Purpose-driven lives

Ten years ago, I sat in a coffee shop across a small table from Vicki Ellis: a 20-something newlywed just out of college, full of wisdom beyond her years. I was dumbstruck by her resolve, passion and sense of purpose. She thoughtfully explained to me the steps that were necessary for her to assemble a team to fund and build a Christian children’s home and horse ranch. The mother in me secretly wondered if she had a plan B for her life. As it turns out, many well-meaning people over the years patted her on the head and thought the same thing. Thankfully, for local children in crisis, Vicki never took her eyes off her goal. She worked hard, recruited others to share her purpose, and she persevered. Soon Heritage Ranch, located in Zachary, will welcome its first residents.

Also this year, two other organizations are creating living arrangements for those in need. St. Andrew’s Village, a campus for special-needs adults, has been 20 years in the planning. Trafficking Hope, a campaign established in our community in 2006, is soon opening the doors of Hope House to victims of human trafficking. The three new establishments are each a labor of love. Our region is fortunate to have such generous, dedicated individuals to create, operate and fund them. Read more in the cover story, starting on page 19.

I had not heard this misguided sentiment uttered in ages until very recently: “There’s nothing to do in Baton Rouge.” I’m pretty sure a tiny bit of non-fat latte was projected from my nostrils. Of course, I directed this individual to obtain this month’s inRegister, which features our annual cultural season preview in addition to our monthly datebook. Kelli Bozeman and Lindsey Holland have done a wonderful job putting together the highlights of the best the Capital Region has to offer. From cooking classes, to opera, jazz, Broadway shows and tunes, symphony orchestra, ballet, modern dance, and a multitude of stage performances—Baton Rouge truly has it all. Check out the events section, starting on page 43.

One style-oriented artistic experience to note on your fall calendar now is the fourth annual Avenue Rouge Runway. inRegister and 225 magazines are presenting this New York-style fashion show Thursday, Sept. 26, at L’Auberge Casino. To ensure you are on the VIP list, visit 225batonrouge.com/ARR for more information. Tickets are limited and go on sale Aug. 1. It will be a season to remember.