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Mom and son thankful for a new home after churches come together for build

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Ashley Kottemann and her son Gabriel, by red door, listen to Household of Faith Family Worship Church International Pastor Antoine M. Barriere speak next to Trinity Episcopal Church Reverend Henry L. Hudson who teamed up their churches with with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity including AmeriCorps workers to build the home on Oleander Street in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. The project is part of a year-long initiative to establish racial reconciliation groups in every parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana. The Bishop has charged the Commission to establish groups to assure that each parish not only adopts an anti-racism identity itself, but reaches out to their respective communities to eliminate racism wherever it may have taken root.

Ashley Kottemann and her son Gabriel, 6, have a big change to be thankful for this holiday season: They’ll soon be moving into a new three-bedroom Habitat for Humanity home. As per Habitat requirements, Kottemann put sweat equity into the house, helping to lay floors, build walls and paint rooms. The interior colors are standard-issue… Continue reading →

Kenner principal gets surprise thank-you for 30 years of work

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Kamdyn Bromfield, 5, hugs Principal Katherine Croft after presenting her with roses during a surprise party to celebrate her 30 years as principal at Greenlawn Terrace Elementary in Kenner.

How do you keep 500 kids ages 4 to 11 quiet? Tell them that their school principal is on the way to the cafeteria and they’re throwing her a surprise party. Students at Greenlawn Terrace Elementary School in Kenner gave a big thanks last week to Katherine T. “Kitty” Croft, as she marked her third decade… Continue reading →

Throw Me Somethin’: Santa will be on the run in Warehouse District

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Some of those who costumed at last year's Running of the Santas include Adam Wade, Tommy Chase, Erin Stevens and Tom Pace.

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to the winter holiday season, which for some includes costuming for Christmas. It’s only natural for Santa’s helpers in New Orleans to dress and join the merrymaking at the annual “Running of the Santas” on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Warehouse District. The fun starts at 2 p.m. at the “South Pole,”… Continue reading →

Around Jefferson: Toy drive helps steer Santa to Children’s Hospital

Eva Jacob Barkoff

The 24th annual Children’s Hospital toy drive gets under way Thursday and continues until Dec. 10. “The last several years our toy drive has been supported by various schools, churches and small businesses,” said organizer Alex Fisher Jr. “This year, the goal is to bring aboard larger businesses, organizations and schools.” The toys will be collected… Continue reading →

Animal Rescue: Animal rescue community mourns Charlotte Bass Lilly

Photo by Marsha Steckling -- At about 2 years old, Logan is young and full of life. He's also been through basic obedience training. To find out more about him, email The adoption fee is $200 and covers neuter, UTD vaccines, rabies and chip.

The animal rescue community is mourning the loss of Charlotte Bass Lilly, president and executive director of Animal Rescue New Orleans. Lilly, who passed away from cancer on Nov. 15, had been instrumental in the animal rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina. An animal advocate since the 1970s, she fought tirelessly to give a voice to the voiceless,… Continue reading →

River Views: Destrehan senior’s T-shirts raise wetlands awareness

As part of her senior project at Destrehan, Savannah Sadaiappen designed, made and sold T-shirts to help raise awareness for environmental protection in Louisiana. The shirts, which are being sold for $10 each, feature a pair of drawings by fellow Destrehan student Cole Grishop. On the front is a drawing of Earth with the words, 'There is no Planet B.' On the back is a drawing of Louisiana depicting the land in green and the encroaching Gulf of Mexico in blue.

As a student at Harry Hurst Middle School in Destrehan, Savannah Sadaiappen was one of hundreds of pupils assigned to take a science class with Barry Guilliot. She also became one of the hundreds of students to join the Wetlands Watchers, who learn about the wetlands surrounding St. Charles Parish and the desperate efforts to save… Continue reading →

@ the Library: Need a high school diploma? Get it online through the library

The New Orleans Public Library is offering adults an accredited high school diploma program online. The Career Online High School is free for Orleans Parish residents who are at least 19 years old, have successfully completed eighth grade and wish to earn their high school diploma. Participants also can earn a career certificate in one of eight high-growth,… Continue reading →

JP Library Lagniappe: Enjoy live holiday music

Five holiday concerts will occur in December at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. 1 P.M., TUESDAY: The three-piece combo “Memory Lane” performs music from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. DEC. 3, AT 7 P.M.: Russell Palmer and CrossRoads, a four-piece band, performs a range of music from… Continue reading →

New Orleans tennis team prepares for USTA national competition

Photo provided by Kerri BeckerMembers of the New Orleans USTA team preparing for national competition include, in front, Margo Daisy-Louise Orgeron, left, and Angela Jeffreys. In back are Maryanne Pranikoff, Phyllis Jacomet, Kerri Becker, Katie McComiskey and Monique Bryson.

