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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

PUBLISHERS

Brenda Hill Tracy Clark

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Brenda Hill

GENERAL MANAGER Tracy Clark

LAYOUT/GRAPHICS Kyra Labrie

ADVERTISING SALES

Faye Drake Chester Rogers sales@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com

CONSULTANTS

AUGUST 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

3 The Voice of SWLA: Celebrating One Year 5 Building A Future in North Lake Charles 8 Mom On The Job: Dru Ellender 9 Paying It Forward 10 Chapman Rocks While She Refuses To 14 Arts & Crabs Festival 15 McNeese Football Schedule Get Ready For The Rush 17 Get On Up Movie Review 20 Fishing With A Hero 22 Local Eats: The Kitchen

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Gene R. Hill, Sr. Reginald Clark

PHOTOGRAPHY

Carl Hubert

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Joyce R. Kebodeaux Linda Hurst, Ed. D Bruce Sweatt Cecely Jason Trina Duhon K.G McDonough Trina Morgan LeNae Goolsby Lt. Nathan Keller Carl Louviere

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.

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The Voice of SWLA

brenda@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com • tracy@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


Celebrating One Year! by Cecely Jason Guess who is a year old? We are! It is hard to imagine that only twelve short months ago we were prayerfully launching this publication, still dreaming of what it would become, casting our vision, and working double time to get The Voice of SWLA off the ground. What a rich experience it has been. Now, we pause to savor this time of celebration of all that we have been privileged to do this past year as we represented this part of the state of Louisiana. God has put it on our hearts to provide this area with a publication that communicates our own local flavor, and He has generously blessed us with a wonderful support network. We sincerely want to thank all of our advertisers, who held our hands and helped introduce us to the community. During our first three months, we targeted five primary zip code areas and compiled pertinent demographic information about our readership. Our loyal readership continues to call or come by the office to inform us as to where to distribute more publications or to pick up more publications to give to their family, friends and loved ones. Now we have a greater reach, with effective saturation and distribution throughout Cameron, Creole, Johnson Bayou, Lake Charles, Sulphur, Mossville, Moss Bluff, DeRidder, DeQuincy, Kinder, Oakdale, Merryville, Vinton, Carlyss, Orange, Beaumont and even Houston, TX. Also includ-

ed among our readers are those in Iowa, Jennings, Crowley and Lafayette, Louisiana. We really appreciate Leonard’s, Steamboat Bill’s (on the lake), Elaine’s Print Shop, Lake City Trucking and GenSet for supporting us from the beginning as major advertisers. For this beautiful spirit of camaraderie, we are forever grateful and will always provide low cost, high quality, brightly-colored ads to all of our advertisers. We have learned that this community has a real appreciation for entrepreneurship. The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center Business Incubator and Kaufman Fasttrac are instrumental in planting and watering entrepreneurs like us. Today, as TEAM PUBLICATIONS LLC, publisher and distributor of The Voice of Southwest Louisian, LLC, we celebrate that union of support as a certified Minority Woman Owned Business Enterprise. We thank God for the increase! 2005 was a year plagued by a series of devastating hurricanes that preyed upon the people of the Gulf. Many of us had to evacuate, and even live somewhere other than this area for a while. However, as we met new people in other parts of the country, we noticed that when they heard that we were hurricane evacuees, they automatically assumed we were from New Orleans. But, of course, we were not. Our locale may not be as famous as New Orleans, but

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

we do have our own distinct identity, which is very different from that city. This experience inspired us to give birth to this publication because we wanted to highlight our unique identity. In doing so, we determined, quite literally, to let the voice of SWLA be heard. Our content focuses on local things, such as our very specific culture, dance, food, music, and art. This area has a warmth and a friendliness all its own, and it is our aim and our prayer to clearly communicate this feeling within the pages of our magazine. Brenda Hill, publisher and editor-in-chief, has always believed in the power of communication and in the ability of words to bless and enrich. She credits her ability, in part, to the training of her dear mother, the late Eula Mae McArthur, who was her high school class valedictorian, and who went on to raise her children to enunciate clearly and have proper dic-

tion. Brenda’s mom was a natural educator who scheduled a designated homework time for her kids. Although a variety of subjects was reviewed, the first and

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Brenda Hill, Editor-In-Chief

has a spirit of forthrightness, and is willing to put in long hours “on the ground” doing the very persistent kind of work that is the backbone of journalism. She has always loved writing, kept a personal journal, and dreamed big; but she also knows that things get accomplished in this world by the people who show up every day, get down to business, and get things done. That is Tracy, and The Voice of SWLA is indebted to her for her generous and her willingness to sacrifice time and effort. Her

foremost was the Bible, which was held in high regard as “the Book of Books”. Eula Mae also taught her children to investigate and to question, “who, what, when, where, why and how?” Answering these questions and listening with intention to comprehend, led to a deep understanding, she believed; and this is what she instilled in Brenda and her ten siblings. Brenda still believes that the power of Tracy Clark, life itself is in the tongue—in the General Manager words that we choose to use. Indeed, Brenda chooses her words carefully, and shapes what she down-to-earth sense of humor says, what she writes, and her very has also smoothed over many a life into something meaningful, rough patch. Regarding her work with careful attention to influence at The Voice, “It’s not us—it’s a and detail. God thing. We are fortunate to Tracy Clark, who serves as be His hands and feet in reaching general manager and publisher out to the community through at The Voice, works with a very the power of the written word. hands-on, diligent approach. She We have not only networking opportunities, but opportunities for service and outreach across socioeconomic lines. Our readership demographic is diverse, and it is just such a dream come true to work among them like this.” Tracy’s focus is “others-oriented”. The Voice of SWLA is blessed to have her. In the spirit of the Biblical hero Esther, we believe that we have seized this amazing opportunity and that we are here now, “for such a time as this”. Esther informed and unified her people at a crucial time in their his-

