The past week was so busy I seriously contemplated confiscating my granddaughter’s new rollerblades to get me around, but figured I’d end up with something broken so I party-hopped the old-fashion way and made all my appointed rounds.
A new venue, the Baton Rouge River Center, provided just the right spice to a revamped Best Dressed Ball benefiting the American Cancer Society on April 18. The 48th annual event, “It’s Showtime!,” fêted the 2015 best dressed men and women Robin Bonnette, Melissa Campbell, Stacey Davis, Laura Domingue, Leslie King, Heather Kleinpeter, Stephanie Marcello, Michele Percy, Brenda Phillips, Lexie Polito, Geno Brown, Pete Bush, Brian Dantin, David Dellucci, David Duggins, Dr. Todd Howell, Nathan Matticks, Dr. Rubin Patel, Taylor Robert and Blake Whittle. Check them out in their runway finest online at theadvocate.com/columnists/pambordelon.
The night also included the presentation of the first Julia Woods Dickinson Heart & Soul Award in memory of the late Julie Dickinson to Dave Roberts with Excel, one of the night’s sponsors. The award was presented by Dickinson’s daughter, Courtney.
Other highlights of the event were performances by Cirque du Solei-style silk aerialists, a very tempting silent auction and a paddle pledge conducted by emcee Julio Melara with assistance from ball Chairwoman Marsha Baker and committee member Katie Baron. The night wrapped up with dancing to the sounds of the Chee Wees.
The day began with a Legacy Luncheon hosted by the LSU Museum of Art honoring Sue Turner and her late husband, Bert, and Chuck Schwing and his late wife, Jerry. Unfortunately, Ms. Sue took a tumble the day before and was unable to attend but she was well-represented by daughter Susan and son Thomas.
“Museums were Mama’s life even before historic preservation,” said Susan. “If she’d been born when I was I think she would have been a museum professional.”
Schwing’s granddaughter Hayley Jones introduced her “Gramps,” who credited Jerry with being the one who was instrumental in their support of the museum. “I may have thrown in a few bucks but she was the one.”
He also gave a shout out to his co-honoree. “I’ve idolized Sue since we were children in Plaquemine. I’m honored to be on the same podium.”
Turner and Schwing were each presented a purple and gold glass bowl. The luncheon, catered by Stroube’s, was held in the Bert & Sue Turner Gallery, located on the third floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts.
‘Ghosts of Governors Past’
A group of LSU students brought to life some of the last residents of the Old Governor’s Mansion for the indoor drama “Ghosts of Governors Past” benefiting the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. The April 17 event was a project of Inspired Public Relations, a professional communications group with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications, created to spread awareness of the importance of preserving Louisiana’s culture. Team members included Caroline Ainsworth, Maddie Ford, Amanda Player, Sarah Rainwater, Hannah Solsky and Janae Theriot.
As they ventured from room to room, attendees — many of whom were dressed in vintage 1920s attire — visited with Gov. Huey Long and daughter Rose, portrayed by Curran Latas and Alexis Trahan; Elton Leche, wife of Gov. Richard Leche, portrayed by Ashley Landrieu; Gov. Earl Long, portrayed by Cullen Hodges; Louise Jones, wife of Gov. Sam Jones, portrayed by Delaney Dupree; and Gov. Jimmie Davis, portrayed by Trey Tycer. After visiting with the “ghosts,” guests got to sample some very special cocktails: the King Fish, Sunshine Special, Long Brothers Libation and Louisiana Lemonade.
Sips & Suds
The threat of downpours tried to put a damper on a jam-packed evening April 16 but fortunately the weather somewhat cooperated. Almost the entire grounds of the McMains Children’s Developmental Center were tented for the second annual Sips & Suds champagne and beer stroll. This year’s event, presented by the Albemarle Foundation, featured David St. Romain and band, a paddle pledge and live auction conducted by emcee John Spain, a wine pull and a jewelry pull.
Providing food were Another Broken Egg Café, Capital City Grill, DiGiulio Bros. Italian Café, The Edible Event Catering Cuisine, Pete’s Lagniappe Catering, Sammy’s Catering, Stroubes, Cupcake Allie, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Renaissance Hotel, Bayou Teche Brewing, Silly Gilly Desserts, Thoughtfully Prepared and Indie Plate. Complimentary wine and champagne was donated by Drakes Catering and Republic National Distributing Co.
