I hope you and yours celebrated an enjoyable Thanksgiving, and I hope you’ve got plenty of time to spend on this Sunday’s “Party Line” because it’s full of social happenings. A health issue cut last week’s column a bit short so it all landed here, so pour yourself an extra cup of coffee, snuggle up and see what we’ve all been up to the past couple of weeks.
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Sullivan’s Steakhouse was packed the night of Nov. 18 for the 10th anniversary of the Cystic Fibrosis Wine Opener. Welcoming guests on the red carpet were Swamp Pop Music Festival queens Mandy Boudwin, Sydney Poché and Arien Gordon along with CF Junior Ambassador Bailey Hawthorne. General Manager Leo Verde, sporting that killer smile, was scurrying around to make sure everyone was well taken care of and things were running smoothly. Event co-founders Carla Jumonville and daughter M’Elaine Booth were still in awe at how the event has grown over the years; it raised a record $92,400.
I had two pleasant surprises — Rebecca Rainer was in town for the Thanksgiving holidays and had come with mom Sue to the event. She looked so amazing I almost didn’t recognize her! We had a blast catching up. Then I bumped into this handsome young man, turned to say excuse me and was greeted by, “Ms. Pam?” It was Drew Ratcliff, who used to live next door and grew up with my three sons. Hadn’t seen him since he was about 12 years old; he’s now 31 and married. In fact, wife Becky was on the committee.
Her fellow committee members included chairwoman Dee Grant, Erin Achberger, Betsy Barnes, Booth, Emily Davis, Ariadne Doyle Dawson, Daria Doyle, Susan Smith Francis, Vanda Gray, Jumonville, Maggie Kelly, Sheree Murray, Lila Seymour and Rochelle Zimko.
Beer not wine was on tap the night of Nov. 16 as Tin Roof Brewing Co. turned a celebration of its second anniversary into a benefit for Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge. Owners Charles Caldwell, Tom Daigrepont, William McGehee and John Peak invited local food trucks to provide the eats while they provided the beer. All of the beer sold benefited Cancer Services. As Executive Director Mimi Riché said, this exposed Cancer Services and what it offers cancer patients and their families to a much younger crowd, and that’s always a good thing.
“Change the World with a Giving Heart” read the program at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Baton Rouge Chapter Nov. 16 at the Renaissance Hotel. Make no mistake, the group of people honored at the event have changed the world, at least our corner of it.
Receiving the award for Outstanding Leadership in Corporate Philanthropy was All Star Automotive Group, under the leadership of CEO Matt McKay. The company was nominated by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.
Kathy and Frank McArthur III were recognized as this year’s Outstanding Philanthropists. They were nominated by Woman’s Hospital.
The award for Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation went to the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation, represented by J.H. Martin. It was nominated by Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, Baton Rouge General Foundation, Louisiana Art & Science Museum and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Marvin Borgmeyer was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. He was nominated by Baton Rouge Speech & Hearing Foundation and Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge.
Charlene Guarisco Montelaro was recognized as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser. She was nominated by the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
Jasmine Miller, a 2012 graduate of Baton Rouge Magnet High School and current student at Boston University, was recognized as the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. She was nominated by Capital Area United Way.
The 2012 AFP Board of Directors Award was presented to Dusty Manson, who has a “long history in philanthropic fundraising both locally and at the national level.” She serves as administrator for the Leave a Legacy advisory board, Planned Giving Council of Greater Baton Rouge and Baton Rouge Chapter of AFP.
Receiving Leave a Legacy Awards, for providing to a favorite cause through their will and/or estate planning, were Jeanne and Bill Atchison, Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area; the late George Daniels, Capital Area United Way; Renée Savoy Harris, Woman’s Hospital; Debbie and Kevin Knobloch, Louisiana Art & Science Museum; Gwen and Durinda Robinson, LSU Rural Life Museum; and Anne Hendershot Wong, LSU Foundation.
For the first time, AFP presented the Generosity of Spirit Award, which recognized an individual who stands out above the rest. It was presented to the late John Barton Sr., who was instrumental in founding the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation and National Wild Turkey Federation.
“I knew he was special even before I ever met him,” said Lynn Weill in making the presentation to daughter Annette Barton and son John Barton Jr. “What a difference he made in our community. He truly defined philanthropy as we know it today.”
A lot of the people at the Philanthropy Day luncheon were also at the Brotherhood Sisterhood dinner the night before. In fact, Frank McArthur was one of the honorees here, along with the Rev. Raymond Jetson.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Brotherhood Sisterhood Award, which was originally presented by the National Conference of Christians & Jews. Now, it is presented by 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge and Forum 35. The event recognizes individuals in the community who have devoted their professional, philanthropic and volunteer capacities to help advance the mission of joining hands across racial, socioeconomic, ethnic and religious lines.
In a special tribute, past honorees marched into the Hilton Capitol Center Riverview Ballroom: Huel Perkins, Carolyn Carnahan, Edith Kirkpatrick, Mary Frey Eaton, Lee Griffin, Donna Saurage, Sue Turner, Press Robinson, Willie Johnson, Roland Toups, John Noland, Eula Smith, Skip Bertman, Ned Clark, Rabbi Barry Weinstein, Judge Freddie Pitcher, Richard Lipsey, Alvin Washington, Paula de la Bretonne, Jacqui Vines, Kip Holden, Mary Ann Sternberg and Ernest Gaines.
There was also a moment of silence for the honorees who recently passed away: Horatio Thompson, Ken Uffman, Paul Arst, the Rev. Charles Smith and Derek Gordon.
