Roast of the Town

After a reception with such appetizers as crawfish beignets from Delgado Culinary Arts, dinner awaited, followed by the just — ahem! — deserts. The main course was a roast. That of Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

On a recent Friday evening, and at host sponsor Harrah’s New Orleans, the Delgado Community College Foundation held the 2016 Roast of the Town. It was not just another night of fun and frivolity, it was a “smoking hot time.” Stephen Perry’s long and illustrious career in the convention industry, as well as his many years in state government, proved to be fine fodder for the event, a highlight of which was a snippet, the famous courtroom scene, from the 1992 flick, “A Few Good Men.” Produced by Doug Thornton, it featured a side-splitting Roastcast, voice-over version.

As he has cleverly done for years, Eric Paulsen, WWL-TV, was the master of ceremonies, and Thornton, Ron Forman, Michael Hecht and Steve Pettus, the roasters. Joining them were spouses Cameron Perry, Bethany Paulsen, Sally Forman, Yvette Pettus and Denise Thornton.

Program principals included Delgado Foundation Board Chairman Ashton J. Ryan Jr., Secretary the Rev. Charles J. Southall III, Harrah’s New Orleans assistant general manager Samir Mowad, Delgado Community College Chancellor Joan Y. Davis, and board Vice Chairman Lee Giorgio, who was joined by Melanie Cannatella. First NBC Bank was the top sponsor.

Noted, too, were Lt. Gov. Billy and Cher Nungesser, LSU Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ann Davis Duplessis, Alden and Rhesa McDonald, George and Shirley Kleinpeter, Billy and Jane Sizeler, Lila Southall (with the above pastor), Ed Marshall, Michael and Alicia Maenza, Wayne Fontana, Mavis Early, Janet Snow-Godfrey, Julie Quinn, and Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the State Police.

Nita Hutter Meins is the foundation’s executive director.

All made tracks to the auction for hot and heavy bidding, and welcomed a new Roast feature: the $10,000 Raffle. Lady Luck tapped as the winner Mavis Early, executive director of the New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association.

All of this benefited the DCC Foundation, which, through the Roast of the Town over the years, has contributed more than $1 million to Delgado. Added to the 2016 ado was the Perry-nice risibility.

Vintage Vibrancy

The evening after “Roast,” it was “toast,” thanks to an exclusive wine tasting provided by Bizou Wines in the gorgeously illuminated courtyard of the Hermann-Grima House. The neighboring Broussard’s Restaurant provided the gourmet buffet.

Tricia King (with Charlie) and Stephanie November (with Pete) co-chaired Amazing Grapes 2016, an annual fundraiser for Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses and the educational programs, while Charlotte Link (with Robert) spearheaded the auction of fine wines, jewelry, restaurant packages, and vacation stays. Additional notables were Caroline Ferguson (president of the Board of Managers of the HGGHH) and husband Buck Taylor, incoming President Mary Johnson with Eddie, executive director Mamie Sterkx Gasperecz with Kirk, Stephanie and Ken Carroll, Sallee Benjamin, James Moises, Elizabeth Favre, Dunbar Amoss, Erin and Jeff Bernard, John Deveney and Chris Costello, Nora and Tom McAlister, Cathy Brennan, Ellen and Grant Coleman, Chris Caire, and scores more who sipped and supped. Tapped a toe, too, to the scintillation of the Gumbo Trio jazz band.

40 and Laurels

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Great Lady/Great Gentlemen Awards presented by East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary, guests flocked to the Audubon Tea Room for lunch and laurels. Hailed this year as the Great Ladies and in recognition of their outstanding volunteerism were Carrel Epling, Carolyn Escher, Anne Favret, Betsy Threefoot Kaston, Joyce Laporte, Sharon Marchand (unable to attend), Gloria Parrish, and Michelle Swanner Yenni. Her husband, Mike, is the president of Jefferson Parish.

Lynn E. Skidmore chaired the event and spoke during the program, which featured auxiliary President Carol Becklehimer, immediate past President Katherine Landry, Ashton J. Ryan Jr. (he and spouse Jolene hosted the patron party at their home), EJGH President & CEO Dr. Mark Peters, and emcee David Bernard of Fox 8.

The table centerpieces were designed by various nursing units of the hospital with Ruby Brewer, and her hydrangeas-filled treasure chest, as the winner. More than 100 choice auction items raised money for the scholarship program.

As Event Committee chairwomen, there were Rosalie Edwards, Kathi Zimmerman, Jo Ann Bohm, Pat Golemi, Denise Woodward, Lisa Baynham, Suzette Herpich, Valerie Englade, Sandra Oster, Coleen Perilloux Landry and the above Katherine Landry. Mingling, as well, were the Ryans, Willie and Augie LaNasa, Phyllis and Ed Stacy, Darlene and Kevin Landry, Elgin Landry (with Coleen), Elsie Manos, Jerri Klein, Mary Crumb, and Dr. Henry Threefoot, a charter member of the hospital and the proud father of ’16 Great Lady Betsy.

Around and About

At the Carol Robinson Gallery, the opening reception for Nell Tilton’s “Transformations” included a flock of her nearest and dearest. Namely, husband Dr. Eugene “Chip” Tilton, Aimee and Mike Siegel, Judy and Bobby Seago, Nancy Dawes, Marjory Harper, Ann Tilton with daughter Lauren, Stella and Buff Colomb, David Curtis with Tori Johnson, Brenda and Bob Breck, Haywood Hillyer with Brigid Viguerie, Jeanie Blake and Billy Finley, Libby and Jim Landis, Ann Mahorner and Jack Ryan, Muffin Mahorner, Laurie and Warren Doyle, Duane Couch, Mary Reidy, and Robin and Bruce Crutcher. Congratulations flowed.