Les Brigands de Lafitte celebrates with ‘Lafitte’s Luau’

Brigands -- Queen Elizabeth Charlotte Koke
Brigands -- Queen Elizabeth Charlotte Koke

LAFAYETTE — Les Brigands de Lafitte partied to a theme of “Lafitte’s Luau” at its 59th annual Bal Masque on Jan. 12 at the Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center.

The entrance to the Frem F. Boustany Ballroom was highlighted with a graphic of the Etoile Rouge, Lafitte’s famous fighting ship, and a large likeness of Jean Lafitte. A replica of this year’s doubloon hung over center stage.

As guests arrived they were greeted by the chairman of the floor committee, Sterling LeJeune, and the ladies were each presented with leis and escorted to their seats in the call-out section.

The dukes, each representing well-known, beach and Polynesian characters or friends, paraded their way to the stage.

A float depicting a wave in motion entered the ballroom with the king, Hawaiian Olympic and surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku, riding a surfboard as he tossed trinkets and pineapples to guests. He acknowledged his dukes, then toasted Capt. Jean Lafitte and took his seat on stage for the presentation of the queen and the royal maids.

Reigning as queen for the evening was Elizabeth Charlotte Koke, daughter of David and Betsy Koke. A senior at St. Thomas More High School, she is an honor roll student and retreat minister for Campus Ministry. She is also a varsity cheerleader captain, a member of the Homecoming court, Academic pep rally chairwoman and was selected for Breakfast of Champions. She has been a dance student for 14 years.

Introduced as royal maids were:

Lauren Elizabeth Aillet, daughter of Larry and Kay Aillet. A senior at St. Thomas More High School, she is an avid golfer who won the 2012 Lafayette Ladies City Golf Championship and participated in high school championships the last three years, placing first in the 4A regional championship and fourth in the state championship. She is a member of Campus Ministry and Beta Club, is an Options mentor and Top Cat award winner, and was selected for Breakfast of Champions.

Caitlin Anne Bullen, daughter of Chris Bullen and Karen Brownlee Bullen. A senior at St. Thomas More High School, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, U.S. Equestrian Federation and U.S. Eventing Association. She qualified for American Eventing Championships, performing equestrian sports of dressage, cross country and stadium jumping.

Eleanor Anne Cook, daughter of David and Nanette Cook. A senior at St. Thomas More High School, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Campus Ministry and serves as senior class president. She is also a member of the soccer, cross country and track teams, and served on the Homecoming court.

Riley Elizabeth Donohue, daughter of Jim and Susan Donohue. A senior at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, she is a member of the Beta Club, Student Ministry, tennis team, Science Club, French Club, Amnesty International and the National Honor Society. She has volunteered for St. Vincent de Paul, Cancer Services, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and Catholic Charities.

Laura Reed Lee, daughter of Joe “Buddy” and Marilyn Lee. A senior at Ascension Episcopal School, she is president of the National Honor Society, a cheerleader co-captain, served on the Homecoming court, and is a member of Young Life and the swim team. She is also a graduate of the Lafayette Junior Leadership Class XXI, and volunteered with the Games of Acadiana and Lafayette Ballet Theatre.

Camille Kathleen LeJeune, daughter of Sterling LeJeune and Ann Laurent. A senior at Episcopal School of Acadiana, she is president of the Student Council, captain of the soccer team, editor of the yearbook and participated in the spring musical. She is also a member of the volleyball team, National Honor Society, pep squad, Cupcake Club, Humane Society and Hole-in-the Wall Society.

Margaret Michal Moss, daughter of Dr. Sam and Michelle Moss. A senior at Lafayette High School, she is a member of the Key Club and the gifted and honor classes. She has also been a participant with Vision Ministries of America and has traveled to Mexico for mission trips.

Lindsey Elizabeth Mouton, daughter of Ben and Melissa Mouton. A senior at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Science Club, Math Club, Art Club and Amnesty International. She is also a cheerleader co-captain, participated in Mock Trial and has traveled to Nicaragua for mission work.

Eleanor Louise Schutte, daughter of Dr. John and Mary Schutte. A senior at Episcopal School of Acadiana, she is a member of the varsity volleyball team, track team and Girls Service Club. She is co-editor of the yearbook, and a member of the Cupcake Club, pep squad and Biscuits and Bible group.

Caroline Claire Strohe, daughter of Thomas and Clara Strohe. A senior at St. Thomas More High School, she is a varsity cheerleader, an Options mentor and serves in Campus Ministry. She is also an academic letterman and a graduate of Gerami Academy of Fine Arts.

Following the Grand March and Court Dance, members of the floor committee called out the names of the ladies invited to dance with the masked pirates. General dancing followed to the music of Louisiana Red.