Thrive Magazine May 2022

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MAY 2022

r a o S to in r e m Sum fun! r o f e d i u g Your



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 2022


Contents In This Issue Wining & Dining 6 Ghost Kitchens 8 The Bekery 10 Fungus is Good Food

Regular Features

48 Business Buzz 64 Who’s News 71 Solutions for Life

Mind & Body




Home & Family



42 National Pet Month 43 Landscaping the Fence Line

Money & Career


44 Home Buying in Today’s Market 46 Family Works: Dr. Perry Dentistry/Orthodontist Network

Places & Faces



first person

Misty Clanton

58 62 63 66

22 Things We Love about 2022 Recovery Spotlight: Calcasieu Parish Library System P-66 and CCA Create Floating Islands Nic Hunter Named Phoenix Award Champion

Style & Beauty

68 Summer Sandals – 2022 Style Trends 69 Hair Accessories 70 Statement Handbags

Correction: In last month's 13 Thriving 30-Somethings section, we incorrectly printed Ryan Anderson's age as 37. She is in fact 33. Our apologies to Ms. Anderson.

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022


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

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


Wining Dining In the Spirit of Food Industry Entrepreneurs

s n e h c t i K t s o h GBoost Food Delivery Options by Kerry Andersen

The pandemic fueled an unprecedented 50% increase in the use of food delivery apps. As empty restaurants scrambled to stay afloat, a new concept in dining took advantage of the unique market conditions and quickly escalated too – ghost kitchens. There’s a good chance you’ve sampled a ghost kitchen menu without even knowing it. So, what is a ghost kitchen? Essentially, it’s a restaurant without dining space. The focus is to sell and fulfill online food orders for delivery using third-party apps like Grubhub and Door Dash or through their own delivery operation. The food is prepared in a professional kitchen either by sharing space with an existing restaurant or utilizing a commissary kitchen. In Southwest Louisiana, the owners of Coffee:30 seized hold of the opportunity to offer more delicious options from their kitchen and partnered with MrBeast Burger – a larger than life social media brand with 586,000 Instagram followers. MrBeast Burger offers up smashed burgers, outrageous grilled cheese sandwiches and hot fries with a side of engaging content. If you’re not familiar with the brand’s ambassador, Jimmy Donaldson (aka MrBeast), there’s a great chance your kids follow his online antics and crave his sizzling burgers. The experience of interacting with the brand is a big part of the company’s success and they cemented their popularity by partnering with iconic media characters like Shrek for marketing their food. 6

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Coffee:30 owner Joshua Smith says, “MrBeast Burger harnessed the power of social media at just the right time to fill a void created by pandemic challenges in the food and beverage industry. Consumers here in Southwest Louisiana may not have been eating out as much, but they still wanted satisfying food options and to try a new concept – we delivered on that using a ghost kitchen.” Management companies like Virtual Dining Concepts sprang up across the country to make it easier for restauranteurs like Smith to deliver multiple food brands out of one kitchen without a huge investment. Bottom line; same kitchen, more profits. What makes ghost kitchens work is how seamless they are. Download the MrBeast Burger app, order your food and eat in the comfort of your home. You’d never know the brand doesn’t have a brick and mortar restaurant. The business utilizes proximity software to find the closest delivery driver to your home, ensuring the burgers are delivered fast and hot. Major dining brands saw the potential for additional revenue and added ghost kitchen options to their menus too. Burger Den and Melt Down are ghost brands owned by Denny’s. If you order It’s Just Wings, the food is being prepared in the kitchen at Chili’s much like Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings is a product of Chuck E. Cheese’s. So why jump into the ghost kitchen space? Smith lists a variety of pro-business reasons:

• • • • •

Quick to set up More revenue – no extra labor cost Greater delivery capacity and ability to reach new customers Less pricey than full-service restaurants Low-cost testing of new markets

As pandemic restrictions ease, Smith expects the ghost kitchen concept will continue to grow. He and his partners are exploring additional brands and will eventually move into a commissary kitchen for prep. “As an entrepreneur, there are so many upsides to ghost kitchens. It increases our digital presence on delivery apps, provides more options for our customers and is a low risk, high reward investment.” Ghost kitchens are not without challenges. Third party apps are set up to deal with national franchises instead of locally owned concepts, the software doesn’t always integrate well and sometimes drivers even steal orders. Smith says despite all that, the e-commerce side of the food and beverage industry is here to stay. So, if your favorite burger joint doesn’t offer a pick-up option for your meal, it could be that it came from a ghost kitchen housed within another popular local eatery. Visit Coffee:30 at 127 W. College Street in Lake Charles ( for everything from wagyu burgers to salads and sandwiches in addition to breakfast and brunch options. Sample MrBeast Burger by downloading the company app or utilizing one of the established food delivery apps in the market.




FEATURING MIDLAND THURSDAY, JUNE 30 DOORS OPEN AT 7PM Tickets available on Must be 21 or older.




Must be 21 years of age or older. ©2022 Penn National Gaming, Inc. All rights reserved.



Wining & Dining Rebekah Hoffpauir welcomes patrons to her new Bekery location.

The Bekery Opens New Location in Walnut Grove Story and photos by Angie Kay Dilmore

A step into Rebekah Hoffpauir’s newly relocated Bekery transports customers to an atmosphere of a traditional French café. While the original Bekery exuded a jazzy, New Orleans vibe, this new location is furnished with European tile flooring, bistro tables, regal columns, and vintage-style cups and glasses. Hoffpauir doubled both her indoor and outdoor seating areas, and most impressively, added a fullservice coffee bar. “Probably the biggest request we received at our old location was for an expanded and custom coffee menu. This has added an entirely new dimension to the duties of my staff. Prior to reopening, we spent many days learning about coffee, the process of making coffee, and even a little latte coffee art!” The Bekery now offers lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, flat whites, and other hot and cold drinks, including wines. In addition to the tempting items in the pastry case, Hoffpauir also serves breakfast sandwiches and omelettes. A variety of sandwiches, salads, and a soup du jour are on the lunch menu. Hoffpauir says with the expansion came the need for more staff. “I have been so blessed to find such amazing people to grow our team. I already knew I had the best, but each new hire brings their own individual energy, enthusiasm, and talent to our Bekery family and keeps me going through the long days of working out the kinks and growing pains.” Spinach tomato quiche, rasberry fruit tart, chocolate croissant


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022






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

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


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Blueberry biscuits, a variety of fresh made quiches, and a porthole to the kitchen

Some things have changed, but much of the menu remains familiar. Hoffpauir says loyal customers are pleased to find their old favorites still available, such as croissants, scones, cookies, and quiches. “You may see some new faces behind the counter but should expect the same great personal service and all your favorite Bekery treats in addition to our new offerings.”

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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

Muffins and scones


Wining & Dining


is Good Food by Angie Kay Dilmore

Mushrooms have been at or near the top of food trend lists for the past several years. In a 2021 NielsonIQ report, mushrooms were the 7th highest selling vegetable. The global mushroom market size was valued at $50.3 billion last year and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% from 2022 to 2030. These grocery store celebrities are nutritious, gentle on the environment, versatile in cooking, available year-around . . . and they taste good! You can find a variety of mushrooms at the grocery store, but for fresher, more exotic mushrooms, you may need another source. Mushroom vendors are quickly becoming the most popular booths at farmers markets, both nationally and locally. Daisy Kerne, sales manager at ALL CAPS Gourmet Mushrooms in New Iberia, La., says, “Mushrooms bring out an eclectic crowd searching for delicious additions to complement their favorite meals.” Kerne and her business partner/production manager, Michael Campbell, take their homegrown mushrooms on the road to farmers markets in Lafayette and the Tuesday afternoon Cash and Carry Market in Lake Charles. They also have several wholesale accounts with local restaurants and personal chefs. “We love getting to know our market customers,” Kerne says. “Helping them find the best products for their wants and needs is truly a joy.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Nutritionally, mushrooms are low in calories, carbs, and sodium, and high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Though “white” foods are often considered to be nutrient-poor, mushrooms are an exception, containing many minerals not often found in plant-derived foods, such as selenium, potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. Mushrooms adapt well to a variety of eating plans, including vegan, Keto, Paleo, and Whole 30. While each type of mushroom offers its own set of health benefits, they primarily target the brain, heart, skin, bones, and gut. With their increasing popularity, food manufacturers have been scrambling to create new products to match consumer interest. Look for mushroom jerky,

mushroom chips, mushroom-infused beverages, and additives such as mushroom extracts, tinctures, and powders. Kerne says ALL CAPS has the genetics for over 40 varieties of mushrooms, and they currently produce a range of oyster mushrooms, lion’s mane, and chestnut mushrooms. They also sell dehydrated mushrooms, a shiitake seasoning blend, and lion’s mane tincture. “Lion’s mane contributes to improved cognition and intestinal health. We are practicing with lots of recipes to be able to offer this incredibly healthy addition to almost any dish or drink.” For more information, find ALL CAPS Gourmet Mushrooms on Facebook, @ allcapsgourmetmushrooms.


Mind & Body

May is Women’s Health Month, and there’s no better time for women to focus on their well-being, both physically and mentally (incidentally, May is also Mental Health Awareness Month). The past two years have been busy and stressful on so many levels. Many of us have ignored our health for various reasons. But now it’s time to find our way back to selfcare. Schedule that overdue wellness visit. Get your mammogram and bloodwork taken care of. See your dentist, your eye doctor, your therapist. Re-join the gym. Get your hair cut, your nails done. Buy yourself a new summer dress. Healing can happen in many ways. It’s time to take care of YOU!

Meet the Newest Member of our physician Team Dr. Effat Rasul, Internal Medicine Specialist

Imperial Health is proud to welcome Effat Rasul, MD, FACP, to our medical staff. Dr. Rasul is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Rasul received her Medical Degree at Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, and completed her Internal Medicine training at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania. She brings 10 years of experience in her field to Imperial Health. Dr. Rasul will be joining Dr. Benjamin Williams and Dr. Errol Wilder in their Lake Charles office. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rasul, call 337-433-1212. All major insurances and Medicare accepted.

771 Bayou Pines East | Lake Charles | (337) 433-1212 12

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022



Less tissue damage Faster recovery Better outcomes As the leader in robotics in Southwest Louisiana, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana has announced the addition of a world-class robotic guidance and navigation called ExcelsiusGPS® to its robust field of innovative tools. ExcelsiusGPS® maneuvers like a navigation system in a vehicle; The platform technology is designed to improve safety and accuracy within the operating room through improved visualization of patient anatomy during a procedure to help optimize patient treatment. This revolutionary robotic navigation platform is the world’s first technology to combine a rigid robotic arm and full navigation capabilities into one adaptable platform for precise alignment in spine surgery. Our highly trained expert neurosurgeons control the ExcelsiusGPS® during a procedure. For more information, go to To find a neurosurgeon: 337.491.7577

Surgeons: Scan to learn more

Erich Wolf, II, M.D., PHD, Neurosurgeon Brian Kelley, D.O., Neurosurgeon

21-1975-2 13

by Kristy Como Armand When you ask women what their biggest health fear is, most will say breast cancer, even though heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing over 300,000 women each year. This makes heart disease responsible for about one in every five deaths in women. Breast cancer is responsible for an estimated one in 39 deaths in women, a much lower percentage. Many women might be surprised by a few other eye-opening statistics:

• •

Heart disease kills more women than all other types of cancer combined. Women have now surpassed men - more women than men die annually from heart disease.

A recent survey by the American Heart Association found that about half of the women interviewed knew that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, but only 13% of those respondents said it was their greatest personal health risk.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

“While we’ve made some progress in helping women understand that heart disease is not just for men, we still have some work to do in getting women to understand and manage their own personal risk for cardiovascular problems,” says Dr. Prasanna Sugathan, board certified cardiologist with Imperial Health. Dr. Sugathan has a special interest in women and heart disease. “Illness from this disease is preventable in most cases, but that opportunity is very often lost, particularly in women, who are not focused on their personal risk factors and symptoms. That’s where we need to increase awareness.” She explains the early, more treatable stages of cardiovascular disease are often invisible, as plaque deposits silently accumulate in the arteries. “All too often, a woman’s first clue to the obstruction may be a full-blown heart attack. Two-thirds of women who die of a heart attack have no prior symptoms in comparison to only half of men. This is why taking heart health action sooner, rather than later, is so important for women.”

Though women over age 65 are most vulnerable to heart disease, middle-aged women are not invulnerable to risk. One in eight women between ages 45 - 64 show evidence of coronary artery disease. Heart disease kills twice as many women in that that age group as breast cancer – the disease women dread most. African American women are at an even higher risk. Heart disease is 69 percent more common among this group than in white women. So are women at a higher risk of heart disease than men, and if so, why? The answer, according to Dr. Sugathan, is yes and no. “Many of the risk factors for heart disease are basically the same for men and women, but the awareness of these risk factors, and how they are managed, can be different between the sexes.” While traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — affect both women and men, Dr. Sugathan says there are some other factors that may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. These include:

• • • • • • • •

Diabetes Depression and mental stress Smoking Inactivity Menopause Pregnancy complications Family history of heart disease Inflammatory diseases

Dr. Sugathan says another factor that impacts women’s survival rates from heart attacks is that the symptoms they experience may be different from the “classic” heart attack symptoms more common in men. The tightness in the chest and tingling of the left arm are often absent in women. More common and often, more subtle, symptoms of a heart attack in women include:

Discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper abdomen or

• • • • • • • •

upper back Shortness of breath Pain in one or both arms Unusual fatigue Lightheadedness or dizziness Nausea or vomiting Sweating Palpitations Unexplained anxiety

“Because women are not as aware of and/or focused on their cardiovascular health, they may be more likely to ignore symptoms or attribute them to some other illness. This means they may wait too long to seek help,” says Dr. Sugathan. “And even when they do report their symptoms, if their doctor does not consider a cardiovascular cause, they could still be misdiagnosed, and the opportunity for timely cardiac intervention could still be missed. This is why we need women to be aware of their risk factors and warning signs and advocate for their cardiovascular health when they feel something is not right. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to push for answers. It’s your heart – no one knows it like you do.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sugathan in Lake Charles, Sulphur or Jennings, call (337) 312-8281.


Pelvic Rehabilitation Therapy Can Help Johnnie Kleinschmidt, PT, PRPC, has over 28 years of experience in physical therapy and was the first in Southwest Louisiana to offer specialized pelvic rehabilitation therapy.

Services include: • Manual Therapy • Integrative Therapies • Visceral Mobilization • Biofeedback • Pregnancy and Postpartum Restoration • Post-Surgical Restoration • Corrective Exercise

Motion Mentors P HYSICAL T H E RAPY

(337) 438-9171 | 4845 Ihles Rd., Lake Charles

New Location! Motion Mentors P HYSICAL T H E RAPY


for Women


by Christine Fisher

One of the beneficial characteristics about most women is that once a health concern is discovered, they’ll work at resolving it with gusto. With that in mind, Kelly Fuqua, MD, family medicine physician and medical staff member with West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, shares the top health concerns women should know about so they can put their energies toward prevention and effective treatment.