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tory. Like Esther, Southwest Louisiana is also facing a crucially significant time. The unity of our community, the cohesiveness of our culture and our inherent values, will become increasingly important as we welcome the economic boom that is coming our way. It is our desire that newcomers can pick up a copy of The Voice of SWLA, and quite efficiently become acquainted with our people and our locality. We want to provide that rich taste, that precise feel that lends understanding. We hope to continue to earn your readership, and that of myriad newcomers, as our community inevitably expands. We offer our sincerest thanks to all of you for spending precious moments of your day within our pages, and we look forward to serving you, our readership and our advertisers for many more years to come. Project10:Layout 1 4/9/12 11:28 AM Page 1

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August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


Building a Future in North Lake Charles by K. G. McDonough It takes people with extraordinary vision to transform an impoverished crime-ridden neighborhood into a desirable family-oriented community. Luvertha August serves as President of the Lake Charles City Counsel and vice-president of the Project Build a Future Board. Both of these community-oriented posts position her to make positive changes within her own neighborhood. Project Build a Future began around 2001 when Father Mancuso at Sacred Heart Church imagined something could be done to improve the vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and blight surrounding his parish. He asked Ms. August and others to participate on a Board of Directors for his envisioned program of creating new housing. ”We started with a donated lot and no funds,” says August. “It was a task for Fr. Mancuso and all of us on the Board; we had the drive and ambition and enthusiasm to make this mission a success, but we didn’t have experience. It took us a long time to build our first

Pictured L-R: Luvertha August, President of the Lake Charles City Counsel and Vice-President of the Project Build a Future Board, Rene Davis, Home Buyer Counselor and Nicole Miller, Executive Director of Project Build a Future. home.” The Board persevered. They sought out sponsors and donations. They met with the City of Lake Charles for support. Then Fr. Mancuso met Nicole Miller, who brought experience to the program. “[Miller] pulled the organization together to help us meet our goals,” says August. She knew how to write grants, she knew people to go to, and that set us on the road to know what to do. From there, we took off.” Nicole Miller, executive director of Project Build a Future, believes in the potential of this often-overlooked neighborhood. “North Lake Charles has a lot of opportunity that has been untapped,” she says.

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

“It has some beautiful features and waterfront property, for example Riverfront Park, but not enough people are aware of that beautiful riverfront access area. There are some nice historic homes in the neighborhood. It’s mostly a settled population of older folks. People have a negative opinion of it as being a place where there’s lots of crime or violence. In truth, it’s not. It’s a settled neighborhood of homeowners who try to beautify and improve the area. That’s what we’re trying to help them accomplish.” Miller realizes in order for Project Build a Future’s continued success, there must be collaboration between all parties involved. “We need partners of

all types; businesses, landowners, developers, and the citizens who live in that community to all be a part of the solution. We want it to be driven by the residents of the area, for them to see their neighborhood become what they envision it to be. This is a historic part of Lake Charles. It’s where Lake Charles began. To have all the resources come to the table to be a part of that effort I think is very important.” To date, Project Build a Future has provided nearly two dozen new homes to needy families. “People are so happy to move into these houses,” says August. “We receive gratitude from people who never dreamed they’d be home owners.” Renee Davis works as the home buyer counselor for Project Build a Future. She encourPAGE 5


House built by Project Build at Future on Cherry Street in Lake Charles

residents of the area, for them to see their neighborhood become what they envision it to be. This is a historic part of Lake Charles. It’s where Lake Charles began. To have all the resources come to the table to be a part of that effort I think is very important.” To date, Project Build a Future has provided nearly two dozen new homes to needy families. “People are so happy to move into these houses,” says August. “We receive gratitude from people who never dreamed they’d be home owners.” Renee Davis works as the home buyer counselor for Project Build a Future. She encourages potential home owners to apply for the program. Many qualifying buyers are intimidated by the process of obtaining a home. But Davis tells them that is a sign of fear and that’s not something that comes from God. She says, “If that’s your dream, shut that fear down and go for it! You prayed and you asked God for a home, so you move forward, and God will

do the rest. Everybody deserves to have a home. Don’t give up on yourself.” Thus far, the program has focused on the area between Broad St., Route 14/171, Bank St., and Railroad Ave., but they are looking to expand into other areas of Lake Charles. Project Build a Future not only benefits the home recipients, but the community as a whole. New homes bring renewed pride to a neighborhood and existing residents spruce up their own lawns and properties. The neighborhoods are also safer. August sought support from the local police who regular sweep the areas. “The program has made a tremendous difference. The empty lots are no longer there. We don’t have the broken window syndrome. We are confident that we are on the right track to make a great community.” For more information about this program, call 337-439-7191 or visit their office at 2306 3rd St.

Southern Tire Mart Billy Carnahan

Solutions Provider to the Transportation Industry

102 Dennis Ave. Sulphur, LA 70665 Email: bcarnahan@stmtires.com PAGE 6

Office: 337-882-0777 Fax: 337-882-0216 August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


By LeNae Goolsby, JD Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as having said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” I agree with Mrs. Roosevelt’s observation. Admittedly, at various points in my life I have fallen into each “size” of mind. I aspire, however, to remain in the space of a great mind, particularly as a woman in business. When women in business (in which I include women who are in the business of managing their home and families) are able to set aside their egos and insecurities, tap into their heart space, lift up, encourage, and empower other women, they are in their most inspiring state of grace, beauty and self-empowerment. One way I consciously choose to be “great-minded” and walk the path of grace, beauty, and self-empowerment, is to surround myself with other like-minded women. This practice, this daily conscious

choice, has actually paved the way for constructive business collaborations and a means by which to engage in creative financing that is mutually beneficial. For example, I have a beautiful, spacious office building, part of which was not being consistently used. I was blessed to have the ability and the opportunity to collaborate with an amazing like-minded woman, Nicole Shuff Arabie, Intuitive Soul Coach and Owner of Decluttering Your Soul. Nicole needed occasional use of a small office space in which to meet with her clients. The times that she meets with clients, after traditional working hours and weekends, are the times that Infinite Health is closed. In exchange for a small percentage of her monthly gross fees, I am able to provide Nicole the space she needs to meet with clients in a professional setting, as she needs it, and without her having to incur the expense of traditional monthly rent. Likewise, I am able

