“The 2018 Installation of 24th JDC Chief Judge and President and Officers of the Jefferson Bar Association” headed the printed program for the recent event that took place in the Japanese Room of Antoine’s Restaurant. Partial sponsorship came from the Louisiana State Bar Association. From the Jefferson Bar Association 2018 Executive Board came President Judith V. Windhorst, President-elect Joel A. Levy, Vice President Jason A. Cavignac, Secretary Letita Parker-Davis, Treasurer Frederick L. Bunol, Representatives at Large Blair C. Constant and Shayna Beveers Morvant, and immediate past President David L. Colvin, who called the program to order. Installed, too, were the 2018 board of the Young Lawyers Division: Chairwoman Rachel Silvers, Vice Chairwoman Danielle Mariche, Secretary/Treasurer Lauren Bridges, and directors Renee Swanson, Rachel Schmidt, Dianna Duffy Willem, Ryan Higgins, and Linda Matta.
This year, the JBA was also honored to host the installation of Glenn B. Ansardi as the 2018-19 Chief Judge of the 24th Judicial District Court. Judge Steve Windhorst of the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal and Judges Lee Faulkner and June Berry Darensburg of the Louisiana 24th Judicial District Court administered the oaths of office to the JBA Board, the JBA YLD Board, and Chief Judge Ansardi, respectively. Joining Chief Judge Ansardi were spouse Marion Lynn Ansardi, daughters Jennifer Ansardi and Elizabeth Ansardi Wheeler (with husband Samuel), and grandchildren Remy and Bennett Wheeler.
Newly tapped President Judith Windhorst, who answers to senior partner at Jones Walker LLP New Orleans office, is a 1989 graduate of Harvard Law School. From her family came husband Harry L.” Chip” Cahill III; sons Harry L. Cahill IV and Luke J. Cahill; daughter Anna Marie Cahill; brother Judge Steve Windhorst; and cousin Dr. Michelle Boze Toomey. Also, John F. Young Jr., John Litchfield, Judge Ellen Kovach, Judge Steve and Doni Enright, Brad and Margaret Escousse, Judge Steve and Maureen Grefer, Clancy DuBos, Etienne Balart, Lauren Mastio, Graham Ryan, and Stan Millan.
For their dedicated service to the JBA and the legal community, the JBA honored — all outgoing — David Colvin, 24th JDC Chief Judge Cornelius E. Regan, and JBA YLD Chairwoman Betty Maury.
Dozens more were in attendance, enjoying Antoine’s cuisine and professional camaraderie as they congratulated the evening’s outgoing honorees and those newly installed. As for a musical mention, the Cathy Anderson string trio added just the right noteworthiness.
To benefit “Free Student Night at the Opera,” the Big Wig Ball amassed merrymakers at the historic Opera Guild Home for “HAIRajuku.” The theme nodded to the Harajuku fashion district of Tokyo, Japan, and invited guests to be inspired by the bright colors and playful looks of the Tokyo street and Pop Art scenes. The bash’s decorations followed suit. Teamed as sponsors were Cree and Bryan Jourdain, Lily and Brian Monk, Debby Hirsch Wood, Midori Makeup Artistry (Midori Tajiri-Byrd), Elektra Cosmetics, John Wachter, The Web Boutique, and Embodyment Salon. Kawaii Nola donated 10 wigs. DJ Chris Stylez and The Sol Booth provided, respectively, the music making and the photo booth.
Additional features of the heady fun were the drag performance by Mistie Bonet of Mother Tucker’s Drag Queens, who was introduced by Mother Tucker; the on-site jewelry pull from Porter Lyons Jewelry; the raffles; bubbly from Martin Wine Cellar; a silent auction (with items from a number of cultural organizations); a Glitter Bar and a Lash Bar; and sweet treats from Pralines by Jean, Poof Cotton Candy, Praline Perfection, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Ralph Brennan Catering & Events.
Relishing the wiggy gusto were Big Wig Ball Chairwoman Midori Tajiri-Byrd, New Orleans Opera Association General and Artistic Director Robert Lyall, executive director Todd Simmons and spouse Kathleen Halm Simmons, Baty Landis, Mike Kilgore, Peter Brigandi, Tucker Mendoza and the above Mistie Bonet, Ashley Porter, Margarita Bergen, spouses Jason and Marc Picus-Favre, and ball committee members DeDe Mitchell, Amita Raman, Danielle Smith, Courtney Payton, Sarah Smith Wachter, and Adrienne Hatcher. Also, the co-chairing force of the Sylvain Society, the Opera's young professionals affiliate group: Summer Duperon, Melissa Eversmeyer, Cree Jourdain, and Brian Monk. Costumed volunteers form the Mystic Krewe of PUEWC 2018 and the krewes of Merry Antoinettes, Rolling Elvi, and Lady Godivas punched up the liveliness, eliciting from one attendee, “This is the best party of the year.” High energy and a youthful atmosphere were major factors.
Now for the winners! Serving as Big Wig Contest Judges were Cheri Melancon Franz, L. Kasimu Harris, Rachel Stickney, Tracee Dundas, Mike Calhoun, and Jason Picus-Favre. Dina Zeevi copped the Yelp People’s Choice award for her wig and costume, while Steve Rizzo was the 2018 Nola Big Wig winner, thanks to a vintage-inspired kimono and a “Madama Butterfly” geisha wig. He was crowned by 2017 Big Wig winner Mike Calhoun, whose custom wig featured the names of famous operas and opera singers in New Orleans.
Legacy of Caring
The New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness celebrated Allen Toussaint Day and what would have been his 80th birthday with a special concert (and silent auction) at Rock ‘N’ Bowl. Toussaint, who was recognized for his legacy of caring, co-founded NOAAHH with Aaron Neville in 1985. Since then, NOAAHH has distributed more than $3 million in grants to more than 50 organizations. Taking the stage at the recent event were musical luminaries Marcia Ball, Deacon John and the Ivories, and Reginald Toussaint, his father’s musical collaborator and bandmate. Patron party guests dined on cuisine from John Rowland’s Southern Hospitality Catering with crawfish Monica as the signature dish.
Teamed to plan and execute the concert were NOAAHH’s all-volunteer board including President Pete Hilzim, President Emerita Sister Jane Remson, O.Carm., Vice President/Treasurer Sandra Cordray, Secretary Heather Cheesbro, Brooke Duncan III, Linda Easterlin, Rachel Guttmann, Linda Morgan, John Pope, Annie Scardulla, and Maurice and Nancy Trosclair. Others making rounds were Sabrina (Mrs. Reginald) Toussaint, Albert Mouten Jr., Ed White, spouses Debra South Jones and Lawrence E. Jones, Ben Sandmel, Lee Myers and Michael Shanklin, Dominic Massa, Roberta Stewart and Michael Thomas, and master of ceremonies Eric Paulsen. Thanks targeted Pyramid Audio Productions.
A special homage came as a confection. This was the birthday cake that was decorated with “Yes We Can Can,” a salute to Allen Toussaint’s time-honored song and positive, caring attitude.