Once upon a time, I was one of the “Hat Ladies” and that apparently qualifies me to judge hat contests from time to time. It’s something I love doing, and I’ve made some good friends as a result. One group is the members of the La Capitale Chapter of ABWA (American Business Women’s Association). I’m not sure how many times I’ve judged the group’s annual “Hats Off” luncheon hat competition, but I was delighted when I got the call to join them again July 8.

‘Hats Off’

It was a sparse crowd assembled at Juban’s Restaurant; you can tell summer vacations are in full swing. That didn’t make the job of selecting the winning hats any easier. Aside from the actual hat creations, the women share stories explaining their hats, which are supposed to reflect something about the person sporting the chapeau.

Yvonne Dupont’s currently frazzled life led her to write a poem explaining why her hat was bare. It won her the “Out-of-the-Box” prize. Kim Callegan’s hat celebrating her mom’s successful battle against ovarian cancer, her daughter’s upcoming wedding and the birth of twin grandchildren took the prize for “Most Sentimental.” And, finally, a very pregnant (due any day now) Melissa Chapman’s hat sported an array of butterflies ­— “what my life feels like right now” — and earned her the “Most Creative” prize.

Hats weren’t the only item on the day’s agenda. The chapter also installed its 2015-2016 officers. Taking the oath from outgoing President Mona Rafeedie were Dupont, president; Traci Adams, vice president; Ellen McDowell, secretary; and Lois LeBlanc, treasurer.

LSU Museum

Later that afternoon, the LSU Museum of Art’s advisory board also installed a new group of officers during its annual meeting presided over by outgoing Chairwoman Fran Harvey. Tapped to serve were George Clark, chairman; Jerry Fischer, vice chairman; John Godbee, secretary/treasure and finance committee chairman; John Bullard, collections committee chairman; Katherine Spaht, nominating committee chairwoman; and Beth Fuller, membership/development committee chairwoman.

Clark announced that the search for a new leader for the museum is back on now that the LSU budget issue has been settled for the immediate future. “Hopefully by mid-fall, we’ll have a new executive director,” he said.

He went on to thank interim Executive Director Kristin Sosnowsky for her service, as well as staff members Fran Huber and Lucy Perera. Also thanked for their service were outgoing board members Donna Fraiche, Marchita Mauck, Gail O’Quin, Emile Rolfs, Michael Robinson and Harvey.

Scouting honor

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout senior ambassador can receive. On June 24, Baton Rougean Victoria Pham and Ponchatoula resident Shelbilyn Mott were presented their Gold Awards at a ceremony and reception hosted by Girl Scouts Louisiana East at the Governor’s Mansion. To win the award, a Girl Scout “must demonstrate ability and skill in goal setting, planning and putting values into action, and relating to the community, which includes planning and executing a community service project with a minimum 80 hours of work that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides sustainable, lasting benefit to the girl’s larger community.”

Taking part in the pinning ceremony were Girl Scouts Louisiana East CEO Jackie Alexander; Lt. Col. Patrick Widner, commander of the Middleton Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars; and Annette Lay, a representative of the Kelly Kicking Cancer nonprofit named for 2012 Gold Award recipient, the late Kelly O’Mahoney, who died last year of brain cancer. The organization presented its debut Kelly C. O’Mahoney Gold Award Scholarship to Pham.

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