St. Charles Avenue Magazine June 2021

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JUNE 2021

VOLUME 26 ISSUE 1 Associate Publisher Kate Henry


Executive Editor Bev Church Editor Morgan Packard Griffith Art Director Ali Sullivan Food & Dining Columnist Jyl Benson Web Editor Kelly Massicot Event Photo Coordinator Jeff Strout


Associate Publisher Kate Henry or 504-830-7216 Senior Account Executives Meggie Schmidt, Rachel Webber Account Executive Meghan Sumrall


Coordinator Abbie Dugruise


Designers Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney


Subscriptions Jessica Armand Distribution John Holzer


Office Manager Mallary Wolfe Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne For subscription information call (504) 828-1380

A Publication of Renaissance Publishing, LLC 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, © 2021 with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. St. Charles Avenue is not responsible for photos or artwork and assumes that all releases have been cleared upon submission to the magazine. St. Charles Avenue is published monthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, La. 70005, (504) 828-1380. Subscription rate: one year $17.95, two year $31, three year $43 — foreign rates vary call for pricing. It is the policy of this magazine to employ people on the basis of their qualifications and with assurance of equal opportunity and treatment regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or handicap.





36 ENTERTAINING WITH BEV Celebrating a Centennial: Mary Ann Valentino’s 100th Birthday


38 WITH THIS RING Valls – Hansel

8 CHANGEMAKERS Claire Steiner: Founder, Clairly Vegan


10 WHAT’S HOT Father's Day 12 THE DISH Bywater A Happy Place: Discovering Thai DJing

PHILANTHROPIC FUN 14 “SWEETARTS 2020: CHANGES: INTO A RADIANT FUTURE” A series of intimate outdoor dinner parties for 25 guests supported the CAC. 16 SECOND ANNUAL VIRTUAL “HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING & MUSIC FESTIVAL” The Poydras Home tree illumination ceremony honored healthcare heroes.


18 “WYES HOLIDAY PAR-TEA” A virtual high tea party with themes and a hat contest benefited WYES. 20 "BALLO DI NATALE" The Elenian Club honored its ladies in the spirit of upholding Italian heritage.


40 SNAPSHOTS 42 SHOP TALK Jonathan Brouk: Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Strategy Officer, Children’s Hospital New Orleans 43 SHOP TALK Emily LaBorde: Owner, BLEU Blow-dry Bar 44 STUDENT ACTIVIST William Flores: Brother Martin High School 48 NOSTALGIA The Voyage of Friendliness: The Lloyds ended their 3,976-mile canoe trip in New Orleans



B E V ' S N OT E

This month we have an amazing feature “Uptown Living: 10 ways to enjoy!” We feature some of the best businesses in the neighborhood, ones that help define its character and serve as its residents' go to resources for fashion, home décor and gifts. There are so many that complement the Uptown lifestyle and keep it bustling with activity; go out and visit them! Father’s Day is coming up and we’ve got great ideas for Dad with 11 thoughtful gifts that celebrate his sense of style, offering everything from aprons to umbrellas. We have a huge surprise for our readers, so you’ll be in on what has been a secret until now! Morgan and I and everyone at St. Charles Avenue magazine are working on a new re-design of the magazine new features, columns and some of your old favorites! We are taking off July and August to work on all of the exciting new ideas and will be back with a bang in September when we’ll celebrate our 25th Anniversary! If you have ideas of features you would like to see in September, please email me at I have been the editor of this incredible magazine since the inception in 1995, and we’ve been proud to serve the nonprofit movers and shakers of our great city for 25 years! Thanks so much for your support! See you in September and be safe!

Beverly Reese Church

"Hogs for the Cause" is the premier nationwide funding source for outreach services to families facing pediatric brain cancer. The acclaimed festival is an annual celebration of the year-round fundraising being done on behalf of Hogs with barbecue competitions and live music. This year, the event has moved to Plaquemines Parish Government Facility in Belle Chasse and there are two new competitions: “Wings and Bacon Night” and “Just Winging It,” presented by Tabasco. Visit to learn more and purchase your ticket today!


ON THE COVER Summer is here, believe it or not, and we’re able to get out a little more, thanks to vaccinations and all of us trying to mask up and social distance! Our fundraisers are still adapting. That especially goes for one of our favorites, the Susan G. Komen New Orleans' “Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner,” which will take place Friday, August 6 at the Windsor Court Hotel! Thanks to Event Co-Chairs Pat Denechaud, Dottie Reese and Kristi Post; Event Coordinator Joe Briand and General Manager of the Windsor Court Hotel Ralph Mahana (and not pictured: Event Co-Chair Holley Haag and Susan G. Komen New Orleans Board President Mollie Copeland) for gracing our cover! The event will be virtual, but you’ll want to reserve your wine dinner to be delivered to your door or table at the Windsor Court right now! Call 504-4557310 or visit for tickets and information. There are many sponsorship opportunities: Partner in Survivorship at $10,000, Partner in Hope at $5,000, Partner in Courage at $3,000, Pink Patron at $1,750 and more. This incredible fundraiser goes back to 1980, when Nancy Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever – that led to a global movement! To date, they have raised over $2.9 billion in groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 60 countries and they’ve reduced deaths from breast cancer by 40 percent between 1989 and 2016!



M O R G A N ' S N OT E

At some point recently my son has grown so tall that he has outgrown my hold. Oh, I can still carry him and cuddle and rock, but he no longer fits completely within the circle of my arms. I want to know when that day changed. I can’t believe I didn’t make a note of it – that somehow that moment passed by without my acknowledgment – but it's even more worrisome to me that it took me this long to feel that absence. At some point Avenue did the same thing. I have served as Editor of St. Charles Avenue magazine since March 2008. I took the reigns from my friend, the very talented, funny and understanding Sue Strachan. In the intervening 13 years and 3 months, I've learned more than I ever could've imagined about this city – our city – and the amazing and myriad nonprofits that keep it running; that step in and not only take care of, but honor, its people. At some point recently, I looked up and realized that the nonprofit community of New Orleans – and all of the employees, volunteers, stores, restaurants, schools, designers, artists, etc., that support it – had outgrown what Avenue was providing. I was sad, and disappointed that I hadn't seen this coming. We were still doing a great job, but there was so much more we could be offering. So when our CEO Todd Matherne suggested a redesign, I jumped at the chance. All of this to say: This September 2021, St. Charles Avenue magazine will produce its celebratory 25th anniversary issue. Over the past quarter century, St. Charles Avenue has cemented its position as the voice of philanthropy and philanthropic endeavors in New Orleans. We plan to take the end of summer (the months of July and August) to rededicate ourselves to our purpose while we give the magazine a fresh look and continue to focus on our city’s celebratory style. Though you’ll miss us in your mailbox and on newsstands, we invite you to celebrate with us in September with a cover-to-cover redesign as we continue to do what we do best: Celebrate the nonprofit community of New Orleans and those who support it. After all, we are “New Orleans’ definitive social magazine.”

Morgan Packard Griffith


JUNE 4-5

“Hogs for the Cause,”

6-12 “Party for the Planet presented by Entergy: World Oceans Week,” benefiting Audubon Nature Institute, 9-13 “New Orleans Wine & Food Experience,” 12

“Magnolia Ball,” benefiting Ogden Museum of Southern Art,, (504) 539-9618

12 “Swim for Brooke: the Brooke E. Posey Swim-a-thon,” benefiting Angels’ Place,, 12

“New Orleans Heart Ball,” benefiting American Heart Association Louisiana,, (504) 872-3498


“Family Equality Day,” benefiting Longue Vue House & Gardens,, (504) 488-5488


“Man & Woman of the Year: Grand Finale Celebration,” benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,

21-27 “Party for the Planet presented by Entergy: Pollination Celebration Week,” benefiting Audubon Nature Institute, 22

“WYES Grape Performances with Deacon John,”, (504) 486-5511


“Mr. Legs,” benefiting Bridge House / Grace House,, (504) 821-7134


“Opening Night Party,” benefiting The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane,, (504) 865-5106


“Susan G. Komen New Orleans Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner,” benefiting Susan G. Komen New Orleans,, (504) 455-7310


“Queen for a Day Promenade Luncheon,” benefiting JPAS Leading Ladies Guild,, (504) 214-7177




Claire Steiner Founder, Clairly Vegan By Lindsay Mack


meals to a few people over Facebook, and demand ramped up through word-of-mouth in no time. Now, Clairly Vegan is a dedicated meal delivery service offering about five different menu choices each week, including breakfast options, soups, sandwiches, salad bowls, two-person dinner entrées and sweet treats called Energy Bites. Meal choices have included everything from jerk tofu kebabs in pomegranate sauce to a fried oyster mushroom poboy. So far, the soups inspired by Mexican and Italian cuisine have been

among the most popular items. Making flavorful food choices is the top goal. “There’s a very large misconception about vegan food in general,” says Steiner. “People are scared it will be bland or raw or flavorless, or they’re afraid it won’t fill them up. For us, we’re here to create really tasty food, and we want to take your favorite Italian or gumbo recipe and veganize it.” With a focus on creating delicious, healthy meals strongly focused on a flavor profile, Clairly Vegan is bringing a fresh take to the city’s food scene. ✦

➺ How To Order Review the current week’s menu on Clairly Vegan’s website (, which posts every Saturday. The ordering window is open Saturdays-Mondays at 5 p.m, and diners are welcome to order as much or as little as they please. Deliveries are sent out Tuesday evenings, and pickups are available at the Carrollton Commissary on 8837 Willow St. Orders are placed weekly, and she’s hoping to start a subscription program soon.


