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Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

Local Beer & Bites Crawl Supports Covington Boys & Girls Club – Tickets SOLD OUT

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boys and girls club
boys and girls club

Like many nonprofit organizations in the greater New Orleans area, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana and the youth they serve have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19. Our community continues to face unprecedented times, but your support can help kids that need critical support.

The Covington Boys & Girls Club has made several adjustments to adapt to changes since COVID, including wellness checks, free meals and virtual learning classes. With the help of various donors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana have provided financial relief to families in need.
The Covington Boys & Girls Club is back open for afterschool programming, seeing about 22 children a day. They provide free meals for all Club members, both a snack and dinner, averaging about 220 meals per week. They are also still offering free meals to anyone experiencing food insecurity in the Covington area, whether they are involved in the Club or not.

This Wednesday, supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Covington is as easy as strolling around downtown Covington, tasting beer and eating bites. It’s the 4th Annual Oxtober Fest event with a twist – a Beer & Bites Stroll starting at the Covington Trailhead and meandering through the many participating local restaurants. The event benefits the Covington Boys & Girls Club.

Tickets are SOLD OUT for the inaugural Beer & Bites Stroll! If you didn’t get a chance to get them, you can still donate to the Covington Boys & Girls Club or learn how you can volunteer here.

Mayor Mark has this to say about the Boys & Girls Club:

“As we know, not all families in our community are able to offer strong parenting. Some children do not receive the structure, the values nor the attention that most of us did as youngsters. At or around the age of 9, 10 or 11, some of these children begin to receive more attention from the streets than from their family. By the age of 13, the bad guys have become their family. This is a bad thing.
“Here in Covington, we are blessed with a strong and active Boys and Girls Club. Our school buses drop students off directly from school. A snack, a safe place and some help with homework helps fill a gap. The Club becomes their family. This is a good thing.
“Sometimes supporting the community is as simple as buying the ticket, eating the eats and drinking the drinks. This Wednesday is one of those times.”

Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Donation Opportunities for the Covington Community

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November is traditionally a month of giving, and many in our community have suffered hardships this year. Thankfully there are a number of organizations in our area designed to help our local neighbors.

Donate Food & Gently Used Household Items to the Northshore Food Bank

The Northshore Food Bank and it’s Resale Shop have undergone some changes in the past year, both expanding to larger locations to meet the demands of our growing community and outer areas. Each year, the Northshore Food Bank distributes over 1 million pounds of food to the residents of St. Tammany and Washington parishes. This year the Food Bank saw an increase of more than 110% in the number of individuals and families they serve due to COVID.

Want to help? You can donate food directly to to Food Bank at their new location, 125 W 30th Ave, Covington, LA. Donation hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 9a-12p at the Community Donations door, facing W 29th Ave. You, your business or place of work can also host a Food Drive! Learn more here: https://northshorefoodbank.org/donate-food

The Northshore Resale Shop accepts donations of gently-used clothing and accessories, household items, appliances and furniture. Funds from the Resale Shop go directly towards purchasing food for the Food Bank. Learn more at https://northshorefoodbank.org/resale.

Knights of Columbus Coat Drive

Our local Knights of Columbus are collecting small children’s (toddler – 12 years old) coats for distribution to those in need. Jackets in good shape may be dropped off at the collection box at Acquistapace’s Grocery or the Children’s Dental Cottage in Madisonville.

Covington Police Department Toy Drive

The Caroline Darby’s Christmas Wish, formerly known as Covington Police Toys for Tots was started in 1995 by Sgt. Wayne Mayberry and the Marines along with a host of CovPD employees, mainly Caroline Darby.

An average of 500 children attend this event annually. It takes about 6 to 8 thousand dollars plus a host of volunteers to provide this special experience for our children.

CovPD is asking for help to keep this program thriving and continuing to put smiles on children’s faces. If so inclined, please mail your donation to:

Caroline Darby’s Christmas Wish
PO Box 4074, Covington LA 70434
Questions: Contact Tammy Bushnell @ 985-892-8500 Opt 2

Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana – Covington Unit

boys and girls club

For the past 50 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana has been a leading provider of afterschool and summer enrichment programs for at-risk youth. As an independent local 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana depends on the generosity of local partners, supporters and investors. Each is vital to the organization’s continued ability to save the lives of at-risk kids across southeast Louisiana.

