18th edition of Slidell Heritage Festival promises big July 4 fun

For the past 17 years, the Slidell Heritage Festival has dazzled the eastern side of St. Tammany Parish with fireworks and more on the Fourth of July. The 18th edition of the July 4 fundraiser looks to do the same. Doors open at 4 p.m. on the event, which is held in Heritage Park in Slidell. The Slidell High Robotics team will have a robot to show the crowds, participants can meander through arts and craft tables from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. and there will be plenty of food supplied by local vendors. “We have lots of little pavilions with various attractions,” Heritage Festival spokeswoman Tana Stevenson said. There are usually two waves of crowds that attend as the Festival runs from 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Some families like to arrive earlier on, watch the fireworks and leave. “There’s tons of stuff for the kids to do all day,” Stevenson said. Some folks like to arrive later when the weather is cooler and stay after the fireworks show to catch the final act – the Chee-Weez, a “70’s funk, 80’s cheeziness, 90s rock” style of tribute/show band, according to its bio on the Heritage Festival website. Six nonprofit organizations (the Boy Scouts of America , Cypress District, the Slidell Police Association, East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, East St. Tammany Rainbow Childcare, Remember Forever-Sgt. Alfred, and Safe Harbor) will benefit from the fundraising day. The organizations will volunteer to help with everything from park set up and parking lot management to wristband sales and clean-up at the fest. They will be awarded a portion of the funds raised by the event in return for their services. The three presenters are the Festival are: Nola.com/Times-Picayune, the City of Slidell, the Rotary Club of Slidell and Rotary Club of Slidell Northshore. “It’s the rotary’s biggest fundraiser of the year,” Stevenson said. Admission is $8 and free for children 12 or younger with an adult. “This is the 18th year going so it’s been a long-standing tradition in the community,” Stevenson said. For more information, check out the Slidell Heritage Festival’s...

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Tammany Scene: Styles from My Girlfriend’s Closet in Slidell brighten Summerfield event

The fashions of My Girlfriend’s Closet were the foremost focus at a recent event at the Summerfield Retirement Community in Slidell. The fashionable event featured models from the home, prowling the catwalk and strutting their stuff for their friends and family. After the fashion show, all of the guests enjoyed a tea party in the main lobby. My Girlfriend’s Closet is a project of Rainbow Childcare in Slidell. The chic resale ladies boutique at 881 Robert Blvd. is 100 percent volunteer-run and is the biggest ongoing fundraiser for the United Way agency. The store opens at 10 a.m. on the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every month, closing at 5 p.m. on Thursday and at 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Fall events for My Girlfriend’s Closet include a Fashionable Friday show at the Chamber of Commerce building in Slidell in October and a Vintage Fashion Show on Nov. 13. Rainbow Childcare will also be a beneficiary of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Glitz, Glamour and Giving Gala Dec. 4 at the Harbor Center. For information on Rainbow Childcare and My Girlfriend’s Closet, visit...

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Early Childhood Care and Education Community Network Launched (04-28-2014)

The Early Childhood Care and Education Community Network was created as a result of Act 3 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session. This act unifies the state’s fragmented system of early childhood education. The framework for implementing Act 3, approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in December 2012, proposes an expansion of access to high quality, publicly funded early childhood programs to families across Louisiana. The Act set up a unified Early Childhood System of Local Networks, which will be fully implemented in the 2015-2016 School Year. The St. Tammany Parish Public School System was one of 17 districts awarded the grant to implement this special pilot program designed to increase the number of children entering kindergarten ready to learn. The Community Network Pilot program involves school districts, child care providers, Head Start programs and other stakeholders within the community working together to provide high-quality early childhood services. This work will allow policymakers to learn from the stakeholders’ efforts and results prior to full implementation of policies in fall 2015. The goal of the St. Tammany Early Childhood Community Network is to provide what each child needs, beginning at birth, so an increased number of children will enter Kindergarten with the persistence and curiosity to develop the necessary language and communication skills, motor skills, social-emotional skills, and early literacy and numeracy readiness skills. The strategies targeted by the framework feature initiatives to unify expectations, support teachers and providers, measure and recognize progress, fund high quality providers, and provide clear information and high quality choices. “Learning begins at birth,” said Elizabeth Laine, elementary supervisor for the School System. “The network collaborates to invest in our young children by increasing the quality of care and education provided.” According to Johnnie Alford, the Community Network Project Leader, “Each provider, Public School, Head Start, and Child Care Center is committed to training staff to provide a high-quality learning environment for young children.” The network provides the opportunity for communities to work together and ensure an increased number of children have access to high-quality care and education. All providers use common assessment systems to ensure everyone in the network is working to meet goals that support early learning development. Using the Teaching Strategies Gold educators and families will work hand in hand to support children’s development and learning from age 6 weeks to 5 years. Early childhood professionals participate in professional learning to increase the effectiveness of the early childhood settings provided to young children in the...

