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.
 


9/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do many things that, prior to this past March, we basically took for granted; activities like attending live concerts and shows, enjoying theatre and dance productions, visiting museums and art galleries. But just because cultural events as we once knew them have taken a back seat while we mitigate this coronavirus doesn’t mean the arts have ceased to exist. On the contrary, arts organizations across Southwest Louisiana – known for its vibrant arts scene – have creatively devised new, safe approaches to bring art, in all its many forms, to the community.


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8/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Sports fans have been anxiously waiting on the sidelines for months and asking the same question: What will football look like this season? Will there be players on the fields, fans in the stands, tailgaters in the parking lots? COVID-19 has impacted most everything in our lives, including how we will experience sporting events this year. Whether the NFL, college, or high school football, plans for how to carry out the season seem to change almost daily. It’s understandable. Who can predict how a pandemic will pan out? Despite the uncertainty, Lake Area sports commentator Matt Dye, co-founder of The Tailgate Kings, gives Thrive readers a preview of what to expect from our region’s most beloved gridiron teams.


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8/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Canon Jean Marie Moreau arrived in Southwest Louisiana earlier this year for a sole purpose: to preside over the opening and operation of a new place of worship for area Catholics. Located at 802 South Huntington St. in Sulphur, this 1924 structure served as the original home of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. In 1984, a larger facility was built for that parish, and the City of Sulphur purchased the South Huntington site for their City Courthouse in 1985. 


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8/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Lake Charles secured the magazine’s Small Market of the Year (50,000 to 250,000) for a record 10th consecutive year. Southern Business & Development named Louisiana the magazine’s 2020 State of the Year in a title shared with Alabama. 2020 marks the seventh year since 2007 that Louisiana has shared or won outright the magazine’s State of the Year honor for best economic development results in the South.


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7/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

A new era of human space flight began on May 30 of this year, as U.S. astronauts once again launched a rocket from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket for an extended stay at the space station—and lifted the hearts of a nation at a time when it was much needed. 


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6/1/2020 10:54:40 AM

There are hundreds of children in the foster care system in Southwest Louisiana. Did you ever wonder who speaks for them?


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6/1/2020 10:51:28 AM

After a long day, we often look forward to nestling in our beds and drifting off to a restful night’s sleep. Sleep is one of life’s most basic necessities, after all; but what about children who don’t have a bed to sleep in?


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6/1/2020 10:48:59 AM

Growing up in Sulphur, La., Stacy Bearden developed an interest in music and art at an early age. Encouraged by his parents and grandparents, he started a comic strip series in elementary school and began piano lessons at age nine. "Music and art were everything to me as a young child,” Bearden says. He carried this passion with him through high school and college, where he played saxophone in marching band, and into a successful career. Stacy graduated from McNeese State University in 1997 with a degree in Piano Performance and Education. He opened Bearden’s Music a year prior to graduation, and with the help of his family, Stacy provides music lessons, sells and services musical instruments and other merchandise, and offers recording studio services. 


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5/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Looking for a fun, outdoor activity that adds health and nutrition to your life? Visit a You-Pick produce farm this summer. There’s no way to get fresher food than by picking it yourself and taking it home.


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5/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Travel through the marshes and along the coastline of Cameron Parish and experience Louisiana’s own "Outback” – the 180-mile Creole Nature Trail, a designated All-American Road/National Scenic Byway. You’ll find opportunities to fish, hunt for crabs, and observe alligators and other wildlife.


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5/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Looking for a place to cool off this summer? Here’s a list of most of the community pools in the lake area. Please note: At the time of publication of this issue, we do not know the status of these facilities in response to the coronavirus outbreak. They may still be closed. Please call or check their websites.