This year the Boys & Girls Club of Covington has made adjustments and offered additional support to the community with financial relief to families in need, meals, well-being checks and virtual learning for the children. To learn more about how you can donate, sponsor or volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcsela.org or follow them on Facebook.

On Wednesday, November 11th, from 5:30-9:30pm, the 4th Annual event for Oxtoberfest, but the INAUGURAL Beer & Bites Crawl will take place at the Covington Trailhead and throughout downtown Covington, benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Covington! Read more here: https://covingtonweekly.com/2020/10/26/oxtober-fest-beer-bites-crawl-in-downtown-covington-nov-11/

Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House

Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse in our community.

This week is the last chance to support Hope House by donating toward your favorite Men Who Cook celebrity/restaurant team! Men Who Cook, sponsored by Cintas and the Brooke It Forward Foundation, is the primary annual fundraiser for Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House. Campaign ends Sunday, November 8th. You could win a Dinsey getaway! All donations help CAC-Hope House fight child abuse and trafficking on the Northshore. Learn more here: https://www.cachopehouse.org/events/

Covington Rotary Club’s Feeding the Needy

Feeding the Needy was founded in 2002 by John Baldwin and Craig Babylon to provide food on Christmas day for families in need on the Northshore. The Covington Rotary Club was approached for support and special focus was put on providing food for the school children who, during the holidays, do not receive the meals they receive at school and depend on as their main source of nutrition.

Each year on December 23 and 24, volunteers from all over the area come together to prepare Christmas boxes that include a 14 to 16 pound cooked turkey with numerous side dishes and dessert. Each box has enough food to feed a family of four to five with larger families receiving additional boxes. Deliveries are made to families throughout the Northshore area including St. Tammany, Washington and Tangipahoa parishes. On Christmas morning, Rotarians and other community volunteers hand deliver the boxes to the homes of the identified families.

Besides the fundraising luncheon which is held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at the Briggs Assembly Center on St. Paul’s School campus, FTN relies heavily on financial donations. Because of the support from so many generous volunteers and strong partnerships, FTN is able to operate with minimal administrative costs. Donations for FTN are accepted year round. Learn more at the Covington Rotary Foundation’s website.

Northshore Humane Society – Adopt & Donate

Northshore Humane Society rescues thousands of neglected and abandoned animals each year. But we can’t do it alone. Together we can save even more!

For the price of a movie ticket, $13.90, you can provide food to an animal in need for an entire month. Together we can make Thanksgiving Day special for a homeless dog or cat. Your special gift will give an innocent animal the second chance and loving family they have always deserved.

View Northshore Humane Society’s Thanksgiving donation page here: www.northshorehumane.org/thanks

See NHS’s Adoptable Pets of the Week here: covingtonweekly.com/category/pet-of-the-week/

Local Events

Oxtober Fest Beer & Bites Crawl in Downtown Covington Nov 11

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On Wednesday, November 11th, from 5:30-9:30pm, the 4th Annual event for Oxtoberfest, but the INAUGURAL Beer & Bites Crawl will take place at the Covington Trailhead and throughout downtown Covington. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at www.oxtoberfest.org. (*Rain date is Thur, Nov 12th).

Tickets include small plate tastings and beer pairings at local downtown restaurant sidewalks including: Lola, OxLot 9, Del Porto, Seiler Bar, Cured on Columbia & Beck N Call. The Shack, Hoo Doo Ice cream, and Campbell’s coffee will also be serving up some favorites at the Trailhead as well. The evening kicks off at the Covington Trailhead for check-in and the first course at 5:30pm, and patrons can sidewalk crawl in any order to the other 6+ participating restaurants throughout downtown until 7:45 pm, where the evening will continue back at the Covington Trailhead for the dessert course and final beer pairing. At this final stop, patrons will enjoy live music by Jeff Cryer’s  Tribute to Motown, and a live auction beginning at 8pm. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club- Covington Unit and the event concludes at 9:30 pm.

While the Oxtoberfest Committee was disappointed to have to cancel their traditional beer fest in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are excited for the opportunity to “pivot” and think outside the box, creating this exciting new event that supports both the local fine dining restaurants as well at the Covington Boys & Girls Club. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and will be limited so that proper social distancing can take place. The outdoor, walkable concept allows for people to casually stroll and enjoy the fall weather and sights of downtown as they sample each participating restaurants “bites” and “beer pairings.”

