Club XLIV at Champions Square, part of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome complex, was the site for Jesuit High School’s recent Celebration, the 2014 Gala & Auction. Inside the invitation, the dominant colors were the familiar black and gold, while the outside cover sported the school’s signature blue and white, depicted as a ribbon, and attached to a gold medallion scripted with “Play Like a Champion” and “Jesuit High School.” In between those sets of words were fleurs-de-lis.
Those chromatics got a replay in the table centerpieces of white hydrangeas with Jesuit blue (blue-jay blue) and white ribbon tied around the vases that were secured with gold Jesuit seals. Vintage black-and-white photos of past Jesuit sports teams greeted arriving guests. A particular favorite photo was that taken in 1937 of students in front of the school ready to deliver Thanksgiving baskets to the needy in New Orleans. Champions come in lots of different guises.
Food fare was creative and tasty. Generous and renowned local eateries purveyed, with, as a crowd favorite from Barcadia, friend peanut butter and jelly sandwiches dusted with powdered sugar.
More thanks went to the two top sponsors: Entergy and The Azby Fund, the respective Patron Saint and World Champion sponsors.
Teamed to put Celebration 2014 in play were event Co-Chairwomen Michelle Lorusso and Shannon Daigle, and from the school, the Rev. Anthony McGinn, SJ, president; the Rev. Raymond Fitzgerald, SJ, special assistant to the principal; Peter Kernion, principal; and Tom Bagwill, director of institutional advancement, among others.
Further headliners were John Ryan, Kenner Mayor Michael “Mike” and Michelle Yenni, state Rep. Nick Lorusso, the Ryan Gootees, Vonda and Charles Rice, the junior John Carbos, Dr. Felix Rabito and Dr. Mary Frances Rabito, Lori and Kevin Frischhertz, the George Duffys, the Jeremy Mancheskis, the junior Charles Wards, and Darren and Laurie Rozas.
Along with Co-Chairwomen Michelle and Shannon, the Celebration Committee was made up of Missy Duhon, Debbie Hill, Lisa Kuebel, Patti Mahoney, Patricia Unsworth, Michelle Russo, Shannon Perkins, Beth Vargas, Melissa Queyrouze, Terri Stuckey, Lisa Hoefer, Sandra Krizan, Wendy Lococo, Holly Martin and the above Lori and Vonda.
Throughout the evening, the Benchwarmers played with three of their music makers answering to former Blue Jays.
Home is Where the Art Is
In this case, it’s Poydras Home, which, for 20 years, has been opening its Uptown location to the public for a wonderful and comprehensive sale of art, artifacts and jewelry. More than 100 names figured on the card announcing the Poydras Home Art Show & Sale that occurred on a gorgeous, bright Saturday.
As part of the earlier artistic activity, there was the Juried & Non-Juried Exhibition with Mel Buchanan as the Art Show judge.
Prior to that Saturday, more than 300 patrons assembled to enjoy food by eight fine restaurants, libations at three bars, and seasonal table decorations. The circular driveway was lined with tables topped with black cloths and tea candles and varying sizes of pumpkins. They, in turn, were filled with white lilies, hydrangeas, roses, carnations and greenery designed, and in part donated, by Whole Foods. The white pumpkin theme was carried out all around the home.
In addition to the 250-plus pieces of art work on display, a silent auction created more visual and reach-for-the-wallet excitement. Bids were delivered with alacrity for a Monteleone Hotel getaway, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra tickets, a Saks gift basket, a Willie Roaf-signed football (a former Saint, he was a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee), a James Michalopoulos serigraph, and a Blue Dog silk print from the Rodrigue Foundation.
Heading the party pack were event Chairwoman Katherine Miller Determan, who was joined by C ynthia and Ames Yeates, and honorary Chaircouple Winx and Jim McCarthy, whose daughters Wendy Beron and Megan Nelson were accompanied by their husbands, Thomas Beron and Willie Nelson.
Further patron party committee representation came from Margaret Riley, Lydia Ozenberger, Susan Kartzke, Cynthia Bassich, and Kathy Youngberg, making rounds with husband Phil. Then there was the Chairwoman of Volunteers Casey Dietz and her date, Jay Zainey, as well as Art Show Co-Chairwomen Ann Buescher (with Frank) and Jordana Civetti. Their Art Show Committee was made up of Dolores Hall, Lesley Hardin, Linda Brunken, Beverly Gianna, Sydney Lawder, Terry Salassi, Margie Scheuermann, Dorothy Smith, and Pat Woodstein.
From the Poydras Home board came President Jill Winston with Marc, CEO Jay Rive, and Charlotte Thomas, vice president for development. They mingled with Martha Landrum and mom Betty McDermott, Marion “Manny” and Pepper Bright, Ashley and Edgar Bright, Winkie and Charles Monsted, Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, Judy Barrasso and Brent Barriere, and Katherine and Robbie Saer. The Winstons were the top show sponsors (Rembrandt), along with Luzianne.
Hundreds more were incorporated into the party palette, painting social strokes as they raised funds for Poydras Home and “its mission of compassionate, quality care for the elderly.”
They also thrilled to The Big Easy Buddies, whose “Under the Boardwalk” performance featured the sounds of The Four Seasons, Beach Boys, Motown, and Doo-Wop.
Afternoon tea at the Windsor Court Hotel beckoned a bevy, who will enjoy debutante and Carnival honors in the next few months. They were the Original Illinois Club debs, their parents, and the coordinators, Tracy Dedeaux and Marion Maheia.
Stylish suits, hats and gloves outfitted the young ladies: Misses Mignon Benea Blanc, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Blanc III; Kayla Crump, daughter of Ms. Trinette Crump; Taylor Renee Harris, daughter of Mr. Andrew P. Harris and Ms. Chrishelle McConduit Hoffman; Terri Pacely, daughter of Ms. Lisha Pacely; Donje-Carrielle Rogers, daughter of Mr. Derrick Rogers and Ms. Schantalyn-Danielle Jacobs; Cianne Mnemostyne Smith, daughter of Mr. Ronnie Smith and Ms. Zenetta Williams Smith; and Charese Lauchelle Williams, daughter of Mr. Christopher Ledet Williams and Mrs. Madonna Polite-Williams. Unable to attend was Miss Sydney Camille Labat, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Labat.
Harp music in the background was the lyrical complement to the foreground and the delights of the three-course tea service in the hotel’s spacious lobby. Each table was set with a fresh-cut yellow rose in a glass vase.
View all Nell Nolan: Fall into Party Paces photos