A local U.S. Tennis Association tri-level, over-18 ladies 4.5-3.5 team will be participating in national competition in Indian Wells, California, in March. The team captain is Kerri Becker. The path to the nationals included victories in the local New Orleans division, the Louisiana state championship in Baton Rouge in August and sectionals in Jackson, Mississippi, in October.… Continue reading →

Academy of Our Lady students participate in tech challenge

Photo provided by Academy of Our LadyCatherine Hardouin, of Westwego, participates in the FIRST Tech Challenge at the Dow Red Stick Rumble.

The robotics team from the Academy of Our Lady placed second in the FIRST Tech Challenge at the Dow Red Stick Rumble Sept. 12 at Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge. The game consisted of working in alliance with another team to complete a series of tasks, including programming a robot to perform autonomous actions.… Continue reading →

Students compete at Lego tournament

Advocate photo by ZACH BRIEN -- Ryan Downie, right, of Dutchtown, fixes his team's robot during the second round Robot Games match.

Ten teams from across south Louisiana assembled at the University of New Orleans recently to compete in a First Lego League qualifying tournament. Students went bot to bot in Robot Game matches. A Trash Trek Challenge asked students to identify a problem with the way we make trash, design an innovative solution and share their ideas with others.… Continue reading →

Center for Women to add 12 to its Hall of Fame

The Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business inducted 10 women and two men known for their outstanding support of leadership among women into its Hall of Fame on Nov. 21 at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. The Center for Women was established in 1990 as a statewide, nonpartisan resource to help elect more women to… Continue reading →

Crescent City school briefs for November 25, 2015

Photo provided by Cabrini High SchoolCabrini High School senior Bailey Hepting was named an A+ Athlete for academic and athletic excellence.

CABRINI HIGH SCHOOL: Cabrini High School senior volleyball player Bailey Hepting has been named a WWL-TV A+ Athlete. She will be honored at a luncheon and awards ceremony Dec. 3. Hepting’s academic honors include National Honor Society, Cabrini Scholarship 2011-2015, Presidential Honor Roll all semesters, LSU Tiger Excellence Scholarship and TOPS Honors Award. As setter on the volleyball… Continue reading →

Crescent City college briefs for November 25, 2015

Photo provided by Dillard UniversityJuli Smith Pattison of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honors Marc A. Barnes as the associations 2015 fundraiser of the year.

DILLARD UNIVERSITY: The Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has named Marc A. Barnes, of Dillard University, its outstanding fundraiser of the year. Barnes has been vice president for institutional advancement at Dillard since February 2013. Before that, he was director of development at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation Inc.,… Continue reading →

Orleans Public Education Network honors innovators and exemplars

The Orleans Public Education Network highlighted innovators and exemplars in selecting the winners of the 2015 OPEN Public Education Awards, which were presented Nov. 14. The Enduring Impact Award went to Jay Altman and Anthony Recasner, founders of the New Orleans Charter Middle School. The Distinguished Product of New Orleans Public Schools Award went to… Continue reading →

St. Mary’s Dominican High School is host for robotics league competition

Photo provided by St. Marys Dominican High SchoolTeams compete at Louisianas FIRST Tech Challenge League, the first robotics competition league meet in Louisiana.

Robotics teams from nine area high schools converged at St. Mary’s Dominican High School recently for a Louisiana FIRST Tech Challenge League event. FIRST Tech Challenges allow students in grades seven though 12 to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming robots to compete in an… Continue reading →

Joseph S. Clark High School Class of 1965 holds 50-year reunion

Photo provided by Joseph S. Clark High School Class of 1965The Joseph S. Clark High School Class of 1965 celebrated its 50-year reunion Oct. 17-18.

The Joseph S. Clark High School Class of 1965 celebrated its 50th reunion Oct. 17-18. Reunion events included a dinner-dance on Saturday, a church service at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church on Sunday and a brunch at the Fair Grounds. Clark was founded in 1947 as one of two public high schools in New Orleans… Continue reading →

Crescent City faith notes for November 25, 2015

PEOPLE PROGRAM: Registration for the People Program spring semester will be open from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11 at 2240 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, and at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 6201 Stratford Place, New Orleans. Registration hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at both locations. The spring semester will run from… Continue reading →

Crescent City health briefs for November 25, 2015

HEALTH INSURANCE BASICS: The League of Women Voters of Louisiana has posted a “Health Insurance Basics” report on its website, It briefly discusses the benefits of health insurance coverage; the dates for Marketplace enrollment, renewal or change of an existing plan; information to have on hand; and steps to enroll in, renew or change an insurance… Continue reading →

Shady Oaks Garden Club joins in garden therapy project

Photo provided by Shady Oaks Garden Club­From left are Paul Walker, Michael Rankin, Monica Bell, Karen OMalley, Troy Laurent, Joseph Federer, Jeffrey Thornton, Sandy Huston, Paul White, Joan Rasch and Stephanie Abadie. They are wearing Plant it Pink Mardi Gras beads.

