Laussat Levity

One of the city’s most beautiful homes, that of Joseph and Sue Ellen Canizaro, was the site for the night when The Historic New Orleans Collection held its 2015 Laussat Society Gala. A round of cocktails was the social prelude, followed by a buffet dinner. All the while, guests mingled in the home’s first floor, the pool and rear patio areas, and the lawn. Many had seen and read the years-ago Architectural Digest article in which the Metairie Club Gardens home was featured.

The Canizaros are members of the Laussat Society, the original giving circle of THNOC, which is chaired by E. Alexandra Stafford. As an annual event, the gala recognizes members of the LS and of the Bienville Circle, its highest-level donors.

Drew Jardine, THNOC board president and joined by wife Julie, opened the formalities. He recognized the hosts’ hospitality and presented them with a copy of “Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect”; thanked Executive Director Priscilla Lawrence for her leadership; and introduced the above Alexandra Stafford, a THNOC board member. The latter then talked about acquisitions, publications and projects funded through the society, before introducing THNOC senior curator Judith Bonner, who discussed the 2015 LS gift: a 1964 painting by Noel Rockmore titled “Shipyard and Construction.”

Features of the gala evening were manifold, including the flower arrangements by the Plant Gallery with input from hostess Sue Ellen; the Joel Catering with such delectables as blue crab beignets, smoke trout blinis, duck confit, veal roulades, pumpkin parfaits and chocolate-covered macaroons; and music by the Harry Hardin Quartet, featuring Susan Boldissar, Natalia Cascante, Raul Gomez and Lauren Lemmler.

Relishing the society bonhomie and ambient elegance within a gathering of about 140 were Bonnie (Mrs. Joe) Rault, Ann B. Bailey, Alvin and Penny Baumer, Beth Claybourn, spouses Jan Katz and James Derbes, Price LeBlanc Jr., Penny (Mrs. Richard) O’Krepki, James and Kay Orth, and from THNOC, board Chairwoman Mary Lou (Mrs. William K.) Christovich, Daniel Hammer with Klara, John H. Lawrence (spouse of Priscilla) and Jack Pruitt.

n Fit to Fete

Another showplace home, the new residence of Patricia and Vernon Brinson, attracted scores to Fall into Fashion, the annual fundraiser of the LPO Volunteers’ Encore Shop. The musicians of the LPO, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, were the beneficiaries. So were all the attendees, who purchased boutique items, with such names as Hermes, Prada, Chanel and Fendi, from the Maple Street-located Encore Shop (with thanks to organizers Jacque Gold, Marina Gregorio, Ileana Suquet and Kay Vickers); savored food from Broussard’s Restaurant and Courtyard (with the guidance of Caroline Hubbard), St. James Cheese Company, and the culinary creations of Luz Caputto and Betty Speyrer; and floral designs done by Susana Ascencio with assistance from Alix Rico (with Paul), event co-chairwoman with hostess Patricia.

Kathleen Davenport mastheaded the invitation as Encore chairwoman. Subsequent names were those of shop manager Sue Wiseman; sales associates Rosemarie Coffman and the above Marina and Kay; respective boutique Chairwomen Marcia Hubbard and Marina, and food and wine Chairwomen Diane Butler and Luz Cauputto; and LPO Volunteers Inc. President Sarah Lemaire.

As guests moved about, they turned an appreciative ear to the Nick Elman Trio as they admired the lovely home and the artwork by George Dunbar, Jim Steg and the late Elaine Gelpi, Patricia’s mother. Within the attentive 155-person crowd were Cristina Fowler and daughter Cristi Chauvin, Nora Holmes, Elisabeth Perino, Joel and Bert Myers, Sally Richards, John and Kathleen Kazour, Dr. Sal Cauputto (with Luz), Ileana Suquet, Susan Talley, Nancy Claypool, Helen Flammer and Raul Fonte, Jamie Manners, Dr. Sharon Meyer, Nell and Barry Mabry, and Brinson neighbor Mary Hines. In 2014, she and husband Bill were thanked as Fall into Fashion hosts.

Particular gratitude targeted FiF event coordinator Darleen Carlisle (attending with husband Jerry, described as “wonderful” by the committee), who developed the fundraiser nine years ago. “I wanted to help women restore their wardrobes after Katrina,” said Darleen, calling attention to the myriad pre-owned offerings of The Encore Shop.

Breast Defense

“On the Heels of Hope: 2015 Cancer Survivor Recognition Luncheon” took place in the Hyatt Regency New Orleans with tributes to cancer survivors. More than 500 attendees hailed them.

Additional attractions at the event, which was hosted by the Omicron Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., were the menu of Caesar salad, chicken breast and Mississippi mud pie, along with the silent auction and its plethora of items. All great.

Noted were chapter President Kathy Saloy, and, all with titles, James Gray, Nadine Ramsey, Paula Brown, Wesley Bishop, Ronald McDonald, Veronica Henry, Angelique Reed, Terri Love, Michael Bozeman, Captain Charles, Robert Jackson, Kim Boyle, Troy Carter, Roy Glapion, Terry Scott, Darren Lombard, Edwin Shorty Jr., Maple Gaines, Adrianna Hopkins, Marjorie Parker, Cynthia Cade, Michelle Blouin-Williams, Wanda Aguillard, Demetric Mercadel, Judith Johnson and legions more, who made “Heels” into healing.

Here’s Looking at You, Kids

Twenty-four students, from 6 to 15 years old, exhibited 24 photographic works at the Pablove Shutterbugs New Orleans Gallery Show at the Octavia Gallery on Julia Street. Gretchen Drennan (with Jon), Hannah Kohlman (with Neil), Machelle Payne, Tracey Moore and Joey Walker (with John Malta) formed the host committee for the event that promised — and delivered — food, drink and “an incredible silent auction.”

The annual show celebrates the work of students of the Pablove Shutterbugs program, pediatric cancer patients, who are developing a creative voice through photography. Program teacher Olivia Grey Pritchard is most gratified to see a child gain confidence. “I am so proud to be a part of what we’ve built.”

St. James Cheese Company and Del Fuego Taqueria provided the hors d’oeuvres; Covington Beer and the Wine Seller the libations; and Royal Teeth the special DJ set. Forty-nine choice items figured in the silent bidding, many from top artists.

Headliners were co-founders Jo Ann Thrailkill and Jeff Castelaz, Gary Larsen and Nora Patterson, Dan Tague, Nicole Charbonnet, Dr. Elly Zakris and Peter Sather, Octavia Art Gallery owner Pam Bryan, Ginette Bone and Blake Boyd, Tom Drummond, Drs. Ruth Owens and David Jansen and daughter Gracie, Mary Grace Rome, Karen Gundlach, Emily and Charlotte Drennan, Jennifer St. Paul, Greer Turner, Patti Lapeyre, Caroline Ferguson, Blainey Kern, Siobhan Rome, and Margo Moss.

All of the evening’s proceeds fund The Pablove Foundation’s Pablove Shutterbugs program, which serves kids (and teenagers) at Children’s Hospital, Ochsner, Tulane, and St. Jude’s.