Seasons Grief and Loss Center amassed a caring crowd at Galatoire’s for the annual Dine A Rama, while, and earlier, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul took to the Mississippi for its fundraising merriment. Back to terra firma it was for the New Orleans Chapter of Fashion Group International, which held a professional powwow over cocktails at The Columns Hotel. All three outings had the added focus of organizational and personal friendship.

Dine A Rama

Galatoire’s was abuzz on a normally dark night — Monday — with the Seasons Grief supporters, who first enjoyed a round of libations while they purchased raffle tickets, and then sat for a five-course dinner. Turtle soup kicked off the repast that followed with salad, redfish puttanesca, braised brisket and banana bread pudding.

Notables included Donald “Don” and Mary Evelyn Mueller, Neil and center executive director Mindy Keller, Kyle and Lynn Strander, Trey and Bridgette Forstall, Jo-Ann Mueller, Kenny and Denise Nagim, Rodney and Johnie Salvaggio, and Gene and Linda Newton who enjoyed chatting with Jerry and Marilyn Schoen (and others) at their dinner table.

Nearby were a Varisco foursome, Vinnie and Julie and Paul and Hilary, who represented both themselves and parents Jill and Paul, board chairman of the nonprofit Seasons Grief Center, which offers specialized bereavement programs. It is located in Metairie.

Still others were Michael Mueller and Catherine Varino, Mark Mueller, Chris and Angelle Stassi, Pete and Melanie Minor, James and Rhonda Parker, Frank and Dee Fazzio, and Charles and Helen Wirth. All turned an attentive ear to Jane Morgan, who, with daughter Eliana Thompson, will spearhead the second Purple Pants Party on Nov. 15, in the middle of the day, at The Civic to benefit the I.G. Thompson Foundation. The fundraiser was created to remember Eliana’s dad and Jane’s husband, architect Ian Thompson, who died of pancreatic cancer.

The family is asking folks to “be a part of ‘Designing a Cure for Pancreatic Cancer’ in the Greater New Orleans community.”

Heartfelt applause occurred as Jane finished talking.

The Dine A Rama had added an exciting raffle: $100 gift certificates to 10 top (and generous) New Orleans restaurants. Sissy Wood beamed as the raffle winner.

Jazzin’ on the River

A cool breeze, a stunning sunset and the scintillationg sounds of the Dukes of Dixieland all blended for St. Vincent de Paul’s annual fundraiser, Jazzin’ on the River. The historic Steamboat Natchez was the site for the cruising that benefited the international, nonprofit charitable organization that serves the needy in the community. A Catholic lay organization, it was founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam and has as its patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

During the course of the aqueous ado, retired Archbishop Alfred Hughes joined society members and guests in honoring Garland Kliebert of the Immaculate Conception St. Vincent de Paul conference with the 2014 Top Hat award for his 25 years of devoted service. Mr. Kliebert was ill that evening (but accepted it in person the next day) and Don Ory represented him.

Archdiocesan Council Board President Michael Champagne, who was joined by spouse Leslie, welcomed guests and recognized St. Vincent de Paul executive director Deacon Rudy Rayfield and former board President Claiborne Perrilliat, who was joined by his wife, Jeanie. Additional notables “jazzing on the river” were Philip Schoen Brooks and Noonee, Bill Siegel, the Herman Abrys, George and Carolyn Bent, Barra and Kay Birrcher, Horace Bynum Jr., the Bill Hites, Sister Marjorie Hebert, MSC, Tom Costanza, Lee and Marion Eagan, Juan and Jennifer Molina, Patricia and Michael Toso, and Ned and Letatia Ducksworth.

Also noted were WWL-TV’s Alexandra Cranford, the guest of Christ the King St. Vincent de Paul conference President Paul and Marion Claudel, and Gay and Doug Kariker, the event’s chaircouple. Thanks flowed their way.

Cocktail Social

An informal gathering at The Columns beckoned members and guests of the Fashion Group, an organization of professionals, who work in the local fashion industry. The get-together was the first in a series of regularly scheduled mixers to encourage fellowship, networking and brainstorming among the city’s fashion professionals.

Within the FG “family” were Sarah Elizabeth Dewey, Jolie Bensen Hamilton, spouses Tracee Dundas and Arnold Baker, Janet Rucker, Julie Branden, Coeli Hilferty, Bonnie Broel, Leslie Courreges, Dominique Ellis, Shena Trois, Annie Heggeman, Sarah Sadler Worsley, Stephanie Cramer, Sarah Robins, and Wayne Phillips and partner Troy Powell. Wayne answers to curator of both costumes and textiles, and Carnival Collections at the Louisiana State Museum.

A second social, attesting to the success of the first, occurred on Thursday evening at W.I.N.O. on Tchoupitoulas Street. More good, “fashionable” fun!

Around and About

Readers of Architectural Digest will enjoy this month’s “Designing with Color” edition and its New Orleans connections.

In a piece titled “Full Spectrum,” the text is by Mimi Read. “Bold Strokes” features the pied-a-terre in San Francisco decorated for winemakers Elizabeth and W. Clarke Swanson, who married at St. Louis Cathedral. She’s the former Elizabeth “Liz” Pipes of the Crescent City, and, as written in the article, “is half Cuban.” Moving on, and with a Vieux Carre focus, is “Bayou Blend,” an eight-page article on the “New Orleans townhouse of celebrated hoteliers Frances and Rodney Smith.” They are the owners of the Soniat House Hotel and are depicted with radiant smiles in the piece, which calls them “major stars in New Orleans.”

Follow this link to the photos.