Heart Disease Some women are surprised to learn heart disease in women is more prevalent than breast cancer. According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for one in five female deaths each year. In women, symptoms of heart problems can be chest pain, but can also include jaw pain, shoulder ache, nausea, vomiting or shortness of breath. Regular exercise to elevate the heart rate for 20 – 30 minutes each day, a diet that includes a variety of foods such as fruits and vegetables and lean meats, and quality sleep each night are key components of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

“In most cases, once a woman knows the correct path forward, they’re diligent about doing the work it takes to get to the goal,” says Dr. Fuqua. “It’s helpful to know the most common health concerns so they can take action.” On the path toward good health, be sure to have yearly wellness checks with a family physician. Everything can move forward from there. Depending on age and family history, routine blood work will show a complete blood count, looks for anemia, heart disease, autoimmune disease, leukemia, and other concerns; it checks kidney function and identifies any diabetic concerns; and shows the levels of cholesterol, among others. “If anything of concern is detected, we’ll address it and create a path forward, but the best place to start is having a yearly wellness exam with your family physician,” says Dr. Fuqua. “We’ll discuss any concerns or difficulties, and we’ll talk about any recommended screenings such as a mammogram or colonoscopy.” Knowing which potential health problems to focus on can mean the difference between living well and struggling with disease. Pay attention to these top health concerns for women:

Breast Cancer This most common cancer among women takes the lives of one out of 31 women in the US. The good news is that mortality rates from breast cancer are declining, in part due to early detection and effective treatments. “This positive outcome is largely due to the increase in yearly mammograms,” explains Dr. Fuqua. Getting a mammogram each year for women over 40 is recommended.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Osteoporosis The loss of bone mass affects about eight million women in the US. Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. “Your family doctor can discuss risk factors and testing options with you. A bone density test can detect the strength of your bones and let you know if you should make any adjustments in your lifestyle,” explains Dr. Fuqua. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D is helpful for strong bones. Walking, climbing stairs and any other weight-bearing exercise is excellent.

Depression Low moods and bouts of sadness are part of life. These feelings usually last a few hours or a few days, but most women bounce back to their normal dispositions. However, if it lingers for days and weeks and affects a woman’s ability and motivation for continuing her normal routine, it’s important to talk with someone about these feelings, whether it’s a family doctor, friend, spouse or therapist. Depression can affect a woman’s ability to sleep, think clearly, and take care of herself. Women can experience female-related depression including perimenopausal depression, the time before menopause. Mood swings, hot flashes and sleep problems are typical during this time of a woman’s life, usually in their late 40s and into their 50s; this can spiral downward and sometimes cause deeper feelings of depression. Symptoms and severity of depression can vary, and it’s important to reach out and seek help. Health concerns can influence a woman’s mental health, another reason why having a relationship with a family physician is so important for overall health. Autoimmune Disease Thyroid disorders, lupus and multiple sclerosis are among the many chronic conditions in the autoimmune category, where the immune system attacks the body. About 75% of autoimmune diseases occur in women. More research is needed to better understand these. “Being your own health advocate is so important. If you’re not feeling right, talk with your doctor. Together, the condition can be figured out,” says Dr. Fuqua. Women are living longer than ever and with healthy lifestyle choices, should anticipate good quality of life throughout their years. It’s important to take time to maintain good health and focus on getting exercise and living a healthy lifestyle, which includes annual wellness checks and recommended screenings.


Pick up your Aqua Pearls Eye Mask and Feel Refreshed Visit Our Reception Desk

The Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana 4820 Lake Street, Lake Charles, 70605


(337) 310- 7378 (REST)

women’s center

Sallye Jean Toniette, MD

When welcoming your baby into the world, it’s comforting to know The Sallye Jean Toniette, MD Women’s Center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital has everything you need. Providing maternity services for over 60 years, we know every delivery is unique and extraordinary. • • • •

Everything Special Delivery you need for your

Our advanced technology and comforting surroundings combined with well-respected OB/ GYNs, a certified nurse midwife and experienced clinical staff provide exceptional care for mom and baby. Nothing is more precious than the gift of life, and we’re ready to help you every step of the way.

Schedule a tour by calling (337) 527-4706. Register for childbirth education and breastfeeding classes by calling (337) 527-4361. Certified lactation counselor available. Additional information can be found at

701 Cypress St., Sulphur

Ben Darby, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN Scott Bergstedt, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN Allison Hansen, CNM, WHNP, Midwife



Headaches &Hormones by Kristy Como Armand

Headaches are one of the most common health-related complaints. In fact, chronic headaches affect over 15% of American adults and, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are a leading cause of disability. Although headaches affect both men and women, according to Darci Portie, APRNFNPC, founder of the Headache & Wellness Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, this is one battle of the sexes where women are, unfortunately, far ahead of men. “Not only do women have headaches twice as often as men, but their pain is likely to be more severe. Blame it on hormones (in some cases.).” Portie says hormone-related headaches in females often begin around the time of a girl’s first period and can occur during this monthly time throughout the reproductive years. “Other significant phases of hormonal changes – pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause – can also contribute to the pattern of headaches women experience. The hormones estrogen and progesterone,


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

which play key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, are believed to affect headache-related chemicals in the brain as well. For example, high or low levels of estrogen in the blood usually correspond to high or low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate pain messages. Lower estrogen levels can make headaches worse, while higher estrogen levels may lead to fewer headaches.” Fluctuating hormone levels may influence headache patterns, but Portie says it’s important that women understand relief is often available. “That is why we opened the Headache & Wellness Center a year ago, to offer a specialized approach to the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of headaches so those who suffer from this type of chronic headache can find relief and enjoy life again.” Portie says she and her team look at each individual patient’s symptoms, including the type, pattern and degree of pain. “There are many things we can do to both prevent and treat headaches, once we know your headache patterns.” Treatment options available at the Headache & Wellness Center include non-pharmacological therapies, acute

medication for symptom reduction, preventive medications, outpatient medication management, CGRP monoclonal antibodies, medical Botox and more. Established patients are able to receive care for refractory headaches in office, avoiding long waits at other types of medical care centers. Portie says they take a multi-therapy approach that includes evaluation of symptoms, non-medical therapies, lifestyle adjustments, education and alternative treatments. “Just as there are many different types and causes of headaches, there are also different treatment approaches. What works for one patient may not be the best option for another. That’s where the personalization comes in. A treatment approach may connect more than one therapy option and/or multiple healthcare professionals, as needed, to provide complete care.” If headaches are disrupting your normal activities, Portie says just remember, you don’t have to be held captive by your headaches. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 337-508-2333 or visit

CHOOSE THRIVE PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR YOUR HEALTH • Urinary Urges or Leaking • Pain with Pregnancy • Birth Prep • Postpartum Healing • Pelvic Pain

– Katherine Stewart, Physical Therapist and Co-Owner

Visit or call 337-990-5621 to schedule today! 4141 Common Street, Lake Charles • (337) 990-5621

MAKE YOURSELF YOURSELF MAKE MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME HOME AT AT HOME 0 22 11 EE nn tt ii rr ee ll yy RR ee nn oo vv aa tt ee dd SS pp rr ii nn gg 22 0 Entirely Renovated Spring 2021

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Located adjacent to the main building, Lake Charles’ most advanced rehab-to-home community Located adjacent to the main building,and Lake Charles’ most advanced rehab-to-home community offers in-house physical, occupational speech therapy while preparing for your return home. Located adjacent to the main building,and Lake Charles’ most advanced rehab-to-home community offers in-house physical, occupational speech therapy while preparing for your return home. offers in-house physical, occupational and speech therapy while preparing for your return home.

337.439.0336 | 2701 Ernest Street | Lake Charles, LA 70601 | | 337.439.0336 | 2701 Ernest Street | Lake Charles, LA 70601 | | 337.439.0336 | 2701 Ernest Street | Lake Charles, LA 70601 | |


by Tori Hebert

Between work and home life it can be hard to find the time to take care of our bodies. However, your posture is something you can improve every day. Women especially can improve their overall appearance by paying attention to how they sit and stand. May is Posture Month – the perfect time to focus on improving this vital aspect of your health. “Good posture for women can make a big improvement in their overall silhouette,” says Dr. Joseph Kulaga, chiropractor and co-founder of Lake Charles Chiropractic and Functional Medicine. “Slumping shoulders cause a change to the shape of the abdomen and spine, everything is pushed outward. When posture is in alignment, the tummy is brought in, the back has a flattering curve, and the neck and shoulders are in a pleasing position. The body is aligned as it should be and will function much better. Our daily habits impact the shape of our body.” Holding your posture is important whether you’re standing, sitting or lying down. Ideally, your head should align center over your chest, your chest over your pelvis and your pelvis over your feet.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

“Posture can be affected by several factors and most of the time we don’t need to actively think about maintaining it. However, once we become aware of how we are positioning ourselves, we can take steps to improve it and create valuable change to impact our wellbeing,” Dr. Kulaga explains. Take action to improve your posture: While on the phone: Hold your phone at eye level to keep your shoulders from hunching together and your head falling forward. While you sleep: Having a supportive mattress makes a difference in your posture at rest which can impact how well you sleep. If your mattress doesn’t provide adequate support, is too firm or causes you to toss and turn for any reason, it’s likely time for a new one. Pillows should keep your head level and centered no matter what position you are in. Adding a small pillow between or under your legs can help reduce stress on the low back muscles and joints.

While at work: Look for ways to add movement to your workday. Consider adding a variable height desk to your workstation. Take a brief walk with a colleague. Make sure you have a chair that supports your posture and adjust the height and angle as needed. On your feet: Your feet are the foundation of your posture. Pay attention to your shoes. They should be recycled once they no longer provide adequate support. Shoe inserts like custom orthotic solutions can make a difference in helping stability. Chiropractic care is also an important part of regaining and maintaining your posture. “If you are experiencing pain in a certain area, there could be an underlying connection to a problem with your posture,” Dr. Kulaga says. “Once your body is functioning as it should, you will notice improvements in your health.”

A chiropractor can adjust the spine, which provides a wider range of motion and better mobility. They can also recommend stretches tailored for your situation and ensure you do them properly. Every individual has a slightly different spinal structure, so the individualized approach is quite helpful. For more information about treatment for posture problems, call Dr. Kulaga at Lake Charles Chiropractic and Functional Medicine at 337-240-6619 or visit


RestoringHope &Health PHYSIC AL THER APIS T SPECIALIZES IN WOMEN’ S HE ALTH by Christine Fisher

In July 2020, Jenny Miller contracted COVID-19. This was before vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatment. “I was told to stay home,” she says. “Let the virus run its course and that was pretty much it.” For two weeks, she dealt with tremendous fatigue and weakness and gradually got better, but she continued to have trouble breathing. “I couldn’t get a full breath. Ever,” she explains. “Over time, that begins to wear on you. I couldn’t do much of anything because I wasn’t able to breathe properly.” As a massage therapist, her career is centered around movement. She had to step away from seeing her clients due to her extreme tiredness and inability to get enough oxygen to go about her daily tasks. Months went by, her internist diagnosed her with respiratory acidosis, a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all the carbon dioxide the body produces. She was referred to a pulmonologist who prescribed breathing treatments and she gradually regained about 75% lung function. At her annual OB/GYN visit, he recommended a therapist named Johnnie Kleinschmidt who could help her with some pelvic floor issues.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Johnnie Kleinschmidt, PT, PRPC, owner of Motion Mentors, is a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health and the muscles of the pelvic floor. “My goal is to help women achieve the highest level of health possible for them. I provide a soothing, comfortable environment for one-on-one therapy and my patients are seeing positive results,” she says. Within two visits, Jenny had regained pelvic floor control. “I was amazed,” she says. “Johnnie started asking me what other problems I was having, so we talked about my breathing difficulties. She began doing soft tissue manipulation on me and after that treatment, I could breathe better. The next week, she did more work with me, and for days after, my breathing improved. It’s been a steady improvement since November of 2021. After COVID-19 and the hurricanes, I had to take a year off from seeing my massage clients because of my health. Now, I’m back to doing what I enjoy and I’m able to fully live my life again. I’m feeling like the person I used to be before the pandemic.” Johnnie’s treatment with Jenny started with visceral manipulation, a gentle manual therapy of the organs and their attachments to the various systems in the body, as well as fascial manipulation, which involves the connective tissue.

“This can address pain, imbalances and inflammation,” she explains. “In Jenny’s case, this opened up the thoracic cavity and the lungs, helping her to regain the lung function she had lost.” With over 28 years of experience in physical therapy, Johnnie was the first in Southwest Louisiana to offer specialized pelvic rehabilitation therapy. Her services include:

• • • • • • •

Manual therapy Integrative therapies Visceral mobilization Biofeedback Pregnancy and postpartum restoration Post-surgical restoration Corrective exercise

“My work is to be part of someone’s journey to wellness. I want them to know there is hope,” Johnnie says. “Johnnie restored oxygen to my body with her two hands and her brilliant brain,” Jenny says. “It’s revolutionary.” Johnnie’s office, Motion Mentors, is located at 4845 Ihles Road, Suite B, in Lake Charles. For more information, visit or call 337-438-9171.




Colorectal cancer is preventable and treatable … but you have to do your part.

Schedule your colonoscopy with a Memorial GI specialist.


If you are age 45+ or have a history of colorectal cancer in your family, talk with your doctor about scheduling your screening colonoscopy. It’s quick, painless, and it’s the only test to prevent colorectal cancer, with its unique ability to remove polyps before they turn into cancer.

Lake Charles Memorial is on the front lines in the fight to defeat this all-too-often silent killer.


Sarpreet Basra, MD | Frank Marrero, MD | Khaled Nour, MD | Eric Fontenot, MD


Mind & Body






1920 W. Sale Rd, Building F, Suite 3 • 439-4014


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022




Your 40s and 50s come with great perks—by now you’ve hit your stride, paid your dues and can focus on what really matters. But when the things you take for granted, such as seeing clearly, begin to deteriorate due to age-related eye problems, even the best-laid plans to enjoy these years can get derailed. “If spotted early, many eye conditions can be avoided or treated before major problems arise,” said Dr. William B. Hart, an ophthalmologist at Hart Eye Center. “Early detection and treatment can help keep your vision strong for years to come.” Contact your ophthalmologist immediately if you notice any of these warning signs, which may indicate a serious eye health problem. Cloudy or Dim Vision. Possible Cause:

CATARACTS “As we get older, many of us will develop cataracts, which occur when our eyes’ lenses become cloudy,” Dr. Hart said. “Eyeglasses or contacts won’t slow the progression of cataracts, so there’s no reason to put off corrective surgery.” The procedure replaces the affected lens with a clear plastic intraocular lens and can restore your eyesight in days. Early signs of cataracts include cloudy or dim vision, unusual glares from bright lights or worsening night vision.

