Thrive May 2023

Page 58

y e a rs! MAY 2023 SPRING 2023 A PUBLICATION FOR IN THIS ISSUE • Focusing on Equitable Care for All • Taking a Deep Breath: Understanding Lung Issues • Summer Educational Opportunities to our committed community WCCH Healthwise Insert on page 51 SPECIAL SECTIONS: Healthy Vision Month Women’s Health Month Public Servants at Your Service Accentuate your Assets Cool Jobs: Let Your Dreams Take Flight with Alli Hardy first person KAYLA VINCENT Family Works: Veteran Exteriors
2 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Rehabilitation Hospital of Jennings 24 Hour Nursing Care • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy Speech Therapy • Nutritional Counseling and Monitoring Case Management Call for a free assessment today. • Brain Injury • Strokes • Amputations • Burns • Major Multiple Trauma • Rheumatoid Arthritis • Joint Replacements • Hip Fractures • Osteoarthritis/DJD • Neurological Disorders • Spinal Cord Injury • Congenital Deformities • Systemic Vasculidities DIAgNOSeS THAT we TReAT Others who can benefit from inpatient rehabilitation are postoperative patients, accident victims and cancer patients. One Hospital Drive, Ste. 101 • Jennings, LA 70546 • Phone: (337) 821-5353 • Fax: (337) 821-5355 or 5366 •


for me

get know my clients on a more personal level,” Tonya says. “It also allowed me to deepen my relationship with our clients by getting to know some of their family members. Weathering the pandemic has added a dynamic dimension to our business.”

phenomenal people through these challenging circumstances. This community’s spirit is so very strong in helping one another. My husband and daughter returned to Lake Charles the day after Laura came through. My daughter shared how our neighborhood came together, cleared street debris, cut trees off of one another’s homes, and just checked on one another. Helping others is what helped us to persevere and remain motivated.”

Wealth Management | Investment Planning | Retirement

Wealth Management | Investment Planning | Retirement

Several months after the hurricanes, Tonya and other office personnel were able to enter office and obtain a few personal items from what was once their office in the tower. Her home also suffered substantial damage. She initially evacuated and temporarily relocated Florida where she stayed with relatives and remained accessible to clients.

The Griffith Financial Group is Embracing Change

“As an advisor, I knew that the people I care most about were depending on me, even if to talk. I called to check on them, to listen participate in whatever conversations they needed to have at that time.”

successful as you are, we know there’s still more you want to do. We’ve been helping our clients for more than 125 years, caring for more than $1.4 trillion of their hard- earned assets. Find out why so many people trust our Financial Advisors to help them manage their wealth the care it deserves. us today.

successful as you are, we know there’s still more you to do. We’ve been helping our clients for more than 125 years, caring for more than $1.4 trillion of their hard- earned assets. Find out why so many people trust our Financial Advisors to help them manage their wealth the care it deserves. us today.

“We are known for working side by side every day. Our relationship focused approach is based on compassion and candor, and for putting our clients first – always.”

A year after Hurricane Laura, and the Griffith Financial Group is still waiting for a new office space. Wells Fargo Advisors provided Tonya and office personnel a storage facility in Lake Charles, and she continues to capably and competently advise clients from her home. Yet her focus remains on moving forward. “Griffith Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors will continue to serve our clients, strengthen our relationships, and assist our clients and community while they get back on their feet.”

70629 (337) 439-9081

Investment and Insurance Products: NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value

Investment and Insurance Products: NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value

Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered

rights reserved.

rights reserved.

Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. rights reserved. 3 (337) 439-9081 2070 East Walnut Suite 101, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601 The
Advisors Wealth Management | Investment Planning | Retirement Investment and Insurance Products: NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value
there’s still more you
clients for more than
Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2015 rights reserved. Tonya Griffith, AAMS® First Vice President Accredited Asset Management One Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70629 (337) 439-9081
Griffith Financial Group of Wells Fargo
successful as you are, we know
to do. We’ve been helping our
125 years, caring for more than $1.4 trillion of their
earned assets. Find out why so many people trust our Financial Advisors to help them manage their wealth the care it deserves. us today.
Griffith Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
an opportunity
1424 Ryan Street, Suite
Investment Planning | Retirement Investment and Insurance Products: NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value
Wealth Management |
successful as you are, we know there’s still more you to do. We’ve been helping our clients for more than 125 years, caring for more than $1.4 trillion of their hard- earned assets. Find out why so many people trust our Financial Advisors to help them manage their wealth the care it deserves. us today.
Wells Fargo & Company. © 2015
Tonya Griffith, AAMS® First Vice President Accredited Asset Management One Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA
(337) 439-9081
affiliate of
Griffith Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Tonya Griffith, First Vice President Accredited Asset One Lakeshore
Lake Charles,
Griffith Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Tonya Griffith,
First Vice President Accredited Asset
One Lakeshore
Lake Charles,
© 2015
LA 70629 (337) 439-9081
Griffith Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Tiffany Green, Client
Tonya Griffith, AAMS® First Vice
Investment and Insurance Products: NOT FDIC Insured NO Bank Guarantee May Lose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo and Company. 1120-03035


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.

Managing Editor Taylor Trahan Henry Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher

Creative Director Barbara VanGossen

Design and Layout Sarah Bercier

Business Manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099


4 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 SPRING 2023 APUBLICATIONFOR INTHISISSUE • FocusingonEquitableCareforAll • TakingaDeepBreath:UnderstandingLungIssues • SummerEducationalOpportunities to our committedcommunity
7 20 30
| Contents Regular Features 50 Who’s News 66 Business Buzz years!
WCCH Healthwise Insert on page 51 5

Wining & Dining

FIND Fre s h n ess

Farm -toTable

at SWLA Farmers Markets

Eat seasonally.

Shop local.

You can’t find that level of fresh at a chain grocery store. Fresh-

Fruits and vegetables purchased at a farmers market are by nature in-season. And that means it will be delicious, as intended. If you’ve

Two markets in Lake Charles –Charlestown Farmers Market and Cash & Carry Market – have been weekly destinations for

The month of May ushers in peak season at local area farmers markets. Fresh produce, mushrooms, herbs, meats, dairy products, jams and jellies, prepared foods, local honey, baked goods, tamales, homemade candles, soaps and other crafts comprise a short list of all the goodness you might find on market days. Need more reasons to shop at these community cornucopias?

Support new events.

Some newer markets have cropped up across SWLA over the past couple years. Focused on homegrown and homemade items, they attract many vendors and large crowds. The DeQuincy Farmers Market meets quarterly (March, June, September, December) at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum. The Sulphur Heritage Market meets bi-annually at The Grove at Heritage Square. “We focus on offering a fun, family event that centers around community,” says Melina Fralick, one of three organizers.

Foy encourages the SWLA community to visit area farmers markets. “Help us support our local economy, vendors and farmers!”

Find a farmers market near you!

Lake Charles:

Cash and Carry – 801 Enterprise Blvd., Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (opens at 3:30 for seniors)

Charlestown Farmers Market – Behind Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, 1001 Ryan St., Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – noon.

Moss Bluff:

Farmers Market and Swap– Hwy 378 between McDonald’s and Peto’s, Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – noon.


Market on Main at Founder’s Park. Dates vary, see their Facebook page for schedule. Features arts, crafts, music & food. One Saturday a month.


206 N. Washington Ave., daily, sun-up to sundown.


913 S. Adams St., Sportsman’s Park, Tuesdays, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. beginning later this month.


228 W. 6th Ave., Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Railroad Museum, 400 Lake Charles Ave., quarterly in March, June, September and December., 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sulphur Heritage Market:

The Grove at Heritage Square, 1211 Ruth St. Follow their Facebook page for event info. 7
Cash and Carry
Farmers Market and Swap in Moss Bluff Farmer's Market in DeRidder Farmer's Market in Oberlin in Lake Charles Charlestown Farmers Market in Lake Charles Market on Main at Founder's Park in Jennings Farmer's Market at Sportsman's Park in Welsh Farmer's Market at the Railroad Museum in Dequincy The Grove at Heritage Square in Sulphur

You’ve seen it from interstate 10; the charming farmhouse, beautiful brick buildings with New Orleans inspired wrought iron, and, the most recent addition, a floor-to-ceiling window event venue that houses the Bayou Rum barrel library. The buildings alone are beautiful but what makes the facility even more incredible is its economic footprint in Louisiana.

What began as the dream of three friends in 2011 has taken shape into a massive operation, sharing the most-awarded rum with the world – grown, distilled, matured, and bottled under the direction of Master Blender, Reiniel Vicente Diaz, right here in Louisiana - from seed to seal.

This enterprise may have a local flare to their name and taste, but the brand is comfortable on the national and international stages. With over 200 domestic accounts and 85 global accounts, it’s clear that imbibers all over are infatuated with a taste of the bayou state.

Bayou Rum: in good spirits

The current Bayou Rum operation occupies roughly half of their 27-acre property and produces upwards of 150,000 cases of Bayou Rum and Kentucky Owl Bourbon each year. But there’s more to the facility than production. “Essentially, we have three separate businesses on this property, “ says Angelo Torre, Director of Manufacturing. “Obviously we have the distillery and associated factory; we also have the retail gift shop and our new event center.” Torre says it’s not uncommon for the gift shop to see 200-300 guests on a weekend. Travelers can shop merchandise, watch a video on the Bayou Rum story, take a tour, and – the best part, he says – “guests can belly up to the bar after a tour for a taste of the best rum in America.”

A local economic driver, Bayou Rum employs around 40 full-time employees and has a payroll footprint of around $2 million a year. The number of employees is up – doubled and then some – over this time last year. With the hiring of Torre in 2022 came experience in steel manufacturing and knowledge of best practices in running full-scale operations.

“It’s all about focusing on those best practices and effective leadership,” he says. “Leaders empower their employees to continuously improve. Some of our best ideas for performance and moral advancement come directly from employees working on the floor.”

Speaking of economic impact, Bayou Rum’s three to five year outlook is sure to impress. Leaned over, examining detailed blueprints Torre shares the vision, “when this is complete, we’ll be using every inch of acreage available to us.” With these added warehouses and distillation equipment, Bayou Rum will have the ability to ship out over one million cases a year. The multi-phase development project, set to begin soon, will also be a large drop in the bucket for the Southwest Louisiana economy as well, with the focus being on using local architects, contractors, general laborers, and suppliers.

As you stand in the barrel library, you can see barrels in every direction. Up and down, side to side, and even lining some of the outer aisles. “We had a record month in March," says Torre.

8 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Wining & Dining

“We nearly doubled our output. I attribute that to our staff and our continuous improvement practices.”

Nearly every aspect of this internationally recognized brand is soaked in Louisiana influence. “We source 100% of our sugarcane and molasses from one of the oldest farms in the country, located just down the road in New Iberia, Louisiana,” says Torre. “It’s a partnership that works so well and one that really sets our brand apart.” In August of 2022, another accolade stamped the Bayou Rum score card –because nothing says Louisiana proud like being named the official rum of the New Orleans Saints. The Who Dat nation can enjoy an array of Bayou Rum spirits throughout the Caesars Superdome and in retail and restaurant partners in Louisiana and beyond. It’s easy to see why locals should be proud for Lacassine to be home to Bayou Rum and its incredible operation.

To learn more about Bayou Rum visit them at 20909 S. I-10 Frontage Road in Lacassine or online at 9 SERVING UP FINGER-LICKING FOOD FOR THREE DECADES (337) 474-3651 | Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm & SPORTS BAR DARRELL’S TO-GO NEW DELIVERY AVAILABLE THROUGH

Catch of the Day Catching & Cooking Fish & Seafood

Getting into the summer months means plenty of recreational fishing in Southwest Louisiana and off our beautiful coast. Once you catch it, the best is yet to come as you head home to cook your catch. It’s also the perfect weather for getting outside on the porch and firing up your grill while having some friends and family over. And in this sense, you’ll find no shortage of self-proclaimed grill masters who can walk you up and down how to best cook a steak or how to best smoke a brisket, but often left out of the conversation is how best to grill up some seafood.

