Thrive September 2021

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Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Unique WOMEN. Unique HEALTHCARE. Every woman is different. Every phase of life is special. Cookie-cutter healthcare is not an option. Ask women what kind of healthcare they want and here’s what they say.


“a hospital that’s all about women and babies” “a birth experience that centers on me and my baby” “answers about my baby’s health before they become questions” “a hospital with newborn critical care” “helps me understand if I am genetically at-risk for breast cancer” “doctors and nurses who put my baby’s safety, not convenience, first” “a center of excellence specifically for women’s surgical needs” “diagnostics for breast and bone health all in one place” “a breast surgeon who understands the impact of breast cancer for a woman” “a hospital that doesn’t feel like a hospital” “healthcare that keeps me wellthy (well + healthy)”

You’ll find this and more at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women.


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021



Must be 21 or older to enter casino, Event Center or Party by the Pool. ©2021 Penn National Gaming, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Style & Beauty

y d a e Get Rfor ! g n i m o c e Hom Homecoming, and all that entails, takes time to plan, especially the highlight of the event – the dance! There’s attire, flowers, hair, makeup, and nails. And what about transportation and afterdance events? It can feel a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry. Here’s a handy countdown checklist to help you prepare and stay organized so you can keep the focus on fun.

A few months before:

A month before:

• It’s time to go dress shopping! First, go online and check out fashion trends. Then go out and try some things on and get a sense of what styles look best. Department stores offer a wide selection, but do explore local boutiques, as well. If you buy a dress online, order early so you have time to alter it or get another size if need be. Remind your date to plan his/her attire, as well.

• If you’ll attend Homecoming with a group of friends, plan the pre-dance schedule. Where will you meet for photos? If you intend to eat dinner out before the dance, make restaurant reservations.

• Now about the glam . . . will you DIY your hair, nails, and makeup or leave those to the pros? If the latter, book appointments early on. Salon spots fill up quickly, especially if other area schools have Homecoming the same day. This is also true if you want to book a photographer or limo service.

• Plan your after-dance. Do you and your friends have a beach weekend planned or a big sleepover at someone’s home? These events need to be discussed and planned ASAP. Some schools sponsor a post-Homecoming party, so that is another consideration – often with free food and giveaways. • Choose your Homecoming accessories. Consider shoes, jewelry, and a clutch or small handbag to carry essentials. If you do purchase new shoes, especially if they are high heels, spend some time walking in them, get used to them, and break them in. You want to be comfortable and it’s no fun dancing in shoes that hurt your feet. • Purchase your Homecoming tickets.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Night of: • Enjoy yourself, make memories, dance, and take photos to look back on. Don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking, and if someone pressures you to have sex, don’t give in just because it’s Homecoming night. Stay safe and have fun!

Two weeks before: • Call and confirm that all your appointments and reservations are for the correct day and time. Better to be safe than sorry. • If you are doing your hair and makeup yourself, do a trial run to make sure it all comes together well. Try on your dress again, just to be sure. You don’t want any surprises the night of the dance. • Order the corsage and boutonniere for dayof pick up.

Day of: • Pick up flowers. Store them in the fridge until evening if you ordered fresh flowers. • Go to appointments. Leave yourself plenty of time. This is not a day to be rushed. • Pack your purse with necessities. Lipstick, gum or mints, extra bobby pins, in case your ‘do falls out, blotting paper (it gets hot out on the dance floor), along with anything else you may need that night.


Style & Beauty

r i a H k c a l B s d n e Tr it m i L e h t ’s y k S The

During the recent Summer Olympics, some Black female athletes wowed us not only with their physical prowess, but surprised us by their unique hairstyles, as well. The current trend in Black hair is to be creative. Local businesswoman Tasha Guidry was born in Brooklyn, New York, but came to Lake Charles with her family in 1979, at the age of 10. She remembers being surprised at the hairstyles on the women of color in this area.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

ers by Stefanie Pow

“In New York in the 1970s, Black women had gone back to natural hair,” she explains. “My mother and her friends had afros. When we came down here, we saw that most of the women were still pressing their hair. It was a big difference. It takes a while for trends to reach Lake Charles.” Guidry wore her hair in braids as a child and recalls getting her first process when she was in the eighth grade. She no longer straightens her hair. “I need low maintenance!” she says. “I do braids, twists and weaves. Plus, processing damages and weakens hair and causes breakage. So if you want to go natural, it’s going to take a while for the good hair to grow in.”

Band teacher Tiffany Jones Guillory of Lake Charles says she loves having a braid this time of year. “It’s super easy for the summer months,” she says. “In the fall and winter, instead of wigs, I get tracks sewn in. Some people like clip-in extensions, but I enjoy not having to remove them for a few months.” It’s been seven years since she last chemically straightened her hair and is happy that she let it go natural. Guidry thinks Black women are now choosing hair styles that make them feel good. “Before, everyone had to look the same. Everyone had to fit in,” she recalls. “All that has changed.”

Sha'Carri Richardson after winning the women's 100-meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field

The sky is really the limit, from short, sassy straight cuts with side bangs, to tight afros of varying colors, to wigs in every length and style. Box braids consist of square-shaped hair divisions. There’s a size for every preference, and there’s so much you can do with them. Twist them into an oversized high bun, double buns, or pull them up into a half bun, leaving the ends of the braids out for a cascading face frame. Try layered braids in purple or blue. Add beads or other jewelry. Combine different lengths. The possibilities are endless. Cornrows are a traditional style of braids in which the hair is braided very close to the scalp. As with braids, you can invent a variety of unique looks. For example, combine both cornrows and braids and design bold braid patterns. For side cornrows, instead of braiding them straight back, you can mix up typical cornrows by braiding them toward either side. For a dramatic look, try braiding just the front and leave the rest of your hair natural. Want to go completely natural? Let your natural texture shine. For ultra-defined ringlets, use a gel for curly hair as soon as you get out of the shower. If you want to wash and go, use your blow dryer’s diffuser attachment to gently dry your curls without blasting them with heat. To enhance volume, apply a leave-in curlbooster before drying. Of course, humidity does a job on Black hair, literally acting as a steamer, curling up the roots of straight hair and expanding defined curls. Going natural in the long, sweltering Southwest Louisiana summers can be a chore. Be careful with the flat iron. The extra heat you use to combat frizz on a regular basis will cause your strands to weaken and eventually break. Finding good hair products is key to maintaining your style(s) and are a worthwhile investment. Take care of your crowning glory!


Style & Beauty

Julep Boutique Indulge Your Passion for Fashion

by Stefanie Powers

Autumn is on its way! Does your fall wardrobe need some sprucing up? Time to head over to Julep Boutique in Lake Charles and check out the latest arrivals. Julep offers fashions for both work and play, along with fabulous accessories and gift items. Steve and Julie Miller opened Julep in the fall of 2019. “I have some retail and sales background,” says Julie Miller. “My education is in the medical field, but I’ve always had a love for fashion and business.” Miller got the urge to open her own store after many conversations with her work associates. “I would attend meetings at work and frequently run into colleagues with similar dress styles,” she says. “Maybe same top, different color, etc. The lack of shopping resources, specifically boutiques, was a frequent topic of conversation. I recognized the need and went for it!” The store initially started online in October of 2019. The storefront was supposed to be ready in September of 2020. But then, disaster struck. “Hurricane Laura caused extensive damage and we had to start over from square one,” Miller says. “In October of last year, we rented a temporary building and operated in our current parking lot until our store was completed this past June.” Miller loves the location. “I live in South Lake Charles, and I am always looking for places to shop on my end of town,” she explains. “South Lake Charles needed more retail shops. Our location at Southlake Crossing is the perfect setting for a boutique.” She says the owner has made a big effort to offer Lake Charles an upscale shopping center. “He’s done really well,” she says. “The shopping center is also locally owned, so when you shop here, all of your money supports the Lake Charles community.” 12

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Julep caters to girls and ladies ages 14 and up. “We are also a size-inclusive boutique and offer sizes from 0-2x in business and casual attire,” Miller says. The boutique has it all: Dresses, jeans, jumpsuits, shorts, pants, tops, sweaters, jackets, hats, and more. Footwear includes boots, flats and wedges. “We also carry jewelry and accessories, along with gifts such as candles, umbrellas, resin pieces, and Topanga scents,” Miller says. If you’re not familiar with Topanga, it’s a luxury laundry product line with California-inspired fragrances, such as Brentwood, with notes of passion fruit and patchouli, and Roxbury, with an aroma of sea salt and orchid. Miller is excited about their new candle line from Blue Magnolia Candle Co. Made here in Louisiana, the candles are hand-poured and have a wooden wick, which burns slower and cleaner. What also stands out are the super reasonable prices of Julep’s quality merchandise. And, if you’d rather shop in the comfort of your own home, you can order online and keep an eye open for their sales. They also have an active Facebook page that alerts you to their latest merchandise. Miller is proud of her store and hopes you visit soon. “Julep Boutique is known for impeccable style and relaxed shopping in a comfortable environment. Our sales staff is here to help you coordinate that perfect outfit for your next event!” Julep Boutique, 4720 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, 70605, (337) 990-5989. Open Mon.-Sat. from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., www., and find them on Facebook


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Mind & Body

Medical Spa vs Day Spa: What’s the Difference? Sometimes you just need a good spa day to de-stress while rejuvenating your mind, body and skin. But which spa is right for you? Over the past decade or so several new spa business models have appeared as new treatments become available and technology advances. Spas diversify and create new niches of business, like a medical (med) spa. So, what makes a med spa different from a traditional day spa?

Dr. Allison Clement, Medical Director and Master Injector at The Skin Studios in Lake Charles.


