Page 1

Industries’ Role in Everyday Products

Industries are a familiar part of the landscape here. They’ve been part of Southwest Louisiana for more than 60 years, employing thousands of people, and giving this economy a boost. But, what are they doing inside all of those pipes and towers? Obviously, a few facilities are making fuel, and some people know that area plants make plastics and rubber, but you might be surprised to learn that products made by local industries are used in everything from cleaners to toothpaste. “Every industrial facility in this area makes ingredients that go into consumer products,” said Nancy Tower, representative from an area industry. “Some products are more well-known than others, but they’re all manufactured to make our lives

cleaner, safer, healthier and better.” For example, products from industry are used throughout the healthcare field. Vinyl is produced locally, and used extensively in the health care field including tubing for IV’s and syringes, bags for blood donations and even heart catheters. Synthetic alcohol, made locally, is found in hand sanitizers and liquid soaps. Even contact lens cleaners, eye drops and other pharmaceuticals contain products produced locally. “Several local industries have education programs for students, and the kids are always interested to know that our products are found in a lot of familiar places, including in their refrigerators,” said Tower. “They get a kick out of learning that we make ingredients that go into

food wraps and bowls to store leftovers. Such everyday items aren’t usually associated with these big industrial facilities.” Polystyrene and polyethylene, produced by area industries, are very useful in the kitchen when they’re turned into bags, bowls, cups and wraps. Many of the products produced by area industry, which may come in contact with food, are certified as Kosher to ensure that they meet the requirements of Jewish dietary laws. “It’s not something people think much about, but throughout a day, there are dozens of products we use that our local industries had a part in making. Deodorants, DVDs, athletic shoes, medications, lip balm and household detergents all contain primary ingredients manufac-

tured by local industries. These products are sold all around the world, and much of it starts right here in Southwest Louisiana,” said Tower.

For more information, visit


Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment


I see the flares burning at industry by my house and can’t help but wonder what they’re burning, or if something is on fire. Is it dangerous?


Flares are a safety mechanism.

Flares process excess gas by burning it off. This safety mechanism minimizes air pollution and helps prevent industrial accidents. The noise that sometimes accompanies a flare is from the steam that’s used as a coolant. When the steam is introduced, it creates a hissing or rumbling noise. The steam cools the system, reduces smoke and minimizes air pollution. We know flares can cause concern and questions, and we try to minimize their use as much as possible because they’re so costly. Understanding why the flares are used can hopefully put any concerns to rest.

Joe Andrepont

senior community affairs director with local industry


Lake Area Industry Alliance


July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

is published and distributed by

TEAM PUBLICATIONS LLC. 4310 Ryan St. Ste. 134 Lake Charles, LA. 70605 In the McNeese SEED Center (337) 474-2210


Brenda Hill Tracy Clark





Faye Drake Chester Rogers

JULY 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

4 Sulphur, South Africa & One Woman’s Connection 8 My Senior Moment 9 Wounded Warriors 10 P3: Pen, Pad & Pals: Growing Writers in the Classroom 13 Teach Your Children to Save for College 14 Put Healthcare at Top of Back to School List 16 Celebrating Independance Day 18 Cameron Parish, Louisiana’s Outback 23 Understanding Bullies


Gene R. Hill, Sr. Reginald Clark


Joyce R. Kebodeaux Mark Wayne Allen Linda Hurst, Ed. D Bruce Sweatt Cecely Clark Trina Duhon Beth Savoie Trina Morgan Rose Henny Abby Ecker

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. July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

These Stories and More on our website!

Contact Us! PAGE 3


ountless thoughts, ideas and dreams run treadmill-like through the wondering minds of high school students as they sit motionless in a classroom. The teacher preaches the material with the same passion as a podium-pounding evangelist, and the kids listen, some attentively while others only sparingly. From chromosomes to crazy-lettered formulas to major historical

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, or Nelson Mandela, dreams of being a celebrity and traversing the countryside and beach landscapes quite often battle for internal supremacy in the thoughts of young adults. Students at Sulphur High School are no different, and Bobbie-Jo Williamson was no exception. From time to time, it is safe to say, she loosened the reins of her imagination and

It is an intoxicating scenery brilliantly colored and inhabited with the most intriguing creatures, some four-legged bound and others walking upright. The thunderous claps of synchronized feet lend thought to glacial re-mapping of the Earth’s crust; vibrations from the stomping work up through the soles and into the bloodstream until tiny arm hairs stand at attention in

guard against primates skillfully entering through an unlocked window in order to rummage through pantries. Father Christmas stands in the place of jolly ol’ Saint Nick, and December 25 is celebrated on sandy beaches instead of “drinking hot chocolate by the fire.” The landscape is dotted with award-winning wine orchards set against stunning green backdrops rather than cane fields,

Sulphur, South Africa and One Woman’s Connection

by Bruce Sweatt

The Van der Walt Family events, young teens rarely see a connection between the knowledge being bellowed out and their own lives. Rather than welcoming thoughts of algebra or dissecting the lives of George Washington, PAGE 4

wondered, silently, where her adulthood would lead her. When she allowed her mind to traverse freely around the globe did she ever ponder the reality that would become her life?

and the equator can be located by only following a compass north. This is, also, a world of shark-infested oceans seen only through the camera lenses of the Discovery channel. Absent are the Ford F-150’s, Chevy Silverado’s and Dodge Rams she is so accustomed to seeing pulling a fishing boat or hauling a Polaris Four Wheeler. The air is chalk dry, and the noonday heat fries rather than boils. The language is thorny and her inborn wetlands are nowhere in sight. Did her inner eye ever contemplate being submerged in an ocean with only cage bars separating her from sharks? Probably not. Where in the world is this former-Sulphur High product? The tiny, blonde-haired observance of the native spec- daughter of Diana and Bobby tacle. She is far from Sulphur on is dotingly supporting her husthis day. Alligators are replaced band who is chasing his country’s by vividly shaded baboons. Here championship and vastly deterone doesn’t need to fend off mined to hold a much coveted whizzing mosquitoes but rather trophy over his head. She is miles July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