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4/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

2020 marks Thrive magazine’s 10th anniversary of our annual 13 Thriving 30-Somethings feature! What a pleasure it has been to spotlight young, local, successful, compassionate professionals this past decade. Every year, we receive dozens of nominations, each one worthy of being named a Thriving 30-Something. It’s always a challenge to narrow the field down to 13. Our community is full of high-achieving community-minded citizens who represent diverse backgrounds and a wide range of occupations. In celebration of our ten years, we went all out on the photo shoot – formal attire and stunning backdrops at L’Auberge Casino Resort. We also expanded this year’s special section to a whopping 30 pages. Sit back, read and relax, and know for certain, the future of Southwest Louisiana is in great hands!


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3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM

In Southwest Louisiana, we’re proud of our culture and heritage, and we celebrate our favorite things best through our many festivals. The region is home to over 70 festivals each year. Here’s a lineup of what Spring 2020 has to offer.


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3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM

Lance Frank was born and raised in Lake Charles. His love of broadcast journalism began when he was a student at F.K. White Middle School, where he helped produce and anchor the morning announcements. During the summer between middle and high school, Lance "interned” at KPLC. He’d go out with photographers and reporters in the field, soaking up every aspect of television news. In high school, he became a teen reporter at KPLC and an intern at the American Press. Lance met his wife, Janesia Fontenot, in sixth grade, and they both graduated from LaGrange High. He attended the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication. During that time, he worked in Student Media and eventually became the station manager for Tiger TV, a member of the student media board, and the student member for the committee that hired the dean, Jerry Ceppos, in 2011. 


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3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM

Anyone with even a hint of interest in cheerleading has likely seen or at least heard of Netflix’s documentary series, Cheer. The popular show follows the Cheer Team at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas from practicing routines to the serious preparation for the National Championships. This small-town college has made a big name in the cheerleading world by winning the annual Daytona event title 14 times to date.


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2/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Hearts. Chocolates. Champagne. Scented candles. Store aisles brim with clichéd props for your annual Valentine’s Day celebration. Yet we fall in love in unique ways. Shouldn’t we think outside the heart-shaped, red foil box when making plans? Defy the marketing blitz by creating your own non-traditional Valentine’s Day date. There are options in the Lake Area to satisfy every romantic’s longing. 


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2/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Have you ever been in a relationship where your significant other says he adores you, but you’re honestly not feeling the love? Or possibly you love someone who accuses you of not expressing your emotions, despite your best efforts. Maybe you aren’t speaking each other’s love language.


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2/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Digital disruptions, random distractions, and 24/7 connectivity are undermining our ability to focus—and that hurts our quality of life. But there are some simple, doable changes you can make to reclaim your most valuable assets: your time and attention.


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1/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Those who follow Ty’s Marathon on Facebook know the journey this 28-year-old has taken since his accident on June 9, 2017. Ty Griffen loves fishing. While boating, Ty hit his head on a cement bridge. The water was higher than normal due to recent rains and he raised his head at an unfortunate moment to see where they were. The injury resulted in severe head trauma. 


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1/1/2020 1:00:00 PM
Since 1988, the Children’s Museum has been entertaining and educating the children of Southwest Louisiana and beyond with innovative, hands-on exhibits, storytelling, music, art and crafting classes and so much more.
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1/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Mayor Nic Hunter comments on the impact Port Wonder will have on our area:

Port Wonder will change the first impressions of the 80,000+ daily I-10 motorists who travel through Lake Charles. To have a 30-plus year attraction like the Children’s Museum serve as one of the anchors of this Lakefront project is an exciting prospect. Add in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Science Center and Educational Complex, and we are creating a state-of-the-art educational and entertaining destination for locals and visitors. In the long run, Port Wonder’s addition to the Lakefront will mean a new destination for residents and visitors, an economic boost to our area and a catalyst for additional development of the Lakefront. 


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12/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Spring, summer and fall seasons seem to get all the attention when it comes to wedding planning. But there’s something innately elegant and magical about the prospect of a winter wedding. If you’re thinking of planning a winter wedding, (and there is so much to think about, right? – the venue, décor, catering, fashion, hair and make-up) we’ve got some ideas for you! Read on.


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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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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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