Paving The Road To Opportunity

Brad Goins Thursday, February 20, 2020 Comments Off on Paving The Road To Opportunity
Paving The Road To Opportunity

CARC needs your help. Since even some longtime residents may not know what this vital community organization does, let’s start with a thumbnail history.

Incorporated in 1957, CARC has a history of providing and improving services for people with disabilities. In the years between 1981 and 1988, CARC acquired six community homes and three vocational work sites. 

In 1988, CARC entered a new area of service provision with the building of Hathaway apartments (20 units) where people with developmental disabilities could live in a community environment with the support level they required. In 2006, CARC opened the Louie Street apartments (also 20 units). 

By 2011, six patio homes were opened. These provided the opportunity for three people to live together in a three-bedroom home, sharing living expenses and support services. In 2017, the Stroud Manor apartments, which housed eight, were opened in Sulphur. This supervised independent living program helps clients pay their bills and provides light cleaning and cooking.

In 2006, CARC opened its first thrift store as a stepping stone for clients to transition from staff-supervised employment with CARC to a job in the community. Many private businesses employ CARC clients.

In 2017, the CARC Administrative Building at 4100 Senator J. Bennett Johnson Ave. was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. “Paving the Way to Opportunities” is a new fundraising  campaign supporting the construction of a new administration building through the sale of engraved bricks. This new building will allow CARC to continue to provide services to those with developmental disabilities and give them the opportunity to prosper in all facets of development and independent function.

You can show your support by helping CARC rebuild,  and at the same time, leave a legacy by purchasing an engraved brick or bricks. Your engraved brick will have a permanent place at the entrance of the new administration building, which will be located at 4100 Senator J. Bennett Johnson  Ave. in Lake Charles. 

 To buy a specially engraved brick, go to Prices start at $200 for an 8 by 8 brick with six engraved lines. You can also get more information by calling Susan Reed at 337-433-3620.

Be Moore Fest Slated For Feb. 9

Bassist, guitarist, singer and local music promoter Brian Moore was considered a close friend by numerous local musicians. He helped to mentor and promote a great number of aspiring musicians to reach their potential. 

Photo of Brian Moore by Chad Moreno / Killer Photos

Locals can participate in the first annual “Be Moore Fest” Feb. 9, 5 pm to midnight, at Panorama Music House at 331 Broad St. and at other venues around the Ryan and Broad Street intersection, including Luna Bar and Grill, the Corner Market, Young Band Nation and Stellar Beans.

Sponsorships and donations will benefit Brian’s passion: live music in our community. Funds raised will benefit Music Makers 2 U and Young Band Nation.

In addition to the live music, plans for the fest include a silent auction, a record sale, an art sale and a split the pot raffle. Commemorative shirts and merchandise will be available courtesy of Killer Dye. 

Numerous Lake area musicians and bands will play. Brian’s friends will be welcome to join musicians on stage. 

The shows will be kid-friendly until 9 pm. For information about who’s playing and when, go to Facebook and look up any of the following tags: #bemoorefest #bemoorelikebrian #loveyapumpkin #getdowntownlc. KBYS will help Panorama present the event. To inquire about donations, contact Julia Pourciaux at 337-515-1998 or

Romance With Cigars And Rum

Some people have a devil of a time finding a Valentine’s Day present they think their significant other will like.

Well, here’s a new trick. Ask your s.o. whether he or she likes cigars. If the answer is yes, then ask, “Do you like rum?”

If the answers are two yeses, then your Valentine’s Day present is ready and waiting for you in the form of the Valentine’s Day Cigar and Rum Pairing that will take place at the Bayou Rum / Louisiana Spirits Distillery on 20909 South I-10 Frontage Road in Lacassine on Feb. 14.

Bayou Rum will have prepared cigar and rum pairings from the Cigar Club. That would be plenty enough present for me. But the venue will also provide an evening of dinner and dancing, with Dr. Daylight’s Jazz Company making the music. The Bayou Rum Event Center will have been transformed into a romantic setting.

By my count, Bayou Rum presently has eight varieties to offer those who partake. Since I like my rum straight, I’d be especially interested in the Bayou Reserve and the Bayou Single Barrel, the latter of which sounds particularly interesting. But for those with other tastes, there’s Bayou White, Bayou Spiced, Bayou XO Mardi Gras and Bayou Pink. Joining the group is the Gator Bite Infused with Satsuma Oranges and Gator Bite Infused with Coffee. These two last varieties are slated for release in mid-February, so I’m not sure whether they’ll be available at the Valentine’s Day wingding. Need more info? Call 337-588-5800.

Reeser’s Book Named Best Of 2019

Local poet and McNeese MFA graduate Jennifer Reeser keeps raking up the accomplishments. The Englewood Review of Books just declared Reeser’s new volume of poetry, Indigenous, “Our Best Poetry Book of 2019.” 

In the journal’s announcement of the honor, author Jonathan Diaz begins by saying that the “most powerful” works in the volume “are Reeser’s sonnets.” He then goes on to write: 

“The same desire which animates Reeser’s masterful use of European and Asian poetic forms also motivates her retelling of Cherokee myths and prayers. For a … Native American poet in the United States — this desire entails a bold sense of … choosing to preserve and reinforce an identity erased over centuries. Reeser’s stunning volume is a testament to this recovery, repeating an early poem’s defiant assurance to her grandfather: ‘For centuries to come, let it resound, / Your voice not stifled — ever — by the ground.’” Learn more by looking at the Fall, 2019 issue of The Englewood Review of Books.

‘Why I Paint’

The Up Fronter has written a couple of times about local painter Kevin Leveque. A new exhibit of his work titled “Why I Paint” by Kevin Leveque is presently hanging at the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center. 

A native of Lake Charles, Leveque studied at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. 

Leveque says he “lives to paint.”

“I paint the poetic landscape [in Southwest Louisiana] where field meets stream, forest touches sky and prairie runs to the ocean. Good people work their land and love their homes. The weather has many moods. Its power and beauty command our attention. Great storms and gentle rain help shape the land. Nature has a story to tell to those who will listen.”

 Leveque’s paintings are always remarkably colorful, and often feature soothing and aesthetically satisfying pastels. This new exhibit will include a number of paintings in which women appear in sentimental and domestic scenes. 

Historic City Hall is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit or call 491-9147.

Is He Really Running Here?

On Jan. 21, Mike Bloomberg announced he would be running for president in 2020. There wasn’t much in the way of news in this announcement. But one item was of interest. For his state campaign director, Bloomberg chose Richard Carbo, who managed Gov. John Bel Edwards’ gubernatorial campaign last year.

Carbo may be a smart guy. But all his smarts put together won’t get Bloomberg many votes in Louisiana. All but seven or eight people in the state are going to vote for Trump. I can’t think of a rational reason for Bloomberg to waste money running for president in Louisiana. But, of course, if a person has enough money, he can do whatever he likes whenever he likes.

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