The Voice of Southwest Louisiana December 2018 Issue


The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine December 2018

December 2018

Vol 6 No 5

12-7-2017 Gillis, LA




12 2019 Martin Luther King

Jr. Festival Schedule

14 Christmas with Doug

and Millie

Q&A with Dr.

Christal Waller

Let Go or Let Live



of the Lake

It’s Not Your Birthday


The Voice's Choice

Lake Charles Community

Band Christmas Concert







Stevens’ Funeral Home

823 N. Shattuck Street Lake

Charles, Louisiana 70601


Funeral Home

The beginning of a legacy of service

“Professional, Personal, & Caring”




2 December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5


By Brenda Hill

A New Season…

Same Reason

It’s that time of year again

to receive gifts, and possibly give one…or two,

from the hustle and bustle of shopping, though viewed by some as vain

when observing large crowds looking for that perfect gift, seemingly without a clue

of what the search is for.

It can be confusing and doesn’t make sense, you see

when they dash across the threshold of a department store

swinging and slinging during a Black Friday shopping spree.

And outside the holiday carolers are singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

Then upon your exit from the store they are singing “Jingle Bells.”

Leaving you to try and forget that full-fledged fight

And how it hindered you from getting all the best sales.

Now you are thinking all the saved, borrowed and stashed money

You spent on that special he or she

(such as a significant honey)

Just to hear them say

“Awwwww, you shouldn’t have.”

So, you blankly stare back and say, “Yeah, you right, Bae!”

Provoking your emotions to just about split that relationship in half.

It is amazing how good intentions can certainly go awry

when you set out to do the right thing…within reason

and all the time thinking you were being a good guy

just trying to celebrate the holiday season.

However, there is an uplift

to all this uncertain fuss

He IS the Gift

His Name Is JESUS.

Merry Christmas

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 3

Dec 2018

The Voice's Choice

The Voice's Choice will spotlight groups, individuals or topics

that spread love, joy and peace throughout SWLA.

The Lake Charles Community Band is an all-volunteer

group dedicated to sharing the love of music with

the public. It will hold a concert December 14, at 7 p.m.

at Trinity Baptist Church, 1800 Country Club Road. The

concert is open to the public with free admission.

16 Giving Back


Entergy &

DA's Office

giving back





Brenda Hill

General Manager

Tracy Clark

Art Director

Vinh Alexander


Copy Editors

Jason Clark

Cecely Clark

Ann Champagne


Gene R. Hill, Sr.

Reginald Clark

(See more on Pg 13)




































DISCLOSURE: All materials contained in the publication are copy-righted and June not be reproduced or reprinted in part or its entirety without the expressed written

permission of The Voice of SWLA. The views expressed in articles of The Voice of SWLA are not necessarily the views of the ownership or sponsors in this publication. The Voice of

SWLA assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content.


Brenda Hill

Cheri L. Soileau, AICP, Executive/

MPO Director

Emily Ashworth RN, BSN

Debra Guillory

Joyce R. Kebodeaux

Carra Sergeant, Ph. D.; LPC-S

Lela Gholar Tizano

Dr. Christal Waller


Team Publications LLC.

4310 Ryan St. Ste. 123

Lake Charles, LA. 70605

In the McNeese SEED Center


4 December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

Cover By

Vinh Photography

SWLA news

Editor’s Note: This series of articles provided by Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning

& Development Commission (IMCAL) will inform, educate and update our readers on

events affecting transportation and economic development in Southwest Louisiana.

Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning

& Development Commission

US Department of Transportation

– Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking

By Cheri L. Soileau, AICP, Executive/MPO Director

Human trafficking is a

topic that is difficult

to discuss but is

something that needs to be

brought up from time to time.

Different organizations in the

US and throughout the world

are working to eliminate this

exploitation of humans but we

all must be vigilant. Human

trafficking isn’t something that is

just happening in large cities or

in other countries. It happens in

small towns and throughout all

parts of the US. People are being

transported throughout the US

on major interstates, including

I-10 and through Southwest


The US Department

of Transportation

recently created the

Advisory Committee

on Human Trafficking

that will provide

information, advice and

recommendations to

the US DOT Secretary

Elaine Chao. This is in

addition to activities

that the US Homeland

Security, FBI and

state and local law

enforcement agencies

are involved.

While there are many agencies

involved in trying to identify

human trafficking victims, how

does the average citizen help

educate themselves about this

subject. One of the best websites

is It goes

into detail about the variety of

jobs that traffickers use -and it’s

surprising. Domestic workers,

restaurants, construction, hotels,

and other industries have people

who have been trafficked.

American citizens are trafficked,

it’s not just foreign nationals.

Men are just as likely to be

victims as women and children

and, many times, the victims are

used by those they trust.

How to identify human

trafficking? It must involve fraud,

coercion or force. The trafficker

must force or coerce or somehow

use fraud to get the victim

to participate in the action.

However, if a minor is involved,

it’s always a crime no matter if

there is or isn’t coercion or fraud.

There are many signs that can

indicate a person is a victim.

