Thrive November 2017 Issue

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November 2017



EDDIE MORMON November 2017

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

November 2017

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Contents In This Issue Wining &Dining


Toast the Turkey 8 Go Nuts Over Peanut Butter Powder 10 12 Things to do with Leftover Halloween Candy Places &Faces 14 Good Samaritans of SWLA 18 The Jung Hotel and Residences in New Orleans 20 Lake Area Ballet Theatre 21 Rouses Markets Coming Next Year 22 Newly Renovated Beauregard Parish Courthouse

Regular Features 12 First Person with Eddie Mormon 24 Who’s News 40 Happenings 32 McNeese Corral 60 Business Buzz 63 By the Numbers: Alzheimer’s 70 Solutions for Life

Home &Family START YOUR ENGINES 26 – 35 Cover Story: AUTO TREND GUIDE 36 Hassle-Free Thanksgiving Planning 38 Mealtime Manners 41 Protect your Pet from Dog Flu

14 36

tyle &Beauty S 44 Make your Thanksgiving Style a Snap 46 Blow Away Bad Hair Days 48 Backpack Bonanza oney &Career M 50 LAIA Hosts Chem Expo 52 Selling your Home During the Holidays 54 Shop Local on Small Business Saturday 58 Business Start-Up Program for Veterans

Mind &Body


The Benefits of Art in Alzheimer’s Disease 64 7 Ways to Give Back to your Community 66 Kidney Donation


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 be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. 4


Editors and Publishers

Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099

Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen


Managing Editor

Angie Kay Dilmore

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel Stevenson

Design and Layout

Mandy Gilmore

Assistant Designers

Shonda Manuel Kris Roy

Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

November 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Wining & Dining

Toast Turkey! the

Best Drinks to Serve with your Thanksgiving Meal by Emily Alford

An excellent Thanksgiving meal is mostly about a plump, moist turkey with all the trimmings, but that doesn’t mean Thanksgiving drinks have to be just so-so. If you’re looking to impress your guests with some fun cocktails and wines that complement the meal, here’s a guide for serving Thanksgiving libations that may just steal the show!

Appetizers If you’re serving your guests finger foods, like cheese and olives, serve a peppery, yet fruity wine like Cabernet Franc. Its herbaceous notes bring out the bright flavors in olives and other charcuterie. Or if you’d like to start the meal with a festive cocktail, look no further than the cranberry gimlet, a simple concoction made of two ounces gin, one ounce of unsweetened cranberry juice, a twist of lime, and a half ounce of simple syrup. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into champagne glasses. Drop a few frozen cranberries into the glass for a festive finish.


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November 2017

Dinner Of course, the star of your table will probably be the turkey, surrounded by side dishes, but there are some lovely, inexpensive wines out there that can really bring out the flavors in your bird. Pinot Noir is a light red wine with an oaky, vanilla flavor offset by notes of ripe tomato, which makes it a nottoo-heavy, yet satisfying complement to a perfectly roasted turkey. If you’re deep-frying your bird this year, lighten up the salty flavor by serving your turkey alongside a sparkling wine. The effervescence of the bubbles and the high acidity of the wine itself will add a sweet and tart element to your Thanksgiving feast. But there’s no reason to spend more on your bubbles than your bird: a Spanish Cava or an American rosé will liven up your table without costing a fortune.

Dessert Old school dessert wines are making a comeback. And the citrusy, spicy flavors of a good old fashioned ruby port pair so well with a slice of pumpkin pie, you and your guests will wonder why we stopped finishing our meals with a nip of port in the first place. If you’d like to serve your adult guests a bite of something sweet and sinful, the “Frozen Turkey” is a fun finish to a fine meal. Just blend a pint of butter pecan ice cream with an ounce of Wild Turkey and an ounce of Amaretto. Serve topped with store-bought or homemade caramel sauce for a boozy dessert that tastes perfect on its own or even better atop a slice of warm apple pie.

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with food, family, and fun. Pairing a few special drinks with the different courses of your meal not only adds to the festive mood, but also makes for some great dinner table conversation!

ALWAYS IN YOUR CORNER Jessica Latour 337-602-6393

© 2016 Allstate Insurance Co.

November 2017

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Wining & Dining

Go Nuts November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. And there are so many ways to eat this creamy, tasty pantry staple! Peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and bananas. Peanut butter and honey. The list goes on and on. It’s a versatile snack, packed with protein, and great on a stalk of celery, a sandwich, or a spoon. But there’s a new way to enjoy your daily nutty goodness. Meet peanut butter powder! Peanut butter powder is peanut butter without the oil. Roasted peanuts are squeezed and pressed to remove up to 90 percent of the natural oils, then the result is dehydrated. Those dehydrated peanuts are turned into a powder that has about half as many calories per serving as traditional peanut butter. You can use this powder as an addition to recipes or reconstitute it with water to eat like you would normal peanut butter. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. The reconstituted powder won’t have the same creamy texture as normal peanut butter because there’s very little fat left in it. And because there is little oil in the powder, it isn’t a good substitute for regular peanut butter in baking. That being said, this fun ingredient is a great way to add peanut butter flavor without a lot of extra calories or fat.


over Peanut Butter Powder

Peanut Butter Powder Recipes

Peanut butter powder works well to add a boost of protein and fiber to your food. Consider these easy ways to use it.

Peanut Butter Smoothies

Peanut butter powder dissolves well into a morning smoothie. Try a classic banana, peanut butter, and milk combination. Add in a dollop of Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, a splash of vanilla, or a squirt of chocolate syrup. Want to boost the vitamins and iron in your breakfast? Add a handful of kale or spinach. Peanut butter with apple is also delicious. Experiment with different flavor combinations.

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by Keaghan P. Wier

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Overnight oatmeal is another trendy breakfast. It’s a great option for weekday mornings, as it eliminates the need to prep or cook while trying to get out the door. Prepare your oats the night before in a glass jar, using old-fashioned rolled oats, peanut butter powder, milk, vanilla, and a bit of brown sugar. Leave in the fridge overnight. Take it out in the morning, stir, and enjoy! If you like, you can also add toppings like sliced fruit, granola, or nuts. Like smoothies, this breakfast is completely customizable and can be as healthy (or indulgent!) as you want it to be. Peanut butter powder lets you enjoy all the flavor, protein, and fiber of your favorite nut spread without the calories and fat.

November 2017

Waitr Delivers

“Share Thanksgiving” Food Drive in Lake Charles Food Delivery Service to help Feed the Needy this Holiday Season Waitr, the on-demand restaurant platform, is starting a new Thanksgiving food drive using its popular app to help feed the needy in the communities they serve. When someone orders from their favorite restaurant using Waitr, they’ll have the option to help feed a family in their own community with a donation. Called “Share Thanksgiving”, the food drive allows Waitr users to click on the designated “Donate a Meal” button after they order. Should they choose to do so, they will then be prompted to select a dollar amount ranging from $2 to $10. Waitr and its participating restaurant partners will also match a portion of their customers’ donations. Using all of these donations, Waitr will deliver free hot meals prepared by local restaurants to hungry families during Thanksgiving week. “While Thanksgiving is typically a time to reflect on how fortunate we are, there are also many people who unfortunately need help putting food

on their tables,” said Chris Meaux, CEO and Founder of Waitr. “We’re so grateful for our customers and restaurant partners, whose combined efforts will assist us in making this Thanksgiving a day of hope for those in need.” Share Thanksgiving will be a major undertaking across the entire Southeast, as Waitr has more than 2,500 restaurant partners and a presence in more than 100 cities. “Our goal is to ensure none of our neighbors go hungry this Thanksgiving,” said Meaux. Launched in 2015, Waitr is an ondemand restaurant platform designed to connect local restaurants to hungry consumers. Founded in Lake Charles, Waitr’s mission is to develop the local food culture for communities across the United States by expanding the reach of local restaurant menus. Available on the Web, on iPhone and Android devices, Waitr is the most convenient way to discover, order and eat great food from the best local restaurants.

188 E. Telephone Road • Moss Bluff November 2017

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Wining & Dining

12Things to do with Leftover Halloween Candy

1 Bake it 2 Mix it 3 Top it 4

Freeze it

You can add fun-size candy bars to milkshakes, crush and sprinkle over ice cream, or eat them straight out of the wrapper.

Bury fun-size chocolate candy bars into a brownie mix or add crushed candy bars to cake or cookie batter or stir into icing.

Add small candies such as M&Ms to a trail mix with nuts, raisins, cranberries, and granola.

Instead of marshmallows atop your sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, try using candy corn.


5 Crush it 6 Stash it 7 Craft it 8 Pair it

Try pairing leftover candies with various wines or spirits. Or add chocolate bars to vodka for a unique flavored vodka.

Add crushed candies to your coffee.

Stash some into a pocket in your purse for emergencies.

Be creative and use colorful candies in making holiday crafts such as wreaths, ornaments, or gingerbread houses.

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9 Game it 10 Give it 11 Work it 12 Stuff it

Stuff into a piĂąata for a late-year birthday party.

Use small candies as board game pieces.

Consider donating it to a senior center or a charity organization such as

If none of these ideas appeal to you, simply take your leftover candy to your workplace and watch how quickly it disappears.

November 2017



JOIN US FOR GAME DAY Since 1985, we’ve been satisfying the appetites of Louisiana folks with po-boys, chips and libations. Let Darrell’s put a smile on your face and give you delicious food you’ll love. We pride ourselves on serving enticing po-boys that include surf and turf, Darrell’s Special and BBQ. At Darrell’s, we make all of our gravy, BBQ sauce, jalapeno mayonnaise and butter sauce in-house daily because we believe in giving you the best. 119 West College Street, Lake Charles (337) 474-3651 | Monday – Thursday: 11am–10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm Closed Sunday | Happy Hour 4–7pm

November 2017

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Places & Faces

first person by Angie Kay Dilmore photos by Shonda Manuel



Eddie Mormon

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November 2017

Eddie Mormon has established himself as one of the most prolific artists of our time. He works in his studio most every day, creating approximately 250 paintings a year. His work can be found extensively in offices, restaurants, and homes throughout the state, including our Capitol Building in Baton Rouge and art galleries in Covington and New Orleans. In 2012, he was asked by thenGovernor Bobby Jindal to paint the official state painting for the Louisiana Bicentennial. His unique artistic style, distinguished by colorful, heavy, broad strokes, can be seen across the U.S., and in galleries and universities in several states, especially in Colorado, where he lived for a time after high school. He created works of art for the Colorado Mountain Brewery and a Colorado Springs hotel called The Mining Exchange. He has shown his work as far away as Paris and Madrid. After Mormon left Colorado, he returned to Lake Charles and followed his father’s footsteps at the Port of Lake Charles. Mormon worked as a stevedore, quietly supporting his family. He earned extra cash by painting signs and other art work. In 1993, after two decades at the docks, Mormon quit his job due to an injury. At that time, he returned to his first love and began a new chapter of his life as a professional artist. He signs his pieces “Rock” Eddie Mormon, a nickname given him by his father. Because Mormon’s paintings are in high demand and he’s known to have a giving nature, he is frequently asked to donate a painting for an auction or other fundraising event. His generosity has benefited countless charity organizations. Born and raised in Lake Charles, Mormon was the third of six children. Now 64, he lives in Lake Charles with his wife, Monica, whom he clearly adores. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Thrive magazine recently sat down with Mormon in his home, which also serves as his studio, where he talked about his ability to overcome challenges, his generous heart, and his undeniable passion for painting.

November 2017

Tell us about your childhood. I had a good childhood coming up. I played outside, lay on my back and looked at the sky, and drew pictures in the dirt. I couldn’t wait for Mama and Daddy to get home from the store so I could draw on the paper bags. I was different from my mama’s other children. Daddy and my grandmama loved and supported my artwork and ability. One day, Mama was about to throw all my art supplies away. Grandmama stopped her. Thank God for my grandmama.

When did you first realize you were truly an artist? When I was a freshman at W.O. Boston High School, I entered a state-wide art contest and won second place. That was confirmation for me.

Describe your artistic process. I get up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. and paint through the early morning hours. I wake up with a vision of what I want to paint that day – I see it in my mind -- and that’s what I paint. I prefer to paint alone, don’t want anyone watching me. If I’m painting a home or business, I first go to the location and make a sketch, then paint it in my studio. I paint with oils, using only palette knives. The paint is so thick, it takes weeks for my paintings to dry.

Everything is beautiful in God’s Kingdom. Of course, I paint what people ask me to paint by commission. The only things I won’t paint are nudes. But I love to paint sunflowers, landscapes, and people. I paint a lot in New Orleans. My favorite of all my paintings is the one of St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square. Lake Charles is home, but New Orleans is my heart.

It’s well-known that you are colorblind. Yet your paintings are so vibrantly colorful. How do you compensate? I can see only primary colors – yellow, blue, and red. I make the other colors from these three. You don’t forget what you learn coming up. It’s like baking a cake or cooking – you don’t forget your combinations. Yellow, blue, and red make any color you want.

What are you most proud of in life?