First things first, the question is going to be if you’re grilling seafood alone or if you’re throwing down a smorgasbord of meat on your fire. If so, you might be best off cooking

your fish in some aluminum foil on your grill, as keeping fish from sticking is one of the issues most grill enthusiasts encounter.

It’s best to create a foil packet for your fish and to cook them on indirect heat on the grill, so while your burgers and brats are licking up flames, keep your fish off to the side and let them cook from the steam within the foil. If you’re using a smoker, your fish should retain some of that flavor as well.

In preparing your fish, you want to be sure that you pat down your filets with a paper towel first. You might even leave them in the refrigerator if you have the extra prep time to further dry them out. A wet piece of fish is a surefire way to get it stuck to the grill.

Next, coat your fish in a light cooking oil before applying your spice blend. If you’re doing tuna steaks, you might go with a mixture of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and oregano. Be sure to get both sides of the fish and then pat them down to make sure your seasonings are fully applied.

On the grill, again, start your fish to the side on the indirect heat to let them firm up a little. Then, take a firm spatula and move them onto the direct heat and let them cook. Depending on the thickness of your filet, most fish will cook quickly and only need three to five minutes on each side.

Another Louisiana delicacy, shrimp! High in protein and versatile in flavor, shrimp are a great addition to nearly any variety of dish you’re looking for. For the grill, you might still find that a foil packet is the best way to go, especially depending on the size. If you’re going straight on the grill, you might want to consider using a skewer to make things easier. As for a summer seasoning, try a mixture of sea salt, all-purpose spice, paprika, and red pepper flakes to give your shrimp a little kick.

Once you’ve pulled them off the grill, pair your catch with a fresh corn & tomato salad, a nice rainbow vegetable skewer, or the triedand-true olive oil & garlic asparagus.

From reel to plate, these tips will have your guest coming back for more!

10 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023
Wining & Dining

Make a BIG Difference

Create a lifetime impact with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of SWLA is committed to igniting the power and promise of youth through one-to-one mentoring relationships. By matching community members with the leaders of tomorrow, the organization believes youth can achieve their full potential, reach higher aspirations, develop greater confidence, build better relationships, avoid risk behaviors and accomplish educational success.

Big Brothers Big Sisters currently has over 35 littles, like these two, ready to be matched with a Big.

jeremiah,14 years old • Waiting for 93 days

Jeremiah is on the lookout for a Big Brother who he can play sports and video games with! He enjoys playing basketball and likes to catch the latest MMA matches. When he isn’t shooting hoops, he likes to play video games, Fortnite and Roblox in particular. He would like a Big who not only shares the court with him, but one who would help him hone his skills in his favorite video games.

jorrdan williams, 9 years old • Waiting for 59 Days

Jorrdan is looking for a Big Sister who shares her passion for impeccable style, whether it is creating new hairstyles, getting her nails done, or finding the perfect makeup palette! She also loves to sing and dance like no one is watching. Her ideal Big is someone who shares her love for hair and makeup, enjoys trips to the nail salon, and loves to shop and film TikToks. When she grows up, she wants to be a doctor or a police officer.

Apply today to become a Big.

Being a mentor is about being present and creating special moments that last a lifetime.

4135 Common Street, Lake Charles 1509 N Pine Street, DeRidder

337-478-5437 11

Mind & Body

Healthy Vision Month

When it comes to the notion that vision health is vital, the eyes have it! Our windows to the world aren’t as simple as they seem. Taking the time for regular check ups and knowing what signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for are key to ensuring you’ll be taking in the views for years to come. Read on to hear from experts on how to be on the lookout!

12 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023

Women Need to Focus on Their Eye Health

23 of people with vision problems are women

Here’s an eye-opening statistic: two out of every three people living with blindness or low vision problems are women, according to the National Eye Institute.

Overall, women are significantly more affected by eye disease and vision problems than men, according to Dr. Donald Falgoust, board certified ophthalmologist and founder of Falgoust Eye Medical & Surgical. Statistics from The National Eye Institute back this up. Over 4.2 million Americans aged 40 and older suffer from visual impairment, and 64 percent of these are women. Of the four leading causes of blindness in older Americans: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy; the rate of women’s cases exceeds men’s in all four categories.

“Women are more prone than men to AMD in particular,” says Dr. Falgoust, “which destroys central vision, with 65% of total cases being diagnosed in females.

Conditions that may threaten the eye health of women include:

Cataract, a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens, affects 24 million Americans aged 40 and older.

Glaucoma , a disease that causes the degeneration of cells that make up the optic nerve, affects 3 million Americans, with nearly 60 percent of these in women.

Dry eye syndrome , a condition that affects the quality of the tear film of the eyes, affects twice as many women as men over the age of 50.

Diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which blood vessels in the retina can break down, leak or become blocked, damaging vision, affects nearly 8 million Americans, and the number is expected to double by 2050. Women with diabetes who become pregnant — or women who develop gestational diabetes — are at higher risk for getting diabetic retinopathy.

Dr. Falgoust says changes in vision can occur for women at various stages of life, including pregnancy and postmenopause. Fertility treatments can also cause refractive changes, dry eyes, puffy eyelids that obscure side vision, and sensitivity to light due to migraine headaches. Women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome.

“The total number of eye disease cases overall is steadily on the rise. The increased longevity of our aging population is obviously one big reason,” says Dr. Falgoust. “As life expectancy rises, the natural progression of low vision occurs. And because women tend to outlive men, on average, statistics are going to show a bigger discrepancy in their eye disease incidence rates.”

Women lead incredibly busy and diverse lives – from running companies to running households – or both. As a result, Dr. Falgoust says many women give the health of their children and spouses far more attention than their own, and this applies to their eyes as well. “Scheduling eye appointments for the entire family, including themselves, is one way for women to protect their eye health,” adds Dr. Falgoust. “Most eye diseases are treatable, and vision loss is much more likely to be prevented through early detection.”

For more information or to schedule an eye exam, call Falgoust (337) 477-0963 or visit 13


Reasons to Get an Eye Exam

You deserve the best vision possible, no matter your age, says a local expert who has helped people see clearly for four decades. May is Healthy Vision Month, a straight-talk reminder that a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to discover—or rule out—serious eye conditions.

At some point, we’ve all said, “I should get my eyes checked.” There are good reasons for that. “Your eyes are unique — like your fingerprints or your DNA,” says Dr. William B. Hart, the Lake Charles ophthalmologist who has spent more than 40 years correcting, protecting, and restoring his patients’ vision. “Your vision care needs are just as unique.”

Hart is a second-generation ophthalmologist who has performed thousands of eye surgeries. He recommends getting that eye exam scheduled. A “clean” eye exam, he said, gives you peace of mind that there’s no hidden problem — but if an issue is spotted, it can be addressed quickly.

In addition to checking the health of your eyes, a vision exam can measure your visual acuity and lead to an accurate prescription for glasses or contacts, if they’re needed. Hart offers six factors that illustrate why eye exams are beneficial:

Spotting cataracts.

More than half of Americans develop a cataract by the time they reach 70 years old. Early-stage cataracts can begin occurring in one’s 40s and 50s.

Evaluating for dry eye syndrome .

“Dry eye is a common problem in Louisiana,” says Hart. “It can have a significant effect on vision.” Dry eye occurs when your tears aren’t providing adequate moisture for your eyes. Environmental factors that contribute to dry eye include humidity, seasonal allergens, air conditioning, aging, and certain prescriptions.

Evaluating for LASIK.

Think of your corneas as camera lenses that focus light. The LASIK corrective procedure reshapes errors in the cornea that prevent you from focusing properly. It is used for people who have conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Watching for diabetic retinopathy.

Occurring in people with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy causes ongoing damage to the retinas—the light-sensitive linings at the back of your eyes. Diabetes is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina and, if untreated, can cause blindness. “An annual exam is necessary,” says Hart.

Testing for glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve— the part of the eye that carries the image we see to the brain. When eye pressure increases, it can cause the development of blind spots and damage to the optic nerve fibers. These blind spots usually go undetected until the optic nerve is significantly damaged. If left untreated, this condition can cause blindness, especially for people over 65. However, loss of sight from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment. Hart recommends regular screenings beginning at age 40.

14 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023
Mind & Body| Healthy Vision Month 6

Tracking macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), destroys your central vision and is a leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans 50 and older. The macula is the part of the eye that allows you to distinguish details. AMD is a loss of central vision that can occur in “dry” (atrophic) and “wet” (exudative) forms. Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form, for which there is no known treatment. The less common wet form may respond to laser procedures and medication injections.

For more information, visit or the Hart Eye Center page on Facebook — or call Hart Eye Center at 337-439-4014.

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

The Center for Orthopaedics provides national-level sports medicine expertise right here in Southwest Louisiana. Our team of doctors offer experienced care and will help you develop a game plan to prevent future injuries.

Whether you’ve been injured on the court, at a gym or in your own back yard, trust the CFO team to give you an accurate diagnosis and get you safely back in action. 15
1920 W. Sale Rd. • 337-439-4014
it’s too late. Schedule an exam at Hart Eye Center today. DON’T WAIT
...until | (337) 721-7236 | Lake Charles | Moss Bluff

Living with COPD

Walking around the block or climbing a flight of stairs are activities many people do regularly with little thought, but for someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD, these simple tasks can be challenging.

The condition is often found among those who smoke and are over the age of 40, but nonsmokers can get COPD, too, as well as those often exposed to secondhand smoke, have a history of childhood respiratory infections, or work with significant levels of dust, chemicals, or fumes without taking recommended worksite precautions. In some cases, it’s hereditary. COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the US.

“COPD is a progressive lung disease; there is no cure, but it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes,” explains Fidencio Davalos, MD, pulmonologist and member of the medical staff of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

Common symptoms include shortness of breath, chronic cough, frequent respiratory infections, and fatigue. COPD is an umbrella term for several lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema; these cause the airways to narrow, making it difficult to breathe. In the beginning stage, the symptoms are usually a nagging cough and occasional shortness of breath during exertion. Stage two is when most people notice breathing challenges; they feel tired, have trouble sleeping, begin to wheeze, and notice they often have shortness of breath during exercise. “This is the stage when most people will see their doctor,” Dr. Davalos says.

The third stage is classified as severe, symptoms include being too short of breath to leave the house or becoming breathless doing regular activities such as getting dressed. Stage four is very severe, characterized by shortness of breath even while resting; heart or lung failure can occur.

“The good news with COPD is that it is treatable, especially when diagnosed by stage two,” explains Dr. Davalos. The diagnostic process involves a spirometry test to gauge how a person’s lungs are functioning and can help diagnose and grade the severity of COPD. The individual blows air into a mouthpiece with tubing to measure the amount of air exhaled along with the speed to track air flow. The patient then breaths in a medicine to help open airways and blows into the tube again. The combination, along with a physical examination, chest x-ray, noting family history, and lifestyle habits, are part of the diagnostic process.

Once diagnosed, treatments include a rescue inhaler to relax muscles in the airway, making breathing easier. “This is recommended to get relief from coughing and shortness of breath,” he says. “Lifestyle changes can make a tremendous difference, too. If they are currently a smoker, they should quit; that will have a big impact on their health. We also recommend regular physical activity and I work with my patients to find activities and exercises that they’re able to do without exacerbating shortness of breath.

16 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Mind & Body

Exercise can strengthen the muscles that help you breathe, so it’s good to find something that works and be consistent with it.”

Medications such as bronchodilators, steroids, and others are available. Just as inhalers are used at specific times to open airways, a doctor may prescribe medication to provide the same benefit on a continuous basis. They can also help remove mucus from the lungs. “The combination of short-acting and long-acting treatments can successfully manage COPD,” Dr. Davalos says.


monitoring lung 17
Annual wellness visits are especially important for those with COPD, allowing the physician to monitor symptoms and overall health. Colds, COVID, asthma, pneumonia, and other respiratory conditions can greatly affect someone with COPD. function
is critical.