apart from Sulphur and her mom’s savory shrimp etouffee and chicken sauce piquante which cannot, regrettably, be acquired here, where she is…in South Africa. It doesn’t look like much. At first glance, the sculpture of an elderly man of color, dark skin with salt-colored hair, encircled in his chair by a troth of wideeyed children peering back up at his contagious grin resembles a knick-knack shelf ’s crowning achievement. It especially doesn’t appear to be a coveted prize or something to be thrust above a victor’s head in celebration. The pastel-rich figurine, however, was once a gift presented to one of the most influential humans to have ever walked on earthen soil. Within the walls of Sulphur High School many historic names and events are explored and studied: Washington, Caesar, Shakespeare, Lincoln and Mandela. As teachers bellow out particulars, the students jot down details, doodle in the margins and glance up, slyly, at the sterile-white faced clock not for once imagining a connection between the names on the chalkboard and their own lives. To Mr. Teal’s young pupils studying civics, these historic personages—these barons of achievement—are as comprehensible to them as a moon landing was to Orville Wright. These are grandiose personalities. The closest many of these students will ever come to crossing paths with these larger-than-life figures is when their fingertips glide over the printed name in a book. But not for Bobbie-Jo Williamson. Instead, her life would take her to the center of a nation mourning the loss of “South Africa’s greatest son”—the inspiration for the statue’s smiling humanitarian. In mid-February, 1983, Isak van der Walt was birthed into the world in Paarl, South Africa, a July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

stirring landscape that is no less extraordinary than the remarkable little history that goes with the place. It was there, after 27 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela walked out a free man. As the young Van der Walt set out perfecting his golf swing and emulating South African greats Ernie Els and Gary Player, the young boy had no inkling that his passion for golf would, in due time, set him on a path to hoist the Nelson Mandela trophy in victory mere days after the famed-Nobel Prize winner had breathed his last breath. The hand-carved sculpture of a sage and ripened Nelson Mandela would, as a result, take on a new significance for the boy who would be better known as Dawie. Hundreds of eager students first entered Lamar University in 2003 and among them was the 6-foot, 5-inch tall young man from South Africa. That same year, mere miles from the freshman’s South African home, Nelson Mandela hosted the 46664 Concert, an AIDS awareness event held in his honor. With Dawie’s decision to attend school in Texas, two distant cultures would soon come into alignment. Confident, strongly accented, and towering over his golf teammates, Dawie’s height was made even more extreme, Bobbie-Jo recounts jokingly, by his 4” inch spikey, highlighted hair.” Height and hairstyles aside the two soon discovered love. Within a few years Bobbie-Jo would assume the Van der Walt name, and the couple would welcome Allie, an angelic face with “white blonde hair and blue eyes,” into the family. In 2013 all four—Nelson Mandela, Dawie, Bobbie-Jo, and Allie—paths would cross. First played in 2012 the Nelson Mandela Championship is a Durban, South Africa, golf tournament sponsored by the children’s fund

named in his honor. Mandela’s health was failing as the second annual tournament neared, and before Van de Walt took to the course on December 11, the man called “the world’s most famous political prisoner” had passed. For Bobbie-Jo she never had a harbinger that she, a 2000 Sulphur graduate, would be in South Africa in the midst of such a solemn

and sad period. As for her husband, Dawie was looking to make a huge rebound from a year that had seen him win his first European tour victory, but the propitious beginning and his play had slid downhill as a result of an injury. This tournament, however, held special importance to him in the wake of Mandela’s death. This tournament would be PAGE 5

different. Bobbie-Jo could see the focus in Dawie’s eyes and hear the conviction in his accented voice. She relayed her husband’s determination to writer and author Michael Vlismas commenting that the tournament “would be special for him to win it” and he “kept telling me how much he wanted to do it.” Dawie, just one of 156 competitors in the tournament, climb the leaderboard and entered the final

round tied for second. When he sAnk an eagle on 12, Bobbie-Jo, who had been watching from a nearby condo knew something special was occurring. “I thought to myself we have to get there!” she recalls thinking. “He is gonna win!” She hurriedly rounded up Allie, snatched up her purse and bolted out to the street to a waiting shuttle car. Donning a customary Easter-blue shirt during the final

Welcome Chester Rogers! Chester Rogers, married to Cindy Hardin-Rogers, Administrative Assistant II at McNeese State University, is the last of twelve siblings. He grew up in Lake Charles and graduated from La Grange High school in 1967. Hard work, sacrifice, and dedication were instilled traits from an early age. Mr. Rogers has led a successful professional life that symbolizes his family’s ingrained determination.

round coupled with a commemorative black ribbon on his cap Dawie finished the 18th hole 15-under par, two shots ahead of Matthew Baldwin; Bobbie-Jo and Allie looked on. “It was special to win the Nelson Mandela and walk of the green and kiss my wife and hold Allie,” reflected Van der Walt of his second European Tour victory. And with the win Dawie was given a rare, signed piece of art from the famed, former anti-apartheid leader. Additionally, he was able to raise what rated as the

most unique trophy in all of golf: a carved statuette of an elderly man of color, dark skin with salt-colored hair. Bobbie-Jo, while sitting in Mr. Teal’s civic class, never imagined herself holding a trophy that had been, at one time, an 80th birthday present to Nelson Mandela.

Follow Dawie’s Tounaments at

The former steer wrestler isn’t afraid to tackle imposing obstacles. Recently, when a hurricane devastated his family business Mr. Rogers refused to submit to the enormous strain, but rather this husband and father of two steeled his determination and went about re-building an entirely new company from the ground up. Additionally, Mr. Rogers proudly states that he dedicates his time to improving the lives of disadvantaged children through his committed volunteering with the Kiwanis Club of South Lake Charles. Mr. Rogers brings to The Voice over a dozen years of productive experience and dedicated service. Prior to joining our staff this energetic and sincere Lake Charles native contributed to the fantastic success at both the Thrifty Nickel and The Lagniappe. The Voice of Southwest Louisiana, therefore, would like to extend a rousing ovation and the warmest of welcomes to our newest addition, Mr. Chester D. Rogers.

Contact Chester for your advertising needs at 337-215-0547


July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

JD Bank Insurance...Helping you find the right policy JD Bank is a community bank that truly relates to the needs of our customers. After all, we live here too, and we’ve been helping the region grow for more than 66 years. We’re familiar faces who listen to

all the specific needs and responsibilities in your daily life, and help you adjust accordingly. Through a wide range of services, we offer Our genuine personal and you and your loved ones peace of business banking will assist you in mind—past, present and future. managing all that you’ve worked for. Our knowledgeable financial consultants can advise you on investments toward achieving your goals for the years to come. When it’s time to purchase, build or remodel your dream home, our JD Gets Me mortgage specialists will help find you a loan with outstanding rates and flexible terms. And offering more than 50 years of combined experience, JD Bank Insurance will help find just the right policy to protect you day-to-day. JD Bank has an ongoing com-

mitment to adopting best policies and the latest updates in convenient technology. This has allowed us to grow right along with the community, including two new Lake Charles additions in Morganfield and Big Lake.

