Thrive's May 2019 Issue

Page 1

May 2019




first person


Gyth Rigdon


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 • May 2019

Celebrate getting younger. At CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick, we believe the sooner you take care of your heart, the longer it will take care of you. Our free online heart age assessment measures your real heart age, so you’ll know where your heart health really stands, not to mention steps you can take to improve it. Try it today.



Contents In This Issue Style & Beauty

6 Swimwear Trends 8 Glo-Spa 10 Post-Plunge Hair Care

Wining & Dining

12 Eat Eggstravagantly! 14 New Drive-Thrus 16 TaD’s Restaurant

Home & Family Summer Guide: 20 Camps and Classes for Kids 28 Summer Cruises out of Galveston and NOLA Road Map for Road Trips 32 Head West to Houston 33 Sights to See in Shreveport 34 Be a Tourist in Baton Rouge 35 Explore New Orleans 36 Summer Safety Tips 37 How to Know if a Bug Bite is Serious 38 The Basic of Braces 39 Mother's Day Gifts

Places & Faces 42 First Person: Gyth Rigdon 44 St. Jude’s Home Build

Regular Features

46 Who’s News 50 Happenings 73 Business Buzz 74 Solutions for Life

Mind & Body Women’s Wellness: 54 Osteoporosis Screening Guidelines 56 Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome 58 Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month Vision Health 61 62 63

Contact Lens Care How to Protect your Child’s Vision Macular Degeneration and Tips to Make Life Easier

64 66 68 70

What to Expect from a Career Counselor Everything you Need to Know About your Credit Score How to Prepare for a Financial Emergency How to Find the Perfect Job

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. Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019


Money & Career

@thriveswla |




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

so ALL eyes can be on you...Â

337-884-0621 | 5656 Nelson Rd Ste A3 | Lake Charles, LA 70605

By appointment only

70% of women will have back pain during their pregnancy... and that is 70% too many.

Dr. Laurie has been the leading expert in pregnancy chiropractic care in SWLA since 2012. She has cared for thousands of women, children, and families (husbands too!). Schedule your appointment with her at Lake Charles Chiropractic (337) 240-6619 5656 Nelson Rd Ste D2 | Lake Charles, LA 70605 |


Style & Beauty

Make a

Splash 2019’s Hottest Swimwear

by Emily Alford

It’s almost time to put in PTO requests and spend those hard-earned vacation days camped out on a beach blanket. If last year’s swimwear is looking a bit worn and dated, here are some of the most au courant swimwear trends for both men and women.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Go Wild

Animal prints are a huge trend for summer on all fashion fronts, and swimwear is no exception. Look for swimsuits featuring leopard or snake print, as those are currently the animal prints most en vogue. And don’t stop with swimsuits! Leopard and snake print accessories are just as hot right now: look for cover ups, hats, beach bags, and even towels that take a walk on the wild side.

Orange Alert

And those animal prints aren’t the only bold swimwear trend. Bright orange is also a fashion-forward trend this summer. If solid orange is a bit too much for your taste, look for subtle hints, such as orange stripes or even a floral print featuring citrus colors.

Cut it Out

The popularity of onepieces in past years has been a blessing for those who like to be a bit more covered up on beach days. While one-pieces don’t seem to be going anywhere, a fresh take for the summertime is the one-piece with cutouts at the waist. The cutout one piece shows a bit of skin without being as revealing as a teeny bikini.

Pleasant Pastels

Women’s swimwear this year is bright and bold, but for men, pastels are the way to go. Solid-color trunks in salmon and coral are a fun option, as are pastel rainbow stripes for those looking for a little more color.

No matter which of this season’s swimwear trends you try, remember, the most important part of your beach look is the sunscreen!

Lots of Leg

Showing off those gams is this year’s most stylish swimwear trend for both girls and guys. Some of the season’s best one-piece suits are far from frumpy because they feature high-cut legs that elongate the body for a lean look. Bikinis with high-cut legs are popular as well and balance out a high-waist pair of bikini bottoms nicely. For guys, shorter swim trunks are definitely a nice change from the baggy board shorts of years past. Don’t worry; most of the options aren’t too short, about the length of a pair of boxers.

But Less Arm

At first glance, a swimsuit with sleeves might not make a lot of sense, but this year there are some pretty cute options that make a strong argument for keeping those arms covered. Whether you’re fairskinned and burn easily, plan to vacation somewhere with colder water, or simply prefer to wear sleeves, it’s nice to know that right now there are plenty of swimsuits available that have you covered, literally.


Style & Beauty


Glo Sun Spa

The Ultimate Spa Experience by Stefanie Powers

Now on the cusp of summer, our thoughts turn to sun, fun and all that goes with it. A tan invariably completes the picture. Many of us go to tanning salons, utilizing either a tanning bed/booth or spray tan, to get that perfect, sun-kissed look in a hurry.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Mike Bennett bought DarQuest Tans in 2011. He’s enjoyed the ride so far, but currently, he’s embarking on a huge new undertaking. This summer, he’ll open Glo Sun Spa just a block down the street from his present location. And it is far from a simple tanning salon. “We’re going from 2,000 square feet to 5,500,” says this dynamic businessman. Fit and tanned (of course), he looks much younger than his 43 years. What would make him take on such an enterprise? Bennett admits that Glo Sun Spa, a franchise out of Texas, heard about him on social media tanning forums and actually recruited him. “Our busy season runs from January through May,” Bennett explains. “I was looking to add other features to the business and then this came along. And really, we are maxed out for space at this location.” Bennett is definitely one of those “go big or go home” types, and he certainly wasn’t planning on going home. Instead, he’s turning his tanning salon into a spa with a high-end resort feel that clients will love. The blueprints of the new building are nothing short of amazing. The twostory spa will have 22-foot ceilings and a marble and granite interior. From plush robes to eucalyptus-scented towels, Bennett has made sure that everyone gets the royal treatment. “We are going to be a wellness spa focusing on automated spa equipment, heath and wellness services, and luxury UV tanning/sunless tanning,” he explains. And the services are extensive. Along with tanning (Bennett says his current business did 78 tans in two days during Mardi Gras season), there will be cosmetic teeth whitening, hydro massage beds and massage chairs, Hot Yoga and Pilates, an oxygen bar and a juicery serving smoothies and Pure Press juices.

If you have seasonal allergies, a cold or asthma, you’ll be able to get sinus relief naturally without the use of medication in the Halotherapy Salt Booth. A 20-minute session will clear your sinuses and provide an upper respiratory detox allowing you to breathe and sleep better. There will also be a salt flotation room. Unlike a flotation tank, which can trigger claustrophobia, this will be an open room where you can lie back in soothing salt water and float your cares away. For skin problems, there are red and blue light treatments: Red helps reduce wrinkles and lines, promotes skin repair and rejuvenates cells; blue is great for teens suffering from acne by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation and redness. Cryotherapy is a dry, non-invasive, hyper-cooling process that lowers your skin temperature to 30ºF during a session of up to 180 seconds. It helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, joint and muscle pain, skin conditions and disorders, muscle recovery, enhanced energy, burn calories and more. There’s also an IV Infusion Drip Lounge, offering nine different “cocktails” for your needs. Infusions are mixes of vitamins, minerals and amino acids in an IV solution. There are drips that restore energy, help with immune system issues, and so on. Did you party too hard last night? There’s a cocktail for that, aptly called the Hangover Drip, which cleanses your liver and combats dehydration the morning after. There’s even a “before” drip you can take the day of an especially big night when you know you’re going to overindulge. And it gets better. “We’re going to have the very first mobile IV unit in the area,” Bennett says. “We can come to you, if need be; your hotel room at the casino, for example.” The spa will be membership-based, and if you think it’s going to be expensive, think again. “We will be offering memberships for $79.99 per month,” Bennett says. Of the current 28 Glo Sun Spa locations, three are in Louisiana and include Lake Charles, Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Lake Charles will be the biggest, by far. Bennett is in the process of acquiring the Lafayette franchise. Glo Sun Spa will be located at 3943 Ryan St., Lake Charles, and will open sometime this summer. Go to lake-charles for the latest information.

4 Things You Don’t Know About Avail Hospital

1 2 3 4

No Membership Fees

Wait Time: 5 Minutes or Less


We’re Lake Charles, Born and Raised

3730 Nelson Rd. | Lake Charles | 337.656.7700


Style & Beauty

Summer Hair Care TAKE THE PLUNGE by Emily Alford

Spending time poolside or at the beach is one of the best things about summer. However, all those hours spent soaking up chlorine and salt water can cause hair to dry out and break, which leads to some serious frizz. Plus, pools can wreak havoc on light or colored hair, just ask any blonde who’s ever come away from the pool with sickly green locks. But summer doesn’t have to be a bummer for hair. Here are a few simple ways to keep hair looking great all summer long.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019


The key to maintaining healthy hair even after swimming in chlorine and being blasted by the sun is to prep your hair before you go in the water. To start your pre-swimming routine, prep your hair with a tiny bit of coconut oil, focusing on the ends. The coconut oil forms a protective layer that works especially well for keeping salt from bleaching out hair color.


And one good layer of protection deserves another! To further coat your strands, rinse hair with fresh water after applying the coconut oil but before you go into the pool or ocean. Coating hair with a layer of nonchlorinated fresh water will provide a barrier against those harsh pool chemicals or drying ocean salt.


It’s also a good idea to pack a leave-in conditioner in your beach bag. After rinsing hair, spray in a bit of leave-in conditioner and comb it through from roots to ends in order maintain soft tresses rather than sunburnt straw.


Skip the brush!

Many of us throw hair into a ponytail before hitting the beach, but the best summer style for swimming is actually a braid. A braid keeps hair from getting tangled in the water, which can lead to breakage. Post-swimming hair care is also important. After a day in the sun, you may just feel like spending the night vegging out on the couch, leaving locks to air dry. However ignoring hair that’s spent a day in the sun and water is a recipe for major damage later, including dryness, brittle ends, and frizziness. Luckily, aftercare doesn’t take too long and is pretty much exactly like prep.

Never go near wet hair with a conventional hairbrush. The best hair tool to use on wet hair is a wide-tooth comb. Wet hair is tangled hair, and the bristles of a regular hairbrush are much too harsh and cause breakage. Another great option is a wet brush with two tiers of soft plastic bristles that gently detangle without snagging.

Start by rinsing your hair with fresh water as soon as you’re done swimming. This will get all the chlorine and salt out. In pools or the ocean, chemicals and salt get in our hair and then the sun bakes them on, which can fade an expensive dye job. Rinsing quickly after leaving the water helps to combat the damage.

Even if you’re not the type to wear a swim cap, it’s still worth it to seriously consider investing in a cute summer hat to wear while hanging out poolside. Not only will it protect hair from getting fried by the sun, coupled with sunblock, a wide-brimmed hat will also help to protect your face from a skindamaging sunburn.


Wining & Dining

Eat Eggstravagantly! by Keaghan P. Wier

Eggs are a staple of our kitchens, yet few ingredients have faced such a rollercoaster of opinions. With their nutritional value and health benefits constantly in question, eggs are a controversial – and essential – element of almost all cuisines. May is National Egg Month so let’s take a look at the latest research on their health status, and some recipes to help you make use of this wonderfully versatile protein source.

Nutritional Value & Health Benefits

Most people who avoid eggs do so because they’re trying to limit their cholesterol intake. Though some may find that their doctor wants them to lower their dietary cholesterol – especially those with diabetes or preexisting high cholesterol – healthy people need not worry. In fact, 70% of people who eat


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

eggs see no change in their cholesterol at all! If you’re still concerned, the egg yolk contains all the cholesterol, so a single whole egg combined with a few extra egg whites is a great compromise. Don’t omit the yolks altogether, though, since they also contain most of the nutrients. Eggs are full of natural, beneficial goodness that your body needs. Here’s just a few of the perks from eating eggs: Eggs are packed with vitamins and minerals, including 6% of the recommended daily value for Vitamin A, 5% for Folate, 15% of Vitamin B2, and 9% of B12. Need a protein boost? A single egg contains six grams of protein. Plus, the protein in eggs is high quality and easy for the body to digest, with all the necessary amino acids present in the right ratios. Ever heard of choline? Most people haven’t, but this crucial nutrient helps many bodily

• •

functions, including building cell membranes. One egg gives you 100 mg of this essential element. Because eggs are so filling and protein-rich, they make an excellent addition to a weight-management diet. At a mere 80 calories per egg, they’re nutrient-dense and will give you the energy boost you need without the crash caused by sugars and refined carbs.

Versatility & Recipes

So, now you know eggs are healthy. But let’s be honest, we can get bored with the same-old sunny-side-up or mound of scrambled egg. Aside from their powerhouse food status, eggs are wonderful because their uses are nearly limitless. Virtually all cultural traditions and cuisines have eggbased recipes, so whatever your favorite flavors, eggs will complement them!

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Try these recipes to up your egg game: Slow-Scrambled Eggs: Heat a nonstick skillet over low heat. Add a pat or two of butter and melt. Whisk eggs and add to pan (season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper). Stir continuously over low heat until the eggs come together into a delicious, custardy consistency. Remove from heat and continue to stir as eggs finish cooking. Serve with fruit, toast, or your other favorite breakfast sides! EASY EGG TACOS: Serve over-easy fried eggs on corn tortillas topped with salsa, cheese, shredded red cabbage, lime juice, and any other taco toppings you enjoy. CREAMY CARBONARA: Cook pasta to al dente. Drain. Scramble a couple of eggs with a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Quickly stir the scrambled eggs into the piping hot pasta and watch as it transforms into a creamy sauce. Add crumbled bacon and some green peas for a fresh, delicious bowl of pasta carbonara. Enjoying an egg or two will boost your diet, fill you up, provide your body with necessary nutrients, aand offer you a delicious option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

601 S. Pine Street • DeRidder, LA 70634 • (337) 463-7442 • SERVING UP FINGER-LICKING FOOD FOR THREE DECADES





LARGE AND SMALL PARTY TRAYS AVAILABLE! We’re now available on 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

Guidry’s Gumbo Shack

Guidry’s Gumbo Shack

GOOD FOOD on the GO!

New Drive-Thru Businesses Pop Up in South Lake Charles Here in Southwest Louisiana, we love the convenience of a mom-and-pop drive-thru, be it for crawfish, po-boys, snowballs, or daiquiris. Recently, several new shops have opened, each with their own unique flair.

Guidry’s Gumbo Shack Born out of a love for gumbo and a desire to share that love with the community, Guidry's Gumbo Shack at 2735 Country Club Rd. is a simple idea that came from humble beginnings. Local husband and wife team Beau and Tressi Guidry determined to not only build a small, streamlined menu of Cajun food favorites, but to find a location that would reflect their goal of simplistic authenticity.


Fortunately, a quaint, Cajun cottage awaited them in South Lake Charles. Nestled behind a quickly developing row of businesses along Country Club Rd, Guidry's Gumbo Drive-Thru is like something from another place and time. Beau says they’ve settled in the perfect, most fitting location from which to share their gumbo with Southwest Louisiana. Despite their central location in a growing, bustling business area, the “Shack” exudes a rural country vibe. Beau says he enjoys

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

sitting on the front porch in the morning with coffee, listening to the birds, or watching the spectacular sunsets in the evening. By marrying their traditional family recipes and spending years fine-tuning them in the kitchen, the Guidrys have managed to produce a gumbo that is among the best in the city. Along with their signature chicken and sausage gumbo, they also serve red beans and rice, mashed potato salad, boudin gumbo (decased boudin smothered in Guidry's Gumbo) and homemade hibiscus tea. They plan to expand the menu this summer to include blueberry lemonade and special desserts. To find them, Guidry's shares a driveway with the Goodwill Donation Center across from Albertson's on Country Club Rd, or just look them up on Waitr. They offer drive-thru and carry-out service only, and their hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday.

