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River Ridge music students to perform in benefit concerts

Photo provided by Louisiana Academy of Performing ArtsÑRecital concerts by students from the Covington and Mandeville schools of music last year brought in these donations for a Teresian mission in Texas. From left are Wanda Cullen, Lindsey Page, Madison Livaccari, Ryan Cullen, Liam McCauley, Carrie Carrera, Michael Silvestri, Robin Wallace, James Plaisance and  Michael Plaisance.

Students from the River Ridge School of Music and Dance will present five concerts on Sunday, Dec. 21, to benefit a mission operated by the Teresian Sisters under the direction of Sister Angeles Sendin in Batesville and Uvalde, Texas. The concerts will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.… Continue reading →

St. Rita volunteers serve Christmas day joy to Covenant House youth

Advocate photo by EVA JACOB BARKOFF - Maria Blanchard, left, is the coordinator of this year’s Christmas Day luncheon at Covenant House New Orleans which will be prepared and served by the parishioners of St. Rita of Cascia Church in Harahan. Also pictured is Pat Geier who coordinated the luncheon for many years, including the first year in 1984. Not pictured is Ronalee Holmberg who is assisting Blanchard in coordinating the luncheon.

While many families gather Christmas morning to open gifts and enjoy a holiday meal, a group of local volunteers will spend part of their day serving and sharing a meal with young people they have never met. Since 1984, parishioners from St. Rita of Cascia Church in Harahan have cooked and served a Christmas Day lunch… Continue reading →

Children’s Lantern Walk celebrates NOLA Christmasfest

Advocate staff photo by REBECCA RATLIFF -- Claire Pattin (2) giggles with Mrs. Claus before the Children's Lantern Walk Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 on Fulton Street. The children held their festive red and green paper lanterns while walking down Convention Center Blvd.

The inaugural Children’s Lantern Walk was a festive procession of lights and Christmas caroling led by Santa Claus and a brass band. The event was to celebrate NOLA Christmasfest. NOLA ChristmasFest continues with parties with the Ice Princess and the Ice Queen on Dec. 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24. A Sing-along… Continue reading →

Around Jefferson: AARP Tax-Aide program in need of volunteers

Eva Jacob Barkoff

The AARP Tax-Aide program is in need of volunteers to help prepare 2014 tax returns as well as manage computers and software.… Continue reading →

Throw Me Somethin’: City celebrates streetcar’s historic landmark status

Photo provided by St. Charles Avenue Association - At the recent street car dedication are, from left, Robert Hassinger, past president of the St. Charles Avenue Association; Camille Strachen, current SCAA president; and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

After a decade of hard work, especially by the St. Charles Avenue Association, it is time for everyone in New Orleans to celebrate. Association members and city leaders gathered on Dec. 9 at Lee Circle to officially announce that the St. Charles streetcar line has been designated a National Historic Landmark.… Continue reading →

Animal Rescue: Thinking of giving a pet as a Christmas gift? Think again

Photo provided by ARNO -- When Jeff was found on the streets, he was underweight and had pneumonia, a severe heartworm infection, an enlarged heart, and skin and eye infections. This fighter is now at a healthy weight, is heartworm-free and has pep to his step. He enjoys short walks and soft, fluffy beds, and his favorite snack is deli-sliced turkey. He is eligible for an ARNO program that covers any extraordinary medical expenses. For information, email

With the holidays and the gift-giving season upon us, many people think a cute puppy or kitten is the perfect present. Before putting a new pet under the tree on Christmas morning, however, consider the reasons for waiting until after the holidays to bring home a new, furry friend.… Continue reading →

@ The Library: New Orleans libraries to welcome holidays with stories and song

The Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive, New Orleans, will host two events reflecting the spirit of the season. The first event is a holiday music concert featuring seasonal songs by the New Aurora Saxophone Ensemble at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. The next event is a special storytime for young children and those who are young at… Continue reading →

JPLibrary Lagniappe: Jefferson Parish library resources can help transform resolutions into realities