I thank God for the gift of my ability to paint. Sometimes I’m a little misunderstood in what I do. But I know who I am. I’m happy.

What inspires your work and what is your favorite subject to paint? The Good Lord was the first artist. He inspires me.

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Places & Faces


In any community, there are those humble souls who take the notion of the Good Samaritan to a higher level. With extraordinary love and care for those in need, they give of themselves quietly, tirelessly, and expect nothing in return. In this season of gratitude, Thrive magazine wishes to honor four individuals in Calcasieu Parish who exemplify these commendable character traits, in hopes their stories will encourage and inspire our readers to find their own ways to show kindness to others.


by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

THE CAJUN NAVY The Cajun Navy first came about in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and has grown through the years by the kindness and generosity of good people who are simply willing to help. During the Baton Rouge flooding of 2016, Jon Bridgers noticed on Facebook that so many people needed assistance, and there were many people who wanted to meet those needs, so he created The Cajun Navy 2016 website, coordinating help to those in desperate need of it. Requests for aid came in quickly, and although local law enforcement did not have the manpower to meet all of the requests, private citizens realized that they had the resources and could assist. The Cajun Navy’s goal is to help rescue those in need during flooding disasters and to bring them donated food and supplies to sustain them until government relief arrives. They operate mainly through social media and their

website, letting anyone who is willing to help find an avenue to do so. They assist everyone in need, but prioritize aid to the elderly and those with special needs. The Cajun Navy’s help lasts for as long as their donated resources and their volunteers do. During Hurricane Harvey, Bridgers remembers helping an elderly couple, arriving at their home, and seeing them waist-deep in water. They were only able to salvage two small handbags full of their belongings, and their house later took in over seven feet of water. He says, “It is sad to see people lose everything that they worked their whole lives for.” However, the Cajun Navy and their flatbottomed boat crew were able to save the victims’ lives and continue to offer hope and help to those who need it most, often giving up their own time at work, paying their own way to get to strangers in need, and being the epitome of the Good Samaritan. photos by Jon Bridgers (above and right)


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November 2017

Tickets & Memberships


2018 Season Highlights include Artrageous, Wildlife Expert Peter Gros and Moscow Nights ALINA FERNANDEZ, CASTRO’S DAUGHTER Wed. March 28 | 7 pm Tritico Theatre

PETER GROS: MUTUAL OF OMAHA’S WILD KINGDOM Fri. April 20 | 7 pm Bulber Auditorium


MARY POPPINS Sat. April 21 | 3 pm Stokes Auditorium

RHYTHM FUTURE QUARTET Tues. March 6 | 7 pm Central School Theatre ARTRAGEOUS Thurs. March 8 | 7 pm Bulber Auditorium WALK THE LINE Sat. March 10 | 3 pm Stokes Auditorium MOSCOW NIGHTS & GOLDEN GATES DANCERS Thurs. March 15 | 7 pm Bulber Auditorium THE STEPCREW Sat. March 24 | 7 pm Bulber Auditorium

November 2017

HELL ON EARTH: THE FALL OF SYRIA & THE RISE OF ISIS Sat. April 14 | 3 pm Stokes Auditorium ZEB HOGAN: HOST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S MONSTER FISH Tues. April 17 | 7 pm Parra Ballroom

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ARTURO SANDOVAL Sun. April 22 | 7 pm Central School Theatre THE MALPASS BROTHERS Thurs. April 26 | 7 pm Bulber Auditorium THE EAGLE HUNTRESS Sat. April 28 | 3 pm Stokes Auditorium


Places & Faces

JOSH QUAYHAGEN Performance Evolution (PE) is more than just a place to become fit; it is a place to become a warrior for kindness. Josh Quayhagen, former McNeese State University football player, opened his business in 2011. PE specializes in martial arts, fitness, and sports training. His love for people and helping the community quickly grew his business into something more. Josh explains, “You never know what God has in store, especially through our weaknesses.” PEaceful Warriors, a program established by Josh, began when he was asked to speak to a group of students. He readily admits he does not like speaking in front of people but in doing so, he has found himself helping over 15,000 students learn about fitness, self-defense, bullying, peer pressure, and how to identify people who are hurting. He teaches how someone can positively affect all these issues with practice, knowledge, and courage. Josh and his team use summer camps to train students how to be superheroes in their

own worlds. These students then create their own missions, like finding ways to get new shoes to other students in need. Josh says that watching kids take ownership over the missions they have created and how they show love in their communities lets him know that the future is bright. Love United is the adult mission of PE Warriors for Christ. This group strives to connect people in our community who want to serve with opportunities for them to do so. They actively support Christmas and Easter missions, hold Back-to-School drives, assist local shelters, and renovate the homes of people in need. Josh and his team welcome anyone looking to show love with no strings attached to become a PE Warrior. “You never know the effect that one act of love can have on the world,” he says. “Our country needs to find its way. There are powers at work trying to drive wedges between our people but there are soldiers fighting against it with love. I know a lot of these soldiers. I like to think of myself as one.”

PENNY SENECA Penny Seneca recalls spending the holidays with her family delivering meals to those in need. She was greatly influenced by her mother, a single mom with three children, who would make Thanksgiving dinner for the elderly at church. Penny attributes her giving attitude to the selfless matriarch who taught her to simply help people in need. Penny lives her life by this personal motto; “If I can help, I will.” Whether it is perusing social media for those who need help and quietly offering her services, collecting items for local families after disaster, or buying school supplies and giving lunch money to school-aged children, Penny is always helping someone else. As a past president of the Junior League of Lake Charles, Penny is no stranger to philanthropic works. For eight years, she served on the ETC Harbor House board of directors. She has served for years on the Literacy Council, as well as serving on the board of directors of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in Baton


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Rouge. Her passion for children has always been evident, and some of the children she served keep in touch with her many years later, even stopping into her office just to say hello to their “Aunt Penny.” Her work for CASA brought her one of her greatest joys -- her daughter Ana. When Ana was four years old, the CASA program director told Penny she thought that Penny and Van, her husband, should meet the sweet little girl who was in need of a loving family. When they did, they immediately knew that Ana was their daughter. Ana’s struggles with austism led Penny to learn more and want to help others who were experiencing a similar journey, which is why she has served on the Family and Youth Advisory Council of the Autism Alliance in the past. Longtime friend Keri ForbessMcCorquodale says of Penny, “If I ever have any situation where I think I might need support, personally or otherwise, she is at the top of my list of people I can rely on who will get things done. If Penny is involved, I know I don’t have to worry.”

November 2017

KELLI STAWECKI Arkansas’s loss is Louisiana’s gain in the form of Kelli Stawecki, who moved to Southwest Louisiana in 1979. Kelli has always had a heart for helping others, and served as an autism teacher in the Calcasieu Parish school system before having to give it up due to a diagnosis of Lupus. Searching for other ways to share her heart with the community, Kelli joined Water’s Edge Church and subsequently became the director of the Water’s Edge Food Pantry and Homeless Outreach program. When asked how she got involved in this ministry, Kelli explains, “I started volunteering and doing service projects with our church, and later felt called to serve those less fortunate and in need. Tony Bourque and Water’s Edge have given me the platform and support to do what I love.” For Kelli, her work really began with Mrs. Sheila, a homeless woman who changed Kelli’s life. “I had never really noticed the homeless before,” says

Kelli. “I was scared of them, and it was just easier for me to look away. I came face to face with Mrs. Sheila, started a conversation with her, and reached in my pocket to give her some money, but she said, ‘I don’t want your money. I want you to hug me.’ I am terrified of germs, and I did not think I could do it, so I closed my eyes and asked for God’s help. I hugged her, and in that moment, I knew that I was the broken one. God changed my heart and my eyes so that I could begin to love without boundaries. Although she has since passed away, it all started with Mrs. Sheila.” Consistency is key when working with homeless people, because with consistency comes trust. Kelli and her ministry team have built relationships with many homeless, and take them to doctor’s appointments, visit them in the hospital, and help them try to make positive changes in their lives. In turn, Kelli is making positive changes in our community.

Lake Charles Civic Ballet presents…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Other Holiday Treats

December 7 – 9, 2017 | Rosa Hart Theatre | Lake Charles Civic Center Join Santa and his elves for a celebration of the Christmas season with a performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Other Holiday Treats! Christmas clowns, a battalion of toy soldiers, and a rowdy holiday hoedown are just a few of the treats sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

School Performances: December 7 & 8 | 9:30am Matinée & Gala Performances: December 9 | 11am & 6pm For school group reservations or ticket information: (337) 477-1581 or

November 2017

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Places & Faces

The Jung Hotel & Residences

Luxury and Location on New Orleans’ Historic Canal Street


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November 2017

The Jung Hotel and Residences of the New Orleans Hotel Collection is expected to open early next month. Located at 1500 Canal St., this 140 million dollar reimagination of the historic Jung Hotel incorporates hotel, residences, retail, parking, and other amenities. First opened in 1907, the hotel was owned by Peter Jung, Sr. Renowned for its Gatsby-esque glamour through the 1960s, the hotel then fell into disrepair and unremarkable ownership. The new Jung Hotel and Residences uniquely blends historic authenticity and a perfectly market-suited mix of uses. Strategically located adjacent to the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and across from the BioInnovation Center, it is a testament to the strength of the resurgent biomedical district. With 207 luxurious, extraspacious rooms, guests will enjoy free Wi-Fi, a welcome drink, room service, complimentary breakfast and locally-bottled artesian water. Rooms are appointed with Michelangelo ceramic marble tile and granite finishes, extra wide flat screen TVs with ondemand and cable, and superior lighting. Other amenities include a full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and a trendy coffee shop with snacks and fresh brewed local blends. The Jung also offers 120 one and two-bedroom luxury apartments. For businesses, the facility provides more than 15 meeting rooms and a 12,000 square foot exhibit hall with overhead door roll in access and current AV equipment service. A Business Center with workstations and communications options makes staying connected a breeze. Luxury dining and bar facilities, a rooftop poolside bar with downtown views, and an upscale pool-side spa are coming soon. For more information, call 504226-JUNG (5864) or go to www.

November 2017

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Places & Faces



Lake Area Ballet Theatre Announces 2017–2018 Season


Lake Area Ballet Theatre has announced its 2017–2018 season. The company will present La fille Mal Gardée on Nov. 17-18, 2017 at Rosa Hart Theatre. La fille Mal Gardée is a twoact comical story ballet inspired by Pierre-Antoine Baudouin’s 1789 painting, La réprimande/ Une jeune fille querellée par sa mère. The ballet was originally choreographed by the ballet master Jean Dauberval to a pastiche of music based on fifty-five popular French airs. The ballet premiered in 1789 in Bordeaux, France. The title is translated to The Wayward Daughter, and it is one of the oldest and most important works in the modern ballet repertory. The ballet tells the story of Lise, the only daughter of Widow Simone. Lise loves Colas, a young farmer, but her mother has far more ambitious plans and is determined that Lise marry Alain, the son of a wealthy landowner. The love triangle is the center of this comical ballet. Colleen Cannon Benoit, owner/director for the Lake Charles Dance Academy and Artistic Director for the Lake Area Ballet Theatre (LABT), loves the French countryside-inspired sets, scenery and costumes. Lead dancers in this production are Cecilia Benoit, a Sr. at St. Louis Catholic High School, who will dance the principal female role of “Lise.” Professional guest artist dancer Ramon Gaitan will dance the principal male role of “Colin.” Other local artists involved are Kevin Driscoll, returning for his role as Mme. Simon (the mother), Tony Duhon, returning for his role as Thomas (the father) and Seth Trahan returning to perform a new role as “the Notary.” Julian Quebedeaux will make his second appearance with the LABT, performing the comical role of Alain, Thomas’ son. On March 24, 2018, also in the Rosa Hart Theatre, LABT will host its annual Spring Gala -- an exciting and colorful repertoire of vignette ballet performances inspired by all-things French,

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including ballet classics, as well as new works. Degas Dancers is a piece inspired by the works of Edgar Degas. It incorporates elements from many of the artist’s ballet paintings, including period costumes and Old World charm of the 17th century French society. An American in Paris, choreographed by Libby Tete-Looney, is a new piece premiering this year and features the iconic American composer and pianist George Jacob Gershwin’s music. Resident choreographer KaLinda Lejune will also present a new piece set to the music of the McNeese Steel Drum Band under the direction of Dr. Lonny Benoit. Benoit says the LABT Jr. and Sr. Company members have been in rehearsal since the beginning of September. “While maintaining a full school schedule and three to five ballet classes weekly, dancers dedicate each weekend to preparing our fall and spring shows. The LABT company is made up of over 40 dancers from ages 12 through college age who are extremely dedicated and work as professional dancers do with the same mindset. We are fortunate to have wonderful families and sponsors who support these dancers.” Benoit spent much of her career studying and teaching at the Clarke Dance Center under the direction of the late Ida Winter Clarke. “This only being the 3rd season for the LABT, I am extremely proud to bring classical ballets of this caliber to the Lake Area for both the audiences and for the dancers,” says Benoit. “I am fulfilling my dream of continuing to share the legacy of what the Lake Charles Ballet Society was able to do for over 60 years for Lake Charles audiences. We are continuing their same mission -- to make high quality, classical ballet performances accessible for everyone!” For more information, contact Lake Area Ballet Theatre at 337-477-1510 or email info@