Distorted Vision or Blind Spot Possible Cause:

Flashing Lights or Increased Floaters. Possible Cause:



If you’ve noticed a blind spot in thecataracts middle of your vision or if straight lines appear wavy, you may have signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). “AMD deteriorates your macula—the part of your retina in charge of central vision—and creates a blind spot in the center of your sight,” Dr. Hart said. Loss of Peripheral Vision. Possible Cause:

GLAUCOMA Normally your field of vision spans about 180 degrees, but if your vision seems narrower, you may have an early sign of glaucoma, which results when fluid builds up inside the eye. The abnormally high pressure can damage the retina and put you at risk of permanent vision loss. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include severe headaches and hazy vision while open-angle glaucoma may not exhibit noticeable symptoms, so it’s important to make regular appointments with your ophthalmologist.

“We all see spots or floaters in our vision on occasion, and they are usually just harmless images of particles floating inside of the eye,” Dr. Hart said. “But a sudden increase in floaters with bright flashing lights may indicate an impending retinal detachment.” Just as it sounds, this occurs when your retina begins to tear and should be treated immediately to prevent vision loss. No matter how small, any changes in your vision should be communicated to your ophthalmologist, and regular eye appointments can help you avoid damaging vision problems in the future. For more information on eye conditions, or to schedule an eye examination, contact Hart Eye Center at 337-439-4014 or visit




Millions of people struggle to see at night or around bright lights. Halos and glared vision are more common in older adults but may also be signs of a more serious eye injury or condition, such as cataracts or diabetes, among others. “The appearance of a halo around lights at night, or a glare from bright lights during the day, are classic early signs of cataracts,” says board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Donald Falgoust, founder of Falgoust Eye Medical & Surgical in Lake Charles. “It may appear as if you are looking through a piece of wax paper with the view becoming increasingly cloudy as time goes on. The ability to see contrasting objects may also decrease.” He explains that a cataract is the clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, blocking the passage of light needed for vision. “It’s just a natural part of aging. Cataracts form slowly and cause no pain. Decreased night vision is often the first symptom, followed by halos around lights caused by the distortion of light. Fortunately, cataract surgery can correct the problem and restore clear vision.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

It’s actually the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States.” Cataracts aren’t the only vision disorder that can cause problems with glare and halos. Dr. Falgoust says these problems can also occur in patients suffering from glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. “Diabetics are at a higher risk for night vision problems because over the years their elevated blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels and nerves in the eye,” Dr. Falgoust explains. “In fact, two early signs of diabetic retinopathy are poor night vision and a longer visual adjustment period after coming indoors from bright outdoor light.” The increased pressure in the eye that occurs when a patient has glaucoma can also cause poor night vision. Dr. Falgoust says patients with macular degeneration, the loss of central vision, often experience symptoms of blurred vision, including halos. Although it is rare, Dr. Falgoust says some people may experience halos or problems with glare after refractive surgery. “This was more common when laser vision technology was first introduced nearly three decades ago. Advances in technology have helped eliminate this problem.”

Other common causes of halos and glared vision include headaches, fatigue and overexposure to the sun. “Sustained exposure to bright sunlight can impair night vision for up to two days,” says Dr. Falgoust. “This, among many other reasons, is why you should always protect your eyes with sunglasses when outdoors.” Regardless of your age or how minor it may seem, Dr. Falgoust says no one should ignore any visual disturbance. “Any changes in your vision, including blurriness, blind spots, halos around lights and dimness of vision, could be cause for concern. If ignored, it could lead to more serious vision or even health problems. It’s always best to be cautious when it comes to protecting your eyesight.” For more information or to schedule an eye exam, call Falgoust Eye Medical & Surgical at (337) 477-0963 or visit



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Enhancing your face requires the skill of a surgeon and the eye of an artist. at Center for Orthopaedics

Enhancing the overall appearance of your face should be a gentle, carefully proportioned process. Considerably more than improving the tone and texture of the skin, or adjusting the width of the nose, it’s an opportunity to reveal a fresher more balanced, more perfected appearance. For that, you need not only a highly skilled surgeon, but also the keen eye of an experienced artist. Uncovering your beauty beneath demands a special touch.

The hands of a surgeon. The eye of an artist.

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board-certified & fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon jeffrey j. joseph, md, facs


Home & Family

Soaor int r e m m Su

Like every kid in Calcasieu Parish, we’re counting down the days until summer break. We eagerly anticipate that 2022 will be the comeback year for summer fun . . . vacations, camps, activities, festivals, relaxing days around a pool and the great outdoors, and socializing face to face! This summer guide is bursting with ideas to fill your summer days with exciting experiences that will entertain, enlighten, educate, and create life-long memories. Are you ready to soar into summer? Prepare for takeoff!

Your guide for fun! Also accepting tax deductible donations. PO Box 4233 Lake Charles, LA 70606

is sponsoring

The 3rd Annual iCan Bike Camp to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a two-wheel bicycle using adapted bike equipment a and then transition to their own bike.

JUNE 13th-17th 2022 Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles

To register or volunteer, visit (337) 540-5992 • • 28

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

s, e s s a l C , s p Ca m ! y M h O , s e Activiti

There are so many options to keep the kiddos busy this summer. Sign up soon, as many camps fill up quickly. Do keep in mind, this is not a comprehensive list. At the time of this writing, some organizations are still planning their summer camps and working out details.



Locations: Lake Charles Main Campus or Morgan Smith site, Jennings 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Cost: All camps $250 per camper and include breakfast and lunch For more information or to register, visit www. or call 337-421-6560 or email Camp Schedule: Culinary Camp (Lake Charles campus) June 27 – July 1, 2022 Grades 5 – 8 Kids in the Kitchen (Lake Charles campus) July 11 – 15, 2022 Grades 1 – 4 Jr. Chef Culinary Camp (Lake Charles campus) July 18 – 22, 2022 Grades 9-12 Culinary Camp (Morgan Smith site in Jennings) July 25 – 29, 2022 Grades 5-8 Culinary Camp (Lake Charles campus) July 25, – 29, 2022 Grades 5-8


May 27-July 31

Theme: Oceans of Possibilities Visit their events calendar at www.calcasieulibrary. org for performance times and locations. See what›s happening virtually and in person at all parish branches. Sign up for their reading program through Beanstack. New to Beanstack? Stop by any Calcasieu Parish Public Library and let the staff help you set up an account for you and the family. Early literacy skills are the roots of reading success, and it is never too early to plant the seed!


May 21, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. West-Calcasieu Arena and Events Center

401 Arena Rd., Sulphur La or on Facebook, @ipmsswamp The Southwest Area Modelers of Plastic (SWAMP) hosts their 35th annual Model Contest and Expo. Over 70 categories with Junior and Senior divisions are open. Awards will be given. Vendors will display the latest in plastic model kits, accessories, and hard-to-find kits. For more info, find a flyer at Paper Heroes, 3941 Ryan St., Lake Charles, or write to swampclub@yahoo. com.

BEAUMONT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM These camps are designed to inspire imagination, creativity, and instill the wonder of learning! Their talented staff, volunteers, and visiting experts from the local community lead experiments and activities with different interactive, hands-on projects. Camps are a weeklong with a variety of half-day and full-day options for most camps. All camps are open to a wide range of ages and interests.

For more information and to register, see https:// or write to Week 1 - Robotics 1.0 (June 13 - 17) Week 2 - Imagineering Camp: Design Your Future (June 20 - 24) Week 3 - Kidz Art: Art Time Machine (June 27 - July 1) Week 4 - Space Rangers: May the Force be with You! (July 5 - 8) Week 5 - BASF’s Kids’ Lab: We are Chemistry (July 11 - 15) Week 6 - Critter Camp (July 18 - 22) Week 7 - Robotic 2.0 (July 25 - July 29) Week 8 - Pokémon Camp: MewTwo (Aug 1 - 5)



Some of our performers include:

June 2nd Johnette Downing June 17th Digeridoo Down Under June 21th - 24th Lady Chops July 5th- 6th Roger Day July 7th - 8th Geebo the Clown

“OCEANS OF POSSIBILITIES” at Your Library The Calcasieu Parish Public libraries are in full swing as we prepare for our nine-week Summer Reading Program! This year’s oceanography theme creates “Oceans of Possibilities” for our library patrons and community members. There will be something for everyone with an exciting schedule of performers, live and virtual programs for all ages, take-home activities, partnership programs with local parks and Wildlife and Fisheries, a reading program designed to engage, inspire, and so much more!

As we near summer, be sure to visit our online calendar of events at to see the exact times and locations for all our performers. Also, check out what is happening virtually and in person at all our branches around the parish! Be sure to sign up for our reading program “Oceans of Possibilities” through Beanstack. Designed to encourage reading regardless of age or reading level, Beanstack makes it easy to track reading, motivate reluctant readers using engagement activities and digital badges, and provide feedback and insights into reading preferences.

Check out for more information & performance dates.


Home & Family | Summer


Fitness GRAY PLANTATION SUMMER CAMPS Four sessions of golf and tennis summer camps will be held this summer! TENNIS SUMMER CAMPS Ages 5-13 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., includes tennis, swimming, and lunch $210 per week - Members $240 per week - Non Members Contact Kevin Gillette with any questions 601-616-0699 or Session 1: June 13-16 Session 2: June 20-23 Session 3: July 11-14 Session 4: July 25-29 GOLF SUMMER CAMPS Ages 8-13 9:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. and includes golf, games, and lunch $240 per week - Members $270 per week - Non Members Contact Herb Piert with any questions 337-562-1206 ext. 1 or Session 1: June 13-16 Session 2: June 20-23 Session 3: July 11-14 Session 4: July 25-29 LAKE AREA ADVENTURES All camps include time in the Game Lounge and Bounce Houses. For pricing or to register, go to Adventure Camp Features Discover SCUBA curriculum and PE Ninja Warrior activities. May 31 – June 3, noon – 3:00 p.m. Ages 10+ Snorkel Camp Features snorkel lessons and activities and outdoor activities June 6–10, noon – 3:00 p.m. Ages 6+


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

SCUBA Science Camp Features Intro to SCUBA lessons, science experiments, and outdoor activities June 13-17 and July 11-15, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Ages 8+ Summer Fun Camp Features outdoor and indoor activities, game lounge and bounce house July 5-8 and July 18-22, noon – 3:00 p.m. Ages 6+ DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF SWLA Bicycle Camp for Individuals with Disabilities June 13-17 Burton Coliseum Cost: $100 for individuals with Down Syndrome, $125 for all other disabilities, $75 for those who attended in 2018 or 2019. Minimum age 8. Participants must have a disability, be able to walk without assistive devices, be able to side-step quickly on both sides, minimum in-seam of 20 inches from floor, and weigh no more than 220 lbs. For more information, email Melanie Sarro at or call her at 337-842-6555 or 337-540-5992. To register, go to

Arts & Crafts IMPERIAL CALCASIEU MUSEUM Summer Art Camps 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. M-F Grades K-8 $100 per session for members, $125 non-members Sweet Summertime Art Camps Session 1: June 6-10 Session 2: June 13-17 Session 3: June 20-24 Session 4: June 27-July 1 Party in the USA Art Camps Session 1: July 11-15 Session 2: July 18-22 Session 3: July 25-29

NICHE SUMMER CAMPS For prices or to register, go to Four-Day Camps Each camp includes sewing, painting and crafting projects based off their weekly theme. Grades 1-5 Two sessions 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. May 30-June 2 Mythical Creatures June 6-9 Fashion & Glam June 13-16 We Don’t Talk About Summer June 20-23 Galaxy & Glow June 27-30 Mythical Creatures July 6-8 DIY Fidgets & Toys July 11-14 Fashion & Glam Camp July 18-21 We Don’t Talk About Summer July 25-28 Galaxy & Glow Single Day Camp Each camp includes age- appropriate projects in painting and crafting on weekly theme. Ages 4-9 May 3rd Mythical Creatures June 10 Fashion & Glam June 17 We Don’t Talk About Summer June 24 Galaxy & Glow July 15 Fashion & Glam July 22 We Don’t Talk About Summer July 29 Galaxy & Glow CHRISTIAN YOUTH THEATRE GROUP Location: Sale St. Baptist Church Broadway Through the Decades Teen Camp July 18-22, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Ages 13-18 $190.00 Oh, the Places You’ll Go with CYT July 11-15, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Ages 11-12 $180.00 Oh, the Places You’ll Go with CYT July 11-15, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Ages 7-8 $180.00 Oh, the Places You’ll Go with CYT July 11-15, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Ages 9-10 $180.00


THE CHILDREN’S THEATRE COMPANY 337-433-7323, Extreme Theatre June 13-17, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Ages 8-18 $150 Wild Things July 6-8, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Ages 5-8 $65 Kidz in Showbiz July 25-29 Ages 5-8, 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. Ages 9-18, 10:00 a.m. – noon $85.00

Education CALCASIEU PARISH SCHOOL BOARD Tech Camp All participants will receive an Apple i-Pad and will experience 3D printers, robots, coding, and apps. July 11-15 Grades 2-10 Deadline to enroll: May 6. Early registration recommended. $475.00, includes i-Pad, t-shirt, daily snack. Payment plans and hardship scholarships available. Call 337-217-4000 or see for more information.


Daily 10AM- 3PM McNeese State University


all abilities welcome from beginner to experienced Violin • Cello • Guitar • Piano • Percussion • Ukelele Intermediate To Advanced Ensemble Cost is $300 for FGBYO members and $350 for non-members Discounts provided for families with multiple children registering. Students Ages 7-18 Registration & Contact Info at or 337.582.2466


Home & Family | Summer


The 2022 SWLA Hot Air Balloon Festival is back and even bigger on June 10-11! After a 3-year hiatus, The Brandgineers and Deep South Productions are thrilled to bring back the Southwest Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Festival! They changed location to a smaller more exclusive spot, The Stables at LeBocage, that will provide grass space and a more intimate experience. With over 20 balloons and special shapes, this event will be an uplifting experience! There will also be live music on both days, food vendors, arts and crafts, fireworks, a kid’s area, and much, much more! This year, organizers plan to provide a percentage of proceeds to Reins of Hope, a not-for-profit therapeutic horseback riding program whose mission is rehabilitation through horse therapy for children and adults. “Partnering with the Southwest Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Festival will allow Reins of Hope to reach more children and adults in our community who will benefit from the positive impact of therapeutic horseback riding,” said Jeanne Dennis, executive director of Reins of Hope. 32

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

This years’ Presenting Sponsor is Gordan McKernan Injury Attorneys. “We are honored to be the presenting sponsor of the SWLA Hot Air Balloon Festival! Our communities are what keeps us going in the face of adversities, and Lake Charles has had quite a few in the past few years. So, we are excited to support the Balloon Festival. It is a great way to kick off Spring, lift up our spirits and bring people back together,” stated Gordan McKernan owner of Gordan McKernan Injury Attorneys. “Our mission at Gordan McKernan Injury Attorneys is to be there for our communities, partners, and clients when needed the most, and being a part of this festival helps us further our mission.” “The Festival will support local and regional talent on both nights,” said Brandon Beard, President of The Brandgineers. “Over the past few years, artists have struggled to play shows due to the COVID-19 crisis, and we want to support the local community and the talented artists on stage at this year’s event.”