Virginia’s Variety Foods

Virginia’s Variety Foods Virginia Sardelli recently opened her drive-thru at 4404 Lake St. She aptly named her shop Variety Foods because she truly can make most any type of food – Mexican, Italian, Chinese . . . she has worked in the restaurant business for over 40 years in many different types of establishments and in various roles – bartender, cocktail waitress, cook, and general manager. For a drive-thru business, her menu is extensive – from beef or fish tacos and tamales to spaghetti and meatballs to Cajun classics like etouffée, jambalaya, fried alligator, boudin balls, and boiled shrimp, to name just a few. She is also open to special requests. But what sets her apart as a drive-thru are her plate lunches and healthy menu options. Virginia is passionate about preparing healthier foods, especially for the elderly. She sells custom-made prepared meals that customers can buy and take home and freeze. Currently, she sells five meals for $35. She makes fresh, low-salt versions of menu favorites and also offers several Keto-friendly options such as grilled fish, chicken, and cauliflower rice. Eating nutritious healthy meals is always a wise choice, but here

in Southwest Louisiana, we’re also known for our sweet toothes. If yours is craving a treat, Virginia makes a tempting bread pudding, served plain or with fruit topping or chocolate sauce. Open Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Kat-Daddy’s DriveThru Kitchen Kat-Daddy’s is a separate but related off-shoot of South Lake Charles’ iconic diner, Big Daddy’s. Co-owned by big daddy himself, Jerry LeBlanc, and manager Thomas Hotard (previously with Thomas Ships), this business will appeal to the Southern cuisine lover in all of us. Popular menu items include fried catfish, fried shrimp, burgers, and chicken fingers, with sought-after sides like fried okra, cole slaw, grilled veggies, fries, and hush puppies. They make their own specially-blended tartar and bang-bang sauces, as well as cocktail sauce and ketchup. In addition to great food, Kat Daddy’s places a high priority on customer service and they clearly have an excellent employee training program. Satisfied customers rave about the friendly staff as much as they do about the food! Open Monday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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


Wining & Dining

TaD’s Brings Steak and Seafood to Lake Charles

by Angie Kay Dilmore | photos by Shonda Manuel by Angie Kay Dilmore

There seems to be no end to new dining options in the Lake Area. TaD’s Steak and Seafood is a recent example. Located in what was originally Coyote Blues, owner Darrin Cobb has updated the space and offers an extensive menu sure to please the whole family. The food is all fresh and homemade; gumbo, etouffee, salads, poboys, are a few of the popular house specialties. The Cobb family owns Eunice Poultry and all their steaks, boudin, and sausage comes from there. Their seafood is sourced in Louisiana. Cobb got his start in the restaurant business with a place in Eunice called D C’s Sportsbar and Steakhouse, which has been satisfying customers for 25 years. Five years ago, Cobb opened the first TaD’s in Tomball, Texas in a


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

refurbished Dairy Queen. Now there are also TaD’s locations in Katy, Cypress, and soon-to-be in College Station. TaD’s regional manager, Dory Steen, says TaD’s is a family-friendly establishment. “Bring the family in. We want the t-ball team to come here after the game – the dads can watch the game on the numerous television screens or play the popular Golden Tee video golf game, the moms can hang out, and the kids are welcome.” They offer a full bar and are open late until 2:00 a.m. with a late-night menu available. TaD’s offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You’ll find tempting dishes such as Cajun Crab Cake Benedict, breakfast bowls, and free beignets! The daily menu is extensive, including Cajun-

inspired appetizers like fried pickles, fried green beans, boudin, crawfish bisque, and a house specialty – chicken cracklins. They rotate a variety of daily specials, so stop in often! When asked the origin of the name, Steen says it is a play on words. “Our beer is a tad bit colder, the food a tad bit better, the crawdads a tad bit spicier, our breakfast a tad bit sweeter.” Located at 3624 Ryan St. . For more information, find them on Facebook, @tadsoflakecharles.



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Home & Family





Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019




Ah, summer . . . that time of year when our routines slow down just a little and a sense of fun, adventure, and relaxation settles over the landscape of our lives like evening mist over a bayou. Backyard barbeques, swimming parties, beach vacations, road trips, entertaining and educational camps for the kids – no matter what you have planned for this sweet, sultry season, we hope you have the best summer ever! Need some ideas? Read on . . .

Sign up for great prizes, great fun and great friends!

May 24 - July 12

Summer Performers Coming to the Library



Crescent Circus • James Wand (Magician) Kevin Manning (Astrophysicist) • Hampstead Stage Theater Co. • Lucas Miller, the Singing Zoologist Dr. Robert Forrest - D-Day programs • Page Turners Plus many more!

KICKOFF CELEBRATION at Prien Lake Park Harbor’s Edge Pavilion

Friday, May 24 • 4 -7 pm

with special guest performer “Matthew Noel and the Magic Yo-Yo”

Be sure to check out for more information and performance dates.


Home & Family | Summer Guide


Boys and girls ages 4-12 Mon.-Fri. 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 1 day: $30, 3 days: $60, All week: $100 Extended stay offered until 4:00: extra $15 Call (337) 478-3600.


For children with developmental challenges such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, visual deficits, speech or hearing challenges, and others. Campers will participate in a variety of activities, including horseback riding, fishing, arts and crafts. June 17-21 8:00 a.m.-Noon

$75 WCCH Genesis Therapeutic Riding Center. For registration information call (337) 625-3972.

CITY OF LAKE CHARLES RECREATION AND PARKS DEPARTMENT SUMMER CAMPS: Willie McCullor Landry Community Center Summer Camp: Session 1: June 3-14 Session 2: June 17-28 Session 3: July 1-July 12 *no camp on July 4th Session 4: July 15-July 26 7:30am-5:30pm Ages 6-12 $115 per child, per two-week session

Campers will receive free breakfast & lunch daily 337-491-1498 or 337-491-1280


CITY OF LAKE CHARLES Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced 337-905-JUMP (5867) ON-SITE SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS June 3-July 26 *no camp on July 4th 8:00 a.m.-2:30pm Free on-site locations: Bellard 491-1205 2808 Hillcrest Dr. Columbus Circle 491-8782/3520 Greinwich Blvd. Clifton 491-1535/2415 E. Gieffers College Oaks 491-149/3518 Earnest St. Henry Heights 491-1289/801 E. School St. Lanza 491-1285/609 Sycamore St. McMillan 491-8647/343 Goos St.


FREE! Doors open 30 minutes prior for STUDENT DROP-OFF ONLY 409-221-6685

The Wonderful World of Paper June 18-21 9:00 a.m.-Noon Entering grades 3-5

3D and Me!

July 9-12 9:00 a.m.-Noon Entering grades 3-5

Camp Smiling F.A.C.E.S. The “Can Do”Camp June 17 - 21 8 am - 12 pm

Children with challenges are invited to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s Camp Smiling F.A.C.E.S. (Fishing, Arts-n-Crafts and Equestrian Skills) for a week of activities and fun. Physical challenges such as autism, spina bifida, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and others are often limiting, but at Camp Smiling F.A.C.E.S., campers can reach unlimited potential and success as they enjoy traditional summer camp activities in a safe, helpful environment. At Camp Smiling F.A.C.E.S., children, not challenges, matter most.

701 Cypress Street, Sulphur


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s Genesis Therapeutic Riding Center 886 Landry Lane, Sulphur Ages 4 – 12 Cost to attend is $75.

Registration deadline is May 31. To register, call (337) 625-3972.

SUMMER CAMP DATES: May 27th-31st June 3rd-7th June 10th-14th June 17th-21st June 24th-28th July 1st-5th July 8th-12th July 15th-19th July 22nd-26th July 29th-August 2nd August 5th-9th



Up, Up and Away

Make It, Wear It

Geology Rocks!

Go Wild

Wondrous Weather

July 30-August 2 9:00-11:00 a.m. Entering Kindergarten

June 25-28 9:00 a.m.-Noon Entering grades 1 & 2

July 16-19 9:00 a.m.-Noon Entering grades 1 & 2


All Eco Rangers Summer Camps are FREE! 409-670-0803 or

Daily or

ila amps Ava Weekly C

July 9-12 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Entering kindergarten

July 16-19 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Entering grades 3 & 4

July 30-August 2 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Entering grades 5 & 6

Weird Wonderful World of Nature July 16-19 August 6-9 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Entering grades 7_9

5 DAY SUMMER CAMPS Monday - Friday • 10am - 2:30pm | Ages: 4 -12 Extended hours available until 4pm/$15 daily

Cost: $30/Day | $60/3 Days | $100/Week Our Camps are loads of fun for BOYS and GIRLS! Your child will enjoy the day making friends, having fun in the sun, crafts, and games! Campers lunch for your convenience $5.99 or bring your own! Register in store or by phone today 337-478-3600.

10 OFF


Any full week of 2019 Camp Tabby with this coupon 1427 W. Prien Lake Rd. • Lake Charles


Expires: July 1,2019

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JUMP INTO SUMMER HORSEMANSHIP CAMP The Stables at LeBocage Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced

337-905-JUMP (5867)


Home & Family | Summer Guide

THE ARTS NANCY MELTON’S “Splash Dance with Watercolor”June 24-28, 2019

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. grades 2-12 $89.00 Enroll at For info call 337-475-5616 or email Nancy at artistnancymelton@

LAKE CHARLES YOUNG BAND NATION CAMPS: Call 337-513-7905 for more info.

Young Band Nation Band Camp Ages 11-17 5-day camp 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. $175 Session One: July 8th – 12th


4706 Common St. 1st grade & up Monday-Wednesday 9:00 a.m.2:00 p.m. or call 337-477-8310 Beach/Pool Creations: June 3-5 Stuffed Doll Creations June 10-12 Unicorn Creations June 17-19 Cooking Creations June 24-26 Mermaid Creations July 8-10 18” Doll Creations July 15-17 Animal Creations July 22-24


Art Biz June 10-13, 1:00-4:00 Ages 8-14 $165

Art and Animation June 17-20, 1:00-4:00 Ages 8-14 $130

Art and Theatre July 22-25, 1:00-4:00 Ages 6-12 $125

Nothin’ but mud (all clay) July 29-Aug. 1, 1:00-4:00 Ages 6-12 $155

Wild About Art May 28-31,1:00-4:00 Ages 6-12 $125

Watercolor My World June 10-13, 1:00-4:00 Ages 8-14 $165

Story Telling and Illustrations July 8-11, 1:00-4:00 Ages 8-12 $125

Art and Theatre June 17-20, 1:00-4:00 Ages 6-12 $125 or call 337-602-6975. It’s Fashion Week

Swiss Army Knife Recording June 17-20, 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Camp Ages Ages 11-17 5-day camp 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. $175 Session One: July 22nd-26th

Rock and Roll Boot Camp

Ages 6-14 1-day workshop 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. $75 Session One: June 12th Session Two: August 1st

IMPERIAL CALCASIEU MUSEUM BRANCH OUT SUMMER ART CAMP: July 8-26 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Cost starting at $65 337-439-3797 or


Art Around the World June 10-13, 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Ages 8-12 $125 Game On! July 8-11, 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Ages 8-12 $150 Upcycled Art July 29-Aug. 1, 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Grades 1 and up $125 Wheel Pottery Experience May 28-31, 1:00-4:00 Ages 10-15 $195

McNeese State University Kids College

Kids/Teens Guitar

Piano Programming Adventures for in Python Beginners Gr. 6-High Gr. 3-5, Gr. 6-10 Gr. 4-6, 7 & Up


Mon., Wed., Fri.

Splash Dance with Watercolor Gr. 2-Teens

Mathemagical Magical Reading Folk Dancing Musical Theater Adventures Adventures Gr. 1 – 2, 3 – 5

Gr. 1-2, 3-5

Shaking ‘n Music Making Middle – High

Creative Writing Workshops

Gr. 2-3, Gr. 4-6

Grades 3-8

Not Your Ordinary Puppets Gr. 1-3

Middle – High

Creative Ready, Set, Drama Act!

Gr. 6 & Up

Gr. 3-6

To Register: WWW.MCNEESE.EDU/LEISURE Questions? 337-475-5616 or email LEISURELEARNING@MCNEESE.EDU 22

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Join Us for Our Summer Vacation Bible School BIG KIDS’ ART EXPERIENCE (HALF-DAYS) 9:00-12:00/1:00-4:00 Begins May 28th $125 Little Kids Camp Begins June 10, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon Ages 3-5 $125 Big Kids Art Experience Full Day Begins May 28 Grades 1-9 Half day and full day available $210

JAZZ IN THE ARTS: Summer Youth Jazz Workshop May 29-June 1 or 337794-5744 CHILDRENS THEATRE SUMMER WORKSHOPS: call 337-433-7323 or register online at

Enterprise Boulevard CHURCH OF CHRIST

Extreme Theatre June 10-14, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 pm Ages 8-18 $150 Wild Things July 8-July 10, 10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Ages 5-8 $65 Shakespeare Workshop July 22-26 Ages 5-8, 10:00-11:15 a.m. Ages 9-18: 10:00 a.m.-noon $85

PreK – 5th Grade

9:00am – 12:30pm

Kidz In Showbiz July 22-26 Ages 5-8: 10:00-11:15 a.m. Ages 9-18: 10:00 a.m.-noon $85

(Lunch Provided)

June 24,25,26 Register today at or call (337) 439-9761



Camps begin June 24th Ages 6-18 For more info or to register go to


er s! m m u S Camp



Unicorn Creations

Beach/Pool Creations June 3-5

No Experience Needed. All Supplies Included. Free Camp T-Shirt. Discount on Multiple Camps. Campers Will Need to Provide Sack Lunch & Drink. Each Camp will include Sewing, Crafting, and Painting Projects.

Stuffed Doll Creations

To register, visit or call (337) 477-3810. 4706 Common Street, Lake Charles

June 10-12

June 17-19

Cooking Creations

Mermaid Creations July 8-10

18” Doll Creations July 15-17

Animal Creations July 22-24

June 24-26


Home & Family | Summer Guide

EDUCATION 11th ANNUAL COWBOY CAMP for incoming Freshmen and transfer students

August 16-17 $60 Contact the Student Union and Activities Office at 337-475-5609


337-562-4246, www.mcneese. edu/autism The McNeese Autism Program offers the following services to individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental challenges: • ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Services designed to increase communication, socialization, appropriate behavior, environmental learning, and other important life skills. • Supportive Counseling Series for parents, siblings, and other caretakers of those with unique challenges, as well as those with high-functioning autism/ Asperger’s syndrome. • Diagnostic Testing Services for autism and other challenges that may be preventing your loved ones from meeting their full potential.


May 28-August 9 Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Grades 1-8 $80 registration fee/$200 per week Students may attend for a week, month or entire 11 weeks. STEMacademy or call 337-562-4137


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019


July 8-26 Grades 9-12 $1,950.00 (cost includes room & board, meals, transportation, and lab supplies) Application deadline: May 15th Contact Dr. Nikos Kiritsis at

MCNEESE SUMMER BAND CAMPS McNeese Middle School Band Academy June 9-12 Deadline to register is May 24th 337-475-5004, www.

