WHAT A WEEK!!! So, let’s get right to the highlights.
For more years than I can remember I’ve had the honor of serving as a judge at the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section’s Belly Up with the Bar event. Joining me in sampling this year’s 29 entries were Chris Bild, Candra Burges, Charlie D’Agostino, Sheryl Kellar, the Rev. Bryan Owen and Louis Reine.
The winners were: Best of Show and third place Best Grub — Commerce Title’s “Swamp Safari” team for its Crimson Tide Road Kill Gumbo; Best Grub — District Attorney’s “Guilty as Charred” team for its Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin; Most Original and second place Best Grub — Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson’s Geaux Tigers, Eat Bama for its Fried Gump Rolls With Tiger Jelly; Best Law School — Southern University Law Center’s 2L Night Owls for their chili; Best Sauce — Keogh, Cox & Wilson’s Oyster Bar Examiners for their Oysters on the Full Shell; Silver Whisk for Best Dessert, EBR Parish Attorney’s Office’s for its “Orange is the New Black” bread pudding; Most Likely to Result in a Call to Your Liability Carrier — Phelps Dunbar’s Taste of Phelps Tailgate team’s Corndogs, Dips & Jell-O.
People’s Choice Award winners included: Best Elixir — McGlinchey’s obSUEESSed, which also won the committee’s Best Theme award; Best Food — Keogh, Cox & Wilson Oyster Bar Examiners; and Silver Fleece (Buy Your Vote) — Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips’ “Roux the Day” team for its gumbo. Kean Miller’s Mean Killers took the committee’s Silver Fork prize for Best Food.
My last stop of the night was Baton Rouge Gallery’s Kinetics live art auction. They were just about to start the auction of artist members’ works by the time I arrived. Brian Fourroux served as auctioneer for the night; Shelly Esnard handled emcee duties.
Aside from the auction, several very tempting packages valued at more than $1,000 were up for grabs. They included riding in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, tickets to see Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, transportation and dinning experiences at Stroubes, Hello Sushi, Parrain’s and Strand’s Café; a “Crusin’ into New Orleans” package; and a “Louisiana Sportsman’s Dream” package.
Musical entertainment for the evening was Café Au Lait. Food was provided by Stroubes Seafood & Steaks.
The day started off at the Emerge Center’s 43rd annual Volunteer Activists luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’re going to recognize many of those honored for all they do for our community. This year’s recipients included Lori Bertman, Judy Foil, Gwen and Todd Graves, Gwen Hamilton, Brian Haymon, Janice Pellar, Randy Roussel, Stevie Toups, Joe Traigle and Jacqui Vines Wyatt. They received their awards from former activists Paula de la Bretonne, Rachael Howell, Matt Saurage, Cordell Hayman, Margaret Hart, John Spain, Marvin Borgmeyer, the Rev. Chris Andrews and Christel Slaughter, respectively.
The center also honored Angela and Craig Bergeron with its Margaret M. Neely Award for their support of the Angling Against Autism fundraiser. This award was presented by Executive Director Melissa Juneau.
Master of ceremonies for the luncheon was Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who came armed with a plethora of Alabama jokes. Let’s just say the laughter at Bama’s and Nick Saban’s expense was fun while it lasted.
Board members Melissa Blake and Chris Odinet co-chaired the luncheon.
Force for Good
Melissa Juneau was on the receiving end of an award the day before as the Louisiana Association of Nonprofits hosted its Force for Good awards luncheon at the C.B. Pennington Jr. Conference Center. LANO Executive Director Kelly Pepper presented Juneau with the Force for Good Leadership Award for her leadership of the Emerge Center over the past year.
Board Chairman Tony Frey assisted in presenting the Nonprofit of the Year Award to Margaret Trahan and the United Way of Acadiana. Among the 100 or so guests was Kay Sprinkle Grace, featured speaker for LANO’s annual conference, which took place throughout the day.
Next up on this very, very busy Thursday was the Baton Rouge Art League’s 80th anniversary celebration. Select pieces from its permanent collection, including its Louisiana Works Progress Administration artworks, lined the walls of the State Archives.
Since this was one of four stops that evening, I’ll have to go back and check out the art. It remains on exhibit through Nov. 26.
Magnetic Men & Women
I headed to Boudreaux’s for Evergreen Life Services second annual Magnetic Men & Women, who are chosen for their “strong sense of purpose,” for standing up for what they believe and actively working to make positive changes in their communities and for their charisma.
This year’s honorees included Paula de la Bretonne, Ryan Chenevert, Lt. Gov. Jay Darndenne, Christy Reeves and Whitney Vann. They hadn’t all arrived when I was there, so master of ceremonies Leonard Augustus, who was an honoree with me for this award last year, graciously made sure I got a photo.
Serving with Leonard on the committee were Amanda Cade, Catherine Cartwright, Marci Gaines, Chelsea Gstohl, Malik Harness, Edward Johnson, Peggy Johnson Sherie Jones, Stephanie Lewis, Daneiene Neal, Adele Netterville, Mary Quaid, Corey Shadd and Randall Waguespack.