About the Author:

LeNae Goolsby, J.D.,

like so many women, wears many hats. She is a loving wife, blessed mother of Laura, Henry & Hayden, owner of www.WorthTheLove.com,Life Coach, Practice Administrator, Reiki Practitioner & Chief Collaborator for Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center, avid reader, occasional artist, and freelance writer. While originally from the heart of Tennessee, after graduating from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana, she and her family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana. She recently learned the Louisiana State motto is actually not “Let the good times August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

to increase our business exposure, as well as the profitability of that space, and we both benefit from having each other as a referral exchange partner. More recently, I desired to expand Infinite Health’s service offerings to include yoga, but did not have the desire to expand payroll, nor teach yoga myself. Because of the relationship I have with Nicole, a series of synchronistic events lined up and she introduced me to Miranda Fontenot, a Yoga Instructor and Owner of Yoga Y’all. Miranda has been teaching yoga for about two years, she has an existing clientele and a desire to be self-employed. What she needed was exactly what I had to offer…beautiful, peaceful space. Together, we created a partnership that allows me to offer yoga services on-site, with a discounted rate to our patients, generate some income off of what was previously non-income producing space, increasing our business exposure even more, while simul-

roll,” but is in fact, “Union, Justice, Confidence.” Email: LeNae.Goolsby@gmail.com Web: www.worththelove.wordpress.com www.yourinfinitehealthnow.com FB: WorthTheLove • Twitter: URWorthTheLove

Miranda Fontenot is

the Chief Yoga Instructor and Owner of Yoga Y’all. She has been practicing Yoga for seven years and teaching it for the past two years. Yoga, meaning “unity,” is her passion. “Y’all” stands for “You Are Loving Light.” Miranda is passionate about achieving and maintaining health through yoga practice and quality whole

taneously allowing Miranda to retain her independence, and build her own yoga business without incurring the overhead expense of a traditional lease, etc. Again, we both benefit from having each other as a referral exchange and cross-promotional partner. The arrangement is a “win-win.” If you are a woman in business seeking to expand, diversify or start something completely new, but you feel like you are restrained from doing so because of limited resources or missing components, think about what you do have to offer, what are your strengths? Now ask yourself, what do you need to complete your vision? Think about the wonderful women you know who may either have what you need or know someone who does. Ask, how can you create constructive collaborative partnerships with the women around you so everyone benefits, so everyone is able to step into their own state of grace, beauty and self-empowerment.

nutrition. For more information about her class times and fees go to www.clients.mindbodyonline.com or call Infinite Health at 337.312.8234.

Nicole Shuff Arabie

is an Intutive Soul Coach and Owner of Decluttering Your Soul. She is passionate about helping others find answers to their life questions, providing messages and healings to help them remember who they are and love as the joyful, powerful, wonderful spiritual human beings they are intended to be. FaceBook: DeclutteringYourSoul Email: narabie.declutteringyoursoul@yahoo.com

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By Joyce R. Kebodeaux In the month of May Mothers were honored just for being Mom, but it is interesting to imagine how it would be if mother was also the boss at work. On the flip side, how would a mother feel if one of her children was also one of her employees? In Sulphur, at Coldwell Banker Gallerie Realty, this scenario works quite well according to owner, Drusilla Beglis Ellender. Dru comes from a long line of hard working people. She and her husband Kerry have instilled those same values and work ethics in their children. While her office is welcoming and comfortable, it is the office manager, Lauri Flanagan, who keeps it organized

b o J e h t n o m o M and running smoothly. Lauri is a licensed Realtor but prefers to work in the office. She is also one of Dru’s daughters. Dru began her real estate career in 1990 by working and learning the business from other brokers. In 2008, she became the owner and broker of her own firm. She employs twenty-six Realtors, but her total staff numbers over thirty. Dru describes herself as someone who wants people around her that will take care of her when she is tense, stressed or overwhelmed. Because her employees are more like family than just workers, it’s easy to see why Dru takes care of them right

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back. Working as a group, they share their experiences and expertise by finding homes that fit their clients’ needs. Lauri is an organizer, a trait she apparently didn’t inherit from Mom, but the mix works well for them both. “Mom’s the boss, but I’m the bossy one,” she laughs. Lauri has a degree from LSU in Merchandising. Before her mother shamelessly recruited her into real estate, she was the manager of a wellknown retail store in the mall. When asked to describe how working for Mom different from working with an unrelated boss, she said, “With Mom It’s more meaningful. I like to help her. She’s my mother. I’m doing what I do for her, instead of for someone I hardly know.” She also occasionally enjoys getting out of the office to show a house just to help her mom, but admits she’d rather work on closing sales. Lauri’s husband, Kade, works part-time for Dru too. He puts up signs, works around the rental properties and does odd jobs around the office.

