fallout and easy application. Last year, CourtLin Designs owner Lindsay Bourgeois (aka Glitter Girl) and a friend bought some face glitter and wore it on a trip to Mexico. When they couldn’t source it anymore, they mixed up a batch of shiny colorcoordinated purple and gold glitter themselves for Mardi Gras. So many people stopped them to ask about it that a business was born in January of this year, initially as a pop-up shop and currently an online retailer. “It’s impossible not to smile when your face shines with glitter!” says Bourgeois. “Glitter is an easy way to glam up any outfit and bedazzle even the most mundane day to make it shine a bit brighter. It’s not just for parties and special events anymore, you can wear glitter to everything.” 20

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

The Bourgeois family garage is now a production line with workshop tables, shelves, and AC to keep the space comfortable while they work long hours mixing up eye catching shades of glitter with a vegan hypoallergenic gel. The paste makes it easy to apply the glitter to the face, body, and hair in a long lasting formula that is also easy to remove with just soap and water. Artistic creativity quickly elevated this locally owned business to booming glitter empire. CourtLin Designs offers glitter in custom colors with fun catchy names like Tropic Like it’s Hot and Pineapple Punch. They shimmer with shades of LSU, mermaid scales and McNeese blue and gold. Customers purchase the glitter to match an outfit or occasion, to show school spirit, or just for a fun night out on the town. It’s been part of gender reveal parties, sporting events, and purchased by cheerleader squads for their performances. Custom orders are now a huge part of the company’s inventory for schools, sports teams,

Mardi Gras krewes and sororities. In fact, a boutique in Alabama just put in an order for all the sororities at Auburn University so glitter from Southwest Louisiana will be included in gift bags for rush events this fall. CourtLin Designs products are available wholesale and carried by four boutiques in addition to the online storefront. The glitter gel sells for $12 a jar and a little goes a long way. “It’s wild how far it’s come in such a short time,” Bourgeois says. “People in Louisiana, kids, and adults alike love a little extra glitter in their life and it’s surreal to see people walking around Lake Charles wearing our product. It’s fun, it’s cool and we’re enjoying it!” Find CourtLin Designs’ fun glitter options (and homemade artwork too) at www.courtlindesigns. com, on Instagram, or shop locally at Mimosa Boutique. Follow them on Facebook for new designs, giveaways, and discounts. For custom orders, email .

Protect your

Summer is here, and sun worshipers are out in full force. While a tan looks wonderful, the effects of the sun on your skin can be devastating, including burning, premature wrinkles, sunspots and cancer. If you’re out in the sun without sunscreen, you’re looking for trouble.


EXPERT ADVICE ON SUNSCREENS SPF stands for sun protection factor. A

sunscreen with SPF 30 will protect you from around 96.7% of UVB rays, whereas an SPF of 50 means protection from about 98% of UVB rays. Anything beyond SPF 50 makes little difference in terms of risk of sun damage, and no sunscreens offer 100% protection from UVB rays.

A BROAD-SPECTRUM sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Broad-spectrum sunscreens have become the norm in recent years. Two types of UV light are proven to contribute to the risk for skin cancer: Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength and is associated with skin aging. Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning. Local dermatologist Kerri Davis-Fontenot, MD, explains that the best sunscreen is SPF 30 or more and broad-spectrum. “Ideally, sunscreen should be a physical/mineral blocker and you can find this by looking for the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide,” says Dr. Fontenot. “Sunscreen should be worn every day on sun-exposed skin. Reapply every two hours or sooner if you are swimming or sweating. I never leave the house without my sunscreen. Reapplying it throughout the day is made easier with newer cosmetic sunscreens, such as brush-on powders or lightweight moisturizers with sunscreen.” Dr. Fontenot says there’s no safe amount of time dedicated to sun exposure. “The sun emits harmful UV rays all year long, even on cloudy days. Most people think they need sun exposure for vitamin D absorption, but this can be maintained with a healthy diet and vitamin supplements. And keep in mind that the sun’s rays are the strongest from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.”

by Stefanie Powers

“Visible light is any light that the human eye If you desire some color and still want can see (ceiling lights, phones, computer protection, you’re out of luck. “Unfortunately, screens, TV, sunlight). Conditions such as there is no ‘safe tan,’” Dr. Fontenot explains. melasma can be worsened by even this type “If you tan, you are damaging your skin. This of indoor light. Tinted sunscreens can help in turn increases your risk of skin cancer, in protect someone from both UV and visible addition to signs of aging such as wrinkles and light, but needs to be SPF 30 or more.” pigmentation. Self-tanners and spray tans are safer options to achieve some color. There are even sunscreens that contain bronzer, which is a great product to both protect you from sun damage and give you that sun-kissed color.” Kids love being out in the sun, but they must be careful. “It is ideal to avoid Where the Art of direct sun exposure in children younger than six months,” Dr. Fontenot says. “Infants six months and older should wear SPF 30 or Meets the Art of more broad-spectrum sunscreen on any sun exposed areas. Hats, long-sleeved shirts/ rash guards, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses should • MEDICAL Dr. Kerri also be used to help • S U R G I C A L protect their skin.” Davis -Fontenot Indoor lighting • COSMETIC can even pose a BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST D E R M ATO L O GY problem. “More studies are showing that visible light leads to 1936 SOUTHWOOD DR, LAKE CHARLES, LA 70605 | (337)564-SKIN hyperpigmentation or skin darkening,” Dr. W W W. G A L L E R Y D E R M . C O M Fontenot explains.

ne i c i d e M s

tic e h t s e A



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

t r e Exp

at Every Age. e r a C N Y G / B O Obstetrician – Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) help women have healthy babies and safe deliveries, and they diagnose and treat health issues specific to women, throughout their lifespan.

Bradley Forsyth, MD

Gisele McKinney, MD

Rafiné Moreno-Jackson, MD

At Memorial’s Hospital for Women, this specialty care can include acute and chronic illnesses, breast and gynecological exams, endometriosis, pregnancy and family planning, high-risk pregnancy, infertility treatments, menstrual irregularities, pre-menstrual syndrome, menopause, osteoporosis, urinary track disorders, operative gynecology – including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries, vaginal infections, well-woman care, and more. For care that you can count on, call 337.480.5510 or 5570. New patients are welcomed.

Matthew Scroggs, MD

Joseph Semien, Jr., MD

Norman Stewart, MD


Mind & Body


Why is it important to have a yearly wellness check?


Compiled and edited by Angie Kay Dilmore

Everything builds on a yearly wellness exam. The annual blood work will show a complete blood count, looking for anemia, heart disease, autoimmune disease and other concerns. It checks kidney function and identifies any diabetic concerns as well as showing the levels of cholesterol. We’ll discuss any concerns or difficulties, and we’ll talk about recommended screenings such as a mammogram or colonoscopy. If anything of concern is detected, we’ll address it and create a path forward. One of the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle is to have a yearly wellness exam.

Do you ever just wish you had a doctor friend who you felt comfortable asking medical questions, no appointment necessary? In this feature debut, we rounded up a wide variety of local physicians to answer some of your most pressing health-related concerns.

Kelly Fuqua, MD, family medicine physician, Calcasieu Family Physicians and member of the WCCH medical staff

I have a sharp pain around the point of my shoulder when I lift something over my head. What is it, and what can I do?

My son is a picky eater. How can I get him to eat healthy, nutritious food?

It may be impingement syndrome, one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. This can be the result of an inflamed, weak, or torn rotator cuff tendon, or the bursa (sac that lubricates the shoulder joint) may become inflamed. Bone spurs are a major cause of internal impingement; weakness of the rotator cuff and muscles around the shoulder blade are typically seen with external impingement. Evaluation includes a physical exam, x-rays, and sometimes an MRI in long-standing cases or if a rotator cuff tear is suspected. Most patients do well with a course of physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. J. Trappey, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, Center for Orthopaedics


I have low back pain. Is exercise good or bad for my back?

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that regular exercise prevents low back pain, and for those suffering an acute injury resulting in lower back pain, doctors may recommend an exercise program that begins with gentle exercises and gradually increases in intensity. Once the acute pain subsides, an exercise regimen, particularly one focused on strengthening abdominal and back muscles may help prevent future recurrence of back pain. Improving cardiovascular endurance is also beneficial. Low impact exercise such as walking, swimming, and cycling are particularly useful for a good cardiovascular workout. Crunches, pelvic tilts, and gentle stretching are beneficial for improving strength and flexibility. William Lowry, MD, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, Center for Orthopaedics

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

What causes flat feet and how is this condition treated?

A flat foot deformity is a condition of the foot resulting in loss of arch height. Congenital flat feet are present at birth while acquired flat feet progress as one ages and become symptomatic around skeletal maturity. Flat feet are usually the result of biomechanical abnormalities. Other causes include poor footwear and trauma. Symptoms include pain, swelling around the ankle, difficulty standing on your toes, and a fallen, depressed arch. Treatment of the condition can include supportive orthotics, physical therapy, bracing, and in extreme cases surgical intervention. Dr. Christine Palma, Podiatric Surgical Specialist, Imperial Health

The reasons for picky eating are numerous, but often can be overcome with a few simple strategies. Children learn eating habits from their family. Eat meals together and eat the same foods. To learn how to prepare a well-balanced meal, see the “My Plate” guide at Children should eat until they feel satisfied. Forced eating can lead to negative food relationships. Don’t expect them to empty every plate. Encourage them to try one bite of everything on their plate but avoid second servings unless they finish their plate. If they get hungry between meals, offer a healthy snack. If these strategies don’t help, your child may have a medical or developmental condition. Consult your medical provider for an evaluation. Anatole Karpovs, MD, The Children’s Clinic

What is the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid (produces too much thyroid hormone). Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid (does not produce enough). Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism. Although the two conditions have different signs and symptoms, sometimes they overlap. Hypothyroidism causes symptoms like tiredness, cold intolerance, and weight gain. Having an underactive thyroid can decrease, or slow down, your bodily functions. With hyperthyroidism, you may find yourself with more energy, as opposed to less. You may experience weight loss, tremors, anxiety, and possibly heart palpitations. Balanced thyroid hormone levels are vital to your overall health. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor. Tyler Zachary, MD, endocrinologist, Endocrinology Center of Southwest Louisiana

I have joint pain but prefer to avoid surgery. Are there any new treatments available?

