Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. I hope you have a fabulous day. Now let’s get to the partying.
The past week started out planting a rose at the Governor’s Mansion and wrapped up with the presentation of a new coterie of debutantes.
Delta Sigma Theta
Mother Nature tried but couldn’t put a damper on the Baton Rouge Delta Development Corp. at its annual presentation tea, “An Evening with the Debutantes,” June 12 at the Baton Rouge Delta Sorority House. Ten young women were introduced to the community by Nequoia C. Elsey. They will be formally presented at the 51st annual Debutante Cotillion Aug. 6.
Guests were welcomed by Karmen R. Davis, president of the Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter; and Shirley L. Henderson, chairwoman of the corporation. Edith L. Cox and Charlene T. Wilson are co-chairwomen of the tea and cotillion.
The debs included Mallarie Nicole Dillon, daughter of Sharon and Johnny Dillion Jr., of Zachary; Eboni Janaé Dunn, daughter of Kim M. Jones, of Zachary, and Emanuel Dunn; Braiyha Christianna Ingram, daughter of Shameka and Sirica J. White; Karissa Adawn Matthews, daughter of Bernice and Wayne Matthews; Brianna Jénay Porter, daughter of Janelle and Brandon Porter; Chaila Pilar Roberson, daughter of Patricia and Baron Roberson; Kayla Michelle Robinson, daughter of Jennifer M. Robinson and Kevin Johnson; Caitlyn Alise Smith, daughter of Jenipher and Calvin Smith; Tyxavyr Deliyan Smith, daughter of Frankina A. Smith- and Byron Charles; and Caroline Florinne Johnson Taylor, daughter of Drs. Yolanda J. and Jonathan P. Taylor.
Night at the Museum
Downtown Baton Rouge was hopping the night before as the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum hosted their annual Night at the Museum fundraiser. This year’s event, chaired by Emmy Hicks and Carolyn Morris, celebrated Louisiana’s numerous festivals. Crowns, sashes and queens were spotted everywhere.
As guests sipped their libations and noshed on the delicacies by some of the city’s best restaurants and caterers, they also shopped a tempting silent auction. Among the items up for bids were artwork, jewelry, dinners, cultural offerings and cosmetic procedures. I enjoyed visiting with Fairleigh and John Jackson, Bill Bryan, Marvin and Camille McGraw, Mary Kay Bertaut, Josh Richardson (aka Miss Capital City Pride 2016 Josalyn Royale), Miss Merry Christmas 2012 Melanie Maggio (yes, “Steel Magnolia” fans, there really is a Miss Merry Christmas!), Megan Knapp, Frances Bennett, Marsha Shuler and, as I was leaving, Mary Durusau and Barry Erwin. More photos of the fun are online at theadvocate.com/columnists/pambordelon/
Thirty-nine Baton Rougeans joined an exclusive club June 7 when they became the 30th class to graduate from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program, led by Mary Beth Chevalier. The celebration took place at LSU’s Lod Cook Alumni Center. Adding to the sentimentality of the evening was the fact that Mary Beth is stepping down after leading the program for five years
Graduating were Shannon Abney, Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge; Branden Barker, NAI/Latter & Blum Realtors; Haley Blakeman, Center for Planning Excellence; David Blanchard, ExxonMobil; Kim Boneno, LUBA Workers’ Comp; Jason Broha, Turner Industries; Jason Brown, Kean Miller; Matthew Caillouet, WHLC Architecture; Jody Caraccioli, Neighbors Federal Credit Union; Laura Davis, Our Lady of the Lake? Regional Medical Center; Brandon DeCuir, DeCuir Clark & Adams; Carl Dillon, Urban Restoration Enhancement Corp.; Nadine Donner, BRAC; Uyuho Eduok, Eduok Associates; Mark Emonet, Lipsey’s; Emi Gilbert, LSU Foundation; Terrence Ginn, Louisiana Board of Regents; Liz Goad, Manship Theatre; and Katie Graves, Regions Bank.
Also, Ted Jones, Jones Walker; Brandon Lagarde, Postlethwaite & Netterville; Tommy Langlois, Ochsner Health System; Symil LeDoux, Baton Rouge General Hospital; Scott McKnight, BancorpSouth Insurance Services; Andrew Mouledous, Capital One Bank; Sarah Munson, Starmount Life Insurance; Ai Nguyen, Dow Chemical; Allison Reeves, Williams Anderson Ryan & Carroll; Theo Richards, Capital Area Transit System; Kurt Scott, Woman’s Hospital; Janet Simmons, Hope Ministries of Baton Rouge; Brian Skelton, Whitney Bank; Tiffany Stewart, Pennington Biomedical Research Center; Tommy Talley, Tommy’s TV; Akilah Taylor, United Healthcare Community Plan; Tejas Vora, Go Physical Therapy; Trey Williams, City Pork Restaurant Group; Trey Williams, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; and Tim Young,?HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two.?
The program was founded to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. There are now more than 1,000 graduates of the program.
Earlier that day I joined several hundred men and women in honoring the eight women chosen by the Baton Rouge Business Report as the Most Influential Women in Business for 2016 at a luncheon at the Crowne Plaza. The honorees included Teri Casso, executive director of the St. Elizabeth Foundation and Ascension Parish councilwoman; Stacey Chaisson, North American public relations leader for Dow Chemical Co.; Ann Connelly, owner Ann Connelly Gallery; Barbara Freiberg, East Baton Rouge Parish School Board president; Tina Holland, Our Lady of the Lake College president; Devin Lemoine, owner and president of Success Labs; Jennifer Maggio, founder/CEO of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries; and Sylvia Weatherspoon, WBRZ-TV news anchor.
Featured speaker for the luncheon was Elena Davis, president and founder of I Am Waters Foundation, which provides water for the homeless. The story of this former homeless teen turned successful model was one of the most amazing and inspirational ones I’ve heard in quite some time. Check it out at iamwaters.com
My day actually started with a representatives from garden clubs from around the state joining first lady Donna Edwards for a garden party and planting of a Peggy Martin Survivor rose in the gardens of the Governor’s Mansion. The event coincided with National Garden Club Week.
Joining the effort was none other than Peggy Martin, a pre-Katrina resident of Plaquemines Parish and avid gardener. This rose was one of only two plants surviving the 20 feet of salt water that devastated her gardens. Since then, it has been introduced into commerce and become a symbol among gardeners and rose lovers of a “tenacious plant associated with a spirit of renewal and regrowth.”
As part of the National Garden Clubs’ “Plant it Pink” special projects to create breast cancer awareness during the month of October, the federation is adopting the Peggy Martin Survivor rose as its signature pink flower for its Plant it Pink gardens. For every Peggy Martin rose sold, $1 will go the Antique Rose Society and the remaining profit to a foundation for breast cancer research.
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