October is one of the busiest months on the local social scene and the first week had us running.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Baton Rouge affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation hosted its Perfectly Pink Luncheon for Life on Oct. 7 at the L’Auberge Event Center. Welcoming guests were Executive Director Angela Miller, board President Blake Tolbird and emcees Cheryl Mercedes and Elizabeth Vowell.
“Rockstar” researcher Adrian Lee, director of the Women’s Cancer Research Center and co-leader of the Breast & Ovarian Cancer Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, shared the exciting breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. He noted that there's been a 38 percent decrease in mortality rates the past four decades and talked about the advent of liquid biopsies.
One of several touching moments was the presentation of this year’s Passion of Peggy award to Kelli Beckman, who has battled metastasis breast cancer three times. The award was presented by the late Peggy Gant’s daughter Tricia Gant Hollis.
Strutting their stuff in the style show presented by Dillard’s were breast cancer survivors Jane Babin, Becca Bartlett, Sandra Bassett, Kim Buchert, Zanovia Curtis, Margaret Everett, Sarah Holiday James, ToTanya Jones, Stephanie Landry, Laurie Marcel, Ouida Martin, Mary Poole, Cheryl Savoie and Tammy Smith.
They were followed by the “Survivor Countdown,” which had women proudly standing as Miller counted down the years since they were diagnosed. Giving us all hope was a 29-year survivor.
To spotlight the current exhibit of New Orleans artist Lin Emery’s sculpture at the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum, this year’s gala theme was “In Motion.” The 92-year-old artist’s kinetic sculptures feature polished aluminum shapes set in motion by wind, water or magnets.
The place was packed for what is always one of the year’s best events, chaired this year by Preston Bailey. Champagne and other libations flowed as we noshed on the dishes from some of the city’s finest caterers and restaurants. Ned Fasullo & the Big Band Orchestra even enticed several couples onto the dance floor.
Among those guests for the Oct. 5 evening were Winnie Byrd and Sue Turner, who helped save the old train depot that is now LASM. I think they’ve been to all 33 galas and chaired several, as well. Aside from visiting with these two, I got to check in with Sasha and Drew Tessier, Dr. Frederick and Susan Billings, Virginia and John Noland, Pam and Ken Sills, Jeannie Frey and Craig Rhodes, Genny and Ford Thomas, Tiffany and Carlos Dickerson, Robin and Mark Hebert, Beverly Brooks and Corky Thompson, Diane and Sam Losavio, Rachel Cannon, Manuel Martinez, Anthonyy O’Connor, Eric Guerin and Mike and Suzette Easley.
One of the night’s highlights was the drawing for the Penny Preville 18-carat white gold, diamond tier-crescent earrings with moving diamond dangles donated by longtime sponsor Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. Enticing bidders was veteran Lee Michaels manager Johnny Tate, whose lovely wife, Diane, was representing at the Baton Rouge Symphony’s Bachtoberfest concert taking place at the Capitol Park Museum.
Next, it was on to Bachtoberfest to hear the Baton Rouge Symphony perform “Bells of St. Genevieve.” Written by Marin Marais in 1723, it showcases the viol, violin and harpsichord. It was nice of Mother Nature to cooperate — no rain and an occasional cool breeze.
As wonderful as the music was, the biggest highlight of the night was the announcement by Paula Pennington de la Bretonne that Chris Botti is coming back on March 15 — his third time — to perform with the orchestra for the Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Great Performers in Concert. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com or (800) 745-3000. You don’t want to miss this one!
‘Meet the Maestro’
The young professionals group Forum 35 has partnered up with the Baton Rouge Symphony, and to kick off this new relationship, they held a “Meet the Maestro” happy hour with Timothy Muffitt on Oct. 3 at Cane Land Distilling Co. Bartenders created a tasty cocktail in Timothy’s honor.
Organizer Chris Simoneaux introduced Timothy around and after some mingling, he outlined the upcoming Bachtoberfest performance and a few of the orchestra’s other upcoming concerts. Holding down the fort, so to speak, for those past 35 were buddy Deborah Todd and myself.
Here's an idea, stop and take a look at some of our city's magnificent buildings. You might put on your list the structures that were honored on Oct. 2 by the Baton Rouge chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The group put the spotlight on its Rose Award winners with a reception that opened an exhibit of the projects at The Gallery at Manship Theatre. The displays and accompanying stories, which will be on exhibit through Nov. 26, give you a real peek at the architects’ process.
The winners included the Water Campus by Coleman Partners Architects; Knock Knock Children’s Museum by Remson Haley Herpin Architecture; Southeastern Louisiana University’s Science & Technology building, Pinto House and Baltzele Building in Hammond all by Holly & Smith Architects; and The Hub at the University of North Carolina Wilmington by Tipton Associates.