No-Cost Health Care Services for Workers in SWLA

The State of Louisiana recently began audits of its Medicaid system in order to ensure eligibility for all participants. During the pandemic, many received benefits to compensate for lost jobs and health care insurance. Additionally, a backlog of what is usually an annual eligibility verification formed. Over the next 12 months, the state will be issuing letters and requiring persons 64 years of age and under who are currently on Medicaid to reapply. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 42% of Louisiana’s population, approximately 2 million people, receive Medicaid benefits. Each letter recipient must reply with proof of income verification to maintain coverage. Those who do not may lose coverage even if they are eligible. The first loss of coverage will begin as early as July 1. Applicants will need to show proof of income to ensure compliance with the guidelines of 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Within the population of persons aged 19-64, 268,000 are at risk of losing their Medicaid benefits if they cannot prove they are within eligibility guidelines. Although some may have coverage through their employer or the marketplace, about 65,000 adult residents will become uninsured as a result. “This is where the Calcasieu Community Clinic may be able to help,” says Kayla Rigney, Executive Director. “We provide health care services for persons who are working and uninsured.” Eligible applicants must be able to show proof of employment in the form of a printed pay stub and IRS Form 1040.

“Our income guidelines extend to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level; a monthly income of $4,293 for an individual or $8,833 for a family of four,” says Rigney. “Our Board of Directors recently voted to expand our guidelines for gross income to compensate for the rising costs of housing in our area.”

The Calcasieu Community Clinic is community supported by utilizing volunteer providers throughout the area. “We receive no state or federal funding and raise all operational funding locally so that we can subsidize client fees at 100%,” says Rigney. “What that means is those seeking services through our clinic pay no out-ofpocket costs for clinic visits and many prescription medications.” If you are no longer eligible to receive Medicaid benefits and are working, call 337-478-8650 to see if you qualify to receive health care at no cost to you.

The Calcasieu Community Clinic was founded in 1999 by a group of local physicians concerned with the health care and well-being of those people without health care insurance. Their mission statement centers around keeping people healthy so that they can be productive in the workforce. Learn more at

18 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Mind & Body
And you still can’t afford health insurance? Call to see if we can help! 337-478-8650 550 Sale Road, Lake Charles, LA WWW.CALCASIEUCOMMUNITYCLINIC.COM Did you lose your Medicaid because you are working and now make too much money? 19

The do-it-all type. All go, no stop, and fueled by little more than sheer will power and maybe a good cup of coffee. Women are notorious for not caring for themselves and maintaining healthy routines. Thrive caught up with several experts to learn how to prioritize yourself and ensure you’re able to be the best version for those you love. Take a read and take heed – you deserve it!

20 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023

Expert OB/GYN Care at Every Age.

Obstetrician – Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) help women have healthy babies and safe deliveries, and they diagnose and treat health issues speci c to women, throughout their lifespan.

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

For care that you can count on, call 337.480.5510 or 337.480.5570. New patients are welcomed. 21
Bradley Forsyth, MD Rafiné Moreno-Jackson, MD Gisele McKinney, MD Matthew Scroggs, MD Joseph Semien, Jr., MD
22 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023

Plastic & Reconstructive

Dr. Suma Maddox is a double board-certified female plastic surgeon in Lake Charles offering clients a space to be themselves and to blossom into their true potential through the guidance of a highly accomplished artist-surgeon.

Aesthetic Services Available | No Fee Consultation Facial Injectables, Liposuction, Abdominoplasty, Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, Breast Reduction, Scar Revision, Benign Mass Removal and More 23 Love your details! Scan the QR code to learn more, and schedule an appointment. Ochsner CHRISTUS Health Center - Lake Area 4150 Nelson Road, Building E | Lake Charles, LA 70605 337-901-6272
Surgery by Dr. Suma Maddox
Dr. Suma Maddox
24 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023
Lose that Winter Weight! Now offering compounded versions of popular and effective weight loss shots starting at $30 per week. (337) 312-0030 Jason Morris, MD Codie Lee Guidry, NP Guillermo Family Medicine Clinic Guillermo Family Medicine Clinic We Care for Teens! • wellness and preventive education • general care • school and sports physicals • risk assessment • ADHD treatment 501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., 2nd Floor (337) 419-1958

Style & Beauty Summer Skincare


If you are thinking you are too young to worry about the effects of sun damage, think again. According to Brooke Mouton, a licensed aesthetician with Signatures Salon, signs of damage can appear as early as your teens and says skin protection should really be a lifelong concern.

“You should be keeping your children’s skin protected from harmful UV rays as often as you can, especially during the summer months,” says Mouton. “Babies need SPF just as much as teens or adults, if not more!”

Mouton says skincare does not have be complicated. “Focus on keeping it consistent. Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States, but most cases are preventable with intelligent skincare and safe practices.”

She adds that sunscreen is the ultimate protector and age-delaying product. “The sun causes up to 90 percent of aging, so it is vital to apply and reapply daily, regardless of the weather or activity.”

Best practice is to apply sunscreen first thing in the morning, and reapply it every two to three hours, especially if you are exposed to sweat or water. The right type of clothing can also offer an extra layer of protection for your skin.

“Dark or bright colored, tightly woven fabrics are better at absorbing the sun’s rays,” Mouton says. “If you are unsure of how protective your fabric is, hold it up to the light. If you can see through it, it is most likely not a good source of protection.”

Mouton adds that it is best to cover as much skin as possible and wear loose-fitting clothing to allow for better protection. Tight-fitting clothes can stretch over the skin, allowing light to penetrate the fabric.

The time of day you are out in the sun is important also, according to Mouton. “Try to limit sun exposure, especially midday (10 am – 4 pm). If you must be out in the sun, be sure to wear protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses.”

A change in your makeup routine may also be necessary during the hot days of summer.

“I truly encourage a bare face during the summer months, something I like to think of as a ‘Face-cation.’ You are beautiful the way God created you,” Mouton comments. “We all have imperfections at times, so embrace them, they will not last forever, and your face deserves a break.”

Mouton adds that heavy makeup can clog pores and run, which could look worse than going without it. She suggests a summer routine that includes basic skincare, SPF, a primer, a light base, a bit of bronzer or blush, mascara and lip gloss.

“If you can, skip foundation all together and just conceal to spot-correct any problematic areas,” Mouton says. “If you need coverage, try using a tinted sunscreen, tinted moisturizer, BB Cream or light powder.”

For men, Mouton suggests a five-step routine for summer skincare.

“Cleanse by washing your face morning and night and exfoliate to prepare your skin for shaving. Treat your skin with an antioxidant serum, like vitamin C, and balance it by moisturizing daily, both in the morning and at night. Finally, protect it by using at least an SPF of 15-30.”

Mouton also highly encourages regular selfexams and seeing a dermatologist annually for skin exams.

“During a self-examination watch for things like asymmetry in moles or birthmarks, irregular or scalloped borders, colors of the marks, sizes larger than a pencil eraser and if the mole or mark is suddenly changing size, shape or color.”

Moderation is key, and Mouton encourages sun-lovers not to completely skip out on enjoying the positive benefits of the sun, including enhanced mood and stress relief. 27 803 West McNeese Street Lake Charles, LA 70605 ww 337.478.4433 AWARD WINNING! Voted BEST SALON in SWLA! Online booking available now!
Signatures Salon is located at 803 W. McNeese St. in Lake Charles. To learn more about their services or schedule an appointment, visit signaturessalon. biz or call 337-478-4433.

Summertime Smooth Body Waxing Tips

We all remember the hilarious movie scene when Steve Carrell gets his chest waxed before starting his dating journey and the hair is pulled out in awkward chunks while he shrieks and swears. While it’s not the most comfortable process, waxing has come a long way and most clients believe a few moments of discomfort are worth smooth hairless skin and weeks of not having to shave during the hot summer months!

The most common parts of the body to be waxed are eyebrows, underarms, and the bikini line. The type of wax used by estheticians can greatly impact your experience and your outcome. Jacquelyn Kraemer, LE is the founder and owner of BARE Body Waxing Studio in Lake Charles. She uses only hard wax on her clients. Kraemer says, “The hard wax is more gentle than traditional wax strips, reduces redness and irritation, and leaves no hair behind.” She adds, “It’s true, waxing doesn’t feel great, but it’s manageable. Most clients would rate it a two on a pain scale from 1-5, and it gets less uncomfortable every time you do it.”

To best prepare for your wax appointment and make the process as smooth and painfree as possible, Kraemer recommends the following tips:

• Prep your skin by keeping it hydrated with lotion, and gently exfoliate with a scrub to remove excessive dead skin cells and loosen any ingrown hairs.

• Avoid exercise, tanning, and hot baths/ showers the day before your treatment.

• Grow your hair out for a few weeks; it should be as long as an uncooked grain of rice (a few centimeters)!

• Wear comfortable clothing and avoid caffeine for 4-6 hours prior to your appointment.

• Take a non-aspirin over the counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen an hour prior to your wax.

Style & Beauty

Ingrown hairs, bumps and breakouts are a reality with waxing, but there are ways to reduce them.

• Exfoliation is key; use your favorite salt or sugar scrub routinely.

• Wear breathable undergarments made of fabrics like hemp and cotton to reduce skin irritations.

• Keep your skin hydrated with your favorite lotion – every single day! Skincare is the key to successful waxing.

Waxing aftercare:

• Avoid excessive heat, friction or sweat for 48 hours following your treatment. This means avoiding exercise, hot baths, swimming, tanning, and even sexual activity.

• Keep skin clean, exfoliated, and hydrated with unscented lotion.

• Don’t shave between appointments and wax routinely every 3-4 weeks for the best long-term results.

The best part about waxing is that the more often you do it, the easier it gets. Over time when waxing disrupts the growth cycle, your hair will grow back more slowly and with a finer texture, which means it will hurt less. Waxing results will last 4-6 weeks, but since hair grows back at different rates throughout the year, a 4-week waxing schedule will maximize your results.

While women make up most of the client base, men are seeking out professional hair removal more often. BARE now offers a Manzilian Wax customized for men. Wax parties are another popular trend where a group of friends comes in for their services at the same time and make hair removal a social event.

Waxing services can range from $15 for eyebrows up to $100 for larger areas of skin. The popular Brazilian bikini wax will cost about $70-75.

BARE Body Waxing Studio is located at 1301 E. McNeese Street in Lake Charles. Open M-F from 10a-7pm and Saturday from 9am-4pm. For more information contact 337.496.5419, , or @bare_waxstudios on Instagram. New clients receive 20% off their first wax. Download the BARE Wax app for easy booking. 29

Balancing Style with Comfort summer style trends for kids

Dressing the littlest members of your family, while fun, can present its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to balancing what is currently in style with comfort, function, and value for active, fast-growing children.

Kimberly Griffin, owner of local children’s clothing store Sercy Lane, offers some insight on the latest in style trends for children this summer. “This summer we are seeing resort wear in high demand,” says Griffin. “Pima cotton dresses are a must have for girls and moisture wicking shirts are popular for boys.”

Coastal and Americana themes are always in demand according to Griffin and there are matching options for boys and girls in case you are looking for the perfect look for your family vacation photos. “Polos and preppy styles have also been in overdrive,” adds Griffin. “We cannot get enough of the court-to-port styles!”

If you are looking for styles that offer balance and value, Griffin suggests picking out pieces that can be dressed up or down. “Here you want to look for graphics and styles that may be a little simpler. For example, you may opt for a solid or stripe shirt, rather than a summer theme shirt that has a fish or beach theme. You may also want to leave off the monogram so the piece can be handed down to the next sibling in line.”

When it comes to colors, don’t put away your pastels just yet.“Pastels are always popular at this time of the year, and these colors can transition well into the summer,” Griffin says. “From vacations at the resort to staycations at home, these colors are easy to work with and offer some longevity beyond the spring season.”

And, no matter the occasion, a matching look for siblings is always a favorite for moms. It may be a bit of a splurge to outfit everyone, but Griffin says to buy the matching pieces as the memories for years to come will be priceless.