Event chairs, Nick and Cody Ludwig, saw the opportunity to create something really fun for their community while also supporting restaurants in town who took a hit during the spring/summer by having to shut down or operate on to-go orders only saying, “There was no way we could lean on these restaurants for donations at this time, they have suffered enough. So instead of relying on traditional ways to put on an event, we figured we’d move the event to them and use sponsorship dollars to pay the restaurants while also earning funds for the Covington Boys & Girls Club (who also took a huge financial hit from Covid-19 by having to cancel 3 other fundraisers).”

“The Covington Boys & Girls Club changes futures of the youth in our community, it is incredibly important to Covington that they be able to keep their doors open and allow a safe place for kids to go after school, be able to attend summer camp, meet adult mentors and many other opportunities…Now more than ever, they need funding and we are more than happy to execute Oxtoberfest events that allow us to fundraise for them 4 years in a row and many more years to come,” Ludwig says. “We can’t wait to see everyone for this unique event!”

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Follow event details and updates at facebook.com/theoxtoberfest

*Must have valid ID to obtain wristband and be 21 years of age to consume beer*

Non Profit Spotlight

Non-Profit Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club Continues Community Aid Programs

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Since 1965, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana has been a leading provider of both after-school and summer enrichment programs focused on serving disadvantaged youth ages 6 – 18. We are a local 501(c)3 nonprofit and rely on the generosity of local donors, partners, and supporters. Annually we serve over 4,000 youth across Southeast Louisiana ranging from New Orleans to the Westbank, Slidell, and of course our local Club in Covington! Over 70% of the youth we serve are ages 12 and under and over 70% of our youth come from single-parent households. We not only provide education and educational resources, we provide mentorship via our Club Staff and volunteers, nutritious meals, life-enhancing programs, preparation into early-adulthood, and more.

Our Mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. If anyone would like more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana or want info on how to get involved whether that’s through a donation or volunteering, you can find our website at: www.bgcsela.org.

Here are the updates and changes that we’ve implemented in response to COVID-19:

Like many nonprofit organizations in the greater New Orleans area, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana and the youth we serve have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19. Our community continues to face unprecedented times, but your support can help kids that need critical support. Our Mission remains the same, the only thing that has changed is our delivery. Here’s what we’ve been doing:

• COVID-19 Financial Relief: To date, and with the help of various donors, we have been able to provide $29,300 in COVID-19 relief to our families in need. This has been distributed in the form of Rouses Gift Cards, Chevron Gas Cards, and direct rent / mortgage relief.

• Direct Family Contact and well-being checks: We contacted every single one of our youth and families that we serve to check in on them and to offer assistance through this challenging time. We continue to provide links to emergency EBT benefits for children, locations of food banks and online learning modules to assist parents who are now being tasked to operate as full-time teachers while their kids are home. We continue to call our families weekly.

• Grab & Go Meals: We have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank and are providing Grab & Go Meals at two of our Club locations, Slidell and Westbank. In Covington we serve meals through Solutions of Folsom, distributed from 9 – 12 at Faith Bible Church on Columbia Street. We are staffed on-site distributing both lunch and dinner to those in need. Individuals who show up do not need to be members of BGCSELA or have their children enrolled in our programs to qualify for a free meal.

• Virtual Programming and Online Learning: Beginning the first week of June, we launched our virtual programming and education curriculum available to all our youth. Club Directors are creating great video content to engage our youth, we even have at home workouts and DIY STEM labs from home. Additionally, every week our Club Directors are jumping on Zoom with our Youth to further engage them in discussion around the week’s topics as well as encourage them to interact with other youth from the safety of their home. This is in large-part due to our partnership with Chevron who has been an outstanding community partner in our efforts to switch to virtual.

Love Boys & Girls Club? Learn more, get involved or donate at www.bgcsela.org or follow on Facebook.