Contact us today at 800-789-5159 or visit us at to learn more about how JD Bank can make your life just a bit easier. Member FDIC.

Now Hiring CDL Drivers!

We are now accepting applications for Class A and Class B Drivers • Health Insurance • Paid Vacation • Retirement

INSURANCE YOU CAN BANK ON Our team of insurance professionals has over 50 years of combined experience. Contact us today to speak with someone who understands you and will work to find the best policy for your specific needs. We’ve always been able to help you plan for life’s big events. Now, we can also help prepare you for the unexpected.

Call 494-6900 to apply.

HOME | AUTO | LIFE | HEALTH | COMMERCIAL 1.800.789.5159 | Not a deposit. Not FDIC insured. Not insured by any federal government agency. Not guaranteed by “The Bank.” May go down in value. The insurance company not “The Bank,” is underwriting the insurance product.

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12 13JDB052_VoiceSWLA.indd 1

5/19/14 1:46 PM


My Senior MOMENT

By Joyce R. Kebodeaux

Driving south on Lake Street one might look at the well-kept soccer and softball fields, along with the covered basketball courts, and think how wonderful it is to have such a place for youngsters to get together and do physical activities. Besides these sports arenas, there are outdoor picnic tables and a dog park where folks can visit while their dogs run and enjoy the outdoors. The Enos Derbonne Sports Complex is one of Ward 3’s recreation centers. It is used by the youth, of course, but everyday people of all ages come in to take advantage of the facility. Much of the activity going on here is enjoyed by senior citizens. Beth Rist, Facility Manager has a degree in Health and Physical Education. She works to keep all age groups fit. Occasionally, other activities such as bingo or crafts are held here. However, Beth’s main

focus is to give all who come here the opportunity to enhance their quality of life through health, fitness and recreation. Membership is free to the public. A tax recently passed which will promote future complex growth. Beth says, “Adding an indoor walking track and exercise machines will benefit more patrons.” Year round the senior generation enjoys playing Bean Bag Baseball on Fridays. It is here that they practice and keep in shape for the Senior Olympic Games held every spring. Friendships made here extend outside the large gym. Some

seniors come early in the morning to walk. There are other free activities such as badminton, bingo, bolo/ ladder golf, shuffleboard and pingpong. Additional games are available on request. And there is always free coffee and conversation. Once or twice a year there is a Free Senior Citizen Bingo Luncheon. There are prizes and a meal. Occasionally there are free craft lessons, too. Each month a new calendar of events is listed. Seniors are invited to participate at their individual ability levels. There is no cost to use the weight room or the machines. There are some classes

reation, and Albert Landry Jr. the program director. They do everything possible to procure the equipment needed to make the complex operate smoothly. Beth, a petite soft-spoken woman, has a smile for everyone. Her office door is always open to those with questions or challenges. She is approachable and communicates well with the instructors, staff and visitors. Her assistant, Sean O’Hara, is also very helpful and informative about the complex. I was quite impressed by the large clean atmosphere and the people I met here. It is good to know

Senior chair aerobics at Enos Darbonne Sports Complex

Sean O’Hara and Beth Rist, Facility Manager PAGE 8

which cost $1.00 a session. These include chair aerobics, Zumba, cardio Pilates and yoga. Beth has been at the Enos Darbonne Complex since 2006 and loves her job. She says she could not get her work done without the help and cooperation of Kip Texada, the executive director of Ward 3 rec-

that senior citizens have places like Enos Derbonne to help them stay busy, healthy, active and independent. With so many on fixed income, the free or low cost programs available here, makes it easier to not only stay on budget, but to enjoy life, too. July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

Wounded Warrior s

by Cecely Clark

The local Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team played ball against an all-star team containing the likes of Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, and Olympian Jennie Finch, in the event titled Battle on the Bayou II which was held at McMurry Park in Sulphur on June 20-21. While it’s exciting to host a nationally recognized team containing these and other wellknown all-stars, the community seemed equally eager to honor the sacrifice of the veterans who played against them. This event is a great opportunity for local citizens to gather to celebrate what our country has defended, and what our servicemen and women have been willing to give up in order to live by their principles. A variety of activities were showcased: the game, a parade of veterans, and a silent auction in which local handicrafts or all-star memorabilia was bid on in order to raise money for the cause.

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

Karen Lambert, an administrator at the Calcasieu-Cameron Hospital and a major organizer of this event, has had time to get to know these great men. She told me that some of them served in Iraq, others in Afghanistan, or even Vietnam. Some have been key players in protecting our nation from acts of terrorism. For many of them, their injuries occurred when they themselves or their vehicles came in contact with IEDs, or roadside bombs. It’s devastating to the soldier to have his mission aborted prematurely, to have to re-learn basic tasks for daily living, but many of these guys had a concern that reveals the spunk and indomitable spirit of the true warrior... If you were seriously injured, what do you think is the first question that would go through your mind? Can I go back to work? Will I be able to play with my kids? You might be surprised what you would actually think if you really faced such a situ-

ation. Perhaps first of all, your mind would cling to the things that charge your batteries, those past times that make you really feel alive. In fact, this is the case with most of the wounded warriors. For most of these guys, as soon as they realized the extent of their injuries, the first thought that came to mind was, “will I ever be able to play ball again?” That’s why this event, and the work of the All-Star team, is so crucial. It turns out that the answer to those guys’ first crucial question is an emphatic yes. You don’t have to give up your dreams because you are seriously injured. You can live to engage another battle, and life continues to be rich with meaning. That’s why the warriors play ball, and that’s why the All-Stars pit their talents against them. In fact, the All-Star

team travels all over the country doing this, and they have been featured on NBC Nightly News for their efforts in encouraging those who have been injured. There has even been an associated kids’ camp that reaches out to disabled children as young as age two. Battle on the Bayou II was a big success because it showcased the compassionate mission of the All-Star team, the unconquerable spirit of the veterans, as well as the generosity of the entire community. This is a generous community, and we revere those who have been a part of the Service. Many of us have lost loved ones, and times like this give us a measure of grace and peace as we move forward in life. Said Karen Lambert, “it’s a great story that is playing out every weekend. We are just so glad that the All-Stars saw fit to come here.”




By Linda W. Hurst, Ed.D. Did you ever enter a library or a mega-bookstore and wonder in amazement about all of the books on the shelves? Who wrote these thousands of books? Where did these authors learn to write? How long did it take them to publish a book? As an author, I know that writing a book, whether it is a thirty-two page picture book or a four-hundred page suspense novel, takes more than a keyboard and a vivid imagination.


