The Archbishop Hannan Community Appeal for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans held an end-of-campaign reception at the residence of Archbishop Gregory Aymond to thank volunteers and extraordinary donors, to celebrate the successful conclusion of the 2014 campaign and to hail the anniversaries of service of its honorees: 40, 35, 25, 20, 15 and five years. On different dates, schools ruled socially with the Louise S. McGehee School presenting “Denim & Diamonds” and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School rallying forces for “2015 Spring Love Affair.”

Campaign Camaraderie

In addition to honoring individuals who have given years of service to the Archbishop Hannan Community Appeal (AHCA) for Catholic Charities Archdiocese (albeit, in earlier years, under a different name for the charitable organization), the cocktail reception at Archbishop Aymond’s home on South Carrollton Avenue recognized those volunteers who worked on the 2014 campaign to raise money to support the work of Catholic Charities in the community. The 2014 campaign goal was $1.6 million and it was exceeded. Celebration was indeed to the fore.

Sister Marjorie Hebert, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, opened the reception with words of welcome. Then the host, Archbishop Aymond, spoke, thanking the many AHCA volunteers and acknowledging all those with service anniversaries. He continued with thanks to Sister Hebert for her leadership and to 2014 Chaircouple Mason and Jennifer Couvillon. Jennifer, on behalf of herself and Mason, extended their gratitude to the many volunteers.

Archbishop Aymond then introduced the 2015 AHCA Co-Chaircouples Mr. and Mrs. Clifton LeBlanc and Mr. and Mrs. Price LeBlanc, before closing the formalities with a prayer.

Pleasures of the table then awaited, thanks to Palate New Orleans Catering, which provided delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, such as muffaletta paninis and a light buffet. A selection of wines and cocktails served as libations.

Among the guests were the four LeBlancs, Elizabeth and Clifton and Christine and Price, as well as Catholic Charities board Chairman Tommie Vassel, Vice Chairman Michael O. Read, past AHCA Chaircouple Byron and Shannon Adams, volunteers Evangeline Vavrick and daughter Eve, Susan Couvillon (mother of Mason), Kathleen and Bill Steen, and James T. Hannan, a relative of the late Archbishop Philip Hannan. The annual fundraising campaign was given the name “Archbishop Hannan Community Appeal” in 2012 in memory of the late archbishop, who began this effort almost 50 years ago following Hurricane Betsy as a way of serving those in our community who were most in need.

Limelighted volunteers and their years of service were Peter F. Maunoir and Frank E. Schmidt, 35 years; Anne M. Milling, 25; Karen S. DeBlieux, Leann O. Moses, and Peter R. Quirk, 20 years; and for five years, Erin M. DiZinno, Suzette Herpich, Joan S. Ingram, Mary S. Johnson, Jean S. Rice, Adrienne Steen, and Kathi K. Zimmerman.

Honored in absentia were Joseph C. “Joe” Canizaro (40 years), along with John Kallenborn (20), Mark Spansel (15), and, all five years, Gretchen Burghardt, Mary Beth Green, Pam Kennedy, Frances Omner and Chuck Viator.

Jeans and Gems

For the on-premises McGehee fundraiser, a more casual mood and mode was suggested by the invitation designed by alumna Carter Jahncke Perrilliat. “Denim & Diamonds” titled the to-do that started with patrons hobnobbing at the new – and nearby – home of alumna Pam Georges Dongieux before heading to the school’s Bradish Johnson Grounds for gustatory pleasures, an auction, and entertainment by Paul Sanchez with special guests Susan Cowsill, Mary Lasseigne, Jonathon Pretus and Eric Bolivar. The suggested attire: “Denim & Dazzle.”

Decorations Chairwoman Dana Perry created a saloon façade over the front gate, which was complemented by saloon bar setups on the grounds. Further features were “Diamond Girls” as greeters, mannequins dressed in denim, impressive lighting, and an evening blessed by Mother Nature.

Chez Nous catered both the fare at the patron party and the gala, where a fry station was a big hit. Cactus juice margaritas were the specialty drink.

Among the notables were event Chairwomen Andrea Mahfouz and Ginger Schwartz with husbands Mark and John, Parents’ League President Madhavi King with Rhett, incoming PL President Tara Weiss with Ken, patron Co-Chairwomen Molly Baumer and Natalie Phillips with spouses Kristen and Robert, board Chairwoman Ellen Coleman with Grant, headmistress Eileen Powers, Dads’ Club President McCaleb Bilbro with Nancy, and auction Chairwoman Kathy McHugh. Husband Mike McHugh was traveling.

Also, Ansley and Carter Marshall, Sweet and Ben Dupuy, Kathleen and Ben Banta, Meredith and Baldwin Montgomery, Elise and Max Merlin, Pierce and Tom Young, and auctioneer/alumna Ruthie Winston, who was credited for doing a “marvelous job raising funds for the school.”

A big-ticket live auction item was a Tim Trapolin painting purchased by Elenore and Ian Falshaw. Other choice items were a “Pitch Perfect 2” premiere party donated by school parents Karen and George Solomon, a wine tasting at Delachaise donated by parents Trace and Evan Hayes, sports enticements, and jewelry.

A choice purchase of a diamond necklace donated by Friend & Company Fine Jewelers was made by Robert Phillips for Natalie. In addition to co-chairing the patron ado, she was celebrating her birthday that evening.

That’s Amore

The “2015 Spring Love Affair” of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School unfolded in Club XLIV (Club 44), the spacious private club adjacent to Champions Square, next to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Thanks tapped Kellie Mathas, a school parent/event planner, for the décor. Decorations featured St. Andrew’s colors of red and white, flowers, and special accents to show love for the city and the school. In fact, and in keeping with the theme, a special LOVE NOLA logo was used throughout.

Patton’s catered, offering such teasers for the taste buds as yummy pulled pork, Oysters Bordelaise, and pralines. Hansen’s provided specialty drinks and a popcorn bar produced eager-to-eat queues.

Auction activity was most animated, thanks to the 82 items in the first category (including “A Day at the Ballgame” with headmaster Mason Lecky) and those in the live portion, which was emceed by school parent Juan Kincaid. Because the top item, an Argentinean Asado Party donated by José and Alea Cot and Gabriel and Beth Nazar, went so high, it was offered to the top two bidders, Dr. Ricardo Romero and Dr. Susana Dipp, for $2,850 each.

Additional features were the Red Spirit Boutique Shop, a Gogo Jewelry commemorative piece, baseball caps, and souvenir photos.

Among the “Love” luminaries were event Co-Chairwomen Ragan Gankendorff and Emily Carver with husbands Dino and Marshall, board Chairwoman Jane Miller, Parents’ Club President Caytee Clark with Tim, the above head of school Mason Lecky with Megan, the Rev. Jim Morrison, Meredith Stanfill-Smith with husband Trey Smith, and Claudette Bienvenue.

Noted, too, were Amy and Graham Bosworth, Sue Zemanick, the above José Cots, Sarah and Robert Edgecombe, Arthur Boisfontaine, Kyle and Karl Kehoe, Gretchen and Dr. Craig Ledet, Jackie and Vincent Palumbo, Heidi and Dr. Danny Raines, Jane and Dr. David Martin, Carolyn and Dr. Lamar Teaford, Mary Lee and Hampton Carver, Frances and Jim Roemer, Tara and James Roberts, Naydja and Leo Caillier, and Mark Dodart. For starters.

When it came time to make the music, Big Sam’s Funky Nation filled the bill.