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April 2014

Birthday Carnaval Memphis Heart Ball Hollywood for the House Hands of Hope Auction Party Opera Memphis Wild Game Dinner Germantown Charity Horse Show Royal Ball


CONTENTS

Contents April 201 4

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Local filmmaker Willy Bearden invites RSVP to his studio and gives us an education in Memphis Cool.

Opera Memphis Wild Game Dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Meat is the name of the game at this feast of a fund-raiser for Opera Memphis.

StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 & 22

36 GERMANTOWN CHARITY HORSE SHOW ROYAL BALL Jim and Donna Parker

She is helping immigrants achieve U.S. citizenship in a more efficient and friendly way. He is doing his part to protect and serve the men and women who keep Memphis safe. StreetSeens highlight Rosalva King and Jim Tusant.

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48 HOLLYWOOD FOR THE HOUSE John and Nicole Gamble

Q&A with Virginia Stallworth, executive director of Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

Memphis Heart Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 A P R I L 2 0 14

Memphians came together at the Peabody Hotel to show their support for a organization that always wears its heart on its sleeve: the local branch of the American Heart Association.

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A new royalty emerges at this traditional crowning of Germantown Horse Show’s queen and princesses at Woodland Hills Event Center.

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Germantown Charity Horse Show Royal Ball . . . . . . . . . . .36 The Ambassador Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

12 OPERA MEMPHIS WILD GAME DINNER Dr. Betty and Jim Green

Lawrence Yawn is Wide Awake Pidgeon tells the story of one articulate young woman who is taking on the world head first without a Google Map.

Hands of Hope Auction Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 This annual fund-raiser was a night of inspiration and fun with the exceptional backdrop of The Columns at One Commerce Square.

42 HANDS OF HOPE AUCTION PARTY Jay and Carla Easter

Hollywood for the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Locals got a taste of tinsel town and supported a great cause at the Oscar® night watch party at The Columns at Once Commerce Square.

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52, 53, 54, & 55 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

Birthday Carnaval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, this birthday party brought the excitement and flavors of Brazil to the heart of Memphis.

RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

28 MEMPHIS HEART BALL Liz and Karl Sillay

Do You Smell That? Dennis Phillippi asks you to enjoy the “aromas” of Memphis with him and somehow debunks the theory of global warming at the same time.

Cover Photo Dr. James and Misty Stamper at Memphis Heart Ball Photo by Don Perry

60 BIRTHDAY CARNAVAL Jo Ann and Justin Adler


R SV P S TA F F Volume XIX

Number VII

April 201 4 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

R achel Warren CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Baxter Buck Ruth Cassin Emily Keplinger Dennis Phillippi Eugene Pidgeon Suzanne Thompson Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR

CHRIS PUGH, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 901.276.7787, EXT. 103 chris@rsvpmagazine.com

Patrick Aker s PHOTOGRAPHERS

Baxter Buck Don Perry Steve Roberts

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

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Chris Pugh Kristen Miller ACCOUNTING

Ruth Cassin

Chris has been exercising his talent in the advertising world since 1999. He joined the RSVP team in 2009 and brought with him a love for laughter and creativity. Originally from New Albany, Mississippi, Chris has settled in Memphis and enjoys being active in the fashion community.

RSVP Memphis is published monthly by Haithcock Communications, Inc. First class subscriptions are available for $55.00 per year. Send name and address with a check to: Haithcock Communications, Inc. 2282 Central Avenue Memphis, TN 38104 For advertising information contact Roy Haithcock Phone (901) 276-7787, ext. 101 Fax (901) 276-7785 e-mail publisher@rsvpmagazine.com WEB

www.rsvpmagazine.com For editorial information or to request coverage of an event, please contact RSVP Magazine one month prior to the event. Call 901-276-7787, ext. 105 or fax to 901-276-7785. e-mail editor@rsvpmagazine.com Follow us on

RSVP Memphis Magazine

Copyright 2014 Haithcock Communications, Inc.

KRISTEN MILLER, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 901.276.7787, EXT. 104 kristen@rsvpmagazine.com

Having worked in print advertising for nearly eight years, Kristen Miller felt it was a natural fit to join the RSVP team as an account executive. Kristen, who lives in Arlington with her husband and four children, loves to cook, fish, watch college and Arlington Tigers football, spend time with her family and advertising, of course.


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From the Editor

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his just in: RSVP Magazine will cease publishing coverage of the wonderful parties and good people of the Memphis community. Instead, RSVP will catch up to the 21st century and only cover breaking stories from social media. In today’s news, Mindy Carlson is having five shots of espresso in her Starbucks coffee and is ready for Monday, interjecting a ragged “WOOHOO!” John Hagel shared a picture of Mr. Wiggles, his pug, dressed in sunglasses and a scarf and tagged it as “Euro Chic.” And, lastly, Katie Fernandez lost her phone; please send her your digits. OK, OK…APRIL FOOLS! No, RSVP will never stop covering and highlighting the great people and events in Memphis. It is like asking an elephant to stop remembering: We just can’t! I just wanted to send everyone a little reminder to make sure you don’t take yourself too seriously this April and don’t forget to have some good-natured fun. To pull out a good quote, the punny bard William Shakespeare once said, “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself a fool.” I’ve taken a little reflection on the essence of being a fool, and I agree with Shakespeare. I am a fool and, through this admittance, I find room to grow, and, every now and then, I can stammer out something wise, as jesters are known to do sometimes. We should all be studying our inner fool this April as a way of reminding ourselves that we have a lot more to learn. Now, I am in no way asking everyone to go out into the streets of Memphis and start acting a fool (please don’t). I am asking everyone to reflect on the foolish ways we have limited our thinking or understanding of others, ideas, situations, stories and experiences. We all have a little room to grow wiser. Speaking of fools, I foolishly renamed Tamar Love as Liv Gamble in our Onsite II section, page 37, first picture of the column, in our 2014 March issue, as her lovely husband dutifully pointed our to us on Facebook. Thank you Mr. Love, and we full-heartily agree with you – we love her real name just the way it is. I also want to apologize to Liv Gamble. You have a lovely name that should only be associated with you alone. Thank you to everyone that keeps me growing wiser. We hope that this new April issue of RSVP will be a reflection that we have grown a little this past month. April is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month so check out my Q&A with the new executive director of Memphis Child Advocacy Center, Virginia Stallworth, and see how you can get involved with an organization that is serving the most precious members of our community, our children.