Growing Writers in the Classrooms

It requires more than talent, also. Becoming an author entails skill, craft and a lot of dedication and hard work. Someone once summed it up with, “writing a book is ten-percent inspiration and ninety-percent perspiration.” It also requires the help of others. The universal truth is that most authors can trace their knowledge back to a teacher who not only inspired them, but taught them basic writing skills. Whether their books are on the New York Times Best Seller list or in the Scholastic Book Fair, all authors have teachers to thank for helping them to hone their skills as well as giving them the courage to write in the first place. To acknowledge every teacher that has played an important role in the creation of a writer would be impossible. In honor of this “Backto-School” issue, I extended an invitation to several of my former McNeese students to share with our community their thoughts and experiences about teaching writing to children. This article details the results of this discussion. Each of the

past year, Tara taught Kindergarten at Hamilton Christian Academy while continuing her education at McNeese. When asked about her life as a writer, Tara said, “I started wanting to write several years ago, but was unsure of what genre or age group I wanted to spotlight. Then I had my youngest son and realized I wanted to write specifically for children. I love seeing the world through a child’s perspective and that has spurred me to write and create stories I believe would spark a child’s imagination. Teaching has allowed me to see firsthand what children do and do not like and how they respond to different types of stories. It has allowed me to focus on not just the creation of a story, but on what children can learn from the story itself. In the next five years, I see myself continuing to teach Kindergarten at HCA and developing, writing and publishing sevwas born over- eral children’s books.” seas in Ahwaz, Iran, but grew up in Odessa, Texas. She is married and is has two sons. Tara will graduate from another writing superstar. Born and McNeese in the spring of 2015. This raised in Louisiana, Ashbrooke grew

following teachers utilizes their expertise to ensure that their students learn both the craft of writing and, more importantly, the joy of writing. Becoming a skilled writer benefits a student in every subject area and in every walk of life. In truth, writing is not an easy craft to learn; it is even more difficult to teach—and teach well. However, teachers who model writing for their students usually produce students who write competently. Such are the teachers featured in this article: each one has mastered this fine art, demonstrated their proficiency by authoring a book, and are producing students who are writers. I consider Tara Pena, Ashbrooke Hogan, Jason McGee and Amanda Ray Warren to be superstar writing teachers. I am proud of their success and anticipate even brighter futures. Here are their stories:

Tara Pena

Ashbrooke Hogan

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

tle. She made reading fun by putting so much emotion into the characters as she read. I tried to do the same with my children when they were small….I hope one day they will enjoy reading to their children just as much.” Amanda graduated from McNeese in 2009 with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She currently teaches first grade at South Beauregard Elementary in Longville, Louisiana. “Teaching ELA (English/ Language Arts) is my favorite. When I read to my students, I try to evoke as much emotion as my mother once did in me. When the story brings a tear to their eye, or a bout of laughter, I feel I have reached their hearts, and they will not soon forget the sto-

In retrospect, I have as much pride in the accomplishments of these four teachers as their parents, for as their university teacher, I played a small part in helping them to become writing superstars. Teaching can be a thankless job, one that is filled with stress, frustration and often low pay. However, for those of us who have chosen this profession, there are also priceless rewards. Here are some of mine: Tara writes, “When I took Dr. Hurst’s language arts class, it was the first experience I had of writing a complete book. For many years, I had lots of ideas written in a journal, but was too nervous to actually try and write a story. This class gave

in California; however, his family hails from Louisiana. He grew up and attended school in Iowa, Louisiana. In 2008, Jason graduated high school with Magna Cum Laude honors. From there he went on to attend McNeese State University where he graduated in 2012. He is currently beginning his third year of teaching at Brenda H. Hunter Head Start in Lake Charles. Jason states, “I have always loved writing children’s picture/ story books. When I am writing, I love to rhyme much like Dr. Seuss did in his stories. I believe rhyming helps tremendously with students ries they heard in my class. learning to read.” “Although I love to read to my students, my favorite thing about teaching ELA is writing. I love to see my first graders get their thoughts was born in Nuremon paper. At the end of each school berg, Germany in 1975. Her dad, year, I read aloud my book, When Clarence L. Ray, is retired from the Summer Comes. They are amazed United States Army, where he served to discover that their teacher is the twenty years. Amanda credits her author of the book. I then tell them mom and grandmother, whom she how I wrote the book when I was in describes as being very adventurcollege and had it published through ous, with instilling in her a love for an online publisher. I have seen this literacy. “My mom…always read to gesture inspire little first graders to us when my siblings and I were litwrite stories a few pages long!”

me the courage and spark I needed to write and that is how I came to complete my second book, the first one being in Dr. Hurst’s class. It also ushered me out of my comfort zone and helped me embark on a fantastic journey of creativity and creation, not only of children’s books but creating fun and exciting lessons that I have been able to use in my classroom!” Ashbrooke declares, “Art and writing have always been outlets for my creative energy, but it wasn’t until I took a class at McNeese with Dr.

up in Sulphur and New Orleans. She is currently a special education teacher at College Oaks Elementary in an early childhood autism classroom. Ashbrooke is also in graduate school at Northwestern University, working towards a master’s degree in Special Education. When asked to describe her writing history, Ashbrooke replied, “At a very young age, my grandparents introduced me to theatre, music and the arts, and inspired my love for learning and reading. My grandmother, Colleen Hogan, was a Theatre and English professor at McNeese while I was growing up. Some of my first spoken phrases and words read were lines from Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line and My Fair Lady. As a child I wrote, directed and starred in various productions in my grandparents’ living room with neighborhood friends.”

Hurst that I began to explore the idea of becoming a writer for children. The book I wrote and illustrated in her class, A Horse of a Different Color, was inspired by the SOAR project and by my younger sister with special needs. I wanted everyone to see Blaze, the main character, the same way I saw him. I wanted them to look beyond his differences on the outside, and experience the beautiful light within him. “The knowledge and skills I learned about writing children’s books in Dr. Hurst’s class not only had a positive effect on me as a teacher, but they continue to fuel my work daily inside and outside of my classroom. Writing for children helps me to connect to the students I teach,

Jason McGee was born

Amanda Ray Warren

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

and it motivates them to create their own stories as well. This past year I wrote and illustrated five short stories with my students that were relevant to them and appropriate for their level. “Communication skills are extremely important in my classroom. My students with Autism do not speak in the way that many of us do, but they have something to say and it’s worth hearing. With my guidance and modeling, they are building foundations to become writers PAGE 11

by creating stories through pictures and simple words. It has truly been a blessing to connect my passion for working with special needs children and my passion for writing. I am grateful for every teacher I have ever had, as well as my students who teach me as much as I teach them.” Jason shares, “When I was in Dr. Hurst’s class, we were able to create a children’s book for an assignment. I created a story about a monster and his sister celebrating his birthday.

