What a fun week last week! We got busty to battle breast cancer, went back to nature for a great night at the museum, dined with queens and got illuminated about light pollution.
BUST Breast Cancer
Thirty-one models strutted down the runway in some amazing art bras as an enthusiastic crowd of more than 600 cheered them on at Woman's Hospital's annual BUST Breast Cancer event at the L'Auberge Event Center Sept. 25. In keeping with tradition, event founder Heather Kleinpeter closed out the show in a stunning floral bra created by interior designer Kenneth Brown.
After much deliberation, me and my fellow judges — Dr. Mindy Bowie, Josh Holder, William Roy, Amy Strother and 225 magazine editor Jennifer Tormo — declared artists Kristen Airhart's and Alex Schober's "Once Upon a Dream" ensemble, modeled by Leslie Jackson-Lancaster, as the night's "Breast Overall" winner.
Artist Tabitha Miller's "Badda-Boom Bubble," modeled by Jamie Ray, was the night's "Most Mammerable," and artist Rebecca Gottsegen's "Really Big Boobs," a playful jab at presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump modeled by Sharon Field, took home the "Cups of Creativity" award. Kathy Victorian had so much fun modeling Ashley Hodges' "Rocky" bra that we just had to give her the award for Most Spirited Model. Attendees also got a chance to vote for their favorite, which went to Jean Sharp's "The Dream Catcher," modeled by Jennifer LeBlanc.
Other artists creating art bras for this year's event included Clay Achee, TJ Black, Katie Cheatham, Jessica Comeaux, M.E. Cormier, Madeline Ellis, Patrice C. Ellis, Janene Grodsky, Rodneyna Hart, Alex Harvey, Amy Harvey, Linda Hull, David C. Humphreys, Chris Jarreau, Tina Kappen, Michelle D. Kurts, Brandi Manship, Kristen Merritt, Mitzi Miller, Nita Mulvahah, Nicki Nixon-Helouin, Meghan Ogans, Neda Parandian, Laura Roland, Casey Stannard and Rebecca Stephens.
Showcasing those creations were models Aron Coates, Jeanne Trum, Audrey Wascom, Kris Cangelosi, Jessica O'Connor Rougeou, Gabrielle Keys, Megan Humphreys, Elise Kaufman, Amber Moreau, Jade Prejean, Johnnie Hunt, Emily Andrus, Paige Day, Ann Guercio, Lauren Regner, Cherie Goodwin, Brie Rancatore, Kayla Day, Patty Pratts, Dawn Vick, Angela Halleck, Reyna Grand and Taylor Martty.
Emcee for the event, chaired by Sarah Grace Brooks, was Emilie Becker from iHeart Media's "Murphy, Sam & Jodi Show." Committee chairwomen were Rose Marie Fife, Courtney Edwards, Gottsegen, Hodges, Connie Smith, Bridget and Cindy Tiek, Elizabeth Howard, Dana Michell and Woman's staff members Pam Parker, Melisa Curry and Foundation for Woman's President Beverly Thompson.
Two nights earlier, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum invited 500-plus guests to "Branch Out" at its 31st annual gala, which coincides with its current "Lovely as a Tree" exhibit. A major downtown outage affecting Cox Communications' customers threw a monkey wrench in checking in guests and registering them for the night's oh-so-tempting silent auction (maybe we need to go back to pen and paper?) but it was resolved ASAP by quick-thinking staff and didn't slow the party mood.
Keeping things moving along was Ned Fasullo & the Fabulous Big Band — even tempting some to the dance floor. Hey, we had to work off the calories after noshing on the delicacies provided by some of the cities most generous restaurants and caterers. Grand dame Sue Turner kept up her tradition in dressing for what once was a themed-costume event. She had a halo of leaves in her hair and carried a bouquet of golden branches. What a treasure!
Another treasure is the above-mentioned Heather Kleinpeter, who served as this year's gala chairwoman. Assisting her were committee chairmen Dan Bergeron, Fasullo, Kristen Glascock, Lance Hayes, Scott Hodgin, Anna Howard, Alex Layfield, Susan Polowczuk, Micah Stewart and Jennifer and Todd Waguespack.
In between these two fab parties, I joined my buddy Melanie Uzee at her Queen's Brunch honoring her Krewe of Artemis 2017 royal court. In an emotional toast, she thanked her friend of 35 years, Janet Boles, "for opening her heart and home" for the celebration. "I can't imagine my life without you in it," she added.
Melanie also gave a shout out to her king, Dr. Jimmy Lalonde, husband André Uzee, son Travis Uzee and grandchildren Caroline and Marguerite Uzee and Connor Cook, who are also members of the court. Special guests for the celebration were her mom Marian Montalbano, sisters Diane Johnson and Laurie McInnis, niece Chelsea Baldini, cousin Carol Wallace and sister-in-law Tracy Montalbano.
Welcome to Pam’s Party Calendar, a comprehensive listing of all the fundraisers, galas, Mard…
It was a veritable who's who of political junkies filling the Crowne Plaza ballroom Sept. 20 to hear Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC News and National Public Radio. She was the featured speaker for local NPR station WRKF's second annual Founders Luncheon.
Roberts, daughter of the late Hale and Lindy Boggs, who both served in Congress, spoke on the bitter political climate in Washington these days, some of which she blames on the lack of relationships among Congressional leaders. She shared how her father, as the House majority leader, and former President Gerald Ford, who was the minority whip at the time, shared a friendship that crossed party lines when not battling for their respective political causes. "It's a bad time but not the worst; they did used to shoot each other," said Roberts. "(Politicians) don't even talk to people in their own party much less the opposite party. Relationships are just not there to get things done."
Also on the day's agenda was the presentation of the Founder's Award to the Richard Kilbourne Family by board President Rodney Braxton. It's this family for whom the station is named — WRKF. An emotional Richard Kilbourne Jr. accepted the award. "It's one of the few things my family's been involved in giving that continues to pay dividends," he said.
Former Baton Rougean Scott Feierabend educated friends and neighbors of John Turner and Jerry Fischer about light pollution at a lovely cocktail party hosted by the two Sept. 22. Now living in Tucson, Scott is the executive director of the International Dark-Sky Association, which seeks to "preserve the natural nighttime environment by educating policymakers and the public about night sky conservation and promoting eco-friendly outdoor lighting." After sharing the bad news about light pollution and its effects on our lives, Scott offered some simple, low-cost suggestions on actions we could take to rectify the situation.
Before ending his formal presentation, Scott presented an award of thanks to John and Jerry for their support of the association, and gave an emotional thank-you to Mary and Mikell Gaines for their support over the years.
On a personal note …
I was backstage holding Kathy and Les Miles then-baby daughter Macy Grace when he was introduced as LSU's new football coach 12 years ago. I was taking a photo of the new coach and offered to help out when Kathy found herself called to join Les in the spotlight. I don't even know if she remembers this, but I do, because as they were every time since, Les and Kathy Miles have been most gracious in posing for photos, shaking hands and talking with fans. Because of what I do, I've seen a different side of coach. I've seen him help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, speak from the heart on how cancer touched his life to raise money for Cancer Services, pull out his checkbook for many worthwhile local nonprofits.
Coach, you've been an integral part of this community, a true gentleman and an all-too-rare public figure who set a fine example. Thank you for all you did. You will be missed.