Trying out flavor-forward, lovingly prepared vegan food just got easier for people all around New Orleans. Launched by Claire Steiner (in the middle of a pandemic, no less), Clairly Vegan is a vegan food delivery service that’s generating city buzz in a city famed for its cuisine. After years of cooking vegan and living the lifestyle, Steiner began using social media as a sort of recipe diary. Many people commented, not-so-jokingly, that they would love to have Steiner as their personal chef. Steiner offered up some delivery




Father’s Day By Amy Gabriel

You love him for all that he is and all that he does. Give dear ol’ dad a dapper dose of appreciation with a thoughtful gift that celebrates his sense of style.

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2. When next he flies the friendly skies, send him up and away with a handy Flight


Ready kit with travel sized, oak moss scented grooming products. National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., 504-528-1944, 3. Keep him sunning in style with a pair of Toddy frames in azure crystal with oak barrel, complete with scratch-resistant lenses

that block 100 percent of UV rays. Warby Parker, 3964 Magazine St., 504-799-2830,

for your dad’s closet. PERLIS CLOTHING, 6070 Magazine St., 504-895-8661,

4. A 100 percent linen gingham standard fit short sleeved sport shirt, complete with iconic PERLIS crawfish logo and engraved buttons, is lightweight with a button-down collar and perfect

5. A Tiffany 1837® Makers heritage edition I.D. chain bracelet in silver adds a sense of sophistication to his daily comings and goings. Tiffany & Co., available at select Tiffany & Co. locations. 800-843-3269;


1. For the man with places to go and things to bring, the Quinn Commuter Backpack has space enough for gym clothes and a laptop, a bottle of water and work files – plus the ability to keep them all neatly separated. Billy Reid, 3927 Magazine St., 504-208-1200,


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inquire locally at 333 Canal Place, 504-434-6002, PHOTO CREDIT TIFFANY & CO.

6. A handmade fleur de lis valet tray is the perfect catchall for his treasured accessories. NOLA Pens, 7. When the rain showers hit, he’ll be protected with a dignified umbrella,

handmade in Italy with a striking silver hound dog accent handle. Q Clothier, 795 O’Keefe Ave., 504-264-7788, 8. He will be dressed to man any barbecue or boil in a white apron with leather accents featuring the Mixology Moves design. The Sazerac House,

101 Magazine St., 504-910-0110, 9. Elevate his appetizer status with a sublime jar of Cajun Caviar. Opt for original flavor or step it up with spicy. Cajun Caviar, 10. A sleek and compact Everdure by Heston Blumenthal CUBE is the ideal

portable charcoal grill for tailgating or porch parties. Everdure, find local retailers at or shop 11. Shake, rattle and pour with a handsome five-piece bar tool set on Acacia wood. Judy at the Rink, 2727 Prytania St., 504-891-7018,




A Happy Place Discovering Thai DJing By Jyl Benson

Last August, the culmination of a long held dream, Chef Suda Ounin and Jeerasak Boonlert opened their restaurant and bakery. Housed in a cottage the color of strawberry buttercream frosting and fronted by a lush garden, Thai DJing beckons merrily from Fifth Street in Old Gretna. Guests are greeted with irresistible warmth by Denise and Manuel Ponce, neighbors from down the block who work the front of the house in the 70-seat restaurant. Pale walls and natural wood tables set the backdrop for gorgeous cuisine that is vibrant on the palate, often with fresh herbs from the chef ’s garden out back. The space is awash in natural light by day; shimmering fixtures illuminate at night. The wooden bar top is poured over with turquoise-hued resin, metallic flecks in which gleam, giving the effect of

a sinuous, moving stream. Fresh flowers spill from golden vases and the walls are adorned with awards Ounin garnered in culinary competitions. Classically trained in traditional Thai cuisine, Ounin’s job with Marriot hotels transferred her from the island of Similan to downtown New Orleans in 2010. With a dazzling smile and seemingly boundless energy, Ounin met Boonlert, a Buddhist monk, at Chua Bo De temple on the West Bank, at which he had been serving as a missionary since 2008. The couple married in 2012 after he returned to secular life upon completing his practice with the temple. Both accomplished cooks, in 2013, they started selling traditional Thai dishes from slow cookers on a folding table at the Gretna Farmers Market. In 2015, they graduated to a food truck that took them to additional area


markets and events. The menu at Thai DJing changes regularly to accommodate specials like whole fried fish served with pineapple and peppers, and spicy Thai scallops. Menu standards include Ounin’s outstanding soups (potato curry, Tom Ka and green curry), classics like savory chicken wings stuffed with ground pork and vegetables, glass noodles and herbs; pad Thai and Chiang Mai noodles; several varieties of curry offered with choice of protein; as well as their signature, airy chicken curry puffs and fragrant Ginger Salmon. Also skilled in pastry arts, Ounin keeps her mind-blowing sticky rice with mango and coconut ice cream – get all the elements on your spoon for the perfect bite – on the everyday menu. A changing selection of painstakingly crafted showstoppers is on

display in the pastry case in the bar. The day may bring Green Tea Crepe Cake, Opera Cake, Coconut Cheesecake with Fresh Mango Coulis, Coconut Cream Cake, Thai Tea Coffee Cake and opulent cupcakes. Lunch specials (Tuesdays-Fridays from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.) include a salad of fresh greens with a sensational gingercurry vinaigrette, choice of soup and a roti-based slider with a choice of protein or an appetizer. Happy hour is MondaysFridays from 5-6:30 p.m. and features bargain prices on craft cocktails, beer and wine, as well as appetizers and soups. ✦

Iacovone Kitchen, 5033 Freret St., 504-533-9742, Thai DJing, 93 Fifth St., Gretna, 504-766-0681,


Chef Suda Ounin's sticky rice with mango and coconut ice cream from Thai DJing


Try This: With his reputation as a kitchen wizard well established and continuing to ascend, in 2009 Chef Bob Iacovone left Cuvee, one of New Orleans’ hottest restaurants, to be a stay-athome dad. In November of 2019, Iacovone and his wife, Joanna, opened Iacovone Kitchen. It was ahead of its time, offering creative, high quality renditions of the full meals, soups, salads and sauces we’ve all come to rely on in the past year on a grab-and-go basis. The chef also caters special events and will soon return to hosting intimate five-course pairing dinners. A recent luncheon for two was

cooked to order by the affable chef, who lost none of his star power during his hiatus from the scene. A potpie of crawfish, asparagus and Brie was held together not with a roux or cream sauce but, rather, with a lively purée of parsnips. An elegant, pressed panini sandwich of prosciutto and molten Brie was bright and flavorful with marinated fig and basil. Check the website for daily menus.