Left to Right: Dru Ellender, Lauri Flanagan, Emily Wyatt, Katie Brown

It is evident that Dru loves her work and wants her whole family to share that with her. Husband, Kerry, when not on his regular job, helps out in sales and honey-do’s. Diana Backhaus, Dru’s sister, was a teacher but now does their accounting full time, has her Realtor’s license and also works at H&R Block. The sisters share a laugh when Diana admits to mothering Dru. Daughter Katie Brown was in property management, but is now about to have girl #3. She is a stay at home mom, but still helps out when needed at the office. Sometimes when Dru goes home to relax, those who were not at the office that day want to “talk shop.” With so many family members, it’s not always easy to get away from work, but they do manage to have quality time together. Dru’s family and business are both growing. With nine granddaughters and one on the way, it is likely that in the future there will be more Mother and daughters working together at Coldwell Banker

WWW.DUCKFESTIVAL.ORG PAGE 8

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


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Paying it Forward By Trina Duhon As I look back over my life, I have always wanted to help people live better. I have made it my life’s practice to “pay it forward” whenever I have a chance. When I was a little girl, Daddy always told me, “Pay yourself first, you need to save for a rainy day.” I didn’t get the full gist of this advice then, but I did finally understand. As a Southern Mississippi alumni, I always wanted to live in a big city. I moved to Dallas when I graduated college and began to learn many of life’s lessons. Having to decipher my needs from my wants was a difficult challenge but was critical if I wanted to be independent. The mismanagement of my money could mean having to pack up and move back to Mississippi. Eventually, I moved to Houston where I fell in love, and got married. Eight years later, my husband Patrick and I relocated to Lake Charles. My career in banking and investments began over 15 years ago. I have been able to help clients understand the importance

For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Trina Duhon, Financial Consultant Duhon Wealth Management, 122 Williamsburg, Lake Charles, LA 70605, (337) 477- 4647.

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August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1 78905_LAMC_SC_4_4x11c.indd 1

of taking control of their financial future. From saving for retirement, saving for their kids’ education, building wealth, or even saving on taxes, there is nothing a person can’t do if he or she puts their mind to it. As parents, especially mothers, we understand the meaning of sacrifice and will do what we have to for our families. Adults also realize the importance of calling on an expert when needed. If a person gets sick, he goes to the doctor. If his car breaks down, he takes it to a mechanic. As a financial consultant, I urge people to bring their investment needs to me. I am the professional who can assist them with the planning of their financial future. I would be delighted to assist you or anyone you recommend with your 401 rollovers, retirement planning, or education savings.

7/22/14 9:43 AM


Chapman’s Rocks While She Refuses To by Bruce Sweat

It’s a beautiful peacock. Hidden amongst its s u r rou n d i ng s , the eye-spotted train of this elegant peafowl hangs fanning the ground. Its crested head is swiveled to the rear as its gleaming red eye watches all the browsing passersby admire its silver plumage. It is small yet appealing to the eye. It waits to be selected and taken home by a new owner. This emblem of immortality, however, can’t be seen at Zoosiana in Lafayette nor at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana. Instead, it can only be found here, in Lake Charles, tucked away into a quaint little antique shop nestled amongst the trees and flowers at 748 Bank Street. The owner of this sparkling peacock brooch is Thelma Chapman, a woman with as many lively stories as her cozy boutique of glass and collectables has gems. Her shop, Chapman’s Antiques and Collectables, opened in 1985, sixty-three years after its garrulous, whitehaired owner was born. Asked if she remembered the Great

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Depression the sprightly businesswoman replied that she and her family were penniless even before the depression struck; thus, when the market crashed on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the thenseveny e a r- o l d Thelma

d i d n’t recognize any additional changes in their way of life. Her life is as interesting as the goods she deals in. Walking through the small, white-painted shop one might have flashbacks to 1984 and an inventor named Randall Peltzer searching through a Chinatown market for a unique Christmas present for his son, Billy. While Mrs. Chapman doesn’t sell—or even house—small, furry Gremlins, she does have a wealth of other unique items, including collector glasses, antiquated lamps, decorative jewelry, medallions and pins, and

porcelain figurines to name just a few. From colorful teacups and tableware to vibrant beaded necklaces, from white pearls to children’s books, Chapman’s Antiques and Collectables has a fantastic display of both glass and ornamental wares. The shop is draped in history including the owner’s life story. The 91-year-old Mrs. Chapman has been in business her entire life. As one of four young daughters to a single-parent mother, she grew up in Sixmile Creek dealing in commodities for survival, bartering items from their Louisiana farm in exchange for much needed goods. During the Second World War, her husband, Edsel Chapman, served overseas like most young men of the era, and a young Thelma, along with two others, opened up a grocery store and met the demanding needs of an industrious wartime community. The war caused shortages on the home front for a wide array of goods including gasoline, meats, butter, processed

foods, cheese, tires, typewriters, nylon hose and even chicken wire. Chapman, then in her early twenties, recalls vividly the long, meandering lines of customers waiting to use their rationing stamps, which were required to purchase most items. Her memories are youthful and as arrest-

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


ing as all the porcelain eyes on the shelves that seem to be observing my every footstep through their home. Wandering through the nearly 30-year-old shop the cloth covered tables are veiled with brilliantly colored rings, bracelets and medallions. The shelves are shrouded with trinkets and necklaces. The walls lined with vases, pictures, lamps and toys. Each item is distinct. Many of the items were selected by northern pickers, Chapman remarks, and shipped down south to Louisiana. Fondling item after item in my thick-padded fingers I can almost feel its history, its dis-

covery and unique journey down the Mississippi and into this cute, little antique mart. The merchandise is as interesting as their owner. Mrs. Chapman highlights why Tom Brokaw referred to the World War II Americans as the “greatest generation.” Through depression, wars, recession, an expanding commercial marketplace and health concerns, Chapman has resisted living a retired life. “I don’t want to rock,” she told her late-husband when he was settling into a more relaxed way of life. And she hasn’t. She never has taken it easy, and the passion in her life is on exhibit as much as her antiques and collectables are.

Celebrate.

Healthy Woman Anniversary The Facts of Lifetime Friendships Lisa Whelchel Actress, Author and Speaker

At our 4th Anniversary Event, Lisa Whelchel, who most remember as Blair from The Facts of Life, and others more recently as a fan favorite on 2012’s Survivor, will share her wit and wisdom when it comes to embracing and nurturing life-long friendships. Whelchel, the author of Friendship For Grown-ups, is sure to give you and your friends a night to remember.

Healthy Woman Fourth Anniversary Celebration Thursday, September 4 • 4-8 p.m.