HOURS: 5:00 p.m. — 11:45 p.m., Friday, June 10, 2022 3:00 p.m. — 11:45 p.m., Saturday, June 11, 2022

PARKING: VIP Parking onsite General Admission at Burton Coliseum Complex. Shuttle buses will be provided for transportation to and from the event.

TICKETS: Due to size constraints, tickets will be required. Please visit their website at to purchase tickets now!

Sewing, Crafting, & Painting Projects

S ummer Camps 2022 4 Day Camps

1 Day Camps

Open to entering 1st-5th graders. Two sessions 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm.

Mythical Creatures Fashion & Glam

Creative Camps for Your Mini Maker!

Fashion & Glam June 13-16

June 24

Fashion & Glam

July 6-8

July 15

July 11-14

We Don’t Talk About Summer Galaxy & Glow July 25-28

To register, visit or call (337) 477-3810

We Don’t Talk About Summer Galaxy & Glow

June 27-30

Fashion & Glam Camp

June 10 June 17

June 20-23

DIY Fidgets & Toys


May 3rd

June 6-9

Mythical Creatures

Each camp includes age appropriate sewing, painting and crafting projects based off our our weekly theme.

Mythical Creatures

May 30-June 2

We Don’t Talk About Summer Galaxy & Glow

Open to ages 4-9 year olds.

July 18-21

We Don’t Talk About Summer July 22

Galaxy & Glow July 29

4706 Common Street, Lake Charles

JUSTIN HILL BASEBALL ALL SKILL LEVELS ALL AGE GROUPS Hitting, Base Running, Pitching, Fielding & More!



Home & Family | Summer


21.0% ONLY

Find Time for


r e m Sum s s e n t i F

The CDC recommends that children aged six to 17 should participate in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day – and for good reason. Regular exercise is critical to young people’s physical and mental health, and correlates not only to greater fitness and lower risk of obesity, but also to better academic performance and lower incidence of depression and anxiety. Despite these benefits, only around a quarter of teens today meet recommended levels of physical activity. The rise of social networks, video games, smartphones and other technology in recent years have led to more leisure time being spent on sedentary activities. One recent study found that a typical U.S. teenager today gets approximately as much physical activity as the average 60-yearold! Researchers ranked states by the percentage of high school students that are physically active at least 60 minutes every day. In Louisiana, 21.0% of teens report exercising every day, and 33.3% report


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

exercising five or more days per week, while 25.5% report not exercising at all. Of all states with complete data available, Louisiana has the 10th fewest teenagers who exercise daily. Worryingly, teens’ physical activity levels are trending downward over time. In 2011, nearly half of teens reported exercising at least five days per week, and nearly three in 10 exercised every day. But over the last decade, the share of teenagers exercising five days per week declined to 44.1%, and the share exercising every day declined to 23.2%. Meanwhile, the percentage of teens who reported not exercising at all rose from 13.8% to 17.0% over the same span. There are some differences among teenagers in their levels of activity. One of the factors that correlates to teens’ activity levels is age. Whether it’s that school becomes more advanced, social activities become more important, or part-time jobs cut into their free time, older teens naturally have less time available for exercise and physical activity. As a result, the percentage of teens who report physical activity declines with each subsequent year in high school.

Another distinct difference is gender. Across all ages, male teenagers tend to report higher levels of activity than female teenagers do. This is likely attributable to different societal expectations and attitudes around physical activity between the genders. And as a result, girls may have less access to (and may not be encouraged into) sports or other physical activities. Physical activity among teens also differs by geography, with young people in some states reporting higher levels of physical activity than others. Many of the leading states are located in the central U.S., including locations like South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. One reason is that in rural locations, teens tend to express a preference for active leisure activities over passive or sedentary ones. This also helps promote higher-than-average participation in team sports found in many of the states with more physically active teens. For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website: https://hotdog. com/blog/active-teens/

Statistics for Teens who exercise DATA:



Share of teens who exercise 7 days/week:



Share of teens who exercise 5+ days/ week:



Share of teens who don’t exercise:



Share of teens who play on a sports team:



Four Sessions Available: June 13–16 June 20–23 • July 11–14 • July 25–29 Contact Herb Piert, 337-562-1206 ext. 1 or

Tennis, Swimming and Lunch Four Sessions Available: June 13–16 June 20–23 • July 11–14 • July 25–29 Contact Kevin Gillette, 601-616-0699 or Camps are open to members and non-members.

Helping little smiles grow up to be big, healthy smiles! Dr. Eric A. Sanders

Dr. Saima Khan

We provide specialized dentistry for children and adolescents in a “child-friendly” environment and where parents are more than welcome to accompany their child to the treatment room.

2620 Country Club Road • Lake Charles, LA 70605 • (337) 433-kids (5437) W W W . S A N D E R S P E D I A T R I C D E N T I S T R Y. C O M


Home & Family | Summer


Tips to Make your

r e m m Su n o i t a c a V

with Kids Fun & Educational (think science!) by Marcie Colledge and Kelly McCollum



Many campgrounds offer campfire programs with naturalists where they teach kids about native animals and plants in the area that can help them identify regional differences. Parents can also take advantage of the night skies while camping. There is less light pollution the farther you are from the city, and night skies are much clearer out in nature. Children can enjoy the night sky and learn about objects in the solar system by bringing a map of the constellations and seeing which ones they can find, looking at the moon, visible planets, meteor showers and more.

Have you ever wondered what causes high and low tides? The moon! The gravitational force from the moon pulls on the earth and its oceans, which causes the water to “bulge” on the side closest to the moon, creating a high tide. Many beaches offer copies of “tide tables” used for tidal predication and can show the daily times and levels of high and low tides. Speaking of tides, parents can take advantage of low tides and have kids explore tide pools. These are pools of water that are trapped at low tide. Kids can find sea stars, urchins, anemones, seaweed, crabs and sometimes even small fish – a great way to teach them about different sea creatures.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Shorebirds can also be an amazing learning opportunity for kids! Not all the birds at the shore are “seagulls.” There are many different types of interesting shorebirds. Their beaks often identify what type of shorebird they are. Some have long and curved beaks that help them dig up food in the sand (such as small crustaceans and insects).

ROAD TRIP Road trips are perfect for teaching kids about different geological features and landscapes in different states across the U.S. The plants and animals in Arizona look a lot different from what you’d see in Pennsylvania. Printing out guidebooks can help kids identify what they’re seeing and learn

interesting facts about the world around them.

NATIONAL PARKS National Parks offer a lot of outdoor recreational activities and learning opportunities. Every year, students in 4th grade can get the “Every Kid Outdoors” pass and get free access to national parks across the country. Through August 2022, the pass has been extended to 5th graders who missed out last year due to the pandemic. Kids can also become a Junior Park Ranger, which is a program for kids in national parks that allows them to complete a series of activities during a visit, share their answers with a park ranger and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and certificate.

ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER Many parks also have events specifically for kids which can be found at: kids-youth.htm

art lives here

AMUSEMENT PARK A family trip to Disneyland, Six Flags or any other popular amusement park can also be a learning opportunity! All around them, Newton’s laws of motion, centripetal force and potential and kinetic energy is in “motion.” Kids can explore the physics of roller coasters and other amusement park rides while they’re in line for the Superman, Gadget Go’s Coaster and others. Marcie Colledge and Kelly McCollum are co-founders of Yellow Scope, a company that makes fun science kits for girls. For more information, go to

1001 Ryan Street Tues. - Sat. 10 AM - 6 PM Free Admission

NOW ENROLLING Two Years Through 11th Grade


Two Year Olds - 6th Grade 803 N. Division Street Lake Charles

pen Now O


7th - 11th Grade 5665 N. Gray Market Drive Lake Charles

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.


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


Home & Family | Summer


r u o y y a l P o t y Wa

n u F y l i Fam r e m m u S this by Katelynn Mouton

Summer is drawing closer, and camps, activities and summer vacations are being booked. While these are exciting, special events to look forward to, families may be wondering about options for some regular afternoon or weekend fun. Whether you are looking for an axe-throwing good time or just a friendly game of laser tag, bowling or mini-golf, numerous options are available. From an escape room or beach volleyball court to an afternoon at the trampoline park, there is no shortage of summer fun in Southwest Louisiana.

BULLSEYE! Game2Life offers multiple cages for axe throwing. Bring the family out for fun on the patio, including swings, music and food. Open Thursday through Sunday, hours vary daily. Children 18 and under are permitted to visit the axe throwing cages with a parent or guardian before 8:00 p.m. daily. Only children 13 and up are permitted to participate in the actual axe throwing experience. 38

3311 Broad St., Lake Charles. Learn more at or by calling 337-485-4156.

TAG, YOU’RE IT! Game2Life also offers the iCombat tactical laser tag experience. A staff member briefs players on the game, giving them a rundown of how the experience and equipment work. Stepping into the arena is as realistic as stepping into a video game! Rates and hours vary and sessions run on the hour, by the hour. Without a reservation, plan to arrive about 30 minutes prior to your desired time of play. Minimum age for play is 11 years old and participants must be at least 54 inches tall. www., 337-485-4156. In Sulphur, Bayou Games also offers laser tag. There is no extra gear required to participate in this Mil-Sim-style experience. Children 5 and up can play and online and mobile reservations are available to book times in advance. Bayou Games also offers paintball (ages 13+), low-impact paintball (ages 9+), gellyball (ages 5+) and a

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

video game trailer (ages 10+). The 31-acre site has something fun for nearly everyone in the family. Hours and rates vary. 681 Kim St., 337-214-5001

SPARE ME A STRIKE! Long-time favorite Petro Bowl is back at 630 Petro Point Dr. in Lake Charles. After experiencing significant damage from the 2020 hurricanes, Petro Bowl reopened its doors at the end of 2021. Now completely remodeled, visitors can experience bowling, a snack bar, and a large arcade packed with games, all under one roof. Sunday, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., marks family day and specials are available., 337-477-7554.

A HOLE IN ONE! Who doesn’t love mini-golf? Putt-Putt Fun Center has been providing family fun to local families for generations. Putt Putt offers two 18-hole

courses. A snack shack, featuring pizza, drinks, ice cream and root beer floats is sure to put a smile of the face of everyone in the family. Hours vary by daily and are extended for summer operations. Follow them on Facebook at puttputtlakecharles or call 337-480-1954.

MAKE THE GREAT ESCAPE! It’s not just a game, it’s an adventure! Escape Rooms Louisiana offers three rooms for your escape challenge. Each room takes about an hour to complete. One is horror-themed. It’s best to book in advance, especially if you want to play as a group. Recommended for children ages 12 and up. Hours vary Friday through Sunday. 317 Pine St., Lake Charles,, 337-429-5445.

Can you escape the Bayou Escape Rooms? Teammates race against the clock to solve the puzzle and escape in one hour. A parent or guardian must accompany children under 16 and rooms fill up fast so book in advance. 1440 W. McNeese St., Lake Charles,, 337-429-5300.

BUMP, SET, SPIKE! One of the newest outdoor venues in Lake Charles, South Beach Volleyball McNeese, is an exciting beach volleyball complex featuring open play and a casual outdoor restaurant atmosphere; this is a great option for a family looking for some affordable fun in the sun. Open play days are limited and hours vary daily.

1311 E. McNeese St., Lake Charles. www.southbeachvolleyballmcneese. com, 337-508-0588.

JUMP RIGHT IN! The long-awaited reopening of Altitude Trampoline Park has finally arrived. Altitude Trampoline Park is a great option for the young and young-at-heart. Show off your gymnastics skills on the tumble tracks, dive into the foam pit or challenge your kids to a dunking contest in the basketball dunking lanes. Open seven days a week, hours vary from weekdays to weekends. 3009 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles, www.altitudelakecharles. com, 337-602-6650.

Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio Participant in Education in Virtues Program Diverse Student Body

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

St. Margaret wishes all of our past, present, and future Viking Krewe a wonderful summer break. We will continue to ensure a safe and effective learning environment for all who attend. Visit our website or give us a call for grade level openings. We look forward to seeing you in the Fall!

Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services Spanish enrichment to all grades High School Credit opportunities in 8th grade Sports beginning in 5th grade Active Parent Teacher Committee

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

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


Home & Family | Summer


r e m m Be st S u

s e i t i v A ct i

for Kids’ Growth & Development Summer is known as that lazy, relaxing time of year. While all kids deserve a break, they still need structure and stimulating activities that nurture their growth and development. What are some pro tips to keep in mind when it comes to your kids this summer?

The idea is to still have a routine and agenda but know that it’s okay to be a little laid back when it comes to sticking to it.

Child Psychiatrist Vinay Saranga M.D. offers this advice:


CREATE A SUMMER SCHEDULE You don’t have to schedule something for every second of the day. The idea is to develop a predictable but flexible daily schedule that can help children thrive. Remember, sometimes boredom can be a trigger for bad behavior.


MAKE A CALENDAR Make it visible to your entire family. Write down daily activities and include a chore/activity chart. This helps children understand what’s expected of them. It also helps enrich their sense of responsibility and integrity all while building their confidence.

Reading should be part of their everyday routine this summer. Whether in the morning or before bed (or both), make it a priority to read with your kids. Of course, the goal of reading is to make it enjoyable. Get your child involved by going to a local library and scouting out the latest book by their favorite author.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022



Sleep, especially at a young age, is essential for healthy growth and brain development. We all benefit from a good night’s rest! Even if you extend bedtime during the summer, make sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep each night. Try not to get too far off their school routine because it will be back in session before you know it.

Remember that long days at the pool/beach can cause exhaustion which leads to frustration and feeling overwhelmed. Figure out what the right amount of activity is to stimulate your child and incorporate enjoyable activities into their summer routine.

CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME Sometimes it’s too easy just to turn on the TV. When they’re not swimming or riding bikes, find something productive for them to do. Stock up on fun and educational activities that will help your kids continue to grow and learn over the summer break. Coloring books, crosswords, puzzles and board games are all great ideas.

KEEP THEM SOCIAL Summer camps, group play and trips to the local playground are all ways to entertain children without screen time. Social settings often encourage imaginary play and creativity all while developing social skills essential for a child’s development.

INCORPORATE NATURE Let nature be your inspiration this summer! Get your children outdoors for some fresh air. Plan a game of hide-and-seek or set up a nature scavenger hunt that will keep them entertained in a healthy way.


Foster C. Kordisch, Jr., MD

Our kids grow up so quickly, so make time to enjoy the summer as a family no matter how old your kids are. Whether planning a vacation out of state or simply a day trip to the beach, the best activities are enjoyed together.

