Men in high heels, dinner in a rose garden, partying at a car dealership and homecoming — what fun filled last week’s party calendar.
Hunks in Heels
Twelve guys stepped way out of their comfort zones to raise $66,500 for STAR, Sexual Trauma & Assault Response, on Oct. 14. The Varsity Theatre was hopping, as more than 450 people turned out to cheer on the hunks as they strutted, danced and occasionally tripped their way across the stage.
When all was said and done, Mathew Laborde, of Forum 35 and Beau Box Realty, was proclaimed the “Hottest Hunk” for personally raising $7,290.
He lit up the stage in heels created by Lily Betancourt. Mathew and fellow hunk Chadwick Kenney-Possa, of Renal Associates of Baton Rouge, were neck-and-neck throughout the day to claim the title of top fundraiser.
That doesn’t mean Chadwick didn’t win anything, though. Judges Amy Strother, Josh Holder and “Ms. William” Roy proclaimed him the hunk who “Thinks on his Toes” for dancing to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” in his 6-inch glittered heels, created by M.E. Cormier.
Metro Councilman John Delgado went “Walking in Memphis” in heels designed by David Wright to earn the title of “Best Biceps.” Rigsby Frederick, of Rigsby Frederick Salon & Gallery, took a “Run Through the Jungle” in boots featuring his hand-carved heels to be proclaimed as having the “Best Shoe.”
Kyle Harless, of Lock & Key Whiskey Bar, sported a kilt with his heels created by Neily Byrd to capture the “Booty Sweeper” prize.
Baton Rouge fireman Chad Major took the stage to “Fire” and smoke in his fireman’s ensemble before shedding it to reveal a tux as he danced around in heels designed by Meg Holford. That got him proclaimed “Dapperest Dan.” Representing the Baton Rouge Police Department was Lt. Don Stone, who went back to the days of disco for his dance routine, which earned him “Sexiest Strut.” His heels were designed by Raini Wirta.
Ray vanMerrienboer, of Red Zepplin Pizza, took it one step further, in heels designed by Rodneyna Hart.
Carrying a pizza box and the obligatory paint can, he was proclaimed “Easiest on the Eyes” for his John Travolta routine to “Stayin’ Alive.”
Al Moreau, of Moreau Physical Therapy, invited the crowd to “Let’s Get Physical,” as he worked out in tennis shoe heels created by Ramon Reyes. That earned him the title of “Hottest Legs.” Jim Uridales, of Mestizos, thrilled the ladies as he took the stage “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” in heels designed by Natalie Clay. He then got jiggy with it to be proclaimed the hunk with the “Best Dance Moves.” His partner, Y’Zell Williamson, of Capital City Grill, channeled Prince for his routine, earning him the title of “Twerks It.” His heels were created by Leonard Augustus, who also emceed the event with Whitney Vann.
Bringing down the house was Dr. Rani Whitfield, aka Tha Hip Hop Doc, who danced to a song he wrote specially for Hunks in Heels. It got him proclaimed “Crowd Pleaser.” His heels were designed by Nancy Ladner. We got to hear that song again as Leonard and Claire Broyles led the hunks and several professional dancers in a mini-flash mob while the judges deliberated.
Joining them onstage and entertaining the crowd after the Hunks in Heels competition were Quiana Lynell & the Lush Life Band.
Wine & Roses
Before heading to the Varsity, I spent a few minutes in the Burden Rose Garden where the Burden Horticulture Society was holding its annual Wine & Roses Gala. This year’s honoree was Pat Alford.
Guests were milling about sipping wine and partaking of the tempting hors d’oeuvres when I arrived.
Not long after, everyone made their way to the tented dining area, which looked oh-so-elegant thanks to the hard work of Chairwoman Kitty Hessburg and Co-chairwoman Lorice Say.
Assisting them with the festivities were committee members Connie Abboud, Leslie Bardwell, Ginnie Bolin, Judy Foil, Kerry Hawkins, John Hough, Barbara Hughes, Barbara Laudun, Jeanie LeBlanc, Mitzi Miller, Penny Miller, Margo Spielman and Jan Soule.
Gala on the Bluff
The Capital Atrium was rocking the following night, as the Southern University College of Business held its 13th annual Gala on the Bluff. This party, chaired by Lacy Baaheath and Blaine Grimes, requires not one but three bands. First to take the stage was the Harry Anderson Band, followed by Brick and, for the finale, Midnight Star.
Among the several hundred guests were honorees La Qu itta Thomas, a business analyst with Texas Instruments in Dallas for nearly 22 years, and Ronald Sutton, business development manager with Baton Rouge Coca-Cola.
Host committee members for this year’s gala included Dean Donald Andrews and emcees Michelle McCalope and Robert René.
Seats for Seizures
The partying continued Sunday evening with the Epilepsy Foundation’s Seats for Seizures at Price LeBlanc Lexus. There was music, delicious food, libations and a very tempting silent auction, which included dinners, weekend get-aways, cultural offerings and, of course, sports memorabilia. This year’s honoree was Nora McCarstle, a registered nurse who has worked for 19 years in Children’s Special Heath Services with the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals.
I enjoyed visiting with the night’s hosts, Jolie and Brent LeBlanc, as well as Ann and Steve Storey, Bobby Bernard and Eddie Sims, Vicky Kellum, John Paul Funes and co-worker Gary Miller and partner Ralph Ostermann.
Emily Davis was chairwoman of the sixth annual gala. Assisting her were committee members Ann Michael LaGarde, Sussanah Babin, Leah Barbato, Kelly Barton, Kim Baut, Dr. Kevin Callerame, Diane Hughes, Dr. Charlotte Hollman, Fernando Iturralde, Kristen Jastrum, Jolie LeBlanc and Lydie Neumann.
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