Colorful Capers

Who says Mondays are slow social days? On a recent one, the judges' and lawyers’ Red Mass started the day at the St. Louis Cathedral. Then, at lunch, the French tricolore of bleu, blanc et rouge (blue, white and red) was the reason for rallying at Les Causeries du Lundi in the Residence de France, the home of the new French Consul general, Vincent Sciama, and his family. That evening, it was back to the French Quarter for “Galatoire’s Goes Pink” to raise funds for Breastoration. Each event kicked off its season and purpose.

Think Pink

A plethora of sponsors received thanks at the pink-embellished Galatoire’s with the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery as the presenting one. The center was represented by Drs. Frank DellaCroce (attending with wife Janet), Matthew Wise and Karl Ordoyne. They and many others were particularly cited by Kim Sport, when she addressed the assembly at Galatoire’s for the annual “Pink” program. A three-time breast cancer survivor, Kim, who was joined by husband Mike, founded the nonprofit Breastoration to provide educational resources to women with breast cancer and funds to help them with reconstruction surgery.

Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, Dr. Rebekah E. Gee, an obstetrician/gynecologist known for her advocacy for women with breast cancer, was the guest speaker. She has been instrumental in expanding Louisiana’s Medicaid program to grant access for reconstruction following a mastectomy. In addition to Advocacy Award winner Gee, several others spoke.

Cocktails were the prelude to the “Pink” prandial pleasures and guests meandered from one area of Galatoire’s to the main dining room for the four-course meal of turtle soup, stuffed eggplant, filet and caramel cup custard. Enjoying lively mealtime chatter were Jeanne Lobman, Sophie Kirk, Joan and LaMarr Ingram, CaSandra Cooper-Gates and Elizabeth Davis.

Nearby were Jane Goldring of the Goldring and Woldenberg Family Foundations, United Way CEO Michael Williamson and COO Charmaine Caccioppi (with respective spouses Kim and Rod), and award presenters Barbara Turner Windhorst (with sister Davey Foto) and Norma Grace (with Bob Sternhill). The former gave the Patient of Courage Award to Holley Haag and Norma, the Community Partner Award to Diane Lyons, founder of Festigals. The Breastoration video depicted Tara Gaston and Susan Granger.

Still others were Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans Director Tammy Swindle with board chairwoman Amelia Leonardi and board member Dr. Jules Walters, as well as Ochsner Health System representative Anna Combes, Angela Hill, Robert Kimbro, Judge Tiffany Chase, Kim Boyle, Jason and Lucille Brady, state Rep. Julie Stokes, Sandra Dartus, Melissa Gibbs, and scores more. They are already noting the date of the 2018 “Galatoire’s Goes Pink,” Oct. 1.

In keeping with the signature chromatics, pink prevailed, thanks to light bulbs along the walls (replaced for the evening), floral arrangements and the outfits of lots of attendees. The auction featured, among other choice items, highly decorated Bodacious Bras.

Early tributes flowed freely, especially to Breastoration co-founder Kim Sport. Said Dr. DellaCroce about her, “that little frame is filled with heart.”

Red Mass

An impressive invitation, featuring the colors of red, gold and white, announced the Red Mass at St. Louis Cathedral. It was sponsored by the Catholic Bishops of the State of Louisiana and the St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association and celebrates the opening of the judicial year with in-attendance judges, lawyers, public officials and guests. This year’s Mass, the 65th annual one in New Orleans, was dedicated to the memory of longtime association member and past president, Evangeline M. Vavrick. Her daughter, Eve, was the mistress of ceremonies.

Red, the color signifying love, courage and the Holy Spirit, was present in the ecclesiastical vestments, judicial stoles, boutonnieres, and clothing of those gathered. Numbers counted at least 200. The cathedral was decorated with beautiful red bouquets provided by Adrian’s Christian Florist, while the LoyolaChamberSingers offered musical coloration.

Among the headliners were Archbishop Gregory Aymond; homilist the Most Rev. David P. Talley, the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria; and reader Judge Scott J. Crichton of the Louisiana Supreme Court. The deacons were led by Deacon Don Richard.

After the Mass, guests made social rounds at Tableau Restaurant, where breakfast sandwiches, fruit, mimosas, tea, coffee and pastries sated the late-morning appetite. Numerous luncheon celebrations followed in the French Quarter.

In addition to the above, notables included Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, retired Justice Jeanette T. Knoll, Louisiana State Bar Association President Dona Kay Renegar, Judge Vanessa Whipple, Loyola Law School Dean Madeleine Landrieu, and Justice Harry T. and Judge Mary Ann Lemmon. And, association members Tim Hassinger (former president), F. Evans Schmidt, Joseph and Joy Barreca, Charles J. Miller Jr., P. Kevin Colomb, Van Robichaux, Joseph Taranto, Eric Derbes, and William J. Riviere. Julia C. Spear now answers to president.

Monday Chats

Les Causeries du Lundi — a French organization founded in 1911 to engage members in programs and chatter on the first Mondays (with some exceptions) during the season — has been honored for a while to hold its opening meeting at the Residence de France. Not only was new Consul General Vincent Sciama, the co-host, along with wife Yuanyuan, but he also gave the program.

After introducing Mrs. Sciama, whom he met when he was posted at the French Embassy in Singapore, he spoke of the Consulate General’s principal areas of interest in Louisiana: the importance of the French language, economic exchange between the state and France, and the oversight of the French national community in Louisiana. Ellen Plaisance, vice consul, presided over the meeting in lieu of Causeries President Michel Tourniaire, who was in France.

Others attending were Causeries Treasurer Phillip Mollere, executive Secretary Susan Benton and assistant Merry Toups, and former Presidents Christine LeBlanc, Marcelle Saussy, Colette Stelly Friend and Jeanne Williams. Cecile Ginger Andry represented the Council of French Societies. Then there were Louise “Lou” Hoffman, Florence Montz, Patricia Henderson, Jane Apffel, Martine Alford, Astrid Klick, Gabrielle Timmerman, and the committee of Diane Huber and Kathleen Jones, who provided all the Chez Nous-catered taste treats, such as finger sandwiches, an hors d’oeuvre array, various cheeses and wine. Champagne added bubbly buoyancy.

The house had seasonal decorations with a special attraction. This was a plaque by Simon Gunning with “Vincent” inscribed on it.