After spending an intense four months rehearsing with my fellow Team Leonard dancers to get ready for the 10th anniversary of Dancing for Big Buddy back in April, I’ve found myself really missing them and feeling like I was supposed to be at the Dancer’s Workshop, where we practiced.
So it was great fun to get together with them and the rest of this year’s dancers, judges, board members and staff for a thank-you reception at Table Kitchen & Bar June 1. I loved catching up with our fearless leader, Leonard Augustus; Star Dancers Wendy Lipsey, Sandra Holub, Melvin Hardnett, Wayne Talbot, Kathy Victorian, Lillette Delahaye, Dr. Jennifer Greeson and Jordan Piazza; professionals Kris Cangelosi, Aaron Lafitte, Claire Broyles, Travis McLavy and Donté Phillips; and emcee Sylvia Weatherspoon. The cherry on top was news that together we helped raise $259,000 for Big Buddy, and helped them purchase two new vans!
Handing out our awards, CDs of the show (now we can finally see the entire production!) and souvenir 10th anniversary key chains were event Co-chairwomen Terri LeBlanc and Erica Mercer. Adding her heart-felt thanks was Executive Director Gaylynne Mack. Getting special recognition were those who have been involved in the event all 10 years — Leonard, producer Lin Holdridge, judge John Spain, videographer Todd Sterling , of Alpha Media, and sponsors The Advocate and WBRZ-TV.
Summer Auction Gala
The week wrapped up Saturday night at Theatre Baton Rouge’s debut Summer Auction Gala featuring the “Roles I’ll Never Play” Cabaret, directed by Katie Stockton Potts.
With Terry Byars at the piano, gala-goers were entertained by Chrissy and Marion Bienvenu, Jamie Leonard-Brubaker, Jason Dowies and daughter Skylar, Marla and Ella Dupre, Jennifer Gomez, Brandy Lynn Johnson, board members Je nnifer Johnson and Terry Bowman, Carran Latas, board member Al bert Nolan, Kaitlin Elizabeth Perry and Matt Miyagi, Mary Pittman, Alaina Richard, Natalie Sibille and Tyler Grezaffi, board member Paula Shreve and John Sallinger, Stephanie Toups, Jackie Dixon Tuttle, Celeste Veillon, board member Erin Woolworth and board President Lance Parker, and Coleen Leslie, Mitchel Boyle and Varland Owens.
Among those gala-goers were former theatre managing director Keith Dixon, who’s returned “home” to Baton Rouge; the Toups entourage — Stevie, Kay and Roland and Shelby — along with Andy Adler and son Matt; Alvin Kimble and Shannon Turnley, Joe Boniol and Les Mut and TBR’s artistic associate and Director of Education Jack Lampert.
In between these two events, I popped in on a group of women who have been getting together for lunch on a regular basis for 45 years. On this Friday, they had invited their daughters to join them at Mansurs on the Boulevard, where the private dining room was abuzz with multiple conversations all going on at the same time.
“It started out with four of us getting together for coffee,” explained hostess Bernice Hoffman, “then it grew to about 25 for lunch. We’ve been through everything together. One day it dawned on us that we all had daughters … some of them knew each other but not really well and we wanted to change that.”
Hoffman’s co-hostess for the gathering was Doris Kistler.
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