What's Up in Ascension?

Cheryl Babin

Art Gumbo Center December Schedule

Art by local artists will be on sale at the Art Gumbo Center throughout the month of December. Included in the display are paintings, jewelry, photography, pottery, and other crafts. In addition, the public can sign up early for art classes to be offered in the upcoming year.  

The Center is a program of the River Region Art Association. It is located in Gonzales, at 1835 North Magnolia Street and will be open Tuesday through Saturday from noon-6 p.m.  The Center will be closed Dec. 24 and 31.

Art Gumbo Market at Houmas House

Art by local artists will be on sale at the entrance of Houmas House on two Saturdays during December.  

Enjoy a complimentary tasting of a food prepared by Latil’s Landing Restaurant Chef Jeremy Langlois as you stroll through the art booths of paintings, jewelry, photography, pottery, and other crafts.  

The Art Gumbo Market is located at the entrance of this historical setting on River Road at 40136 Hwy. 942 in Darrow, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.  It is presented by the River Region Art Association and is open to the public at no charge.  

Senior Citizen Christmas Party

Gautreau-Williams American Legion Post 81 will host its annual Senior Citizen Christmas Party for all senior citizens on Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 1-3 p.m. The event, held at the American Legion Hall, will feature bingo, prizes and refreshments.

Blood Donors Needed

A blood drive will be held in the Celebration Center of First United Methodist Church in Gonzales on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Blood donors will receive a T-shirt.

 For questions, call the church office at 225-647-4678.

Na-Na-Sha CDs released

Na-Na-Sha has released its fourth CD and its first Christmas CD. The “Na-Na-Sha Celebrates Christmas” CD has 13 popular Christmas selections. CDs can be purchased from any band member or by calling: 225-235-8307, 225-413-8681, 225-413-9406, or at the following locations: Black Bayou Service Center and Christian Brothers Seafood (Hwy.44), D&J’s Grocery (Black Bayou Rd.), Ascension Christian Books & Gifts (Black Bayou Ext.), Headmaster (Burnside Ave.) and at St. Mark Catholic Church, during the holiday season.

Home for the Holidays

Open House

On Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1-4 p.m., Cat Haven Adoption Center, 11130 N. Harrell’s Ferry Rd, Baton Rouge will host “Home for the Holidays Open House.”

Everyone is invited.  Join in for food and drinks, door prizes and holiday cheer.

Call 636-2680 or email for more information.

Annual Winter Carnival Saturday

Pecan Grove Primary will host its 3rd Annual Winter Carnival on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m. -noon in the school cafetorium. Admission to this community wide event is free! Holiday music and book readings will be available throughout the morning at no charge.

 Tickets will be available for purchase at the carnival to enjoy: breakfast, photos with Santa, Christmas crafts, face painting, cake walks and gift raffles. Gift raffle tickets will be sold throughout the morning for the 11:30 drawings.  

The popular Santa Shop will be open for holiday purchases.

Coins Benefiting Cancer Research available

In the year 2008 the Country of Panama minted a 25 cent coin to increase the awareness of cancer. The coin features a cancer ribbon on one side with words “Woman Protect Yourself” in Spanish. There is a limited number of these coins. The coins have been dipped in silver and four-times  in 18 karat gold. Each has a handmade silver bezel to wear on a chain of choice.

The coins are on sale at Landry’ Pharmacy, 416 N. Burnside, Gonzales, for $25 each with 50 percent going to Mary Bird Cancer Center.

Christmas Senior Soc Hop Friday

The Parish of Ascension Recreation and Culture Department Christmas Soc Hop will be Dec. 9. Residents 50 plus are welcome to attend. Lunch is served before the Throw Together Band performs. For more information, contact Michelle or Beth in the Recreation Dept. at 621-9661 or 621-1165.

‘Song of Mary’ Play

The Community Sisterhood will present the play  “Song of Mary” by John McNeil at Saturday, Dec. 17 at Dutchtown High School Cafetorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the play begins at 7 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.

EAHS class of 1967 reunion

Plans have been made for the East Ascension High 45th Class Reunion. It will be held at the Gonzales Civic Center on Saturday, May 5, 2012, Music will be provided by Kenny Fife. The event is $75 couple, $40 single or at the door $90 couple.

Contact Linda Holmes Braud at 225-644-4250, Evelyn Marchand Schexnayder at 225-673-8500 or Sharon McCrory Hebert at 225-910-0911; Sharon McCrory Hebert at 2256-910-0911 or e-mail Send information and check to Linda Holmes Braud, P.O. Box 272, Geismar, LA 70737.

FREE Cancer Screening

Free cancer screening is offered in Sorrento for men and women. The men screenings include • Blood Test (PSA) for Prostate Cancer, • Take Home Kit for Colon Cancer  and • Oral and Skin Cancer. The women screenings include • Breast Exams, • Mammograms, • Pap Smears and • Oral and Skin Cancer.