“SweetArts 2020: CHANGES: Into A Radiant Future” A series of intimate outdoor dinner parties for 25 guests supported the CAC. By Shelby Simon

Initially conceived as an elegant event for a few hundred guests in a private home, the CAC’s “SweetArts 2020” was transformed into a series of small dinner parties of no more than 25 guests that were hosted by couples in open-air settings to adhere to safety and social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series of intimate events spanned into 2021 and included such creative gatherings as “Perfect Pairings,” “Candlearia,” “Down by The River Shack,” “How to Throw An Al Fresco Dinner Party (In the Time of Covid)” and a “Mid-Century Jazz Fest Soirée.” The theme, “CHANGES: Into a Radiant Future,” aimed at highlighting transformation as the CAC ushered in a new decade with new leadership, a refined focus on contemporary creativity, a commitment towards fostering artistic excellence and renewed support for the visionary leaders of the New Orleans arts community. The December 5, 2020 program, “How to Throw An Al Fresco Dinner Party (In the Time of Covid),” offered an evening garden party in an art-filled private home on Audubon Park with art installations by Aimée Farnet Siegel. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated dinner offered at tables separated by couple or by pod. The dishes were created by Jason Goodenough, Chef and Owner of the former Carrollton Market. Rich Collins, Shout Young and Derek Huston provided music and dancing, which ended the night. Lead sponsors included AOS, Domain Companies and Phelps Dunbar. ✦



➺ Event at a Glance WHAT: “SweetArts 2020: CHANGES: Into A Radiant Future – How To Throw An Alfresco Dinner Party (In The Times of Covid),” benefiting the CAC WHEN: Saturday, December 5, 2020 WHERE: Home of Michael Siegel and Aimée Farnet Siegel



1. George Scheer, Jane Cooper and hosts Mike Siegel and Aimée Farnet Siegel 2. Katherine Gelderman, Josh Mayer and Jill Dupre 3. Steve and Suzanne Dumez 4. Trip Russ, Rebecca Cooley and Clayton Rosenthal 5. Barbara Motley and Gregg Porter 6. Bill and Sheelah Black with Kenny Morrison







Second Annual Virtual “Holiday Tree Lighting & Music Festival” The Poydras Home tree illumination ceremony honored healthcare heroes. By Shelby Simon

➺ Event at a Glance WHAT: Second annual virtual “Holiday Tree Lighting & Music Festival,” benefiting Poydras Home WHEN: Thursday, December 3, 2020 WHERE: Poydras Home 1. Poydras Home CEO and Emcee Erin Kolb 2. American Legion Band performs 3. The Real Presence Trio performs 4. Harpist Judy Seghers performs 5. Poydras Home CEO Erin Kolb, Poydras Home CFO Mary LaValla, Tree Sponsor Hancock Whitney Senior VP Elizabeth Hefler, Tree Sponsor Hancock Whitney Assistant VP Elise Ryan and Poydras Home VP of Philanthropy Charlotte Thomas 6. Lit Poydras Home tree reflected in pond




Poydras Home kept their new holiday tradition alive by lighting up the night with their holiday tree on the corner of Magazine Street and Jefferson Avenue. The illumination ceremony took place on December 3, 2020, and the tree stayed bright for more than five weeks during the 2020 holiday season to offer love, hope, comfort and joy to all. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the usual gathering on the Poydras Home front lawn, but friends of Poydras Home could enjoy the ceremonial tree lighting virtually and participate in a trio of raffles. The Top of the Tree Sparkler Raffle featured gold and diamond earrings from Friend & Company Fine Jewelers. Under The Tree Santa’s Sack Raffle offered a compilation of favorite local flavors from Galatoire’s Restaurant, Clancy’s, The Pelican Club, Vincent’s Italian Cuisine, Langenstein’s and The Creole Creamery in the form of $100 gift certificates to each. Finally, the Stocking Stuffer Raffle offered a grab bag of gift certificates to Cafe Beignet, Company Burger, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Ted’s Frostop and Raising Cane’s. Poydras Home CEO Erin Kolb served as emcee. Musical performances were also offered by American Legion Band, The Real Presence Trio and harpist Judy Seghers. The celebration of peace and goodwill this holiday season commemorated the Poydras Home Healthcare Heroes of 2020 and the residents they selflessly served. They also thanked and showed our gratitude to all of the Greater New Orleans Healthcare Heroes and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Poydras Home also thanked their Tree Sponsor, Hancock Whitney. ✦








“WYES Holiday Par-TEA”


A virtual high tea party with themes and a hat contest benefited WYES. By Shelby Simon

WYES supporters enjoyed a fanciful high tea party together, but apart. A Zoom broadcast showcased participants’ attire, hats, tea services and themed setups, including a “Christmas with the Grinch” tea party by Kathleen Mix and Carol Short; a decadent tea at the Windsor Court with Dorothy Clyne and her guests; The Elms Mansion where Event Chair Laurie Guillaume sat with TV news celebrity Tamica Lee and Event Co-Chair Karen Coaxum at Sandra Thompson Herman’s home for an elegant period tea. Guests received two different teas from presenting sponsor Harney & Sons as well as a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes. Sales Director and Event Manager of The Elms Mansion Jessica Serrano shared “Mansion Mar-TEAni” cocktail and “Harney & Sons Earl Grey Mock-tini” recipes for all to savor. WYES Producer Peggy Scott Laborde hosted the program on Zoom. Two international tea authorities served as guest speakers: James Norwood Pratt, elected “Best Tea Educator” for four successive years, spoke about “The History of Tea,” and Bruce Richardson, named Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, discussed “Tea Rituals Around the World.” Participants were encouraged to be part of the Best Hat contest judged by legendary former news anchor Angela Hill. There was a tie for the winner of Most Elegant: Deb Elam and Stephanie Burks. The Most Festive was awarded to Heather Travis, the Most Thematic to Sandra Chaisson and the Best Group Theme to Sandra Thompson Herman’s group. WYES’ Winnie Brown shared “WYES Home for the Holidays Online Auction” highlights, which ran for a week before the bidding closed. Laurie Guillaume served as Event Chair, with Co-Chairs Karen Coaxum, Michelle Dodenhoff and Anne Redd. The event committee consisted of 55 ladies dedicated to making the event a success. WYES is the oldest public television station serving southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the 12th oldest in the nation and the most utilized nonprofit in the two states, with as many as half a million people using the broadcasts, website and outreach activities each week. Funds raised from the event help support award-winning local documentaries, cooking shows and other quality local programming, as well as provide community outreach with a focus on at-risk populations. ✦



➺ Event at a Glance

1. Event Chair Laurie Guillaume, Tamica Lee and Sara Lewis at the Elms Mansion 2. Best Group Theme winners Nicole Ferrier, Event Co-Chair Karen Coaxum, Sandra Thompson Herman, Sue McNabb, Gail McKenna and Penny Baumer 3. Stephanie Burks 4. Hostess WYES’ Peggy Scott Laborde 5. WYES’ “Auction Vanna” Winnie Brown 6. The Grinch Theme: Sharon Marchand, Bethany Stitch, Mark Duncan, Carol Short and Kathleen Mix



WHAT: “Holiday Par-TEA presented by Harney & Sons,” benefiting WYES WHEN: Thursday, December 10, 2020 WHERE: Zoom and small groups in-person







“Ballo di Natale” The Elenian Club honored its ladies in the spirit of upholding Italian heritage. By Shelby Simon

The Elenian Club hosted their annual “Ballo di Natale” welcoming six new Debutante members and one Lady in Waiting on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at the International Ballroom of the downtown Doubletree Hotel. Each Debutante and Lady in Waiting were escorted by her father and grandfathers. The Master of Ceremony Daniel Villafranco introduced each honoree to the Elenian Club audience of Past Presidents, Elenian members, family and friends. Following the presentations of each, the ladies were promenaded to the dance floor to enjoy the traditional dance to “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” which was provided by Jerry “The Jazzman” Embree and his swing band. The warmly lit room provided a Christmas-themed setting, as the honored guests stood out in their pure white formal gowns. Several green Christmas trees decorated with red and gold oversized bulb ornaments with lighted angels at the front corners, gold threaded Santa sleigh, with deer and presents to match. Each table was centered with a single warm lit pillar candle raised and nested with garland and red and gold holly berries. Villafranco, dressed as Santa, pranced into the ballroom to the music of “Here Comes Santa Claus.” As each lady sat on Santa’s lap, he presented them with Elenian ornaments. Elenians understand the importance of keeping their Italian Heritage alive in the hearts of member families from generation to generation. Eighty-six years of existence is a testament to Italian loving ladies. Maria Villafranco and Lisa Ingraham served as Co-Chairs, with Judith Miranti and Virginia Eckholdt Co-Chairs of the Debutantes and Faith Peperone as the Ladies in Waiting Chair. The festivities were limited to 100 guests due to COVID-19 limitations. ✦



➺ Event at a Glance WHAT: “Ballo di Natale” WHEN: Saturday, December 5, 2020 WHERE: Double Tree Hotel



1. Master of Ceremony Daniel Villafranco, Debutante Co-Chairs Judith Miranti and Virginia Eckholdt and Vice President Kim Hasney 2. Past President and Ladies in Waiting Chair Faith Peperone, Past President Marian Montalbano and Lady in Waiting Madison Montalbano 3. Vincent Montalbano, Treasurer Betty Deshotel and Bill Peperone 4. Debutantes Emily Barraco, Marche Beals and Kaylee Caracci with President Maria Villafranco 5. Debutantes Megan Deshotel, Grace Greco and Elliena Ingraham with Past President Lisa Ingraham 6. Décor






U P T O W N LIVING From the streetcars that roll down St. Charles Avenue and the allure of Audubon Park to the influence of nearby universities and shop-lined Magazine Street, Uptown New Orleans has its own personality and charm. The businesses of Uptown help define the neighborhood’s vibe and character, serving as residents’ go-to resources for fashion, home décor, gifts and other services that complement the Uptown lifestyle and keep it bustling with activity.


