Let’s have lunch!
Wear your hat!
Say it fast. The “Hat” and the suggested “At” merged for fashionable fun in City Park when New Orleans City Gardeners and New Orleans City Park hosted “Heart of the Park Hat Luncheon” . It was presented by First Horizon. Proceeds from the noon meeting will benefit the care of the park’s “Historic Urban Forest” and NOTG’s community programs. The next group of donors, Majestic Oak, included the J. Edgar Monroe and The Helis foundations.
Teamed up – and groomed – to preside over the event were Karen Coaxum, Carmen Duncan, Boo Kallenborn and Chenier H. Taylorwhile Barbara Bush and Beverly Church responded to the patron presidents. “I am so proud of my daughter, Chénier”, said a beaming mother Janice Chenier Taylor, who added how well Chenier worked with the other co-chairs. The myriad committee names began in alphabetical order with Molly Baumer and concluded with Karen Kraak Wood. Have been seen in these ranks Ashley Bright, Ethel Clay, Margo DuBos, Anne Goliwas, Susan Gomila, Dana Hansel, Juli Miller Hart, Susan Hess, Dee McCloskey, Cleland Powell (with Claudia), Pam Ryanand Alexia “Lexie” Waring. To start.
Sponsors and patrons (whose names ran on the AY list, thanks to Anne Abbott and Pierce Young) were numerous. Among them were the above Ashley Bright, Lynne White, Louellen Berger, Patricia Brinson, Olivia Manning, Elizabeth Boh with mom Katherine, Pam Davis Friedler, Peggy Laborde, Mary Lupo, Diane Sustendal Labouisse, Vivian Cahn, Dorothy Clyne, Ruthie Frierson, Lori Savoie and a host of others, some of whom must have been “found” under bulky hats!
The honorary president of “Heart” was Dr. Tlaloc Selway Alferez, a retired infectious disease specialist born in Mexico and named after the Aztec god of rain. His father, the famous sculptor Enrique Alférez, had a special relationship with City Park and was honored to have works of his grace on the ground.
During the hour-long greetings and heady reunion, the park pack listened to the Harry Hardin Quartet as they browsed the works of Alférez (with support from the Helis Foundation and the New Orleans Historical Collection). The momentum was then towards the Pavillon des Deux Soeurs and the tent hoisted for the hobnobbing – the event was sold out – where a pre-arranged lunch sated the collective palate. Provided by New Orleans City Park Catering and Maurice’s French Pastries, the treats were tomato gazpacho, shrimp ravigote salad and lemon tart.
In the limelight, the luncheon guest speakers were the above president Tlaloc Alférez and NOTG, Ashley Bright; Karl Hofer, Louisiana and Texas Regional President, First Horizon; and City Park CEO Cara Lambright. The Bat brothers, Jaypresident of the City Park Improvement Association and actor/author bryan, entertained as co-hosts and auctioneers, nodding to big bids in the art, vacation staycation and jewelry categories. The main object of the live auction was an original plaster relief by Enrique Alférez, entitled “Soccer Players”, and purchased by Bobby and Lori Savoie. Also, works by George Dunbar, Jillian Hite and Avery Rowan; a Friend & Co. bracelet in diamonds and pearls; a stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, home of Marianne and Alan Mumford; and “Celebrate the Queen’s 75th Jubilee in London” organized by Pam Bryan took out the plastic, counting many thousand dollars.
The Tulane University Women’s Association Annual Spring Luncheon and General Meeting was held at Ralph’s on the Park on a sunny day. Smiles abounded as the members expressed their joy at reuniting.
The headliners of the proposed board of directors for 2022-2023 were the president Shira Husseinelected president Rebecca Kelly, treasurer Jewelyn Nice, and additional officers Katie Valentine, Terri Santa Coloma, Fern Kruger(Past President) Julie Hadzor, Janice Hughes, Jana Woodson, Geneva Longlois-Marney and Rene Sobel, ex officio.
Julie Hadzor opened the program with a welcome from the President. Then came the invocation by Sarah Montes, executive director and assistant dean for academic and career counseling, who said of the luncheon, “It’s a beautiful time” with attendees “united as Tulanians.” Lunch consisted of a City Park Salad, Gulf Fish Almond or Grilled Pork Loin and Strawberry Bomb. The flowers adorning the tables were purple, red, pink and white and placed in silver julep cups.
The highlight of the annual luncheon is the presentation of the Jane S. Longenecker Award. Presented by Barbara Knil, it went to Janice Hughes, who was duly grateful and happy. Another special moment was the recognition of Tupper Allen as outgoing treasurer after many years. A graduate of four Tulane degrees, she was very pleased to report that TUWA’s finances were stable. She then added of her tenure as treasurer, “Thank you all for letting me serve.”
The Audubon Tea Room was the site of the 27th Annual Women of Substance Luncheon chaired by Felicia Kleinpeter for the benefit of Bridge House/Grace House. The WoS committee included Barbara Gaiennie, Walton Goldring, Michelle Gaiennie Hamrick, Nancy Gaden Jackson, Mary Kay Staten, Diana Parham, Angele Romig and Karen Tipton. Commander Kelly is the Chairman of the Board of Directors, succeeding Gregory Romigand Walton Goldring, Michael Pou and H.Elder Gwin are officers. The luncheon’s main sponsors were the James P. Raymond Jr. Foundation and the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust.
Excitement was generated by the four bids in the live auction: two reserved WoS 2023 lunch parking spaces; “Private Chef (Charlotte Martory) Door-to-door dinner”; and a cocktail for 12 people at Chloe. And, the 50/50 draw, the wishlist from Grace House, Aspirational Art and the four Silent Auction paintings with donors of A (Alexa Pulitzer) to Z (Zoe Shipley).
When everyone was seated, chaplain Philippe Peavy opened with a prayer. Chopped salad, blackened catfish and chocolate mousse were the “top of the table” attractions, as were pink roses and white floral centerpieces. Marc Romig led live auction and CEO of BH/GH Otherwise Pedersen and Executive Director of Development Kevin Gardere presented the Women of Substance awards to Joy Bollinger, Dian Tooley-Knoblett and Gwen Briggs. Each recipient had a story to tell about giving.
Additional recognition exploited William “Bill” Mimeles, the 2022 Richard “Buzzy” Gaiennie Award recipient; Christina Illarno, Volunteer of the Year 2022; and Graduate of the Year Christie Silvis, who recounted his powerful quest for a path to healing. The applause for all aspects of the lunch, and people recognized it, was thunderous.