L’auberge Casino Resort • 777 Avenue L’auberge • Lake Charles 4-6 p.m. Women’s Health Expo 6:30 p.m. Dinner Program & Speaker

$30 (includes dinner and program)

Purchase tickets at LakeAreaMC.com/HealthyWoman or by calling 337-475-4064.

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August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

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August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


Contact Amanda White at 337-433-3632 or awhite@allianceswla.org for more information.

Women’s Business Network Luncheon August 12 from 11:30 - 1:00

Inside SEED Center • 4310 Ryan Street • Lake Charles

Guest Speakers: Celia Case with Southwest Louisiana Call Center and Christina Joyce-Wilson who will be giving a Customer Service 101. Tickets are $15 We are leading a

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The Arts Council, Lake Charles/ SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Southwest Beverage, and KVHP/FOX29/the CW are proud to announce that the 5th annual Arts & Crabs Fest will take place on Saturday, August

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16th, 5pm-8pm, at the Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum. Arts & Crabs Fest is a homegrown Southwest Louisiana festival celebrating the ties between our seafood and culture – our region’s greatest national assets.

Festivalgoers sample an extensive crab dish tasting which features fifteen local restaurants each preparing a unique crab dish representative of their cuisine’s styles, including area favorites such as crab cakes and bisque as well as unexpected recipes including gazpacho and crabmeat beignets. Louisiana craft brew samples are offered as complementary additions to all dishes. Crab chefs battle for festivalgoers’ votes in the annual Best Crab Dish award which is determined by the amount of tips each chef receives. The winning chef will be awarded a New Orleans weekend getaway, sponsored by Acadiana Profile Magazine. Arts & Crabs Fest, which was recognized as a “Top 20 Event in the Southeast” two years in a row by the Southeast Tourism Society, will also showcase live music by Brandon Ledet & Creole Touch and The Yams as well as an interactive art market with local art for sale. General admission tick-

et sales will be available online and at the Arts Council office at www.artscouncilswla.org, and a limited number of tickets will be sold. Tickets are $25 per person, and ticket holders must be 21 years of age or older. Arts & Crabs Fest is sponsored by the Arts Council of SWLA, Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, KVHP/FOX29/the CW, Southwest Beverage, Chesson Law Firm, Deep South Productions, Union Pacific, Office of Cultural Development, Acadiana Profile Magazine, Parker Brand Creative, IBERIABANK, Knight Media Printing, First Federal Bank of LA, Digikast, Louisiana Lottery, Tobacco Free Living, Automotive Alignment & Brake Service and Shearman Media. Funds raised at Arts & Crabs Fest are reinvested back into the SWLA community through the Arts Council’s services and events. For details, visit www.artscouncilswla.org or call 439-2787.

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


Get Ready for the Rush by Bruce Sweat

On December 7, 2013, Jacksonville State ended the McNeese State Cowboys’ season in ceremonious fashion. While it was only nine months ago, it feels like an entire year—perhaps a decade—has passed since the Gamecocks brazenly strolled into Lake Charles, marched confidently onto our home soil and proceeded to trounce the

sixth-seeded Cowboys, 31-10; over five-thousand fans bore witness to the drumming. While the defense was as porous as a screen door, the Cody Stroud-led offense was equally bankrupt. McNeese simply wasn’t ready for the rush. The boys from Alabama gave Stroud and the offensive line all they could handle plus much more

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

with the pass rush as the Gamecocks dropped the quarterback a record eleven—yes, 11—times on the day. The Cowboys were not ready for the rush. The season-ending thumping has left an insatiable hankering in the stomachs of Cowboy fans, which has only increased over the summer. Football is finally caterpil-

laring its way over the horizon. We—the fans—have long waded through the stream of boredom and the river of Who Cares for football to return. We crave that early Saturday morning rush. For months now we have been PAGE 15


Get Ready for the Rush Continued... marking a thick, red “X” on the calendar waiting for the first kickoff to launch off the tee. We have longed to see the team rush down the field and “bring the wood.” We have smiled during Christmas and through New Year’s Eve and waited through Easter all the while daydreaming of X’s and O’s. We have read American Football Monthly, and re-read it hoping to discover something new in the same issue. And still read it once more. We sat painfully through the Winter Olympics and Bob Costas’ pink eye and some golf and tennis played somewhere. We have even endured Nascar driving in circles—well, who I am kidding, no we didn’t. Nonetheless, we have found ourselves staring at the bulletin board at work wishing it was September already. Through it all—the mass hysteria surrounding where oh where would King James play, baseball, and some big tournament in Brazil—football is finally, finally approaching. The rush of Saturday morning adrenaline is coming. Get ready for the rush Cowboy fans. In the meantime, many things have changed with McNeese football since Cody Straud left the field general position vacant. Two days removed from the Jacksonville State defeat, the McNeese State tight ends coach, Broderick Fobbs, departed for Grambling State; the Southland Conference announced the Cowboys will be aired on three broadcasts for Southland Conference Television Network in 2014; ten Cowboys were named preseason all-SLC; McNeese Hall of Fame running back Artie Shankle, unfortunately, passed PAGE 16

away; ESPNU announced the Cowboys’ September 6 season opener at Nebraska would be televised on national television; and former Kansas State standout Daniel Sams left Manhattan and transferred to McNeese. It is the arrival of Sams, however, that could have the biggest impact of all on the upcoming season. McNeese fans should get prepared—now—for the rush. And thankfully not the same devastating defensive pressure that collapsed the McNeese pocket and buried Strouds nearly a dozen times last December. Instead, get ready McNeese fans for the rush of the former Salmen High School standout from Slidell. The 6’2” quarterback with 4.33 HOSPITAL speed used his Michael Vick-like SAFETY velocity to set rushing records in SCORE high school and to also lead the Big 12 quarterbacks with over 800 yards on the ground. Rivals. com rated this talented transfer and Louisiana native a 5.7 out of a 6.1 scale, which, according to the site, is “considered among the region’s top prospects” and “deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team.” That electrifying impact was felt throughout the Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Little Manhattan whenever Daniel Sams entered the game for those in Royal Purple. Now he will be donning Royal Blue on Saturdays and we here in Cowboy Country will get to bear witness to a rush that will make us shake the ground with enthusiasm rather than our heads in disbelief. The rush—it is coming McNeese. SM