November 2017

Rouses Markets Louisiana-owned chain to expand

westward, opening two stores in SWLA. by Victoria Hartley-Ellender

Next summer, Southwest Louisiana will see a new, but perhaps familiar face in the marketplace. Rouses Markets, a family-owned East Louisiana company based in Thibodaux, will expand their operations into the region for the first time with two new locations; one in Sulphur and the other in Moss Bluff. The company announced their expansion plans on September 12 with back-to-back groundbreaking ceremonies at both locations. Construction is underway at the Sulphur construction site, located at 800 Carlyss Blvd. at the southeast corner of Ruth St. and Carlyss Drive, and the Moss Bluff construction site at 1351 Sam Houston Jones Parkway. Donny Rouse, CEO of Rouses Markets, is the third generation to lead his family’s company, which was founded in 1960, and has experienced substantial growth under his direction. Rouse said the company is excited to expand into Southwest Louisiana, and looks forward to partnering with local communities. “This is a very exciting time for our company and our customers,” says Rouse. “We’ve made major investments in new markets in South Louisiana and Lower Alabama in the past few years. We get customer requests for new Rouses Markets every day. We hope everyone who asks can have “their” Rouses in their neighborhood one day.” Rouses is one of the largest independent grocers in the United States with 55 stores in operation: 47 in Louisiana, three on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and five in Lower Alabama. Currently, the company employs more than 6,400 employees. Rouses has been recognized for its exemplary care and dedication to the communities in which they do

business, demonstrating the first of their core values -- “to make a difference in every community we serve.” The company seeks to foster relationships with local organizations and support the needs of the area citizens. Although Rouses has yet to open its doors in Southwest Louisiana, the company donated more than $60,000 to the region to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Clearly evident in their menus, offerings, and services is the company’s continuous dedication

to, “supporting regional food systems by buying from local farmers, fishermen, manufacturers, and vendors.” In addition, the company prides itself in promoting the local culinary heritage and celebrating the local culture. Both Calcasieu Parish Rouses stores are expected to be around 50,000 square feet. Rouses Markets employs 150 to 200 workers in each of its stores. The company typically begins hiring two or three months prior to opening. The stores will open sometime in the third quarter of 2018.

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Places & Faces

Beauregard Parish Courthouse

Newly Renovated The long-awaited renovations to the Beauregard Historical Courthouse have been completed. The 36th Judicial District Court resumed business in the courthouse on September 5 and the Official Opening of Court Ceremony was held on October 27. An Open House is scheduled for November 9 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Designed by architect Paule Lemaire and constructed by Pat Williams Construction, the renovated courthouse gloriously combines new, modern facilities, including elevators and state-of-the-art technology, with the original architectural beauty from over a century ago. The original stained-glass dome once again towers majestically over the main courtroom, and the mural and crest were painstakingly


restored to their former beauty by Elise Grenier. Although the renovations took longer than expected, the project was completed under budget and includes additional space in anticipation of future growth. This project could not have been completed without the support of the citizens of Beauregard Parish, Judges Martha Ann O’Neal, C. Kerry Anderson, Clerk of Court Brian S. Lestage, retired District Attorney David W. Burton, the Police Jury, the current Parish Administrator Bryan McReynolds, the former Parish Administrator Bobby Hennigan, and those who served on the Citizens Committee, including the chair Leon Lagneaux and former Superintendent of Schools Myrna Loy Cooley, who served as the committee’s secretary. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

Sesquicentennial Veterans Park Bricks Now Available for Purchase In commemoration of the City of Lake Charles Sesquicentennial Celebration, a distinctive Sesquicentennial edition brick is being made available for purchase to honor area veterans. These limited edition bricks will be placed in a 150-year section of Veterans Memorial Park on the Lake Charles lakefront. A limited quantity of 150 Sesquicentennial Veterans Bricks are now available at a cost of $150 per brick. The list of veterans represented on these 150 commemorative Sesquicentennial Veterans Bricks will be placed in the time capsule that will be buried soon for opening in 2067 at the City of Lake Charles’ Bicentennial Celebration. “It’s important that when Lake Charles’ future residents unearth the time capsule at the City’s Bicentennial celebration that they know how much we appreciated and honored our veterans in 2017,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “It is fitting that this list of men and women is included among the items that will be placed in the time capsule and buried later this year.” Sesquicentennial Veterans Bricks can be purchased at the Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, or by calling 337 4911256. Proceeds will benefit the Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission and its ongoing events and programs.

November 2017


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

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Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana...

Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to with the subject line “Who’s News.” field in Southwest Louisiana for over 25 years. She co-founded Healthy Image in 2002, and Thrive in 2003. Armand was named the 2013 Chamber SWLA Women’s Business Leader and honored as one of 75 notable alumni from McNeese State University in 2014. She is active in numerous community groups and serves on the boards of several organizations.

Stephenie Fontenot

Jennifer Campagna

Healthy Image Welcomes Two Office Management Employees

Healthy Image, a full-service marketing agency in Lake Charles, is pleased to announce the recent addition of two employees, Stephenie Fontenot and Jennifer Campagna. Stephenie joins the team as office manager. Stephenie’s experience in bookkeeping and office management came from several local companies including West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, Chemical Waste Management, and Global Industries. Stephenie manages the front desk as well as handling bookkeeping and accounting duties. Jennifer has accepted the position as assistant office manager. She was a retail sales manager as well as a teacher’s aid with both Parkview Baptist Preschool and Hope Christian School. Jennifer assists with front office tasks and handles deliveries to clients. For more information, call (337) 312-0972.

Lake Charles Business Owner Chosen to Participate in Regional Economic Development Roundtable Group Kristy Como Armand, co-owner of Healthy Image Marketing Kristy Armand Agency and Thrive magazine, has been selected to join a group of regional business leaders in Lafayette for CEO Roundtable sessions, a project of Louisiana Economic Development (LED). CEO Roundtables take place in five regions across the state and bring together groups of 15 -18 key decision makers from Louisianabased small businesses. The groups meet 10 times over the course of a year for collaborative, growth-oriented, peer-to-peer learning, business networking and strategic support. Armand is originally from Sulphur and has worked in the marketing and public relations 24

CSE Congratulates Tammy Peloquin CSE Federal Credit Union congratulates Tammy Peloquin on her new role as CSE’s Lake Charles Branch Consumer Lending Supervisor, where she will oversee CSE’s Tammy Peloquin Consumer Lending staff. Peloquin has more than 21 years of experience in the banking and credit union industry. Past positions include Loan Interviewer, Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President and Consumer Lender roles within the financial industry. For more information, call (337) 477-2000.

Family Medicine Specialist, Gerald Mouton, MD, Returns to Memorial Medical Group Memorial Medical Group welcomes Gerald Mouton, MD, a board-certified family Dr Gerald W Mouton medicine specialist to its staff. Dr. Mouton also sees wound care patients as co-medical director of Lake Charles Memorial Wound Care with Ameer Khan, MD. Dr. Mouton is a Southwest Louisiana native, having grown up in South Cameron. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice and is also a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, Southern Medical Association and Louisiana Medical Society. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (337) 480-8900 or visit

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Dudley Dixon Appointed President Of Port Board Of Commissioners Former Westlake mayor Dudley Dixon was elected 2017–2018 president of the board of commissioners of the Dudley Dixon Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, which operates the Port of Lake Charles. Dixon has served on the port board since 2012, when he was nominated by the city of Westlake and appointed by then-Governor Bobby Jindal. A native of Westlake, he worked for Conoco from 1961 to 1982. He served two terms on the Westlake City Council, and in 1982 was elected mayor of Westlake, serving six terms. For more information, visit or call (337)439-3661.

Dr. Carl Fastabend’s Research Published in Journal of Vascular Surgery Research results reported by Carl Fastabend, MD, FACC, founder and medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Dr. Carl Fastabend Louisiana, were published last month in the Journal of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Fastabend coauthored the article with seven other physicians who participated in the 14-month study. The article, “Venography Versus Intravascular Ultrasound for Diagnosing and Treating Iliofemoral Vein Obstruction,” presented the results of a study comparing the effectiveness of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) with standard multiplanar venography for iliofemoral vein obstruction. Over the course of the study, 100 patients were evaluated with both imaging modalities. IVUS identified lesions in 81 of the subjects; venography in 51. The researchers concluded that IVUS is more sensitive for assessing treatable iliofemoral vein stenosis, and frequently leads to revised treatment plans and the potential for improved clinical outcomes. Dr. Fastabend is the only full-time, comprehensive vein specialist in Louisiana, and is considered a leading expert in the IVUS technique. Physicians travel to Lake Charles from across the country to receive IVUS training from him. November 2017

JD Banker Appointed to National Council for Community Bank Leaders The American Bankers Association has selected Carly Leonards, Senior Carly Leonards Executive Vice-President and Chief Banking Officer of JD Bank, to serve on ABA’s Community Bankers Council. Leonards attended the ABA Community Bankers Council meeting in Washington, D.C. where bankers discussed the current challenges and opportunities facing community banks across the country, including recent regulations, pending legislation, cybersecurity, and innovation. Leonards is a Certified Public Accountant and started with JD Bank in 1998 as a Loan Officer. Leonards was recently promoted to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer after having served as Executive Vice President-Chief Operating Officer since 2012. The ABA Community Bankers Council is made up of approximately 100 bankers from institutions across the nation. Members are appointed by the ABA chairman.

Duhon Earns Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Stephanie Duhon, RN, CTTS, has completed comprehensive training through Stephanie Duhon the ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education and Research in Mississippi to earn the designation of Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS). She is a Registered Nurse and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist for the Smoking Treatment Center in Lake Charles, delivering a high-intensity, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral plus pharmacotherapy treatment for nicotine dependence. Duhon is a member of The Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. For more information, call (337) 312-8690 or visit

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November 2017

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Home & Family


The average vehicle on American roadways is approximately 12 years old. But even though drivers are holding on to their old, reliable cars, doesn’t mean new cars aren’t being sold. Last year 17.5 million new cars were sold, and this year looks to continue that trend, thanks to some interesting advancements in automobiles. If you’re not a consumer who bought a new vehicle in recent years, the showroom floor at your local dealership may look different from what you’ve seen in the past. The most popular vehicles today are getting larger, more technologically advanced, and safer. Whether you’re looking to make a trade-in or just rubber necking what’s on the road, here are several of the hottest trends in the automotive industry.


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November 2017


Crossovers look like an SUV, but drive like a car. They’re a breed of vehicles built on a car frame but with the design features and functionality commonly associated with sport-utility vehicles. Crossovers like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 are more popular than ever. Last year, American drivers bought 5.6 million crossover style vehicles, totaling nearly one-third of all new car sales. Many American motorists are snatching these vehicles up based on their lifestyle. Crossovers are more fuel efficient than larger SUV’s and trucks, but allow young families more space for growing kids. Baby Boomers can more easily climb in and out of higher seats, and there is plenty of space for sports equipment or shoppers who buy in bulk.


For all the innovation and technology being put forward in today’s automobiles, there are certain consumer trends that just won’t budge. Some of the hottest announcements coming out of the car and truck industry are revamped versions of old classics. Toyota has announced a more tech-infused version of the Camry for 2018. The Camry is likely to feel familiar to many drivers as its previous models have been the best-selling car for 15 years in a row. Ford is releasing a new version of its modern classic, the F-150, another best-selling vehicle in the U.S for the last 30 years. Volkswagen has announced a redux of their classic 1970’s microbus. This time around, the Woodstock-era vehicle will be electric and self-driving.


Car companies are announcing more and more full electric and hybrid electric vehicles for 2018 and beyond. Ford has plans to make 13 electric models in two years. Mercedes will produce 10 new electric models by 2025. Volkswagen has 30 new electric models on the drawing board. And The Chevy Bolt EV was recently named the North American Car of the Year. Car companies are betting big on fuel efficiency even with a 25 percent drop in electric sales in 2016, thanks to some advancements in electric driving technology. Within the next few years, electric cars will be able to drive farther on a single charge, charge faster, and will have more electric charging stations along roadways.

In 2016, automakers had an amazing eighth consecutive year of financial and sales growth, and with these budding trends and new technology making cars cooler, cheaper, safer, and more useful, that growth looks to continue.

November 2017

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Home & Family | Auto Guide



Over the past thirty years, the automotive world has given us cars that talk, cars that automatically know when to turn your headlights on, and cars that offer dual climate control. But 2018 promises to be a year in which the auto industry makes technological leaps worthy of the 21st century by giving us a peek into the future.


