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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Hicham Khodr,
new owner of the Camellia Grill, celebrated the reopening of the landmark diner last Friday by auctioning off the first two seatings to benefit local charities — the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, the Police and Justice Foundation and Audubon Zoo. Camellia Grill opened its doors to the public on Saturday for the first time since Hurricane Katrina forced it to close. Khodr, who also owns Byblos and Table One restaurants, frequently hosts events at his eateries to benefit local charities.

The Tipitina's Foundation
is renovating the landmark Lower Ninth Ward home and office of rock 'n' roll legend Fats Domino so he can return to the neighborhood he has lived in and loved all his life. Domino, now 79, rode out Hurricane Katrina in his home and had to be rescued by boat from the second story of his house. The foundation agreed to pay all renovation costs in exchange for Domino's agreement to donate all proceeds of his post-Katrina CD Alive and Kickin' to the foundation.

The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau
raised nearly $900,000 for the local Habitat For Humanity organization and for student scholarships at UNO's Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. The money was donated by members of the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the National School Boards Association, all of which were scheduled to meet in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina struck. The meetings instead were held in early 2006 at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Terry Forrette,
a Slidell resident and motorcycle enthusiast, is "riding the rim" of the continental United States to bring awareness to the America's WETLAND campaign and to launch a special-issue Louisiana license plate honoring the campaign. Forrette timed his three-month, 12,000-mile ride to coincide with the annual worldwide Earth Day celebration. He will meet with community leaders and motorcycle enthusiasts around the country to spread the word that wetland loss has become an urgent national issue.


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