Some of them involve physical or

poor mental health-always tired,

always scared, never allowed

breaks, never paid directly, poor

hygiene or may have a large debt

that can never be paid off. They

may also not know where they

are, have inconsistent stories, lost

sense of time or just generally


The State of Louisiana requires

that every truck stop, highway

rest stop, or hotels have signage

posted with the National Human

Trafficking hot line number.

There are people who can speak

in over 170 languages and can

help with services, training and

general information.

If you suspect somebody is a

victim, the National Human

Trafficking Hotline Number is:

888-373-7888 or text Be Free


Another group that has eyes

on the highways at all times

is Truckers against Trafficking,


org/ Take a look at their website.

They have information and

training materials.

Learning about human

trafficking, identifying victims

and alerting law enforcement

goes a long way to helping stop

this crime. Get involved. Get


Cheri L. Soileau, AICP,

Executive/MPO Director

Imperial Calcasieu

Regional Planning &

Development Commission

Lake Charles Urbanized

Metropolitan Planning

Organization (MPO)

4310 Ryan Street, Suite 330

Lake Charles LA 70605

O: 337-433-1771

C: 469-964-2015

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 5

SWLA news

December Teen Connection

Sessions are on the Move

and Focused on:

Teen Banking Basics and Becoming

a Better Writer

Teen Connection seminars are scheduled for Thursday, December

6 and Thursday, December 13. This month’s free sessions will

be held from 5-6 p.m. at the Ward 3 Recreation Huber Park

Community Center, located at 2401 4th Avenue.

On Thursday, December 6, Teen Connection will tackle Banking

for Teens. Representatives from Hancock Whitney will be on hand

to provide valuable information on what teens need to know

when entering the financial world for the first time.

On Thursday, December 13, Teen Connection will focus on

teaching teens how to Become a Better Writer in Five Easy

Steps. Even in today’s digital world of sometimes shorthand

communication, the written word remains vitally important. The

ability to communicate ideas, opinions and information in a clear,

concise manner remains a top skill for any professional.

In October 2017, the City of Lake Charles began hosting “Teen

Connection” for teenagers, 13 to 18 years old, in Calcasieu Parish.

Teen Connection is designed to help teenagers learn job skills,

college prep, social media, interview skills, and ACT prep among

others. The classes are instructed by educators, government

officials, and business leaders in the community.

The City of Lake Charles fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related

statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, or to obtain a Title

VI Complaint Form, see the City of Lake Charles website- or call the

Mayor’s Action Line at (337) 491-1346, or contact the appropriate Department Head, or call the

Title VI coordinator at (337) 491-1440.

Katie C. Harrington, TMP

Public Information Officer

Office of the Mayor

326 Pujo Street – 10th Floor

Lake Charles, LA 70601

Office: (337) 491-9176

Fax: (337) 491-1206

6 December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

SWLA health, wealth & wellness Inform, Educate, Empower

Gil and Allonah opening

Christmas gifts, playing in

the snow and Christmas

in San Antonio with mom,

dad and Tweety.

The True Meaning

of Christmas

By Emily Ashworth RN, BSN

Becoming a mom and

holding our children

in my arms was and is

one of the greatest gifts the

Lord has given my husband

and me.

When our children were

younger, every Christmas they

gave me a list of items they

would like to receive, and we

showered them with many

gifts. Some would end up in

the corner after they played

with them for only a few


It seems that for many,

Christmas has become a

holiday more about gift giving

and less about time reflected

on what the holiday truly

means to us and our families.

Talking to our children

about Christmas helped us

to understand what was

truly important because

their memories were not

of the toys, we purchased

them. Their memories were

of time we spent together,

and of times we traveled or

played in the snow; roasting

marshmallows in the back

yard, and times we spent with

extended family and friends.

It is those memories that

become soothing moments,

during holiday seasons, when

we have experienced the loss

of some of our loved ones as

my family has this year.

Major life changes such as

the death of a loved one,

job changes, and other

occurrences can cause

increased fatigue, anger,

and/or increased use of

alcohol and drugs. In

our children, changes in

behavior in the classroom,

refusal to complete

work, and disinterest in

activities can all be signs of


Though many of our family

members are smiling on the

inside they may be hurting

and dealing with sadness,

loneliness, and feelings of

worthlessness that they hide

day in and day out.

According to the Anxiety

and Depression Association

of America, depression is

one of the leading causes

of disability in the United

States from ages 15-44.

There are many forms of

depression and seeking

professional help is not a

sign of weakness or a lack of

faith. Imbalances in thyroid

hormones, estrogen, and

testosterone can also lead to

these symptoms.

Visit these following links for more




I pray that your family will plan

‘time sharing moments’ this

holiday season. I challenge

you to make memories of

time spent with family and

friends this Christmas.

Yes…gather with family and

take a few photos. Then put

the phone or camera down,

take a break from social

media, and make intimate

memories of storytelling that

you may go back and recall on

your life’s journey.

De- stress yourself by giving

back; help supply needs and

wants to others who are poor

or have experienced disasters

or even invent something

that makes a difference to

someone in these trying


Most of all, give your most

precious gift of time with and

to those you love.

Be Well!