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MOVIE REVIEW: Suddenly the doors of Buffalo Wild Wings swing open and in walked the most motley of movie critics. As they pull up a stool, all three hands shoot out for the chips—my chips—like a game of Hungry Hippo. What movie was it this time? “Get on Up,” Devin replies as his meaty hands wins the race to the chip basket. It wasn’t good? Katie’s ears perk up. “It made me want to dance. The choreography was excellent; the music was awesome. That actor was also in the baseball movie…62.” She smiles confidently before taking a sip of her margarita. “Geez, that’s Chadwick Boseman, Katie, who played Jackie Robinson in 42—not 62. Women shouldn’t be allowed to comment on sports flicks,” Diraux the Dancer remarked as his eyes glanced slyly over at the only female at the table.

by Bruce Sweat

It seems like it it won’t be long before he’s men- in between her gross double-dipwould be a long movie to cover his tioned in the same circles as Denzel, ping, “when his mom abandoned life. “Nah, it just covered some of I think.” I read that he watched over him.” Devin glances quickly down at the queso and then back at her in disgust. “It had the look and feel of Ray, and if you liked the Jamie Foxx movie—which I did—then you will definitely like Get on Up,” Diraux added before continuing, “It’s PG-13 but had plenty of…funniness, but at times it was emotional,” Devin, eyes shut, shakes his head in disbelief. “Funniness?...Do you mean humor, Ro?” After licking the salt off the his life like from childhood to his a hundred hours of footage of James glass rim, Katie once again opined, ‘30s” Diraux continued, “The direc- Brown in concert, I remarked. “I liked seeing the Ghostbusters tor, compared it to showing his life “Yeah, but still, it was too much guy.” Feeling as though he was lison ‘shuffle instead of play’.” dancing and singing for me,” the tening to Uncle Si ramble on, Devin What did you think about it nearly-260-pound fisherman con- rolled his eyes before correcting Devin? “Boseman was good—real- tinued, “Although the high-speed her: “Dan…Aykroyd; that was Dan ly good. It’s obvious he studied the police chases were pretty cool.” Aykroyd! Why do we let her go to dance steps of the Godfather. And “I wanted to cry,” Katie chimes every movie with us?”

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August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1 7/23/14 9:39 AM


Progress in North Lake Charles: Beat 4 by Lt. Nathan Keller The Lake Charles Police Department has nineteen (19) beats or zones. In the past the police department was consistently receiving calls in zone four. The calls ranged from prostitution to open drug transactions. The boundaries for zone four is listed as followed; the North boundary of zone four (4) is I-10, East, Cherry/Prater Streets, Broad Street is the South boundary, and the West boundary is Hodges Street. During 2008, zone four (4) had one of the largest call-counts (calls for service) in the city of Lake Charles. City Councilwoman Luvertha August called a neighborhood meeting. Members requested to attend were judges, law enforcement officers, the District Attorney’s office, police jurors, and of course the citizens in

the community. Nothing was off the table. Any issues of concerns were discussed. An aggressive plan of action was implemented. The Lake Charles Community Policing Division worked side by side with the community on quality of life issues and crime in that area. During the last five years crime in zone 4 has decreased each year. 1901 Mill St (the old Booker T Washington Court) was demolished and the new Mayfield Homes were built. A Neighborhood Watch program was established. The police and citizens are now working hand-in-hand to curtail the criminal element. In the past McMillan Park was a known area to purchase and sell drugs. Street walkers were seen day and night. Now you can ride by the park and see children playing on the

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

swings or playing basketball. The street-walkers are not as common. The most important denominator in this process are the citizens, they know who belongs in the area and who doesn’t. They are now more proactive and are calling law enforcement when they see concerns in their area. The Lake Charles Police Department Community Policing Division has partnered with agencies such as Project Build A Future and Habitat For Humanity. As new home owners build in the area, a direct line of communication is established with the home owner/lessee and the community officer for the area. When a Pictured Above: Lt Nathan Keller (digging), problem arises, the homeowner/les- Corporal Harold Neville (L) and Sgt Craig Wright, head of Neighborhood Patrol. see has an open line of communication with the Community Officer.

PAGE 19


Fishing with a Hero by Bruce Sweat

His stature was, at one time, foundation strong and weight bearing. Once able to run long after his limbs had gone numb, he now exerts himself to glance over his shoulder in order to give thanks to the one wheeling him down to the water’s edge. He wonders: Does this young lad know that I was, in my youth, steadfast in both courage and honor? His strength was abundant. He had been, during the war, swift as a swallow in early spring, and his discipline was without error. Patriotism, to him, was more than just words recited before the start of a sporting event; it ran marrow deep. Growing up he had the independence of a rugged individual’s self-reliance. He was strong. Never before had he needed assistance. When he fell he used his bootstraps to pick himself up. Where children once looked skywards at his dense chest and shining medals, they now hunch over to hear his fleecy, delicate voice. Today, the codger is confined to the two-wheeled chair and can only wonder, “Does this young child understand this is not who I used to be?” His hands, now blotchy and sheer, never shook before—not even when zeroing in on the battlefield. While his deportment now disabuses his heroism, his military record trumpets his gallantry. Does this young boy know who I once was, the man wonders silently to himself. His thoughts, however, never escape his lips. Gone are the days of springing to his feet for reveille and snapping to attention like a breathing statue and trundling across the frozen fields of Europe. His once robust and taut arms now wield little pow-