Grandparent and Me Camp July 22-23 or July 24-25, 8:00 a.m.-Noon Grades 1-8 $100

Jr. Chef Culinary Camp July 15-19, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Grades 9-12 $200

Mermaid Creations July 8-10 18” Doll Creations July 15-17 Animal Creations July 22-24

CALCASIEU PARISH SCHOOL BOARD TECH CAMP: July 15-19 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. $450 337-217-4120 or email nancy.


LITERACY COUNCIL 337-474-9998 or sylvanlearning@ OF SWLA SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM: June 3-August 2 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Entering grades 1-5 Free before-care and after-care Early registration fee is $35 Contact Katrise Reado at 337-4947000 or Unicorn Creations June 17-19 Cooking Creations June 24-26

Sylvan SUMMER CLASS schedule: June 3-August 1 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 4:00-5:00 a.m., 5:05-6:05 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00-10:00 a.m., 10:05-11:05 a.m. 337-474-9998 to register

McNeese High School Band Academy June 16-20 Instrumental Music, Drum Major, Color Guard Deadline to register is June 1 337-475-5004, www.


For more info, or to register, call 337-421-6964 or visit Culinary Camp June 3-7 or June 17-21, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Grades 5-8 $200 Kids in the Kitchen June 10-14, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Grades 1-4 $200

Transform Your Child’s Summer! Did you know that kids can actually lose math skills while school is out? Studies have shown that students can regress by up to two and a half months over the summer — a phenomenon known as “the summer slide.” At Mathnasium, we prevent the summer slide, give kids an edge for the next school year, and we make it fun! Keep your child from sliding backward this summer.

Changing Lives Through Math

MATHNASIUM of Lake Charles (337) 478-0550 4534 Nelson Road Lake Charles, LA 70605

Reading Readiness Camp $199 Early readers develop the building blocks and writing skills through fun, phonics and multisensory activities! Mondays in Summer June 3-July22, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Camp Read $199 Students boost their reading comprehension skills for all school subjects! Mondays in Summer June3-July 22, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Camp Math $199 Tuesdays in Summer June 4-July 23, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ACT Prep Classes $450 10-Hour Individualized program includes skills, strategies, and test practice. Choose your schedule from our summer hours. Study Skills Boot Camp $199 Back to School Preparation! Develop time management, organization and test taking for a great start to the school year! July 29-31, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Fit-4 Algebra or Geometry Classes We get students ready for Algebra or Geometry using an engaging mix of activities that prepare students for the years to come! See our Summer Schedule STEM (Science-TechnologyEngineering-Math) Choose from Robotics, Radical Racers, Bridge Building$165 STEM (Science-TechnologyEngineering-Math)Choose from Robotics, Radical Racers, Bridge Building$165 STEM (Science-TechnologyEngineering-Math) Choose from Robotics, Radical Racers, Bridge Building$165 STEM (Science-TechnologyEngineering-Math) Choose from Robotics, Radical Racers, Bridge Building$165 STEM (Science-TechnologyEngineering-Math) Choose from Robotics, Radical Racers, Bridge Building$165


Home & Family | Summer Guide


Riders and Volunteers needed! June 10-14,2019 Sessions are 75-minutes per day Burton Coliseum Ages 8 and up $150.00 for individuals, $175 for all other disabilities and ½ price for individuals that attended in 2018. Contact: Down Syndrome Assoc. of SWLA, Melanie Sarro, 337-842-6555 or 337-540-5992, or click on events at to register or ican-bike-lake-charles-la/

MCNEESE ATHLETIC CAMPS: Kacie Cryer Basketball Camps

Contact Kacie Cryer at kcryer@ or 337-475-5476

Soccer Camp Ages 6 & up Dates TBA $70

Chess Camp

Weekend dates TBA $35


Session 1: June 3-6 Session 2: June 24-27 Session 3: July 22-25 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. Ages 8-13 $125 per session Open to members and nonmembers. Contact Jonathan at 337-5621206 ext. 1, jonathan@


Grades K-4 June 10-13, 8:30-11:30 a.m. $65

Get the full summer camp experience with tennis, swimming, games, crafts, snack & lunch. Session 1: June 10-14 Session 2: June 24-28 Session 3: July 8-12 Session 4: July 15-19 8:15 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Ages 5-13 Members $170/Non Members $190 Lunch and snacks are included. Contact Kevin Gillette at 337-562-1206 ext. 8, kevin@

Basketball Camp (Middle School)


Team Camp May 30-June 1

Kids Camp

Tues.-Thurs. Grades 2 & up (must be able to swim the length of the pool) $60/month

HiHoops Basketball Camp

Grades 5-8 July 8-11, 8:30-11:30 a.m. $65

University Joe Mill Ballpark

MCNEESE FOOTBALL CAMPS: COWBOY CAMP 2019 July 7-9 Entering grades 9-12 Cost overnight: $290 Day campers: $155 Helmets required. To register online, please visit For more questions or more info, please contact Coach Derek Shay at or 217-791-0546 ROWDY UP FOOTBALL CAMP FOR KIDS July 10-12, 8:00 a.m.-noon Entering grades 2-8 $100

To register online, please visit For more questions or more info, please contact Coach Derek Shay at or 217-791-0546 Youth All Skills Camp June 10-13, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (ends at noon on Thursday) Grades 1-6 $200 Youth All Star Select Camp June 17-19, 9:00 a.m.-noon Grades 5-8 $125

DRESS YOUR CHILD UNIQUE Something for Every Budget

Infant to Teen, Boys and Girls Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm Sat: 10am - 4pm

2508 Ryan St Lake Charles, LA • 337-493-7005 • @tresjolieboutiquela 26

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

LAKE CHARLES RACQUET CLUB SUMMER TENNIS CAMP: Sessions offered: June 3-7 June 10-14 June 17-21 July 8-12 July 15-19 July 22-26 July 29-August 2 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (drop off 8:00-9:00 a.m.) Ages 4-11 2 Sessions: $350/members $390/nonmembers Each additional one-week session: $165/members $185/nonmembers For more info, contact Tom Chicoine

Three Mon–Thurs Sessions Available: June 3–6 • June 24–27 • July 22–25 Contact Jonathan Jester 337-562-1206 ext. 1 Open to members and non-members.

Tennis, Swimming, Games, Craft Corner, Snack & Lunch Six Mon–Fri Sessions Available: June & July Contact Kevin Gillette, 337-562-1206 ext. 8 Open to members and non-members.




Home & Family | Summer Guide

Nautical NEW ORLEANS OR GALVESTON GETAWAY: Your Dream Cruise is Just a Short Drive Away

by Andrea Guthmann Thinking about a family trip this summer or planning a romantic getaway? Southwest Louisiana locals are lucky to live within an easy drive of two major cruise ports— two and a half hours from Galveston and three hours from New Orleans. Already a seasoned sailor or maybe you just want to test the waters of cruising? Here are the dreamboats and dream itineraries offered from both ports.


A growing number of cruise lines are departing from this bustling port that’s an easy walk from the French Quarter. New Orleans is still a party town, but it’s increasingly parent-friendly. A clear sign of that is Disney Cruise Line’s decision to drop anchor in NOLA for the first time ever early next year. Disney’s Wonder will offer six Bahamas and Caribbean cruises from February through March, 2020. Looking for a floating party? It’s always five o’clock somewhere aboard Carnival. With their own shipboard breweries, they recently became the first cruise line to craft and can their own private label beer. They’re also an unbeatable bargain with five-day cruises to Mexico from New Orleans starting at $270. When Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway started sailing from New Orleans last fall, it was the largest ship ever to call NOLA home port. Starting this November, Norwegian’s nearly 4,000 passenger Getaway will sail seven-day cruises to the Caribbean, stopping at Honduras, Belize, and Mexico.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Norwegian’s motto is freestyle or “no rules” cruising. That means you don’t need to make reservations for dinner. Just show up when you want. Along with plenty of dining options, there’s an abundance of activities and an on-board kids club where you can drop kids off to have fun while the parents go out to play. History buffs might enjoy climbing aboard an iconic steamboat for a Mississippi River cruise. Both American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines offer cruises from New Orleans to Memphis.


Besides the chance to enjoy the Big Easy, another reason to overnight in New Orleans before you cruise is the free parking perk. Parking at the port can cost $15-$25 per day, but Country Inn and Suites by Radisson offers free parking and free drop off at the cruise terminal. The Hampton Inn & Suites Convention Center offers discounted $14 per day parking during your cruise and a complimentary shuttle to and from the cruise terminal.


This barrier island off the coast of Texas is known for its beaches and charming historic district. Brightly colored Victorianera buildings, unique boutiques, and cute candy shops line The Strand, an easy walk from the cruise terminal.

Kids in tow? Head to fun-filled Pleasure Pier. Reminiscent of Coney Island, this oldfashioned beachfront boardwalk is filled with amusement park games and rides, including a Ferris wheel and roller coaster. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney all sail out of Galveston. Carnival has three ships offering four to seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean and Mexico, and one stopping at the Bahamas and Key West. Planning a high school graduation celebration or senior spring break cruise? Royal Caribbean’s a great choice for teens. Between rock climbing, ice skating, teen lounges, and Broadway shows, there’s no time to get bored. Just be aware there must be a person 21 years or older in each room. Traveling with smaller kids? Choose one of Disney Wonder’s four to seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean, Mexico, or Bahamas. Kids enjoy sailing with Mickey and his gang; parents appreciate that unlike most cruise lines, Disney has a nursery where babies as young as three months can be dropped off.


Opt for historic Hotel Galvez. Sitting in the Adirondack chairs on the majestic front lawn overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, it’s hard not to daydream about the glory days when Galveston was the grandest city in Texas. The hotel’s ornate lobby has an elegant mahogany bar and graceful baby grand greeting visitors as they enter.


Want to take advantage of a last-minute deal, just because you won’t have to fly to port? “Last minute bargains are becoming rare as the economy is strengthening and cruising is becoming more popular,” says Lake Charles travel agent Tina Higgins, a Cruise Planners franchise owner. “Booking early guarantees you’ll get the cabin type and location on the ship you want. Also, I’m notified if there’s a price drop and can adjust my client’s rate before final payment is due.” How to get the best deal on a cruise? “Travel during offpeak or shoulder season, when kids are in school,” says Higgins. “And book through a travel agent. It doesn’t cost you any more, and I can find “extras” for my clients such as shipboard credits, cabin upgrades, or free gratuities.” Higgin’s favorite part of cruising? “It allows you to travel to multiple locations and only unpack once.” Here’s to smooth sailing! For more information, call Higgins at 337-405-7650 or visit her website,


Home & Family | Summer Guide


ROAD TRIPS Let’s say you have a free weekend and you’re not sure what to do. Maybe you’re itching to hit the road and explore. Even if you’re familiar with a city, there will always be interesting attractions you may not have heard of before. We’ve researched four destinations, all within a two or three hour drive from Southwest Louisiana and doable in a day or, better yet, a long weekend. So no matter which direction you head, make it a memorable adventure.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019


HOUSTON by Angie Kay Dilmore


Home to 19 unique cultural institutions, Houston’s Museum District is a great place to begin your tour. Natural history, natural science, cultural history, art, photography, health, a children’s museum – there is truly something for everyone. Through June 27, see the phenomenal exhibit, Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, which takes visitors on a chronological tour of van Gogh’s life as an artist via his artwork. At the Museum of Natural History, discover the exhibit Death by Natural Causes, which will introduce patrons to the range of “animal, vegetable and mineral” dangers that lurk in their everyday lives. The exhibit has been extended through Labor Day by popular demand. Consider buying a oneday Museum Pass, starting at $20.


Houston ranks first among the nation’s most populous cities in total acreage of parkland, with 52,912 acres of total park space. Hermann Park is touted as a Houston “crown jewel” with six million visitors annually. Activities there include the Houston Zoo, peddle boats, an antique miniature train ride, an 18-hole golf course, and live performances at the amphitheater. If you’re interested in mosaic art, visit Smither Park, 2402 Munger St. It’s an on-going project and artists are on-site on Saturdays. For more outdoor adventures, explore the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. You’ll find interactive exhibits and five miles of hiking trails. If you’re interested in world religions, visit the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. A mandir is a Hindu temple and it’s an exquisite structure made with over 33,000 pieces of hand-carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone. 1150 Brand Lane, Stafford, TX.

As the fourth largest city in the nation, there are lots of things to see and do in Houston, Texas! Certainly more than you can do in a week, let alone a day. You may want to plan to stay several days.


Board a 90-minute boat tour of the Port of Houston and learn the history of the seaport while watching freighters and barges navigate the 50-mile channel. Reservations required. Experience the “Water Wall” near the Galleria. This 64-foot horseshoe-shaped fountain sits among 186 oak trees – a perfect spot on a hot summer day. For something different, visit the quirky Art Car Museum, where you’ll find an eclectic collection of contemporary works of art that were once vehicles. 140 Heights Blvd. Find the Waugh Drive Bridge at dusk and watch as 250,000 bats take flight for the evening. On the campus of Rice University, find James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace. At dusk and dawn, the grass-covered pyramid illuminates and changes color as the natural light reflects off the structure. Reservations required. Also on the Rice campus, you’ll find the Moody Center, dedicated to the arts, science, and humanities. On Saturdays, visit the Urban Harvest Farmers Market, 8:00 a.m. - noon. Oodles of vendors hawk fresh fruits and vegetables, Indian foods, breakfast tacos, meats, breads, fresh eggs, and more. 2752 Buffalo Speedway


Home & Family | Summer Guide


SHREVEPORT by Lauren Atterbery Cesar


The American Rose Center Shreveport is home to the largest rose park in the United States. With over 20,000 rosebushes spanning 118 acres with beautiful fountains and sculptures dotting the landscape, it’s a stunning place to spend an afternoon. Of course, with flowers, timing is everything. Call ahead to find out the best days to enjoy the gardens. . The Davis Homeplace This historic home has been painstakingly restored to its former early-1900s glory and is a favorite tourist destination for people who enjoy history. If you like spooky history, check out The Logan Mansion.

The Jubilee Zoo Experience a variety of animals and entertain the kids at the Jubilee Zoo. You’ll find a petting zoo, carousel pony rides, and a safari.


Herby K’s Established in 1936, this familyfriendly restaurant has been featured in magazines and best restaurant lists for years. In 1945, Herby tweaked the classic shrimp po-boy with a secret sauce, and people still rave about it today. It’s Cajun food at its finest.

Strawn’s Eat Shop Strawn’s Eat Shop has been a Shreveport/Bossier institution since 1944. With several locations, this classic diner is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try their popular ice box pie and enjoy the painted murals on the diner walls.

When planning a summer road trip, Northwest Louisiana has a lot to offer!

2 Johns Steak and Seafood If you’re hungry for cuisine that’s a little more upscale, 2 John’s Steak and Seafood in Bossier City will not disappoint. Enjoy live music with your crabmeat au gratin, quail eggs, and steak au poivre.

Now Enrolling


The Remington Suite Hotel and Spa This luxury boutique hotel was once an apothecary shop and has hosted many celebrities. If you’re looking for extravagance, occasional live music, and a relaxing spa, make a reservation at The Remington. Fairfield Place Bed and Breakfast Although you could stay at one of the areas many casino resorts, if you have something more intimate and special in mind, consider Shreveport’s first bed and breakfast. Stays include complimentary wine, a private bath, and a delicious breakfast that will energize you to explore the local shopping scene. Adult guests only.

