Page 1


PAGE 2

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


is published and distributed by

TEAM PUBLICATIONS LLC. 4310 Ryan St. Ste. 134 Lake Charles, LA. 70605 In the McNeese SEED Center (337) 478-0471

Publishers Brenda Hill Tracy Clark Editor-In-Chief Brenda Hill General Manager Tracy Clark Layout/Graphics Kyra Labrie Advertising Sales Faye Drake Nic Duncan Mitsi Brown Levert Blount III Consultants Gene R. Hill, Sr. Reginald Clark Contributing Writers K.G. McDonough Paige Francis Trina Morgan Sylvia Stelly Abby Ecker Joyce R. Kebodeaux Dawn Guillory Mary Ledet Mark Wayne Allen All materials contained in the publication are copy-righted and may not be reproduced or reprinted in part or its entirety without the expressed written permission of The Voice LLC. The views expressed in articles of The Voice, are not necessarily the views of the ownership or sponsors in this publication. The Voice LLC, assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content. Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

www.thevoiceofsouthwestla.com FEBRUARY 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

4 A Path to a Patent 6 LaFamilia: Valentine’s Day Around the World 9 How Will Health Care Reform Affect You? 10 Foreman-Reynaud Community Center 12 Music Makers 2 U 14 Junior League: Celebrating 80 Years 17 Valentine’s Day Tips 20 Lake Charles Business Report

4

6

9 10 12

20

Contact Us!

brenda@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com tracy@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com PAGE 3


An Inventor’s Journey

The Path to a Patent by K.G. McDonough

Gene R, Hill, Sr., has lived a colorful career life. He started out as a cook in the Army. Since then, he’s worked off-shore, for a utility company, and in industrial plants. He’s been a welder, mechanic, machinist, construction worker, pipe fitter, and heavy equipment operator. He’s a multi-craftsman; a “jack of all trades and master of some,” as he likes to say. Add to that list “inventor.” In the year 2000, Hill contracted himself out as a mechanic with a local trucking company. Around that time, the government mandated that tractor-trailer rigs must have a device that manages communication between tractor and trailer. Seeing Hill’s capabilities, supervision ex-

pressed their need for a device that would comply with the mandate. This was the beginning of what Hill named the Swivel-Hill, an apparatus for supporting cables, hoses and the like between a tractor and trailer of a tractor-trailer rig. Seven Swivel-Hills were designed and placed on seven of their trucks. The trucking company owner immediately recognized the benefits of the apparatus and bought ten more Swivel-Hills with easy installation. How does one come to have the knack for ingenuity? Hill believes he was born with it – a gift from God. As a child, Hill made all his own toys. “I made my own kites, my own wagons, bows and arrows. I didn’t just become an inventor in 2000,” he says. “God was training me all along. He walked me in the way that I needed to go to become who I am today.” Hill had a rough childhood, basically growing up an orphan. His father died when Hill was seven; his mother when he was twelve. “I lived with my grandfather, aunts, uncles

and people in the community. I was always a pretty good kid, but I acted out some anger.” In school, Hill was the kind of kid educators often label as “difficult.” He preferred to gaze out the window rather than focus on the teacher and chalkboard. But Hill doesn’t see that as a negative thing. He says that by looking out the window, he learned how to apply the teachers’ lessons to the real world. As an adult, Hill has a soft spot in

How the Swivel-Hill Works This device works manually with the action of the 5th wheel on an 18-wheeler. Prior to the government mandate, the electrical and hydraulic lines would lay on the catwalk or platform between the tractor and trailer. The friction caused by the constant rubbing of the rubber hoses on the rough metal platform caused damage to the hoses, increasing the risk of accidents. The Swivel-Hill suspends the lines off the platform and protects them on turns. It significantly decreases incidents, accidents and hazardous waste spills, also improving highway and environmental safety. PAGE 4

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


his heart for kids who struggle as he did. He says, “Teach a child how to get in touch with himself and bring what he has within him to society. Everyone has their own gifts.” Hill conducts a prison ministry at the Allen Correctional Center. He visits with the inmates once a week, counseling and giving them hope. He is also a mentor in the neighborhood for fatherless youth needing guidance and support. Hill also feels God put people in his life that fostered his creativity. In the mid-90s, Raymond Phillips, who invented the first cordless telephone in 1956, came to Lake Charles. He was also a preacher. Hill met Phillips at a church service. “He inspired me, and I said a silent prayer, ‘Lord, I would love to be an inventor.” After Hill designed the Swivel-Hill, his wife Brenda urged him to apply for a patent for the appara-

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

tus. Hill agreed, and put into motion the patent process, which ultimately took three years. A minister in Texas, John Whitley, helped Hill find a patent attorney who helped him get started. But in the meantime, Hill needed to earn a living. Whitley asked, “Gene, what can you do?” Of all the skills Hill possessed, Hill said, “I can bake cookies. I make the best cookies in the world!” Hill developed recipes for various cookies and the famous hilka-doodle, a snicker doodle with a different twist, became a favored trade secret. This is how he became known as the ‘Kukee Man.” In 2003, the long-awaited patent approval letter finally arrived in the mail. But patent approval was only the beginning. Hill still had to market his apparatus. He visited Donna Little at the McNeesse State University Small Business Development Center and Adrian Wallace, SWLA

Microenterprise Development Director and received the needed help. He called trucking companies and truck manufacturers. While focused on the safety value of the Swivel Hill, he did a test market to gather necessary data with the Louisiana Department of Transportation, (LA DOTD) District 07. LA DOTD District 07 recommends the “Swivel-Hill” safety apparatus. Things seemed to be moving along fairly well . . . until the 2005 hurricane season. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma set back Hill’s marketing ventures considerably. It was a dark and difficult time for the Hills. They had storm damage to their own home. They were discouraged. Louisiana was in recovery mode. No one had time to think about a simple apparatus that could improve safety on trucks. But Hill never gave up. He contacted U. S. Department of Trans-

portation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in Washington, D.C. to provide them with information about the Swivel-Hill. Hill hopes insurance companies, officials, lobbyists and legislating bodies will consider the benefits and safety of the Swivel-Hill. So far, his safety apparatus is still not widely in use. He continues his quest to establish his invention in the trucking industry. And he says he has a notebook full of other ideas, just waiting to be developed. “I ask God to give me an understanding of whatever I might be working with. God gave me the idea for the Swivel-Hill. It’s not what you see; it’s what you desire because witty inventions come out of the mind of God and He puts it before you. Out of a need, I made something beneficial.”

