Spring is here and the social scene is heating up, evidenced by a jam-packed week of events. So, let’s get right to them.
Bunny Hop Brunch
The Crowne Plaza was overrun with children of all ages dressed in their Easter best for the 14th annual Bunny Hop Brunch on March 22. Jenny Heroman emceed the benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Before everyone filed into the ballroom, moms and grandmothers did a little shopping at the silent auction while the little ones posed with the Easter Bunny. After we all got settled at our tables, it was time for the children’s fashion show featuring spring and summer looks from Banbury Cross, bKids and Tangerine. The agenda also included three competitive games of bingo, sponsored by McDonalds and Word & Brown Companies, and a free-for-all Easter egg hunt. The Meyer Group sponsored the gift bags.
Other sponsors included Group Insurance Inc., Louisiana Drug Card, Ryan “Jume” Jumonville and Carline Management.
‘A Vintage Affair’
Saturday started at the Woman’s Club for its “A Vintage Affair” spring tea, the highlight of which was a stroll down memory lane courtesy of the World War II Museum’s Victory Belles — Meggie George, Shelbie Mac and Dody Nolan. They started off, appropriately, with the Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and wrapped up with Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.” I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with tablemates Meg and Don Gerald and Meg’s parents, Pat and Max Richards.
I had to leave before it was all over in order to make it out to the LSU AgCenter’s Botanic Gardens.
‘Brush with Burden’
Cherie Fry’s painting, “Connected,” and Dede Lusk’s photograph, “Quiet Beauty,” took home first-place honors at the Burden Horticulture Society’s “Brush With Burden” juried art exhibit and sale. They were among the 59 artists and 25 photographers taking part in the exhibition.
Other art winners included Dawn Koetting, “After the Rain,” second place; Arthur McViccar, “Moonscape,” third place; Wendy Hazey, “Spring,” Honorable Mention; William McInnis, Elizabethan Gallery Merit Award; Andrea Kostyal and Marge Campane, Co-Op Book Merit Awards; Betsy Neely, Acadian Framing Merit Award; and Jane Flowers, Blick Art Supply Merit Award.
Photography winners included Donna Futrell, “Cotton Pickin’,” second place; Cathy Smart, “Taking Flight,” third place; Sheldon Anders, Honorable Mention; Steven Sotile, Daryl & Sons Merit Award; Butch Spielman and David Howell, Acadian Framing Merit Awards; Randy Roussel, Co-Op Bookstore Merit Award.
Dancing in the Street
The party prowl came to end at Perkins Rowe for the Baton Rouge Ballet Theater’s “Dancing in the Street.” The street party kicked off with Phat Hat performing Martha & the Vandella s’ hit song, “Dancing in the Street,” which the band learned specially for this event.
Diane Deaton and her WAFB “9 News this Morning” sidekick Lauren Westbrook emceed the evening, the highlight of which was the performance by Team Leonard dancers Dr. Aimée Russo -M ounger, Claire Preston Broyles and choreographer Leonard Augustus.
Other big moments were when Molly Buchmann presented board member Brad Blanchard with BRBT’s Volunteer of the Year award and when Diane and Lauren presented BRBT instructor Rebecca Mathews Acosta with a birthday cake celebrating her 40th. Molly’s sidekick, Co-artistic Director Sharon Mathews, snuck out early to attend her 50th high school reunion.
Sapphires & Spurs
Friday had me popping in at LSU’s John M. Parker Coliseum for Family Services of Greater Baton Rouge’s Sapphires & Spurs fundraiser. This event is fun for the whole family.
Did you know there’s a musical about Motown? And one about Carole King ? The musical theater class of LSU voice instructor Terry Patrick-Harris entertained members of the Music Club and their guests with a toe-tapping rendition of “Dancing in the Street” from “Motown: the Musical” and Alaina Richard and the girls ensemble performing “A Natural Woman” from “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at the group’s annual Scholarship Luncheon March 19 at Boudreaux’s.
