Holy Angels to host AngelFest April 28

Holy Angels will present AngelFest from 4-10 p.m. April 28 at Windrush Park, 1968 Bridgewater Ave., Shreveport. AngelFest is a celebration of music, food and Holy Angels. Bands will play throughout the day in Windrush Park at Provenance Community, accompanied with food trucks and bars.

Holy Angels is an independent, nonprofit facility serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities ranging in age from newborns to senior citizens. Holy Angels cares for approximately 185 individuals with disabilities from over 15 states and employs approximately 300 staff. Holy Angels’ 64-acre campus is comprised of 13 group homes, 3 dormitories, indoor and outdoor pools, gift shop, conservatory, Autism Center and the award-winning AngelWorks Day Program. Holy Angels’ residents and program participants receive basic adaptive skills training, vocational education, community and social integration. The organization encourages healthy lifestyles through recreational activities.

Le Tour des Jardins to Take Place May 12-13

The Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners will host the annual spring garden tour, Le Tour des Jardins from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 12 and from 1-5 p.m. May 13.This year’s garden tour will take you through eight beautiful private gardens throughout Shreveport. Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at any Citizens National Bank or by calling the Master Gardener office at 318. 698.0010. Tickets may also be purchased at any garden on the days of the tour for $15. Here is a glimpse of the gardens featured on the tour:

  • Patty and David Leeth Garden — Located in the Ellerbe Road area, when you enter this yard through a jasmine arbor, you will find Turk’s cap, Mexican petunia, false indigo, shrimp plant, black elephant ears, and raised vegetable beds with brick and stone from Patty’s grandmother’s house. A special feature is a greenhouse constructed from salvaged windows. Citrus and an organic garden surround the greenhouse.
  • Judy and Dan Roemer Garden —This beautiful shade garden in Spring Lake has a forest of big trees in front of holly, Japanese maple, pittosporum, azaleas and caladiums along the front porch. Follow the gate to a lovely brick patio surrounded by seasonal colors of pentas, mock orange and sasanquas, birdbaths and wonderful statuary. The backyard is an established shade garden.
  • Ann and Ron Stokes Garden — This Pierremont modern garden is located across from Norton Art Gallery’s beautiful grounds and has a front yard blooming with a fig tree, violets, Mexican petunia, Carolina Jessamine, white butterfly ginger and shady perennials. Through the gate is a wonderful deck and patio in back with a stone waterfall and seating areas surrounded by a large container garden.
  • Sarah and Howard Scott Garden —The Scotts’ tend a unique garden in Highland and because of its size and shape, the variety of small garden rooms fill the property with delightful ideas around every corner. Walk up the driveway decorated with seashells and through the gate covered with ivy and lined with Louisiana iris. There is a whimsical sink and greenhouse housing a 25-year-old bonsai Gingko tree and orchids. Banana trees and ferns surround a cabana and plenty of yard art. Look for heart shapes hidden everywhere in topiary, birdbaths and water features.
  • Mimi and Lee Harvill Garden —The front garden in River Bluff on the Red River in the Benton Road area, is filled with Little Gem magnolias, holly, foxtail fern, pink hidden ginger, hibiscus, roses and much more. There is a secret patio tucked into a shady cove, and around the corner is a great river view with climbing roses, loquat trees, crepe myrtle, and an herb garden surrounding a pool and outdoor kitchen.
  • Sue and Al Wyche Garden — In front of the house in River Bluff on the Red River also in the Benton Road area, there is a large stand of lavender muhly grass blowing gently in the breeze, elephant ears and a pretty stone patio with a beautiful fountain, holly and seasonal color leading to the front door. Walk through the gate to the back vista at the bend of the Red River. Sasanquas and crepe myrtles line the fence down to the river. The outdoor kitchen holds pots of creeping rosemary and a huge philodendron. Beds are filled with roses and pink bubble gum petunia.
  • Susie and Ford Stinson —Walk up this Benton Road area driveway alee of cedar trees and Indian hawthorns to four plus acres planted with cypress trees, Meyer lemon, apple, plum, and pear trees. Ford is an expert daylily hybridizer, raising 2,550 daylily plants for his own enjoyment and testing hundreds of these for other hybridizer friends. Don’t miss the fenced butterfly garden containing primroses, bananas, lantana, butterfly bush, roses, redbud and birdhouses surrounding the pool and patio.
  • Benton Heritage Village — A former Master Gardeners’ grant recipient, Cypress Area Garden Club will be featured this year for their project of maintaining the landscaped grounds surrounding Heritage Village in the town of Benton. It includes historical buildings moved and restored at the site. The Hughes house, built in 1845, the 1884 Heath log cabin, a one-room school house owned by the Bossier PTA, and a blacksmith shop are just some of the sights to see. The gardens surrounding these historical buildings are blooming with roses, cannas, butterfly bush, a Grancy Greybeard, daylilies and redbud trees.

