The Voice of Southwest Louisiana August 2019 Issue


The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine August 2019

August 2019

Vol 7 No 1



"The Dragonfly symbolizes

thought of change, hope, love,

and it sees the world in COLORS..."

p3 Editor's Pen







African American

Art & More

Rita Fields

Rita's Creole Family Kitchen

in Big Lake

Vu Tran

Benefits of Homeownership

& Benefits as a Renter

p20 SWLA Business

J. Walker & Co APC


Acknowledging Special

Education Teachers

Lela Gholar Tizeno

p22 ADVENTURES of the Lake



Community Connection

One-Hour Workshop

p10 SWLA Health Center

SWLA Center for Health Services

Celebrates National Health

Centers Week

p24 Q&A w/ Cynthia

Coffey Daigle

About Cerebral Vascular

Accident or CVA/STROKE

p26 SWLA Non-Profit

Tournament of the Stars

Annual Scholarship Banquet



10:45 A.M. WORSHIP






Minister: 337.249.1719

Church: 337.419.1911


& let's get Started!



From cars, trucks and SUVs, to

RVs, motorcycles and boats,

we have loans designed to fit

your needs. Come on over to

First Federal Bank and we’ll

get you in the driver’s seat.


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1


By Brenda Hill


The Dragonfly symbolizes thought of

change, hope, love, and it sees the

world in colors.

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana’s mission

is to present information that educates,

informs and empowers our readers, viewers

and followers. Our hope is that it promotes

deeper informed decision making for you, guided by acceptance

and love for our diverse and multicultural environment.

The Dragonfly has super sensitive sight and uninhibited vision of the mind

that bypasses deceptive illusion. Its accurate timing to change its mind

on a moment to moment basis, permits transformation and adaptation to

grow and change slowly in its immature state. It has existed for over 300

million years. It lives life to the fullest, beyond limitations, during its 6-week

life span.

Like the Dragonfly, The Voice of Southwest Louisiana has utilized super

sensitive vision of mental and emotional maturity to endure, transform,

adapt and understand the deeper meaning of life. From our beginning,

trials, errors and circumstances of moving in the moment have been many;

however, we understood where we were; with skilled individuals that

believed in our vision and mission; able to help, guide and support us to

make informed choices, and without self-condemnation.

God’s Divine favor and abundance of Grace, supersedes 300 million years,

predestined us to live beyond the illusion of limitations. We know who ‘we

are,’ what ‘we can’ do, what ‘we want’ and what ‘we don’t want.’

Our gift continues to make room for us in community and we are very

grateful and thankful to Him for each trial and circumstance which enabled

us to ‘slowly grow and change,’ during our 6-year span.

We accept the slow growth and change and anticipate new beginnings for

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana. We hope you enjoy upcoming Issues, as

you experience the absence of some of your favorite columnists, and as we

present other columns on a bi-monthly fashion.

Pick up your copy or subscribe for your E-News, and enjoy more thoughtprovoking

information about the Holidays, Women’s Health, Healthy Aging,

Investments and more.

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana August 2019, Volume 7, Issue 1, is now

available in print and E-News. We are happy to share this one with you and

we hope you continue with us as we unfold into new beginnings.

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

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 3

Aug 2019

The Voice's Choice

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

that spread love, joy and peace throughout SWLA.

Vu Tran, Accounting, BS

"Treat people the way you want

to be treated."

Vu Tran is a resident of

Lake Charles, Louisiana,

for six years, and

originally from Vietnam.

She graduated from

McNeese State

University and is a

Staff Accountant at J.

Walker & Company,

APC. Her roles at J.

Walker & Company,

APC are preparing

Corporation, Non-profit

Organization, Individual

Tax Returns, and

preparing Medicare

Cost Report. She

previously worked at

Office of Disabilities

Services, McNeese State

University, assisting

students with disabilities for services jobs. Her hobbies

and interests are photographing, traveling and hanging

out with friends..

See more on page 20…

3 Change...


8 Healthy



Brenda Hill

General Manager

Tracy Clark

Creative Director

Vinh Alexander

Community Coordinator

Ken Williamson /Sales

Acquisition Editor

Braylin Jenkins

Copy Editors

Jason Clark

Cecely Clark

Ann Champagne


Gene R. Hill, Sr.

Reginald Clark
























DISCLOSURE: All materials contained in the publication are copyrighted and not to be reproduced or reprinted in part or in their entirety without the expressed written

permission of The Voice of SWLA. The views expressed in the 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

Dianna Ross

Judith Washington

Kris Welcome

Vu Tran

Lela Gholar Tizano


Photo of "Dragonfly" by




Team Publications LLC.