Member of the Shady Oaks Garden Club visited Magnolia Community Services on Oct. 14 to participate in a garden therapy project. Adults at Magnolia Community Services, which serves people with developmental disabilities, showed off raised beds brimming with herbs, vegetables and colorful flowers. One flower bed was planted with pink petunias and dusty millers, following… Continue reading →

Cabrini High School food drive will benefit Hispanic immigrants

Photo provided by Cabrini High SchoolMembers of the Cabrini High School National Honor Society collecting food for the Hispanic Apostolate of New Orleans are, from left,  Katie Bigner, Sydney Taylor, Cabrini Mission Corps volunteer Denzel Stanislaus, Katie Ourso, assistant principal Vivian Deschapelles Coutin and Elizabeth Cutrer.

Cabrini High School students, faculty and staff kicked off the Thanksgiving food drive for the Hispanic Apostolate of New Orleans as part of the celebration of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini’s Feast Day on Nov. 13. The Hispanic Apostolate is an outreach project of the Archdiocese of New Orleans that provides assistance to Hispanic immigrants. Cabrini spent… Continue reading →

St. Mary’s Dominican High School welcomes French exchange students

Photo provided by St. Marys Dominican High SchoolStudents visiting from Lycée Caousou in Toulouse, France, are, front row from left, Chloé Benoit, Valentine James, Thais Constaty, Marie Berthous, Clothilde Jolivet, Emmeline Diene and Perrine Latour. In the back row are Dominican French teacher Joan Regard, Marcelle Kepper, Katherine Hill, Grace Brown, Lycée Caosou international exchange coordinator Dominique Hombourg, Kristina Plunkett, Claire Karcher, Emily Meyer, Maya Dancisak, and Dominican French teacher Remi Pastorek.

St. Mary’s Dominican High School welcomed students from Lycée Caousou in Toulouse, France, who stayed with host families from Dominican during their New Orleans visit Oct. 19 through Nov. 1. The highlights of their stay included celebrating their first Halloween, a Honey Island Swamp tour, a Natchez Riverboat cruise and attending their first American high… Continue reading →

Stacking the odds

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Students at the International School of Louisiana in New Orleans participated in the World Sport Stacking Association's attempt to break a Guinness World Book of Records. They rushed to stack as many cups as they could within a given time period.

Students at the International School of Louisiana were some of those from around the state, country and world who worked recently to break a Guinness World Record mark for most people sport stacking at multiple locations in one day. As part of the World Sport Stacking Association’s 2015 Stack Up Day on Nov. 12, 671… Continue reading →

Audubon chefs offer chance to feast from the ground up

Photo provided by The Audubon Institute -- It may take a bit of bravery to sample the bug-filled dishes.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium wants to put a bug in your ear about a special holiday program. More accurately, it wants to put a bug — lots of bugs — in your mouth, instead. Audubon executive bug chefs on Wednesday are offering visitors a chance to taste twists on traditional Thanksgiving family recipes: turkey with… Continue reading →

Cabrini High School students float ‘missionary’ boats on Bayou St. John

Photo provided by Cabrini High School  Cabrini High School students launch 'missionary boats' in Bayou St. John to honor St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. From left are Sydney Taylor, Dianna Roxas, Victoria Simeon, Rachel Coleman, Elizabeth Cutrer and Ashley Duncan.

Students at Cabrini High School honored the feast day of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini recently by engaging in one of her favorite pastimes from her childhood in Italy: floating paper boats filled with violets, representing missionary sisters she imagined sending out to do good in the world, traveling to help those that were poor and most vulnerable.… Continue reading →

Greater New Orleans Foundation awards Maison Hospitaliere grants

Proceeds from the sale of the Maison Hospitaliere nursing facility in the French Quarter are endowing grants to local nonprofit organizations that serve women and their families. The Greater New Orleans Foundation recently awarded $285,000 in grants from the Maison Hospitaliere Foundation. The grant recipients are: Boys Hope Girls Hope of Greater New… Continue reading →

Crescent City sports briefs for November 25, 2015

TURKEY DAY RACE: Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans will be the beneficiary of the New Orleans Athletic Club’s Turkey Day Race, which the New Orleans Track Club will present at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, beginning and ending at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans City Park. The road race, held since 1907, is open to participants of… Continue reading →

Went on down to the Audubon Zoo

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Kevin Scallan, 14, has a star painted on his face by Emerald Smith, 16, at Special Needs Day at the Audubon Zoo.

Special needs visitors were the stars Saturday at the Audubon Zoo. The fourth annual Special Needs Day gave guests a chance to connect with nature during animal encounters and to experience live entertainment at the Capital One field and stage. A social services fair gave out information about community resources.… Continue reading →