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We’ve all heard of self-driving automobiles, perhaps even seen some dramatized on television. While that technology seemed only a dream 10 years ago, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 sedan will bring it several steps closer to reality. Cadillac’s flagship sedan will boast a Super Cruise system integrated within its driver-assistance systems. Super Cruise will be limited exclusively to multi-lane highway use, offering hands- and foot-free driving by automatically keeping a safe distance between the vehicle and the traffic ahead at a speed preprogrammed by the driver. Super Cruise will also come equipped with adaptive cruise control, blind spot and lane-monitoring systems, and forward auto-braking. The CT6’s Super Cruise will also include a self-steering function and advanced LiDAR-scanned mapping, the latter of which produces 3-D images of the driver’s navigational target. Both Lexus and Volvo will also take steps towards fully autonomous driving in 2018 by implementing new safety features. Lexus’ new LS sedan will offer an Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering system that will automatically brake and steer around pedestrians, if they happen to be in the driver’s way, while staying within the current traffic lane. Volvo’s XC60 for 2018 will offer a low-speed City Safety system that will aid in avoiding traffic accidents and an Oncoming Lane Mitigation system to avoid accidents with cars in adjacent lanes. If a technological boost in luxury is what you’re seeking in 2018, look no further than Mercedes-Benz. The company’s 2018 S-Class will pamper drivers with its new Energizing Comfort system. The bells and whistles of this system go far beyond seat heating and climate control. Mercedes’ Energizing Comfort system also

November 2017

includes seat massaging functions intended to help promote muscle relaxation, activation, and balance. It will also offer an automatic fragrance dispensing system that works via the car’s air conditioning system. The new S-Class will also come equipped with 64-hue ambient lighting options that change according to the car’s ambient temperature, designed to elevate the driver’s and passengers’ interior atmosphere in their travels. Mercedes executives say their company’s new Energizing Comfort system is designed to maximize a driver’s overall wellness and performance behind the wheel. Indeed, 21st century automotive technology will be out in full force in many 2018 models. Whether you’re looking for luxury or a safer driver experience, you’ll have many choices that will make driving in today’s world a more pleasurable experience. And who knows? Maybe next year’s new car owners will experience firsthand how drivers in the next century will negotiate their roads.

November 2017

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Home & Family | Auto Guide difference between life and death on the road or in your own driveway. Edmunds, the American Automotive Association (AAA), and NHTSA all note that the sounds made by many of these features that are designed to alert a driver can become annoying. Some drivers opt to turn off the sounds or they ignore the flashing lights. This effectively negates the safety properties of the features, not unlike ‘forgetting’ to buckle your seatbelt. There is a new developing technology with the capability to ‘talk’ to other vehicles near yours. The Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) technology has the ability to wirelessly exchange information about the speed and position of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other moving vehicles around you. It is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, ease road congestion, and guide vehicles away from areas affected with high vehiclerelated emissions. The NHTSA estimates V2V could help avoid or minimize 80% of the multi-vehicle crashes across the nation.

Safety Counts ON THE ROAD Although it’s early in the safety testing season for 2018 cars and trucks, there are already quite a few five star top-rated models according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This government agency tests vehicles for their ability to withstand front and side crashes, rollover propensity, and other safety related capabilities. However, all testing sites strongly emphasize that a car or truck could have every safety feature available and still not be safe if the driver isn’t observing safe driving practices. In the earliest testing of 2018 models, ratings fell off most often in the areas of front crash related issues and the likelihood of a car to roll over. In 2011, the NHTSA introduced tougher tests and a more robust five star rating program which now includes the growing list of crash avoidance technologies. These are the bells and whistles which literally and figuratively help the driver know when there is a safety concern or avoid that danger altogether.


by Deborah Hacker Serra, a U.S. online source for automotive information, suggests the following active safety features are ones that potential car buyers should look for in upcoming purchases: • Forward Collision Warning • Adaptive Headlights (these could be required soon for top star safety ratings) • Rearview Cameras (first attempted on the 1956 Buick Centurion concept car!) • Automatic Crash Notice (requires iPhone or wireless connectivity) • Blind Spot Warning (there are 840,000 blind spot crashes yearly with 300 fatalities recorded) • Lane Departure Warning • Pedestrian Alert • Rear Cross Traffic Alert And yes, many of these safety features add to the cost of a new car or truck. Some of them work better than others and these variances are noted in NHTSA ratings. But they all have the capability to provide that split second help that can mean the

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BOTTOM LINE: If you are considering buying a car or truck soon, check the NHTSA safety ratings, test drive vehicles to see how the new safety features work, and once you make your purchase, do not turn off the feature that warns you about danger. Remember the basics of buckling your seatbelt and insure passengers buckle theirs. If there is a child in a car seat, make sure the car seat is appropriately secure and the child is tightly buckled, and make the car a phone-free zone while you’re driving.

CURRENT 5-STAR RATINGS* • • • • • • • • • •

Genesis G80 Volvo S60 and S60I Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Cadillac ATS and CTS Chevrolet Volt 5 HB Audi A6 Honda Civic 5 and Honda Civic Mercedes-Benz E Class Acura RLX Kia Optima

*Though early in the testing season, to date, NHTSA has given five star ratings to these 2018 models.

November 2017


DRIVE SAFELY Learning to drive is an exciting time for teenagers. It’s another step forward towards independence and, naturally, parents want their children to grow up, to learn to take care of themselves, and to make conscious choices that will lead them to experience long, happy, healthy lives. But driving in the U.S. is unfortunately not one of the safest activities. According to the National Safety Council, 40,200 people died in motor vehicle accidents across the U.S. in 2016, which constitutes a 6% rise on the same figure the previous year. Like most things, education begins in the home. Parents have a responsibility to make children fully comprehend the consequences of the choices they make, both big and small, on a daily basis. Without this support, guidance, and structure, teens are left to flounder and grave mistakes can occur.

requirements before getting behind the wheel. This includes making sure the tires are free from tears or damage and they are correctly inflated to the standard requirements. All headlights, back lights, and indicator lights must be working. Windshield wipers must also be working in case of bad weather.


A thorough education in safe driving for teenagers is a serious matter. As data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can confirm, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens across the U.S. Parents are responsible for making sure that their teenagers are aware of these statistics and that they approach driving with care and caution.


One of the best ways for parents to help teenage drivers is to set a daily example of safe driving. It’s no good telling your child to avoid sending texts or to refrain from using a cell phone if they see you doing it. Reprimanding a teenage driver for pushing the speed limit when those limits aren’t always respected when you drive is both futile and hypocritical. If you drink and drive and use the excuse that you only had one glass of wine, which really cannot be considered a dangerous intake of alcohol, then there’s nothing to stop your teen from using the same argument when he or she is behind the wheel. Likewise, if you regularly leave your seatbelt unfastened, saying you’re only going down quiet back streets for five minutes, you’re inviting your child to do the same.


You can also help keep your teenager as safe as possible by teaching him or her about the basics of car safety and maintenance. Not all motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted, reckless, or negligent driving. Sometimes the vehicles we drive aren’t safe enough to be on the road or they break down when we least expect it. Teach your teenager how to change a flat tire or jumpstart a dead battery. Be sure he or she knows exactly what to look for to ensure the car complies with basic standard safety November 2017


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Home & Family | Auto Guide


car buying by Frank DiCesare


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Buying a new car can be an exciting time for anyone. The prospect of purchasing a shiny new set of wheels, loaded with the latest features and emanating that new car smell is enough to drive car lovers straight to the dealership. But the process of buying a new car can also be a frustrating and confounding experience. At best, you’ll spend – or finance – a significant sum of money; at worst, you may get burned. Indeed, the car-buying process can be a financial minefield, especially if you’re dealing with salesmen who are not on the level. So before you take your first test drive, here are a few tips to make your car buying experience a little easier for you and your wallet. First, determine your budget. Car salesmen have but one goal – getting you to sign on the dotted line. Whether you can truly afford the car is of no consequence to them; that’s your job to determine. Experts say you should spend no more than 25 percent of your monthly household income for all of the cars in your garage. In addition to monthly finance payments, this figure should include all annual fuel and car expenses. There are many home budget calculators available online to help you determine the car you can comfortably afford. Next, ask yourself a simple question . . . Is a new car the right choice for you? Customers today have the option of buying certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles or leasing a car – new or a CPO – for a predetermined period of time. If you decide to go the CPO route, you’ll get the most car for your money, but you will be given a shorter warranty period. Unless you pay for a Carfax report, you also won’t know the car’s entire history. Leasing a car may get you into a more expensive make and model but you’ll never own the car outright. The lease terms may also limit the number of miles you can travel with your car within a year. Go beyond this limit and you’ll have to either buy additional miles or face significant penalties. A new car, however, will afford you a full warranty and a lower interest rate than if you were to finance a used car. You may sacrifice a few features but, depending on the dealership from which you buy the car, you may get free maintenance. Most new vehicles today also come with free roadside assistance. When you’ve decided which car is right for you, learn its invoice price. Websites like Kelley Blue Book are helpful in educating customers on the difference between a car’s invoice or wholesale price, its manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and the dealer’s asking price. Some also give the average price for which the car sold in a particular area. Armed with this information, you’ll know ahead of time how much the dealer paid for the car you want. Your goal should be to negotiate a price that is as close to the dealer’s cost before any discounts are applied. When it comes to car buying, being forewarned is being forearmed. Do your research and print out the numbers before you head to a dealer. You may want that snazzy new ragtop, but it may be the wrong car at the wrong time for you. You want a car that’s just as comfortable to drive as it is to afford.

November 2017

SLEEP like a baby

AGAIN. Over time, some of us lose our natural ability to sleep well. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia and narcolepsy interfere with getting quality sleep. Our sleep specialists at the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana can diagnose and treat over 80 types of sleep disorders. If you’re having difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, call us for an appointment and sleep like a baby again.

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes that can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Ophthalmologists at The Eye Clinic specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Fortunately, early detection and appropriate treatment can prevent vision loss. Call us for more information or to schedule an exam.

Sleep Specialists

Phillip Conner, MD Michelle Zimmerman, NP

4820 Lake St., Lake Charles (337) 310-REST November 2017

(800) 826-5223

• (337) 478-3810

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Home & Family | Auto Guide

car Clubs OF SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA by Angie Kay Dilmore

Most people have a favorite type of car, whether they own that particular make and model, or only wish they did. Some are so passionate about a certain kind of car, they get together regularly with other like-minded gear-heads to share their pride and enthusiasm. Whether as a mode of transportation, a hobby, or both, people are fond of their cars. Calcasieu Parish has a number of car clubs that meet monthly and host various events. The Contraband Corvette Club has been active in the Lake Area for over 45 years. In their early days, events centered around racing and displaying their cars at car shows from Dallas to New Orleans. Today, the club participates in parades, car shows and cruises, longer trips, and various charity events throughout the Gulf region. The Corvette Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at Vicki B’s Café on Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles. Dinner social begins at 6:00 p.m. Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. The club is sponsored by Billy Navarre Chevrolet. For more information, call 337-905-2520 or see their website, The Contraband Corvettes Performance Drivers (CCPD) is an off-shoot of the Contraband Corvette Club. The CCPD is affiliated with the National Council


of Corvette Clubs and focuses more on driving events than social events. CCPD members participate in autocross events, road rallies, high performance driving education, and track days. They meet with the Contraband Corvette Club and can be reached through the same contacts. Seven Slot Society of SWLA is one of the newer clubs in town, but definitely one of the more active organizations. Started in 2014, they already have approximately 100 members. In addition to fun and activities such as Jeep Jams, they place great importance on fundraising for various charitable organizations and causes. Their initial goal was “to create something that would have a major positive impact on our community in Southwest Louisiana.” They meet monthly at Hurricane Off Road. If you own a jeep and have a big heart, find them on Facebook or their website, The Cajun Mustangers was started in 1988, soon after charter member Rodney Breaux bought his first Mustang. He had taken it to a car wash and heard that a few Mustang owners in town planned to start a Mustang club and have had meetings ever since. They’re a social group who meet the first Tuesday of each month at

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

6:30 p.m. at various restaurants. On Nov. 7, they will meet at Joe’s Pizza and Pasta in Sulphur. Members talk shop, swap stories, share restoration tips, attend car shows, raise money for various charity events, and plan events such as Pony Rides (when a group of people travel somewhere together in Mustangs). All Mustang enthusiasts are welcome. Owning a Mustang is optional. Contraband Car Club members are crazy about antique cars. Since 1965, they have welcomed vintage vehicle enthusiasts of any make and model. Again, ownership is optional. This social club focuses on restoration, maintenance, and fun. They enjoy taking their cars out for drives, cruising to festivals and events, and helping charitable organizations raise money through car shows. The Contraband Club holds monthly meetings the first Monday of every month. They gather at area restaurants, alternating between Sulphur and Lake Charles in three month intervals, for the convenience of all members. Discussion includes business, new or on-going restoration projects, and upcoming events such as their monthly ride they call their Cob Web Tour. For more information, call Tommy Miller at 337-853-8993.