I have read it to several people and to several different classrooms of all ages. They always seem to love it! In five years, I would love to see the story I wrote in my college class—along with the other stories I have since written that are in this story’s series— published into books that I could share so everyone may enjoy!” Amanda adds, “I am so thankful I was part of Dr. Hurst’s ELA Methods class at McNeese. Without her enthusiasm and know-how, I’d never have

realized the joy of writing my own book. I have since written another children’s book, Five Little Chickens. My brother, Jason Ray, illustrated it, though I’ve not yet attempted to have it published. I also wrote a short story in a photo book chronicling my parents’ forty years together and gave it to them as an anniversary gift. My students often tell me wildly imaginative stories and thoughtful personal accounts, and I always tell them they should write it down. That way, they’ll never forget it. One day they can look back and read just what they were thinking when they were six years old. I think writing does more for a memory than even a photograph. I strive to get my students to agree. Not long ago, a former student, now a fourth grader, came up to me and asked, ‘Do you remember when I wrote that story, Twenty Cats?’ Five years from now, I expect I’ll run into her again, and she’ll ask me the very same question. And, I’ll answer the same way. ‘I’ll never forget it.’”

All four of these teachers are not only dedicated to teaching writing to their students, but they are setting the example for them. It gives me great pleasure to know that I may have played a small part in inspiring them to become writers themselves. Teachers do make the difference. As I anticipate retiring from years of teaching, I am also looking forward to seeing the fruits of my labor multiply into an army of writing teachers who will continue to make a difference in the lives of the children in their care. Most of all, I look forward to one day walking into a huge bookstore and seeing my students’ books—and their students’ books—displayed proudly on those shelves, next to mine of course! So the next time you pick up a book to read or sit down at the keyboard to write an e-mail, think of the teachers in your past who have influenced your life. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to jot them a thank-you note. After all, they deserve it.



SPEEDY SERVICE WITH A SMILE 6am to 6pm, M-F • 730am to 230pm, Sat

1217 Mill St. (one block off enterprise blvd) • Lake Charles, PAGE 12

Brock Services, LLC 3747 South Beglis Parkway Sulphur, Louisiana 70665 337-583-2901 July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

Being part of the college planning process can be very educational for children, as it presents them with valuable financial lessons for the future. Children can earn money, learn about sources of financial aid, research potential colleges, and take other steps that may relieve their parents of some of the responsibility of college planning.


Most children don’t make plans for their higher education until they are well into high school, but the foundation for saving and planning for college can take place much earlier. Many financial experts believe the best time to introduce children to college planning is when they are in the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. During this time, you may want to initiate discussions about college and explain the importance of developing good study habits and getting involved in extracurricular activities -- to instill the idea that your family supports higher education. You may also want to encourage your children to begin thinking about the career they would like to pursue, which is likely to influence their choice of college, as well as to establish a savings account that could be earmarked for education expenses. In addition, you can teach basic lessons about compounding, investing, and other money management issues.


By the time they reach high school, Many students are mature enough to plan for college at a deeper level, including the following. Learning about college costs -Students may gain a deeper appreciJuly 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

ation of their family’s financial sacrifices when they realize how expensive college is. They can learn about college costs from a number of sources, including the College Board and the U.S. Department of Education. RESEARCHNG SCHOLARSHIPS -There are numerous Web sites with information about sources of financial aid. For example, Fastweb and FinAid contain search engines with data about thousands of scholarships with varying eligibility criteria. In addition, The Federal Student Aid site provides an overview of federal student aid programs. Also, local libraries and high school guidance offices may have information about state-sponsored aid programs and scholarships sponsored by local organizations. EARNING MONEY -- High school students can set aside a portion of their wages from part-time or summer jobs for higher education expenses. Also, students may be able to obtain jobs that build on career interests as a way of solidifying their future plans. GETTING ORGANIZED -- College planning encompasses numerous details, including visiting institutions that a student may want to attend, applying for financial aid, obtaining transcripts and letters of recommendation, and meeting deadlines. A high school student can take responsibility for making sure that important matters are tended to ahead of time. For example, if a student has a school vacation coming up, he or she could help organize a family trip to visit colleges of interest or spend some time completing college applications. You and your prospective student

may be able to think of more ideas that could add value to your family’s efforts to save for a college education. Getting your budding scholar involved in the process -- financially and otherwise -- could ultimately be a pivotal lesson in responsibility that impacts his or her later success in life. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of

such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. © 2013 S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications. All rights reserved.

Trina Duhon Financial Consultant Duhon Wealth Management, LLC 122 Williamsburg Lake Charles, LA 70605 Office: 337.477.4647 Cell: 832.725.1601 Fax: 888.990.8301


Put Health Care at the Top of Your Child’s Back to School List

By Beth Savoie, CPNP Summer is fun and relaxing! Families look forward to vacations, playing outside, and sleeping in. Not a time for books and homework. But, after July 1st, the Children’s Clinic of SWLA starts thinking Back to School. Immunizations have to be up to date. Papers have to be filled out. Each year there seems to be an extra form required for kids to attend school, especially if they have a chronic illness or special needs. During the month of July and August the patient services office at the Children’s Clinic fills out hundreds of forms for patients. Health care is as much a part of back to school as pens and paper. So, what can parents do to make getting ready easier? The most important thing a parent can do is DON’T WAIT! For the new school year forms can be dated any time after July 1st. Many times children are current on what they need and it’s just a matter of getting the right forms. If your child is not


up to date, calling early helps avoid missing deadlines, school, and work. Summer appointment times are usually more flexible. Be proactive. If you aren’t sure if your child needs any labwork or immunizations, call your PCP. You don’t have to wait for the school to tell you. Get paperwork from the schools. Not all medical offices have copies or know exactly what form your child needs. Know your child’s diagnoses, medications—including doses—and drug allergies. If there are any special diets or activity limitations, have this information with you. We keep chart records, but they aren’t always up to date, especially if your child sees specialists. It takes more time to fill out the forms if we have to research the information. Keep a copy of the forms for the next year. Medication must be labeled for school with a current date. Also, the school form and the label on your child’s medication have to match exactly, dosing, directions, etc. If a medication is still good from the year before, talk to your PCP and pharmacy about getting a new label if possible so you don’t have to waste medication. Check forms for accuracy before you leave the office. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For Headstart and PreK—The parish where your child will attend