The class was accompanied by pianist Mary Bresowar, John Cleere on bass, Matt Carr on drums and arranger Brian Breen on guitar. Adam Gilbert was choreographer.
Rose Mary Williams and Gwen Redding co-chaired the luncheon. Assisting them were Jeanne Clement, Janelle Couvillion, Sara Ginn, Gail Kinney, Ken Nelson, Randy Smith and Celeste Angelle Veillon.
School House Rock
Stop No. 2 on Thursday was the Renaissance Hotel where a group of City Year participants clapped and sang as guests entered for the School House Rock Gala. This year’s event honored the Albemarle Foundation for its support of City Year’s mission. The hotel lobby was packed with supporters of this organization, whose mission is to keep students in school and “on track to succeed.”
I got in a short visit with Allison and Ty Hingle, Gwen and Leo Hamilton, the Rev. Raymond Jetson and Adrienne Moore .
Stop No. 3 took me downtown to Blend for Forum 35’s Uncorked event benefiting the American Red Cross. The evening’s featured varietal was Cabernet Savignon, one of my favorites. The place was abuzz by the time I got there to grab a quick photo of the committee responsible for the event before heading out to Stop No. 4.
I did check in later with event Chairwoman Christy Chachere to find out that the EXIT Realty team brought the winning bottle — No. 55 Boggle Cabernet.
For my fourth stop, I was on to the Energy, Coast & Environment Building at LSU for Adult Literacy Advocates’ “An Evening with Great Authors.” This year’s event, hosted by Phi Kappa Phi, featured Gary Stewart and Susan Mustafa, authors of the New York Times best seller, “The Most Dangerous Animal of All.” It takes readers on Stewart’s journey to find his biological father only to discover that he was the infamous Zodiac Killer. After Stewart’s talk, folks lined up get their books autographed by the two authors.
I trekked north to Baton Rouge Coca-Cola’s headquarters for the Woman’s Hospital Auxiliary’s spring luncheon on March 18. Special guests included scholarship winners Jessica Beasley, Tina Englade, Crystal Morice and Angela Musso. Unable to attend were scholarship recipients Hannah Arnold, Hope Arnold, Jordan Brignac and Elizabeth Waddell.
After introducing the young women , this year’s scholarship Chairwoman Judy Dupré presented a service pin to veteran scholarship Chairwoman Joanne Walsh. Since 2006, the auxiliary has handed out more than $85,000 in scholarships.
Beverly Thompson, chief development officer for Woman’s Foundation, updated auxiliary members on the landscaping renovations about to take place on campus. She also said that Woman’s is about to be the 16th largest birthing center in the nation and that it has maintained its Level III NICU status.
Also addressing the audience was Baton Rouge Coke executive John Miller, who noted that this is the 100th anniversary of the iconic six-ounce Coke bottle. The day ended with a tour of the plant.
Later that evening, I was fortunate to be invited to join the Sistahood Tigers book club as they discussed Dr. Charles Lawler’s debut novel, “Saints of Lost Things,” with the author. Sharon Pol, who like me happens to be a patient of Dr. Lawler’s, opened her home for the get-together. Member Beth Tope came dressed in her wedding gown, which puzzled me until someone explained that Beth always comes dressed in costume related to the book being discussed, and a wedding dress has a significant story line in the book. Then it all made perfect sense.
Happy St. Paddy’s
The week began with a lovely St. Patrick’s Day celebration hosted by Kevin Kelly at Houmas House Plantation. This year’s event celebrated the Irish heritage of Houmas House and coincided with the release of new coffee table book detailing the history of the plantation and its surrounding gardens. “Louisiana’s Sugar Palace” was written by Jim Blanchard, who talked about the experience to the crowd filling the dining room at The Carriage House.
Co-worker Cheramie Sonnier and I carpooled down and enjoyed visiting with our tablemates, Katie Guasco , of Visit! Baton Rouge, and husband Robert; Kevin’s mom, Ms. Alice; and Cindy and Brian Pagragan , of New Orleans. Cindy was responsible for the delicious St. Patrick’s Day cake we had for dessert.
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