“Whatever it is you are looking to match, we can make it happen,” adds Griffin. “Matching swimsuits and pajamas, as well as matching sibling sets and color schemes are always popular. We love to match and this coordination of styles looks great in pictures, giving us wonderful memories for years to come!”

Balancing style with comfort and function within your child’s wardrobe is absolutely possible with the right pieces.

“This year we are bulking up our clothing lines at Sercy Lane,” concludes Griffin. “We are here to help families with not only those matching sets, but also with offering more options to choose from.”

30 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Style & Beauty
Sercy Lane is located at 3101 Ernest St., Ste. 1 in Lake Charles. 31 Monday Through Friday – 10am-5:30pm Timeless Looks for Little Ones Footmates • James & Lottie • Little English • Lullaby Set • and More 1301 East McNeese Street, Suite 105 Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607 Monday Through Friday – 10am-5:30pm Saturday – 10am-4pm Timeless Looks for Little Ones Footmates • James & Lottie • Little English • Lullaby Set • and More 1301 East McNeese Street, Suite 105 Monday Through Friday – 10am-5:30pm Saturday – 10am-4pm Timeless Looks for Little Ones Footmates • James & Lottie • Little English • Lullaby Set • and More 1301 East McNeese Street, Suite 105 Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607 (337) 564-6748 3101 Ernest Street, Suite #1 • Lake Charles, LA 70601 Monday - Friday: 10 am -5 pm, Saturday: 10 am- 2 pm SHOP ONLINE AT WWW.SERCYLANE.COM INSTAGRAM @SERCYLANE Monday Through Friday – 10am-5:30pm Saturday – 10am-4pm Timeless Looks for Little Ones Footmates • James & Lottie • Little English • Lullaby Set • and More 1301 East McNeese Street, Suite 105 Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607 (337) 564-6748 Monday Through Friday – 10am-5:30pm Saturday – 10am-4pm Timeless Looks for Little Ones Footmates • James & Lottie • Little English • Lullaby Set • and More 1301 East McNeese Street, Suite 105 Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607 (337) 564-6748 Footmates • James & Lottie • Little English • Lullaby Set The Beaufort Bonnet Company • Prodoh

Home & Family

School’s out and summertime is in! There is so much to do and see throughout Southwest Louisiana. From camps to cruises, and all the fun things in between, this special section rounds up lists that are sure to fill your calendar with fun and your heart with memories.

32 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023


Lake Charles Racquet Club Tennis Camp

Each child should bring a towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, hat/ visor, and tennis racquet. Camp includes tennis, snacks, lunch, swimming, arts/crafts, cooking, lawn games, and kickball.

Monday – Friday | 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Cost: $400 for members, $450 for non-members, each additional week is $180 for members and $205 for non-members.

Note: Cost covers 2 sessions (2 weeks)

Contact: Myer Schwartzberg,

Session 1: June 5-9

Session 2: June 12-16

Session 3: June 19-23

Session 4: June 26-30

Session 5: July 10-14

Session 6: July 17-21

Session 7: July 24-28

Graywood Tennis Summer Camp

Each child should bring a towel, swimsuit, and tennis racquet. Camp includes tennis, swimming, and lunch.

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Ages: 6-13

Contact: Kevin Gillette or 601-616-0699

Session 1: June 12-15

Session 2: June 19-22

Session 3: July 10-13

Session 4: July 17-20

Graywood Golf Camp

Includes golf, swimming, and lunch.

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Ages: 8-13

Cost: $250/week for members, $280/week for non-members

Contact: Herb Piert,

Session 1: June 5-8

Session 2: June 19-22

Session 3: July 31-August 3

Felice Kicking Academy

Matt Walker Memorial Stadium, Sulphur High School

Kicking, punting, snapping, or holding

Ages: 8th – 12th grade

Cost: $150


2023 camp guide

Calcasieu Soccer Club Camp

Lagrange Soccer Park, 200 West School St. in Lake Charles

June 27-29 | 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM or 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Ages: 3-12

*3 year old campers will attend morning only sessions, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM. 4-12 year old campers can choose morning or evening session. Contact:

Swimsational Swim School

878 N. Beglis Pkwy in Sulphur

May – August

Contact: or 337-476-3076

Lake Area Summer Soccer Camp

LaGrange Soccer Complex

June 13- 15, 2023 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cost: $35 per day or $90 for all 3 days

Ages: 4-13

Contact: Jason Oertling,


Vacation Bible School

Trinity Baptist Church

June 5 – June 9, 2023 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ages: 3 by June 1, 2024 – Completion of 5th grade

St. Theresa Vacation Bible School: Pets Unleashed!

St. Theresa Catholic Church, Carlyss

June 5 – June 9 | 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Registration deadline is May 17

Ages: 4-9 | Cost: $30/Child

Contact: 337-583-4010

WinShape Day Camp

Trinity Baptist Church

July 17 – 21| 8:15 AM – 4:55 PM

Full days of non-stop fun and skills for every interest – all centered on Jesus! Cost: $230 | Ages: Completed K-5th

Contact: 337-480-1555 or lake-charles-la/

OLQH Vacation Bible School – Stellar, Shine Jesus’ Light

Ages: K-4th grade

June 5-9

Contact: 33

Home & Family | celebrate summer guide


Summer Exploration Adventure

City of Lake Charles Recreation and Parks Department

June 5 – July 28 | 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM, lunch provided daily

Ages: 5-11

Cost: $40/Week

Contact: 337-491-1280 or

Camp registrations will be accepted in the Recreation and Parks Department, located on the 4th floor of City Hall (326 Pujo St.), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register, please bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate. This is a mandatory requirement with no exceptions. An optional t-shirt can be ordered at the time of registration. The cost is $8 per shirt.

Super Heroes

Week 1: June 5th - 9th

Louisiana’s Animal Kingdom

Week 2: June 12th- 16th


Week 3: June 19th – 23rd

Dinosaur Adventures

Week 4: June 26th – 30th

Exploring the Great Outdoors

Week 5: July 3rd – 7th


Week 6: July 10th – 14th

Performing Arts (Music – Dance – Theatre)

Week 7: July 17th – 20th

In Deep Water

Week 8: July 24th – 28th

SOWELA Summer Culinary Camps

Lake Charles and Jennings Campus

Ages: 10-14

Cost: $290/Child

Contact: 337-421-6560 or

Lake Charles Culinary Camps

Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM

July 10-14, 2023 or July 17-21

Jennings Culinary Camps

Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM

July 10-14 and July 24-28

Shangri La Gardens EcoRangers Summer Camp

Shangri La Survivor!

Ages: 7th – 9th grades

June 27 – 30 | 9:00 AM – Noon

Little Ranger Readers!

Ages: Entering Kindergarten

July 11 – 14 | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

kid’s camp guide continued...

Teaming it Up!

Ages: 5th – 6th grades

July 18 – 21 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Outside the Box!

Ages: 1st – 2nd grades

July 25 -28 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Color My World!

Ages: 3rd – 4th grades

August 1 – 4 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Beaumont Children’s Museum Summer Camps

Morning camps: 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Afternoon camps: 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Full day camps: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Campers will need to bring snacks (all camps) and lunch (full day only).

Half and full days available. BCM membership members receive 10% off.

Cost: 5 full day camps, $200 | 5 half-day camps, $150 | 3 half-day camps, $100 Contact:

Robotics 1.0

June 12 - 16

HALF DAY; Morning (Entering 1st - 3rd), Afternoon (4th - 6th*)

*Prerequisite to Robotics 2.0

Imagineering: Andrew Henry’s Meadow

June 19 - 23

Full day (Entering 3rd - 5th)

Awesome Artists

June 26 - 30

Half day; Morning (Entering 1st - 2nd), Afternoon (Entering 3rd - 5th)

Fact or Cap?

July 5 - 7

Half day; Morning (Entering 1st - 2nd), Afternoon (Entering 3rd - 5th)

Critter Camp

July 10 - 14

Half day; Morning (Entering 1st - 2nd), Afternoon (Entering 3rd - 5th)

BASF Kids’ Lab

July 17 - 21

Half day; Morning (Entering 1st - 2nd), Afternoon (Entering 3rd - 5th)

Robotics 2.0

July 24 - 28

Full day; (Entering 4th - 6th)

All campers must have completed Robotics 1.0 or attended Robotics 2.0 in past summers to attend this camp.

Scooby Doo: Solving with S.T.E.A.M.

July 31 - August 4

Half day; Morning (Entering 1st - 2nd), Afternoon (Entering 3rd - 5th)


CPSB Summer Camp Programs: Region 5 Summer Camp Stampede

Energy Camp

June 19th – 23rd Grades 6-12

Engineering Camp

June 19th – 23rd Grades 1-5

June 26th – 30th Grades 6-12

Seaperch Robotics Camp

July 10th – 14th Grades 6-12

Nasa Astro Camp

July 24th- 28th Grades K-12

Vex Robotics Camp

July 17th – 21st Grades K-12

Contact: 337-217-4390 |

Camp Invention: Wonder

Dolby Elementary School

Ages: K-6th

May 29 – June 2 | 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Cost: $265

CPSB Tech Camp

CPSB Technology Training Center, 1724 Kirkman St. in Lake Charles Tuition includes Dell laptop, camp t-shirt, and daily snack.

July 10 – 14 | 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Ages: Students entering 2nd – 10th grades

Contact: Joyce Hemker, 337-217-4120,

Invest Summer Enrichment Camp – Burton College of Business

Frasch Hall, McNeese State University Campus

Literacy, music, arts & crafts, science, physical education, and movement.

June 5 – 29 | Mondays – Thursdays | 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ages: 6-8

Cost: $400

Contact: Dr. Hannah Harvey,

CPSB Elementary Summer Learning Camp

Henry Heights Elementary and W.T. Henning Elementary

Ages: K – 2nd and moderate, severe, profound. 3rd – 5th and LEAP Connect

Transportation and meals provided.

June 26 – 30 | 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Special Needs

Camp Smiling F.A.C.E.S.

WCCH Genesis Therapeutic Riding Center

July 20-23 | 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM

For children with developmental challenges such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, visual deficits, speech or hearing challenges, and others.

Ages: 4-12

Cost: $65

Contact: 337-625-3972

I Can Swim Camp Down Syndrome Association of SWLA Sulphur Parks & Recreation | 933 W. Parish Rd. in Sulphur

June 5 – June 9

Requirements for participation: Must be three years of age or older, have a diagnosed disability, not have a tracheotomy and, if a g-tube stoma, older than two months. Parent, legal guardian, or other authorized adult must remain for the duration of the class. 35
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Home & Family | celebrate summer guide kid’s camp guide continued...

Joie De Vivre!


Jazz in the Arts

Summer Youth Jazz Workshop

May 31 – June 3

Visit or call 337-794-5744

Branch Out: Summer Art Camp

Imperial Calcaiseu Museum

August 1-12

Ages: K-8th

Two exciting sessions! Each class will have a maximum of 12 students, ensuring that students will receive personalized attention and guidance from our certified teachers from the Calcasieu Parish School Board.