“A med spa is a hybrid between a day spa and a medical aesthetic clinic that operates under the direct supervision of a highly trained and specialized physician,” said Dr. Allison Clement, Medical Director and Master Injector at The Skin Studios in Lake Charles. “In a med spa, all medical-grade treatments are performed by a qualified physician or under the physician’s supervision by a trained medical professional. Whereas a day spa is not under the supervision of a medical director, and providers of spa treatments are licensed in areas of non-medical expertise, such as a licensed massage therapist, esthetician, or trained spa technician.” Traditional day spas provide personal care treatments focused on improving beauty and relaxation. But a med spa is less about relaxation and pampering, and more about providing lasting improvements to the health of your skin with advanced medical grade skincare and treatments.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

MOST POPULAR MEDICAL SPA TREATMENTS Medical Grade Facials (Microneedling): Sometimes called collagen induction therapy, microneedling involves the creation of microscopic channels through the surface of the skin, which leads to the formation of new tissue and releases the skin’s natural growth factors which promote scar and hyperpigmentation repair and healing. Chemical Peels: Topically applied formulations that trigger a controlled shedding of the skin to accelerate the growth of new and youthful appearing skin cells. Chemical peels are available in a variety of different types, each using different active ingredients (peeling agents) depending on the condition being addressed with treatment. Skin Lightening: Treatments that address common pigmentation issues including dark spots, blemishes, melasma, and melanin imperfections. Skin lightening systems can also boost the texture and luminosity of the skin.

Lasers: There are many laser treatment options available to address a variety of concerns, including wrinkles, loss of collagen, texture issues, discoloration and blemishes, and more. Radio Frequency (RF): A device used to impart energy into the deep tissue to provide a tightening effect for the face or body. Botox or Dysport: Injectable treatments to relax lines and wrinkles. Dermal Fillers: Most commonly formulated with hyaluronic acid, dermal fillers help to volumize areas of the face that have hollowed or formed wrinkles due to a loss of collagen. Common fillers include Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse. Body Sculpting: For many people, some areas of fat are simply resistant to diet and exercise, which is why non-surgical body contouring treatments may be ideal to eliminate excess fat. In addition, a personalized muscle sculpting treatment that adjusts to your fitness level, shape and goals to strengthen, firm and tone your muscles can help increase muscle mass on average by 30 percent.

“Laser treatments, injections and other medical procedures require experience and skill to be done safely and effectively,” said Dr. Clement. “You should feel comfortable asking for credentials and experience from your service provider, and please verify that a physician is readily available.” To sum it up, medical spas are a hybrid between a day spa and a physician’s office. They still promote a relaxing atmosphere in a spa-like setting but combine that degree of luxury with clinical medicine. “At The Skin Studios, we offer a comprehensive range of advanced treatment options for a variety of aesthetic conditions including lines, wrinkles, pigmentation issues, acne, redness, volume loss, body contouring, permanent hair removal and broken capillaries,” said Dr. Clement. “We treat these skin issues with the most cutting-edge techniques and the highest-quality products available.” To get the care of a physician and comfort of a spa, visit The Skin Studios at com or call 337-474-1220. .

When considering cosmetic surgery, two things are essential. An experienced, highly skilled surgeon who understands the structure of the face both inside and out is, of course, a requirement. But, making skin smooth and tight again is only a part of the process. A keen understanding of the balance and proportions of your particular face—how the chin, nose, eyes and neck work in harmony to enhance your appearance is critical. Adjusting this balance, delicately and gently, requires the experienced eye of an artist. Uncovering the beauty beneath demands a special touch.

1000 W. Pinhook Road • Lafayette 337-237-0650 •

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Mind & Body



On Their Toes It’s been said that feet are to a dancer what hands are to a painter, but a painter’s hands are not subjected to the level of sheer physical stress that a dancer’s feet endure. Pain, blisters, calluses, bruised toenails, sprains, fractures, bunions– these are just a few of the common and frequent foot and ankle injuries a serious dancer will experience, according to foot and ankle specialist Dr. Tyson Green, with the Center for Orthopaedics. “Because dance is artistic, the athletic aspect of it is often overlooked,” says Dr. Green. “A key component to the beauty of dance is the demanding biomechanics of the dancer, particularly of the foot and ankle. And as with any other physical activity, dancing comes with a risk of injury. In fact, up to 90 percent of dancers experience some form of injury to their feet and/or ankles.” Dr. Green says year-round participation in dance is common and increases the risk of injury. “In terms of duration, frequency and intensity, dance is a highly demanding activity. Unlike many sports, dance has no seasonal breaks,


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

by Kristy Como Armand

which requires a constant high level of fitness. Every dance performance requires flexibility, balance, power and endurance. To execute technical movements, the body takes on positions that place a lot of stress on bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments, which can lead to high injury rates.” The most common injury among dancers of all ages is the ankle sprain. Dr. Green says many ballet positions place significant demand on the muscles stabilizing the ankle. A loss of balance may invert the ankle and stretch or tear ligaments. The more severe the injury, the longer the time required for healing. Some mild sprains without swelling or bruising require only a few days of RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), while more severe sprains may require a longer period of rest, bracing, and rehabilitation. Dancers are also susceptible to stress fractures in the feet and lower legs. Dr Green explains that these tiny cracks in a bone result from repetitive stress. “Bone has the ability to grow stronger in response to stress through a process called ‘remodeling,’ but with excessive stress, which doesn’t allow time for recovery and repair, stress fractures can occur. Rest is the best prevention and remedy for this.”

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Dr. Green says toe pain is also very common, and can result from a wide range of causes, including: • Sprains of individual toes. • Neuromas – a burning or tingling that can occur anywhere from the ball of the foot to the toes, caused by the pinching of the nerve fibers between the toes. • Bunions – occurs when the big toe is forced in toward the other toes, causing crowding, pain and swelling. • Sesamoiditis – a condition that affects the sesamoids, two small bones located in the tendons of the big toe. • Blisters, calluses, corns – caused by friction between the feet and footwear. Dancers are also at risk of other ankle and heel problems, including plantar fasciitis and tendinitis or impingement of the Achilles tendon. As with any other sport, Dr. Green says proper conditioning, active warm-up and stretching before and after dance can prevent injury. Dr. Green stresses that footwear is also extremely important. “We say this for any type of sport, but it is probably even more true for dance. The fit of your dance shoes is extremely important. Be sure to replace worn shoes frequently. Dancers have to protect their most important instrument – their feet.” For more information on dance-related foot injuries, or any type of foot problem, call Center for Orthopaedics at (337) 721-7236 or visit

We pride ourselves on providing the most effective, evidence-based therapies available to obtain optimal treatment outcomes for our patients. We promote an inviting and relaxing atmosphere to put our patients at ease throughout their treatment. Therapists are manual therapy skilled to treat orthopedic conditions of the neck, back, and peripheral joints, as well as soft tissue and overuse injuries. We also specialize in unique Women’s Health services for a variety of conditions, providing treatment options to women of Southwest Louisiana that were not readily available to them before.

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We Help People in Southwest Louisiana Stay Active, Perform Better, and Live a Life Free From Pain, So They Can Do the Things That They Love Temporary Lake Charles Location – 1490 Market Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 • (337) 990-5621


Mind & Body

Know Your

NUMBERS by Kristy Como Armand

SEPTEMBER is National Cholesterol Education Month Phone numbers. Budgets. Important dates. Security codes. Account numbers. These are just a few examples of the numbers we pay attention to on a daily basis; numbers we commit to memory and use frequently. As important as these may be, there are some critical numbers you may be ignoring that have an even bigger impact on your life – your cholesterol level.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month, the perfect time to have your blood cholesterol checked and talk to your doctor about how to manage it if it’s found to be high. Dr. Marissa De La Paz, family medicine physician with Imperial Health explains that cholesterol is a fat-like substance that, when in excess, can build up in a person’s arteries and settle as a form of plaque, eventually narrowing those arteries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 102 million adults in the United States age 20 or older have total cholesterol levels at or above 200 mg/dL. Dr. Dr La Paz says depending on other health risk factors, a good overall goal for LDL is 129 mg/dL or less. However, for example, in people with Type 2 Diabetes, the goal for LDL is 70 mg/dL or less. “The higher your cholesterol levels, the greater your risk of heart disease,” says Dr. De La Paz. “It’s important to understand why high cholesterol is often called the ‘silent killer.’ This condition doesn’t typically produce any noticeable symptoms. We all hear about sudden heart attacks, but in many cases, these are not sudden at all. Cholesterol levels have likely been increasing for years, undetected. This is why regular testing and visits with your doctor are so important." The American Heart Association recommends that all adults 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years as long as their risk remains low. After age 40, individuals should follow their doctor’s advice for how often their cholesterol should be checked based on your overall health and other risk factors for heart disease. A simple blood test, known as a lipid panel, can determine if an individual has dangerous cholesterol levels and if that risk could lead to a sudden heart attack or stroke. Dr. De La Paz says your total cholesterol is important to know, but the lipid profile also measures both types of cholesterol—LDL and HDL. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, which leads to clogged arteries. HDL, high-density lipoprotein, is known as “good” cholesterol and helps transport cholesterol to the liver to be expelled from the body and away from the arteries. The lipid profile also indicates the level of triglycerides, which is a type of fat found in the blood. Dr. De La Paz says if you have a high triglyceride result, that’s bad, but if you have a high cholesterol result, you need to know why it is high. “It might be high because you have a high level of the good cholesterol, which can happen for people who are extremely healthy or have good genes.” She stresses that having a high triglyceride result plus high LDL can be especially harmful. There are medications you can take to lower your cholesterol, but Dr. De La Paz says diet and lifestyle adjustments can usually help significantly before the need for medical intervention. “I recommend my patients become more conscious of their diet first. Eating foods low in fat, but high in fiber, like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and whole grains can positively impact your cholesterol levels. Also, increasing your physical activity levels. I usually recommend 30 - 40 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, three - to - four days per week. Other ways to help lower your cholesterol are maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can help reduce high cholesterol.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. De La Paz, call (337) 474-2856.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

SUICIDE STATISTICS AS OF 2019: The annual suicide rate in the U.S. is 14.5 per 100,000. This rate has increased steadily since 2000, when it was 10.4 per 100,000. Suicide is the 10TH leading cause of death in the U.S. across all ages.

