Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Downtown at Sundown About to Kick Off!

The City of Lake Charles announces the kick off the 2012 Downtown at Sundown series with the sounds of Boomerang. The event will take place in the street within the 600 block of Ryan between Division and Mill Streets from 6-9pm. The former site of the event will be open and available for parking cars. Downtown at Sundown features a variety of music from local and regional bands as well as food and beverage booths, table top galleries, and activities for kids. We want everyone to come downtown to patronize the businesses and see the ongoing “Streetscape” project. 

Boomerang has been rockin' the region since 2006, and it's been one wild ride. Like a good pot of gumbo, Boomerang mixes it all up. Start off with a big serving of funk, toss in some classic rock, sprinkle it with country, serve it with a little dab of top 40 and you get an enjoyable party experience that can cater to anyone's tastes. They don't just serve in a bland 'ole gumbo bowl, they decorate it with bell bottoms, afros, glittered shirts and gold fish inlaid clodhoppers. Band members are Billy Cormier, lead guitar; J. P. Booth, drums; Victor Montgomery, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Greg Richardson, keyboards; and Rod Lavergne, bass. For more info about Boomerang go to http://www.theboomerangexperience.com 

Beverage sales will be facilitated by B.A.A.K. of Southwest Louisiana (Benefiting Area At-risk Kids) and will benefit the Harbour House. Harbour House ETC provides intervention and prevention services which address the issues affecting youth and families who are in at risk situations.
“Since we’ve opened, Harbor House has served almost 7,000 admissions,” said Dunn.
It is one of ten programs belonging to the Educational and Treatment Council, Inc. (ETC).  The ETC is a private, not for profit social service agency providing intervention and prevention services which address the issues affecting youth and families who are in at risk situations. They are funded, according to Dunn, “through a variety of local money – parish money – as well as some state contracts and federal grants." Their major fundraiser for Harbor House, ‘Jokes, Jazz, and Just Desserts’, will be held in September at L’Auberge Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles.

 The five parish Southwest Louisiana area is their main area of focus. Eighty-five percent of admits to Harbor House come from Calcasieu parish while 15 percent come from outlying parishes and from out of state, although the out of state numbers are very small.

Quite a large number of the children admitted will have substance abuse issues, be one or more grades behind where they should be in school, have some kind of mental health issue, have a history of runaway behavior, suffer from some form of child abuse or neglect, or be a repeat admit. Seventy percent, according to Dunn, will have come from the juvenile justice or foster care system. For these children, Harbor House offers 24 hour supervision by trained youth care workers, individual case management by Bachelor degree level case managers, individualized and family counseling from Master degree level counselors, continuing education on site through Calcasieu Parish School Board, specialized programs (such as substance abuse awareness, social skills training, and conflict resolution, among others), and group counseling.

Dunn emphasized that however disconnected from society these children are through their situations, they still “have their own hopes and dreams for the future”. Some of them can’t be reached and are lost to suicide, drugs, or incarceration. But the majority of them can be reached and can go on to become productive, law abiding citizens.
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It is through the philanthropic support of The American Press, CITGO, Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel and Entergy that this popular, family-friendly event is sustained. The music line-up will be: May 18, Boomerang; May 25, Chris Ardoin and NuStep; June 1, Soul Vacation; June  8, City Heat.
If inclement weather prevails, the concerts will be held inside the Lake Charles Civic Center. Concert goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, however, no outside beverages or pets are allowed on site. For more information, call the City of Lake Charles Arts and Culture Department at 337-491-9159 or visit on Facebook or www.CityOfLakeCharles.com

The Arts Council is on Team Joshua!

In case you haven't turned on the television in the past several weeks, Westlake native Joshua Ledet has taken FOX29's American Idol by storm! After showcasing his incredible vocal talents, Joshua has made it to the top five, but he needs your help in continuing his journey. Southwest Louisiana is rallying together to make our hometown singer a star.

A graduate of Westlake High School, Joshua started singing at the age of three in his father's church. Before he won over the hearts of the judges and the country on American Idol, Joshua worked for the Calcasieu Parish Recreation Center in Westlake.

Catch Joshua each Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on FOX29 or head over to Westlake for the viewing/voting party at the Westlake Multi-Purpose Complex at 6:30 p.m.  
Be sure to vote for Joshua after each performance! If Josh makes it to the top three, American Idol will make a special trip to Southwest Louisiana to film Josh's hometown return to meet his supportive fan base. Voting opens after the performances each Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., so make your voice heard and vote for Josh!

There are three easy ways for you to vote:

  1.  Toll-free Voting:  To vote, simply watch American Idol on FOX, from 7-9 p.m. and dial Josh’s assigned telephone number starting at 9:01 p.m. until 11 p.m. Votes are unlimited when calling or texting.
  2.  AT&T Text Voting: Joshua Ledet will be assigned his own SMS/text message short code number each Wednesday. AT&T wireless customers only may text the word ‘VOTE’ to Joshua’s 4 digit short code numbers.
  3.  Online Voting: If you have a Facebook account, you can also vote online at www.AmericanIdol.com. Online voting is limited to 50 votes per account.
Voting will open at the end of each performance show on Wednesday night at 9:01 p.m. You will have at least two hours to cast your votes.  The results will be broadcast on FOX Thursday at 7 p.m.