“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat …” and parties galore are filling the calendar leading up to the big day. If you have no plans tonight, join us in Kenilworth subdivision for luminaries. It starts at 6, and I promise it’ll put you in the holiday spirit.
The ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel was abuzz the afternoon of Dec. 14 as children of all ages impatiently waited in line to visit with Santa at the Baton Rouge General Auxiliary’s Gingerbread Tea. In addition to photos with the man in the red suit, there was face painting, cookie decorating, dancing, silent auction and a reading by WAFB’s Lauren Westbrook.
This year’s special guests was the Pesch family. Wendy and Alan Pesch’s son, John , had been a patient at the General and had benefited from its arts in medicine program. In fact, he and younger brother George were showing off some of the artwork he created while in the hospital.
Earlier that day, Karnival Krewe de Louisiane fêted its 2015 debutantes at a traditional brunch at the Baton Rouge Country Club. This is the event where the girls get the decorated umbrellas they’ll use in the second line the night of the Mardi Gras ball, which is Jan. 30.
The debs are Olivia Abadie, Anna Aronson, Ally Bridges, Lauren Dartez, Madison Dillenberger, Caroline and Catherine Garrett, Abby Grand, Addison Hollis, Haley Honoré, Reagan Munn, Marissa Starks and Addison Talbot. Deb Molly Corbett was unable to attend.
Also on hand for the celebration were King Dr. Glenn Kidder, Queen Charlene Montelaro and Duchess Kris Cangelosi.
50 years of Links
The Baton Rouge Chapter of the Links Inc. celebrated its 50th anniversary in fine style at its ninth annual New Orleans Style Jazz Brunch Dec. 13 at the Renaissance Hotel. The golden-themed event honored this year’s Louisiana role models representing the Links five facets: Wendell Pierce, the Arts; Coletta Barrett and Cynthia Tolbert Bienemy, Health & Human Services; Dolores Spikes, National Trends & Services; Adell Brown Jr. and Pat Shingleton, Services to Youth.
State Rep. Ted Jones served as master of ceremonies for the brunch. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Links Southern Area Director Eneid A. Francis assisted in the recognition of the role models.
The Jazz Brunch was chaired by Maxine Cormier. Assisting were committee members Brenda Birkett, Dianne Brandon, Billie Cunningham, Cheryl Hall-DeRouen, Candice Dixon, President Yolanda Dixon, Mica Franklin, Felecia Jones, Charlotte Henderson, Jacqueline Hill, Courtney Humphrey, Carmen Jones, Vivian Kerr, Lea Montgomery, Britney Temple, Yolunda Johnson Taylor, Irene Tucker, Erin Monroe Wesley, Sylvia Winder, Judy Johnson-White and Barbara Woods.
Brandon chaired the 50th anniversary committee. Committee members included Cheri Morial Ausberry, Carolyn Collins, Myrtle David, Patricia Robinson, Ernise Singleton, Birkett, Cormier, Hall-Derouen, Henderson and Montgomery.
The first stop on my Saturday night party parade was Brien Buxton’s for the Salon Avallon Christmas party. It was nice to be able to visit with the staff in a relaxed setting. Donna Owen was in full holiday mode with her blinky red ensemble with white fuzzy boots. Then there was the delicious gumbo served up by Shirley and Buddy Edwards. I’m thinking it just wouldn’t be an Avallon party without Mr. Buddy’s gumbo, and a bowl of it was just what I needed to get out and head to stop No. 2.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t pop in at Jim Gershey’s and Dan Guntner’s annual Christmas open house. I mean, I have to go check out Jim’s reindeer display, which was discretely tucked on the bottom shelf on the hall table this year.
I so enjoyed visiting with the hosts, Ira Paul Babin, Bobbie Bernard, Eddie Sims, Carol Newman, Robin and Brian McAndrew, and Robin and Barrington Neil.
As they do every Friday, the JAGs got together for lunch Dec. 12 only this time most of the gang was on hand for the holiday celebration hosted by Phyllis McLaurin and Fran Harvey at the Harvey home. After a delicious lunch of soup, sandwiches and salads, we got down to a fun game of gift swapping courtesy of the “Wright Family” before we gave up passing left and right and resorted to the tried and true white elephant gift swap … only there were no elephants and everyone went home with a fab gift.
‘Classic Homes & Cocktails’
Later that evening, six homes in the historic Garden District rolled out their welcome mats for the Foundation for Historical Louisiana’s third annual “Classic Homes & Cocktails,” which this year was in memory of the late Francis Grayson, who helped create the holiday tour event. The evening began with a cocktails at the Baton Rouge Gallery, which is where I caught up with everyone. Then tour-goers had the opportunity to board bu ses to travel to the homes of Kurt LeJeune, Lisa and Albert Pellissier, Sandra Hudson, Michael McIntosh, Katherine and Jason Dore and Beryl and Ray Mack.
After touring the homes, which were constructed from the 1920s to the 1940s, everyone met back up at the gallery to announce the winner of the “Tackiest Christmas Sweater” contest. Now, are you ready for the name? Drum roll, please, it was non other that Denise Clause. I think she just may be Santa’s kissing cousin.
The week began at a holiday open house hosted by the American Cancer Society. As guests arrived they hung ornaments they brought in memory or honor of loved ones affected by cancer to decorate the Christmas tree in the waiting room. It was a small gesture but all you had to do was watch as someone did this to see just how powerful it really was for all concerned.
Hopefully, you won’t need its services but if you do the number to call is (225) 767-4559.
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