Merry Christmas! I hope Santa left you some goodies in your stocking and not switches and coal. After the year we've had here in the Capital City, it's nice to take a day to be with family and friends, exchange gifts and say a prayer or two of thanks.

100th Gathering

Thanks is what the BREC Foundation board celebrated at its 100th gathering at the Magnolia Mound Plantation Turner Visitors Center on Dec. 14. The board hosted a reception to present its fifth annual LEAF (Leadership, Excellence, Activism and Fellowship) Award, which honors an individual, business or organization that has made a tremendous impact on BREC. This year's award went to the Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation for its support of BREC's connectivity trail, which is part of its linear park. Accepting on behalf of the Pennington Foundation, which has been a partner with BREC since 2004, was Kristal Mayeux.

Foundation President Rubin Patel presented the foundation's founders with a special award. The honorees are Constable Reggie Brown, Bill Cocreham, Bridger Eglin, Anne Hise, Judge Freddie Pitcher, Rip Wilkinson, Jean Armstrong, David Ellison, Sylvia Weatherspoon, Eugene Young, Bill Palmer, the late Ben Miller and the late Will Ourso.

Also recognized by Patel were outgoing board members Forrest Mills, Randal Johnson, Michael Lang, Mike Wampold, John Turner and Sue Rainer; and incoming board members Hitesh Chheda, Rudy Macklin, Shane Morrison, Jenni Peters, Brian Rodriguez, Stevie Toups and Michael West.

Patel ended his portion of the program by announcing that Rick Hartley and David Vey will be matching BREC funding to improve the facilities at the sports complex at Oak Villa and the park at Gardere.

BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight added her thanks to Hartley and Vey, the Pennington Foundation and the BREC Foundation board for their support of the city's park system. "We have a great park system because of what you do, your commitment," said McKnight.

Pat Faxon, Anne Marks and Rainer were in charge of the reception.

Trees of Light

From Magnolia Mound, I headed to the City Club for Hospice of Baton Rouge's Trees of Light celebration. What started out as a small outdoor tree lighting has become an elegant event that serves as the nonprofit's major fundraiser. On the night's agenda were holiday songs by the Rev. Greg Daigle, an auction, a spread of culinary delights, libations and dancing to The Issue.

I enjoyed my visits with Julia Aycock, Diane O'Connor, Vera Olds, Chris and Bill Blackwood, Lorena Russo, Luke Love, Lowrey Griffon, Caress Crake Threadgill, Buffy Kovach, Bobby Suchman and Jimmy Boudreaux, Paul Lemoine, Fran Harvey, Jeanne Comeaux and former Hospice chief Kathryn Grigsby.

Passe Bon Temps

I was at the City Club the day before to join members of Passe Bon Temps for their annual holiday luncheon. I had so much fun getting to know my tablemates — sisters Rachel Aronson and Barbara Parker and Shirley Thompson. Thanks so much for being my hostess, Lois Saye!

Queen's brunch

I was back at the City Club for a third time last week, this time for a lovely brunch fêteing Krewe of Lyonnesse Queen XX Abby Blaize, daughter of Marci and Charles Blaize. Hostesses for the get-together were her mom, grandmothers Betty Blaize and Joy Hammett and family friends Jenny Blythe and Melanie Uzee, who is reigning as queen of the Krewe of Artemis this Carnival season. Next-door neighbors, Abby and Melanie have been having too much fun sporting their crowns around the neighborhood and just generally being "queenly."

Guests included Abby's fellow court members and friends from school and their mothers. Lyonnesse, which is Baton Rouge's only children's Mardi Gras krewe, holds its ball Feb. 11 at the Capital Atrium.


Follow Pam Bordelon on Twitter, @pamspartyline.