Suit the Clothes to the Socializing

Many people consider this party to be the start of the summer social season. And, arguably, they are right! The mood, the lightness of the theme, and the dress code all blend for a fine time with a cool pitch.

For the 11th time in partnership with The Shops at Canal Place, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art presented Sippin’ in Seersucker. “Southern cocktail, seersucker preferred” was the dress code for an evening of light bites from 15 notable eateries, Southern cocktails, shopping specials, deluxe raffles, and live entertainment featuring Robin Barnes and the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys.

Add to those attractions, free parking and the excitement of the Seersucker Contest hosted by Charles Divins of WDSU and judged by Tracee Dundas and L. Kasimu Harris. Judges roamed the crowd to select contest participants for the best seersucker ensemble. Once they were assembled, the judges’ final decisions were made. Emerging as the 2015 winners were Tina Giffith, Jason Gross and John Triplett, all hailed for their fabric finesse.

Throughout the evening, the sartorial set roamed the first two floors of Canal Place, moseying over to the restaurant and drink stations.

Oftentimes, they headed into some of the tony mall’s stores for mini shopping sprees or wished for luck with the raffle, which included shopping, wine, beer, entertainment, craft and lagniappe packages.

Mastheading the summer-start fun were the chairing consortium of Allison and Ben Tiller, Sarah Elizabeth Dewey and Jolie Bensen Hamilton. Jolie & Elizabeth is the name of the clothing company owned by the latter two. And, Ogden board President Allison Kendrick, executive director William Andrews, Roger Ogden, Ogden trustee Meaghan and Joe Bonavita, Fred Holley (events coordinator for Republic National Distributing Company), Andi Eaton, Diane and Alan Franco, Hattie and Corey Moll, Amanda and Nathaniel Winstead, and then-director of marketing at Shops at Canal Place Carla Adams. Other pursuits and travel with her husband await down the line.

For them and about 555 other bash-goers, an “I was there” souvenir was a fun idea. Along with everything else there was a free GoGo Photo Booth.

  • “Harvest” Hobnobbing

The lovely Garden District home of Sara and Paul Costello was the site of the sixth annual Second Harvest Food Bank’s Harvest at Home, a fundraiser to benefit the organization that “is leading the fight against hunger and building food security in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response.” Said Natalie Jayroe, president and CEO of SHFB, “In Louisiana, one in six households is at risk of hunger.”

President Jayroe chatted with and thanked guests for their role and support in the fight against hunger in our community. At the end of the evening, Rebecca Wilcomb, chef de cuisine at Herbsaint restaurant, was presented a special Second Harvest Food Bank Harvest at Home chef’s jacket. She was the featured 2015 Harvest at Home chef and shared the culinary company of her top toque predecessors: Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s for 2014, Susan Spicer of Bayona and Mondo for 2013, Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace for 2012, and Donald Link of The Link Restaurant Group for 2011.

On this recent spring evening hosted by the Costellos, guests mingled both inside and outside the home while sipping wine and enjoying delectable dishes prepared by chef Wilcomb (such as her signature dish: a turnip-based, braised pork belly) and the above former Harvest at Home chefs.

Within the “Harvest” throng were Ken Jayroe with President Natalie, the Costellos, SHFB board Chairwoman Patricia Weeks and John Gonzales, Sheila and Britton Sanderford, Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, Phillip and Lauren May, Leann and Ted Moses, Trevor and CeCe Colhoun, Susu and Andrew Stall, Anne and King Milling, Dr. Mary and Robert Lupo, Bruce and Margaret Soltis, and Harvest at Home committee members (as are many of the above) in Kim Unglesby, Skylene Montgomery, and Melanie Loomis.

n “Access Jazzes Into Spring”

From the moment guests arrived at the Audubon Tea Room, Crescent City sounds resonated, compliments of the Archbishop Rummel High School Jazz Band under the leadership of Christian Bautista. More students — the Archbishop Rummel Ambassadors, who were dressed in navy “crested” blazers — assisted at the auction boards as volunteers.

The music and the auction were just two aspects of the total attractions that were part of Catholic Charities’ “Access Program” Jazz Brunch. The invitations by artist Chrissy Gregg Baynham were extended by Archbishop Gregory Aymond and the board of Access Pregnancy and Referral Center. Lisa Baynham is the board president, Louise Jardell and Jean Rice were brunch chairwomen, and St. Philip Neri was recognized as the Outstanding Pro-Life Parish. That award was presented by Sister Marjorie Hebert, president and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

At 11:30 a.m., the doors to the Tea Room opened for a round of libations with live music. Further attributes of the event were the 50/50 cash prize, the auction, and a tasty meal of seasonal field greens, medallions of glazed pork, and vanilla parfaits. Tall glass vases featuring stems of yellow flowers amid palm fronds and silk butterflies served as decorations. The above-mentioned invitation captured the image of India Stewart’s “Mother & Child” heart-shaped pin.

Noted were Archbishop Aymond for a special address; Shannon Wild (with Rodney), Karen McGoey (with King) and Gayle Gaubert (with Jimmie) for the artistic centerpieces; auction Co-Chairwomen Sheila Spring and Jean Mitchell; and Janice and John Montelepre of St. Philip Neri Parish, who accepted on behalf of the pastor, the Rev. Harry Bugler. From the ranks of parish attendees were Deacons Tommy Lutz and Paul Hauck with wives Marie and Lillian.

Still others were Michelle and Doug Black, Pat Baynham, retired Judge Salvadore Mule, Tangie Stephens, Judge Kerry Anzalone, Dr. Joseph and Kay Donnelly Rumage, Meade and Peg Phelps, Mike and Amy Reese, Will and June Prados, Lois Cambre and daughter Hope, Lynn and Stephen Schonberg, sisters Diane and Gwen Gannuch, Harold and Linda Heno, Margaret Murphy, Mary and Ron Fonseca, Mary Ellis Hasseltine, Maria Villafranco, Sharon and Mark Rodi, Madge Schexnaydre, Joan Cuccia, Gwen Keenan, Maria Villafranco, and Beth Dillmann.

Quite a few within the crowd of well over 250 eyed the auction boards and the coveted items from author Ronald J. Drez, artist Terrance Osborne and others. A large, framed James Michalopoulos art piece, “Scene for 10:15” was one of the biggest draws. More excitement occurred when Gloria Woods was thrilled to hear her name announced as the 50/50 cash winner.