Rachel Warren editor@rsvpmagazine.com


Writer/Musician/Filmmaker/Custodian, Bearden Company

Hometown: Rolling Fork, Mississippi. First Car You Drove: 1962 Ford Falcon. Who Would Play You in a Movie: Jack Nicholson. The Highlight of Your Day: Seeing people I love. Your Most Annoying Habit: Random, stupid puns. Favorite Song: “I’ve Never Found A Girl” by Eddie Floyd. Something You’ll Never Live Down: I’m not telling. Proudest Moment of Your Life: Becoming a parent. Best Dish You Cook: Willy’s Especiale: seafood pasta. Biggest Pet Peeve: Healthcare and education rackets. Best Gift You Ever Received: Rickenbacker 330 guitar. Place You Go to Think: Memphis and Shelby County Room at the Library. One Goal You’d Still Like to Accomplish: Publish a novel. Who Inspires You: Storytellers, single parents, entrepreneurs. Favorite Southern Idiom: “Mississippi, outside the Delta, is just Alabama.” Your Lucky Charm: Regular supplies from Tater Red’s Lucky Mojos on Beale. Best Memphis Hangout: Burke’s Bookstore, Wiles-Smith Drugstore, Elmwood Cemetery. Best Advice You Ever Got: “Keep doing what you do and leave those other clowns in your dust.” Coolest Thing About Memphis: Memphis cool is what most people aspire to. Every musician in the world tries to sing like they’re from Memphis.

Photo by Steve Roberts

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Willy Bearden


EVENT OPERA MEMPHIS WILD GAME DINNER

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Opera Memphis Wild Game Dinner “50 Shades of Game”

Mitch and Kelly Jo Graves

Julie and Bill Denman

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orrowing a page from the popular novel “50 Shades of Gray,” Opera Memphis took its annual fund-raiser to a decidedly different and festive level this year. Opera lovers and game enthusiasts alike united at Clark Opera Memphis Center to experience an evening of camaraderie and feasting. In the spirit of the theme, many guests – both ladies and gents – donned hunting and fishing garb from camouflage to animal prints and even traditional English fox hunting costumes. An enjoyable cocktail hour in the center’s lobby set the tone for the party and included a silent auction. Some of the numerous items up for grabs included a collection of unique wines from Vera Turner, a Nashville hotel and hockey package, Le Creuset cookware, a Shun knife set, a “Chocolate Delight” basket, jewelry box, angel art, an Italian gift basket and an Interim Restaurant gift certificate, among other fabulous culinary experiences. As they entered the event hall, guests were struck by the beautifully decorated room, which featured white draped tables graced with centerpieces of masks, feathers, candles and simple flower arrangements. And then, the pièce de résistance: the remarkable comestibles prepared by some of our area’s most gifted chefs with wild game provided by local hunters. Heart & Soul Catering Chef Michael Francis (whose booth won for best decorations) presented his traditional whole wild boar bedecked with red roses and wearing a mask (à la “50 Shades”), along with roasted asparagus, corn relish, and marinated bison with sweet chili and ginger glaze. Ann Barnes of Just for Lunch served up her crowd-pleasing rendition of duck poppers and Steven Coletta had guests coming back for more of his wild duck cannelloni with Shitake jus reduction. Catherine Bowling-Dean and her team from Me and My Tea Room were especially creative with their offerings of wild boar, corn and red pepper tarts, Moroccan elk bruschetta with smoked eggplant jam and amazingly tasty cheddar and key lime doughnuts with a cranberry reduction. Chinese Lion’s Head soup with venison meatballs and venison brochette were the delicious contributions of Chef Gary Draper of Draper’s Catering. Garnering the sought after “Golden Duck” award was Chef Debbie Turner of Club Winward with her “Dominating Duck Poppers.” A tempting array of cakes from the talented bakers of Frost Bake Shop did not last long with this hungry crew! Adding to the festivities was a photo booth for guests to take home picture mementos of the evening and a wine pull, for which they could purchase a chance to pull numbered wine corks that corresponded to bottles of wine, many that were valued well above the purchase price. Rounding out the evening, the lyrical folk trio Memphis Dawls took to the stage, regaling their audience with their harmonious soundscapes. Trey Watkins served as committee chair and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell was the honorary chair for the dinner, which benefited the opera’s general fund.