4310 Ryan St. Ste. 123

Lake Charles, LA. 70605

In the McNeese SEED Center



August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

SWLA news

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 5

SWLA news


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 7

SWLA Health Center

Healthy Recipes



Carrots add a natural sweetness to cake so you

need less sugar. Try them with delicious maple

cream cheese icing!


1⁄2 cup canola oil (or any vegetable oil)

3⁄4 cup sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons large eggs

1⁄2 pound carrots (scrubbed and grated* (about 2 cups))

1⁄2 cup chopped lightly toasted pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts

(if you’re allergic to nuts, leave this out)

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt



Measuring spoon

Mixer or large bowl

2 ounce scoop or tablespoon

Small bowl

Table knife

Measuring cups

Box grater

Cupcake liners

12-cup muffin tin


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and

put them on a counter.

1. Turn the oven on and set it to 350 degrees.

2. Put cupcake liners in 12 cupcake or muffin tins.

3. Put the oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl or in a

stand mixer with paddles attached.

4. Beat the mixture until everything is evenly


5. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just


6. Using the scoop, fill each of the prepared muffin

tins 2/3 of the way to the top.

7. Once the oven temperature has reached 350

degrees, put the muffin tins in the oven and

bake 22-25 minutes or until the tops are slightly

browned and rounded. (When they’re done, a

toothpick should come out clean.)

8. Let sit until cool (10-15 minutes). Then remove the

cupcakes from the tins.


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

See more at




purple grapes


kiwis, peeled and cut into chunks

pineapple chunks

cantaloupe chunks




Cutting board

Sharp knife (adult needed)

Bamboo skewers

“Eating the rainbow” helps get you in the habit of eating a full

spectrum of fruits and vegetables — and, because different

colors are associated with different nutrients, it’s a great way

to keep you healthy.


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment

and ingredients and put them on a counter.

1. For each kabob, thread the fruit onto a skewer in rainbow order. Eat

right away.



This is one of many delicious recipes you can find in the Sesame Street book C is for Cooking.

It's a yummy way to cook pears, which are a good winter fruit because they store well.


Wash your hands with soap and water, then

gather all your equipment and ingredients

and put them on a counter.



Cutting board

Sharp knife (adult needed)

Measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Medium-sized bowl


9-inch pie plate



Cooking spray or vegetable oil

1⁄2 cup old-fashioned oats

1⁄4 cup whole-wheat flour

1⁄3 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 stick (4 tablespoons)

unsalted butter, softened

4 ripe Bosc or Anjou pear,

peeled, halved, and cored

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

1. Turn the oven on and set the

heat to 375 degrees. Spray the pie

plate with cooking spray (or grease

it with oil).

2. Put the oats, flour, brown sugar,

cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in the

medium bowl, and use the fork to

stir it all together. Mash and stir in

the butter until a crumbly mixture


3. Put the pears in the pie plate, cut

side up, and sprinkle the pears with

lemon juice, then drizzle them with


4. Crumble the oat topping all

over the pears. Once the oven

temperature has reached 375

degrees, put the pie plate in the

oven and bake until the pears are

softened and the toping is crisp

– about 25 minutes. Remove the

crisp from the oven and let it cool

15 minutes before serving.

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 9

SWLA Health Center

SWLA Center for Health Services

Celebrates National Health Centers Week

By Dianna Ross

“America’s Health Centers Rooted

in Communities”

SWLA Center for Health Services will

hold several events to mark National

Health Center Week (NHCW) 2019 from

August 4th-10th. The event is part of a

national campaign to increase awareness

of the ways health centers are providing

affordable health care in communities. A

host of NHCW events that celebrate the

ways that health centers are “Rooted in

Communities” are scheduled across the

country, including health fairs, visits by

Members of Congress and state officials

to local health centers, press conferences,

back-to-school drives, community

breakfasts, patient appreciation events,

free health screenings and much more.

SWLA Center for Health Services is part

of a nationwide network of locally run

health centers that serve more than 28

million people nationwide. They are

on the front lines of national public

health challenges – whether caring for

veterans, providing opioid treatment, or

responding to natural disasters. They are

also a lifeline in remote and underserved

communities where the nearest doctor or

hospital can be as far as 50 miles or more

away. Nearly half of health centers (44

percent) are located in rural communities.

Highlights of health center

accomplishments include:

• Reducing unnecessary

hospitalizations and unnecessary

visits to the emergency room;

• Treating patients for a fraction of the

average cost of one emergency room


• Serving more than one in six

Medicaid beneficiaries for less than

two percent of the national Medicaid


• Lowering the cost of children’s

primary care by approximately 35


• Treating 65,000 patients with

Medication Assisted Therapy for

opioid use disorder in 2017;

• Serving over 355,000 veterans

throughout the country.

