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Wi n t e r 2 0 0 9

City Park Has Fun!

Bob Becker, City Park CEO, flanked by the New Leviathan Fox Trot Band, at the Big Lake Dedication.

Big Lake Dedication Big Lake celebrated its long awaited opening thanks to the generosity of the Trust for Public Land and many wonderful, supportive City Park donors. After nearly a year of work, the Big Lake area, a 21 acre green space at the front of City Park, features walking and jogging paths, picnic areas, pedal boats and rowboats. A public ceremony honoring those who made New Orleans’ newest family attraction possible was held in late October.

Father John Ryan of Lafitte blessed the fleet before the inaugural sail. Eight new pedal boats and ten new rowboats are now available for rental.

Every Great City Has A Great


Debbie Hall Perrone, President Friends of City Park

President’s Message Greetings Friends and best wishes to all for the New Year! Friends of City Park has had many exciting happenings! Martini Madness was a wonderful evening and monies raised went to purchase boats for the Big Lake. The boats are in the water and Friends of City Park members receive a discount on boat rentals! Special thanks to Andrea Legrand for once again chairing Martini Madness. Ghosts in the Oaks was a great time for all. We broke our 2008 attendance record and will

be adjusting for even greater numbers in October 2010. It is really a great value: rides all night, trick or treating, the pumpkin patch, crafts and entertainment. The new hay ride was a great way to visit other areas of the park. The amusement park will receive the proceeds from the evening. There are many new rides being installed as I write and more will be coming. Kelley Abbott, Suzette Herpich and Machelle Payne did a wonderful job of making sure there was something for every age group. New membership cards are coming! All current members will receive the new plastic membership card. Our new membership coordinator, Kelley Allenspach has done a wonderful job of completing the cards. You can renew your membership at any point-of-sale entrance in the park. The old paper card is no longer valid. If you have not received your new card by the end of December, call the office. We need to allow for the holiday mail rush. Another new advantage for our members is that when you purchase your permit for the dog

Membership Membership: A gift that lasts long after the holidays have passed, in fact, all year long!! New members are important to growth and old members are the engines that sustain our efforts in making City Park a premier urban park. Renew your membership by calling the Friends of City Park Office at 504-483-9376 or by visiting the website

1 Palm Drive New Orleans, LA 70124 504-483-9376

Welcome, Kelley! A native of Middletown, Connecticut, Kelley Allenspach graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication in May 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. Kelley has experience writing and editing for print as well as experience working in a burgeoning non-profit organization. Kelley moved to New Orleans in July 2009 to continue her career in the non-profit sector and is thrilled to work for Friends of City Park as Membership Coordinator.

2009 Friends of City Park Board of Directors

OFFICERS P re s i d e n t

Debbie Perrone P re s i d e n t E l e c t

Dessa Giffin Vi c e - P r e s i d e n t o f D e v e l o p m e n t

Kelley Abbott R e c o rd i n g S e c re t a r y

Peggy McCranie C o r re s p o n d i n g S e c re t a r y

Betty Bagert Tr e a s u r e r s

Ly n e t t e F r i e d Ly n n e R o s s L eg a l

Erin Hart Pa r l i a m e n t a r i a n

Cheryl S. Cabes Business Consultant

Diann Sanborn

park, NOLA City Bark, you will get a discounted rate. The park is opening soon and will be worth the wait. We are gearing up for our spring event, Lark in the Park. Please save the date on Friday, March 19, 2010. Proceeds raised will be dedicated to refurbish the Peristyle. You will receive information in the near future. Membership sales are gaining momentum. Look at the details of just what your membership discounts mean for an average family and you will see it is the best deal in the city. I hope that your holidays were wonderful and filled with happiness and family. We look forward to seeing you soon at a City Park function. Thank you for your continued support of Friends of City Park.

DIRECTORS Gail Boesch George Boesch Reba Conefry Joan Cuccia Judy David Karen DeBlieux Ann Duffy Karen Dugan Jeanie Favret Nancy Fos Beth Goddard Sue Guarisco Ta n i a H a h n Grace Hall Suzette Herpich Mary Johnson Anne Lea Andrea Legrand Lucille McDonnell Ann Meyer Leslie Montz Jackie Palumbo Jill Rabalais Jackie Shreves Michelle Theard Lisa Thriffiley G e n Tr i m b l e B r e n d a Vi n c e n s Kathi Zimmerman

Editor Dessa Giffin

Ask a friend to join. Take advantage of the membership benefits and visit the park often. Thanks to all of you! 2 • Friends of City Park • Winter 2009