will send forms and information regarding what is needed. Requirements vary from parish to parish, so bring these to your visit with your PCP. After a laid back summer schedule, staring back to school can be hard. Kids aren’t going to jump up the first day of school and be ready. For first time attenders, it can be a stressful time for children and parents. There are a few things families can do to minimize fears and transitional problems: Start the school routine at least a week before school starts—this includes bedtimes and morning routines. Make the drive to the school before they have to go. We teach young kids about stranger danger then send them to school full of new people. It’s no

wonder they are afraid. Take advantage of “meet-and-greet” to introduce children to teachers and staff. Starting middle and high school can be as stressful as the first day of school. Kids have new responsibilities –changing classes, different teachers, lockers, going up and down stairs. Let older children go to meetings offered for middle and high school. Talk about school in a positive way. It may take a week or two to settle into a school routine. Be patient, but also set boundaries and rules. Be consistent. Preparing for back to school is more than just buying new clothes and school supplies. Your child’s health care should be top on the list. School is coming whether kids want it to or not—don’t wait until the first day to get them ready.

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

“One Vision, One Village, One Mission, One Grambling”


Melissa Bickham, President of Grambling University National Alumni Association, GUNAA, visited the Ray D. Molo Alumni Chapter of GUNAA at the SWLA Center for Health Services 2000 in Lake Charles, LA. recently. She assumed the presidency of the Grambling University National Alumni Association January 2013 with the platform theme: “One Vision, One Village, One Mission, One Grambling!”

With nearly 20 years of professional experience in delivery and design of information technology training; customer relations; and project management, Ms. Bickham says, “Social media is vital to achieving the tasks set before the Alumni”. Her goal as National President is to promote unity and bridge the gap between Grambling State University alumni, faculty, students, key stakeholders and friends

to yield a stronger Grambling. Her areas of focus include, but are not limited to: recruiting students to Grambling; increasing scholarship opportunities for current and prospective students and building membership within GUNAA. Ms. Bickham holds a true love for and commitment to her alma mater and so does the members of the Ray D. Molo Alumni Chapter, as evidenced by their many years of active participation in GU-

NAA. A.G. Jackson and Bobbie Williams, President and Vice President of this local chapter are actively involved in completing this year’s annual events. They are now preparing for the upcoming year of activities. They anticipate much success at the upcoming Annual National Convention that is scheduled for Shreveport. Williams says, “I am always impressed with the welcoming atmosphere at Grambling and the family oriented environment. It is not fast paced but is friendly to visitors, helpful to one another and teachers still provide one-on-one care”. With urgency she said, “We must get this information out now as families are searching for their school of choice”. Ken and Glenda Gay, alums and members of The Church of Christ on Mill Street were pleased to have the chapter worship with them to enjoy faith, friends and fellowship. Visit or for more information.

Ahhh! Sophisticated sinus treatment, right under your nose. Ear, nose and throat specialists on the medical staff at Surgicare of Lake Charles have been treating diseases of the head, neck, throat, ears and nose for over 30 years. They use a wide array of procedures and techniques to explore, repair and provide effective relief of breathing and sinus issues, including Balloon Sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that can dramatically improve breathing yet is safe enough to treat children. Don’t wait any longer to breathe easier. For a physician referral or more information, call 337-436-6941 or visit

2100 Lake Street July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12 77812_WCH_Surgicare_10x5_5c.indd 1

PAGE 15 6/4/14 8:56 AM

By Joyce R. Kebodeaux As July 2014 begins, Americans everywhere are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day. Citizens have many different traditions, ceremonies and events that reflect their freedom to celebrate and live as they choose. Friends and families are grilling outdoors, enjoying fireworks displays and parades. Others are hanging out at pools and beaches or racing their boats over the water ways. To one Lake Charles family the July 4th of July celebrations are most poignant, especially to the


patriarch Steve Pekar. Freedom as most Americans know it was not always the case for Steve who was named Istvan Pekar at birth. Growing up in Biscke Hungary, his early years were filled with oppression, persecution and tragedy. At eight years old the people in his village were forced to go underground to escape the communists. Steve’s mother, holding his 18-month old brother, was ordered by the Russian Soldiers to come out from the hiding place. When she didn’t obey their command, a grenade was thrown at her feet engulf-

ing her and the baby in flames. After seeing this Steve was left to live with his relatives. While he attended school he worked on farms to put food on the table. At 15 he finished trade school and went to work in the coalmines, becoming a supervisor at age 16. He and the other Hungarian people worked hard but the Russians were in control of everything they did. At age 18, when the Revolution began he left his job. Hungarian Premier, Janos Kadar, brought in tanks and planes to stop the rebellion. Steve led a group of 25 men and put

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

up a good fight, but they were badly out-numbered and didn’t have the proper equipment to fight the enemy. Unable to liberate their people he and three friends returned home. That’s when he learned he was a wanted man. Fearing either death or imprisonment the four made a break for the Austrian Border. The first night on the run he spent in Hungary close to the border. Lying on some frozen corn-fodder he thought he would freeze to death. He saw others who were trying to escape get shot by the border guards. Narrowly escaping the same fate, he and his counterparts needled their way through a mine field into Austria and on to Vienna. Steve was moved around in many refugee stations before he arrived at Camp Kilmer, N.J Always being an outdoor type person, Steve found himself bored and miserable in those closed-in camps. When Rev. Theo Hassink, director of the resettlement Bureau of the Diocese of Lafayette, asked for volunteers to come to Lake Charles, La. Steve