My next stop was The Crescent at University Lakes for Dancing for Big Buddy’s Pre-event Reception. This is where all participants get our final marching orders before the big day. The party was hosted by Capital Area United Way CEO Darrin Goss Sr., a 2014 Star Dancer, and wife Vee.
I stayed long enough to know what I needed to do as one of this year’s judges before I headed to my final stop of the night.
I ended up at Mockler Beverage Co. and the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society’s ninth annual CrawFête. As I was making my way inside, I ran into Shirley Porter and Kandace Wall with the Sunshine Foundation. They were beyond excited at having been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of last year’s event.
Inside I got the lay of the land from Karen and Bill Profita, Helen Graf, Jay Ducote and Whitney Vann as to what to taste first. Then it was time to cast my vote for People’s Choice. Since the ballot box is sacred, I’ll just say my choice was one of the top three. They included Matthew Reed, of Reed’s Cakes & Catering, Crawfish Honey Bun, first place; Kelley McCann, of Galatoire’s Bistro, Crawfish Pie, second place; and Jim Uridales, of Mestizo’s, Crawfish & Quinoa Flauta with Mole Verde, third place.
Of Moving Colors
John Turner and Jerry Fischer rolled out the welcome mat to their lovely home and its balcony on April 15 for a very special “Romeo + Juliet” Gala benefiting Of Moving Colors. Dancing the roles of literature’s most famous romantic duo as guests watched from the courtyard below were Will Bove and Courtney Landry. Thanking everyone for attending were Artistic Director Garland Goodwin Wilson and Development Director Nancy Little.
Before and after the performance, the several hundred guests mingled inside and out as they dined on the amazing gastronomic feast prepared by Margo Bouanchaud and sipped flowing glasses of Veuve-Clicquot champagne. The magnificent all-white floral decorations were created by Margo’s husband, Lance Hayes.
It was the first Baton Rouge party for new resident Sue Youngerman, and it’ll be hard to beat. The guest list also included Sue Turner, Heather Sewell Day, David Wright, Ann Guercio and daughter Merritt, Shelton and Teddy Jones, Kelly and Enrique Hurtado, Cathy Coates and Lucie Silva. And a huge thank you to Jerry for taking Ann, Merritt, Lucie and me on a tour of the house; it was a night not soon to be forgotten.
Women in Media
Earlier that day, Women in Media handed out its 13th annual Awards of Excellence at a luncheon at the Crowne Plaza. Taking home the afternoon’s two most prestigious awards were Michell Rabalais, owner of Corporate Ideas, recipient of the Wanda Horn Lifetime Achievement Award; and Kristi Howard, Assurance Financial, recipient of the WIM Member of the Year. These awards were presented by President Katie Guasco.
Awards of Excellence, presented by emcees Whitney Vann and Leonard Augustus, went to Beth Thompson, Cox Media, Media Sales Professional; Ju lie McLin, Lane Regional Medical Center, Marketing or Communications Professional; Kristen Morrison, Red Six Media, Advertising Agency Professional; Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com/Times Picayune, Editorial Professional; Nal in i Raghaven, Country Roads Magazine, News director/Managing Editor; Elizabeth Badeaux, EGB Creative, Creative and Production Manager; Karen Profita, Guaranty Broadcasting, On-air Talent; Kiri Walton, NOLA.com/Times Picayune, Website or Social Media Manager; Tiffany Dickerson, The Mic Chick, Small Business Owner/Marketer; and Blair Loup, Bite & Booze, Industry Newcomer.
Nominees included Lindsey Blanchard and Rebecca Tucker, BlinkJar Media; Kris Cangelosi, Cangelosi Dance Project; Tammy Copeland, Essential Federal Credit Union; Christy Futch, The Advocate; Heidi Guerra, Innovative Advertising; Susan Mustafa, author; Amy Plaisance, Baton Rouge Parents Magazine; Monica Rogers, DIG Magazine; Sally Stiel, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel; Kristen Traina, Baton Rouge River Center; and Maranda White, Octagon Media.
Follow Pam on Twitter @pamspartyline. Items for Pam’s Party Line must be received by 9 a.m. the Monday preceding the run date. High-resolution digital photos should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard copy photos should be dropped off at or mailed to The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Events will run no later than four weeks after they have taken place. The date, place of the event and a contact name and daytime phone number must be included. Photos will be used at the discretion of The Advocate.