See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Mayor Mark and Pat Luttrell

Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Don Perry Kemp and Anne Conrad

Shannon and Amanda McGee

Honey and Rudi Scheidt

Guy and Linda Photopulos

Ray Jamieson with J.J. and Dick Doughtie

Mickey and Charlie Schaffler


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Terry Lynch and Cathy Weaver

Ned Canty and Bill Falvey

Melissa Hale and Will D. Cunningham

Carl and Heidi Shafer

Karen Canty, Emily Woodside and Anne Canty

John and Lain Ryder

Tim Sellers and Verna Turner


EVENT Sarah and Trey Watkins with Janie and Michael Lowery

Shannon Morgan and Meghan Claney

Jerry and Annette Broadhurst

OPERA MEMPHIS WILD GAME DINNER

Laura and Scott Stafford

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Hank and Ruthann Shelton

Elizabeth and Gary Berglund

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Dick Wittenberg and Kim Michelson


EVENT OPERA MEMPHIS WILD GAME DINNER A P R I L 2 0 14

Scott Fader and Vera Schabicki

Liz and Vance James

Leslie Dunavant and Trip Tippeer

Krystal and Lynn Shaw

Sarah Rector and Ben Makino

Paul Gilliam and Ben Aviotti

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Pam Martin and Mark Rosenberg

Angela and Dean Fowler

Ellen Patrick and Mike Cannon

Debbie Callahan and Bill Albans

Karen and Jeff Weesner

Jane and Steve Leatherland

Paul and Cristina Guibao


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Joe and Linda Jenkins with Josh and Caley Spotts

Dane Suarez, Kerriann Otano, Lenora Green and Christine Amon

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Mark and Barbara Melton with Barbara and John Snyder

Vilori Inge, Linda Forbess and Sandra Oden


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P.J. and Jenny Koltnow

OPERA MEMPHIS WILD GAME DINNER

Cecile and Fred Nowak

Emma Leatherland, Aimee Hurley and Jennifer Bradner RSVP

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Jim Wilson, Barbara and John Viser with Susie Jabbour and Clay Keeler

Antzee Magruder, Mark McCowan with Pat and Larry Scroggs


STREETSEEN

Rosalva King “Reality of Belonging”

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hen Rosalva King migrated to Memphis, she may not have known it, but she was about to embark on a road that would help hundreds of immigrants in the Memphis area maneuver through the nuances of immigration processes in a more friendly and efficient way. In 1986, King herself migrated from San Luis Potosi, Mexico to Memphis to marry the late State Representative Alvin King and was quickly overwhelmed by the tiring and seemingly endless residency process. King, CEO and Founder of Visa and Immigration Services Assistance (V.I.S.A., Inc.), shares her story of her journey to citizenship and how she has eased the process of citizenship for those in the Memphis community for the last 23 years. Speaking of the exasperating experience in completing her personal residency process in 1986, King says, “What I thought would take a couple of days took months. Each step required going to a different place. By the time I completed the process, I was exhausted, enough to realize that Memphis needed a one-stop location for immigrants to achieve their goals.” Realizing the lack of centralized location where immigrants could receive all the resources and support they needed, King saw an opportunity to turn her struggle into a needed business. “In 1991, I took a leap of faith. I was determined to give new immigrants a one-stop location to receive all the services they needed at one time,” states King, explaining her jump into the entrepreneurial world. V.I.S.A., Inc. offers translation of documents, interpretation services, classified fingerprinting, assistance in completion of documents, and appropriate photos of immigration such as citizenship, visas, permanent residence, naturalization, asylum and other such matters. “The sooner they are able to do this, the sooner they can begin to participate in their new work and civic responsibilities,” remarks King. While V.I.S.A., Inc. offers a priceless service to immigrants within the Memphis community, it must be stated, for legal purposes, that the employees of V.I.S.A., Inc. are not attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice. Like any business, but especially one that works to help in deeply personal matters such as immigration services, King has to make sure her business is strictly following the law and is acceptable to attorneys. Not many people are up to the task of wading through endless governmental and legal paper work with individuals and families from various points of nationality, but King says its is all worth it when immigrants finally attain U.S. citizenship. “There is no greater joy than to see those I serve take their oath at their naturalization ceremony,” states King, adding, “At the same time many register to vote. Soon after that they are able to apply for their U.S. passport. This is THE moment that an immigrant goes from having an outsider status to becoming a participant in their new homeland. This moment fully integrates the dream of becoming, to the reality of belonging.” Thanks to King’s heart and dedication that dream of becoming for hundreds of Memphis immigrants can now become a reality. Story by Rachel Warren Photo by Steve Roberts


