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“Every great city needs a great park that needs great friends!”

reality, the Lark 2011 committee is working closely with City Park’s Capital Campaign. Lark 2011 will begin with an elegant Patron Party in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden followed by a fabulous gala in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters IT’S LARK TIME AGAIN complete with auctions, entertainSwing “Fore” City Park ment by Harvey Jesus and Fire and On Friday, March 18, the more. There will be delicious food Friends of City Park will present from thirty-five local restaurants its premier annual fundraiser “Lark and libations from Republic in the Park”. Lark 2011 “Swing National Distributing Company. ‘Fore’ City Park” will raise funds Sponsorship and Patron packages for a miniature golf course to be are still available. Individual tickets located across the street from are $100 for general admission Storyland and the Carousel and $90 for Friends of City Park Gardens Amusement Park. members. For tickets and more Miniature golf will offer family information, please call recreation for all ages in New 504-483-9376 or go online at Orleans’ beloved City Park. www.friendsofcitypark.com/events. To make this fun-filled venue a Cocktail attire is recommended.

Acknowledging and celebrating Capital One’s generous commitment to the Friends of City Park for “Lark in the Park 2011” are, from left, Mary Hassinger, one of the co-chairman of Lark, Debbie Perrone, immediate past president of Friends and Karen DeBlieux, representing Capitol One Bank. Capital One is a loyal, longtime supporter of City Park and “Lark”.


Welcome, Dessa!

Dessa Rutter Giffin, President Friends of City Park

President’s Message Hello Dear Friends! I am so honored, thrilled and excited to serve as the 2011 president of the Friends of City Park. The Friends of City Park’s major focus is its upcoming annual fundraiser “Lark in the Park”

on Friday, March 18th. It is our premier signature event and the funds that are raised will be dedicated for a Miniature Golf Course to be located across from Storyland and the Botanical Garden. As the campaign “Swing ‘Fore’ City Park!” gains momentum, the Lark committee plans to sport Sponsor Flags of Distinction near the Miniature Golf Course site. Please call the Friends’ office at 504-483-9376 or go to www.friendsofcitypark.com today and be in that number. Help score a “Hole in Won” for City Park! There are many more events and activities in the works for the Friends of City Park in 2011. Details will be available on our website and in upcoming newsletters. Friends’ members should also take note of discounts throughout the park that are available to members only. What a jewel we have with our beloved City Park and we are poised to catapult to new heights!

Thank You, Debbie!

Debbie Hall Perrone, Immediate Past President Friends of City Park

Serving as president of Friends of City Park has been an amazing experience these past two years. When first making the obligation to serve as president elect there was no such thing as Hurricane Katrina. Well, we all know what happened, and now although it will never leave our memories, it is just something that jump started City Park through its long range plans. Friends membership is close to, or at this point, might have surpassed our numbers before the storm. We have a 2 • Friends of City Park • Winter 2011

staff that is second to none, and our volunteers are simply the best! The trailers are now a thing of the past and we are enjoying our new administration building. It has been a long haul and we are not completely there yet, but with the help and support of our membership, Friends of City Park should be the premier membership in our great city and beyond. We have added many benefits to being a member and as new facets of the park develop, we strive to be sure our members are included in each discount or perk. Our new president, Dessa Rutter Giffin, is no stranger to Friends of City Park. As a long time member and supporter, I leave knowing that our growth, support, and dedication to all things “good and fun” for the citizens of New Orleans and metro area will continue. Please invite your family and friends to join our ranks as we improve and continue to add attractions and good family activities to our park. Debbie Perrone, Immediate Past President Friends of City Park

Onward and upward we plan to soar!! Again, it is an honor and privilege to serve. Thank you for being a Friend of City Park. Sincerely, Dessa Rutter Giffin President Friends of City Park

Friends Receive Two Generous Donations The Friends of City Park received two very generous donations in 2010 from the estate of Mary (Polly) Nelson Guthrie who passed away in 2009 and the estate of John Marque who passed away in 2008. Mrs. Guthrie, who was a volunteer in the Botanical Garden, bequeathed to Friends of City Park a portion of her estate which was divided equally among five charitable organizations totalling $253,940.95. Other recipients included the New Orleans Museum of Art, Longue Vue House and Gardens, The Preservation Resource Center and The League of Women Voters of New Orleans. Her brother, Waldemar S. Nelson, a noted New Orleans engineer, was a past president of the City Park Improvement Association. Mrs. Guthrie specified in her will for Friends to use the money in the Botanical Garden. Her estate was worth over $2 million. Mr. Marque left over $20 million to the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) and specified 16 organizations to receive grants in perpetuity. In 2010, the Friends of City Park received its first $15,000 dispersement from GNOF. The gift from Mr. Marque is expected to grow as Mr. Marque’s vast real estate holdings are sold. He was a former president of Pelican Homestead and a humble gentleman who quietly assisted others financially on the condition it was kept a secret. The fund he established at GNOF is named The Theresa Bittenbring Marque and John Henry Marque Fund, honoring his parents.

