Around Jefferson for Dec. 20, 2012

Last call for Doll and Toy Fund

Thursday and Friday are the last days residents can make a donation of a new toy for this year’s Doll and Toy Fund.

The Kenner Police Department, working with The Esplanade Mall, has been conducting a toy drive during the holiday season for children who reside in Jefferson Parish.

The donated toys must be unwrapped and appropriate for infants through children 10 years old.

The toys can be dropped off at the Kenner Police Department, 500 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At The Esplanade, toy donations can be brought to the mall’s security office on the upper level or to the mall management office on the lower level.

The Esplanade is located at 1401 West Esplanade Ave., Kenner.

For more information, go to the Kenner Police Department website at http://www.kennerpd.com or call (504) 712-2294.

Holiday ballet continues

For many of us, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without catching a performance of “The Nutcracker.” And in our area, there are two local organizations that will give everyone the opportunity to see the Tchaikovsky classic.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday and again at 3 p.m. Sunday, the Jefferson Performing Arts Society will present Harvey Hysell’s production of “The Nutcracker” at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 400 Phlox Ave., Metairie.

Eleanor Bernard will portray the Snow Queen and Ian Carney is the Prince.

Dennis Assaf will conduct the JPAS Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets are $18 to $30 for adults, $15 to $27 for seniors and military personnel, and $15 to $20 for students.

For tickets or more information, call (504) 885-2000.

Delta Festival Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” under the direction of Joseph Giacobbe and Maria Giacobbe, will be presented this weekend in Dixon Hall on the campus of Tulane University, 6329 Freret St., New Orleans.

Janie Taylor, a native of New Orleans and a former student of the Giacobbe Academy of Dance in Metairie, and her husband, Sebastian Marcovici, will co-star in this production. Both are with the New York City Ballet.

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will provide the music under the direction of Glenn Langdon.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, and at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $25 to $60 per person.

For more information or tickets, call Giacobbe Academy of Dance in Metairie at (504) 888-0931.

Christmas Village to close

Don’t forget that the city of Kenner’s Christmas Village in Rivertown will close Saturday.

Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Santa will be there the next three nights as will local choirs and dance groups.

Admission and parking are free.

For more information, call (504) 468-7231.

Nativity display

St. Clement of Rome Church and School, 4312 Richland Ave., Metairie, once again will have an exhibit of Nativity scenes in Vosbein Hall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Vintage and modern Nativity figures and sets from all over the world will be on display. There also will be music from various artists along with a craft table for the kids and a coloring contest.

Admission is free.

For more information, call (504) 887-7821.

Basketball camp planned

The Bright Booster Club will sponsor its annual holiday basketball camp for children Wednesday through Dec. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon each day at Johnny Bright Playground, 3401 Cleary Ave., Metairie.

The clinic, under the direction of longtime coach Ray Berni, will cover the basic fundamentals of basketball.

It is open to boys and girls ages six to 12.

The cost is $60 per person and includes a T-shirt.

To register or for more information, call Berni at (504) 838-1037 or (985) 227-3813.

Chef hosts benefit

Chef John Besh will host an evening of food and fun at this year’s “Besh, Hope & Holidays” event Thursday at the Royal Palm, 1901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

The event supports the John Besh Foundation and Cafe Hope.

Dishes from The American Sector, August, Borgne, Domenica, La Provence and Lüke will be served, and Besh will be there to mingle and cook for guests.

A patron party starts at 6:30 p.m.; the main event begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets start at $150.

Cafe Hope, 1101 Barataria Blvd., Marrero, helps at-risk young adults learn a trade in the restaurant industry.

For information, call Erica Halpern at (504) 310-6865 or email ehalpern@ccano.org

Special holiday wishes

For those in the Jewish community, I hope all of you had a happy and meaningful Hanukkah celebration.

And to those who are celebrating Christmas, I hope it is the best holiday ever.

As many of us gather with family and friends, please keep in mind those who are far from home who are protecting our country, those who are ill and those who have no one to share this holy and joyous season.

And hopefully, for those of us who were able to be a “Secret Santa” or a “Hanukkah Harry” to someone, the holidays really do take on a new meaning when you share some holiday joy with the less fortunate in our community.

Happy holidays to all of you!

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about Jefferson Parish. Email her at ejbarkoff@gmail.com.