The last week of January was one of the strangest weather experiences ever! Fortunately the party calendar was clear through most of the freeze, and by the time the ice started melting and the temps started to rise, EVERYONE was ready for some fun.
Power of 9
Things got underway with the Capital Area United Way’s annual Power of 9 Honors volunteer recognition luncheon Jan. 30 at Boudreaux’s. Mistress of ceremonies for the event, which is cosponsored by Capital One Bank and WAFB-TV, was Donna Britt.
The honorees included Maurine LaCour, Hope Cancer Ministry; Bettie Jefferson, The Y; Alfred Lee, The Arc of Baton Rouge; Nancy Simien, Istrouma Area Boy Scouts; Pat Templet, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge; Laura Holmes, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance; Tim Garrett, Mary Beth Guerin, Mark Morrison and Aimée Moreau, Tri-Us; the late Jairo Alvarez and family, Wheels to Succeed, McMains Children’s Development Center; Volunteer LSU; Bold & Beautiful Social Club, Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation; Entergy, Istrouma School Zone Initiative; and Home Depot, Volunteers of America.
‘Sugarcane to Cocktails’
Later that evening, the LSU Museum of Art hosted “From Sugarcane to Cocktails,” a perfect remedy for the cabin fever that had gripped the Capital City. The event paired the Louisiana-made whiskeys of Donner-Peltier Distillers with hors d’oeuvres prepared by Stroubes Seafood & Steaks, all to benefit the museum.
Distillery owners and LSU graduates Beth Dantin Donner and Henry Peltier were pouring their Oryza Vodka And Gin, Rougaroux Rums and newly released LA 1 Whiskey, which is made with long-grain rice from Rayne.
100 Black Men
One of my favorite groups to party with is 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, so I was happy when I got the invitation to join them for their 2014 Gala fundraiser Jan. 31 at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. These gentlemen party hard but they also put their time, talents and treasure where their mouths are. Among the group’s mentoring programs are Project Excel, the ACT Prep Academy, Dollars & $ense Financial Literacy and Health & Wellness.
“You have to lead from the front, not from the rear,” President Michael Victorian told the several hundred guests. “We’re not just our brothers’ keepers, but fathers to the fatherless.”
Among those honored by The 100 for their support of the group’s mission to build a better Baton Rouge were Jacqui Wyatt and Cox Communications, and Mickey Parent and L’Auberge. Victorian also presented this year’s President’s Award. Honored for their dedication to The 100 and its mission were Lorin Crenshaw, Ernie Hughes and Bernell Boudreaux.
Howard White served as gala chairman. Assisting him were committee members Earl Butler, John Glenn, Curtis Haynes, Fred Sibley, John F. Smith, Matthew Valliere, David Wilson and Victorian.
Host committee members included Michael Adams, Adell Brown Jr., Shelton Dennis Blunt, Preston Castille Jr., E’Vinski Davis, Hall Davis IV, Winston Decuir Jr., James Llorens, Floyd Luster Jr., Kendrick Nixon Sr., M.L. Raymond, Percy Singleton Jr., the Rev. Larry Smith, Collis Temple III, Sibley, Victorian and White.
The following morning I joined the women of the Baton Rouge Delta and Iota Theta alumnae chapters of Delta Sigma Theta sorority for its Founders’ Day celebration at the Renaissance Hotel. Welcoming guests were Doris Brown, Baton Rouge Delta president, and Shekaydra Green, Iota Theta president.
Featured speaker for the luncheon was Beverly Evans Smith, national first vice president of Delta Sigma Theta. She helped recognize 50-year members Charlotte M. Henderson, Alpha Chapter, Howard University; and Thomasine H. Mencer, Alpha Eta Chapter, Virginia State University. Also honored at the event by the Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae were the Rev. Thomas Bessix and New Gideon Baptist Church, Service Award; Rose Doolittle, Leadership Award; and 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, Empowerment Award.
Erica Washington chaired this year’s celebration. Committee members included Pearlie Bush Brown, Alma Wright Cherry, Denise Clark, Florence Curry, Karmen Davis, Monica Davis, Bounita Favorite, Marilyn Baker Guy, Shirley Henderson, Jo Lynette Johnson, Barbara Jonew, Lulu Lee, Diane Lomas, Yolanda Martin Singleton, Rita Parham, Bertha Pitts, Eva Pratt, Patsy Price, Alexis Ray, Sylvia Sanders, LaConga Hillard Scott, Veronica Simmons, Anna Simon, Patricia Sterling, Quiana Stewart, Donna Washington, Jennipher Williams and Charlene Wilson.
Associated Grocers Jay Campbell had no clue what was up when Gino Marino invited him to lunch at Gino’s Italian Restaurant Feb. 3. He just knew he was in for good meal. When he walked in to find the table in the private dining room filled with folks “in the business,” he was a little taken aback. “I think he thought we were going to ask him for money,” laughed Gino.
What the group, which was the board of the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society, did was tell Campbell he had been selected as this year’s recipient of its Grace “Mama” Marino Lifetime Achievement Award. He eventually recomposed himself enough to accept and share tales of his 40-plus year career at AG and growing up in Shreveport.
Campbell will be honored at BRES’s annual the annual Fête Rouge award dinner Aug. 21 at L’Auberge Casino. For tickets and information about the following night’s Grand Tasting, visit feterougebr.com .
On Jan. 26, the day after its Bal Masque XXXIII, the Krewe of Apollo hosted its annual Royalty Luncheon at Boudreaux’s. The 100-plus guests honored the newly crowned royalty King Chad Blanchard and Queen Ernest Ourso and congratulated those receiving the krewe’s annual awards.
Thomas Merrill received the Hal S. Phillips Jr. Memorial President’s Award; Joe Boniol and Lester Mut, who have costumed for 20 consecutive years, and Danny McConnell received the Truman May Memorial Captain’s Award; and John Deshotel Jr. received the Founder’s Brotherhood Award. Paul Lemoine was inducted into the Krewe of Apollo Hall of Fame, and Keith Dixon, managing director of Theatre Baton Rouge, was awarded the Friend of the Krewe Award.
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