Shedding Light on the Tragedy of Suicide

by Vinay Saranga M.D.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide has been a growing issue in America and was likely exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic due to increased isolation, fear, marginalization, psychological disorders, economic fallout, and increased domestic abuse. According to a New York Times report, 44,834 Americans died from suicide in 2020. Suicide is the worst possible outcome not just for the individual, but for the family he or she leaves behind. This often involves parents and grandparents, children, siblings and friends who are left wondering why. Why did he do it? Why didn’t I see the signs? Could I have done more? Is this somehow partially my fault? Was I not nice to him or her? As mental health professionals, it hurts us too. If the person didn’t get help, why not? Was he or she denied access to mental health benefits? If he or she was under our care, where did we go wrong? Did we not see the signs or prescribe the wrong course of treatment?

When it comes to suicide, there are no straightforward answers. Most of the time, we never get answers unless the person left behind a note, and even then, we still scratch our heads in disbelief and dismay. That’s why initiatives like National Suicide Prevention Month are so important. It helps us shine the light on the pain of suicide, even if briefly. The reality is, we need to have open conversations about suicide, depression and overall mental health 365 days a year. We need to end the stigma surrounding mental illness immediately or unfortunately, suicide will continue to needlessly end the lives of too many. The only bit of good news is that suicide is preventable, but an intervention must take place. The driving force behind a suicide must be properly dealt with before it spirals out of control, whether this is a mental illness, nasty divorce, job loss or anything else. We can provide hope and support by starting a conversation. Reach out to help normalize the topic. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment for mental illnesses. It is not a sign of weakness. Someone suffering from heart disease wouldn’t hesitate to seek help for their heart condition. The same normalization needs to be visible in the mental health community. If you suspect someone might be suicidal, here are some things you can do to help.

78% of completed suicides are by MALES and 89% are by WHITES. 51% of suicides are via FIREARM, 26% via SUFFOCATION, and 15% via POISONING.


Again, help normalize the topic by conversation. Simply asking someone if they are thinking about suicide is a good step. Never promise to keep their suicidal thoughts a secret. Be open and nonjudgmental. Encourage immediate professional intervention through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is available 24-hours a day.


Professional help is essential. Don’t just suggest it because they might be unlikely to follow through. Do it for them. Someone who might be suicidal could be suffering from deep depression, mania and other conditions that sometimes prevent clarity. Do the research and help get them set up with an appointment with a mental health professional like a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or licensed counselor.


If someone in your life is contemplating suicide, constantly remind them that there is hope. There are many successful treatments which can help turn their feelings around. Life is worth living. Continue to support and communicate with them. You can increase their feelings of connectedness and share your ongoing support. There is evidence that even a simple form of reaching out, like sending a card or email, can potentially reduce their risk for suicide. Remember, loneliness is a major cause of depression. This National Suicide Prevention Month, let’s put an end to this horrific epidemic once and for all. The more we continue the conversation and bring attention to it, the more people we will reach and save. Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry.


Wining & Dining Banners Presents

Rouge et Blanc

This year, Rouge et Blanc will be held on the eve of Halloween, and Banners at McNeese is making the most of the proximity to this annual night of mystery and intrigue by offering patrons the option of dressing creatively for the occasion. Many of you sorely missed your chance to dress up for Mardi Gras this past year, so Banners has transformed Rouge 2021 into a masquerade! “Ticketholders, we welcome you to join in the festivities with your creative flair,” says Brook Hanemann, executive director of Banners. While some patrons will arrive in classy traditional Rougeattire, many attendees are busy dusting off masks and costumes to make this event the most playful in Rouge et Blanc history. Expect to see imbibers dressed Breakfast at Tiffany’s style, decked out in roaring 20s garb, outfitted like Greek gods of wine, and attired in full masquerade regalia. “So come out dressed to impress,” Hanemann adds. “Who knows, there may even be a prize.”

20 20 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine forfor Better Better Living Living • September • September 2021 2021






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Wining & Dining |

Rouge et Blanc Guide

The Purpose

behind the

PARTY Everyone knows Rouge et Blanc is one of the best annual events on the Southwest Louisiana party scene. But do they know WHY Banners at McNeese works so hard to plan this amazing event year after year?

The answer is simple – so that Banners, a financially self-sustaining organization within McNeese State University, can continue to provide the community with access to exceptional arts and humanities programming and education through arts integration that is unique to the area. Banners’ programs focus on lifelong learning and an appreciation of cultural diversity, working to enhance the quality of life in the communities of Southwest Louisiana

22 22 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living • September • September 2021 2021

When you purchase a ticket to Rouge et Blanc, you support community services provided by Banners. For example:

Banners Cultural Season Through their Cultural Season, Banners presents a series of performances each spring. Those performances include classical and jazz music, readings, dance companies, illusionists, academic lectures, film, world music, and more. Each Season’s line-up is chosen by a group of volunteers who review possible artists and choose the best options for our community. Their volunteers also participate as ticket takers, hospitality providers, outreach assistants, and photographers.

Banners Staff with Students of Maplewood Middle

Banners Engages One of the most important responsibilities of Banners is to engage local students in educational programming through arts and humanities performances. Banners Engages includes live presentations at no cost to public and parochial schools, appearances at Parish Public Libraries, demonstrations to students of McNeese State University, and other community venues. This program works to increase the number of students who experience live cultural programming, increase the number of hours of arts and humanities programming, and supplement the curriculum with prepared materials. It helps to ensure that children develop creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking. Studies have also shown that children involved in the arts are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, be elected to class office within their schools, and win awards for school attendance. Each year, more than 17,000 students reap the benefits of having Banners educational outreach performances as part of their learning environment. With approximately 60 outreach programs annually, Banners brings arts and humanities to K-12 schools throughout Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jeff Davis Parishes and the students of McNeese State University. When you support Banners at McNeese by attending Rouge et Blanc or purchasing a season subscription, you help provide our community with access to exceptional arts and humanities programming – as well as furthering the education of our children.

Banners at McNeese State University

Banners at Clean up Lake Charles 23 23

Wining & Dining |

Rouge et Blanc Guide

Rouge et Blanc at

Rouge et Blanc is taking place at a beautiful new location, Oak Crossing. Spread over 20 scenic acres, Oak Crossing offers a stunning setting for the region’s premier wine and food event, under the shade of majestic, hundredyear-old oak trees. Oak Crossing’s natural beauty makes it a popular location for events and weddings, with unique indoor and outdoor venue options. (337) 421-4200

24 Thrive Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Parking at the Party

A limited supply of Rouge et Blanc parking passes are now available at, and open to public purchase. This pass guarantees a paved space on-site at Oak Crossing, right next to the action. Patrons with passes should enter from Ham Reid Road on the south side of the grounds. Your hangtag should be on display, then simply follow the directions of security officers and volunteer lot attendants.

Additional festival-style parking in the grass will be free and limited to first-come, first-served. Once this grass lot is full, an auxiliary lot with shuttle service may be available at nearby locations, such as the Center for Orthopedics (1747 Imperial Blvd) or at Trinity Baptist Church (1800 Country Club Rd).


Wining & Dining |

Rouge et Blanc Guide

IMBIBING for a Cause Did you know that every wine order placed through Rouge et Blanc also supports the year-round cultural and educational programming offered by Banners at McNeese?

Ordering wine at special discounts through Rouge et Blanc also guarantees your ticket to next year’s festivities. Each patron who purchases $250 or more of wine (not including tax) at a qualifying Rouge et Blanc event becomes a member of the Imbiber program.

This membership earns you the opportunity to purchase two gold tickets to next year’s Grand Tasting during our month-long ticket pre-sale, exclusive to Imbiber patrons. If you missed out on tickets this year, here’s a tip: stay tuned to the Rouge et Blanc pages for the upcoming release of their brand new wine order page, which is accessible whether you’re at the event or not. It just doesn’t get better than helping your local community by buying wine at significant discounts!

For more information on Rouge et Blanc and the Imbiber program, visit

Rouge et Blanc 2019 photo by Sammy Nekole of Moroso Studio

26 26 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living • September • September 2021 2021

Play it SAFE

The Rouge et Blanc staff and Thrive magazine want you to have a good time at this annual premier party. But we also want you to be safe. We strongly encourage you – if you’ve been enjoying the wine all afternoon -- please don’t drive yourself home. There are plenty of other options.

Have a designated driver in your group.

Arrange to have a friend or family member drop you off at the event and pick you up when it is over.

Hire a chauffeur. Many young drivers appreciate the opportunity to earn a little extra cash.

Make it fun by asking friends to join you in hiring a limo service.

Call a cab, such as Yellow Cab at 337-433-8282. Or check online for other taxi options – there are several.

Call Uber or Lyft. With a tap on an app, a driver can take you home . . . or wherever the next party might be.


Wining & Dining |

Rouge et Blanc Guide

Skip the Glass,

Buy Bottle the

by Claire Bankston

Most bars and restaurants now have a decent BTG (by the glass) selection. Though their selections are getting better and exciting, some preservation practices are questionable.

