Movers and Makers
Red, the color signifying love, courage and the Holy Spirit, permeated the festivities involved with both the traditional Mass and the following reception. At the invitation of Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, as well as the Bishops of the State of Louisiana and the St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association, more than 250 members of the Louisiana judiciary, lawyers, public officials and guests gathered at St. Louis Cathedral for the 66th annual Red Mass to mark the opening of the judicial year. The tradition originated in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Provided by Adrian’s Christian Florist, the cathedral was decorated with beautiful red bouquets complementing the ecclesiastical vestments and judicial stoles of that color. Music was provided by the Loyola Choir. The judges and the St. More membership processed into the cathedral to the song “We Are Called,” asking all to “act with justice and to serve one another.”
The homilist was the Rev. Paul D. Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. The readers were Judge Martin Feldman and Louisiana State Bar Association President Barry H. Grodsky and the deacons were Don Richard, a longtime member, and V.M. Wheeler III.
A reception followed the Mass at the Bourbon Orleans, where breakfast quiche, pastries, fruit, coffee, tea and mimosas were served. Red carnations decorated the grand ballroom. Numerous luncheon celebrations followed later in the Vieux Carre.
As a highlight, Joseph A. Barreca was awarded the fifth annual Evangeline Award, named after the late Evangeline Molero Vavrick, who served the organization for 50 years. Still others were Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson (along with the entire Supreme Court bench), Judge James F. “Jim” McKay, Loyola Law School Dean Madeleine Landrieu, Justice Harry T. and Judge Mary Ann Lemmon, Loyola University President Tania Tetlow, Judge Raymond S. Steib Jr., Judge Scott Schlaegel, Judge Daniel and Dianna Dysart, St. Thomas More President Kevin Colomb, retired Judge Salvadore T. Mule, Jody Fortunato, Barbara Malik Weller, Joseph Taranto, Vincent “Chip” LoCoco, Roy Bowes, Eve Vavrick, Julia G. Baudier Jr., Ralph Aucoin, Michelle Mayne Davis, Edwin Fleischmann and Bill Quigley.
Jefferson Orleans South, the annual venue for the Titans dance, was decorated with floral centerpieces, which were admired as members and guests enjoyed the food selections (concluding with ice cream parfaits) and the music of the Clark Knighton and the 4x4 Band. Norman Robinson emceed the call out and Judge Kern Reese gave a fine toast.
As officers, the names to know were club President Wilmer Jacobs with wife Pat, Vice President Reese with Dottie, dance chairman and business manager Paul Mitchell with Donna, Treasurer Wayne DeLarge with Marie, financial Secretary Kim DeLarge with Bettye, chaplain Lucien Gauff and parliamentarian James Moore with Shaundra.
They caught up on the latest of Judge Angelique Reed, Sheriff Marlin and Renee Gusman, Charles and Vonda Rice, Judge Terri F. Love and Ellria, Dr. Warren and Gail McKenna, Judge Ellen Hazeur, Aviation Director Kevin Dolliole and Janice, Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, King NOMTAC-elect Theo and Charlene Sanders, and St. Augustine High School President Kenneth and Lori St. Charles. Also, Howard and Belinda Rodgers, Vance and Judy Vaucresson, Clint and Dr. Sheryl Smith, Glenn and Grady Knighton, Dr. Jerome and Lexie Medley, the Alvin Ferrouillets, the Karlton Kirkseys and Eugene and Pat Brooks.
Always a dancing party, the festivities saw most of the 380 attendees at “That’s What Friends Are For” flock to the floor. “At Last” and “Misty” relegated a slower tempo, while the Wobble saw joyful gyration.
In a room that relished color via gorgeous costumes and general attire, the Asian Pacific American Society held its annual Fundraising Gala. The site was the Hyatt Regency’s Empire Room. The all-volunteer APAS acts as a nonprofit cultural and educational umbrella organization for Asian and Pacific Americans in Louisiana and the Gulf states. It supports Heritage Festival, awards scholarships, helps local projects for the homeless, and arranges cultural events and seminars.
The main event was the crowning of Ms. APAS, the one who brought in the most funds. Smiling as contestants were Ms. Bangladesh, Bithi Islam; Ms. Cambodia, Sokhoeun Chau; Ms. India, Ambika Julka; Ms. Indonesia, Erin Doherty; Ms. Korea, Emma Soojin Cho; Ms. Taiwan, Chia-Yu Chen; Ms. Thailand, Supissara Charoetanabodee; and, the winner, Ms. Philippines, Regina Rodriguez Howe. Frank Hara Service Awards tapped Napoleon R. Charles, Indonesia; Insook Park, the Republic of South Korea; Veronica Tuazon, Philippines; Dr. C. Paul Lo, Taiwan; and Stephanie Thao Nguyen Dao, Vietnam.
Additional features were numerous, including delicious cuisine (such as grilled Huli Huli chicken breast and mango tapioca pudding); table decorations of black and silver cascades — bling, bling!; dances from Indonesia, Philippines, India and Korea; raffle items with Lori Jefferson (Apple Smartwatch) and Erin Doherty (Fitbit Alta) as winners; and a live auction for Saints tickets, as well as silent-auction enticements.
Mastheading the cultural merriment were APAS Chairwoman Thuy Vu, gala Chairman Harold Welsh, Sheriff Marlin and Renee Gusman, mistress of ceremonies Sula Kim of WDSU News, Councilwoman-at-Large Cynthia Lee-Sheng with mother Lai Lee, Korean Honorary Consul Bill Langenstein and C.C., Millie Baudier, Michael Haase, Lisa Nguyen, Jackie Block, artist Zeno Pimental, Dr. Wendy Jung and dad Johnny Jung, Judy Villa and Albert, Frank and Sandy Wong, Dr. Paul and Mimi Lo with son Richard, Alex and Eva Kuo, Lucy Chun, Subhash and Neela Kulkarni and Lance and Wimol Harwell.
With plans to make the event family-friendly, Crescent City Farmers Market held Backyard BBQ at Central City BBQ with Laitram LLC and Prime Business Advisory Solutions as Lead Sponsors, and Fidelity Bank sponsoring the silent auction, which included a Mac Ball painting.
Picnic tables, chalkboard signs for the 14 restaurants and bars, plants donated by J & D Farms of Poplarville, Mississippi, yellow and white market umbrellas and colorful oilcloths as table toppers fused for a festive atmosphere. So did the roasted pig by Central City BBQ chef Aaron Burgau, Varino’s sausages and kids’ activities. Pumpkin painting, monster masks, bounce houses and hula hoops were hits.
From CCFM came executive director Kate Parker with spouse James Karst, board President David T. Baker, Vice President David Waller with Barbara, Treasurer Natalie Barranco with John, and immediate past President Ann Thompson with Shaw. A plane delay prevented the attendance of past prez Howell Crosby and Katie, both sponsors.
All of the above reaped thanks, as did event Co-chairwomen Katie Rosenblum and Monique McCleskey, with husbands Carl and Bob, and Central City BBQ’s chef Burgau and general manager Donna Tran. Others making “Q” their caper were Dennis Guarino, Pelican Club chef Richard Hughes with Jeanne, Robin A. Barnes, Vivian and Richard Cahn, Allison and George Freeman, Bruce Gallassero, Rusty and Roz Gaude, Kristy Hitchcock, Sarah and Tommy Usdin and countless kids.
“A rollicking success” was the general consensus of the fun that got a musical boost by Sam Price and The True Believers and Disco Amigos.