Two Years Through 8th Grade

• • • • •

Academic Excellence Safe, Nurturing Environment Competitive Athletics Global Citizenship Outstanding Technology Program

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Vibrant Fine Arts Program Successful, Confident Graduates Individual Attention Spiritual Growth Leadership

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

803 North Division Street Lake Charles, LA 70601


• • • • •

Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School provides academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment. 337-433-5246



• COST: $1,950

(cost includes room & board, meals, transportation, and lab supplies)

Engineering Academy:

Participants review engineering concepts in the disciplines of Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical, and Civil Engineering. Depending on availability, participants design and operate controllers for a model chemical plant, build balsa wood model bridges, use littleBits to build simple circuits and investigate a variety of electrical engineering concepts, review mechanical engineering concepts as they relate to model rockets and build and test CO2 dragster cars. During the program participants visit a refinery, a chemical manufacturing plant, a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal and a consulting engineering firm. The program seeks to expose participants to engineering education and the work of practicing engineers in the field.

Forensics Academy:

This program gives participants exposure to forensics by getting them involved with hands-on experience and research. Depending on availability, participants visit the Forensic Investigation Unit of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff ’s Department, the SWLA Crime Laboratory, the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s office and Forensic Facility, as well as the Calcasieu Parish Prison. After data collection from a fictitious crime scene, participants bring the evidence in the lab and use forensic chemistry principles and equipment to analyze the evidence and solve the fictitious crime. Finally, a mock trial is scheduled to present the evidence and solve the crime.

Crocodillian Biochemistry:

Participants have the opportunity to study the unique immune system of reptiles. During this three-week program, participants engage in research to investigate properties of the American alligator immune system by traveling to the marshes of southeast Texas on airboats and observing the instructor catching alligators in the wild. After capture, the instructor draws blood samples which are then brought into the laboratory for participants to conduct a variety of experiments to measure the effects of different compounds on the alligator blood. During weekends all participants travel as a group to Houston (NASA Space Center, Museum of Natural Science) and to New Orleans, with a stop at Avery Island. The photobook with pictures from last year’s program can be viewed at: For more information, contact Dr. Nikos Kiritsis (337) 475-5857



Home & Family | Summer Guide


BATON ROUGE by Madelaine Brauner Landry

As Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge sits at the crossroads of Cajun, Zydeco, R&B, jazz, crawfish boils, and LSU football mania. It shares Louisiana lagniappe from all over the state. Into ghosts and castles? Don’t be put off by Mark Twain’s description of the old Louisiana State Capitol building as the “ugliest thing on the Mississippi River.” Phenomenal architecture, self-touring displays, and Huey P. Long’s fingerprints await those roaming inside the many rooms of this attraction. As Capitol State Park is on the River, gaze at the boat traffic as you wander leisurely over to the USS Kidd Museum. Considered the best-preserved destroyer in her class, the Kidd saw action in WWII and Korea before being decommissioned in 1964; it has been designated a National Historic Landmark. From the Kidd, it’s a short walk to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, featuring an Ancient Egypt Gallery and the Irene Pennington Planetarium. Fine arts exhibitions, interactive art, and science galleries, films, and workshops, as well as locally handcrafted items are available to delight visitors of all ages. If you’re traveling with young children, also plan a stop at the Children’s Knock Knock Museum on Dalrymple Drive. This museum receives high marks for the educational interaction and recreation it provides.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

No trip would be complete without touring Louisiana’s flagship institution of higher learning – Louisiana State University. The oak tree-covered campus houses the Union Art Gallery, Museum of Art, Greek Theatre, and Museum of Natural Science. Of course, sports fans will want to explore Alex Box stadium, Mike the Tiger’s habitat, and Tiger Stadium. The Jack & Priscilla Andonie Museum highlights all LSU sports, with an emphasis on its awardwinning football team. History buffs enjoy Magnolia Mound Plantation, right off the campus. Saved from destruction in the 1960s, the French Creole home, complete with open hearth kitchen and a wellkept kitchen garden, offers a glimpse of 18th century Louisiana plantation life. You can also step into the preindustrial 19th century life at the LSU Rural Life Museum, conveniently accessed from 1-10. This 27-building museum complex, celebrated as one of the country’s best outdoor museums, features tools, furniture, and other artifacts at a recreated working plantation.

A short drive on I-10 brings nature lovers to the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center where strolling the boardwalk over a 65acre cypress-tupelo swamp brings visitors up front and personal with alligators, birds, bobcats, foxes, and turtles. This 101-acre facility is dedicated to conservation, ecology, education, and recreation.


NEW ORLEANS by Madelaine Brauner Landry

Many people go to New Orleans for the food and music, but a slew of other surprises await discovery for eager visitors.

The Big Easy earned its nickname because it is easy to navigate the city by car or public transportation. Use the convenient streetcar system to get around. Who doesn’t love a ride on those iconic bell-ringing trolley cars, especially those that take you directly to fun destinations with no parking headaches? Download the new RTA Go Mobile app at You’ll have updated information on a network of buses and streetcars that wind through every neighborhood of the Crescent City. Start at the river end of Canal Street where you can access obvious destinations like the French Quarter, Louis Armstrong Park, and the Audubon Aquarium, with its Insectarium and Butterfly Garden. Board the St. Charles Avenue streetcar here for more adventures at the Audubon Zoo and neighboring Louisiana Nature Center. Renovated after Hurricane Katrina, kids love the train, Jaguar Jungle, and assorted swamp creatures. This streetcar winds past stately Garden District mansions, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Loyola and Tulane Universities, the National WWII Museum, art museums, antique shops, and restaurants. Disembark, eat, shop, eat, tour, and eat; just don’t skip dessert before re-boarding to complete your journey!

The Canal Street-Cemeteries Line takes you to the end of the line . . . literally. Three St. Louis Cemeteries are open daily. Here, licensed tour guides share fascinating secrets buried behind mausoleums and tombstones. Popular haunted nighttime cemetery tours are also available. The Canal Streetcar-City Park/Museum Line whisks visitors to the New Orleans Museum of Art. Over 40,000 pieces are on view at the city’s oldest fine arts museum, which also features a five-acre sculpture garden and café. The 1300-acre City Park houses the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Carousel amusement park, Storyland, and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Stop by Morning Call Coffee Stand for café au lait and beignets. Acres of oak trees offer shady relief and make it picnic-friendly even during hot summer months. Consider riding the Algiers-Canal Street ferry. The $2 pedestrian fare is an affordable way to relax, view the city skyline, and enjoy other Mighty Mississippi sights. Algiers Point has a popular hands-on miniature Arts Center. Back on Canal Street, you’ll find Harrah’s Casino, the Riverwalk, and access to the shuttle for Mardi Gras World at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. This “sneak peak of Mardi Gras” opened in 1984 and has grown into a popular behindthe-scenes venue with visitors from all over the globe.


Home & Family | Summer Guide

Celebrate Summer

SAFELY We know you want to have fun this summer, and we want you to be safe and prepared to prevent and respond appropriately to mishaps. With prevention and preparedness in mind, we encourage our readers to know what to do in emergencies until advanced medical help arrives. Below are some tips to keep you safe outdoors, regardless the activity you may be enjoying.

AVOID VACATION MISHAPS Pack appropriate clothing, insect repellent, sunscreen and first aid items. Include soap, tweezers, wound gel, personal medication and items such as fever reducers, fungal creams and pain relievers.


• Stung by a jellyfish. Wash liberally with vinegar as soon as possible for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar isn’t available, make a thick mixture of baking soda and water. • Mosquitoes bites. Ideally the first step is to prevent mosquito bites. If not, use an over-the-counter product to reduce the itch and urge to scratch. • Sick stomach. Keep the person hydrated and take a medication made specifically for someone with tummy woes. • Too long in the sun. Get out of the sun, cool the area and use topical pain relief medication if needed. • Blisters. Leave it alone to protect the area. If the blister may cause further injury, puncture at the base, clean, and protect with another barrier such as a bandage. • Allergic reaction. Remove the person from the allergen; give them oral antihistamines if needed. If the situation is lifethreatening, consider the use of epinephrine and/or call 911.


If you enjoy spending time in a pool, at the lake, on the river, or at the beach, follow these steps for safe summer water fun: • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets, and a first aid kit. • If visiting the beach, be mindful of safety signs, and check the weather report before heading out to be aware of changing conditions throughout the day.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

NEVER LEAVE YOUNG CHILDREN • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time. • Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water. • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water. • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. • Finally, visit your local pool and request swim lessons from an authorized instructor.



• a large rash around the bite • pain or swelling that lasts longer than three days or extends beyond the original site of the bite or sting • rapidly changing symptoms

SERIOUS It's summertime, meaning cookouts, picnics, trips to the park, and family vacations. All this extra time spent outdoors also means more exposure to insects. From ants, ticks, and spiders to bees and wasps, the potential to get bitten or stung by one of these outdoor pests also grows. Often, common over-the-counter medications can help relieve bug bite or sting symptoms. Acetaminophen can help with pain, and a 1% hydrocortisone cream can help relieve redness, itching, or swelling.

But sometimes, bug bites require medical attention, especially if the bite causes an allergic reaction or becomes infected. If you think you've been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider or stung by a scorpion, head to an emergency room, as these can be lifethreatening — especially for children and seniors — and may require immediate medical attention. Courtesy of CHRISTUS Oschner Lake Area Hospital,

SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO BUG BITES AND STINGS CAN BE LIFE-THREATENING. IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE SIGNS, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY: • shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing • chest pain • bee or wasp sting in the mouth that causes severe swelling and interferes with breathing • dizziness or fainting • facial swelling • nausea or vomiting

Safe Sitter® is a nationally recognized, medically accurate babysitting preparation program designed for boys and girls ages 11 to 13. The program teaches sitters how to recognize and handle medical emergencies, how to handle specific ages, prevent problem behavior, and the business of babysitting.




Cost is $35 per student. Class space is limited. 701 Cypress Street, Sulphur

To register, please call (337) 527-4361.


Home & Family | Summer Guide

Straight Talk

about Early Orthodontic Treatment by Kristy Como Armand

The summer months are often a time when parents consider getting braces for their children. Most people associate braces with the teenage years but children today are more likely to get braces at an earlier age, according to orthodontist Craig Crawford, DDS, with Crawford Orthodontics. “While orthodontics can improve a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment, and in many cases this time period is when a child is in their pre-teens.” The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven. Dr. Crawford says by this age, most children have a good mix of baby and adult teeth, which enables us to make a good assessment. “By no means are we saying that most children need braces at this early age. Braces are not usually recommended until most of a child’s adult teeth have erupted. But this initial exam will allow us to spot any potential problems that may exist, even if your child’s teeth appear straight. Many orthodontic problems are easier and less complicated to correct earlier, rather than later.” For example, orthodontists can direct extractions of baby teeth which may allow adult teeth to come in straighter, possibly preventing the need for braces altogether. As a child gets older, regular examinations can monitor growth and development as needed, with any needed treatment recommended at the appropriate time.” Dr. Crawford explains that there are some situations in which young children do require orthodontic treatment. This is referred to as “interceptive orthodontics,” and typically involves interventions that begin before a child starts first grade. “At this age, tooth development and jaw growth have not been completed, so certain conditions are easier to address.” He says that interceptive treatment can be used to create room for crowded, erupting teeth, create facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth, reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth, preserve space for un-erupted permanent teeth and reduce treatment time with braces, among other benefits.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Dr. Crawford says in his office, he uses a 3-D i-CAT imaging system which is extremely helpful with interceptive orthodontics. “This advanced imaging technology and modeling system provide us with very accurate and complete images for diagnosis and treatment planning, without the more cumbersome – and messy – dental impressions. The system allows us to not only see current alignment and teeth, but also to more precisely predict limits of tooth movement and bony support and perform 3-D treatment simulations. We’re eliminating a lot of the guess work in treatment planning,” adds Dr. Crawford. When braces are needed in younger children, Dr. Crawford says manufacturers have worked to make the process more fun, with brightly colored alastics, the tiny rubber bands that hold the wires to the braces. “Kids can choose alastics to match their favorite colors, school uniforms, team colors, a holiday color scheme, etc,” says Dr. Crawford. “This helps keep the kids excited about the treatment.” For some teens, invisible aligners may be an option. These are made of a medical grade clear plastic, which are custom-made for each patient and move teeth incrementally, in a process similar to conventional braces. Dr. Crawford says the aligners are not only more aesthetically appealing to teens, but is also often a better fit for their busy lifestyles, which are typically filled with sports, music and other activities. The good news is with earlier treatment, older teens can not only have a great smile, but also one less thing to worry about in their high school years. For more information about braces at any age, call Crawford Orthodontics at (337) 478-7590 or visit www.










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Home & Family |

Mother’s Day Gifts you May Not Have Thought of Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 12), but if you haven’t already made plans to celebrate, it’s not too late. If you suspect Mom might enjoy something different this year, read on for some unique ideas. Deciding the Date: While Mother’s Day 2019 falls on May 12 in the U.S., celebrations can occur up to a week before and after. For those with several motherly figures such as grandmothers, mothers-inlaw, or godmothers, make time to call, visit, or recognize everyone. It is also possible to find days and times that give each special woman in your life the appreciation and recognition they deserve, coordinating with family members (especially siblings) as necessary.

Simply Celebrate:

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to include an extravagant present. Special celebrations often include thoughtful experiences rather than gifts. Cherish the chance to share a unique experience by planning a day all about her. It can be as simple as a hike through the woods or a road trip to her favorite local museum, so long as it shows appreciation. Other sweet gestures include cleaning the house while she relaxes with some rosé and a playlist you made just for her, running those forgotten errands, or making a scrapbook of your favorite childhood memories together.

Husband’s Helping Hand: Dads, if your kids are too young to understand the meaning of the holiday, take the lead by pampering your wife with her favorite treats, along with a card signed by her little ones (toddlers and infants can “sign” by leaving a handprint using finger paint). For those old enough to lend a hand, let them help select a flower arrangement, or guide them in making a card. Mom will love the sweet gesture that shows her children’s love and your appreciation for all she does.

We have everything you need to dress your dancer from head to toe Dance Biz has a large selection of Praise Wear and group discounts for Praise Wear

Pointe Shoes - We specialize in the perfect fit. Don’t forget about Gymnastics wear, Bullet Pointe skirts and special made t-shirts 4011 Common Street, Suite 200 Lake Charles 40

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019


Lakeside Bank proudly offers The American account to all law enforcement officers, fire fighters, active duty military, members of the National Guard & Reserve, military veterans and their family members.

Siblings in Sync:

Instead of competing for who can find the best gift, collaborate with your siblings to discover the ideal gift. If you and your siblings live in different cities or have different schedules, start coordinating in advance so that everything is perfect for Mom’s big day. Whether it’s a handwritten letter from each of you along with a small memento, or a luxury item that you split the cost of, the gift will mean more coming from all of her beloved children.

Not Your Average Mom: Maternal figures come in many forms, and you may be lucky to have several women who have offered endless love and support. Mother’s Day is a wonderful occasion to celebrate all of the women who have nurtured and guided you throughout the years, whether a teacher, mentor, sister or aunt. Consider those who have supported and helped you grow; be sure to recognize them this Mother’s Day.