General Local Events Local News

Oxtoberfest 2018 This Saturday

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On Saturday, October 6th, from 3-6pm, the 2nd annual Oxtoberfest Beer Fest will take place at the Covington Trailhead. Tickets are $30 ahead of time and can be purchased online at www.oxtoberfest.org, or at the door (if it does not sell out first) for $35. Tickets include sampling cup, local and national brewery samples, live music by local favorite, Krooked Step, and other traditional beer fest activities! All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club- Covington Unit.
Cody Ludwig, event coordinator, and a group of friends came up with the concept of the beer fest after going to the local Boys & Girls Club unit’s annual gala and falling in love with the organization saying, “We always knew it was good for the community but after learning more about the children that they mentor and give a place to go after school and during the summer really does make a huge difference in these kids’ lives and gives them a future that they may not otherwise have. It’s such an important cause that needs more funding and attention. They have a few fundraisers throughout the year but this was something we thought fit well with Covington.”
“A play on the “ox-lots” around town and the unofficial Covington mascot, the oxen, mixed with the whimsy of an Oktoberfest type event in downtown Covington, we had a feeling it would be received well within the community. Last year was our first year and despite the threat of rain, we had a great turnout and got a lot of positive feedback… Apparently the Northshore loves sampling craft beers, live music and an Oktoberfest vibe! Who knew?! Just kidding, we knew the folks in Covington love a good a time… and we are happy to provide another fall event for them!”

Food will be available for purchase and of course lots of beer to be sampled. Patrons are welcome to dress up in traditional German garb or just come out and enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon. A limited amount of t-shirts and beer steins with the event’s logo will be available for purchase as well and given to the top 3 best dressed!
Sponsorships are still available and can be submitted to info@oxtoberfest.org facebook.com/theoxtoberfest
Must have valid ID (21 years of age to consume beer.)

Local News

Covington Crime Stats for 2016 Released, Overall Crime Rate Down 14%

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Chief Tim Lentz has released the 2016 crime statistics for the City of Covington, showing a 14% reduction in the overall crime rate based on FBI Part I reported offenses.  In 2016 the Covington Police Department continued to base its mission around a community-oriented policing philosophy.  This philosophy focuses on building and maintaining relationships with our community through outreach programs, as well as day-to-day interactions with the public by our officers. Our youth continued to be a major focus with many of our outreach programs, including a summer camp, working with the Boys & Girls Club, giving gifts at Christmas, and more.
Mayor Cooper and Chief Tim Lentz made the following joint statement, “We can proudly say a 14% reduction in crime illustrates that the hard work and dedication to community-based policing by our officers has proven to be a success.”  In 2015, the Covington Police Department responded to 510 crimes meeting the criteria for FBI Part I Uniform Crime Reports. Last year, that number fell to only 440.
Drug abuse is an epidemic that continues to plague our entire nation. Last year the Covington Police Department lead an effort to start the Operation Angel program in St. Tammany Parish, a first of its kind in Louisiana. Through this program, anyone seeking help for drug addiction can now walk into any police station in St. Tammany Parish and be admitted into a treatment program. They can turn over any unused narcotics, without fear of arrest, and be transported to a treatment facility by an officer.
Police officers in Covington were also equipped with nasal Narcan last year, a live-saving drug that helps to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. Officers have been successful in deploying the drug multiple times to patients who were overdosing.  In March of last year, a fatal drug overdose led to the first homicide since 2007. In that incident, investigators were able to identify and arrest the man suspected of selling the fatal drugs to the victim.
Traffic crashes continue to be the most common call for service. In 2015 the Covington Police Department responded to a total of 698 crashes, 76 of those resulting in injuries. Last year, in addition to the crime rate, the number of traffic crashes fell to 667, with 70 of those resulting in injuries.
Traffic related incidents are one of the most preventable and the Covington Police Department has continued working toward increased driver awareness, through programs like the “I Got Caught” t-shirt campaign and mock crashes at schools.

The Covington Police Department is open 24/7
Emergencies:  911 Non emergency:  985-892-8500

Local Events Local News

Raffle for Playhouse to Raise Funds for Boys & Girls Club

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The 2012 Highland Homes Christmas Playhouse Raffle benefiting the Boys and Girls Club in Covington is underway. Tickets are only $5 each and 100% of the ticket sales benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Covington.

The playhouse was constructed and donated by local builder Highland Homes, and it is modeled after an old town post office. It measures approximately 8′ x 10′. Tickets may be purchased at any Home Bank location in St. Tammany Parish, or purchase your tickets online at www.BeGreatCovington.org