If your insurance pays 100 percent for yearly mammograms – Your insurance will be billed. River Region Cancer  Screening and Early Detection Center, 9606 Airline Hwy., Sorrento office hours are Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For an appointment, call 225-675-6896 or 1-800-518-3558.

TOPS LA 422 meet every Thursday

Take Off Pounds Sensibly LA 422 Prairieville meets on Thursday evenings. Private TOPS weigh-ins are from 5:30-6 p.m. and meetings are from 6-7 p.m. Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find out more information about TOPS, call 647-2606.

2012 Mardi Gras Gala

The Ascension Fair Association will host its 2012 Annual Mardi Gras Gala Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Gonzales Recreation (Civic) Center Irma Blvd., Gonzales. The event will feature the band U4RIA. Tickets are $25 per person and are on sale now. Contact Gloria Burns at 225-939-661 or Anthony Christy at 225-715-1952 to purchase tickets or for additional information, visit the website at

Free HIV testing

Face to Face Enrichment Center offers free HIV testing. No blood and no needles. Results are ready in 20 minutes. To schedule your appointment, call 225-644-9992.

Whether you need information about Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition, Cancer, etc., Project Connections is for you. Call 225-644-9992 to schedule your research time.

Face to Face Enrichment Center is a Louisiana Medicaid Program Certified Application Center. Applications are taken from women, children, and senior citizens Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, contact the office at 225-644-9992.

Become a Mentor

Face to Face Enrichment Center, located in Gonzales, is recruiting suitable adults to serve as COPE Project mentors. The Community Organizations and Programs that Empower youth Project also known as The COPE Project is a mentoring initiative designed for children, ages 4-18, of prisoners. The COPE Project allows qualified mentors to create quality, one-on-one relationships with children of prisoners and to serve as caring role models; thereby contributing to the mentee's future success.

Selected mentors must be willing to provide a minimum of bi-weekly one-on-one mentoring to their selected mentee match. Mentoring activities may include visits to the zoo, sporting events, museums, and other pre-approved sites. Mentor applicants must also agree to extensive background checks. 

They are also recruiting mentees, ages 4-18. Mentees must have at least one incarcerated parent to participate in the program. If interested, call 225-644-9992 or e-mail

Free screenings offered

The Parish of Ascension offers free blood pressure and glucose screenings every Friday from 8-10 a.m. at the Ascension Parish Health Unit, 1024 S.E. Ascension Complex Blvd., Gonzales, across from Courthouse East off Worthey Road. For more information, call 225-644-4582.

Wednesday Bingo

The American Legion Post 81, 421 E. City, Gonzales, holds bingo every Wednesday night. Everyone is welcome. Children are welcome, but must buy at least a $5 book.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and bingo starts at 7:30 p.m.

Weekend Bingo

VFW Post 3693, 42430 Church Point Road, Gonzales, offers bingo every Friday and Saturday. Children six years and older are welcome, but must buy at least a $5 book.

Doors open at 6 p.m., bingo starts at 7:30 p.m.

Ascension Council on Aging events

• Dec. 8 – Life Source Hospice, In Service – Cookie Bake, Gonzales 10 a.m.; Fast Exercise:  Gonzales 10:45 a.m.; Pilates – Gonzales 8:00 a.m.; Pilates - Gonzales 9 a.m.; and Cajun Needlers – Gonzales 12:30 p.m.

• Dec. 9 – Northridge Care Center, Renee Smith – Donaldsonville 11 a.m.; Zumba Gold. Donaldsonville 9 a.m., Gonzales 10:30 a.m.; Soc Hop – Gonzales.

• Dec. 12 ?- Blood Pressure Checks, Donaldsonville 11 a.m., Cannon Hospice; Fast Exercise, Donaldsonville 9:30 a.m., Gonzales 10:45 a.m.; Christmas Program, Headstart Students – Donaldsonville 10:30 a.m.

• Dec. 13 – Creative Miracles, Hand Messages, Gonzales 10 a.m.; Yoga- Gonzales 8 a.m.; Yoga – Gonzales 9 a.m.; Bridge Lessons:  Gonzales 1 p.m.; Sign Language: Gonzales 10:15 a.m.; Zumba Gold, Donaldsonville 9 a.m., Gonzales 10:30 a.m.

• Dec. 14 – Afternoon Dance Gonzales, Clif Nickens, from  1-3 p.m., $4 Cover; Fast Exercise, Donaldsonville 9:30 a.m., Gonzales 10:45 a.m., Northridge Care Center, Renee Smith – Gonzales 10 a.m.; Canasta, Donaldsonville 9:30 a.m., Gonzales 12:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

Send your upcoming events to Cheryl LeBlanc Babin, lifestyles editor, at, call 225-644-6397, fax 225-644-2069 or drop by or mail to The Gonzales Weekly Citizen, 231 W. Cornerview, Gonzales, LA 70737.