Turning the Page: If there’s a mother figure in your life with whom you’ve lost touch or had a falling out, Mother’s Day may be the perfect opportunity to reach out and rebuild the relationship. Whether you give them a call to wish them happy Mother’s Day, or send a surprise bouquet, express your gratitude for their presence in your life and your desire to turn a new page.

The sacrifice of those who work to serve and protect our communities and our country is immeasurable. We at Lakeside thank you for your courage and willingness to put others first. The American account is our humble way of recognizing and honoring your dedicated service. Lakeside stands united with those who serve. Call or stop by any of our locations to learn more about The American account.

The American account gives you the freedom to do your banking any time and anywhere duty calls, and includes: • Free checking • Free online banking, mobile banking and estatements • Free bill pay • Just $50 to open • No minimum balance and no monthly fees • Free first order of The American checks

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Places & Faces If you’re a music fan and like to watch television, chances are you’ve seen The Voice on NBC and are aware that Southwest Louisiana native Gyth Rigdon is one of this season’s strongest contenders. Gyth opened the season on February 25 with a rousing rendition of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” and wowed all four judges. It was a tough decision between Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson, but Gyth chose Blake as his performance coach. This 25-year-old singer from Singer, La. grew up on a 40-acre horse farm. In addition to hours of daily chores, Gyth participated

in school athletics. Raised by his father, Paul Rigdon, Gyth learned the value of hard work from an early age. His dad also instilled in Gyth a love of music. Singing and playing guitar from the time he was a young boy, Gyth released his first album last September. Now a rising star on The Voice, life is changing quickly for Gyth. Thrive recently caught up with this unassuming musician, and he reflected on his relationships with his father, his family, and his fans.

first person by Angie Kay Dilmore


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Gyth Rigdon

Tell me about your relationship with your father.

My dad is my hero. He’s the person I’ve looked up to my entire life. I wrote a song for him that sums up everything called “Stronger Than You Let Me See” and it couldn’t be more true. There were times he put on a brave face. We didn’t always have what we wanted, but we always had what we needed. Dad made that sacrifice throughout my childhood.

What has been the high point in your experience on The Voice so far?

Working with Brooks and Dunn was extremely cool. Preparing for a duet and working with a legendary duo was definitely a high point.

As a contestant on The Voice, what has surprised you the most?

Three years ago, I put a band together in Louisiana. It took a lot of time to build chemistry between me and my bandmates. You first auditioned for The Voice Now, when we perform, if someone stumbles, in 2014 but didn’t make it. How the rest of us swoop in and catch him. We did that affect your career? know each other so well. But it took a lot of Looking back, I was glad they told me no that time and effort to get to that point. Going into first time. When I hear recordings or watch The Voice and rehearsing with their band, I videos of myself from back then, I realize I was nervous. How would there be that same was definitely not ready at that time. When chemistry? But these guys are so incredible. In I was told no, it was rather devastating, but rehearsals, I made some bumps and stumbles, I’ve always been the kind of person who and the band was right there every time. It was uses a no as fuel to work harder and push mind-blowing. through. Five years later, [The Voice] called me back to audition. All my hard work paid off. Do you have a personal favorite

How has Blake helped you become a better performer?

Blake is incredible, just an awesome guy and such an icon in the country music world. When I work with Blake, I give 150% and his compliments and constructive criticism help me move forward.

What has been your greatest challenge as a contestant on the show?

Battling Rod [Stokes] and coming out with a victory. Rod is incredible, as a singer, as a believer in Christ, just an all-around great guy. He was the artist that nobody wanted to battle. I freaked out a little bit when I found out I’d be battling him, but once we started working together, I realized there were so many things I could learn from him and he from me. He has so much soul in his vocals, and I learned from that. And after cutting my When you were a kid, what did you teeth in the barrooms, I’m very comfortable want to be when you grew up? onstage performing and interacting with I’d always been into music. I sang with my dad in a gospel band when I was seven, eight, the crowd. Rod picked up on that. Rod and I spent many hours in hotel rooms rehearsing nine years old. He recorded a gospel album and we’d play at churches and nursing homes. stage performances with shampoo bottles for microphones. So it was never a battle between That’s where I fell in love with music. When Dad got out of [music], I got out of it, too. But I me and Rod. We just wanted to perform picked it back up when I was 15 and have been a great song together and give America playing now for 10 years. In between that, I’ve something they could talk about. always supported our military, men in blue, and first responders. I play the national anthem What are your long-term goals? I want to continue touring to larger crowds at every show and display the flag to show respect. If I hadn’t become a musician, I would and build my name to be a legacy. I want to support my family and my dad. have gone into one of those service careers.

song you like to sing

Oh . . . that kinda bounces around. One of my favorite songs to perform live with my band is the Phil Collins song, “In the Air Tonight.” But my all-time favorite song lyrically and melodically is a classic country song by Shenandoah called “I Want to be Loved Like That.”

What do you do in your free time?

In the winter, I’m an avid hunter; in the summer, I’ll be out on a lake in a boat or hanging out with friends, playing washers, mud riding. I love the outdoors.

Describe your home life.

My wife Bayleigh and I are newlyweds; we married last September. She’s an incredible person, been by my side since the beginning, when I played for the bartender at nightclubs. She’s been with me as we’ve watched the crowds grow and my career take off.

What is next for Gyth Rigdon?

We’ve got some local shows scheduled in Southwest Louisiana. And I’ll be starting work on my next album soon.

What would you like to tell your fans in SWLA?

I want to say thank you so much to all of Southwest Louisiana and Louisiana in general. The support I’ve received has been overwhelming and humbling. That’s what keeps me going. And I never get tired of taking photos, signing autographs, and interacting with my fans.


Places & Faces

St. Jude Dream Home® Build is Under Construction For the price of a $100 ticket, you can help save the life of a child with cancer as well as buy a chance to win a brand-new house or other great prizes. This approximately 3,000 square foot home is located in the Oleander subdivision in Graywood in Lake Charles and valued at $600,000. Built by Salvador Custom Homes, the house will be raffled off to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital live on KPLC on Sunday, September 22, 2019. Other prizes include, but aren’t limited to, a $2,500 winner's choice of a Forevermark Center of my Universe 1/2 carat diamond pendant OR 3/4 carat total weight 14k men's diamond band in white or yellow gold, courtesy of Diamond Durrells; a 2019 Chevrolet Spark LS, courtesy of Lake Charles Area Chevrolet Dealers; and a $5,000 VISA gift card, courtesy of CSE Federal Credit Union.

Tickets will be available for the 2019 Lake Charles St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in June. Only 7,500 tickets will be available this year and they will sell fast. Last year’s St. Jude Dream Home sold out two months early and raised over $600,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Other sponsors of the fundraising campaign include Salvador Custom Homes, KPLC, Townsquare Media Lake Charles, American Press, Changing Spaces, Lake Charles Area Chevrolet Dealers, Dream Day Foundation and national sponsors Brizo, Shaw Floors, Trane and Bosch. Visit for more information. About St. Jude: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

It is the only National Cancer Institutedesignated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and they won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook ( and following them on Twitter (@stjude).


Plan You Plant Spring is here and summer is right around the corner! It’s never too late to make your yard a beautiful oasis to enjoy all season long. We can help. We’ll create a plan, help you choose the plants from our huge retail yard, lay out your beds and guide you as you create the yard of your dreams. Landscaping made simple for your home. 44

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

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

Our Growth Depends On Growing Louisiana’s Work Force. That’s why for the past 30 years, we’ve recognized the success of our customers as our greatest accomplishment. We help nurture growing businesses with added value like free business development seminars designed to protect and strengthen their work force and B2B networking events. This may be our 30th anniversary, but to us, it’s our members’ milestone. :: 985-612-1230


Places & Faces

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

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Appoints New Registrar of Voters

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury appointed Kim Fontenot as the new Calcasieu Parish Registrar of Voters. Fontenot, who has Kim Fontenot been Chief Deputy to the Registrar since 2015, has been serving as interim Registrar of Voters since March 23 - the day Angie Quienalty, the former Calcasieu Parish Registrar of Voters who held the position since 1995, retired. As the new Registrar, Fontenot said she wants to continue to educate the voters on elections and issues on the ballots in order to increase voter turnout. She also wants to encourage those not registered to vote to register. The position of Registrar of Voters is a lifetime appointment.

CSE IRA Specialists tested with Ascensus, the largest independent retirement and college savings service provider in the United States. To remain certified, IRA Specialists require extensive annual training, giving CSE competitive advantage with certified expertise. CSE commits to having a well-versed staff in this area. The knowledge gained in order to stay current on IRAs and retirement concerns is invaluable when assisting CSE Members. For more information, call (337) 562-3161.

The Eye Clinic Welcomes New Administrator

Dave Kontol has joined The Eye Clinic as the group’s Practice Administrator. Originally from Gary, Indiana, Kontol brings 30 years of medical Dave Kontol practice management experience to his new position. Kontol’s background includes work in a wide variety of medical specialties, including ophthalmology orthopaedics, pediatrics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, emergency medicine and medical, radiation and surgical oncology. Most recently, he worked as a practice administrator for Four Corners OB/GYN in Durango, Colorado.

Investar Bank Hires Seasoned Commercial Team to Lead Lake Charles Expansion

From left to right: Andrea Sam, Chrisy Schiro, Michelle Leger, Judy Morrissey, Rebekah Gieger and Sherry Woods

Three CSE Team Members Earn IRA Specialist Certification

Andrea Sam, Chrisy Schiro and Michelle Leger, team members of CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE), completed their certification to become Certified IRA Specialists. They join Judy Morrissey, Rebekah Gieger and Sherry Woods with this achievement, giving CSE a total of six IRA specialists with a grand total of 65 years of certification. 46

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Kevin Lacy

Investar Bank has hired Kevin Lacy as the new Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Market Manager and Senior Vice President to lead its expansion into the Lake Charles market.

Kevin Lacy has 15 years of banking experience and has worked in various commercial banking positions at Hancock Whitney Bank. He specializes in the C&I sector where he has banked relationships located throughout Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes. Joining Kevin Lacy will be his father and veteran banker, Steve Lacy, who will assist him with Investar Bank’s expansion into the Lake Charles market. Steve Lacy has over 43 years of banking experience and retired nearly two years ago from Hancock Whitney Bank as Lake Charles’ City President. He is well known for establishing brand presence in the market and has worked as a commercial banker for Hancock Whitney Bank, Calcasieu Marine, and Premier/Bank One. Steve Lacy specializes in working capital and capital expenditures financing and real estate lending. He joins the Investar Bank team as the Business Development Officer and Senior Vice President for the Lake Charles market. The team will be located in temporary office space and will conduct all banking business through the Bank’s existing branch in Lafayette, Louisiana until the necessary regulatory approvals can be obtained. Eventually, the team is expected to operate out of a new Investar Bank branch, to be located at 2089 Country Club Road in Lake Charles. The plans to build a full-service branch are underway and construction should begin within 60 days. At the site of the future Lake Charles branch, the Bank currently operates an Interactive Teller Machine (ITM). This ITM operates as an ATM 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone with a financial institution debit/ credit/ATM card. In addition, during business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, customers can touch the screen to interact with an Investar Bank teller in realtime. Existing Investar Bank customers can make deposits, cash checks and conduct many other transactions through the ITM.

Community Foundation Announces New Board Members

Clair Marceaux

Jim Rock

The Community Foundation held its Annual Business Luncheon recently and elected three new board members and installed the 2019-20 Executive Committee. Joining the Board of Directors Willie Mount are Clair Marceaux, director of Cameron Parish Port, Harbor & Terminal District, Willie Mount, former mayor and state senator, and Jim Rock, site executive director of LOTTE Chemical.

Lake Charles Memorial Welcomes Gerald Bryant as Chief Nursing Officer

Gerald Bryant returns to Lake Charles Memorial Health System as Executive Vice President, Chief Gerald Bryant Nursing Officer. He previously served as Vice President of Patient Care Services at Memorial in the early 2000s. Bryant has more than 15 years of operational and clinical senior executive leadership experience. Before returning to Memorial, he served as the Chief Nursing Officer for Baylor Scott & White Medical Center and Clinics in Temple, TX. He was recently named the Texas Hospital Association/ Texas Organization of Nurse Executives Nurse Executive of the Year. Bryant is a board certified nurse executive and a member of American College of Healthcare Executive and American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Denise Rau, CFP, Recognized as an LPL Financial Top Advisor

Denise Rau

Denise Rau, Certified Financial Planner, an independent LPL Financial Advisor, and president of Rau Financial Group, has been awarded Patriot Club membership by LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent

broker-dealer. This premier award is presented to less than 8% of the firm's more than 16,000 financial advisors nationwide*. Rau recently attended the LPL Master’s Conference for outstanding performers where her inclusion in the Patriot’s Club was recognized and she was able to attend education sessions providing valuable insights. Achieving club membership with LPL entitles Rau to a range of benefits including educational opportunities and enhanced operational services, which in turn, help strengthen the capabilities she and her staff bring to their clients. Rau Financial Group offers an extensive range of financial services, including financial planning, investments, retirement planning, trust services, real estate investment and insurance products. For more information, call (337) 480-3835 or visit www.

Johnson Funeral Home Welcomes 3rd Generation to Management Team Graham Hankins is the new Project Manager for Johnson Funeral Home. He joins grandfather Zeb Johnson, founder of Johnson Funeral Home, and father Andy Hankins, Chief Financial Officer and Graham Hankins Funeral Director, in the family-owned business. Hankins is currently completing his funeral director’s license. As a Project Manager, Hankins will be responsible for budget oversight, managing expansion projects, internal project oversight, assisting with funeral services and helping in the care center Founded by Zeb Johnson in 1976, Johnson Funeral Home has been serving families across Southwest Louisiana for over 40 years. The Johnson family of funeral homes includes Johnson in Lake Charles, Johnson-Robison in Sulphur, Miguez in Jennings, and Johnson Funeral home – Moss Bluff.


Places & Faces

Headed to the Airshow? Here’s How to Maximize Family Fun

by Malloree Lavergne

Mother’s Day weekend will be an aerial treat in Lake Charles this year. People are invited to bring the whole family to Chennault International Airport as fantastic flying machines fill the wild blue yonder with jaw-dropping aerial feats. Thrills for all ages are in store for the 2019 Kia of Lake Charles CHENNAULT INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW, presented by Phillips 66, which takes place May 10-12. General admission tickets are $20 in advance at chennaultairshow. com and $24 at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free (general admission). The show features Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the aerobatics of the Phillips 66 Aerostars, a variety of entertainment from the Red Bull aviation teams and much more.

