Les Brigands de Lafitte held its 65th Ball Masque on Feb. 2 in the Frem F. Boustany Ballroom at the Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center.

The theme for this year’s ball was “Peace” and, amidst a 1960s-era haze, a replica of this year’s doubloon hung over center stage. As the guests arrived, they were greeted by the chairman of the floor committee, Sterling Lejeune.

The celebration began with the traditional captain’s whistle, and Jean Lafitte entered, tossing long necklaces and patriotic trinkets to the guests, followed by his trusted pirate officers carrying a huge chest filled with treasures and gifts for the women. Lafitte’s handpicked governors entered, leading the brigands (their identity hidden under colorful uniforms and masks) who paraded around the dance floor tossing necklaces to the crowd. The ballroom slowly darkened and the queen of Les Brigands 2018, Madeline Mercer Busch, was recognized. All former queens in attendance also were acknowledged. 

The dukes, each representing notable figures from the past and from the future, paraded to the stage. A replica of a Volkswagen Micro Bus topped by a motorcycle illuminated with lasers and colorful electronic lighting ferried in the king, Easy Rider.

The queen of Les Brigands de Lafitte, Ann Louise Babineaux, and the royal maids were then presented.

The queen is the daughter of Joel and Lisa Babineaux. A senior at Ascension Episcopal School, she is on the Executive Leadership Board and serves as a community service prefect. During her junior year, she was named class leader for community service. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and was on the honor roll and in the dual-enrollment program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for four years. During her senior year, she was secretary of Students Against Destructive Decisions. She has been on Ascension’s volleyball team for four years, track team for two years and was a junior varsity cheerleader. Babineaux also has spent four years as a Young Life participant and has taken mission trips to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica.

Lillian René Broussard, daughter of Scott Oneal Broussard and Lorraine Ann Billeaud, is a senior at Ascension Episcopal School. She is the yearbook editor, on the honor roll and is a member of the Beta Honor Society, National Honor Society and was on the homecoming court. Broussard is a three-time state qualifier in track and field and has been a cheerleader. She represented the Universal Cheerleading Association and Varsity Spirit in the London New Year’s Day parade.

Elizabeth Stott Callaghan, daughter of David and Amanda Callaghan, is a senior at Western Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society and captains the girls’ lacrosse team. She is a four-year member of the field hockey team, where she received the sportsmanship award. She has been a counselor at Camp Allegheny in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and has volunteered with the Special Olympics Tennis Association.

Catherine Alexandra Cook, daughter of Chris and Christine Cook, is a senior at Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She is an honor student and has made the academic dean’s list and honor roll. She captains the Cistercian Varsity Cheer Team and was chosen Cistercian homecoming queen. She received the National Cheerleaders Association Individual Leadership Award and was nominated as an All-American. She serves as an Ursuline ambassador, vice president of the Pink Ladies Club and head of communications for the Environmental Club. Cook is a member of the Ursuline newspaper staff and writes for The Bear Facts newspaper. She has been an active member of Young Life for four years and heads the outreach team. She also volunteers for Children’s Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Katherine Alden David, daughter of Bob and Lisa David, is a senior at St. Thomas More Catholic High School, where she has 4.0 grade-point average and is a member of National Honor Society and Beta Club. She has lettered for three years in varsity soccer and one year in varsity track. She also participates in French Club, Campus Ministry, the Pep Rally Committee and is an Options mentor.

Victoria Frances Dupre, daughter of Shawn and Kim Dupre, is a senior at St. Thomas More Catholic High School, where she has been a cheerleader for four years, three of which were on the competition team. She received a Pin-It-Forward Award and an All-American award from the Universal Cheerleading Association. She has been a school ambassador for two years and received the Top Cat award. She has been a campus minister and Options mentor for four years and served on both the Light and Quest retreat teams. 

Elizabeth Robins Elmore, daughter of Jeff and Jan Elmore, is a senior at St. Thomas More Catholic High School, where she has been an ambassador and a member of the STM Campus Ministry team and the anti-abortion club for four years. As a senior, she was nominated for “Breakfast of Champions.”

Megan Elizabeth Fudge, daughter of Gary and M’Neil Foard Fudge, is a senior at Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia. She has been a varsity cheerleader since her freshman year on Centennial’s sideline and competition teams. She also received the Scholar Athlete Award and has been a member of The Stingray Allstars Black Diamond competition cheer team for four years. She is a member of the Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, UNICEF club and volunteers in the school’s special education department. She also has served the community through Agape Way, Blessings in a Backpack and as a member of The National Charity League.