Debbie Perrone, President Friends of City Park

Kelley Allenspach Gary Rucker Rodney Thoulion S u s i e Ve t e r s

It’s All About

the Volunteers! Friends of City Park sends a special thank you to all the volunteers who so generously give of their time to assist with recent events. We are extremely grateful for their continued support of City Park. Special thanks to the wonderful crews that volunteered for the events including Ghosts in the Oaks: Jodi Williams, Gary Schully, Adrienne Steen, Kimberly Steen, Kimberly Tucker, Erin DiZinno, Morgan Englert, Meryl Englert, Kim Sanborn, Elaine Hinojosa, Cindi Reynolds, Brittany Reynolds and Lou Reynolds; The Holy

Cross Boys: George Mandella, Gavin Boesch, Noah Bernadas, Colin Mills, Ryan Bourgeois, Kevin Spears, Ryan Smith, Ryan Barback, Daniel Graber, Bryan Pham, Jeffrey Vaughn and Jared Jupiter; Fall Garden Show Volunteers: Catherine Bailey, Charlene Baudier, Susan Broussard, Pam Legge, Gary Schully and Pam Slemmer; Thursdays at Twilight Concerts: Carley Bartholomew, Barbara Blackwell, Dennis and Eileen Campbell, Estelle Coffman, Erin DiZinno, Jean Fasnacht, Debbie Lehmann, Adele Mangipano, Mary Moises, Wilma Mpelo, Bronwyn Picolo and John Skinner.

Volunteer Corner

Super Saturday makes a difference! We welcome volunteer efforts on the first Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m.- noon to rake, mulch, plant and generally beautify of our treasure of a park. For more information, contact the Park’s volunteer coordinator, Jim Morrison, at

Highlights from

Ghosts in the Oaks

Equest Farm The Stables in City Park, Equest Farm, is pleased to announce the return of Western Riding. After 40 years of teaching English riding only, Equest Farm will begin teaching Western Trail and Western Pleasure January 1, 2010. With the tremendous response to the Western Camp this summer, Equest Farms decided to offer Western riding in addition to the English program. If interested, please visit the web site or call 504-483-9398. The Budweiser Clydesdales will return to Equest Farms February 2nd until February 17th for the Mardi Gras break. There will be school field trips that include a tour of the barns, a demonstration of riding or sledding and a talk by the Budweiser handlers. If interested in scheduling a field trip, call 504-483-9398. Visitation hours for the general public will be posted on our website by January 1, 2010. Tails But No Black Tie, an Equestrian Evening to raise money

for New Orleans City Park, will be held March 13, 2010. An exciting evening of horse jumping competition and fundraising done in a Grand Prix Calcutta Style, Tails But No Black Tie is one of the most thrilling events you will see in the city. Horses with riders, running and jumping high fences to win money, while spectators have the opportunity to bid and “own” one of these teams for the night. Each horse and rider team is sold in Calcutta style with a live auctioneer at the beginning of the competition. Fine dining and drinks will be available ringside for your pleasure. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Cembell Industries is our “Blue Ribbon Benefactor” and other sponsorships are available. Please visit the website or call 504-483-9398.

Entertainment for all ages. Winter 2009 • Friends of City Park • 3

2009 New Orleans City Park Improvement Association OFFICERS P re s i d e n t

M r. M i c h a e l J . M a r s i g l i a Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

M r. R o b e r t E . S . L u p o Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

Ms. Sally Perry Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

M r. A l a n T. H e i n t z e n Tr e a s u r e r

Ms. Karen DeBlieux S e c re t a r y

M r. O a k l a n d A d a m s

Board of Commissioners Pam Breaux Susan Brennan Jane S. Brooks E r r o l l F. B r o u s s a r d , J r. Laura M. Claverie S. Stewart Farnet Thomas G. Fierke E d w a r d N . “ Te d ” G e o r g e Dessa R. Giffin Ben Hales Cynthia Hedge-Morrell Steven C. Hemperley Susan O. Hess Wi l l i a m D . H o f f m a n Larry Katz Errol Laborde Ti m L a F r a n c a Andrea Legrand Nolan A. Marshall, III Paul J. Masinter Peggy McCranie Shelley S. Midura Joseph Pappalardo Mark C. Romig Gerard L Schoen, III Jacqueline Shreves Wi l l Tr e g r e C a r o l B . Wi s e

