Never underestimate art or a woman. Painting with a Twist partnered with Caroline & Co. and the Vera Bradley Foundation on behalf of breast cancer. To the tune of “Come Together,” artists painted into the evening under the guidance of Shannon Vincent and went home with a free Vera Bradley tote bag. Valerie Mayer, of New Iberia, and Kay Olds and Jeanne McCloy, of Patterson, were among those putting the finishing touches on a tiger lily. “We’ve come three years in a row,” said McCloy. 

“All Painting with a Twist franchises participate,” said owner Tammy Milam. “We raised over $300,000 systemwide last year. We beat Burger King.”

Roar of the Greasepaint

Lauren-Reilly Elliott Company was also philanthropically inclined, presenting the LRE Acting Class Showcase 2017 to benefit United Way. Twelve students performed six scenes — five humorous and one serious — with all proceeds going to charity. Actors ranged from no experience to old hands, with Dennis Ward taking on the role of a blind man, Patricia Sidman that of a grieving daughter dialoguing with the funeral director, and Michelle Colon as a “basic bitch.” “We wanted to finish off with a performance in front of a live audience,” said LRE founder, director and actor Cooper Helm. “We also wanted to do some philanthropy. Why wait for the flood?” 

And in This Corner …

Ruffino’s has entered the ring. Head bartender Michelle Schexnaydre came out swinging with her Absolut Mandarin, Lychee Sake, house simple syrup and passion fruit, and judging from the trays of pink martinis going out, it’s a contender. A little more than midway through the competition, Fezzo’s, Tsunami, Bon Temps Grill and Zea are yet to go. Restaurants compete for the title of Best Martini, and all drink proceeds benefit Healing House.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at