Typically, my party hopping is confined to the Greater Baton Rouge area but last weekend I partied in Lafayette. The icing on this cake was that I finally got to meet my Acadiana Advocate counterpart, Patricia Gannon, after several years of emailing back and forth. We had so much fun we might just have to make this an annual event!
George Washington Ball
Three young women from Baton Rouge were among the seven debutantes and six compatriots presented March 5 at the 57th George Washington Ball, hosted by Galvez Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Attakapas Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette. Serving as emcee for the presentation was Trent Angers. Katherine Hill served as this year’s ball chairwoman, with F. Stan Hardee Jr. serving as ball captain.
The debs included: Cameron Claire Cooke, daughter of Katy and Trey Almond, sponsored by Van L . Auld, of Lafayette, a member of Attakapas Chapter SAR; and cousins Lillian Ann Johnson, daughter of Vickie and Trey Johnson, and Madeleine Rae LeBlanc, daughter of Aimée and George LeBlanc, who were sponsored by their grandmother, Sue Ann Kleinpeter Johnson, and aunt, Melissa DeGeneres.
‘Exquisite Black Pearls’
A little closer to home, the Mu Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho celebrated its “Exquisite Black Pearls” at its 20th debutante cotillion at Stage One. Serving as emcees for the March 5 event were cotillion Co-chairwoman Sharon Weatherspoon and Brandon Kelly. Guests were welcomed by Vice President Elouise Colbert.
The evening opened with the presentation of past debutante queens Dr. LaTonya Rounds (1993), Tara Segars Hawkins (2001), Byrolyn Belvitt (2002), Tiffany Minor (2003), Courtni Patterson Rainey (2006), Dorian Williams (2007), Riantae Freeman (2008) and Ronnice Washington (2012).
They were followed by 2014-2015 First Princess Morgan Dee Georgetown, who made her final promenade in lieu of 2014 -2015 Cotillion Queen Albrittany A’daria Chambers, who was unable to attend. Then came the cotillion hostesses and 2016 junior debutantes Larissa Alexander, Alexis Curtis and LáQuisha London. Next to enter the ballroom were the parents and escorts of the debutantes, who performed the traditional Cotillion Grand March to the accompaniment of the Leroy Pero Ensemble.
Introduced was this year’s Cotillion Queen T y’Quieria LáShon Lodge, daughter of Tonya I. Lands and Frank Lodge Jr. She was presented by her grandfather, Samuel Lands Jr., and escorted by Earnest James. Lodge also received a scholarship from cotillion Co-chairwoman Deirdre Harris Stepter to study nursing at Dillard University.
This year’s First Princess was Keyana Regina Browhow, daughter of Annette J. Jacob, and Reginald and Stacy Browhow . She was presented by her father and escorted by her brother, DéLatten Browhow. Browhow also received a scholarship from Stepter to study engineering at Southern University.
Additionally, the debs received special commendations from state Rep. Barbara West Carpenter and Mayor Kip Holden. Sorority President Brenda H. Smith recognized, among others, the past queens and former debutantes.
Assisting Stepter and Weatherspoon with the event were committee members Colbert, Heather Cooper, Deborah Daniels, Porscha Gailes, Darcil Garibaldi, Rochelle Howard, Jacqueline Hunt, Sylvia Smith and LaMyra Thomas-Coleman. Also lending a hand were Southeastern Louisiana University Pi Iota chapter members Cydney Menina and Sydney Jones.
‘Swing into Spring’
My party hopping for March 4 began with Campus Club, which was holding its annual scholarship luncheon and style show at the Baton Rouge Country Club. “Swing into Spring” was the theme for the event, chaired by Chris Enright and Ann Guedry. Welcoming everyone were Co-presidents Edith Babin and Jo Schneider.
Looking sassy in their spring ensembles from Chico’s were models Betty Bagent, Mary Bell, Carmen Board, Ju lie Boudreaux, Marilyn Braymer, Ellen Murphy Graham, Brenda Hutchinson, June Klimash, Cynthia Prestholdt, Lynn Thune and Margie Whitehead.
I didn’t hang out too long at the Campus Club luncheon because I had to get to Sullivan’s Steakhouse for the Dancing for Big Buddy “Smack Talk Luncheon,” hosted by the gracious Leo Verde. This is when all of the Star Dancers get a bit cocky and start bragging on how much money they’re going to raise, how great their dance is and how they’ll walk away with the night’s big prize. Adding their 2-cents worth were the dance professionals and former dancers Reid Bateman, Layne McDaniel and Rock Rockenbaugh.