10+ ways to enjoy By Kelcy Wilburn

above: Home Malone; opposite top: Judy at the Rink; opposite bottom: The Flower Shop by Kim Starr Wise

Services Liberto Cleaners 4814 Prytania St. • 504-897-2161 Serving Uptown since 1932, Liberto Cleaners has been dry cleaning, washing and pressing the suits, dresses, shirts, pants and even household items of Uptown families for generations. “We’re just a very neighborhood place – we’re like family,” says Lauren Walter VanCamp, Fourth Generation Owner. “I love getting to see our customers’ kids grow up over the years and catch up on life with every familiar face.” Offering free pick-up and delivery service, Liberto Cleaners prides itself on being a “green cleaner,” pursuing environmentally friendly procedures, processes and techniques. In addition to laundry and dry cleaning for clothing, the business handles household items such as sheets, comforters, quilts, duvets, pillowcases and down pillows. The Flower Shop by Kim Starr Wise 2036 Magazine St. • 504-390-0563

Home Décor & Gifts Wren’s Tontine Shade & Design 1533 Prytania St. • 504-525-7409 •

Wren’s Tontine Shade & Design has been a New Orleans family-owned business since 1937, and has thrived in its location on Prytania Street since the 1940s. The shop specializes in window treatments, from all manner of drapery and shades to blinds and shutters and has contributed to the unique style of Uptown homes for generations. The company’s team is known for its expertise and ability to stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies, including motorization. According to Blythe Wren, Window Treatment Specialists, the increased focus on the home and its furnishings stemming from a year of quarantine has made for a very busy year. The industry is catching up, though, and popular fabrics and grass materials are enjoying faster turn-around times and available stock. Rivers Spencer Interiors 3909 Magazine St. • 504-609-2436 • From antiques to artwork, desks to dining tables, New Orleans Interior Designer Rivers Spencer offers a curated collection of furnishings and décor that reflect her cleanlined, Southern design aesthetic. With her own line of personally designed furniture, Rivers Spencer Home, Rivers offers high-quality, transitional furniture with an updated yet traditional feel that can breathe new life into any room of the home. In addition to furniture and décor, the Magazine Street shop offers gifts, clothing and accessories.

Judy at the Rink 2727 Prytania St., Suite 11 • 504-891-7018 With a little something for everyone, Judy at the Rink is a home and gift store chock full of curiosity and color. From clever beverage napkins to items from New Orleans artists and candles and wares from national vendors, this shop within The Rink on Prytania Street packs a wide variety of products into its quaint and welcoming space. “We truly believe that the gifts you give and the table you set can be an expression of who you are,” says Martha Claire Breland, Owner. “We love mixing and matching styles to create a special moment in your home or on your table.” The Rink shopping center – with the bonus of covered parking – is currently undergoing improvements and welcoming a restaurant in the fall. Meanwhile, Judy at the Rink invites guests to its summer sale in mid-June. Home Malone 4610 Magazine St. • 504-766-6148 • Located along Magazine Street with another location in Mid-City, Home Malone is known for its inventory of gifts and home décor designed and created by Southern-based artists. Featuring more than 200 artists, the shop is curated with a focus on handmade items and those produced in the USA. From stationary to decorative door hangers, jewelry to ceramic dishes, items featuring the cuisine, flora and fauna of Louisiana are in abundance. “We love the neighborly feel of where we are Uptown and have great small business neighbors as well,” says Kristin Malone Johnson, Owner. “Being located next to La Boulangerie, we get a wonderful mix of both residents and tourists alike.” Look for Home Malone’s weekend outdoor “Meet the Maker” markets at both locations – these markets allow customers to browse the work of local artisans that may not be carried in the store.

Located in Lower Garden District, The Flower Shop by Kim Starr Wise brings floral designer Kim Starr Wise’s colorful creations to residents and businesses Uptown and beyond. According to Kim, the shop operates much like European flower shops, allowing clients to curate their own bouquets of flowers from the display or choose to have the shop team create the bouquets. Kim’s flower selection varies with flowers from all over the world as well as locally grown flowers from New Orleans farmers. The Flower Shop now offers bouquet subscriptions. “One of our favorite packages is the Perfect Partner Package – you’ll never miss an anniversary again,” says Kim. Arrangements are available online, in-store, by delivery or via curbside pickup. Orders can be placed in-person, over the phone or online.

Fashion & Accessories SOSUSU Boutique 3427 Magazine St. • @sosusuboutique

PERLIS 6070 Magazine St. 504-895-8661 •

A women’s luxury boutique featuring one-of-a-kind items and obscure European brands such as Vivetta, Maticevski, Sara Roka, Fabrizio Viti, Clergerie and Rupert Sanderson, SOSUSU Boutique brings contemporary cosmopolitan flavor to Magazine Street, where Owner Susu Stall enjoys being part of a larger community of great shops and fine dining. The bright and airy store offers shoppers a chic, comfortable destination full of eye-catching items from across the globe. Susu recommends keeping an eye on social media for opportunities and sales popping up all the time. With the nearing arrival of fall deliveries, sale items will soon become available.

Well known for its signature crawfish logo adorned apparel, PERLIS is a specialty retail store with a complete collection of casual and dress attire for men, women and boys. The store is also popular for its gifts and classic summer attire, including seersucker and white linen suits. “Our Uptown location is in the same block of Magazine Street where it was founded 82 years ago,” says David W. Perlis, President & Co-Owner. “Whether from around the corner or across town, we think customers enjoy the neighborhood feel of our store both inside and out.” At PERLIS, June’s most significant event is celebrating Father’s Day, and according to David, performance sportswear is the perfect gift this year. From knit shirts and shorts from Peter Millar, Johnnie-O, Southern Tide and Perlis’s Crawfish collection to active lifestyle items from Tasc and Vouri, Perlis makes pleasing Dad a cinch.

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Feet First 4122 Magazine St. • 504-899-6800 • Accessorizing is the name of the game at Feet First, where Magazine Street shoppers have come to love the one-stop-shop approach of Owner Rachel Patterson. “While women’s footwear is our main focus, we have a great selection of handbags, apparel, gift items and locally made jewelry,” says Patterson. Sandals are a go-to for New Orleans summers, and Feet First stocks a wide variety from brands such as All Black, Hari Mari, Kork-Ease and Born. Combining comfort and style, inventory at Feet First runs the gamut: casual to formal, flats and heels to booties and boots. This month, keep an eye on spring styles that will be going on sale. Meanwhile, the store’s popular clearance room always hosts a great selection of marked down items.

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Art & Eyes 3708 Magazine St. • 504-891-4494 For ten years, Art & Eyes has brought fashionable, quality eyewear to Uptown from its location on Magazine Street. “When the idea of opening a true independent optical shop in New Orleans was born, there was only one location that I knew would be right – it needed to be Uptown but still reachable by downtown folks,” says Start Hagenbring, Owner. Art & Eyes exclusively offers independent designers and brands that are largely made in Europe, Japan and America. From classic to cutting-edge, the massive selection of styles is limited to only one pair of each frame, giving customers a true one-of-a-kind look. June is Dot Sale time – many frames will be marked between 20-50 percent off.

top left: Port Orleans Brewing Company; right: Wild Lotus Yoga

Monomin 2104 Magazine St. • 504-827-1269 • When architect Rachel Taravella opened her own fashion boutique, she brought her architectural aesthetic to the forefront, naming the store for two fundamental themes of her work: monochromatic and minimal. Featuring affordable luxury clothing in a color palette of blacks, whites and neutrals, Monomin also offers a “Monomini” collection of children’s clothing in sizes newborn to 6T. Located in the Lower Garden District, Monomin also stocks accessories such as jewelry, sunglasses, and handbags hand selected from around the world. Ballins LTD 2917 Magazine St. • 504-891-4502 Famous for its collection of cotton fashions and classic knitwear, Ballin’s LTD offers summer must-haves that keep you cool and comfortable while sporting a timeless look. From shorts and capris to long pants, short sleeves to cardigans and tunics, Ballin’s LTD’s colorful collection of New Orleans Knitwear is accompanied by designer dresses, tops and bottoms from brands such as Trina Turk, Habitat, Lola & Sophie and Marella.