“When we left our

village there were over 20 of us making our way through the frozen minefields. Only five of us made it to Austria. By then we were almost frozen. The International Red Cross people were so nice to us. They took us inside and gave us hot chocolate.” July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

stepped up. The only English words he spoke when he came here were yes, no, ma’am and sir. Grateful to be taken in by this country and especially to the Red Cross for their assistance in his travels, he went to donate blood. When he was tested at the donation station he was told, “You need your blood more than we do.” Next he tried to sign up for military duty. Because of his poor English, he wasn’t accepted. Before he learned to speak English he met McNeese Student Marilyn Robert who was a volunteer at the church he attended. He knew she was the only girl for him and he wasted no time in proposing marriage. She said no. Determined to break the language barrier he immediately got himself an English-Hungarian dictionary. There was something about this handsome young stranger Marilyn couldn’t get off her mind. But it wasn’t until they had both finished their schooling and settled down in their jobs that she gave his proposal a second thought. Steve attended Sowela Tech and became an electrician and Marilyn earned her degree in early childhood education. They were married soon after that and made their home in Lake Charles, La, and on July 6, 1962 Steve Pekar became an American Citizen. Marilyn and Steve raised their three sons in Southwest La. Steven Pekar Jr. and wife Tina with 6 year old Zsofia Rose lives in Lafayette, La. Chris Pekar and step-son Justin Carrier lives in Sulphur, La. Macky and wife Kristy lives in Lake Charles with their two children, Anthony and Claire Atherton, and Mikey, their 7 year old brindle Boxer, barks out, “Hey, I’m part of this family too”. Steve continued to participate

in American Red Cross activities, Tuberculosis Association, Lake Charles Recreation Commission, and the Methodist Church. He also was a volunteer of the Golden Age Club, played soccer since he was very young and helped start the soccer games in Lake Charles. The couple enjoys fishing, ping pong, watching sports, volunteer work, and beanbag baseball. They participate in the Senior Olympics at McNeese and Marilyn enjoys playing Mexican Train and card

games. Steve, Marilyn and their family will celebrate the freedoms and liberties of the 4th of July and reflect on the many blessings in their lives, past, present and future.

Jon Wright Manager

1111 Hwy. 14 Lake Charles, La Phone: 337-437-3900 Fax: 337-439-1009

Get $70 Via Mastercard® Reward Card

Get Up To A $70 Cooper Tires Prepaid Card

Wheel Alignment Special Present Coupon & Save $10 on wheel alignment service or $20 on wheel alignment with purchase of 4 tires (Not to be combines with like offers)

Rod Landry Manager

4851 Lake St. Lake Charles, La Phone: 337-474-1240 Fax: 337-474-1256


Cameron Parish, Louisiana’s Outback A Unique Field Trip Close to Home

For something truly unique to do this summer while the children are home, take a day trip to explore Cameron Parish. To obtain maps and brochures, visit or online, or the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau located at 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles in person. Cameron Parish, the heel of the boot formed by the state of Louisiana, is the southwestern most part in the state with the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Texas to the west. Covering the largest area of any parish with a total of 1,932 square miles-- 1,313 square miles of land and 619 square miles of water-- Cameron Parish has the second smallest population with only 6,839 people in the 2010 census. Lake Charles is the hub that supplies conveniences to the outlying towns and communities of the diverse region of coastal prairies, marshes, and cheniers. Cheniers, derived from the

muscadine grapes, dewberries and blackberries grew in abundance. During the 17th and 18th centuries, they land between the Sabine and the Calcasieu Rivers known as the Neutral Strip was devoid of law enforcement. Therefore, this territory between the rivers became home to runaway slaves, outlaws, pirates, and other characters who sought to avoid the restrictions of government for many years. Finally, the dispute between the United States and Mexico was resolved in 1819, and the boundary established at the Sabine River. Before Cameron Parish was organized in 1870, the continued to see skirmishes between Confederates and Northern supporters during the Civil War and Reconstruction. These local stories are fascinating reading for the student of Louisiana history. Whether you desire a leisurely trip in an air-conditioned vehicle for a planned itinerary of bird watching and a stroll down the walking trail

Cajun French word meaning oak, are the wooded beach ridges interspersed with mudflats that are a distinctive feature of the area. Cameron Parish provides opportunities for wildlife photography, birding, and nature walks with the possibility of seeing more than 400 species of birds such as egrets, herons, and various wading birds as well as gulls and terns that make their homes along the Gulf Coast in addition to the many species that migrate to the Wetlands each year. The area also supports twenty-eight species of mamPAGE 18

mals as diverse as nutria and deer, millions of monarch butterflies, thirty-five species of amphibians and reptiles, and 132 species of fish. Don’t forget the Louisiana oysters, crabs, and shrimp. Fishing and hunting licenses are required. Cameron Parish provides a chance to explore the fascinating geography of the coastal region with its unique Wetlands, cheniers, beaches, rivers and lakes, and the realization that the people and their history cannot be separated from the land where they live. It is a land of abundant natural resources: fertile soil, oil and gas reserves, a source of game and fish, fur-bearing animals, and cattle. Groves of oaks, walnut and pecan trees, wild plums,

along Lake Calcasieu after a visit to see the exhibits at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Visitors’ Center, or simply grab your sunscreen and fishing gear and go where the spirit moves you, make time to explore Cameron Parish, Louisiana’s Outback, this summer. July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12


Roach Law Building 2917 RYAN STREET 433-8504




Our new cardiology services are here for the hearts you love. At Lake Area Medical Center, we’re proud to welcome cardiology to our family of services, ranging from diagnostic procedures to stent placement and vascular care. With experienced, board-certified heart specialists on the medical staff, and the newest cardiac cath lab in the area, we’re working to make a real difference in people’s hearts … and lives. To learn more, visit or call 337-475-4130.

Miguel DePuy, M.D.

Richard Gilmore, M.D.

Thomas Mulhearn IV, M.D.

Michael Turner, M.D.

4200 Nelson Road • Lake Charles

Patient results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of any surgical procedure or treatment.

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12 76233_LAMC_Hearts_10x5_5c.indd 1

PAGE 19 5/22/14 8:14 AM

2014 by Trina Morgan

The Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana will hold its The 2-1-1 line, which is a human service information and fourth annual fundraiser Casino Royale at Treasures of referral system that operates under the Federal Communications Commission, is another branch of The Volunteer Marilyn’s on July 26 at 7 p.m. Center. Dialing 2-1-1 connects individuals with an operaThe event is modeled after a real casino and will have real tor who then provides the caller with referrals to service casino games; however, the money spent on chips will be providers for food, shelter, clothing, or other assistance. donated to The Volunteer Center. The purchase of your $50 entry ticket gets you $500 in poker chips to play at the Service Point, the third branch of the Volunteer Center, is a games, and you may purchase more chips at the event. Homeless Management/Client Management Information System implemented in There will also be an auction where items such as artwork and spa packages will be sold. July, 2005 for the communities of Southwest Louisiana. Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) / The Volunteer Center is a 501.c3 non-profit organization Client Management Information Systems (CMIS) are dawhich provides information services. There are three tabase systems intended to track recipients of benefits in branches of the organization: order to assess the number of persons receiving care, and to improve efficiency of services to those in need. The Hands On SWLA is a database containing information about volunteers and their talents. Individuals may call The goal for the fundraiser this year is $25, 000. To sponsor and offer services and be included in the database; those the event or to donate items for auction, please contact in need may call and request help. Executive Director Beverly McCormick at 337-513-4616.