ENJOY THE AIRSHOW LIKE A BOSS The key for optimum enjoyment is preparation. So: It’s Airshow day. You’ve got your tickets. You’re looking through the list of performers, and you check your phone to make sure you’re on time. You want to make sure that you are prepared for the day ahead, but feel like you’re missing something. Here are some suggestions to make sure you have the best experience possible: • Being that we live in Louisiana, expect it to be warm and humid. Bring sunscreen and head protection. • You’ll be looking toward the sky a lot, so bring sunglasses for eye protection. • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. • The sprawling Airshow has plenty on the ground to see. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. • Between aerial performances, browse through the exhibits and displays. • Bring ear protection — especially for children. Expect lots of loud noise throughout the show. • Not only are kids and grandkids 12 and under admitted free, there are plenty of ways to keep them engaged. The SASOL STEM Tent will showcase exhibits tied to science, technology, engineering 48

and technology (STEM) areas, with McNeese and SOWELA taking part. The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Kids’ Zone will offer an area of fun and recreation. Also, people of all ages can visit the Dream Big exhibit and the Dash Aero cockpit simulator trailer. • The Airshow welcomes lawn chairs. Bring some and give your feet a rest. • Check out the Airshow layout and parking maps ahead of time at chennaultairshow,com. • The entire airfield is a nonsmoking area. • Pets are not allowed unless they’re service animals. • The Airshow does not permit large totes or purses, coolers, glass bottles or alcoholic beverages. • Knives, guns, weapons and drugs are prohibited. PREPARE FOR TAKEOFF The Airshow opens May 10 with a Friday evening show. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and opening ceremonies take place at 6:30 p.m. The shows on May 11 and May 12 (Mother’s Day) will have gates open at 9:00 a.m. and the welcoming ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m. Parking is free. Food and drinks will be sold. Premium seating is available. Proceeds from the Airshow benefit STEM education outreach.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

For more information, visit or the Chennault International Airshow page on Facebook.

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Places & Faces


MusicMakers2U presents “An Afternoon with MusicMakers” MusicMakers2U hosts “An Afternoon with MusicMakers” on May 18, 3:00pm at the Lake Charles Civic Center. MusicMakers2U encourages the community to “dust off and donate” musical instruments that are then refurbished/repaired and given to area youth. The concert is free and open to the public and features the sounds of educator and saxophonist Mickey Smith Jr., his Sax In the City Band, the group Foot In the Door, as well as local MusicMaker2U youth who have benefited from the organization. Seating is limited and tickets are available online at MickeySmithJr. com or at, as well as Swicegood Music Store in Lake Charles and Bearden’s Music Store in Sulphur.


Wall Leads Airshow’s STEM Outreach in Our Schools Mallory Wall, president of the Junior League of Lake Charles, will lead the Education Outreach for the 2019 Kia of Lake Charles Chennault International Airshow, which will take place May 10-12 at Chennault International Airport. Proceeds from the not-for-profit Airshow, presented by Phillips 66, fund local efforts to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies. "STEM education is a pathway to in-demand jobs in Southwest Louisiana, both now and in the future,” Wall said. The Airshow’s outreach includes: • Direct grants for local teachers in STEM subjects. • Curriculum support to supplement instruction. • Student essay contests at all school levels with winners earning plaques, certificates, and cash awards for their classroom. • Scholarships for seniors seeking STEM-related careers.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

• Field trips for hundreds of Calcasieu Parish students to the Airshow’s rehearsal day and the “Sasol STEM Tent,” where colleges and businesses will have handson technology exhibits. • School visits by visiting aviation leaders. Tickets are $24 at the gate and $20 in advance at National Get Outdoors Day The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau will hold the communitywide Explore Nature Art Contest in anticipation of the National Get Outdoors Day celebration. The artwork and entry form must be submitted to the Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana CVB by May 17. Kindergarten – 8th grade students in Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes are asked to design their own unique representations of the outdoors in Southwest Louisiana. The first-place winner’s artwork will be printed on postcards and

distributed at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point. The first, second and third-place winners will receive Get Outdoors Kits, and the Top 25 entries will be displayed at the National Get Outdoors Day event. National Get Outdoors Day is an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. The community is invited to commemorate National Get Outdoors Day on June 8, from 10am-2pm at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point. Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point includes interactive exhibits featuring the outdoors, culture, cuisine and music of Southwest Louisiana. Entry forms for the art contest are now available at the LC/SWLA CVB, Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, and www.visitlakecharles. org/artform. For more information on the art contest, contact Shanna Landry at (337) 502-4233.

By the Numbers



grants awarded totaling


students & family members participated in Family Literacy Nights at Head Start programs in Calcasieu & Cameron parishes

$16,989.53 290


children were part of Read to Your Doll at libraries across Calcasieu Parish

scholarships awarded totaling



sessions of Fit Kids at Calcasieu Parish Public Schools


Snack Sacks donated to children in food-insecure homes

1019 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles | 337-436-4025 |


Mind & Body

Women’s Wellness


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

In this special section on Women’s Wellness, we offer you a hodgepodge of health-related issues that affect the lives of thousands of women. May is Osteoporosis Month and Staci Boudreaux, PA-C, CCD, coordinator of Bone Health Central at Center for Orthopaedics talks about the importance of bone health. Concerned about sun exposure and skin cancer? Darci Portie, family nurse practitioner with Imperial Health's Iowa Primary Care Clinic, offers some timely tips. And finally, contributor Stephanie Karpovs shares her firsthand knowledge on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a life-long disorder that affects 6% - 12% of U.S. women in their reproductive years.


Mind & Body | Women’s Wellness

How Strong are your Bones?

May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month by Kristy Como Armand

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued new bone density screening guidelines several years ago, but many women – and their doctors – are still not aware of the recommendation that some women as young as 50 should be checked for osteoporosis. Previous guidelines recommended bone density screenings for women ages 60-64 in high risk groups and all women older than 65. “The newest guidelines dropped the recommendation screening age for highrisk women by 10 years, which is fairly significant,” said Staci Boudreaux, PA-C, CCD, coordinator of Bone Health Central at Center for Orthopaedics, an affiliate of Imperial Health. “The hope is that earlier detection could allow health professionals to prevent future fractures caused by this condition, which is viewed as a silent disease. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 50% of repeat fractures could be avoided with treatment of osteoporosis. Women typically aren’t aware they have osteoporosis until they experience a fracture.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Bone density screenings can help detect bone thinning in its early stages, which means preventative measures can be taken. These screenings are effective, safe, noninvasive and painless.” The lower screening age for high-risk patients takes into account that women as young as 50 may meet the threshold depending on their risk factors. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, factors that can increase a woman’s risk include low body weight, use of certain drugs, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and a parent who has broken a hip. The odds of a woman in this risk group of experiencing a fracture within 10 years was concerning enough for the screening recommendation to be expanded, according to the task force. Osteoporosis is a major public health threat, affecting an estimated 54 million Americans – about 55 percent of people age 50 and older, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. The foundation reports that 10 million Americans already have the disease, and an estimated 34

million have low bone density. The disease is responsible for two million broken bones per year, yet nearly 84% of Americans with those broken bones are not tested or treated. Boudreaux suggests having the screening at least once every two years, although this could depend on your practitioner’s personal recommendation. The task force made no recommendation for men; however, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends bone density screenings for men older than 70. “Women are more adversely and widely affected by osteoporosis because their bone density tends to be lower than men’s, so the guidelines are more lenient for males,” Boudreaux said. “That said, physicians should pay attention to bone density in all their senior patients to prevent bone density conditions from developing into a problem.” For more information about osteoporosis screenings, call Bone Health Central at Center for Orthopaedics, (337) 721-7270, or visit www.

“Women are more adversely and widely affected by osteoporosis because their bone density tends to be lower than men’s, so the guidelines are more lenient for males. That said, physicians should pay attention to bone density in all their senior patients to prevent bone density conditions from developing into a problem.” -Boudreaux

– Katherine Stewart, Physical Therapist and Co-Owner

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Mind & Body | Women’s Wellness

Learning to Thrive with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

by Stephanie Kestel Karpovs

If you’ve seen the hit movie, The Greatest Showman, you’ll recall the charismatic character, “the bearded lady.” What if that lovable hairy face and plump body were the result of an untreated endocrine disorder? What if the bearded lady actually had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)? This condition, also known as SteinLeventhal syndrome, is a hormonal imbalance that affects less than 20% of women of childbearing age. PCOS is characterized by the production of too many androgens (“male” hormones) and carries with it a higher risk of complications if you do desire to become pregnant. There is no cure for PCOS and it often gets missed because of the difficulty in making a diagnosis.

Symptoms can be attributed to other disorders and are not correlated if women don’t include relevant info on a case history to help connect the dots Depending on which issues are most important to you and which symptoms are most bothersome, you may seek treatment from the specialist who best fits your needs for that phase of life (ex. acne reduction=dermatologist; hormonal imbalance/insulin resistance=endocrinologist or nutritionist; irregular periods or fertility issues=OB/GYN). However, most women with PCOS find the best management involves a team of medical professionals in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes.

Dr. Janna Flint-Wilson, a pediatric endocrinologist in Lafayette, sees many young women from SWLA. She offers this advice: If you are coping with PCOS, being proactive and establishing healthy habits at a young age can reduce the severity of the symptoms. After ruling out other disorders, patients often begin with a regimen of Metformin to assist with regulating insulin levels and work up to a therapeutic dosage to prepare for childbearing years. Most patients will continue on medication throughout adulthood. However, the medication alone will not resolve all the symptoms. Like many disorders, PCOS responds positively to proactive lifestyle choices that include a healthy diet, adequate exercise and stress reduction.



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

irregular menstrual cycle (either heavy bleeding with or absence of periods) “string of pearl” cysts on the ovaries difficulty getting pregnant or carrying pregnancies to term pelvic pain excessive acne related to hormonal imbalance hirsutism (excessive body and facial hair) due to increased testosterone male pattern baldness in females due to excess testosterone weight changes (obesity, sudden weight gain or difficulty losing weight)

MANAGING LIFE WITH PCOS Pregnancy and PCOS Dr. Brad Forsyth, an OB/GYN specialist in Lake Charles, says this condition often makes it more difficult to become pregnant. Once pregnant, there is higher risk for complications during the pregnancy, labor and delivery such as preeclampsia, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, or premature delivery. Your doctor can help develop a plan and manage symptoms for the health of both mom and baby. Diet Since insulin resistance and weight gain are common with PCOS, a diet high in fiber, low in added sugars and low in saturated fats is optimal. Look for foods with a low glycemic index such as legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Spices such as cinnamon and turmeric and other anti-inflammatory foods such as berries and leafy greens may also help. Reducing processed foods and meats, sodas, dairy and juices, while increasing plant-based proteins is also beneficial.

Exercise According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise and increased physical activity helps lower blood sugar levels in women with PCOS. Increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program (30 min a day/5 days a week) can effectively reduce insulin resistance, prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes and keep your weight under control. As an added benefit, exercise can help alleviate stress, calm your mind and positively impact your mood. Find something you love such as yoga, ballet, spin class, kayaking, or hiking and get moving! Medications Dr. Kerri Davis-Fontenot, a local dermatologist, reports she will often see females seeking treatment for acne. Upon review of case history and noted symptoms, PCOS may be the underlying condition. For hormonal-based acne, she finds success with spironolactone (androgen blocker) to decrease the symptoms of PCOS.

Additionally, birth control pills (prescribed in collaboration with an OB/ GYN) are very effective for this disorder. Clomid (a common fertility drug) may help to regulate your cycle/increase chances of getting pregnant. Metformin also is commonly prescribed to help induce ovulation in addition to controlling blood sugar. Some medicines may not be used while pregnant or breast-feeding, so communicate openly with your doctors. Stephanie Karpovs is a local feeding therapist and wellness coach who lives with PCOS. Her journey with PCOS began as a preteen, although she was not diagnosed until her mid-twenties. She has battled infertility and insulin resistance, and enjoys coaching people to use food as medicine for symptom relief.

Pelvic Pain Menstrual Disorders Pregnancy • Infertility Breast Disorders Contraception Midwifery Allison Hansen WHNP, CNM


Scott Bergstedt MD, FACOG, OB/GYN

Now Accepting New Patients

1200 Stelly Lane, Sulphur • (337) 312-1000


Mind & Body | Women’s Wellness

Skin Cancer Awareness and Detection

Protect the Skin You’re In: Be Sun Smart this Summer. by Matthew Welsh

Summer is filled with lots of outdoor activities from pool days to outdoor grilling with family and friends. While the sunshine may be good for the soul and for boosting our Vitamin D production, there can be some dangerous trade-offs that come from too much sun exposure and improper UV protection practices. According to Darci Portie, family nurse practitioner with Imperial Health’s Iowa Primary Care Clinic, “skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. More skin cancers are diagnosed in the US each year than all other cancers combined. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is most often the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotches or spots on your skin.” Melanomas are the most dangerous form of skin cancer. A recent research study indicates that about half of melanomas are self-detected. Checking your skin from head to toe on a regular basis can help you locate problem spots early. Early detection starts with you – and not only for yourself, but for your loved ones, too. “Performing regular, self-examinations can alert you to changes in your skin and aid in the early detection of skin cancer. It should be done often enough to become a habit, but not so often as to feel like a bother. For most people, once a month is ideal,” says Portie.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

When checking your or a family member’s skin, take note of all the spots on the body, from moles to freckles to age spots. SIX STEPS FOR SUN SCREENINGS:

1. 2. 3.








When looking at moles, growths, or brown spots, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends relying on the ABCDEs of Melanoma: A - Asymmetry

If you draw a line through a melanoma, the two sides will not match.

B - Border

The border of an early melanoma tends to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.

C - Color

Most healthy moles are all one color. Talk to your doctor about moles that have varying colors.

D - Diameter

Melanomas are usually larger in size than the rubber at end of a pencil eraser (1/4 inch or 6mm).

E - Evolving

Any change in shape, color, size, elevation (height), or any other trait, or a new symptom like bleeding, itching or crusting is a warning sign.

“If you notice any new or suspicious spots on your skin, or any spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist,” recommends Portie. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. Take simple steps today to protect your skin: • Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. • Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant, SPF 30+ sunscreen. Be sure to reapply every two hours and after you swim or sweat. • Wear sun protective clothing and seek shade when possible. • Check your skin regularly for changes. Prevention is key. ‘Suffering five or more sunburns doubles your lifetime risk for developing skin cancer. It’s important to avoid spending long periods of time in the sun and when you feel yourself turning red, take cover,” says Portie. “Additionally, short periods of time in the sun are cumulative, increasing one’s risk for skin cancers later in life. This is why daily sun protection is so important.”