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Slidell Police Association’s Toys From Cops’ program helped 150 children

Slidell Police Association’s Toys From Cops’ program helped 150 children

The Slidell Police Association provided 150 children with Christmas toys this year thanks to their annual “Toys From Cops” program. Police officers handed out toys to children at several events over the past few weeks, including at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Cancer Center and at the Rainbow Child Care Center. The police department said in a Facebook post that donations were made to the “Toys From Cops” program by Walmart, Petsmart, Vinny Lobello, the Grande Theater, Krewe of Dionysus, Fox’s Pizza, Marco’s Pizza, Popeyes and the Slidell Police...

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Slidell champagne brunch to benefit Rainbow Child Care Center

Slidell champagne brunch to benefit Rainbow Child Care Center

A Champagne brunch fundraiser benefiting the East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at the Salmen-Fritchie House, 127 Cleveland Ave., Slidell. The Bubbly on the Bayou event will have a Kentucky Derby theme, with women encouraged to wear flamboyant hats in Run for the Roses style. The best-dressed contest will be open to both women and men. Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan, Police Chief Randy Smith and Fire District Chief Chris Kaufmann will be the celebrity bartenders, and My Girlfriend’s Closet will present a fashion show. “Bubbly is about celebrating good times with good friends and ultimately providing early learning opportunities for children of low-income working families in our community,” said Dionne Graham, executive director of Rainbow. Tickets can be purchased at Rainbow, 121 Kingspoint Blvd., Slidell; My Girlfriend’s Closet, 881 Robert Blvd., Slidell; and Patton’s, 127 Cleveland Ave., Slidell; or by calling (985) 646-1603. Sponsorship opportunities and program advertising are available by calling (504) 638-1890. Rainbow is a nonprofit United Way partner agency, serving Slidell for more than 31 years. Bubbly on the Bayou is Rainbow’s annual fundraiser. Rainbow is also the recipients of sales from the upscale used clothing boutique called My Girl Friends Closet, a volunteer-run shop at 881 Robert Blvd., Slidell, behind Domino’s Pizza. My Girl Friends Closet sale dates are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 5; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7. The Rainbow Child Care Center a state A licensed, 4-star rated, nonprofit United Way Partner Agency. The center provides a quality child care development program for working families in need. For information, contact Rainbow Childcare Director Dionne Graham at (985)...

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Linda Larkin named honorary chairwoman of Bubbly on the Bayou

Linda Larkin named honorary chairwoman of Bubbly on the Bayou

Linda Larkin has been recognized as honorary chairwoman of Bubbly on the Bayou, a relaxing afternoon of fun, food and fashion being held March 9 to benefit the Rainbow Child Care Center. The “Toast to the Town” elegant occasion will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Patton’s at the historic Salmen-Fritchie House in Slidell. Larkin has lived in Slidell for more than 30 years and is Marketing Director for Patriot Title, LLC. Larkin is a two-time recipient of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year award; earned the Chamber’s Community Spirit Award in 2012; and was Emerging Young Professional’s Board Member of the Year in 2012 and 2013. She was the first recipient of the Athena Young Leadership Award, is president and co-founder of EYP, and is a Board Member of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on boards of the SMH Women’s Health Alliance and United Way of Southeast Louisiana-Leadership Council, and is a member of the Business Networking International, Business Women’s Networking of Slidell, Northshore Rising Professionals, Professional Women of St. Tammany, Slidell Women’s Civic Club, Slidell Junior Auxiliary, Slidell Ladies for Liberty and Women’s Council of...

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