PAGE 5


Love

“El Dia del Amor y la Amistad”

by Sylvia Stelly

When I think about love I can only think of God’s love. Because it is through God’s love that we can love one another. No matter your race, creed or nationality. John 5:12 – Love one another, as I have loved you. It doesn’t say to love because you’re the same skin color or we look the same. This is something we all need to keep in mind when we see someone of a different culture, nationality or speaking a different language. Love is a universal language. There shouldn’t be any limits. God’s love is far above mere human love. – it never fails. True love is not based on outer appearances. It goes deeper and it is a matter of the heart. God’s love does not draw lines. It comes with OPEN eyes,

PAGE 6

OPEN arms and an OPEN HEART. If I can speak all the languages of the earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge and if I had such faith that could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous or boastful, or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love

never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance…. Three things will last forever – faith, hope, love and the greatest of these is LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 “ El Dia del Amor y la Amistad, “ “ El Dia de San Valentin or el Dia de los Enamorados” is the equivalent to Valentine’s day around the world. Latino culture is famous for being expressive, pechichones, cariñosos, melcochudos, etc., therefore many Latin people love to celebrate this day. Here are some cultural fun facts of how Latinos celebrate Valentine’s Day around the World: Cuba: It is often said that romance and passion runs in the veins of the Cubans and every person there have his or her own love story to tell. The festival has been a grand affair for the natives since a long time, as reflected in the endless parties and balls organized on the day. However, one is hardly surprised by this fact, as the country has always been associated

with passionate love and soul-consuming romance. Gift giving and receiving is an essential component of Valentine’s Day festival in Cuba and lavish gifts are showered on loved ones. Although this is mostly a celebration of romantic love between two people, friends, family and acquaintance also take part in it, through get-togethers and parties. Preparing special meals is a vital part of these celebrations and the whole house is adorned with beautiful decors and ornaments. Peru: Peruvians celebrate by giving out orchids, native to the country, to each other. Carnaval is going on at the same time so it is considered a public holiday, and many celebrate with mass weddings to be able to accommodate large groups of couples. Argentina & Chile: here “ El Día de Los Enamorados” is celebrated. There is more of an emphasis on spoiling your significant other with gifts. Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


in Colombia, men still serenade woman. It is a beautiful tradition. Puerto Rico: This day is called “El Dia de San Valentin” and young people enjoy giving chocolates, stuffed animals and note exchanging the most. The celebration starts by honoring St. Valentin who is the patron of love. There are many public parties and family gatherings to celebrate the day. Brazil: These South American’s ditch February 14th all together. Instead they celebrate Día dos Namorados in honor of St. Anthony, the saint of marriage and matchmaking on June 12th, with gifts and cute dates of course!

fessing their love. How adorable is that?? For Venezuelans and Colombians this is a big holiday. Colombia is also the number one exporter of flowers on this day. Bolivia: “Día de Amor” is celebrated on September 21st with an exchange of cookies, candies, and flowers.

Mexico: Our friends south of the border celebrate “Día de San Valentin”. Here it is more about celebrating with friends with lots of flowers and anything red. Guatemala: Here the day is referred to as ”Día del Cariño” and is celebrated by giving gifts and sentimental goodies to friends and loved ones.

Dominican Republic & El Salvador: In these countries, a game is played called Angelito or Amigo Secreto, depending on where you are. Girls and boys rip a piece of paper, write someone’s name, and then proceed to give their angelito a gift. Very creative.

Colombia: Valentine’s day is usually celebrated on the third Saturday of September, this day is filled with secret admirers giving gifts and pro-

Chileans, Argentineans, Bolivians and Ecuadorians celebrate on February 14 “El Dia de los Enamorados”, and in Ecuador like

WIRELESS

• NO Phone Lines • NO Contracts • Local Service

BUSINESS INTERNET! 337-310-1554 Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

True Latin Culture Traditions for Valentine’s/ Valentine’s Day Latino Style: Serenading is when a man sings or hires a group of musicians to sing love songs to the loved one at night when she is already asleep. Playing amigo secreto or secret friend is when all names of the players go inside a bag and each person blindly chooses one to give to. We play this game at schools.

icant and beautiful than roses. Public parties, dances and events are common throughout Latin and Central America, even in small towns where we hold them at the plaza. Music, famous bands, games and raffles are part of the occasion. Dedicating songs and poems to friends and loved ones on the radio is also a tradition. We have wonderful music genres like tango, bolero, guasca, and other that pretty much help us express our feelings. For sure giving chocolates is well appreciated, more so knowing that enjoying chocolate is an ancient tradition in Latin America. So as we celebrate Valentine’s Day whether the traditional style or with a LATIN twist let us remember to celebrate with the love of GOD not merely today but EVERYDAY!!

Giving native orchids to your loved one is a tradition in Colombia and Peru. For many these flowers are more signif-

• Great Rates • Fast Install • High-Speed

Locally Owned & Operated

Part of the Louisiana Radio Communications Group

www.fulair.com PAGE 7


All About the Tractor Trailer Support Aparatus Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 Part 571 Section 106) gives labeling and performance requirements for motor vehicle brake hose, brake hose assemblies, and brake hose end fittings. Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) is experiencing an historic economic boom in the oil and gas industry. Will the Swivel-Hill experience an historic economic boom in the trucking\transportation industry for SWLA?

The Swivel-Hill

by Mary Ledet A tractor which is driven by an engine typically provides electrical power, air and\or hydraulic fluids for operation of various components of the tractor and the trailer. These are normally required to provide electrical power and\or fluid communication between the tractor and the trailer The Swivel-Hill is a tractor-trailer apparatus for supporting cable, hose and the like which provides power and\or fluid communication between a tractor and trailer of a tractor-trailer rig. This total hose management assembly is heavy duty and moves as the tractor and trailer pivot relative to each other, keeping them supported in a manner as to prevent rubbing\ chafing and reduce brake system failures from pressure vacuum loss due to hose or hose assembly rupture. In 2005, a test market in Westlake and Lake Charles, La revealed these benefits of the Swivel Hill: 1) reduces wear\tear and improves the life of hoses. 2) secures hoses when running bob-tailed 3) holds the drive line when it is dropped 4) acts as a hoist to lift and store tarp; preventing back injury to operator PAGE 8

