“A Bohemian Night” billed the fundraiser given by the Friends of Beauregard-Keyes House Inc., who showed stalwart support of 400 (or so) attendees; 90 was the operative number when the Southeast Louisiana Council Boy Scouts of America hailed that anniversary during a luncheon at the Windsor Court Hotel that recognized James E. “Jimmy” Fitzmorris Jr. (and thanked First NBC and the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation as Eagle Supporters); and Youth Empowerment Project made a decade significant and social. The 10th anniversary celebration took place at Winingder Enterprises on Prytania Street with the tacit motto, “YEP, we can!”
Headlining the board of directors of the Beauregard-Keyes House are President Paul M. Haygood (who marveled at the turnout and the crowd’s enthusiasm despite drenching rain), Vice President Ann Masson, Secretary John Geiser III and Treasurer Cynthia L. LeBreton, who was joined by husband Robert. The board of 13 runs the alphabetical course of Allain C. Andry III to Gary R. Williams. R. Larry Schmidt is the executive director of the 188-year-old house, which is located at 1113 Chartres.
It’s also the former residence of author Frances Parkinson Keyes (“Dinner at Antoine’s”), whose name figured prominently. One of the choice items (among many) in the silent auction was a gift certificate for dinner at the landmark restaurant along with a copy of the recently republished book. Yet another instance was President Haygood’s presentation of the Frances Parkinson Keyes Literary Award (as part of the competition sponsored by the Keyes Foundation) to NOCCA student Alexandra Hendon for her short story, “Money Road.”
All the while, guests made tracks to the food offerings from top eateries (including the new Doris Metropolitan); savored the historic surroundings, which were “Bohemian” — enhanced by Thibodeaux Florists, as well as the colorful outdoor lighting; and danced around the century-old fountain under the tented courtyard. Deacon John and the Ivories set the night to music.
Headlining the party principals were event co-chairwomen Ruth Burke and Frances Hegenberger, who teamed with Tiffa Boutte, Lu Dalton, Deborah D. Harkins, Catherine Hill, Therese Kingman, and Leslie Perrin as event organizers. Special thanks tapped Perrier Party Rental and IberiaBank.
More in the “Bohemian” brigade included Walter “Chip” Flower with son-in-law Edmund Redd, Bonnie and John Boyd, Katherine and Tony Gelderman, Nancy and Stephen Hales, Minor Jahncke and Mia Scoggin (who’ve got an altar date in October), Ann and Dick Strub, Cameron and Pierce Adams, James “Jimmy” Farwell and Gay LeBreton, Bitsie and Grover Mouton, Julie McCollam, Sandy and Van Staub, Karen and Jim Ward, and Patrice and Bret Clesi with daughter Aylett and her date, Matt Mazzarell. Director Larry Schmidt and wife Sharon made rounds with daughter Taylor, a Louisiana Landmarks Society board member, and husband Martin Pospisil. In October, a little one will make Taylor and Martin parents, and Sharon and Larry grandparents. Smiles abounded.
Saluting Boy Scouts and ‘Fitz’
For a good part of the 90-year history of the Southeast Louisiana Council Boy Scouts of America, former Lt. Gov. Jimmy Fitzmorris has been involved as a past council president and current executive board vice president. A business and political icon for more than 60 years, he penned “Frankly, Fitz!” (with Kenneth D. Myers and with a foreword by Lindy Boggs) and is now president/CEO of Fitzmorris and Associates Inc., a business and political consulting firm.
Just after guests of the sold-out luncheon at the Windsor Court Hotel sat, Bill Metcalf extended the welcome as master of ceremonies. Additional program principals were Eagle Scout Derek Harjo for “What Scouting means to me,” the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Charles Rice Jr., Ashton Ryan Jr., Bruce and Lisa Fitzmorris Clement, and event chairwoman Patricia “Pat” Denechaud, owner/CEO of Crescent City Consultants. She explained how fitting it was to combine the celebration of the Scouts’ 90th birthday with a recognition of Fitzmorris, who was affectionately addressed as “Governor.” She in turn reaped praise: the luncheon raised $250,000 for Scouting.
When he spoke to the assembly, nonagenarian Jimmy Fitzmorris elicited a host of chuckles with his initial words, “Let me announce my candidacy for governor.” Without any visible notes, he continued, expressing his thanks to the above notables for their participation and for the money raised, his esteem for Scouting, and his appreciation for the robust attendance, saying, “I consider every one of you here a friend.”
The 10-year salute to Youth Empowerment Project came with a fine social structure — meaning a really good party! — to focus on the high-quality and meaningful services to at-risk youth of New Orleans. Features of the purposeful partying included food donated by the Link Restaurant Group; the Rosemary Collins signature cocktail, generously provided by the Royal Street Bar and Inn; auction items, including artwork by Elise Allen, Lionel Milton, Cleland Powell, and Susu Kearney; and, for the music making, the patron party’s John Parker Jazz Trio and, provided by the Blues Masters, the bash’s Big Al Carson and DJ Brice Nice.
The top names to note were event Co-Chairwomen Carol Asher (YEP president) and Kendall Winingder (board member) with husbands Harold Asher and Patrick Schindler; Vice President Amanda Hammack and spouse Donald Link; outgoing chairman retired Judge Calvin Johnson; patron Chairwoman Anne Redd with Edmund; the above Cleland Powell and Margaret Beer from lead sponsor IberiaBank; U.S. Attorney Kenneth and Florencia Greer Polite; the City Council’s Jason Williams, Susan Guidry and Latoya Cantrell; and YEP executive director Melissa Sawyer.
And Ann and Robert Boh, Elise and Ben Allen, Leslie and Leo Marsh, Luceia LeDoux, Jennifer Roberts, Sallee and Tom Benjamin, Deborah and John Peters, Stefanie and Mickey Allweiss and scores more, whose support added pep to YEP.
View all Nell Nolan photos here.