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 7

SWLA Health Center

Healthy Recipes


Per Serving

Makes 6 servings

calories: 245

total fat: 5.69g

saturated fat: 2.33g

carbohydrates: 21.09g

protein: 25.8g

cholesterol: 56.61mg

sodium: 476mg

dietary fiber: 4.56g

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Spray a

medium baking pan with cooking

spray. On waxed paper, mix bread

crumbs, cheese, cornmeal, and

ground red pepper.

2. In pie plate, beat egg white and

salt. Dip each piece of chicken in

egg white mixture, then coat with

bread crumb mixture. Place chicken

in pan; spray lightly with cooking


3. Bake chicken for 30 minutes or

until coating is crisp and juices

run clear when chicken is pierced

with the tip of a knife. Add mixed

vegetables to chicken. Bake for 5

more minutes. Serve with garlic

mashed potatoes.


non-stick cooking spray

½ cup plain dried bread


½ cup grated Parmesan


2 tablespoons cornmeal

½ teaspoon ground red


1 large egg white

½ teaspoon salt

1½ lbs boneless, skinless

chicken breast

3 cups mixed vegetables


Per Serving

Makes 6 servings

calories: 387

total fat: 1.04g

saturated fat: 0.07g

carbohydrates: 88.64g

protein: 9g

cholesterol: 0mg

sodium: 747mg

dietary fiber: 6.70g

1. Bake or buy an angel food cake.

2. Cut tops off one pint of

strawberries. Combine with ½

pint of blackberries, ½ pint of

blueberries, and strawberry glaze.

Reserve remaining berries for


3. Mix well so that berries are

thoroughly coated with glaze.

4. To serve, spoon ½ to ¾ cup of

glazed berry mixture over each

slice of cake. Garnish each slice

with a slice of lemon and a few

unglazed berries.


1 angel food cake

1 pint blueberries

2 pints strawberries

1 package strawberry

glaze (1 cup prepared)

1 pint blackberries

1 lemon (sliced)

8 December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5



Per Serving

Makes 10 servings

calories: 151

total fat: 0.5g

saturated fat: 0.2g

carbohydrates: 30g

protein: 6g

cholesterol: 2.3mg

sodium: 118mg

dietary fiber: 3.1g

1. In a blender, blend cottage

cheese, milk, lemon juice,

vinegar, celery seed, dillweed,

dry mustard, and white pepper

until smooth. Chill for 1 hour.

2. Scrub potatoes; boil in jackets

until tender. Cool; peel. Cut into

½-inch cubes. Add celery, green

onion, and parsley.

3. Pour chilled cottage cheese

mixture over vegetables; mix

well. Chill at least 30 minutes

before serving.


3 lbs potatoes (6 large)

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup sliced green onion

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

¾ cup skim milk

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

½ teaspoon celery seed

½ teaspoon dillweed

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon white pepper

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 9

SWLA Health Center

World Aids Day 2018, is an international day designated on December 1 since 1988. It

raises awareness of the AIDS pandemic through the spread of the HIV infection and to

mourn the loss of those who died from the disease.

The Word on



Why not


HIV and AIDS in the African American Community

By: Debra Guillory

HIV-Human Immune Deficiency

Virus is a virus that in most

cases is sexually transmitted

by blood or other body fluids that

causes an infection or attack on the

person’s immune system and if left

untreated can lead to full blown AIDS.

AIDS-Acquired Immune Deficiency

Syndrome is the most serious phase of

the disease in which the immune system

fails and life threatening infections and

cancers take over the body.

Louisiana ranks eleventh (2015) in the

nation in the number of reported HIV

cases with New Orleans and Baton Rouge

leading the state of reportable cases

and notably in the African American

community. African Americans make up

about 15% of Louisiana’s total population

but 68% of the reported cases are African

Americans and more women of color

are being newly diagnosed and are

disproportionately affected.

The increased frequency in sexually

transmitted diseases, improper or

no use of condoms with every sexual

encounter, knowing how many sexual

partners your partner has had, men on

the down low and needle sharing are also

contributing factors for HIV+ diagnosis

and greatly puts the individual at risk for

contracting the virus.

Many African Americans may be HIV+

and don’t even know it due to the

fact that many do not seek routine

healthcare screenings or services

from a medical provider and may

only seek treatment after signs and

symptoms appear. Among those

who seek treatment, many are fearful

or reluctant to discuss sexual health

issues or concerns with their doctor and

refuse testing. A great number of these

individuals continue to have unprotected

sex with multiple partners and

unknowingly pass the virus along to their

partners. African American women are

significantly more at risk for contracting

the virus becoming infected and

impacted by the disease. Accessibility

to continued care and support services

also continues to plague those in care

post testing results of being HIV+ and

late confirmation of an AIDS diagnosis

and the ability to follow through with

the advised medical regime. Other

factors/contributing factors are: socioeconomic

issues, low self esteem, no

support system, fear, denial, shame or

stigma attached to diagnosis, financial

dependence on a partner, not in a

monogamous relationship, distrust on

the healthcare delivery system.

Some common myths and false

misinformation especially in the African

American communities also leads to a

lack of treatment for the disease.

1) Everyone who has HIV is infectious

and can transmit the disease.

2) Condoms are the only way to prevent


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5



Virus (HIV)

HIV causes

progressive failure of

the immune system,

making the body far

more susceptible to

infections and cancer.