November 2017

You can see the wonderful impact The Little Gym can have on your child when you join us for an introductory experience. Join us for a FREE Introductory Class! The Little Gym of Lake Charles 337-419-1903

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Home & Family



Planning Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year. The pressure to please everyone or plan the perfect meal can be an overwhelming task. Thankfully, a little pre-planning can pave the way to a smooth and hassle free holiday celebration.

by Sylvia Ney

Early November

Plan your feast. Traditional Thanksgiving meals come in a variety of dishes and serving sizes. Decide now how many people and which dishes to include for your special day. Purchase your non-perishable ingredients now. Don’t wait to do all of your shopping mere days before. If you want professional fresh floral arrangements, place orders now. Any other decorations or paper goods can be bought now as well. The timing of your event should also be decided now. Some families plan a brunch, some a late lunch, and some an evening meal. Decide which one you’ll want and plan accordingly. Snacks are often appropriate. If you’re planning an early brunch, guests won’t have long to wait to eat and will often spend the rest of the day picking at leftovers. However, if you’re serving a later lunch or dinner, those wonderful smells can be torturous for family members eager to dine. Consider setting out some snack trays with fresh fruits, vegetables, sweets, nuts, chips, and dips.

Weekend before Thanksgiving

If you bought a frozen turkey, start defrosting the bird three to five days out. Purchase any fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, or other ingredients still needed for your dishes. If you’re baking pies, consider purchasing ready-made crusts, or make dough ahead and freeze until ready to use. If you’re using fine china, cloth napkins, or a tablecloth for a more formal meal, now would be a good time to make sure those are all clean, ironed, folded, or otherwise ready.


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November 2017

The Day Before

Review your final checklist to be sure you have all the ingredients and supplies you need for the holiday. Pick up any special orders of food and flower arrangements. Cranberry sauce and gravies can be made today and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Potatoes can be peeled, covered with water, and left in the refrigerator overnight, as well. Defrost other frozen items such as pre-made dessert dough. Prepare vegetables and any other side dishes that require baking such as casseroles and reheat the following day, or assemble this day, and cook just before the meal the following day. Consider setting the table.

November 2017

Thanksgiving Day

Chill wine, sodas, water and other beverages in preparation for your thirsty guests. Preheat the oven. If your meal is later in the day, set out snacks for your guests to munch on. Cook the turkey, stuffing, and/or dressing, as they usually take the longest. Prepare your mashed potatoes and other side dishes an hour before you plan to serve the meal. Coffee should only be brewed about 20 minutes before you plan to serve it. Check the temperature of the turkey at the thigh. Remove the bird from the oven once it reaches 175 degrees (165 degrees in the breast). Be sure the gravy and other side items are heated and in place. Any desserts that need to cook can be placed in the oven just as you call everyone to the table for the main courses. Enjoy!

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Home & Family

Mealtime Manners Thanksgiving Etiquette to impress Thanksgiving is a special time where we give thanks for everything and everyone in our lives. But when family and friends who don’t see each other very often gather for the yearly feast and celebration, sometimes things get strange and awkward. How do you shut down those prying questions or handle a rogue guest? Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these tips to make this Thanksgiving the best ever.


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November 2017

Seating Plan & Place Cards

As the host, keep the cast of family, friends, distant relatives, neighbors, and old friends in line with a seating plan. Seat introverts next to out-going guests and elders adjacent to youngsters. It’s acceptable to split married couples but not newlyweds. Place cards may range from simple and handmade to fancy.

Conversation Starters

To keep the conversation flowing smoothly, plan interesting conversation starters. For example, ‘What are you grateful for this year?’ Other examples include upcoming or past travel, musical events, bestselling books, newly released movies, food, sports, and holiday memories.

Know the Schedule of Events

Set a Thanksgiving Day schedule so you and your guests may plan their day, and avoid chaos. As a guest, ask in advance about the schedule so you may plan accordingly. If you arrive at noon, is dinner served at 1:00 or 3:00 p.m.? This allows you to plan to visit other friends and family, and avoid too much ‘together time.

Games & Activities

Physical activity is a great stress-reliever. Plan a number of outside activities for your guests. Encourage them to engage in a flag football or soccer game, rake leaves, or go on a neighborhood walk. Board games are always a hit with children and adults alike.

Prying Questions

Prying, personal questions can push all the wrong buttons. Two of the most popular offending questions continue to be: “Are you seeing anyone yet?” and “When are you going to give me grandkids?” Be prepared, and respond with humor so the questioner doesn’t sense a weak spot.


Just say ‘no’ to conversations about politics. You don’t want to start a political brawl when everyone should be enjoying perfectly roasted turkey. Do be up to date on current events, but avoid topics that fall under politics, religion, or sex.

Rogue Guest

All hosts know the possibility of something going sideways exists when family, friends, and alcohol are involved during high-stress holidays. If a guest goes rogue, ranting about politics or family drama, be prepared with an immediate change to a safe topic, like Aunt Lynn’s cranberry relish recipe or Uncle Ted’s sage dressing. If they continue unabated, politely ask if you can speak to them privately. When out of earshot and eyesight of other guests, acknowledge their concerns and advise them Thanksgiving isn’t the time or place. There’s no need to embarrass them in front of family and friends.


Toasting etiquette states the entire table is welcome to drink. If you are toasted as a guest or host, do not raise your glass and drink. It’s like clapping for yourself. While clinking is fun, the preferred approach is to raise your glass, make eye contact and then take a sip. Finally, remember the 3 B’s of toasting: Begin, Be Brief, and Be Seated.

November 2017

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Home & Family

Mark Your Calendar! ABC Pregnancy Resource Center Announces 2017 Life Matters Banquet

Since 1991, the ministry of the ABC Pregnancy Resource Center has been dedicated to offering life-affirming support & compassion to women facing an unplanned and/or crisis pregnancy. Income for this ministry is raised through special events during the year, the biggest of which is the Annual “Life Matters” Fundraising Banquet. This year’s banquet will be held on November 14 at Treasures of Marilyn’s. Doors will open at 6pm with a silent auction, followed by dinner at 6:30pm. Guest speaker will be Ramona Trevina, former Planned Parenthood Manager from Sherman, Texas. Tickets are $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (337)433-2797 or visit www.

Calling all Gingerbread House Builders!

Entry forms are now available for the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Annual Gingerbread House Contest, which will be held on December 2. The deadline to register for the contest is November 16.


Entry divisions include amateur, professional and school groups. The gingerbread houses will remain on display at the bureau throughout the month of December, and all visitors during that time will be able to vote on the People’s Choice Award to be announced on December 26. For more information, visit www.

HALOS Seminar Scheduled

HALOS (Healing after a Loved One’s Suicide) will host a seminar on Nov. 18, International Survivor’s of Suicide Loss Day, at the Brick House, 110 W. Pine St., Lake Charles, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Guest speaker – Cynthia P. Elmer. For information or to register, email Not recommended for children under the age of 16.

Lakeside Bank’s “Treat Our Troops” Campaign to Collect Candy for U.S. Service Men and Women

Lakeside Bank is collecting leftover Halloween candy November 1 – 10 to send to U.S. service men and women abroad. Wrapped candy can be dropped off at any Lakeside Bank locations during business hours. The main branch is located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles, with

additional branches at 2132 Oak Park Boulevard in Lake Charles and in Westlake at 2203 Sampson Street. For more information, visit or call (337) 474-3766.

Messiah Chorus Announces 2017 Practice and Performance Schedule A beloved Lake Charles holiday tradition, the 77th annual performance of George Frederick Handel’s “Messiah” will take place on Sunday, December 3 at 3pm in McNeese State University’s Bulber Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. As the City’s official kick-off to the Christmas season, you can enjoy 100 voices singing the most popular selections from this moving work. Soloists from McNeese’s music program, a live orchestra, and renowned musicians will participate in the performance. For more information, visit www. or the Lake Charles Messiah Facebook page.

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L’Auberge to Honor United States Veterans and Service Personnel L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles and L’Auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge will honor veterans and active duty military personnel by offering a complimentary meal at their award-winning buffets during the Federal observance of Veterans Day on November 10. For more information, visit the websites listed below. A veteran’s card or valid military ID must be presented to the buffet cashier to qualify for the complimentary meal.

L’Auberge Lake Charles Le Beaucoup Buffet Complimentary breakfast or lunch 8am–2:30pm L’Auberge Baton Rouge Bon Temps Buffet *Must be 21 to enter buffet Complimentary lunch 11am–3pm

November 2017

Protect Your Pet from Dog Flu by Robin Barton

Flu season is here, and that doesn’t just apply to humans. Your favorite four-legged pet is susceptible to the flu as well.

There are two different strains of canine influenza, or the dog flu. The older strain, H3N8, was equine flu (horse flu) that jumped species around 2008. The newer strain, H3N2, came from Asia in May 2015. It was first seen in the Chicago area and stayed Midwest until recently when, in May 2017, two cases were confirmed in Monroe, Louisiana. “There’s a very low percentage of dogs actually dying from it, but they can get very sick. They could show upper respiratory signs such as coughing, lethargy, fever, and sometimes, if severe enough, it could lead to pneumonia,” says Dr. Jae Chang with Prien Lake Animal Hospital. To protect your pet against dog flu, Dr. Chang recommends getting the canine influenza vaccine. Especially if you are traveling with or boarding your pet. Dogs boarded at Prien Lake Animal Hospital must have the canine influenza vaccine, but not all kennels have the same rules. “Your pup could be exposed to other dogs that have contracted the virus, especially dogs who travel or are kenneled frequently -they are more susceptible, more high-risk than other dogs versus if they just stayed home,” said Dr. Chang. Dogs can spread the virus to other dogs. But while the flu won’t make humans sick, they can carry the virus and pass it on. There is also a vaccine for cats. For more information about the flu vaccine for your pet, call Prien Lake Animal Hospital at (337) 474-1526. November 2017



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Dr. Porché | 474-0653


Home & Family

McNeese Student Group Receives Grant to Promote Healthy Lifestyles on Campus

Hailey Goodwin, Brandon Soram and Austin Pottorff model McNeese’s new commencement regalia.

McNeese Graduates to Geaux Blue at Commencement

The McNeese State University graduating class of fall 2017 will be the first to “Geaux Blue” at commencement on December 9 in Burton Coliseum - students receiving bachelor’s degrees will be sporting newly designed blue robes and caps with blue and gold tassels. The new look - which also includes the black robes worn by those receiving master’s and education specialist degrees - was unveiled at Fall Grad Fest on October 25. The blue robes will feature the McNeese “M” on the front while the black robes will feature blue piping down the front and the McNeese seal. Donna Martin, director of the McNeese Bookstore, said the idea to switch to custom regalia was presented by McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel.


A $3,000 mini-grant to promote health on the McNeese State University campus has been awarded to the Students of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic organization in the Harold and Pearl Dripps School of Agricultural Sciences. The mini-grant - awarded by the University of Tennessee - is part of the Get FRUVED program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FRUVED is short for FRUits and VEgetables and is a nation-wide movement aiming to support healthy living among college students. FRUVED was developed as a pilot program at four universities across the country, including Tennessee, and has now expanded to include 90 universities, including McNeese, according to Eljeana Quebedeaux, director of the didactic program of nutrition and dietetics at McNeese and SAND adviser.

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L to R: Catherine Robbins, Dr. Judy Hand, associate professor of flute, and David Robbins.

Couple Donates Instrument to McNeese

David and Catherine Robbins, of New Orleans, have donated a bass flute valued at over $8,000 to the McNeese State University W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts after hearing a McNeese faculty member perform at a national flute convention this summer.

November 2017

November 2017

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Style & Beauty Make your

Thanksgiving Style a Snap

by Emily Alford

It’s all about the stretch

You’re not imagining it: airplane seats are actually shrinking. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get comfy on a flight or long drive. An oversized sweater and a great pair of leggings are the perfect holiday travel companions. Pack a large, lightweight scarf in your carry on to double as a blanket so you’ll be extra cozy on the go. For turkey day, let elastic be your friend. A loose comfy dress, pants with an elastic waistband, or even a stylish pair of joggers with an on-trend Bardot sweater or classic striped top and jean jacket will ensure you can eat your fill of stuffing and dinner rolls without having to undo a top button.


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Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or hosting the feast in your own home, Thanksgiving is generally pretty chaotic. Extra-long airport lines, shortages of pantry staples at the grocery store, and guests who RSVP at the last minute can make a perfectly lovely holiday feel like a Herculean task. However, packing your bags for holiday travel and still looking great around the table can be a snap with just a few wardrobe staples.

Little accessories can make a big difference

Packing for a long weekend full of visits with family and friends can be difficult enough without trying to accessorize several different outfits. Pick just one or two pieces of statement jewelry that will work with each day’s outfit, like a great pair of tassel earrings, to avoid an overflowing suitcase -- and the likelihood you’ll leave a treasured accessory behind.

November 2017

Pack a versatile pair of boots

Let your footwear multitask! A single pair of black or brown ankle booties can work with every outfit on this list. They’re easy to slip on and off in airport security lines, add a tough edge to a feminine, elastic waist dress, and make a cozy pair of joggers look a little more dressy. With the right pair of easy to style booties, you won’t have to worry about packing multiple pairs of shoes for your long weekend.

