Places & Faces
Places & Faces is the place to stop for unique feature stories on all of the unique attractions, businesses and people that make us proud to call Southwest Louisiana home.
 


10/2/2018 1:22:48 PM
It’s no secret that Southwest Louisiana is a bird watcher’s paradise. Located in the middle of several major flyways and lauded by Audubon Louisiana as the premier birding destination in Louisiana, the area has one of the largest spotted species lists among the 64 parishes. Fall and spring offer up some of the best opportunities to see a variety of species as they stop over for a rest before completing their migrations. 
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10/2/2018 1:18:50 PM
Have you ever been so mad you just want to break something? Maybe you’ve stood at the copy machine at work and secretly wished to have an "Office Space” moment where you pulverize it with a baseball bat?
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10/2/2018 1:11:51 PM
"Hey, John! Any interest in jumping out of an airplane in Jennings tomorrow and writing a story about a new skydiving business there?” read the text from Thrive magazine editor, Angie Dilmore. I’ve come to look forward to her monthly notes detailing the latest writing assignment. They’re usually about local restaurants or recent food trends. This was a new one. Hmm, short notice. At first I told her I’d have to check my schedule. Then promptly replied, "Who cares what’s on my schedule! I can’t pass this up. I’m in!”
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8/28/2018 10:53:26 AM
In 2004, with the help of family and friends, Ms. Ethel Precht – the wife of a local rice farmer in Cameron Parish – used her experience as a breast cancer survivor to help others through their journey battling this terrible disease. Her goal was simple, yet unique. To create a local walk event that would provide 100% of proceeds directly back to individuals from Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes who are undergoing breast cancer treatment.
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8/28/2018 10:49:17 AM
For David and Dennis Stine, growing up in Sulphur, Louisiana in the 1950s and 1960s made for an idyllic childhood. It wasn’t only the seven kids sleeping inside the screened-in porch with a gentle lullaby of crickets and frogs to carry them off to slumber at the family camp in Hackberry, or the muddy waters of Big Lake where J.W. Stine was a notorious boat captain and no one, not even his own children, was safe when he docked the boat that made the Stine children’s youth so special.
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8/28/2018 10:06:39 AM
For some, Southwest Louisiana is synonymous with Sportsman’s Paradise. With our ample swaths of coastal wetlands, marshes, bayous, and forests that an abundance of birds and animals call home, it’s no wonder this area is the perfect place for hunting, fishing, and enjoying the great outdoors. In this month’s cover section, we celebrate anglers and hunters, as well the people who support the wildlife recreation industry – charter services, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, and the artists who create the gadgets that make the pastime even more enjoyable!
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8/6/2018 11:14:39 AM
Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail is known across the country for its award-winning courses. From Shreveport to Houma, 15 beautiful courses dot the Bayou State’s lush landscape, welcoming pros and amateurs alike to tee it up and split the fairways.
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Categories: Places  |  Sports
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8/6/2018 11:11:44 AM
Disney has been capturing the hearts and imagination of young and old for decades. Amy Veuleman, a local agent with Holiday Travel, is a Disney Specialist who has been visiting Disney World annually for the past 11 years. What Veuleman and her family love the most about Disney Resorts is that they are always changing. "It’s never ‘finished,’” Veuleman says. 
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8/6/2018 10:49:40 AM
It’s almost here . . . Game Day! Football fans across the state are gearing up for tailgating parties, football festivities, and the countdown to kick-off. So pull out your team jerseys, dust off the grill, and shake out your pom-poms. In our annual Football Gold section, you’ll find updates and schedules on your favorite Louisiana teams.
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7/3/2018 10:11:18 PM
Since the early days of the Suffragettes and the passing of Women’s Right to Vote in 1920, women have slowly been striving towards equality, especially in the workforce. While the proverbial glass ceiling is hardly shattered, there are certainly several cracks in it. As a testament to that triumph, in this month’s cover story, we feature eight local women working in high-level management positions traditionally held by men in the past.
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7/3/2018 10:07:06 PM
In April of last year, Nic Hunter was elected Mayor of Lake Charles and was sworn in on July 1. This month, we celebrate his first year in office. Hunter’s history in Lake Charles goes back to his childhood, when at a very young age, he bussed tables and washed dishes at his grandparents’ restaurant, Harlequin Steaks & Seafood.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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5/30/2018 10:46:06 PM
Chester Daigle has been entertaining Southwest Louisiana audiences for half a century, starting as a young boy at his family’s church, Reeves CME Temple. Throughout the years, he was involved with numerous local bands, was active as a musician with the Louisiana pageant scene, and worked as an accompanist for Off-Broadway theater productions.
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5/30/2018 10:41:24 PM
Read on for some great reasons to support local music.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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5/30/2018 10:35:13 PM
While every city has a local music scene, few can claim one as diverse as Lake Charles. From Zydeco to Alternative and everything in between, our musicians and venues offer a little something for everyone. Southwest Louisiana culture is full of history, passion, and soul, which results in a fascinating mix of music opportunities.
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5/3/2018 9:12:20 PM