This year’s NHCW 2019 will highlight

how health centers are at the forefront

of a nationwide shift in addressing

environmental and social factors as an

integral part of primary care, reaching

beyond the walls of conventional

medicine to address the factors that

may cause sickness, such as lack of

nutrition, mental illness, homelessness

and substance use disorders. Community

Health Centers’ success in managing

chronic disease in medically vulnerable

communities has helped reduce health

care costs for American taxpayers.

SWLA Center for Health Services,

located in 4 local communities

in Southwest Louisiana, not only

prevents illnesses and fosters wellness,

they produce innovative solutions to

the most pressing healthcare issues

in the communities they serve. They

reach beyond the walls of conventional

medicine to address the factors that may

cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition,

mental illness, homelessness and


Because of their long record of success in

innovation, managing healthcare costs,

and reducing chronic disease, leaders in

Congress have declared health centers

like SWLA Center for Health Services, a

model of care that offers a “bipartisan

solution to the primary care access

problems” facing our nation.

SWLA Center for Health Services

will begin their celebration of

National Health Centers Week,

Monday, August 4, 2019 and end

Friday, August 9, 2019.

All SWLA Centers for Health Services

sites located in Lake Charles, Lafayette,

Crowley and Oberlin will host several

events throughout the week including

a Voter’s Registration Drive, healthy

cooking demonstrations, client

appreciation day, facility tours and

more. Check the website calendar for

information in your area.

SWLA Center for Health Services

programs are available to the entire

family. Services offered at SWLA Center


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

for Health Services include Family Medicine,

Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics (KidMed),

Oral Health (Dentistry), Podiatry, Behavioral

Health (Psychiatry), Pharmacy, Laboratory, Case

Management, WIC, insurance enrollment, and

a state-of-the-art Fitness Center. Medicare,

Medicaid, Veterans Choice, and private insurances

are accepted. Sliding Fee is available to those who


SWLA Center for Health Services is a 501(c) (3)

not for profit community-based organization.

The mission is to provide quality, cost-effective

and comprehensive primary health care and

support services in an environment that embraces

respect and dignity. The vision is to eliminate all

disparities in access to health care

For more information about SWLA Center for

Health Services contact your local center or visit

our website at and follow us

on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SWLA Center

for Health Services “Caring for the Community!”

Locations: Lafayette, 500 Patterson Street, 337-769-9451.

Lake Charles – 2000 Opelousas Street, 337- 439-9983.

Crowley – 526 Crowley Rayne Hwy, 337-783-5519

Oberlin – 112 N. 6th Street, 337-639-2281.

For more details about National Health Centers

Week activities call (337) 312-2014 for more

information. To learn more and view a listing of

events please visit:

Lake Charles Check website at www.swlahealth.

org for more information.

• Voters Registration- MONDAY- FRIDAY


• MONDAY- Healthy Cooking Demonstration”

Fruit Salad Kabobs”



• WEDNESDAY- Client Appreciation Day -Fresh

Fruit provided for clients

• Library Day with Peds (Library staff will read to


• THURSDAY- Stakeholders and Elected Officials

Tour (5:00PM to 7:00pm)


Ju’Elles Catering

536 Alamo Street













Let Me Help Insure

What’s Important To You!

Call for a Free Quote!!!





(337) 513-6866 or (337) 707-4460

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 11

In Season Fresh


Pies and Cobblers

Sweet & Regular Crust

Paul’s Urban Gardening

and Sweet Treats

Catering Available

$1,100 00

Paul Charles

(337) 707-1896

714 King Street

Lake Charles, LA 70601

Committed to the highest level

3116 Ryan St.

of customer service possible!

Lake Charles, LA 70601

Phone: (337) 564-6009

Home Care Services

Collision, Complete Paint Jobs,

Towing Assistance, Limited lifetime

Warranty on all Repairs

We Hire Sitters


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

Serving the Lake Area for over 50 years!


New Product Innovations!

Jonald J. Walker III, CPA, CGMA

Kelly Love, CPA

Ming Yang, CPA



A triple-patented, all • Protects and repairs DNA

natural blend of powerful • 40% lower rate of telomere shortning

poyphenols based on the

rare muscadine grape, • 13% more powerful than resveratrol alone

designed to help slow • Now available in Liquigels, no

aging at the cellular level. refrigeration needed.


Ideal for everyday immune support when facing stress, pollution, poor

nutrition or busy schedules.