Regenerative medicine is one of the fastest growing areas of bone and joint care. Patients with rotator cuff and shoulder labrum tears, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and hip labrum tears want relief without needing to go through an expensive surgery and long postoperative rehab. At Cascio Sports Medicine, we have developed a focus on PRP or platelet rich plasma injections. In just a few minutes, we can harvest some blood from the patient’s arm and then with ultrasound guidance place the platelets directly into the torn or painful tissue. PRP has been shown to help heal painful tears especially in the shoulder, elbow, and hip. Brett Cascio, MD, Cascio Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics



...until it’s too late. Most vision problems are avoidable, and even curable, if discovered early. A comprehensive eye exam can detect major vision issues you may not be aware of until it’s too late.

Schedule an exam at Hart Eye Center today.

1920 W. Sale Rd. • 337-439-4014


Mind & Body

Ask a Doctor continued...

My thinning lips are showing my age. Can I get a natural looking result with cosmetic injections? Cosmetic fillers have come a long way. Today’s options are safer, longer lasting, and look more natural. As we age, our lips lose collagen and fat and lose definition, especially at the cupid’s bow. Factors such as sun exposure, repeated sipping, pursing, and smoking add to the problem. The goal with lip injections is not only to make lips fuller, but also to create a proportional balance between the upper and lower lips. Injections add volume where this loss of definition is most apparent, smooth out creases in the skin around the lips, and give the corners of the mouth a lift to help restore a younger looking appearance. Dr. Allison Clement, master injector, The Skin Studios 26

Does edible medicinal cannabis affect me differently than smoking it? The way medicinal cannabis is consumed by a patient makes a difference, and ingesting and smoking are two of the more popular routes of administration. Inhaled cannabis enters the lungs and is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which is very beneficial for patients that need immediate relief for their symptoms. Edible cannabis is slower to take effect because it must be digested and metabolized, but the results can be more powerful and last much longer than inhalation. Patients with chronic conditions that require aroundthe-clock treatment will often utilize multiple methods of consumption depending on their needs at any given time. William R Condos, Jr, MD, medical director, Medicis Pharmacy

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

How important is diabetes as a risk factor for heart disease?

This is a very important question. Diabetes represents significant risk for development of atherosclerotic disease including heart disease. Presence of diabetes is equivalent to already having heart disease. Other risk factors include hypertension, lipid abnormalities, tobacco use, family history of early heart disease or stroke, sedentary lifestyle. Additional risk factors increase the risk of developing heart disease. Thus it is important to check blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risks in a person with diabetes, and manage them appropriately. Prasanna Sugathan, MD, cardiologist, Imperial Health

My mother has glaucoma. What exactly is this and how do I know if I’m at risk?

What are shin splints and how can I prevent them?

“Shin splint” is a common term for pain experienced in the front of the lower leg. This pain occurs when the connective tissue around the bones of the leg is stressed due to overuse. This is a very common complaint in athletes. The shins become very tender to the touch and are especially sore after activity. If you experience shin splints, you should stop exercising for a few days and give your legs a rest. Ice your shins for 20 minutes several times a day during this time. If the problem persists, see a qualified specialist. Alex Anderson, MD, primary care sports medicine physician, Center for Orthopaedics

I’m 35 and have good eyesight, but my sister says I should get my eyes checked by an eye doctor. When should I start getting regular eye exams?

Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor (a fluid) in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Most types typically cause no pain and produce no symptoms until the optic nerve has been damaged and noticeable vision loss has occurred. That’s another reason routine eye exams are so important. If you’re over age 60, African American, diabetic or have a family member with glaucoma, you are at higher risk for glaucoma than others, and should be tested regularly.

Age 35 is a prime time for a “healthy eye” exam. An ophthalmologist will ask about systemic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy problems, and other health conditions that could affect vision. A complete eye exam is then performed and related to your personal and family history of disease. The results of the exam can be stored in your electronic medical records—your “health database”—so future changes can be more clearly understood. Many hidden eye diseases can benefit from early diagnosis, for examples melanoma and glaucoma. Early detection is the key, and that’s why regular eye examinations are so important.

Marcy Hanudel, MD, ophthalmologist, The Eye Center

William B. Hart, MD, Hart Eye Center


in the Comfort of your


Home can be the most comfortable environment for recovery after an illness or injury. The specially trained staff of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s Home Health Agency provide medical services to each patient under the direction of their physician. Our services include: • Skilled Nursing • Home Health Aide Services • Wound Care • Physical Therapy

• • • • •

Occupational Therapy Speech Therapy Medical Social Services Medical Supplies Lifeline

We accept patients within a 50-mile radius of the WCCH campus, and we accept Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, commercial insurance and worker’s compensation. For additional information, please call (337) 527-4362.

It’s About Time. With OrthoExpress at Center for Orthopaedics, the wait is over.

24-hour Appointment Guarantee* | Monday through Friday For acute injuries, such as: Sports Injuries Broken Bones Sprains & Strains Knee Injuries

Hip Injuries Foot & Ankle Injuries Shoulder Injuries Elbow Injuries

Sudden Back or Neck Pain Hand & Wrist Injuries Work-Related Injuries

Whatever your injury, you’re within arm’s reach of the diagnostic and treatment resources of the region’s largest musculoskeletal group. * pending insurance approval

at Center for Orthopaedics (337) 721-7236 | 1747 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles


Mind & Body

How do I know if I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and what is the treatment?

Ask a Doctor continued...

I work in the industries, have a labor-intensive job, and suffer from shoulder pain. Do I need to see an orthopedic specialist?

Neck pain often masks itself as shoulder pain. Conservative care and a careful evaluation often help differentiate these. Start with your primary care physician for pain. They can order initial testing, direct you in the right direction, and refer you to an orthopedic, if necessary. New pain as a result of an identifiable incident is best evaluated by a specialist. After several weeks of conservative management to ease the pain, advanced imaging is often encouraged. At this time, a specialist will be able to help you understand what is seen on advanced imaging, such as a MRI. They can also discuss with you the benefits of surgery vs. continued non-operative pain management. James Jackson, DO, Orthopedics/ Sports Medicine, LCMHS 28

My friend says breast cancer runs in her family. She feels it’s only a matter of time until her own diagnosis. Is there anything she can do? While family history is a risk factor, most women with breast cancer have no family history. Lifestyle changes make a tremendous impact on breast cancer – maintaining a healthy body weight, getting regular exercise, lowering or eliminating alcohol consumption, and not smoking are all strategies to lower one’s cancer risk, including breast cancer. Getting regular mammograms is key because early detection makes a big difference in outcomes. She should talk with her doctor about concerns. In some cases, medication and/or surgery can be a beneficial tool. Stephen Castleberry, MD, general surgeon, Sulphur Surgical Clinic and member of the WCCH medical staff

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

My husband suffers from lower back pain but does not want to have surgery. What are his pain relief options?

Eighty percent of the population will suffer from serious back problems at some point in their lives. While most people recover quickly, twenty percent experience chronic back pain which interferes with work, homelife, and may require medical treatment. Surgery is rarely required for back pain; instead, the focus becomes pain management which often utilizes specialists such as physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, and mental health specialists working together. Pain management physicians are generally anesthesiologists who specialize in spine and joint injections such as epidural steroid injections, and other minimally invasive procedures. Physical therapy strengthens the body and teaches patients how to prevent further harm or injury. These may not completely cure back and neck pain, but it helps a patient live a more functional and predictable life.. Seth Billiodeaux, MD, Anesthesiology and Pain Management, LCMHS

PCOS is a syndrome that involves having enlarged ovaries on ultrasound with multiple small follicles, irregular periods, and/ or symptoms of hirsutism, which is when a female grows hair in a male pattern. Also, this is a diagnosis of exclusion so it’s important to have a hormone panel performed to evaluate other causes for these symptoms. Diet and lifestyle changes are helpful. Hormonal therapy is helpful, as well and metformin to stabilize insulin levels. Uzma Naeem, MD, OB/GYN

I recently read that West Nile Virus is on the rise in SWLA. What should I know about mosquitoborne illnesses?

Most mosquito-borne illnesses are not known to be endemic in the United States and are of little concern at this time. Malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever more commonly affect travelers; however, there is a risk that these may be transmitted in the United States. We are privileged to live in a country with a strong fight against mosquito-borne illness, but as we’ve seen, sometimes illnesses break through. I recommend having a supply of mosquito repellant, repellant candles, and mosquito netting. These items may prevent an annoyance now, but if there was a surge in mosquito-borne illness, they could be lifesaving. Joshua Bacon, MD, Family Medicine, LCMHS





Offering convenient care, the physicians and staff of the Community Health Center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital have seen over 7,000 patients since opening a year ago. The center provides a variety of healthcare services including adult primary care, walk-ins, and specialty care for general surgery, gynecology and wound care. All patients are welcome, those with Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and those without insurance. Open extended hours and on weekends.

