As the year is making its exit, a number of community events have added to the city’s well-being and organizational coffers. Kudos!
New to the annual event, the Loyola University New Orleans’ 1912 Society Dinner, was an auction. During the cocktail reception in The Roosevelt Hotel, guests browsed and bid on 30-plus items, while a student quartet — Emanuel Burke, Abner Deitle, Olas Ortwein, Mark Anthony Thomas — from Loyola’s School of Music entertained with selections from the Great American Songbook. Then it was into the Waldorf-Astoria Ballroom for more music, the dinner, awards and a recognition. Each table was centered with glittering silvery ‘‘trees” twinkling with tiny lights and accented with small musical instruments.
Alumnus/board Chairman Paul Pastorek opened the program with words of welcome. Next was violin virtuouso Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, director of Loyola Strings, who played two selections with accompaniment by Yui Asano. Applause after the pieces was thunderous. The Rev. Francis W. Huerte, SJ, gave the invocation.
One of the evening’s first big surprises occurred after the prayerful words. To great delight, the 610 Stompers arrived, doing their “ordinary men, extraordinary moves” routine. Guests then enjoyed a two-course-meal, quite delicious, of warm goat cheese salad and a dual entrée course consisting of filet mignon and a shrimp and crab vol au vent.
Always the highlight of the event, the presentation of the Integritas Vitae Award drew full attention when Drs. R. Ranney Mize and Emel Songu Mize stepped forward as the recipients. They were joined by Ranney’s twin sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Bill Garrett, and Dr. Rob and Joanne Marier. Also hailed were the new Society of St. Ignatius members, who received medallions.
In his comments, Loyola President the Rev. Kevin William Wildes, SJ, acknowledged the late Maedell Hoover Braud, a beloved Loyola community member, and the $10 million planned gift she willed to scholarships for undergraduate and law students. The Murphy-Braud Endowment Scholarship Funds at Loyola that she and her late spouse Sidney set up memorialized Sidney’s mother, father and grandfather. In Maedell’s honor, an empty satin-swathed chair was at the president’s table. The Stompers were another tribute to her.
Loyola President Emeritus the Rev. James C. Carter, SJ, Ph.D. gave the closing prayer. Then came a second line and fanfare as Society-goers moved to the post-dinner dessert reception to claim their auction bids and to enjoy the plethora of holiday sweets. More music, too.
Notables included Kathy Pastorek with emcee Paul, Tom and Kitty Kloor, Claire and Harry Stahel, Michelle and Daniel Daigle (“winners” of the Liz Sloss-donated necklace), Jim and Pinet McBride, Joy and Joe Barreca, auction Chairwoman Marla Donovan (and assistants Debra Kramer Rutter and Eve Vavrick), Nancy and Kevin Colomb, Joy Monroe and son Blair, Alumni Board President Ted Stacey with Sonda, Moon and Verna Landrieu, Faith in the Future Campaign Chairwoman Anne Gauthier with Sanford Pailet, Carol Magendie with Thomas Cooper, Bitsie and Grover Mouton, and Janice and Dr. Edward Foulks. To remember the evening, when everyone was a “winner,” New Orleans Event Photography captured beaming smiles of the many attendees.
The Sons Also Rise
The fifth annual Son of a Saint Gala, an important fundraiser to help “fatherless boys with the support, experiences and tools they need to become productive men,” unfolded at Le Meridien with audiovisual elements provided by Solomon Group and graphic design by Scout New Orleans. Wink Design & Events, The Roamin’ Jasmine with special guest Glen David Andrews, and food and beverage by the host hotel and Brown-Forman, were some of the major attractions. So was the auction that featured a George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” painting of Drew Brees, Saints jerseys (Brees and Mark Ingram) and a Varion Laurent painting of the above Andrews. Purchasers were Mark Lobell, Jarrod Champagne, Ashley Hilsman, and Eric June.
The event’s headliner was Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, Son of a Saint’s founder and executive director. The program’s 60 young men, ranging in ages from 10 to 18, were expected to increase to 80 by the end of 2017.
Program principals included Lee, emcee Travers Mackel (with fiancée Meg Gatto), Malakhi Jackson, Allen Smith, and Zander Dunbar. Others were Councilman-at-Large Jason Rogers Williams, acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans with Katherine, Cam Jordan of the Saints, Bill and Mary Hines, Kenneth and Florencia Polite, spouses Tamica Lee and Barry Smith, University of New Orleans President Dr. John Nicklow, Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough, SoaS board Chairman Peter Hamilton III with Raashand, Ryan and Stephanie Burks, James and Heidi Dugan, and Theo C. Sanders III. Gala committee trio Erin O’Leary, Elliot Hutchinson and Rita Bautista, as did many, rated thanks.
The Council of Catholic School Co-operative Clubs, which has Fern Carr (president), Roxanne Valenti, Michelle Burke, Mary Dana Dandry, Judith Nussbaum, Kim Simon, the Very Rev. Jose Lavastida and Dr. RaeNell Houston as officers, held its 75th annual luncheon in the Landmark Best Western Plus Hotel. “We Are Called to Love Tenderly” was the theme. Features included Christmas-red vases with flowers, a three-course menu, entertainment by St. Mary’s Dominican High School, colors presented by St. Angela Merici, and, as program notables, Michelle Burke, Fern Carr, “birthday boy” Monsignor Robert Massett, the Very Rev. Patrick J. Williams, luncheon Co-Chairwomen Michelle Dennis and Ansley Hammons, Dr. Houston, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Stephen Hart, Rhea Woods, Trisha O’Connor, Cindy Wooderson, Jamie Moore, Gail Couvillion, and Suzette Herpich, who announced De La Salle High School Parent’s Club as Club of the Year.
A Party Prescription
The Napoleon House was abuzz for the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Rx Gala that had dinner and libations from Ralph Brennan/Napoleon House, Two Girls One Shuck at the raw oyster bar, The Kevin Gullage Band to entertain, Poppy and Mint Floral for the décor, 80 silent auction items, a raffle and the Merry Antoinettes as special guests. That wasn’t all! A post-party took place in Café Brulot in the beautiful New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Courtyard.
Malcolm Broussard and Drs. Robert and Lisa Ross were individuals among the 14 event sponsors. Some of the auction’s artists were Cecil Chong, Dana Beuhler, Nell Tilton, and Jill DeGroff. Mingling within a crowd of about 230 were New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Board President Anthony D’Angelo with Cherie, Vice President Salvador Scaccia, Dr. and Mrs. Eddie Mendez, Michelle Bonilla, Laura Lacoste, Malcolm Broussard, Dennis and Cheryl Bodungen, Ross and Kathleen Chapman, Paul and Jennifer Gick, Capt. Michael and Susan Bopp, Kerry and Diane Milano, Vincent and Sheila Campo, Melvin Lescale, Lucille McDonnell, and museum executive director Elizabeth G. Sherman.