Connections

Appreciation Ado

“Sunday at Emeril’s 2017” was the beckoning for a gala dinner that thanked, among a slew of people and businesses, Emeril Lagasse and the staff of Emeril’s. The famous chef and his restaurant staff were the event Sponsors, the top category. Then came Chef’s Table and such names as the Booth-Bricker Fund, Mary Clare and Danny Conwill, Linda Mintz and son John, J. Edgar Monroe Foundation, and Joy and Howard Osofsky. Thanks resounded throughout the evening.

The Osofskys, who answer to doctor in medical and academic circles, have spearheaded the gala ado for years. It benefits the LSU Health Sciences Center Foundation Department of Psychiatry, which is chaired by Dr. Howard Osofsky, a director of the foundation, as is Joy. The funds from the dinner will benefit important programs of the department.

A round of cocktails and drinks, punctuated by the chamber music of Patti Adams, served as the prelude to the prandial pleasures and program. Launching the formalities were the chairing threesome of Michael and Sheldon Schmidt and Elizabeth Boh, who welcomed the assembly. Next up were LSUHSC Department of Psychiatry Advisory Board Chairwoman Anne Redd (joined by spouse Edmund) for the introduction of the honorees, Peggy Laborde and Ann Fuselier, and the Osofskys. Howard spoke on the department’s mission and activities.

The multi-hyphenate Emeril, the host, greeted enthusiastic guests and discussed the delicious meal of seafood vol au vent, crispy smoked quail, braised beef short ribs and apple tart. Perfect Presentations did the flowers of deep orange roses with blue hydrangeas, Scriptura created the invitations and programs, and Adler’s provided the party favors of key fobs. Guests were delighted by the valet parking service.

Adding to the coffers were the results of the auction, which counted Dorothy Clyne, Mary Matalin, Joy Osoksky and Bobby Kerrigan as respective purchasers of paintings by Allison Stewart, Alexis Walter, Phil Sandusky and Raine Bedsole. Todd McDonald was top bidder for a beach stay and Danny Conwill (with Mary Clare) and Terry White (with Kathleen “Frog”) nabbed a 12-person dinner in Emeril’s Wine Room.

Among those mingling were Jack Laborde (Jesuit High School 2017 Alumnus of the Year) and Dr. Tony Fuselier with Peggy and Ann; Susan and Jimmy Gundlach; Ella and Walter Flower; Katherine and Bob Boh; event auctioneers Dana Hansel and Alden McDonald (with Steve and Rhesa); Betsy and Dick Simmons; Margo and Clancy DuBos; Paulette and Frank Stewart; Xavier University President C. Reynold Verret; Kay Favrot; Nancy and Kevin Colomb of the J. Edgar Monroe Foundation, and countless others, who gave their support and financial salute to “Sunday at Emeril’s XXI.” They ate fabulously well, too.

Champions

Held in the Empire Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the 2017 Champions for Change Emerald Luncheon of the Crescent City (LA) Chapter of The Links Incorporated tapped honorees in five categories. The 2017 Champions of Change were in absentia Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Arts, and represented by a video and the Trombone Shorty Academy Jazz Band; Jamar McKneely, Services to Youth; the Rev. Patricia Garrison Watson, National Trends & Services; Mary D. Moran, International Trends & Services; and Sheila J. Webb, Ph.D., Health & Human Services.

Beverly Norwood Matheney and Monique Brierre Aziz (with Dr. Robert Matheney and Omar Aziz) co-chaired the luncheon that made “Emerald” a decorative reality. As guests arrived, they were greeted by The Yisrael Trio band’s music and the signature drink, the green Link Martini. Uplighting in the ballroom suggested the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City; tables held metal sculptures by artist Natalie Keller Barnes; and the rose florals had touches of emerald green coloring. During the awards ceremony emceed by Camille Whitworth and with Reginald Varnado Jr.’s direction of the Royal Boys Choir, masked Mardi Gras Indians outfitted in the color green led a second-line down the runway.

More features were designs by Gwen Hawkins, Annie Moran, Kristine Pichon and Travis Hamilton and silent-auction enticements by Terrance Osborne, “Lady Mardi Gras,” and by Christy Boutte, “Mardi Gras Tree,” both giclees. The highlight was a raffle of courtside tickets to the Pelicans game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 28. They were donated by Dr. Robert Matheney and won by a thrilled Rosalind Butler.

Within the comely crowd of 500 were Sybil Morial, Tracee Dundas, Rose Hudson, Tracie Boutte, Jean Demas White, Pat Brooks and husband Eugene, Gradie Knight, Delores Heglar, Evelyn Battiste, Gail Broussard, Dr. Sheryl and Clint Smith, Pastor Tom Watson, Pastor Cory Watson and Melissa, Vonda Rice, Kiana Mitchell, Stephanie Navarre, and Kathleen Rhodes Astorga. Judges Piper Griffin, Regina Bartholomew, Robin Pitman, Terri Love, Angelique Reed and Paula Brown made the green scene, as did past honorees Michelle Jean-Pierre, Michael Hickerson, Beverly McKenna, Dr. Stella Jones and Dr. Denese Shervington. All agreed, much of the excitement of the “Emerald” luncheon came from its many facets.

Huguenot Hobnobbing

The Huguenot Society of New Orleans held its 45th annual celebration of the Edict of Toleration with a cocktail reception at the home of Stephanie and Clay Spencer. Every eye was riveted by the stunning Garden District home, which was owned, years ago, by the Spencers, sold to another family, and then, reacquired by the Spencers, who did an impressive and extensive renovation. Compliments flowed.

Among the headliners were society President John Beaumont and spouse Sylvi — she left soon after to travel to Switzerland to visit her father; Treasurer Ed Bush; Lydia Ozenberger, historian; John Hinrichs, past president; and board members Diane Zatarain with Chuck, Margaret Maxwell with Max, and Philip Lorio, honorary consul to Austria. And, the Rev. W. Gedge Gayle Jr., John and Bonnie Boyd, Drew and Julie Jardine, Winnie and Mark Brown, Susan Gray, Dr. William “Billy” and Cindy Woessner, Kevin and Haydee Mackey, Stan and Cindy Ellington, M. Webb Offutt, and David and Dr. Susan McLellan McConnell.

As they moved about the handsome residence, they admired the flowers. There were crimson roses with dusty blue thistle and crème chrysanthemums; roses of harvest shades and pincushion protea; and accents of sun flowers and yellow roses. Laura Arrowood catered the reception, offering a number of memorable taste treats, and The Wine Seller’s Ben Lazich provided the beverages.

Still others were Dr. Frederick C. Querens, Courtney-Anne Sarpy, Dr. Armin and Karen Schubert, Dan and Marie Summit, Dr. Roger and Georgie Smith, Ed and Charlotte Spooner, Patricia Strachan, Jay and Lois Van Kirk, Peter Waring, Bryant York, Barbara Arras, Nina Gensler, Eddy and Cinci Geoghegan, Drs. Maged and Gina Giurguis, Steve and Dana Hansel, Dolly Jordan, Alan Philipson, Pat and Gwen Kelly, Dr. Jim Reynolds, Jack and Donna Little, and Dr. Charles Smith.

Throughout the socializing, Jeffrey Pounds purveyed fine pianism.