this may be done. Trucking companies equip their rigs with the necessary apparatus to keep these hoses secure, and provide maintenance. Typically the trailer hoses are held up by springs, which allow for movement during travel. These It’s not something you think about springs wear out and must be remuch--unless you’re a truck driver. placed. The truck hoses are now usually the coiled type, which are The Department of Transportation safer than the older straight ones. has standards to which these hoses These coiled hoses are expensive and cables must be managed and and must be replaced frequently. protected against abrasion, crimping, and debris. If they are not For owner-operators, handy gadgets properly cared for, citations will be such as a spring-loaded apparatus given to the driver, costing him or called a pogo-stick, which attachher money and racking up DOT es to the truck and holds the hos“points” of which a driver may have es secure, is sometimes used when only 100 before the CDL is revoked the springs have worn out. Another clever invention called E-Z Claw permanently. can be used to keep the truck hosIf a hose should come disconnect- es from friction against the catwalk ed during a trip, a serious problem and also hold the trailer hoses at the --no brakes or lights--could occur. optimum distance from the underSo it is the driver’s responsibility carriage of the trailer. to inspect the rig before, during, and after trips to make sure that So next time you’re driving I-10, all safety measures are being kept. glance over at that rig you’re passPreventive maintenance is the key ing. Don’t expect to see any danBy Trina Morgan to maintaining safety and avoiding gling, or worse, dragging, hoses or If you glance over at a tractor-trail- citations. cables, because the DOT is keeping er rig as you pass it on the highway, a close eye on these rigs to help keep you can see the hoses beneath the There are a number of ways that the highway safe. 5) prevents hoses from breaking in hard turns 6) allows hoses to swing around and escape damage 7) weighs less than 41 pounds 8) withstands most climate weather conditions 9) transfers easily when new rigs are purchased 10) installs easily and requires little maintenance 11) has a life expectancy of 12-15 years 12) available in various colors to match individual preferences. Operators reported that this aparatus is very useful in keeping hoses and electrical lines up and off the lowboy platform. It also works really well when backing up and eliminates many safety concerns. When used properly, it can be cost-saving and eliminate excessive replacement of hoses and electrical lines that are damaged when not properly tied back. “For these reasons LA DOTD District 07 recommends the use of the “Swivel-Hill”. Visit swivelhill.com for more details.

trailer and on the back of the truck itself that carry electrical and braking systems to the rig. These hoses are in need of constant attention to keep them from dangling or crimping as the truck travels.

Hose & Cable Management

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, the Patient Protection Act . . .

wherever they qualify,” he explains. “But the only place you can get the premium tax credit is by purchasing insurance through the federal exchange system.” According to Fontenot, people whose household incomes are between 100-400%

What happens if a person neglects to obtain health insurance?

costs. It cannot cost the employee more than 9.5% of the cost of a single person’s policy in that insurance If someone is required to purchase plan. It cannot cost the employee health insurance and has not done more than 9.5% of the family’s total so by March 31, 2014, he/she will income. Tax professionals such as receive a penalty on their 2014 tax Mr. Fontenot can help clients deter-

by K.G. McDonough

We hear about healthcare reform in the news, but what exactly does it mean for citizens and how will it affect them? Last year, the government passed these new tax laws in an effort to make healthcare insurance more accessible and affordable for the masses. By March 31, 2014, most Americans will be required by law to have health insurance. Many have health insurance through their employers, but if they do not, or if the insurance provided by an employer does not meet certain criteria, then individuals and families must purchase their own health insurance. Ron Fontenot, a certified public accountant with ComPro Tax on Broad St., has become an expert on the subject of healthcare reform. He estimates approximately fifty percent of the U.S. population can benefit from this new legislation. “They can buy health insurance in the private exchange systems or the federal marketplace exchange system; Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

of the federal poverty level qualify for a premium tax credit that is applied directly to the purchase of health insurance in the form of a government subsidy. Poverty level is determined by income and number of dependents. For example, for a family of four, 100-400% of the poverty level equals a range of $23,550 to $94,200. “This premium tax credit works like earned income credit, on a sliding scale based on income and family size,” says Fontenot. “The less money you earn, the more premium tax credit you receive.” Persons who earn greater than 400% of the poverty level and who do not have employer subsidized healthcare must purchase their own healthcare and they will not receive the premium tax credit. Those who earn less than 100% of the poverty level are not required to file an income tax return. They may choose to purchase health insurance but are not required by law to do so.

mine if their employer-based health insurance complies with the reform criteria. Fontenot admits these new laws can be confusing to the general public. He highly recommends tax payers find a qualified tax professional to help them navigate the maze of healthcare reform and its tax implications. “It’s so important at this point in time,” he says. “If they try to do it on their own, they might miss some information or Who benefits the most? “Lower income earners, in the choose a wrong policy. We can give 11,000-30,000 per year range, are them the information they need to the primary beneficiaries in this make wise decisions.” plan,” says Fontenot. “The reforms make their insurance more afford- For more information, able.” Those hit hardest are people Call Ron who have an adequate income, ap- Fontenot proximately $35,000 per year and at up, but do not have qualifying health insurance through their employer. ComPro To qualify under these new laws, Tax, employers’ healthcare must meet (337) certain conditions. It must cover at 436-1614 least 60% of an employee’s medical return (filed in 2015). The penalty in 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, and the fee is capped at $285 or 1 percent of household income. Each year the penalty increases exponentially; in 2016, the fine rises to $695 per adult and will be capped at $2,085 or 2.5 percent of income. Eventually, it will become more cost effective to purchase insurance than pay the tax.

PAGE 9


Foreman-Reynaud Community Center A Beacon in the Heart of North Lake Charles

We have been providing recreational services and programs since 1946. The Community Center, originally founded in 1946 as a “blacks only” extension of the Kirby Street YMCA, was located on Enterprise Boulevard and I-10 in the building locals knew as Walkers Recreational Center. In 1973, the YMCA moved into its present location and received its independent charter from the national board of the YMCA. The new building was named in honor of Edmond Burnice Foreman and Ralph Clifton Reynaud, two educational, civic and religious leaders who dedicated their lives to the community in which they lived. In 2001, the Foreman-Reynaud YMCA gave up its charter and, in cooperation with the City of Lake Charles, became the Foreman-Reynaud Community Center. True to its humble beginnings, the Foreman-Reynaud Community Center remains dedicated to improving the quality of life for the community, especially the economically disadvantaged, through a wide range of programs. The Foreman-Reynaud Community Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We provide recreational and educational opportunities to the community in a safe, wholesome environment. Some of the programs include: After School Tutorial/Homework Help; 8 week Summer Camp; Youth Achievers; Computer Classes; Water Aerobics; Swimming Lessons; Boy Scouts; The Lighthouse Club; a social club for older adults; and free showers for the homeless (Monday – Saturday 11:00 am – 11:30 am.) We offer an updated fitness center, including exercise equipment and an indoor pool, showers and locker area. We also have a recreation PAGE 10

area for games and activities and will soon be offering health and nutrition classes. We also provide tutoring and mentoring programs as well as summer camps for children. Our newly renovated event center is perfect for parties, weddings and other special occasions. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all members of the Southwest Louisiana Community. Our programs and services are aimed at enhancing the growth and development as well as the spiritual, social, cultural and educational needs of our citizens.

