- Howling Success
A paw-rade it was when the Louisiana SPCA held its most recent Howling Success at the Hyatt Regency and, in keeping with the event’s “Masquerade” title, asked guests to don masks. Or costumes. Or both.
A purposeful paw-ty, it raised operating funds for the more than 20,000 owned and abandoned animals seen annually at the LA/SPCA. The goal was $200,000.
Reagan Charleston, Chriss Knight, Marty Brantley, Christie Anderson and Dean Howard chaired the bash, the organization’s 36th annual event.
To hail them, they were presented special Howling Success lapel pins done by Symmetry Jewelers. More notables were restaurant Chairwoman Sue Zemanick (of Gautreau’s) and the Celebrity Committee members: Amelia Rose Blaire, Cary Elwes, Rose McGowan, RJ Mitte, and from the New Orleans Saints, Ramon Humber and Thomas Morstead. The Dorothy Dorsett Brown Humanitarian Award was presented to The New Orleans Advocate, and Advocate Editor Peter Kovacs accepted it on behalf of the newspaper.
Features of the merry masking were numerous and included entertainers Jayna Morgan & The Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band at the patron party and Stormy for the gala; a performance by aerialist Amy Cassidy; fine footing by the Mardi Gras dance troop, The Sirens; and a Social Media photo booth and Red Carpet Step & Repeat, courtesy of Capital One Wealth & Asset Management. Beautiful black feather-and-crystal arrangements by NOLA Flora accented the patron gifts and goodies from Canine Connection.
And, of course, there were the looks. Cocktail modes and “black tie” outfitted almost all the guests who wore their most mystical masks. One “Masquerade” minion commented that her mask was starting to be uncomfortable, but she was keeping it on. “I know how good-looking it is,” she said, almost purring.
The auction was bi-fur-cated, set up as both silent and online. Original artwork came from Ashley Longshore; “Chopped” Champion Chef Cory Bahr offered a wine-paired Louisiana seafood dinner for eight (valued at $10,000); and jewelry, vacations (“stay” and away) and more art were some of the additional attractions that lured the lucre.
Meanwhile, fine restaurants and quench quarters fueled the flock. Within those numbers were LA/SPCA CEO Ana Zorrilla, Dr. J. Coller Ochsner (a major donor along with The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Keith B. Hall — attendees Keith and Machelle Hall), LA/SPCA board President Jackie Shreves and Bruce, Louie and Sally Roussel, Luis and Regina Zervigon, John and Georgianne Poteet, Deedra and Donald Wing, Jeffrey and Elizabeth Elizardi, Charles and Cammie Mayer, Clem Goldberger and Bill Morgan, and Eleanor Farnsworth with a pack of pals.
Also, Paulette and Frank Stewart, Bill Hess and Susan (who commented, “There are a lot of wonderful masks and costumes”), Marla Garvey, Simone Bruni Crouere, Chris and Kerri Kane, Patricia Kennedy Livingston, and Kathy and Edmund Schrenk. To meow-ntion a few of the 850-plus attendees, who gyrated on the dance floor to Stormy’s “Lady Marmalade” and made “Masquerade” a doggone good time.
- Magic in the Park
Recognizing 20 years of revelry, Christian Brothers School held its annual fundraiser, Magic in the Park, which was sponsored by the Christian Brothers Foundation. School President/Principal Joey Scaffidi and spouse Lisa, along with the foundation’s operations executive and event coordinator, Carol Couvillion, were on hand to greet guests. In honor of the 20th anniversary, past “Gala Girls” in attendance were presented pins by Carol and by Joseph Taranto (representing his late wife, Charlene, and joined by daughter Nicole Allen) to thank them for making the event the success that it is today. Carol and Charlene were the original two “Gala Girls.”
Peggy Lulich (with husband Michael), Lennie Poseti (with Matthew), Trisha Wells (with Michael), Jodi Williams (with Lindsey) and Ray Radetich chaired the 2014 gallivanting, while Su-Sue Hentze and Lisa Yarborough, attending with Brett and Mike, launched the levity by spearheading the patron party. The Glazer’s-donated Champagne, a custom CBS ice sculpture and the Deluxe Jazz Trio accented the ado enjoyed by 300.
Double that party number of guests composed the gala roster with all entering the chandelier-lighted cultural center, where Kevin Tran and CHL Linen Co. carried out the evening’s emerald theme. More numbers figured in the bidding for the 250 auction items with Robert and Missy Rupp as the pleased purchasers of “Principal for a Day” for their seventh-grade twins. Foundation President Rocky Daigle (with Shannon) and CBS board Chairman Nolan Lambert (with Mary) worked their way through the 600-person crowd to thank folks for their support.
