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.
 


11/1/2019 11:00:00 AM

After the main event on Thanksgiving Day, when you worry you might not be able to push away from the table and you just want to curl up in the recliner and watch the big games, here’s an alternative. Take a walk! Here’s why:


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11/1/2019 11:00:00 AM

Fall is the perfect season for a road trip! If you’re looking for a unique Southeast Texas adventure, take a tour of their local wineries and breweries.


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10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

A historical and spiritual treasure in downtown Lake Charles has just undergone an extensive restoration.


The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was designed by the architectural firm of Favrot & Livaudais of New Orleans in the Lombardy Romanesque style. Dedicated in 1913, it remained merely a church until January 29, 1980, when Pope John Paul II established the Diocese of Lake Charles. It was then that Immaculate Conception became the cathedral for the new diocese. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 7, 1994.


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10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, scheduled for December 7-15, 2019, will be held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, with the finals taking place at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel. In conjunction with the Trials, the 2019 USA Boxing National Championships will be held to determine USA Boxing’s junior and youth high performance teams for 2020.


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10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Dodging behind cover, you struggle to catch your breath. Muffled beneath the blaring siren piercing the air, you hear hushed footfalls and the gentle clatter of your enemies rushing down the corridor ahead. They’ll be on you in seconds.



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9/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

If industry is the life blood that supports our community, the arts are surely the heart and soul that bestow upon our community a unique and lively beat. As a society, we thrive on the artistic contributions of creative visionaries and grow as a vibrant, exciting place to live and raise our families. Our love for the arts is expressed through people and organizations dedicated to music, theater, dance, and visual arts. These expressions can be found on our many stages, in museums and galleries, and on the walls of public buildings. The benefits to a community that puts a high priority on promoting and supporting the arts range from an increased ability to raise well-rounded children to an improved likelihood of attracting new residents and businesses to our region.


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9/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Lawrence "Black” Ardoin is a living legend of Creole music and a major connection between the sounds of the plantations and sharecropping era to the continuing evolution of Zydeco music pioneered by his two sons, Sean and Chris. 


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9/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

The Noble Building at 324 Pujo St. in downtown Lake Charles recently celebrated its 100th birthday in grand style. Thanks to Rick and Donna Richard, the old building has been given a new lease on life. 


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8/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Calling all football fans! It’s that time of year again and this issue is for you. Pick up a copy, pull out your team jerseys, and put on your game face. These stories will get you excited for the 2019-2020 gridiron season. In this year’s Football Gold cover section, you’ll find updates and schedules on your favorite Louisiana teams, bios of local athletes currently in the NFL, and a rundown on where to watch the big games.


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8/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

It might be difficult to visualize during the height of summer, but fall is on its way with cooler temperatures and, more importantly, the return of football. The NFL kicks off its 100th season on Thursday, September 5th when the Bears host the Packers at Soldier Field.


A couple of days later, the 50th season of Monday Night Football begins with a doubleheader on September 9th, when the Saints take on the Texans and the Broncos battle the Raiders. ESPN will televise one game each Monday. While the best way to watch a game is from the sidelines, televised broadcasts can be just as much fun – if you know where to go. Here are a few of the best sports bars in Lake Charles


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7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

If someone had told Leesville High School alumnus Suzette Kent in high school that she would one day work in the White House, she said they would've had the biggest laugh. But now, she is the first woman to hold the prestigious role of serving as the U.S. Federal Chief Information Officer – having been appointed by President Donald Trump himself in January 2018.


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7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Just what exactly is a "Better Block” and why is someone painting bicycles in the street? That question has been a topic of controversy and at times contention in Lake Charles for months.  Although it has the potential to be one of the best things to happen to our city in years, many residents don’t know what it is, why it matters, and how they will benefit from the temporary disruptions.


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7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Nearly 1000 school-age children in Calcasieu Parish are part of families who are homeless, according to the Calcasieu Parish School Board. This startling statistic prompted a group of concerned citizens in 2014 to initiate Family Promise of Calcasieu Parish, an affiliate of the national non-profit organization. 


