Six debutantes and their partying brightened a recent Saturday night with “Lights on the Lake.” Smiling as the honorees were Francie Brooks, Isabella Healy, Mary Faith Lindner, Sarah Martin, Ashley Pou and Torre Sossaman. Their parents, the hosts, were Laura and Chip Brooks, Liz and Dunbar Healy, Mimsy and Rusty Lindner, Julie and Eddie Martin, Pie and Michael Pou, and Lizette and Bruce Sossaman.
The theme of the party, “Lights on the Lake,” was appropriately selected for the location, the Southern Yacht Club, and emblazoned on the side of the building by a custom-patterned gobo. At the entrance, a bar lighted in the colors of the evening — green, teal and white — welcomed the party pack with a signature cocktail, all under a cascading chandelier of fiber optic lights in the same colors. It hung from the second floor to the first one at lobby level.
Once within the party’s rooms, the lighting effects continued with pinspot green lights dancing on the walls, ceilings and even the guests. Located in the corner of the back room and on the dessert table as a centerpiece were LED-lighted trees in blue. Further decorations included lighted highboy tables and bars that flashed blue and green; table and bar decorations consisting of Mason jars filled with green and blue rocks and colorful blue fighter fish; and white lights draping the balconies.
Mother Nature obliged by providing a light show on the lake. Shortly after the bash began, lightning coursed the skies, along with heavy rain. That pluvial drama made the evening all the more exciting, and dampened nary a party spirit.
Thanks were numerous, tapping such individuals as photographer Norris Gagnet and Lesley Carter of Event Rental, who, according to a hostess, “did a fabulous job of finding the right décor for our party.”
Agreeing, no doubt, with all the sounds and light, were the Brooks brigade, starting with grandparents Noo Nee and Phil Brooks and Anne Heggeman, deb sister Elizabeth Brooks, Gigi and Van Gallinghouse, Elizabeth Taylor from Charleston, Carole and Scott Heggeman, Sharon Heggeman, Gale Roberts, Helyn Graham, Chrisie and Harry Kelleher, Carol and Al Bienvenu, and Courtney and Will Nalty.
Healy hobnobbers were grandparents Alma Slatten Pettit and husband Bob, Abigail Healy and husband Jerry Beach, and Sharon Healy, along with deb brothers Will and Hyde Healy. Also included were Jane and Bill Slatten, Becky and Scott Slatten, Mary Margaret and Joe Gorman, Rosi and George Healy, Anne and Edmund Redd, Caroline and Murray Calhoun, Millie and Elder Brown, Tina and Rick Flick, Nancy and Rob Hewitt, and Ann and Gordon Stewart.
The debs were easily identifiable in their dresses, all made of the same teal blue silk purchased at Promenade Fabrics. Five were made by seamstress Eugenie Fromherz of Eugenie New Orleans LLC, while the sixth was made in Washington, D.C. Although there was uniformity in the color and fabric, each deb designed her own dress for individuality.
More creativity came in the form of food. Kevin Vizard, the SYC chef, spearheaded such treats as turtle soup, mini crab cakes, fried Louisiana oysters, chicken shish kebobs, and Natchitoches meat pies. French fries in SYC cups were prepared “to go.” To quench the collective thirst and add a further decorative touch, Marketability put the “Lights on the Lake” theme on flashing, light-up drinking cups. A bateau of brews made for easy picking.
Further libations were the champagne and planters punch drinks at the aforementioned downstairs bar.
Making their rounds, and certainly indulging in the Joan Farrell cookies that depicted sailboats, fish, anchors and the initials of the six debs, were the Lindners’ kin and kith: Sally and Jay Lapeyre, Cabby Boone and Doug Gossman, Liz Sloss, Julie and Monty Burlingame, Ann and Robert Boh, Susan and Stephen Hall, Elly and Merritt Lane, and Margaret and Matt LeCorgne.
Mingling with the Martins were grandparents Eddie and Loretta Martin, deb brothers Joseph and Royce Martin, Jim and Mary Granskog, Royce Ehret, Ward VanDervort, Chris VanDervort and Dr. Suzy Fournier, Colin and Liz VanDervort, Tad and Nicole Bartlett, Lisette Martin, Otway and Sandra Denny, and Arthur and Adele Parker.
The “wow” factor in an evening when there were so many came via Lightwire Theater, which was founded by Ian and Eleanor Carney, who returned home to New Orleans from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to perform with ensemble members of their company. Much to the delight and gratification of Ian and Eleanor (who have been known for years as outstanding ballet dancers), Lightwire Theater emerged as a winner of Tru TV’s “Fake Off” and semi-finalist on “America’s Got Talent.” The group has performed to great acclaim all over the world.
From the troupe, and all glowing in the dark, were two 16-foot white egrets, two multicolor bird-like creatures, and one “ugly” duckling on “wing” to greet guests at the parking lot and entrance to the yacht club. Then, at 10 p.m., a five-minute lightshow performance of a brace of Shweta birds (reminiscent of Disney’s “The Lion King”), ducks and butterflies wowed the audience.
Included within the appreciate crowd, many outfitted in estival-oriented attire, were the Pou pack. Grandparents Nuddy and David Baron and deb brother Michael Pou joined in the fun along with Anna Maria Pou, Mary Katherine Pou, Jeannie Pou, Linda and Joe Pappalardo, Peggy and Sal Perino, Frank and Sheila delaHoussaye and daughter Downey, Sarah and Quarles Agnew, Gladys and Brian Gille with Grace, Kathy and Dan Housey, and Ellen and Danny Phelan.
Socializing with the Sossamans were grandparents Roy and Bonnie St. Paul, deb sister Allain Sossaman, Renee and Walker St. Paul with Caroline, Desiree Petitbon with Grant Morris, Boo and John Kallenborn, Mittie and Bill LeCorgne with son Tripp, and, in from Baton Rouge, Shannon and Scott Pesson with her daughter, Sarah Ford Dugal. Also, a slew of Saers in Katherine and Robbie with Lily, Matthew and Hayes.
Sights abounded, but so did the sounds, thanks to the local band, The Mixed Nuts. Darting to the floor for the vibes were members of and newcomers to the Nut nation. From the first song until the last, the “Lights” trippers, hundreds in number, danced and danced.
Describing the fete as “What a to-do!,” one party-goer expressed the sentiments of the host of attendees, who partied with the “Lights” luminaries. Throughout the evening, Francie, Isabella, Mary Faith, Sarah, Ashley and Torre reflected the theme of the revelry and added their own sure sparkle.