Call or Visit

our Website for

More Details!


Contact info: 337.274.1489 | email | Mail payment to Tournament of Stars,

P.O. BOX 1385 Lake Charles, LA 70602


Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 13

SWLA feature story

African American Art & More is based in Greensboro, NC. African American Art & More 202-D Four Seasons Town Center, Greensboro, NC 27407,

336.292.3209 & Order for all seasons; Fall Fashion, Bridal Showers, Bachelor Parties, etc.

Jacqueline White is an integral part of Southwest Louisiana with a stepdad whose hometown is Rayne, LA. He lived in Baton Rouge for many years

as well. “My mother, brother and I all fell in love with Southwest Louisiana after meeting my wonderful stepfather.”

Jacqueline White



Art & More

By Judith Washington

Who has a style

of her own?

Who has been

successful as a top business

owner in South Carolina,

and taken control of

the Internet with her

successful Online business?

In the land of Top Ladies of Distinction

Inc, she is known as Lady Jackie,

however, there are many layers to this

Phenomenal woman. Allow me to

introduce you to my Sister, Lady Jackie.


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

Jacqueline White, MBA is the Co-

Owner of African American Art & More,

a lifestyle gift boutique founded in

1989 by her mother Eresterine P. Guidry.

African American Art & More is in Four

Seasons Town Center. Lady Jackie is the

ONLY African American retailer in the

WORLD with the following brands in a

gift store: John Wind, Lenny & Eva, Tyler

Candle Co., Spartina 449, Bella Ryann and

Gingersnaps to name a few.

In 2007, she was the FIRST retailer in the

state of NC to bring ‘ALL’ the major natural

hair product brands into one retail


Jackie is passionate about encouraging

shoppers to ‘buy local and shop small,’

a phrase well known to residence of

Southwest LA. She is even more driven

to get consumers to understand the

importance of supporting minority

owned businesses. Her group the

"GreensboroBLACK Cash Mob Crew/

We buy Black Triad" is an actual group

that she created on Facebook and it has

almost 15,000 members (of all races) to


Lady Jackie and her group members

find local minority owned businesses

and share them within the confines of

the group as well as on the public page


Lady Jackie is the founder of UNPLUG

Greensboro which is her initiative to get

more local people to shop locally with

brick and mortar retailers instead of

Online so that dollars can stay in the Triad


She understands, ‘to whom much is given

much is require.’

Lady Jackie leads a group of fellow

entrepreneurs in an Online social media

group; giving them FREE tips on how

to move their businesses forward, and

teaches them how to be a sustainable

force in business with an emphasis on

strategy, marketing, financial, product

development, and offering excellence in

customer service.

August 2017, Lady Jackie was awarded

the National Honor of the “40 under 40”

Award by the Gift & Stationery Magazine

for being a trend-setter in those


October 2017, Lady Jackie was

recognized by Greensboro News &

Record as a Greensboro Rising Star

Finalist for becoming a rising young


Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 15

SWLA feature story


leader in the Greensboro community!

April 2018 Lady Jackie was awarded

by the National Association of Negro

Business & Professional Women’s Club

(NANBPW)-Greensboro Club Business

Award for her business achievements in

the Greensboro community.

August 2018, Lady Jackie was recognized

by the Triad Minority Business Expo and

won their Pioneer Award for representing


April 2019, Lady Jackie was recognized

by the Triad Business Journal as an

Outstanding Woman in Business,

featuring her in the 2019 Leadership

Class of Outstanding Women in Business

within the Triad Community.

Jackie earned her master’s in business

administration from High Point University

in 2009, and a bachelor’s in business

management from Guilford College in

Greensboro, NC.

Upon completing her master’s degree,

she earned the "Governor's Student

Excellence Award" from Governor Beverly

Purdue as well as a "Capitol Citation" from

North Carolina’s Secretary of State Elaine

Marshall for Excellence in Education.

While attending Guilford College she

was named Who's Who Among American

College Students and she served as

Student Government President.

Jackie is a member of the Greensboro

Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta

Sorority, Inc. She is a charter member of

the Metropolitan Section of the National

Council of Negro Women and a member

of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., where

she serves as current Financial Secretary

of the Guilford County Chapter. She's

also a member of Providence Baptist

Church in Greensboro, NC where she

serves as a church Teller.

If you are hosting a conference Jackie will

gladly travel to your area and serve as a

vendor for your event If you are ever in

the Greensboro South Carolina area stop

by and make this a shopping experience

that you will always remember. Can’t get

into the store, don’t worry it’s as simple as

grabbing a cup of coffee and visiting her

websites or her Sorority/

Fraternity site These sites

allow her base of social media followers

(which is over 80K people) to view her

complete line of products.