703 Cypress St, Suite A, Sulphur (337) 310-0395 |


Mind & Body

EDGEMONT HEALING CENTER a new space for wellness and the restorative arts Story by Angie Kay Dilmore, photos by Carrie Kudla Photography

One step into the Edgemont Healing Center, and you immediately get the sense that you have entered a sacred space. An earthy scent of essential oils and incense quiets the spirit. Soft music plays in the background. Natural light streams in through a wall of windows and illuminates pastel green walls, inviting serenity and mindfulness. Edgemont Healing Center (EHC) provides a unique place for local wellness practitioners to conduct classes, workshops, and one-onone appointments. Numerous disciplines are represented – yoga, tai chi, reiki, meditation, massage, sacred breathwork, and sound bathing to name a few. “I like that it’s not just one thing,” says EHC owner Kelley Saucier. “I’m meeting new people in the healing community who I didn’t know before. We’ll see how it evolves. I’m excited to find out!” Sound bathing may be a new concept to some. The practice uses various sources of sound, for example singing bowls, a gong, or a variety of instruments. “If you’re in a meditative state, the sound vibrations resonate in your body and bring about healing,” Saucier adds. “Sound is used in medicine to break up disease and to heal the body. Sound bathing is another way to experience the sound vibrations. People love the immersive nature of the practice.” 30

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Rachel Johnson, wellness guru and a local labor and delivery nurse, leads the sacred breathwork and sound bathing sessions. “Communities need affordable access to centers that promote mind, body, and spirit connection and wellness to help bridge a gap between mental health disparities. I feel having access to practitioners who offer mental health services through wellness promotion is an undervalued asset in a community.” Simply participating in a group session can be healing. Saucier says yoga can be practiced by oneself, but the human connection is so important. “That’s the way we evolved. It’s how we survive, by connecting to other people.” During the pandemic, she hosted yoga classes in her backyard. Interest was so great she added more classes. It was during this time she conceived the idea for EHC. Saucier says our community has been through so much. “We need healing.” Bridgette Renee Thibodeaux teaches slow flow yoga and more vigorous “power hour” sessions at EHC. “The Center opened at a perfect time,” she says. “Everyone in this community has been impacted by the events of 2020 in various ways, myself included. Sharing yoga has been a joy for me for many years, and then suddenly it was gone. Thanks to Kelley’s vision and hard work, we have a beautiful, peaceful space where everyone is welcome.”

Saucier says she intentionally designed every element of her new business to promote wellness and healing. Shoes come off at the door. A giant gong summons the mind to meditation. Her innovative, cushioned stability floor facilitates comfortable yoga poses and relaxation. “People love this floor, especially for restorative practices like breathwork, yin, yoga nidra, and slow flows. It’s really nice for people with joint issues.” Certified wellness instructors who want to lead classes or see clients are invited to make use of the space. Saucier emphasizes that every class, every healing experience is unique. “The individual practitioners who facilitate these sessions bring their own personalities and gifts to the experience.”

Kristi Bult is an analytical technologist by day and a yoga instructor in the evenings. She hosted the first community event at EHC two months ago with a Restorative Yoga session, and a remarkable 25 people attended.

“A full house on a summer Sunday evening is a testament to what this facility means to me and the community. Anyone who has entered the space and experienced one of Kelley’s carefully chosen instructors and events will confirm that love walks there in all its forms . . . grace, connection, service, and community.” If you are interested in conducting a class, write to Kelley at or call her at 337-513-5808. For information on the classes offered at the Center and how to register for them, follow Edgemont Healing Center on Facebook.


3829 Ryan Street • Suite 300 Get in line, online!



Home & Family

This year, we focus our annual Back to School Guide on keeping your kids healthy while getting a good education. Countless studies show that children who eat nutritious food, get plenty of physical activity, and sleep well simply feel better, which improves their ability to focus on their schoolwork, retain what they learn, and succeed in their academic environments. This special section is packed with tips to improve and maintain your child’s physical and mental wellness, from the classroom to the playground.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Prioritizes T echnology, Literacy, & Student S afety

A letter to the C alc I am ho no re d

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e ne w Su pe ri nt en de nt fo r th e I ha ve wor ke d Ca lcas ie u Pa ri fo sh r th e Ca lcas ie u Pa ri 19 97 , se rv in g sh Sc ho ol Bo ar as a te ac he r, d si nce co ac h, as si st an O pe ra ti ng O ff t pr in ci pa l, pr icer, an d Ch ie in ci pa l, Ch ie f f Acad em ic O ff icer. M y w ife th re e ch ild re n , A ng ie, an d I – Co ur tn ey, M ha ve ad is on , an d Lo ga n – al l th re e are pr an d I am od uc ts of CP SB pr ou d to sa y th at . M y th ir ty-t wo ye ar s in ed ucat io n ha ve se en ye ar s ha ve se m any ch an ge en a si gn ifi ca s, bu t th e la st nt sh ift in how two se rv ices. Em er we de liver an d gi ng from th is re ce ive ed ucat sh ift is how w io na l te ch no lo gi ca e in te grate an l de vi ce s, pl at d le ve ra ge fo rm s, an d re so urce s so th at in st ru ct io n in th e cl as sroo m we ca n am pl ify an d prov id e ac th e are co m m it te ce ss ou ts id e th e cl as sroo d to literac y ef m . We fo rt s an d in pr de livered by hi ov id in g a hi gh gh ly qual ifi ed -q ua lit y cu rr ic te ac he rs. In to ul um envi ro nm en ts da y’s wor ld, ou mus t crea te op r ed ucat io n po rt un it ie s fo r in an d ex pl orat io nova ti on , crea n th at are grou ti vi ty, cu ri os it nd ed in fo un da ti y, le ar ne rs to flo on al literac ie s ur is h. We mus ne ce ss ar t em power an y fo r al l an d st af f, ou r d in sp ire ou r st le ad er s, an d ou ud en ts, ou r te ac he rs r co m mun it ie s th e ne xt ge ne to co nt inue th ra ti on of le ar ne e co m m it m en t to rs so th at th ey jo bs of th e fu tu are prep ared re. fo r to da y’s jo bs an d In ou r qu es t to prov id e th is en vi ro nm en t fo r an d pl an ex te ou r st ud en ts, ns ivel y to en su we mus t prep re th are at ou r ca m pu grea te st ex te nt se s ar e sa fe an d se cu re po ss ib le. It w ill to th e co nt inue to be we en te r th e 20 a to p pr io ri ty 22 -2 02 3 sc ho fo r al l of us ol ye ar. In ou r as an d grow, we co nt inuo us ef are sp en di ng fo rt s to im prov ti m e th is su m e m er bo ls te ri ng se cu ri ty m ea su ou r sa fe ty an re s al re ad y in d pl ac e. It is im po rt an up da te s an d sh t to us to m ak ift s in al l re al m e ne ce ss ar y s, in cl ud in g in ou r ca m pu se s, th e protec ti ve to en su re we m ea su re s of are ta ki ng a pr ch an gi ng an d oa ct ive ap proa ch al le ng in g ti ch du ri ng th es m es. e We are exci te d fo r th e ne w ye ar to co m e, th is su m m er to an d ou r st af f is wor ki ng di lig be tter ou r di st ri ct be fo re wel en tl y co m in g st ud en ts ba ck in Aug us t. Sc ho ol Bo ard.

-from Dr. Shannon La C P S B Superinte F argue ndent


Home & Family |

Back to a Healthy School Year

Pro Tips from a


It’s back-to-school time! There’s so much for parents to consider as they ready their children for the new school year. Keeping them healthy is at the top of the list. We asked Dr. Albert W. Richert, Jr. of The Pediatric Center of Southwest Louisiana for his advice. First, a balanced diet is important. “Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is probably the most important dietary recommendation I can make,” Dr. Richert says. “Sugar has made its way into so many products these days that most children are consuming much more sugar than they should, and parents don’t even realize it. Much of it comes from sugary drinks, such as sodas, sweet tea, and sweetened juices.” Dr. Richert says that we should all be eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day but agrees that most of us struggle to follow that advice. “There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that most kids will eat, but when given a choice between a cookie or an apple, many kids pick the cookie,” he explains. “Parents can help by limiting the number of sugary foods in the house and having plenty of fruits and vegetables available.” Next, there are many health benefits associated with daily exercise. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one hour of physical activity a day, but many kids don’t get that much,” Dr. Richert says. “Parents can try to help by encouraging fun activities, such as swimming, bike riding or playing at the park. Parents can also be role models. Kids are more likely to be active when they see their parents staying active and getting some exercise. And of course, setting some limits on electronic devices can encourage kids to find something else to do.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Dr. Richert feels that most children do not require vitamin supplements. “Even picky eaters can usually get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables,” he explains. “Vitamin D and calcium are important for healthy teeth and strong bones, and both are easy to get from dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese) and other foods. Even if your child does not consume dairy, it’s usually possible to get plenty of calcium from things such as orange juice fortified with calcium. With that being said, if you’re worried that your child’s diet is deficient in calcium or vitamin D, it is perfectly acceptable to give a daily kid-friendly multivitamin.” Regarding immunizations, Dr. Richert supports the immunization requirements of the Louisiana Department of Health. For information on immunizations, search online at Vaccinations needed to attend school/La Dept. of Health. And coming out of the pandemic, Dr. Richert recommends a COVID-19 vaccine for everyone who is eligible to receive one. “I have no idea what’s going to happen with COVID-19,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s coming back or going away. I don’t know if it will get worse again or not. I just know that the vaccine is safe and is the best defense we have against future shutdowns and disruptions to our lives.” To make an appointment with Dr. Richert, call The Pediatric Center of Southwest Louisiana at 337-477-0935.

