The St. Elizabeth’s Guild will hold its 44th annual Volunteer Activists Awards luncheon at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 23 at the Marriott New Orleans Hotel, 555 Canal St., New Orleans.

The event will honor 10 local volunteers: Ronald Briggs, Lana Duke, Ana M. Eller, Steve Gleason, Michael Joseph Maenza Sr., Mary Ellen Miller, Kathy Evans Mitchell, Louie Roussel III, PK Scheerle and Faye Maxwell Young.

Also, the Guild will recognize two Hall of Fame honorees who continue to volunteer by providing community service: James E. Fitzmorris Jr. and Phyllis M. Taylor.

The event will include music by the Orleans Original Jazz Ensemble, a parade of prizes, a silent auction, raffles, food, refreshments and a secret celebrity fashion show by Dillard’s.

The Guild is an advocate of children’s programs associated with the Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Charities. Proceeds from this year’s luncheon will benefit three programs of Catholic Charities: the Independent Living Skills Program, which educates foster children to become independent adults; Padua Pediatrics, a facility for children with mental and physical disabilities; and St. John the Baptist Community Center, which educates prekindergarten children.

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond will give the invocation.

Tickets to the event are $75 per person and patron-level tickets are $100 per person.

For tickets and more information, call (504) 453-8626.

Volunteer Activist Award winners


  • As a founding board member of Good Shepherd School since 2000, he has served the school as president, vice president and is board chairman. He is a member of the Ignatian Spirituality Project and has received several honors including the Order of St. Louis Medallion, People For Others and the Order of Saint Ignatius.


  • Duke is head of the largest female-owned ad agency in the Gulf South, Lana Duke Consulting, owner of four Ruth’s Chris restaurants and president of the board of directors of Raintree Children and Family Services in New Orleans.


  • She has spearheaded fundraisers for research for heart disease, multiple sclerosis and leukemia. She also helps raise money for Cancer Crusaders, Ladies Leukemia League and St. Elizabeth’s Guild.


  • A member of the New Orleans Saints from 2000 to 2008, Gleason was diagnosed in 2011 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a terminal neuromuscular disease. He and his family founded Team Gleason and the Team Gleason Initiative Foundation to help generate funds and public awareness for ALS, to help those with ALS and to help find a cure.


  • T he owner of Mr. Mudbug and MMI Culinary Inc. has devoted his support to several local nonprofit groups serving the needs of children. He also works to provide nutritious meals to area schools. Maenza is on the board of directors of many local groups and is the president of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.


  • P resident of both the Federated Council of New Orleans Garden Clubs and the Louisiana Council of Gardening Consultants, she is the founder and chief writer of “What’s Growing,” a newsletter on horticulture. She is a moderator for the award-winning Little Shadows Junior Garden Club, of Hazel Park School in Harahan. Miller chairs the Celebration in the Oaks decorating committee and is president of the Friends of Longue Vue volunteer committee.


  • Evans Mitchell has been an active volunteer for the Ladies Leukemia League, St. Elizabeth’s Guild and the Teresian Sisters. Currently, she sits on the Tulane Cancer Center’s Community Advisory Board. She is a member and past president of the Cancer Crusaders and co-founder of the group’s annual golf tournament.


  • A graduate of Jesuit High School, Louisiana State University and Loyola Law School, he has donated money for the restoration of Immaculate Conception Church, to Good Shepherd School, and several other local and national philanthropic groups. The former owner of The New Orleans Fairgrounds, Roussel continues to own and train thoroughbreds. His prize colt, Risen Star, won two of the three legs of the 1988 Triple Crown.


  • A registered nurse, Scheerle the chief executive officer and chairwoman of the board for Gifted Healthcare in New Orleans. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School, former chairperson of the Louisiana Young Presidents Organization and a Business Hall of Fame laureate. She is the founder of the Great 100 Nurses Celebration, currently in its 28th year of honoring nurses in Louisiana.


  • She has served on several boards and committees including the Ladies Leukemia League, Cancer Crusaders and St. Elizabeth’s Guild. She volunteers for the Center for Abused Children, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of Eileen and Wounded Warriors.

Hall of Fame


  • Fitzmorris attended Jesuit High and Loyola University and is a World War II veteran. He worked for the Kansas City Southern Railway Company for 32 years and was a prominent figure in local politics, serving two terms as Louisiana’s lieutenant governor. He is the founder of Fitzmorris and Associates, which represents both national and international clients in real estate and corporate and government relations.


  • Taylor is chairwoman of Endeavor Enterprises and also of Taylor Energy Company. Taylor serves as chairwoman and president of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, a philanthropic organization that was founded in 1985 with an emphasis on benefiting education, law enforcement, the armed forces and other humanitarian efforts.