The Legion of Mars staged its second Carnival ball last evening in the Riverview Ballroom of Mardi Gras World.
The ballroom was transformed into the Temple of Mars, god of war in early Roman mythology. Emperor Augustus made Mars a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars in his new forum in ancient Rome. Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace and was a father of the Roman people.
The tableau was a re-enactment of the Battle of New Orleans in honor of the bicentennial of the one of the greatest military victories in U.S. history.
Gen. Andrew Jackson, “Old Hickory,” was in attendance, along with British Gen. Pakenham and the pirate Jean Lafitte.
The ball honored veterans who were killed in action and missing in action with an empty table set for the soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines who made the ultimate sacrifice. The ball also honored several World War II veterans and Purple Heart recipients in attendance.
Reigning as queen over the ball was Miss Brenna Michele Martell, daughter of retired Maj. and Mrs. Maximino Martell.
The maid in the court was Miss Alexis Marie Broadrick, daughter of Mr. Roy L. Broderick and Ms. Melissa Marie Umberger.
Ladies in waiting to their majesties were Misses Jessica Carter Schaumburg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Holden Schaumburg; Kathryn Sophia Hudson, daughter of Maj. and Mrs. Charles Albert Hudson; Gabrielle Marie Lecler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michel Lecler Jr.; Danielle Marie Gill, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Joseph Perschall Jr.; Araina Mar’yanne Brito, niece of retired Sgt. First Class and Mrs. DeWayne Henry Smith; Holly Kathryn Alvendia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Jesus Alvendia; Isabel Catherine Gibson, daughter of Mr. Ronald Clyde Oakley and Ms. Nicole Angelle Chaupette; and Jenna Lynn Chagnard, neice of Staff Sgt. and Mrs. James Joseph Balsamo.
Princesses in the court were Misses Caya Leslie Mumme, daughter of Lt. Cols. Jonathan David and Jennifer Mamula Mumme; Anna Claire DiCarlo, daughter of Col. and Mrs. Anthony Terry DiCarlo; Victoria Beth Volpe, daughter of Mr. Salvator S. and Maj. Regina Bourdais Volpe Jr.; Kayla Leigh Whitson, niece of retired Sgt. First Class and Mrs. Smith; and Emily Katherine Ginart Baumgarten, daughter of Capt. and Mrs. Jeffrey Allen Ginart.
Pages to their majesties were Masters Joshua Pierce Volpe, son of Mr. and Maj. Volpe Jr.; Jason William Krail, son of Mr. Brian Joseph and Maj. Katherine Landry Krail Jr.; Noah James Alvendia, son of Lt. Col. Roderick Alvendia and Ms. Jessica Kilgore Alvendia; Jackson Russell Dugan, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Randolph Dugan; and William Leonard Fontenot, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eric James Fontenot.
Formed by military veterans to honor those who have served and are serving the country, the members are active U.S. military, Reserve, National Guard, veterans, families and supporters. In addition to bringing the merriment of Carnival to the military community, the organization has an altruistic purpose: The legion donates proceeds of its events to the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront.
Guests were summoned with invitations depicting Mars. The artwork was continued on the evening’s program. The legion’s favor pin depicted the statue of Gen. Jackson in front of St. Louis Cathedral.
The honored World War II veterans were Messrs. Arthur Arceneaux, Lloyd Autin, Jack Emerson, Charles Holdeman, Joseph Hunt, Ernest Leblanc, Joseph Loyacano, George Mazzeno, John Reilman and Ms. Mary Leblanc.
The Honored Purple Heart recipients at the ball were Messrs. Dennis Bergeron, Carrol Comeaux, Mike Hatchett, Louis Hoerner, Donald Lassere, Jake Lauff, Michael McNaughton and Roy Ratleff.
Maj. Charles Albert Hudson and Ms. Jeanne Demarest Schaumburg served as general chairmen of the ball. Col. John Bettes Dunlap III served as chairman of the court committee, assisted by vice chairman Ms. Amy Collins Fontenot. The chairman of the reception committee was Lt. Col. Thomas Mark Turner. The chairman of the floor committee was Mr. Alan Brackett, assisted by retired Lt. Col. William Geary Mason.