For the 2023 gala, and with a nod to Ireland, Raintree Children and Family Services made “Paint the Town Green” the operative chromatics. Special thanks tapped Presenting Sponsors Angel Wings Foundation and Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust. Cindy Paulin, who’s associated with Angel Wings and Raintree, was the honoree.
More top names were event co-chairs Kate deKay and Katherine Koerner, Clover Sponsors with their husbands, David and Parker, as well as Boot 64 Ventures – John K. Roberts III and Mr. and Mrs. John E. Koerner III; board chair Rebecca Gardner, a Mint Sponsor with Ryan Roussel; Vincent and Donna Giardina; Jade Sponsor Lana Duke, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse; Kenny Malter; auction co-coordinators Charlotte Sapir and Katie Walmsley; and from Raintree, executive director LaShawna Schofield and Alden Howard, director of development and gala coordinator.
Revelers by the dozens rallied at the Orpheum Theater, with patrons heading first to the Double Dealer “speakeasy” for Nolavore’s mezze board and Neal Bodenheimer’s specialty cocktail, “Esmeralda.” Singer Anais St. John regaled the crowd with her jazzy jaunts. In the theater area, green and gold lighting added colorful luminescence; tables were covered with white linens and centered with green feathered trees on thin, gold trunks; and, on smaller tables, white Phalaenopsis orchids made floral statements. As guests sat, they enjoyed delicious fare from eight acclaimed purveyors.
The auctions, silent and live (four items), generated a lot of the evening’s excitement. Four of the donors for the silent portion were chef Loma Xayalinh, Tracey Moore, Dr. Suma Maddox and LeBlanc + Smith. A live-auction vacation stay in Pensacola, Florida, was donated by Nihn Tran and Scott Bickford and bought by Vincent Giardina, and a James Michalopoulos work, “Tarot and Temptation,” found purchasers in Angie Tocco, and, for a second rendition, Carolyn Bordes. Paddle raises and balloon drops added hearty $um$.
Much of the party energy found a fun outlet on the dance floor. To a mixture of popular classic and new favorite numbers, the “Green” gang gyrated to The NOLA Dukes Band.
The cool colors of white and soft pink balanced the warmth of friendship at The Sybarites annual Spring Party. Members wore white dresses accessorized by vernal-inspired headdresses. Held in the Audubon Golf Course Clubhouse, the bash was a hit with a number of taste treats, lilies and roses in the signature colors by Steve Baker, and dance-floor ignition by DJ Philip Parrino of Countdown. Members’ conversation recalled the fall luncheon at Commander’s Palace and the forthcoming get-together at the home of Betsy Laborde and husband Gary. Officers at the clubhouse frolic included president Mathilde Currence, who succeeded Lilla Kearney, along with president-elect Katy Roubion (the headdress spearheader), Jill Nalty, Julie Calhoun and Elizabeth Grimes. Joining them were spouses or guests.
Within the party pack of 180 were Irene Lutkewitte and Tom, Caroline and David Kearney, Kendall and Ben Hales, Sarah and George Young, Nancy and Michael Walshe, Anne and Jody Guillot, Sheila and James Favrot, Lance and Leslie Estrada, Liz and Mark Harbison, Tupper and Tom Allen and Pat and JJ Morrison, who love to dance, and joined the packed floor for Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”
Tales of Sails
Jenny Kottler and Mary Lovell, joined by Bob and Andy, teamed to chair “Stars over SYC” at the Southern Yacht Club. Southern Sailing Foundation hosted the gala to support SYC’s Junior Program of sailing, swimming and summer camp. The foundation’s mission includes providing a lifelong love of both recreational and competitive sailing. Laurels all, the Southern Yacht Club “has a history of producing world-champion sailors.”
The “Stars” socializing featured an array of delectable dishes donated by 10 restaurants, including SYC; specialty drink Marsh Rum Punch with rum given by Marsh House Rum and named after a family home on Avery Island; a 75-items silent auction with restaurants, fitness, staycations, handcrafts, and sailing lessons as bid bait; and, in the “live” lot, six attractions, including the Bubby Eagan family’s double offer of a Pass Christian, Mississippi, vacation that delighted Craig and Elizabeth Ehrensing, and Phillips and Shannon Johnson.
Mast-headers, within the spinnaker set of 150, were SYC Commodore Duff Friend and Jan, foundation chair/former Commodore Scott Sonnier, former Commodore Guy Brierre and Pam, food and beverage co-chairs Christina Hayes and Lindsay Gibbs, Samantha Frost and Heather McGowan for decorations, and, for design and graphics, Linzy Cotaya. Sponsor chair Donald McKoin and Kathy mingled with Kristin Van Hook and Brian Moore, Brian and Liz Karcher, John and Virginia Lovell, Charles and Keith Meade, John Alden and Charlotte Meade, Anne and Bill Richardson, Timothy Molony, Scott and Sealey Lindley, and Jeff Montz. “Almost 300 people contributed to the night’s success,” noted Jenny Kottler after the festive fact, as she acknowledged the SYC, event committee, donors, sponsors, guests, and volunteers.
“Stars over SYC” concluded with some land-loving jubilation. The rock band, Where Y’acht, played timeless favorites and the spirited sailors made waves.