1. 2. 3.

No date on the bottle. If they cannot answer when the bottle was opened, politely decline. Is the establishment using any form of preservation? Like a Vacu Vin pump,

Coravin, argon gas or have a sustainable wine dispenser. If they are not, be wary.

Multiple sparkling wines by the glass.

Unless they are splits (187ml), full bottles can be dubious. Drinking flat sparkling wine puts a damper on any day.

If you plan on sticking to one wine for the evening, it is smarter to just buy by the bottle. It’s frugal and no worries of wine past its prime. Claire Bankston is a sommelier with The Cellar at Crave.

28 28 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living • September • September 2021 2021



Featur ing

** * ** ETS ON SAL E NOW! $125


Wining & Dining |

Rouge et Blanc Guide

Wine Tasting

ETIQUETTE Everything You Need to Know An afternoon of wine tasting, paired with delicious food, music and great friends – sounds like the perfect way to spend an early fall afternoon, right? That’s exactly what Rouge et Blanc’s grand tasting offers. Long-time attendees have developed their tried-and-true routines for strolling through the various vendor booths. As the event has evolved over the years, and as Southwest Louisiana’s population has grown, there are more and more people attending Rouge et Blanc for the first time. If you’ve never been to a tasting event, it can be overwhelming. Where to go? What to do?

30 30 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living • September • September 2021 2021

Wine tasting etiquette goes beyond social rules. These guidelines can help you make the most out of your Rouge et Blanc experience.

It’s a Taste

Drink Water

The wine offered at each booth is a tasting-size pour, which is about one ounce. That’s what the volunteers are trained to serve. So, don’t expect to receive a full glass of wine. It’s poor etiquette to ask for more than you are served, or to quickly drink your serving and request a refill. If you want a second taste of a wine you enjoyed, you can return to that vendor later.

Alcohol dehydrates the body, so sip water between wines to cleanse your palate and stay hydrated. Water is provided at several locations throughout the event.


Move Aside


Be Responsible

There’s delicious food served along with the wine for a reason. Alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly. When your stomach is empty, you’ll feel the effects much quicker, which means you’ll be able to handle less wine than you would on a full stomach.

Show consideration by stepping up to get a sample, and then stepping away or to the end of the next line to enjoy it. Other participants, as well as the vendors showcasing their wines, will appreciate this courtesy. If the vendor is offering more than one wine, either step to the side between pours or return later.

Pour out (or spit out) wine after you have had a sufficient taste if it’s one you don’t want to finish. Your pourer will not be offended. Drinking too much wine will make it difficult to taste the differences after a while, which defeats the whole purpose of a wine tasting. Buckets are available at all wine booths, along with water to rinse out your glass. Rinsing is especially important if you are going back and forth between reds and whites.

While you shouldn’t drink enough to get drunk at a tasting, you may consume a fair amount of wine during the afternoon. Designating a driver or planning ahead for a taxi, Lyft, or Uber ride is the responsible thing to do. All these suggestions have one goal in common – to help you enjoy every moment you spend at Rouge et Blanc.


Wining & Dining |

Rouge et Blanc Guide

Take Care of that

Bottle by Claire Bankston

Many people may splurge on a bottle of wine but keep it for some time. Perhaps it’s a trophy bottle, an anniversary reminder, a cool label, or you just really like it. Most people do not have a wine cooler/ wine fridge, so usually bottles are left on a kitchen counter or elsewhere. Ever displayed a bottle of wine on the top shelf of your kitchen or living room? Did you let it stand for years? Have you had that bottle backlit, with track lighting or next to an untinted window? Does the bottle sit in room temperature? Have you finally opened said bottle and it has tasted off? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider this:

Treat the bottle like a moody, sleepy teenager or like Gizmo from “Gremlins” (if you’re an 80’s baby).

No UV light or sunlight: wine prefers the darkness. Exposure to light can cause premature aging in the wine. Think of Gizmo exclaiming, “Bright light! Bright light!”

Heat rises, so reconsider the top shelf. Temperatures above 70 degrees can change the character of the wine. Anything above 80 degrees, the wine is cooking. Cooked wine can taste like stewed fruit.

Lay the bottles down. It may look nice standing, but if it’s a cork stopper, the cork must remain wet. If the cork stays dry for too long, it will shrink. That will allow air inside the bottle. Oxidized wine can taste dull, flat or like vinegar.

Humidity. The ideal humidity level for wine is 50% to 70%. Too dry can cause the cork to dry out. Too wet can cause mold.

Claire Bankston is a sommelier with The Cellar at Crave.

32 32 Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living • September • September 2021 2021

To all of the Sponsors & Patrons of the 2021 Rouge et Blanc —

We raise a glass to you all! Discover even more ways to support McNeese at




r a ll e C the It’s time to raise our glasses and celebrate again! We’re so excited to be a part of the return of Rouge et Blanc on October 30. Be sure to order your favorite wines to support Banners at McNeese, and when you do, choose The Cellar as your pick-up location. We’re proud to be an official Rouge et Blanc retailer.

Shop, Sip and Savor at The Cellar! 2801 Ryan Street, Suite 200 | 430-4669 |


Money & Career


Although we’re still in the throes of a global pandemic, the stock market and the economy are showing positive signs of not only recovery, but expansion. This summer, job growth has been strong and financial markets appear to be rallying. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be cautious and aware of risks. Financial markets can be fickle and fluctuate unexpectedly, depending on national and global events. In this special section on Investing, we offer an overview of the market at the time of this writing, tips for sound money management, and how to plan your financial future no matter your age or economic status.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Retirement… Are We There Yet? Let’s Build a Plan.


Marty DeRouen CFP ®, CHFC ®, LUTCF Wealth Management Advisor Martin DeRouen, David Girola provides investment brokerage services as a Registered Representative of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a subsidiary of NM, brokerdealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA and SIPC. Martin DeRouen, David Girola is an Insurance Agent(s) of NM. Martin DeRouen, David Girola provides investment advisory services as an Advisor of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, WI,

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a subsidiary of NM and a federal savings bank. There may be instances when this agent represents companies in addition to NM or its subsidiaries. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


Places & Faces

Living in a

s n a m s t r ’ o p S e s i d a r a P It’s no wonder Southwest Louisiana is called a Sportsman’s Paradise. Our region offers diverse habitats from briny tidal marshes, lakes and rivers to the piney woods farther north – perfect for hunters and fishermen (and fisherwomen!) Throughout SWLA’s five-parish region, there are 51,436 licensed hunters and fishermen enjoying our great outdoors. Hunting and fishing seasons vary across the state by zones.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

With all the waterways in our corner of the state, it is no surprise that waterfowl are the most sought-after catch. Cameron Parish alone boasts 400,000 acres of water, according to Sean Kinney, biologist manager at the Lake Charles Region Wildlife and Fisheries Department. The lush deltas, rice fields, river bottoms, and marshes of the Mississippi Flyway lure ducks and geese from across North America during migration seasons. Deer hunting is also popular in Louisiana. According to Ed Pratt, press secretary with LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, approximately 192,000 deer were bagged in the state in 2020. Other hunters prefer smaller game – squirrel and rabbit, or to a lesser degree, birds such as doves, quail, and woodcock.

Coastal and inland waterways also entice anglers in droves. Kinney says fishing is allowing year around in public waters. Popular saltwater prizes include redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. In freshwater, fishermen hope to hook large-mouth bass and crappie. In this special section, we feature a round-up of favorite places for sportsmen to find gear, and a comeback story on SWLA’s premier hunting and fishing lodge, Grosse Savanne.

Buying? Refinancing?

Christa can help you make it happen! Lakeside offers great rates and a range of affordable, flexible home loans. Call Christa today at 502-4836 to get started.

Christa Comeaux, Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS # 787045

Main Offi ffic ce & Oak Park in Lake Charles


Sulphur | M Y L K S B . B A N K


Places & Faces | Sportsman's Paradise

Bowie Outfitters


to get your

GEAR by Angie Kay Dilmore

As every sportsman knows, a good day in the woods or out on the water begins with great gear. First you need the right apparel – camo clothing, boots, maybe some gloves, or waders and a fine vest. Sunglasses. And the perfect hat! Then you need a rifle or bow and arrows, a fly rod or rod and reel and a net. Of course, you’ll need bait, lures, or ammo. And ice! 46

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Lake Charles Tackle

Here’s a round-up of some local businesses where you can find everything you need to have your best day in the great outdoors. Bowie Outfitters held their Grand Opening last month for their newest location at 3405 Gerstner Memorial Blvd, Lake Charles where over 400 people welcomed the store to our community. They offer a fully stocked fishing department, hunting and casual apparel, tree stands, footwear, and more. Bowie Staff can mend your bow or simply guide you in the right direction whether you’re a rookie or experienced archer. They also offer a variety of services including tuning, re-fletching arrows, and replacing strings. Their firearms department includes brands such as Beretta, Benelli, Remington, Christensen, Weatherby, and Bergara. With locations in Natchez, Mississippi, and one in Baton Rouge, Bowie Outfitters is excited that their largest retail store is located in the heart of Southwest Louisiana—the perfect stop for anyone in Sportsman’s Paradise. Find them on social media. Lake Charles Tackle has been equipping hunters and anglers for over 25 years. For fishermen, they tailor their saltwater and freshwater lures and equipment to local fisheries. They sell fishing and hunting licenses and offer a rod and reel cleaning and repair service, as well as a spooling service. Catering primarily to waterfowl hunters, they sell a wide selection of hunting apparel, decoys, duck calls, blind bags, ammo, and accessories. They also sell a wide range of firearms.