Wild Lotus Yoga 4842 Perrier St. • 504-899-0047 Known as “New Orleans’ home for heart-centered yoga and down-to-earth spirituality,” Wild Lotus Yoga has been a longtime resource for mind and body connection for the residents and visitors of Uptown and beyond. According to Seán Johnson, Founder, Wild Lotus instructors love to share yoga in a grounded, accessible, interdisciplinary way that honors these practices’ ability to deepen connection and meaning in our lives. “Wild Lotus is one of the longest running yoga studios in the city, and it’s been wonderful to foster longstanding relationships with students that go back almost two decades, while also always creating a welcoming yoga sanctuary for new students and beginners,” says Seán. Offering online and in-person classes, workshops, courses and retreats, Wild Lotus plans to resume offering in-person classes at its Perrier Street studio this month.

Port Orleans Brewing Company 4124 Tchoupitoulas St. 504-266-2332 With a host of diverse local beers on tap, Port Orleans Brewing Company offers Uptown residents and visitors a vast indoor and outdoor space for gathering with friends to enjoy brews, food and fun. According to Head Brewer Danny Hollier, the brewery keeps 16 beers on tap for those who like to sample an array or just grab a pint of their favorite brew. From IPAs to sours, lagers to stouts, flagship and seasonal beers cater to every flavor palette. Meanwhile, an in-house restaurant, Avo Taco, serves up tacos, quesadillas, burgers and more. With its large courtyard and covered patio seating, Port Orleans has plenty of space to accommodate guests, including kids and pets. New beers come out monthly, stay up to date on the latest via social media (@portorleansbrewingco).




Summer 2021

3 Letters from the Incoming President


and Incoming Editor

Editor: Sonia Godfrey

4 Meet the 2021-2022 Board of Directors

Assistant Editor: Shanelle Joseph Photography Editor: Ann Gray Conger

8 Ending the Pink Tax in Louisiana

Assistant Photo Editor: Jennifer Knecht Writers: Allison Gallaspy, Shanelle Joseph, Courtney Nalty Photographers: Jessica Bachmann, Jennifer Knecht

JLNO BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Kristin Van Hook Moore President-Elect: Shannon Brice Secretary: Emily Booth Treasurer: Jaimee Landry Boyd Assistant Treasurer: Nene Glenn Gianfala Business Council Director: Sophie Martinez Communications Council Director: Lacy McManus Community Council Director: Rachel Stickney Membership Council Director: Casey Zainey Planning & Development Council Director: Leigh Thorpe Ways & Means Councils Director: Sarah Peltier Nominating Committee Chair: Jane Dufour Sustaining Advisor to the Board: Blanche "Dee" McCloskey

PUBLISHER STAFF Editor: Topher Balfer Art Director: Ali Sullivan Production Designers: Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney Chief Executive Officer: Todd Matherne Sales Account Executive: Meghan Sumrall

Photo by Ann Conger

Windowsill Pies, JLNO's first ever WE Fellowship winner from 2016, has opened a brick and mortar shop located at 4714 Freret Street. The shop, which opened in October 2020, is New Orleans' only stand-alone bakery specializing in pies.


Lagniappe | Summer 2021

Letter from the Incoming President


t is my honor to welcome you the 2021-2022 League year. I am excited to transition into the role as the 98th President of Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). I would like to thank our immediate past President Kristin Moore and the 2020-2021 Board of Directors for leading the organization through such a chaotic and uncertain time with a clear vison and effective communication. As we reflect on the League’s history in New Orleans, we have to celebrate our accomplishments and continue to be a catalyst for change in our community. We will continue to build awareness and work toward ensuring access to diaper need and period products. We will build greater relationships with our Bloomin’ Deals legacy partners such as Dress for Success. We will also grow our scholarship program to allow nontraditional students more opportunities to continue their education. Our diverse membership base is one of our greatest assets. Our members' passion and purpose is what allows the League to continue to make an impact, and I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve. I look forward to all the exciting work we will continue to do to expand JLNO’s reach in our New Orleans community. Gratefully,

Photo by: Jessica Bachmann

Shannon Brice 2021-2022 President

Letter from the Incoming Editor


s a member of the Junior League, I have encountered many experiences that have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. When discussing my decision to become a member, I never hesitate to mention the opportunities made possible for me through my membership with the League. I began my tenure in 2014 with the Junior League of Dallas. There, in such a big city, I was exposed to a cornucopia of volunteer experiences and met many wonderful people. Nevertheless, I missed the culture of home. I returned to Louisiana in 2016 and eventually transferred into the Junior League of New Orleans. It was with JLNO that I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a published writer. I began writing as a hobby fifteen years ago but was uncertain of how I would have the opportunity to really succeed. While viewing placement opportunities, I saw the role of ‘Lagniappe Writer’ and immediately signed up. Through JLNO and its Lagniappe magazine, I met with yet another fulfilling opportunity. Lagniappe has served as an outlet for me to not only share the amazing facts I have learned about JLNO, but it has also become an outlet for me to hone my skills and gain experience as a writer. At this juncture, I am overwhelmed with gratitude of being able to serve the community in which I live as well as continue on my path of personal growth. When Lagniappe’s outgoing editor presented me with the offer of becoming the editor for the 2021-2022 League year, I was overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions ranging from excitement to fear. As is typical for me, I eventually embraced the opportunity including each of those emotions. A quote from Paulo Coelho came to mind: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I am both delighted and honored to serve as the incoming editor and look forward to contributing to the growth and continued success of Lagniappe. Warmest Regards,

Shanelle Joseph 2021-2022 Lagniappe Editor



Shannon Brice PRESIDENT


s the organization’s President, Shannon Brice leads the 2021-2022 League year for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO), providing strong guidance for the Board of Directors and JLNO staff. She will preside over meetings of the Board, Joint Council and General Membership while also acting as the organization’s official spokesperson. Since joining in 2012, Shannon has been instrumental in developing and implementing League fundraising activities by chairing JLNO’s Touch a Truck, Freret 5K fundraising events and Strategic Partnerships. Shannon came to the Junior League to partner with women who wanted to develop a stronger community. That volunteer commitment is what she likes most about JLNO, and she appreciates how all its members work together to learn from one another. This collaboration creates thoughtful initiatives and robust goals. Through her JLNO service, Shannon has learned that, despite coming from diverse backgrounds, women share the same ultimate goals of being happy, residing in safe communities and making New Orleans a wonderful place to live and work. Shannon is the Chief Financial Officer for Richard’s Disposal Inc and the Chief Executive Officer of Brice Consulting, LLC. At Richard’s Disposal, she is responsible for managing the financial risk of the corporation, as well as financial planning and market data analysis. Prior to joining the company, Shannon was the Program and Commodities Supervisor at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). In that position, she was responsible for several Supply Chain programs. Prior to joining PG&E, she held several different positions at Entergy Corporation, including Supplier Diversity Specialist, Lead Analyst in Supply Chain and Financial Analyst including Supplier Diversity Specialist, Analyst in Supply Chain and Financial Analyst Treasury/Cash Management. Some of her key responsibilities included administering statewide diversity initiatives for Louisiana and Mississippi, analyzing contracts and maintaining domestic bank relations and cash forecasts. Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts from Dillard University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Her commitment to her alma mater continues through her involvement as a volunteer member of the Tulane Business Alumni Association. Additional communitybased endeavors include serving as board Vice-President Dress for Success New Orleans and Friends of City Park Treasurer. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Awards and accolades range from Diversity MBA magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders to the LADC Leader Award. A proud native New Orleanian, Shannon resides in the Warehouse District. She loves the energy of the city and looks forward to the continued inspiration and education she’ll receive as a Junior League of New Orleans Board member.


Lagniappe | Summer 2021

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” - ALAN KAY




olly Paczak begins a two-year period on the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors as the President-Elect. During the 2021-2022 League year, she will assist the President in her duties as Chief Executive Officer and will assume those responsibilities if the President is unable to serve during her term. Holly will become JLNO's President for the 2022-2023 League year beginning June 1, 2022. This two-year term exemplifies JLNO’s emphasis on training and learning. Her experiences in this role provide opportunities for Holly to thoughtfully prepare for the years ahead, ensuring her tenure maximizes community impact. During the President-Elect year, she will study JLNO's governance documents, policies, procedures and best practices, thus allowing her to emulate previous leaders by ensuring a

sustainable and impactful future. As President-Elect, she hopes “to have the opportunity to continue to learn about the organization, understand the needs and wants of the membership, and remain true to the mission of JLNO, so that we can begin the planning for another 100 years.” Holly joined JLNO in 2008 and has chaired Period Supplies, Community Council Strategic Planning, Rebuilding Together, Educare and Judgment Call. She also was the Community Council Director in 2017-2018. “I love that the League is a training organization. From my experiences with the league, I have learned skills that I wouldn’t have learned elsewhere. From technology to planning, finances and budgets to managing teams and resources, there is always some nugget of knowledge I can glean from any League interaction. Community shifts,

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” – JOHN WESLEY

committee meetings, joint council and GMM all provide opportunities to connect with talented, creative, and determined women.” Born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi, Holly attended Mississippi State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education Psychology, a Master of Science in Education Psychology and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology. She also interned with the Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association. In her almost 15-year career, she has worked for two national technical assistance centers funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs— the National Center on Special Education Accountability Monitoring and the Data Accountability Center. Holly has served as the Project Coordinator for the TIERS (Teams Intervening Early to Reach all Students) Group at the LSU Human Development Center leading technical assistance, where she coached and directed support to Local Education Agencies and State Education Agencies to improve academic and behavioral systems of support. She even worked for some time at the Bering Strait School District in Unalakleet, Alaska. As a school psychologist and the NOLA Public Schools Director of School Support and Improvement, Holly provides technical assistance to schools in NOLAPS with implementation of special education compliance and programming, Section 504 and multi-tiered systems of support. A resident of Uptown, Holly and her husband, Brad, have two daughters, Helena (7) and Mary Katherine (2). In her spare time, she loves to read anything and everything from fiction to biographies, industrial organization to technology, education to social science. “I enjoy it all!”



