Holiday music and sparkling lights filled the foyer of St. Tammany Parish Hospital, but a 20-foot tree was the highlight of the décor for the recent Angels of Light fundraiser benefiting the hospital's hospice.

The tree was adorned with “Tribute Angels” honoring loved ones, and following a welcome by board chairman Rock Kendrick and a prayer by the Rev. Daniel Vanek, the name of each Tree of Life honoree was read aloud. Harpist Judy Seghers and the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Employee Vocalists softly sang as the tree was lit.

Although solemn, the event was also a celebration of life and remembrance. Laughter and singing followed the beautiful ceremony, as children feasted on punch and holiday cookies.

The Luminaria Walkway was dedicated to the memory of Rosemary Barton Pfeffer and Philip Emmett Pfeffer, and the Dunavant family provided the angels for the tree in honor of the doctors and nurses in the NICU department.

Blanche McCloskey dedicated the musical entertainment in memory of Dennis V. McCloskey, and the group also honored Dr. Adrian B. Cairns with the 2017 Perpetual Angel designation.  

Leadership St. Tammany fete

Graduates and current class members of Leadership St. Tammany gathered recently at The Community Center of Christwood to celebrate the holidays. The annual festive gathering gives community leaders the opportunity to socialize and network following a year of serving the north shore.

A large red-and-gold Christmas tree was the focal point of the party room, with café tables available for sitting and talking. Roast beef, shrimp and grits and crawfish pies were just a few of the sumptuous food offerings, and a full bar lined the north side of the venue. Musician Crispin Schroeder entertained throughout the evening, with lively dance numbers interspersed with holiday favorites.

The foundation board also used the occasion to name it’s 2017 Alumnus of the Year, Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz, from the class of 2007. Lentz was honored for his continued outstanding contributions to the community.

The foundation's board includes President Michael Sprague, Vice President Michael Mire, Secretary Georgia Thomas, Treasurer Lindy Stonecypher and Past President Kristie Thomas. Other board members in attendance included Bill Allin, Chad Marshall, Elizabeth Didier, Jodi Canadas, Larry Rolling, Leslie Martin, Jenny Mutter, Meredith Timberlake, Vincent Cangiamilla, Advisor Mark Johnson and liaison Camilla Davis.

Missie Arata Noel is the society writer for the north shore. She can be contacted by email at