Spicer Bait Company sells a variety of bait and live crabs for your next seafood boil. 208 Johnny Benoit Rd, Hackberry, La., 337-762-4418 Fish On Tackle and Bait has everything you need to catch the big one. Lures, bait, ice, rods and reels, ammo, apparel, boots, sunglasses and other accessories, as well as hunting supplies. 3733 Highway 27, Sulphur, La., 337-558-5959. Honey Hole Live Bait and Tackle sells an assortment of bait such as shiners, crickets, live worms, frozen mullet and shrimp, frozen melt for crabbing. They also sell rods and reels, lifejackets, and everything you need for a day out on the water. 172 Steven savant Rd, Kinder, La., 337-998-1031 GetMyBoat App is the latest way to rent a boat. Fall fun seekers who dream of a day on the water in a pontoon or fishing boat but prefer not to invest in the cost and time of owning a watercraft can now consider “GetMyBoat.” Marketing Manager Val Streif calls it the “Airbnb of Boats.” He says, “We have established a presence in Southwest Louisiana. Our mission is to make boating more accessible to everyone, so captained boat charters are available for people who do not have experience.”


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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


Places & Faces | Sportsman's Paradise



Recovers from Storms and Gears Up for Fall Hunting Seasons As a business operating in the hospitality, tourism, and outdoor adventure segment, Grosse Savanne faced similar challenges as other businesses throughout 2020. “With the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, we quickly adapted our policies, including sanitation, dining and food service, employee health screening, and social distancing,” says Bobby Jorden, Grosse Savanne Eco-Tour Manager. “We saw a fairly significant decrease in corporate groups that implemented their own travel restrictions and policies, however we continued to accommodate a limited number of guests while following the state regulations and mandates.”

On August 27 th, 2020, Hurricane Laura forever changed not only Grosse Savanne (GS), but all of Southwest Louisiana. Jorden says the main lodge, considering the widespread devastation, came away with relatively minimal damage. “Our initial assessment led us to believe that a realistic reopening would be possible in early November for the start of the 2020 Louisiana waterfowl season. However, after receiving another direct hit from Hurricane Delta and sustaining significantly more damage in early October, we quickly adjusted our plan. A decision was made to not only start down the long road to recovery, but to take the opportunity to move forward with an extensive interior remodel of the lodge. 48

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Like so many others, we’ve had to face the challenges of material and labor shortages, prolonging the timeframe to reopen the lodge.” With the main lodge and another location at Hebert’s Landing being inoperable, Grosse Savanne was nonetheless able to salvage a portion of their business over the past year. “In 2019, we remodeled a small farmhouse on our property, thinking we might house overflow lodge guests, celebrity seasonal guides, and other small groups,” says Jorden. “Fortunately, this facility received little to no damage during either hurricane. We named facility “Grosse Savanne East” and with a determined team effort from our staff, had the facility operational by late fall of 2020. Over the last year we have successfully hosted smaller groups of four to six individuals during the 2020-21 waterfowl season and throughout the 2021 spring and summer fishing season. We received immense positive feedback about this new location and hope to continue to offer it as an extension of the Grosse Savanne experience.” Jorden says that throughout last year, Grosse Savanne also continued to offer their popular eco-tours. “The spring colonial wading bird nesting season was somewhat impacted by the storms as it deteriorated a significate portion of the available woody and shrubby nesting vegetation. This should quickly bounce back over the next several years. The marshes have rebounded quickly, and our boat marsh tours are operating as usual. The business office for the eco-tour division was lost in Hurricane Laura, but we set up temporary facilities and are continuing to adjust to life post-storms.

Grosse Savanne Lodge today

The Lodge after Hurricane Laura

That said, the GS team is excited to showcase the newly renovated and better-than-ever lodge, and announce that as of this month, they are back in full operation. This reopening came at a perfect time. September is one of the most actionpacked months of the year for sportsmen. “Beginning early this month, we kick off alligator season – an adrenalinefueled 10 days of hunting with our guests,” Jorden says. “We then roll right into early teal season on September 11. Our Cast and Blast package features an afternoon of fresh or saltwater fishing followed by a teal hunt the next morning – a favorite amongst our guests.” Overall, 2020-21 has been challenging to say the least. Jorden says, “We are thankful to have a dedicated and resilient staff and are excited to be turning the page. We will continue to make the Grosse Savanne experience even better, see our loyal customers, and meet new faces in the future.” For more information, go to, or find them on Facebook.



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


Places & Faces

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

(pictured from left to right, Ramsey, Armand, and George Swift, SWLA Alliance President & CEO)

Armand Named 2020 Volunteer of the Year The presentation of the Volunteer of the Year Award which was given by Paula Ramsey, VP, Chamber SWLA (pictured from left to right, Ramsey, Armand, and George Swift, SWLA Alliance President & CEO) The following was the presentation given by Swift at the recent Back to Business event: The year 2020 changed how we did everything and this year’s Volunteer of the Year was with us every step of the way – offering support and advice – always letting us know that things were going to be okay, we were going to figure it out, and hard work solves most issues. Our Volunteer of the Year has over 30 years of experience in marketing and communications as part of a highly regarded company that was named one of the U.S. Chamber’s top 100 small businesses in the country and LED’s Small Business of the Year for our region. Personally, our Volunteer of the Year has been named a WBN Business Leader, one of the 75 notable alumni from McNeese and recipient of numerous marketing awards! Our 2020 Volunteer of the Year Kristy Armand of Healthy Image marketing and Thrive Magazine. When 2020 started, Kristy was looking forward to a full year of speaking at events, presiding over the Chamber SWLA Board meetings, and being a leader of the programs


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

and services of the Chamber SWLA. Her traditional board service only lasted two months. By the end of March, she and George were working together on how to navigate our regional business community through the COVID-19 lockdown. Then, Hurricane Laura decided to visit, followed by Hurricane Delta, complicating matters and demanding another redirection of focus and efforts. Kristy, you were deprived of the year of celebrations and milestones other Chairs get to enjoy, but the staff of the Chamber and Alliance don’t know how we would have navigated this without your study and calm collaboration with George Swift and the rest of the Executive Board. Our thanks to you, for being at the helm during our most turbulent year. Oak Crossing Commercial Development Hires New Assistant Property Manager Oak Crossing Commercial Development (Oak Crossing) announces the addition of Alex Stinchcomb, Assistant Property Manager. Stinchcomb brings over five years of experience in special event planning and marketing management. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Digital Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from Louisiana State University of Shreveport. Stinchcomb serves as the primary point of contact for booking special events and weddings for Oak Crossing’s two venues, The Gazebo and The TreeHouse; as well as assisting with leasing inquiries and tenant relations. Stinchcomb also manages marketing and promotions for the development as a prime destination for weddings, special events, and prospective businesses to become a part of the Oak Crossing development. Alex Stinchcomb

Imperial Health Welcomes Dr. Marissa De La Paz to Group Marissa De La Paz, MD, Family Medicine Specialist, has joined the medical staff of Imperial Health. Dr. De La Paz will Marissa De La Paz, MD provide primary care for adults and children over three years of age, as well as certain women’s health services. She will be practicing with Dr. Melissa Rasberry and Dr. Keane O’Neal at 2000 Southwood Drive in Lake Charles. Call (337) 474-2856 to schedule an appointment. Dr. John Noble Named PresidentElect of Louisiana State Medical Society John Noble Jr, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with the Center for Orthopaedics, was chosen as John Noble Jr, MD President-Elect of the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) at the organization’s annual House of Delegate’s meeting on August 7, 2021. Dr. William Freeman of Prairieville, Louisiana, was sworn in as the 141st President of the group. The House of Delegates is the official policymaking body for LSMS which meets to discuss current health care issues, decide on a course of action for the coming year, and welcome its new leaders. When Dr. Noble assumes the role of LSMS President in 2022 he will be only the fourth doctor from Southwest Louisiana to serve in this leadership role for the organization’s 143year history.

JD Bank Welcomes Sarah Barnhill as AVP Branch Manager Sarah Barnhill has joined JD Bank as AVP Branch Manager. With more than 20 years of banking industry experience, Barnhill Sarah Barnhill will oversee the daily operations of the JD Bank Branch located at 4507 Hwy 27 in Carlyss and also serve as a consumer lender for Southwest Louisiana. Orthopedic Surgeon James Jackson, DO Joins Memorial Memorial Medical Group welcomes James Jackson, DO, an orthopedic surgeon who is fellowshiptrained in sports medicine. He joins James Jackson, DO fellow orthopedic surgeons Jeffery Balazsy, MD, Nathan Cohen, MD, Kipp Cryar, MD, Alan Hinton, MD and Matthew McCarley, MD. Dr. Jackson is looking forward to assisting Calcasieu Parish and its athletes to keep doing what they love through injury prevention and advanced surgical techniques. He is accepting new patients at the Memorial medical office building at 4345 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. For more information or to make an appointment call 337.494.4900 or go to

Lakeside Bank Welcomes Jonathan Boudreaux Lakeside Bank has named Jonathan Boudreaux Senior Vice President, Commercial Lender. Boudreaux brings Jonathan Boudreaux over 15 years of banking experience to his new position with Lakeside. For the past nine years, he has held senior management positions at a regional bank where his responsibilities included guaranteed and commercial lending. His previous experience includes business and personal banking. Boudreaux will be working at Lakeside’s Main Office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. His office number is 337-502-4235. Blanchard Promoted to CEO of Resource Management Services Monica Blanchard, RN, has been named Chief Executive Office of Resource Management Services (RMS), an Monica Blanchard announcement that coincides with her 25th anniversary with the company. RMS is a multi-regional provider of the Office of Mental Health’s Mental Health Rehabilitation Services program which includes psychiatric services, medication management, counseling, and community support.

