With names like Stage Sponsor, Loving Legend, Brilliant Benefactor and Soul Savior, who wouldn’t want to be a top patron? These and four other categories labeled the headliners for the 17th annual Soul Revival to benefit the Legacy Donor Foundation. Each spring, the foundation celebrates the Gift of Life at the bash, recalling the LDF’s founding in 1999 to save the lives of people waiting for transplants by encouraging Louisiana citizens to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. Our state “has almost 2,100 individuals awaiting a life-saving organ transplantation.”
For the fourth year, George and Lauren Brennan Brower hosted the Soul Revival street party as a tribute to their late friend, David Voelker, the first SR home-host 17 years ago. Prior to the street socializing, the Browers opened their lovely Garden District home for a patron party.
The nine 2016 chaircouples signified the nine lives one organ donor has the potential to save. They were Ransdell and LDF board Chairman William Prieur, Ansley and Carter Marshall, Dorothy and Joe Mann, Lacey and Price Lanier, Megan and William Wolf, Kaylea and Hunter Hill, Kate and Scott Tucker, Sara and Jonathan McCall, and Shelley and Sean Tynan. They mingled with Legacy emeritus board member and sponsor Joey M. Brown, immediate past board Chairwoman Machelle Payne and John, Lindsey Brower Beard (daughter of the host couple) and husband Brad, the Rev. Willie and Julie Gable, foundation executive director Nicole and Ryan Labadot, Elly and Merritt Lane, David Schulingkamp, Dickie Brennan and mom Lynne, Steve and Yvette Pettus, and Whitney and Michael Guarisco. About 770 others, too, who partied from dusk to post midnight.
Among the myriad features of the event, which unfolded on the Browers’ connecting properties, were hand-painted, heart-shaped signs thanking the major supporters; wooden banners with such upbeat slogans as “Life is Good, Giving Is Better” and Dance and Sing, Donate Everything”; and fabulous entertainment. A Gospel choir from the Progressive Baptist Church, master of ceremonies DJ Rob Nice, and the headlining Rockin; Dopsie & The Zydeco Twisters thrilled the crowd.
Meanwhile, when folks weren’t dancing, they grazed, relishing chomps from Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Haro Coffee & Chocolates, and such favorite food trucks as St. Clair Wood Fired Pizza, La Cocinita, Frencheeze, and Ms. Beasley’s.
A staple of the New Orleans social scene since its inception, the bash provides a choice opportunity to party and to educate the community. According to the above Nicole Labadot, “Soul Revival, quite literally, uplifts both hearts and souls.”
Lisa McKenzie and Susan Bopp teamed to produce You Night, an event that for many was also “Our Night.” A testament to the community and its willingness to support patients facing a life-threatening diagnosis of cancer, You Night provided a public forum to demonstrate that surviving cancer is possible. The Title Sponsor was the Center For Restorative Breast Surgery.
Hundreds hied to the River City Event Center at Mardi Gras World for a runway show that culminated the participants’ empowerment training.
Before the promenade of fashions and femmes, a pre-party took place with a slew of taste treats. After the modeling of modes from Chatta Box, Jean Therapy and Hemline, another round of socializing occurred with DJ Ronnie Roux.
Of course the focus was on the cancer survivors, the Role Models, who showed their pluck and confidence by striding the catwalk in front of approximately 600 guests, among whom were their physicians and nurses.
Hearty ovation tapped models Tiffany Swoboda, Laure Chachere, Jennetter Dobard, Emily Barre, Caroline Cook, Cindy Stewart, Anne Richwine, Elaine Sevin, Jerry Parker, Jackie Barre, Kristy Fuentes, Catherine Weil, Jamie Lynn Brondum, Holley Haag, Amy Shapiro, Rhonda Sigillito, Judy Romano, Sandy Hicks, Sallie Arnoult, and Sharron Evans. Others, too, over the months for whom unite and You Night fuse.
n How Green was My Gala!
More than 200 people rubbed shoulders at Archbishop Chapelle High School during the patron party for the Emerald Gala. Hors d’oeuvres, champagne and specialty cocktails were enjoyed in the Chapelle cafeteria, which was “partified” for the evening.
Shortly afterward, dozens more added to the ranks of revelers, many clad in green, for the main event in the recently renovated gymnasium. It was elegantly decorated in the thematic green and white with black drapery; illuminated auction boards; and for dining, embellished tables and bars. Pigeon Caterers purveyed.
Features of “Emerald” helped bring in another kind of green, thanks to the Fly Away Raffle with drinking glasses painted by Chapelle students; the Parade of Prizes; and the 50/50 “Anthony Davis Special” (six feet of tickets). Then there were the auctions, both silent (200 items) and the 10 “live” ones, chief of which was New Orleans Pelicans Suite for a Game.
A highlight of the event was the presentation of the 2016 Deus Providebet Award to Carl and Millie McNamara Moore. An alumna, she was the class of 1968.
As gala chairwomen, the names to know were alums Allison Vogt and Susan Panzavecchia with their husbands, Capt. Steven and John. Alum Barbara Bourgeois, who was joined by David, answered to gala gift chairwoman.
Further notables were Presenting Sponsors Ray and Jessica Brandt with daughter and son-in-law Julie and Darryl Hartline, Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Jan Lancaster, Archbishop Rummel Principal Marc Milano with Michelle, Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn with Dawn, and the Revs. Christian DeLerno, Kurt Young, and Charles Dussouy. Also, Chapelle 2016 Alumna of the year Dr. Cherie Drez Bragg (1986) with husband Dr. Jim and mom Mary Beth Drez, Advisory Board Chairwoman Erin Caruso (1981) with Joseph, and event benefactors Ray and Judy Spadafora, Jeffrey and Pamela Reid, Darren and Jackie Olivio, and Cindy Wooderson. Judy, Pamela, Jackie and Cindy are all alumnae.
Witness got the movement going on the dance floor and Snap Shotz NOLA Photo Booth gave all takers a fun souvenir of their gallivanting.