‘Rockin with the Rooster’
Boots and jeans were the attire of choice for most attendees to the Friends of the LSU Rural Life Museum’s Red Rooster Bash, “Rockin’ with the Rooster.” No fewer than 85 items were up for bids in the silent auction, including wine, live camellias, trips, dinners and a plethora of rooster paintings. Another 10 items caused some lively bidding in the live auction — like dining at Burden House, an overnight stay in New Orleans with all the trimmings, a hunting trip and an Audubon print.
Serving on the committee were Brian Bateman, Mitchell Bean, Chet Coles, Corinne Cook, L.J. Dantin, Wendel Foushee, Carol Goldsmith, Sheila Govan, Kathleen Howell, Montez LeGrande , Martha Hanks and Linda Lightfoot.
Also, Kathleen McDonald, Elizabeth McInnis, Frances Monroe, David Nicolosi, T onja Normand, Shannon Poché, Joanne and Cooper Roberts, Molly Sanchez, Lea Shelby, Leonard Sullivan, Donna Wright, Bobbie Young and Executive Director David Floyd.
Sunshine for Kids
My last stop for the night was the Sunshine Foundation’s Sunshine for Kids Gala at the Renaissance, honoring the Manship family, represented by David Manship, sister Dina Manship Planche and husband Pat and son Jake Manship and wife Meredith.
This event also had a very spirited live auction thanks to returning auctioneers Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and state Sen. Fred Mills, who may want to look into a regular comedy routine. The biggie was the finale African safari won by three bidders who each ponied up $4,000 earning a quick $12,000 for the foundation. That’ll print a lot of “You Are Sunshine” books to be distributed to Louisiana kindergartners. To date, some 600,000 copies of author Shirley Porter’s self-esteem book have been handed out by members of the Louisiana National Guard
I so enjoyed getting to sit a spell and visit with the Manships, Alvin Kimble, Nancy and Caye Ribas, Marilyn and Mackie Price, Ann and Duz Hamilton, Diane Tate and Becky and Jack Harris.
Diane and Becky served on the committee. Their fellow committee members included Mary Alford, Stephanie Arceneaux, Kay Collier , Connie DeLeo, Charlene Harp, Amy Hazel, Leslie Kilpatrick, Mary Lynn Langlois and Lee Trowbridge Lewis.
Also, Liz Mangham, Sheri Robinson, Lois Saye, Rachel Sayes, Donni Shields, Jeanne Triche, Kandace Walls and Karen Downs Wolf.
Pirates took over the Old Governor’s Mansion Nov. 5 for the Foundation for Historical Louisiana’s annual gala celebrating “Louisiana’s Coastal Treasures.” Several hundred guests filled the mansion for what is always one of the year’s best parties and this year was no exception, even with the threat of rain.
From the scrumptious cuisine from local restaurants and caterers, draw-dropping parrot floral creations from Designs by Milissa to the rocking sounds of Phat Hat and the jazzy sway of Michael Liussa & Co. there was something for everyone. There was even a governor on hand — former Gov. Edwin Edwards made an appearance and posed for tons of photos.
This year’s gala was chaired by Meredith and Pierce Cinman. Host committee members included Pat and Ben Alford, Paul Arrigo, Carolyn and Jim Bennett, Kiki Bergeron, Kelly and Jim Brexler, Abby and Doug Cochran, Kay Colier, Walter Comeaux, Nancy David, Marilyn and Wayne Davis, Angela and Charles deGravelles, Mercedes and Jim Doré, Brenda and Frank Dunn, Addie and Femi Euba, Lillie and George Gallagher, Darryl Gissel, Cynthia and John Graves, Melanie and Bill Hanley, Lynda Hargroder and Robert Hodges.
Also, Viki and Harrison Holcomb, Bernadine and Tommy Holliday, Jackie and Leo Honeycutt, Whitney and Matthew LaNasa, Melody Langlinais and Michael Rayburn, Laura and Buddy Leach, Kay Long and Pon Hardy, Claire and Rick Major, Judith and Kirk Patrick, Phyllis Perron, Adelaide Russo, Mary Ellen Slayter and Mitchell Garsee, Vicki and Gary Spurlock, Sascha and Drew Tessier, Beth and Steve Tope, Melanie and Brad Way, Colleen and Jacob Wilbert and Emily and John Wilbert.
Mental Health Association
“Saturday Night Live” alum Darryl Hammond, the “impressionist laureate of the United States,” had us laughing and wiping away tears as he spoke at the Mental Health Association of Greater Baton Rouge’s 60th anniversary celebration Nov. 4 at the C.B. Pennington Jr. Conference Center.
Interspersed with his impressions of former President Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Chris Matthews and Sean Connery were stories of his battle with drug and alcohol addition, and stops in jail and more than a few psych wards.
Now he is passionately trying to remove the stigma of mental illness and addiction by sharing his journey to sobriety and final, correct diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. “I don’t tell jokes,” Hammond told the audience. “I just tell you what I did.” He even brought along a film crew to capture the evening for use in his one-man Broadway show based on his New York Times bestselling memoir, “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*#ked.”
Proceeds from the night benefited the association and its programs: Alliance House Drop-in Center, Alliance House Residential Center and Bridges, peer-run educational classes and support groups.
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Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON
Old Governor’s Mansion Gala costume competition winners, from left, Pierce Cinman, Mikko, Kay and Scott Gaudin, Claudia Baumgarten and Meredith Cinman.
This cutline was corrected at 2:20 p.m. Nov. 17.