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STREETSEEN

Jim Tusant Protect and Serve the Men and Women in Blue

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hile the men and women in blue of Memphis and Shelby County work tirelessly to protect and serve the citizens of our community, there is one organization that works just as hard to support our police officers: the Memphis/Shelby County Law Enforcement Foundation, a nonprofit organization. According to the Foundation’s website at memphispolicefoundation.org, most major city police budgets, like Memphis’, allocate 90 percent of funds toward personnel costs, with only 10 percent remaining to cover training, equipment and technology. The MSCLEF works to supplement this 10 percent slice, especially in the areas of equipment and technology. Jim Tusant, executive director and officer of the board of the Memphis/Shelby County Law Enforcement Foundation, explains the Foundation’s decision to help fund new pieces of technology for the Shelby County police departments saying, “Technology was one of the key areas where they could help because, number one, of the expense and, number two, because it really does work [in deterring crime].” To date, some of the crime-fighting technology utilized by the police departments of Shelby County and made possible by the Foundation’s contributions are the SkyCop® cameras, SkyWatch towers, license plate readers and solar SkyCop® cameras. So if you see a blue blinking light on a pole, smile and wave! You are being taped in real time and looped to the MPD Real Time Crime Center. Don’t be disconcerted though, these cameras are helping keep civilians safe. According to Tusant, whenever the Foundation installs one of any type of these cameras, crime in that area immediately drops to almost nothing. The development of the MPD Real Time Crime Center and the Foundation’s beginnings are intertwined stories that begin with the same man. It was Larry Godwin’s, former Memphis city director of Police Services, interest in real time crime technology that spawned the conception of the Memphis Law Enforcement Foundation (recently expanded to include Shelby County in 2012). Tusant explains that it all started with Godwin’s trip to New York City to study NYC’s Real Time Crime Center with the idea of developing the same thing for Memphis. In NYC, the Ney York Law Enforcement Foundation also inspired Godwin. Godwin returned to Memphis with two revolutionary ways to change the way crime was fought in Memphis. In 2008, the Memphis Law Enforcement Foundation was founded and included board members who are private citizens. Memphis also received its very first MPD Real Time Crime Center that year. Tusant said the goal of the foundation is simple but powerful, saying, “They decided that their goal would be to make Memphis the safest possible city that they could for people to live in.” Some of the places you can scout out these crime-fighting cameras are at large events like Memphis in May and permanent location like the Clark Tower and, more recently, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy and Greenline. In the Shelby Farms Park area, the Foundation installed its first ever solarpaneled camera. Once again, crime dropped to zero in the surrounding area. As someone who spent 35 years on the MPD force and retired as the Deputy Chief of Administrative Services, Tusant has a unique understanding of the police needs for smarter technology to aid officers on the street. Once a year, the Foundation sponsors an awards ceremony for the MPD and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. Tusant admits that some people may wonder how an awards ceremony can make Memphis safer, but he explains this saying, “When the officers go back to work, they give 100 plus percent, and it’s catching. The enthusiasm spreads. So it really does make Memphis a safer place with that morale booster.” The Foundation is also partnering with the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club and other local businesses to build the Fallen Officer Memorial. The project is estimated to require about $750,000 plus additional funds for upkeep. Check out the website and do your part to support the men and women putting their lives on the line for the city everyday. Story by Rachel Warren Photo by Steve Roberts


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pril is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and one of the organizations here in Memphis that is championing the rights and protection of children on a daily basis is the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. RSVP Editor Rachel Warren sat down with new Memphis CAC Executive Director, Virginia Stallworth, to discuss the needed services the center provides the community, how Memphians can get involved and what is on the horizon for this 22 year-old organization.

Stallworth: The Memphis Child Advocacy center supports safety for children through informed prevention, community collaboration and a team approach to healing and justice for child sexual and severe physical abuse.

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RSVP: Specifically, how does the Memphis CAC’s mission translate into the services it provides the community?

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Stallworth: When we opened our doors in 1992, we became the headquarters of the Shelby County Child Protection Investigation Team, which is a team that is actually mandated by state law to investigate and intervene in child sexual or severe physical abuse in Tennessee. The idea is that we have this one child-friendly place where all the professionals who need to be involved and responding to the needs of a child who has been victimized are here working together in collaboration in efficient ways to help that child get what they need and be able to move on with their lives. We actually house the Memphis Police Department Child Abuse squad, four investigative units of the Department of Child Human Services, six special victims unit prosecutors from the DA’s office, and one of those six cycles through the CAC on a daily basis. Those three agency representatives along with Child Advocacy representatives review every report of suspected severe or sexual abuse that have come in the last 24-hours anywhere in Shelby County. That report might come into the Millington Police Department or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. All of the reports throughout Shelby County are reviewed here. Now, of course, it is the Memphis Police Department that is located onsite at the CAC. RSVP: Do those police departments outside of the MPD use the Memphis CAC resources often? Stallworth: Absolutely. That is the norm. In fact, we have a written protocol that is signed by the leadership of all of the agencies that are involved in the Child Protection Investigation Team about how we work together and outlines those practices the following day in the case of a report of suspected sexual or severe physical abuse that says the child must receive a forensic interview here at the Child Advocacy Center. We have three interviewers who are specialists, who follow a very specific model that is an age appropriate, fact finding, legally defensible interview with a child that is aimed at getting at the truth, whatever that truth may be. That is what the forensic interview is geared toward – finding the truth. The investigators who are involved with the case observe that interview via a closed circuit monitoring system so they are watching the interview in real time. So that is primarily the first way that families come to the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. When families come with a report of suspected child sexual or severe physical abuse, it has been reviewed by the team and it has been determined that there is enough information to have that child come in and conduct that interview. Beyond that, while the investigators are doing their work of investigating what happened and determining what is going to happen next, we start to work toward healing for that child and that family. We have four master’s level therapists on staff. The therapists use a very specific treatment model called Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. What is important to know about this

therapy model is that it is an evidence-based model that has been shown to be the most effective treatment for children who have been sexually abused. We are very focused in ensuring that the services that we provide are the best possible services that are going to get the best possible outcome for our family. We use the CornerHouse Forensic Interview Protocol models in our interviewing. We have a bi-lingual Spanish and English speaking victim advocate who is here to provide services tailored to the needs of the families who come to the center. The victim advocate can assist with anything from orders of protection, immigration issues and accompanying children and families to court. What we know and what we have discovered over these 20 plus years of service are that children are resilient. We know that if we can provide the right kind of support and treatment, and they have support at home, they can get what they need and be able to move on with their lives. We can’t erase the fact that a child has been sexually abused, but, in working together, we can prevent it from becoming something that haunts them for the rest of their lives. Our tag line is “helping victims become children again.” What we know is that when children are burdened by the shame, guilt, fear and anger of what has gone on with them they can’t be the children that all kids deserve to be, which is happy, loved, safe and free. When we can lift that burden from their shoulders, they can move on and be kids again. Photos by Don Perry

RSVP: What is the mission of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center?