Blanchard brought 10 years of clinical and healthcare consulting experience to RMS when she joined the company as the Clinical Manager and Psychiatric Nurse in 1996. Since that time, she has advanced in management responsibilities, serving as Director of Operations, then Chief Operations Office, before accepting the position of CEO. For more information, call (337) 990-5475 Guerrero Named System Director of Marketing at Memorial Lisa Guerrero is the new System Director of Marketing for the Lake Charles Memorial Health System. Lisa Guerrero Guerrero has worked for Memorial in Human Resources as the Allied Health Recruiter since 2019. She brings close to 20 years of experience in healthcare marketing. Since arriving in Lake Charles in 2012, she has held the positions of Director of Marketing & Public Relations for CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital and Marketing Manager for Women & Children’s Hospital. Lisa also served as the Director of Marketing & Product Line Development and as an Occupational Health Specialist both at Moberly Regional Medical Center in Moberly, Missouri. She was educated at the University of Missouri – Columbia where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health & Wellness Promotions.


Places & Faces

first person with


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Katie Prejean McGrady

Author, speaker, podcaster, and host by Angie Kay Dilmore of The Katie McGrady Show

Katie McGrady was born and raised in Lake Charles, a town she loves and is proud to call home. She says Lake Charles is special, not only because there’s a church on every corner and always a friend to talk to in the grocery store, but because faith permeates the lives of so many, including her own. “Church was an anchor of my childhood – Sunday services, youth group programs and events, fellowship with others who also hoped to grow in faith. I am who I am because of this town and the Catholic faith I learned here.” Katie went to Our Lady Queen of Heaven (OLQH) and St. Louis Catholic High School. She attended the University of Dallas where she studied theology. After graduation, she worked for a year as a youth minister in Chicago before coming home to Lake Charles and returning to her St. Louis roots as a teacher. She met her husband, Tommy, via Facebook after he read one of her blog posts and messaged her. A Pennsylvania native, he and Katie dated long-distance for 15 months before he moved to SWLA in 2015. They have two daughters, Rose (age 4) and Clare (age 1). Katie is now a public speaker, an author and podcaster with Ave Maria Press, and the host of her own daily radio show with Sirius XM. Thrive magazine caught up with this busy wife, mother, and Christian entrepreneur, where she shared about faith, family, and the importance of finding help when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Tell us about all these fun things you do for a career. I began traveling and speaking in 2011. I did it on the side – for fun and a little extra income. But then people started emailing and calling, asking me to come to different places. So, I would go. And one day, an email asked me if I wanted to host a radio show for Sirius XM. All of that was only possible because I grew up here, in a community where storytelling and listening to people is valued and important. Whether speaking to crowds of 20 or 20,000, it’s all about telling stories, connecting with people, showing them who Jesus is, why he matters, how you can meet him for yourself, and how a life of virtue and striving for holiness is what leads to happiness and peace in this world. I find it funny . . . I used to sort of get in trouble for talking so much. My teachers would shush me in class. I joined the speech and debate team in high school so I had an outlet for all the stuff I wanted to say. And now . . . I get paid to talk. Full circle, really.

How have the challenges of the past 18 months affected your family and career? I got off a plane on March 11, 2020, and didn’t step back on a plane until late April, 2021. For someone who flew a dozen times a month to travel and speak, it was quite the adjustment. Everything changed. My career pivoted. Fortunately, I was working full-time with Ave Maria Press and had plenty to keep me busy. But it was a huge adjustment for Rose (who thought school was closed because she was somehow in trouble) and Tommy, who teaches at Lake Charles College Prep and had to pivot to e-learning within a few days. But it was nice to be together, more than we’d ever been, and to make improvements on our home. Of course, that made evacuating for Hurricane Laura even harder . . . leaving it behind wasn’t easy. And I was nine months pregnant, so our priority when we got to Pineville to stay with my grandfather was find a new OB-GYN and not give birth a month early. Clare was born on September 18, 2020. When she was two weeks old, we returned to Lake Charles. With a new roof on the house and plans for a new fence, we were so happy to be back. And then came Hurricane Delta. We evacuated back to Pineville, and when we returned, we discovered substantial water damage in the living room and playroom. On more than one occasion, I shook my fist at the sky and demanded to know “why” from God, but the only way to move forward in the face of tragedy is to remember you aren’t stuck; there’s always something else on the horizon; and God is for you, not against you. Jesus loves you, I promise.

So, you met Pope Francis! Tell us that story. In December 2017, I got a call from Bishop Provost. He said he’d given his approval for me to be invited to represent the U.S. at a gathering of young adults in Rome that Spring. So in March 2018, I went to Rome for 10 days to speak on behalf of youth and young adults, sharing the realities of the Church and faith for the United States. That led to the Synod (a meeting of Bishops) in October, which led to a document entitled Christus Vivit, which explores how youth

and young adult ministry can effectively happen in the Church today. I have no idea why I was chosen. I didn’t apply or ask for it. The best part of the story was being in the same room as Pope Francis for a few hours, hear him speak, and shake his hand.

Who has been your most fascinating radio interview and why? This is a hard one . . . because you’d think the answer would be something crazy cool, like when I interviewed Jeannie Gaffigan, wife of comedian Jim Gaffigan, or Cardinal Napier, who has voted in two papal elections. But honestly, my favorite interviews for both my podcast (Ave Explores) and my daily radio show (The Katie McGrady Show) have been with people who simply do great things and create awesome stuff. The author of a new book for teachers or the musician who released a new album or the bioethicist who talks about why we should get the COVID-19 vaccine or a mom who has backto-school tips for parents to not lose their minds. My favorite interviews are the ones that just end up being great conversations.

What advice do you have for couples with busy careers and young children? Find help. Otherwise, you’ll drown. Whether in the form of family or trusted friends who can take the kids for an evening so y’all can go to dinner or sit down and actually take care of that project. Find help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. You’ll need it. So find it.

List your top three indulgences when you need some “me time.” I read. My Kindle and I escape to whole other worlds while Bluey is on in the background. I like to bake. I picked up bread baking during the pandemic, so I’ll hide in the kitchen to make something delicious. And, because I’m a millennial, I wander through Target. Find Katie on her website, katieprejeanmcgrady. com, her daily radio show, The Katie McGrady Show (on The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM 129, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. CT) or on her weekly podcast with Ave Maria Press, Ave Explores).


Places & Faces

Finding Fall



COUNTRY Autumn is a wonderful time of year in Southwest Louisiana –

there’s a crisp, refreshing chill in the air, yet it’s still warm enough to be comfortable outdoors. Break out the sweaters! Because it’s such a pleasant time of year, there are a flurry of fun, exciting activities to keep us busy – festivals, fundraisers, outdoor sports, holiday events, and any number of other reasons to gather together and celebrate. In this special section, you’ll find our annual SWLA Festival and Events Guide, how to spend a day in Baton Rouge while waiting for the LSU game to start, new things to do with Lake Area Adventures, and general tips to help you “Find Fall.” (Think pumpkin spice!)


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021



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Places & Faces | Bayou Country



Fall Festival and Event Guide St. Raphael’s Fall Fest Arts & Craft Fair

Sponsored by St. Raphael’s Catholic Daughter Court #1377 Sept. 7, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. I-10 Outlet Mall, Iowa 337-660-1404

St. Theresa Bon Amis Festival Sept. 10-12 St. Theresa Catholic Church, 4822 Carlyss Dr., Carlyss 337-583-4800 Free

St. Theresa Bon Amis Festival is a local tradition that began over 39 years ago. This family-friendly event offers something for everyone. You’ll find a wide variety of delicious food, plenty of rides, and awesome music! A large covered pavilion welcomes visitors for seating, eating, visiting, and listening to music. Also available are live and silent auctions, a garage sale, cake walk, face painting, sweet shop, and more.


Gallery Promenade

Sept. 24, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. This Downtown Lake Charles Event showcases area artists in galleries, museums, and businesses throughout the Lake Area.

Stearman Fly-In Event Sept. 29- Oct. 3 Jennings Airport 337-821-5521

For owners and pilots of Stearman airplanes, featuring patrols, formation flying and other events. Open to the public Oct. 2.

Fall Food Fest

Oct. 2, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until food runs out Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church 2031 Opelousas St., Lake Charles Enjoy home cooked BBQ Chicken or Pork Steak plates, with potato salad, rice dressing, baked beans, and bread. Homemade Sweet Potato Pies and Pop Corn Balls also available. Due to COVID-19 concerns, food is to-go only.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Carnival rides, midway games, candy apples, cotton candy, regional delicacies, and of course, art and music . . . festivals and other events provide us fun opportunities to celebrate our unique SWLA culture. Lake Charles is the Festival Capital of Louisiana, and fall is a great time of year for this region’s favorite pastime. In our festival and event guide this year, we focus on local happenings from Sulphur to Jennings to DeRidder and all points in between. So, in chronological order, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s SWLA fall festival and event season. *Note – As we are still dealing with the COVID-19/Delta variant pandemic at the time of this writing, please verify an event with the sponsor prior to traveling. Some events may be modified or cancelled.

Lake Charles Film Festival

West Cal/Cam Fair

Over 50 films will be screened including feature length and shorts in categories such as narrative, documentary, animated, student, and music videos. Buy tickets on their website.

Admission $5 for ages 11 and older; children under 10 free Sulphur’s annual Cal-Cam Fair is a fall tradition for many Southwest Louisiana residents - and for good reason. They welcome an average of 15,000 visitors each year and feature carnival rides, a livestock show, awards in various food, baked goods and arts and crafts contests, music, beauty pageants, wildlife exhibits, games, and attractions for both kids and adults.