Take Care of their

TEETH TEETH by Angie Kay Dilmore

Life gets busy once school resumes, so the slower days of summer are a great time to make an appointment for your child’s next dental visit. Ideally, according to Erin Moore Seale, DDS with Seale Family Dentistry in Lake Charles, a child’s dental care should begin a year prior to preschool. “Children should visit a dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or by age one, whichever comes first.” Early dental visits are generally non-invasive and largely conversational. A first dental visit usually involves a cleaning, fluoride treatment, and a general evaluation to check for things like cavities and eruption patterns. The dentist offers parents oral hygiene tips and answers any questions they may have. “Prevention and early intervention are the goals,” says Dr. Seale. Dental cavities are the most common disease affecting children. Early detection of cavities or a high risk for developing cavities allows for more conservative treatment modalities such as topical application of fluoride to arrest further decay. Preventive and conservative treatments are available when problems are detected early. These treatments are economical, very effective, and lead to fewer and non-invasive dental visits.” Dr. Seale recommends parents brush their young children’s teeth with a soft bristle brush using a rice size smear of toothpaste for children aged 0-3 and a pea size smear for ages 3 and up. When two teeth touch, it’s time to start flossing. Even though children lose those baby teeth, dental care is important in the years leading up to permanent teeth. “In the majority of cases, maintaining baby teeth until they are replaced by permanent teeth is essential for proper growth and development of the lower third of the face,” adds Dr. Seale. “Baby teeth allow for proper development of the muscles involved in swallowing, speaking, and in obtaining proper nutrition. Additionally, keeping baby teeth for an appropriate amount of time is the best way to maintain space for permanent teeth, allowing them to erupt in a more ideal position. We see a much lower incidence of cavities in adults whose teeth are in proper alignment.”

For more information, Dr. Seale refers parents to the website, sponsored by the American Dental Association and provides research-based information to the public. To make an appointment with Seale Family Dentistry, call 337-4740212. Located at 1430 W. McNeese St., Lake Charles.

Dr. Erin Moore Seale & Dr. Collin Seale


1430 West McNeese Street Lake Charles, LA 70605

S E A L E F A M I L Y D E N T I S T R Y . C O M


Home & Family |

Back to a Healthy School Year


Choosing the Right Healthcare Provider for Your Adolescent by Kristy Como Armand

Children tend to need medical care more than adults. From colds and earaches to sports physicals and injuries, kids need consistent, quality care. With so much time spent in the exam room, it’s important to find a healthcare provider both you and your child can trust.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

If you do not already have an established healthcare provider for your family, you may be wondering if a pediatrician or a primary care specialist will better fit your older child’s needs. Both pediatric and family medicine specialists can treat children, but when should a child transition to primary care? Guillermo Family Medicine Clinic, part of Imperial Health, makes this shift easier by offering adolescent-centered care starting at age 11. “Many adolescents tend to feel they don’t have a place of their own when it comes to healthcare,’” says Kari Hankins, FNP-C with Guillermo Family Medicine Clinic. “As a comprehensive family medicine clinic, we felt it was important to provide both a place and specific care for adolescents in a way that will grow and evolve with them as they become adults.” Hankins explains that they provide routine care for adolescents such as school and sports physicals and treatment for illness and injures. “But we also provide risk assessment and wellness education. Parents and adolescents get anticipatory guidance about risk factors and health concerns, and steps to take to address these. I also meet one-on-one with the patient

– the child – so they can feel free to talk about things they may not be as comfortable discussing in front of their parents. In addition to keeping our patients healthy and thriving, my goal is to teach them to have an effective relationship with their healthcare provider and empower them to take the lead in their own healthcare as they become adults.” There are other benefits to caring for the entire family in one practice. Providers gain an in-depth understanding of the family’s medical history, which can help with early detection and prevention of a variety of medical conditions. “Developing a rapport with adolescents where we normalize talking about health-related issues serves a lifelong purpose,” says Hankins. “We’re teaching them to take an active role in their health and wellness that will continue throughout their life.” Guillermo Family Medicine Clinic is located in Lake Charles at 501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., 2nd floor. To make an appointment, call 337-419-1958

Keep an EYE on your Child’s


According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly seven percent of school children younger than age 18 have a diagnosed vision condition. Even though newborns undergo a vision screening soon after birth, many children develop problems with their eyes years later. During the month prior to heading back to the classroom can be a perfect time to have your children’s vision evaluated. A good place to begin is with advice from your pediatrician. If a problem is suspected, he or she can perform a vision screening and refer you to the appropriate specialist for further evaluation, if needed. A child who has eye misalignment, pain, or itchy eyes; keeps books or electronic devices very close to his/her face; or has trouble with schoolwork should have his/her vision screened. It is recommended that even children with no obvious signs of vision loss undergo screenings that vary by age. This allows issues to be caught early before problems begin. The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive comprehensive exams by optometrists around age six months, at three years of age, before entering first grade. and then every two years thereafter.


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Dealing with

BULLIES BULLIES Each school year parents try to figure out who’s in which classroom with all the fervor of a fantasy football draft, hoping their kids haven’t been assigned to a group, team, or classroom with “those” kids—the mean, the cliquey, the ones who dictate the terms of how the year will go. Kids know who they are, and so do parents. We all know, but we often don’t take action to stop the problem. We talk around it. Caroline Maguire, ACCG, PCC, M.Ed., a mother and personal coach who works with children with ADHD and the families who support them, says there are three misconceptions about social cruelty and bullying that she hears from parents time and again.


“Kids will be kids” and all kids “can be mean.”


We should wait to talk to the teachers, the school, or the parent of a child who treats others this way, hoping time will resolve the problem.


Parents of a child who bullies, as well as parents of children who are victims, or silent bystanders, have little or no influence over their child’s behavior and there is nothing they can do.

Maguire argues that all of these are not true. “The idea that kids will just figure it out on their own—that they need to do so—has a long, miserable and misguided history. When we believe ‘there’s nothing we can do,’ we leave children to bear the burden. They need help. 38

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Every child needs to believe that change is possible. And they need the social skills to do it.” Bullying, cliques, and exclusive behavior doesn’t come from a few bad apples, and it’s not just a fact of life. It’s the result of kids having been bullied themselves, suffering low self-esteem, lacking empathy, or lacking the emotion regulation skills they need to manage their feelings and impulses. Children aren’t born bullies, victims or uncaring bystanders. Problematic social behavior is a sign that a child needs help, not harsh judgment. Adults can teach kids to develop empathy and ways to manage their feelings in situations that make them feel helpless, scared or defensive. The skills to thrive socially and with kindness are teachable if only someone takes the time to teach them.

and kindly, and to expect the same for themselves. Some simple starters:

Talk to your child about the behavior she sees. Ask her what she thinks is happening and what factors might be contributing to it (personalities, time, place, or other pressures). Problem solve with your child and her friends to help them find how they can navigate the situation.

Ask your child to practice taking another person’s point of view—step into someone else’s shoes—and consider that child’s feelings. How do you think James might feel in this situation? What could be going in May’s life that she would behave this way?

Discuss how social skills don’t come easy to everyone, and practice social smarts that help kids connect or be kinder. What could you do to be helpful in that situation? What would you want someone to say to you if you were feeling that way?

Share from personal experience a time when you weren’t as empathetic as you might have been, why you try harder now, and why it matters to you. When your child uses a snarky look or comment that disrespects another child, talk about it. Make inclusion a core value in your family and don’t just say it—teach your kids the skills to do it.

Don’t wait to start the bully conversation with your child, other parents, and at the school:

If you see something, do something. Call out meanness or bullying when you see it. Bring your concerns to a teacher, recess monitors, bus drivers, administrator, or the parent of a child whose behavior is concerning to discuss how the situation can be addressed.

Focus on calm, kind, constructive communication. It’s important to keep your cool in conversation with any child, parent, teacher, or others. Problem solving calls for a collaborative tone and intention. Don’t gossip about other kids or parents.

Coach your child and their friends in simple kindness, empathy and basic social skills. It’s easy to focus on the failings of others—kids and parents alike. Coach yours to treat others fairly

McGuire says we’re quick to tell kids to stand up to bullies, to intervene, and call others out on the playground or elsewhere when bullying and cliquish behavior occurs. “Kids are getting the message: be upstanders, not bystanders. But it’s up to us to show them how to do it. We are our children’s first and most powerful teacher and coach for upstander behavior.”

Keeping Students

PHYSICALLY PHYSICALLY FIT FIT McNeese State University strives to create a healthy and thriving campus community where students flourish. Whether it’s a yoga class at the Recreational Complex, a vegan meal in Rowdy’s Dining Hall, or simply some tips on how to adjust to college life, McNeese offers a variety of free on-campus resources to help its students enjoy lifelong health. The Recreational Complex helps students stay active, even when they’re trying to juggle classes, work, and life in general at the McNeese Recreational Complex. With an indoor track, Olympic-size pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, weights, wellness screenings, exercise classes, and an intramural sports program, students won’t run out of ways to stay fit. Healthy, balanced meals help students study and feel their best. In addition to the traditional cafeteria food, there are several nutritious dining options such as a salad bar, cauliflower pizza crusts and vegan meals. Students with dietary restrictions or allergies can work with the dining director to meet their dietary needs. The Office of Accessibility Services provides academic support services for emotionally, physically, and learning impaired students and accommodations for all enrolled disabled students as recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The office offers services such as monitored testing, interpreters and notetakers for students with disabilities who qualify for these accommodations.