RSVP: What are the statistics saying about how prevalent child abuse is nationally or within the Memphis community? Stallworth: First, I would tell you that there is really good news that the actual prevalence of child sexual abuse is decreasing and that is based on multiple national studies by the leading researchers in the field of child sexual abuse. What they have found is that over the last 20 plus years, which pretty much coincides with how long Child Advocacy Centers have been around, is that because of increased prevention and public awareness as well as increased prosecution, longer sentencing and the proliferation of Child Advocacy Centers across the country, we are seeing a decrease in actual child abuse incidents. In other words what we are doing is working. If we hadn’t seen a change we would have to question, “Is what we are doing working?” In fact, we know that it is. Now that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing fewer children. Reporting rates and prevalence rates are two different things. The prevalence rate has improved, but it is still awful and states that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by age 18. As we have had that increase in public awareness, we have had an increase in reporting. What that means is that more children who are being hurt are getting the help they need. An adult in their world or in their community has recognized that something is amiss. They knew and recognized the red flags in the child’s behavior, and they reported it. It is very good news. Yet, I would tell you that in the last eight years we have had a doubling in numbers of the children that come through the doors of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. Again, what that really means is more kids are getting the best possible treatment because more kids are coming to us. Last year, the Shelby County Investigation Team reviewed 2,549 reports


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of suspected abuse. We conducted forensic interviews with 1,108 children. 522 children and parents were seen in our counseling program. RSVP: What is the history of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center? Stallworth: The Memphis Child Advocacy Center is based on a model out of Huntsville, Alabama. In the mid-80s, there was a prosecutor there named Bud Cramer who recognized how the system was responding when reports came in. At the time, Cramer saw that the system was further traumatizing children. He founded the Child Advocacy model and went on to serve in Congress. What he then recognized in his community that was not working well and was bad for kids was happening all across this country. Around the time he was doing that work to develop the model, there was a group of people, law enforcement, social workers, parents, school officials and a wide variety of people in Memphis who came together to try and start figuring out what they could try and do differently. They heard about the model in Huntsville, went there, learned about it and came back to Memphis intent on opening a Child Advocacy Center. When we opened our doors in 1992, we were the 14th Child Advocacy Center in the country to open and today there are more than 800 centers across the nation. During the mid-80s people were beginning to recognize and speak out about child sexual abuse in a new way. It’s been a gradual process for the issue of child sexual abuse to come to the forefront of concerns for people because people didn’t want to believe it. It is hard for many people to believe that most abuse is done by people you know and trust. Many would prefer to think of it as the stranger on the corner and that is not the majority by any means. Ninety percent of abusers are known and trusted by the child. So it is hard for people to wrap their minds around that. We have come a long ways in terms of awareness and people being able to talk about this issue. We have a model here that works. Child Protective Services is going to be involved if there is a report of suspected child sexual abuse. Law enforcement is going to be involved if there is a report of suspected child sexual abuse, a potential crime. What was happening, before the CAC, was that law enforcement and CPS were running parallel investigations that were not integrated. Now their goals are a little different, yet there is a lot of similarity

and a lot of the same information is needed for the decisions that they are making. One is making a decision around the child’s safety. The other is making a decision around a crime and arrest. What happens today is when we review those reports Monday through Friday, we make decisions about what is going to happen from the very beginning in a coordinated case. We have the Department of Children Services, case worker and law enforcement working together so that kids don’t have to go through two separate processes. Not only is it better for the kids, but, it is a lot more efficient. 1997 was when the first team members from the other agencies moved onsite. Before that, they came and used services, used the space, met children here, but, in 1997, they actually moved onsite and that took collaboration to a whole new level. RSVP: How can someone report a case of suspected child abuse? Stallworth: They can call the Department of Children Services hotline, which is a 24-hour, seven day-a-week, hotline, at 1-877-2370004. They can also call law enforcement. RSVP: How can we, as a community, help combat child sexual or physical abuse and/or support the children that have been hurt by that abuse? Stallworth: I think the first thing is to get involved in prevention of child sexual abuse. We have a training called Stewards of Children. It is a child sexual abuse prevention and response training for adults. The Stewards of Children training is a three-hour training that is led by a Child Advocacy Center facilitator that we provide at the request of local businesses, churches, youth facilities or any place that wants more information on recognizing the warning signs of potential child sexual or physical abuse. One of the big areas of learning is about how perpetrators groom their victims. Many perpetrators go through an involved grooming process in order to gain access and trust. Often, these perpetrators are not only grooming the children, but they are also grooming the parents so that they do get that access and trust. When you go through this training you are able to recognize red flags you never would have before. We all have guts feelings, and you want to trust those guts feelings. When you have a


Stallworth: I went back to school to complete a Master of Communications degree in 1995. I knew I wanted to be involved in the nonprofit sector. I went back to school to do some work to move me forward to that goal. Through my studies, I had to do a number of papers. I was very focused on the nonprofit community in Memphis. I picked out a number of nonprofits in the community that had missions that I felt strongly about. I went into the Memphis Child Advocacy Center and interviewed executive directors and board chairs for my research. That is how I got connected with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. Like many, many people, we all know someone that has dealt with the trauma of child sexual abuse. I personally have seen people in my friendship network who have been abused and have had to work through that process. Child Advocacy Centers have been around 20-25 years. My peers did not have a Child Advocacy Center to go to. When you know the reality of people who are adults today, folks 40 plus years old, that were sexually abused as children, they didn’t have a CAC and some of them