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6/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Southwest Louisiana, aka SWLA, is a unique community. It consists five parishes, friendly people, and plenty of things to see and experience. New to the area? Below are some tips to help you get around the "boot heel" of the state.


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6/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

This month’s First Person needs very little introduction. John Bridges has been showing up in households across Southwest Louisiana each weekday morning since 1996 through his role as co-host of KPLC’s 7News Sunrise. A life-long native of Sulphur, he began his nearly three-decade career with KPLC-TV in 1992 as an assignments editor, never expecting to become an anchor four years later. While you may know Bridges as a long-time newsman, this busy local celebrity is so much more – a husband, father, and avid volunteer. Bridges recently sat down with Thrive and talked about his childhood dream that destined him to become a broadcast journalist, his pride as a father, his passion for volunteerism, and his dedicated journey to weight loss and wellness.


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Categories: Faces  |  Interviews  |  McNeese
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6/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (LC/SWLA CVB) honored partners in tourism who have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in Southwest Louisiana as well as recently-retired CEO of the LC/SWLA CVB, Shelley Johnson, at an award ceremony held last month.


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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

f you’re a music fan and like to watch television, chances are you’ve seen The Voice on NBC and are aware that Southwest Louisiana native Gyth Rigdon is one of this season’s strongest contenders. Gyth opened the season on February 25 with a rousing rendition of Dobie Gray’s "Drift Away” and wowed all four judges. It was a tough decision between Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson, but Gyth chose Blake as his performance coach. 


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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

For the price of a $100 ticket, you can help save the life of a child with cancer as well as buy a chance to win a brand-new house or other great prizes.


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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
Mother’s Day weekend will be an aerial treat in Lake Charles this year. People are invited to bring the whole family to Chennault International Airport as fantastic flying machines fill the wild blue yonder with jaw-dropping aerial feats.
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4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Chairs . . . we generally take them for granted, but where would we be without them? We sit in chairs to eat; to visit with friends and family. We often sit in chairs to work. We sit in chairs to relax; to read. We travel while seated in cars, planes, trains, buses. We take care of ourselves while sitting in chairs at the offices of healthcare providers. We are entertained while seated in theaters, concert halls, and our own living rooms. What would we do without chairs?


The word chair can also imply leadership, as in chairperson. Our annual Thirteen Thriving 30-Somethings contest features young dedicated leaders in our community; individuals who have achieved success in their profession and exhibited a commitment to community service that often defies a 24-hour day. If the chairs these people sit in could represent the positive impact our winners have made in their workplaces and neighborhoods, they would be very large chairs indeed, figuratively speaking. 


Like the chairs we sit in every day, we need caring, compassionate, enthusiastic, high-achieving people in our communities. Read on to learn about how this year’s winners have strived to make a difference in their world.


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4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

In the words of Nelson Mandela, "There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” In keeping with the sentiment, the ladies of the current Junior League of Lake Charles’s Provisional Class have decided to focus their efforts on helping to update the facility of Harbour House, an 18-bed licensed residential facility for children ages 10 to 17 years old who need emergency shelter services because they are runaway or homeless youth, status offenders, or other community youth in need of a safe place. The Junior League of Lake Charles Provisional ladies in conjunction with the Harbour House staff hope to create a homier environment in which these children can thrive. 