Mind & Body

HEALTHY Vision Month

May is Healthy Vision Month and this special section brings you eye health stories for people of all ages. You’ll read about how to care for your contact lenses (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 45 million Americans wear contact lenses); a general overview of that scourge of older-age, macular degeneration; and a guide to help you care for your children’s eyesight.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Focus on Contact Lens Care for Healthier Eyes If you wear contact lenses, chances are you’ve taken a short cut – or two – in following the lens care instructions given to you by your eye doctor. An estimated 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, and most admit to slacking off when it comes to proper contact lens care. Research shows that habits such as wearing lenses too long, sleeping in lenses, failing to change lens solution regularly and not properly cleaning lenses are common. Most people aren’t too concerned about these bad habits, but optometrist Rebecca Kindler, OD, with The Eye Clinic, says you should be aware that you are putting your eye health and vision at risk by not taking the time to properly care for your contact lenses. New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Americans make nearly one million doctor appointments and emergency room visits each year for eye infections, with most of these due to the improper use and care of contact lenses. Dr. Kindler says the eye infections are clinically known as “keratitis,” an infection of the cornea, the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye. “Keratitis can cause pain, inflammation, scarring of the cornea and, in severe cases, even blindness. Fortunately, we can generally treat the infection without lasting damage, depending on how early it is diagnosed and what type of bacteria is causing it. But prevention is a much easier path to take than treatment.” For contact lens wearers, the biggest risk factor for this infection is the improper care of their lenses. Dr. Kindler explains that certain bad habits, such as sleeping with contact lenses, failing to clean and

replace lens solution frequently, and letting contact lenses get wet while swimming or in the shower, greatly raises the risk for keratitis. For example, people who wear their contact lenses overnight are more than 20 times more likely to get keratitis. “Contact lenses offer many benefits, but they are still technically a medical device and are not completely risk-free,” stresses Dr. Kindler. “It might seem tempting to crash on the couch or hop in the shower with your contacts in, but doing so can actually put your eyes at serious risk.” Another big risk that contact lens wearers can avoid is wearing lenses that have not been properly fitted. Research shows that patients who purchase their lenses online or through a contact-lens supply warehouse are much more likely to come in with eye injuries resulting from improper fit and usage. Dr. Kindler says they are missing out on a key quality element of personal contact lens service, which includes fit and tolerance evaluation. “An improper lens fit can lead to corneal abrasions, infections and other more serious problems. That’s why the contact lens fitting exam that we do when our patients pick up their lenses is so important. Purchasing contact lenses online may save you time and a little money, but the process could cause more problems and eye care expense in the long run.”

by Kristy Como Armand


Dr. Kindler offers these tips on improving your contact lens care habits:

• • • • • • •

Wash hands with soap and water and dry well before touching your lenses. Take contacts out before bed, showering or swimming. Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time you remove them. Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store upside down with the caps off after each use. Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months. Do not “top off” solution in lens case Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses need to be taken out.

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


Mind & Body | Healthy Vision Month

A Parent’s Guide to their Children’s Eye Care As a parent, it can be hard to keep up with all the appointments, routines and healthy habits that experts recommend for your child. But it need not be complicated. When it comes to eye care, it’s all about being mindful and prioritizing nutrition as your child grows. “Like anything else, eye health is all about maintenance and developing good habits early on,” said Dr. Bill Hart, M.D., owner and operator of Hart Eye Center. “It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does need to be a part of your life.” Here are some guidelines to help parents maximize their child’s eye health and avoid early damage.

1. Eye care starts in the womb. It’s

important to maintain a nutritious diet throughout pregnancy for all areas of a baby’s health, including vision.

2. Certain foods have been linked to healthy eyes. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and up to 12 ounces a week of fish can help your child get key antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy vision. It’s recommended that young children avoid fish high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, mackerel and tilefish. 3. It may be obvious, but it still

bears repeating — be mindful of any sharp objects that could harm your child’s eyes. The key word is “age-appropriate.”

4. Know the signs. If your

child shows signs of crossed or turned out eyes, or haziness and clouding in the pupil, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor right away. Watch for other common symptoms of eye issues like squinting, sitting close to the TV, holding books close when reading, and frequent headaches or eye-related pain.

5. Sunglasses aren’t only for adults. Always have a pair on hand for extended periods outdoors.

6. Take a break from screens.

Too much screen time can lead to eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Research suggests that it may even increase a child’s risk of nearsightedness, or myopia. Use the “20-20-20 Rule” to help mitigate this: for every 20 minutes of screen time, have them take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away.

7. Get outdoors. This can reduce

stress, increase vitamin D and prevent eyestrain. Studies have shown that it may even lower one’s risk of developing vision issues.

8. Schedule regular eye exams based on your child’s risk and family history.

“The frequency of exams varies based on a long list of risk factors, including family history,” said Dr. Hart. “If you wear glasses, it is likely your child will need glasses

For more information, call Hart Eye Center at 337-439-4014.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

at some point. The important thing is that everyone does see an eye doctor regularly, because some conditions don’t show up without an exam.” Screenings offered at school and exams by your child’s pediatrician are beneficial, but they won’t catch every issue, said Dr. Hart. Childhood is a critical time for eye exams because of how fast children’s bodies are changing.

The American Optometric Association recommends the following timetable for eye exams. Patients with symptoms should see a doctor right away. Birth to 2 years: Asymptomatic/Low Risk — between 6 months and a year. At Risk — between 6 months and a year or as recommended. 3 through 5 years: Asymptomatic/Low Risk — at least once between 3 and 5 years of age. At Risk — at least once between 3 and 5 years of age or as recommended. 6 through 18 years: Asymptomatic/Low Risk — before first grade and annually thereafter. At Risk — before first grade and annually, or as recommended thereafter. 18 through 39 years: Asymptomatic/Low Risk — at least every two years. At Risk — at least annually, or as recommended. 40 through 64 years: Asymptomatic/Low Risk — at least every two years. At Risk — at least annually, or as recommended. 65 and older: Asymptomatic/Low Risk — annually. At Risk — at least annually, or as recommended.

An Overview of Macular Degeneration

During a person’s younger years, they likely don’t give much thought to the possibility of vision problems later on in their more mature years. They may be aware of macular degeneration as an age-related problem – maybe something a grandparent talks of – but not something they’re too concerned about. But once they reach midlife and beyond, this eye disorder can begin to impact a person in a big way. As many as 11 million people in the United States have some form of agerelated macular degeneration (MD). It is a medical condition which may result in blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field. It often develops slowly over time, catching victims off guard. The macula of the retina is a small but important area in the center of the retina, necessary to clearly see details of objects in front of you, such as faces and written text. Macular degeneration happens when the macula is damaged. This process can be hereditary, and can also be caused by smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, high fat intake, and exposure to UV light from the sun or blue light from LED devices. Macular degeneration is treated by ophthalmologists. Treatment of macular degeneration in the early or “dry” phase is often via nutrition and supplements. In more advanced or “wet” stages, a laser procedure called photodynamic therapy can be performed with a drug injected intravenously that helps direct the laser to the affected area. The procedure seals off leaking vessels while leaving healthy ones intact. But reoccurrence of MD is common, making multiple treatments likely. Currently, the most common and effective clinical treatment for wet agerelated macular degeneration is anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor therapy) – which is periodic intravitreal injection of a chemical called an anti-VEGF directly into the eye. The injection is usually not painful because the eye is first anesthetized.

Tips for Living with Macular Degeneration by Marcia Dutton If you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration and find yourself using toothpaste as a muscle rub or salt instead of sugar, don’t despair. There are tricks you can learn to make life easier. Find New Hobbies – If watching television is difficult, expand your social life. Spend more time talking to a spouse or visiting with friends. Seek out large-print books and puzzles with extra-large pieces. Find hobbies that do not require detailed sight of small object, for example flower arranging or gardening. Be Organized – Store things so you know exactly where they are and how to recognize them by touch. Memorize where the digits and corresponding letters are on the phone.


Technology can be Your Friend – Set the font size on computers, electronic book readers, and cell phones to LARGE. Experiment with the contrast to find what works best for you. If your handwriting is no longer legible, speak your grocery list into the Notes function on your cell phone, send messages etc., use the microphone. It beats trying to peck those small keys on your mobile. Use your cell phone flashlight or the camera to assist in reading, ie the menu in a dim restaurant. When using electronic devices, protect your eyes by gazing away periodically. Use ambercolored glasses. Always wear sunglasses when outdoors. You can also check out the free phone app Be My Eyes, which connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.



CALL 439-4014

1727 Imperial Blvd., Building 1, Suite B, Lake Charles


Money & Career

In the Job Market? What To Expect From a Career Counselor by Andrea Mongler

What do you want to be when you grow up? Kids hear this question all the time, and most of them quickly respond with at least a career or two. As we grow older, though, many of us become less certain about what we want to do with our lives. This is, in part, why college students switch majors and why people experience mid-career slumps. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you might want to consider working with a career counselor. A career counselor’s mission is straightforward. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it, “career counselors help people choose careers and follow a path to employment.” Help is the key word here. Career counselors can’t perform miracles, and they don’t have all the answers. But their job is to help you find those answers and set you on a path toward a satisfying career. “We focus on your past experiences, personal values, personality traits, interests, skills, what you’re good at but don’t like, what you like but aren’t good at,” says Raime Thibodeaux, director of student health and development at McNeese State University, who oversees the Counseling Center, Health Services, and the Career and Student Development Center. “We have this full conversation and take all the bits of information together like a research project. Now we have all this information. How do we teach you to have a decision-making approach to rule things out and rule things in?” Career counselors at colleges and those who work with professionals have slightly different roles. College counselors often start by helping students choose majors, for example, and those in private practice sometimes work with older clients who are transitioning from one career to another. Ultimately, though, both want to help you find the career that best suits you.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

This might entail aptitude and achievement assessments as well as personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It also will likely involve personal questions that help you understand and reflect on your motivations and desires. Thibodeaux asks students to collect what she calls “data points” about whether a particular field is or isn’t a good fit. “If your mama always told you that you need to be a nurse because nurses make good money but if your nursing classes suck all the joy out of you, that is a data point — it is telling you something,” she says. Once you’ve picked a field of employment, you may find it useful to continue working with a career counselor. They can help you create a great LinkedIn profile, give you tips for writing resumes and cover letters, and teach you networking skills. They can also help you prepare for interviews, which may entail having you craft answers to anticipated questions. Your counselor might video you practicing your answers and then show you what you looked like so you know what you need to work on. Working with a career counselor may very well end up being a fulfilling experience for both of you. “Students often walk in and start off having this feeling of ‘I don’t know what I’m doing or what major to pick or what job to go after,’” Thibodeaux says. “And through the course of the conversation, we find these moments where they do know things about themselves and they do have clues and insights and have made good choices. At the end of the conversation, they leave the office with more hope and direction than they came in with.” A career counselor’s role doesn’t necessarily end when you land a job. You might want to consider working with one to help you with any of a number of workplace issues, such as conflict resolution tactics, communication skills, time management or leadership skills.

Russell Castille

975 Beglis Pkwy · Sulphur, LA · 337.503.9972 4091 Nelson Rd · Lake Charles, LA · 337.479.2086 1400 Fancher St · Vinton, LA · 337.589.3113

Caleb Waldmeier


Money & Career

Everything you Need to Know About Your Credit Score by Gena Latrell

Ah, the credit score – that little three-digit number that influences so much: interest rates, insurance prices and possibly where you live. There are many ways to improve or impair your credit score, but knowing the ins and outs of it can help you get (and keep) the score you want. Your credit score is basically a numerical indication of your ability to pay back a loan. The credit score, or FICO score, is determined by FICO, an analytics company. The number is this company's rating of your probability of paying off debt. It ranges from 300 to 850; exceptional credit has a score of 800-850, very good is 740-799, good, 670-739, fair, 580 to 669 and very poor is 300-579. Five factors determine your credit score. Most of the score, 35%, is based on your payment history. About 30% depends on credit utilization; this is the amount of revolving debt (credit cards and lines of credit) owed compared to your total available credit. The length of time you've had credit impacts 15%; inquiries and new accounts affect 10%. Your credit mix – i.e. evolving debt (credit cards) and installment debt (loans) – accounts for 10%. Your credit score is important because many lenders look at this as they ponder whether to loan you money or do business with you. Caleb Waldmeier, Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at Merchants & Farmers Bank, says credit scores are "an indicator of risk," but a potential borrower's entire portfolio makes the difference between approval or denial.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

"We look at income, credit, equity or collateral position, among other factors that might be specific to the type of credit the individual is requesting," said Waldmeier. "While the credit score is important, it is not the only thing we must consider. A [potential] borrower can have a great credit score, but if they are unable to afford the monthly note, then it [the loan application] is likely to be declined." To enhance your credit portfolio, you must first know your credit score. So, how do you find it? A safe way is to buy it. You can get all your credit reports and score for between $20 and $40 from one of the three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Another way is to use a credit card that includes your credit score on your monthly statement, like Discover. A popular way is to check credit scores for free on websites, like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and Quizzle. However, on these sites, you don't get your FICO score; you get your Vantage score. Vantage is a different credit-scoring model that was developed by the three credit bureaus. It weighs six factors, not five, like FICO. The Vantage score and FICO score are two totally different numbers. The FICO score is the most widely-used by lenders.

Once you know your score, Waldmeier says "monitoring your credit" is the best way to improve or maintain it. (You get one free credit report from each of the credit bureaus annually.) "With the rise in identity theft these days, one fraudulent account can lower your score and impact your ability to borrow," said Waldmeier. Other tips include paying bills before the due date, not maxing out your credit cards and varying the kinds of credit you have: loans and credit cards.

Taking the necessary steps to manage your credit score is a balancing act that seemingly never ends. It takes research and some know-how. True, it might not happen overnight, but with a little work and a lot of money management, you could have exceptional credit in "no time."


580 300-




700-8 50

Certified financial counselors are available right here at the credit union to help you get your credit back on track. Beware of companies who want hundreds of dollars to fix your credit. Check with your credit union first!

Rediscover the value of your credit union membership.

Sulphur  Westlake  Lake Charles 337-533-1808  Federally Insured by NCUA

There’s strength in our numbers.

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

interventional pain management hand surgery neurosurgery

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

Lake Charles | Sulphur


Money & Career

Five Ways to Prepare for a Financial Emergency What would happen if you were hit with an unexpected medical bill, a layoff, or your adult son or daughter needed a quick loan to get out of a financial jam? According to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017, 40 percent of respondents said they wouldn't be able to cover a $400 emergency expense. Nearly 80 percent of American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck. If you are one of the millions of Americans who find themselves in a similar precarious financial situation, read on for some practical advice.


Build up a cash reserve. To protect yourself and your family, you should ideally have enough cash available to cover a minimum of three months of essential expenses; for some people, six months is better. It may sound like a lot, but you can build it up slowly. Your goal is to spend less than you earn and make monthly deposits to your emergency fund a part of your budget. Setting up automatic payments to this account makes the process even easier. Then commit to not touching this money unless there's a real financial emergency.


Reduce your consumer debt. This implies debt such as credit card balances. Focus on bringing these down to zero—and keeping them that way—while you continue to pay your mortgage, student loans, or car payments. Do this now before an emergency strikes so you won't be faced with missing any payments.


Have credit available. While this may sound like the opposite of point #2, it's really not. It actually has more to do with keeping a good credit rating so if you need to rely on credit for a short period of time, you'll have it available. This includes paying your bills on time as well as keeping your credit card balances low. If you own your home, consider establishing a home equity line of credit. This can provide an additional cash resource to back up your emergency savings. You only pay interest on the money you use. Of course, you have to pay it back, but the payment schedule and interest rate may be more favorable than using a credit card. To be clear, though, borrowing against your home is effectively a second mortgage and can increase your risk if not used wisely. It’s not a substitute for an emergency savings account.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019


Have adequate insurance. Health insurance is an absolute must, as well as automobile and homeowner’s insurance if you own a vehicle and your home. But don't forget to plan for deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expenses. These can be significant (depending on your policy and your health) and factor into how much you should have in emergency savings. Once you have the basics covered, you should also consider personal liability insurance, disability insurance, and longterm care insurance. This sounds like a lot of insurance (and a lot of additional expense), but sound insurance planning can help you avoid a financial catastrophe and ultimately reduce the size of the emergency savings you may need.


Keep your short-term money safe. Any money that you believe you might need in the next three years should not be in the stock market. Good choices for your emergency fund (and other money that you may need soon) are checking, savings, money market accounts, and possibly short-term bonds or CDs in the mix. Cash or cash equivalents may not earn much over the long term, but they will give you the most flexibility and protection from a loss in the short term.