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RSVP: Tell me about the Memphis CAC’s plan to expand. Stallworth: We are in a multi-phase expansion process. We have completed phase one, which is our new playroom and new reception area. We recently completed a 1,200-foot expansion on the center’s property at 1085 Poplar Avenue. Phase two includes a long-term lease with the veteran’s administration next door at 1101 Poplar Avenue. When we are able to expand to the next building we will be able to bring more team members onsite and, again, maximize those results. Also, involved with that is an increase in our parking. We have had a parking challenge here. When you can’t get the families in the building and when you can’t get the professionals in the building to serve the families, then we can’t do what we need to do. So parking is critical. RSVP: What will the Memphis CAC be doing to increase awareness of child abuse during April? Stallworth: One of the things we do is a children’s memorial flag raising throughout the year when a child in Shelby County dies as result of abuse or neglect. In April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we hold a community memorial flag raising downtown in Civic Center Plaza. This year’s event will be held on April 15th.

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RSVP: How did you become involved with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center?

are still struggling. It just affirms how important it is that we have a place like the Child Advocacy Center where kids can get the help and move on with their lives. They don’t have to be over 45 and still dealing with what happened to them as children. So that was a real passion for me. When I graduated with my master’s degree, I just lucked out. Within a couple of months the Memphis Child Advocacy created a new position, development and communications director, which aligned well with my skills. I applied and I got the job and have been here ever since.

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gut feeling that is informed by this training, you are going to be so much more likely to have confidence in taking action and making a report if you think something is happening. This is something we provide all throughout the community. In the last three years we have trained over 10,000 adults. Anyone who is a parent should be asking the question of the places that they entrust with their child, “What kind of training do you have to ensure the protection of children?” “What is your policy around one-adult one-child situations?” We should feel empowered to ask those questions so that we can have confidence that policy and practice are in place anywhere we leave our child. Speaking of the one-adult one-child scenario, over 80 percent of sexual incidences happen in a one-adult one-child scenario. If we can eliminate or greatly reduce one-adult one-child scenarios, we immediately protect many more kids from the opportunity of sexual abuse. The other part would be the financial support. Talking about how you can support children that have been hurt already. I would say by investing in the services that help them heal and move on with their lives.


EVENT

Memphis Heart Ball

MEMPHIS HEART BALL

“Ring of Fire”

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Karin and Steve Gubin

Matt and Sandra Smolin

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upporters, donors, volunteers and those who have been a part of the life-saving work of the American Heart Association of the local Memphis branch gathered together to celebrate the services that the organizations provides to the Mid-South community at the annual Memphis Heart Ball. Held in the grandeur of the Peabody Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, the night’s theme was “Ring of Fire,” a salute to the city’s legacy of music. The decorations of the evening also harkened to the theme of the evening as each table included softly flashing rings tucked into the napkins inside the empty glasses that made a ring around the tabletops. Guests arrived dressed in their best red hued attire and enjoyed drinks from the open bar. No one could miss the live art that was taking place as Jerry Lynn and Jason Lewis collaborated on a painting that slowly became a powerful scene of people united standing below a heart. The painting itself was later auctioned off in the live auction for $2,800. The silent auction offered a variety of treats from vacation packages to Graceland tour tickets as well as Grizzlies goodies and gift certificates. Many got into the spirit of the fun-filled night by taking advantage of the stencil tattoos that were being offered to partygoers. The photo booth gave attendees the chance to show off their brand new “ink” and to make a souvenir of their evening. As cocktail hour ended, partygoers sat down to a sumptuous dinner that began with a divine salad that included pistachio flavored goat cheese, golden beets and white balsamic vinaigrette. The entrée that followed was an herb crusted filet mignon and fennel basted salmon with mascarpone grits cake and baby vegetables. Dessert finished the meal off right and tied in the theme of fire again with a milk chocolate mousse dome on a fire roasted chile ancho brownie with a strawberry center and fruit coulis. The attention of those gathered was brought to the heart of the matter as New School Media Group presented their video tribute to this year’s “Open Your Heart” honoree, Memphis Fire Department Lieutenant Jim Logan. Logan shared his experience of cardiac arrest, thanking the American Heart Association for their work and support, saying, “It is because of people like you that I am here today.” The night ended on a note of celebration as G3: The Garry Goin Group took the stage and got the crowd dancing and singing along to some good old classic hits. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Monica and Andre Wharton

Story by Rachel Warren Photos by Don Perry

Carla and Greg Touliatos

Stacey and Jared Montegut

Sarah Zambroni, Sally Shy and Billye McGhee

Patrick and Dr. Susan Austin

Donni Dubert, Ron Olson and Julie Cottrell

Mitch and Kelly Jo Graves


EVENT MEMPHIS HEART BALL Jason and Laura Wallace with Joel Johnson and Dr. Linda Kennard

Mary and Luke Evins

Lynn and Deborah Thompson

Dr. Michael and Rebecca Ugwueke with Donna and Bob Abney

Jamie and John Carpenter

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Lori and Adam Pope

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Sean and Ellen Faust

Ginger Hauser and Roger Ross with John and Vance Lewis

Dave Evans and Toni Boland

Lea and Robert Carr

Rachel Hammons with Claudia Sequeira and Diana Sequeira

David Nall and Heather Swanson


EVENT MEMPHIS HEART BALL

Kimberly and Geza Remak

Ryan and China Jenkins

Diana Anderson and Sonja Ray

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Sarah and Dexter Gates

Elly Deyhle and Mark Awdeh

Tara and Dr. Kevin Lee

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Donna and Mike McManus

Carrie and Jim Boswell

Jim and Stephanie Logan

Alicia Flowers and Ben Coleman

Linda and Dr. James Porterfield

William and Stephanie Turner

Jonathan and Dr. Jeshenna Watkins


EVENT MEMPHIS HEART BALL Kim and Jim Poole

Dr. David Wolford and Amy Modlin with Anna and Kelly Johnson

Jay and Amy Colley with Sarah and Andrew Colley

John McLaughlin, Heather Shivers and Terry Roberts

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Tommy and Teresa Wilkes

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Darrell Doane with Priscilla and Paulo Teixeira