What does a couple of optimistic lavender lovers do when the LSU AgCenter tells them they’ll never successfully grow lavender in Louisiana? If they are Bonnie and Kurt Brochhausen, they plant it anyway! 
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5/3/2018 9:08:08 PM
Old photographs, heirloom gowns, and memory-filled hope chests have been resurrected in Sulphur as residents welcome back one of the community’s oldest family-owned businesses to the downtown area.
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5/3/2018 9:04:18 PM
On May 15, Mike Danahay will be sworn in as the new Mayor of the City of Sulphur. Born and raised in Sulphur, Danahay graduated from Sulphur High School and McNeese State University, and has continued to live, work and serve in this community throughout his life.
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4/2/2018 9:58:20 PM
Lake Charles native Erin Entrada Kelly won the 2018 John Newbery Medal -- the award for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children -- for her third middle grade novel, Hello, Universe. The American Library Association (ALA) made the announcement mid-February. For those unfamiliar with this respected recognition, the Newbery is a children’s writer’s equivalent of winning Olympic Gold. And Erin’s life will never be the same.
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4/2/2018 9:50:47 PM
Many businesses in Southwest Louisiana are flourishing with the ongoing industrial expansion, and tourism is no exception. With new hotels going up in nearly every corner of the region, the experts whose job it is to attract visitors to the region have been seizing every opportunity to share what Southwest Louisiana has to offer. 
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4/2/2018 9:39:47 PM
Local 30-somethings are passionate about Southwest Louisiana, and that fact is evident in the way many of them spend their time, whether at home, work, or play. Each year, we celebrate this youthful exuberance by hosting our 13 Thriving 30-Somethings contest. Read on to learn about this year’s winners.
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3/5/2018 1:28:59 PM
When you travel by plane, you want every leg of the journey to be as easy and problem-free as possible, and you do whatever you can to make that low-stress travel day a reality. A good first step is to include an airport hotel that goes out of their way to get your trip off to a great start. Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel offers a myriad of perks to their traveling patrons.
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3/5/2018 1:23:23 PM
Sanford I. Weil once said, "Details create the big picture.” Perhaps for this reason we agonize over creating just the right party favors meant to amaze our guests, big or small. Whether you are planning a Princess and the Pea tea party for a gaggle of six-year-old girls or an anniversary party for your parents, you want that special lagniappe item that will complement your event and leave your guests thinking about how thoughtful you are. Sometimes the best favors don’t break the bank but take time and care to create. For your next perfectly-planned affair, try a few of these out-of-the-box favors to impress your friends and family.
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3/5/2018 1:17:06 PM
Parties should be enjoyable, lively events where people are smiling, laughing, and thinking about how effortless you have made everything look; but often the planning aspects evolve into little nightmares full of checklists, guestlists, and wondering why you decided to plan a shindig in the first place. Whether you are planning an elegant soiree or a fourth birthday party, there are sure-fire steps you can take to make your event successful, not stressful. 
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1/31/2018 5:39:35 PM
Mark McCormick spent over twenty years in the corporate shoe industry, finding success in high level management positions with companies such as Stride Rite, Keds, and Sporto. But something in his career life was missing. "Once you reach a certain level of success in your profession, you start redefining what success really looks like,” McCormick says. "It had been my desire for several years to one day create my own shoe line and have the opportunity to approach business based on my own values and ideals; to focus more on the quality of the product and the impact they have on people’s lifestyle.” In other words, "People over profits.”
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1/31/2018 5:36:00 PM
Steve Siebold, a former professional athlete, psychological performance coach, and author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, offers ten tips for success from Olympians.
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1/31/2018 5:29:15 PM
Louisiana is blessed with so many wonderful celebrations that sometimes we let a few important ones slide. This year Valentine’s Day is the day after Mardi Gras and it falls on Ash Wednesday, which might tempt you to simply give a card to that special someone. Don’t let Cupid’s special day pass unacknowledged. Be bold!  Reserve a special get-away with the one you cherish.
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1/5/2018 5:02:57 PM
The Olympics are an exciting, much-anticipated event, even if you aren’t typically a sports fan. Athletes from all over the world converge to participate in rigorous competitions and, hopefully, take home the gold medal.
Posted by Keaghan P. Wier | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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1/5/2018 4:49:59 PM
Mardi Gras! It’s Louisiana’s most celebrated time of year, and we want Thrive readers to enjoy the party. In this special section, we’ll give you all the information you need, from local events to the latest in Mardi Gras fashion, home décor, and gift giving. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
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1/5/2018 4:47:39 PM
Lecile Harris has been a cowboy all his life. He was raised on a Tennessee farm, where he and Ethel, his wife of 61 years, still reside. In high school, he and a friend went to a rodeo, ostensibly to meet girls. But the bull riding lured him in.
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12/2/2017 2:45:12 PM
McNeese State University has partnered with the Calcasieu Parish School System and CITGO to bring STEM education to over 900 elementary students in 23 participating elementary schools through a national program called Engineering is Elementary (EiE).

