The Mary and William and McCaffrey Ballroom at Xavier University was the location for levity and laurels when alumni under the age of 40 were celebrated and honored. Titled “40 Under 40 Awards Celebration,” the event hailed those who are living the Xavier mission of leadership and service. Nearly 200 nominations were made and a distinguished panel scored each application.
More than 500 guests arrived at the site, where they were treated to the sounds of alumnus Rasul Dickey, aka DJ Rx, during a cocktail reception with flowing bubbly and New Orleans-style hors d’oeuvres. Immediately following the reception, the awards program began with interim provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Deidre Labat, first Vice President of the National Alumni Association Demetria George Caston and Alumni Relations director at Xavier Kimberly Reese extending greetings. Honoree and comedian Dr. Lavar Walker stepped forward as master of ceremonies, and the soulful music of T-Ray the Violinist served as the musical interlude.
Enjoying the taste treats of Byrd House Catering were Councilman and honoree Jared Brossett, director of Communications and External Affairs for BP America Karl Connor, Xavier University President C. Reynold Verret, President emeritus Norman C. Francis, New Orleans Alumni Chapter President Maria Sly George and Blair Dottin-Haley, road manager for vocalist Rachelle Farrell.
And, National Bar Association deputy general counsel Alejandro Perkins, University of West Florida dean and associate vice provost of University College Kim LeDuff, fashion designer and K’Pich owner Kristine Pichon, Xavier senior Vice President for Administration Ralph Johnson, and LSU vice provost for diversity Dereck Rovaris. Kudos!
- Fore!Kids for Kids
A social “sweet 16” it was for the annual Golf Ball given by the Fore!Kids Foundation. That many years was the tally for the fun that unfolded in Club XLIV at Champions Square on a recent Friday night. “Auction. Dinner. Dancing” were the beckoning words, and 500 people responded affirmatively.
The first attraction, the auction, created bid business. Among the items were sports packages (with such names as Mike Tyson, Jordan Speith, Steph Curry, Drew Brees, and Peyton and Eli Manning), along with an Acme Oyster House party for 30 guests and a Sandestin rental. More than $6,000 worth of wine figured in the raffle.
The food fare was most pleasing and the centerpieces were designed and produced by the students at St. Michael Special School.
Making their rounds, and quite a few got thanks as sponsors, were foundation President and CEO Steve Worthy with Diana, Golf Ball Co-Chairwomen Jeanne Gallo and Melisssa Manthey with husbands David (FKF board chairman) and Tristan (a board member), Golf Ball captain and master of ceremonies Damien Serauskas and Gail, 2016 Zurich Classic Chairman Mike Garin with Mary Lynn, and recent Classic Chairmen Doug Wertz (2014) and Craig Silva (2013) with Monica and Patty. Doug has reaped congratulations as the national 2015 PGA Tour Volunteer of the Year.
Milling, too, were Eddie Boettner and Shelley Pigeon, Brian and Emelie Cheramie, Scott and Kristi Ballard, C.E. and Cherie Adler, Paul and Lisa McGoey, Desi Vega, Mike Rodrigue, J.T. Hannan, Chris Kenyon, Fletcher and Travers Mackel, Gary Solomon, Rocky Weigand, Brian and Charlotte Landry, Mary and Keith Perrin, Bill and Gabrielle Mimeles, and Mickey Parenton. Hundreds more, who responded to the third come-on, “Dancing.” Filling that bill were the Bucktown All Stars.
- A Wine Time Was Had By All
The introduction each year of the new Beaujolais wine is hailed globally with fanfare. In New Orleans, the French American Chamber of Commerce-Gulf Coast hosted the 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau Celebration at the JW Marriott. In addition to the excitement of the introduction of the Beaujolais Nouveau, the evening became a festival of food, live music and auction ado. Guests sampled wines from the Beaujolais region of France as they perused the four auction tables. Sig Greenebaum was the master of ceremonies, and the Yat Pack, Armand St. Martin and Les ReBelles entertained.
Consul General of France Gregor Trumel and spouse Ingrid, along with Jacques and Angel Soulas, and Todd Woodruff were the honorary chairmen; the hosts were the FACC-GC, JW Marriott New Orleans, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, and Dorignac’s Wine & Spirits; and the Generous Sponsors were Air Liquide, Cox, St. Tammany District Attorney Warren Montgomery, Waldemar S. Nelson and Company, and Georges Duboeuf. Special thanks tapped the Consulate General of France in New Orleans; FACC-GC President Eric Belin, Greg Lambousy, and Melanie Weller, event chairmen; and David Buquoi, Earl Dyck, Marie Kaposchyn, Nikki Polk, Edna Greenbaum, and Loretta Krasnow. Henry Battle is the FACC-GC board chairman.
The participating cuisines numbered 19; the wine and spirits participants, 12; and the auction donors, well over five dozen.
Taking it all in were Cecile Ginger Andry, Aurelie Champvert and Maurice Morange, the Alex Vialous, Donna Apgar, the Jon Smiths, the Paul Meyers, Millie Baudier, Justin Augustine, Jessica Steverson, Christine and the above Sig Greenebaum, Jean Cranmer and Bob Rue, Stephanie Halphen, Jean-Luc Albin, Jacqueline Simon, Sally Duplantier, David and Jessica Gentry (who shone on the dance floor), Paige and Jacques Saleun, Louise “Lou” Hoffman and son Donald Hoffman Jr., John and Priscilla Lawrence, Julien Worms, Maria and Joaquin Gomes, Karen Stone and others who’d attended the earlier French Market Tree Lighting.
All the while, the Beaujolais Nouveau was readily consumed and the dance floor was packed, thanks to the Yat Pack and their gleeful sounds.
- Sipping With Santa
This was truly a case of Claus and effect. For the sixth year, Sipping with Santa took place to benefit the Kenner Food Bank. Chateau Golf and Country Club was the venue. Silent and live auctions, door prizes and “party with a purpose” drew more than 600 guests, who marveled at the beautifully decorated Christmas trees all around the club house that made a perfect backdrop for a group picture with Santa. The tables were adorned with glass vases filled with fresh pine cones and ornaments.
Chef Dennis Hutley prepared his popular shrimp and mirliton casserole and introduced a new dish: Orleans chicken. As for the libations, guests queued up for Candy Cane Cosmos, Christmas Wedding Martinis, and Spiced Apple Sangria.
Welcoming the crowd as hosts were Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni (president-elect of Jefferson Parish) and Michelle, Kenner Councilman Keith Conley with Barbie. Dr. Arnold Lupin, Dan and Teresa Kelly, Mike Maunoir and Peggy Yenni, Nancy and Tommy St. Germain, Ann Johnson, Diana Madrigal- Barnitz, Mike and Angela Glaser, Dean and Paulette Hall, Diane and Bob Brown, Pam Swanner and Gail Ford, Scott and Peggy Kippers, Cindy and Ron Paulin, Kevin and Rene Lang and David Seawright. They, and scores mores, beamed at the $58,000 raised.
And, there was really something about that old guy in the belted red suit, who smiled nonstop and cried out ho, ho, ho!