I met myself coming and going last week. I also have to give a shout out to the staff at Juban’s for supplying Deana Martin with a martini glass for her performance kicking off Columbus Day Festa. But first, Woman’s Hospital jazzed up its Pink on the Plaza Oct. 12 silent auction event by adding the Bust Breast Cancer runway show and bra auction into the mix. It made for one sassy evening.
Pink on the Plaza
Some 600 people filled the ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel for the Bust Breast Cancer festivities. For many, it was their first time to see bedazzled and bejeweled bras featured in a runway show.
I had the arduous task of helping pick this year’s winners along with judges Libby Davis with WFMF 102.5 and “Ms. William” Roy, manager of BCBG MaxAzria. Not sure how, but after much discussion, we finally reached a consensus. The Breast Overall Award went to Katie Cheatham for her “Star Wars” inspired “Use the Force, Ladies” bra modeled by Helen Miller. Becky Parsons Gottsegen won “Most Mammerable” for her “Walking the Dogs” design modeled by Bust Breast Cancer founder Heather Kleinpeter. The Cups of Creativity Award went to M.E. Cormier for her brooch bra modeled by Aron Coates. Gabby Loubiere Higgins took home the prize for Most Spirited Model, specifically for her red Samuri bra routine.
Before the models took the runway, we all heard from breast cancer survivor Erin Mosely, a mother of two who was diagnosed at age 35. With no family history of breast cancer and under the age of 40 when mammograms typically begin, she was assertive in getting her doctor to perform this diagnostic test, but she “had a feeling” she needed to have a mammogram. So her message to women, “listen to your body.”
Columbus Day Festa
This year’s Columbus Day Festa, put on by the Greater Baton Rouge American Italian Association at the Belle of Baton Rouge Capital Atrium, expanded to two days. It all began with an amazing concert by Deana Martin, daughter of legendary crooner Dean Martin, on Oct. 10. She went through a string of her dad’s hits, including “Volaré (which she sang in Italian),” “Ain’t that a Kick in the Head,” “Everybody Loves Somebody,” “You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You” and a heart-tugging duet with Dean of “True Love.” She also sang “The Lady is a Tramp” in memory of her “Uncle Frank” Sinatra, who gave Deana her first singing lesson. She also shared the story of her and brother Dean Paul doing the twist for Marilyn Monroe, who later took Dean Paul to the Dodgers baseball game.
I had to sneak out early because I had other events so I wasn’t there when Deana called me out to thank me and The Advocate’s talented layout staff for the story that ran in Red the day before. I did get to meet her later that night when I met her, husband John Griffeth, the band, Phillip Cancilleri and several other organizers of the event for a post-concert cocktail.
I also got to visit with Deana and John the next afternoon for day two of the Festa. I was there to participate in the Grape Stomp competition. I didn’t get the memo that I had to assemble a team for this adventure, but luckily I had my 3-year-old grandson TJ Kennon with me, and he was more than willing to help me stomp grapes … after he ate a few during the introductions. We lost to the “Godfather” team from Visit! Baton Rouge — Maggie Bowles, Cathy Juarez, Julie Thomas and Ali Wisecarver, who bribed/scared the judges with a horse head; and the ladies from the Irish Club --- Laura McDavitt, Joanna Anselmo and JoAnn Guidry.
Desert Storm Reunion
Can you believe it’s been 25 years since Desert Storm? I did a double take when I received the invitation to join the members of the 1190th Deployment Control Unit at their reunion celebrating the 25th anniversary of this historic event. Luckily for me, they were also celebrating at the Belle of Baton Capital Atrium. It made my Saturday night party hopping much easier but isn’t this unit supposed to be about logistics?
It was a quick stop for me and for Deana Martin, who also popped in to offer her thanks to the group before her performance. She invited them to join her after their party ended and my sources tell me several of them did.
The event was organized by Gina Rossi, Pat Widner, Benita Zombo, Skip Philips and Phil Bowen.
King Apollo XXXIV Joe Boniol and Queen Apollo XXXIV Jo sh Richardson were fêted at the krewe’s royalty announcement party hosted by this year’s ball captains John Deshotels and Bobby Suchman at Juban’s. It was my last stop of the night Saturday and a great way to wrap up my party hopping. It was so good to all my friends — Corey Tullier, Larry Fremin, Hal Holloway, Les Mutt, Bruce Foreman, Claudette Lacombe and Josie Panula and, of course, the hosts and royal couple.
I can hardly wait for Bal Masque XXXIV Jan. 30!
