n Bow Wow, Meow
Howling Success, LA/SPCA’s annual patron party and gala, barked back to years of yore for the 2015 sprint. “I ª Love the 70s” was the salute for the friends-fur-ever bash in the huge Celestin Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency. Touted were “Dyno-mite Restaurants & Cocktails (with emphasis on “tails”), Celebrity Guests, Groovy Auctions, Boogie to Live Music.” Of course, the purr-poseful partying, now in its 37th year, was to support the animals of the Louisiana SPCA.
More than “33,000 owned and abandoned animals (are) seen annually at the LA/SPCA.”
Guests donned their haute cat-ure and Dog-ce & Gabbana for the “Howling” hobnobbing chaired by McKenzie Lovelace Coco, Allison Shapiro, Marvin Andrade, Christie Anderson and Dean Howard. To thank them, the powers that bee presented Symmetry Jewelers-designed, limited-series Howling Success pins. Restaurant Chairman chef Tariq Hanna and a sixsome — Bryan Batt, Hunter Burke, Meghan Linsey, Ashley Williams, Aaron Williamson and Teri Wyble, who chaired the Celebrity Committee – garnered fur-ther limelight. Mirrored disco-ball style?
Still more bright lights came via the purr-formances. Tip a hat to Club Silhouette dancers and the Mardi Gras dance troupe, The Disco Amigos. Adding to the lively paws and effect were the Social Media photo booth and Red Carpet Step & Repeat (courtesy of Capital One Wealth & Asset Management).
Noted within the mild bunch — almost all sporting a sartorial nod to the ’70s — were Dr. J. Coller Ochsner, Keith and Machalle Hall, Louie and Sally Roussel, Deedra and Donald Wing, Eleanor Farnsworth, Paulette and Frank Stewart, Jackie and Bruce Shreves, Susan and Bill Hess, Simone Bruni Crouere and Jeff Crouere, Chris and Kerri Kane, Mike Hollis and Marty Brantley, Dan and Debbie Shapiro, and Joyce and Sidney Pulitzer. To mention a meow few of the 850-person pack, who applauded Canine Connection as the Humanitarian Award recipient.
They moseyed about, grazing the restaurant offerings (including those of Salon by Sucre of Tariq Hanna, 1718 Hyatt Regency, Galatoire’s, Mondo, Mayas, and Mizado Cocina), quaffing libations (The Cure, The Bulldog, and Republic National Distributing Co.) and bidding at the silent/online auctions. Enticements were David Harouni art, designer armchairs and tables, and Carnival parade rides, thanks to the krewes of Tucks and Alla.
In the spirit of “Saturday Night Fever,” disco balls marked the center of the tables, along with floating 70’s multicolored daisies in glass cylinders designed by NOLA Flora. Honoree Canine Connection added patron gifts and goodies. Now for the sounds! Singer Anais St. John was the cat’s meow during the patron party and later, when it was time to get a gala groove on, The Wiseguys showed musical smarts.
n Let the Blue Tide Roll!
Shannon Daigle and Missy Duhon teamed to chair the recent Jesuit High School’s Celebration, a gala and auction, that was bannered “Let the Blue Times Roll: On the Banks of the Mighty Mississippi.” It took place at Mardi Gras World overlooking the famed river. Entertainment by the Jesuit Jazz Band started the riparian revelry in the Float Den for patrons before the gala made waves in the River City Ballroom with Lena Prima and the Lena Prima Band as the spotlighted entertainers.
Names to note were numerous, starting with presenting sponsors Entergy and The Azby Fund; Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House for patron party purveying and Beth Vargas, who spearheaded the catering organization of 20-plus restaurants at the bash; and committee principals Wendy LoCoco, Karen DeBlieux, Gabrielle Champagne, Shannon Perkins, Rhonda Laizer, Chenae Watermeier, Kelly Candies, Laura Aguilar, Patricia Unsworth, and Patti Mahoney. Lori Frischhertz chaired the Auction Committee of two dozen.
Spouses of the above, namely Rocky Daigle, Gerald Duhon, Kevin Frischhertz, Dr. Peter DeBlieux, and John Unsworth, made rounds in this lively assembly of 500, as did WVUE meteorologist Bruce Katz, the live auctioneer, who was joined by son Riley, a 2013 Jesuit alumnus. All greeted the school’s president, the Rev. Anthony McGinn, SJ, as well as the Rev. Christopher Fronk, SJ, who will succeed him.
Auction ado, such as commissioned artwork, fishing excursions, vacation rentals, fine wine, staycations, jewelry, and Saints tickets, added to the “Blue” scenario, as did the tabletop decorations of French Quarter lamp posts and, as the focal point, the MGW large, two-dimensional school mascot, Jayson.
n Magnolia Momentum
The Mississippi keeps on rolling! For its most recent fundraising revelry, Magnolia Community Services (formerly the Magnolia School) rounded up 550 attendees to its site, Whitehall Plantation & Grounds, on River Road in Jefferson. “Moonlight on the River Gala” titled the evening filled with food, fun and festivity and chaired by Jeanne Gallo, Marion Eagan and Karen Oertling, who were joined by their board-member husbands David, Lee and Laurie. Marion’s grandfather, the late Dr. Charles Bloom, founded Magnolia Community Services. Burgess E. McCrainie Jr. answers to board chairman; Jennifer Hebert to executive director; and Dr. Sara E. Fernandez, medical director.
The Angel Wings and Nims foundations were the principal sponsors, 11 members formed the Gala Committee, 26 restaurants or caterers offered fine food and drink, and a raffle featured diamond hoop earrings from Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers. Artwork inspired by Pollock, Klimt and Van Gogh (among others) was re-created by Magnolia clients for the silent auction and for the live one, the Friend & Co.-donated diamond necklace drew a slew of bids.
To embellish the premises, MCS clients under the direction of Dream Factory made beautiful centerpieces of three-dimensional magnolias arranged in glass vases. Admiring them and the entire lovely layout were Kylin and Al Ajubita, Pixie and Jimmy Reiss, Stacy and Jim Pellerin, Kay and Roy Faussat, Sue Jumonville, Charles and Karen Coe, John Trainor, Cindy Paulin, Rosemary Zuppardo, Judge Margaret Alfonso (of Gulfport, Mississippi), and board Secretary Andrew Bruns. The Mixed Nuts were the scheduled band, but weather concerns caused a change of plans. Instead, a great-for-dancing DJ supplied the musical momentum.
n Veterans of Foreign Wars
The University Section home of Pamela “Pam” and Bill Ryan was the location for the second, now annual, Veteran’s Day Fundraiser given by the New Orleans Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8973.
Post members Christian Cannon, Tom Fierke (with Debbie), Marshall Hevron, Robert “Bobby” Kerrigan (with Kay) and James Reiss (with Erica) were the hosts. Edgar “Pepper” Bright Jr., a Korean War veteran, was the guest of honor and family members, including spouse Marion “Manny” and sons Edgar and Timothy (who both spoke about his achievements), attended and celebrated his legacy.
Others present, and enjoying palate pleasures from Ben Tanet of Chez Nous Catering, and the military-inspired auction items, were Ashley Bright with the above Edgar, Terry and Kathleen “Frog” White (who were spotted Tuesday evening at the new restaurant, Kenton’s), Bev and Dr. Johnny Church, Carl and Anita Mixon, Dr. John and Mary Margaret Hevron, Tim Trapolin, Rebecca Schultz, and U.S. Rep. John Fleming. Funds raised will renovate the Post premises. All the while, guests extended hearty congratulations to Pepper.