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Categories: Faces  |  McNeese
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12/1/2017 5:41:05 PM
If you want to get into the holiday spirit, follow the lights! Christmas lights, that is; there are plenty of places to ooh and ahh over the colors and magic of holiday lighting.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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12/1/2017 5:32:01 PM
From Lake Charles to Baton Rouge to Washington D.C., Pam Breaux has blazed a trail championing the arts. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, her family moved to Lake Charles before she started school, so Southwest Louisiana is home to her.
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11/2/2017 4:07:54 PM
The long-awaited renovations to the Beauregard Historical Courthouse have been completed. The 36th Judicial District Court resumed business in the courthouse on September 5 and the Official Opening of Court Ceremony was held on October 27. An Open House is scheduled for November 9 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

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11/2/2017 4:04:36 PM
The Jung Hotel and Residences of the New Orleans Hotel Collection is expected to open early next month. Located at 1500 Canal St., this 140 million dollar re-imagination of the historic Jung Hotel incorporates hotel, residences, retail, parking, and other amenities.
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11/2/2017 3:58:47 PM
In any community, there are those humble souls who take the notion of the Good Samaritan to a higher level. With extraordinary love and care for those in need, they give of themselves quietly, tirelessly, and expect nothing in return. In this season of gratitude, Thrive magazine wishes to honor four individuals in Calcasieu Parish who exemplify these commendable character traits, in hopes their stories will encourage and inspire our readers to find their own ways to show kindness to others.
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11/2/2017 1:30:41 PM
Eddie Mormon has established himself as one of the most prolific artists of our time. He works in his studio most every day, creating approximately 250 paintings a year. His work can be found extensively in offices, restaurants, and homes throughout the state, including our Capitol Building in Baton Rouge and art galleries in Covington and New Orleans. In 2012, he was asked by then-Governor Bobby Jindal to paint the official state painting for the Louisiana Bicentennial.
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10/2/2017 10:23:51 PM
According to a 2012 study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, only 51% of children go outside to play at least once a day. The Guardian says today’s kids spend half the amount of time outdoors as their parents did. Yet nine of ten parents wish their children would spend more time outdoors.
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Categories: Places  |  Sports
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10/2/2017 10:20:31 PM
Mary Lou Covington was an English and Phys. Ed. teacher at Sulphur High in 1966. Then-Principal Mr. B.S. Walker asked her to organize a drill team to compete with the Lake Charles Kilties and the LaGrange Gatorettes. Her acceptance of this assignment began a Sulphur legacy that flourished from 1967 to 1994.
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10/2/2017 10:13:42 PM
As fall settles across Louisiana, the byways and backroads of our state beckon us to explore. A great way to experience our diverse culture is to visit the many craft breweries that dot the Louisiana map. In celebration of OktoberFest, we’ve created three unique road trips, taking you on a tour across the state, as seen through the eyes of Louisiana beermasters.
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10/2/2017 10:08:56 PM