Chris and Jackie Ingelmo

Wayne and Beth Segars

Diane and Chuck Rowe

Rhonda and Jeff Fowler

Bubba Daughtery, Carol Ann Jordan, Bethany Lusk and Dr. Basil Paulus


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Jennifer and Christopher Jenkins

Jack and Deana Weathers

Julie and Patrick Johnston

Randy and Vickie Fisher

Richard and Jennifer Kelley

Mark and Virginia Griffee

Lil and Lee Rudd

Shelia Noone and Ted Davis

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EVENT Judy and Peter Felsenthal

Wendy Scott and John Michael Bailey

Emily Capadalis and Tom Love

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MEMPHIS HEART BALL Adlessia and Lamonte Harlin

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Scott and Danielle Gillis

Dr. Cassandra Hawkins and Martha Moore Clinton

Denise and Darren Warren

Kim and Matt Boeving


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GERMANTOWN CHARITY HORSE SHOW ROYAL BALL

EVENT

Germantown Charity Horse Show Royal Ball New Royalty

W Bobby Lanier and Susan Winn

Tempe and Jimmy Chancellor

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oodland Hills, with its Southern charm and elegance, provided the perfect backdrop for the presentation of the princesses and queen at the Germantown Charity Horse Show Royal Ball. A group of musicians from the Germantown Symphony Orchestra played during the cocktail hour, as guests mingled and enjoyed offerings from an appetizer buffet. Once people found their tables, which were adorned with centerpieces of roses, they enjoyed dinner and dessert. An excited hush fell over the crowd, after a trumpet sounded, signifying the beginning of the presentation of the 22 princesses and the 2014 queen. The young ladies, all wearing white evening gowns, carried nosegays of roses as they descended the twin staircases on each side of the room on the arms of their fathers and grandfathers, who escorted them to front of the ballroom. The princesses each represented a club, community group, neighborhood association and naturally, a stable or two. Some of the sponsors included the West Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association, Oak View Stables, Pegasus of Germantown, the Germantown Arts Alliance and the Junior League of Memphis. As each woman was presented, Chiffonye Cobb Mack, the master of ceremony, read a list of their accomplishments and interests that would be impressive for ladies twice their age. The coronation of 2014 Queen, Julia Alexandra Livesay followed. Livesay is a junior at Georgetown University, where she is on the Equestrian Team. She also studied for a year in Santiago Chili. Livesay made brief remarks and thanked supporters of the horse show for the honor. Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy read a proclamation, after which the gentlemen rejoined the princesses and queen and led them in the first dance of the evening. Music by The King Beez kept the dance floor full until the end of the evening. Among those in attendance were Elaine, Bill and Amy Beth Dudley and other long-time Germantown Charity Horse Show Association members, Grace and Ken Bartee. John Johnson and Dino Palazzolo also enjoyed the festivities and were there representing the English Meadows Homeowners Association, which sponsored Princess Audrey Grace Hanisco. Mary George Livesay was chairperson of the event with Dot Stagich acting as co-chair. Veteran Riverdale School teacher Nancy France was the princess chairman. Now in its 66th year, the Germantown Charity Horse Show Royal Ball has long been a tradition in the Germantown community. The horse show will take place June 3-7. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Stephanie Pierotti and Tim Hayes

Story by Suzanne Thompson Photos by Don Perry

Mike Christiansen and Tasha Kawell

Buddy and Lanetta Lanier

Julia Livesay and Dr. Christopher Livesay

Pace McDonald and Karson Nelson

Noel and Maxine Oliver with Suzanne and Alex Oliphant

Avis Darling and CachĂŠ Truitt


EVENT GERMANTOWN CHARITY HORSE SHOW ROYAL BALL

Albert Markle and Lillie Kay Mitchell

Charles and Sylvia Waters

Camille Hayes and Lizzie Pierotti

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Jessica Haste and Evan Wiley

Patrick O’Leary and Hilary Kabel

Jeff Box and Kim Leonard

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Ginny and Randall Dunn

Michael Oliphant and Danielle Fernandez

Jacob Denbrock and Meg Anderson

Paul and Holly Craft

Heather Walters and William Faulk

Jim and Janie Henderson

Alex Higgins and Chandler-Grace Michael


EVENT Lori and Steve Rowan

Phillip Lawson, Laura Shifflette and John Tucker

State Representative Steve and Christal McManus with David and Susan Orabone

GERMANTOWN CHARITY HORSE SHOW ROYAL BALL

Elaine Dudley and Amy Beth Dudley

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James Cloutier and Hallie Gillam

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Carole Hinely, Jim Fegley with Pam and Jack Michael