The Counseling Center assists students with personal, developmental, academic, and mental health needs. College life presents new and difficult challenges to all students – stress, test anxiety, relationship issues, alcohol, drugs – and licensed professional counselors work to help them learn to navigate, manage, and resolve these challenges. Student Health Services is an oncampus health care resource that provides preventative care, education, and resources to help currently enrolled students live a healthy lifestyle. Outpatient services include treatments ranging from minor cuts, bruises, and sprains to testing for flu, UTIs and STDs. Last school year, there were over 1,200 visits. Registered nurses are on duty and doctors maintain daily clinic hours. To continue to meet the health care needs of the McNeese community, building renovations are currently underway on the corner of Ryan Street and Sale Road thanks to a property swap between the McNeese Foundation and JD Bank. The facility will house McNeese’s Student Health Services and Counseling Center in one accessible space on campus as well provide an urgent care facility staffed by Ochsner Health to serve students, faculty, staff, and the public.

The university’s mission is “to change lives” by giving its graduates the tools, knowledge, and confidence to go forward and make a life, make amission living, and make a difference The university’s in their McNeese recognizes that is “to communities. change lives” by the health well-being of its students are as givingand its graduates important as their academic success.


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Expert Tips to Help School-Age

ATHLETES ATHLETES Avoid Burnout and Injury According to Stanford Children’s Health, there are over 3.5 million children who sustain sports-related injuries every year. Around 70% of kids who play organized youth sports quit by the time they turn 13. It’s time to see the red flags. Parents of a school-aged athlete can help them to avoid being injured and becoming burned out, leading to a longer love of and participation in sports. “Many parents start out seeing how their child loves a particular sport, only to be surprised when they either walk away from it altogether or they end up with injuries,” says Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc. and the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “But by taking a proactive approach, this can largely be avoided. I’ve worked with many young athletes and have helped them avoid injuries and hold onto that passion for the game.” Research published in the journal Orthopedic Clinics of North America estimates that 30 to 45 million children participate in organized sports each year. Along with the increase in the number of children participating in sports, there is an increase in the number of injuries that take place. They estimate that over half of all youth sportsrelated injuries each year are due to overuse, which is an injury that results from constant stress without enough recovery time.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, overuse injury is damage that happens to the bone, muscle, ligament, or tendon from repetitive stress without giving the body time to heal. They report that overuse injuries have four stages: pain after the activity, pain during the activity that does not restrict performance, pain during that activity that does restrict performance, and chronic, persistent pain even when at rest. The other issue plaguing many young athletes is burnout, which is the mental changes that can affect performance. Signs of an athlete being burned out include performance changes, lacking motivation to play the sport, no longer finding enjoyment from playing it, and having emotional changes. Burnout can happen when an athlete is too focused on one particular sport and not taking adequate breaks from it, as well as from the pressure to be too competitive. Coach Walls has worked with and helped countless young athletes to reduce their risks for injury, as well as to avoid burnout. Parents and coaches can use her tips to help their young athletes avoid injury and burnout:

Avoid playing only one sport. Being a multi-sport athlete creates a change in season, allowing them to stay engaged without being bored, and help the body recover to avoid repetitive injuries.

Listen to their feedback. If the child is under the age of 14-15, they might express complaints of fatigue or disinterest, which means they might need a break.

in the journal Sports Health reported that overuse injuries are preventable, and that muscular imbalances after accelerated growth periods predispose young athletes to overuse injuries. They recommend modifiable risk factors such as flexibility, strength, and training volume should be regularly monitored to help prevent the injuries.

For athletes over 15, it may be more an issue of adjusting to using recovery methods. In either case, these are initial signs that an athlete is becoming burned out. This needs to be addressed so they can come back to the sport more refreshed, mentally and physically.

Stress a healthy lifestyle. Encourage young athletes to get plenty of sleep; follow age-recommended guidelines from a pediatrician. Encourage healthy eating habits to help them feel better, recover faster, keep their mind fresh, etc.

Keep it fun and enjoyable. Try to deemphasize competitiveness if they are feeling burnt out. Look at overall communication over the sport; shift the focus to more fun and less competition.

Focus more on strength. Engage in strength training to reduce risk of injury, increase recovery time, and come back to the sport stronger so they can be better and have more fun. A research study published in 2017

“Over the last generation or two there has been a big emphasis on raising star athletes,” added Coach Walls. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but there are some precautions and steps people should take so that it doesn’t lead to problems. You want your athlete to be happy playing sports, reduce injury risks, and to play for years to come.” Located in Fairfax, Virginia, SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc. is a highperformance training club that specializes in helping to develop athletes of all ages. To learn more, visit the site:

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The ABCs of Getting your


The CDC recommends the following number of hours of sleep per night: Ages 6-12

9-12 hours

Ages 13-18

8 – 10 hours

For kids across the country, back to school means back to a regular sleep schedule. Gone are the lazy, hazy summer routines of going to bed late and sleeping till noon. The back-to-school sleep transition can be challenging, and sleep experts encourage parents to ease their children into the routine several weeks prior to the start of the school year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a good night of sleep improves a student’s focus, concentration, and overall academic performance. Good sleep also wards off diseases such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, depression, and injuries. There are two general types of sleep: rapid eye movement, or REM, and non-REM sleep. Both types are necessary for optimal learning. REM sleep is vital for consolidating memories so they can be retrieved later, a key cognitive function for learning. It’s also important for proper growth and development. Non-REM sleep is more restorative, helping to keep the mind and body awake and alert during the day. Follow these tips to send your children to school well rested and ready to learn:


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Avoid screen time before bedtime. About an hour before bedtime, have your child set aside the tablet, phone, and video games. Blue light emitted from screens can inhibit the body’s natural melatonin release.

Decrease fluids. Limit what they drink throughout the evening so they can urinate before bed and not need to wake up during the night to do so.

Follow a routine. A regular schedule is key to getting quality sleep. Strive to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day, including weekends. A consistent schedule helps children know what to expect. Spend the hour or so prior to bedtime with a simple routine, ie bath, teeth brushing, snuggling, story time, and quiet, calm talking.


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n o i t a c Ed u s e o r e

h r e p Su

“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 17, 2022

Educators today wear many hats. In addition to imparting knowledge, grading papers, and meeting federal and state educational mandates, they serve as peacekeepers and protectors; listeners when a student needs someone to talk to, always ready with a box of tissues for those occasional tears. They offer advice, opinions, perspectives, and life experience that can be as beneficial to students as any well-constructed curriculum. Being a good educator requires commitment, enthusiasm, and a love for children that can’t be learned in college education courses but brought to the classroom through their hearts. In this annual feature, we spotlight these respected educators with the intention of bringing awareness to the exceptional, vital role all SWLA educators play in the lives of our children.

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 | 44

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

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

Zaner Dellafosse art teacher, Vinton Middle School Zaner Dellafosse

grew up in Crowley, Louisiana, and graduated from McNeese State University in 2019. During college, Zaner says she met amazing individuals who encouraged her to be the “arttastic” teacher she is today. For example, the women in her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., helped her form a strong work ethic. Zaner interned at the Henning House Cultural Center, an art gallery in Sulphur, La. “Through my involvement in their community Second Saturday program, I had an opportunity to instruct my first art lesson. There were so many other individuals throughout my time at McNeese who helped shape me as an educator.” Zaner is currently the art teacher at Vinton Middle School and Calcasieu Parish School Board’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. She is also the cheer and yearbook sponsor. Zaner says she fell in love with art as a teenager. “I was going through a lot of changes and had a lot of built-up anger about where I was in life. I felt trapped and unheard in a place where people expected me to be what they wanted. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So, I conformed. Art was my way of releasing the anger and sadness I felt. It also gave me a way to express things that I had a hard time saying. These experiences inspired me to help other kids who feel the same way I felt.”

What do you find rewarding about your role as a teacher? I know I’m fulfilling my calling in life when I see a student express difficult experiences through art. For example, I have seen a student illustrate depression. That was beautiful! Especially, seeing that student talk about their design and then seeing other students talk about their journey with depression. Art can definitely save lives, if we give it a chance.

What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students become successful? The greatest issue facing students today is being heard. I have many students who come to see me during their lunch hour, just because they want to talk about something that is bothering them. I feel other teachers should strive to be an outlet for students to express themselves.

What are the challenges? My biggest challenge is patience. I have many goals for my art class, yearbook staff, and cheer team. Many of these goals take time to develop. I would love to incorporate art therapy into my lessons. However, I feel the classroom environment must aid in this goal. It took me two years to develop the right environment with the help of music and social contacts. Patience is key, but it is also a challenge.

Zaner in classroom


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C a s si Grinton student counselor, Immaculate Conception Cathedral School

Cassi Grinton grew up in

Lake Charles and has a history at Immaculate Conception Catholic School (ICCS). She attended ICCS from kindergarten to eighth grade and now her two children both attend ICCS. Cassi has served as a counselor at ICCS for nine years and says she always felt compelled to work with children. “Before my time as a counselor at ICCS and while working on my master’s degree, I was a forensic interviewer for the Children’s Advocacy Center where I worked with victims of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and witnesses to

violent crimes and domestic violence. I gravitated toward the field of education because I wanted to continue my role as an advocate for elementary-aged children.” Cassi attended McNeese State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Education degrees. What do you find rewarding about your role as a counselor? I enjoy building trusting relationships with my students. I love seeing them in the hallways, greeting them by name, asking about their new siblings, pets, and sports events, how classes are going, and complimenting their new haircuts. Their smiles, hugs, high fives, and greetings bring me significant joy each day. What are the challenges? Over the past few years, I have noticed a tremendous increase in the level of anxiety in children. While this trend has been on the rise nationwide since the start of the pandemic, our area has experienced further distress after hurricanes and other natural disasters that left many of our families displaced for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, given the recent incident in Uvalde, I expect to see this anxiety continue. Cassi and her family at ICCS's annual pet blessing


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students be successful? I believe a significant issue that students currently face is access to phones, social media, texting, etc. Connection to peers, especially in adolescence, plays a role in a child’s identity and staying connected during the pandemic became especially difficult. While these platforms can be beneficial with tight boundaries, as a forensic interviewer and a counselor, I have witnessed interactions with dangerous individuals online, exposure to inappropriate content, and difficult social situations that children do not yet have the skills to navigate through on their own. I support the “Wait Until 8th” movement which emphasizes the importance of delaying smartphone use until 8th grade. Parents are the primary educators of their children and conversations about safety and healthy use of social media and devices should begin at home. Educators can assist students in navigating this issue by reinforcing and building upon these conversations. The most important factor is open and consistent communication.