This year’s Women’s Commission Conference Keynote Speaker is celebrity interior designer Genevieve Gorder, well-known for hosting her many popular series on MTV, HGTV, and Netflix, including shows such as "Trading Spaces,” "Town Haul,” "Genevieve’s Renovation,” "Dear Genevieve,” "Design Star,” "A Hero’s Welcome Home,” and HGTV’s "White House Christmas Specials.”
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8/31/2017 4:43:46 PM
It’s a tradition that runs deep through the bayous and swamps of Southwest Louisiana. The rich history of pirates, contraband, buccaneers, and cannon fire can be found on street names, at festivals, and within the deep treasuries of local family tales and stories. And on Saturday nights during football season, that old familiar cannon fire comes alive with Cowboy fans, commemorating each and every touchdown in true buccaneer fashion.
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Categories: Faces  |  McNeese  |  Sports
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8/31/2017 4:37:39 PM
Looking a bit worse for wear, this veteran of hurricanes, wars, marsh fires, and humans has stood watch over Brant Point and the Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish for 160 years. Today, members of Cameron Preservation Alliance-Sabine Pass Lighthouse, Inc. are working diligently to stabilize and restore the lighthouse. They are in a race against time and nature.
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8/31/2017 4:17:37 PM
Fall is the perfect season to get out and celebrate all things Louisiana! We’ve rounded up this list of events across the state to make it easy for you to find a festival that sparks your interest. Food, music, culture . . . there’s something for everyone!
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8/3/2017 11:14:49 AM
Social media safety, relationship abuse, online solicitation, human trafficking, and the effects of pornography and drugs on the brain -- these are the difficult subjects a revolutionary program in Calcasieu Parish is tackling with local teens. Truth, Facts, & Lies educates students on these topics, giving them knowledge and confidence to make safe and responsible decisions online and in relationships. Current statistics show that one in three teens in a relationship is abused, one in six boys and one in four girls have been sexually abused by the age of 18, only 38% of victims disclose sexual abuse, and less than 1% of kidnappings are random. The information provided by this program gives participants the tools they need to make good decisions, stand up for themselves, and decrease their chances of becoming a victim.
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8/3/2017 11:02:17 AM
Ed Orgeron took over a flailing LSU football team last September, replacing 12-year coach and resident legend Les Miles. Things were made clear from the get-go that it was a temporary gig. After steadying the ship and going 5-2, however, Orgeron had the "interim” label removed and was named permanent head coach. The burly, gravel-voiced "Coach Eaux” is Louisiana through and through. A Lafourche Parish native who was part of Galliano High’s 1977 state championship team, he played college ball at LSU and Northwestern -- then was a graduate assistant at NSU and McNeese. After a hiatus from coaching, he was a volunteer coach at Nicholls – which led to a new chapter in his career.
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8/3/2017 10:57:48 AM
The Orleans Ballroom in New Orleans’ French Quarter celebrates its bicentennial this year. Located in the beautiful Bourbon Orleans Hotel, and as is typical of the Vieux Carré, the Ballroom is shrouded in historical and supernatural significance.
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8/3/2017 10:36:01 AM

It’s that time of year again. Whether you’re a loyal cowboy, a die-hard tiger, a fanatic saint, or all of the above, get ready to cheer on your favorite team this football season.