My busy Saturday began at the Susan G. Komen Perfectly Pink Luncheon for Life at L’Auberge Hotel & Casino. Welcoming the several hundred women and thanking this year’s sponsors was Komen Baton Rouge board President Laura Soileau. She then turned the microphone over to emcee Donna Britt, a six-year breast cancer survivor, who with Executive Director Angela Miller did the survivor roll call. I’m thinking the 34-year and 27-year survivors offered much hope to the young woman who was diagnosed just weeks ago. And you have to admire the way the survivors proudly strutted their stuff on stage in the style show showcasing fall and evening fashions from Dillard’s.
But the highlight of the day was featured speaker Sally Ann Roberts, host of WWL-TV’s popular morning show and sister to ABC’s “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts. She spoke of Robin’s battle with breast cancer and following complications that led to Sally Ann becoming a donor for her sister. “Families may not have it all together, but together we have it all,” said Sally Ann. “Make your mess your message … turn on the power. The P in power is prayer; O is obey the law of love; W is do the work; E is encourage yourself and others; and R is rejoice, be grateful for everything.”
Brew at the Zoo
The Baton Rouge Zoo was wild with excitement as 2,000 thirsty folks came out to sample 150 beers at its debut Brew at the Zoo fundraiser Oct. 10. The sell-out crowd dutifully stood in line for the beverages being poured by Baton Rouge Beer Agency, Red Stick Brewmasters, Crescent Crown, Louisiana Homebrew, Mockler Beverage Co., Bicycle Brew Club and Brasseurs a la Maison, and yummies dished up by Exclamation Point, Cake Jewels, Manda Fine Meats, Presstone’s Catering, Jay D’s, Kleinpeter Farm’s Dairy, Beausoleil, Mestizo’s, Tallulah, The Bulldog, Juban’s, Mason’s Grill, Stadium Sport Bar and Louisiana Cookin’.
The whole idea of this event was to introduce/reintroduce the zoo to a new group of potential supporters. I think Zoo Director Phil Frost and the committee succeeded big time. It was one of the most diverse crowds I’ve seen in a long time. So, hat’s off to co-chairmen Health Kleinpeter and Todd Waguespack and committee members Katie Baron, Susie Blyskal, Liz Canfield, Jeff Conaway, Allie DeLee Elizabeth Dunn, Chris Frink , Meridith Malinowski, Megan McAnelly, Erin Nugent, Gail and Bill O’Quinn, Mary Lou and Bill Potter, Charlotte Ray, Nadine Russell, Velen Schaffer, J oe Simmons and Patricia Day.
The Capital City got a preview of all things Christmas at the Junior League’s “Blitzen’s Bash” Hollydays Preview Gala Oct. 8. The River Center was decked out in holiday glitz for the party, which started off with shopping in the Exhibition Hall and wrapped up with the auction of 20 Eames chairs decorated by local artists TJ Black, Helen Bolin, Tara Button, Katie Cheatham, Mark “fresh,” Kevin Harris, Lauren Barksdale Hill, Norma Kilgore, Mark Nikoff, Jennifer Oliver, Molly Quinn, Winifred Reilly, Emily Seba, Lauren Welsh Taylor, Patrick Tiek, Chad Townson and Candace Vallery.
Boss Peter Kovacs and wife Ruth accompanied me, and we had fun visiting with Ann Hamilton, Phyllis McLaurin, Leslie and Scott Berg, Barbara Anne Eaton, Sugar McAdams, Deborah Todd, Liz and Kevin Harris, Ann and Rob Guercio and Gary Miller, one of the newest members of The Advocate family.
While I was at Hollydays, coworker and food editor Cheramie Sonnier was at the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction at L’Auberge. This year’s Ambassador Family was Jasmine and Angel Lombrage along with children Gabrielle and Angelle.
Kelley McCann with Galatoire’s Bistro served as lead chef. Joining him were chefs Eric Arceneaux, City Club; Colt Patin, Louisiana Culinary Institute; Leighton Carbo, Sullivan’s Steakhouse; Anderson Christopher Foster Jr., Houmas House Plantation & Gardens; Arlety Estévez and Drew England, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel; Chance Glover, The Little Village, Third Street; Harrison Decker, The Little Village, Airline Highway; Gabby Loubiere Higgins, Brew Ha-Ha; Chris Motto, Mansurs on the Boulevard; Ross Ford, Stroubes Chophouse; and David Dickensauge, Bin 77.
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