Last week was jam-packed with fun. One night I went to five events!
It all began on Oct. 24 with Mid City Redevelopment Alliance’s Legacy by Lights at the East Baton Rouge Main Library. The planned rooftop soiree got moved indoors as the threat of stormy weather loomed.
The evening honored Virginia and John Noland, who received the Rev. Mary Moody Lifetime Achievement Award, and the employee volunteers of ExxonMobil, who received the Baton Rouge General Community of Caring Award.
Among those on hand for the celebration were former Mid City executive directors Boo Thomas and Perry Franklin as well as Noland friends Bill O’Quin, Carol Anne Blitzer, Margo Kadair and Matt McKay. Gerri Hobdy also popped in for a quick congratulations to the Nolands.
Next, it was on to the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation Gala at the Old Governor’s Mansion.
Blue Monday All Stars and DJ Swamp Boogie had toes a-tappin' as guests got the first peek of a never-before-seen display of blues memorabilia and collectibles thanks to a new partnership between Johnny Palazzotto’s Pal Productions, Preserve Louisiana and the foundation.
But the main event was the recognition of five individuals for their influence on the genre and efforts to keep it alive. The Blues Emissary honor, which recognizes someone who advocates for the blues and advances its interest, went to Rob Payer, WBRH 90.3 FM and KBRH 1260 AM production/music director; the Living Legend honor went to Willie Durrisseau, of Opelousas, who at age 100 is still playing the blues; the Red Stick Blues Award went to Grammy Award-winning recording artist Bobby Rush; the Blues Original honor went to the late "Lil' Buck" Sinegal, who worked with Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester and Rockin' Dopsie; and the Blues Originals award to the late Clarence Williams, who was one of the primary pianists on scores of blues records recorded in New York during the 1920s.
Spirits of Louisiana
Later we headed a few blocks away to the Old State Capitol’s Spirits of Louisiana Moonlight Masquerade Gala. The place was packed with a diverse crowd sampling libations from Louisiana distilleries and culinary treats from local restaurants and caterers.
Among the partygoers were Letty and Kyle Ardoin, Winnie Byrd, Cathy and Jay Dardenne, Chris Farr, Nancy Chesson, Jim Gershey and Dan Guntner, Heather Wolf, Jean Ann LeBlanc, Nancy and Caye Ribas, Adelaide Russo, Nancy Crawford, Jill Craft and Jim Shannon, Debbie and John Daniel, Jean and Les Gatz and Brenda and David Kors, whose costume was so good I didn't recognize him until he started to talk.
From the Old State Capitol, I traveled up Fourth Street to the Capitol Park Museum to the Baton Rouge Symphony’s BACHtoberfest. I got to hear Telemann’s “Viola Concerto, TWV 51: G9” featuring Chris Lowry.
After catching up with Lamar Chamber Series underwriters Carole and Charlie Lamar, I got to chat during the intermission with Paula Pennington de la Bretonne, Diane and Johnny Tate, BeBe Facundus and Alice Kronenberger.
The last stop on Oct. 24 was at the Hilton Capitol Center for the Arthritis Foundation’s second annual Bone Bash. Guests were in full party mode by the time I arrived, and I predict next year’s event will be even bigger and better.
The week started out with a trip across the river Oct. 22 to Nottoway Plantation in White Castle for the Louisiana Garden Club Federation District VI Fall Luncheon Meeting. The Baton Rouge Garden Club took home a national award for its “New York, New York” standard flower show.
Not only did I get to visit with representatives of the hometown club, but I also got to see my buddies in the Plaquemine Garden Club, which hosted the event. I especially enjoyed my tablemates — Kathleen Cooper, Madeline Kessler and Ramona Perrin — who gave an informative talk on how she and her “fairies” created the centerpieces that graced each table. They each tied into the event’s ROOTS (Remembering Our Original Treasured Seeds) theme, chosen by club President Donna Carville as part of her “Grow Where You’re Planted” presidency.
Later that afternoon and back in Baton Rouge, I joined members of the Companion Animal Alliance for a cocktail party hosted by board member Lisa Ademak and husband Tom. Welcoming guests with the hostess was Development Director Emily Jackson and Executive Director Jillian Sergio.
Among those guests were Carole and Charlie Lamar, Virginia Noland, Ann Guercio, Carolyn and Henson Moore, Matt Edwards, Gracella Simmons and Cathy Dardenne.
Living the Vision
The last stop on this busy Tuesday was the Renaissance, where Gardere Community Christian School was holding its Living the Vision annual fund kickoff dinner. Welcoming guests was founder and principal Nancy Zito. Entertaining the guests were the school’s adorable students. They also heard from parents Latasha Boatner and Shelia Johnson.
Consortium 10/31, the Halloween Parade folks, held their Ghostly Gala Oct. 25 at the Baton Rouge Event Center. Reigning over the festivities were Queen Teresa Alvarez and Consortium President Roxanne Leachman, who was standing in for her husband, King Gil, who passed away shortly after being crowned as this year’s king of Halloween. Needless to say, it was a bittersweet moment for everyone.