A Garden Bazaar will take place during the tour at the Pioneer Heritage Center at LSUS, and while there, enjoy a tour of the Heritage Center Gardens, a project of the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners. The gardens contain an herb garden, a medicinal garden by the doctor’s office and native trees, plants, and flowers that grow well in our climate. Admission to the Heritage Center is free.

Proceeds from the garden tour fund future Master Gardener projects and help promote the Master Gardeners’ mission to enhance the quality of knowledge for gardeners in the community. For more information contact the Master Gardener office at 318.698.0010 or www.nwlamg.weebly.com.

Aquarium, Holy Angels partnership Offers Employment for People with Disabilities

A group of Holy Angels residents started working at the Shreveport Aquarium recently through the organizations’ community partnership.

“As we provide love, support and empowerment to individuals with disabilities, we work to help them achieve the highest level of independence. For many, this independence is gained through our Supported Employment program, which offers them meaningful job opportunities like those available at the Shreveport Aquarium. These individuals are so excited to work in the community, meet new people and earn a paycheck,” said Holy Angels CEO Laurie Boswell.

Those at Holy Angels receive job training at the award-winning program, AngelWorks, and the Supported Employment Program. Through AngelWorks, over 100 residents and day program participants with disabilities engage in meaningful work. Each month, more and more of these individuals are able to take the next step in their careers and obtain jobs in the community, including restaurants, gift shops and the Shreveport Aquarium.

Through the partnership, the Shreveport Aquarium carries a line of specially made, aquatic-themed products created by Holy Angels residents and day program participants. These products include fish pillows, tea towels with octopuses and paintings featuring marine life.

The Shreveport Aquarium is open 12-5:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 12-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

United Way’s Day of Caring Kicks Off April 27

United Way of Northwest Louisiana will host its annual Day of Caring on April 27.  Day of Caring is the largest single-day, community-wide volunteer event in northwest Louisiana. The event hosts about 600 volunteers representing nearly 50 local businesses and involves nearly 40 local nonprofits.

Volunteers are the backbone to nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits don’t always have the financial resources or manpower to hire outside help or to complete all the things that are needed for upkeep. That’s where volunteers come in. During Day of Caring, a team of 5-15 people are partnered with a nonprofit agency to complete a project such as repainting a wall, clearing out a storage shed, organizing recent donations and more.

“Day of Caring 2017 grew to its largest size in the history of hosting this event here,” said UWNWLA Community Engagement Coordinator, Jennifer Horton. “We are thrilled to see hundreds of people in our community get excited about volunteering. We’re also proud to help foster a love for philanthropy that may not have previously existed within a local business.”

United Way NWLA is currently seeking businesses and organizations that are interested in building employee morale and connecting with our community. Teams will have the opportunity to visit a local nonprofit and gain an understanding of their everyday operations.

The morning of April 27 will begin with a kickoff pep-rally style breakfast at the Horseshoe Bossier City Riverdome. Teams will receive their event t-shirts, get briefed on the day ahead, then spread throughout Shreveport – Bossier City to begin projects at their assigned sites. Completing the day will be a wrap-up party back at the Horseshoe DARE day club and pool. To start a team or for questions on how to get involved by becoming a sponsor, please contact Jennifer Horton at 318.677.2504 ext.123 or volunteer@unitedwaynwla.org.