Oct. 1-2 Cinemark Theater at Prien Lake Mall

Beauregard Parish Fair Oct. 5-9 Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds

Featuring carnival rides, food, arts and crafts, livestock shows, a parade and pageant.

Jeff Davis Parish Fair Oct. 6-9 Jennings Fairground

Featuring carnival rides, food, arts and crafts, livestock shows, a parade, pageant., talent show and petting zoo.

Oct. 7-1 West Calcasieu Arena and & Center, 401 Arena Road 337-527-9371

Farm to Tableaux Oct. 14, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Lake Charles Civic Center

A celebration of art and fine cuisine, Farm to Tableaux benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters SWLA.

Chuck Fest

Oct. 16, noon – 2:00 a.m. (for indoor music venues. Vendors close at 10:00 p.m. and outdoor music ends at midnight) 700 block on Ryan St., Lake Charles Free

Chuckfest celebrates all that makes Lake Charles special – music, food, and art. Festival goers enjoy live music on four stages (two indoor and two outdoor). An exclusive VIP area will be available for ticket holders, and a Kids’ Zone will include laser tag and face painting.


Oct. 16, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr. Free Hosted by the Arts and Humanities Council, this annual festival brings kids and art together through handson art projects. Local organizations and businesses will host booths where children can craft fun and creative pieces of art that they can take home, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and crafts.

Stars and Stripes Car Show and Artist Market Oct. 23 Henning Cultural Center, 923 S. Ruth St. Sulphur 337-527-0357

Yellow Rails and Rice Festival Oct. 28-30 Jennings, La.

This annual festival attracts birders from all over the country and provides one of the best opportunities to see the elusive Yellow Rail, a rare marsh bird that

migrates to the Gulf Coast each winter. Considerations for COVID-19 will be made and the event will be primarily outdoors with limited participants and self-guided field trips. The mission of the festival is to promote agritourism/ecotourism in SWLA.

Living History Cemetery Tour Nov. 5

The Living History Cemetery Tour allows local residents to "meet" historical larger-than-life SWLA figures.

Smoke & Barrel celebrates whiskey, bourbon, and BBQ with two distinct admission areas and features live musical entertainment. The ticketed VIP area hosts a tasting with over 75 bourbon and whiskeys and a BBQ tasting featuring creative dishes from some of the top pit-masters in Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. The general admission area offers BBQ for sale along with batched whiskey cocktails and other beverages for purchase. An amateur BBQ competition will add excitement to the day.

Flea Fest

Nov. 9 – 10, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Burton Coliseum, 7001 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles Admission $5, kids 12 and under free This unique market features nearly four covered acres of anything and everything, coupled with delicious SWLA food and fun in a country fair-like atmosphere. The event takes place each Spring and Fall and features over 300 vendors selling antiques, retro & vintage items, handcrafted items, toys, collectibles, unique clothing, artwork, comic books, furniture, gifts, unique jewelry, plants, a farmers market and more. Kids enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, and adoptable pets seeking forever homes. Food vendors on-site.

Smoke & Barrel

Nov. 20 Calcasieu Parish Courthouse Lawn, 1000 Ryan St. Lake Charles General admission free, VIP tickets available.


Places & Faces | Bayou Country

Top Seven Fun Fall Activities Around


by Danley Romero

Fall is a season of transition and activity. Trees change color, scattering leaves and dropping nuts that disappear in a flurry of squirrels. Animals prepare for winter. Pumpkins lie waiting in fields and corn peeks out of husks. But what will you do this Fall?

Southwest Louisiana offers many funfilled options – farmers markets, art exhibitions, paintball or laser tag with friends, biking new or familiar routes. Meander through prairies and marshes on your way to the Gulf of Mexico, or simply enjoy some fresh air with great food and great company. The gradual approach of winter is not only a welcome retreat from hot weather to cooler temperatures, but also an opportunity for celebration.

Party on the Patio Rikenjaks Brewing Company, Luna Bar & Grill, and Crying Eagle Brewing Company are a few of the great Lake Charles establishments for outdoor dining, delicious food, drinks, and live music.

Here’s our list of seven favorite activities to make your SWLA Fall even more exciting.

In Search of Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin spice is a much-anticipated part of Fall for many, and the Lake Area has several great coffee shops and bakeries to explore this seasonal treat. Great Harvest rolls out their delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and loaf cakes made with real pumpkin and autumn spices, cream cheesefilled pumpkin sponge cake rolls, pumpkin swirl bread filled with spices and brown sugar (with or without pecans), and a white chocolate pumpkin spice latte. Also check out The Village Coffeehouse in Sulphur; Stellar Beans and The Bekery in Lake Charles.

Meet Me at the Market Event Series Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center is launching this new event series as an expansion of the Charlestown Farmers Market. Vendors will meet on Bilbo Street behind Historic City Hall on the first Saturday of the month from 8:00 a.m. to noon, starting October 2. You’ll find food trucks and live music, arts and crafts under the oaks with the Children’s Museum, and an art market on the front plaza. Historic City Hall


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Pumpkin Patches A trip to a pumpkin patch is a Fall tradition for many families. Photo ops abound and the kids enjoy picking out a pumpkin to take home and carve and roast pumpkin seeds. Many patches also offer petting zoos, hayrides, and corn mazes.

Tailgating at McNeese Games McNeese tailgating is a tradition passed down from generation to generation, and newcomers have a great time, too. The friendly atmosphere and camaraderie make it special: kids play while adults cook family recipes like jambalaya, barbecue, gumbo, and fried seafood, and there’s plenty of conversation, sharing, and excitement for the game. It’s a great place to get to know or catch up with the locals and eat some good food. At block parties on the Friday nights before a home game in Alumni Grove, you’ll enjoy live music, food truck fare, and talks from football coaches and Heath Schroyer, McNeese’s athletic director. Home games are scheduled for September 4, October 2, October 23, November 6, and November 20.

photo by Dan Plummer

Start your Creole Nature Trail trip at Adventure Point

An Afternoon at the Museum:

SWLA Outdoor Fun and Games

Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center in Lake Charles has several exhibits on display this Fall.

Hit Me with your Best Shot: Gallery by the Lake’s third Bird Photography Exhibition on the second floor runs through October 16, 2021.

Bayou Games: Paintball, laser tag, gellyball, video games and snow cones are all available at Bayou Games in Sulphur, La. Book events through their website,

The Paintings of James Michalopoulos: This exhibition features oil paintings of New Orleans architecture, streetscapes, and local characters. September 17 through November 27, 2021.

Bike Riding: Grab a friend and a bike and get out there! Socially distanced by nature, biking is a great way to get some sunshine and see the Fall scenery at a slower pace. Plan a route along the Creole Nature Trail to experience some of Louisiana’s beautiful landscape. Map out a new route to explore unfamiliar areas, or explore familiar routes you’ve traveled by car at a more relaxed tempo.

Creole Nature Trail: Get out of town and enjoy the Fall weather and wildlife with a windows-down drive and plenty of stops along the Creole Nature Trail. The prairies, marshes, and national wildlife refuges are teaming with wildlife. Walking trails and overlooks provide great opportunities to get up a little closer to nature. Play in the surf at Holly Beach, bring binoculars, sunscreen, and a camera, and experience Louisiana nature in a close-to-home getaway, whether alone or with friends and family. Take along a map and the Creole Nature Trail Guide, found on the Visit Lake Charles website.

The Pace Collection: Japanese Woodblock Prints: Celebrate Japan’s art and culture with Japanese textiles and woodblock prints from Paul Jacoulet and Ogata Gekko. October 23 through December 31, 2021.

New Location. Same Trusted Family Medical Care. Family Medicine Specialists Dr. Keane O’Neal, Dr. Melissa Rasberry and Dr. Marissa De La Paz have moved to a new, larger office location at 2000 Southwood Drive in Lake Charles. Together these three physicians offer patients in Southwest Louisiana over 30 years of experience in all aspects of family medical care. The practice provides comprehensive primary care for adults and children over three years of age, as well as women’s health services. Call (337) 474-2856 to schedule an appointment. All major insurances and Medicare accepted.

2000 Southwood Drive, Lake Charles (337) 474-2856

Dr. Keane O’Neal Dr. Melissa Rasberry Dr. Marissa De La Paz


Places & Faces | Bayou Country

Game Day in Baton Rouge explore Louisiana ’s capital while you’re there

Eliza Restaurant & Bar with Owners Sally & Russell Davis

Fall is synonymous with college football. If you’re headed to east for a big LSU game, here are a few best places in Baton Rouge to relax and dine when not hanging out in Death Valley. Located on the top of the Shaw Center of the Arts, Tsunami offers an incredible sushi menu with over 4,000 square feet of outdoor rooftop views of the mighty Mississippi River. Their dishes feature fresh seafood fused with a selection of diverse Asian dishes married with traditionally southern roots. Feeling creative? Tsunami also offers periodic sushi classes throughout the year. Head to their website for more information. Eliza Restaurant & Bar, a contemporary Creole restaurant, has always had a very simple mission – to serve high quality southern favorites with an abundance of hospitality. Enjoy a hand-selected seasonal menu featuring ingredients from the finest local producers. Chef Russell Davis hails from some of New Orleans’s greatest restaurants, and combines high-quality cuisine with a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Every Friday they offer a Yellow Label Lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. where guests can enjoy $12 glasses of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne with the purchase of a lunch entrée.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Experience the magic of Michelangelo’s world-famous work up close for the first time with the traveling exhibition, “Michelangelo: A Different View” at Raising Cane’s River Center, September 1-30, 2021. This is the only exhibition showcasing the entire set of works and is officially licensed by the Vatican Museums. With over 50 pieces, including a 20’x20’ painting of the Last Judgement, this experience allows visitors to view superb reproductions of the elaborate paintings of the Florentine master from a short distance with no time constraints.