July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

Young Entrepreneurs Academy

businesses over the course of a full academic year. YEA! began at he University of Rochester and the support by Rose Henny of The Kauffman Foundation to help students embrace their The southwest Louisiana passion, energy, creativity and Economic Development Alliance talent to become entrepreneurs. started the Young Entrepreneurs The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA! program last Academy participants compete at school year at the SEED Center local, regional and national levels. and Business Incubator on the Adrian Wallace the Executive McNeese Campus. The Young Director of the Seed Center BusiEntrepreneurs Academy, or YEA! ness Incubator stated that the program is for students in grades students do not have to have an six through twelve, providing idea to start the program, they guidance and support for the pro- will be encouraged to think about cess of starting and running real

Derick Abel Sales Manager

Blake Courville Sales

Jauneese Pitre Maverick Damolle Jared Farque Assistant Sales Mgr. Finance Manager Sales/Closer

Charles Jenkins Sales

what they might like to do as an entrepreneurs. The business will be one that can start from your home with little capital but by the end of the program students own and operate fully functioning businesses. The program demands one major thing: that is commitment. The program is a set of classes that will meet once a week in both large and small groups. Meetings will be held with guest lectures, web developers, attorneys and business mentors. Students will develop ideas, write business plans, pitch to potential investors, register

Ryan Abel Sales

with governmental agencies and much more. The businesses belong to the students and the skills learned in the program will make them better employees and employers.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is accepting applications for the upcoming school year, the deadline is August 1. The application can be found online at

Patrick Stroderd Terry Kuykendell Sales Sales

We Finance Your Future Not Your Past!

Jerry Jackson Sales

Reggie Braxton Sales

Todd Levoy Sales

2910 EAST NAPOLEON ST. • SULPHUR, LA • PHONE: (337) 625-8714 • FAX: (337) 625-5969 July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12


PEaceful Warriors by Abby Ecker Performance Evolution Gym is a state of the art fitness and sports training facility and is home to The PEaceful Warriors summer camp. The camp is made possible each summer by a non-profit organization founded by PE and is free for all kids ages 10-17. The Camp meets three afternoons per week for two hour sessions that are stocked full of mind and body enrichment activities. The focus is on physical health through training, powerful minds through positive lessons and spiritual health through connecting with others and being mindful of them. The encouragement is felt throughout the entire building.


Parents, instructors and thirty plus campers, all gather for the same goal; personal enrichment. The athletes who assist are incredibly supportive and encouraging to the kids. The atmosphere is one of enlightenment for kids to focus on mental and physical health that they will take into their everyday lives. Upon request, The PEaceful Warriors Program will visit

your school throughout Louisiana to teach anti—bullying demonstrations as well as the importance of positive living. The program is available and free to any church, community center, school or any interested organization. It has grown and will soon be relocated on Common Street. Details of the year round PEaceful Ninjas program, aimed at teens and preteens, are avail-

able. This positivity easily exuberates through these kids onto others. For more information contact Josh Quayhagan, Owner 337-304-8227 Performance Evolution Gym 309 17th St. Lake Charles, La. 70602

July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

by Mark Wayne Allen Have you ever wondered why bullies act the way they do? I have, but I still haven’t found the answer. My best response is bullies must have some kind of trouble in their lives that makes them behave the way they do. Some may possibly a bad home life. It is even possible that these bullies are the victims of bullying themselves. Regardless, they are lashing out. No matter what their reasons, there is no excuse for this behavior. Exactly what is a bully? The dictionary defines it as “a disagreeable person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.” In this sense, we have all experienced bullying sometime in our lifetime. The truth is no matter how big we are there is always someone bigger. Sadly, we ourselves may have been guilty of being a bully to others. A long time ago, a boy four grades above me constantly called me names and hit on me. This went on many months. It made me feel July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

nervous and fearful of that person. In retrospect, bullying also makes you feel like you are doing something wrong and it lowers your self-respect and your overall enjoyment of life. The Declaration of Independence has the phrase “All men are created equal”. In the entire history of humankind, there is no other statement, written or said, that has ever defined our country so well. As Americans, we all have a right to live in a free society and be able to live our lives in peace—without the negative influences of bullies. So then, what should we do about bullies? We have a duty, however hard it may be, to report them to the proper people. If you are a student, tell your teacher or principal, if you are an adult, tell your boss or the local police. Why? My friends, because I guarantee you that if you are having trouble with them, so are other people. We have a lawful right to live in peace. The Constitution gives us all the rights

and our responses to them we need for this purpose. Furthermore, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” We must all guard this right for ourselves and for others. Therefore, it is our responsibility as free citizens to stand up against bullies and declare to the world, “We’re not going to allow this to continue.” For the sake of ourselves,

and our posterity, we must take a strong stand. Bullying, in any form by anyone, will not be tolerated! Our future depends on us. Mark Wayne Allen is the author of the book Star Siege. He has attended La. Tech in computers and has a B.S in business from LSU #authormwa

Southern Tire Mart Billy Carnahan

Solutions Provider to the Transportation Industry

102 Dennis Ave. Sulphur, LA 70665 Email:

Office: 337-882-0777 Fax: 337-882-0216 PAGE 23

Dru Ellender Broker/Owner


Kerry Ellender 274-9073

Dana Turpin 485-0244

Anja Richard 274-2520

Haley Hebert 244-7397

Linda Breaux 884-2875

Kathy Gardner 499-4955

Kathy Ware 337-250-8085

Brian Bimle 802-5315

337-625-3150 Office 337-352-7161 Fax

3709 Maplewood Dr. Sulphur, LA Samantha Taylor 274-5338


Lauri Ellender 377-9831

JD Hankins 274-9892


242 S. PINE DR.


Rose Holland 794-0744


Bob Holland 540-3094


Rocky Keeley 540-2614

Claudette Morgan 532-8282 319 LAKE BREEZE

Angie Bascle 936-1632


Toni McKnight 263-8851


Clara Colvin 526-4814 PAGE 24

Dominick Valenti 884-2818

Rita Gobert 540-3705

Patricia Simmons 563-8347

Betty Jordan 794-4888

Tammy Arnold 309-9581

Delores Boudreaux 794-7142

Carolyn Guillory 912-5374


July 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 12

The Voice of SWLA July 2014  

Volume 1 Number 12 -Celebrating Independence Day -Sulphur's Connection to Nelson Mandela Golf Tournament -Teaching Your Kids To Save For Col...