For some patients,

HIV develops

into acquired


syndrome (AIDS).

the transmission of the virus.

3) Persons newly diagnosed should wait

for signs and symptoms to be treated.

4) HIV+ test is bad news (automatic

death sentence).

5) Only gay men are at significant risk for

the disease.

The simple truth of the matter is

you can’t look at someone and tell

if they are HIV infected as signs and

symptoms may vary from person to

person. The only way to know what your

status is to seek testing from a trusted

medical provider who can weigh all your

options, concerns and issues that you

may have regarding your total health.

There are many healthcare choices,

treatment options, and medicines on the

market (Truvada) today that were not

available even as little as 10 years ago.

There are four steps we can take to

help prevent HIV.

1. Know how HIV spreads.

2. Understand the chance of getting HIV

from different sexual activities.

3. Get tested. Ask your partners about

their test results. And tell them about


4. Talk to a healthcare provider about all

the ways to prevent HIV.



Start by getting tested, and take these


Sexual activity:

Try talking to your partners about HIV

first. Ask whether they have been tested

and what the results were, and always

use condoms.

Injection drug use:

Never share needles, syringes, or other

drug injection equipment.

Breastfeeding and Pregnancy:

Do not breastfeed if you have HIV.

The virus can be passed to your baby

through breast milk. If you are pregnant,

a healthcare provider can help you

understand how to prevent passing HIV

to your baby.

By having an open and honest

discussion with your healthcare

providers will you then be able to

make choices that can significantly

make your life healthier. There are

many options and advancements being

made for those with a HIV+ diagnosis to

improve the quality of life for individuals.

More and more people are leading

normal lives, holding full time jobs,

having families and living advanced

years with the diagnosis. SWLA Center

for Health Services offer FREE Testing and

Counseling services. GET TESTED.

Reference Source:

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 11

SWLA non-profit


Martin Luther King Jr.

Festival Schedule

The MLK Coalition announces plans for Martin Luther

King Jr. Festival Jr. 2019 held January 18-21, 2019. The

theme this year is “Not Everybody Can Be Famous But

Everybody Can Be Great Because Greatness Is Determined

By Service… You Only Need A Heart Full Of Grace And A

Soul Generated By Love.” We celebrate the 35th anniversary

and being chosen as a top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism

Society for the first quarter of 2018, a coveted honor among

12-member states.

The MLK Jr. Festival honors the courageous efforts and sacrifices of

Martin Luther King Jr.

January 18th - Friday Morning Kick Off

7:30 a.m. — Annual Memorial Breakfast @ Mount Olive

Baptist Church (Honoring outstanding individuals in the


Guest Speaker - Chief Of Police Baton Rouge, Louisiana Chief

Murphy Paul. Local high school choirs performing include:

Barbe, Lagrange, Sulphur, St. Louis and Washington Marion,

led by each school's choir director, and accompanied by Mr.

Don McZeal and Ms. Belinda Williams.

9:00 a.m. — MLK Unsung Hero Award

First place winners from each division of the essay contest will

read their winning essay. Open to the public and televised live


Saturday January 19th

8:00 a.m. — MLK Community 5K Run/3Mile Walk and

Health Fair @ Lake Charles Civic Center

3:00 p.m. — MLK Community Clean-Up @ 12th Street/

Ryan Street (Featuring the Boy Scouts of America and

Washington Marion ROTC)

6:00 p.m. — Gospel Extravaganza @ Throne of Grace

Fellowship, 2401 6th Street, Lake Charles, LA (Featuring

performers from throughout Louisiana)

Free Admission

Monday January 21st

8:30 a.m. — Annual Parade

Line up at the Lake Charles Civic Center

11:00 a.m. — Parade Roll Out

Family Day Celebration (Zydeco, R&B, Blues, and Southern

Soul Music)

Celebrity Gumbo Cook-Off Contest

Local Vendor Exhibition (Arts, Crafts, Creole, and Cajun


Purchase T-Shirts at KZWA and Unlimited Fashions

Those wearing Commemorative MLK 2019 T-Shirts are

invited to march in the parade and the admittance into

Monday events are all free.

Pay fees and/or pick up entry forms at the business office,

address listed below, and for more details contact:

Roxie Smith

Call: 337-491-9955 or fax: 337-433-8097


305 Enterprise Blvd

Lake Charles, LA 70601


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

The Voice's Choice

Lake Charles Community Band

Christmas Concert

The Lake Charles Community

Band will hold a Christmas

Concert on Friday, December

14 at 7 p.m. at Trinity Baptist

Church, 1800 Country Club Road.

The concert is open to the public

with free admission. The band will be

accompanied by the Our Lady Queen

of Heaven Youth Choir and the Saint

Louis High Choir. The program will

include many traditional favorites

such as “Jingle Bell Fantasy” and “Do

You Hear What I Hear” as well as

selections from “Polar Express” and a

few surprises.

The Community Band is under the

direction of retired Fred Roeder and he

is assisted by Leo Murray. The makeup

of the band includes professional

musicians, band directors, teachers,

retirees, housewives, craftsmen,

professionals and students. The band

is an all-volunteer group, which is

dedicated to sharing love of music

with the public.