Thrive wants you to be prepared. Here’s the outlook for each of our area’s fan favorites.


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7/5/2017 9:22:09 AM
Here in Southwest Louisiana, music is an integral part of our cultural definition. We hear it everywhere; indoors and outdoors, live and recorded, at festivals, events, and venues, over the airwaves, and emanating from neighborhood front porches. Whether the distinct sounds of fiddle, washboard, and accordion, a rowdy country band, blues, jazz, or rock, we know how to make and enjoy music. In this issue, we celebrate the art of SWLA music.
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7/5/2017 9:11:09 AM

Imagine you’re packing your bags for your next big vacation. You have the weather forecast for your pending trip, a suggested packing list, and what time to arrive at which airport, but otherwise, you have no idea where you are going. Once at the airport, you open an envelope for the big reveal.



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7/5/2017 9:07:36 AM
Bohuslav Rattay serves as music director and conductor with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Midland Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, and has filled that same role since 2011 with our own Lake Charles Symphony, now in their 60th season.
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6/1/2017 12:36:41 PM
On July 1, after 17 years of serving the community as Mayor of Lake Charles, Randy Roach will pass his leadership baton to newly elected Nic Hunter.  Here, we highlight some of Mayor Roach’s accomplishments, and give a peek into some of the plans Nic Hunter has in store for Lake Charles.
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6/1/2017 12:32:58 PM
For continued growth, a stellar business model, community involvement, and compassionate service to Lake Area residents in their time of need, Johnson’s Funeral Home was named Small Business of the Year by the Chamber Southwest Louisiana earlier this spring. 
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6/1/2017 12:27:13 PM
In a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, Dr. Daryl Burckel was named the seventh president of McNeese State University this spring and will assume the office on July 1. 
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Categories: Faces  |  Interviews  |  McNeese
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5/4/2017 10:51:30 PM

How often have you booked that early morning flight to get the most out of your first day of vacation, then found yourself racing to the airport before the sun rises? If you’re departing from New Orleans, the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel has the answer for those frequent flyer frenzies. Their Park, Stay & Go program not only calms the nerves but saves you money at the same time.


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5/4/2017 10:46:52 PM

Summer is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the warmer weather, and do something active. Whether you’re looking for something calming or something intense and competitive, there’s no shortage of outdoor sports and plenty of reasons to go play outside.


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5/4/2017 10:40:43 PM

Through her role as a KPLC Sunrise News anchor, Britney Glaser has forged a way to blend her love of broadcast journalism with her passion for foster care and adoption. In 2014, she started a television news segment called The New Family Tree. Each month, Britney features a different child within the SWLA foster care system who is legally cleared for adoption, in hopes that child will be connected with a permanent family. As a result, since the segment’s inception, ten children have been adopted, and several more are in adoptive families. 


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4/5/2017 12:11:04 PM

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). From their humble beginnings, with a small contingent of people who created the Creole Nature Trail and wanted to draw tourists to the area, the CVB has grown to become a key component in the life of our community.



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4/5/2017 12:08:02 PM

In 2007, eight or so young professionals sought to create a group where they could come together to improve the community, do business together, and network. They realized the need for some support, and at the same time, the SWLA Chamber Alliance wanted to start a young professional organization in the area. This year, Fusion Five members celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary!



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3/9/2017 9:22:23 AM

Seeing great artists in concert can be a fun exciting excursion.If you know what to expect, and you’re prepared, you can enjoy the experience even more.



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3/9/2017 9:20:12 AM

The electric lineup of live music performances for Live @ the Lakefront 2017 has been announced by the event’s presenting sponsors – the Arts Council of SWLA, the City of Lake Charles, and Deep South Productions.The annual live music series will celebrate its sixth season on three consecutive Fridays, March 17th, 24th, and 31st, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Lakefront Promenade’s Arcade Amphitheatre.



