Debutantes, special recognitions and tea parties top this week’s Party Line round-up.
It was a very big weekend for 16 young women who were presented by Le Cercle de Bacchus at its 58th annual Presentation Ball Feb. 27. The River Center Exhibition Hall was filled with a wonderful fragrance emanating from the gorgeous centerpieces adorning the tables. Among those on hand for the celebration was Roy Powell Davis, a 50-year member of Bacchus.
Taking their formal bow in the spotlight were Sophia Elizabeth Dooley, daughter of Maria Yiannopoulos and Stephen Dooley, escorted by Nicholas Yiannopoulos; Katie Madison Gummow, daughter of Sara and Kevin Gummow, escorted by James Bouanchaud Jr.; Lauren Hebert, daughter of Leslie and Donald Hebert, escorted by Coyt Nicholson; Jordan Grace Kepper, daughter of Lauren Kepper and Kirk Kepper, escorted by Christopher Loupe; Megan Marie Lato, daughter of Jo and George Lato, escorted by Jeff Jeansonne; Mary Grayson Mann, daughter of Lisa and John Mann, escorted by Tommy Bell and Otey White III; Gabrielle Marino, daughter of Karen and Gino Marino, escorted by Robert Mahfouz; and Katherine Blake “KK” McGehee, daughter of Alison McGehee and Blake McGehee, escorted by James Poché III.
Also, Mary Katherine Miller, daughter of Carla and Eric Miller, escorted by Frank Clark; Brooke Alexandra Morris, daughter of Kimberly and Troy Morris, escorted by Zachary Morris; Meghan Phillips, daughter of Stephanie Taylor and Shanon Phillips, escorted by Caleb Prejean; Grace Marie Ragland, daughter of Lauren and Buddy Ragland, escorted by Jeffrey Boudreaux; Sommer Paige Sellars, daughter of Shannon and Steven Sellars, escorted by Sean Meeks; Cara Sullivan, daughter of Cindy and Troy Sullivan, escorted by Perry Starks; Alexis Nichole Taylor, daughter of Linda S. Taylor and James Taylor, escorted by Burt Schexnayder; and Peyton Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of Peggy and Patrick Thompson, escorted by William Borne.
Serving as ushers for the presentation were Jordan Anderson and Michael Lancaster. Rob Landry served as ball chairman. His fellow Bacchus officers include President Trey Bacon, Vice President Christian Walther, Secretary Ryan Matthews, Treasurer Sean Meeks and Sergeant-at-Arms Hunter Hall.
Stars & Stripes Soirée
On the night of Feb. 28th, Betty Schwartzberg was in the spotlight as the guest of honor at the Baton Rouge Symphony League’s Stars & Stripes Soirée held at Price LeBlanc Lexus. Betty, who was recognized for her many years of service to the league and symphony, will also be honored at the league’s Mad Hatter’s Luncheon Monday.
It was a lovely party honoring a lovely lady, and it raised quite a bit of money for the orchestra thanks to some generous folks and the skills of auctioneer Brian Fourroux and maestro Timothy Muffitt. Among the items up for bid were sapphire earrings donated by Robert Roth Jewelry, a fur coat donated by Raffaele’s, a catered event for 20 donated by Ruffino’s and a backyard barbecue for eight featuring Muffitt as grill master.
I enjoyed getting to visit with Muffitt and symphony CEO Cary Byrd as well as Lisa Broussard, Jenny Gray, Louann and Ronnie Bombet, Carol Fredrickson, Becky and Jack Harris, Diane and Johnny Tate, Debbie and Julio Dumas, Paris Yegge, Lois Saye, Marilyn Crake, Colleen Waguespack, Caress Threadgill, Debbie and Jeff Kleinpeter, Vanda Refermat, Beth Veazey and Bill Holman, Deborah Todd and, of course, Betty and husband Harvey.