PAGE 20

er—if any. Something has left him. The war took it out of him. Today he needs help just baiting his hook. Casting his fishing line is also beyond his abilities in these latter years. He sits nearly motionless on the banks of the calm water. He stares at the water. A slight tremor in his right foot is his only gesture. The south blowing wind this morning is perfumed with the scent of moist grass, and the morning heat will soon begin to rise like a child’s late-night fever. The thick, blanketing humidity prompts a

bead of sweat to begin its streaming descent down the old man’s face, but the proud veteran doesn’t entertain it. After all these years, he still maintains the military bearing of a preying eagle. His drill instructors imbedded that into him decades ago; his enemies enhanced it during the war. The eyes, which hang beneath his thick, bushy eyebrows, had once bore witness to bloodshed and agony on foreign

soil. They now gaze downward watching only sparingly for subtle ripples in the water. His mind is elsewhere for the time being. Seeping through his thoughts are memories of days on military leave fishing alone at home, relaxing, with an ice chest full of catfish and suds. He remembers vividly the adrenaline of the reeling in the catch as much as he unfortunately recalls the rush of energy storming the sandy coastline of France. So

healthy and able and full of youthful energy, he once was. His decorated war record proves his display of courage even if his now-frail pose betrays it. If only this young boy could see my medals, he thinks to himself, I was once a warrior, so proud…so strong…so independent. If only I had my medals with me I would show you, young man. My mom called me a hero; my dad…saluted me. The war—that is why this veteran is here, now. The young boy standing only an arm’s length away from the chair knows who the elderly gentleman is. Although he isn’t his grandson or his nephew or even kin to the older man in the chair, he has read about men just like him in his history books. Tom Brokaw, his dad often repeated, referred to men of his age as “America’s greatest generation.” On several occasions the boy bore witness to his father going out his way to shake the frail hands of men just like him. The boy, years short of being a teenager, recogniz-

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


es that the senior was willing to sacrifice his youth and his health and, if needed, his life for the Pledge of Allegiance—the same oath he recites before his youth football games. The hero—that is why the young boy is here, now. There are thousands of combat veterans living in Louisiana. Approximately 150 of these war heroes reside in Jennings, Louisiana, at the War Veteran’s Home on Evangeline Road. Opening on November 14, 1994, the 91,000-square-foot facility is housed on 40 acres of manicured lawn, and this state-ofthe-art facility provides “complete medical care including skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, Alzheimer/ Dementia care, and transportation services,” according to Veterans Affairs. The veterans receive excellent care from the center from its 165 health care providers; however, despite all the amenities provided and caring nurses on hand there is still something missing—volunteers. On July 11, 2014, a group of individuals, many of them strangers, set aside their valuable time,

put down their I-pads, turned off their phones and video games and spent the morning fishing with a hero. “Fishing with a Hero” began as a simple idea. Through word of mouth, Facebook and a coordinated effort with the help of people like Heart of Hospice’s Gay Lynne Mott, it grew into a wonderful

Reed of T-Bugs Crawfish Shack, Elliot Stutes, Jaidyn Savant, Micah, Britton Reed, Kasey Reed and an anonymous donation (initials C. D.) made the event a success. “Fishing with a Hero” gave our veterans some time away from the institution and allowed us plain folks to express our appreciation

needed for just such moments. When you have a moment look around at the photos of your family, hug your loved ones and thank those that sacrificed their own for yours. A short drive away from where your family enjoys their freedom sits a war hero who surrendered so much so that you—that

War Veteran’s Home, Evangeline Rd. in Jennings, La event bridging the gulf between our elderly veterans, our youthful children and those in our community. Contributions and donations by patriots such as J & J Marine and Bait Shop, Karyn Huffman, Tara and Joe

for their combat service. Besides the opportunity to cast some bait the event allowed those in our community to spend time with an older generation that sacrificed so much for so little. And volunteers are

I—could have so much. The next time you have a morning free from work and are scanning a to-do list, put it down and go fishing with a hero.

bers from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation’s largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans’ organization. There are nearly 1.9 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in almost 7,000 Posts worldwide. VFW’s Motto is, “No one does more for veterans.” Weldon has been post commander here since 2010. Under his leadership, membership has grown from twenty-five members to more than three hundred members. The post has begun or completed the following projects: an annual military gala, adopting three local reserve and National Guard units and their families, establishing an active Honor Guard team for community events and veterans’ funerals,Veterans

Day assemblies for elementary and high schools, Loyalty Day/POW/MIA Program, hospital and nursing homes visits, assistance for disabled veterans and elderly citizens, and the American Flag Disposal Program. On behalf of VFW Post 7321, Weldon concludes, “I would like to say that all these programs and accomplishments could not have been done without the help and support of the officers and members of our VFW Post and the Ladies Auxiliary. I am so proud to be a part of this organization and thanks a million to all!” Any eligible member who would like to make a contribution to our Vet Programs, or to join our post, please email us at vfw7321@gmail.com, or phone (337) 794-7504.

Local VFW Post 7321 Wins Two Awards

Lewis-Gill-Lee Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7321, located in the Lake Charles/Moss Bluff area, has received two outstanding awards in recent weeks, including the All American Post Commander Award and the All State White Hat Team Award. In June, during the Louisiana State Convention in Alexandria, VFW Post 7321 received The All State Post Award and numerous other certificates of recognition from both the State and National levels. The All State White Hat Team Award was presented to Cmdr. Roy L. Weldon and Quartermaster John R. Thomas. The All American Post Commander awards were presented at the VFW National Convention in St. Louis on July 21, 2014. The National Headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the Unit-

ed States announced that Post 7321 Commander Roy L. Weldon achieved All American status as Post Commander. Such a status is not easily attained. According to the VFW, Weldon and his organization were one of only 197 VFW Posts selected worldwide for such a distinction. National Commander Bill Thien said, “The criteria for this honor are based on outstanding achievements in membership growth and participation in other VFW programs that benefit veterans and their communities. The title of All-American Commander is the most prestigious honor given by our organization. We are proud of these outstanding posts and their leadership!” The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans’ service organization comprised of combat veterans and eligible military service mem-