Thanksgiving is ultimately about making memories with family and friends, so what you wear is generally just an afterthought. But it feels good to look good, and having a few comfortable, yet stylish staples in your travel bag can help make the holiday as worry-free and fun as it should be!

Update your wardrobe with a cool fall jacket This year, it’s all about the moto jacket and timelessly cool James Dean style updated with a feminine edge. The moto jacket is also another multipurpose piece that works just as well with leggings as it does with a floral print dress. Whether you buy a genuine leather moto jacket as an investment piece or pick up a faux version at a fast fashion outlet, this versatile outerwear adds a dash of effortless style to any outfit.

November 2017

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& Beauty

Blow Away BA D H A IR DAYS

by Chelse Willis


You don’t need a haircut yet, but you want that “just left the hair salon,” hair. You know, where you waltz out the salon, flip your hair, and run your fingers through your strands, as if you just stepped off the runway. Yeah, that feeling! It’s not a new concept to get your hair washed and styled without a trim. Many decades ago, it was common for women to get their hair washed and styled at a salon weekly. But that trend fell out of favor – until around 2010. According to Blush owners Sarabeth Price and AnnaBeth Guillory, original Drybar founder Alli Webb can be credited with “bringing the blowout back.” She was the first to design a business around blowouts. Webb noticed a gap in the market for women who wanted to get in and have their hair washed and styled without a cut. The concept is now trending with all ages and its popularity isn’t slowing down. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

What is a blowout?

The ladies at Blush define a blowout as, “a thorough wash and conditioning, including a trigger point scalp massage, and finishing steps using a round brush, blow dry, and style.” Trained hair technicians are skilled to work with all hair types and lengths. They can create hair styles for any type of occasion.

Why get a blowout? Special events like weddings, formals, reunions, or just a night out on the town are obvious occasions to need gorgeous flawless hair. But blowouts are ideal anytime. Sure, you can wash and style your hair at home, but a professional blowout is all about the pampering. A typical blowout experience offers complimentary beverages, a thorough scalp massage, and scented oil-infused towels. Plus, a great blowout can last several days.

Benefits of the blowout Besides being ultra-relaxing, there are other perks to getting a professional blowout. Blowouts add volume and make your hair look smooth and glossy. The gentle massage keeps your scalp and hair healthy. Professional salons use products that protect hair and minimize damage. And best of all, you walk out of the salon with super-model hair! For more information, call Blush at 337-602-6627, see their website,, or find them on Facebook, @blushbeautyco.

It’s a

Botox & Beauty

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Thursday, December 7, 5:30 -7:30 pm The Aesthetic Center

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(including treatments, gift certificates and more)

Dr. Mark Crawford November 2017


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& Beauty

Backpack Bonanza T HEY ’R E BACK A ND BE T TER T H A N EV ER by Keaghan P. Wier

Backpacks have recently made a resurgence, not only with students, but with businessmen and women, parents, and travelers as an alternative to traditional luggage. The reasons for the rise in their popularity are as varied as the many styles of backpacks available. Why? Backpacks are versatile. They can serve as a fashion accessory or a utility bag – or both! Consider these practical reasons.


Backpacks often have several internal and external pockets, making it easy to organize them and even easier to find small items. With the increasing use of smaller laptops and tablet computers, people want a padded section that will keep their devices safe, as well as another area to carry charging cords, books, papers, headphones, and more. They’re more ergonomic than a messenger or crossbody bag and easier to carry than a briefcase style. Because of this, backpacks are becoming more common in the business world. For commuters, backpacks are the perfect way to haul a change of clothes, an after-gym snack, and work essentials. The

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roomier compartments are better suited to this than a stiff, smaller bag. Backpacks are completely hands-free, and some styles sport an additional clip strap that connects across the wearer’s chest to keep the bag more stable. For travel, backpacks make the perfect overnight bag or carry on – plus, in most cases, they’re small enough to count as your “personal item” on a flight. Many new parents opt for a backpack in lieu of the more traditional diaper bag. They tend to be unisex, preventing the need for a different bag for Dad to carry. They also work to transition with the child as you go from bringing diapers and loveys to activities and books.

November 2017

Buying a Backpack: BR A NDS A ND T IPS There are backpacks across all price points and budgets, so you should not have a hard time finding one to fit your needs. On the lower end of the price range is the triedand-true brand JanSport, which at $50 features padded straps, a front pocket, a zippered main compartment and a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve. On the higher end are backpacks from fine leather brands like Anderson’s, running at around $1,000. Depending on your needs, you may want to opt for canvas, which is good for any use that may encounter spills and scratches. For professional use, you may want to invest in a leather bag – especially if you work in a business office.


WHATEVER MATERIAL YOU CHOOSE, BE SURE YOUR BACKPACK HAS: • Sturdy closures, whether buckles or zippers • Padded and ergonomic straps to distribute the weight • Internal pockets for valuables, cash, or other small items • A bottom that allows it to stand and not tip over when you set it down Backpacks are a great alternative to carrying multiple bags, small bags, or dealing with neck and back pain because of bad straps or poor ergonomics.

Join us on Shell Beach Drive for the Holiday Home Tour! Sunday, December 3rd • 2 - 4 pm Admissions: $50 per person Reserve your tickets online or call 337-433-1611

Claude’s Christmas takeover LARC’s Acadian Village Presents:

“23 Nights, Half a Million Lights!” | Dec. 1st - 23rd 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

NEW! All-Inclusive First Look November 26th

Carnival Rides • Photos with Santa • Local Cuisine Raffle • Holiday Shopping • VIP Parking Available Advanced Tickets at Select ShopRite Locations $8 $10 at the Gate • 4 and under FREE Nearly 60,000 in Attendance Annually Live Nightly Entertainment Presenting Sponsor Proceeds benefit LARC, a 501c(3) non-profit. For over 60 years, LARC is dedicated to serving the needs of Acadiana’s community with developmental disabilities and their families. November 2017

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Money & Career

LAIA hosts Chem Expo to show students the wonders of chemistry by Mitch Thomas

Students from all over Calcasieu and Cameron parishes received a hands-on look at the chemical sciences and their applications to area industries last month during the Lake Area Industry Alliance’s 18th annual Chem Expo. Around 2,960 sixth-grade public, private, and home-school students filled the Lake Charles Civic Center and explored exhibits organized by the area’s industrial companies. “LAIA members explain how chemistry is used at local industrial facilities. They also explain to [the students] how chemistry and the products of industry are used in their everyday life,” said LAIA Executive Director Larry DeRoussel. LAIA members like Sasol, Axiall, Grace, and Citgo put together demonstrations that showed everything from basic principles in chemistry to how the industries use chemistry in the products they make such as vinyl, which is used in I.V. tubing, syringes, bags for blood donation, heart catheters, contact lens cleaners, eye drops, and pharmaceuticals. The Expo opened with a cryogenics demonstration using liquid nitrogen. “The goal of the event is to expose students to interesting chemistry experiments that spark their continued interest in the sciences,” DeRoussel said. In addition to the participation from LAIA’s 24 member companies, over 600 volunteers from the McNeese State University chemistry department, SOWELA Technical Community College, and area high schools dedicated their time to help the event run smoothly. The Chem Expo has been nationally recognized and was awarded the American Chemical Society Phoenix Award for greatest industrial involvement and the Chem Luminary Award for the greatest reach of a target audience. The local event has become the largest one-day hands-on chem expo in the nation. The event is a part of LAIA’s outreach efforts during the ACS National Chemistry Week. The week is dedicated to promoting the field of


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November 2017

chemistry through industries engaging their local communities, particularly elementary and middle school students, with special events in hopes of giving them a positive impression of the science. National Chemistry Week enters its 30th year and is held during the fourth week in October. This year’s theme was “Chemistry Rocks!” The Lake Area Industry Alliance is a coalition of companies in Southwest Louisiana to help create a channel of communication between industries and the community. Formed in 2000 after years of loose grassroots collaboration, the organization wants to encourage industries to promote the benefits their sectors provide and contribute to the community. Along with the Chem Expo, the LAIA also partners companies with area schools to put students in contact with the industry’s work, as well as sponsors an annual paint collection program, which donates over 2,000 gallons of unused paints from local and charitable organizations in the area. An economic impact study showed that LAIA member companies spent approximately $3.7 million in contributions to non-profits in Southwest Louisiana, the LAIA reports on their website. For more information, call LAIA at 337-436-6800 or visit


Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment


How safe is it to work at an industrial plant?


Safety is the priority at every industrial plant.

Air quality in Calcasieu Parish is monitored regularly and meets EPA standards. Part of our air quality ranking is based on ground level ozone. It is created when emissions from cars, lawnmowers, industries, and fuel are exposed to sunlight. Residents and industries contribute to ground level ozone. Industries follow stringent EPA guidelines to remain within recommended standards. Residents in our community can help combat ground level ozone by following these tips: during midday when the sun is the brightest, avoid refueling your vehicle or mowing your lawn; also, combine errands whenever possible to avoid driving during the brightest part of the day. You’d be surprised at the high number of tests and monitoring industry does to comply with our air permits. We do it because it’s good for business but also because we live here, too. With industry and residents working together, ground level ozone in Calcasieu Parish can continue to remain within the recommended guidelines.

Brooke Ronciano

environmental engineer at area industry

Visit to learn more and submit your question about local industry and the environment. November 2017

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Money & Career

Selling Your Home During the

Holidays by Andrea Mongler

The holidays are quickly approaching and if you’re ready to sell your home, you’re in a tough position: Should you put it on the market now or wait until the holiday season — and maybe even winter — is over? Nationwide, home sales usually peak in the summer and then decline through the holidays, bottoming out in the dead of winter, after the first of the year. But if you need to sell your home, don’t let that deter you. In fact, you might even find it encouraging. As explains, many sellers choose not to list their homes over the holidays, creating a shortage of inventory. If you’re in the market to sell, that translates to less competition. In addition, buyers who are actually looking to purchase a home during the holiday season are likely to be extremely motivated. Oftentimes they’re relocating for work, but whatever the reason, if they’re actively searching, they probably want to


buy and move as quickly as possible. It’s also worth noting that winters in Southwest Louisiana are mild. Homebuyers here don’t have to deal with snowy and icy conditions like their counterparts in colder states. In addition, weather matters a lot less to homebuyers than it used to because of one thing: the internet. Sites such as Trulia,, and Zillow make it easy for buyers to look at listings online year-round, no matter the weather. That said, there are still drawbacks to having your home on the market during the holidays. For one thing, keeping your home ready to show at a moment’s notice is hard enough when it’s not the season for entertaining holiday guests. But you have the flexibility to limit the days and times when your home is available for showings. notes that you can create “blackout dates.” If you

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have relatives coming to stay for a few days, for example, you can simply make those days off-limits for showings — if you want to, that is. Keep in mind that the more available your home is for showings, the sooner you’re likely to find a buyer. Finally, though it’s certainly okay to decorate your home for the holidays, do your best to keep decorations simple and tasteful. Different people have different opinions about what looks nice and what doesn’t, and the last thing you want to do is lose a potential buyer because your decorating style gave them a bad impression of your home. Armed with these tips, you can feel confident about selling your home during the holidays. But if you’re still feeling hesitant, consider waiting until January. As Zillow notes, inventory is still usually low at the first of the year, which will give you a head start on all those sellers who will flood the market in the spring.

November 2017

November 2017

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Money & Career

on Small Business Saturday by John O’Donnell

In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a symbol of hope – creating jobs, and supporting the communities around them. In the same spirit of Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, Saturday, November 25, 2017, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is Small Business Saturday -- a day to support small businesses for all they do for the communities and economies in which they serve. Started by American Express, and first observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday was a local answer to holiday shopping trends that benefitted and favored big box retailers and online giants. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to not just shop small, but also to support local brick and mortar businesses. To help put Small Business Saturday into context, it’s helpful to understand their impact on our economies. There are 23 million Small Businesses in the United States, having grown by 49% since 1982. Small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes. When you spend $100 at a local business, approximately $68 stays in your local economy, whereas when you spend the same amount of money at a larger business, only $43 stays in your local economy. So does it work? As an event, Small Business Saturday has a massive social


media foot print. Often, events with social media footprints this large look more successful than they actually are. It’s difficult to know the exact impact or consumer spending habits on Small Business Saturday, but it does look like local businesses around the United States do well as a result of this event. American Express has reported that shops saw a 23% increase on average annually in transactions using American Express cards alone at small businesses since the holiday’s inception, and holiday sales at eCommerce shops, many of whom are small businesses, have gone up. So it looks like people were shopping and not just tweeting about shopping. In Southwest Louisiana, the shop local spirit is in full swing for the upcoming holiday season. The Southwest Louisiana Economic Alliance’s Quality of Life Team is working diligently to put together a “Shop Local” movement, including encouraging people to get out and shop, eat, and resource locally from small businesses on November 25th. “I admire small business owners who have taken charge of their dreams and opened shop -- whether they have started a retail store, a restaurant, or found a niche -- a needed service or product,” said Amanda White, Vice President in charge of Communications and Special Projects at

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the SWLA Economic Alliance. “They all fill a need within our local economy. And we do need them. Small Businesses make up a lion share of the membership of the Chamber SWLA and employ a vast number of people within Southwest Louisiana. The term “backbone of our society” is often bandied about, but it is entirely true. Where would be without small businesses? They provide a valued richness and diversity within our culture that makes us who we are and our community the friendly, fun, loving place that it is.” The Quality of Life Task Force is working on a campaign that will feature a directory of participating local businesses and restaurants that will be open on Small Businesses Saturday. “It will include everything from special offers that businesses might be providing on [that day] to their social media handles and website. It’s a great resource for consumers and businesses alike,” White adds. For more information on how you can shop small, participate in the SWLA Economic Alliance’s Support Local event, or how your business can participate and be listed in their Small Business Saturday directory, contact Amanda White at, and stay tuned to the Economic Alliance Quality of Life Taskforce Facebook Page at www.facebook. com/QualityOfLifeSWLA.

