“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat ...”
Those are the opening lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas songs, and if you’ve been attending as many holiday events as I have, you’re probably like me and feeling a bit like that goose. Not to worry, there’s always the new year and that perennial New Year’s resolution to diet, right?
Warner J. Anderson, Diola Bagayoko, Audrey Nabors-Jackson, Willie S. King Jr., Everett Gordon Parker, Edward Pratt, Tonya G. Robertson, Wanda Raby Spurlock and Alma Charles Stewart were honored as Louisiana Role Models by the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links Inc. at its seventh annual Jazz Brunch Dec. 8 at the Crowne Plaza. Each was selected for exemplifying The Links’ service areas: Services to Youth, National Trends & Services, International Trends & Services, Health & Human Services and the Arts.
Proceeds benefit the various community projects of The Links. Mistress of ceremonies for the event was WAFB producer Michelle McCalope.
Introducing the honorees were brunch chairwoman Maxine Cormier, chapter President Brenda Birkett and committee member Vivian Kerr. Music for the traditional second line was provided by The Jazz Men — Clarence Jones, Terral Jackson, Donald Evans, Gregory Jones and Jason Jones with vocalist Carrie Lorin.
The day before began downtown at the State Museum for Campus Club’s annual Christmas coffee. Mary Alice Carpenter and Barbara Franke co-chaired this event, which also included the presentation of the club’s annual scholarship.
This year’s recipients were Leslie Burch, daughter of Sally and Ed Burch, and Jena Kyle, daughter of Jenny Leeth and Danny Kyle. Leslie, an LSU sophomore, is the granddaughter of Campus Club member Martha Burch and husband Tom. Jena, a first-year law student at LSU, is the granddaughter of club member Connie Kyle and husband Dan.
Now, this group of women is known for its good cooks and, as usual, they put out quite a spread of goodies. I sampled a few as I visited with Chris Enright, JoAnn Doolos, Rheta Sellers, Ruth Patrick and Cindy Snyder.
Later that afternoon it was time for my trek across the river to the Plaquemine Garden Club’s annual Christmas Tea. This year’s hostess was Madeline Kessler, who had every nook and cranny of her White Castle home transformed for the holidays by club members under the guidance of tea chairwoman Brenda Blanchard. Pianist Jimmy Ramirez added the perfect ambience with the sound of holiday songs.
Designers included President Marian Medine, Paula Alexander, Peggy Alonzo, Betty Blanchard, Shirley Blanchard, Barbara Breaux, Janis Brown, Travis Campesi, Jackie Carville, Nancy Delahaye, Katherine Deselles, Lucille Distefano, Jeannine Dunn, Diane Evans, Verlee Guilbeau, Gwendolyn Gum, Joyce B. Hebert, Joyce S. Hebert, Julie Hebert, Mary Jo Hymel, Rita Lynn Jackson, Lucinda Johnson, Charlie Kirkland, Betty LaBauve, Sandra Landry and Marva Legendre.
Also, Sheryl Ramirez, Patsy Williams, Bute Richard, Rosamond Nicolosi, Romona Perrin, Gail LeJeune, Carol Ann Marionneaux, Denise Miranda, Jeanne Panepinto, Linda Panepinto, Patty Phillips, Gayle Schwing and Emily Wilbert.
This is another group known for good cooking as well as its popular peppermint ice-cream punch. Kathleen Cooper was food chairwoman; Dorothy Griffon was beverage chairwoman.
I was back across the river Dec. 9 but in Port Allen where the West Baton Rouge Museum had teamed up with Hemline@LSU for a runway show in conjunction with its “Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation” exhibit. The exhibit, curated by Lauren Davis and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, runs through Jan. 7
Judges for “When & Wear: Threads of a Generation” were Elise Blewster, Elizabeth Brantley, Jeanne Triche and Evva Wilson. Ashley Westerman, of WRKF’s “Morning Edition,” served as emcee.
The weekend also included two of my favorite Christmas parties. Stop No. 1 was the annual holiday open house hosted by Jim Gershey and Dan Gunther. Aside from the hosts, I got to visit with Robin and Brian McAndrew, Jeff Stafford, Bill Cocreham, Ira Paul Babin, Greg Luscombe, Bobby Bernard, Eddie Sims and Stephen McCants.
Next was the “300 of your closest friends” party thrown by Karen and Bill Profita, which was in full swing by the time I arrived. In fact, there were so many people to air kiss and chat with that I was there for more than an hour before I ever got to say hello to the hostess! I think I stood in the same spot for like 45 minutes, but in that spot I got to visit with “Meanwhile, Back at Café du Monde” author Peggy Sweeny McDonald, Susan Ross and Arthur Mertrailer, Charlene and Stan Montelaro, Kathleen and Vic Howell, Paul Arrigo and Mike Cammarosano, who informed me he’s retiring from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at the end of the year.
Once I moved around some, I ran into Barbree and Jim Layne, Joanne and Juan Carillo, Glenn Duncan, Melissa Parmalee, Renée Craft and Tom Sylvest.
The week began celebrating with the Baton Rouge Association of Women Attorneys at its annual Christmas party at Juban’s Restaurant Dec. 3. Special guests were area judges, who were welcomed by party chairwoman Jan Reeves.
The following day Jan Ripple, daughter of volunteer Mary Sue Meador, graciously opened her home for a Christmas brunch fêteing Ochsner Medical Center’s volunteers. Welcoming guests with the hostess was volunteer coordinator LaMarylis Newman , who also presented qualifying volunteers with their service hour pins.
Thanking the volunteers for their dedication was newly appointed CEO Eric McMillen, who shared that the Baton Rouge facility had the best patient satisfaction rating of any in the Ochsner system, “thanks in part to you guys.”
He also updated them on plans for a Plaquemine emergency room, clinic and lab that should begin construction in 2013 and be completed some time in 2014. Also on the drawing board is a new cancer center, to be located in Plaza II on the local Ochsner campus.
Eight young women were introduced at the Louisiana Tri-Parish Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority’s annual Debutante Presentation Tea, “This is Our Time,” Dec. 2 at the Julian Poydras Cultural Center in New Roads. The tea was chaired by Mary Cobb Marshall, with Jackie Chase serving as her co-chairwoman.
The debs include Destini Donyelle Finley, daughter of Vickie Finley and the late Gregory Dawson; Ciara Mykal Franklin, daughter of Consuela Porche-Franklin and Michael Franklin; Aliyah Janay Joseph, daughter of Chawn W. Joseph and Robert L. Joseph; Jennifer Margaret McQuirter, daughter of Arlene and Robert L. Joseph; Paris J’nae Rodney, daughter of Shiletta F. Rodney and Raymond M. Rodney Jr.; Mary KhadiJah Solomon, daughter of Mary Barbara Solomon and the late Curtis Ray Nelson; Z’keyah La’Ray Warr, daughter of Pamela L. Warr and Walter Warr III; and Kierra Jashae Williams, daughter of Nathondra Simmons and Anthony Williams.
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