Bruce M. Thompson, MD David R. Wallace, Sr., MD Stuart G. Landry, MD Byran S. Karriker, MD

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a child psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry. www.srangapsychiatrycom

Jay R. Maust, II, MD Deborah M. Decker, MD Foster C. Kordisch, Jr.,Anatole MD Bruce M. Thompson, MD David R. Wallace, Sr., MD

children of Southwest Louisiana Serving the

since 1962

Stuart G. Landry, MD

Kipp B. Ardoin, MD Susan E. Drez, MD

Byran S. Karriker, MD Stephanie Jay R. Maust, II, MD Deborah M. Decker, MD

M. Treme, MD

Katie E. Price, MD

Anatole J. Karpovs, MD

Beth Savoie, PNP

Kipp B. Ardoin, MD Lauren

Caraway, PAC

Susan E. Drez, MD

Shannon Boudreaux, PNP

Stephanie M. Treme, MD

Megan Katie E. Price, MD

Thibodeaux, FNP

Beth Savoie, PNP Lauren Caraway, PAC Juan

Lake Charles Office 2903 1stAuxiliary Avenue Building Main Office 1400 Oak Park Blvd. 2903 1st Avenue 337- 478-6480

Shannon Boudreaux, PNP

Juan M. Bossano, MD Neonatology

Jamal G. Saqer, MD


2903 1 Avenue

337- 528-5712

536 Cypress Street 337- 528-5712

Neonatology Pediatric Critical Care

Lake Charles, LA 70601 Lake Charles, LA 70601 Office (337) 478-6314 (337) 478-6480Lake Charles

Lake Charles Office 8-0086 111 Lake Street

M. Bossano, MD

Megan Thibodeaux, FNP Jamal G. Saqer, MD

337- 478-6480 Sulphur Office Moss Bluff Office South Lake Charles Office Bluff Office Sulphur Office 536Moss Cypress St. 117 Gloria Dr. 4111 Lake St harles Office Sulphur, LA 70663 Lake Charles, LA536 70611 Cypress Lake Charles,Street LA 70605 117 Gloria Drive e Street (337) 855-1386 (337) 528-5712 (337) 478-0086 Moss Bluff Office Sulphur Office

337- 478-0086

J. Karpovs, MD

Pediatric Critical Care

337- 855-1386

117 Gloria Drive 337- 855-1386


Home & Family


& Show Your Pet Some Love with an Annual Check-Up

by Tori Hebert

Furry friends bring so much joy to life and are as much a part of your family as the human members. Your pet wants to give you all their love and you can show your love to them by scheduling routine visits to the veterinarian to keep them healthy. “Annual exams are important because you may not realize something is going on with your pet’s health,” says Dr. Jae Chang, veterinarian with Prien Lake Animal Hospital. “In fact, most species instinctively hide their symptoms because they do not want to appear injured or weak. The exam can include blood work and other tests that provide a base line for their wellness. We use this information to evaluate any changes we need to make to your pet’s diet, medication or any other part of their care or lifestyle.” Dr. Chang provides an overview of what you can expect at an annual veterinary exam for your pet:


Your children probably receive a physical exam when they sign up to play sports. Your veterinarian will provide a similar overall evaluation of your pet. An important health parameter is your pet’s weight. It can be hard to notice subtle changes in your pet, but your vet will be able to identify any abnormal changes in your pet’s health and begin treatment right away. Older pets may need more frequent exams. 42

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022



As your pet ages their vision changes. Your veterinarian will examine your pet’s eyes for inflammation, cataracts, infection or other visual defects. Your pet can also form an ear infection. During the exam their ears are assessed for infection, bad odor or other symptoms that can indicate disease in the ear canal. The mouth is checked for dental disease, fractured or infected teeth, ulcers or masses.

In addition to preventing unwanted litters, spaying or neutering also has health benefits. These procedures may help modify behaviors that can make animals restless or aggressive and can even help prevent some cancers and other diseases. Depending on the species, pets may be spayed (females) or neutered (males) as early as eight weeks of age.


Heartworm disease can be fatal, so prevention is essential. Dogs, cats and ferrets should be given a heartworm preventative all year.

The annual exam is a head-to-toe evaluation, so your veterinarian will also evaluate your pet’s movement and internal health. Heart murmurs can be an early sign of disease and arrhythmias can be fatal with no warning. The abdominal exam includes palpations to identify any masses or enlarged organs. Your vet will also judge your pet’s muscle mass and any joint discomfort. Dr. Chang says there are also routine preventive care recommendations to keep your pet healthy. “We typically discuss these, based on the specific pet and their health risks, at the annual exam.” These include:


Just like humans, animals need a variety of immunizations to protect them from potentially fatal diseases. Puppies and kittens can start as early as six weeks of age, and revaccinations are needed for some diseases.



Fleas and ticks are not just irritating to your pet; they also carry many dangerous diseases. Your vet can provide the treatment and products to protect your pet and advise you on how to safely treat infestations in your home and yard.


Animals should get their teeth cleaned, just like people. Your veterinarian will be able to make individual recommendations based on their evaluation of your pet. For more information about pet care and any pet health concern, call Prien Lake Animal Hospital at 474-1526 or visit



by Kristy Como Armand

A fence can be both functional and beautiful on its own but adding the right landscaping can bring a new level of visual appeal to this hardscape feature of any property. Whether it’s to soften typically straight edges of a chain link or privacy fence or tie ornamental metal design elements to other parts of a home’s architecture, landscaping offers the best solution. “Landscaping can camouflage or soften a plain fence and also highlight the design of a more contemporary or ornamental fence,” says Chad Everage with Landscape Management Services. “Properly planned landscaping against the backdrop of a well-installed fence adds a new, natural dimension to an outdoor space by making use of unused vertical space to add color and texture.” Everage says the style of the fence should guide the landscape design. “For a fence that is more functional rather than designed to be visually appealing, such as a chain link, or for an older fence that has seen better days, the property owner may want their landscape to hide the fence completely. For a white picket or an ornamental metal style, the goal may be to enhance the fence with landscaped beds and select placement of larger elements.”


The fence line is a great location for adding beds for flowers and other colorful bedding plants while keeping the rest of a yard open and uncluttered. Running these beds along the entire length of a fence, even if only a foot or two in depth, is a great visual enhancement for your yard. Don’t feel confined to straight edges. Everage says curved beds add additional interest, as do climbing plants – if you have the type of fence that would allow for these types of plant vines to attach and thrive. This can also add an additional privacy barrier.

He adds that there are multiple factors to consider when planning fence line landscaping.


Everage says it’s important to carefully evaluate the existing landscape. Hopefully, if a new fence was added, it supports the aesthetic of the home and outdoor space. The same applies for any new landscaping along the fence line. The goal should be for the newly landscaped areas to blend with any existing elements to provide the homeowner with an overall cohesive design.


The woody branch structure of a shrub, coupled with leaves of various sizes and colors, highlights and creates focal points along a fence row. There’s no need to stick to one type of shrub, according to Everage. Planting two or three different types of shrubs, in layers, can help add a variety of textures and focal points – again, making better use of the vertical space. For greater diversity, choose shrubs that flower, fruit and change colors throughout the seasons. Taller shrubbery can work along with a fence to increase the privacy for an outdoor space. Dense shrub choices, like boxwood, for example, can be used to create a hedge that defines and adds a natural border on one or both sides of a fence.

Everage says trees are one unique feature that should be given careful consideration both when installing a fence and when planning to include trees in any new landscaping along a fence. He says experienced fence contractors know the hazards existing trees pose for fences, and how to minimize or eliminate these impacts. Adding trees to landscaping can help create a classic, elegant look, as well as providing shade for the yard. When planting a new tree along a fence, Everage says choosing the right type of tree is critical. Narrow species that are relatively short are the best option. These should be planted far enough away – at least five feet – to allow for future growth that won’t affect the fence. If you aren’t sure what that future growth will entail, it’s best to consult a landscape specialist.


The finishing touches to any landscape project are adding hardscape features. These can include lighting, water elements like a birdbath or a fountain, lattice for climbing plants, decorative stones, walking paths and more. Everage says this type of outdoor décor is really up to the preference of the homeowner, and should be chosen to blend with, as well as to highlight, all the landscape features that were already put in place – including the fence. For help in choosing the best landscape elements for your fence line, or any other landscaping need, call Landscape Management Services at (337) 478-3836 or visit their retail nursery at 5005 Cobra Rd. in Lake Charles, Louisiana, or their website at


Money & Career

Patience is Key when Buying a Home in Today’s Market It’s no surprise that the Lake Charles housing market is unique from others. We’ve been hit by hurricanes, COVID-19, floods, an ice storm, and the housing market has taken one hard punch after another. We find ourselves at a strange crossroads between returning to normalcy and an uncertain future. But Southwest Louisiana residents are optimistic, and local lenders are listening to gage the type of homebuying season we can expect this summer. “We have a low housing inventory paired with a high demand in homes,” said Assistant Vice President and Lender Debra Lewis of First Federal Bank of LA. “This means it’s a very strong seller’s market, but the curve is starting to flatten out.” The hurricanes took out a chunk of available properties while keeping others off the market due to slow repairs and renovations. Finding the perfect dream home has turned into simply finding a home. “As more homes are repaired or built and families are finding their way back into their homes, there’s not so much of an intense demand as we saw last year,” continued Lewis.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

It’s also important to remember that as inventory grows, so will the number of buyers in the area. If you’ve spent any time recently on real estate websites or apps, the price tag on the average home probably made your jaw drop. Prices skyrocketed nearly 20% through the third quarter of 2021 compared to a year before, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The median price of a home in the U.S. last year was $346,900, up 16.9% from 2020, and the highest on record, according to the National Association of Realtors. In Southwest Louisiana, the average home price is closer to $220,000. “It can be harder and harder for a young family to buy their first home, but local lenders are working twice as hard to help make it happen,” said Lewis. “When you have a good lender as well as a good real estate agent, they can help talk you off the ledge when you’re feeling house buying FOMO (fear of missing out). The last thing we want you to do is to buy a house you can’t afford yet.” Local lenders can also match you with home buying assistance and responsible budgeting practices to close the gap between your first home and your finances. Even though there seems to be fewer homes available for sale, it doesn’t mean it’ll be like

that in the long-term. Home prices are rising at a slower pace than last year, and being patient is one of the most important steps to buying a house. “If you’re looking to sell, it’s important to get ahead of the selling process,” added Lewis. “A new fence, a renovated kitchen, or repaired windows are taking longer and longer due to massive supply shortages and labor.” Keep in mind that buyers tend to be more active during spring and summer months before school begins in the fall. Sellers have a strong advantage right now but as more newly constructed homes are built, the lightning-fast buying process may slow down due to more inventory. An influx of repaired or new homes on the local housing market can help the market feel less volatile in the long term, but builders facing supply chain problems simply can’t construct homes fast enough to keep up with local demand. “All in all, the best thing you can do whether you’re buying or selling is to talk to the experts,” said Lewis. “Your loan officer can help create a plan that will get you where you want to be. You just have to be patient, know your finances, and stay away from panic-buying.”



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To learn more, call Debra Lewis at (337) 421-1114, drop by the First Federal Bank Main Office at 1135 Lakeshore Drive in downtown Lake Charles, or visit | (337) 513-4272 | 1638 Ryan St., Lake Charles

TIME TO TURN OVER A NEW LEAF? Spring into action with a Home Equity loan. Get all of your outdoor living, lawn and garden projects started today!



Money & Career

WORKS Local Business Legacies

THE PERRY FAMILYa Dental Dynasty The Perry family’s legacy in dentistry began when Dr. Paul Perry’s uncle, Dr. Carl Churchman Sr., graduated from Loyola University in 1961 and started his dental practice on Louisiana Ave. in Lake Charles. Dr. Churchman would often say that dentistry was a great family profession because it allowed him to spend quality time with his family while still serving the community in the healthcare field. His love of the profession prompted numerous family members from the Churchmans and Perrys to pursue a career in dentistry. Dr. Paul Perry says that, between his immediate and extended family, 16 members work in some form of dentistry today.

Dr. Paul Perry has practiced orthodontics for over 32 years in Sulphur and DeQuincy. His wife, Denise, serves as their business and finance manager. The couple have three children: Andrew, Jacqueline and Christopher. “Our children have seen the happiness that we have in dentistry,” Dr. Perry says.“Two of our children have chosen to follow in my footsteps. Jacqueline is a dental hygienist for Dr. Carl Churchman, Jr. in Lake Charles. Andrew earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree and specializes in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Texas in Houston. All our children worked in my office during their high school years and while attending McNeese. It is extremely rewarding when your children work within your practice, and you can encourage solid working habits for their future.”

Dr. Perry says Sulphur is a wonderful place to raise a family and they show their appreciation by giving back to the community. “We instilled in our children that community service is a very rewarding experience. We inspired them to participate in as many activities within the community as possible. For example, when our children were young, we spent our Thanksgivings at the Sulphur Lions Club serving the community lunch, and we sometimes assisted in cooking turkeys. My family is also involved with Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sulphur as choir members, lectors, extraordinary ministers, and ushering.” Dr. Perry’s two brothers have dental practices in Lake Charles – Alan is an orthodontist and Randall is a general dentist. Alan’s son-in-law, Jude Fairchild, practices with Alan, and Dr. Paul and Denise Perry


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

by Angie Kay Dilmore

Randall’s son, Daniel Perry, has a private practice in Lake Charles. When asked if he and his brothers are competitive, Paul says, “Not at all. We are a close family, and we aspire to help each other. If one of us is out of town, we assist one another with patient emergencies. We have one common goal – we strive to help our patients obtain a winning smile.” Dr. Perry adds that he and his brothers and their families enjoy vacationing together.

“The three of us as well as my nephew are pilots, scuba divers, and we enjoy hunting and fishing together. Do we talk about dentistry on our trips? Of course we do! It’s what we enjoy. We are very proud of our family and our heritage of dentistry, and I hope to continue to pass along the tradition. We are so blessed to live in a great community that has allowed us to have successful careers and to allow us to make our footprint in Southwest Louisiana."

Dr. Paul Perry (center), daughter Jacqueline Carrier (left) and son Dr. Andrew Perry

Dedicated to Creating Beautiful Smiles Since 1990!

With a range of orthodontic treatment options, we can help you achieve a bright, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. From regular orthodontic checkups to applying a variety of braces; our team will provide you with the quality of care you deserve.

(337) 625 - 5330 SULPHUR OFFICE 3109 Maplewood Drive

DEQUINCY OFFICE 824 West 4th Street

PA U L C P E R R Y. C OM Group photo caption: Most of the Churchman/Perry dental dynasty: Dr. Carl Churchman, Sr. in center front, and Dr. Paul Perry with daughter Jacqueline and son Andrew on far right.