You can choose to enroll your child for any one of the three weeks of each session. You have the flexibility to sign up for either the morning slot, the afternoon slot, or both. Children who attend Branch Out will have the unique opportunity to see their work displayed in a museum. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum will exhibit Branch Out artwork from Contact: 337-439-3797

June Sessions: 5th – 9th | 12th – 16th | 19th – 23rd

Christmas in July

June Sessions: 26th – 30th

July Sessions: 10th – 14th | 17th – 21st

Niche Creative Studio Summer Camp

4706 Common St. in Lake Charles Mondays – Wednesdays | 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Ages: K-5th Campers should bring a sack lunch and water bottle. Contact: Register online at under classes/kids or call 337-477-3810

DIY Toys & Fidgets Camp July 17th – 19th

Louisiana Livin Kid’s Camp July 24th – 26th

Creative Corner

1830 Ryan St. in Lake Charles Campers must provide a sack lunch.

Ages: Entering 1st – 5th grade

Contact: 337-529-7005 or visit

June 5th-8th Under The Sea

June 19th-22nd Let’s talk Nature


July 10th-13th Shark Week

July 24th-27th Fabulous Food

Christian Youth Theatre

Sale Street Baptist Church


CYT Camp Goes to the Movies

June 19 – June 23

Ages: 4-12

Broadway Travels the World

Ages: 13-18

July 10 – July 14

Children’s Theatre Company Summer Workshops

Contact: Call 337-433-7323

Extreme Theatre

June 12– 16 | 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Ages: 8-18 years old

Cost: $150

36 Thrive Magazine for
Better Living •

Kids in Showbiz

July 24– 28

Ages 5-8; 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Ages 9-18; 10:00 AM– 12:00 PM

Cost: $85

Young Band Nation Camp

5 day camp | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

SWLA Music School, 343 Broad St. in Lake Charles

Be in a band with students of the same age and skill level. Rehearse and jam with like-minded students under the tutelage of Baton Rouge’s best and brightest professional musicians and educators. Record with your band and get .mp3 files after camp! Perform LIVE for friends and family on the last day of camp!

Ages: 7 – 17

Contact: 337-513-7905 or

Swiss Army Knife Recording Camp

5 day camp | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

SWLA Music School, 343 Broad St. in Lake Charles

Students must bring their own iPad with the Garage band app on it (or a similar app and tablet, please call to confirm first) They will work on setting up sessions, recording tricks and techniques, studio set up, and songwriting and arrangement.

Ages: 11-17

Contact: 337-513-7905 or

Stark Museum of Art Camps

The Great ARTdoors

June 20 – 23 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ages: 1st – 2nd grades

That 70s Art Camp

June 27 – 30 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ages: 3rd – 4th grades

Deconstruct This Camp

July 11 – 14 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ages: 5th – 6th grades


July 25 – 28 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Ages: Kindergarten

Art Summer Camp

Paint and Fire & The Wine Store, Lake Charles

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Ages: 6 – 12

Cost: $130/week

June 5- 9 , 2023

July 10 – 14, 2023

July 31 – August 4, 2023

This summer we will facilitate fantastic in-person and virtual programs for all ages.


Sign up for the Summer Reading program through Beanstack, or visit your nearest library branch. https://calcasieulibrary. reader365



May 27th

Ukulele at the Library (partnership program with McNeese Banners)

June 7th -9 th Lady Chops

June 12 th -13 th The Kinders

June 22nd Zac Morgan

June 26 th -27th Bright Star Theatre

July 13 th Geebo the Clown

Children in grades 1st - 5th who register early for SRP will be entered into a drawing to win Summer Badge Books that are filled with stickers, writing prompts, activities, and more!

The Summer Reading Program runs 7 weeks, and patrons must finish logging their reading by Friday, July 14th to complete. We will continue the summer fun with “Party Week” July17th-July 21st

Check out for more information & performance dates. Celebrating kindness, compassion, diversity, teamwork,& more!
of the
July 20 th -21st TMM Presents: Say W.H.A.T. (Working Hard All Together) NOW! this summer
Early registration for SRP is May 15thMay 25th. When SRP officially begins on Friday, May 26th , patrons can start logging their reading and activities.

what to know before booking a


Wondering if a cruise is for you? Luckily, Lake Charles locals live within an easy drive of two major cruise ports— Galveston and New Orleans— making it easy to avoid the airport while still escaping somewhere exotic.


Two-and-a-half hours from Lake Charles, Galveston is now the fourth most popular cruise port in the United States, hosting more than one million passengers a year. Three hundred sixty-two cruises are scheduled to depart Galveston in 2023. Pretty incredible, given that ships just started cruising from this Texas port in 2000.

Last fall, Royal Caribbean opened a new Galveston terminal to handle its ships, the largest in the world. Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas sails from here. When it debuted in 2009 it was the world’s largest cruise ship. At 18 decks high, and more than three football fields in length, Allure is a floating mega-resort, with something for everyone to enjoy. Thrill seekers will be wowed by the zip-line, climbing wall and surf simulator. Foodies will relish the array of specialty restaurants. Culture vultures will appreciate the Broadwaycaliber shows, comedians and live music. And, of course, sun worshippers will appreciate the selection of pools and hot tubs.

There are also brand-new Galveston-based ships for passengers to choose from. Debuting in October 2022, the 3,000 passenger Norwegian Prima boasts two 10-story slides, the largest go-kart track at sea and an arcade holding 13 virtual reality games. Norwegian’s Prima also introduces a new dining concept making it easy for everyone to get exactly what they want. At Indulge Food Hall, guests order dishes from any of 11 participating restaurants from an electronic tablet at their table. One person wants Indian, another barbecue and another a salad? No problem!

The 3,000 passenger Ruby Princess departed on Princess Cruises’ first trip from Galveston in six years in December 2022 and the new Carnival Jubilee has its maiden voyage from Galveston in December 2023.

New Orleans

Norwegian’s Breakaway and Disney’s Magic sail out of New Orleans to the Caribbean and Mexico during the winter months, while Carnival sails year-round. Starting March of 2023, passengers can experience the Carnival Glory out of NOLA, which replaces the Carnival Liberty.

Older cruisers and American history buffs might enjoy a Mississippi River cruise. Both American Queen and American Cruise Lines have several ships doing week-long Mississippi River cruises from New Orleans. Viking just started sailing the Mississippi from the Big Easy in fall of 2022.

How to know which cruise line is best for you? Depends on who you are and who you’re traveling with. Planning a vacation with teens? Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are best. Both have teen lounges where they can hang out and play video games. With Royal Caribbean’s zip-lining and ice skating, and Norwegian’s bumper cars, game rooms and sports courts, there’s no time to get bored. For Disney enthusiasts and families traveling with younger children, a Disney cruise is a dream vacation. Disney’s kids’ clubs and on-board character meet-and-greets make this cruise line the gold standard for kid-friendly amenities.

38 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Home & Family | celebrate summer guide


Want to escape the summer heat? One of the best ways to explore Alaska’s stunning coastline, awe-inspiring glaciers, and protected wildlife is by sea. Celebrity Cruise Lines is a popular option with three different ships making 56 sailings in the 2023 season. Celebrity ships are elegant, known for their classic décor and world-class art collections. In 2024, Celebrity’s Edge begins sailing Alaska. Unique to Edge are staterooms that offer innovative Infinite Verandas. Instead of a standard balcony stateroom, these have oceanfront glass windows that slide down, giving the room an open, spacious feel.

Additional Tips:

Don’t Rely on Ship Excursions

Ships charge a premium for excursions, but the internet has made it easier than ever to plan anything you want to do, often saving big money. Want to spend the day at the beach with access to shaded lounge chairs and pools? Hotels in many Mexican ports offer day passes to oceanfront hotels. In Puerto Vallarta, for example, the Westin, Marriott Puerto Vallarta and Hyatt Ziva all offer day passes for purchase.

If Flying, Arrive the Day Before You Embark

The nation’s three busiest cruise ports are all in Florida. If you fly to your port, make sure and arrive a day ahead, in case of a delayed or cancelled flight. Bustling Port Everglades is only three miles from Fort Lauderdale’s popular beach. A good hotel choice would be the oceanfront Hotel Maren, which also overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and International Swimming Hall of Fame. Upgrade to a premium oceanfront room and you’ll have a view of all three. Complimentary bikes, beach chairs, and daily yoga by the pool overlooking the ocean, make this hotel an excellent pre-cruise value.

Book Through a Travel Agent

“Cruise lines have multiple pricing options for every sailor. Some offer discounts for first responders, some have special pricing for senior citizens, sometimes there are extra discounts for the 3rd or 4th person in a cabin,” says Lake Charles travel agent Tina Higgins, with Cruise Planners. “Many times, there is special pricing offered only through travel agents.  A travel advisor can compare all the different pricings and help find the best option for you.” 39

SWLA summer event round-up

Rum Revival

May 6, 2023 | 6:30 – 9:00 PM

Lake Charles Civic Center

Tickets available on Eventbrite

Turn it Up Tuesday ft.

Ground Zero

May 9, 2023 | 4:00-6:00 PM

City of Jennings Founder’s Park

Louisiana Pirate Festival

May 4-14, 2023

Lakefront Promenade/Civic Center

Chennault International Airshow

May 19-21, 2023

Chennault International Airport

Downtown at Sundown

May 19, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

Relay Like a Rockstar

May 19, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Lake Charles Civic Center

Relay For Life 2023 “Rockout For Relay/Relay

Like A Rockstar” event on Facebook

Down on Main Street

Custom Car & Truck Show

Saturday May 20, 2023 | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Main Street, Jennings

For more information, events

Summer Concert Series at Crying Eagle Brewery

Ft. Tab Benoit with Special Guest Matt Andersen

May 20, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM

Downtown at Sundown

May 26, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

Annual Crawfish Cookoff

May 27, 2023 | 11:00 AM

Crying Eagle Brewery

2nd Annual Crawfish Cook-Off event on Facebook

Art in the Park

May 27, 2023 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Riverside Park

Chamber Fest

May 27, 2023 | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Pinderosa Park Chamber Fest event on Facebook

Downtown at Sundown

June 2, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

Downtown at Sundown

June 9, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

40 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Home & Family | celebrate summer guide

Holly Beach Crab Festival

June 9 – 11, 2023

Holly Beach, Louisiana Louisiana Souvenirs & Sundries on Facebook

Summer Concert Series at Crying Eagle Brewery

June 17, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM

Ft. Dustin Sonnier & The Wanted

Art in the Park

June 24, 2023 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Donald Ray Stevens Park

Louisiana Seafood Cookoff

June 27, 2023

Golden Nugget Lake Charles 41
(337) 447-4447 920 Mulberry, Westlake STORE YOUR ADVENTURE HERE Boat and RV Storage Opening in May! LEASE NOW

Summer Concert Series at Crying Eagle Brewery

July 15, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM

Birthday Bash with Ashes of Babylon

Pro Watercross National Championships

August 5-6, 2023

North Beach, Lake Charles

Summer Concert Series at Crying Eagle Brewery

August 19, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM Three Thirty Seven

Summer Concert Series at Crying Eagle Brewery

September 16, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM

Keith Frank & The Soileau Zydeco Band

42 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Home & Family | celebrate summer guide
Two Years Through 12th Grade Now Enrolling 337-433-5246 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. NORTH CAMPUS Two Year Olds - 6th Grade 803 N. Division Street Lake Charles SOUTH CAMPUS 7 th to 12 th Grade 5665 N. Gray Market Drive Lake Charles
SWLAsummer events round


Mini Maker! Sewing,



June 19-21



DIY Toys and Fidgets


15 At the Movies Kids Mini Camp

June 29


July 27

Livin Kid’s Mini Camp

July 10-12

July 17-19

July 24-26

20 2 3 To register, visit or call (337) 477-3810 • 4706 Common Street, Lake Charles

2 3 To register, visit or call (337) 477-3810 • 4706 Common Street, Lake Charles

Louisiana Livin Kid’s Camp 43
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. little smiles grow up to be big, healthy smiles! 2620 Country Club Road • Lake Charles, LA 70605 • (337) 433-kids (5437) WWW.SANDERSPD.COM
ummer C amps
Dr. Eric A. Sanders Dr. Saima Khan
Camps for Your
Each camp includes age appropriate sewing, painting and crafting projects based off our our weekly theme. Crafting, &
5 - 7
At the Movies Kid’s
June 12-14
My Best Friend and Me Camp
Livin Kid’s
26 – 28
July 5-7
My Best Friend and Me Camp
At the Movies Kid’s Camp
DIY Toys and Fidgets
13 At the Movies Kids Mini Camp
Day Camps (open to K – 5th grade) 1 Day Camps (ages 4-12 years)
ummer C amps
Louisiana Livin Kid’s Mini Camp ( 3

The 10th Anniversary Chennault International Airshow takes to the skies

May 19-21 at Chennault International Airport. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet demonstration team headlines the Airshow.


