Learning, Largesse, Looking

Making 'Good,' great

The Pro Bono Publico Foundation of the School of Design, the Rex Organization, held its 11th annual dinner at the Audubon Tea Room with Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hales and Mr. and Mrs. Lynes “Poco” Sloss as the honorary dinner chaircouples. In February, and with a parade theme of “L’Ancienne Nouvelle-Orleans,” Poco Sloss wore the crown of the king of Carnival (reigning with Sarah Jane Freeman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis McDaniel Freeman Jr.), as did Dr. Hales the preceding year. IberiaBank sponsored the dinner event. Funds raised continue the ongoing commitment of the Rex Organization to invest in New Orleans Public Schools. The 2017-18 grants, totaling $1 million, have gone to 63 recipients, charter schools and supporting organizations.

A round of al fresco cocktails in the patio area of the Tea Room served as the prelude to the socializing with music by students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Then, guests assembled inside for dinner and the menu of Salade a la Hales, double cut Lamb Chops a la Sloss and a lemon parfait dessert. Drouhin wines accompanied the meal. At 8:50 p.m., foundation Chairman Storey Charbonnet addressed the attentive assembly, remarking on the $1 million that was given and the dinner sponsorship of IberiaBank, which was represented by CEO and President Daryl Byrd. Stephen Hales asked certain people to stand and be recognized and Jack Carey, executive director of Live Oak Wilderness Camp, spoke briefly about their summer camp program, adding to the attendees, “We would not be here without your support.”

The name of Storey Charbonnet tops the masthead listing for the foundation. Successive names are those of Ronald J. French, M.D., Charles W. Goodyear, Hales, John E. Koerner III, H. Merritt Lane III, Prentiss C. Patrick, Alan H. Philipson, Edwin R. Rodriguez Jr., Stephen C. Sherrill and St. Denis J. Villere III. Most were noted, along with their spouses, as were Christian “Christy” T. Brown (a former Monarch of Merriment, Rex, as were a number of those breaking bread) and Kia, Jim and Stephanie Huger, Jack and Peggy Laborde, David Schulingkamp, Debbie and Robert “Bobby” Patrick, and dozens more for whom “Pro Bono” resonated with educational “good.”

The Great Eight

Any time something or someone is prefaced with “great,” we stand at aural and ocular attention. And so it was when the East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary honored the 2018 recipients of its Great Lady and Great Gentleman Awards at a luncheon in the Audubon Tea Room. Volunteerism in the New Orleans metropolitan area was the major criterion for the selection of each honoree.

Two days prior to the Sunday luncheon, the 42nd, Pat and Henry Shane opened their Kenner home for a patron party. Thanks for their hospitality at the evening reception were manifold.

At the Tea Room, Lynn Skidmore, auxiliary present, gave the welcome address, followed by the invocation given by the Rt. Rev. Justin Brown, abbot of St. Joseph’s Abbey. Further program notables were event Chairwoman Carolyn Escher and master of ceremonies Richard Buchsbaum.

Now for the celebrated “Eight!” In alphabetical order, they were Debbie Albert, Leah Chase, Mary Crumb, Dr. James Diamond, Hollie Ericksen, Carol Hall, Jane Kahn and Albert Nicaud. While their biographies of volunteerism were being read, they were escorted individually to the stage. There, hospital President Gerald Parton presented them the auxiliary’s signature silver bowl.

Additional features of the luncheon were numerous. Each year, the hospital’s Nursing Department, under the chairmanship of Nursing Director Ruby Brewer and Sandra Oster, creates the table centerpieces. Those who give, get. The first-place centerpiece winner was Brewer for her arrangement of a Dutch garden of yellow and orange tulips. Further excitement — and money-raising — was generated by the silent auction of art, jewelry, wine baskets and other attractions that was conducted by Carrel Epling and Joyce LaPorte, along with the “50/50” spearheaded by Janet Patterson, who, in the words of a luncheon principal, “sold” her product well. All proceeds from the luncheon go to the Auxiliary’s Nursing Scholarship and Certification Program.

Lunch fare beckoned, and everyone sat to indulge in the taste treats of a green spring salad; a pastry shell of shrimp, crabmeat and scallops; and a peach turnover a la mode. White and red wines were the vinous accompaniment and were also used in toasting the honorees.

Recognized, too, for launching the luncheon were honorees’ liaison Katherine Landry; reservations Chairwoman Susan Baker; committee cohorts Lisa Baynham, Jo Ann Bohm, Rosalie Edwards, Coleen Perilloux Landry, Phyllis Stacy, Elsie Manos, Jolene Ryan and Denise Woodward. Among the many guests and friends hailing the “Great Eight” were Dooky Chase III, John Hall, Mary Jacob, Elgin Landry, Ginger Crawford, Maria and Jack Winn, Kathleen Mix Diamond, Dianne and Barry Breaux, Myrtis “Jeri” Nims, Gloria Parish, Heather Kahn, Jimmy Maxwell, Donna Kay Berger, Irene Klinger, Joann Wisdom and Sharon Marchand.

'Empire' ado

“Empire,” an exciting exhibition at the Newcomb Art Museum, and commissioned by the museum on the Tulane-Newcomb campus, is presented in partnership with A Studio in the Woods and Pelican Bomb. It is an immersive art installation of 400 assembled objects created by Los Angeles-based artists Fallen Fruit (David Allen Burns and Austin Young). Samba Soul performed.

A VIP opening reception rallied more than 200 guests, who were indulged by the custom-crafted desserts inspired by the exhibition and done by pastry chef Ruby Bloch, of Salt & Light Pastry Co.; taste treats by Michael’s Catering and drinks, such as New Orleans French 75's and Sazeracs; and a plethora of posies in the mixed floral bouquets.

Milling about, and all with a title or two, were Ama Rogan, Rebecca Snedeker, Catherine and David Edwards, David Banush, Henry L. Bart Jr., Mia Miller, Katie Acuff, Larry Connolly, Neil Barclay, Cameron Shaw, Denise Frazier, Frances Swigart Steg, Miriam Taylor, Charlie Tatum, and Walda and Sydney Besthoff along with daughters Valerie Besthoff and Jane Steiner.

Networking

A “Member Social” attracted just under 100 people to the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery at the invitation of the World Trade Center New Orleans, the French American Chamber of Commerce-Gulf Coast, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana. Among those perusing the pleasing artwork of New York-based artist Paul Villinski and enjoying wine and cheese as they networked, were Caitlin Cain, Loretta Krasnow and Mayra Pineda, who head up WTCNO, FACC and the HCCL, along with Norman Barnum, Milca Palma-Otanez, Frederick Rambeau, Michael Ricks, John Favret, Meaghan McCormack, Javier Sanchez, Robert Young, Jeremy Mipro, Eric Belin and Lorelei Cropley, Christine Greenebaum, Jacqueline Simon and Arnoldo J. Vanegas.