• Crest Cohorts

Led off by the name of Brother Martin High School President John Devlin, the annual Extravaganza took place in the New Orleans Marriott with a patron party, the gala itself, music by the Brother Martin Jazz band directed by alumnus (as are some of the following) Chris Bailey, gold-and-red themed decorations by Cara Velez (present with husband Dale), ice sculptures of the school’s crest, the Sader Spirit Surprise Raffle and exciting auctions. The silent boasted 209 items, while the verbal one — featuring Craig Frosh (with Jane Ann) as auctioneer — had 15, including a painting by Brother Carl Bouchereau, SC, which was purchased by Scot Craig. Thanks targeted Regions Bank as the major sponsor.

Abundant thanks were directed to Extravaganza Chaircouple Rhen and Kraig de Lanzac, Co-Chaircouples Scott and Mia Corrente and Jodi and Lindsey Williams, and patron party Co-Chaircouples Kathy and Sal Roevens, Christi and Leni Sumich, and Lisa and Sal Brocato. Further luminaries within the “Crest” cast of 920 were Brother Martin board Chairman Judge Robert Burns with Dee Dee, Alumnus of the Year Joe Exnicios with Debbie, Debbie and Mike Broussard, Michelle and Brian Barkemeyer, and Kaki and Randy Smith. From Brother Martin came Greg Rando with Bonnie, Tommy Mitchell with Beth, Nick Lagattuta with Marian, Thomas Mavor, Gabrielle Macaluso with Anthony, Julia Gandolfi with Alan, Janel Quitzau with Peter, and Megan Siebenkittel.

As the evening progressed, folks flocked to the dance floor, where The Bench Warmers added spirited entertainment. Lively night moves then ensued.

  • Fine Time with ‘New’ Wine

Held at the Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center, the 2014 French American Chamber of Commerce-Gulf Coast’s Beaujolais Festival fused the new “grape” and gallivanting. “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive” titled the worldwide celebration of the arrival of the new wine, the first of the harvest.

Cox Communications sponsored the wine glasses, Armand St. Martin donated piano time and The Yat Pack rallied oenophiles to the floor.

Meanwhile, many of the hundreds of Beaujolais-goers made tracks to the culinary and libations stations, as well as to the auction tables. A big “merci” went to auction Chairwoman Marie Kaposchyn, whose committee included Edna Greenbaum, Jean Cranmer (with spouse Bob Rue), and Christine Greenebaum.

Notables included French Consul General Gregor Trumel and Ingrid, FACC/CG President Eric Belin with Lorelei Cropley, executive director Loretta Krasnow, Butch Steadman (Dorignac’s Wine & Spirits), Karen Stone (Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits), Troy J. Broussard, Charles and Dottie Nelson, Ted Selogie, Christine and Etienne George, Damien Regnard, Millie Baudier, Bonnie Broel, Henry and Cheryl Battle, Melanie Weller, Paul Meyer and family, David and Colleen Bourg, Julien and Dominique Meyer, Ron Marlow, Tom and Courtney Krentel, Norma Grace, Aurelie Champvert, Sophie Castagne and scores more who relished the social vibrancy of the new vintage.

  • Senior Momentum

The Jefferson Council on Aging geared up for the third annual Senior Moments affair at Henry Shane’s Cars of Yesteryears Museum in Metairie, where more than 140 vintage automobiles wowed the crowd.

The collective eye also turned to the centerpieces of cut roses donated by Federico’s Family Florist, as well as to artwork by Christy Works-Boutte and to the array of biddable items. The menu attracted the taste buds with offerings from Langenstein’s, La Bella’s Catering and Second Harvest.

Big wheels at the bash included JCoA board Chairwoman Marie Clesi, executive director Al Robichaux, development director Liz Yager, event Chairwoman Susan Guidroz with Shawn, Jefferson Parish President John Young, state Sen. Conrad Appel, state Rep. Julie Stokes, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni, Harahan Mayor-elect Tina Miceli, Kenner Councilwoman Maria De Francesch, Cynthia Jackson, Annette LeBlanc, Dr. Henry Threefoot, Deborah Smith (Peoples Health), Doris Rappold and Gisela Chevalier.

Meryl Zimmerman provided the scintillation of swing and jazz renditions for the senior set who turn the page on age.

  • Purple Passion

Started last year to remember the late Ian G. Thompson, Purple Pants Party drew hosts to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer. Now under the name of the Ian G. Thompson Foundation, the second event held forth midday on a Saturday at the Civic Theatre with Leaaf Environmental, LLC as the presenter, and Jane Morgan, Ph.D, Ian’s widow, and their daughter, Eliana Thompson, as the spearheaders. The party benefited the Shirley P. and James Wray Bush Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Fund at the Ochsner Cancer Institute. Dr. Charles Conway, of the Ochsner Health System, and James Wray Bush (a survivor and in attendance with Shirley) both spoke, expressing their desire for a cure along with their gratitude.

Thanks extended to the various sponsors, as well as to those who showed support through donations to the silent auction and/or raffle. Milling about as they placed their bids, glanced at the plethora of purple decorations and grazed on fine fare from various eateries and drinkeries were Louisa Post, Jim and Claire Blazek, Guy Williams, Patty Wilhite, Steve and Sioban Trotter, Ian and Barbara Prosser, Hanlon deVerges, Emilie Montgomery and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. DJ El Camino kept the music spinning.

Jane and Eliana were especially gratified with the results of the party that counted 250-plus attendees and raised more than $18,000 to help fund pancreatic cancer research in early detection and treatment.