Good news,“Party Line” fans: You can now read the column online at http://www.theadvocate.com. And, in addition to the photos appearing in the newspaper, you can see all of the photos taken at the various events across town. Even better, if you see one that I took and you like it, you can buy it by contacting our photo department at (225) 383-1111.
‘Fête for All Seasons’
One event with lots of pics is the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s “Fête for All Seasons.” Ned Fasullo & the Fabulous Big Band Orchestra had the joint swinging as the chi-chi crowd sipped “Leetinis” for a chance to win a $7,150 ladies Ebel watch from Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry (won by Rhonda Gourgues), shopped a most-tempting silent auction and sampled some delicious eats and libations courtesy of Baton Rouge Coca-Cola, Boudreaux’s, Bravo Cucina Italiana, Chef Don Bergeron Enterprises, Churchill’s, Community Coffee, Culinary Productions, Edible Event, Gourmet Girls, Heirloom Cuisine, Hilton Capitol Center, Hotel Indigo, Margo Bouanchaud, Mockler Beverage, Portobello’s Grill, Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant, Serranos Salsa Co., Silly Gilly Desserts, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Texas de Brazil, Tsunami Sushi, Unique Cuisine, White Oak Plantation and Whole Foods Market.
I enjoyed visiting with Marilyn and Eric Crake, Charlene Montelaro, Diane and Johnny Tate, Anne and Manuel Martinez, Heather Kleinpeter, Melissa Parmalee, Joy Bruce, David Kors, Debra and Bill Lockwood, Michael Robinson and Don Boutté, Fairleigh and John Jackson, Jennifer Wells, Becky and Steve Maher and Stephanie and John Cargile.
After leaving LASM I headed to the Woman’s Club, where Krewe Mystique de la Capitale members were cuttin’ a rug to the sounds of the Louisiana Knockabouts, which includes krewe members Rudy Hirscheim and Rusty Weaver. That’s one the upsides of getting to a party late; that sometimes awkward startup is long past.
Krewe President Naresh Sharma and wife Chandan were all smiles at the good time everyone was enjoying. Woman’s Club member and longtime krewe member Jackie Kreutzer was playing the role of perfect hostess. Think it’s safe to say this gang’s off to a good Carnival start.
Every Kid a King
A year ago, Dana and Jim Bernhard announced the formation of the Every Kid a King Foundation to help meet the immediate needs of children in the areas of welfare, health and education. The announcement was made at one of the most memorable parties I’ve ever attended, and guests (primarily vendors of the Shaw Group) ponied up to generate almost $2 million in seed money for the foundation.
Well, the majority of them were back in town Oct. 20 for another party and golf tournament. This year’s party was held at Tsunami atop the Shaw Center for the Arts overlooking downtown — a most impressive view to share with folks from, quite literally, around the world. Guests got an update on what the foundation has been doing throughout the year and, with the Bernhards once again matching donations, helped raise an additional $1.2 million. Jim summed it up best in his closing comments, “Everybody’s for kids, right?”
Before heading downtown, I joined former co-workers Susan Ross, Chris Russo Blackwood and Tonya Dixon in hosting “Promises, Promises,” a wine and cheese reception for the Baton Rouge Affiliate Susan G. Komen For the Cure at RussoRoss, a new Towne Center boutique “for women who weren’t born yesterday.” It’s here that you can purchase a Pink Power Flower to show that you promise to get your annual mammogram as well as urge your mothers, sisters, aunts and girlfriends to do the same — just like the promise Nancy Brinker made to her sister, Susan Komen, before she lost her battle with breast cancer.
I wrapped up Oct. 20 with a stop at Juban’s Restaurant, which was hosting a Charles Krug wine dinner. This was one of the Napa wineries my husband, friends Melanie and André Uzze and I visited last May.
Manager Scott Callais graciously invited me for dessert, which was a yummy spiced chilled pumpkin custard topped with raspberries and toasted marshmallow cream. It was paired with a limited release Napa 2008 Zinfandel port. While visiting with guests before dessert, I also got to sample Krug’s 2008 Generations Family Reserve red blend. The wines were amazing but somehow they just seem to taste even better at the winery. Guess we’ll have to head back to Napa soon.