Kevin Lacy What to do if you find yourself in a financial jam? Even the best-laid plans can be upended by an unexpected crisis. If you find yourself struggling financially, here are a few things you can do to help ease your burden until things get better. First, carefully examine your expenses and reprioritize your spending. Cut out everything but the essentials—things like mortgage or rent, food, utilities, and insurance. Pay the minimum on outstanding credit or loan balances. If you're unable to pay a bill, contact your creditors right away. They may be willing to negotiate a payment schedule or waive late fees. Try to do this yourself before signing up for a debt management or consolidation scheme. Some of these programs may overpromise and under-deliver and force you to incur additional costs. Finally, even if it's possible to borrow from your 401(k) or take a distribution from your IRA, consider this a last resort. While present circumstances may be difficult, avoid jeopardizing your future retirement unless absolutely necessary. You may not appreciate the full costs until much later.

C&I Market Manager

Steve Lacy Business Development Officer

INVESTAR BANK WELCOMES KEVIN & STEVE to lead Investar in the Lake Charles market. Kevin joins with 15 years of banking experience and has worked in various commercial banking positions. He specializes in the C&I sector where he has banked relationships throughout Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes. Joining Kevin out of retirement is his father and veteran banker, Steve, who will assist him with Investar Bank’s expansion. He has over 43 years of banking experience. Contact Kevin at 337.656.6191 or Steve at 337.656.6192.

Interactive Teller Machine/ATM: 2089 Country Club Road | Lake Charles




Money & Career

Want that Perfect Job?

Find Passion in your Profession (and we don’t mean romance) What’s your passion? Gardening? Fishing? Your family? Now think about where your job falls in your list of passions. For many, a job is only a means to an end – it provides money for an education, an SUV, a house, and more. But finding passion in your job – whether it’s a clerical or professional position – is key to career success, says Nicole Smartt, author of From Receptionist to Boss: Real-Life Advice for Getting Ahead at Work. “Everyone can achieve a great career,” says Smartt, touting a noseto-the-grindstone focus to overcome workplace obstacles that keep you from climbing the ladder to more responsibility and a higher salary. “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, the stress, challenges and bumps in the road are easier to overcome. Passion serves as a driver, the thing that sustains you when things get tough.” Smartt knows from experience. She rose from receptionist at a Northern California staffing agency to becoming co-owner and vice president at Star Staffing in Petaluma, Calif., demonstrating how finding that passion and tapping into your strengths can ultimately pay off.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

“I committed to being the best receptionist I could be,” Smartt says. “By channeling the positive, you can create your own destiny.” Smartt offers a few suggestions to help you find the passion in your job and start you on the path of your employment destiny: Everything is a learning experience. Be observant, ask questions, listen to the answers, take notes and read a lot. “Become a sponge,” says Smartt. “Absorb as much information as you can.” And don’t be afraid to let hard work trump a traditional education. That doesn’t mean you should forego college – but she recommends you don’t limit your options on schooling alone. “If you want something, fight for it.” Know your strengths. Figure out what you’re good at. Are you creative, competitive, outgoing – or all of the above? How do those strengths translate to your job? Also be prepared for those strengths to change over the course of your working life or to find strengths you didn’t know you had.

Stay focused. Being disciplined and making sacrifices to achieve your goals is important. “‘No’ is the one-word secret to staying on track,” Smartt says. Surround yourself with great people. Find a mentor who readily offers help, guidance and support. “If you want greatness in your life then you need to surround yourself with great people,” Smartt says. Let your engagement at work and happiness show. “Find little things about your job that you really enjoy, and do them very, very well,” Smartt advises. “Make sure you bring all of your skills to your work. You’ll find you enjoy it because you’re good at it.” Smartt says people often become frustrated at a job, and instead of trying to make that situation better, they look elsewhere figuring the next job somehow will be the answer. That’s not always the case. “It’s easier to find a perfect attitude than it is to find a perfect job,” she says. Find Ms. Smartt on her website,

Safety Council Plans VirtualReality Driver Training Program The Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana is rolling out a new virtual-reality driving training program – among the first of its kind in the nation. As part of the Safety Council’s mission, Sarita Scheufens and her team have added certified safe-driving classes for drivers of fleet vehicles, such as passenger cars and pickup trucks. The driver uses a real-feel accelerator and brake pedal and is monitored by software that tracks driver skill and allows the certified instructors to watch the progress in real time from an overhead monitor. Scheufens said virtualreality driver training is the next-generation extension of services offered by the Safety Council.

Today, the Safety Council’s services include:

In her role as Chief Operations Officer, Scheufens is the top official of this local nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. After a 27-year career in area banking and financial services, she has brought the same principles of customer focus to the Safety Council, with measurable results and adaptable products and services to meet market needs. “Providing the highest quality of service to our customers is our primary purpose. Continuous improvement in how we provide that service is key to our success,” Scheufens said. Job one is to be a one-stop shop for training, safety, background checks for contractors, site badging, and a wide range of related services. She is also planning a partnership to provide occupational medicine on campus.


University and participated in a three-year executive training program through Furman University. She served as Retail Market Manager for Iberia Bank, District Manager for Capital One, Sales Coach and Branch Manager for JPMorgan Chase & Co. before heading the Safety Council. For more information, go to

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(337) 478-7590 | 701 West College St. | Lake Charles

Call Crawford Orthodontics today to schedule a free consultation.


Money & Career

Lake Area Industry Alliance

Launches Educational Campaign About the Community Benefits of Area Industry Lake Area Industry Alliance (LAIA) will begin a new public awareness campaign about the benefits of local industry to Calcasieu Parish. The scope of the campaign looks at tax dollars paid by industry, jobs, donations made by industries and their employees, as well as volunteerism by industry employees for local events. “The campaign is called Industry Impact,” explains Larry DeRoussel, executive director of LAIA. “LAIA is communicating statistics relative to these various sectors of taxes, jobs, donations, etc. We have worked with local entities such as the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s Office, and others, as well as our plant managers to gather data showing the impact of local industry in our community,” The data used for this campaign includes industries located within Calcasieu Parish and the timeframe is within the past five years. Some of the statistics presented include:

“The petrochemical industry brings good jobs, great benefits and security to thousands of residents in our region,” explains DeRoussel. “Their tax dollars benefit our community through infrastructure, funding for our law enforcement agencies and schools as well as improvements to roads and parks to make our region better.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

Local industries make up 17 out of 20 of the top property taxpayers in Calcasieu Parish. Source: Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s Office

The annual payroll and benefits of employees in local industries is $989 million. Source: Plant Manager Survey

Local industries have paid $270 million in property taxes since 2014. Source: Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s Office

Local industries have contributed $30 million to area organizations since 2014. Source: Plant Manager Survey

Local industries paid $334 million in sales tax since 2014. Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board

Employees of local industries volunteered a total of 80,000 hours to area organizations since 2014. Source: Plant Manager Survey Local industries contributed 30,000,000 to area organizations since 2014.

1 out of every 3 Calcasieu parish teacher’s salary and benefits are paid largely by taxes from local industry. Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board Local industries employed 10,050 in 2018. Source: Plant Manager Survey

SOWELA Offering Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training SOWELA’s Office of Workforce Solutions is offering a new 7-week program for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training with class starting on May 20. Spots are limited. Individuals interested in learning more can attend an informational session on April 25, from 4-6 p.m. in SOWELA’s Regional Training Center, Auditorium.and Louisiana’s future. Those attending the informational session should bring a copy of their High School Diploma or HiSet (GED) transcript, Social Security card, state-issued ID, and CDL permit. A CDL Permit Prep Course is available for anyone needing their permit. In addition to learning about the program, attendees will hear about the CDL job market and financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to those that qualify. For more information or to register for the session, visit or call the Office of Workforce Solutions at (337) 421-6560. CITGO Rolls Out Mobile Food Pantry to Serve Southwest Louisiana As part of its long-term community service initiative “Fueling Good. Rebuilding Lives.,” CITGO unveiled a mobile food pantry to serve residents in Southwest Louisiana. The event took place on April 4 at Care Help of Sulphur. In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, the CITGO sponsored mobile pantry will make stops throughout Southwest Louisiana twice per week to deliver food to local food banks. In addition to this weekly service, the

mobile pantry will be utilized in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, to ensure access to clean, healthy food for those impacted in our community. CITGO has been involved in extensive community service work aimed at targeting hunger. In addition to sponsoring this mobile food pantry, CITGO will also roll out pantries in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas. These efforts are part of the larger “Fueling Good. Rebuilding Lives.” initiative, aimed to aid in community recovery and relief. Southwest Louisiana Credit Union Receives Three Diamond Awards for Outstanding Marketing Achievements Southwest Louisiana Credit Union was recently honored with three Diamond Awards, which recognize outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry. The awards were presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Marketing & Business Development Council, a national network of over 1,300 credit union marketing and business development professionals. Awards are given in each of 36 categories ranging from advertising to community events and beyond. SWLA Credit Union won Diamond Awards in the following categories: “Multifaceted” for its Spirit of Giving Campaign, “Video (Non-Commercial)” for its Spirit of Giving Video, and “Video (Commercial)” for its Credit Card Commercial.

For its Spirit of Giving Campaign, SWLA Credit Union sponsored Combre-Fondel Elementary School, where teachers were faced with managing challenging behavior among at-risk students. Credit union volunteers added “quiet corners” throughout the school filled with headsets and beanbags and donated “treasure chests” to the school's 12 classrooms as a way to reinforce good behavior. They filled the chests with toys and delivered them to the school before the holidays, with a special appearance by “Santa” himself. Each student received a gift bag and all faculty and staff received gift cards, along with a massage chair and new coffee maker for the teachers’ lounge. The Credit Card commercial used graphic animation and casual language to educate members about the difference between getting their card from a credit union and a bank. The video’s unique style helped solidify SWLA Credit Union’s reputation as contemporary, unconventional and big-hearted. For more information on the Diamond Awards or to view the entire list of winners, go to http:// For more information, visit or connect with us on social media. Solutions Counseling & EAP Announces Move to New Office Solutions Counseling & EAP, LLC, has relocated to a new, larger office at 400 Seventh Street in Lake Charles. The agency is owned by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, CEAP, LPC, LMFT, has been in business for 26 years.

Solutions offers a comprehensive range of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services to area companies. EAP services are a management tool that helps companies provide assistance to employees and their family members in dealing with their personal concerns. EAPs have been proven to improve employee job satisfaction and increase company productivity. EAP services available through Solutions include confidential counseling, educational workshops, crisis intervention and wellness education. The therapists at Solutions also offer private client counseling for individuals to address emotional, social and situational problems such as stress, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, grief and loss, trauma and more. For more information about Solutions’ services, call (337) 3102822 or visit Brand USA Announces New Member to the 2019 Board of Directors Kyle Edmiston, chief operating officer, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, was appointed to the Brand USA board of directors. Brand USA is the destination marketing organization for the United States and is governed by an 11-member board of directors appointed for a maximum of two consecutive threeyear terms. The appointed members join a body of existing board members who represent the tourism industry’s various sectors and work together to provide leadership and overall guidance and direction to aid Brand USA’s mission and operations.


Solutions for Life


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

The Quickest Way to Kill a Relationship Drs. John and Julie Gottman of The Gottman Institute have spent their careers deciphering romantic relationships. Why do some last while others do not? Why are some happier and others less so? I use much of their research in my own couples work. They also have a great email they send out regularly called “Marriage Minute from The Gottman Institute” that I highly recommend you check out. Today, I wanted to address something the Gottmans call “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” They chose this term because, just like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse depict the end of times in the New Testament, these “Four Horsemen” depict the end of marriages. Allow me to introduce you to the Gottman Four Horsemen: 1. Criticism. Now, we are not talking about offering a critique or voicing a complaint. Criticism is an attack on your partner towards the core of their character. Big difference. A Complaint is about a specific issue, whereas a Criticism speaks to your partner’s whole being. Words like “never” and “always” get used during Criticisms. Note the difference between these statements: a. “When you were late getting home, I felt scared and concerned. Please let me know when you are running late from now on.” b. “As usual, you were selfishly thinking only about yourself and didn’t feel the need to let me know you weren’t going to be on time. You never think about how your behavior is affecting other people. I really don’t think you are forgetful – you’re just selfish.” Now, criticism alone is not necessarily a predictor of relationship failure. The issue is that it opens the door for the far more deadly horseman to enter into your relationship. Over time criticism becomes a pattern, and as the pattern is repeated with frequency and intensity, the 2nd Horseman nudges itself in. 2. Contempt. Now we’ve moved from being critical to being plain mean. Contempt breeds disrespect, mocking, ridicule, name-calling, and negative body language (eye-rolling and heavy sighs). As contempt enters in, ruminating on all the things we hate about our partner starts. And the mumbling to ourselves about how pathetic our partner is starts. And eventually, we


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

tell our partner exactly how disgusting we find them. Not surprisingly, contempt is the single greatest predictor of divorce. 3. Defensiveness. This 3rd Horseman is typically a response to criticism, and is predictably present when relationships are struggling. Defensiveness is most people’s response when they feel unjustly accused, called out on for not keeping an agreement, and/or want their partner to back off. For example: Q: “Did you pick up the dry cleaning like you said you would?” A: “Didn’t I just tell you how busy I was today? It’s not like I’ve been doing nothing all day! If it was so important to you, you should have done it yourself.” WHOA! You committed to doing something and you didn’t do it. All you need to do is own up to it and figure out how to fix it: “I sure didn’t do that, it got crazy today. I’ll make sure I do it tomorrow.” Now, this works only if you follow through the next time. If you are regularly committing to things and not following through, it sends the message that you can’t be counted on. Back to Defensiveness. It doesn’t have the desired effect of getting your partner to see your point of view and back down. It actually usually escalates the conflict and causes your partner to eventually develop contempt. 4. Stonewalling. This 4th Horseman is the practice of withdrawing, shutting down, and not responding to your partner. It is usually a response to contempt. Rather than confront the perceived contempt, the person chooses to tune out, busy themselves with other things and people, and sometimes engage in obsessive or distracting behaviors (think alcohol, affairs, video gaming). So, here we have the four behaviors guaranteed to kill a relationship. I hope as you were reading, you were taking a look at yourself. Which of these have YOU engaged in? (It’s easy to recognize the things your partner has done, but you don’t have control over that.) Next month, we will discuss how to remove these Horsemen from your relationship – get ready for a wild ride!


Don’t Come With Instructions. That’s why you can have peace of mind knowing that Every








is personal to us, because your children mean everything to you. Lake Charles Memorial Pediatric team has an unwavering commitment to the specialized healthcare needs of children. In Southwest Louisiana, our healthcare system has The The

Only pediatric and pediatric intensive care units

Only board certified, pediatric critical care specialist Dr. Jamal Saqer

The Only trauma service team and the largest emergency room

Memorial. Every

Life is Personal.


$334 Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board


in sales tax since 2104


1 out of3 teacher’s salaries & benefits largely paid by taxes from local industry

Source: The Calcasieu Parish School Board

volunteer hours Source: Survey of Plant Managers

Industry is Powering SWLA Local industries have a positive impact in Southwest Louisiana. The petrochemical industry brings good jobs, great benefits and security to thousands of residents in our region. Their tax dollars benefit our community through infrastructure, funding for our law enforcement agencies and schools as well as improvements to roads and parks to make our region better. They are among our most generous corporate citizens, volunteering thousands of hours for area organizations as well as giving millions in donations. Area industries are producing opportunity right here at home.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2019

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