Page 1

Spring 2013

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

Acknowledging and celebrating Capital One Bank’s generous commitment to the Friends of City Park for “Lark in the Park 2013 and Celebration in the Oaks 2012” are, from left, Friends’ President Mary Johnson, Capital One Bank’s representative Karen DeBlieux, and Lark 2013 co-chairs, Helen Read Smith, Jackie Palumbo, and Kimberly Zibilich. Lark sponsors were recognized on our banner which hung at the entrance to City Park.

Mary Johnson, President Friends of City Park

President’s Message Hello Friends! What an honor and a privilege to serve you, the Friends’ members, as President for the next two years. I have big shoes to follow after Dessa’s term. Thank you, Dessa, for all you did for Friends and continue to do for the Park. And, thanks to the Board Members who have rotated off the Board: Debbie Perrone, Jeanie Favret, Barbara Hammett and Janet Larue. Welcome to the

new Board Members who have agreed to serve during my term: Peggy McCranie, Helen Read Smith, Annie Orillac Thibodeaux and Robin Bordelon. It is such a pleasure to be involved with City Park during this time. The new minitrain engine, purchased with Ghosts in the Oaks donations, has been delivered, adding a third train to Carousel Gardens. The Festival Grounds will be hosting its first event on March 23. The mini golf course is under construction and should be completed this year. The Friends membership is at a strong 3,459 with a very high cumulative retention rate of 79%. We boast over 100 volunteers on Friends’ Committees and at our events during the year. Our staff is fabulous and works tirelessly to keep the office and events running smoothly. Thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters, after all, without you, we would not be able to accomplish our main purpose, to raise funds for the capital needs of the Park. Our next fundraiser on March 15 is Lark in the Park’s “Cabana Nights”, chaired by three fabulous

Family Fun in the Forties

ladies: Jackie Palumbo, Helen Smith and Kimberly Zibilich. Lark will be raising funds for the Birthday Cabanas to be installed at the upcoming Splash Park. The Birthday Cabanas, once in use, will bring additional revenues to the Park. Hope to see you in the Lord and Taylor/Capital One Bank Rose Garden on March 15th! We also have two separate raffles for you. Take a chance on winning a Vespa to be raffled off at Lark or on a Subaru Outback to be raffled at Friends’ Fest on July 24. The Spring Garden Show will be on April 6 and 7 this year. Don’t forget to use your membership benefits to enter for free. The Friends membership is such a great value with the many benefits including free entry to Celebration, Amusements, Storyland,the Spring and Fall Garden Shows, discounts on driving range, tennis, etc.. Please use your benefits when you come to City Park to be sure to get the full value for your membership cost. The Board and staff are here to serve you. Let us know any feedback, both positive and negative, that you have regarding your membership to Friends. You can contact us at 504-483-9376 or send an email to I appreciate your continued support.

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

2013 Friends of City Park Board of Directors

OFFICERS P re s i d e n t Mary Johnson P re s i d e n t - e l e c t Jackie Palumbo Tre a s u re r Ron O’Rorke Tre a s u re r - e l e c t Kathleen Smith R e c o rd i n g S e c re t a r y Lana Lovick I m m e d i a t e P a s t P re s i d e n t Dessa Giffin

Board Members Lisette Bayle Robin Bordelon Borne Joey Marcotte Brown Susan Couvillon Karen DeBlieux Suzette Herpich Nina Killeen Peggy McCranie Lucille McDonnell

Mary Johnson President Friends of City Park

Mary Hassinger Schmidt Helen Read Smith Annie Orillac Thibodeaux Leigh Morgan Thorpe

New FOCP President Mary Johnson shares this picture of her father Edgar Saunders and her two aunts Bay Saunders Fleming and Mary Saunders Kenney having fun at City Park in the 1940s. Edgar and his wife Melsy are longtime Friends members and continue to volunteer for Friends’ events. 2 • Friends of City Park • Spring 2013

The mission of Friends of City Park is to maintain and increase the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation, and education for the public. All monies raised by Friends of City Park (FOCP) will be used for the capital needs of City Park at the discretion of the FOCP Executive Board. FOCP is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a registered charity with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

Editor Lisette Bayle E x e c u t i v e D i re c t o r Rodney Thoulion Membership/Marketing/Events Casie Duplechain Administrative Assistant Natalie Robinson Accountant Michelle Barkemeyer

Lark chairs Jackie Palumbo, Helen Read Smith and Kimberly Zibilich will be sure to make this a night to remember! A huge thank you to our participating sponsors and donors (as of print deadline).