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3/9/2017 9:18:37 AM

MusicMakers2U Makes a Positive Difference in Students’ Lives

"Never look at the trombones; you’ll only encourage them,” joked Richard Strauss in the early 20th century. Trombones – those bold sliding pieces of brass that create a joyful sound, sending us to grab a handkerchief and dance down a New Orleans street in a second line celebration – that’s what Connor (Last Name?), a student at S.J. Welsh Middle School, knew he wanted. Always musically inclined, Connor connected with the trombone when he was given the opportunity to try several instruments at school. MusicMakers2U (MM2U) heard that he was interested and presented him with a refurbished trombone. He excelled and was chosen to participate in both Honor Band and Honor Jazz Band for the past two years, has received Superior ratings twice in solos and ensembles competition, and is part of the award-winning middle school band at S.J. Welsh which has received all Superiors at District Festival the past two years under the direction of Ms. Eva Brown and Mr. Reggie Rogers. MusicMakers has replaced his refurbished trombone with a brand new Yamaha!

According to Connor, "MusicMakers has meant a lot to me. Getting the trombone led to other opportunities like learning how to play new instruments. I’m thankful for that.” His parents Jennifer and Mark state that "the MusicMakers experience has been rewarding. It has changed Connor’s life forever!”



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2/9/2017 3:49:10 PM

A standing-room-only crowd of over 200 developers, realtors, contractors, business professionals and community leaders attended the first meeting of the Alliance for Positive Growth (APG) last month at Majestic Hall at Walnut Grove to provide details on their mission and goals.



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2/6/2017 4:31:49 PM

A daunting statistic from Forbes contributor Neil Patel advises that 90% of business startups fail. Fortunately, cousins Anna Boyer and Kate Wyman Reuther didn’t see Patel’s article. With an English degree and Graphic Arts degree between them, they launched a studio printing business in New Orleans in 2013. Today, their efforts have evolved into a growing lifestyle print design business with a robust social media following and an inviting drop-in boutique.



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2/6/2017 4:29:26 PM

If the natural world beckons you this year, take Highway 171 north to Hodges Gardens, a veritable emerald among Louisiana’s state parks, where beauty and serenity blend on a 900-acre slice of tranquility.



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2/6/2017 4:27:25 PM

Wendy Colonna grew up in Lake Charles and looks back fondly on those formative years. From the time she was in elementary school, her life revolved around music.



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1/5/2017 8:58:28 AM

Citizens of Louisiana began to take notice of Donna Edwards in 2015 when she appeared in campaign commercials with her husband, John Bel, a candidate for Governor of Louisiana at the time. As you are aware, Edwards won the election and Donna became Louisianas First Lady. Thrive spoke with Ms. Edwards recently and she told me about her family, her passions, and how her life has changed over the past year since moving into the Governor’s Mansion.



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1/5/2017 8:56:17 AM

The annual Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival takes place in Cameron on January 13-14. This year will specifically celebrate Louisianas fishing industry. The festival has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for the third year in a row.



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1/5/2017 8:54:46 AM

The lights of the auditorium reflected off of the new crown atop her head. Bethany Trahan, a Lake Charles native, had won the title of Miss Louisiana USA 2017! It was a dream come true for Bethany, who had always watched the Miss USA pageants and idolized the titleholders in the Miss USA system.



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12/6/2016 8:56:29 AM

If you are looking for something a little different to help get you in the Christmas spirit this year consider crossing the state line and enjoy the holidays Texas style.



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12/6/2016 8:54:17 AM

Sara Judson is a 21st century link in her family’s legacy chain of service and leadership. Her great-grandfather A.A. Nelson was a community organizer and the first director of the Port of Lake Charles. Her grandfather, Dr. W.L. McLeod, was a beloved pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Charles for many years. And her father Bill McLeod served as a Louisiana State Representative, Senator, and Lake Charles Judge. Her mother, Cissie McLeod, was a consummate community volunteer. Through the influence of these leaders in her family, Judson developed a heart for community service.  Her roles throughout her varied career align with her passion for the people of southwest Louisiana. She currently serves as president and CEO of the Community Foundation of SWLA. I recently sat down with Sara, where she talked about what it was like growing up in Lake Charles, why she loves her position at the Community Foundation, and how everyone can make a positive impact on society.



