Social scene reaches peak with fundraisers
The night of April 28 was one of the busiest of the year with three major fundraisers all taking place at the same time, and there was a great crowd at them all. Fortunately, two of them were basically across the street from each other — the 45th annual Best Dressed Ball and Family Road’s Storybook Ball. Co-worker Karen Martin took care of the third one for me.
For more photos from several of these events, visit http://www.theadvocate.com/features.
‘All that Glitters’
It was definitely glittery at the Best Dressed Ball, which benefits the American Cancer Society. This is always one of the most glamorous crowds you see out on the town but still the most glamorous were this year’s honorees. Strutting down the runway at the Belle of Baton Rouge Capital Atrium to the applause of family and friends were Cheri Ausberry, Joe Alleva, Mary Beth Chevalier, Brandon Rogillio, Stephanie Foust, Guy Oliver, Debbie Kleinpeter, Hunter Greene, Melissa Landers, Sherry Melara, Leo Verde, Alison Musgrove, Scott Berg, Julie Sherrill, Dr. Chris McCanless, Kristen Spring, Tim Houk, Gretchen Young and Brad Dutruch.
What else would you follow up some of the city’s best dressed with except a high-powered style show? It started off with ladies swimwear from Stella Boutique followed by dapperly clad men attired by Martinez Custom Clothier and the evening wear finalé from Chatta Box. Then it was time to dance to the sounds of the Tip Tops, place final bids in the silent auction and visit with the night’s honorees.
The ball was presented by Victory, Capital Sertoma Club and Price LeBlanc Lexus.
My first stop was the River Center Ballroom for the Storybook Ball, where the city’s younger set was having quite the night. Many of them were dressed as their favorite storybook character and had fun interacting with the characters at each of the featured storybooks, which also offered fun hands-on activities. There was also a magic show by X-tremetalent, a peek inside Miss Trudy’s Trunk Show, storytelling with Pipi Longstocking and Playmakers of Baton Rouge, and performances by Jacqueline Dupree and the Runnels School Harp Choir. Made me want to get in touch with my inner child.
Denim & Diamonds
Out at the stables of Carolyn and Dan Heard, a more casually attired group was partying to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation at the 11th annual Denim & Diamonds Gala. This year’s event honored Mayor Kip Holden.
The evening’s agenda also featured both silent and live auctions, dancing to the V-Tones and the culinary offerings of Amazing Cakes, Beausoleil, Brew-Bachers, The Edible Event, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Kleinpeter, Mansurs on the Boulevard, Mestizo Mexican Restaurant, On the Half Shell, Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant and Sammy’s Grill as well as beverages from Baton Rouge Coca-Cola and Mockler Beverage.
‘Evening at Windrush’
Knowing Saturday night was hectic, it was nice to start the weekend off with a touch of Southern elegance at the Rural Life Museum’s “Evening at Windrush” April 27. Special guest of honor was 2012 Honorary Overseer Helen Campbell.
The soirée began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in Windrush Gardens, including the famous Miss Ollie’s Punch. As always, the dining table inside Windrush was decorated with a magnificent arrangement of roses from the property. Guests trekked the short distance to the Visitors Center for a candlelight dinner catered by Chef John Folse & Co. and wrapped up the evening with desserts by Nanette Mayhall, coffee and cordials in the Quarters.
Jocelyn King chaired this year’s event with assistance from Tonja Normand, Sissy Bateman, Marilyn Sue Burgess, Cam Eversberg, Lynda Waguespack, Donna West, Kathleen Howell, Anne Carville, Martha Hanks, Elaine Sullivan, Frances and John Monroe, Executive Director David Floyd and Development Director Molly Sanchez.
ART-ini for arthritis
Mansurs on the Boulevard’s strawberry and basil martini was the judges’ favorite at the Arthritis Foundation’s ART-ini event April 26 at Oak Lodge Reception Center. The creation was the combined effort of bartender Elette Peterson and sommelier Rodney Willis. Rounding out the top three were martinis by Fleming’s Steakhouse and The Porterhouse Restaurant. Having the challenge of picking a winner were judges Laura Brignac, Jacqui Vines, Michael Breard and David Manship.
While sipping the various martini concoctions, guests got a chance to view donated artworks by JoVann Armstrong, Megan Buccere, Clara Dartez, Jeana Esser, Sharon Furrate, Jax Fry, Louise Hansen, Alex Harvie, Elizabeth Hill, Felicia Hunt, Stacie Rando James, Brian Lemoine, Leslie Leonpacher, Derek Patterson, Joy Petty, Jennifer Poe, Tammy Ross, Lynn Eustace Sanders, Cindy Saverese, Pam Soileau, Amy Traylor, Lauren Trusty and Lizi Ward.
Social worker Christopher Marques, physical therapist Gloria Wall and Dr. Stephen Lindsey were honored for their volunteer efforts by the Volunteer Health Corps at an April 26 reception at the Governor’s Mansion. The VHC is a public-private partnership staffed by area volunteer medical personnel who see uninsured, under-insured and indigent patients without primary care access at one of two evening clinics located in the LSU System. In the past five years, it has saved area emergency rooms $6.1 million and seen more than 3,800 patients. Last year, VHC was fast tracked to be a medical reserve corps, taking on the disaster management role of recruiting, training and mobilizing area physicians.
Board members include Dr. André Bonnecaze, Bill Borne, Brenda Brown, Dr. Curt Chastain, Dr. Kevin DiBenedetto, Crissie Head, Bill Holman, Dr. Trent James, Angele Davis Kelly, Dr. Lance LaMotte, Judge Luke Lavergne, Dr. Yushen Lee, Rolfe Miller, Pam Monroe, Dr. Rubin Patel, Shunn Phillips, Dr. Mike Rolfsen, Dr. Roxanne Townsend and Alison Walker.
Attired in full cap and gown regalia, Coletta Barrett and Rachel Emanuel led the march of classes to begin the “Ultimate Graduation Ceremony” honoring retiring Leadership Baton Rouge facilitator Willie Johnson. Several hundred graduates of the program filled Juban’s Restaurant for the April 25 dinner, including one all the way from Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Chris Arab, a 1998 Leadership graduate.
Mayor Kip Holden got things underway by proclaiming it Willie Johnson Day throughout the parish and making her an honorary mayor. Michael Rubin, Leadership Class of 1997, entertained with a musical tribute. A video tribute provided a “laughter through tears” moment.
Serving on the planning committee were Leadership alumni Barrett, Jude Bourque, Mary Beth Chevalier, Nancy Crawford, Mary Frey Eaton, Susan Eaton, Emanuel, Charlene Guarisco, Bob Johannessen, Alicia Murphy, Lucy Priddy, Karen Profita, Monique Scott-Spaulding, Christel Slaughter, Donna Saurage and Joe Simmons.
Afternoon of opera
Earlier that afternoon, the Baton Rouge Opera Guild honored Judy Zollinger and Cary Saurage at its Spring Recital at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Entertaining the honorees, members and guests were BROG career grant and scholarship recipients Robyn Lamp, Vincent Turregano, Megan Barrera, Greg Gallagher, Sean Matassa, Joel Mathias, Chelsea Miller, Penelope Shumate, Chris Hutchison, Matt Daniels and Nathan Walker.
They were joined by scholarship recipients: Baton Rouge Area Volunteers for Opera, Lauren Brown; Music Club of Baton Rouge, Yen Lin Chin and Cameron Young; and Woman’s Club, Cadie Jordan .
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