Making New Year’s resolutions is a snap; keeping them is a different story. Those who would like to get fit, upgrade their careers, engage politically, spend more quality time with friends and family or take on a new hobby will find plenty of resources to help achieve their 2015 goals at the Jefferson Parish Library.… Continue reading →

West Bank Spotlight: Annual bonfire, concert light up the night in Algiers

Advocate photo by YETORIA DESHAZIER - Greg and Jackie Owens of Jackson, Miss., made it a date night after visiting their daughter who attends Xavier University. Lucky Roger and Jan Johnson of Lafitte decided to stay for the bonfire after riding their bikes along the Mississippi River levee.

Algiers Economic Development recently held its annual Algiers Point Bonfire and Concert on the Riverfront at Algiers Point Ferry Landing. The theme was “A Riverfront Holiday Celebration.” The music was provided by Romy Kay and the Mercy Buckets and DJ Rik Ducci. There were a variety of food trucks that served barbecue, hamburgers and… Continue reading →

Parish Lines: Officers aid families in need at Christmas

Photo provided by AARP Chapter 3926 -- AARP Pakenham Chapter 3926 recently donated $300 to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office C.O.P.S. for Christmas program. From left are Kaya Penton, Dody Bayard, Jamie Penton, Jack Muller, Jennifer Dassale, baby Jackie Penton and Seth Penton.

For the past four years, needy St. Bernard Parish families have been shown true holiday spirit thanks to a program run by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office called Caring Officers Provide Smiles for Christmas, or COPS for Christmas. Officers from the communications and corrections divisions formed the group several years ago.… Continue reading →

La Vie de Ville: A Royal Tea Party for Children’s Hospital

Advocate photo by ROBERTA GROVE - Darlene Windhorst holds her one-year daughter Abby during a Royal Teddy Bear Tea at Children's Hospital.

The holidays in New Orleans are a special time of year for children. For many local families, a top priority for the kids is that customary visit with Santa Claus often followed up with a celebration at one of the area’s many festive tea parties. But for the patients at Children’s Hospital, these activities may simply… Continue reading →

Sleep Out staged for Covenant House

Photo provided by Covenant House - Jessica Walther prepare for the Sleep Out to benefit Covenant House.

Covenant House doors are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But supporters recently gathered to sleep out on the street to ensure runaway, homeless and at-risk youth won’t have to. About 130 business and community leaders raised more than $360,000 at the annual Sleep Out. Statistics provided by Covenant House show the nonprofit… Continue reading →

St. Charles Catholic High School students choose homecoming court

Photo provided by St. Charles Catholic High School -- Members of the 2014 Homecoming Court of St. Charles Catholic High School gathered in the school foyer before the homecoming football game. In the front row, from left, are Kaitlyn Lowry and Raykael Morris. In the second row are Amelie Terry, Ariel Landry, Alyssa Arceneaux and Erin Monica. In the third row are Dominique Perrilloux, Destiney Holley, Kristen Warren, Kelsie Williams, Kylie Revere, Kaitlyn Boudreaux and Callie Henry.

St. Charles Catholic High School senior Kylie Revere, an SCC football manager, is the school’s 2014 homecoming queen. She is the daughter of Wayne Revere and Katie Vicknair. Six seniors graced the SCC Homecoming Court, all escorted by alumni. Those seniors are first maid Kaitlyn Lowry, escorted by Paul Lowry, class of 1988; Erin Monica, escorted… Continue reading →

New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute honors its alumni

Photo provided by New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute -- Among those at the Come Fly with NORLI gala were, from left, Henri Louapre, Joyce Smith, Ric Smith and Annette LeBlanc.

The accomplishments of seven alumni of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute were honored during a recent Come Fly With NORLI gala at New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The gala’s organizers were Natalie Jayroe and Shelley MacNary. The honored alumni were Erika McConduit-Diggs, of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, diversity; Cindy Nuesslein, of the Interim… Continue reading →

Marrero student wins Christmas poetry contest

Photo provided by Visitation of Our Lady School -- Lily Rodrigue is in third grade at Visitation of Our Lady School in Marrero.