Judith Washington

Executive Director

Black Heritage Festival LA



August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 17

SWLA feature story

Rita's Creole Family Kitchen

Rita Fields

Woman in Business on the Lake By

Kris Welcome

Entrepreneurship is a desire

of many people who want to

take control of their lives while

contributing to the world in their own

special way. It takes a lot of energy,

focus, time, patience, and resilience,

which is why not all who attempt

entrepreneurship are successful.

As for female entrepreneurs, the road can

be more tumultuous when the weight of

others’ doubts, limitations, and societal

expectations can become roadblocks to

one’s greatness.

Rita Fields, owner and operator of Rita’s

Creole Family Kitchen did not allow any

of these barriers to stop her desire to feed

and serve those in her community. Since

2014 she has diligently been a source of

good eats and better vibes for the area.

Rita’s road to restaurant ownership

started when she saw a void in the area

where her desire and dedication to feed

those around her was needed.

“I was in the nursing field for

a couple of decades and then

decided to do something

new,” Fields divulged.

Rita’s husband, Joseph Fields, Sr., pushed

her to start setting up at his construction

site to feed the guys that worked there.

“I had no idea this is where God was

leading me!” She testified.


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

Rita’s first memories of feeding and

serving go back to her roots in Elton,

LA at her family’s church where feeding

the hungry and less fortunate were

part of their Christian walk. “My parents

fed the community for years and I took

that passion with me into adulthood.

Everyone knows that they can count on

me for a meal,” she explained.

There are so many things that come

into play when starting a restaurant

aside from the food. Of the greatest

challenges that came about, Rita found

that getting her flavorful recipes to taste

the same among the various cooks was

the hardest. “People noticed that things

weren’t done the Rita way,” she laughed.

Now that things are uniform, and people

know what to expect every time, her

clientele continues to grow consistently.

In 2014, Rita started the food truck. She

had no idea that her business would

blossom into a full restaurant with

faithful clientele and a demand that

would bring her to the Food Network.

Her infamous pecan candy was featured,

and it is still making its rounds on the

network! It’s part of the testimony of how

her business took off.

Although Rita finds herself busier

managing and operating the restaurant,

she still plans time to give back. She

selflessly donates her time and resources

to causes that helps those in need.

Rita loves the Big Lake area and the

support she has received, so she feels it

is only right to give back. It’s amazing to

know that local business owners from

the area are working diligently to provide

quality service and protect and serve the

forefront for the sake of community.

The fruits of her labor are paying off

more and more as time progresses. Rita

is considering franchising the business

but is concerned about keeping the

customer service people have come to

know her for as a main staple. “Nearly

all of our reviews mention the excellent

customer service. That’s because

everyone is like family,” Rita boasted. The

hospitality that Southwest Louisiana is

known for is replicated daily on the lake

at Rita’s.

Rita is thankful for her husband and coowner,

Joseph Fields, Sr., and their three

children, Joseph, Jr., LaTasha and Shanice

for keeping her inspired to continue

forward. Rita has no plans on slowing

down as she is building something to last

for generations. Working closely with her

family has been very rewarding for her.

Shanice wears many hats and serves

as the bartender to ensure you have a

good time. Joseph Jr. and LaTasha are

great helpers that bring much relief to a

busy woman spearheading a restaurant

business on a lake.

She wants others who have a dream

to know, “Keep it in plain sight and

work towards your goals every day.”

Rita knows this is what kept her going

forward and led her to the point of where

she is now. Even when others didn’t see

her vision, she still pursued it with God

on her side, and now reaps the harvest


It is encouraging to see a new business

flourish so quickly in the Big Lake area.

Rita is a true testament of how faith,

endurance and encouragement work

together to bring about the desires of the


Rita’s beautiful giving spirit and daily

walk is an inspiration and a true gem to

the Big Lake area.

Stop by Rita’s Creole Family Kitchen

located at 620 Big Lake St where her

shrimp quesadillas, fried ribs, and famous

Rita’s stuffed burgers will keep you

coming back time and time again. Don’t

hesitate to tell her I sent you!

Joseph Fields, Sr., & Rita Fields, Owners of Rita's

Creole Family Kitchen

Shanice, CEO

Catering truck

available for all events

& ocassions.

JOE Anderson


Red room dining

area on main floor &

host showers, events

& meetings in Blue


Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 19

SWLA business

Benefits of

Homeownership and

Benefits as Renters

By Vu Tran

When people consider

between choosing to

own a home or rent a

home or an apartment, what is best

for people may depend on their

current financial condition, income,

credit score and other factors.