Michaelangelo: A Different View

Relax and play in style at the L’Auberge Casino Hotel in downtown Baton Rouge. The hotel is a combination of uptown luxury with the comfort of home and hospitality. Loosen up from game day jitters with in-room spa massages available for reservation or hang out in your own cabana by the pool. Feeling lucky? L’Auberge also offers over 1,400 slot machines, 50 table games and over 1,500 square feet of Poker space. Only a couple of miles from Death Valley, Tin Roof Brewery is Baton Rouge’s largest and most renowned craft brewery. They produce a rotating selection of delicious hand-crafted beers and offer a comfortable, laid-back setting to vibe with friends or watch the game. Tin Roof offers a variety of revolving food trucks that are almost always parked onsite for late-night bites, and visitors can even book a private tour to see the brewery’s behind-the-scenes action.

Tin-Roof Partners Charles Caldwell left and William on right

L'Auberge Casino Hotel

Lake Area Adventures

offers Fall Fun for the Whole Family

by Emily Martindale

Throughout the year, Lake Area Adventures (LAA) offers great options for adventure seekers, and Fall is the perfect time to join in on their fun. LAA is a multi-faceted locally owned business offering kayak and boat rentals and tours, swim lessons, scuba certifications, a gamer’s lounge, bounce house rentals, private party options, and more. Tim Robles, owner of the company, says they have some extra plans up their sleeve for this Fall to keep people active and involved in our area. Their creative staff has come up with a unique Fall calendar you won’t want to miss!

Catch one of their Sunset Kayak Tours every other Friday. Imagine experiencing one of our Louisiana Fall peach sunsets from right on the water? Their indoor temperaturecontrolled pool is the perfect spot for many activities:

• Pool PE (a Pool Activity

Program designed to keep kids active this season)

• Swim and scuba lessons • Private parties. At Parents Night Out, kids have supervised access to the pool, gamer’s lounge, outdoor movie, and the bounce houses. Offered the first Friday of every month.

Movie + Swim Nights have been a hit over the summer and will continue through the year. Every third Friday of each month. Lake Area Adventures has also created Stories and Songs Night featuring local songwriters in a more listenerfriendly setting, which will officially launch this October. No Fall calendar is complete without a Halloween event! LAA staff is creating a Haunted Adventure to open the last three weekends of October. To close out their Fall calendar, a Fireside Movie + Smores Family Night and Holiday Makers Market is being planned. After that, Christmas Boat Tours in December!

“We believe now, more than ever, our community is craving local opportunities for adventure to help break away from the normal routines of life that we can often find ourselves in,” says Zach O’Quinn, special events and tours coordinator. “Lake Area Adventures has been active in our outdoor community since we opened in 2015, and we are passionate about creating things to do within our own backyard of SWLA.” Stay up to date with all Lake Area Adventures activities by following them on social media.


Home & Family

What Makes a

LEADER? by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

What makes a leader? Are they born? Or can these skills be learned? What do they look like? Can a leader look like me or you?

The Leadership Center for Youth (TLC), a division of Family & Youth Counseling Agency (FYCA), helps teens develop the skills they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives. They explore careers, get involved in their communities and learn leadership skills to help them be successful community service leaders of tomorrow. “Our youth are our future. We need to help them develop positive leadership knowledge, attitudes, skills and aspirations to become effective and skillful leaders,” said Sarah Meche, TLC Director. “At The Leadership Center for Youth, we provide an environment of growth and opportunities for positive development to help teens find their purpose, build their strength and find meaning in learning. We help them develop habits that will result in positive and effective action and results.” TLC is comprised of four stand-alone components that work together to help youth develop a leadership toolbox.

1. Leadership Development: Navigating Life Challenges Students will benefit from experiential groups to promote selfrespect and responsibility, leading to a healthy and responsible way of life. They will learn soft skills-communication, boundaries, cooperation, leadership and more.

2. Career Exploration: Building Career Pathways

In collaboration with area businesses and industry, high school youth participate in programs which offer them a chance to explore career options in experiential settings. They will have the opportunity to interact and network with professionals in various career fields to help them determine their desired career trajectory. It can reaffirm interest that was already present, or it could pique their interest in a field they were not familiar with.

3. Civic Engagement: Promoting Advocacy

Young people are a powerful force for change. As future reformers, they have innovative ideas on how to solve the political, economic and social problems facing their communities. Students will have the opportunity to advocate for themselves and their beliefs through the development of their own voice and learning to effectively use it.

4. Service Learning: Giving Time and Talent

Students will learn about the importance of serving their community through programs and activities that emphasize using their time and talents to give back.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

These components are open for high school students; however, TLC can offer leadership development workshops for area middle school students. For any student interested in getting involved with TLC, Meche recommends they start with Leadership Development to establish a strong foundation of skills in order to take full advantage of the benefits the other segments offer. “I enrolled in all components of The Leadership Center for Youth,” said Alonnie Celestine, current chair of FYCA’s Youth Advisory Council. “I started the program my freshman year of high school, and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to find my voice. It encouraged me to think about what is my ‘why,’ and how I am someone and I can make a difference. They have provided a necessary outlet for area youth to be engaged, get involved and to become successful in all areas of life.” If any student or their parent/legal guardian is interested in registering for one or more of TLC’s components, they can register at Applicants can select as many of the components as they would like, and a member of the FYCA team will reach out to you with more details based on what activities and events are occurring now and in the future.

Activities available now: •

Career Exploration will kick-off in October. A meet and greet is scheduled for September 27 from 6:007:00 p.m. at the FYCA office at 220 Louie St., Lake Charles, La. Parents are strongly encourage to attend.

Civic Engagement event for Calcasieu Parish scheduled for the evening of November 10 and all day on November 11.

Civic Engagement event for Jeff Davis Parish slated for Spring 2022.

Leadership Development Workshops will begin in September at area schools and available to sports teams, clubs, organizations and church groups.

1:1 Career Guidance sessions are always available by appointments.

Service Learning projects are scheduled monthly at various sites within our community.

follow your nose to our ENT and Allergy Specialists

Dr. Bridget Loehn and Dr. Blake LeBlanc are now practicing in the same office. Both specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of a variety of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat, as well as related structures of the head and neck. This includes, but is not limited to: Sinus disease | Ear Infections | Tinnitus | Tonsillar Conditions | Salivary Gland Disease | Thyroid Disorders Allergy Testing & Treatment | Hearing Loss

In addition to routine care, we offer specialized treatment options, such as balloon sinuplasty, minimally invasive sinus procedures, thyroid surgery, bone anchored hearing aide implants and more. Call 312-8950 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Bridget Loehn & Dr. Blake LeBlanc

1615 Wolf Circle, Lake Charles (337) 312-8950

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Home & Family

Focus on Fall PEST CONTROL As any local knows well, there are a LOT of bugs and other pests in Southwest Louisiana. And with autumn just around the corner, now is the time to prepare for fall pest control. Just like us humans, as temperatures decrease, these critters get cold . . . and hungry! Your home could be a perfect source of warmth and food.

But remember, you hold the keys, so don’t allow them to enter. Follow these tips from J&J Exterminating to keep your home and property pest-free.

Check your home for cracks and other openings where pests might come in. “It’s important for homeowners to inspect and/or replace weather stripping around doors and windows, as well as any screened vents that may lead to soffits and attic areas,” says Robert Soileau, Lake Charles branch manager at J&J Exterminating. “This eliminates the majority of pests from entering inside.”

by Angie Kay Dilmore

Maintain your lawn. Keep the yard mowed, weeds pulled, and tree limbs trimmed to keep rodents from invading your home and property. “There may still be a lot of clutter and debris in your yard from the storms last year, which is the ideal rodent habitat. Remove debris as soon as possible,” Soileau says.

Meet the Newest Member of our medical Team

Dr. Christine Palma, Podiatric Medicine Specialist Imperial Health is proud to welcome Christine Palma, DPM, podiatric medicine specialist, to our medical staff. Originally from Lake Charles, Dr. Palma earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine degree from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before completing her surgical training at the University of Florida Health in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Palma is board qualified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery in both forefoot and rearfoot reconstructive surgery. To schedule an appointment, call 312-8120.

501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., 2nd Floor | Lake Charles | (337) 312-8120 64

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021

Eliminate standing water to help control mosquitoes. Soileau reminds us that we’ve had a lot of rain this year. Drain low-lying areas and places where water puddles. Empty containers that can collect water. If warmer temperatures linger through fall, mosquitoes will flourish.

Consider new treated attic TAP is infused with boric insulation. For residents who need acid that will kill all insects, new attic insulation, consider a type including formosan termites. It is that is energy-efficient AND repels the only pest control product with bugs. Soileau says Thermal an Energy Star Rating. “If your attic Acoustical Pest Control (TAP) insulation was damaged, it will insulation – a loose-fill insulation need to be replaced to rid your made of cellulose and recycled home of any health risks,” Soileau newspaper – is affordable, adds. “Properly insulating your soundproof, energy-efficient and attic can reduce your heating and fire retardant. “It also provides cooling bills by up to 30 percent. better protection against cold and Upgrading your insulation also JJ- LC_ThriveMag-Fall-Half,4c_8-18-21_JJ_LC_Thrive,half_FALL2019 8/18/2021 2:12 PM Page 1 ” heat – and insects.” adds value to your home.

Call a pest control company. Sometimes you simply need to call the pros to help combat pest issues, especially while we are still dealing with the aftermath of last year’s storms. To learn more about J&J’s treatment options, visit or call 844-334-2055. Also, check out J&J’s informative blog posts at

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • September 2021