The band is supported by grants from

the City of Lake Charles, Lake Charles/

Southwest Louisiana Convention &

Visitors Bureau, and the Calcasieu

Parish Police Jury as administered by

the Arts and Humanities Council of

SWLA. Funding is also provided by

Phillips 66, “Note-Donations” and the

“Friends of the LCCB” donations at

different levels. For more information

contact Brenda Harrington, President

at 713-825-6864 or e-mail at

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 13

My Senior Moment 2.0

By Joyce R. Kebodeaux


with Doug

and Millie

Visiting with Doug Hebert and

Millie Wherland during the

Holidays is a joyful experience.

Their telling of their past holidays as

children makes one feel like you were

right there with them. Millie said, “I grew

up in Brownsville Texas. At Christmas,

we girls from the church went from

house to house singing Christmas Carols.

Afterward we’d have supper at the

Pastor’s house.”

Doug grew up in Lake Charles where

the Holidays were all about Church,

family and food. “Both my parents were

excellent cooks and enjoyed cooking

for their families,” he said. “The smells

from the kitchen mixed were with the

smells of the Douglas Fir Christmas Tree,”

he said. “How well I remember those

days. One Christmas we five children

snuck out one night while Mom and Dad

were sleeping. I was five years old. My

brother got the keys to our 1957 Green

Plymouth. It had those high taillights.

When he opened the trunk we all saw

these beautifully wrapped gifts. We

snuck back into bed without getting

caught and on Christmas Eve we all

pretended to be surprised,” he laughed.

“My dad made wooden scooters and

refurbished old bicycles to surprise us

girls at Christmas. We didn’t get a lot

of gifts, maybe one or two,” Millie said.

“But we always got a stocking filled with

huge apples and oranges and mixed

nuts. When I got a doll, I mothered it

the whole year. For us girls, [there were

six of us] our gifts were the dolls and

paper dolls and tea sets. And we got new

dresses to wear to church every year.”

For Doug his gifts were baseballs, a bat

or small plastic figures that he played

imaginary wars and other action games.

One year there was a croquet set. “The

whole family enjoyed that gift,” Doug


Both Doug and Millie say they grew

up poor. There was always food on the

table, a roof over their heads and neither

realized they were poor until they were

grown-ups. One thing not missing in

both families was love. They had enough

for themselves and then some to share

with others.


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5



Minister: 337.532.2729

Church: 337.419.1911

Doug Hebert 6 years and ready for church


Millie Wherland 8 years old and playing with

a doll she received at Christmas.

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 15

SWLA feature story

Giving Bac

Sasol Gives

to Student


SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall and SOWELA

Foundation Board Members Martin Guillory and Bill

Hankins accept a donation on behalf of the SOWELA

Foundation of $123,000 for the Workforce Training Scholarship

Program which is made possible through the Community Foundation

of Southwest Louisiana and Sasol. The Presentation was made by the

President of the Community Foundation of the Southwest Louisiana,

Sara Judson, and Sasol Vice President of Operations: West Plant

Michael Kane.


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5



Eysink Endowed


SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall

and SOWELA Foundation Board

Members Martin Guillory and Bill

Hankins accept a donation on behalf

of the SOWELA Foundation of $10,000

for the Sasol/Curt Eysink Endowed Scholarship

from Sasol Vice President of Operations: West

Plant Michael Kane.


Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 17

SWLA feature story


Giving Back

Photo includes (left to right):

Anthony “Chip” Arnould, Sr., Region Manager, Entergy

Mayor Nicholas E. Hunter, City of Lake Charles

Denise Fasske, City of Lake Charles



Lake Charles


Anthony “Chip” Arnould, Sr. Region Manager,

Entergy Louisiana presented Mayor Nicholas

E. Hunter with a check for $15,000 on behalf

of Entergy in support of several of the City’s

community events. Programs such as Downtown at

Sundown, Red White Blue & You, and the Light up the Lake

Christmas Celebration rely strictly on corporate sponsorships

such as Entergy’s. This year’s check included an additional

$5,000 for sponsorship of the Louisiana Municipal Association

annual convention hosted in Lake Charles.

“Entergy is proud to partner with programs which enhance

the quality of life and contribute to the cultural economy in

our community,” said Arnould.

For more information on community events go to www. or call 337-491-9159.


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

Pictured L to R: John F. DeRosier, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney and

Julio R. Galan, President & CEO of Family & Youth.

Calcasieu Parish

District Attorney’s

Office donates

in support of

the Children’s

Advocacy Center

Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana (Family

Foundation) was presented with a $100,000.00 donation

from the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office in

support of the Children’s Advocacy Center. Proceeds were

donated through the Family Foundation Capital Campaign, which is

raising funds to expand Family & Youth’s current facilities.

The donation will provide vital services to children who are seen at the

Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). The CAC is a child friendly facility

where victims of abuse and/or neglect can tell their story in a safe and

comfortable environment.

Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana is committed to

meeting the needs of families in Southwest Louisiana. Therefore, as

our community grows, so must Family & Youth. The Family Foundation

Capital Campaign’s purpose is to provide funding for a building

expansion, which will ensure that Family & Youth’s division will have the

resources and capabilities to welcome and serve anyone who needs our

help in our community.