November 2017

November 2017

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Money & Career

SOWELA Technical Community College Named One of 150 Top US Community Colleges Eligible to Compete for $1 Million Aspen Prize


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November 2017

SOWELA Technical Community College was named as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. SOWELA was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize. “This is definitely an honor and privilege to be one of only 150 community colleges chosen from over 1,000 nationwide,” said Dr. Neil Aspinwall, SOWELA Chancellor. “Recognition by an organization like the Aspen Institute further legitimizes SOWELA’s great transformation from an old trade school to a comprehensive community college that is truly student focused. As SOWELA continues to grow, we never lose sight of why we exist which is to provide the programs and services that ensure the success of our most important asset—our students. I am very proud of our dedicated faculty and staff who strive each day to make SOWELA the best community college in Louisiana and the nation and who have made this opportunity possible.” Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students. SOWELA will move forward to the next round of the competition for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence by submitting an application to be reviewed through a rigorous evaluation for a spot on the top 10 Aspen Prize finalists list. Top 10 finalists will be named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) in spring 2019. SOWELA Technical Community College was also named eligible to compete for the 2019 Siemens Technical Scholars Program. This program is designed to highlight the value that community colleges can provide individuals, communities, and businesses across the U.S. through excellent programs that prepare students for middle-skill jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The accolade is in addition to the College’s eligibility to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize of which only 3% of community colleges nationwide have been deemed eligible for both. SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates that empower learners in transfer, career, and technical education to excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for more than 75 years.

November 2017

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Money & Career

Louisiana Begins Business Startup Program for Veterans First class of veterans begins boot camp at LSU; future classes anticipated statewide.


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The first class of military veterans in the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program began coursework at the program’s inaugural boot camp today, with Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson, and other officials welcoming them at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center in LSU Innovation Park. Created this year, the LVEP program will enable service members leaving the military to gain intensive training in the initial boot camp, followed by long-term counseling from small business resource partners. Developed through a partnership of LED, LDVA, the Louisiana National Guard, the Louisiana Business & Technology Center and LSU Executive Education, the program will train 19 veterans in the initial camp and an estimated 108 participants in its first year. Goals target at least 30 percent of the participants launching a business and collectively raising at least $5 million in startup capital. A long-term goal for the program is to create 100 new jobs through newly formed businesses operated by LVEP-trained veterans. “The best thanks we can provide to Louisiana veterans who have given so much to our nation and our state is the promise of a better life for them and their families,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “As a veteran and small business owner myself, I know the sacrifices required for service to our country and the satisfaction that comes with success after service. This LVEP initiative combines many of our state partners in a powerful way to ensure that Louisiana veterans can achieve their dream of business ownership.” Today’s boot camp culminates a three-week, online-learning process in which veterans have gained training in capital fundraising, banking, Small Business Administration loans, accounting systems, tax matters, and business management skills. LVEP coursework, developed and delivered through the Louisiana Business & Technology Center and LSU Executive

November 2017

Education, outlines critical steps to start, operate, fund and launch a business, while giving veterans the tools needed to develop their business ideas. LED is providing initial program funding for LVEP. “The Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program recognizes so many important priorities in our work,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “As one of our nine key strategies at LED, we cultivate small business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship. To assist veterans in becoming successful entrepreneurs is indeed a great privilege for our department and our state.” Following the completion of the LVEP pilot program with the initial class of veterans this fall, the program partners plan to add more classes for veterans in other parts of Louisiana in the coming months. “We are pleased to be able to provide this for our veterans,” LSU President F. King Alexander said. “Our staff at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center and LSU Executive Education are excited to work with our veterans on business planning, marketing, financing, capital formation and other strategies that are key to operating a successful small business. This is just another way LSU supports the men and women who have chosen to serve our country.” As LED and program partners implement LVEP during the initial year, they will evaluate progress and identify solutions for sustainable funding of the program in future years. Both the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and the Louisiana National Guard have played integral roles in establishing the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program. “It is the desire of this department that all of the men and women who served our great nation find meaningful work here in Louisiana,” LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland said. “We are grateful to all of our LVEP partners for making this business startup opportunity available to our veterans.”

The American account gives you the freedom to do your banking any time and anywhere duty calls, and includes:

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

• Free checking • Free online banking, mobile banking and estatements • Free bill pay • Just $50 to open • No minimum balance and no monthly fees • Free first order of The American checks • Free debit card – with no-fee access to any ATM in the country • 25 basis point decrease on any consumer loan offered by Lakeside Bank ** • Free Lakeside Bank patriotic gift • Free telephone banking access to a live local banker • Overdraft protection with RediReserve ** • Identity theft protection available • Free 24/7 Real-time fraud monitoring with SecurLOCK

The sacrifice of those who work to serve and protect our communities and our country is immeasurable. We at Lakeside thank you for your courage and willingness to put others first. The American account is our humble way of recognizing and honoring your dedicated service.

Lakeside stands united with those who serve. Call or stop by any of our locations to learn more about The American account.

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Main Office

(337) 474-3766

4735 Nelson Road Oak Park

(337) 502-4314

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2132 Oak Park Blvd.

To Apply

Veterans who would like to participate in the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program may learn more at


(337) 502-4144

2203 Sampson Street Sulphur

Coming Soon!

The Way Banking Should Be

Maplewood Drive November 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Money & Career Where you go to stay in the know! Dermatology Associates Receives MGMA Better Performer Status for Second Year

Dermatology Associates was named a “better performer” for the second year in a row by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) due to superior operational performance compared with similar medical group practices nationwide. The MGMA report, a benchmarking standard among medical groups for more than a decade, was produced using data from respondents to the MGMA 2017 survey as well as data from a questionnaire that assessed management behaviors, practices, and procedures of better performers. The report profiles medical practices that have demonstrated success in one or more areas: profitability and cost management; productivity, capacity and staffing; accounts receivable and collections; and patient satisfaction. For more information, visit or call (337) 433-7272.

U.S. Tourism Quality Index ranked Lake Charles #2 for Small Destinations

With the vast amount of data available to analyze online, it is no surprise that the sentiment of consumers is being heard and considered strongly in almost every industry. Websites like Trip Advisor, Yelp or even social media sites come to mind whenever people are looking for recommendations. Taking this into consideration, the U.S. Tourism Quality Index ranked Lake Charles as #2 in the entire nation for the “experiential quality” for small destinations. The sentiments that were measured include culture, entertainment, sightseeing, sports, adventure, culinary and lodging. The rankings are based on the analysis of the number of products or experiences marked as “very good” or “excellent” by consumers. The top 10 small destinations include: Tallahassee, Fla.; Lake Charles, La.; Bend, Ore.; Dothan, Ala.; Augusta, Ga.; Greenville, S.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Mesa, Ariz.; Pensacola, Fla.; and Hot Springs, Ark. The LC/SWLA CVB works diligently to showcase the best of the area through public relations efforts, hosting travel writer conferences as well as implementing hospitality training seminars and social media community trainings. The bureau is extremely active online in promoting partners in tourism in Southwest Louisiana and creating a sense of community online across many platforms. To engage with the bureau online, go to, follow VisitLakeCharles on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, or you can read and subscribe to the VisitLakeCharles blog.


JD Bank was honored by the American Bankers Association (ABA) with an award that recognizes the nation’s best bank marketing videos. The second annual ABA Bank Marketing Video Awards, presented at the ABA Marketing Conference in New Orleans, featured nearly 300 entries from banks of all sizes nationwide. JD Bank’s “ZydeCash” video was honored as the winner among banks in the $500 Million $1 Billion Asset category. The video features a Louisiana zydeco band that suddenly appears and performs in a hardware store when a customer uses his “ZydeCash” debit card for a purchase. A panel of bank marketing experts evaluated the production value, creativity and messaging of all the entries. The top six videos for each asset category were then posted on for public voting, where more than 6,000 voters determined the winners. View JD Bank’s awardwinning video: watch?v=KsLirGOpqsO The ABA Bank Marketing Conference is an annual gathering of retail bankers, marketers and executives from across the nation to discuss banking services.

Over 200 healthcare jobs available in a variety of fields right now.

Healthy Choice

The for Your

JD Bank Wins National Industry Award


Learn more at Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

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growth in Southwest Louisiana.

Membership Information Available At: November 2017

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Mind & Body

The Benefits of Art in Alzheimer’s Disease by Angie Kay Dilmore

Over five million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a devastating illness that robs victims of their memories and ability to communicate. Art and music have been proven effective ways to help people communicate and express themselves, particularly individuals who can’t communicate well verbally. Some research has even suggested it slows the development of Alzheimer’s and helps patients remember and recall information easier. Consequently, senior care facilities often use music or art therapy to help people deal with their illness.

The science behind art and music

Visual stimulation and musical sounds stimulate specific parts of the brain that create different pathways. When a person hears a familiar song or recognizes a piece of art, the same pathways are used. Interestingly, in people who develop Alzheimer’s disease, these pathways are not affected, as is their memory and ability to verbally communicate. They remember favorite songs and maintain the ability to appreciate art because of these unique pathways, often associated with fond memories.

Art and music can put people at ease

Depending on the stage of disease, Alzheimer’s patients can easily become agitated and frustrated. This could be due to their struggles with communication and memory loss. Music and art, whether observing or creating it, can calm people and uplift their mood. Clare Bridge at Brookdale Senior


Living Solutions in Lake Charles is a memory care unit dedicated to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. According to Ashley Shows, Activities Director at Clare Bridge, the residents there have an hourly schedule called a “Daily Path,” which incorporates art and music into each day. Creative Craft Time might involve painting or other art work. Some days they garden or bake. To engage the male residents, they offer Life Stations, which include wood working and pipe fitting. The purpose is to keep their minds active and engaged. Brookdale brings in musicians three or four times a month to entertain the residents, but on the Daily Path schedule, 4:00 p.m. is dedicated to music. They have singa-longs and karaoke, line dancing, or they play musical instruments. Shows says when they hear music, specifically songs they recognize and enjoy, the residents “come alive.” “When we play a song from their generation, even if they can’t verbalize, we can see the recognition and joy on their faces,” Shows adds.

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If you have a loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s, try some art or music therapy with them. You may be surprised by the results! Here are some tips to get started:

For music therapy:

• Give the person the independence to choose their own music, if possible. Everyone has different tastes. Otherwise, play music from different genres and watch their reactions and facial expressions. Try playing music from their youth. They’ll possibly smile, clap their hands, tap their toes, or sing along. Encourage these behaviors by demonstrating. • Let music set a particular mood. If you want to create a happy, upbeat environment, play fun and engaging music. If you want to create a relaxing environment, play calm, soothing sounds. Music can also often spark memories a patient had long forgotten. • Avoid radio or internet stations that interrupt with commercials. This can be confusing to patients with dementia. Also eliminate other distractions, such as a television or outside noises. Play the music at a reasonable volume, not too loud. • Even if a patient is unable to interact in any way, music can still be beneficial. Melodies and lyrics can engage the mind, even in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.

For art therapy:

• Art offers patients an outlet for selfexpression and can provide a sense of purpose. Offer assistance only if/when necessary. For example, guide a person’s hand to color with a crayon, but don’t direct them. • Talk to your loved one while he/she paints or draws to encourage socialization. • Allow the patient to create at his/her own pace. • Avoid projects that are too childlike. • Use safe, non-toxic materials.

November 2017

ALZHEIMER’S By the Numbers

In the 2017 Lake Charles Walk to End Alzheimer’s

450 $47,000 44 raised over

participants on

for Alzheimer's care, support and research.


someone in the United States develops the disease.


If you or a loved one is experiencing Alzheimer’s or dementia, please visit our website for more information on support and your next steps.