Kimberly Allen

MEMBERSHIP COUNCIL DIRECTOR “…Find the good, and praise it.

Nene Glenn Gianfala TREASURER

“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” – WAYNE GRETZKY


Nancy Kirkbeya

ASSISTANT TREASURER “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”


"Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time" – RUTH BADER GINSBURG


Emily Liuzza

BUSINESS COUNCIL DIRECTOR “You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” – SAM KEEN


Lagniappe | Summer 2021


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – WINSTON CHURCHILL


Ashley Cangelosi Llewellyn

PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR “Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”


“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – SUE PREMO



“Where there is a will, there is a way, and a strong will can move a mountain.” – UNKNOWN

Katherine Kleinpeter Raymond, Ph.D. SUSTAINING ADVISOR TO THE BOARD

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – MAYA ANGELOU

Ty Salvant

NOMINATING COMMITTEE CHAIR “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – MAYA ANGELOU

Want to learn more about the Junior League of New Orleans 2021-2022 Board of Directors? Scan the code to access full profiles on each incoming Board member, where they discuss their careers, inspirations and goals for the upcoming League year.

Aim your smartphone camera at the code to access this exclusive online material.


Ending the Pink Tax in Louisiana By: Allison Gallaspy


unior League of New Orleans (JLNO) 2021 Legislative Session Overview on March 24th brought together three panelists who illuminated how alleviating diaper need and period poverty could improve the wellbeing of women and girls by discussing the currently observable ways that lack of access to diapers and period products are causing harm to low-income households. Philip Vander Klay, Director of Policy and Governmental Relations at the National Diaper Bank Network and Alliance for period supplies, began the program by describing how diaper need is itself a specific kind of cyclic poverty, where diapers are a resource that 60% of families are consistently struggling to adequately access. Parents end up missing work because they do not have enough diapers to send their child to school or childcare, which often leads to a further reduction in wages, making it difficult to afford the next month’s $80-$100 worth of diapers. Or, in the worst case scenario, they have to seek expensive emergency medical services to diagnose and treat infections caused by diaper shortages, which further reduces their ability to furnish enough diapers when needed. Charmaine Caccioppi, United Way of South Louisiana’s Executive Vice President and C.E.O., added that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 33% of families in the region were not able to afford household basics. “They’re on edge and unable to save for emergencies and crises, and we know the pandemic has only worsened this situation.” She also spoke to the known negative developmental impacts adolescent women experience when they have inadequate access to period products, such as missing school or extracurriculars, increased incidents of reproductive and urinary tract infections, and lower levels of self-confidence. What is clear is that women and girls suffer financially, psychologically and medically when they are stuck in this specific cycle of diaper


Lagniappe | Summer 2021

and period product poverty. What is also clear: this cycle can be interrupted, and women and girls can be elevated out of it. JLNO’s Diaper Bank and its distribution partners have had an immediate, hugely positive impact by giving out 1 million diapers in the 2019-2020 League year. That large number of diapers indicates an impressive mobilization of will into action—and also that diaper need is a large-scale problem that requires long-term change. That is where the third panelist comes in. Representative Aimee Freeman, a JLNO Sustainer, has sponsored legislation that proposes to reduce the cost of diapers and period products for all Louisiana residents by exempting these items from state sales tax. “Louisiana already exempts groceries and prescriptions. Taxing period products places an extra burden on lowincome women,” says Representative Freeman. Eliminating the so-called “pink tax?” According to her, “It’s just the right thing to do.” Last session, Representative Freeman introduced Act 138, which passed in the legislature and allowed municipalities throughout the state the option of exempting diapers and period products from sales tax. Major cities including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport have implemented that option. This year’s House Bill 7 (HB7) seeks to expand the tax exemption to the entire state. So far, the bill has passed through Ways and Means and will soon be heard on the House floor. Representative Freeman says we can help the bill pass by encouraging family and friends who live in other areas of the state to contact their local officials expressing support for HB7. “It’s critical for people in places like Alexandria, Monroe, Thibodaux and Houma to contact their legislators,” she says. “Make it personal so they become champions for the legislation they’re putting forward.” The 5-7% of sales tax that parents will save over their lifetime can add up to a big benefit. “Low income families know where every part of their dollar goes, and

Louisiana State Representative and JLNO Sustainer Aimee Freeman

they miss that income,” adds Philip. Supporting the statewide passage of HB7 is just one way the Louisiana Legislature could help improve the wellbeing of women and girls this session. Charmaine says local efforts are ongoing to win equal pay for women and to raise the current minimum wage to “help people find dignity in work and meet a survival budget.” These efforts to raise minimum wage and eliminate the gender wage gap work together with the tax exemption to allow families to afford household basics, like diapers and period products. •


Celebrating a Centennial Mary Ann Valentino’s 100th Birthday By Bev Church


included her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who created pictures, sang and put on mini plays for her. Her birthday party was on a Sunday at noon and included only family and Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who presented Mary Ann with a proclamation from the Pope himself! The front of the house had a huge balloon display created by Kristi Hope as well as a golden "100" surrounded by a cascade of balloons above the mantle. Jim Perrier set up fabulous tables outside

with wonderful tablecloths, accented with f lowers by Frederico’s. And Jessie with Elizabeth Anderson Catering created a menu with her favorite grillades and grits. The cake was by Jeann Luc of Maurice's Bakery. The party was set up outside of the carriage house, and Johnny Parker and a Dixieland band played Mrs. Valentino’s favorite songs. The “piece de resistance” was Deacon John Moore singing “Happy Birthday.” Her children decided to have a small party the day before

for a few of her friends. They were invited for Champagne and sweets in the afternoon in her fabulous dining room. Once those festivities were over, the family was invited for a cocktail buffet. Michael surprised her and the whole family with a video of her early days at Ursuline and clips of her husband Anthony Valentino, along with family photos over her incredible 100-year life! What a tribute to a very special lady! 100 never looked so good on anyone. Happy birthday, Mary Ann! ✦


Many of you know or have heard about Mary Ann Valentino, an extraordinary woman who’s a former St. Charles Avenue Activist and such a blessing for our city because of her generosity! She just celebrated her 100th birthday, and she modestly told her family that she didn’t want anything “big” for her celebration. Her son, Michael, started planning everything on her 99th birthday, and all her seven children, especially Ann Fuselier, helped create the magic! The celebration also





Valls – Hansel By Megan Holt

When Kayla Grace Valls and Nicholas Perry Hansel were introduced by a mutual friend, they spoke for only a few minutes. Despite the fact that he was moving to Washington, DC, the next week, Nick knew he wanted to get to know Gracie better and asked her on a date. They ended up spending Nick’s entire last week in New Orleans together, even meeting each other’s families. By the end of the week, they knew they wanted to keep seeing each other, and a few months later they decided to try and make a long-distance relationship work. Two years (and many frequent flyer miles) later, Gracie was elated when Nick decided to move back home. Fifteen months after returning to New Orleans, Nick told Gracie that they were stopping by to see some family friends at their condo on Jackson Square before going to dinner. Little did she know a photographer was hiding nearby with a camera, and Nick’s sister was waiting to film a video. As they were walking by the Cathedral, Gracie was stunned with Nick got down on one knee! She said yes through happy tears, and the couple celebrated a toast with their families at the condo. With the joy of the engagement, it was almost possible to forget that they were in the middle of a global pandemic. However, COVID soon became a factor in their wedding planning. After a close family member had a health scare, they decided to get married as soon as possible, realizing that spending


their special day with the people they loved the most was the most important thing to them. They set the date for just over a month away when many family members would already be in town. With little time to plan, their loved ones sprang into action to help make their day unforgettable. Nick’s father and stepmother offered to host the wedding at their home, where they constructed an aisle and stage on the front lawn. Family

members and friends pitched in to create the flowers and décor for the ceremony and reception. Even the guests became part of the décor; women wore light neutrals and men wore dark suits to complement the wedding’s color scheme. On December 26, 2020, Gracie walked down the aisle wearing a custom ivory gown made by local designer Kathleen Van Horn from KVH Designs. She and Nick were pronounced husband

and wife by family friend Debra Hoffman, who officiated with assistance from Nick’s stepfather. After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed catering by Greg Reggio, cofounder of Taste Buds Catering and Events, and a delicious wedding cake made by Barbara Bagert. Their smiles during the festivities were captured by photographers Carmin Frisard, Julianna Crozier and Sophia Petrou. Videography by Chris Williams, founder of Divine Media Arts, ensured that Gracie and Nick would be able to relive their wedding day for a lifetime. The couple capped off their celebration with a trip to Malibu and Santa Monica for a long weekend as a “mini-moon.” They then returned home to New Orleans, where Gracie works as a Real Estate Agent for Latter & Blum based in their Garden District Office and Nick works in finance for Focus Automated Equities. The couple has exciting plans for the future, including a big postpandemic party to celebrate their marriage and an extended threeweek honeymoon in France, Ireland and the United Kingdom! ✦