Money & Career

Bayou Services Receives Excellence Award Bayou Services, a commercial and residential storage and transportation company, has been honored with a Customer Excellence Award by United Van Lines. There are over 500 United Van Lines agency locations across the nation and Bayou Services is one of 27 agencies to earn the Customer Excellence Award. The award criteria are based on customer survey results and van line star ratings in the areas of safety, claims revenue distribution and quality performance. For over 7 years, Bayou Services has offered transport and storage solutions for business of all sizes with an unsurpassed commitment to customer satisfaction. As an agent for United Van Lines, Bayou Services has access to the largest integrated network of trucks, warehouses and relocation experts to handle local, regional and national transportation needs. For more information, visit CSE Now Offers Membership to Allen, Beauregard and Vernon Parishes CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE), is thrilled to announce the expansion of its field of Membership to Allen, Beauregard and Vernon Parishes, allowing CSE to offer Membership to a total of six parishes – Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Allen, Beauregard and Vernon. CSE’s goal is to provide low rates, affordable financial products, helpful services and financial education resources to all residents, organizations and businesses in the Allen Beauregard and Vernon communities. CSE believes its products, services and outstanding record of Member service will positively impact the lives of additional prospective Members, neighboring communities, and underserved area residents who before now, would not have been eligible to join the credit union. 48

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

CSE is the largest credit union headquartered in Southwest Louisiana and currently operates in four branch locations and serves more than 30,000 Members. Persons who live, work worship or attend school in Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Allen, Beauregard and Vernon parishes are now eligible to join. For additional details about CSE, visit csefcu,org or call 337.477.2000. Lake Charles Chosen to Host 2023 US Sports Congress The US Sports Congress, an organization that attracts top level decisionmakers from the world of amateur sports and sports events, recently announced that it will be hosting its annual conference in Lake Charles, La., December 3-6, 2023, at L’Auberge Casino Resort. Attendees of this targeted conference are senior-level executives who represent sports rights holders and Olympic national governing bodies that place hundreds of sporting events and meetings annually. In addition, there will be representatives from destinations who desire to host events as well as suppliers to the sports market. The event will attract a total of 250-300 professionals in the sports industry from around the nation. Other components of the conference include an Economic Development & Sports Tourism Summit as well as a Collegiate Championship Symposium. The economic portion caters to economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, governmental entities, municipalities, and professionals in parks and recreation. The collegiate component focuses on academic institutions, athletic conferences, and specific processes and opportunities for hosting collegiate championships. Attendees will explore attractions throughout Southwest Louisiana with a number of planned outings that will create memorable experiences. US Sports Congress also includes

educational sessions with a tradeshow and family-oriented activities. Recent previous cities to host the event include Frisco, Tex.; Las Vegas; Columbia, S.C.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Mesa, Ariz. For more information on US Sports Congress, visit or for ideas on things to see and do in the Lake Area including upcoming sporting events, log onto www. National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program Recognizes West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Gold Safe Sleep Champion for our commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, the only national infant safe sleep organization. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Cribs for kids is dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. As a Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, WCCH is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for healthcare team members, and family caregivers. The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids in Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments.

Let us help you make a plan.

For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit hospitalcertification/. To learn more about WCCH’s Safe Sleep program, visit wcch. com or call 337-527-4361.

Butch Ferdinandsen

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

LOANS for ALL PEOPLE for ALL REASONS Our lending team is ready to help you secure the loan you need, whatever the reason. We offer loans for practically anything. Call (337) 474-3766 or visit to learn more.

Lake Charles | Sulphur | Moss Bluff


Places & Faces

Looking for a day trip destination that offers fun activities, loads of history and architecture, art, good food, music, and interesting shopping opportunities? From Lake Charles, DeRidder is a straight shot north on Highway 171. It’s a scenic, hour or so drive through small rural communities and plenty of countryside. Once you arrive in Beauregard’s parish seat, there’s plenty to see and do!

Over 80 Years of Serving the People of Southwest and Central Louisiana

DERIDDER 1010 East First Street P.O. Box 970 DeRidder, LA 70634 Toll Free: 800.367.0275 Phone: 337.463.6221 Fax: 337.463.2809

MOSS BLUFF 975 North Perkins Ferry Road P.O. Box 12783 Lake Charles, LA 70611 Ph: 337.855.6684 Fax: 337.855.0073


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Top 10 Louisiana Publicly Traded Company


One of the most recognizable buildings in DeRidder is the Gothic “Hanging” Jail. Constructed in 1914, this historic building looks more like a haunted mansion than a haunted jail. The location has been the focus of several paranormal investigations and an upcoming Netflix movie entitled “Eli”. For tour times and admission prices, see www. 205 W. 1st St.

The Beauregard Heritage Museum, a former Kansas City Southern passenger train depot built in 1926, houses handmade tools, artifacts from the timber industry, old photographs from the parish’s history, Native American arrowheads and pottery, military memorabilia, antique furniture, musical instruments, and curiosities from Beauregard Parish. Train fans will enjoy checking out a stainless-steel caboose in the courtyard. 120 S. Washington Ave., DeRidder, La., 337-463-8148,

The Lois Loftin Doll Museum is found in the Beauregard Parish Tourist Commission Office, which served as DeRidder’s post office from 1936-1982. See over 3,000 dolls from around the world, marvel at the beautiful interior of the old post office, and view “Rural Free Delivery,” a Depression-era fresco painted by artist Conrad Albrizio. 204 W. First St., DeRidder, La. Real Art Gallery provides opportunities for local artists, musicians, writers, and actors. Their gallery is open 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays, and the 1st and 2nd Thursdays of each month. 108 W. 1st St. DeRidder, La.,

P.W. West Park, DeRidder’s largest recreational park, was severely damaged during Hurricane Laura in 2020. The storm gave Mayor Clanton and the city an opportunity to bring the park back bigger and better. With assistance from the National Park Service and a landscape architect, they devised a master plan. They opened a new skate park a few months ago. Upcoming features within the park’s rehabilitation plans include a resurfaced and extended walking trail that will connect all parking and play areas, a nature area, new trees, new playground equipment, additional picnic areas and an amphitheater to feature small performances. 415 Park Rd.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

America’s First USO and War Room Museum, also known as the War Memorial Civic Center, was built in 1941 for the purpose of building morale in the American solider during World War II. Being the first of its kind, its original furniture and dance hall has been preserved. A large collection of military memorabilia is on display from World War II. 250 W. 7th St. DeRidder, La., 337-463-7212. DeRidder Farmers Market is potentially open seven days a week, depending on the weather, season, and whether or not venders set up. 206 N. Washington St.

Bundick Lake Retreat Center features eight motel rooms that sleep up to four persons. The RV Park offers 14 spaces with full RV hookups. Activities include fishing, a boat launch and 300-foot fishing pier, canoeing, duck hunting, pickle ball, in-ground pool, playground, baseball field, and mini-golf. Bathrooms and laundry on-site. 430 Milton Reid Rd, DeRidder, La., 337-328-7385.

Email or Text Notification when your RX is ready!

ThriftyWay PHARMACY #2

Friendly service from your home town pharmacy. • Citywide Delivery Service • Drive-Thru Pick-Up Window • E-Mail and Call in RX Service The Beauregard Watermelon Festival, one of DeRidder’s most beloved festivals since 1966, takes place June 23-25 this year at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds. 506 West Dr.,

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


Big Thicket BBQ features on-site smoked meats, BBQ brisket, ribs, boudin, and homecooked sides. 310 W. 1st Street, DeRidder, La., 409-224-9782.

The Stadium Sports Grill specializes in seafood and steaks, “Homerun Salads,” “Bases Loaded Potatoes,” and live entertainment Thursday through Saturday.

Lou Lou’s Cupcakes and More creates custom confections and also sells daily plate lunches. 115 S. Washington St., DeRidder, La., 337-202-4084.

217 N. Washington St., DeRidder, La., 337-202-1896.

Cecil’s Cajun Café and Sports Bar offers indoor and outdoor dining and features Cajun entrees, seafood, steaks, specialty burgers and more. 120 W. 1st Street, DeRidder, La., 337-460-2002.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

At Cat’s Coffee and Creamery, the focus is on coffee, ice cream, and community.

Opened in 2021, Flat Tire Coffee Company is another post-Laura small business. Naturally, they’ve got a cycling theme, but everyone is welcome!

107 S. Washington St., DeRidder, La., www.

207 W 2nd St, DeRidder, La., 337-495-9220,

Back Home Collection is a thrift shop touted as a “collection of collections.” They sell housewares and home decor, books, collectibles, clothing (over 3,000 pairs of jeans!), and more. They also sell a variety of baked goods such as homemade pies, cakes, cookies, casseroles, breads, and locally bottled Hill Crest Creamery dairy products. Owned and operated by members of the local Mennonite community.

If you’ve driven into DeRidder from the south on Hwy. 171, you’ve likely seen the storefront with the giant horse overlooking the store entrance. That’s Hooks Big D Corral. They sell boots and are considered to have the largest in-stock western wear in the state.

The Funky Steer is a concept boutique offering an eclectic mix of fashion accessories, artisanal jewelry, kids luxury footwear, statement apparel pieces, home decor and more.

119 N. Washington St. DeRidder, La. 337-463-4141.

For more information, visit Beauregard Tourist Commission, 204 West First Street in DeRidder. 337-463-5534, or find the City of DeRidder on Facebook.

902 E. 1st Street, DeRidder, La., 337-462-4629.

Treasure City Market is a two-story antique/ flea market housed in what was once the old Standard Mercantile for Long-Bell Lumber and has been recognized as one of Louisiana’s top ten antique markets. 121 S. Washington St., DeRidder, La., 337-460-6004.

416 N. Pine St., DeRidder, La.

Nothing Fancy Dancewear & Boutique sells fun, stylish dancewear and boutique clothing, including Capezio and Eurotard brands. 103 N Washington St., DeRidder, La., 337-202-4063,


Places & Faces | Take a Day Trip to DeRidder

Misty Clanton was born and raised in Deridder, La., the oldest of two children. Her parents were local small business owners, and she and her brother were active in sports and other activities. She earned a BS degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from McNeese State University in 2004. After graduation, Clanton navigated through a series of diverse roles; first at a customer service call center and then as a modular home salesperson in Baton Rouge. She served as a financial advisor before landing a Project Coordinator position with the City of DeRidder in 2009, later becoming Director of Community Services. In 2018, Clanton was elected Mayor of DeRidder. Two years later, the many challenges of 2020 brought unparalleled meaning to the concept of leadership. Now age 40, this busy civic leader, wife, mother, and volunteer shared with Thrive her mindset to overcome mayhem, her commitment to community, and pro tips on time management.

first person with


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Misty Clanton, Mayor of DeRidder by Angie Kay Dilmore

Through all your previous roles and responsibilities, did you ever envision yourself moving into public service/ politics, or did the turn of events surprise you? Becoming Mayor of the City of DeRidder was certainly never in the plan! I never imagined myself in politics — not even in my wildest dreams! However, during my time working for the city in my Project Coordinator/Community Services roles, I naturally began to form my own vision and goals for the community. Simultaneously, I grew professionally. I ultimately observed and learned from some great leaders around me. My classroom has been my community. My teachers have been my neighbors and our residents. I have had several roles in my life — being a mother, chief among them — that have helped me gain the confidence necessary to lead.

Since your election in 2018, what has been your biggest challenge as mayor? Living in Southwest Louisiana, we all know the past few years have presented us with unprecedented challenges. There’s no guidebook to hurricane recovery or dealing with a pandemic. Early on, I had a moment of clarity and decided the only way we could tackle our challenges was to look at each and every one as opportunities. I’ll be honest — we’ve had some intimidating moments. I’m not going to say we’re now fearless . . . but stronger, absolutely. People look to their leader to be a problem solver and to motivate.

Staying motivated, positive, and optimistic every day — it’s not easy, but you have to try!

What has been your greatest sense of accomplishment as Mayor? I have the most pride in the team we have assembled at the City of DeRidder. Our employees are second to none. The common thread is a true passion for their community and a desire for something better for their children or grandchildren. When I think about the past four years, I recall countless examples of tireless work, determination, and dedication.

What are your plans and goals for the City of DeRidder? During my campaign for re-election, I was asked this a lot. The answer is quite simple: To achieve a community where our children can reach their fullest potential. We are growing in the areas of economic development and in quality of life. There is room for improvement and we’re going to continue to pursue those opportunities.

Describe your home life, and what do you and your family enjoy doing in your free time? What is “free time”? My husband, Duncan, and I have two children – Caden, 12, and Stella, 9. We live a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle. Many meals are eaten in the car and on the road. I’m a proud “Baseball Mom.” Both my son and daughter are active and outgoing. My husband and I chase their dreams and interests, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

At the same time, I admit my kids could argue that they chase mine! My children have been raised in public service. This is the only life they have ever known! There are sacrifices that come with that, but also valuable lessons!

You are one of those busy but uniquely gifted women who do so much and make it look easy. Tell us your best time management tips. I work best under pressure so that’s why I wait until the deadline is almost here. Or at least, I tell myself that! But seriously, I would say: Don’t be distracted by things or people that take you away from your goals. Learn to say “no.” And don’t try to be perfect, just do your best.

What are your top three must see attractions in DeRidder, La.?

• •

The Beauregard Museum

As the 1999 Beauregard Parish Queen, I will always welcome visitors to the Beauregard Parish Fair, held the first week in October.

The DeRidder Christmas Lightshow – runs all December in front of city hall


Places & Faces


When we think about everything there is to appreciate in our little corner of the Bayou State, the list can get quite long! Here are our top 22 things we love about SWLA.

Things We Love about SWLA in 2022 1




Infused with Cajun French influence, the unique food in SWLA is like no other in the country. Boudin, gumbo, etouffee, cracklins, crawfish . . . bon appétit!



Museums abound in and around SWLA. For local history and culture, explorethe Beauregard Parish Museum, which features the Lois Loftin Doll Museum with over 3000 dolls (DeRidder), Imperial Calcasieu Museum (Lake Charles), W.H. Tupper General Merchandise Museum (Jennings), and the Leatherwood Museum (Oakdale).

Arts and Culture

While industries are the lifeblood of SWLA, arts and culture are its heart. The Arts & Humanities Council concert series and art events, rotating art exhibits at Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, the Zigler Art Museum, Henning Cultural Center (Sulphur), Lake Charles Symphony, Banners at McNeese, theater groups, dance companies . . . there is a plethora of opportunities to experience the arts in SWLA.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022



Nature and Wildlife

Waterways, marshes, and piney woods define SWLA’s landscape, and each offers opportunities to explore the flora and fauna. Hundreds of bird species call SWLA home, and even more can be seen this month during migration season. You might spy some alligators or the quirky-looking nutria. And remember to stop and smell the wildflowers! Creole Nature Trail, a nationally designated All-American Road, and Adventure Point are great places to start.

