Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures crowns new queens

Published 12:05 am Saturday, November 9, 2019

LAPLACE — Eden Thornton is a shining example of everything Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures stands for. Having cerebral palsy hasn’t held her back from persevering through surgeries, taking steps with a walker and enjoying the hunting trip of a lifetime.

Founded by amputee Jason Bland, Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures is a ministry-based nonprofit that has blessed hundreds of children and adults across Louisiana with tennis, golfing, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, camping and other adventures to prove anyone can live a life without limits. His goal is to help people with disabilities “STEP OUT” away from the usual way of life and “STEP INTO” a new way that builds confidence, spiritual uplifting and the opportunity to surround themselves with others experiencing the same challenges.

Four queens representing the organization were crowned Sunday at the second Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures Queen Coronation, held at Petra Restaurant in LaPlace. Petra owner T.J. Qutob has been a continuous help to the organization, according to Trinity Outdoors organizers.

Crown sponsors included Representative Clay Schexnayder, Councilman Michael Wright and St. John Parish President-Elect Jaclyn Hotard. St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre sponsored banners, and Liz’s Flowers and Gifts of Lutcher sponsored flowers.

Thorton, the daughter of Charla and Tommy Thornton, was crowned Ambassador for the second consecutive year. Trinity Outdoors also blessed Thorton with a trip that fulfilled her dream of harvesting a deer, according to coordinator Maria Stelly.

“Modifications were made to accommodate her and she was able to shoot the gun by blowing into a straw to pull the trigger,” Stelly said. “Eden is what this organization is all about…seeing what you can do despite your challenges.”

Thornton had a few surgeries last year that prevented her from traveling and participating as much as she would have liked to. However, she is ready to represent the organization and see what the next year will bring.

Due to the success the queens have brought to the organization, Trinity Outdoors coordinators decided to add a Ms. division. Maggie Gentile of Luling, the daughter of Amy Waters and the late Anthony Gentile, received the crown.

Gentile attended Louisiana State University, and she is currently employed as a Geek Squad consultant. She is certified in ASL and serves on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society.

Gentile wanted to be a representative for Trinity Outdoors because she knows firsthand the lack of opportunities for the disabled and how some people think of these individuals as “less than capable, less than normal.” She is committed to Trinity Outdoors’ mission of changing that narrative. To her, the crown and title is a means to advocate for the cause and network with other organizations to support the ministry.

Teen Miss Trinity Outdoors Emily Diane Duhe, the daughter of Angie Duhe and Earl Duhe, is currently a junior at Riverside Academy. She participates in the Marching Pride of Riverside Band as a Color Guard, Senior Beta Club and River Parish Community Theatre productions.

Duhe wanted to be a representative of Trinity Outdoors to help expand community involvement. She looks forward to traveling and promoting the organization at different fairs and festivals, as well as meeting others along the journey. Most of all, she wants to help others and learn new life skills because Trinity has given so much to others, and she wants to do the same.

Miss Trinity Outdoors Carley Hoover is the daughter of Jeremy and Candace Hoover of LaPlace. She is currently attending Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University as a nursing major. She plans to obtain her RN and further her career with a Master of Science degree to become a family nurse practitioner. Hoover was involved with the Ray of Life organization, where she helped raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer.

She wanted to represent Trinity Outdoors to have an impact on others. She’s always believed it is better to give than to receive. By being part of this organization, she is giving the greatest gift of all — bringing joy to others.

The recent coronation also celebrated last year’s Teen Miss Trinity Outdoors Faith Madere and Miss Trinity Outdoors Juliette Delatte, both of St. James Parish.

The young ladies have exceeded expectation while attending fairs, festivals and community events around Louisiana. They have showcased not only what it means to be a beauty queen, but also what it means to have a beautiful heart.

Trinity Outdoors is seeking more community involvement on the River Parish Committee. For more information, visit

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