It’s Fall, Y’all!
Sparks a Lot!
The Board of Trustees of the Greater New Orleans Foundation invited supporters and friends to the foundation’s biennial meeting and presentation of the Spark Plug Award to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Andy Kopplin, GNOF president and CEO, welcomed the assembly; students Asia Magee and Kaja Rhea spoke; and board Chairman Christian T. “Christy” Brown presented the Spark Plug Award to LaJune Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Beginning in 1942 and increasingly after Hurricane Katrina, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has invested over $100 million in children and families in the Greater New Orleans region.” Today, the KF is investing in approximately 75 organizations in the area.
Additional features of the event that unfolded outside in the GNOF Center for Philanthropy were music by the Ben Franklin High School Orchestra and by the Cohen College Prep Marching Band and plentiful (and delicious) hors d’oeuvres by Liberty’s Kitchen, a Kellogg grantee. Giant colorful banners of children’s faces adorned the terrace area.
Within the high-profile pack of 350 were Kia Brown with Christy, board Vice Chairwoman Leann O. Moses, Treasurer Bobby Bories with Bridget, Alex Gershanik, Cathy Isaacson, King and Anne Milling, Betsy Nalty, Vera Triplett, Steve Usdin, Robert E. Young, Madeline West, Luis and Regina Zervigon, Susan Couvillon, Sarah Young, Alan Philipson, Ellis Marsalis, John Pope, and former board chairmen Diana Lewis, Ludovico Feoli, Anthony Recasner and Bobby McIntyre, who attended with wife Pat and their son, William. Representing grantee organizations were many, including Jim Kelly, Lloyd Dennis, the Rev. Fred Kammer, SJ, Claudia Barker, Aaron Clark Rizzio, Melanie Bronfin, Jerome Jupiter, Julia Bland, and Christy Slater and Deirdre Johnson Burel, who work for the KF in its New Orleans office, located in the GNOF Philanthropy Center.
In keeping with the Spark Plug theme, Dancing Grounds students handed out boxes of sparklers to departing guests.
Taste of the Tournament (the former Golf Ball) held its gala and auction, which was presented by Fore!Kids Foundation, at Club XLIV @ Champions Square next to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Damien Serauskas, who answers to Captain, stepped forward as master of ceremonies and Louisiana Spice set the night to music. The golf-theme centerpieces were Zurich Classic pin flags accompanied by flowers from Villere Florist. Bidding created a real buzz (and generated bucks) for choice items. Elsewhere, Lady Luck tapped New Yorker Louis Nunez, the winner of the Rolex Raffle provided by Adler’s. More excitement was created by the spectacular Wine Raffle with a drawing at 10:30 p.m.
Headliners in the crowd of 300 were foundation President and CEO Steve Worthy with Diana, event Co-Chairwomen Jeanne Gallo and Melissa Manthey with husbands David (a former board chairman) and Tristan, current board Chairman David Perlis, 2018 Zurich Classic tournament Chairman Lloyd Durand with Gina, Mike and Mary Lynn Garin, Doug and Monica Wertz, Edie Boettner and Shelley Pigeon, Mike and Lori Rodrigue, J.T. Hannan, Chris and Jill Kenyon, Greg and Sarah Feirn, Fletcher and Megan Mackel, Sharif Ishaq, Juliana Mazza, Mark Romig, Rocky Weigand, and Fred and Soheila Holley. They grazed on the extensive offerings set up by eight restaurants.
Guests also noted the Zurich Classic tournament’s dates of April 23-28, 2018. “Helping Kids through Golf” is a mission and “passion” of Fore!Kids Foundation, which, since 1958, has distributed more than $34 million for local children’s charities.
Held at the Audubon Tea Room, the Juliette Gordon Low Leadership Luncheon of Girl Scouts Louisiana East was launched with words of welcome by U.S. Marshal Genny May, Eastern District of Louisiana, 2013 GSLE Woman of Distinction. Deputy Katy Cure, the mistress of ceremonies, was next on the program. She is a commander, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol Division, and FOREVER a Girl Scout Alumna. The Flag Ceremony was by Girl Scout Cadette Troop 40317, St. Edward the Confessor School, and the invocation by the Rev. M.C. Zeno, pastor of St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church in Marrero.
Guests sat at white-clothed tables topped with G.I.R.L. centerpieces to enjoy a meal of medallion of glazed pork, and white chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate cup.
Emcee Cure then presented the awards to the 2017 honorees: Dr. Cynthia Thomas, Outstanding Woman; Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Outstanding Man; Albemarle Foundation (and Sandra Holub), Outstanding Business/Foundation; Girls in STEM at Tulane – GiST (and Drs. Donata Henry and Michelle Sanchez), Outstanding Business/Educators; and Margie Loud Zeno, the recipient of the Minnie Finley Award. Mary Jane Becker, 2012 GSLE Woman of Distinction and 2003 Finley awardee, made a request for support.
Among more top names to note were GSLE CEO Jackie Alexander, Julie LeBlanc, Robyn Merrick, Judge Adrian Adams, Lyndia Jones, Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant, Elaine Garvey, Jackie Daniels, Patrick North and Rachel Van Voorhees (Mrs. Arnold Kirschman). The program’s listing of officers includes board Chairwoman Joan Mollohan.
A special surprise capped the activity. The above Katy Cure bounded in the Tea Room dressed as Wonder Woman. All applauded her as she gave a speech about how Girl Scouts are the “epitome of wonder.”
The word beckons and so it did when Parkway Partners presented “Feast 2017” at midday on a recent Sunday at the New Orleans Board of Trade. Attractions included a Pigeon-catered buffet and open bar; the presentation of the Green Spirit Award to Diane Nunez Brown for her countless “pro bono” hours of partnering for Parkway Partners’ Greenkeepers and her 34 years as a landscape architect and planner; two auction boards (with Norma E. Grace and Flo Schornstein among top bidders); and a Plinko Game. Patron party guests were greeted with the southing sounds of a bass and guitar duet. The Dixieland jazz quartet, the Messy Cookers, provided scintillating sounds at the main event.
Brightly colored tablecloths and white hydrangea bouquets immediately caught the eye as guests arrived in the courtyard of the Board of Trade. Inside, the table settings were adorned with windowed cardboard boxes (wrapped in fuchsia, orange and lime-colored organza ribbons), which contained signature Parkway Partners stemless wine glasses. Robert’s Fresh Market provided the delicious oversize petits fours.
Mastheaders included Patty Riddlebarger of Entergy, the Presenting Sponsor; the above Flo, Parkway Partners founder, and Richard Schornstein; board President Jim Lestelle and John Stephens; executive director Lanette M. Dumas; and Ann McDonald, director of the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways. And, Kristi Trail, Mary Judice Finney, Beverly Katz, Stanley and Carol Marx, Cathy MacRae, Cyndi Nguyen, and Beth Terry. Dozens more, as well, who support Parkways Partners, “deeply rooted in New Orleans since 1982.”