Chairing the dinner committee were Susan and Richard Lispey, Vines and John Smith. Committee members included 100 Black Men President Adell Brown Jr., Forum 35 President Jessica Boone, Kevin Barnes, Earl Butler, Heather Sewell Day, Slater McKay, Joe Simmons, Donna Saurage, Collis Temple III, Vanisia Winston, Stevie Toups, Erin Monroe Wesley, Kenrick Nixon, Sharon Bethea, Terrence Lockett, Jesse Hoggard and Fred Sibley.
Before heading downtown for the Brotherhood Sisterhood dinner, I popped in Dixon Smith Interiors where they were teaming up with Volunteer Health Corps for an exclusive showing of works by resident artists Jennifer Oliver, Yvette Owens, Brent Smith and Saliha Staib. A portion of the art sales benefited Volunteer Health Corps, which provides greater access to health care for the uninsured.
Welcoming guests were VHC Executive Director Kathy West and Jim Smith. Wish I could have scoped all the art but time was a choice commodity that night. I did, however, get to see the work done by Mobile, Ala., artist Brent Smith. It was of a view of my old stomping grounds — Dog River — and made me smile.
Each fall the Charity Ball Association welcomes new members with a Mexican-style Fiesta and this year was no different. Carolyn and Carey Winder hosted this year’s Nov. 11 festivities to welcome Amy and David Carmouche, Teri and Tom D’Armond, Millicent and Edward Dittmar, Susan and Carl Hultgren, Cory and Harwood Leonard, Lisa and Paul Mayeaux, Holland and Breaux Nader, Beth and James Ruiz, and Amber and SJ Saia.
Social chairwomen Adair Brabham and Jane Sherman were in charge of the party. Assisting were President Randa Patrick, Vice President Jennifer Strasner and the hostess.
Brenda Berg and TJ Moran were officially crowned queen and king of the Karnival Krewe de Louisiane at its Coronation Social Nov. 9 at Gerry Lane Cadillac. Jacqui Vines was introduced as ball captain.
Also receiving their crowns and being introduced to the membership were duchesses Kathi Gill, Kelly Hurtado, Elizabeth Murrill and Candy Wright; and dukes Trent Bondy, Tom Olinde, Layne McDaniel, Ragan Richard and Robert Schneckenburger.
The krewe’s 2013 debutante coterie was also introduced: Kaitlyn Nicole Anton, Arianna Francesca Campesi, Ashton Alexandra Lane, Megan Elizabeth Lewis, Grace Anne and Hannah Elizabeth Mikesell, Emily Marie Mitchell, Madeline Claire Olinde, Mary Margaret Patterson, Olivia Blaire Perego, Elizabeth Ann Phillips, Kaitlynn Elizabeth Spikes and Bailey Adams Walker.
The evening also featured a most-tempting silent auction and a chance to sample the culinary talents of Bistro Byronz, Courtlands Catering, Chef Don Bergeron Enterprises, and Baton Rouge River Center/Savor Baton Rouge to choose who will serve as caterer for the Jan. 25 Mardi Gras Ball.
My next stop was the Renaissance where the “Never Quit. Never Forget.” gala was well under way. This is a very special event, benefiting Special Ops Survivors and wounded veterans.
Guest speakers included Emily Tinsley Hoey, Michael McNaughton and Jason Redman. Decorated Louisiana honorees included the late Michael Scott Lamana, McNaughton, Clark Cavalier and Michael Gable.
My night of party hopping started off at Baton Rouge Gallery KINETICS fundraiser, which ended up being the most successful fundraiser in its history. If you were looking to expand, or simply start, your art collection, this was THE place to be. Not only were there lots of tempting items up for bids in a silent auction but guest auctioneers Jared Loftus and Casey Phillips kept hands popping in the air during the live auction portion of the evening.
The Manship Theatre brought in the one-and-only comedy improv troupe Second City as the finale of its first fundraising gala Nov. 8. The black-tie optional event got underway with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a chance to bid on items in the silent action followed by a rousing live auction conducted by former LSU football players cum restaurateurs Ruffin Rodrigue and Brandon Landry.
I didn’t get to stay at the Manship because I had to head to LSU’s Rural Life Museum, where the Red Rooster Bash was in full swing. The cool nip in the air was the perfect touch for this hoedown barbecue event. As always, Rural Life had some really unique, tempting items up for bids in its silent auction and even cooler ones in its live one. Where else can you get a figurine made by the late Steele Burden or get the chance to dine nestled in Windrush Gardens in the “peaceful country setting of Burden House?”
Kudos to this committee — Brian Bateman, Martha Bearden, Helen Campbell, Chet Coles, Corinne Cook, Joe Corso, Julie Doucet, Wendel Foushee, Carol Goldsmith, Sheila Govan, Kathleen Howell, Montez LeGrande, Stephanie Levert, Linda Lightfoot, Hadassah Metrailer, Elizabeth McInnis, Frances Monroe, David Nicolosi, Tonja Normand, Dorsey Peek, Shannon Poché, Steve Ramke, Molly Sanchez, Donna Wright, Bobbie Young and Executive Director David Floyd.
Earlier in the day, I popped in at the Baton Rouge Marriott where the Baton Rouge Bar Association was honoring retiring Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball, who’s retiring in January after 20 years on the high court. As the day’s featured speaker, Kimball reflected on her career.
The Baton Rouge Bar Foundation’s 2012 youth education initiative committees were recognized with the American Bar Association Partnership Award. Accepting the awards were Weldon Hill II, Teen Court of Greater Baton Rouge; Beau James Brock, Law Day; Wendy Shea, Youth Education; and Lauren Byrd Reed, Mock Trial Competition.
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