Tickets are sold only online only — and only in advance, not at the gate — at

“Our last Airshow was a sellout, so we encourage everybody to get their tailgate ticket now,” says Airshow Director Mary Jo Bayles.

Each ticket for one of the full weekend shows is good for a tailgate slot on the airport ramp that admits everyone in the vehicle. The tailgate slots are Zone A ($150), Zone B ($100), Zone C ($50), and oversized/RV ($100).

With the tailgate format, spectators watch the airshow at their vehicle’s own slot. The arrangement was introduced at the last airshow. “With that one tailgate ticket, everybody in your vehicle is admitted,” said Bruce Beard, president of the nonprofit Airshow’s volunteer board of directors. The Airshow has also brought back its Friday-night Twilight Show, with all tickets a flat $50 for a tailgate spot on the ramp. New for 2023 is a fly-in zone ($75, parking on grass) for private pilots.

There’s no cooking allowed, but tailgaters are welcome to bring drinks (no glass) and prepared foods. Proceeds from the airshow help fund direct classroom grants to local teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The goal is to get young people of all backgrounds interested in aviation-related studies and careers.

The Airshow is once again inviting people and service groups to sign up to be volunteers. The valuable “ground crew” helps with all sorts of tasks and service duties to assist guests, staff, and performers. No experience is required, and volunteers get to enjoy parts of the Airshow for free.

To get involved, click the Volunteer tab at or visit the Chennault International Airshow Volunteers page on Facebook.

Also featured are:

• AeroShell Aerobatic Team, which has been entertaining crowds nationwide with its precision performances for over 25 years.

• The U.S. Army’s “Golden Knights” demonstration and competition parachute team, comprised of teams drawn from all branches of the Army.

• The U.S. Navy’s West Coast “Rhino” jet demonstration team, flying the F/A-18 F Super Hornet.

• Aerobatic pilot Kevin Coleman, who has logged more than 2,500 hours, flown at the Red Bull Air Races and earned a spot on the U.S. Advanced Aerobatics Team.

• A vintage Soviet-built MiG-17F flown by Randy Ball, who pulls 8-G turns, performs vertical afterburner climbs, and reaches speeds approaching 700 mph — sometimes flying less than 100 feet off the ground.

• A runway show by the Hot Streak jet truck, a ’57 Chevy pickup powered by two jet engines generating 25,000 horsepower.

• Full Throttle Formation Team, the largest precisionformation airshow team in America.

• Leland Kracher’s smoke-and-colors show in his Christen Eagle biplane.

• A restored World War II C-47 flown by Greatest Generation Flights of Fort Worth

• A restored postwar B-25, repainted by Chennault tenant partner LandLocked Aviation.

44 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Home & Family 45

Places & Faces

46 Thrive Magazine
Better Living • May 2023


Police, fire, EMS, and military – the frontline of our communities and country – are often overlooked. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to take for granted our safeties, freedoms, and access to emergency medical care. This month, Thrive focuses in on those who give of themselves and for others daily. Punching the clock is a risk they assume for our families and theirs. Thank you to all of our first responders and military personnel here in Southwest Louisiana. We salute you! 47

Let Your Dreams Take Flight


With an office that flys around 10,000 feet in the air and days that never look the same, Flight Paramedic Alli Hardy easily landed herself on our Cool Jobs list. Flight paramedics, nurses, and pilots have extensive training and operate in different conditions than most medical professionals.

Alli, who now has over 14 years of experience in emergency services with Acadian Ambulance Service and Acadian Air Med, got her start in high school. The Acadian Ambulance Explorer Program is a career study initiative that allows students ages 14-20 to obtain both education and handson experience in emergency medicine. “I actually visited Air Med 1 during my time in the Explorer program,” says Alli. “I knew it. I knew this is what I wanted to do.”

She began her career as an EMT and through the National EMS Academy (NEMSA), a division of Acadian Companies, worked while obtaining a lengthy list of necessary certifications to become a flight medic. In

2017, Alli took to the skies and never looked back. “Hands down, my favorite part of flying is the views,” she says. “And of course, I love patient care. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t.”

When asked the most necessary quality to do this job and do it well, it didn’t take her long to respond. “Confidence,” she says. “You have a partner to lean on but you’ve got to be confident in your skills because there will be times when they need to lean on you.”

Medical professionals at every level impact and save lives daily. But Alli says there’s something unique about her and her colleagues jobs that continues to fuel her love for the work. “Usually when we show up, it’s a traumatic or emergent event,” she says. “We get to make a big impact for that patient and their family.”

A daughter, a wife, and a mother to two small children, Alli says that although she’s the only one in the air, her career is definitely a family affair. “My parents and my wife, they’re incredibly supportive,” she says. “It takes a village, for sure. We’ve all adjusted – but I think my parents still check Life360 often to make sure I’m safe.”

While air operations are commonly used in severe accidents or remote locations, another big piece of the job is critical care transport. “We’re called to move patients from one hospital to another,” says Alli. “This is usually to get them to a higher level of care or a specialized option for care they need. It’s rewarding to get them to the medical help they need.” It also brings her all over the Gulf South – “New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Houston. We travel where we are needed.”

Like any job, being a flight paramedic is not free of challenges. “The biggest challenge is probably the physical stressors of flight,” she says. “Another obvious challenge is critical patients. You really have to focus on every detail.”

The path to get to the sky isn’t short or easy, but Alli says it’s worth it if you love the job. “My advice to anyone considering it, just do it.”

48 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Places & Faces | PUBLIC SERVANTS AT YOUR SERVICE 49 We offer billboard artwork free of charge! Our experienced team of graphic designers will create one-of-a-kind visual content to fit your business needs. With our designs, you can quickly and easily spread the word about your business or event. Contact us at 337-477-4470 to get started! Locally owned and operated for over 30 years DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders 600 W McNeese Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-9913

Visit Lake Charles’ Director of Social Media, Kathryn Shea Duncan named one of 30 Future Leaders of Destination Organization Industry

Visit Lake Charles is thrilled to announce that Kathryn Shea Duncan, director of social media, has been named one of Destinations International’s 2023 30 Under 30 recipients.   Duncan developed an impressive career in the hospitality industry as a tourism professional and community advocate. Crowned the 81st International Rice Festival Queen in 2017, Duncan traveled to over 80 events across the country in support of Crowley, Louisiana, the international rice capital of the world and her hometown. In 2018, she graduated from University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration and is currently enrolled at McNeese State University pursuing a master’s degree in business administration with plans to graduate December 2023. Duncan began her career at the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce, and she later joined Visit Lake Charles in September 2019 as the media and public relations manager.

Destinations International is committed to investing and preparing the leaders of tomorrow and developing future industry leaders that represent a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives. Each year, 30 individuals under the age of 30, are selected to gain valuable industry networking opportunities and increased thought leadership throughout the year. The honorees originate from a variety of destination organizations of all sizes and countries.

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana...

Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Now in its 13th year, the 30 Under 30 program is supported by founding program partner, SearchWide Global and sponsored by Fired Up! Culture, Northstar Meetings Group and PCMA.

For more information on the 30 Under 30 Program and the 2023 30 Under 30 class, please visit general-information/30-under-30. For more information about the things to do, eat, see and experience in Southwest Louisiana, go to or follow #LouisianasPlayground on social media.

Karl Duncan, MD, Joins Memorial Medical Group Lake Charles Memorial Health System welcomes Karl A. Duncan, MD, interventional cardiologist, to its medical staff and to the Memorial Heart & Vascular team.

Karl Duncan, MD, FSCAI completed his medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. His postgraduate training includes an internal medicine residency and a cardiovascular fellowship from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He then furthered his medical education with an advanced cardiac imaging fellowship from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons - St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, NY, a coronary and cardiac CT fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health Center – Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, and concluded with an interventional cardiology/peripheral vascular fellowship at Wayne State University - Harper University Hospital in

Detroit, MI. Most recently Dr. Karl Duncan practiced with Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg, MS.

Dr. Karl Duncan is board-certified as an Interventional Cardiologist through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

As the newest member of the medical staff at Lake Charles Memorial Health System, Dr. Duncan is accepting new patients at their clinic inside the Heart & Vascular Center located at 1717 Oak Park Blvd. – 2nd Floor inside Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. To schedule an appointment please call 337.494.3278.

Roe Named

WCCH Anesthesia

Medical Director

Richard R. Roe, IV, MD, anesthesiologist, was recently named medical director of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s (WCCH’s) anesthesiology services. As medical director, Roe will provide oversight of anesthesia patient care services for the organization.

Dr. Roe is a graduate of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport and completed his anesthesiology residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. He is board certified in anesthesiology by the American Board of Anesthesiology and is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Louisiana Society of Anesthesiologists and currently sits on the board of the Louisiana Society of Anesthesiologists PAC. Dr. Roe is also active in the community serving as a member of the SOWELA School of Nursing and Allied Health Advisory Committee and possesses a passion for philanthropy.

50 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023
Kathryn Shea Duncan Karl Duncan, MD
Places & Faces
Richard R. Roe, IV, MD

Kurt Duncan, MD, Joins Memorial Medical Group Lake Charles Memorial Health System welcomes Kurt A. Duncan, MD, interventional cardiologist, to its medical staff and to the Memorial Heart & Vascular team.

Kurt Duncan, MD, FACC, FSCAI completed his medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. His post-graduate training includes an internal medicine residency from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and an echocardiography fellowship from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He then furthered his medical education with a clinical nuclear cardiology fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. Followed with a cardiovascular disease fellowship at New York Medical College – Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY, an interventional cardiology/ peripheral vascular fellowship at Wayne State University – Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI, and concluded with advanced procedural trainings in echocardiography from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, nuclear cardiology at Yale University School of Medicine and interventional/peripheral vascular training at Detroit Medical Center – Harper Hospital. Most recently Dr. Kurt Duncan practiced with Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg, MS.

Dr. Kurt Duncan is board-certified in Interventional Cardiology and in Cardiovascular Disease through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

As the newest member of the medical staff at Lake Charles Memorial Health System, Dr. Duncan is accepting new patients at their clinic inside the Heart & Vascular Center located at 1717 Oak Park Blvd. – 2nd Floor inside Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. To schedule an appointment please call 337.494.3278.

Wilkinson Named to MSAAC Federal Bank of Louisiana President & CEO Samuel V. Wilkinson has been named to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC), which advises the agency on issues and opportunities facing mutual savings institutions across the United States.

The MSAAC provides advice and information to the OCC on the condition of mutual savings associations, the regulatory changes, or other steps the OCC may be able to take to ensure the health and viability of mutual savings associations. The committee includes officers and directors of federal mutual savings associations of all types, sizes, operating strategies, and geographic areas around the United States.

Todd Clemons and Associates

Welcomes Summer Associate

Todd Clemons and Associates welcome Samuel Fowlkes as a summer associate. A third-year student at Southern University Law Center, Fowlkes attended Barbe High School and graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in accounting.

The law firm handles criminal defense, civil litigation, personal injury and family law. Located in Lake Charles, Todd Clemons and Associates was founded by Todd S. Clemons in 2007.

For more information, visit

Lakeside Bank

Welcomes Dillan Rainwater

Dillan Rainwater has joined Lakeside Bank as Vice President/ Commercial Lender. Rainwater has over nine years of banking experience, with an extensive background in commercial lending. Originally from DeQuincy, Louisiana, Rainwater earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from McNeese State University. He also completed the SWLA Leadership Program in 2020.

Rainwater will be working at Lakeside’s Main Office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. His office number is (337) 502-4854.. 51
Kurt Duncan, MD Samuel V. Wilkinson Samuel Fowlkes Dillan Rainwater


Often, when you hear the words family business, your mind turns to generational stories and decades in operation; passed down from one family member to another and marked with pride. But the reality is, every family business has a beginning of their legacy. This month, Thrive’s Family Works brings you a unique perspective, an origin story; the beginning of what the Schexnayder family hopes to be a storied history for their Jeff Davis Parish based business.