Many people always keep in mind,

buying a house also means not only

for their future but also for the next

generation. No one wants to depend

on a lease in which they will have to

pay a significant amount of money

for something not in their ownership,

and there is a risk of revocation at

any time. When owning a house, it

is more likely that people will spend

more time caring for it. They will be

able to freely change their home and

arrange repairs without waiting or

obtaining permission from a landlord.

They can do everything they want

to design the house according to

their wishes. They can drill walls to

hang paintings, replace carpets with

wooden floors, repaint room colors

to their liking, and decorate their

furniture in style. For animal lovers,

owning a home is great when they

can be allowed to take care of their

pets. The house is like a family's

own world, they can create their

own rules. They can have their own

activities and don't have to worry

about the disturbance of others.

When living in an apartment, noise

is very sensitive when the apartments

are close together. Homeowners

will often have a long-term, more

connected relationship with their

neighbors. If people settle down and

have a decent home to live in, it will

help them feel more comfortable

and confident when working,

communicating and doing business.

The home is a place that makes them

feel comfortable, safe and free. There

are many people who are afraid of

change, so buying a house will be

considered a fixture in their lives

and work. Having a home will be a

guarantee for homeowners future

when they retire. Owning a home can

also be considered a short-term or

long-term investment. When owning

a home, the owner can see the

added value of the house and it can

bring a return on their investment.

Owning a home may help you reduce

the amount of money you pay in

income tax. The mortgage interest

and property tax payments can be

included in itemized deductions on

tax return. When buying a home, it

can help homeowners build strong

credit history by making their

mortgage payments timely.

Most people see owning a home

as one of the major goals and

criteria for evaluating success.

However, this trend is changing as

many people realize that renting

a home or an apartment is also a

wise choice. If the finances do not

guarantee the conditions to buy a

house, renting a house will help to

avoid pressure on debt repayment.

Also, the personal financial situation

is also more flexible. If renting a

house, people can enjoy good

facilities without spending money

on construction and equipment.


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

The tenant’s job is to find the homes

that meet the needs for a reasonable

price, consistent with their budget.

Usually, in a lease, if the electrical

system has a problem or the house's

plumbing system leaks, the landlord

has responsibility for their repairs.

The landlord will be responsible for

all repairs and maintenance. These

costs are paid by the property owner

to maintain the house.

When a tenant has a job needs

requiring them move a lot, there

is nothing more suitable than

short-term rent of a house or

apartment. If owning a house, they

will have to worry about selling

the house. Renting will give people

more opportunities for work. It may

seem irrelevant, but the fact is, if

owning a house, people often have a

psychological desire to have a stable

job close to home and often fear

about being fired. This inadvertently

causes them to lose better job

opportunities in a remote area.

While if renting, they can fully take

the initiative in choosing a job and

then choose housing accordingly.

However, in any case, home

ownership is always encouraged if

you have a solid financial foundation

as well as a long-term stable job.

About Vu Tran

Vu is from Vietnam and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Major from McNeese State University. She has been living in Lake

Charles, LA for 6 years. Vu is a Staff Accountant at J. Walker &

Company, APC. Her roles at J. Walker & Company, APC are preparing

Corporation, Non-profit Organization, and Individual Tax Returns,

and also preparing Medicare Cost Report.

Vu Tran

Staff Accountant

J. Walker & Company, APC |

2740 Rue de Jardin, Ste. 100 | Lake Charles, LA 70605

P.O. Box 6592 | Lake Charles, LA 70605

P: 337-478-7902

F: 337-478-3345

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 21

ADVENTURES of the Lake

By Lela Gholar Tizano

A Special


If you asked Willa what her least

favorite month of the year

was, she would tell you it was

August – without a doubt. After

twenty-two years of teaching she

could never shake the feeling that

settled in the pit of her stomach

when her summer vacation came to

an end.

To make matters worse, according

to her roster, one of the most

challenging students in the whole

school would be placed in her class

this year. His name was Tommy

and he was one of a pair. The Fyte

twins, Tommy and Tammy were

a force to be reckoned with.

Fyte was both their name and

their game. Their behavior was

unacceptable, they never had

school supplies, they were

always late, and it seemed like

they had only one uniform

to wear all year and it was

hardly ever clean.

Willa prayed for the

strength to make it

through what she was

sure would be her

most difficult year. She stood at the

door, planted a smile on her face and

greeted each child as they walked

in – even Tommy. She almost didn’t

recognize him. He was neat, clean,

and unnervingly quiet. There was

pain behind the crooked smile that

he returned. His eyes were empty and

void of emotion, like a part of him

was missing.