Help Us Preserve our ancient Live Oak Trees. Please donate to the Friends’ Tree Fund. 504-483-9376

1 Palm Drive New Orleans, LA 70124 504-483-9376 2011 Friends of City Park Board of Directors OFFICERS P re s i d e n t Dessa Rutter Giffin P re s i d e n t - e l e c t Mary Johnson Tr e a s u r e r Peggy McCranie C o - Tr e a s u r e r Jackie Palumbo R e c o rd i n g S e c re t a r y Kathi Zimmerman I m m e d i a t e Pa s t P r e s i d e n t Debbie Perrone

Board Members Joey Marcotte Brown Karen DeBlieux Jeanie Favret Leila Sutherlin Gamard Barbara Hammett Suzette Herpich Nina Killeen Janet Larue Lana Lovick Lucille McDonnell Ron O’Rorke Mary Hassinger Schmidt Ginger Logan Smith

Communications Chair/Editor Coleen Perilloux Landry

Friends of City Park Staff E x e c u t i v e D i re c t o r Rodney Thoulion D i r. o f M a r k e t i n g / M e m b e r s h i p Kelley Allenspach Accountant Michelle Barkemeyer Special Events Rebecca Thiel


“Pic from the past”

Mr. Ellis Laborde, City Park Manager, from 1950-1978, is shown in one of the greenhouses in the Botanical Garden. During his tenure he missed only 3 1/2 days of work.

Donors of $500 or more H.L. & Anne Abbott Cory & Mary Armand Evelyn Audler Kathryn Bancroft Linda Bergeron Virginia Besthoff Warren & Carol Billings Bobby Brannon Gerard & Maria Brechtel Erroll & Judy Broussard Ashley Bryan Bruce & Carol Bryant Mary Ann Cardinale John & Claire Carrere Serena & Jason Chaudhry John Chauvin Amanda Cline Leonard & Gabrielle Cline James Coburn Kimberly Conners Susan Crummel Karen & Peter DeBlieux Henrietta Deters Martha Diaz Sally Duplantier Christopher & Pat Fabacher Kenneth & Cherise Farris Jeanie Favret Thomas & Janet Favrot Elijah & Morgan Feibelman Barbara Ferguson Stephen & Ellen Frischhertz Mark Gauchet Bruce Gebhart James & Denisse Geihsler John & Anna Beth Goodman Kathleen Gootee Eric & Jan Groh Evelyn Gross Susan & Michael Guarisco Mary & John Guthrie Tania Hahn Roberta Hahn Patrice Hammond Nicole Harmon Tevis & Dennis Haynie Susan Hess William & Susan Hess

Alexis Hocevar William & Denise Hoffman Scott & Leslie Jacobs C. Keith & Mary Johnson William Joyce Gloria Kabacoff Lawrence & Joann Katz Errolyn Letellier Thomas Lewis Charles & Cammie Mayer Peter & Linda Mayer Jonathan McCall Peggy & Burgess McCranie Michael McLoughlin Kimberly Meng Clay Moise Gina & Yvette Monette Ronald Myers David & Nina Noble Jackie & Vincent Palumbo Joseph Pappalardo Debbie & John Perrone David & Barbara Perry David Pons Ann Reilly William & Jane Rippner Randall & Martha Rosemond Gregory & Suzanne Rusovich Vincent Saia & Glynn Stephens Wayne & Diann Sanborn Walton Sanchez Sal Scaccia Lorna Schofield Kathy & Edmund Schrenk Lee Anne Sciambra Ed & Gayle Shearer Bruce & Jackie Shreves Daniel & Tonya Simpson Kayne & John Stewart Sam & Virginia Threefoot Bert Turner Thomas & Sarah Usdin Kenneth Vogel John Wade Kenneth & Leslie Ward Scott & Gretchen Wheaton Sibyl & Donald White