Event Sponsors Majestic Palm • Bryan Subaru

• Lynne and Pat Ross • Kathy and Edmund Schrenk • Jackie and Bruce Shreves • The Demo Diva Demolition • The Connell Group, LLC • Catherine Burns Tremaine • UP Professional Solutions, LLC • Rodger and Gretchen Wheaton • Michael and Kim Williamson

Date Palm • Anne and Herschel Abbott • Muffin and Luis Balart • Brian and Michelle Barkemeyer King Palm • Bayou Tree Service, Inc. • EARTHSAVERS/Hahn • Big Easy Photobooth Enterprises, Inc. • Elizabeth A. Boh Queen Palm • Jane and Walter Brooks • Dee and P.C. Havens • Joey and Buzzy Brown • Kelly and James Brown Tiger Palm • Joseph and Dianne Caverly • Mary and John Burke • Dr. and Mrs. John M. Church, Jr. • Republic National Distributing • Dr. and Mrs. Peter DeBlieux Company • Nancy L. Decuers, APAC • Schlumberger • Dots Diner - JoAnn & Larry Katz • Superior Energy Services, Inc. • Ed Smith’s Stencil Works, LTD. • Terminix Pest Control • Joan Farabaugh - Vincent Palumbo • Jeanie Favret and Family • The Gustaf W. McIlhenny • Fernandez Plans, LLC Family Foundation • Rene Fransen Fan Palm • Dessa and David Giffin • Bank of New Orleans • Mr. and Mrs. Mike Guarisco • Margo and Clancy DuBos • Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman • Frischhertz Electric Co., Inc. • Hahn Family Foundation • Gambit Communications, Inc. • Barbara and Keith Hammett • Juli Miller Hart • Hammond Law Firm, LLC • Susan and Bill Hess • Hillcrest Inc. – • Dr. Kate Z. Holcomb Clay and Michelle Moïse • In honor of Melissa and Shai • Lupo Enterprises Ingber • Peoples Health • Mary and Keith Johnson • Helen Read Smith and Timothy • Laitram, LLC Young • Textron Marine and Land Systems • Janet and Roger Larue • Law Offices of Dan Robin • Universal Restoration Services/ • Lana Lovick Trey Adams • Erin and Hans Luetkemeier • Keith and Kimberly Zibilich • Martin Insurance Agency, Inc. Coconut Palm • Renee and Paul Masinter • Cathy and Morris Bart • Cammie and Charles Mayer • Couhig Partners, LLC • Peggy and Burgess McCranie • Danos • New Orleans Tourism Marketing • Duplantier Family Corp. • DYNA-PLAY, LLC • Al Petrie • Eric and Jan Groh • Proskauer • Susan and Jimmy Gundlach • Schrenk Endom & Flanagan • Denise and Bill Hoffman • Kathleen and Tom Smith • International Coffee Corporation • Söpö • Jeantherapy • State Investors Bank • Marsiglia Family • Annie and Paul Thibodeaux • NOLA Pilates & Xtend Barre • Leigh Morgan Thorpe New Orleans • Rodney Thoulion and RJ Buras • Patrick F. Taylor Foundation • Will Tregre • Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC • Genevieve M. Trimble • Richard’s Disposal Inc. Royal Palm • Capital One Bank

Swan Status Amanda Erika, City Park’s lone black swan, continues to recuperate at a local veterarian office! She appreciates all the cards, letters and well wishes on her behalf. She will return soon to City Park and will be joined by some new friends thanks to the generosity and kind hearts of people in our community. Donations are still being accepted and can be sent to the Development Department City Park, c/o Amanda Erika, #1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124. Make all checks payable to City Park.