Food Chairmen Julie Recile, Steve Pettus and Craig Borges (with Sam, Yvette and Lisa) arranged purveyance from 60 restaurants, hotels and caterers, while several generous sources supplied drinks, thanks to libations Chairmen Ken Zito with Ashley, Missy Martin with Tom, and Karla Morris. Valrie Amato with Keith, Phil McManamon, Juli Blackwell with Lee, Jennie Keller, Lori Manahan Borden, Jane Alvarez with Rene, Alice Cibilich with Tony, Ann Dowling with Adam, John E. Fitzpatrick III with Kristy, Rick Chanove with Betsy, and Beth Landry with Victor figured, among others, as Gala Committee luminaries.
They “Magic” mingled with the school’s Heath Barker and Tricia, Brother John Mai, FSC, Bridgette and Hunt Graham, and hundreds more, who formed “The CBS Dome Patrol” of faculty, parents and former parents. Jazzy sounds then enjoyed a transitional move to rock, and Weathered provided boogieing for the “Park” pack.
- Pub Night
“Keep Calm and Carry On” themed the Daughters of the British Empire’s Pub Night at The Irish House, where Chef Matt Murphy provided an outstanding traditional British menu, including bangers and mash, and sticky toffee pudding. The “Keep Calm …” marquee for the event that benefited Mountbatten House Retirement Home recalled the time of World War II. One of the most interesting items during a “fun night with a raffle, door prizes, silent and live auctions, music and other interactive games” was the basket of books on wartime England. Collectors of memorabilia were enthralled.
Mastheaders for the DBE event were Honorary British Consul in Louisiana James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr., O.B.E., Patrick Lavis, DBE in Louisiana State President Jane Caruso with Lenny, Pub Night Co-Chairwomen Esther Coy and Penny Thompson with “Dr.” husbands David and Martyn, master of ceremonies Jason Waguespack, and state organizer Betty Calzada with husband Butsie and their granddaughter, Zora Ngwaba, who modeled auction items. Bonnie Slaughter was joined by her daughter, Collette Acosta, another model for the auction, as was Leah Buck, who also acted as a hostess.
Then there were Martine and British bobby-outfitted Martin Lowe, Kathy Edegran, of the Palm Court Jazz Café, Hilary Clark, Jean Benard, Winona Azura-Gibbs, and Hazel Turlington, who had just returned from the United Kingdom and Italy’s Tuscany. Auction Chairwoman Maggie Cantwell and auctioneer Taylor Eichenwald, of the New Orleans Auction House, made bidding big as folks scrambled verbally for jewelry, fine wine, antiques, gift baskets and art.
Further attractions among the many were a map game of the U.K. manned by Geoff Gilbert (spouse of Diana Clark) and the above Lenny Caruso; a competition to complete the phrase “Keep Calm …,” which was won by Beryl Mundee with the very British “Keep Calm and Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist”; and the vocalism of mezzo-soprano Lylee Hess. Dressed and coiffed in the style of the 1940s, she entertained the DBE dozens with songs from World War II, including “The White Cliffs of Dover” and ending with “We’ll Meet Again.”
- Around and About
Young Audiences held its Holiday Celebration in the impressive ballroom of the Martine Chaisson Gallery with catering by chef Emile Stieffel, music by Julio y Cesar, a Delta Airlines raffle, and the presence of Martine Chaisson Linares, Steve Washington, and event Chairmen Gail McKenna (with Dr. Warren), Stella Del Bianco (with Fulvio) and Dr. Tamer Acikalin. Noted, too, were Rickie and Dr. Gordon Nutik, Mary and Peter Nass, Del and Anita Demps, Ana and Dr. Juan Gershanik, and Robin Barnes.
The Junior League of New Orleans held its Holiday Sustainer Party at the home of Anne (and Edmund) Redd, and, nearby in the Garden District, the home of Heidi and James Dugan was the site for yule festivities given by BRAVO, the Ballet Resource and Volunteer Organization of the New Orleans Ballet Association. The Dugan home was formerly owned by Nicolas Cage and before that, Anne Rice.
In the whirl of cabaret, “a holiday feast of laughter and song” starred some of the town’s best-known stars in a fundraiser for (and at) Mid City Theatre. During the course of the entertainment, Kyle Daigrepont got down on a knee to propose to Mark Burton. “Yes” was the answer.