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 19

Peace from Pieces

By Carra Sergeant, Ph. D.; LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor



It's official — we're right in

the middle of the holiday

season. Is your first

response "Bah, humbug!?"

Well, you're not the only one.

With all the hustle and bustle,

the lack of sleep, the relatives,

and the fatty or sugary foods,

you may be feeling drainedphysically

and emotionally. For

you, the holidays may not be

a cause for celebration. There

are a million different reasons

that holiday stressors can turn

into the holiday blues. You may

feel overstretched financially;

your daily routine may become

disrupted due to parties and

shopping; you may be eating

unhealthily; you may feel

increasing stress dealing with

family members; or you may be

feeling lonely. Financial, social

and physical strain can all lead

to holiday depression.

Many of the reasons for

“holiday blues” are centered

around the pressure to create

the perfect holiday. People

romanticize what is going on in

everyone else's life and try to

live up to that ideal. Holidays

are not as magical as some

people believe. Your family

won’t suddenly be on their

best behavior, things won't go

exactly as you had planned, so

it's important to adjust your

expectations accordingly. Just

as no one has the perfect life,

no one has the perfect holiday.

Take heart… It's not

uncommon for some people

to become mildly depressed

during this time of year. Don’t

let the pressure of the season

steal your joy. Fortunately,

there are some simple steps

you can take to lift your spirits

and get you through the

holiday season:


Spend time with people

you care about: Reach

out to the people with

whom you can be yourself.

Just seeing a loved one's

smiling face can make a big

difference in your mood.


Give back: If you're

feeling isolated or lonely,

try volunteering in your

community. Volunteering

is a great way to surround

yourself with other people

and take your mind off of

your worries for a while.


Don't compare yourself

to others: Life always looks

better on the other side, but

things are not always what

they seem. It might even be

helpful to minimize social

media exposure during the

holidays. People tend to

share their best moments on

social media, but remember,

their life has bad times, too.


Get some exercise: Exercise

has a long list of benefits,

including helping you deal

with stress and anxiety.


Have fun without

overdoing it: Enjoying

good food and drink is part

of what the holidays are all

about. Be sure to set limits

for yourself, especially with

alcohol. Overindulging

doesn't solve any problems.


Be honest about how

you're feeling: Sometimes

the hardest part of

this season is thinking

you should feel a certain

way, even when you don't.

Don't force it. When friends

or family ask how you're

doing, be honest. You never

know who else might be

feeling the same way.,


Stick to a budget: Instead

of spending to excess,

determine how much you

want to spend on gifts, and

don't go over the limit. Tell

family and friends, "With the

economy so uncertain, I’m

trying not to overdo it this



Don't dwell on the

past: Memories of happier

times—or not-so-happy

times—can disrupt your

life now. If these holidays

are nothing like the joyous


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

Love is what you’ll find in the

room with you at Christmas, if

you stop opening presents long

enough to listen.


times you enjoyed as a

child, don’t let it sadden

you. If you had a big fight

with your parents last year,

don’t automatically think

that you’ll fight again this

year. Instead, allow yourself

to enjoy the present



Eat just enough: Overeating

can make you feel ill and

contribute to weight gain,

so don’t feel obligated to

consume everything your

host puts in front of you.

To politely decline extra

helpings, say, "Everything

was delicious, but I couldn’t

eat another bite."


Keep to your routine: When

you’re shopping, cooking

and going to parties, you’re

less likely to spend time

on self-care—but those

healthy habits help protect

you against negative

emotions. So, don’t disrupt

your exercise routine,

continue your relaxation

regimen, and get good rest.

You may find that you’ll

be less bothered by family

squabbles and upsets.


Say “no”—and skip the

guilt: You don’t have to

accept every invitation, if it

means you’ll be losing sleep

or precious downtime.

We need private time to

recuperate and regain

our energy, Feel free to

leave the party a bit early

or to politely decline an



Focus on what you have,

not what you don’t: Ignore

the commercials where

someone surprises his

partner with a new luxury

car or a sparkling diamond

ring. Those commercials

only leave you wondering:

“What about me”? Remind

yourself that it’s not stuff

that makes the holidays

special. It’s the people.


Focus on the true

meaning of the

season: Forget about

making your home spotless

for company, and instead

focus on celebrating the

true spirit of the season:

Attend religious services,

spend time with people

you care about and who

care about you, count

your blessings and do

something for someone

else. Turn the holidays into

a win-win season.


Allow yourself to grieve: If

a friend or family member

has recently died, practice

the lost art of grieving.

Create an altar with

pictures of those you love;

light candles every night

for someone you have lost;

play sacred music and allow

yourself to cry, remember,



Offer love to everything:

Love it all. Even the hard

times and the difficult

people; the good, the

bad and the ugly; even

the cranky and crooked

people of the world.

Most importantly, love

yourself. ALL OF YOU -

with all of your faults and


Remember, the holiday

season will end and the

holiday blues should pass.

In the meantime, the best

thing you can do is treat

yourself gently during this

overwhelming time. May the

spirit of the season gently fill

your heart and home with

love and may this Christmas

remind you that joy and

goodwill are the true things

that uplift our lives.