‘Fishin’ for Felines’
Cat Haven held its 12th annual gala Oct. 19 at Lake House Reception Center. This year’s theme was “Fishin’ for Felines,” allowed gala-goers to “fish” in a cute little plastic pool for a diamond and pearl ring donated by Classic Jewelers. It was won by Wendy Decker.
Emcee for the evening was WAFB-TV traffic guru Johnny Ahysen, and entertainment was by Rocky Saxon.
Cat Haven’s mission is to help improve the lives of cats and kittens by providing care, shelter and adoption services as well as advocating spaying and neutering for population control.
Shaken or Stirred
This evening of party hopping started off downtown at Tsunami, where the ultimate battle of the sexes was getting underway. High-powered CEOs Todd Graves of Raising Cane’s and Matt Saurage of Community Coffee battled wives Gwen Graves and Catherine Saurage for top bartender honors in Capital Area United Way’s Shaken or Stirred celebrity bartender event. Guess what? The wives won, earning some $5,400 in tips! All told, these four raised $7,000 for CAUW.
Among the most popular drinks served (all containing either Cane’s lemonade, Cane’s sweet tea, Community Coffee flavorings or Community iced tea) were Team Catherine & Gwen’s “Honey Badger,” made with Morgan rum, Community Iced Tea, Cane’s Lemonade, a sweetened lemon slice and a swirl of honey and Team Matt & Todd’s “Todd’s Toddy,” made with Cane’s Lemonade, vodka, Blue Curacao liquor and club soda.
Ninety percent of the inmates housed in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison are there because of drug and/or alcohol abuse. “It’s the most common reason educated people encounter law enforcement,” East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III told those attending O’Brien House’s ninth annual Addition Recovery Breakfast Oct. 19 at the Hilton Capitol Center.
“O’Brien House is reclaiming lives and saving us a lot of money,” continued Moore. “Every person kept out of prison saves taxpayers $20,000 a year … Safety is our No. 1 concern, but we need to stop or at least slow down the revolving door (of prison).”
Toward that effort, the DA’s office has partnered with O’Brien House in an intensive yearlong Pre-Trial Intervention Program for first-time DWI offenders. “We’re in the unique perspective to be successful when others are not,” added Moore.
Founded 40 years ago to help adults recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, O’Brien House has helped more than 8,700 individuals with its “comprehensive continuum of care,” which includes a residential program, counseling, workplace training, prevention and education initiatives.
Assisting breakfast chairwoman Barbara Anne Eaton with the event were Keetsie Gunnels, Annette Camp, Bobbie Carey, Amy Nesbit and Executive Director Katherine Martin.
My job is often a learning experience, and one of the things I’ve learned is an appreciation for opera. The wealth of voice talent found at LSU still amazes me, and those performing at the Baton Rouge Opera Guild’s annual scholarship tea Oct. 18 were no exception.
In a twist on its 59 years of scholarship support, this year’s recipients didn’t have to compete for the 11 scholarships and two career grants. At the request of the LSU School of Music, they were used to entice students to come study at LSU.
Performing were soprano Megan Barrera, Dorothy Halphen Kolb Memorial Scholarship; tenor Greg Gallager, Lea & Erich and Joseph Sternberg Memorial Scholarship and Katharine O. Dunham Memorial Scholarship; soprano Robin Lamp, Alma Lee & H.N. Saurage Jr. Career Grant; baritone Sean Matassa, Thomas C. Landrum Memorial Scholarship; baritone Joel Mathias, Elaine K. Schudmak Memorial Scholarship, John & Polly Hernandez Scholarship and Pauline Bondy Hernandez Scholarship; mezzo soprano Chelsea Miller, John Turner Scholarship; soprano Penny Shumate, Joseph Dawson Jr. Scholarship; baritone Vincent Turregano, James Coday Memorial Career Grant; and baritone Nathan Walker, Ernest A. Gueymard Memorial Scholarship.
They were accompanied by LSU Opera Music Director Michael Borowitz.
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