Holiday Party Hosted for Special Children For the 24th year, Mrs. Betty Bagert of the Friends of City Park organized a party for Special Children from St. Michael’s Special School, Einstein Elementary School, Lake Forest Charter School and Bethaune Elementary School in Orleans Parish. From Jefferson Parish came Harahan Elementary School, Riverdale Middle School, Ella Dolhonde Elementary, Rudolph Matas School, T. H. Harris School, and J. D. Meisler Middle School, Hahnville High School represented St. Charles Parish. Some 325 children were invited to the festivities held on December 7 and December 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by Compass for Kids, Friends of City Park and City Park, generous donations were also made by Rouses on Clearview Parkway in Metairie and area merchants. Entertainment was by “Uncle Wayne” Daigrepont of Porta-Puppet Players and a special appearance by Santa Claus who arrived in his City Park golf cart. He presented each child a gift bag with stuffed teddy bears, treats and snacks. Parents, teachers and children were treated to refreshments and rides on the carousel. Special thanks to the Botanical Garden staff and the volunteers from the Federated Council of New Orleans Garden Clubs and the Jefferson Parish Council of Garden Clubs for their help. Thanks to the volunteers from the Friends of City Park, namely Jan Lugenbuhl, Deborah Lehmann, Joan Ingram, Ruth Burns, Sandra Milliken, Judy Aucoin, Sonja Carr, Sue Guarisco, Cheryl Cabes and Volunteer Coordinators Suzette Herpich and Kathi Zimmerman. Mrs. Bagert said of the event “Seeing the joy on the children’s faces fills us all

Uncle Wayne Daigrepont, Santa and Betty Bagert

Santa rides Carousel with children.

Friends of City Park Staff, Kelley Allenspach, Rebecca Thiel, and Rodney Thoulion with Santa.

with the holiday spirit. Most of these special children have never been to City Park before or even been able to ride the carousel. “Once you work on this

project you are forever touched to see what it means to these special students. It is also a pleasure to meet and thank the wonderful teachers who take such good care of the students.” Winter 2011 • Friends of City Park • 3


2011 New Orleans City Park Improvement Association OFFICERS P re s i d e n t

M r. R o b e r t E . S . L u p o

Bob Becker, CEO

Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

M r. W i l l i a m H o f f m a n Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

Ms. Susan Hess Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

M r. E d m u n d S c h r e n k S e c re t a r y

Ms. Laura Claverie Tr e a s u r e r

Ms. Karen DeBlieux

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 Edgar Chase Laura M. Claverie Karen DeBlieux 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 A l a n T. H e i n t z e n 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 Robert Edward Smith Lupo Michael J. Marsiglia Paul J. Masinter Shelley S. Midura Joseph Pappalardo David B. Payton Mark C. Romig Gerard L Schoen, III Edmund Schrenk Jacqueline Shreves M r. D a v i d E d w a r d s Representing Botanical Garden Foundation 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

4 • Friends of City Park • Winter 2011

Letter from the CEO Celebration in the Oaks saw record attendance in December! Great weather (as opposed to Celebration 2009 when we had awful weather) and new attractions (the Musik Express amusement ride, skating, the “dripping tree exhibit”, etc.) combined to make Celebration 2010 the most visited event since the Hurricane, over 120,000 people. Besides

being a wonderful way for our visitors to celebrate the holiday season, Celebration is important because it accounts for more than 10% of the Park’s annual revenue. Therefore having a successful event goes a long way to meeting our budget expectations for FY 10-11. As I write this, our staff and the staff of the Friends, are moving into our new office building on Palm Drive! We’ve been in temporary trailers for more than five years and it is with a profound sense of excitement that we will finally have real office space to occupy. We are extremely proud of the architecture of the building and the fact it incorporates many “green” building techniques into its construction. At some point in the future we hope to complete our replacement facilities with a new golf clubhouse, maintenance facility and reception hall (currently under construction at Popp Fountain). We were extremely busy in 2010 and I thought you might enjoy a brief summary of the events and

activities hosted by the Park. Our catering department hosted and serviced 187 weddings, 1,002 birthday parties, and over 245 corporate or social events. We hosted 90 football games, over 100 soccer league games, played more than 38,000 rounds of golf, had 8,000 tennis court rentals, sold 83,000 individual amusement ride tickets and 49,000 unlimited ride bands, and were visited more than seven million times by park users! I hope you and your family had a joyous holiday season and that you will have a wonderful New Year!