Helping to Shape the Leaders of Tomorrow Afterschool Homework/Tutoring Program

Children and youth enrolled in this program are assisted with homework and are tutored in their academic areas of difficulty. Our certified staff, “foster grandparents” who have an education background and McNeese State University interns are here to help with schoolwork. Participants are required to bring their report cards to evaluate and asses each individual’s progress. The goal of this program is to help kids develop competencies necessary to be successful in school. The Afterschool Homework/Tutoring Program is for ages 4-18, and is offered Monday-Thursday,

from 3-5 p.m. For more information, call (337) 436-2509.

Summer Youth Day Camp Our Summer Day Camp offers a safe environment for ages 3-12 in Southwest Louisiana from June-August each year. The program offers an opportunity for children to build friendships, learn to work as a group and develop their individual talents and gifts. They learn about health/nutrition, swimming/water safety, math, reading, language arts and much more, all within a fun and creative environment. We work on building self-confidence so our children have an easier transition back into the school year. The camp is Monday-Friday, from 7:30 a.m.-

5 p.m. beginning in June. For more information, call (337)436-2509.

Youth Achievers

Our Youth Achievers Program gives young people an avenue to dedicate their time, talents and resources to positively impact their communities, schools and futures. Meet ever other Saturdays 11:00 am - 2:00 am Youth Ages: 12-18

Meet Our Staff

Stephanie Chretien Executive Director, Michelle Jackson Secretary, Sharonda Broussard Summer Camp Program Director Sharonda Broussard Youth Achievers Program Assistant, Milton Alvarez Maintenance Supervisor, Sheila Washington Evening Receptionist Jule Taylor Evening Maintenance, DeAndre Taylor Life Guard Allyson Clark Life Guard, Mary Cline Bookkeeper/Youth Acheivers Program Director

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


Empowering youth with the skills and self-awareness to help them succeed in school, life, and their community. In the Youth Achievers, youth focus on academic enrichment, healthy lifestyles, social skills and leadership development. The overall goal of our Youth Achievers Program is to help our youth set and pursue high educational and career goals. Our program gives special attention to African-American and at-risk students. Through academic support, career exploration and mentoring, the Youth Achievers Program will help raise the students’ academic standards, develop a positive sense of self, build character, explore diverse college and career options and meet and interact with professionals who serve as the role models to inspire them to greater heights. The Youth Achievers Program staff takes pride in ensuring that these youth, especially those whose experiences have made it difficult for them to succeed, are connected with their special abilities/ gifts and given hope for a promising and fulfilling future. Youth Achiever Pledge As a young achiever, I pledge my honesty, my will, dedication, hard work and want for success to all that has to be accomplished in my organization, social activities, environment and society as a whole.

Senior Light House Club

Our Senior Light House Club is a social club for adults ages 55 and older. Members participate in socials, workshops, zydeco aerobics, various events held at the center and more. This is a great opportunity to socialize and form those strong bonds that make life richer. Yearly Free Tax Preparation: January – April 2014 Monday – Friday 5pm – 7pm Saturday 10am – 2pm Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

Top Left – Melanie Jackso n, Marc Pettaway, Botto m Left – Gertie Charles, Daphne Higginbotham, Katie Williams, Terry Mu rray. Not pictured – Dorot hy Miller, Catherine Norman, Sherly n Jefferson

Computer Classes: Adult Beginners Computer Class

Introductory computer classes are offered to adult patrons who are introduced to basic computer concepts and technology orientation to commonly used software within Microsoft Windows. This is a lab structured six weeks class. The orientation to computers is ideal for those who have had little exposure to computers. The class overview covers understanding parts and components of the computer and terminology including: desktop, menus, mouse, scrolling, clicking, keying (typing), saving, and basic Internet skills. General use of Microsoft Office Word and Excel will be introduced. Class is a 1 hour sessions twice a week Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. This group pictured above completed the six week session ending December 10, 2013 and received their certificates of completion.

Swimming – Olympian teaches swim safety – Cullen Jones

You’ve seen him in the pool and on the podium. And now, Olympic Gold medalist, Cullen Jones, is swimming in Lake Charles at the Foreman-Reynaud Community

Center to teach water safety in the Make A Splash tour. Olympic Gold Medalist and NBC broadcaster, Rowdy Gaines, says, “Here we have an African American male, the first one to break a world record ever in history...and he’s an Olympic Gold medalist. It’s just sort of a natural tie in to be able to do what we wanted to start years ago. We felt like Cullen would be a great representative. He’s so well spoken, so likable, and he’s such a great ambassador of the sport.”

first step towards getting kids water safe. And that being right up my alley, and me almost drowning at the age of five, they knew that I would understand exactly what these kids are going through, so I signed on immediately.” Approximately ten people drown every day in the United States. Of those ten, two are under the age of 14. This makes drowning the second leading cause of death for kids under 14. So what’s the solution? Attending a formal swim lesson can reduce drowning risks by 88%. To prove that water safety can be fun, four kids were able to learn the basics of water safety from the champ himself. Gaines says, “I think it’s more important to the parent than it is even to the kids because a lot of what we have found, the studies we have found, one of the reasons children don’’t know how to swim is because of their parents.” Before the lesson, two of the kids had never put their face under water. With the help of an Olympian by the end they were jumping in the deep end without hesitation.

are to serve mmunity Center prep ndraiser Co ud na ey -R an m re Youth Achievers of Fo d guests at the 2nd Annual Scholarship Fu their supporters an onderland” themed “A Winter’s W

Cullen says that joining the initiative was an easy decision. Jones says, “A friend actually showed me some of the drowning rates and told me about the Make A Splash initiative really kind of putting their money where their mouth was and really trying to take the

For more information call Foreman-Reynaud Community Center

(337)436–2500

PAGE 11


Board Members from left to right with youn g musician, John: Em Judy Davidson, Patri ma Guillory, John, Ev cia Prudhomme, Hube a LeBlanc, next row: r “Mickey” Smith, Jr., next row: Robin Ande rson & Tiffany Jones.

Kendrick is loving his new trumpet!

Board Members, front to back: Tiffany Jones, Greg LeBlanc, Huber “Mickey” Smith, Jr., Emma Guillory & Dr. Michael Buckles.

Ezra received a full-size violin!