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3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a roaring fighter jet … it’s a group of high-octane daredevils soaring, twirling and even jumping from the sky … it’s the Airshow! There’s nothing as powerful, loud and heart-thumping in all of Southwest Louisiana — and it returns this spring.
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3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM
Chavanne Stine’s husband arrived as she was being wheeled out of the elevator into the operating room during week 26 of her high-risk pregnancy. No trauma patients were taken into Lafayette General during the six-hour surgery where a team of fifty hospital personnel worked to save the lives of Stine and her baby, Holden.
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3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM
The electric lineup of free live music performances for Live @ the Lakefront 2019 has been announced by the event’s presenting sponsors – the Arts Council of SWLA, the City of Lake Charles, First Federal Bank, The Johnson Firm, and Deep South Productions. The wildly-popular annual concert series will celebrate its eighth season on three consecutive Fridays, March 15, 22, and 29, from 6–10pm at the Lakefront Promenade’s Arcade Amphitheatre.
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2/4/2019 12:34:21 PM
2019 Schedule of Mardi Gras Events
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2/4/2019 12:26:21 PM
Some people set out from an early age with a specific career track in mind and pursue it with determination until they land that first job. Others seem to stumble almost unexpectedly into an occupation that is utterly perfect for them. John Chavanne fits into the latter category. 
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2/4/2019 12:18:16 PM
Mardi Gras began having a presence in Lake Charles as early as 1895, but it was in 1979 that Anne and Dr. Lee J. Monlezun formed the Krewe of Krewes organization. This season, Krewe of Krewes is celebrating its 40-year anniversary. Lake Charles is home to an impressive 60-70 krewes and is the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in the state. From small town courir de Mardi Gras trail rides and chicken runs to parades and the pageantry of balls and the Royal Gala, Mardi Gras is a party you won’t want to miss!
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1/3/2019 11:23:49 AM
With a sweet swing, Zach Robertson launches an arc that stops within nine feet of the pin. Someone in the group whistles.

Jonathan Jester, head golf professional at Gray Plantation, offers a tip on Robertson’s grip that gets a nod of agreement. As a bird chirps somewhere nearby, Jester tees up for a shot of his own — a drive that’s deep and accurate but still earns his appraising eye.

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1/3/2019 11:16:59 AM
As part of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 29, the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (LC/SWLA CVB), invites the community to plan their vacation time as well as invite friends and family to Southwest Louisiana during 2019. The first step in making something happen is planning!
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1/3/2019 10:55:14 AM
The name Mickey Smith, Jr. is synonymous with the word "music” throughout Southwest Louisiana. This dynamic, driven jazz man is passionate about music and education. He has been the band director at Maplewood Middle School since 2005. In addition to playing music and teaching, he supports organizations that promote music education for children; for examples, he is president of Musicmakers2U and a board member of Jazz in the Arts.
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11/30/2018 11:54:20 AM
In early 2017, Julia Morris O’Carroll started reevaluating what she was doing with her life. She held a job she enjoyed as a human resources manager, but her life was hectic and stressful. She imagined a simpler life, working from home. That June, she made the leap and quit her job. Two months later, a diagnosis of breast cancer reinforced her decision to "slow down and live life deliberately.”
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11/30/2018 11:51:41 AM
Since 1986, Abraham’s Tent has served the homeless, transients, the unemployed or underemployed, and those living on a fixed income, struggling to make ends meet. Each day, the center serves a hot lunch to the disadvantaged, moms with young children, the elderly and disabled, the mentally ill. All are welcome and no one is turned away. Ms. Pearl Cole, the face and heart of Abraham’s Tent, has been involved with the organization since its inception.
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11/30/2018 11:17:33 AM
While Louisiana may not often have the classic Norman Rockwell-esque "white” Christmas, we nonetheless have our own treasured traditions and there are plenty of fun events across the state to make our holidays merry and bright. This issue’s cover section features the many and diverse Christmas festivals and events, from Lake Charles to Natchitoches to New Orleans. Make a plan to celebrate the holidays this year – Louisiana-style! We at Thrive wish all our readers a Joyeux Noël!
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10/30/2018 1:19:53 PM
The holidays can be a busy season but be sure to make time for Christmas entertainment! Two local ballet companies have been diligently rehearsing in their studios to bring you high-quality classic Christmas stories told through the art of dance. Tickets for both performances can be purchased at the Civic Center box office or through their websites.
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10/30/2018 1:13:58 PM
He’s spent over half of his life working in law enforcement and has no intention of changing course. In his own words, "There’s still a lot I want to accomplish.” Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso is serving his fourth term and has run unopposed in the last three elections.
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10/30/2018 12:58:37 PM
This month, we honor our Southwest Louisiana First Responders. These are the people who strive to protect our communities, keep us safe, and come to our rescue in times of need. In our day-to-day lives, we don’t often think about the people who put their lives on the line in the name of service to their communities. Read these stories and join Thrive magazine in saying THANK YOU for always being there when we need you!
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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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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!