It’s Good to be a Friend Friends of City Park members receive free admission to the Spring Garden Show on April 6 and 7 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The annual Spring Garden Show will be held in the Botanical Garden with sales of plant and garden products, a variety of educational speakers, a special area for kids, and much more! Remember your membership also allows you to enjoy free admission to Storyland, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, the Botanical Garden and many more benefits! For more information on your Friends of City Park membership and to renew or purchase a gift membership, visit or call 504-483-9376. We at Friends of City Park greatly appreciate your continued support of our majestic park!

Spring 2013 • Friends of City Park • 3

2013 New Orleans City Park Improvement Association OFFICERS P re s i d e n t

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

Bob Becker, CEO

Mrs. Karen DeBlieux Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

M r. R o n n i e S l o n e Vi c e P r e s i d e n t

M r. E d m o n d S c h r e n k Tr e a s u r e r

M r. L a r r y K a t z S e c re t a r y

Mrs. Jackie Shreves

Board of Commissioners M r. S t e v e n B i n g l e r Mrs. Jane S. Brooks Mrs. Johannah Brown M r. E d g a r C h a s e Ms. Jacquelyn Clarkson M r. B i l l y C r a w f o r d Mrs. Karen DeBlieux M r. S . S t e w a r t F a r n e t Ms. Karen Fernandez M r. T h o m a s G . F i e r k e Mrs. Dessa Giffin Mrs. Susan Guidry M r. B e n H a l e s Mrs. Susan Hess M r. Wi l l i a m D . H o f f m a n Mrs. Mary Johnson M r. L a r r y K a t z M r. E r r o l L a b o r d e M r. Ti m L a F r a n c a Mrs. Andrea LeGrand M r. R o b e r t E d w a r d S m i t h L u p o M r. P a u l M a s i n t e r Mrs. Maria Soniat McKay Mrs. Marjorie McKeithen Ms. Jackie Palumbo M r. D a v i d P a y t o n M r. S t e v e n P e t t u s M r. C l e l a n d P o w e l l M r. M a r k C . R o m i g M r. E d m u n d S c h r e n k Mrs. Jacqueline Shreves M r. R o n n i e S l o n e Mrs. Elizabeth Sloss M r. Wi l l Tr e g r e M r s . R i t a Ve s i c h

Letter from the CEO We had very good weather for this year’s Celebration in the Oaks and combined with our new attractions yielded record attendance. I want to thank everyone who came out to the event and enjoyed the festivities! Celebration is not only a great event for the holiday season but plays an important role in the Park’s financial health, generating more than 10% of all of our revenue for the year.

The end of January and first of February saw us hosting several major events associated with the Super Bowl. Mr. and Mrs. Benson held an elaborate party for the NFL owners in the picnic area next to Amusements. In addition, the NFL practiced the halftime festivities in Gormley, and ESPN held their Super bowl party in a tent covering the entire field. The Park benefited financially from these events as well as being able to show off our progress to people from across the world. Work continues on the miniature golf complex as well as on the covering of one of the show rings at Equest Farms. We opened our festival grounds in late December and already are seeing increased use of the walking path. As March arrives the sports fields will begin to be used and activity should really pick up. Finally we expect to begin another round of improvements in Amusements within the next

several months. Winter also saw us host the fourth annual Rock N Roll Marathon, an event held throughout the city which finishes in the Park as well as the first annual “Color Run”. Over 10,000 registered for the race and seemed to have great fun throwing colored corn starch on each other! As spring approaches, be sure to drive carefully in the Park as we are seeing more people using the Park than ever before. Good weather means increased use which is a sign that we must all be more careful when navigating on Park roads. Sincerely,

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

M r. E u g e n e P r e a u s Representing Botanical Garden Foundation Chief Executive Officer

M r. R o b e r t W. B e c k e r , P h . D . 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 Chief Development Officer

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 Chief Financial Officer

M r. K e v i n C o x 4 • Friends of City Park • Spring 2013

All Aboard the New Friends Train Thanks to your support, Friends of City Park was able to raise enough funds through Martini Madness and Ghosts in the Oaks to purchase the third train in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park! Special thanks to our event chairs, Annie Thibodeaux, Leigh Thorpe, Constance Whittaker, and Caitlin Rutter for chairing the successful events. The amusement park opens March 2 for the season.