Andrea McFa rlain Gifted and AP English teacher, Sulphur High School Andrea "Andi" McFarlain,

a native of Southwest Louisiana, both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Education and Gifted certification from McNeese State University. She’s been an educator for 26 years and currently teaches gifted and Advanced Placement English Language and Composition (juniors) and English Literature (seniors), and a newer program – Educators Rising – for high school students considering a future in education. Andi jokingly tells people she became a teacher because she “didn’t have a choice.” She adds, “God created me to be a teacher, so here I am. I do love it! I’ve always wanted to help people, but I pass out when I see blood, so the medical field was out. When I was younger, I would force my sister to play school – I was always the teacher. I would also critique my teachers (in my mind) about what I would and would not do as a teacher.” Andi is the current CPSB High School Teacher of the Year. What do you find rewarding about your role as a teacher? I live for the relationships I am able to establish with students. I love guiding them through life’s twists and turns. I believe teaching literature sort of lends itself to discussions of valuable life lessons. The best thing is hearing from a former student that something they learned in class spoke to them later in life. What are the challenges? If I can close my classroom door from all the outside influences and just teach, I’m in

I think that my generation is partly to blame. Heaven, but at some point the outside gets in. So, we’ve got to fix this by establishing valid, Keeping up with the demands of the district JJEXT_LC_Thrive-qtrpgSmmrMOSQ_6-22-22_JJ_LC_Thrive-MosqTrtmnt_Smmr_6 compassionate relationships with these kids and the state has become impossible. Worse who are desperate for mentors. than that, though, is knowing we can’t save every kid. Seeing a kid slip through the cracks – even after they are adults – is painful. T OTA L

E n j o y Yo u r S u m m e r !

What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students be successful? These kids need real relationships. I’m not talking about significant others; I mean that they need to see there are adults who love and care for them, who VALUE them. And we, as those adults, need to model how healthy relationships work. We can’t just leave these kids to their own devices online in a virtual world, which is a much crueler world than the tangible one. People talk quite a bit about the mental health crisis, and some want to say it’s not really that bad. I see it in my classroom every day. It is real, and



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Vic kie Barto librarian and District Advisor for Student Council, Sam Houston High School

Vickie Barto has lived all her

life in Moss Bluff. She attended McNeese State University and earned her undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education, certifications in Special Education and Library Media Specialist, and a Master’s degree in Educational and Instructional Technology. She has worked in the field of education for 34 years, initially in Special Education and then as librarian for the past 16 years. Vickie also teaches Leadership classes and sponsors Student Council. She is currently the district’s High School Librarian of the Year. “I was the kid who loved going to school, and the Lord blessed me with wonderful teachers and coaches who impacted my life in positive ways. It was my dream to impact others in that same way.” What do you find rewarding about your role as an educator? Every student wants to know that you care about them as a person. When they know you care, they feel safe and are willing to learn. As educators, we never know the impact we have on students at the time. We just keep doing what we know is best for our kids and believe that what we’ve done has made a difference. What are the challenges? Educators are overloaded with the demands of their job description. I think BESE board members should have extensive experience teaching in the classroom.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

If they are going to make laws that pertain to teaching, they need to know what’s currently going on in our world. Another challenge is that basic parenting skills have been lost to technology babysitting. It is easy for parents to forego their responsibilities to the TV, iPad or computer. What happens on those devices is not always healthy for the child. I’m not saying that all technology is bad, because it’s not. But it is misused a great deal and is something that needs to be monitored. What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students be successful? Their cell phones! They have become antisocial slaves to the little 3 x 5-inch computer screen they stare at many hours a day. Most have lost the communication skills that would normally be acquired through everyday interaction during school hours, regular home life, and outdoor play. Social media has taken the place of face-to-face interaction, leading to a record number of mental health issues among teens including anxiety, depression, co-dependency, drug, alcohol, and tobacco addictions. Most parents are unaware of what is happening on their student’s social media accounts. Educators can only encourage parents to be aware of what’s happening out there and monitor their child’s phone usage.

Ry a n

W h it e

counselor, LeBlanc Middle School

Ryan White grew up in DeQuincy

and has continued to live in Southwest Louisiana. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling from McNeese State University. After graduation, this 16-year education veteran spent a few years working with CPSB’s Special Education Department in area schools. After his program ended, Ryan took a counseling job at a mental health provider. “It didn’t take long for me to miss working with students, administrators, and teachers,” he says. “The next school year I took the leave position of a teacher I had previously worked with and later moved over to school counseling.” Ryan is currently CPSB’s Middle School Counselor of the Year.

When appropriate, it helps for students to understand that we are dealing with some of the same trauma from the past two years, have some of the same feelings, and that we’re all in this together as a community. This validates the students’ feelings and shows them that we, like them, can only bring the best we have available that day with us to do our jobs. The structure and consistency that we provide in the school environment may be the only stability

that students have left. Practicing coping skills such as deep breathing, letter writing, and drawing don’t require anything other than what’s already in the classroom. School counselors are on campuses to help with these types of issues. We just need more time to work with students and less paperwork and data entry assigned to us so that we would have this time.

What do you find rewarding about your role as a school counselor? I get to be an active part of a group of people who have come together because of our desire to help kids be successful academically and socially. What are the challenges? Lack of family support in some situations, stubborn thinking, burnout. What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students be successful? Anxiety. Even before a global pandemic, two category 4/5 hurricanes, an ice storm, floods, and multiple school shootings, anxiety was a major issue. Put all of that in a blender on top of all the anxiety that is developmentally appropriate for adolescence, and spin with social media. It’s a lot more than what we dealt with when we were kids. It would help educators to remember that all this is running in the background of a student’s brain at all times and to take that into consideration when dealing with any situation, whether in the classroom, cafeteria, or principal’s office.


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John Dugas John Dugas

was born and raised in Gueydan, La., which he describes as “a very small city in Vermilion Parish known as the Duck Capital of America.” He graduated from McNeese State University and has been a teacher for five years. John will teach English III and English III AP this coming school year. John says he met several teachers in middle and high school who later influenced his decision to pursue the field of education. “My high school English teacher’s praise regarding my creative writing helped build my confidence at an important time in my life. I struggled with certain aspects of being a teenager and that eventually led to depressive episodes that I fought on my own. Her words of affirmation regarding my writing ability really kept me going in high school. This teacher was the primary reason I entered the field of education.”

English teacher, St. Louis Catholic High School

What do you find rewarding about your role as a teacher? The most rewarding role as a teacher is the opportunity to be a student. That sounds paradoxical, right? I have found that just listening to students has been an invaluable asset as a teacher. The ability to learn about students helps to humanize them, and I can customize my teaching style to their specific needs. What are the challenges? The challenges, in my experience, usually stem from extenuating circumstances outside of our control. The severe weather events coupled with COVID-19 have created challenging moments for educators. Students are shifting back to in-person classes that stress punctuality. This is to be expected, but some students may still be in survival mode outside of our classroom. I find that to be a large issue and one I try to address by just listening to students. What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students become successful? I think the greatest issue that students are facing today is the limited scope of textbooks used in many classrooms. The “classics” like Dickens and other authors are invaluable, but I think it is problematic to throw such texts at a student and expect a deep connection with the text. Educators can navigate this shift by giving students some choice with what they read in class. Programs like CommonLit have high engagement short stories to ignite the long-dormant creativity found in each student. Short stories, and other popular texts, can be a bridge to the classics often read in classrooms. I have seen people, even family members, reiterate how important it is that students adapt to classroom expectations and reading assignments. While that is true, I believe that educators also need to adapt our expectations and in-class texts to create a deep love of reading.

John Dugas at work


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Adam l l e w d l a C Adam Caldwell was born in

Mississippi but moved with his family as a baby to Lake Charles. Growing up, his father, mother, and grandfather were all educators. He has a brother, uncle, aunt, and cousin who all work in education. Adam’s wife is a school counselor, and his daughter is considering becoming a teacher. “I’ve been surrounded by the field of education,” he says. “Luckily, I love it, and it suits my strengths well.” Adam earned a master’s degree from McNeese State University in 2008 and is currently working on a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lamar University. He has worked for Calcasieu Parish School Board (CPSB) for 20 years, 15 of those years in administration – first as assistant principal and the past six years as principal at A.A. Nelson Elementary. He is the current CPSB Elementary School Principal of the Year.

What do you feel is the greatest issue facing students today and how can educators help students be successful? Our lives have progressively become faster and more complex because of technology, societal dynamics, and modern-day financial pressures. Our children feel the burden of increased family stress and seemingly less time with one another. As school leaders, we want all kids to arrive with their social-emotional needs satisfied. Unfortunately, we receive many children in need of physical and mental

principal, A.A. Nelson Elementary School prerequisites. Our teachers supply academic content while filling the rest of the voids for our children. Many students cannot overcome their environmental circumstances, and it is heartbreaking for educators to witness. However, with the help and support of caring teachers, some students break through and disrupt the cycle. Those people tend to have unique perspectives and undeniable, internal drives. I admire those individuals, and occasionally, I get to hire them.

