For more than 20 years, the St. Bernard Volunteers for Family and Community Inc. held an annual Christmas Tour of Homes as its major fundraiser. This year, organizers have decided to try something new with the Red, White and Blue Rendezvous.

Scheduled for one week before the St. Bernard Parish primary election, the event will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 16 at The Gathering, 7265 St. Claude Ave. in Old Arabi.

Each participating candidate will have a jar with his or her name on it. Participants will be able to “vote” for their favorite candidate by making a donation and placing a slip of paper in the candidate’s jar — which will entitle them to one chance to win a prize donated by the candidate. Patrons can vote as many times as they wish, and for as many candidates as they please.

Tickets are $40 per person and include food and music. To purchase tickets, call Faith Moran at (504) 450-5809 or Claudette Ponstein at (504) 669-8089. Tickets also can be purchased at Jeanfreau’s Meat Market, 2324 Paris Road, Chalmette; Arabi Food Store, 650 Friscoville Ave., Arabi; and the St. Bernard Visitors Center, 409 Aycock St., Old Arabi.

A cash bar will be available, and there will be a parade of prizes and 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit local nonprofit organizations and scholarships for college-bound St. Bernard Parish high school students. Monetary donations also can be made.

Candidates wishing to participate can call Susan Klees at (901) 484-9059.

Last year, the St. Bernard VFC raised $31,000 at its Tour of Homes, financing grants to 21 charities and nonprofits serving St. Bernard Parish.

Sugar Festival

The Old Arabi Neighborhood Association’s seventh annual Sugar Festival will take place from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Aycock Barn, 409 Aycock St. in Old Arabi.

The festival will feature food, live music, children’s activities, crafts, a doughnut-eating contest and a dessert-cooking contest. The entertainment schedule is as follows: Arabi Elementary Chorus, 3 p.m.; Chalmette High School Jazz Band, 3:15 p.m.; Miss Martha and Her Good Time Band, 4:15 p.m.; Alexis & the Samurai, 5:45 p.m.; and the Irene Sage Band, 7:15 p.m.

The dessert competition winners will be announced at 4 p.m., the doughnut-eating contest will take place at 5:30 p.m., and the parade of prizes will happen at 7 p.m.

The event also is sponsored by Domino Sugar and the Meraux Foundation.

For information, call (504) 278-4242.

Golf tournament

The St. Bernard Sports Hall of Fame and Gulf Coast Bank will hold their 20th annual golf tournament Saturday, Oct. 10, at Oak Harbor in Slidell. Festivities begin at 11 a.m.; tee-off is at 1 p.m.

The registration fee is $100 per player or $400 for a foursome and includes beer, lunch and dinner. Sponsorships start at $50 per hole.

For information, call Eddie Appel at (504) 301-6135; Jerry Graves at (504) 343-4041; Roy Cortes at (985) 246-8354; or Bryan Frichter at (504) 554-2685.

Night Out Against Crime

St. Bernard Parish will celebrate the 32nd annual National Night Out Against Crime with festivities taking place Tuesday, Oct. 13, across the parish.

Organizers of neighborhood gatherings can call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7628 to request a crime-prevention presentation by a Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Nearly 30 group events were held in St. Bernard last year, at churches and public places as well at private homes.

The National Night Out Against Crime is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and was introduced in 1984 to strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts.

BPW Man, Woman of the Year

The St. Bernard Business and Professional Women’s Club has named Clifford Stephen Reuther and Catherine Ybarzabal Serpas as its 55th man and woman of the year.

Reuther and Serpas will be honored at the club’s annual gala at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with a cash bar.

Tickets are $55 per person and must be purchased by Friday, Oct. 9. Tables of 10 can be reserved. For information or tickets, call Wanda Alcon at (504) 451-3694.

Reuther, a St. Bernard native, graduated summa cum laude from Jesuit High School in 2000 and received a degree in business administration from the University of Florida.

Reuther, chief executive officer of the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, serves on numerous boards and committees across the region, including the Southeast Regional Coalition of Business Councils, the Nunez Community College Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Crime Stoppers GNO, NORLI (New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute), GNO, Inc., Workforce Investment Board for Planning District One, Regional Planning Commission’s Clean Air Coalition, Valero Citizens Advisory Panel and the Chalmette Refining Citizens Advisory Panel, just to name a few. He also is a founding member of the GNO Inc. NEXTGEN Council, and is a graduate of NORLI and the Loyola Institute of Politics.

Reuther, the son of Claudette and Cliff Reuther, has two daughters with his wife, Erin Tarcza Reuther.

Serpas, a New Orleans native, moved to St. Bernard Parish with her family in the 1950s. She still works at Chalmette Bicycle Store, the business her parents started more than 50 years ago when they moved to St. Bernard Parish.

Serpas serves as sergeant-at-arms for the Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society and helps organize the Islenos Fiesta, Feast of San Bernardo and Christmas Celebration. As a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church, Serpas serves on the church council, is a lector at Mass, and volunteers her time at the church’s Lenten seafood dinners and annual pumpkin patch. She also participates in the annual Santa on the Bayou Christmas event for needy children in St. Bernard, and is a member of the newly formed St. Bernard Chapter of the Lions Club. Serpas received the Order of St. Louis Award presented by the New Orleans Archdiocese for leadership in St. Bernard Church.

Together she and her late husband, Donald Serpas Sr., have three children, Donald Jr., James and Kathy. Serpas has seven granddaughters, 15 great-grandchildren and is expecting her first great-great-grandchild.

‘Spirit of the People’ exhibit

The Creative Alliance of New Orleans, in partnership with Sidney Torres of the Torres I Burns Trust, recently opened a new exhibit at the Crevasse 22 Sculpture Garden and River House Museum, a new museum located at 8122 Saro Lane in Poydras.

The exhibit, “The Spirit of the People of St. Bernard: Portraits and Videos,” celebrates the people of St. Bernard, including the Islenos, who have met more than one disaster since the area was first settled in the 18th century.

The display features portraits by some of the region’s most recognized, as well as emerging photographers, including Blake Boyd, Keith Calhoun, Chandra McCormick, Jonathan Traviesa, Kelsey Stult, and Monique Verdin. There also are video interviews by videographer Michael Lancaster with interviewer Jeanne Nathan, and some works from the Land-Scapes show, including works by Ron Bechet, Sandra Russell Clark, Gabrielle Gaspard, Jillian Gibson and Diego Larguia.

The Sculpture Garden, which focuses on environmental themes, includes works by Elizabeth Shannon, Luis Colmemares, Gene Koss, Mitchel Gaudet, Srdjan Locar, Christopher Saucedo, Bob Tannen, Monique Verdin, Erica Larkin Gaudet and Susan Giselson

The “Spirit of the People of St. Bernard” exhibition is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and by appointment, through Nov. 15. Southern coffee punch, lemonade and morning treats are served on Sundays.

For information, call Jeanne Nathan at (917) 232-4522.

Kim Gritter writes about people, places and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at