Starts and Stops
The annual Spring Gala at and to benefit The Beauregard-Keyes Historic House and Garden, which featured a “fabulous silent auction and Sunday supper,” amassed throngs to the acclaimed site on Chartres Street. Teamed as the gala chaircouples were Dana and Steve Hansel, Taylor and Martin Pospisil and Anne and Edmund Redd (in absentia). More top names were the Façade Sponsors, Mrs. Frank W. Masson and Dr. and Mrs. Richard L. Strub. Both women answer to Ann with the former also bearing the title president of the board of trustees and the latter, Ann Strub, a trustee. Similarly named is the house’s executive director, Annie Irvin.
Ann Masson was further extolled as “crafty.” Once again, she crafted more than 100 paper flowers, which were used to decorate the front of the house. Floral arrangements were arranged by trustee Larry Schmidt and incorporated local plant clippings. For the Sunday supper, 13 of the city’s best eateries donated fine fare, including shrimp remoulade, oysters, tasty soup and favorite desserts. Holley Haag and Candice Marti rounded up the restaurants.
Auction ado is always integral to the soiree. Organized by Suzanne Dumez (with Steve), the auction featured more than 60 items. Much of them related to local experiences, such as cultural experiences and staycations. For the art component, there were works from Campbell Hutchinson, Whitney St. Pierre and David Armentour, to name a few. Michael Harold and Quinn Peeper donated a private concert for 30 people, a unique experience.
In addition to the above, the B-K brigade counted board Vice President Jenny Cole with James, Angie Bowlin and Martin Robinson, Dorothy “Do” Clyne, trustee Sweet Dupuy with Ben, trustee Semmes Favrot with Catherine, Rene Fransen and Eddie Bonin, trustee Beverly Lamb, Candice Marti and Jamey Clark, trustee Chip Saulsbury and Katherine, trustee Gary Williams, Claudia Powell and Cleland, Katherine Boh (mother of Rex 2019 Robert Boh), Stephen Murray, Nancy and Stephen Hales, and dozens from the gala committee and board of trustees. Allain C. Andry III, Richard L. Jensen and Priscilla Lawrence figure on the Council of Advisors.
Proceeds of the party go to the maintenance of the historic house, which was slated to be demolished in 1925. Led by renowned architect Sam Wilson, the community saved the building and dreamed that one day it would be open to the public. That dream has been realized.
As twilight set in, the call for dancing stepped up. As he has before, Deacon John and the Ivories made music the merry momentum.
'Harry Says Aloha!'
The Harry Tompson Center held its recent fundraiser in celebration of 20 years of providing essential services to the homeless population of Greater New Orleans. It is named for the late Rev. Harry Tompson, SJ.
“Harry Says Aloha!” titled the gallivanting that took place in the Academy of the Sacred Heart Nims Fine Arts Center with Clancy and Margo DuBos as the honorary chaircouple and Loretta Whyte, the 2019 Legatus Christi Award honoree. Norman Robinson was the masterful, and always entertaining, master of ceremonies.
Ronnie and Gwen Briggs and the Hammer Family were in the top sponsoring category, Bird of Paradise, while Jerry and Shannon Daigle, the Rev. Doug Doussan, the DuBoses, Cathy and Don Espenan, the Goldring Family Foundation, G-Eazy, Drs. Anand and Maya Irimpen, the J. Edgar Monroe Foundation, Lynn and Drew Marsh, Gary and Martha Solomon and Richard and Ann Tompson were the Hibiscus notables.
To decorate the premises, and suggest Hawaii, Diane Mouton, owner of Fat Cat Flowers, provided orchid and palm leaf centerpieces. Further features were a welcoming balloon arch, as well as palm trees and other tropical species as stage adornment. Eighteen area restaurants contributed, offering jambalaya, lasagna, gumbo, red beans, beef brisket and Thai ribs. A thematic cake was the choice dessert.
Auction activity kept everyone bustling to bid. In the silent portion, well over 100 items beckoned, thanks to artists, boutiques, jewelry designers, restaurants, fitness studios and spas, while the live section produced expected excitement with a “Trip to Hawaii for Two.” More going, going, gone developed from art (Ashley Longshore), getaways and donated dinners.
Reveling in the “Aloha” ado were HTC executive director Vicki Judice and John Koeferl, the Rev. Tom Stehlik, C.M., auctioneer John Calhoun, Mary Baudoin and Tom Fitzgerald, the Rev. Anthony McGinn, SJ., Mike and Dana Hammer, Dr. Peter and Karen DeBlieux, Billy and Leigh Blakeman, Jim and Stacy Pellerin, John and Lynne Combe, Ken and Betty Tedesco, Mrs. William J. Guste Jr., Sister Melanie Guste, RSCJ, Regi Reyes and a team of volunteers, and members of the HTC board and staff.
To open the festivity a second line was heralded by the Sophie B. Wright “Da Wright Way” Brass Band. The bash’s beat came from the F.A.S. Trio. In the closing moments of the Hawaiian jaunt, dancing was lively. “(High on a) Mountain of Love” drew numerous duos, as did a subsequent cha-cha number. For “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll,” invitation artist Maya Irimpen and Anand enjoyed present-day movement.
The 34th annual Crimestoppers Awards Luncheon had the Hyatt Regency as the venue and the Freeport-McMoRan as the Top Cop Sponsor, the title sponsor. Many others, such as businesses, foundations and individuals, likewise gave to support the cause.
The formalities opened with master of ceremonies Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, Jefferson Parish. Then came the presentation of colors by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office; the national anthem by the Rev. Tyrone Jefferson Jr.; the invocation by the Rev. Brandon M. Boutin; and remarks by Superintendent Shaun D. Ferguson, New Orleans Police Department. Lunch punctuated the program, starting with gumbo and concluding with praline cheesecake. Each table place had a printed program and a Crimestoppers pen. The dais was embellished with large red rose arrangements and had a backdrop lit by red lighting.
Then came the video presentation and the presentation of Citizen’s Awards by Crimestoppers President and CEO Darlene Cusanza with, as recipients, Robert W. "Bob" Merrick, CEO of Latter & Blum Inc./Realtors; Sheriff James Pohlmann, St. Bernard Parish; and James Arey, Ph.D., LPC, JPSO Director of Training and Commander of SWAT Negotiation, and Cecile Tebo, LCSW, director, NOPD Officer Assistance Program. The awards bore the names of James J. Coleman Sr. (Merrick), Sheriff Harry Lee (Pohlmann) and George Loker (Arey and Tebo).
Then came the presentation of Law Enforcement Awards to Officer Chris Abbott, Deputy Christopher Haislup, Deputy Justin Nail and fallen Officer Jason Seals, who lost his life while on the job.
Pamela Schafer received the Crimestoppers Chairman’s Award, and Justin Augustine III, Lacey Merrick Conway and Peter Wilson chaired the event. More “titled" attendees in the gathering of 500-plus were Jim Letten, Genny May, Philip Gunn, Greg Rusovich, Leon Cannizzaro, Bill Goldring, Jay Batt, Cynthia Lee Sheng, Greg Champagne, Randy Fandal, Randy Smith, Willy Martin, Peter Strasser, Joe Exnicios and Eric Rommel.