Saint Elizabeth’s Guild made luncheon, laurels and looks their focus on a recent Thursday at the New Orleans Marriott; the 11th annual Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Gala packed the Audubon Tea Room for a Sunday soiree; and the Vieux Carre Commission Foundation presented “Fall Fete” at Muriel’s Jackson Square on a Monday evening. Individual tickets for the foundation fundraiser cost $75, but for those people born in or before 1936 — the same year an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution created the regulatory body to protect and preserve the Vieux Carre — the cost was $50. Age has its privilege$.
n Guild Goodness
Saint Elizabeth’s Guild started the luncheon to honor Volunteer Activists in 1971, accompanying those tributes with the excitement of a fashion show and other features. For the 2014 gathering, the doors opened at 10:30 a.m. During the course of the next several hours, attendees enjoyed browsing the silent auction, bought tickets for the raffles, and crossed their fingers for the Parade of Prizes and Door Prizes.
They also made rounds to the various tables, where the Volunteer Activists of 2014 were seated, as well as to those occupied by the Hall of Fame Activists of this year.
Take a bow, 2014 Volunteer Activists Ronnie Briggs, Lana Duke, Ana M. Eller, Steve Gleason, Michael Joseph Maenza Sr., Mary Ellen Miller, Kathy Evans Mitchell, Louie Roussel III, PK Scheerle and Faye Maxwell Young. Local luminaries James E. “Jimmy” Fitzmorris Jr. and Phyllis M. Taylor were tapped for the Hall of Fame. All were given a hearty ovation.
Appetites were sated, thanks to the luncheon fare, and the eyes had it for the looks produced in the Dillard’s Fashion Show. A few of the city’s who’s who modeled as celebrities.
Heading all the organizational angles were the Saint Elizabeth Guild 2014 Luncheon Committee, which was led off by President Diann Sanborn, luncheon Chairwoman Maria Huete, luncheon Co-Chairwoman Julie Vanderbrook and honorary Chairwoman Kathy Mitchell.
Along with the above luncheon, laurels and looks, there was yet another “l.” The event’s largesse was directed to three programs of Catholic Charities: Independent Living Skills program, Padua Pediatrics and St. John the Baptist Community Center.
n Seelos Celebration
Once again, Audubon Tea Room capacity was reached at the 11th annual Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Gala. Located on Josephine Street, the National Shrine of Blessed Francis Seelos bears the name and remains of the German-American Catholic priest and Redemptorist missionary, who died in New Orleans in 1867 of yellow fever, the disease he contracted from caring for its victims. Beatified by the church in 2000, Father Seelos “is one step away from sainthood.”
Anne Batt, Diana Maher, Gloria Bacque and Kay Kenney were the event coordinators for the gala that thanked assistant coordinator Jane Fountain, Pete and Beverly Fountain, Kevin and Jane Fountain and the Benny and Darah Harrell families for their support. Taking turns as masters of ceremonies were Margaret Orr, chief meteorologist WDSU News Channel 6, and the Rev. Byron Miller, C.Ss.R, Seelos Shrine director.
The above sisters-in-law Anne Batt and Diana Maher, who have helped chair the event each year since its inception, were the 2014 inductees into The Order of Seelos Witness, the highest order bestowed by the shrine.
Additional Seelos socializers included — and some came in from away — Dr. Anna Maria Pou and sister and brother-in-law Linda and Joseph Pappalardo, Dr. Alfredo and Helene Lopez, Dr. Lee Roy and Kathleen Morgan, Curtis and Maria Pellerin with son and daughter-in-law Jean-Marc and Melissa, Dr. Gary Carroll, Anne Gauthier and daughter Celeste, Vic and Joy Weston, sisters Joan Benge and Debbie Rebstock, Judge Kurt and Ann Engelhardt and his mom Adrianne, and Pam and retired Judge Dennis Waldron, who was noted working one of the booths at the recent Holy Name of Jesus Gator Fest 2014, “Gators Travel the Globe.” Held on the school’s grounds, it was chaired by Jennifer Teague and Stephanie Petrus and included Ed Wallace, Jeff Teague, Erin Kavanagh, Amy Edmonds, Jamie Christovich, Julie Boyd, and Kristin Donofrio as Fest committee members. “The band is really good,” commented Celeste Flower, attending with husband Curtis and their three children. MoJeaux revved up the musical decibels and gave Gators a groove. Lots of people flocked near the stage to boogie with little first-grader, shades-sporting Winston Blewster dancing non-stop to the beat of the band.
Back to the Seelos Center’s beat! Others present included Dr. Robert and Kay Kenney, Dr. David and Alma Weilbaecher, Mario and Pam Lovisa, Donna Webb and Tim Ziifle with his mom Chris, Dr. Joseph and Mary Biundo, Kenneth and Kate Woods, and Joseph and Paula Melancon. Northwind Energy Partners, LLC of Houston (and Marshall Smith), Gloria and David Bacque (Superior Operating Service, LLC, Baton Rouge), the above Pellerins, and Randy and Roslyn Eckstein were lead sponsors.
Those that give, get. Among the silent and live auction items was a stay at a condo in Mexico offered by Houstonians Denis and Judy Powers. The highest bidders were the above Marshall Smith and spouse Karen.
Kevin Tran of CHL Linens did the décor, Federico’s Florist created the table arrangements, and the menu from the Tea Room included tomato basil bisque, rosemary chicken paired with a crab cake, and crème caramel. The wine came compliments of Zuppardo’s Super Market, City Wholesale Liquor Co., and Bill Bledsoe, of Fort Worth, Texas.
One partygoer felt especially touched by Lady Luck. The Rev. Maurice Nutt, director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University, won the key to the Treasure Chest Raffle containing more than $1,500 in prizes.
n Vieux Carre Vitality
Henry and Lorie Gordon topped the list of sponsors for the Fall Fete of the Vieux Carre Commission Foundation, which had as subsequent names, Gregory Holt and Lucy Burnett, Bill Miller and Linda Malin, Angelo Farrell/Bourbon Heat, IberiaBank, Jeanne Michelle Broom, French Quarter Realty, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Harry and Kimberly Rosenberg, and board President Tee and John Zimmerman. The foundation, a nonprofit corporation, “fosters the charge of the Vieux Carre Commission to preserve and protect the Vieux Carre.”
Dressy casual attire was the mode and Muriel’s Jackson Square the hosting venue.
More notables came from the board of directors, which in addition to Tee, includes the above Kimberly Rosenberg, F. Rick Blount, Amy Bowman, David A. Dalia, Darryl Berger, Betty H. Norris, Lary P. Hesdorffer, Stewart Farnet, and Bitsie Werlein Mouton. Rachel Robinson answers to executive director.