November 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



& Body


Ways to Give Back to Your

Community This Thanksgiving

Giving back to the community is always important, but this is especially true around Thanksgiving. While most people look forward to spending time with family and friends feasting on turkey and stuffing and watching the parades and football games, for others it’s a very different story. Many people are alone this time of year. Others are homeless. Some are sick. Sadly, not everyone has a place to go and people with whom they can spend the holiday. Many people want to make a difference this time of year, but they’re not sure what to do and how to help. The first thing that comes to mind for most people is serving food at a local soup kitchen or shelter. This is indeed important because these organizations rely greatly on volunteers; but having a large number of people show up to help on the holiday can be overwhelming. With that said, there are several other ways to help your community.

by Mary Wong

Extend an invitation

Thanksgiving is a time to come together with friends and family, but not everyone has that opportunity. Is there someone you know who will be alone this year? Could you invite that person to spend Thanksgiving in your home? Perhaps it’s a neighbor who is a recent widow, someone who just went through a divorce, a military family who can’t all be together this year, or anyone who lives by themselves and has no family.


Visit patients in a hospital or nursing facility

Nobody wants to spend Thanksgiving stuck in a hospital room, but unfortunately, it happens. Visit local hospitals and assisted-living facilities. Find out when visiting hours are and make the rounds visiting people who can’t be at home this year. Sitting and having a conversation will be the highlight of the day for many of these people.

Donate blood

The American Red Cross says that every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. This Thanksgiving, give back to the community by donating the precious gift of life. Blood donations are a critical part of saving lives.

Thank law enforcement and military

This holiday season, thank your local police officers and members of the military. Without them, you wouldn’t have the freedom you enjoy every day in this country. Visit the local police station with pastries and coffee

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

to show your appreciation to the men and women who protect the community and can’t spend Thanksgiving with their families. Send letters to our servicemen and women stationed overseas who can’t be at home for the holidays. Or the next time you see a police officer patrolling your street, simply go up and say thanks for all that they do. Don’t forget our firefighters, too.

Give clothes, not food

There are plenty of shelters and soup kitchens that offer meals on Thanksgiving. A better way to give back is by donating clothing. You can also donate jackets, sweaters,

November 2017

scarves, and gloves. Many organizations collect these items.

Even committing to as little as one or two hours each week can make a huge difference.


Do something nice for a stranger

Whether it’s with a local library, religious organization, school classroom, community nonprofit, or wherever, give the gift of your time and volunteer. Many organizations rely heavily on volunteers.

There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to do something nice for a stranger. Let the person with the screaming baby behind you in line at the supermarket go ahead of you.

Leave a few extra dollars for the waitress who is obviously having a rough day. Help a senior citizen cross the street. Any small act of kindness can be a big deal to someone else. Doing something nice for someone you don’t know is a great way to have an attitude of gratitude this holiday season.

Above all else this Thanksgiving, perhaps one of the best ways you can give back and get into the spirit of the holiday is to simply say “thank you” to all the special people in your life. We live in a fast-paced world and often take things for granted. Take a few minutes this Thanksgiving to say thank you to your spouse, children, parents, boss, neighbors, friends, and other meaningful people in your life.

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& Body

Kidney Donation – A Gift of Life by Andrea Mongler

photo by Kevin Bruchhaus


When Roland LaComb was in his 20s, his father, at age 46, died of polycystic kidney disease. The loss marked a turning point for LaComb in more ways than one. Not only was his father gone, but he knew it was time to find out whether he had the disease too. Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, causes cysts to grow in the kidneys and often leads to kidney failure. Because LaComb had a parent with PKD, he had a 50 percent chance of having it himself. He got tested when he was 23, and sure enough, he had the disease too. At first, LaComb was devastated. But he took care of himself, and for most of his life, he stayed healthy. Almost 25 years later, he coaches basketball and teaches special education at Elton High School. He and his wife, Amanda, have seven children. Although LaComb did well for more than two decades, in the spring of 2016, his doctor told him his kidneys weren’t working properly. At the time, LaComb felt fine, so the news was a surprise. But by June, he was weak, sick, and having trouble breathing. He started dialysis, and for the next year and four months, he had three 3½-hour sessions each week. “I saw how it was taking time away from my kids and how my wife was ignoring some of her duties to help me,” he says. “I was very depressed.” Dialysis was also a short-term solution; LaComb would eventually need a kidney transplant. Unlike most other organs, kidneys can be donated by living donors, as it’s possible to live a normal, healthy life with one kidney. LaComb sought donors on Facebook and the response was huge, but everyone who inquired about donating ultimately was not a match or did not meet all the requirements.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

But little did LaComb know that someone else had been quietly looking into the possibility of donating. Someone who had been by his side through two basketball seasons: his assistant coach, Kim Captain. Captain, 33, met LaComb when she played on the girls basketball team at Elton. He coached the boys team at the time. But she didn’t get to know him well until after she became his assistant coach, a position she previously never would have imagined having. As Captain explains it, she made some “terrible choices” when she was younger, including dropping out of high school during her senior year. She went back to get her diploma the next year, but she didn’t really get her life back on track for a long time. “There were a lot of ups and downs in my life, and it wasn’t until I had my daughter (now age 6) that I realized I wanted to take life seriously,” she says. When Captain moved back to Elton after living away for several years, she found herself watching a girls basketball game. After the game, she simply asked LaComb if she could work as his assistant coach. To her surprise, he said yes. Over the next two years, Captain would grow to greatly admire and respect LaComb — both on and off the court. “He really cares about the girls on the team,” she says. “He goes out of his way to make sure not only that they are good on the court but that they have leadership qualities. Not many people put in that time and effort. And also the way he takes care of his own children. He is an angel among us.” After a basketball game toward the end of last season, Captain began to consider the possibility of donating a kidney to LaComb. She stopped at Subway on her drive home, and November 2017

Amanda LaComb just happened to pull in, too. They talked, and Captain made her decision. She asked Amanda to keep things quiet to avoid giving LaComb false hope in the event that she couldn’t donate. But she turned out to be a match, and she had no medical issues that would rule her out as a donor. When LaComb got the news, he was ecstatic. “This woman had been sitting next to me at basketball games for

the last two years, but there was a bigger reason why she was there -- to save my life,” he says. “I am just so thankful.” The transplant surgery took place on Aug. 29 of this year. The immediate aftermath was rough. LaComb developed pancreatitis, and one of his medications caused him to vomit. But he has slowly regained his strength and expects to be back at work soon. Captain’s physical recovery was quicker, though she experienced depression

for a short time after the operation. But she never questioned her decision. “I just wanted to help this man so he can continue to help these girls and love his family because that’s what he does,” she says. “It’s inspiring.” Captain, who received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2015, is working on a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management. She’s also leading the basketball team until LaComb returns.

“It’s a huge responsibility, and I’m glad they trusted me with it, but I’m really ready for him to come back!” she says. LaComb and Captain had a good relationship before the transplant, but now their bond is strong and unshakeable. “I have always respected Kim,” LaComb says. “She is a true-blue person. But giving part of herself to me — that just goes so deep. I am incredibly thankful.”

You Make it Look Easy In November, the Eye Clinic is saying, “Thank you” to our healthcare community with a special savings offer on LASIK.

The Eye Clinic applauds the compassion and care you exhibit daily in taking care of those who you need you most. If the walls of Southwest Louisiana’s medical offices could talk, they would, undoubtedly, tell the stories of everyday miracles.


on LASIK for the % Savings Healthcare Community*

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November 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living 1767 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles



Meet the Newest Members of our Physician Team

& Body

Brett Goodwin, MD Cardiologist

600 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., Lake Charles | (337) 436-3813 Imperial Health is proud to welcome Brett Goodwin, MD, to our medical staff. Dr. Goodwin is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Adult Echocardiography. He is board eligible in Nuclear Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology. Originally from Southwest Louisiana, Dr. Goodwin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Certificate in Health Policy from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He returned to Louisiana to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, where he earned a Medical Degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and a Masters in Business Administration from the Tulane Freeman School of Business. Dr. Goodwin completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Duke University and a Cardiology Fellowship at The Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas. Dr. Goodwin is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the American College of Physicians. He joins the Cardiovascular Specialists at Imperial Health.

Benjamin Fontenot, MD Family Medicine Physician 277 Highway 171, Suite 8, Moss Bluff | (337) 312-0030 Imperial Health is proud to welcome Benjamin Fontenot, MD, to our medical staff. Dr. Fontenot is board certified in family medicine. Originally from Lake Charles, Dr. Fontenot completed his undergraduate studies at McNeese State University in Lake Charles. After studying basic sciences in the Caribbean, he earned a Bachelor of Medical Science and a Doctor of Medicine from Sint Eustatius School of Medicine on the Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius. He completed his residency at the LSU Family Medicine Residency at University Hospital & Clinics in the Lafayette General Health System in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Fontenot joins Dr. Jason Morris at Imperial Health’s Moss Bluff family practice office.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

November 2017

Jason Burklow, MD Family Medicine Physician

4150 Nelson Road, Building A, Suite 3, Lake Charles | (337) 474-7290 Imperial Health is proud to welcome Jason Burklow, MD, to our medical staff. Dr. Burklow is board certified in family medicine. Originally from Lake Charles, Dr. Burklow earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received a Doctor of Medicine from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on the island of St. Maarten. Dr. Burklow completed a Family Medicine Residency at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital as a part of the Louisiana State University Health Science Center Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Burklow joins the family practice office of Dr. John A. DiGiglia III.

Joseph Crookshank III, MD Interventional Pain Management Specialist and Anesthesiologist 1747 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles | (337) 721-7236 Imperial Health is proud to welcome Joseph Crookshank III, MD, to our medical staff. He joins the Center for Orthopaedics’ group of musculoskeletal specialists. Originally from Lake Charles, Dr. Crookshank earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from McNeese State University in Lake Charles and a Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed an Internal Medicine intern year at Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge, an Anesthesiology Residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, and a Fellowship in Interventional Pain Management at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology, and board-eligible in Interventional Pain Medicine. Dr. Crookshank has been involved in numerous advanced clinical research studies and has a special interest in neuromodulation, non-opiod based management of chronic pain, and pharmacological research.

November 2017 Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Solutions for Life

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

Yes Or No? Your Life Is Hanging in The Balance! A segment of my practice is seeing an uptick – people with chronic illnesses. I noticed recently how many more people I am working with that have some kind of autoimmune issue or chronic pain. Therapy with this population is very different. With traditional cases, a client comes in with an issue and we work to solve that problem. That doesn’t apply to this group. Therapy with the chronically ill is all about acceptance and re-defining life. The issues they deal with often are not going to get better. In fact, many times they are going to get worse. We have lots of discussions about “quality of life.” We have lots of discussions about finding gratitude in the small things. We have lots of discussions about not looking behind at all the things they used to be able to do. We have lots of discussions about not fighting the symptoms, but riding them out like riding a wave in the ocean. And . . . we seem to have the most discussions about boundaries. You know, those limits that you set for your sanity? The lines you are not willing to cross? Yeah, those. You see, I have found that across the board, my clients with chronic illnesses were always doers. They were the caretakers. They were the breadwinners. A lot of their identity and worth was connected to


how much they could help others. And now they can barely help themselves. It’s quite a mental shift to go from being very active and taking care of everything to having to let an illness dictate what you can and cannot do. And my clients struggle with this. They have to go through a grief process to say goodbye to their old way of handling life and come to terms with their new life. Many times this new life won’t be staying that way either. They will have to grieve again and adjust to yet another new way of life. That’s why boundaries are so important, but not just for my chronically ill clients. Boundaries are important for all of us. Boundaries help us find balance. Setting boundaries allows us to manage and prioritize our energy, which is a limited resource even for the healthiest of us. So, how do you set boundaries? Try this: Prioritize. What things in life are most important to you? If you are feeling stressed and stretched, I can almost guarantee you are not spending your precious time on the priorities in your life. We are all given the same number of minutes in every day. Why are some people so harried while others seem calm? A lot of that has to do with their time and their priorities matching up.

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Wait. Stop immediately responding to requests on your time and talents. It really is okay to say you will think about a commitment before answering. If the asking party really wants you, they will wait. If the asking party demands an immediate answer, it’s time to use the old saying “when in doubt, don’t.” Balance. I feel like a broken record some days with my clients. “How are you finding balance?” “I’m glad to hear work is going well. What are you doing for fun?” “Boy, your schedule sounds really packed. Where have you scheduled some time to rest?” Healthy lives are all about balance. Healthy people understand we need to work, play and rest. And they make sure they do all three. The bottom line with boundaries is this: every time you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. Just because you really want to do something doesn’t mean this is the best time for you to do it. Stop and take stock. Before answering, take the time to make sure your “yes” is for things you are passionate about and bring balance to your life.

November 2017

Way 2 Thrive! Our readers have been THRIVING, and we would like to give a shoutout for the effort. If you know of a person, company, or group in our community that deserves to be recognized for their generous actions, please let us know! Send us an email to Please send a photo with a quick explanation, and we may feature them on our Facebook page!

November 2017

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for the holiday season! Monday–Friday 10am–5:30pm Saturday 10am–4pm Exclusive Brands at Affordable Prices Gift cards available

3101 Ernest Street, Suite 1 • Lake Charles, Louisiana • (337) 564-5818

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Monday Through Friday – 10am-5:30pm Saturday – 10am-4pm 1301 East McNeese Street, Suite 105 Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607 (337) 564-6748


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November 2017