Good-looking guys, fine wines and a celebration of a very special group of graduates — what a great week it was in the Capital City.
Hunks in Heels
One of the city's most popular fundraising events is Hunks in Heels, which benefits STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response). At a June 27 party, the hunks for this year's event were announced, and what a lineup it is — Branden Barker, Franz Borghardt, Will Broussard, Collin Fontenot, Josh Howard, Kenny Nguyen, Joe Possa, Daniel Richard, Brian Rodriguez, Dr. Vincent Shaw, Chris Suba, Jeremy Theriot, Carlos Thomas and Matt Vondenstein. The theme for this year's event is "STAR Struck Edition."
The hunks got to meet STAR officials and each other at a reveal party at Kalurah Street Grill, and judging by the immediate camaraderie we saw, this year's show is going to be great. Shaw, who specializes in sports medicine, promised to have tape, Ace bandages and more on hand should anyone fall off their heels while strutting their stuff on the runway Oct. 19 at the Varsity Theatre. Borghardt and Possa announced plans to jump-start their fundraising efforts by hosting "Brunches in Heels" on Sept. 10. Get details on the Baton Rouge Brunches page on Facebook.
Circle those dates on your calendar so you don’t miss any of the fun!
Fête du Vin
The following night had me hanging out with some of the city's most die-hard wine connoisseurs at the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society's Fête du Vin. The big room at Juban's was comfortably packed as the 100-plus guests sampled the high-end wines and accompanying hors d’oeuvres. In the past, this event was part of the two-day Fête Rouge celebration, but it was a great stand-alone event and was a nice midweek break from normal life.
One of the coolest parts was getting to sample the awesome wines donated by several local collectors. The Chateau Climens Sauternes-Barsac 1986 Premier Cru had us swooning. So thank you Frank Banta, Brian Dykes, Joe Mason, Brent McCoy, Craig Vitrano, Eric Williams,Tom Wills and John Wolff for sharing!
Providing the hors d’oeuvres were chefs William Wells, Culinary Productions; Joey Daigle, Juban's; Kelly McCann, Kalurah Street Grill; Cole Patin, Louisiana Culinary; and Chris Motto, Mansurs on the Boulevard.
While we sipped and nibbled, guests bid on five one-of-a-kind auction items. There were three very temping wine packages, as well as a Plumpjack wine dinner at Juban's and a large-format bottle of Plumpjack Cab signed by winery principals Gordan Getty, Gavin Newson and John Conover. I think I need to find out who won these and make them my new besties.
If you missed this event, take heart: You can still get tickets to the Fête Rouge Grace "Mama" Marino Lifetime Achievement dinner honoring former Advocate food editor Tommy Simmons on Aug. 24 and the Grand Tasting the following night. Get the scoop at bresbr.org.
The week wrapped up June 29 with a special evening at O'Brien House, whose mission is to "save lives and families from alcoholism and drug abuse through residential treatment and community outreach." Along with its annual meeting, the agenda included the emotional graduation of six clients.
Special thanks went to the Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation for its support of OBH's re-entry services and to First United Methodist Church and the Irene & C.B. Pennington Foundation for supporting remediation to its campus infrastructure. Executive Director Todd Hamilton also thanked outgoing board members Brad Boyd, Keetsie Gunnels, Frank Perez and Dr. Owen Scott. He also introduced the new board executive committee of Chairman Chris Suba, Vice Chairwoman Doreen Taravella, Secretary Nancy Gautreau, Treasurer Robert Varnau and members-at-large Amy Strother and Fred Blanche.
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Rounding out the board are Eric Brandt, Carole Anne Brown, John Camp, Clarke Cossé, Penelope Frazier, Jessica Guinn, Charlotte Landry, Garner Moore, the Rev. Fred Jeff Smith and Judge Trudy White.
And you can also circle Sept. 13 on your calendar for the annual O'Brien House Breakfast. For details on it and a long list of upcoming events in the Capital City, search for Pam's Party Calendar at theadvocate.com.