It’s summer time and the partying is easy, especially when three of my favorite events take place in one week. So let’s get going.
The Children’s Advocacy Center’s eighth annual Celebrity Waiters’ Event & Silent Auction kicked things off by crowing a new champion at this year’s event, which took place July 15 at a jam-packed Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar at Towne Center. Kathi Gill, CEO of Neighbors Federal Credit Union, raised $852 to take the No. 1 spot.
Capturing second place was Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi, while the reigning champion LSU Golden Girls came in third place. Following in a close fourth-place (separated by a mere $30) were the LSU football coaches.
Others donning aprons and doing all manner of things to earn tips for this worthy cause were Mayor Kip Holden (check out his outfit online at theadvocate.com), East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore, Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr., LSU Baseball coach Paul Mainieri, former LSU baseball players Patrick Coogan and Ryan Theriot, LSU Women’s Basketball coach Nikki Caldwell, Southern University Basketball coach Roman Banks, SU Baseball coach Roger Cador, SU football coach Dawson Odoms, Baton Rouge Community College Women’s Basketball coach Paula Lee, former LSU Tiger Justin Vincent, former Major League Baseball player Doug Devore, Visit Baton Rouge! CEO Paul Arrigo, state Sen. Dan Claitor, Miss Louisiana USA 2014 Deandra DeNapoli, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel CEO Mickey Parenton and 2une-In co-anchor Whitney Vann.
Aside from tipping their waiters, attendees could also bid in both the silent and live auctions. Auctioneer Brian Fourroux did a great job of getting top dollar on the New Orleans Saints package, hunting trip, LSU football package, LSU baseball package and Spanish Town Mardi Gras package.
Chris Powers, of 100.7 The Tiger, manned the Wonder Wheel, which guaranteed spinners a prize valued at $25 or more. Bill Profita, of Talk 107.3, took care of emcee duties.
Assisting Executive Director Sharon Pol with this year’s event were Kristen Cain, Phillip Cancilleri, Todd Cole, Adrienne Demouy, Dawn Dicharry, Alex Hazlaris, Kay and Jason Hessick, Gary LaBauve, Paige and Sherri Pocorello, Cathy Sherburne, Roberta Vicari and Lauren Villa.
Two nights later, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana held its 38th annual Preservation Awards Banquet at the historic “Heidelberg” Hilton Capitol Center honoring eight preservationists and projects. A packed house was on hand to celebrate the efforts of the honorees: Vincent Caire, of LaPlace, advocate for New Orleans’ historic Shushan Airport and Louisiana aviation historian, Blood, Sweat & Tears Award; Carl Brasseaux, of Lafayette, scholar, educator and author on South Louisiana culture, Cultural Preservation Award; Nancy Vinci, of St. Francisville, with the Freyhan Foundation of St. Francisville, Preservation Champion Award; Historic New Orleans Collection, Organizational Preeminence Award; Ardoyne Plantation in Shriever, Bricks & Mortar Award; Southern Hotel of Covington, Phoenix Award, and the late Sue Eakin, Lifetime Achievement Award. Sue Ellen Graham was honored as FHL Volunteer of Year.
As he’s wont to do, board Chairman Doug Cochran educated guests with quippy historical facts throughout the evening. And while the event was basically light-hearted, there was a somber moment as FHL Executive Director Carolyn Bennett took a moment to remember the late Orey Poret and Francis Grayson, both devoted FHL supporters. Their smiling faces were sorely missed at this annual celebration of a cause they both championed.
Eleven years ago, Forum 35 came up with a great idea — hold the state’s largest juried art exhibit. Start off with a ticketed VIP Preview Party followed by a free-to-the-public street party. This two-day event is called Art Melt and if you’ve never attended either of these functions you don’t know what you’re missing.
The Capitol Park Museum was party central for this year’s fun, which got underway July 18 with the Preview Party. It was at this soirée that the winners of Art Melt 2014 were announced. They included: first place — Jacob Broussard, “Passage”; second place — Bruce Shultz and Kevin Kline, “Prison Bouquet”; third place — Patrick Tiek, “Give Me Your Heart”; Forum 35 Award — Mark Rabalais, “Picknickin”; Ann Connelly Fine Art Award — Joshua Chambers, “Apparently, My Shame is Harder to Stomach Than Yours”; honorable mention of juror Katie Pfohl, LSU Museum of Art curator — William Crowell, “Thursday Night in the Swamp Room”; honorable mention of juror Ben Thompson, Contemporary Art Jacksonville curator — Julie Crews, “Mother & Daughter”; and honorable mention of juror Eric Robert Dallimore, co-owner and curator of the Leon Gallery in Denver, Colorado — Robert Fogel, “Meander.”
Local artist Edward Pramuk was tapped as this year’s Art Melt Art Legend Award winner. He will be honored at Forum 35’s Viva il Vino event Sept. 25.
If you missed it, you can still check out the exhibit through Aug. 28.
Across town at the Renaissance Hotel, cooking teams from Louisiana and Canada were competing in Ducks Unlimited’s annual Road Kill Cook-off. It was part of the festivities of the two-day Louisiana State Convention, chaired by Stephen Babcock.
Among the judges was my buddy, chef Jay Ducote. I don’t know how many teams were using his new yummy barbecue sauce, but when all was said and done, the team representing the Iberville Parish Ducks Unlimited Chapter came away with bragging rights.
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