If you continue to feel sad

and blue beyond the holiday

season, you may have

something else going on.

Do yourself a favor and seek

the help of a mental health




Holiday Anxiety and

Depression: Survival Tips




Dealing With Holiday

Depression? You Don't

Have To Suffer Alone

Holiday Depression and




Carra Sergeant, PhD, LPC



For an appointment, call



Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 21

ADVENTURES of the Lake

It’s Not



By Lela Gholar Tizano

Big Momma opened the present from her grandchildren,

“ooo weee!” she exclaimed when she carefully removed

the black and white wide-brimmed hat from the box.

“Jessie Lou is gonna be jealous of me come Christmas morning

when I show up in church struttin’ in this beauty right here.” She

placed the hat on her head and cocked it to the side and put her

nose in the air like she was royalty.

“You like it Big Momma?” her daughter

Althea asked.

“Of course I do, my grandbabies got me

this; that makes it really special.”

They had just as much pride giving

the gift as she had receiving it. With

anticipation, they sat waiting for their

gifts from her. They had been eyeing the

red foil gift-wrapped boxes marked with

each of their names since she placed

them under the Christmas tree right after

Thanksgiving. They could tell from the

fancy wrapping paper that she spent a

whole lot of money on them this year. A

pair of socks was their gift last year but

this time they could tell this was not a

pair of socks. As a matter of fact, they

believed it had to be something they

really wanted. They had given her hints

and even put pictures on her refrigerator,

so she would have no trouble getting

them the perfect gift.

“I bet it’s some headphones,” Jessie said,

“that’s what I asked for”.

“Unh-unh, I think it’s a new cell phone,”

Karen said.

“Both of Y’all are wrong, I bet it’s a video

game,” Austin stated.

Rebecca sat silently, listening to the


“Can we open ours now?” Morgan asked.

“Sure, you can,” Big Momma scooted

out of her recliner and hobbled over to

the Christmas tree. Special time and

attention were given to making sure

they received the perfect gift. When she

thought about the best thing she could

possibly give them there was only one

thing that came to mind. So, she did her

best to deliver that gift to them.

Each child sat with their gift in their

hands until everyone received theirs.

They looked over at each other grinning

from ear to ear. “Now before you open

your gifts, I want to tell you something,

always remember Christmas is not

about you and it is not your birthday,

therefore, whatever you get you should

be appreciative,” Big Momma added. “OK,

you can open them now.”

Big Momma watched the expressions on

their faces change. They held the gift in

their hands like it was a foreign object

that they had no idea how to operate.

“What are we supposed to do with this?”

Jessie asked.

Austin opened his gift then shot Big

Momma a look of disgust. “Are you

serious?” he scoffed.

“Is there a problem with your gifts?” Big

Momma asked with sincerity.


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

They just looked at one another. After

all the murmuring and complaining

suddenly none of them could speak.

“Remember, I told you it’s not your


“What do you mean Christmas is

not our birthday? We still should get

presents.” Morgan said with a little bit

of attitude. She was only five years old.

Big Momma was sure she didn’t fully

understand what Christmas was about.

But what disappointed her were the older

ones who acted like they didn’t know

either. She expected more from them.

She figured they’d have a little more

gratitude, but she was wrong. All five of

them received the same gift but Rebecca

was the only one that said “thank-you.”

Each of them had been given a leather

Bible with their names engraved on the

cover in gold letters.

“I want you to crack open those Bibles

and inside you will find a blessing. You

will even discover the real meaning of

Christmas,” she informed them.

Her words went in one ear and out of the

other. As the day went on Big Momma

found one Bible on the floor in the

kitchen, one was being used as a coaster

on the coffee table and she wasn’t sure

where the others were. One thing she

knew was that her gifts were not well

received. They said their goodbyes and

left for the evening.

Moments later Big Momma heard a soft

knock on the door. She peered through

the peephole at Rebecca waiting to come


“You forget something, Sugah?”

“No ma’am, but I did what you told me

to do; I opened my Bible and I found the

letter inside and it said to come back

here, so I did.”

Big Momma’s heart was filled with joy.

“Thank you for listening. Like I told you

the real meaning of Christmas is in that

Bible. Jesus is the reason for the season.

We celebrate His birth and we need to

remember Him on this special day.”

Together they read Luke 2:1-20 and

Rebecca learned all about Jesus’ birth

that day. “So that’s why you said it’s not

our birthday,” she remarked.

Big Momma nodded her head and

watched her granddaughter grasp

the meaning of what she had just

discovered. “Go look in that jar on top of

the refrigerator, I got an envelope with

your name on it.” Rebecca opened the

envelope and found fifty dollars inside.

“That’s for you, go and get what you


“Thank you,” she said.

This is our little secret. Don’t you tell the

rest of them. They got to discover the

gift on their own. If they don’t open their

Bibles, they are gonna miss the blessing. “

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 23


Dr. Christal Waller - SWLA Center for

Health Services - Oakdale, La., enjoys

dancing, driving, going to the movies,

laughing and relaxing for leisure.