“What’s going on with Tommy?”

Willa asked Ms. Haynes, the teacher

next to her.

Didn’t you hear? He and Tammy were

placed in foster care – two separate

homes from what I hear. She’s not even

at this school, so we only have one of

them to deal with this year,” she stated

with enthusiasm.

“So, tell the class how you spent your

summer vacation,” Willa instructed.

The children were so excited to share

stories about their trips to the zoo,

amusement parks, water parks and

family outings. She had to bring

order to the class a few times to calm

them down.

They all seemed to have fun this

summer, all except Tommy. His story

was not about happy times. “I had to

move to a foster home, and I miss my

sister,” his voice cracked, and his eyes

filled with tears.

“I’m so sorry to hear that, Tommy. We’ll

talk about it after recess if you’d like.”

He nodded his head and slumped

down in his desk while the others drew

pictures of their summer vacation.

Willa heard as much as her heart could

take when Tommy shared stories of

what led to his and Tammy’s removal

from their home. She was thankful

that Tommy was not rambunctious

like he had been in the past but seeing

the heartbroken shell of a boy was

hardly a consolation.

Willa searched the parish database

and discovered that Tammy was

enrolled in a school less than five miles

away. The next day she pulled some

strings and arranged transportation

for Tammy to attend school with

Tommy. Willa hoped she wouldn’t live

to regret it when she requested that

Tammy be placed in her class.

A few days later, Tammy surprised


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

LaKeisha Winters

Combre Fondel 3rd

grade resource teacher

Carla Mormon Southwest

Louisana Charter Academy

Special Education Middle

School grades 6-8

her brother when she walked into the classroom.

Tommy laid eyes on her and covering his face was

the brightest smile that Willa had ever seen on a

little boy. Seeing the two of them embrace one

another brought tears to Willa’s eyes.

That year turned out to be Willa’s best year

ever - not because her class was well-behaved

or because they scored well on standardized

testing. It was because she was able to

reunite Tommy and Tammy and provide

them with a special education.

Ms. Anita Dejean

Autism Educational


Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 23



Brenda Hill

Although STROKE can occur

at any age, based on my

professional experience and

observations, STROKE is

becoming increasingly more

prevalent with the Geriatric,

Aging and Elderly populations.

STROKE is not just an

occurrence, or something

that just happened to an

individual. The symptoms and

physical effects of STROKE are

broad and varied, says Daigle.

Q&A with Cynthia Coffey Daigle About

Cerebral Vascular Accident or CVA/STROKE

When your dearly beloved

family member has suffered

a STROKE, the effects from it

can be very profound for them and life

changing for you.

African American men are at greater risk

of having a stroke than any other group

of men in the United States. Learn more



The Voice of Southwest Louisiana calls

upon Cynthia Coffey Daigle, Speech-

Language Pathologist, “Princess Speech,”

consultant and provider of healthcare

services since 1989, to discuss and

explain the recovery rehabilitation

process of individuals who have

encountered Cerebrovascular Accident,

Cerebral Vascular Accident or CVA, most

commonly known as “STROKE.”

See B. Hill. “Q&A Back to School K thru 12”

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana. 1 June

2019 2 pgs.

QWhat is the recovery rehabilitation

process of individuals who have

encountered “STROKE?”

AFirst, STROKE is a 911 medical

emergency and requires immediate

and direct attention from a qualified

physician and medical team. A person

exhibiting signs and symptoms of STROKE,

may present slow/slurred and unintelligible

speech, difficulty talking and expressing

thoughts, difficulty with memory and

following instructions, tingling or numbness

to hands, legs, fingers or toes, entire left or


August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

ight side muscle weakness and not limited

to difficulty (choking/coughing) swallowing

food and beverages. The person may also

complain of severe, ongoing headaches.

You may possibly notice swelling to the

face, lips or tongue and even the inability to

control the tongue accompanied with saliva


The onset of STROKE can occur suddenly

or gradually and is diagnosed medically,

treated and managed by a physician. The

affects can be temporary or permanent.

The impairment scale ranges: Minimal,

Mild, Moderate, Severe and Profound.

Physician, Internists, Neurologists,

Neuro-Surgeons initiate direct or third

party referral to a Speech-Language

Pathologist to conduct an evaluation

to see if the patient shows a decline or

significant loss of function immediately

after the stroke, also known as “POST


A physician referral requests a speech

screen or evaluation for a patient. When

the Speech Pathologists conducts

a screen or evaluation according to

physicians’ script/orders, the results

of that assessment give rise to

communications between the Speech

Pathologist and other relative disciplines

about the status with respect to HIPPA


There are several components assessed

by the Speech Pathologist and include,

Orientation, Speech/Voice, Swallowing,

Language Reception, Language Expression,

Reading and Writing; realizing the

characteristics of decline in areas of

speaking, thinking, listening, reading and


The patient recovery process can last in

duration – short - only a few days, extensive

- for weeks, several months and years.