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

PAGE 21


Owners Arthur and Marie White

By Linda Hurst Since moving to Lake Charles in 2008, I have made it a practice to seek out and try as many local eateries as possible. When the city was reconfiguring the downtown area, cars on Ryan Street were often required to detour down side streets. It was during one of these detours that I discovered one of Lake Charles’ best kept secrets—The Kitchen. I will never forget that day. It was lunchtime and I was hungry when I noticed a building sitting back off the road. I knew the minute I entered this little restaurant that I was in for a treat. The dining room was jampacked with people, always a good sign. Then I read the menu. From fried pork chops to turnip greens, it reminded me of my mother’s home cooking. I was not disappointed. It tasted like my mother had returned from heaven, gone into their kitchen and prepared me a feast! I promised myself that this would become a regular on my eat-out list. Unfortunately, the next time I thought about returning to The Kitchen, I couldn’t remember where it was located. I drove up and down a couple of side streets to no avail. Then last week, when several of my friends were discussing good places to have lunch, I mentioned having eaten at The Kitchen and not being able to find it again. They laughed and gave me the directions.

PAGE 22

We had a glorious lunch that afternoon. The fried chicken would have made the Colonel jealous! The side dishes were flavorful and the chocolate cake that finished the meal was the perfect touch. After such a repast, I had to meet the owners of this wonderful place. Arthur and Marie White have been preparing plate lunches for their customers since 1999, when they owned a take-out business on McNabb Street. In 2001, they relocated the business to 13th Street

where they offered sit-down service as well as take-out. Five years later, in 2006, the White’s moved their restaurant to its present location on Prewitt Street. When I asked about what made the food so good, Arthur smiled and said, “We make it with love. We put our soul in our food.” There’s no doubt about it, the secret is out. If you are hungry for some down-home style cooking, head on over to The Kitchen for lunch. Be aware that eating at The Kitchen is addictive; and remember, they do not serve dinner (or

supper, as Mama called it). However, after enjoying a plate lunch at the Kitchen, you may not even want dinner. This lends new meaning to the phrase, “You can have your cake and eat it too.” Maybe we should call this the “I’m Too Stuffed to Eat Dinner Diet”. (Look out, Jennie and Marie—The Kitchen Diet has your plans beat!) The Kitchen is located at 417 Prewitt St., Lake Charles. (337) 4361444. For more information and a look at their menu, check out the website at www.eatatthekitchen.com.

August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1


Ask Mr. Carl!

A Pew Internet Research Project, Demographics of Internet Users, finds that over 75% of citizens between the golden ages of 50-60 use the internet, and nearly 55% of those above the age of 65 are online users, as well. Additionally, with seniors now making up the largest age group in the United States, according to the AARP, Baby Boomers will contribute greatly to the growing use of technology and internet use for the near future. As a result, The Voice of SWLA would like to offer guidance, support, and assistance to those currently surfing the World Wide Web or those who simply wish to be savvier in order to communicate in the fast-paced world with our technology expert, Carl Louviere. ---------------------------------------“My friend, do not be afraid, this is your computer talking”… well, not really, but close! It’s me… Mr. Carl, your computer “answer man.” Let me be the “Tech Voice”

that you wish you could hear when you sit down in front of your computer and you just don’t know what to do. You know you need to learn how to use this machine to communicate with the outside world, but where do you begin? If you are a novice, the first thing Mr. Carl will tell you is to look at the keyboard. Familiarize yourself with where the numbers are located, as well as where each of the Command Buttons are, such as “Enter,” “Caps Lock,” the “Shift” key and “Esc” (which stands for “Escape”). Don’t worry about the “Function Keys” at this time, such as “F1” and “F2” and so on. Look where the “Arrow” keys are located. Remember, the keyboard is the device you will be using to tell your computer what to do. There will be times that I will explain what to look for when you are surfing the Internet, too. If you are thinking of purchasing a new computer, Ask Mr. Carl to recommend the system you should buy. Mr. Carl does not sell computers so the focus will not be on a particular “brand” or “price”. Mr. Carl believes you should not purchase a computer with devices or components that are unnecessary to complete the work you are doing at your home or office. Remember, Mr. Carl is here to answer your questions!

When it comes to technology questions, let Mr. Carl be the friend you never had! Your computer is a tool that should make your life easier. All you need is someone to explain it in a very simplified manner. You will be accomplishing tasks on your computer that you never thought possible! From downloading files and photos and saving them exactly where you want them to using a spreadsheet to manage your checking account, Mr. Carl will serve as your computer instructor helping you to succeed where previously you have failed. But, unlike the techie who speaks a technical language you do not understand, Mr. Carl, will “talk” you through your difficulties like a friend. Your computer will become a working means of communication and a tool that will truly make your life easier. The more you Ask Mr. Carl, the more you will learn, and soon you will come to appreciate your

computer. It’s not your enemy, but it sure does help to have someone on your side…or by your side, so to speak. Mr. Carl is here waiting for your questions to arrive. To ask Mr. Carl a question, send your cards or letters to: Ask Mr. Carl, c/o The Voice of Southwest Louisiana, 4310 Ryan St Suite 134, Lake Charles, LA 70605.

Lane Sonnier & his expert crew make Boudin and Sausage and offer Expert Deer Processing. We have Regular Boudin, Smoked Boudin, Jalapeno Boudin & Several Varieties of incredible Smoked Sausage.

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www.thevoiceofsouthwestlouisiana.com Like us on Facebook! The Voice of SWLA August 2014 • Volume 2 • Number 1

PAGE 23


Lake Area Roll-Up Doors Gutters Metal Buildings & Accessories Flashing & Custom Trim A/C Duct Work

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PAGE 24

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The Voice of SWLA celebrated one year!