The “Hi!” Cs

Three recent events boasted the same initials: CHAIRish the Children, City Bark and Cefalutana Society. The respective venues for the summer socializing were the Louisiana Children’s Museum (that will move from Julia Street to City Park), City Park and Andrea’s Restaurant.

Revel on the River

Move over, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, and make room for scores of socializers, who made the Mississippi their merriment. This occurred at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, when its blue doors were opened for the 19th annual CHAIRish the Children. It was titled “Revel on the River.” Jessie Haynes and Allison Tiller, who were joined by husbands David and Ben, chaired the annual event that raises money for the LCM’s educational programs and exhibits.

To render the theme, decorations Co-Chairwomen Emily Forrester and Aja Mipro and committee members decorated the museum with hues of blues and greens and placed fishing nets lined with sparkling white lights along the atrium’s banisters and stairways. A large, glittering gator scaled the three-story red “logo” house structure, while red and white fishing bobbers floated overhead.

Appropriate to the aqueous billing, Peche Seafood Grill catered the patron party, serving up such hors d’oeuvre delicacies as crepes with tuna and neonata (infant fish), steak tartare and pickled shrimp on cucumber. Two signature drinks, “Whiskey River” and River Breeze,” wet the collective whistle. Guests who entered the $2,000 Lee Michael’s Fine Jewelry shopping spree sipped their cocktails from blinking cups.

Main-event mingling encompassed more than 500 “Chairished” attendees, who relished spirits, gourmet cuisine from 20-plus local restaurants, silent and live auctions, one-of-a-kind chairs for bidding, and sultry music by The Jenn Howard Band. Auction packages, numbering well over 200, tempted with trips, art, jewelry, local attractions, restaurants and chairs. In the live portion, “Saints vs. Dolphins in London” was a hot number, as were a private dinner for six by chef Alex Harrell, of Angeline, and a seven-day Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean. Terrance Osborne, Beck Fos and Dr. Bob created chair art that reaped top dollars.

The big fish were the above chairwomen, Jessie and Allison and their spouses, David and Ben; LCM CEO Julia Bland; state Sen. JP Morrell and Catherine; board members Wogan Bernard and Scott Zander with Katherine and Camille; artist Terrance and Stephanie Osborne; board member Lizette Terral, chairwoman of the museum’s Capital Campaign, with Brett; LCM board President Paul Simoneaux and Marie; past President Taylor and Angel Beery; and various chairing forces, such as Drs. Mara Haseltine and Melissa Montgomery (patron party) with husbands Gregory Smith and Dr. Scott Montgomery; Meg Gammage and Emily Lucas (the record-breaking auction); and sisters Meghann Holland and Caroline Phillips (the restaurant committee).

Also figuring on the “River” roster were Paula and Mark Jeansonne, David and Kara Schonberg, Kendall Winingder and Patrick Schindler, Meaghan and Joe Bonavita, Michael and Sheldon Schmidt, Ben and Kathleen Waring, Colleen and Scott Levy, Lynne Burkart and countless others for whom “CHAIRish” was good landlubber fun.

Best Lei-d Plans!

“Bow Wow Luau” bannered NOLA City Bark’s 101 Donations that enjoyed “hula” hobnobbing in the Arbor Room at City Park Popp Fountain. Funds raised will pay for ongoing improvements, major repairs and capital projects for NOLA City Bark for the doggies.

Supporters were urged to don Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts. Upon arrival, the “Bow Wow” brigade received leis as they walked by handcrafted palm trees provided by Mandeville Project Graduation that lined the front entrance, stage and Arbor Room. Tables were set with fresh pineapples, brightly colored overlays and palm leaves, and decorated with potted Guzmania plants and coconuts.

City Park Catering regaled guests with a cochon de lait, coconut shrimp, Hawaiian meatballs and salads. The sweet treats were bone-shaped sugar cookies from Essie’s Sparkling Confections. Port New Orleans Brewing and Velvet Cactus Canine Kahuna cocktails were go-to libations.

Dean Howard and Scott Discon teamed to chair the fun-raiser that included Jackie and Bruce Shreves, Sue and Mike Guarisco, Monica Frois and Eve Masinter, Kathy and Edmund Schrenk, Dessa and David Giffin, Susan and Bill Hess, Gary and Claudia Levy, Chris and Pat Fabacher, Julie Brown, Louise and Clif Saik, Ellen Johnson and Ronnie Swartz, Lori and Mike Keeffe, Maureen Shuh, Bill and Denise Hoffmann, and Bob Becker.

Concerning music matters, The Fleas three-piece band greeted arriving guests. Later, the grooving came compliments of The Prescriptions, members of NOLA City Bark, who are in the medical field. Take a bow!

Festa Time

The 130th anniversary of the annual Festa honoring Gesu Salvatore, patron saint of Cefalu, rallied members of Societa Italiana di Mutua Beneficenza on a recent Sunday. They first assembled for Mass at the Sacred Heart Chapel of Cabrini High School with the Rev. Michael Marascalco, a member of the Cefalutana Society, as the celebrant. Cefalu is a coastal city in Italy’s northern Sicily.

Next, it was on to lunch at Andrea’s Restaurant, where Father Marascalco gave the blessing before everyone enjoyed a Festa feast of Italian salad, fettuccine Alfredo, and choices for the main course and dessert. Always thrilling, Joe DeNone sang the national anthems of the U.S. and Italy and then various Italian favorites. Many were swooning to the wonderful sounds.

Recognitions figured as part of the Festa format. A special award, the Cefalutana Society’s Salvatore J. Serio Presidential Award, is presented each year, in the amount of $1,000, to a senior at Cabrini. Catherine Washburn was the beaming 2017 recipient. For the introduction of officers, society President Joe Battaglia recognized Father Marascalco, David Matassa, Peter Lamanna Sr., Rose Brocato, Lisa Serio, Sarah Ulmer, John Provenza, Erin Battaglia Thomas, Joseph Taranto, Chris Marascalco Cummings, Leonard Gresens and Chris Bardes.

More significant names were those of new members — Sara Castaldo, Ellen Higginbotham, Susan Klees, Robert Klees, Barbara Brocato Orr, Robert Serio and Matthew Michael Vincent — and dignitaries: American Italian Federation of the Southwest President Vincent Musso, Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Camille Buras and New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell.

Noted as well were Michael Thomas and Ken Higginbotham with their above spouses Erin and Ellen, Keith and Lynne Dier, Richard and Mary Landry, Frances Salvaggio, Charles and Rosemary Catanese, Larry and Carla Segura, Jeremy and Amy Battaglia Patterson and dozens more, who further the cause of the 130-year-old benevolent society. Have fun, too.