Daigle is licensed in the state of Louisiana and is known as a professional

“Speech and Swallow” Therapist, “Speech and Dysphagia Specialist.” She is a

friend to the medical community and provides consultative services to physicians,

hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, assistant living communities,

clinics, families/caregivers and other speech therapists. She is an active provider

of services as an interactive therapist and team member for Physical Therapy (PT),

Occupational Therapy (OT), Respiratory Therapy and other multiple disciplines.

(When a patient has a STROKE and is experiencing ‘swallowing” difficulties, that

difficulty is known as DYSPHAGIA.)

Daigle has attended many certifying courses and training conferences to acquire

more in-depth skills toward learning symptoms, characteristics and remediation

strategies. She studied in Atlanta with one of the nation’s leading experts, Jerri

Logemann, world renowned author in Speech and Dysphagia and researcher in

Communicative Disorders and Dysphagia.

Daigle has continued training with Speech Team, Inc., to become registered

for DPNS (Dysphagia technique) and E-Stim (oral-facial technique, which) are

innovative therapeutic techniques specifically utilized by trained Speech-Language

Pathologists for the remediation of swallowing disorders and oral facial deficits.

Daigle is also a member of the American Speech-Hearing Language Association

Dysphagia Special Interest Group.

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 25

SWLA non-profit

Contributed Article


of the Stars




Keynote Speaker - James Rix, Turlington

Head Boys's Basketball Coach

Tournament of the Stars (TOS)

hosted their annual scholarship

banquet on Friday-July 19,

2019 at the downtown historic

Charleston Ballroom.

Students, parents and supporters were

greeted and served dinner by local

"Celebrity Servers," as words of wisdom

and encouragement captured the

attention of the students.

Rev. Desmond Wallace, CPSB member,

McNeese University Upward Bounds

employee, and recipient of the TOS

scholarship (20 years), stated that the

scholarship financially assisted him

toward enrollment in Theology College

and facilitated his rewarding career path.

Nora Popillion, Director Public Relations,

Delta Downs, amused the crowd with

quotes of famous people. He advised the

students to be goal driven and to know,

"you can do all things with Jesus..."

James Rix, Keynote Speaker admitted

to the students that he made several

mistakes in his college days and along

his career path. He emphasized to them

that he had to go forward in a success

mode because his parents reminded him,

“failure is not an option."

Rix is an inductee to ...Emmanuel College

Hall of Fame for his sportsmanship,

athleticism and endurance pursuit of his


A slide show announced 23 recipients

(area high school seniors and stated their

high schools) as TOS presented over

$25,000 cash awards to them. Scholarship

recipients were represented from Barbe

High, LaGrange High, Sam Houston High,

St. Louis High, Washington-Marion High

and Sulphur High.

The scholarship awards were based

upon student in need, academic

achievement and/or students' overall

accomplishments. Students can use the

scholarship to attend a 4-year college

or university, a community college or

a vocational institution. Students also

received a goody bag filled with a TOS

specially ordered and McReynolds

designed t-shirt that displayed the logo,

“If I can reach just one."

"Celebrity Servers" included, Todd

Areno, Chris Archinard, Jayla Carrier,

Mike Brahumarm, Julian Corder,

Halen Courtney, Denise Durel, A B

Franklin, Tony Guillory, Fred Hardy,

Derrick Kee, Henry Mancuso, Vanessa

McKinstry, Stuart Moss, Michael Ned,

Nora Popillion, Jimmie Richard, Harold

Robinson and Desmond Wallace.

Other participants were Keith Bell, Prayer

and Entertainment, Marcus Davis, Jazz


For more information about TOS, visit



August 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 7 • Number 1

Photo Credits: Levert Blount

Nora Popillion Recipient of Humanitarian of the Year Award also

recognized by TOS President Harold McReynolds

Stella Miller, a community leader with other attendants showing support.

L-R.: Harold McReynolds, Eric Fry, Chester J. Daigle l l l, Zelda Fry, Karen Hardy, Craig Ryan, Vanessa

McKinstry, Linda Carrier, Linda Darlene Myles and not pictured Cynthia Coffey Daigle.

Volume 7 • Number 1 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM August 2019 27

Our Community Is

Talking, And We’re

Still Listening…

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