What do you find rewarding about your role as a principal? I love the originality associated with my job. I am tasked with creating a joyful work environment while maintaining high expectations. I employ educators that embody the same optimistic, youthful enthusiasm for the profession. My administrative career has been prolonged by the wonderful people at A.A. Nelson Elementary. Our approach to our work can motivate and inspire anyone to accomplish seemingly unreachable aspirations. What are the challenges? The teacher and administrator shortage will make major headlines soon. The problem will continue until a concerted effort is made at the federal and state levels to combat the scarcity of educators. The gradual exodus is a combination of many societal and political matters that impact the spirit of educators. There are short-term issues related to the pandemic and hurricanes, but those will resolve in the coming years. The biggest challenge in the next five to 10 years is reestablishing the workforce and training talented individuals to do this gratifying yet difficult work.


Places & Faces Take a Day Trip to . . .

Lafayette by Angie Kay Dilmore


Lafayette-Sign, Parc Sans Souci, courtesy

Surge Entertainment Center

A 43,000-square-foot entertainment complex that former Saints QB Drew Brees helped design with families in mind. The Center features a trampoline park, bowling lanes, batting cages, and a restaurant. 2723 W. Pinhook Rd.

Lafayette could be called the city of nicknames. It’s known as the Heart of Cajun Country, the Happiest City in America, and Hub City, because of its proximity to major roadways heading north, south, east, and west. But by any name, it’s a city full of great food, fantastic music, fascinating history, and fun-filled activities.

Parish Brewing Company

Parish Brewing Company serves creative craft beers in their kid- and dog-friendly taproom. Stop in on a Saturday for a free tour. 229 Jared Dr., Broussard, La

Lafayette’s Saturday Farmers and Artisans Market

Meets every Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Attended by over 70 vendors in the summer months, every week is a bit different; but safe bets are fresh produce, specialty mushrooms, baked goods, jams and jellies, coffees, artisanal soaps and other crafts, homemade dog treats, local honeys, prepared ethnic foods, kettle corn, live music, and much more. 2913 Johnston St., Moncus Park

LARC’s Acadian Village

Tour LARC’s Acadian Village, created to preserve a piece of early Acadian heritage. Seven of the eleven buildings are authentic homes of the 19th century, donated by the families whose ancestors once occupied them. All homes show the passing of time and are remarkable examples of the ingenuity of the early Acadian home builders, complete with wooden pegs, mud walls, hand-hewn cypress timbers, and high-peaked roofs. Each was moved piece by piece and carefully restored. 800 West Broussard Rd. LARC’s Acadian Village


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Rock and Bowl

Rock and Bowl de Lafayette

Possibly more well-known for their live music than the bowling, you’ll also find good food and libations. 905 Jefferson St.


There are at least three dozen parks throughout Lafayette, but a couple stand out as worth a visit.

Kart Ranch

Kart Ranch in Lafayette

Buckle up and get ready for an awesome time at Kart Ranch in Lafayette. Besides the fast-paced (yet safe) go-kart action on the track, you’ll find miniature golf and a huge arcade at this familyfriendly attraction. 508 Youngsville Hwy.

• Girard Park is located near the University of Louisiana Lafayette (ULL) campus. This historic park has a 1.25 mile walking trail, a pond with ducks and geese, playground, ballfield, and splashpad. • Visit Parc Sans Souci on Vermillion St. and be the human “Y” in the Lafayette sign. It’s a great photo-op! •

Stop by the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and see one of the oldest oak trees in Lafayette.

Zoosiana: Zoo of Acadiana

Since 1992, Zoosiana: Zoo of Acadiana has been introducing children and adults alike to the world of fascinating creatures from around the world. Home to over 750 animals, you’ll learn about the importance of their conservation at this lush park.


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Located at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Broussard.

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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


Places & Faces | Take a Day Trip to . . . Lafayette

Dining Breakfast:

The French Press

Located downtown across from Parc Sans Souci, The French Press serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday in a casual family friendly atmosphere. Also, dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. 214 E Vermilion St.

Scratch Farm Kitchen

Scratch Farm Kitchen

Scratch Farm Kitchen is A charming downtown Lafayette breakfast and lunch spot supporting local farmers and growers, and bringing the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meats to the plate. True to its name, everything here is made from scratch. 406 Garfield Rd.


Pop’s Poboys & Olde Tyme Grocery

If you’re in Lafayette and looking for lunch, find yourself a po’boy. Try Pop’s Poboys, 740 Jefferson St. or Olde Tyme Grocery, 218 W Saint Mary Blvd. near the ULL campus. They are the local favorites.


Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant is located in a former CONOCO gas station in downtown Lafayette. Specialties include fresh Gulf-seafood dishes like barbecued shrimp, seared tuna, and Louisiana blue crab quesadillas. Dine inside or on the breezy patio with a front row seat to Lafayette’s main street.

Don’s Seafood

For over 80 years, Don’s Seafood has been satisfying patrons with the freshest seafood and the juiciest steaks, all made with a traditional Cajun flair. Try the White Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert. 4309 Johnston St.

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

Judice Inn

In the mood for a great burger? Judice Inn has been serving “The Best Burger in Town” since 1947. 3134 Johnston St.

Café Vermillionville

Café Vermillionville is well-known for upscale casual dining, Cajun/Creole cuisine, and live music, whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply want a great meal with stellar service. Bar opens at 5:00 p.m. and dining service from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. 1304 W. Pinhook Rd.

Dessert: Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe

And speaking of desserts, Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Lafayette is the last one Bordon’s standing in the country. Entering this iconic shop feels like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1940s, when Bordon’s first opened.

Unique Shops Sola Violins

Sola Violins is a violin and string-instrument shop run by professional violin crafters and restorers. Not a violinist? It’s still worth a visit just to talk to the owners and craftsmen about their special role in Louisiana’s music culture. 100 E Vermilion St, Ste 102

Cajun Hatter

Cajun Hatter overflows with stylish haberdashery. Crafted from nutria fur, these hats are sustainable, durable and super unique. 547 Jefferson St, Lafayette

Parish Ink

This is the quintessential souvenir shop. You’ll find witty, Cajun-style T-shirts, sweatshirts, trinkets, and gifts. The team creates all their own designs. 310 Jefferson St

Lagniappe Records

A retro music lover’s paradise! There are hundreds of vintage vinyl records in great condition, as well as Cajun and Louisiana musicians’ tapes, CDs and more. 311-B Jefferson St, Lafayette

Genterie Supply Company

Together, we weathered the storms. And we’re ready for the next one. Last year marked another active storm season for Louisiana. As always, our communities stood strong. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as our

Genterie Supply Company sells a variety of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and what-nots.

crews worked to restore power.

408 Jefferson St.

We’ve rebuilt and reinforced the grid, and our teams are ready to respond to whatever

Pack and Paddle

comes next. Learn how you can stay prepared at

At Entergy Louisiana, preparing for storm season is a year-round commitment.

Pack and Paddle offers everything a kayaker, canoer, and general nature lover might need or want. They stock outdoor wear, gear, and boats. 601 E. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette

A message from Entergy Louisiana, LLC ©2022 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Places & Faces | Take Take aa Day Day Trip Trip to to... .. Lafayette . Lafayette

Museums & History

The Arts Acadiana Center for the Arts

Lafayette Science Museum Formerly the Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium, the Lafayette Science Museum in downtown Lafayette offers a planetarium, science exhibits, and more. They’ve been closed recently and say they will re-open soon. Check their Facebook page before you go to be sure.,

Opened in 1975, this non-profit organization fosters the arts in South Central Louisiana. From ticketed music performances, free community events, and art exhibit openings, there is always something going on a AcA. See their website for event schedules,, or visit them at 101 W Vermilion St.

433 Jefferson St.

Children’s Museum of Acadiana

Lafayette Science Museum

Pavy Art + Design Studio

A fine art and interior design office from the artist Francis X Pavy. His original artwork inspired him to create textiles, wallpapers and more.

The Children’s Museum of Acadiana’s motto is “Learning by Doing,” and, with hands-on exhibits like Architecture Alley (filled with Legos, Kapla blocks and other kid-friendly building tools) and Ami — The Acadian Ambulance (a full-sized ambulance with flashing lights), there’s definitely plenty of fun learning to be found.

100 E. Vermilion Street

Sans Souci Art Gallery

Sans Souci Art Gallery is a premier place to shop for unique fine art in South Louisiana, including traditional and contemporary pottery, blown glass, wood and metal sculptures, baskets, dyed silk, jewelry, recycled art and fine furniture.

201 E Congress St.

Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folk Life Park

Since its opening in 1990, Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folk Life Park has become one of Lafayette’s premier tourist attractions. Sitting on a lush 23-acre site on the banks of Bayou Vermilionville in the heart of Lafayette, this historic village provides a place to learn about local history, cultural exchanges, historic architecture, and traditional music and food. 300 Fisher Rd.