➺ Wedding Details Ceremony Music: Taylor Capielano (brother-in-law of the groom) Makeup: Abby Manuel with Abby Manuel Makeup Hair: Sydney Staehle with Staehle Beauty, LLC Photographer: Carmin Frisard




S N A P S H OT S By Marie Gabriel 1






1. Zina Diaz, Sydnie Johnson and Payten Johnson attended Make Music NOLA’s 10-year anniversary celebration. The event was held virtually, and participants had the opportunity to stream live performances and speeches by T-Ray the Violinist, Tucker Fuller, Givonna Joseph, Regina Carter, Matt Rhody and Make Music NOLA students. 2. Trenton Thomas, Olivia Msemaji, Geordan Rogers and Tucker Fuller performed for a live, virtual audience during Make Music NOLA’s 10-year anniversary celebration in November 2020. Proceeds from the event went towards Make Music NOLA’s mission to provide full scholarship music instruction to local students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. 3. Nasir Monette played the violin during Make Music NOLA’s 10th anniversary celebration in November 2020. The virtual event was hosted by DJ Brice Nice, DJ Butterscotch and Garrett McQueen, and sponsored by Fidelity Bank, Martin Insurance, Coughlin-Saunders Foundation and Levy and Associates. 4. Joe, Kahzi, Nasir and Ayanna Monette celebrated Make Music NOLA’s 10th anniversary. In addition to live streamed performances, attendees were treated to a raffle and speeches from Board Chair Fred Neal Jr., Executive Director Laura Patterson and Make Music NOLA Founder James Blachly. 5. Aimee McCarron and Brittany Whitsell Chaired the Young Leadership Council’s “Proud to Call it Home Virtual Gala,” held in October 2020 to celebrate community, resiliency and togetherness in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 6. “Role models” Terrance Osborne, Melissa Sawyer, Gary Solomon Sr., Connie and Mark Uddo and Erica Washington, were highlighted during the YLC’s 2020 “Proud to Call it Home Gala,” a month-long virtual event held in October.


S N A P S H OT S By Marie Gabriel 7






7. Julia Bland, Henry and Karen Coaxum, Michael Hecht and Bivian “Sonny” Lee III participated as “role models,” in the Young Leadership Council’s “Proud to Call it Home Virtual Gala,” celebrating 34 years of the YLC. 8. Garden flags created by the Young Leadership Council encouraged New Orleanians to show their pride during the COVID-19 pandemic and help celebrate their “Proud to Call it Home Gala.” This virtual event honored past role models by telling their stories and hearing their reflections, an art auction, and a raffle of gift cards to local restaurants. 9. Academy of the Sacred Heart Headmistress Sr. Melanie Guste, RSCJ (center) poses with Christine Lejeune (left) and Celeste Lopez (right), the Co-Chairs of the “Viva ASH Vegas Auction and Casino Night” fundraiser, held in November 2020 in the school’s front courtyard. 10. Academy of the Sacred Heart Class Creation Co-Chairs Renee Hulefield and Leslie Lindley presented some of the silent auction items created by students for the schools’ “Viva ASH Vegas Auction and Casino Night” fundraiser. 11. Academy of the Sacred Heart Solicitation Committee Co-Chairs Angelle Guidry and Aarti Pais showed off silent auction items in the Sacred Heart courtyard during the school’s “Viva ASH Vegas Auction and Casino Night” fundraiser. 12. Guests arrived at the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s “Viva ASH Vegas Auction and Casino Night,” a drive-through fundraiser, featuring delicious to-go meals, a silent auction and game prizes.




Jonathan Brouk Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Strategy Officer, Children’s Hospital New Orleans By Lani Griffiths

Give us a little background on CHNOLA. Children’s Hospital was originally founded in 1955 as a 53-bed rehabilitation facility for children during the polio epidemic. For more than 60 years, Children’s Hospital New Orleans has delivered expert pediatric healthcare for children across our state and region. As Louisiana’s first and largest free-standing children’s hospital, we provide unmatched pediatric expertise, caring for children from all 64 parishes across Louisiana and beyond. Today, Children’s Hospital New Orleans is a 222-bed, not-for-profit pediatric medical center offering a complete range of healthcare services for children from birth to 21 years old. We have over 40 pediatric specialties and more than 400 physicians. This commitment to grow strong programs is driven by our mission to be provide a continuous improvement of patient care, education, research, child advocacy and management. Are there any exciting projects in the works? The Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees and LCMC Health are making a significant investment in the future of pediatric healthcare, with an unprecedented $300 million campus transformation. The expansion of our campus, completed by the end of 2021, is improving infrastructure and technology, and will also make it easier for patients and families across the region to access our vital services. Our transformed campus includes 235,000 square feet of new clinical care space, enabling the expansion of our signature service lines – heart care, cancer care, surgical services, emergency and trauma care, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, and behavioral health – in an environment specially designed for children. Along with our robust virtual care platform which allows our providers to care for patients across the state, in 2020 we opened new, expanded multispecialty clinics in Covington, Baton Rouge, Alexandria and Metairie. We are committed to expanding access while delivering a high standard of care for children across the state. What are some services or programs you’d like to highlight? In the fall of 2020, Children’s Hospital announced the launch of ThriveKids, The Student Wellness Project. ThriveKids is a comprehensive communitybased program that provides school-based virtual care, mental and behavioral health services, sports medicine, chronic condition management and COVID-19 support. How can people best support CHNOLA? The generous contributions of donors enable Children’s Hospital to provide critical care for the sickest children and babies, conduct life-saving research projects, serve families who otherwise could not afford quality healthcare and remain at the forefront of pediatric healthcare advancements.


Is there anything else you’d like us to know about CHNOLA? Children’s Hospital is proud to be the only pediatric facility in the state of Louisiana to incorporate two academic pediatric medical programs under one roof. Through partnerships with LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University School of Medicine, the vibrant academic medical community at Children’s Hospital provides unparalleled opportunities for educational enhancement, innovation and improved access to high quality pediatric healthcare. Children’s Hospital is proud to contribute to the next generation of healthcare providers with multiple training programs for physicians, nurses, technologists and scientists. In fact, more than 75 percent of the pediatricians in the state of Louisiana trained at Children’s Hospital New Orleans.

Children’s Hospital New Orleans, 200 Henry Clay Ave., 504-899-9511,


Emily LaBorde Owner, BLEU Blow-dry Bar By Lani Griffiths

What is the difference between a traditional salon and a blow-dry bar? BLEU is a blowout-focused hair salon offering a luxury styling experience without the price, fuss and long lead times found at a traditional hair salon. There is no color or cut, meaning you won’t be greeted by a harsh chemical smell or foil creatures in other clients’ hair. Rather you will be met by the hum of blow-dryers, the light chatter of ladies being pampered and the occasional click of champagne glasses. What other services do you provide in addition to blow-drying services? Since opening back in September 2013, BLEU has expanded its menu of dry styles, blowouts and updos to include hair extensions, Keratin Express treatments, Olaplex blowouts and makeup applications. What are some of your staffs’ specialties? I would have to say our Olaplex Blowout. This hour-long, six-step shampoo experience uses only Olaplex products and works on a molecular level to seek out broken bonds in the hair caused by chemical and thermal damage, leaving your hair noticeably healthier after one visit. This of course is finished off by our signature round-brush blowout. Do you provide off-site services? We provide both hair and makeup services for wedding parties, special events and corporate events via our BLEU 2 U on-location service. We ask for an eight-service minimum for travel during peak weekend time. Should your party be smaller or even just you, you can always inquire about our availability via our email ( and we can work to accommodate your request. Can you explain some of the differences between the blow-dry choices? You can elect to have a dry style, blowout or updo. Dry styles start at $35.We ask that you arrive with clean, dry hair and in 30 minutes or less we will handle the hard part – styling it. Blowouts start at $40 and include the shampoo, blowout and any iron work necessary to achieve your desired style of your choice in 45 minutes or less. Updos are $65 and can be as simple or complex as you like. Add-ons such as a 10-minute scalp massage or hair mask can be added to our already fabulous shampoo experience.