Tyler Schexnayder, a veteran of the US Army and law enforcement, was exhausted of the long hours and missed time with his wife, Brittany, their young daughter, Lily, and their soon-to-be-born son, James. The love of duty and service was strong, but not stronger than his desire to be a present father and husband. While looking into leaving the unpredictable world of law enforcement, he began pressure washing as a side gig.

For nine months, Tyler continued his fulltime Tyler continued his full-time job in law enforcement and pressure washed part time. “As the new year was approaching, I decided it was finally time,” says Schexnayder. “I quit law enforcement and dove headfirst into my business full-time.”

Thus, Veteran Exteriors was born. Based out of Jennings and serving the I10 corridor from Sulphur to Lafayette, Veteran Exteriors brings their “not just clean, military clean” motto to homes, sidewalks, parking lots, and businesses to countless customers. “When we say military clean, we are talking about much more than just the quality of our cleaning services,” says Schexnayder. “We are talking about the way we act and talk, how we care for our customers.”

His time in law enforcement and the Army solidified a few core values that are deeply embedded in his business model. “Our company has three core valuesgenerosity, professionalism and servant leadership,” says Schexnayder. “We also have five anti-values - negative attitude, entitlement, rude, dishonest, and slothful.”

This culture trickles from the top down with Veteran Exteriors team and it shows in their business performance.

Like many young entrepreneurs, Schexnayder’s family is his driving force. “As my children watch me build this business, I want them to see me live out our core values and avoid our anti-values,” he says. “I want them to see that you can do amazing things and have a successful career or business that still allows you to prioritize faith and family.” As the business grows, he is ever mindful of the future. “My aim is to structure the business to continue operating long after I am gone,” he says. “Of course, I want them to take this over one day, but they are only three and seven, so time will tell.”

When it comes to his family members that work alongside him, the praises are high. “I honestly don’t know where we would be without my family that helped make Veteran Exteriors what it is today,” says Schexnayder. “My mom, Michelle, quit a job in the public school system to help me answer phones and maintain paperwork. Shortly after came my brother, Donovan, and my cousin, Daniel.

52 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Places & Faces | PUBLIC SERVANTS AT YOUR SERVICE

Not to mention the employees that have become family. They have been key to our success! Having team members that care deeply for me and the success of my business means they are more like partners than employees.”

With success comes growth, and Schexnayder is no stranger to it. “We just opened our second location in March to better serve customers in the Lafayette area,” he says. “Just this year we’ve hired an additional five team members and, if my forecasts are correct, will likely add an additional three or four more within the next 12 months.”

The future is bright for this young business with Tyler at the helm and his family alongside.

To learn more about Veteran Exteriors, visit them online at 53 RESIDENTIAL Pressure Washing Roof Cleaning House Washing Gutter Cleaning Subscription Program COMMERCIAL Building Cleaning Window Cleaning Parking Lot Cleaning Parking Lot Painting Not just clean MILITARY CLEAN! SWLA’S HIGHEST RATED CLEANING company! (337) 240-9274

KAY LA VINCENT began her career at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) in 2009 at the age of 19. Prompted by her mother, who recently retired as Director of CPSO’s Accounting Department, she accepted a part-time data entry position while taking criminal justice classes at McNeese State University. Soon after, as a single mom of a ten-month-old son, Kayla put her education on hold and began her full-time career at CPSO in the ID/Records Division, where she served for several years. Later, after a short stint as the Enforcement Division patrol time keeper, she transferred to Administration as Assistant Chief Buba Mayeaux’s secretary.

During this time, she earned her Criminal Intelligence Analyst Certification. It was also here that Kayla had opportunities to work in Community & Media Relations with previous Public Information Officer (PIO) Kim Myers. In 2014, after Myers’ assistant left CPSO, Kayla’s position transitioned to a dual-purpose role, serving both Mayeaux’s office and media relations. “I really enjoyed the work and started to gain a real passion for the job of PIO,” Kayla says. “I soaked up everything I could from Kim.” In 2020, Myers retired and Kayla was promoted to PIO. “It was a challenging first year as PIO, dealing with the pandemic, two hurricanes, and several major incidents including a double homicide and kidnapping,” she adds.

first person with KAYLA VINCENT

54 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Places & Faces | PUBLIC SERVANTS AT YOUR SERVICE
Public Information Officer, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office by Angie Kay Dilmore

Thrive magazine caught up with this busy law enforcement/media professional and she shared details on what her average day looks like, the joys of growing up in a close-knit family, and what she most wants the community to know about the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Describe a typical day as PIO at CPSO. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a typical day. Every day is different and that’s one of the things I love about my job. I never know what to expect when I arrive at work. Some days are laid back and I have time to catch up on things; others are so busy, by 3:00 p.m. I sit down at my desk and find my coffee cup still full from the morning.

First, I check to see if we’ve had any arrests or incidents that I know the media will call about or if there are any previous incidents that I need to follow up on. Then I work on whatever tasks or fill other roles that need to be handled that day and tend to details pertaining to special projects we may be working on, such as special events. I constantly respond to media inquiries and send out press releases. I manage the CPSO website and social media pages, including “feel good” stories about CPSO and our community – it’s not all bad news! I distribute public information directly from the Sheriff to our community. I’m also the editor of our interagency newsletter.

In what ways do you find your job rewarding?

I think most people in law enforcement just want to help their community in whatever capacity that fits their job description. For me, it’s rewarding in times of crisis to get the Sheriff’s message, along with accurate information, out to the public in a timely manner so they are informed of exactly what the Sheriff and the office are doing and what steps might need to be taken. There is no better feeling as a communicator than to know my community understands and appreciates the information I’m putting out.

At midnight on June 30, 2024, after 20 years as CPSO Sheriff, Tony Mancuso officially retires. It’s still over a year away, but any thoughts on the transition as a new sheriff fills those big shoes?

Sheriff Mancuso and our deputies have worked hard to bring this department to where it is today and are proud of its high standards and positive reputation. Without a doubt, Sheriff Mancuso will be fully cooperative with whomever wins the sheriff’s race and their transition team. He understands that it benefits the people of Calcasieu Parish when there is cooperation during a transition of power and is eager to facilitate that process.

What would you most like the community to know about the Sheriff’s Office?

I hope the citizens of Calcasieu Parish know how much the deputies at CPSO truly care about the community. These days, law enforcement officers around the country are under such scrutiny, adding immense pressure to their already stressful jobs. The deputies at CPSO work hard to earn the trust of Parish citizens by being true examples of Sheriff Mancuso’s motto: Treat everyone like family.

Here in SWLA, families are so important. Tell us about yours.

I was born and raised in Lake Charles, graduated from Barbe High School (Go Bucs!) and consider myself blessed to have been raised in an extremely close family, including extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My favorite childhood memories are times spent together with family members – not so much what we did – but who I was with. My parents worked hard to ensure I had what I needed growing up. Now, I live in Iowa with my fiancé and our two sons – a 14-year-old (mine) and a four-year-old (ours). I have a stepson who is married, and they have our amazing granddaughter! I also have a stepdaughter who lives in Denham Springs.

Law enforcement per se did not run in my family growing up. However, my fiancé is in law enforcement (Iowa Police Department) as are my stepson (CPSO Narcotics) and daughter-inlaw (CPSO Criminal Intelligence).

With both their parents employed in law enforcement, any thoughts on your sons following suit in their own careers? Of course, my youngest thinks anything police related is so cool. My oldest has mentioned maybe wanting to work for Wildlife and Fisheries.

In 2018, you were named CPSO’s Volunteer of the Year.

Yes, previously I was involved in coordinating the Special Olympics Louisiana Law Enforcement Torch Run. Currently, I’m a member of the National Information Officers Association and have been a presenter at their National Conferences. I’m on the Communications Committee for the Alliance to Fight Human Trafficking in SWLA. And I’m active in Crime Stoppers of Lake Charles.

How do you enjoy your free time?

We spend all our free time at the baseball field watching our boys play and I love every minute of it. Our oldest plays high school baseball for Lacassine and our youngest plays rec ball in Iowa. We enjoy watching our kids do what they love and as a result have made many close friends over the years. When it’s not baseball season, the boys have other extracurricular activities that we spend our time attending. When we do find a free weekend, we enjoy camping with friends and family. We also spend time at our family camp in Little Chenier; both our boys love hunting and fishing. 55


Hopes to Return to Lake Charles

The YMCA of the Capital Area announced plans to bring a YMCA location back to the Lake Charles community during a fundraising event in April.

The YMCA that was previously in Lake Charles was damaged due to Hurricane Rita. Through a partnership with Imperial Land Holdings, the YMCA plans to build a new location near the Villages of Imperial Pointe off Nelson Road. Dr. John Noble, managing partner of Imperial Pointe, and the other partners on the campus announced a major contribution to make the YMCA’s return to Lake Charles a possibility. The group is donating land valued at $1 million for the location.

“We are excited about helping to bring the YMCA back to our community, which will benefit the entire region,” says Dr. Noble. “I’m proud of my partners for making this first, significant contribution to the new location.”

The YMCA will offer programs centered around three areas of focus, Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. The new YMCA will provide health and wellness programs, water safety, swimming lessons, early childhood education, after-school care, summer camp, and chronic disease prevention programs. Programs will be offered at their facility as well as at locations throughout the community.

The YMCA is still working to raise funds to bring this innovative, medically integrated facility from a dream to a reality. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit community service organization, the Y relies on donations and community support. The YMCA encourages anyone interested in supporting the Y to consider donating through the online fundraising campaign, donate/the-young-mens-christian-association-of-the-capital-area/ discover-the-y-in-lake-charles or text LCYMCA to 44321.

56 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023
Example of a modern YMCA facility design

The Y also encourages community members to sign up to get involved to support these efforts. Anyone interested can sign up online at

The Y looks forward to returning to the Lake Charles community!

Plan Plant We You

Spring is Here! 57
your yard a beautiful oasis to enjoy all year long with our We Plan, You Plant solution. Our team will create a plan, help you choose the plants from our huge retail yard, lay out your beds and guide you as you create the yard of your dreams.
made simple for your home.
5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles (337) 478-3836 M-F: 7am – 4pm Sat: 8am – 2pm (Seasonal Hours)
Dr. John Noble, managing partner of Imperial Pointe, and Christian Engle, president and CEO of YMCA of the Capital Area

Just Imagine SWLA

Nellie Lutcher Cultural District

Quality of Life Projects Coming to Life

The Nellie Lutcher Cultural District, named after Lake Charles’ legendary blues singer Nellie Lutcher, was recognized in 2015 and received distinction as a Louisiana Cultural District in 2016. Three short years later, the Community Foundation worked with a variety of partners to generate a Better Block event that showcased quality of life improvements that could transform the district through pop-up cafes and cultural displays. Today, these steps have paved the groundwork for progress being made with the Just Imagine SWLA Nellie Lutcher Cultural District catalytic project with significant announcements and work being done on three new projects.

Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu:

Mardi Gras plays a significant role from historical and cultural perspectives for Southwest Louisiana. The original Mardi Gras Museum, located inside Central School, provided a space where people could experience the magic of Mardi Gras yearround from 1998 until the devastation in 2020 caused by Hurricane Laura. To advance the museum into the future, community leaders and the Mardi Gras Museum board of directors announced the proposal for a new Mardi Gras Museum to be built in the heart of the Nellie Lutcher Cultural District at 641 Enterprise Blvd.

After the storms of 2020, Visit Lake Charles applied for a grant on behalf of the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to secure funding from the competitive American Rescue Plan’s Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program.

The museum project was awarded a $1.6 million matching grant to build a new museum to entice more tourism and interest in the Lake Charles area. The current proposal calls for additional financial support from Visit Lake Charles, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, and the City of Lake Charles to partner with the grant from the EDA. The Mardi Gras Museum board will also launch a necessary capital campaign for additional financial support for the project.

“The Mardi Gras Museum once housed the most Mardi Gras costumes in the Gulf South, and it was a beacon for visitors and residents to experience Mardi Gras magic year-round,” says Anne Monlezun, founder of the Mardi Gras Museum. “The new museum will be more versatile and allow for more programming and creativity in a space specifically created to showcase the artistry and traditions of local krewes.”