Vermilionville Living History Museum


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

E. Vermilion St.

Hilliard Art Museum

On the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, find Hilliard Art Museum, a two-story, contemporary art museum features exquisite visual arts from artists around the world. Pavy Art + Design

Hillard Art Museum


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

ALL TIME HI g n i t a r b e l e 20 YEARS C

AWARDS AND HONORS: Small Business of the Year, LED (Louisiana Economic Development), 2012 Top 100 Small Businesses, US Chamber Blue Ribbon Award, 2013 Small Business of the Year, SWLA Economic Development Alliance, 2013 Small Business of the Week, US Congress, during National Women’s Small Business Month, 2016

4845 Ihles Road, Lake Charles | (337) 312-0972 |


Places & Faces

Recovery Spotlight



Love Sam Houston Jones State Park Makes its Comeback Sam Houston Jones State Park has long been a favorite for a plethora of activities, including camping, fishing, hiking, biking, jogging and bird watching to name a few, but not even one of Mother Nature’s greatest assets could be spared the wrath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta in the late summer and fall of 2020. According to Laura PursnellLindsay, Public Information Director for the Louisiana Office of State Parks, Hurricane Laura damaged or destroyed all of the buildings at the park and damaged or downed more than 80 percent of the trees. “FEMA estimated clean-up would cost about $22 million,” said Pursnell-Lindsay. “Our travel team completed the work for $600,000 which covered materials, heavy equipment rentals and salaries.” 58

by Katelynn Mouton

That love story mentioned above runs deeper than just use of the space. In January of this year, The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana (TNC) and CITGO donated and coordinated the planting of more than 5,000 longleaf pine trees and hundreds of volunteers were on hand to help plant them in February. SASOL also provided $10,000 towards the purchase of containerized-magnolia trees. In total, nearly 20,000 trees have been planted in the park to help replace what was lost. Other volunteer groups helped tackle a number of tasks in the park. “A volunteer group of full-time RVers, A Year to Volunteer, stayed for several weeks in March to work on various projects at the park,” Pursnell-Lindsay said. “They built a 500-foot boardwalk along the

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

There is an unspoken but well-known love story in Southwest Louisiana. It is a calling heard and felt deep in the bones and souls of the people who call this place home. From the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico coastline to the tranquil banks of the Calcasieu River running through Sam Houston Jones State Park and the marshes, prairies, bayous and lakes in between, it is not just the abundance of access to nature that calls, but more the versatility of the space. river, built fences, tent platforms, refurbished the lagoon overlook, painted the entrance station, cleared trails and ground tree stumps.” Other local groups have volunteered their time to help restore the park as well, including Entergy Louisiana, Southwest Louisiana Credit Union and Friends of Sam Houston Jones. In addition to cleaning up and restoring the park, several new features have been added to make it even better than before. Ten new luxury cabins, with granite countertops and screenedin porches complete with outdoor fireplaces and river views and a 31-site campground with new RV campsites, including full sewer and 50-amp electric hook-ups await overnight guests. A new trailhead restroom has been constructed.

“Tentrr also added 10 glamping sites at the park,” added PursnellLindsay. “These sites also opened on July 1 with the rest of the overnight lodging sites.” After a multi-year labor of love, the park reopened for daytime visitors on Memorial Day of this year and for overnight stays at the start of this month. A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, July 20, 2022. For more information about Sam Houston Jones State Park, including various rates and usage fees, visit or call 888-677-7264 or 337-855-2665.

Other Park Updates The City of Lake Charles continues recovery work at Tuten Park. Phase 1 repairs to the front part of the park are nearing completion. Weather permitting, this area should be opened within the next six weeks. The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury celebrated the completion on a new outdoor Fitness Court at Prien Lake Park. The Fitness Court is a 38-foot-by-38-foot, open-air wellness area that allows users to leverage their own body weight at different angles and at different levels of resistance to complete exercises at a total of seven stations. The entire series can be completed in seven minutes. Each exercise takes 45 seconds, with a 15-second break between sets. These “seven movements in seven minutes” combined burn more calories per minute than most other forms of exercise.

Make your Mark with Landmark • Closing Services • Second Mortgages • Lot Purchases


• Refinances • Title Insurance • Title Searches


(337) 477-8782 | LANDMARKTITLELC.COM | 716 Hodges Street, Lake Charles


Places & Faces

Christmas in A new holiday shop July opens in Lake Charles story and photos by Angie Kay Dilmore

Symphony of Illusions F EAT U RI NG MI CH A EL GRA ND I NET T I


SATURDAY, JULY 9 ∙ 7:00 P.M. Lake Charles Civic Center Tickets:


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

A person can’t help but smile upon entering Melinda Coker’s recently opened holiday shop, called Not Just Christmas. It’s a colorful, multi-sensory experience of pine scent, a roomful of ornaments, Santas, and other holiday décor, with Christmas music playing softly in the background. Though Christmas is a primary focus of the shop, Coker offers more than tinsel and tree ornaments, as this delightful shop’s name implies. She also sells Halloween decorations, and seasonally rotates other holiday décor such as Fall/Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras, Valentines’ Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Independence Day. Needless to say, Coker has always loved decorating for holidays, especially Christmas.

“For years now, I have been working to make my home look like the North Pole. Every room has a different theme. My decorating got serious when I began to inherit my grandma’s Department 56 Dickens Village collection. It’s the first thing that goes up every year after I take down Halloween. I have loved her house collection for as long as I can remember. I now try to add to it by going to estate sales.” Coker got the idea for opening a holiday shop from her numerous trips to visit her mother in the Great Smoky Mountains region, where Christmas stores abound. She longed for Lake Charles to have something similar. Coincidentally, Coker

was browsing in one of her favorite Christmas shops in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee when she received a call from her realtor that the house she and her husband, Jay, had been pondering was available to purchase. The couple, who have experience flipping homes, converted the small, quaint home into a charming shop. Coker offers a variety of décor and merchandise brands such as Jim Shore, Department 56, Karen Didion, Kurt Alder, and other smaller businesses around the country, as well as items from local artists. She also sells books written and illustrated by local teacher, Jason McGee. Coker adds, “I try to find things that can’t be found at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Amazon.”

Find Not Just Christmas on Facebook @ Notjustchristmasbymel or call 337-403-9183.

Summer Color is Hot If the summer heat is making your landscape look a little drab, our fully-stocked retail nursery is blooming with color. Stop by to pick up trees, shrubs and bedding plants. If you need help with planning and installation, our team can help.

5005 Cobra Road, Lake Charles | (337) 478-3836 M-F: 7am – 4pm Sat: 8am – 2pm (Seasonal Hours)


2022 Keynote Speaker

Sheryl Lee Ralph 20


8:00am - 4:00pm

Featuring Various Inspirational Workshops Save the Date! 62

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022


for life


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

Stop Gaslighting Me! (Part 2) Last month we discussed this term, “gaslighting” that we are hearing more and more. This form of manipulation and control is essentially designed to have you questioning and doubting yourself. The person doing the gaslighting is typically very bright and lures you in with “love bombing” (tons of compliments, wanting to spend a lot of time together, moves very fast in the relationship), then begins the process of lying, accusing you of things they themselves did, calling you overly sensitive, and generally “messing” with your head. Eventually you begin to question your own sanity, and believe the gaslighter’s lies to you and about you. This month, I want to address how to get out of these very unhealthy, abusive relationships. Sadly, many people will never recognize how they are being manipulated and will ultimately have their sanity compromised. Others will perhaps have a friend or family member who helps them see their situation. The few lucky ones will recognize their gaslighter for what he/ she is, and take appropriate actions. I hope you are in one of the latter two categories. Obviously, the best thing to do is get out of this relationship! Right?! Just leave! Easier said than done, my friend. The gaslighter is so good at reading/ manipulating others and at keeping the victim just off balance enough that the victim comes to believe and rely on the gaslighter. Here are some steps to begin the process of extricating yourself from this relationship:

Re-establish reality for yourself. Stop trusting the gaslighter, who has you confused. Your first priority needs to be to eliminate any confusion about you and your surroundings. Begin keeping records of things – events, feelings, memories. Start journaling, take pictures and videos, or create voice memos. You might even want to set up surveillance cameras in your home. Not only is all this for your own edification, but also you can use all of this as proof with law enforcement or an attorney if needed. (Don’t bother trying to show your gaslighter your proof to justify what you are saying to him/her. Remember, she/he is invested in keeping you thinking you are crazy, so there will be no interest.)

If you can’t think of anything, here is a list of suggestions: exercise, meditate, eat healthy, start a hobby, go to lunch with a friend, go to a museum, and/or listen to your favorite music.

Bring your friends and family in. One of the common goals of the gaslighter is to isolate you, so you only listen to him/ her. The antidote to that is to surround yourself with people who care about you. Talk to family and friends about the situation. This will help with you re-establishing reality AND contribute to your safety. Also, consider sending a copy of all the records you collected (see above) to family and friends for safe keeping.

Get yourself into therapy. Let’s face it, you are in a tough spot. And you are going to need a lot of support. Emotional abuse (that’s what gaslighting is) is very difficult to recover from. Having a therapist, which means having a safe space to say all the scary things, is extremely helpful. You’ve got to figure out why you were susceptible to the gaslighter and what you need to do for the future. You’ll need support to put yourself and your life back together.

Begin taking care of yourself. Whether you stay or go, you’re going to need to be as strong and healthy as possible. Think back to when you were more confident. What kinds of things did you do back then that you have given up? It’s time to get back to them.

While I hope you are not in a gaslighting, or any other type of abusive, situation, I know you very well might be. If you feel you don’t know who you are anymore and you can’t seem to find your footing, I sincerely want you to consider the information from this month and last month’s articles. You are worth it, I promise!

Develop a plan. Before you can leave the relationship, you need a safety plan. Where will you go? Where will your stuff go? How much money do you need? Have as much predetermined as possible. Remember to share your plans with someone you trust. Of course, if you feel you are in danger, that’s all out the window. Just get out. After you leave, be sure to change your phone number, alter your routes and routines, and change your “hangout” spots.


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • July 2022

1727 Imperial Boulevard Lake Charles, LA