Let’s Hear It for 100!

The anniversary booklet prepared by Jacquelyn “Jackie” Lothschuetz started with the felicitous announcement: “The Fine Arts Club has arrived at a remarkable milestone. It is now celebrating the 100th year of its charter and 107 years of its founding.” Needless to say, a celebration was necessitated and the handsome St. Charles Avenue home of Bill Coe was opened for the occasion.

Under the direction of Federico’s Family Florist, dozens of white peonies were placed in the foyer and profusions of red roses embellished the dining room. Past club presidents wore orchid corsages. They also chatted about the FA charter that was signed by 11 women and six men, as well as the name of the first president, Mrs. Herman B. Gessner. She held office from 1916-1918, and then again from 1923-24.

Currently, the gavel is wielded by Sonda Stacey, whose in-attendance presidential forebears were Amie Harllee Seba (event chairwoman), Arthemise Gros, Tousa Davis, Jacquelyn Lothschuetz, Hattie Fraser, Rosemarie Kaskell and Nelda Sibley. Joining them were spouses Ted Stacey, Richard Seba, and Riley Sibley, as well as Kerrin Brennan and Nanette Davis, respective daughters of Arthemise and Tousa.

Margaret Ann Lindsey, the longest member of the organization and the daughter of a late member, made rounds with husband Dr. Edward. Exchanging club and personal news were Ann Humphreys, Adrienne Miester, Leda Sobon with Leon Perret, Dottie Rivenbark, Alice Martin, Joan Lennox, Barbara Bailey, Peggy Simmons with David, Bunny Hinckley, Lenel Romero, and Winnie Delery with daughter Anne Comarda.

Several asked Arthemise about her attendance at the high school graduation of granddaughter Kaitlyn Rochell Renegar in Marianna, Florida. “We were all so proud of her,” commented Arthemise about the class salutatorian, who will matriculate at Florida State University.

Meanwhile, guests enjoyed music by pianist Joe Krown, an extensive food spread and a fabulous confection. Atop the large blue and white cake was “Congratulations Fine Arts Club -100 Years.”

21st Anniversary Ado

With “Creative Graces” as the theme for the annual Women of Substance Luncheon, Bridge House and Grace House hailed a threesome. Smiling as the 2016 honorees were Tiffany Adler, Adler’s; Lauren LeBlanc, Fleurty Girl; and Erika Olinger, Cole Pratt Gallery. They were cast as “role models for the many women served by the Grace House substance abuse treatment program, who are striving to become sober and self-sufficient.” Expertise in jewelry, apparel and art were associated, in turn, with Tiffany, Lauren and Erika, as well as entrepreneurial industry. Kudos all around!

As luncheon-goers arrived at the Audubon Tea Room for the 2016 event with Peoples Health as Presenting Sponsor for the third year in a row, their eyes turned to the floral statements. Hydrangea centerpieces bedecked each table in a white and green colorful palette. Thanks for the flowers went to Villere’s Florist, Mitch’s Flowers, and the above Federico’s Family Florist. From there, the overall gaze turned to the 150-plus items in the silent auction, which included signature suits from Jos. A. Bank, dinner with whiskey and wine pairings for six at Kenton’s, and a custom-made Sylvia hanging pot rack from Julie Neil Designs.

After the opening prayer by Ronnie Briggs and Mike Morris’ singing of “Amazing Grace,” luncheon service began. A Romaine salad, rosemary chicken, and white chocolate bread pudding composed the menu. Meanwhile, attendees were buying raffle tickets for the choice raffle items: a Comfort Cruiser bike donated by The Bicycle Connection and a John James Audubon “colour plate.”

Mark Romig and Bryan Batt (both received special thanks, as did Mike Morris and Richard Vallon) stepped forward as masters of ceremonies and auctioneers for such coveted items as a Paul Rogers 2016 Jazz & Heritage poster, Navarre Beach Package, and a movie screening for 50 at The Theatres at Canal Place.

Additionally, there were the 2016 award recipients: Ronnie Briggs, the Richard “Buzzy” Gaiennie Award, and Barbara Gaiennie and Sandi Newman, respective Volunteer and Alumna of the Year awardees.

Notables included WoS auction Chairwomen Andree Batt and Walton Goldring, respectively with husbands Jay and Jeff; Tom Cianfichi with Bryan Batt; and with Tiffany and Lauren, Jep Epstein and Ryan Haydel.

Also, Macon Moore of Peoples Health, Anne Raymond (the James P. Raymond Jr. Foundation), Coleman Adler, Bill Goldring, Denise Thornton, Cindy and Monica Jensen, Katie Jensen Peralla, and Rachel Jones. From the BH/GH staff came CEO Else Pedersen, Kevin Gardere, Stephanie Clary, and Michelle Gaiennie with Ken Hamrick. "This is a very happy and exciting time for us," said Michelle, who has an altar date in January 2017 at St. Patrick's Church with Ken. 

Ninety-Plus Notables

Once a year, the Academy of New Orleans Trial Lawyers (ANOTL) has a lake date. During the rest of the time, the organization of civil trial lawyers from the Greater New Orleans area meets once a month with members of the local judiciary and legal community “to dine and discuss the current topics and trends of the civil trial practice and procedure.”

Most recently, a wonderful turnout of more than 90 judges, lawyers and their guests assembled at Landry’s Seafood House for the annual Seafood Party and Crawfish Boil to honor the local, state and federal judiciary. The ANOTL is directed by Neil Nazareth, Palmer Lambert, Stephen Kreller and Jason Landry. Cayce C. Peterson (at the Lambert firm) chairs the ANOTL social aspect, as well as prospective membership for interested lawyers.

While enjoying broiled crawfish, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, cold beer and wine, guests mingled, imbibing the beautiful scene of a Lake Pontchartrain sunset on the outside deck of the restaurant. Service, according to a number of attendees, was “excellent.”

Among those in attendance, all answering to Judge, were Paul A. Bonin, Paula A. Brown, Christopher J. Bruno, Harry E. Cantrell, Desiree M. Charbonnet, Tiffany G. Chase, Nakisha Ervin-Knott, Piper D. Griffin, Veronica E. Henry, Jefferson D. Hughes III, Sandra Cabrina Jenkins, Joseph B. Landry, John J. “Johnny” Lee Jr., Monique G. Morial, Robin D. Pittman, Angelique A. Reed, Kern A. Reese, Mark Shea, Max N. Tobias, Regina H. Woods, Franz L. Zibilich, and Roy M. Cascio.

As lagniappe, along with a good time spent with the judges in a relaxed atmosphere, there was the weekly Southern Yacht Club regatta. It was in full force and provided yet another sight at the “Seafood” site.