BLEU Blow-dry Bar, 701 Metairie Road, 504-309-5999,

Do you have any special deals? Something new and exciting at BLEU you should definitely take advantage of is our Happy Hour Special. Book an appointment on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 12-4 p.m., and enjoy $10 off blowouts and 20 percent off all other services.





William Flores

FATHER'S DAY FEATURED GIFT From the bar to the barbecue, gift Dad the cocktail apron that can do it all. Handmade by The FoodWhore Co. in San Antonio Texas, these aprons are made out of sturdy canvas and leather. Available in-store and online at store. black-bartender-apron. html

Brother Martin High School By Mallory Lindsly

“I believe that it’s important to be involved in my community because living in a caring and compassionate community benefits everyone. When people take pride in their community and are willing to give back, there’s a sense of unity that inspires others,” says William Flores, a graduating senior from Brother Martin High School. Labor of Love has been one of the most rewarding experiences for Flores. It is the largest CYO project in which St. Matthew the Apostle Church participates. The elderly people in the parish submit a request for volunteers to help around the house with basic chores and yard work. Even though the projects range from trimming bushes, weeding gardens and painting the house, this experience is more than just house maintenance. “I have found that the parishioners appreciate our company just as much as the actual work we perform,” says Flores. “Each year, the elderly parishioners invite us into their homes to talk and share stories about their lives. I try to get to know each person I help during Labor of Love and I want to make a positive impact on them.” Flores volunteers at numerous events around New Orleans including a Vacation Bible School, Women’s New Life Center and delivering Thanksgiving baskets to the needy. “My ability to connect with people and exchange thoughts broadens my views and allows me to keep an open mind,” says Flores. Through different volunteer experiences, Flores meets many people from all different walks of life. From his activism, Flores has learned a lot and has gained the ability and confidence to speak his


The Sazerac House

101 Magazine St, 504-910-0100


mind about certain issues without being judged by others. Participating in Washington D.C.’s National March for Life pilgrimage with his CYO and church parish gave him the strength to voice his opinion. “My determination has grown and inspires me to fight for what I believe in, never give up and stand strong, even when my views are not the views of others around me,” says Flores. “Being Pro-Life is a belief that I feel strongly about, and I’ll continue to promote and inform others around me on what it means to preserve all life.” Flores plans to attend Texas A&M University at Galveston next year and will study Marine Transportation. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a career in the Maritime field and strives to pilot the ships on the Mississippi River. Flores says, “Volunteering in my community is something I will continue to do, and I hope more young people will get involved to help make a difference in their community.” ✦


The Skin Surgery Centre© is a state-of-the-art facility for dermatologic surgery, specifically Mohs Micrographic Surgery for the removal of skin cancer. Their board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians and their staff strive to provide individualized, focused care for each patient in a warm, caring environment. Using the Mohs method, surgeons are able to remove as little skin as necessary to remove a skin cancer completely, followed by reconstruction of the defect to achieve an excellent cosmetic result.

The Skin Surgery Centre

1615 Metairie Road, Suite 101 | 504-644-4226

PREMIER PROPERTIES PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Ace and the Louisiana Open Housing Act, which make it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. For more information, call the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-273-5718.

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Ace and the Louisiana Open Housing Act, which make it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. For more information, call the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-273-5718.




Office: (504) 891-1142 Cell: (504) 669-0211




625 Dauphine St. 1311 Jefferson Avenue 1220 Dauphine Street #B 6048 Perrier Street 2B 1531 Exposition Boulevard 1518 First Street 6048 Perrier Street 2C 822 Barracks Street #A 2237 Constance Street 822 Barracks Street #B 2308 Prytania Street 3804 Prytania Street 1127 Terpsichore Street 1000 Milan Street 2725 Esplanade Avenue 5701 Camp Street 1128 Constantinople Street 1035 Arabella Street 1013 Ninth Street 716 Esplanade Avenue 5630 Annunciation Street 35 Newcomb Boulevard 5429 Camp Street 294 Garden Road 527 Exchange Place 1376 Camp Street

$3,850,000 $3,400,000 $2,995,000 $2,725,000 $2,550,000 $2,500,000 $2,350,044 $2,200,000 $1,998,000 $1,950,000 $1,850,000 $1,425,000 $1,249,000 $1,225,000 $1,195,000 $1,185,000 $1,150,000 $1,117,000 $1,050,000 $998,000 $959,000 $950,000 $915,000 $900,000 $890,000 $889,000

2823 Chestnut Street 1501 Napoleon Avenue 1422 Melpomene Street 1201 Chartres Street #7 1135 Terpsichore Street 2713 Laurel Street 3619 Laurel Street 625 Esplanade Avenue 5707 Magazine Street 1672 Robert Street 1729 Robert Street 929-31 Jefferson Avenue Charlie’s Steak House

under contract 4225 Magazine Street 300 Henry Clay Avenue 5517 Coliseum 1702 Joliet Street 4227 Magazine Street 1239 Second Street

$880,000 $855,000 $849,000 $795,000 $765,000 $649,000 $500,000 OFF MARKET OFF MARKET OFF MARKET OFF MARKET OFF MARKET OFF MARKET $1,425,000 $1,099,000 $748,000 $325,000 OFF MARKET OFF MARKET


3921 Chestnut Street 600 Port of New Orleans Place #4H 538 Soraparu Street 1919 Robert Street 920 St. Louis #4

7934 Maple Street, New Orleans LA 70118 Licensed in Louisiana

$924,500 $895,000 $849,000 $725,000 $200,000

5328 DANNEEL STREET $1,250,000

Elegant Victorian Home on Huge Lot 1424 FOURTH ST.


JEANNE BOUGHTON RE/MAX N.O. Properties Associate Broker 8001 Maple St. New Orleans, LA 70118 Cell: 504-669-4773

Rare opportunity to own an ultra-private, modern luxury home in the heart of the Garden District! This total rebuild—with new electrical, plumbing, slate roof, and solar—brings housing in this historic neighborhood to the modern era while retaining graceful and flowing midcentury charm. Now completed and available for private showings.




The Voyage of Friendliness The Lloyds ended their 3,976-mile canoe trip in New Orleans By Seale Paterson

In November of 1915, journalist Elwood Lloyd, his wife (referred to only as “Little Partner”), and their small dog Patsy May, put their birch-bark canoe the “Vagabond” in the water at Chautauqua Lake, New York, and started a 3,976-mile, eightmonth canoe journey to New Orleans. The trip was to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the journey of French explorer Etienne Brule, the first European to make the trip from Lake Erie down to the Mississippi River. Connecting through smaller waterways to the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers, the Lloyds would make the Mississippi River the last leg of their journey. From snowstorms to drenching summer rains and intense Southern sun, they faced all types of weather in their 18-foot-long canoe, with no roof to shield them. Elwood spoke of the intense heat in areas where the high levees along the Mississippi River blocked cooling breezes. Their small open boat also served as their bed when they weren’t on land. They made frequent stops along the way, giving small lectures to riverside communities and settlements about their journey. They spoke of the “unusual characters” and “hard looking customers” they encountered but made clear that all the people they met were hospitable and welcoming as the Lloyds traded stories for food, lodging and new friendships. While in New Orleans, they met with Mayor Behrman at City Hall to extend greetings from the mayor of Mayville, New York (their starting location). They also gave illustrated talks about their journey, the people and places they encountered, and the story of Brule to the Louisiana Historical Association at the Cabildo and to the American Boys’ Commonwealth at the YMCA. Though Lloyd would write of his adventures, their goal wasn’t financial gain, but to spread cheer and friendship on what they called the Voyage of Friendliness,


and claim those they met as “subjects for our Kingdom of Happiness and his throne mate, the gentle Queen Contentment.” ✦ Upon their arrival in New Orleans on July 28, 1916, the travelers were met on the river by the Young Men’s Department

of the Association of Commerce in a rented boat (called the “Destrehan”) near Carrollton Avenue. The “Destrehan” escorted the canoe and its riders to the foot of Canal Street, where the Lloyds and Patsy May were welcomed by a large and enthusiastic crowd.

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