Last week’s party hit parade only took place on a couple of days, but boy, were they jam-packed!
The fun started off with the Bengal Belles' Pink & Teal Luncheon, recognizing breast and ovarian cancer months. The Oct. 11 celebration filled the L’Auberge Event Center in a sea of pink, teal, purple, gold and tiger prints. Presiding over the festivities was co-founder and President Aimée Simon, who had cancer survivors take a congratulatory stand before asking for a quiet moment to remember those who lost their battles, as well as for slain LSU basketball player Wayde Sims and those impacted by Hurricane Michael.
Former LSU Tiger Jarvis Green shared how the Belles’ support of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes positively impacted his life post-football. Green started his own shrimp company, Oceans 97, three years ago. His product is already in supermarkets up north, and he recently inked a deal to sell his shrimp and shrimp products at Walmart in next few weeks. “It’s like the one in ‘Forrest Gump,' but don’t call me Bubba,” he quipped.
Jarvis fired up the Belles by calling out CBS Sports broadcaster Gary Danielson, who claimed Georgia’s visit to Death Valley wouldn’t impact its game. Boy, was Danielson wrong!
Following Jarvis were current Tigers John Battle, Breiden Fehoko, Blake Ferguson, Derrick Dillon, Nick Brossette, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Terrace Marshall. To take home the coveted Bengal Belle cookies, emcee Gordy Rush had each describe the perfect first date. And while Edwards-Helaire’s fast-paced orange Mustang sounded enticing, he and the others were beaten when Fehoko played the Hawaii card by describing a romantic luau and walk on the beach. “And you know, everybody gets lei'd in Hawaii,” he added to seal the win.
Later that afternoon was a wine and cheese reception at the Emerge Center to introduce this year’s Volunteer Activists to each other, previous winners and Emerge board members. This year’s group includes Coletta Barrett, Jim Brandt, Nancy Crawford, Staci Deumite Duhé, Alsie Dunbar, Edmund Giering, Wendy Lipsey, Fatemeh Malekian, Rolfe McCollister, Levar Robinson, Todd Schexnayder and Ann Trappey. This year's Emerging Activist is Hailey Junca. They’ll be recognized for their volunteer efforts to better our community at the Volunteer Activist Luncheon on Nov. 16 at the Renaissance Hotel. For tickets, go online to emergela.org/events.
My next stop was Embassy Suites, where the March of Dimes held its Signature Chefs Auction. Welcoming guests were event chairman Mark Grippi and emcee Brittany Weiss. The evening also honored the Leroy Howard family as this year’s Ambassador Family.
Lead chef for the tasting was Joshua Hebert, executive chef for The Cabin, Bernadette’s Table and the Coffee House at the Cajun Village. Other participating chefs included Colt Patin, Louisiana Culinary Institute; Celeste Gill, Celeste’s Bistro & 520 Spain; Danny Santana, Bin 77 Bistro & Sidebar; and Gaston Decuir, Zydeco in Embassy Suites.
Brian Fourroux handled auction duties for the tempting 10-package lineup.
Blue Ribbon Soirée
The last stop of the day was the eighth annual Blue Ribbon Soirée at the Renaissance Hotel. Blue was the color of this fundraiser for prostate cancer. In particular, proceeds went to Dr. Oliver Sartor and his research at Tulane University’s Cancer Center, to Cancer Services and to the Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
The soirée is a project of the families and friends of Larry Ferachi and Joel Nasca, both of whom died from prostate cancer. To date, the event has raised almost $1 million.
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, basketball coach Will Wade and gymnastics coach D-D Breaux served as honorary chairmen. Chairing the event were Kathy and Ricky Lato and Janey Nasca. Committee members included Jude Bernhard, Gretta Blakenship, Joleen Hayes, Jen Hebert, Chip Kline, Liz Laenger, Ronnie Maranto, Heather Termini and Daniel Williams.
Among the guests was Larry Ferachi's mom, Beulah Ferachi, who celebrated her 92nd birthday the week before the event. Also spotted in the crowd were Karen Mainieri, Lauralyn Maranto, Suzanne and Gray Sexton, Lisa and George Anton, Lisa and Richard Busceme, Chris and Bill Blackwood, Kim and Mike Womack, Kim and Brad Watts, Gracie Ridgell, Mike Clegg, Dr. Anthony and Karen Stephens, Bettsie Miller, Rose Marie and Johnny Fife, Robin Hebert, Caresse Threadgill, Laurie and Mark Aronson and Paul Bologna.
I got to party with Karen and Anthony Stephens and Mike Clegg again on Saturday at a Team Holly party hosted by the Stephens. It was so good to get to hug my friend, Holly Clegg, who is in a fierce battle against stomach cancer. As you can see from the photo, she’s looking good!
The cookbook author and columnist for The Advocate is getting tons of support from family and friends and from fans of her cookbooks. The decision to go public with her fight is inspiring hundreds and shining a light on this rare form of cancer.