Kurt Zeringue proposed to Fran Gutierrez on the gondola on January 26, 2013.

A Proposal in the Park Fran Gutierrez shares this sweet story of how her fiancé Kurt Zeringue recently proposed to her. “Stumbling upon Google ‘romantic things to do in Nola’... my fiance, Kurt Zeringue, knew it couldn’t get any more romantic than a gondola ride through New Orleans City Park at sunset.On January 26, 2013, (finally at the end of hunting season) he took me on the most memorable date ever! We made our way down the lagoon; soaking in the sounds of Italian music playing in the background and embracing the beautiful scenery around us. With what became the biggest surprise of my life, Kurt got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of

my life with him and my hand in marriage. Through my tears of happiness and excitement, I leaped from my seat, gave him the biggest kiss, and let out a big ‘Yes!’ Unknowingly, my entire family was there, hiding behind the trees and bushes, waiting to catch a glimpse of the big moment! Although we may not have been in Venice, Italy... we were the 292nd gondola proposal and the experience was absolutely amazing and magical. We plan to continue our journey together where it all began that day on the gondola ride; we will be hosting our wedding in City Park, January, 2014.”

We’re Fishin’ for You Don’t miss out on the 66th annual City Park Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival! Make plans to “drop a line” on Saturday, April 6th. Registration will take place at City Park’s Casino Building from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Weigh-in will take place at 11:00 a.m. Several categories are available for both adults and children. Registration is only $10 per adult and $5 per child (12 and under). The Fishtival will entertain & educate from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Prizes, music, kid casting contests, lure making, environmental education, raffles and more! Please visit our website for more info at or call (504) 483-9515.

Participating Restaurants: • Acme Oyster House • Andrea’s Restaurant & Catering • Angelo Brocato’s • Arnaud’s • Bittersweet Confections • Bravo! Metairie • City Park Catering • Cook Me Somethin Mister • Community Coffee Co. • Criollo • Dorignac’s • Fat Hen Grill • Galvez Restaurant • GW Fins • Hilton New Orleans Riverside • Huckleberry’s Restaurant • Lagniappe Luncheonette Catering • Little Gem Saloon • Mandina’s Restaurant • Maple Street Cafe • Maurice French Pastries • Mondo • Mr. John’s Steakhouse • Mr. Mudbug Catering • Ninja • Quintin’s Ice Cream • Ralph’s on the Park • Royal House Restaurant • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse • Sammy’s Food Service & Deli • Serrano’s • Short Stop Poboys • Swiss Confectionery Inc. • Tableau • The Columns Hotel • The Court of Two Sisters • The Kupcake Factory • The Melting Pot • Tony Mandina’s Restaurant • Toots-n-Bunny • Venezia’s • Vincent’s Italian Cuisine • Ye Olde College Inn Auction Donors • Aidan Gill for Men • Angelique Shoe • Astor Crowne Plaza • Beau Chene Country Club • Beau Rivage Resort & Casino • Blink • Bourbon Orleans Hotel • Lee and Cheryl Cabes – Pine Mountain Chalet • Carousel Gardens Amusement Park • Chateau Golf & Country Club • Chris Owens Club • The Court of Two Sisters • EARTHSAVERS

• Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots • Foundation Room at House of Blues • FrenchyLive • Friend & Company • Hampton Inn & Suites Convention Center • Holiday Inn Downtown— Superdome • Hotel Monteleone • Jeantherapy • Jolie and Elizabeth Clothing • Krewe of Tucks • Life • Little Miss Muffin • Lum Lighting • Mathes Brierre Architects/ Bryan's United Air Conditioning • Mignon Faget • New Orleans Athletic Club • New Orleans Paddlewheels • Occasional Wife • Pat O’Briens • Perch • Perlis Clothing Store • Pole Pro • Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers • Rare Cuts • Rehage Entertainment • Romaguera Photography • Romney Pilates • The Roosevelt New Orleans • Saints and Sinners • Saks Fifth Avenue • Scriptura • David Sepulveda • Liz and Poco Sloss • Tulane University School of Continuing Studies • VIP School Bus • Wellington & Company Fine Jewelry Come help build a new memory in your City Park! Sponsorship and patron packages are still available. Individual tickets are $100 for general admission, $90 for Friends of City Park members, and $75 for the Party Flock (35 yrs. and under). For tickets and more information go to or call 504-483-9376. Spring 2013 • Friends of City Park • 5

