Every summer, Shirley and Jim Porter roll out the welcome mat to their home for the Sunshine Foundation’s membership soirée, and this year the celebration was on June 14. Not only do guests get to renew their memberships, but newly invited guests can join. It’s also where the annual Sunshine for Kids Gala honoree is announced.
This year’s honoree is Lois Saye, who has served on the foundation’s board from day one. She will be in the spotlight at the Nov. 7 gala at the City Club. This event is the primary fundraiser for the foundation, which publishes Shirley’s book, “You Are Sunshine.” The self-esteem book is handed out to every public school kindergarten student by members of the Louisiana National Guard, whose members also stick around a bit to read the book to the students.
Among those on hand for the announcement were Diane and Johnny Tate, Marshall and Tim Gunn, Nancy and Rob Ginn, Sue Rainer, Marilyn Crake, Stephanie Arceneaux and gala committee members Amy Temple, Diane Bruno, Chris Weilenman and Brittany Barback.
The night before had me in the Big Easy for a lovely dinner at Restaurant R’evolution celebrating the 110th anniversary of Haspel, creator of the seersucker suit. June 13 was chosen because it was National Seersucker Day, and Haspel launched its new Archival Collection. Featuring vintage-style fabrics and silhouettes, the collection has 110 pieces, each one numbered and with a unique Haspel label.
The celebration continues this fall, when Haspel debuts a formal collection featuring new tonal seersuckers in dark color combinations, along with tartan dinner jackets with grosgrain lapels, velvet dinner jackets and a white cotton, shawl-collared dinner jacket.
It was hard to determine who was most proud of the announcement — CEO Laurie Haspel Aronson, who resurrected the label founded by her grandfather; her mom Susan Haspel Lipsey; or Will Swillie, Haspel executive vice president, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to at dinner.
The guest list also included actor Bryan Batt and partner Tom Cianfichi; Brenner Thomas; models Patton Brantley, Paul Perroni and Pierce Rubenstein; and Lesley and Kenny Rubenstein, whose Canal Street store is considered Haspel’s “flagship” store.
The week wrapped up at the annual Baton Rouge Pride celebration June 15 at the Raising Cane’s River Center. Among the entertainment were over-the-top performances by the Golden Guys and Austin Baptist Women. Let’s just say, you just had to be there.