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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
December 18, 2014     The Ponchatoula Times
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December 18, 2014

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THE NEWSPAPER OF AMERICA'8 ANTIQUE CITY [I facebook.com/theponchatoulatimes www.ponchatoula.com/ptimes DECEMBER 18, 2014 34 th YEAR NUMBER 12 50 Serenity House annual Toy Giveaway is Saturday On Saturday, December 20 at 11 a.m. The Ponchatoula Community Center will be the scene of the Serenity House annual Toy Giveaway organized by Ponchatoula artist Nancy Lowentritt. One of her many "elves" Earl Boudin is pictured here with a load of bicycles donated by local citizens like Jeff LeSaicherre and Parker Layrisson. (Times Photo) You gotta heart! Serenity House Toy Give- away Chair artist Nancy Lo- wentritt is pictured with sup- porter Parker Layrisson and one of the bicycles being given away to make some lucky kid's Christmas. (Courtesy Photo) Serenity House homeless shelter toys drive in its final days! Special to The Times There is still time to donate new unwrapped toys, books, games, bicycles, etc. for less-fortunate children, (from babies to toddlers, all the way up to 17 years old)! Everyone who has generously given toys, their time, or cash/check to help these children smile this Christmas is thanked and applauded! Serenity volunteers are still working hard buying bicycles with your cash donations, and accepting books and games. Coordinator Nancy Lowen- tritt, Ponchatoula artist, told The Times: "We would love for you to participate in any way you can. Any amount no matter how large or small is fine. It's all for the kids. "On Saturday December 20, starting at 11 a.m., all children who might otherwise not have Christmas, are invited, and en- couraged to come to the Pon- chatoula Community Center, enjoy a hot holiday, meal with your family, and pick out your very own present. Besides, we heard that Santa Claus is com- ,ing to visit the kids and ta:ce pictures! Ms. Frances Seymore, tie shelter director, is so grateful to everyone from the bottom of her heart. People are so kind to the shelter residents all year, and this is her way if giving back to the community. She will be cooking all next week. They will welcome baked or fried turkeys and hams, side dishes and des- serts. Whichever way you want to express the Season for Giv- ing, it will be appreciated by so many," said Ms. Lowentritt. Contact Toys Coordinator Nancy Lowentritt for drop-off locations in Hammond and Pon- chatoula: 985-386-2068. All State Scholar Athlete Certificate During half time at the su- perdome 5-a state champion- ship Dec 13 Ponchatoula senior Steven Allen was awarded an All State Scholar Athlete Cer- tificate from the LHSAA for averaging a grade of 4.0 ev- ery year during his 4 years in school. {Times Photo by John Beadle) The strawberry that would not die Rene Curran brought back ing from the administration of to life this longtime icon of Pon- Mayor Charles Gideon. The chatoula, a giant strawberry gifted local restorationist and that graced the roof of the for- artist restored the strawberry mer Ponchatoula City Hall dat- to its former luster and says he Judge Jeff Johnson of Ponchatoula Having won decisive- ly (62% of the vote), Pon- chatoula's Jeff Johnson had the solid backing of a host of Ponchatoulans in his suc- cessful run for the tri-parish Division A District judge's bench in Tangipahoa, St. Helena and Livingston Par- ishes. (File Photo) Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan dead at 78 STARKVILLE -- Jack Park- er Vaughan, 78, died Dec. 12, 2014, at his residence. Services were set for Monday Dec. 15 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville, MS. Welch Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements, Mr. Vaughan was born March 21, 1936, to the late Myra and J.S. Vaughan in Ponchatoula, Loui- siana. He was a graduate of Mis- sissippi State University and a member of Sigma Chi frater- nity. He was 2014 president of the MSU Athletic Council and a member of the MSU Bulldog and Dug-out Clubs. He was formerly employed as an insur- ance and real estate broker and operated a bottling company in Louisiana. He served as an official for the National Football League and the Southeastern Confer- ence. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sons, John Vaughan and Jack Parker Vaughan Jr. He is survived by his son, Scott Vaughan of Ponchatoula, Louisiana; daughter, Eliza- beth Vaughan of Ponchatoula, Louisiana; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. will add leaves once the weath- er warms. It is on display on the side of a shed, facing North Seventh Street at the home of the artist's sister Cathy Allen, (Times Photo) Dreamy gifts These customized pillows can contain the name of the lucky gift recipient. Some include characters from the hit movie Frozen, while others bear the logo of favorite sports teams. (Times Photo) Shhhhh! Don't give away Santa's secret By BRYAN T. McMAHON The biggest Christmas open secret in Ponchatoula is the location of Santa Claus' Southern Workshop. It doesn't take the CIA, the FBI, or an investigative report- er from The Ponchatoula Times to tell you what everyone who pays the slightest attention al- ready knows. Of course Santa's Southern PLEASE SEE PAGE 3 OURPONCHATOUIA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator Steve and Rita Vuljoin are celebrating their 65th anniversary this week. Amazing! And nice. Congratulations. Thank you to the super fireman who tossed to Ole Pinchpenny the Publisher a soft stuffed likeness of yours truly during that fantastic Chamber of Commerce Ponchatoula Christmas Parade. I do believe it softened his flint-like heart, if for only a second or two. I'd like to toss one of my healthy alligator nephews in the di- rection of the Amadon who made Ebenezer Scrooge look like a kindly ole gent. This is the one who took it on himself to steal Santa's Mailbox from in front of Middendorf's and with the help of his less-than-helpful accomplices, trash as much of the hand- crafted cheery Christmas display at the Pass as they could lay their grubby paws on. Were it up to me, I would have given Dasher, and Dance and Comet and Blitzen the night off on Christmas Eve, and just har- ness up the Amadon (it's an Irish word chosen carefully, and I do not believe you will find its equivalent in English) and let him i pull the sleigh by himself, all night long. On the other hand, we should start calling Nancy Lowentritt the artist "Christmas Carol" for all the hard work she is putting in on readying presents for the wee little ones who otherwise would not have a Christmas. Funny, isn't it, how the least of us (I'm thinking here of the homeless clients of Frances Seymour over at House of Serenity who are working so hard on Saturday's annual toy giveaway) can make the rest of us look like we are standing still, while they race around us, doing good works? And of course they are not the only ones. You humans really can make me tear-up with pride, when you put your mind to it. I do believe the Chamber's Liz Anderson must have sent out thugs with blackjacks to convince so many groups to come march in our Christmas Parade. How else do you explain the participa- tion of the dance team from Marrero, the Independence Middle Magnet band and dance team? Those happy feet from the Inde- pendence Dance Revelations Academy in Independence did their best Ginger Rogers imitations. And so many other foreign feet on our parade route? I found myself hoping that Sheriff Daniel Edwards did not have special information that we spectators did not share, since he was riding in an impressive-looking military invasion truck, some of us were barefoot. Perhaps it was a preemptive move designed to scare off ISIS. Who cares? It worked!