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12/6/2016 8:52:21 AM

There is a relatively new shop in town and it is one of those places you need to experience to truly understand. Shop 706 offers an eclectic mix of apparel, jewelry, home décor, body products, art, and a peaceful place to relax with a glass of fruit-infused water.



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11/1/2016 11:03:31 AM

There is a new sightseeing tour company in town and it is not only for visitors. William Daigle started his business in August and he is already in high demand. Daigle offers several tours for both locals and tourists. He also provides his services and party van for private parties such as proms, school or family reunions, and Mardi Gras festivities.



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11/1/2016 10:57:06 AM
Music is the art of thinking with sounds, and nothing is more thoughtful than a stack of vinyl records.

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11/1/2016 10:53:05 AM

In the Bible book of Luke, Jesus told his disciples a parable about an unlikely gentleman from Samaria who stopped to help an injured stranger he found along the side of the road, after several other passersby ignored the victim. It is from this inspiring story we get the common phrase, "Good Samaritan.” Southwest Louisiana abounds with these kind-hearted souls who have a passion for helping others and going above and beyond what is expected. Thrive magazine features four of these exemplary individuals here, in hopes their stories will encourage our readers to find their own ways to be blessings to others.



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9/30/2016 3:59:45 PM

Most people know Phylicia Rashad as the mom, Clair Huxtable, on the hit television series The Cosby Show from the 1984-1992, a role for which she was nominated for two Emmy awards. But the actress career includes much more than a successful sitcom. Rashad has also performed on the big screen and on stage, both acting and directing. She was the first African American actress to win a Best Actress Tony Award (Play category) for her 2004 portrayal of Lena Younger in a revival of "A Raisin in the Sun.”



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9/30/2016 3:18:07 PM
When Louisiana Cookin magazine named Chef Lyle Broussard one of six 2016 Chefs to Watch, they affirmed what southwest Louisiana already knew Broussard has made an indelible mark in the culinary world and has changed the way people perceive lake area chefs and restaurants.




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9/1/2016 5:05:21 PM

During his 30 years as the head baseball coach at Barbe High School, Glenn Cecchini has made the program a regional powerhouse among the elite in the state, with nine titles and even a national championship.



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9/1/2016 5:02:53 PM
Sounds of Dixieland Jazz, tastes of poboys and rum punch, aromas of coffee and beignets, and the sights of characters as colorful as the neon lights on Bourbon St. . . . New Orleans French Quarter is a veritable explosion of excitement and sensory overload. Nestled within this bustle and clamor of the surrounding Vieux Carré, Hotel Le Marais offers a quiet escape at the end of a fun filled day.

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9/1/2016 4:57:01 PM

Keith Monroes travels and portfolio range from the cold of the Arctic to the warm waters of the South Pacific. What matters most to him, though, is telling the photographic story of the coastline of his native Louisiana.



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8/10/2016 11:51:01 AM

For nearly a century, Nancy Wyman has been a part of Lake Charles life. At 96, she still looks forward to the next outing around town



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8/10/2016 11:48:39 AM

It is no easy task explaining the intricacies of chemosynthetic life and methane seeps to an audience full of children, as well as adults. Doing so remotely over several hundred miles via a live video feed and filling a role on a watch team with seven other scientists each responsible for navigation, research, or operating a remote operated vehicle (ROV for short)  all crammed into a cramped control room sounds just about impossible. The fact that Dr. Amber Hale recently spent three weeks doing exactly that and describes the experience simply as "very stressful” says more than a little about her composure. That she emphasized the stress was nothing compared to the opportunities presented by these moments says much more.



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8/10/2016 11:44:56 AM

The National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary this month, completing its first century of managing and preserving what has been called America’s best idea. Created in response to the conservation movement of the mid-19th century, the agency’s history points to Americas need for open space, natural beauty, and places to visit that remove people, however temporarily, from the busy streets of their day to day lives. It is a story rooted in Americas wanderlust for the west and the preservation of its untamed beauty.