58 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Places & Faces

Nellie Lutcher Memorial Pocket Park:

The Nellie Lutcher Memorial Pocket Park is a community-focused pocket park providing meaningful open space to the surrounding neighborhood. This park is just shy of one acre and features a performance stage framed by piano key pavers giving a nod to its namesake, Nellie Lutcher. The park also provides food truck hookups integrated into the design bringing food opportunities directly to the neighborhood. This amenity also serves as a complement to any performance taking place on the stage. The thoughtful design and carefully landscaped lawn will offer members of the community a beautiful environment to partake in cultural experiences and community activities – right across the street from the Mardi Gras Museum.

“The Nellie Lutcher Memorial Pocket Park is a demonstration of the City of Lake Charles’ effort to improve the quality of life for residents residing in the Nellie Lutcher Cultural District,” says Lake Charles Mayor, Nic Hunter. “With the construction of the park, we are creating a beautiful green space, which is always a plus, and we are creating a place where neighbors can gather and partake in unique, cultural experiences.”

1st Avenue Multi-Use Trail

To create connectivity and ease of movement for people in neighborhoods surrounding the Nellie Lutcher Cultural District to explore nearby attractions, the 1st Avenue Multi-Use Trail will provide much needed infrastructure. The final segment of the trail is currently under construction from Broad St. moving north to Winterhalter St. with the anticipated completion to be this summer.

This project is part of the City of Lake Charles Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

“Amenities, such as benches and bike racks, have been provided by our generous partners from civic organizations. All of the trees have been donated and planted by industry and community service partners,” says Lori Marinovich Assistant Director of Planning & Development, City of Lake Charles. “Our goal is to have the final phase enhanced by similar donors. We are actively seeking partnerships for these amenities”

Learn more about Just Imagine SWLA by going to, or follow JustImagineSWLA on Facebook and Instagram. 59

Understanding Certificates of DEPOSIT

Rising interest rates over the past couple of years may have caused headaches for borrowers, especially those in the housing market, as the cost for loans increased steeply throughout 2022 and into this year.

Savers, on the other hand, are enjoying competitive yields on certificates of deposits (CDs) for the first time since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007.

“As the stock market continues to cause concern, certificates of deposit, or CDs, may be more attractive to people who want to earn a little money on their hard-earned cash without taking the full plunge of entering into a volatile or underperforming market,” says Kala Kuhlthau, Senior Vice President and Sulphur Branch Manager with Lakeside Bank. “CDs are attractive because they are low-risk and carry a guaranteed principle.”

Kuhlthau explains how CDs work: You invest a fixed sum of money for a fixed period of time, and the bank pays you interest that is higher than a traditional savings account.

When you cash in your CD, you get your money back, plus the accrued interest given by the bank. You can choose to invest your money for six months, five years, or more, depending on what the financial institution is offering in terms and what you choose. There is a penalty for early redemption, if you withdraw earlier than the term you agreed upon.

“In general, CDs are fairly straightforward and easy to understand. It’s important to make sure you understand all the details,” says Kuhlthau. “CDs are a great way for consumers to get into the habit of saving because they require a committed investment period. CDs typically offer higher interest rates than savings accounts, so that’s another added benefit.”

Most financial professionals recommend that CDs work as a supplement to a diversified investment portfolio. “To develop any savings and investment strategies, including one with CDs, you should speak to a financial professional. Everyone has different financial goals – some long-term, some short-term. Those things make a difference in how you invest in your CDs,” says Kuhlthau.

She offers these tips for anyone considering a CD investment:

• Make sure you understand the terms and have everything in writing. Be sure you take note of when your CD matures – you don’t want to revisit your investment in six months, only to discover that it’s been committed for six years.

• Confirm the interest rate on your CD. You need to know if it’s fixed or variable and how it will be paid. Monthly? Semi-annually?

• If you invest in a variable rate, you need to understand how the interest rate will work. When will it change? How? There are structures in the variable-rate CDs that explain these things. Make sure you understand them.

• Understand the penalties for early withdrawal. 61
Visit or the Lakeside nearest you in Lake Charles, Sulphur or Moss Bluff, to learn more about CDs.

ALLIANCE FOR POSITIVE GROWTH Releases Community Tax Education Initiative

The Alliance for Positive Growth (APG), a local non-profit organization, has released the results of a parish-wide tax study of the collection and allocation of taxes in Calcasieu Parish. The findings, in the format of an interactive dashboard, are available on the group’s website,

According to Faith Hooks, Executive Director of APG, the purpose of the project is educational, to help local residents understand where and how their tax dollars are allocated. “Our goal was to help citizens understand their tax bill – why it may change from year to year, how what they pay contributes to larger goals and which entities control which funds.”

APG worked to compile, analyze and publish an easy-to-understand digital tool covering local 2021-2022 taxes in the parish. “When most people look at their annual parish tax bill, it is not easy to understand exactly what you are paying, much less how it is used,” says Ryan Hess, APG board president.

“Many different local and state entities receive tax allocations. Our study breaks all this down, providing the resources and tax data from five different public offices into one online portal for taxpayers to access.”

Hooks says the study’s dashboard landing and resource pages detail the sources for the data, explain the tax terminology, and include helpful instructions and videos for navigating the interactive online portal. Inperson presentations on the study can also be requested through the site. “We’ve presented to a few area organizations and the feedback has been really positive,” she says.

62 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Money & Career | Accentuate your ASSETS

“It is truly an education initiative that supports our group’s mission of promoting strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana.”

APG is also looking for feedback from the public on how a project like this could be enhanced or expanded in the future. A public poll has also been created for viewers to share their thoughts.

To access and learn more about the project, visit and choose “Community Tax Education Initiative” under the “News and Events” menu option. 63 2023 American Press People’s Choice of SWLA Award NOMINATE Best Bank Nominating opens May 15 at

Landlord & Renter Rights

What to Know About the Eviction Process

Rental properties can be an extra source for income for property owners and an affordable option for tenants not ready for a mortgage payment. Both parties agree to terms of lease and the relationship between the two can be an oral or written contract. But what happens if an issue occurs and, as a landlord, you need to end the arrangement? As a tenant, what should you know if your landlord has given you a notice of eviction?

“Both parties should be familiar with the details of their rental agreement, as well as the eviction process to know what rights they have and what to expect during the legal process,” says Judge Ron Richard, with Lake Charles City Court. “There are some common situations we see, which often arise from one or both parties not understanding their rights. City Court offers an efficient way for landlords to handle the eviction process, and for landlords and tenants to resolve any disputes.”


“A notice to vacate is a written statement to a tenant that the tenant must vacate the premises and why,” says Judge Jamie Bice. He explains what both parties should understand about this document.

What landlords should know: This note should include the date of delivery or posting of the notice, the address of the property that is to be vacated, the number of days the tenant has to vacate the property, and if a written lease agreement exists, the notice to vacate should include why the tenant is being asked to vacate.

What tenants should know: If you have received a notice to vacate, then your landlord plans to file a lawsuit for eviction if you do not move out be the end of the notice period. If you do not want to leave the property, immediately contact your landlord and try to work out the problem. If the two of you cannot come to an agreement, you should determine if you have a legal defense, or a reason under the law why you should not be evicted. If not, you should find a new place to live or house your business.

“Once you have received a notice to vacate, you only have five days to work out an arrangement or leave the premises. Time is of the essence, so do not delay contacting your landlord or finding a place to go,” says Judge Bice. “If you are still on the property once the five days have passed, your landlord can file a rule for possession of the premises.”

64 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • May 2023 Money & Career


“A rule for possession of premises is the legal pleading that the landlord will file to evict a tenant,” says Judge Richard.

What landlords should know: The reason for eviction should be explicitly stated.

What tenants should know: The Marshall’s office will serve you with the lawsuit that will notify you of a hearing date in court before the judge.

“Both the landlord and tenant should make plans to attend the hearing and have any defenses ready to present,” Judge Richard says. “As a landlord, you must prove that you and the tenant entered into a lease agreement together, that the tenant agreement has expired or otherwise been terminated, and that tenant was properly served the notice to vacate. As a tenant, you can file a response to the suit before the court date with the Clerk of Court’s office detailing your defense to not be evicted.”


“If the court grants an eviction, the tenant only has 24 hours to vacate the premises unless an appeal is filed,” Judge Richard explains. “Most tenants are unaware of this short timeframe.”

What landlords should know: After the 24-hour period, if the tenant has not filed and appeal or vacated the property, you may contact the Marshal’s office and complete a Writ of Ejectment form. Once the form is received, the Marshal’s office will go to the property and physically remove tenants and their possessions.

What the tenant should know: After the court has given a ruling, you may appeal the decision within 24 hours of the judgement. If you do not do so, use that 24-hours to move out. If you are still on the property after the 24-period and have not filed an appeal, expect the Marshal’s office to come to your door to remove you and your belongings.

“On average, the eviction process can take between 10-42 days to complete. The best way to protect yourself during the proceedings is to keep good records in order to produce evidence as part of your defense,” says Judge Bice. “Keep a paper trail, whether hard copies or those you have scanned to your computer, and make a backup file of all documents incase an unforeseen circumstance happens to your equipment.”

Learn more at 65 CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPS, CRPC Investment Advisor Representative Butch Ferdinandsen 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. Let us help you make a plan.

First Federal Bank of Louisiana Rated 5 Stars by BauerFinancial

The board of directors of First Federal Bank of Louisiana is proud to announce that BauerFinancial, the nation’s premier bank rating firm, has given First Federal Bank its highest, 5-star rating for the 31st year in a row. A 5-star rating from BauerFinancial indicates First Federal Bank excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, and asset quality, as well as several other factors.

First Federal Bank has also procured a “Best of Bauer Bank” designation, which is reserved for banks that have maintained Bauer’s highest rating consistently for over 25 years.

For more information about First Federal Bank, visit

CITGO Supports 15 Years of Recycling Electronics

Hundreds of Southwest Louisiana residents recycled their unwanted electronics during the 15th CITGO E-Recycle Day at the West-Cal Arena & Events Center. The CITGO Lake Charles Refinery organized the event with the support of the City of Sulphur, Team Green, Hine Environmental Services, West-Cal Arena & Event Center and the City of Lake Charles Wastewater Division.

This event provides residents with the opportunity to recycle their unwanted electronics, free of charge. Items collected included computers, printers, fax machines, keyboards, photocopiers, TVs, VCRs, stereos, home and office phones, household electronics, tablets and gaming consoles. This year 400 vehicles drove through the event with collections totaling six extra-large roll-off boxes, which equals approximately four semitrailers, 550 light bulbs and several items containing mercury.

Each year, CITGO E-Recycle Day alternates between the cities of Sulphur and Lake Charles to give residents in each region a convenient place to recycle their e-waste.

CSE Federal Credit Union Announces New Branch Location

CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) is proud to announce the recent purchase of property for its new location in DeRidder, Louisiana. The addition of a 5th branch will allow CSE to expand its services to better serve Members in the surrounding Beauregard Parish area. The new property is conveniently positioned within the heart of downtown DeRidder. CSE plans to build a branch that creates a comfortable environment that meets the needs of its Members and employees.

CSE Federal Credit Union anticipates the opening of its new location early 2025. More details about the groundbreaking and grand opening will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit our website at or contact us at 337.477.2000.

Community Foundation Presents Professional Advisor Award Posthumously to Roland Terrell

The Community Foundation SWLA held its Annual Meeting recently and presented its Professional Advisor Award posthumously to Roland Terrell. Roland loved SWLA and made the Community Foundation the beneficiary of a life insurance policy to continue to enhance our region. Sadly, Roland and his wife died suddenly in a car wreck in 2022. Thanks to his forward thinking, the Community Foundation is able to invest his gift to benefit the Foundation’s work for the future.

Austin Terrell, Roland’s son, accepted the Professional Advisor Award at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting on behalf of his father. Austin is now an attorney and has joined the family business, Terrell and Associates.

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