Before partying with the symphony crowd, I popped in at the Aronson home for the Oscars watch party hosted by Laurie Aronson, Marcia Sanchez and Lauren Eglin. I simply had to see first hand what these ladies and their guests were dressed as this year. They didn’t disappoint and neither did their guests. Welcoming me were Aronson’s Audrey Hepburn, Sanchez’s Judy Garland and Eglin’s Grace Kelly. Taking home the coveted costume prizes were Mary Beth Armstrong, Susan Jenkins and Susan Upp as the Jurassic Park Rangers; Ainsley Lewis as Chewbacca; and Wendy Lipsey as “Revenant.” A special Lifetime Achievement Award went to Shannon McKernan, who came this year as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Keeping out the riff-raff and making sure only those with invitations got to walk the red carpet were “security guards” Chad Bell and Brian Smith.
On the Move
Pioneering researcher Nancy Monson, of Dallas, shared the exciting and cutting-edge results of her B-cell research with attendees of the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s On the Move luncheon Feb. 24 at LSU’s Lod Cook Alumni Center. She and her team have developed a DNA “signature” for MS that might be used to identify people with relapsing-remitting MS early in their disease course. Her research also led to MSPrecise, which can identify MS at first clinical presentation and reduce misdiagnosis rates. Needless to say, she received resounding applause at the conclusion of her talk by the several hundred luncheon goers.
Local society President Connie Smith presented this year’s awards. The Dow Chemical Co. received the Company on the Move Award for its participation in the MS 150 Bike Race. To date, Team Dow has raised more than $300,000 for MS.
This year’s Person on the Move Award went to Joey Crifasi, who through his LA Nabors bike team and other efforts has raised some $80,000 for the society.
WAFB’s Diane Deaton served as emcee for the event. Nancy Kritikos chaired the event. Members of the steering committee included Holly Arceneaux, Robin Baker, Frances Billeaud, Beth Bryant, Donna Hildebrandt, Tom Hildebrandt, Karen Lambert, Jennifer McGehee, Carolyn Moore, Jim Nichols, Dr. Kathy Pearce, Linda Vannoy and Smith.
School House Rock
Later that evening, I headed downtown to the Hilton Capitol Center for City Year’s annual School House Rock Gala. This year’s event celebrated community activist Dee Dee Reilly and Entergy Louisiana for their “investment in education and dedication to helping students and schools succeed.”
I think Dee Dee’s entire family was on hand for the celebration, which was also attended by a large contingent of friends and supporters of City Year. Spotted in the crowd were Kathy and Paul West, Gwen and Leo Hamilton, Adrienne Moore, Edie and Ralph Bender, Marc Goldstein, Susan and Marvin Borgmeyer, Sandra Holub, Whitney Vann and Robert Schneckenburger, Renée Chatelain and Kevin Lyle and Linda and Dennis Mitchell.
Joining City Year Baton Rouge Executive Director Ryann Denham Sanchez at the podium were Stephen Spaloss, regional vice president of City Year Inc.; Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year Inc.; Jennifer Eplett Reilly, co-founder and trustee of City Year Inc.; Kyle Wedberg, former director of new site development for City Year Inc.; Theodore Richards, founding AmericCorps member of City Year Louisiana, and John Spain, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
Tea Fashion & Fancies
Ever since I was a little girl I had a thing for tea parties, so I was excited to join the Friends of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum and the Friends of the LSU Rural Life Museum for their annual Tea, Fashion & Fancies party at the Rural Life Museum Feb. 20. Welcoming guests were Pam Vinci, director of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum, and David Floyd, director of the Rural Life Museum. Keeping things moving along was mistress of ceremonies Diane Deaton.
This year’s special guest was Rebecca Vizard, who shared the story of building her design business from tiny St. Joseph into now being recognized as the “Pillow Queen.” Vizard explained how she takes antique textiles and makes them into one-of-a-kind pillows, of which several were shown around by members of the textile friends. She also autographed copies of her book, “Once Upon a Pillow,” for fans.
While Vizard was giving her presentation, the younger set of tea party-goers got to create their own pillows inspired by Vizard’s technique. They then got to show them off to the Pillow Queen, who seemed genuinely impressed with their talent.
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.