One of the winners of the Keep Christ in Christmas contest held by the Archdiocese of New Orleans was Lily Rodrigue, a third-grader at Visitation of Our Lady School in Marrero. Lily won in the poetry category for grades three through five. Her winning poem follows: We celebrate Christmas once… Continue reading →

Ursuline Academy improve basketball skills through Pelicans program

Photo provided by Ursuline Academy -- Fourth-grader Jaelyn Ganier focuses on making the shot at the Pelicans’ jump shot station.

Students in grades three through six at Ursuline Academy improved their basketball skills recently through a visit from the traveling New Orleans Pelicans Junior Training Camp. Students had opportunities to work on their jump shots and ball-handling, passing and footwork skills.… Continue reading →

Christmas auction benefits Louisiana Lighthouse and Liberty’s Kitchen

Photo provided -- Executive Director of Libertys Kitchen, David Emond is pictured with members of their Youth Development Program, who came out to volunteer at the Galatoire Foundation Christmas Auction recently held at Galatoires. Shown are, from left, Desmond Bolling Jr., Corneika Dennis,  Emond, Bryan Coleman, Evan Hartzog and Fred Harvey.

The Galatoire Foundation Christmas Table Auction was recently held at Galatoire’s. Funds raised at the auction benefit two local nonprofits, the Louisiana Lighthouse and Liberty’s Kitchen. Liberty’s Kitchen is dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable New Orleans youth by focusing on employability and life skills training, and by providing freshly prepared, nutritious meals to schoolchildren.… Continue reading →

Crescent City community photo gallery for Dec. 18, 2014

Photo by Kathy Kluttz -- The Global Gators robotics team from Gretna No. 2 Academy qualified for state competition by finishing second overall in a First Lego League regional competition at Destrehan High School on Nov. 15. In front is Holden Gonzales. In the second row are coach Becky Kraus, Kyle Smith, Todd Lillie, Emily Do, Braden Kluttz and coach Janice Catledge. In the back row are Cody Archuletta, Ethan Pitre, Preston Jones, Alex Kraus, Stephen Edwards, Caden Guidry and Evan Cooney.

The Crescent City Advocate this week includes photos from local civic, community and school groups and highlights recent events around New Orleans.… Continue reading →

NORDC announces programs and events

TOY DRIVE: The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission is accepting donations for the NORDC Christmas Toys for Tots Drive now through Friday. Donate new, unwrapped toys at any of these NORDC rec centers: Atkinson Stern, 4025 S. Saratoga St.; Behrman, 2529 General Meyer Ave.; Cut-Off, 6600 Belgrade St.; Gernon Brown, 1001 Harrison Ave.; Joe W. Brown,… Continue reading →

Crescent City school briefs for November 18, 2014

Photo provided by NOCCA -- John Michael Bradford, a jazz instrumental student at NOCCA, has been chosen as one of 32 students to participate in the Grammy Camp Jazz Session program.

NOCCA APPLICATIONS: Middle and high school students have until Friday, Jan. 9, to apply for admission to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Prospective students can visit to download and print an application. The office phone number is (504) 940-2787. NOCCA offers half-day and after-school arts training and full-day arts… Continue reading →

Crescent City neighborhood briefs for December 18, 2014

Photo provided by Girl Scouts Louisiana East - Dancing Grounds Studio Instructor Maritza Mercado-Narcisse teaches some Girl Scouts a few dance moves during a Shake it up! workshop in November.

EAST NEW ORLEANS GALA: The East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission will hold its fifth anniversary Christmas extravaganza from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Dec. 19, at the Crystal Palace, 10020 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans. The gala will bring together residents and business owners for food, fun and fellowship. Live music will be provided… Continue reading →

Crescent City community photo gallery for Dec. 11, 2014

Photo provided by St. Rita School -- Father John Arnone was on hand for the lighting of the Christmas tree at St. Rita Parish in Harahan on Nov. 30. The festivities included Christmas carols, cookies and milk, and face time with Santa Claus.