Hattie asked, “Can I hug my violin?” Kendrick exclaimed, “I am playing higher notes with my new trumpet!” John said, “I can’t let go of it” about his new violin. Such are the responses of students in southwest Louisiana upon receiving refurbished musical instruments from MusicMakers2U (MM2U). Their “new” instruments were provided through the generosity of donors who no longer have a use for them. The MM2U Foundation was established in August 2013 as a non-profit organization created to provide students with the gift of music. The premise behind MM2U is that many school students have a desire to play a musical instrument but no means to obtain one. At the same time, many instruments have been silenced as they sit on closet shelves or in attics collecting dust. By pairing donated instruments with students desiring to play them, MM2U restores sound to the instrument and a voice to the student. MM2U is made aware of students desiring to play

PAGE 12

through their educational instructors who are integral players in the program’s success. Once MM2U accepts an instrument, it is professionally cleaned, refurbished and repaired before being assigned to a student. Since MM2U’s short inception, 30 instruments have been donated and 10 pairings completed – all prior to publicly announcing MM2U’s formation. Dr. Jeffrey J. Lemke, coordinator of instrumental music education at McNeese State University, states, “By helping improve academic achievement, build self-esteem, teach critical social skills, and engender creativity and innovation, MM2U helps to ignite the spark of creativity that lies within all children and inspires a love of learning.” An added benefit for students participating in an MM2U is the parental involvement that comes with the pairing. Students accepting an MM2U instrument also agree to accept the responsibility of taking care of their instrument. The ‘cost” for the student in accepting the gift is the understanding that they now have an obligation to care for

and practice on the instrument, to participate in school activities and to have the maturity necessary to return the instrument if their musical interest ever wanes. For MM2U to grow contributions are being requested for instrument donations. Financial support is also needed to clean and refurbish the instruments. The group is currently working to find instruments to fill the following requests: two euphoniums and a trumpet for students at Washington Marion High School; a ¾ cello, ¾ string bass and a viola for the after school Colt String Orchestra at S.J. Welsh Middle School; and two violas and an oboe for students in the Bulber Youth Orchestra. The foundation would be happy to receive these items as used instruments or to receive donations to purchase them. For further information, contact Eva LeBlanc, MM2U President, by calling 337244-9314, by emailing musicmakers2U@gmail.com or by writing MM2U, P.O. Box 7964, Lake Charles, LA 70606. Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


ONE: Bring your marriage license

upon arriving at your reception…. This could be a favorite recipe book for cocktails or a picture of the bride and groom in a matted frame, or “An important part of making it simply an autograph book. Also, ‘official!’ Check with the jurisdic- don’t forget the pens!” tion where your ceremony will take FIVE: place about any deadlines for applyInvitation suite ing for your marriage license well in advance of your wedding date and Brides should remember to pack at also whether a blood test or special least one full invitation suite and any documentation is required to com- other stationery details (rehearsplete your application. al dinner invites, shower invites,

Airport security will not let you get on the plane with expired identification, so be sure you have taken care of this detail one month before your wedding.” After the Wedding

months after your big day. Set aside some time each day to dedicate to writing these notes so that you don’t get overwhelmed...Also, don’t forget the important people in your life, including your parents, famEIGHT: Thank-you Notes ily members, and bridal party that were there with you through the Your thank-you notes to your guests planning from the beginning. should be sent out no later than two

save-the-dates) that were mailed out during the engagement to bring with them in the bridal prep suite Be sure you remember to feed the the day of the wedding so that your people that are working nonstop to photographer can shoot the invimake your day flawless! Don’t for- tations to include in your wedding get to include the number of ven- photo album. dors you’ll have so that the caterer SIX: can prepare simple meals for them, separate from your guests. Cake knife &

TWO: Vendor meals

THREE: Favors

toasting flutes

When packing up your items to be placed at the reception, be sure to They are a fantastic detail that each remember to pack your cake knife of your guests will appreciate! So and toasting flutes (and keep the don’t make your favors an after- original packaging to avoid breakthought — think about what you’ll age) so that this detail will not be present your guests as a ‘thank-you’ overlooked. for coming at least two months in advance of your wedding date.

FOUR: Guestbook & pens Include something for your guests to leave their well-wishes for you Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

SEVEN: Passport & identification

Be sure your passport and driver’s license are up to date and packed safely in your carry-on luggage : PAGE 13


JENNINGS MARDI GRAS CELEBRATIONS & SQUEEZEBOX SHOOTOUT

It will soon be Mardi Gras in Jennings, Louisiana, and that means there will be plenty of good times rolling Saturday, March 1, as the city’s 22nd Annual Mardi Gras Parade and Festival takes over downtown with an accordion championship, giant colorful floats, live music, lots of beads, great food, craft vendors and other family fun. Each year, the parade and the Main Street after-party street dance has grown tremendously and is now recognized as a Mardi Gras season highlight. There’s the feeling of the big city but small enough for everyone to take part in the fun. This year t-jam DJ Service will be playing music in Founders Park until the Parade begins rolling at 4:30 p.m. Immediately after the parade,

the live band SECOND TYME AROUND will perform until 7:30 p.m. Several years ago the Cajun Squeezebox Accordion Championship was added. The competition, in its 9th year, begins at 11:30 a.m. with Cajun diatonic nine and ten button accordion players of all ages converging on the Historic Strand Theatre at 432 North Main Street to compete for Trophies, Bragging Rights, and over $3,000 in prize money. There is no entry fee for the contest, but accordionists must register in order to compete. There are four divisions: Youth, Junior, Adult, and Professional.

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LAKE CHARLES, INC. The Junior League of Lake Charles, Inc. has a legacy of serving, strengthening and sustaining the community. During the last five years alone, the JLLC volunteers have performed over 120,000 hours of community service and funded over $600,000 in community programs, educational grants, scholarships and volunteer training. Since its inception, the women of the JLLC—who range in age from 23 to 94—have had hearts of giving and have been catalysts for lasting community change. Some of the legacies left to the community by the League are: Arts & Humanities Council, Calcasieu Community Clinic, Children’s Museum, Family & Youth Counseling Agency, Imperial Calcasieu Museum, Lake PAGE 14

Celebrates 80 Years

CONTACT INFO: If you or michelle@cityofjennings.com someone you know would be interested in entering the contest. www.jeffdavis.org • 337-821-5532

Charles Symphony and Literacy Council of SWLA.

The SWLA Economic Development Alliance recently recognized the League for its generosity and investment in a program that helps develop a stronger workforce and future leaders. The JLLC is donating time, support and $80,000 in order to bring The Leader in Me to Maplewood Elementary. This partnership honors the League’s 80th year of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. They also collaborate with Dolby and Oak Park Elementary. Join them on April 10, 2014 at

Central School for the closing reception of their juried exhibit, The HeART of Giving. Local students are asked to submit “heART work” featuring original artistic interpre-

tations exploring “What volunteerism means to me.” Submissions are due February 21st and details are online at www.jllc.net. Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 101: the mind. In broad terms, these creations include legal rights in new ide as, inventions, and discoveries. There are four basic types of intellectual property: by Nadine Dunbar Gills, Esq. Attorney At Law Nadine@gillslawfirm.com (337) 513-4820

Intellectual property is a complex area of federal law which establishes legal rights to protect creations of

COPYRIGHTS-which include writings, music, art and software, among other things. TRADEMARKS-These are distinctive words, images or sounds that identify a brand, such as Nike. TRADE SECRETS-These are valuable pieces of information, such as a recipe, process or tech-

How to Establish Your Legal Rights In New Ideas, Inventions, And Discoveries nique, which provides a business advantage. Popular examples include the Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken secret recipe and the Coca-Cola formula PATENTS-A patent gives an inventor the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention. In order to protect your creation, you will want to make it official by having your work registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. By doing so, you will improve the strength of your position as an owner and gain legal authority to prevent anyone else from using your creation without your permission.

