• Outfitting Ado

“Fashion Show” and “Luncheon” so often fuse on an invitation for midday mingling. And so it was recently when the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary held its annual Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Audubon Tea Room with models sporting looks from the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center Family Thrift Store.

Mastering the ceremonies were SA Associate Area Commander Major Dawn Worthy and Auxiliary President Patricia McKinnon, whose husband, Todd, was also in attendance. Auxiliary members, celebrities, local pastors and their wives coursed the runway.

Applause duly tapped models Isabella Bezou, Jason Bezou, Stephanie Burks, Dr. David Crosby Sr., Janet Crosby, Simone Bruni Crouere, Betsie Gambel, Sandra Herman, Dana Miller, Mackenzie Miller, the Rev. Manley Miller, Julie Schexnaildre, Sandra Ussery, the Rev. Dennis Watson, Vicki Watson and Rachel Wulff. Adding altruism to modes, the outfits were auctioned off during and after the show.

Major Worthy, President McKinnon and Sandra Ussery figured on the Fashion Show Committee, along with Vanessa Luce, Duchess Brian, Therese Juneau, Charlotte Spooner and Margot Wilkinson.

An exciting moment occurred in the show with the appearance of John “Spud” McConnell, a “surprise” model, and his wife, Maureen “Mo” McConnell. “I’m wearing my Salvation Army outfit,” said Spud right before he walked the runway in front of his many fans.

The modeling followed the luncheon delights of green salad, tilapia and rosemary chicken, and crème caramel. Centering the tables were white hydrangeas, which were banded at the bottom of their clear glass vases with rhinestone ribbon. The flowers were courtesy of Grow With Us Florist and Iris Floral and Event Design.

Additional features of the luncheon were the piano music by Kristin Albarado; a vintage jewelry table managed by Andra Carriere; and the hot-off-the-presses Auxiliary cookbook, “Cookin’ in Ole N’Awlins.” An entrance prize was drawn as the event was concluding.

On a more serious note, Rebecca Johnson was a galvanizing witness on how the SA’s program, A Pathway of Hope, changed her life.

Among the many noted were SA Area Commander Major David Worthy, Auxiliary founding member Doris Clements with daughter Jean Davidson, Dot Piner, Margie and Janine Mielke, Magda Pelias, Mary McConnell and Beth Andrews, who chaired the later Auxiliary Tea Party & Silent Auction at the Lakeview Christian Center with Betty Gambino.

  • Gryphon Gala

Atonement Fellowship Center in Metairie was the location for the levity staged by Lutheran High School for its annual Gryphon Gala. Fittingly, it was titled “A Gryphon Homecoming” and honored alumni Lori Growden Murphy (with Rick), Bobby Warren (with Vicki) and Jodee Pulizzano. The class of 1993 honorees were Kim Landes Severa, Heather Wismar Cazabon, Erik Neumann and Jason Alberado, who were joined by spouses Davin, Juan, Jenna and Kelly.

Stepping into the limelight as the event chairwoman was Michelle Blackwell Clement and as the “co,” Nicole Blackwell Alleman. Husbands Barry and Mike accompanied them. Additionally, there were the honorary Chairwomen Carol Christen (school principal) and Ashley Filiberto Reso with her husband, Philip. Also, Linda Danner Willem, Jan Schindler Knecht, Kathy Bopp Koester and Steve, and Kristi Taglauer Nodurft and Doug. Kay Blackwell, attending with Warren, presides over the board of directors.

Guests first arrived for the Hospitality Hour and the opening of the 340-plus silent auction, which then segued into a sit-down dinner catered by Maple Street Café and chef Jameel Qutob, and a verbal auction. After the culinary delights of a mixed greens salad, gumbo, blackened chicken, penne pasta and bread pudding, folks were energized for the 34 special items up for bids. Gary Crane was the auctioneer and Bruce Growden, the assistant. Bruce wore another figurative hat as master of ceremonies. On a brace of hanging screens, a Power Point display showed a picture of the item as it was being auctioned and the bid.

Excitement galore was generated by the going, going, gone for — among others — two Todd White giclees, “Rouge” by artist Nicole Sebille, and Saenger tickets donated by Martin Insurance Company. Further fun funding took place during the Wine Pull. More than 170 bottles were available (valued between $10-$60) at $10 a chance.

In keeping with the homecoming theme, field goal posts and yearbooks served as decorations, along with a wooden façade of LHS. Musical entertainment came from Sherman Bernard and the “Ole Man River” Band. And it kept on rolling.

  • ‘Amour’ in the Springtime

French 75 as a libation, live music, works of art, patisseries, sweet and savory crepes and “beaucoup” more attractions beckoned for St. Andrew’s Spring Affair 2016. “Amour” bannered the on-premises bash to benefit St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.

Creating further ambiance was the Parisian gypsy-style quartet and French-inspired costumed performers, along with the decorations, all done with a Gallic flair, and consisting of table arrangements of little Eiffel Towers adorned with flowers, tall plume arrangements, and, above, beautiful chandeliers. Marie’s Fleur de Lis Catering pleased the collective palate, as did Sucre for the macaroon tree, and Peter Merz and David Brinks for the drinks. Costumed performers served champagne.

The Boutique was back by popular demand and Jax Frey did a commemorative poster. Then there were the four boards of silent auctions, which had as a top item a seven-day vacation in a home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The bidding ended in a tie and house owners Dr. Jason and Michelle Wuttke generously honored both bids. Smiling as the pair of purchasers (at $1,000 each couple) were Andrea and Tripp Morris and Dino and Ragan Gankendorff.

School parent Juan Kincaid was the live auction’s master of ceremonies, garnering thrills for the eight items, chief of which was the private Carne Asado Party donated by Jose and Alea Cot and Beth and Gabriel Nazar, and “won” by Emily Carver.

Headliners included event Co-Chairwomen Kellie Mathas and Kimberly Finney with husband Alex Modinger, St. Andrew’s Parent’s Club president. Although she was not present, Claudette Bienvenu was recognized as chairwoman of volunteers.

Others were head of school Mason Lecky with Megan, the Rev. Jim Morrison of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, school board Chairwoman Jane Miller with David, Chantelle and Steve Pierre, Trey Smith and Meredith Stanfill-Smith, Lisa and Dwight Witter, Parent’s Club President-Elect Lori and Jerome Jupiter, Sarah and Robert Edgecombe, Dr. Eileen “Summer” Black, Gretchen and Craig Ledet, Carolyn and Lamar Teaford, Emily and Mark Dodart and Naydja Caillier.

  • Around and About

Guests gathered in the Orpheum Theater at the invitation of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, which, for the third year celebrated the achievements of architects, contractors and developers for outstanding projects completed in the city in the last year: 225 Baronne Mixed Use, Corpus Christi-Epiphany Community Resource Center, 566 Emerald, Giani Building, 825 Girod St., The Howard, 301 Magazine, the Orpheum, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Rectory of St. John the Baptist Church, 2200 Royal St., The Saint Anna, St. Roch Market and The Wiltz Gym. An award for Special Achievement recognized the work of Tom Winingder on three properties.

Noted enjoying wine and appetizers from Bella Luna Catering were Society board President Stephen Chauvin with Cindy, Gene Cizek, David Campbell, Sandra Stokes, Rick Fifield, Elizabeth Landis, Patty Gay and George Schmidt, Meg Lousteau, Peter Trapolin, Sally Reeves, Jim and Jenny Logan, Gary Meadows, Steve Dumez, and Legiers three in Bill, Billy and Melissa. Farewells went to Society executive director Walter W. Gallas, who’s moving to work with the City of Baltimore.