“Pam’s Party Line” column for June 23, 2013

For the second time, I missed a party at the trés chic home of John Turner and Jerry Fischer overlooking the LSU Lakes. Fortunately, co-worker Carol Anne Blitzer agreed to dust off her party-hopping shoes and cover the June 13 “Soirée on the Lake” for me.

‘Soirée on the Lake’

Preservationists came from all over Louisiana to pay tribute to Sue Turner, who was being honored by the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation as its “legacy member extraordinaire.” Louisiana Trust President Michael Echols, of Monroe, welcomed 2013 legacy members and guests and recognized Sue Turner, a founding member and longtime board member, for her decades of financial and volunteer support. Ms. Sue, in turn, recognized her friend and co-preservationist, Winnie Byrd, for her work with the trust and said that she hoped to continue her preservation work for a century.

Echols presented Sue Turner with two goblets etched with the seal of the Louisiana Trust. John Turner thanked his mother and Byrd for all they have done for preservation in Louisiana. We echo that sentiment.

HANOLA honors

I thought I knew about every nonprofit in the Capital City but I discovered a new one when I was invited to attend the HANOLA (Hispanic American Networking Organization of Louisiana) Awards dinner honoring Eric Lane. The June 10 event took place at Lava Cantina, one of the city’s newest Mexican restaurants located in Perkins Rowe. As everyone sampled the tasty buffet, Dixie Rose and Yoismel Gonzalez entertained.

“I understand how hard it is to break into business when you’re a minority … the prejudices that you face,” said Lane, explaining that his father, the late Gerry Lane, faced prejudice growing up half Indian in Oklahoma. “We (Gerry Lane Enterprises) like to help the minority community and HANOLA believes the same thing.

While Lane’s was the main award of the evening, it wasn’t the only one. Executive Director Maria Edwards and emcee Scott Rogers also presented certificates of appreciation to HANOLA members Linda Allred, Mark May, Zahida Iman, Arnold Kairdolf and Judith Sinclair.

Membership in HANOLA is by invitation only but if you’re interested in joining, check out the website, http://www.hanola.org.

Golden girls

Eight Girl Scouts received the highest honor in scouting, the Gold Award, at a pinning ceremony and reception at the Governor’s Mansion June 13. The honorees included Jordan Etheridge and Kathleen Smith, of Baton Rouge; Kristen and Sarah Grego, of Prairieville; Danielle Blazek, of Gretna; Allison Ducote, of Covington; and Hannah Gaudet and Caitlin Moroney, of Mandeville.

Presenting the pins to the honorees for “demonstrating ability and skills in goal setting, planning, putting values into action and relating to the community” with a minimum 80 hours of work were Girl Scouts Louisiana East CEO Jackie Alexander, board First Vice Chairwoman Linda Law Clark and state Rep. Paul Hollis, who also presented each Scout with a 2013 Girl Scouts of the USA Centennial silver dollar.

Congratulations, girls!

Leadership grads

Congratulations also to the 35 members of the Baton Rouge Area Leadership class of 2013, who graduated at a dinner June 4 at LSU’s Lod Cook Alumni Center. Led by coordinator Mary Beth Chevalier, the program consists of nine months of training focusing on such issues as education, cultural and personal diversity, city and state government, health care and social concerns, economic development, the arts and media, the criminal justice system and the environment.

This year’s class included Chad Bacas, Taylor Ballinger, Joy M. Banks, Wendi Barnes, Leslie Berg, Darius Bonton, Robert Boudreaux, Steven Brooksher Jr., Ben Broussard, Barrett Chaix, Michelle Clement, Abigail Cook, Carla Courtney-Harris, Melanie Couvillon, Peggy Dean, Matthew Doiron, Monique Edwards and Jim Fairchild.

Also, Cassie Felder, Deborah Ford, Jennifer Fowler, Rowdy Gaudet, Cathy Giering, Edward Hardin Jr., Stephanie Jackson, Eva Kemp-Melder, Parker Kilgore, Nichole Kleinpeter, Paul Laperouse, Wendi Loup, Duane Mizell, Dawn Pevey-Mauk, Matthew Rachleff, Steve Werner and Sevetri Wilson. Kilgore and Laperouse were chosen by their peers to represent the class on the Leadership Alumni board of directors.

I look forward to seeing your names in print a lot in the future as you help Baton Rouge become “America’s next great city.”

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