Historical Architecture

History buffs will appreciate many of our region’s oldest homes and buildings. While many Lake Charles landmarks were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1910, many historic buildings remain. The New Orleans architectural firm Favrot and Livaudais, in Beaux Arts style, built extensively in Lake Charles in the wake of the fire, including the Calcasieu Marine Bank, the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse, Lake Charles City Hall, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, and numerous schools and homes.



by Angie Kay Dilmore


SWLA is home to five major casinos: L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles; Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Lake Charles; Delta Downs Racetrack, Hotel and Casino in Vinton; and Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder. Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles (formerly Isle of Capri) is slated to reopen in fall 2022. These casinos offer gaming, fine and casual dining, entertainment, and outdoor activities such as swimming pools and beaches. Delta Downs also features horse racing.

Outdoor Dining

Spring is the perfect season to dine al fresco, and numerous establishments throughout SWLA offer this accommodation. Popular patios can be found at Rikenjaks, Crying Eagle Brewing, Luna, the Bekery, Paul’s Rib Shack, Laguna’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, The James 710 and many others.

"Louisiana Native Wildlife Exhibit" at the Leatherwood Museum in Oakdale.


Live music


Mardi Gras

Music takes the stage on many of the patios listed above, but also at festivals and events sponsored by cities and arts organizations such as Live @ the Lakefront, Downtown at Sundown (starting May 13), and ChuckFest (October).

Who can resist the lure of a season of merriment that kicks off each year with krewe balls, parades, chicken runs, and king cakes. Every community has their own unique Mardi Gras celebrations. Lake Charles boasts the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in the state.


Community Comradery

Southerners are known for being friendly folk, but the kinship runs deeper than that, and never more evident as in the aftermath of a disaster such as a devastating hurricane. Residents show up to help friends, family, neighbors, even strangers repair their homes, find food and lodging, or simply lend a sympathetic ear to listen.



Local Libations

Crying Eagle Brewing (Lake Charles), Louisiana Spirits/Bayou Rum (Lacassine), and Yellowfin Vodka (Sulphur) are proud to call SWLA home. Each facility offers tours, tastings, and a gift shop.

12 Drive-Through Daiquiri Shops

But if you’re on the go and in a hurry, Drive-Through Daiquiri Shops are a SWLA tradition. Because some days, you just need a large, quick, easy daiquiri, right!

13 Parks

Hundreds of parks – from neighborhood playgrounds to state parks and game lands, dot the SWLA region. Lake Charles alone is home to over 30 parks and recreational facilities. Many of these parks were severely damaged in the 2020 hurricanes, but they are slowly coming back. Sam Houston Jones State Park in Moss Bluff should be opening soon. Tuten Park on Nelson Rd. is expected to be fully repaired by the end of this year.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Cone Stands 14 Snow and Donut Shops

These two confections can be found ALL OVER the five-parish region. Most often small mom and pop shops, they are each a bit different, ranging from simple to elaborate, and everyone has their personal favorite.


Fine Dining


Farmers Markets

15 Top Notch Healthcare SWLA is home many accredited hospitals, including but not limited to CHRISTUS Ocshner St. Patrick’s, CHRISTUS Ocshner Lake Area, Lake Charles Memorial, Women and Children’s, West Cal-Cam, Jennings American Legion, Beauregard Health System, and hundreds of physicians and other healthcare workers specializing in most every aspect of health and medicine.

Dining establishments are abundant across SWLA; some with a legacy of decades, such as Pat’s of Henderson – a culinary institution in Lake Charles for 40 years. They’ve been closed since Hurricane Laura but are expected to reopen soon. Others are newer to the dining scene, such as Fire & Oak. The list of upscale establishments is long, including but not limited to Pujo St. Café, Villa Harlequin, and Mazen’s, Vic & Anthony’s, Ember, Chart House, Calla,121 Artisan Bistro, 1910, and The Pioneer Club.

Nothing beats freshness like justpicked produce from a local farmers market. Patrons can also find baked goods, beverages, and arts and crafts. Most towns have some version of a farmers market. In Lake Charles, it’s the Tuesday afternoon Cash and Carry Market and the Saturday morning Charlestown Market.


Water Sports



With all the lakes, rivers, bayous, coulees, etc. in SWLA, it’s no wonder tubing, waterskiing, and boating are popular activities. You’ll find a variety of boats out on the water – kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, fishing boats, motorboats, pontoons, and sailboats.

SWLA is known as the “Festival Capital of Louisiana” and with good reason. Festivalgoers can find over 70 events throughout the region each year. Carnival rides and games, food, crafts, music, maybe a parade . . . what’s not to love!

20 Shop Local Opportunities Many SWLA residents seem to be born with entrepreneurship in their blood. Consequently, the small business community thrives in our region. Please support them!


Municipal Airport

The Lake Charles Regional Airport makes air travel a breeze. Perks include free parking and a hassle-free security process. Departures to Houston and Dallas provide a jumping off point to destinations around the world! Common Grounds Sit and Chill Coffee House serves as café and fullystocked bar. There’s also a sweet gift shop.

22 Road Trip Accessibility

Located on the main artery from Florida to California, Lake Charles has easy access to major cities and other destinations. Head east on I-10 and Baton Rouge is a two-hour jaunt; three hours takes you to fun-filled New Orleans. Go west and Houston is a two to three-hour drive, depending on where you’re going.

Now that’s a lot to love about Southwest Louisiana!

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Vinton Library branch

Places & Faces

Warehouse damage

by Stefanie Powers In the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Calcasieu Parish Public Library (CPPL) Director Marjorie Harrison was faced with a daunting task: securing, assessing damages and then overseeing the repair of the 17 facilities in the library system.“We began by communicating with library and parish staff and gathered photos,” Harrison explains. “We started visiting all the facilities and conducted an initial assessment of the buildings and collections.” Carnegie Memorial Library in downtown Lake Charles came first. “The server is located there, and a genealogy and historical collection is also housed in the Carnegie building,” she says. “We took steps to ensure the safety of the server and began mitigating damage to the small collection of rare and unique materials.” Next, they secured generators and dehumidifiers for all the buildings. They kept air conditioning on where possible to reduce humidity levels and help preserve the collections. They boarded up windows and had tarps placed on roofs. A survey of IT equipment and technology at all branches came next. They checked computers, copiers, printers, and wi-fi and Internet connections. “We assessed the capability of providing library services to determine what services we could provide and where,” Harrison explains. From there, collection services, IT, programming, training, and facilities staff were all reassigned to other locations, as the facilities that housed these employees were destroyed. Salvageable items were moved to storage containers. The staff assessed all library materials and removed over 5,000 damaged items from the collection: mostly books, but also magazines, books on CD, DVDs, music CDs, paperbacks, games, and launchpads. 62

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

This is a small percentage considering CPPL had nearly 300,000 items in its collection in August 2020. Due to facility damage, library collections were removed from the Epps (North Lake Charles) and Fontenot (Vinton) branches. The entire Fontenot collection was reassigned to other branches to fill in gaps. All branches except Fontenot and Epps were reopened about a month after Hurricane Laura. The date was October 7, 2020, unfortunately. “That very day, the Parish called a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Delta and branches closed at 5:00 p.m. to evacuate,” Harrison recalls. “The Moss Bluff branch received extensive damage in Delta and was added to the list of closed branches. Other branches reopened on October 19.” The Outreach department, branch staff and IT quickly put together a plan to provide weekly pop-up library service in the North Lake Charles, Vinton, and Moss Bluff communities. The American Library Association (ALA) heard about their popup libraries and donated $20,000 towards service in the Epps, Vinton, and Moss Bluff communities. “With this donation, we were able to acquire and set-up portable buildings and provide library service in these areas, including wi-fi and Internet access, computer use, print, copy, and FAX services, e-resources, children’s books, and popular reading materials,” Harrison adds. The three damaged libraries reopened in January 2021. Harrison says that every library facility in the system was damaged in some way; two nonbranch facilities, extensively. “The roof was torn off the library’s warehouse and all its contents were destroyed. Epps Annex, which housed IT, training, and programming staff, received major damage and will be demolished.”

Epps Memorial Branch

Insurance and FEMA are helping CPPL get back on its feet, along with the ALA donation, a LEH Emergency Grant and a donation from the FINRA Foundation. Before the storms, CPPL was renovating three Capital One bank buildings for service expansion in Vinton, DeQuincy, and Iowa. Progress was stalled following the hurricanes, of course, but they expect the new Vinton branch will open this fall. The DeQuincy branch will move to their new nearby location around December 2022. The new Iowa Branch is expected to reopen in spring 2023. Progress has been slow, but Harrison understands that repairs and renovations to 17 facilities following two hurricanes take time. Many long-range plans were placed on hold during the pandemic and immediately following the hurricanes. “On the other hand, we moved some projects to the forefront during this time, such as virtual programming, curbside service, satellite, and pop-up library service. Overall, we accomplished quite a lot considering our many constraints.”

Pallet is lowered into Prien Lake.

Pallet moved by boat, anchored to lake bottom near shore.


Phillips 66

Expand “Floating Islands" near Prien Lake The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana’s Lake Charles Chapter, Phillips 66, Martin Ecosystems and local students from Pearl Watson Elementary, LaGrange High School, Westlake High School and Episcopal Day School teamed up last month to help rebuild the coastline near Prien Lake with a Floating Islands installation. Volunteers from Phillips 66 joined local CCA chapter volunteers and more than 100 students at Prien Lake Park to build approximately 2,000 square feet of new wetland island habitat and place them in the water. After each “island” was planted, it was placed in the lake in and towed to the nearby installation location. Each 7.5 x 19.5 foot island contains 120 plants and were placed endto-end and anchored to the water bottom. Roughly 1,500 native plants, including seashore paspalum and smooth cord grass, were installed. This technology allows these

CCA’s Lake Charles Chapter and conservation partners join with local students to combat coastal erosion and create new marsh

plants to take root in the water bottom while providing protection to the existing shoreline from the natural elements. This is the third large-scale habitat partnership between Phillips 66 and CCA in recent years. In 2018, the two groups worked together to expand the Brad Vincent Artificial Reef in Calcasieu Lake. In 2019, CCA and Phillips 66 partnered on a floating islands marsh grass project in Prien Lake. This year, the groups expanded the floating islands project, doubling the size. “Environmental stewardship is a commitment essential to Phillips 66’s vision of providing energy and improving lives,” said Jolie Rhinehart, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex General Manager. “Our employees are excited to volunteer to rebuild our coastline with innovative technology, fortifying marshland and conserving critical habitat.”

CCA Louisiana Executive Director David Cresson echoed Rhinehart’s sentiments. “Over the past decade, building and enhancing marine habitats has become a major component of CCA’s work across Louisiana, and it simply would not be possible without incredible partners like Phillips 66,” said Cresson. “Their leadership in the community and on the coast has been evident through their commitment to projects like this, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with them in building this new habitat.” Funding for the Lake Charles project was provided through a $100,000 philanthropic donation from Phillips 66. In-kind services for the project were provided by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department. The Stream Family donated the property and high salinity grass for the floating islands.


Places & Faces

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

• • • • Julie Miller

Crystal Reyes

Heidi Bloomer

Megan Dimas

Alicia Mhire

Lisa Ledano

First Federal Bank Announces Promotions The Board of Directors of First Federal Bank of Louisiana has announced seven recent promotions. Logan Fontenot

• • •


Julie Miller has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Loan Production Support Manager. Crystal Reyes has been promoted to Assistant Vice President and Compliance Officer. Heidi Bloomer, Records Management Manager, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President. Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Megan Dimas, Deposit Administration Manager, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President. Alicia Mhire, Loan Servicing Manager, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President. Lisa Ledano, Branch Operations Manager, has been promoted to Bank Officer. Logan Fontenot, Business Relationship Specialist, has been promoted Bank Officer.

Julie Miller is Senior Vice President and Loan Production Support Manger. Miller has 30 years of banking experience and her responsibilities include planning and overseeing the direction and development of loan underwriting, processing and closing. Crystal Reyes is Assistant Vice President and Compliance Officer. She has been with First Federal Bank for 14 years. Reyes is responsible for managing all facets of compliance affecting bank operations, marketing, deposits and lending. Heidi Bloomer is Assistant Vice President and Records Management Manager. She manages the Records Management Department and the Deposit Services Department. Bloomer began her career in banking in 2008 when she joined First Federal Bank. Megan Dimas is Assistant Vice President and Deposit Administration Manager and has been with First Federal Bank for 19 years. Dimas oversees all aspects of deposit accounts and the Call Center department. Alicia Mhire is Assistant Vice President and a Loan Servicing Manager. She is responsible for overall loan and credit card operations and has been a banking professional for over 18 years. Lisa Ledano is Bank Officer and Branch Operations Manager. She has been with First Federal Bank since 1991. Ledano ensures customer service and compliance objectives are met by overseeing operational practices across all branch locations. Logan Fontenot is Bank Officer and Business Relationship Specialist. He has been with First Federal Bank for five years. Fontenot is responsible for maintaining and developing business banking relationships with clients.

APG Announces New Executive Officers for 2022 APG (Alliance for Positive Growth) has named their executive board officers for 2022. Trey Hays, Private Banking Manager with First Federal Bank of Trey Hays Louisiana, will serve as president for the organization. He has been an APG board member since 2018 and is passionate about smart development opportunities for the Southwest Louisiana region. A Louisiana native, Hays attended the University of Southwest Louisiana and has lived in Lake Charles since 2008. At First Federal, he brings together wealth management solutions and innovative, personalized service for his clients. Hays oversees the operations and staff of the Private Banking department and has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, with the past 11 of those years as a Commercial/Private Banking relationship manager. Other officers of the APG Executive Board include: • Vice President: Tommy Eastman—Flavin Realty • Secretary: Mary Kay Hopkins—Mary Kay Hopkins LLC • Treasurer: Ryan Hess—Hancock Whitney • Ex-Officio: Matt Redd—Redd Properties • Officer: Bart Yakupzack—Jack Lawton Companies • Officer: Joseph Banks—Liberty Plaza Properties Learn more at

Bryan Armentor

Lakeside Bank Welcomes Bryan Armentor Bryan Armentor has been named a Vice President/Lending at Lakeside Bank. Armentor brings over 13 years of banking experience

to his new position with Lakeside. For the past eight years, he has held management positions at a regional bank where his responsibilities included business development, commercial lending and branch management. Armentor will be working at Lakeside’s Main Office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. His office number is (337) 474-3766. Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Effat Rasul Joins Imperial Health Imperial Health has announced the addition of Effat Rasul, MD, FACP, Internal Medicine physician, Effat Rasul, MD, FACP to the group’s medical staff. Dr. Rasul will practice with Dr. Benjamin Williams and Dr. Errol Wilder at 771 Bayou Pines East, Lake Charles. Dr. Rasul is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of American College of Physicians. She has a special interest in optimizing medical management of complicated medical conditions. Dr. Rasul will accept most insurances including Medicare. For more information, or to make an appointment with Dr. Rasul, call 337-433-1212. 771 Bayou Pines East, Lake Charles. Johnnie Kleinschmidt, PT, PRPC, Opens New Office for Motion Mentors Johnnie Kleinschmidt, PT, PRPC, has relocated her pelvic rehabilitation and Johnnie Kleinschmidt, PT, PRPC total body wellness clinic, Motion Mentors Physical Therapy, to a new office at 4845 Ihles Road, Suite B, in Lake Charles.