Chief Executive Officer

M r. R o b e r t W. B e c k e r E x e c u t i v e D i re c t o r

M r. B e a u L . B a s s i c h Chief Operating Officer

M r. R o b e r t D e Vi n e y D i re c t o r o f D ev e l o p m e n t

M r. J o h n H o p p e r Chief Administrative Officer

M r. G e o r g e P a r k e r C o n t ro l l e r

Mrs. Adrienne Moore

4 • Friends of City Park • Winter 2009

Bob Becker, CEO

Letter from the CEO This is certainly a busy time in our park! Hundreds of events have taken and are taking place in the park despite the significant rain we experienced in September and October. Voodoo Fest, Battle of the Bands, Halloween, hundreds of soccer and football games, weddings, concerts, road races and on and on. It’s wonder-

ful to see the park so utilized by our citizens and visitors and a tribute to what an important role this resource plays in our community. The Big Lake project next to the Art Museum has been extremely well received and thousands are enjoying the new walking path, fountains, sculpture and boating facilities. We will continue our landscaping program of the area during the winter months. In addition, construction is nearing completion of the Great Lawn on Victory opposite Storyland and the Botanical Garden. This promises to be a signature open space in our community and is a central feature of the park’s master plan. In addition, work is finally about to begin on our new tennis complex along Marconi Drive. After some delays in getting started, we expect construction to begin and last

approximately one year. When complete our tennis community will have a first rate 26-court facility with a new clubhouse. Of course, we enjoyed Celebration in the Oaks! We hope you visited the event this year, as it was better than ever with some extremely unique, new sculptures. This event is not only important as a place for our families to come and enjoy the holiday season but is also an important source of revenue for the park. So come out and enjoy the events and support your park.

Robert W. Becker Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer City Park

NOLA City Bark

Take Your Bark to the Park! Rain was the operative word in October and November, breaking records and causing delays. The good news is that NOLA City Bark is back on track and plans are to open in early January. City Bark landscaping has been greatly enhanced by generous donations from Bamboo Gardens of LA (on the north shore), The Garden Gate and Perino’s Garden Center in Metairie. In addition, twenty enthusiastic Macy’s volunteers recently lent a hand at the dog park. Macy’s supplied 1,800 pots of Asian jasmine ground cover, four crape myrtles, ten cubic yards of soil and painting supplies for the interior of the bathrooms. Information about how to obtain a permit will be posted on the website Permits are $35/year ($30 for members of Friends of City Park) for up to three dogs. There are still naming opportunities available for benches. Please check the website for current information about how to “Take Your Bark to the Park.” Dogs will be able to partake come January!

Music • Revelry • Merriment

Celebration in the Oaks

Scenes from the Friends of City Park’s

Sixth Annual

Martini Madness

Dancing the night away!

Fred Holley, Lynne Ross, and Rodney Thoulion.

Beth Goddard and Debbie Perrone

Donald and Nancy Duvigneaud

Scenes from the adult preview party of Celebration in the Oaks.

Attention All Anglers!! Anglers, mark the calendar for the 63rd Annual Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival on Saturday, March 27, 2010! Registration at the Parkview Café will begin at 6 a.m. with weigh-in at 11 a.m. There will be several categories including two bass categories, the junior anglers, the Champions Challenge and the popular Rio Grande Roundup.

The Fishtival, a big attraction of the Rodeo, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be educational exhibits, raffles, a silent auction, a Fishing Frenzy Pool, a Casting Contest and a Mardi Gras toss of baits to the crowd. For further information on the rodeo, contact Julie Lacour at 504-483-9415.

Suzette Herpich, David Giffin, Kathi Zimmerman, and Tania Hahn enjoy the music of Phil Melancon (seated). Winter 2009 • Friends of City Park • 5

The Friends of City Park would like to recognize the following 2009 major donors* Nokia Sugar Bowl The Azby Fund Fore! Kids Foundation McDonald’s Corporation Gustaf Westfeldt McIlhenny Family Foundation Shell Oil Company Greater New Orleans Foundation Louis Roussel III Baton Rouge Area Foundation Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation American Heart Association, Inc. The Frances R. McDonough Charitable Fund Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc. Deloitte Services, LP Local Initiatives Support Corporation Redwood Creek Wine / Hunter Public Relations, LLC BJB Charitable Trust The Lupo Family Goldring Family Foundation Woldenberg Foundation Coca-Cola North America NOLA Foundation Capital One Bank Brees Dream Foundation Help New Orleans Rotary, Inc. Edward A. Wakin Almar Foundation Stanley W. Ray, Jr. Philanthropic and Civic Trust *donations of $10,000 and higher.

1 Palm Drive New Orleans, LA 70124 504-483-9376

Return Service Requested

Mark Your Calendar March 13, 2010 Tails But No Black Tie

March 19, 2010 Lark in the Park

March 27, 2010 Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival


Winter 2009  

Big Lake dedicated, Ghosts in the Oaks

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