Talking the most smack were Dixon McMakin, Jordan Piazza and Lillette Delahaye. They are among the 15 Star Dancers participating in the 10th anniversary celebration, which takes place April 23 at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The rest of the gang includes Dr. Jennifer Greeson, Josh Howard, Natalie LaBorde, Wendy Lipsey, Chris Price, Kathy Victorian, Justin Vincent, Corey Webster and, returning alumni Melvin Hardnett, Sandra Holub, Wayne Talbot and yours truly.
‘Art in Louisiana’
Friday wrapped up at the LSU Museum of Art’s unveiling of the new installation of fabulous items from its permanent collection. Most of the collection has been in storage, so it was a real treat to be able to see some of more unique items. If you’re a fan of silver, you must put a visit to the museum on your to-do list. It has one of the most extensive collections of New Orleans-made silver in existence, as well as an extensive collection of Newcomb Pottery.
Special guests for “Art in Louisiana: Views into the Collection” included Congressman Garret Graves, Carole and Charlie Lamar, Virginia and John Noland, Cary Saurage, Mary Terrell Joseph, Cathy Coates and Brian Hales, Linda and Bob Bowsher, Claire and Rich Major, George Clark and Joe Possa and Kenny Chadwick-Possa. The Tyler & Possa law firm sponsored music for dancing by Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas.
Red Carpet Gala
I was at the Shaw Center for the Arts on March 3, too. This time for the Manship Theatre’s Red Carpet Gala prior to the performance by Randy Newman. It was a quick stop, as it was one of two stops that night but I did manage visits with Executive Director Melanie Couvillion, Jill and Layne McDaniel, Suzanne and Gray Sexton, Diane Tate, Elise Kaufman, Meredith and Jake Manship and David Manship and Alice Lamar.
Chef Show Off
The Capital Atrium was humming by the time I arrived for the 21st annual Chef Show Off benefiting the Iris Domestic Violence Center. I enjoyed visiting with Karen and Bill Profita, Phillip Cancilleri, Chandan Sharma, Mayor Kip Holden, Sylvia Duke, Sharon Pol, Janice Guitreau, Cathy Sherburn, Miriam Juban, Brian Fourr oux, Steve Wagner, Frances Bennett and judges Pam Baker, Charlene Charlet-Day and Toni Higginbotham.
This year’s event was chaired by Heather Folks-Givens with Jeannette Eisworth serving as chef chairwoman. Committee members included Duke, Executive Director Lynn Medley-Long, Vivian Anderson, Alice Burk, Me lanie Fields, Tiffany St. Pierre, Jude Melville, Audrey Wascome, Sare Crossley-Fields, Al Banker, Tokesha Collins, Danna LeBlanc, Thomas Pittenger, LeQueda Richs and Michelle Ghettie.
Serving up the delicious cuisine were Beausoleil; Baton Rouge Community College Culinary Arts; Justin Braud; Caliente Mexican Craving; Capital Area Technical College; Capital City Produce; Chef KD Louisiana Legends; City Pork; Cookies by Gail; Courtland’s Catering; Don’s Seafood - Baton Rouge and Gonzales; Jess Nawling Catering; Juban’s; Houmas House; Kristenwood Reception Hall; Louisiana Culinary Institute; Louisiana Egg Commission; Mestizo Restaurant; Oak Lodge Reception; Outback Steakhouse; Papa Murphy’s Pizza; Sharing Shores; Southside Gardens; The Velvet Cactus and Blend Wine Bar.
Beverages were compliments of Coca-Cola of Baton Rouge and Community Coffee .
The week started off with a group of die-hard supporters of LSU gymnastics called the Tiger Spotters. Beth and Steve Tope opened their home March 3 for a get-together for members and potential members to get to know each other a little better as well as head coach D-D Breaux and her staff. The Tope s cooked a scrumptious Italian-themed dinner for everyone and D-D gave a rousing speech. She and everyone else were on a high following LSU’s big win over Florida and hoping they could pull out another one over Alabama. As an Auburn grad, I promised to be the biggest LSU fan in town for that meet and, while I can’t take all the credit, I hope my cheers helped the team as it beat Bama. Congrats, girls!
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