Laussat Levity

“Museum. Research Center. Publisher” are all attributed to The Historic New Orleans Collection, but on a recent Tuesday evening, party was the plan.

This was the 2014 Laussat Society Gala, a cocktail-buffet, held at the home of Julie (Mrs. Philip II) Breitmeyer to recognize both Laussat Society and Bienville Circle members, THNOC’s highest-level donors.

Each year, at the LS gala, the latest project funded by these donors is revealed. After an introduction by THNOC executive director Priscilla Lawrence, LS Chairwoman E. Alexandra Stafford (joined by husband Raymond Rathle) related a brief history of the organization’s namesake, Pierre-Clement Laussat, and then turned to Lydia Blackmore, THNOC’s decorative arts curator, who announced the acquisition of a 19th-century sofa manufactured by J. & J. Meeks in New York and retailed in New Orleans.

As the party progressed, guests enjoyed the Breitmeyer home, built in the Federal architectural style, and the rear garden with landscaping by Rene Fransen. The Lee Floyd Jazz Trio entertained, Mitch’s Flowers created the gorgeous arrangements, and Joel Catering purveyed.

Reveling in all the delights of the evening were THNOC board Chairman Drew Jardine with spouse Julie, Mac and Ellen Ball, Dorothy Ball, Manny and Madeleine Blessey, Judge Stanwood and Janet Duval, Susie Hoskins (who recently opened her showplace home for donors to the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival), the above Priscilla Lawrence with husband John (director of Museum Programs), Ashley Keller Nelson (daughter of hostess Julie), Andrew and Crickett Lapeyre, Paul Leaman Jr. and Marilyn Dittmann, James and Kay Orth, Jack Pruitt of THNOC, Barry and Gracia Siegel, George and Sarah Young, Hunter and Lynne White, Phyllis Taylor, and about 90 others who support THNOC’s mission and made merry.

A Nola for Nola

The St. Bernard Project got a boost at a benefit on a Friday evening given by Nola for Nola at the home of CeCe and Trevor Colhoun, which was featured in Elle Décor magazine several years ago. In addition, the fundraiser honored Robert Boh, CEO of Boh Bros.; Mike Foley, CEO of Zurich North America; and Akinori Saito, president, Toyota Production System Support Center, for their support of the project and the recovery of New Orleans.

Patti Constantin did the flowers and decorations; Adam Biderman (Company Burger), Justin LeBlanc and Debbie Does Doberge, the taste treats; Republic National Distributing Co., the liquor; Liam Deegan (Barrel Proof), the bar service; and the 10-piece James Andrews Band, the musical momentum.

The auction generated lots of excitement, thanks to a diamond ring from Hiller Jewelry, which was bought by Dan Riordan, and the Zurich-donated Billy Joel concert in New York “package” purchased by Julie Wise Oreck.

Noted, too, within the crowd of 200 were host couple CeCe and Trevor, Mike Goss (Toyota), Pat Delucca (Boh Bros.), St. Bernard Project CEO Zack Rosenburg, project manager Elizabeth Egle and Jack, Brandon and Daphne Berger, Ben and Allison Tiller, Don and Linda Stone, Elie and Daniela Khoury, Bobby and Kay Kerrigan, Erin and Hunter Cazes, Danielle and Robert LeBlanc, Cres and Marcie Gardner, James and Erica Reiss, and Tim and Jenny Williamson.

Rebuild was the revelry.

A Vintage Affair for MS

Oenophiles alert! A Vintage Affair for MS, which raised money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, amassed 300-plus to the Hyatt Regency for the attractions of the 200 bottle-Wine Pull, food by the hotel, Dunn and Sonnier flowers, and art (with such names as Max Ryan, Tim Trapolin, James Henderson and Hayley Gaberlavag e), silent and live auctions. In the latter were sports, wine, trip and jewelry enticements. Peoples Health was the bash’s top patron.

Praised as the chairing quartet were Ana Eller, Ashley Kostmayer, David Shulman and John Waggenspack. Further notables were NMSS development manager Jennifer Simon, Mark Preston, Colin and Roi-Lynne Hulin, Dr. Bridget Bagert, Dr. and Mrs. Austin J. Sumner, Colby and Tammy Wenck, Ricky and Enide Pisani, Jane Heidingsfelder, Kristi Salvaggio, Henriette Harris, Logan Howcott, Charlotte Meade, Amy Chenevert, A.J. Gaulton, and scores more who kicked up their heels to the Bucktown All-Stars.

A Touch of Glass

The New Orleans Branch of the English-Speaking Union, an international, chartable membership organization which works through exchanges, scholarships and speaking engagements (among other endeavors), added Holiday Glass Show to the 2014 Christmas Tea. Scones and shopping blended.

Members and guests flocked to the penthouse home of Juli and Stewart Juneau atop the Ritz-Carlton, where they relished catering by Chez Nous and The Wineseller, grand-piano music by Josh Wexler, and the glass creativity of hostess Juli. Christmas ornaments not only served as decoration, but went home with many a happy ESU purchaser. And then there were the views from the terrace. “Spectacular” resonated.

Raising glasses of cheer were ESU branch President Dave Grissett with Shauna, Treasurer Beth Goddard, Courtney-Anne Sarpy, Herschel and Anne Abbott, Carlo and Rosemonde Capomazza, John and Bonnie Boyd, Austin and Jane Sumner, Kathy Singleton, Lee Pryor and Julie Smith, and Katherine de Montluzin with her London guests, Anne Drewry and Thomas Cumberland. Also, Rennie Culver, Perry and Barbara Rigby, Donna Kay Berger, Sally Richards with guest Beverly Katz, Chuck and Diane Zatarain, Alan and Joan Sheen, Mississippian Constance Cowart, and Buddy and Jean Bolton, who broke bread with friends the preceding evening at Gautreau’s.

View all Nell Nolan: Making the Season Merry photos here.