For 24 years, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has honored individuals who have greatly impacted the state’s children with its Angel Awards. This year’s awards gala took place Oct. 15 at the Hilton Capitol Center. Welcoming the several hundred guests from across the state were foundation President Michael Tipton and board chairman Dan Borné. Louisiana’s first lady Donna Edwards offered the invocation, and Melanie Hebert served as the night’s emcee.
This year’s Angels included Baton Rougeans the Rev. Jeff Bayhi, of Metanoia House, which works with teenage girls who have been trafficked, and Kacy Edwards and Julie Scott, founders of Career Compass, a nonprofit college and career access organization. Other honorees are Louis Arocha, of Café Hope in Gretna; Abram Freeman, of Acts of Love in Lafayette; Carolyne Hoyt, of Nextstep of Central Louisiana in Alexandria; Tanya McGee, of Ainsley’s Angels of America in Lake Charles; Caleb Seney, of Medcamps of Louisiana in Ruston; and Audry Spencer, Empowering the Community Through Excellence, Crowley. BCBS employee Phyllis Broussard received the Blue Angel Award for her work with the Capital Area CASA Association.
The Angels each received $20,000 for their respective charities, with $10,000 going to the Blue Angel winner.
And they weren’t the night’s only honorees. Veteran board member Frances Henry was recognized by immediate past board Chairman Richard Atkins for her service and dedication. Dianne Eysink, director of strategic communications for BCBS, presented a special award to co-worker John Maginnis, who recently retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as the vice president of Strategic Communications. Maginnis founded the Angel Award in 1995 and was honored for his contributions to Louisiana’s children through the program.
Wine & Roses
Two nights later, we were partying with the Friends of LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden in the site's beautiful rose gardens for the group's annual Wine & Roses dinner. The day started off kind of soggy but Mother Nature cooperated and turned off the spigot just in time, making for a lovely evening.
It was great to visit with Carol Anne Blitzer, Mitzi Miller, Ira Paul Babin, Jayne Middleton, John Turner and Jerry Fischer, Lynn Coxe Graham, Jill Roshto, Roy Powell Davis, Dorsey Peek, Kelly and Christopher Williams and Tanya and Franklin Foil. Also spotted in the crowd were Cynthia and John Graves, Frances and Johnny Monroe, Brandon Parlange, Gail and Bill O’Quin, Kathy Screen and Margaret and Butch Hart.
A very busy Thursday began at the Junior League’s annual Hollydays Preview Party, kicking off the four-day market at the Raising Cane’s River Center. It was great to see that this year’s committee moved the fun back downstairs and into the actual market — a real shoppers’ paradise.
The Steering Committee, including Chairwoman Kelli Bottger and President Zelma Frederick, did a great job. Among those spotted in the crowd were Karen and Bill Profita, Cynthia and John Graves, Drs. Jolene Johnson and David Hanson, Steve Storey, Marc Goldstein, Staci Duhé, Diane and Johnny Tate, Rose Hudson, Tiffany Wilkerson, Blake and Chad Sabadie, Erin and Scott Uffman and Carol Keppinger, who was manning a Carol’s Classic Jewelers booth with her daughters.
The Hilton Capitol Center was the site of Rotary’s 100th anniversary, a big night chaired by Beau Olinde, who was accompanied by wife Cheryl. It was a virtual who’s who of the city’s business community, including Richard Lipsey and wife Susan. Richard holds the honor of the longest serving club member — an impressive 54 years! “I’m the longest-serving member, not the oldest,” he quipped with a smile.
Also sporting a smile was President Ann Trappey, who made the stunning and very delicious anniversary cake. An accomplished baker, Ann made different layers for the three-tier cake. Everyone kept going back to get more of that wonderful carrot cake layer.
Among the celebrants were Congressman Garret Graves and wife Carissa, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and state Rep. Franklin Foil and wife Tanya. I also enjoyed visiting with Mike Manning, Fred Sibley, Missy Epperson, BeBe Facundus, Liz Hampton, Deborah Todd, Linda and Ben Lightfoot, Barbara Carey, Paul Arrigo, Susan and Marvin Borgmeyer, George Bayhi, George Bell, Catherine and Chris Harrell, Missy and Rock Rockenbaugh, Camilla Ford, Charlene and Stan Montelaro, Sheila and Todd Sterling, Willie Johnson, Beverly and Corky Thompson, Linda and Fred Grace, Lynn Whitty, Jill Roshto, Melanie Couvillion, Mary Joseph, Emily Stitch, Mary Beth and Fred Chevalier, Lynn and Felix Weill, Stafford Kendall, Peggy and Bob Westerman, Debbie and Rickey Heroman, Ronna and Chuck Corrente and immediate past President Stephen Winkler and wife Monica Nijoka.
On the night of Oct. 19, Baton Rouge Green held its Green Up Red Stick celebration in the courtyard of the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library. The fun began with a rooftop VIP party for committee and sponsors. It provided a spectacular view of the sunset and clouds rolling in ahead of the cool front that finally arrived.
Once again I found myself in the company of Linda and Ben Lightfoot, Dorsey Peek and Annette Barton. The guest list also included Chet Folks, Nancy and Flip Roberts, Trisha Day and Joe Simmons, Fran and LeRoy Harvey, Betty and Stephen Hemsfield, Sharon and Ronnie Kyle, Lauren Bukholtz and Barbara and Mickey Frieberg.
Serving on the committee for what is always a great time were Andy Crawford, Egypt Eaddy, Katheryn Flournoy, Lillian Grossley, Donna Rea, Executive Director Sage Roberts Foley, Barton and Peek.
The night ended at Consortium 10/31’s Ghostly Gala at the Crowne Plaza. An assortment of ghouls, goblins and other fun folks were in full party mode, thanks in part to the band Carbon Copy. Causing the biggest commotion was Daniel Hoffmann, aka “Golden Boy,” who has become a social media sensation in his replica LSU Golden Girl ensemble. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, was queuing up for a selfie with this guest. You can read about his antics and why he does what he does at theadvocate.com.
Reigning over the celebration were Queen Meredith Beck-Wiggins, King David Gable and parade Grand Marshal Jodi Carson, of 96.1 The River’s “Murphy, Sam & Jodi” morning show. You can catch them again at Consortium’s annual Halloween Parade, which rolls through downtown Oct. 27 beginning at 4 p.m.