I hope you and yours enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving. Now the countdown to Christmas is officially underway, with 24 shopping days to go. That also means the local social scene slows down a bit — at least on the nonprofit front. But, fun lies ahead in the new year.
Dancing with Big Buddy
The wait is over — we now know who the 2015 Star Dancers are for the ninth annual Dancing for Big Buddy. The announcement was made at a luncheon Nov. 21 at the LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center Legends Lounge.
So, drum roll please, the Star Dancers are state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, Dr. Jerry Dynes, Studio 7 Pilates & Fitness co-owner Liz Firesheets, CPA Vanessa Graham, Crawfish Aquatics/Exerfit CEO Shelly Ripple Johnston, Realtor Heather Kirkpatrick, Merrill Lynch senior Vice President Rhonda Loy, Travis Ltd. owner Travis McLavy , developer Russell Mosely, Dr. Terrie Thomas, Postlethwait & Netterville audit director Candy Wright, Ruffino’s Concierge Transportation owner Melvin Hardnett, Brazeale Sachse & Wilson partner Leo Hamilton, Baton Rouge Area Chamber President Adam Knapp and WBRZ anchor/reporter Brittany Weiss.
I’ll be judging again this year, along with Christy Reeves and John Spain, and we’re sharpening our pencils and our wit, so circle your calendar for April 25 at the PMAC. This is an event not to be missed!
Before heading over to LSU, I popped in at Mansurs on the Boulevard for the Spinsters reunion luncheon. Spinsters was a single women’s social group that was active from 1938 to 1971. Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings covered a table and were scrutinized by members as they arrived and began the fun trip down memory lane.
The luncheon was organized by Jackie Creaghan, Margaret Champagne Hart, Elizabeth Potts Kelley, Harriet Babin Miller and Pat McCurnin Snow.
As Thursdays tend to be here in Baton Rouge, Nov. 20 was a busy one. It began with the sixth annual Spirit of Giving luncheon hosted by Sharing Shores Indian Women’s Association at Bay Leaf Restaurant. Always giving back, guests were asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, one of several causes supported by Sharing Shores. It’s main charitable cause is the Battered Women’s Program, to which Sharing Shores has donated more than $120,000, primarily from proceeds from its cookbook, “Saffron to Sassafras.”
Featured speaker for the day was Margo Abadie, professor of clinical social work at LSU. She offered us all some good advice for surviving the holidays. “The better you take care of yourself, the better you’re able to take care of others,” Abadie said. “It’s not selfish to take time for yourself … not everything is your responsibility.”
‘A Cause for Hope’
Later that afternoon I stopped by the home of Ayan and Mi chael Rubin for the Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network’s “A Cause for Hope” reception. Invited guests learned how LATAN assists those with disabilities from retired Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Kitty Kimball and a video presentation introduced by Jason Harris. LATAN board member Kendra Case told them how they could invest in LATAN.
This was a quick stop because another event was on my calendar — the Arthritis Association’s Tribute to Excellence Gala.
Tribute to Excellence
The Advocate’s employees and retirees were recipients of the Tribute to Excellence award from the Arthritis Association of Louisiana at its 16th annual gala at Boudreaux’s. Accepting on behalf of the gang was editor Peter Kovacs. Friend Julie Sherrill was honored as Volunteer of the Year.
It was humbling to be honored for shining a spotlight on the nonprofits of our fair city. It’s part of our job, but it’s a part of our job we enjoy and take pride in. It’s what helps make Baton Rouge America’s next great city.
Families Helping Families
The week began with a Thanksgiving feast served up by Families Helping Families and a host of volunteers at First Church of the Nazarene. More than 500 individuals with disabilities and their family and friends were served. Those friends included several Louisiana State Troopers.
Helping provide food for the dinner were WalMart and Tony Chachere’s.
Michael Allen Schmidt Jr., of Houston, and Laura Michelle Dunlap, of Denham Springs, were crowned King and Queen Orion XVII at the krewe’s royalty announcement party Nov. 15 at the home of krewe President Charles Harvey and wife Joanne. On hand were Orion’s officers, directors and float lieutenants, as well as honored guests.
The festivities began with the presentation of last year’s king and queen, Christopher and Tammie Cappo, by emcee La rry Rosendahl. They were given a commemorative medallion by Harvey.
Members of the 2015 court also included maids Jordan Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of Julie and Dr. Maben Thompson, of Crossville, Tennessee; and MacKenzie Rae Johnson, daughter of Dana and Felix Johnson , of Walker.
Pages to the queen are Gabrielle Ann and Madalyn Clare Harris, daughters of Je nnifer and Jason Harris, and Madison Rixie Albright, daughter of Rixie and Adam Albright. Pages to the king are David Chadwick and Michael Scott Dunlap, sons of the queen and husband Chad, and Reid Fletcher Schmidt, the king’s son with wife Angie.
Stage attendants for the evening were Cole and Tate Schmidt.
To view photos, please click here.
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