For more information on registration and establishing rights to your intellectual property, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website at www.uspto.gov or contact an attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property law.

Call for Submissions by the Junior League of Lake Charles, Inc.

The HeART of Giving

Theme: Create original “heARTwork”in any medium 2-D or 3-D exploring the idea “What volunteerism and/or a heart of giving means to me.” Works featuring original artistic interpretations of a heart as part of the work are encouraged. Eligibility: Students in the 5-parish area grades K-high school attending public, private or homeschool programs

Deadline: Deliver submissions to Art Associates Gallery (in Cen-

2014

tral School) Wed., 2/19 through Fri., 2/21 for jury selection.

Exhibit Dates: March 10-April 13, 2014 at Art Associates Gallery, 809 Kirby St., Central School Suite 208, Lake Charles

cultur al season

Banners.org

Recognition/Closing Reception: April 10, 2013 from 6-7:30 pm

Learn more at www.jllc.net, follow us on Facebook, or best of all, become a League volunteer! Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

Banners.org

PAGE 15


by Abby Ecker Valentine’s Day is for expressing love and appreciation to our significant others. For some, this means a family pet. One way to show your beloved pet affection is to devote time. A walk or jog, a trip to your local doggy park or a simple game of sit and play

with your pet’s favorite toy are just a few ideas of spending time with your pet to show them affection. If you like to buy gifts, local pet stores have stocked their shelves with plush, squeaky hearts and heart shaped dog, cat and bird treats waiting to be pur-

chased for your loyal loved ones. There are also fabulous websites to shop online for unique pet gifts. You can create a custom made gift basket for your pet at organicpetboutique.com. Just remember, what your little friend craves most is you.

While looking for Valentine’s Day gifts, remember your local animal shelters. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) only eighty-six percent of pets given as gifts are fortunate enough to stay with their new families. One pet finding website is AdoptAPet.com. It has selection tools to help you locate a pet. Cyndi Gwatney, foster parent, works with six local animal rescue organizations. She has been successful in finding homes for over six hundred pets in the last five years. She provides these tips for potential adoptive parents: “Know the needs of the breed you are committing to. Obtain as much information as you can such as the animal’s response to children and other animals. Know if the animal is a “working” breed that will only be content if performing his duties. Know how much exercise the pet will need. All baby animals are cute but they will grow. It is essential to know the expense and needs of your chosen pet as it ages. Visit Cyndi’s Facebook page: Cyndi’s Adoptive Dogs.

“Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment”.

PICK UP YOUR COPY! LAKE CHARLES

Stine Lumber Brown’s Grocery Harequin Steakhouse Gatti’s Pizza Happy Donuts Don’s Car Wash All Area Hospitals Imperial Health PAGE 16

MOSS BLUFF

Fox’s Pizza Market Basket Harry’s

SULPHUR

Misse’s Grocery Joe’s Pasta Dairy Barn Post Office

Stine Lumber Pitt Grill

KINDER

Food Mart Feather Fuel Allen Parish Hospital

JENNINGS

Easy Mart Java Joltz

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


Tips for Singles on Valentine’s Day Do Something for Someone Else

Make it a Friends Night By Dawn Guillory Valentine’s Day is a day set aside for love, and many singles desire to love and be loved. We can enjoy Valentine’s Day by focusing outward to family and friends or inward to ourselves. As a child, I learned to focus

outward from my mother. She had a Valentine, but she increased the day’s emphasis to include us, her children. I remember the first Valentine’s treat was just a pretty cupcake, and I still remember how special I felt getting this treat, and other treats years after. Increase your day’s

activities to include a visit to a nursing home, hospital or animal shelter and bring the gift of love. It seems that we over extend ourselves in everything on a daily basis. Turn our focus inward and love our self by making it a day of self-care. Start by being grateful and counting

our blessings one by one. Relax and meditate in a quiet place. Do something for self, even consider having a party. So often in our single quest to find a soul mate, we miss how fearfully and wonderfully made we are.

Relax & Do What You Love

Pamper Yourself

Gifts for a “Challenged Person” Shouldn’t be Challenging by Mark Wayne Allen Valentines Day is, arguably, the biggest of romantic holidays, but for challenged persons, it can be cumbersome. Back when I was dating, I was often asked, “What kinds of gifts do you like receiving?” Well, since I’m in a power chair, I don’t think I want roller skates, a basketball, or a football (unless it’s autographed by Drew Brees, hint hint). A few years back, my sweet mother-in-law once told me that she was running out of ideas for gift giving. She was always looking to buy me things that I could physicalFeburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

ly use; she was really creative about it too. My reply to her was, “Hey, I’m a guy; I like tools.” If you don’t know what to get a challenged person, ask them, or at least get them something that they are interested in. Often times, whether they can physically use it or not is a moot point. For example, I have others use the tools that I receive while I watch and supervise. People are the same in all areas. We all like flowers, candy, and other stuff. Relationships with challenged people have their obstacles: all relationships do. The simple act of getting comfortable enough with the person to ask questions and to be close is a challenge in itself. All relationships have this in common. The problem becomes more

difficult when you have a walker, crutches, or especially a power chair in the way. My feet and legs stick out like the flu at a doctor’s convention and the arms of the chair are built-in barriers to closeness. To achieve that special closeness with a challenged person requires telling your significant other anything that concerns you including wants, needs, how, where, and when. Plaster them into a chair if you have to and say, ‘We need to talk.’ If they’re going out the door, get in their way. Never leave anything unsaid. If you can’t talk, write your feelings down. Write them a letter, like I have done on many occasions. I don’t speak so well sometimes either. The main idea is letting them know how you feel, but be prepared,

the good, the bad, and the ugly, is going to come back at you. It’s okay though; that’s what good communication is all about: understanding each other.