Special Thanks to FOCP Major Donors

6 • Friends of City Park • Spring 2013

From October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 ($5,000 and above) • The Azby Fund • Bank of America • Bayou Tree Service, Inc. • Bollinger Family Foundation • Robin E. Bordelon Borne and Family • Bristol - Myers Squibb Co. • Michael Brown • Joe W. & Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation • BSSB1, LLC • Capital One Bank • Cembell Industries Inc. • Chevron Policy, Government & Public Affairs • Laura M. Claverie • Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation • Delta Beverage Group, Inc. • Dickie Brennan & Co., Inc. • The Ella West Freeman Foundation • Entergy New Orleans • Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Foundation • First NBC • Flower Holdings LLC • Frilot LLC • Gambit Communications • Geocent LLC • Gibbs Construction • Giffin/Rutter Families • Gustaf Westfeldt McIlhenny Family Foundation • Juli Miller Hart • John L. Haspel • Helis Foundation • William D. Hess • Hogs for the Cause Inc. • IBERIABANK • Keller Family Foundation • Wilfred M. Kullman • Rita Benson LeBlanc • The Lupin Foundation • Robert S. Lupo • Michael J. Marsiglia • Ed Mathes • Mathes Brierre Architects • Maverick (Tenaris) • The Monteleone • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation • National Recreation Foundation • National Wildlife Federation • New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation • NI Welding Supply Inc. • Nokia Sugar Bowl • Joseph S. Pappalardo • Patrick F. Taylor Foundation • Virginia Rigamer • Rotary Club of Algiers Lic. G3550 • H. Britton Sanderford • Felix H. Savoie • Schlumberger Oilfield Services • Selley Foundation • Shell Exploration & Production • Shell Oil Company • Gary N. Solomon • Superior Energy Services • Susan & Elihu Rose Foundation • The Theresa Bittenbring Marque & John Henry Marque Fund • The Trust for Public Land • Tulane University • Zemurray Foundation

A Presidential Thank You!

New Plaque Unveiled Friends' Presidents gathered for the unveiling of a new plaque in the City Park Administration Building honoring past Presidents of Friends of City Park. Pictured left to right are: Current President Mary Johnson, Dessa Giffin, Diann Sanborn, Debbie Perrone, Sue Guarisco, Cheryl Cabes and Andrea Legrand.

Picture from the Past

Cruisin’ With the Family Many New Orleanians first “learned to drive” on the Antique Cars in City Park. In this 1964 photo, the Finney family posed for what would turn out to be a Christmas card classic staged by their mother Doris “Deedy” Finney, wife of Peter Finney, Sr., sports writer for The Times-Picayune. The Finneys, who lived near City Park off of DeSaix Boulevard, frequented the park regularly according to Beth Donze who posted this vintage photo on Facebook. Pictured left to right: Jane Finney Haas, Barbara Finney Weilbaecher, Peter Finney, Jr., Beth Finney Donze with Dr. Tim Finney at the wheel. The Antique Cars were closed after Hurricane Katrina and the area was repurposed as “The Birthday Village.”

Follow Friends of City Park on

Spring 2013 • Friends of City Park • 7

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

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

Return Service Requested

Mark Your Calendar March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9

Garden Party Concerts March 15, 2013

Lark in the Park April 6 and 7, 2013

Spring Garden Show April 24, 2013 Rain date April 25, 2013

Swing in the Oaks April 25, 2013

Threadhead Thursday July 24, 2013

Friends’ Fest


Spring 2013  

Lark in the Park, New Train, Spring Garden Show