A weekend full of Mardi Gras balls and parades, in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., along with the Super Bowl in the Big Easy made the first weekend in February one for the books.
In keeping with tradition, Gov. Bobby Jindal and wife Supriya rolled out the welcome mat of the Governor’s Mansion to the princesses and festival queens en route to the nation’s capital for the Mystik Krewe of Louisianians four-day Carnival. “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our state,” the governor told the young women. “You represent a unique part of who we are … this is a tremendous milestone for you. I encourage you to enjoy it.”
Queen Laura Kelley was there with mom Nanette Noland. The princesses include Paige Anderson, daughter of Jayne and William Anderson; Heather Duke, daughter of Barbara and Steve Duke; Kathleen Foil, daughter of Tanja and Franklin Foil; Jennie Garland, daughter of Anna and David Howard; Mary Katherine Karam, daughter of Amy and Hab Karam; Caroline Lawler, daughter of Catherine and Charles Lawler; and Stephanie Toups, daughter of Valerie and Stephen Toups, all of Baton Rouge.
Also, Sammi Rushing, daughter of Dana and Jodi Rushing, of Denham Springs; Molly O’Krepki, daughter of Geri and Bruce O’Krepki, of Hammond; Samantha Edwards, daughter of Donna and John Edwards, of Amite; Sophia Giberga, daughter of Jill and Samual Giberga, of Covington; Robin Leonard, daughter of Susan and Scott Leonard, of Metairie; and Malayne and Mallary Matherne, daughters of Andrea and Todd Matherne, of New Orleans.
Also, Emily Mann, daughter of Stephanie and Randall Mann; Emily McCarroll, daughter of Ann McCarroll and Matt and Paige McCarroll; Camille Prejean, daughter of Kay and Jerry Prejean; Shea Svendson, daughter of Katy and Lawrence Svendson; Emily Svendson, daughter of Lue and Jeffery Svendson; and Rachel Thibodaux, daughter of Melody Thibodaux, all of Lafayette.
Area festival queens included Order of the Troubadours Queen Emily Castille, daughter of Denise and Wes Castille, of Lafayette; Gonzales Jambalaya Festival Queen Meredith Conger, daughter of Laurina and Robert Conger, of Prairieville; Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Queen Melanie Garcia, daughter of Cindy and Ozzie Garcia, of Breaux Bridge; Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Queen Heather Gonzalez, daughter of Malissa and Donnie Gonzalez, of Hammond; Bridge City Gumbo Festival Queen Jacquelyn Hughes, daughter of Barbara and Randy Hughes, of New Orleans; Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association Queen Madison Montgomery, daughter of Deidre and Thomas Montgomery, of Lafayette; Greater New Orleans Floral Trail Queen Rachel Schultz, daughter of Lucy and Darryl Schultz, of New Orleans; Ozone Camellia Festival Queen Christina Stevens, daughter of Marina and James Stevens, of Slidell; and Louisiana Cattle Festival Queen Angelle Thomassee, daughter of Geralyn Thomassee, of Breaux Bridge.
Made-to-order weather for the Krewe of Artemis’ Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 1 combined with record crowds — some of whom were obviously visiting for the Super Bowl — for its best parade ever. So, the gals were in rare form by the time they arrived at the Capital Atrium for the After Party Celebration. Keeping everyone on the dance floor was the band Stormy.
Proving you didn’t have to go to New Orleans to celebrate the Super Bowl, David Manship, son Jake and friends Jim Thompson, Jim Poor and Kenny Morrow threw their own super-sized bash at the Manship Theatre. I only popped in for a few minutes before kickoff and everybody was already picking their favorite team and finding the perfect spot to watch the Ravens battle the 49ers.
The Campus Club ladies were celebrating Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day at their Feb. 1 brunch at the home of Beverly Heymsfield. Chris Enright and Rose Ann Martin co-chaired the get-together, which featured a delicious variety of quiches, cheese grits, muffins, fresh fruits and a plethora of sweets. This is one group of good cooks that know how to have a good time!
January wrapped up with a bang — no fewer than four events on the calendar for the last evening of the month. I started out at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, where we were bidding farewell to Executive Director Mimi Riché and welcoming her replacement, Brian Hannah. We only managed a brief chat, but I’m looking forward to working with him — he’s got an infectious enthusiasm.
The event also doubled for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the refurbished wig room. What an inviting space they’ve created for their clients. I’m thinking they just might leave with a smile.
From Mid City, I headed downtown where the LSU Museum of Art and the LSU School of Art’s Glassell Gallery were both hosting exhibits of works by artist/designer Peter Shire, who was awarded the 2013 Nadine Carter Russell Endowed Chair, a rotating residency within the LSU College of Art+Design. I have to say, I really liked his quirky Bel Air Chair and tea pots on display at the museum. They remain on display through April 14.