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

Out and About Arbor Room at Popp Fountain: Construction of the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain is now underway in City Park. The 5,200 square foot events facility will offer patrons stunning views of Popp Fountain and the surrounding area. Reservations for the facility are currently being accepted by the City Park Sales Department for the October 2011 launch. Friends of City Park donated a half million dollars gift to this project to help this capital improvement in City Park become a reality. Membership: Friends of City Park closed 2010 with over 3,600 members, the highest membership numbers since Hurricane Katrina showing that the park’s growth and development has brought resounding support and patronage back to City Park. The Membership Committee had a busy year promoting Friends of City Park at local community events such as the Harrison Avenue Marketplace, the Palmer Park Arts Market and was even a community partner with events such as French Quarter Festival. We also hosted our first ever member appreciation party, Friends’ Fest, in July where over

900 members were in attendance. The committee is excited to have the opportunity to serve not only the park but our loyal members in 2011. We would not be here without you!

Jeantherapy Friends of City Park Shirt: Friends of City Park is one of three non-profit organizations chosen by Jeantherapy to be a part of its AWEAR Campaign! The Facebook and Twitter: AWEAR Campaign is a collaboraWant to stay informed about all tive effort with local non-profit that is happening with Friends of City organizations to raise funds for Park? Follow us on Facebook and causes that make Coastal Louisiana Twitter for daily updates about events, a better place to live. A percentage photos from around the park and great of proceeds from the sale of the facts about City Park! We also have shirt will go to Friends of City Park. an e-newsletter that includes little tidThe money raised will go towards bits about your member benefits, purchasing trees for Couturie Forest fundraisers and more! Just Arboretum— an area that was forward your email address to destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and kallenspach@friendsofcitypark.com still in need of attention. and we can add you to our email list. Please help us with our cause! To purchase a shirt, visit Jeantherapy's website, www.jeantherapy.com, or visit one of their stores on Magazine Street, Shops at Canal Place or The Lakeside Shopping Center. — Kelley Allenspach


Ghosts in the Oaks A Huge Success

Past President e, Immediate Debbie Perron

Photo credit: Mike Maples and Coleen Perilloux Landry.

On October 22, 2010, Friends of City Park held Ghosts in the Oaks, our annual non-scary, family-friendly Halloween event. We were delighted with the huge number of families who were able to attend. We saw some great costumes this year, and are already looking forward to Ghosts 2011! Creativity flowed at the craft tables; we saw festive and beautifully decorated trick-or-treat bags and pumpkins from the Pumpkin Patch. As much fun as it normally is to ride the rides in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, wasn’t it even better riding in costume? Little ones trick-or-treated in Storyland and were entertained by Carmen Rose and the Storyland Players in Cinderella’s Castle. Guests also enjoyed games in the Park and Storyland, magic and balloons from Chris Miller Magic, Music by DJ Pat Barbaro, air-brushed tattoos by Pirate Ink, and food from City Park Catering, Rotolo’s Pizzeria, and Pinkberry. Friends of City Park would like to thank this year’s Ghosts organizing committee for its hard work, and especially thank this year’s committee chairmen: Suzette Herpich, Lana Lovick and Kathi Zimmerman. An additional special thanks to all of our hard working volunteers whose smiles helped make the event a joy!

Winter 2011 • Friends of City Park • 5


Ghosts in the Oaks Volunteers 2010

We would like to express our gratitude to all of our wonderful volunteers who came out to help us for our 2010 Ghosts in the Oaks event. We had an even larger than expected number of attendees and we would never have been able to manage without your help. It was a great evening and a great time was had by all. We do hope that you will join us again as we try to continue to improve this event each year. Our special thanks go out to our teen volunteers from Academy of the Sacred Heart, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Greater Gentilly High School, Mt. Carmel Academy and St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Suzette & Kathi FOCP Volunteer Coordinators Teen Volunteers: Academy of the Sacred Heart Mary Acomb LeeLee Barahona Catie Barry Mary Nolan Brown Julie Charbonnet Helen Charbonnet Caitie Connick Emily Faherty Amy Fok Julia Fox Mary Garaudy Emily Gundlach Nicoline Good Elise Gundlach Katherine Gwyn Claire Heidel Grace Heidel Margaux Hoefer Chelsea James