Let Go or

Let Live

By Dr. Christal Waller

The Christmas Holidays are

here, and families will gather to

celebrate their faith, enjoy good

food, have fun and watch football. My

family has just experienced a life and

health concern with a close family member

who now needs to make serious decisions,

so I called upon Dr. Christal Waller.

QWhat must we do for end-of-life care

when no plans are in place?



your spouse goes to the

hospital for a simple procedure and

something terrible happens. The medical

team is now asking you to make one of the

most difficult decisions of your life. You have

planned for your annual vacation. You have

planned for the children’s college tuition.

You have planned for retirement. But not

many people plan for end-of-life-care. Why is

this? Dying is an inevitable part of living. It is

going to happen. Why are we not preparing

for it? Let’s talk about it.

I have asked several friends and

coworkers this question: If your spouse

was in the hospital and his/her heart

stopped beating and they stopped

breathing, what would they want you to

do? Many began the answer with what

they would want to do for their loved

ones or what they think their loved ones

would want done. I reminded them that

the question was asking if they knew

what the “person” wanted. No one knew!

Most of us think we know the end-oflife-care

desired by our loved ones but as

a community, we do not know for sure.

We are not talking about it. We are not

planning for it. We know how important

it is but we have not engaged in

conversation about it. Some believe that

this conversation should come later in life

when they are older, but we all know that

death is not just for the elderly. Simply,

we procrastinate having this conversation

because we are uncomfortable talking

about it. For some of us, the very thought

of it brings on a tremendous amount of

sadness, therefore, we avoid it.

Nevertheless, whether the end-of-life

experience is expected or not, if death

does not happen suddenly, we will be

faced with the seemingly impossible

task of deciding to Let Go or Let Live.

At that time, the person cannot tell you

what they want done. Your heart will be

hurting and you will not be in the best

mental state to make a decision of this

magnitude. Free yourself of the burden.

Take some time for yourself to determine

what it is you would like to be done for

you. Be sure to sit down with your

family members and answer these and

similar questions:

1. If you stop breathing and your heart

stops beating, what do you want me

to do?

2. Are you an organ donor? Would you

like to be an organ donor?

3. Is there a life insurance policy?

Where is it kept? Who do I need to

contact in the event of your death?

4. Where do you want to be buried?

Which funeral home would you like

to perform the services?

5. Is there a living will or advanced


Let Go or Let Live. We know God controls

the outcome. However, if you are ever

asked these or questions like these, be

prepared. You should only have to make

this decision for you!


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5


Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Ph: 337-439-9554

1617 N. Martin Luther King Hwy

Lake Charles, LA 70601






Jonald J. Walker III, CPA, CGMA

Kelly Love, CPA

Lake Charles, LA


Supplementation is no

longer an option

Plant foods are the medicine that powers your

body to be able to heal and function optimally

as well as improve your quality of life. Shaklee

products are as close to nature’s food as possible and are

easy to consume.

Today’s food supply is greatly deficient in nutritional

value! So for better health and more energy we must

supplement daily with pure unadulterated supplements.

Ask about this month’s savings.

Call or Visit

our Website for

More Details!

Mon-Sat 11:AM-9:PM

Sun 11:AM-4:PM

Dine In ~ Order To Go ~ Catering



Also Known As:

4415 Nelson Road

Lake Charles, LA 70605


Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 25


208 West McNeese Street

Lake Charles, LA 70605




Charla Blake, Assoc AIA

Executive Director

337-439-7191 OFFICE

337-990-5316 FAX

469-767-5035 CELL



702 1st Avenue

Sulphur, LA 70663

Some would say the

perfect Christmas

morning happens at

home, opening presents

around the Christmas

tree, family gathered,

celebrating love and

togetherness. For some,

this may only be a

dream, because they

do not have a home

to call their own. This

Christmas consider

giving a donation of

your time, services,

or finances towards

helping a family achieve

the goal of home

ownership in 2019. Let

the joy of giving be one

that continues to give

for a lifetime.




Pick up your copy of

The Voice of SWLA while

you’re out and about.


• West Cal-Cam Hospital

• Stines

• Pitt Grill


• Goodwill

• Hollier's

• Dairy Barn


• Pujo St. Cafe

• Chase (Downtown)

• Steamboat Bill's

• Civic Center

• Carnegie Library

• Luna Bar & Grill


• Peto's

• Market Basket

• Southern Spice


• Post Office

• Market Basket

• Love's Truck Stop


• Brookshires Bros.

• City Hall

• DeRidder Hospital

• Post Office

• Steamboat Bill's

Committed to the highest level

3116 Ryan St.

of customer service possible!

Lake Charles, LA 70601

Phone: (337) 564-6009


December 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 5

Jason Bland

Operations, Lake Charles West Plant

Cindy Comeaux

Information Management

The people at Sasol are the reason

we have such a great company.

Sasol cares about its employees and

its impact on the community.”

Cindy Comeaux

Tammy Fontenot

Safety, Health & Environmental

We’re building ...


Sasol is delivering on its commitment

to hire local workers for its world-scale

petrochemical complex.

620+ new employees hired:

• 85% are Louisiana residents

• 72% of those from Calcasieu Parish

Learn more at

Volume 6 • Number 5 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM December 2018 27

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