The Crescent City Advocate this week includes photos from local civic, community and school groups and highlights recent events around New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Docville Plantation hosts Christmas Tour

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- The St. Bernard Drug Prevention Program & Cultural Arts Coordinator Charles Cassar helps setup for the St. Bernard Volunteers for Family and Community’s 2013 Christmas Tour of Homes.

For the second year in a row, the St. Bernard Parish Volunteers for Family and Community will use the historic grounds of Docville Plantation in Violet as a backdrop for its annual Christmas Tour. This year’s tour also will showcase the historical significance of two of the parish’s well-known landmarks, the historic St. Bernard Parish Courthouse and the… Continue reading →

4-H Orleans Parish recruiters say organization about more than agriculture

Advocate photo by KIMBERLEY SINGLETARY - Shown at the open house recently held to showcase the 4H program in New Orleans are, from left, Shane Smith, Devi Fuller, Raymond Hebrard, Emori Wright, Jared Gray, Anthony Franklin, Troy Ray, Tori Ray, Dariana Bernard, Demi Howard and Cione Ray.

When Rachel Wulff goes out at the beginning of each school year to recruit young people for 4-H, she is inevitably greeted over and over with the same look of surprise. “We have 4-H here?” they ask. “People are always surprised, because they think of 4-H as farm animals and agriculture,” Wulff said. “In reality, it’s… Continue reading →

Christmas festivities at Algiers Point Ferry Landing

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Romy Kaye and the Mercy Buckets performed at the Algiers Bonfire in Algiers Point, New Orleans, on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014.

Algiers residents enjoyed a live musical performance by Romy Kaye and the Mercy Buckets and clear skies while waiting for the Riverfront Holiday Celebration at the Algiers Point Ferry Landing in New Orleans. Children played in inflatables, and families lined the levee for the free family event presented by the Algiers Economic Development… Continue reading →

Around Jefferson: Youth orchestras in concert Sunday

Eva Jacob Barkoff

The Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras will present its Sinfonia Outreach Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue and Community Center, 4004 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the concert. Now in its 20th season, GNOYO provides young musicians the opportunity to… Continue reading →

Throw Me Somethin’: Candlelit caroling in Jackson Square

Lynne Jensen

Thousands of candle-carrying carolers will gather joyfully at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter. Caroling begins at 7 p.m., and the annual event is hosted by Patio Planters, the garden club of the Vieux Carre. A bouquet of thanks goes to all garden clubs of the New… Continue reading →

Parish Lines: For the tipsy or toasted, safe holiday rides home are free in St. Bernard

Photo provided by Steve Cannizaro / St. Bernard Sheriff's Office -- The St. Bernard Sheriff's Office will again offer its free Holiday Ride Home program to prevent drinking and driving. With one of the many signs posted around the parish promoting the program are Lt. Brent Bourgeois of the traffic division, left, and Sheriff James Pohlmann, right.

For the 31st consecutive year, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office will offer its free Holiday Ride Home program to prevent drinking and driving. The program, which runs through Jan. 2, allows residents who have too much to drink during the holiday season the opportunity to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501… Continue reading →

Abilities: Groups bring together advocates for people with disabilities

Advocate photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jane Pic Adams

Parents and family members of people with disabilities and special needs can make an important difference by serving as active advocates for their loved ones’ growth, learning and acceptance in the community. Numerous organizations offer help and guidance for parents and family members working their way through the maze of caring for people with special needs. Several… Continue reading →

West Bank Spotlight: Avondale supercar experiences can make Christmas dreams come true

Yetoria DeShazier

NOLA Motorsports Park, 11075 Nicolle Blvd., Avondale, will be the site of Xtreme Xperience events the weekends of Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21, then on Saturdays and Tuesdays, Jan. 3-13, and for a four-day finishing stretch, Thursday, Jan. 15, through Sunday, Jan. 18. Everyday fans will have an opportunity to drive exotic supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini,… Continue reading →