The Green Scene
On a recent Saturday evening, the Newman Parents Association presented its annual N’Spiration, titling it “Think Green.” Kate Werner, who was joined by husband John, chaired the chromatic fundraiser with, as co-chairwomen, Kat Beahm, Margaret LeCorgne and Virginia Rowan. Kat Beahm, along with husband David, parents Melissa and Donald Doyle, and sister and brother-in-law Rebecca and Richard Weber, and Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, figured in the top “Green with Envy” donor category. “It Pays to Be Green,” the next donor division, listed Caroline and Murray Calhoun, Ann and Preston Hood, Elly and Merritt Lane, Britta and Everard Marks, Sheila and Britton Sanderford, and the above Margaret LeCorgne and Virginia Rowan with husbands Matt and John.
The N’Spiration committee of 72 ran the true A-Z gamut, starting with Dimple Agrawal and ending with Laura Zatezalo. Guests followed the “Green” lead early on, going through the Isidore Newman School’s Gottesman Entrance, for the 6:30 p.m. patron party featuring the Newman Jazz Band. An hour later, the main event held forth most festively with food by Ralph Brennan Catering & Events and music by Harvey Jesus and Fire.
As with lots of on-campus gallivanting, N’Spiration followed transformational suit via decorations. The dining hall became a dance floor and the locker room, an auction gallery. All the while, and in keeping with its “Green” theme, natural and organic usage came into visual play. The table centerpieces were wooden logs from fallen trees with the limbs made into vases, and thanks to parents Katy and Chris Weil, moss-covered chandeliers were donated for use. A touch of whimsy came from the white pom-poms dangling from natural tree branches.
Thanks, too, tapped Juli Fee for the invitation, Boo Charbonnet and Lise Kuhn for the floral arrangements, and the hosts of donors to the auction. More than 200 items enticed the crowd, who put up another kind of green for original artwork, jewelry, a Cal-a-Vie spa package, and countless additional offerings.
Then there were the “Green” seen, which included head of school Dale M. Smith and wife Dara, board chairwoman Ann Thompson with husband Shaw, auction Co-Chairwomen Helen Butcher and Courtney LeClercq with John and Kim, Ali Ward, Becky and Tommy McGoey, Courtney Nathan Singer and Michael, Missy and Keith Miller, Robin and Allan Kenner, Dana Moore and Tony, Candice Gwin, and about 320 others who gravitated to the dance incandescence of Harvey Jesus and Fire.
Make Poetry Not War
In observance of the 200th anniversary of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, the Louisiana State Poetry Society, and its host, the Greater New Orleans Fleur de Lis Chapter, turned to that time for the theme of the annual Spring Festival. Such festival categories as “Dancing the Night Away,” Pirates,” “The British Kept A’Coming,” “Muddy Waters,” and “Jackson Square” put the muses to poetic work.
Messina’s Catering and Events in Kenner was the site for the festival, which ran from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and hailed as coordinators Mary Galvin and Emma Dutreix Pierson, Ph.D.
Of course, even poetic inspiration needs a good solid meal, and the venue provided just that: Caesar salad, chicken roulade, catfish amandine, and to cap off the lunch, “chocolate sin.” Maybe just venial.
Gracing the tables as centerpieces were long-stemmed red American Beauty roses and cerulean blue Louisiana irises.
Among the attendees — and some came in from points away — were former Louisiana Poet Laureate (2010-2012) Julie Kane, Luberta Boeke-Farrell, Lois Krulisky, Lolla Jolly, Liz Ferguson, Pat Juelg, Linden Morgan, Robert Krist, Danielle Hall, E.J. Nagel, Robert Allen, and Tommie and Debbie Little.
Ava Leavell Haymon is the 2013-15 Poet Laureate of Louisiana and, in that position, was tapped as the guest speaker. Her four collections of poetry are “Eldest Daughter,” the most recent, as well as “Why the House is Made of Gingerbread,” “Kitchen Heat” and “The Strict Economy of Fire.” A bouquet was presented to her as gratitude for her sagacious say.
As souvenirs of Spring Festival, attendees took home flowers from the arrangements. They were also given pens and notebooks to record their future inspiration.
Tea for More than Two
Ann Mentz, whose late husband was Judge Henry A. Mentz Jr., held out the hosting hand at her Uptown home for the recent Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Tea. From the Salvation Army staff came Majors David and Dawn Worthy, Alice Hebert, and Kristine Dvorak.
They enjoyed the camaraderie of Angela Colombo, Sandy Ussery, Mary McConnell, Madge Dicks, Kerry Ermon, Evelyn Vaccaro, Carolyn Heller, Sylvia Otto, Jan Carr (who, with husband Bob, emceed the recent auxiliary luncheon at the Metairie Country Club), Betty Gambino, Kathleen Gahr, Nancy Hernandez, Duchess Brian, Jo Nel Savoy, Marilyn Silbernagel, Gaynell Dreher, Peggy Patterson, and Dot Piner.
All enjoyed the relaxed and lovely ambiance as they congregated around the offerings of the tea table. Others swapping news were Magda Pelias, Beverly Hegre, Connie Tiliakos, Jennifer Simon, Virginia Baldwin, Margot Wilkinson, Eleanor Straub, Brenda Gillen, Carol McNeal, Elsebeth Fenner, Ashley Gillen, Leonora Dowell, Andra Carriere, Carolyn Lenz, Margaret Mielke, Katherine de Montluzin, Betty Robert, and Patty McCarthy.
Around and About
New Orleanians making national news publications have included a handful. In the current issue of Town & Country magazine, the Philanthropy Issue, Donna Perret Rosen (who divides time with husband Ben here and in New York) is depicted among the “Patron Saints” heading as a member of the Whitney Museum Board of Trustees in New York, and playwright Lisa D’Amour has been getting favorable reviews for her “Airline Highway” that opened on Broadway near the end of April. The New York Times and the May 4-17 issue of New York magazine have given the play a thumbs up. Time magazine, in its April 27-May 4 issue on The 100 Most Influential People, included educator Kira Orange Jones in its “Leading New Orleans’ Classroom Comeback” article written by Walter Isaacson. A Newman alumnus, he is the CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman emeritus of Teach for America, and was vice chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
Now for homes! The May issue of House Beautiful features a 12-page spread, “The Next Chapter,” on the historic Garden District home of Jane Scott Hodges (Leontine Linens) and husband Philip. It was photographed by Garden District resident Paul Costello, written by Julia Reed (who wrote a book, “The House on First Street,” about the home she and husband John Pearce used to own), and credits Gwen Driscoll (a friend since college of Jane Scott) and David M. Murphy for respective interior design and production.
Chef Emeril Legasse pulled up homestead stakes in the Crescent City a while ago, but his and wife Alden’s new digs on the Florida Gulf Coast are written about by Orleanian Mimi Read in “Fresh Start” in the May-June Veranda. Flipping back to April, that month’s InStyle focused on 33-year-old Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, who played the keys as Sonny in the TV series “Treme.” Movies are keeping him forefront now, but he and actor wife Tara Elders, whom he wed in 2008, have a home in New Orleans. As he says in the article, “When we go back, I head to the bars and play in bands, but I can only pull off boogie-woogie and blues.”