Kleinschmidt offers treatment for pelvic disorders in men, women and children through specifically designed exercise programs, as well as myofascial release techniques, visceral mobilization, biofeedback, manual and integrative therapies. To make an appointment, call 337-438-9171. Referrals can be emailed to pt@motionmentors. com or faxed to 337-312-4977. For more information, visit

LOA, an affiliate of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is the statewide, professional membership organization comprised of orthopaedic surgeons, orthopaedic residents and ancillary healthcare providers that fosters exceptional quality of care through education of physicians and the public. Dr. Hale specializes in joint replacement surgery, including robotic-assisted hip and knee replacement; sports medicine; knee surgery; shoulder surgery; hip surgery; fracture care; orthobiologics and arthritis treatment. The Center for Orthopaedics is the region’s largest musculoskeletal group, with offices in Lake Charles, Jennings and Moss Bluff. Learn more at

Steven Hale, MD

Dr. Steven Hale Elected Second Vice-President of the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association Steven Hale, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with the Center for Orthopaedics, was elected Second Vice-President of the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association (LOA) at the organization’s 2022 Annual Meeting in New Orleans this month. He will ascend to first Vice President next year and will become the President of LOA in 2024.


Places & Faces

Mayor Nic Hunter Named Small Business Administration 2022 Phoenix Award Champion

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter has been named a 2022 Phoenix Award Champion by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter named a 2022 Phoenix Award Champion by the Small Business Administration. In this photo, he addresses the City of Lake Charles after being sworn in for a second mayoral term on July 1, 2021.

In a recent news release, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced Mayor Hunter’s selection as the Phoenix Award Champion for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official. In the announcement the SBA recognized Mayor Hunter’s love for the City of Lake Charles that has motivated him to help residents rebuild and recover from Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Winter Storm Uri and the May 2021 Flood. The announcement states, “Through careful coordination with federal and state agencies, the most pessimistic predictions for reopening the city were averted. Due to Mayor Hunter’s work in conjunction with other local elected officials, he became the regional voice for thousands of citizens, not only in Lake Charles, but also in the surrounding parishes.”

“This is an incredible honor,” said Mayor Nic Hunter. “As partner in a locally-owned small business, words fail to describe how it feels to be recognized by the SBA with this prestigious award. The City of Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana have experienced some of the most difficult, humbling days over the past couple of years and I am thankful for the faith this community has placed in me to lead our community through these challenges. I am excited about the progress made and look forward to brighter days for us all.” Also recognized for his work towards building back as a more resilient community, the SBA cites Mayor Hunter’s tireless work ethic as part of the ongoing cleanup and recovery from back-to-back hurricanes in the midst of economic struggles resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Honorees were recognized during a virtual event that took place earlier this month during National Small Business Week: Building a Better America through Entrepreneurship, May 1-7, 2022. For more information on the SBA Phoenix Award Champions, visit SBA Honors 2022 Phoenix Award Champions for Outstanding ( For the latest updates on the City of Lake Charles, visit and follow


are like flowers, beautiful and unique. H A P P Y M O T H E R ’ S D AY We’re celebrating Moms all month long in May with special savings on all in-stock shrubs in our retail nursery.




Shrubs 66

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

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


Style & Beauty

The official start of summer is almost upon us, and women everywhere are flocking to salons for fresh new hairdo’s – part beauty, part reinvention. Highlighting those cuts and colors are a bold new crop of hair accessories that make stylish statements as they perch atop coifed locks and add major glam with minimal effort.

Accessorize your

HAIR! by Kerry Andersen

Beaded & Braided Headbands

Headbands are having a major fashion moment. If you haven’t worn one since elementary school, take a new look at this elevated fashion accessory. This season’s more modern headbands are bold and decorative. Some are braided and feature rich fabrics like velvet, satin, and silk. They come in all colors, bedazzled with crystals, flowers, and even animal prints. No rules – grab what makes you smile and pop it on your head for a quick, chic way to tame a bad hair day. On the softer side, ultra-wide fabric headbands reminiscent of those used to hold your hair back while washing your face or playing sports are now a trendy must-have. These modern head wraps are stretchy and easily fit everyone. Try cool bamboo and other renewable fabrics.

Retro Scarves

Like Thelma & Louise or Audrey Hepburn, scarves have long provided retro glam for fashionistas. This season’s groovy hair scarves offer an easy way to get the look with little effort. Simply tie a colorful scarf (try silk for extra luxurious glam) around your hair and fasten with a small knot. Not sure how to tie one? Online tutorials offer plenty of options and how-to’s. Choose bold patterns and unusual textures to transform your hair into a work of art. Bonus: scarves protect your hair from wind and sun. 68

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Supersized Scrunchies

The popular scrunchie is here to stay, but this summer it is supersized! Organza scrunchies are a new take on a classic made with beautiful sheer fabrics. Whether you choose shiny satin, opaque organza, or plush velvet just make sure it’s HUGE. Wrap supersized scrunchies around your ponytail or wrist for a pop of color and style.

Claw Clips

90’s gals rejoice – the claw clip is back! The new take on this iconic trend is reflected in both shape and color. Oversized clips are now rectangular, fan-shaped, or even designed to look like butterflies or intricate leaves. Don’t skimp, choose the biggest one! Try upscale finishes like tortoiseshell and pink marble. More elegant styles are daintier in design and gilded in gold tones. Pinning your hair up has never been easier or more stylish!

Mini Clips Galore

On the other end of the size spectrum, tiny jaw clips are cropping up everywhere and more is better! This ode to 90’s style has never been simpler. Just grab a section of hair, twist it, and clip in place with one or many of the delicate clips. For extra fun and fashion impact, look for clips adorned with flowers, stars, and other fun shapes.

Barrettes: The Bigger the Better

Barrettes are a mainstay of hair fashion, but they are back this season with a twist – size matters! The new supersized barrettes are adorned in showy rhinestones or intricate beaded tribal patterns. And pearls, pearls, pearls will continue to dominate hair accessories. For a twist, look for barrettes made from unexpected and sustainable materials like wood. If the new bold barrettes don’t fit your fashion sense, bobby pins have also been reinvented in gold and bejeweled styles. For an on trend look, grab a handful, and stack them in your hair.

o t n i p Ste ! r e m Sum Sandal Trends for 2022 Spring has sprung and summer is on its way. As we go through our closets to see what our wardrobes need for the coming season, the main item will probably be sandals. Since our warm weather lasts a lot longer here than in many parts of the country, we tend to wear out our summer shoes quickly. Let’s take a look at what’s hot for 2022. Mules, a mainstay of the 90s— defined by one strap and a low-tomid heel—remain popular. Look for lively colors, animal prints, and sparkle! Heels are low or mid-high. If you’re on the shorter side, wedges are a great choice as they elongate your legs. If you like comfortable, sporty sandals, you’re in luck. They are still trending. Think fashion and function. Cushioned insoles are great for long walks, running through an airport, walking to the beach, etc. Another comfy shoe is the “Fisherman” style, the name given to sandals of interwoven leather straps with low soles. And if you’re a Crocs fan, they have a multitude of sandal styles to choose from. Gladiator sandals are making a comeback. Although they never fully go out of style, they aren’t always considered a major trend. This season, they are. There are different variations, from theatrical knee-high versions to the less dramatic ankle strap designs. They look great with flowing skirts and dresses. Think Boho!

by Stefanie Powers

Remember espadrilles? They originated in Spain over 400 years ago and go in and out of fashion. Well, they’re back! In their sandal incarnation, these chic, rope-soled shoes combine the fashionable look of a strappy sandal with either a platform or a flatter sole. They’re both cute and comfortable.

Strappy sandals are fabulous as a special occasion shoe to be worn with evening gowns and cocktail dresses, but they are more versatile than you think. Wear them with a sundress or cotton pants to dress up your summer wardrobe.

Flat sandals are fun and easyto-wear, but they often lack arch support—which is fine if you’re flat-footed. Otherwise, flats with no arch support can lead to knee, hip, and back problems. If you do get a pair, don’t wear them all the time and make sure your other shoes have good support.

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Style & Beauty

s g a b d n a H Make a t n e m e Stat by Kerry Andersen

Like many fashion trends in 2022, handbags are making a statement by dipping back in time to resurrect once popular styles with new twists. The summer 2022 crop of carryalls are both large and small but have one common thread – fun! The easiest way to glam up an outfit is by grabbing a statement bag that matches your mood. These are the top style picks according to fashion expert and shop owner Lauren Monroe at Mimosa Boutique in Lake Charles. Small & Trendy

Art and fashion merge in this 2022 handbag trend. Often no larger than the palm of your hand, the petite bag instantly infuses personality into your outfit. Look for pops of neon color, architectural top handles, ornate trim, and interesting geometric shapes. Consider a tiny square clutch embellished with pearls or a kidney bean shaped bag with acrylic straps. What these small bags fail to offer in space for toting your stuff, they shine in delivering fashionable moments to accentuate your outfit. So, pare down to the basics and grab hold of this tiny trend! 70

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022

Oversized Catch-All’s

Summer trips to the park and beach scream for a large tote to capture towels, sunscreen, snacks and all the trappings of leisure. This year’s large totes deliver on both form and function. Look for durable fabrics like cotton, canvas, and linen. For the ultimate in carefree convenience, grab an oversized tote (the bigger the better) made from neoprene for durability and ease of cleaning. The Original Jelly Bag of the 90’s is back in bright colors; perfect for concerts and ball games. Or choose an option from Consuela made with easy to clean mesh fabric. The large squared off waterproof Bogg Bag will continue to be a top pick this season delivering loads of storage on-the-go and made with an easily washable material. Bottom line: summer is carefree, and your bag should be too!

Beaded Clutches

Arts and crafts meet high fashion with the most colorful handbag trend of 2022. Boutique shelves are bursting with pouches and bags in all sizes covered in ornate beaded patterns reminiscent of colorful candy. From intricate chevron patterns to more whimsical butterflies and flowers, there is something for every interest. Add a bit of personality to your outfit by choosing beads that spell out your favorite saying, college name or hobby. This trend is full on fun and appropriate for all ages. Pro tip: they make great makeup bags too!

Stylish Straw Bags

The straw bag signals the start of summer and carefree vacations. This woven option in rattan, wicker or raffia is casual yet gets the job done. This year, you’ll find stylish straw bags in every shape and size (think small picnic basket) but also in unexpected pops of color like rose, light green and yellow. Every wardrobe needs one! For extra fashionista points, grab a shell shaped straw bag with wooden handles – it’s the of-the-moment profile that delivers a dose of sophistication to your outfit along with summer casual vibes. Even high-end brands are getting in on the woven trend this season offering up an elevated take on the typical straw bag.

Bucket Bag

Whether structured or slouchy, the bucket bag is – well – on the bucket list for many fashionistas this season. The silhouette was spotted on every fashion runway and is now filling up boutique shelves. The shape is iconic but perhaps it’s the roominess that has women gravitating toward this shape time and again. Fill it to the top with your one-the-go items and then simply cinch the drawstring. It’s that easy! Mimosa Boutique is located at 3125 Ernest Street, Lake Charles or online at and features all the top fashion trends in handbags, hair accessories and clothing.


for life


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

How Resilient Are You? (Part 2) When I am doing workshops on resilience, I often use a rubber band as a prop. Resilience is all about being stretched with challenges, then returning to our original state. Just like rubber bands. I hold up really thin and really thick rubber bands. I ask, “Which rubber band will last longer?” We all agree, it’s the thicker rubber bands that will make it the longest. Resilience is the same thing as the degree of thickness of the rubber band. The more we work on improving and “thickening up” our resilience, the more assured we will be of successfully navigating life. That ability to bounce back, to learn, to recover quickly from difficulties is so important for us. We will all face adversity. We will all be stretched thin with stressful events, unhealthy people, and our own poor choices at times. The real question is: will you bounce back, learn the lesson, and be even stronger afterwards? Last month, I wrote about Protective Factors. These are the factors in your childhood that may have helped balance out any trauma you experienced (which we discussed the previous month with the Adverse Childhood Experiences questionnaire). Protective Factors help us become more resilient. We can also build our own resiliency, and that is what I want to talk to you about today. As we have all heard, it is not WHAT happens to you in life, it is how you handle it that will make or break you. I’m sure you know two people who have had very similar things happen to them. One seemed to shut down and never recover, while the other kept going on with life. Now, that doesn’t mean that the second person didn’t experience similar feelings as the first. It just means the second person was more resilient: able to take in what was happening while going on with daily tasks and eventually being optimistic about life in general again.

to look forward to doing every day. It helps you get through the not so enjoyable parts of your day. All these things make you stronger and more ready to deal with adversity when it comes your way.

So, how do we do this resiliency thing? Here are some things to consider:

Another perspective exercise is the 10-year question. Imagine yourself 10 years from now. Whatever is so terrible right now will not be as terrible as it is right now. Oh, it might still be terrible, but it won’t be AS terrible. We heal, we learn to live with the pain, we learn it’s okay to laugh and move forward again. Sometimes just believing things will eventually get better helps us get through right now.

Build up your resistance. Make sure you are healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. These are the three areas of life we know are most important. How do you treat this one body you’ve been given? How are you doing at gathering tools for your Mental Health Toolbox? And we know a belief in a higher power is helpful as well. Additionally, you need to stay connected with healthy friends instead of isolating as we have a tendency to do when we are stressed. I’m talking friends who cry with you, laugh with you, and hold you accountable. Another very important area is having hobbies you enjoy. You need to have something

Rebound quickly. You must understand that change is a part of life and that we will all experience things like tragedy, death, stress, and other hardships. Not one of us is immune. The question is not “Why me?” but “Why not me?” When bad things happen, if you don’t understand the above few sentences, you will be completely blindsided. Learning what helps you bounce back from an unexpected event is imperative. Do you need to exercise to blow off some steam? Do you need to meditate? How do you calm yourself down? Breathing exercises? An app for relaxation like the Calm app? Understanding yourself and what helps you in times of stress will help you start the road to recovery much more quickly. Recovery and healing. Of course, it will take time to heal from what has happened to you. Time to be in disbelief. Time to grieve and process. And, you will also need that time to learn from the experience. What caught you off guard? What could you have done that would have helped you feel more calm or in control? This is also the time to begin finding things to be grateful for. I play the “it could have been worse” game a lot in this phase. Let’s face it, it could always have been worse. (And I am thinking of some horrific situations as I write this.) Finding this perspective is very helpful.

I hope you will take an honest look at yourself as you read this. How resilient are you? Increasing your resiliency can be challenging, but so rewarding. When you feel more resilient, the future is not so overwhelming or scary. You know you will be able to handle whatever comes your way – maybe it won’t be graceful and pretty, but you WILL be able to handle it.


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2022