• LITERACY BENEFIT: Free writing programs for New Orleans youth will be the beneficiary of a Dark and Stormy Night fundraiser from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain in New Orleans City Park. Tickets are available at bigclass.org/darkandstormy; they are $40 for general admission or $125 for patrons, who will also be admitted to the patron party beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event benefits the youth writing nonprofit Big Class, which will open a new space on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in the summer. The Youth Writing Center will enable Big Class to add several new programs, so it can serve more than 3,500 students annually through an innovative approach to literacy that combines project-based learning with one-on-one volunteer support.
  • NEW ORLEANS GARDEN SOCIETY: Artist Joyce Laporte gave a program on “Landscaping in Art” during a recent meeting of the New Orleans Garden Society. She exhibited painting and related stories about their creation. The Garden Society meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the Playhouse at Longue Vue Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans.
  • UNITED WAY OF ST. CHARLES: Valero St. Charles Refinery has become the first single organization to raise more than $1 million for United Way of St. Charles. On hand for the check presentation were Ralph Phillip, vice president and general manager of Valero St. Charles Refinery; Don Davis and Kim Duvall, 2015-16 campaign chairs for Valero St. Charles Refinery; and Melissa Frederick and Kacy Kernan of United Way of St. Charles.