Tori Jones Emma Kern Elle Lovick Laine Lovick Lauren McDougal Madison Mikes Catherine Mills Claire Royster Jackie Spangenburg Jude Sterkx Sue Heidel- ASH Teacher/Parent Volunteer Grayson Lovick- ASH Parent Volunteer Betsy Sterkx- ASH Parent Volunteer Shirley Charbonnet - ASH Parent Volunteer Jack Faherty- ASH Parent Volunteer

chairpersons: Ghosts in the Oaks Zimmerman na Lovick and Kathi La ch, rpi He te zet Su

Carmen Ros e and

6 • Friends of City Park • Winter 2011

the Storyland Players

Boys Hope Girls Hope Ashley Chavez Journee Gerry My Ngo Nhung Etter- Girls Hope- House Parent Greater Gentilly High School Klynn Maxmillion Jasmine Ranson Mt. Carmel Academy Sarah Jeffries Emily Ragland Ashleigh Rooney Cayleigh Vicknair St. Mary’s Dominican High School Maia Cortes Jewall Gurbia Jane Heidel

Photo credit: Mike Maples and Coleen Perilloux Landry.

Volunteers: Darlene Broussard Ruth Burns Eileen & Dennis Campbell Kim Campbell Carolyn Constance Sherry Constance Dotti Davis Terry Durel Karen Graves Coleen Landry Andrea Legrand Debbie Lehmann Jan Lugenbuhl Mike Maples Monique Maxmillion Mary Moises Toni Murphy Brenda Nolan Pat Slemmer Adrienne Steen Kimberly Steen


Photo credit: Mike Maples and Coleen Perilloux Landry.

Ghosts in the Oaks

Winter 2011 • Friends of City Park • 7


Major Business Donors to Friends Abbott Labratories/CMGRP, Inc Almar Foundation American Bar Association Audubon Veterinary Hospital, LLC Baton Rouge Area Foundation B'nai B'rith Boes Iron Works, LLC Bourgeois Bennett LLC Brother Martin High School Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc. Capital One Bank Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux Centanni Investigative Agency, Inc. Christian Brothers School Citizen NOLA Construction FX, LLC De La Salle High School Draper, Inc Dyna-Play, LLC EarthSavers Ernest & Young Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation Exxon Mobil Foundation FH Myers Construction Corp. Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank Firstline Schools Inc/Friends of Loop

FM Services Galatoire’s Restaurant Goldring Family Foundation Gootee Construction, Inc. Guaranty Savings Bank Hahn Enterprises, Inc. Help New Orleans Rotary, Inc. Holy Cross School JABBR, LLC (String a Bead) James R. Moffett Family Foundation Jesuit High School Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana Jewish Federation of North America Inc. Jomar Cafe, Inc Lakeview Grocery Lakeview Veterinary Hospital LFBP #1 Louis P Saia Organization Lupo Enterprises, LLC Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Marsiglia Construction Company Mercedes-Benz Metairie Bank & Trust New Orleans Hornets Basketball Nola Foundation Ochsner Clinic Pinckelope Foundation

“Every great city needs a great park that needs great friends!”

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

Return Service Requested

Happy New Year! Mark Your Calendar March 18, 2011

Raising Cane’s USA, Ltd Robert Berning Productions Inc. Robert Resources Ryan Gootee General Contractors, LLC Saint Augustine High School Schlumberger Oilfield Services Scott Wheaton Foundation Shannon M. Prince LLC Shell Oil Company Sheridan Seating, Inc Southeast Veterinary Specialists, LLC Stanley W. Ray, Jr. Philanthropic and Civic Trust State Investors Bank Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C. Succession of Colleen Cole Salley Sugar Bowl Committee / Allstate Superior Energy Services TechniCAL, Inc. Textron Marine & Land Systems The Monsanto Fund The Azby Fund The Laitram Corporation The New Orleans Saints The Theresa Bittenbring Marque & John Henry Marque Fund Tomak LLC Tulane University

UBS FINANCIAL Wayne Leone State Farm Insurance Agency Wentworth Industries Weston Solutions Woldenberg Foundation

Memorials & Honorariums Riley/Carver Wedding Ferne Pearlstein In Memory of Loraine Gordon Kathleen Beer Catherine Lauland Christian Michel Rebecca Robinson In Memory of Charles Snyder Carla Colbert Craig Demarest Thomas Mitchell In Memory of Ronald Fontana Margaret Winter

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID NEW ORLEANS, LA Permit No. 572


Winter 2011