Mark Wayne Allen has attended La. Tech in computers and has a B.S in business from LSU He is the author of the book Star Siege. markwayneallen.com facebook.com/authormwa #authormwa PAGE 17


Carl E. Gaines is Retiring but not Leaving Home On the first Sunday of July 1970 Carl E. Gaines, known as Bro. Gaines, began holding services in St. Mary Drive Recreation Center with three families in attendance. Ninety days later they moved to a warehouse on Mill Street and now, today, 2318 Mill Street Church of Christ, (MSCC) has over 150 families. He says “Some of the children born here when the church first began are now the grandparents bringing their little ones to worship.” He doesn’t tell his age but says to those who ask, “I’ve turned 45.” He just doesn’t say when that was. He feels it was God’s will, not C. E. Gaines, to come to Lake Charles, Louisiana and preach. After two years of “friendly persuasion” he and his wife agreed to move their family to Southwest Louisiana. “Alright I’ll go but only for four years.” He laughs as he admits that 43 years later he is still here. When they came here their son and three daughters were all in school. “This was only a short time after integration and stories about the south did not entice African Americans to come here to live,” he said. “Also, stories about Louisiana culture, hoodoo, voodoo, snakes and alligators added to my fears and terrors, and then exposing all this to my young family.” A.B. Franklin, State Representative District 34, and Luvertha August, City Councilwoman District B, presented he and his wife with a plaque for long years of dedication to community service and his retirement, which occurred December 31, 2013 Meeting the pastor with his ready smile and sense of humor that comes PAGE 18

out in conversation is inspiring. His love of life and people immediately puts others at ease. Born before the days of integration he admits that he lived through some hard and rough times but refuses to dwell on them. He chooses to use his experiences to describe an interesting past which has guided him to where he is today. Bro. Gaines comes from a family of 11 children. He began his ministry in 1953, and met his bride, Eva Worthy in 1954. They were married two years later on the campus of Southwestern Christian College (SWCC) in Terrell, Texas, where he received

Christ throughout Oklahoma and Arizona before coming to Louisiana. He received an MSW in Social Work from Louisiana State University, and acquired a Specialty in Geriatrics, all while serving as minister at MSCC. “There will always be ups, downs and pitfalls; because no one can stop the inevitable,” he said, “But when

tative District 34, and en es pr Re e at St , in kl A.B. Fran uncilwoman District B Co ty Ci , st gu Au ha rt ve Lu ue and his wife with a plaq presenting Bro. Gaines cation to community for long years of dedi ent. service and his retirem an AA in Religious Studies. In 1960 he served in the United States Air Force where he worked in personnel. He left the military, enrolled at the University of Arizona and graduated with a BS in Public Administration. He continued to serve in churches of

you find a tall mountain you must pray for strength to be able to climb it.” Bro. Gaines is not one to boast about his accomplishments but while engaged in conversation it is evident that he practices what he preaches. Many programs have been put into

By Joyce R. Kebodaux

place because of his belief that when one steps out in faith, God provides the means to make things happen. He began the Gulf Coast Lectureship meeting, annually, along the Gulf Coast to build church unity and strengthen it; Men’s Seminar meeting, throughout Louisiana and Arkansas, to teach bible principles to men and boys, Louisiana Youth Conference, meeting in universities throughout Louisiana, to inspire spiritual and academic development and inspired the development of the Marriage Couples Banquet for Valentine’s, to preserve the sanctity of marriage and Ladies Retreats meeting, annually, for sisterhood networking. One program especially close to his heart is bringing student preachers, during spring break, from SWCC to MSCC to learn church functions. These future ministers door knock, teach bible classes, live with church families and tour the area to learn about the culture and geography of places where they may one day be assigned. Courtney Jones, to be installed as the new minister at MSCC, February 2, 2014, is one of the students who started coming in 2004. “He is a good man and the congregation already knows him,” Bro. Gaines said. When asked “How important is the wife in a minister’s life?” he an-

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


swered without hesitation. “Without Eva I would be dead in the woods. For fifty seven years, she has made a home for our family and for me to do what I do.” Their home is also a gathering place for visiting clergy and officials in the church. ”At the time of this interview she was making preparations to host a gathering for the Ladies Fellowship in their home on Eleventh Street. Br. Gaines is happy with the life of service he has chosen and his plans are to remain in Lake Charles. Now he will have more time to spend with his son, David and his family, and daughters, Beverly Cole, Deborah and Karla Gaines and their children. His eyes light up when he speaks of his family especially his eleven grandchildren. He expects to catch up on his fishing and do some writing. He says, “I hope to have more time to work with the programs I began and help make a difference in the lives of many.”

SWLA FAMILY BOOK FESTIVAL Sponsored by the Bayou Writers Group

Saturday • February 22, 2014 at Central School

809 Kirby St., Lake Charles • 9am-1pm • Free Admission! If you are looking for a good time that involves books, this festival is for you! READINGS, BOOKS, WRITERS—Meet your favorite local author. Every member of your family will have a blast! Plan to be there from the start!

“We made our special day

perfectly affordable.“

PERSONAL LOANS The wedding of your dreams doesn’t have to be a financial nightmare. We can tailor a loan that fits your needs and helps pay for all aspects of your big day from photographers to honeymoon plans. You’ve found the perfect life partner, now choose the perfect financial partner. Speak with a Loan Specialist today and let us help relieve the stress of wedding and honeymoon expenses.

FIRST FEDERAL BANK - TRADITION YOU CAN COUNT ON. 433-3611 Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

FFBLA.COM PAGE 19


Louisiana AARP Advocates a Better Human Services Transportation System turn. Older adults who don’t drive still spend money at the mall, grocery stores, and on entertainment. Enabling a handicapped person to live independently rather than in a long term care facility saves the state $3500 per month. In Maryland, they make a $1000 investment in each qualified person by modifying their home and providing transportation, saving the state an average of $2500-$3000 per person.

Eight million Americans do not drive. The majority of these persons are elderly, disabled, or under-privileged. They are the consumers of the Human Services Transportation (HST) Agency. But the system is flawed. The Healthy Community Coalition in Lake Charles recently hosted its monthly meeting and welcomed Jason Tudor, AARP Louisiana Director of Outreach, to address this issue. “One of AARP’s primary concerns is viable communities where people of all ages can live, work, and play for as long as they want,” says Tudor. “Two key pieces required to do that are good affordable accessible housing. And good affordable transportation options. HST helps people who can’t drive have an option to get around in their community. It could be as simple as a voucher for a taxi ride, or as involved as someone who catches a bus at a stop with a wheelchair ramp.”