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7/14/2016 12:43:35 PM

In Southwest Louisiana, we love to eat! In this city with an emerging promising outlook, Lake Charles most important pastime requires adequate eateries to match. Enter the return of Rikenjaks Brewing Company, where they focus on great beer, delicious food, diverse musical talent, and a unique atmosphere. Jay Ecker, co-owner/founder of this popular establishment likened Rikenjaks and its clientele to a family crawfish boil; from grandma to the kids to the pets... everyone is welcome.


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7/14/2016 12:42:14 PM

Altitude, a new indoor trampoline park in Lake Charles, is the place to be whether you are a kid or just a kid at heart. From trampoline dodge ball to basketball, trapeze swings and more, Altitude has what you need for an active fun experience.


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7/14/2016 12:40:46 PM
Suzy Heck opened Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in 1986 on a five acre plot of land south of Lake Charles. She single handedly operates the facility and cares for hundreds of animals every day.
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6/22/2016 4:20:02 PM

Developers revealed plans for Imperial Pointein Lake Charles, Louisiana, last month. Areagovernment officials and business leaders werein attendance to get the first look at the many different components, including the regions first medical school, planned for this 75 acre development.


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6/15/2016 2:48:48 PM

Want to get away for a summer vacation, but not travel too far? With an easy three to seven hour drive from Lake Charles, the Gulf Coast offers an abundance of vacation options sure to delight you and your whole family, from Southeast Texas to the Florida Panhandle.


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6/15/2016 2:47:23 PM

Imagine you are locked in a room with a team of friends. You have one goal . . . to escape in less than sixty minutes. You follow clues that guide you to codes that lead to keys that open locked props and doors into other rooms, providing more clues that will open that last exit door. Welcome to the world of Escape Rooms!


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6/15/2016 2:45:36 PM

you have likely been a customer of Doug Gehrig, whether you have met him or not, and if you have lived in southwest Louisiana for any amount of time, someone in your household has probably been on the receiving end of a team sponsorship, nonprofit fundraiser or other show of community support from him.


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5/12/2016 2:52:08 PM
The landscape of the law can be overwhelming to navigate. How do you know when you need a lawyer? How do you know how to choose the right one? For the layperson, the language of legalese is foreign and daunting. This section is designed to see you through.
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5/12/2016 2:46:16 PM

Step through the door at Hotel Whitney and take a leap back in time. When you stay at this luxury boutique hotel in New Orleans Central Business District, you will experience genteel Southern hospitality in a unique historic setting with first-class service and comfortable accommodations.


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5/12/2016 2:40:23 PM

For Joe Miller Sr., local baseball has been a lasting personal investment. He coached South Lake Charles Little League kids for four decades, then helped McNeese build the field of its dreams. Local baseball has had perhaps no bigger advocate, as countless Little League alumni and college baseball would attest. The retired F. Miller and Sons Construction Co. president is variously recognized as a successful business executive, a civic leader, a longtime board member of Foreman-Reynaud Recreation Center and a seven-figure philanthropist to MSU and all corners of Lake Charles. Baseball, though, has had a special place for his time and underwriting. "There are truly no boundaries to his generosity and support,” said McNeese President Dr. Phillip Williams when he awarded Miller an honorary doctorate in 2013. Now 89, Miller can go enjoy a game at the ballpark that bears his name: Joe Miller Ballpark, or "The Jeaux,” on the McNeese campus. He spoke to Thrive contributor Brett Downer about local baseball, the values of civic commitment and his city.


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4/5/2016 9:02:10 AM

Austin Dellafosse has been a high achiever his entire life. One might even say that he was on his way to becoming a high achiever just after he was born 2 months prematurely. His mother Kimberly recalls a nurse telling her that Austin had a fighting spirit because he lifted himself up and pulled his own tubes out in the hospital when he was in the neonatal unit.



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4/5/2016 8:59:15 AM

In the United States, domestic and international travelers spend 2.5 billion a day on tourism. That works out to 105.8 million an hour. And tourism is big business in Louisiana. In 2014, tourists spent $11.2 billion in the state. Calcasieu Parish tourism brought in $404 million.



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