The Eyes Had It!
Each year, thousands of kids and their parents trek to the Audubon Zoo for Boo at the Zoo presented by Bryan Subaru, which takes place on two weekends. All totaled, there are four nights and delightful frights. The family-friendly extravaganza is a fun-filled Halloween event for children up to the age of 12 and serves as a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital and Audubon Zoo.
Among the many features were Gal Holiday and Dancing Drums in the Toddler Area, Star Wars performers, Pop Princesses (opening night), animal encounters, Haunted Maze, games with prizes, Laser Tag Game and Angry Birds launcher, Trick or Treat Houses, and family costume contests, as well as wagon/stroller contests. Disney princesses, including Moana, were a big hit, as were superheroes and Ninja Turtles. Always a hit, the New Orleans Pelicans Dance Team members and the New Orleans Baby Cakes mascot distributed candy and signed autographs.
Names to note were LCMC Health CEO Greg Feirn with wife Sarah and sons Charles (a vampire) and Williams (Spider-Man), along with their friends, Charles Jackson, Parker Connolly, Hunt Hill and Lauren Favrot (candy corn witch); Jamie Berger and Andrew Geiger with sons Dylan (Ghostbuster), Max (ghost) and Brody (pumpkin); Shannon and Chris Zink with sons Emerson (Spider-Man), Mason (Link from Nintendo Legend of Zelda) and Jack (Swat Team member); and Evan Lieberman (Hei Hei the Rooster from Disney’s “Moana”) with wife Stephanie (pumpkin) and their daughter, Mary (butterfly). Visiting from Pittsburgh were Stephanie’s mom and dad, Susan and Jay Johanson.
Making rounds, too, were Lisa Lupin and Kenny Miestchovich with their son, Owen (Mike Wazowski from Disney/Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.); Michelle and Field Ogden with their foursome: Mignon (witch), Miles and Preston (TIE fighter pilots) and Phoebe (candy corn princess); Sugarplum Ball 2018 Co-Chairwoman Jessica Schulman with daughter Silar (fidget spinner) and son Sawyer (Captain America); Rachael and Jonathan Schilling with their Peter Pan-costumed son, Addison; and Sarah and Clay DeGruy with “pink poodle” Charlotte.
On whichever night they attended, they were in a crowd of about 5,000. All combined, the attendance for the four nights was almost 20,000, producing a host of happy Halloween-ers.
The Bounty of BASH
The signature fundraiser for the Southern University at New Orleans Foundation is called the BASH, drawing cleverly on the dictionary definition of “a large, often lavish party” and the name of Dr. Emmett Bashful, the late chancellor emeritus of Southern University, who was also the first chancellor and the event’s first honoree. For the recent gala at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Hotel, “a high level of energy” and “festive atmosphere” were touted. Money raised will go to student scholarships.
Headliners included foundation Chairman Frank Williams Jr. with wife Shelly, Chancellor Lisa Mims-Devezin, Ph.D., with husband Jerome, former Chancellor Gerald Peoples with Verjanis, and Ann Smith, who chairs the Southern University System Board of Supervisors. From the board came Mike Small and Leroy Davis with Elaine.
Teamed to chair the 2017 BASH were alums Kemic A. Smothers and Cheryl Legohn Tubbs, who rated accolades. More limelight befell 11 alumni, who are serving as elected officials. They are state Sen. Wesley Bishop (with Shannon), Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere III, state Rep. Joseph Bouie Jr. (with Leslie), Orleans Parish School Board member Leslie Ellison, St. Bernard Parish School Board member Henderson Lewis Jr. (with Zinnia), Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal District Court Arthur Morrell (with Cynthia), Algiers Second City Court Constable Edwin Shorty Jr. (with Carla), St. Tammany Parish Councilman T.J. Smith Jr., Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Judge Tammy Stewart, Terrebonne Parish Councilwoman Arlanda Williams and Louisiana Fourth Circuit of Appeal Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods.
The honorees were introduced with a drum line. There were students from McMillian’s First Steps Academy and McMillian’s Child Care.
Floral embellishment of the hotel’s Celestin Ballroom was the domain of Mona’s Accents. The two types of arrangements were low centerpieces with spider and cushion chrysanthemums, roses and solidago — all yellow — and lush greens, as well as flower-filled tall vase cylinders with touches of yellow and blue and greenery.
Spring greens salad, fruit, gumbo, flank steak, chicken piccata and mini desserts figured as taste treats, along with drinks, including coffee and tea. Among the many enjoying the BASH buffet and bounty were Louvinia Wallace; SUNO Alumni Association President Tia Crowley; Judges E “Teena” Anderson-Trahan, Keva Landrum-Johnson, Terri Love and Robin Pittman; and former Miss SUNOs Pamela Bentley, Linda DoBard Frederick, Myeisha Keith, Germika Stewart and 2017 BASH Co-Chairwoman, the above Cheryl Legohn Tubbs.
Throughout the evening, music made its mark. The Royal Essence Band regaled the crowd for hours.
The 2017 Awards Reception of Court Watch NOLA took place at the home of Hope and Jimmy Meyer, which was filled with splendid flowers. Guests dined on cuisine by the Brennan Restaurant Group. Jim Letten and Kenneth A. Polite Jr. answered to event co-chairmen.
The mission of CWN “is to promote reform in the Orleans Parish criminal court system through civic engagement and courtroom observation.” Volunteers are recruited, trained and supported to that end.
Three awards were given with the Lynne and Jerome Goldman Criminal Justice Reform Award going to Gov. John Bel Edwards and Susan Jones Gundlach of the Eugenie Jones Family Foundation. Respective presenters were former Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand and Alan Philipson. Both honorees have made a significant difference in the lives of Louisiana citizens: the governor, through significant legislation, and Mrs. Gundlach, “a pillar of the philanthropic community,” through generosity and grants made by the Eugenie Jones Family Foundation, which have propelled the Court Watch volunteer program.
With Simone Levine, executive director of CWN as the presenter, Julia Cass received the Volunteer Appreciation Award. Mark Romig, president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, performed the emcee duties.
Notables attending were Councilman at-large Jason Williams, Councilwoman Susan Guidry, George H. Wilson with Nell, retired Judge Miriam Waltzer with Bruce, and from Susan Gundlach’s family, husband Jimmy Gundlach, and her children, Susu Stall and H. Merritt Lane with wife Elly. Also, Paulette and Frank Stewart, Deidre Hayes and retired Judge Calvin Johnson, Flozell Daniels Jr., state Rep. Joe Marino, Megan Keifer, and state Rep. Walt Leger III.