The exhibit in the Glassel runs through March 24. You can also see Shire’s works at the LSU Union Art Gallery through Feb. 24.
Across the street at the Old State Capitol, we were experiencing the musical arts with Opéra Louisiane’s cabaret-style production, “The Best of Opera & Broadway.” Featured performers included Jessica Cates, Michael Krzankowski, Chauncey Parker, Ebony Preston and Jennifer Crippen.
The evening began with dinner and an exhibit of Louisiana’s rich opera history — sopranos Sarah Jane McMahon, Elizabeth Futral, Lisette Oropesa, the late Shirley Verrett, the late Marguerite Piazza, the late Annabelle Bernard and the late Lenora Lafayette; mezzo-soprano Gwendolyn Jones; tenors Paul Groves, Robert Grayson and the late Charles Anthony; and bass-baritones Jeffery Wells and the late Norman Treigle. As I walked around reading their bios, I was amazed at the legacy, and then I ran into Gwen Jones, who graciously posed by her display for me. I also got to meet Sue Rainer’s sister, Jerri King, who recently moved here from Denver.
Six years ago, Pete Bush enlisted friends and fellow oenophiles Doug Allen, Doug Cochran, Patrick Coogan, Edmund Giering, Luke Williamson and Miles Higgins to bring a fun, unique fundraiser to Baton Rouge. It was called Baton Rouge Uncorked. Guests teamed up, paid a nominal fee to get in and brought three bottles of the chosen varietal — two of which went into numbered brown paper bags and one into a “pot,” which was won by the team with the winning wine determined by blind tasting. The money collected went to a chosen, smaller nonprofit.
Fast forward a few years. These guys are now busy with careers, marriages and raising kids. But no one wanted to see this successful venture fade away. What to do?
Well, they came up with the perfect solution. They turned Baton Rouge Uncorked over to Forum 35, which will keep a perpetual supply of fresh, enthusiastic young professionals to keep this fun fundraiser flourishing. The official transfer of power, so to speak, took place Feb. 1 with the first tasting in more than a year. It took place at L’Auberge Hotel & Casino, which graciously stepped up to make the transition seamless by donating not only the venue but the nibbles. Proceeds from the event benefited the Foundation for Historical Louisiana’s Inherit Baton Rouge.
Stay tuned for more BR Uncorked tastings, meanwhile, check out the fun online at http://theadvocate.com/columnists/pambordelon/.
The Louisiana Tri-Parish Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority presented its 2013 debutante coterie at its Cotillion Ball Jan. 26 at the Erwinville Community Center. Welcoming guests to the celebration, which was the culmination of a five-month program focusing on encouraging higher education and fostering charm, etiquette and social awareness, was President Rose Lee Roché.
Reigning as this year’s queen was Z’Keyah La’Ray Warr, daughter of Pamela L. Warr and Walter Warr III. She was escorted by Marique Beauvais.
Her fellow debs included Jennifer Margaret McQuirter, daughter of Arlene C. Joseph and Robert L. Joseph, and escorted by Joshua Clavarie; Destine Danielle Finley, daughter of Vickie Finley and the late Gregory Dawson, and escorted by Eric Richard; Alaiyah Janay Joseph, daughter of Chawn W. Joseph and Robert L. Joseph, and escorted by Scott Martin; Mary KhadiJah Solomon, daughter of Mary Barbara Solomon and the late Curtis Ray Nelson, and escorted by Altonio Taylor; Kierra Jashae Williams, daughter of Nathondra Simmons and Anthony Williams, and escorted by Malcolm Dedrich; Paris J’Nae Rodney, daughter of Shiletta F. Rodney and Raymond M. Rodney Jr., and escorted by Trayvon Hayes ; and Ciara Mylal Franklin, daughter of Consuela Porche-Franklin and Michael Franklin, escorted by Sean Solomon.
Former Chase Bank Baton Rouge President Kevin Kelty and wife Kim were honored for their dedication in the fight against ALS at the ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter’s Fire & Ice Gala Jan. 19 at the Renaissance. Along with family and friends, the Keltys have raised more than $98,000 for the association. Additionally, thanks to Kevin’s business relationships, another $94,000 in corporate and grant dollars have been secured.
The gala was one of two special events for the Keltys. Not only were they honored by LSU Baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who again stepped up as honorary chairman for Fire & Ice, but two days before they were hanging with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the Big Easy. Brees was on hand to help with the unveiling of the Kevin Kelty Garden at the Team Gleason House of Innovative Living at St. Margaret’s. The residence is only the second of its kind and, thanks to Chase, $350,000 has been donated to provide technology to allow those with ALS or other neuromuscular diseases to live as independently as possible. Always the salesman, Kevin even got Brees to autograph a football for the gala’s silent auction.
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