PAGE 20

Paratransit, the short white buses that say Louisiana Transit on the side are an example of HST. Currently, transportation services are cumbersome. They don’t work together well. There’s no coordination. They each have multiple funding sources that are difficult to keep track of. The AARP advocates a simpler system. “We want a ‘one click one call’ center for

people who need rides,” says Tudor. A 211 center is an example. The HST and communities around the state are working toward better coordination in an effort to save millions of dollars. Tudor cited some success stories. In Florida, they found that for every dollar they spent on transportation, they received $8.75 in re-

According to Lake Charles’ mayor Randy Roach, the primary transportation system provided by the city is traditional bus service. Calcasieu Parish provides the majority of Paratransit. “We have talked about creating a regional transit authority,” says Roach. “An initial plan has been developed. We built a new transit building on Ryan St. with the idea that this building would serve as the office for a regional transit system in Calcasieu Parish. Both the city and parish transportation

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


agencies are currently in that same building, in an effort to begin coordinating the services. But I think we can do more.” Roach adds that funding is the biggest hurdle. How can you help? Get involved with the Imperial Calcasieu Planning Commission (IMCAL). Call them and find out when their HST coordination meetings take place and attend them. Tudor asks, “How can we save millions of dollars, add millions of dollars back into the economy, keep people out of nursing homes, and provide a high quality of life for our residents? Coordinating transportation is the answer to that.”

Healthy Communities, Healthy Louisiana Last fall, the Region 5 REACH (Regional Education Agencies Concerning Health) Cancer Coalition and the Tobacco Subcommittee transitioned into a single coalition, now called the Healthy Community Coalition (HCC). According to HCC coordinator Patricia Bettis, the coalition encompasses all aspects of wellness: obesity, physical education, chronic diseases, stop smoking efforts, to name a few. “Our

goal is to find out what [health issues are] prevalent in our region and this Coalition will talk about what it is we want to take

on as an objective and hopefully those objectives will turn into something more sustainable, including policy changes, system changes, and environmental changes.” The HCC partners with the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Office of Public Health to combat obesity and other health concerns. “We get a lot more accomplished when we partner with each other,” adds Bettis.

Seeing Humanity with Estella Scott by Sherry Perkins I knock. A young man answers the door. “I’m here to see Mrs. Scott,” I say. From inside the house, a soft voice squeaks, “Come on in, honey.” I step inside and a feeling of warmth envelopes me. An elderly lady appears from another room and walks up to me. “Hello, Baby,” she says as if we are long-lost friends, not strangers meeting for the first time. She puts out her hand. “I’m Estella Scott.” I take her hand and reply, “I’m Sherry.” Mrs. Estella Scott is a true humFeburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

ble servant for the community of DeRidder, the whole community. For 10 years, she worked for the Tax and Water Department of DeRidder. “I saw problems in the community. I saw a need.” When a position on the City Council became vacant, she ran. “I didn’t want to do it at first. But people supported me. For 20 years no one beat me.” From 1986 – 2006, Mrs. Scott served with distinction on the City Council. Not only did she serve on the City Council, she was also Director of Headstart for 25 years, sat on the Board of Trustees for the West Louisiana Health Services, Beauregard Memorial Hospital, from 1994 – 2002, and was the first African-American woman to be appointed by (then) Governor Kathleen Blanco in 2004 to serve on the Sabine River Authority Board.

Governor Bobby Jindal reappointed Mrs. Scott, where she continues to make decisions for the largest manmade lake in the South. Mrs. Scott has received many awards and accomplishments. Some include: The National Association of Women named her Woman of the Year; she was named Newcomers Hospitality Club Woman of the Year in 2001 and 2005; and in 1995 she was given the Outstanding Community Service Award for Upholding the Ideals of Negro Women. I ask, “Since the death of Dr. King, what are your comments on race relations?” “His dying was not in vain and his legacy shall go on. When you learn better, you do better. Throughout my life, I’ve learned through trial and error.” A humble spirit glows from within her as she recalls taking her children to the funeral of Med-

gar Evers in Mississippi. “Anything I think will enhance them, we do it.” For 15 years, Mrs. Scott even transported Senior Citizens from DeRidder to Jasper, Texas, to see Christmas lights. “Oh, they enjoyed it so much. When insurance issues arose, we had to stop.” She praises God for His blessings. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In a comment about DeRidder’s economic development, she says, “We’ve come a long way. DeRidder is on the move. I’m a people person and a community servant to all my people.” When she says, “…servant to all my people,” she doesn’t just mean African-Americans. This lady doesn’t see race or color; she only sees humanity. One visit with her and you will agree.

PAGE 21


Sulphur’s Team Hope Needs You! Huntington’s Disease Society of America

is pleased to announce its FIRST annual Team Hope Walk for HD at The Grove at Heritage Square in Sulphur on Saturday, March 22nd. Support from the community is needed to help make this event a success! Support includes: • Corporate and individual sponsorships • In-kind goods • Volunteers • Corporate and individual teams To learn more about Huntington’s disease , please visit www.hdsa.org and the local webpage at www.hdsa.org/thwsulphur Contact Dolly Ardoin, Team Hope Walk Committee Chair at hdsa.thwsulphur@gmail.com.

Sassy Oil & Vinegar

HEALTH FAIR Feb. 8th 1pm-4pm

Mill Street Church of Christ 2318 Mill St • Lake Charles For more information contact Liz Fuselier 337-540-1408 sassyoilandvinegar.com PAGE 22

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7


The Biblical Boss by Paige Francis

“He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.” - Proverbs 28:18 “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless, than a rich man whose ways are perverse.” - Proverbs 28:6

Wealth should not be the biggest motivating factor in business. When money becomes the focus of a businessman or woman, it can easily consume every part of their being. Looking back, you can probably recall someone you know that once began their business. They were focused, excited and exuberant. They were passionate and purposeful day

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7

in and day out. As their success grew, did you find a change in the air about them? This happens so easily, especially when experiencing a quick growth in business. But as the Bible so clearly explains, one must tread lightly in the field of wealth. There must be a balance in the desire to attain wealth and the desire to stay spiritually and mentally grounded. Because fortune is one of life’s biggest snares, when it slips away from us we can be tempted to do unhealthy or

unrighteous things to attain it once more. Hurting colleagues, lacking in loyalty to those who are loyal to you, making bad business deals to benefit yourself, all are ways in which the desire for more can motivate you to do things that you normally would not do. Therefore, as success approaches be sure to check yourself on a regular basis, making sure that you are doing the right thing at all times. In the event that you chose to do wrong, be aware that it will not end favorably.

PAGE 23


Hello.

Women & Children’s Hospital is now Lake Area Medical Center. For years, Women & Children’s Hospital has provided comprehensive care for men, women and children – including emergency care, general surgery, orthopedics, urology, bariatrics and, most recently, cardiology. And now we are proud to introduce a new name that represents our full-service commitment to the community we love. Learn more at LakeAreaMC.com.

PAGE 24 73615_WCH_Hello_10x11_25c.indd 1

Feburary 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 7 1/21/14 3:54 PM

The Voice of SWLA - February 2014