Carmen and Bert Hurler with Ana Hurler

Hart and Gail Applegate with Margaret and Rhett Kramer

Will Crislip, Lana Kabel and Harrison Hill


THE AMBASSADOR SERIES

The Ambassador Series By Eugene Pidgeon

LAWRENCE YAWN IS WIDE AWAKE

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awrence Yawn is going to change the world. And without a portable phone device, a keypad or a patch cord. Ladies and gentlemen, it is official. After presiding, unchallenged for nearly 110 years, Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, E=MC2, has been summarily refuted. At 186,000 miles per second, light is no longer the fastest traveling property in the known universe. The speed of light has now been displaced, and ever so emphatically, by the nimble fingers of young girls (ages 13-25) who have learned how to text. With ferocity and a colorful verve, everything from hashtags to LOLs from BFFs to TTYLs, Pink Hearts and Smiley Faces are the emerging symbols of a new and rapidly procreating digital vocabulary. It is a language of quick convenience and laser sharp brevity. Words without soul, forging contact at the expense of any fluid communication are the resolute and standard benchmarks of this new force of voice. Lawrence Yawn is a senior at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Her blue green eyes flicker with an earthy or grounded vigilance. Nothing gets past her. Nor can she be easily distracted. Her fingers are just as agile and quick as any that would deign to construct an entire social itinerary for a weekend getaway spent with friends with a complete and detailed disclosure of all proposed activity. This would be discharged in split second bytes and CC’d to her employer, her professors and her parents who have long since abandoned the old familiar, ring of Ma Bell for the new, electronic permeations of the “uploaded ringtone” fomented by the likes of Kanye West, Beyoncé and David Guetta, all of this while ordering a beverage at Panera Bread. Still, Yawn is different. Just when you are fully gripped by the thoughts of how our precious youth are being marketed, if ever so wittingly and vaporized into an altered state, a Philip K. Dick dystopia of tweets, twitters and HI-DEF deafenings, Yawn emerges with a clear and natural voice. Hers is as refreshing as the one you may finally get after being accosted by the myriad digital promptings, the labyrinthine contortions and the utter frustration that abets any complaint you might have with your own internet service provider. It is a long way from the beer washed insanity of the Bonnaroo Music Festival in east, Tennessee to the apartheid stained corridors of Pretoria and Johannesburg in South Africa, but by the time summer concludes, Yawn will be a

veteran traveler who has experienced both. She does not act her age. At 21, Yawn is much wiser, more mature and responsible than anyone observing the posture and past times of her generation might imagine. However, the roads leading to Bonnaroo and then to South Africa have not been so easy to navigate for Yawn. It was difficult for her to convince her parents to let her attend her first Bonnaroo Festival in 2010 when she was just a freshman at DSU. Recalling the talent roster, her eyes light up with an acute enthusiasm Lawrence Yawn with parents David and Cathy Yawn and brother Connor Yawn in Paris last summer.

right decisions then Bonnaroo is a great place to be for anybody.” Yawn survived her first Bonnaroo. In fact, the experience was so successful she returned the next year as a festival volunteer. Now she is on her way to South Africa. She has a valid passport, her travel inoculations have all been administered, and she has paid for it entirely with her own money. “It is very encouraging for me to know how my parents are supporting my decision to go to South Africa,” she muses. “My experience at Bonnaroo proved I could be trusted.” In addition to the travel necessities, Yawn will be taking something else with her when she visits South Africa. It is a quote, “We Can’t Get Lost Anymore” by Jeremy Glass that states: We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean because there’s no service on the beach, and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping to destroy it every time we Google, check-in and hashtag.

for the artists who appeared. Yet, there is another dimension of authority. Yawn is not just a fan; she is a proactive arbiter, and one who is in control of the very arc taken in her specifically broad cultural journey. She may have spent three days getting lost in the music, but it is clear Yawn never once got lost in the crowd. “It was a great lineup…everybody was there. They had a great variety. The Black Keys, Lil Wayne…Eminem…Bassnectar. My friends and I got to see everybody,” she remembers. “All my friends had planned to go, and I didn’t want to miss out on it, but my mom wasn’t real crazy about the idea,” she recalls cautiously. “Bonnaroo could be perceived has an unhealthy environment, so my mother thought. But if you have the right people with you, and you are careful to make the

During her freshman year, Yawn involved herself with The Outdoors Program. “We went rock climbing. I canoed 17 miles down the Mississippi River and participated in many different activities with them. It has opened my eyes and changed my ideas about cell phones and other devices,” Yawn asserts. “I support social media, but I have also learned how it isolates us. It takes our focus off the people we are with, and I agree…there is too much dependence on these devices.” Yawn also is aware of how there are two sides to this coin. She is as much aware of the drawbacks to the new technology as she is of the advantages. “If I had not been on Instagram, I would not have found out about the trip to Africa,” admits Yawn with a clear and analytical insight. “The program is called Global LEAD. The mission statement revolves around service to others. It is all about hands on communication and interaction with new people,” says Yawn, explaining that it is only a twoweek journey. “I won’t even get college credit for this.” No one is worried that the young senior at Delta State University with an interest in graphic arts will not derive both an academic and social benefit from this journey of self-discovery and selfawareness. “It is all about balance!” Yawn asserts. Is there an App for that? No! Thank God.


EVENT HANDS OF HOPE AUCTION PARTY

hroughout the year, the Exchange Club Family Center of Memphis offers 23 programs to families of children in the Memphis area who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. It serves over 5,000 people a year through these programs, a number that barely scratches the surface, according to board president Mia Henley. “That is just the tip of the iceberg. The numbers in Shelby County far exceed that. We hope to grow so we can continue to serve the needs of our community,” said Henley. One way it seeks to grow is through its annual fund-raiser, Hands of Hope Auction Party, a silent auction that dates back 60 years. “It started really small,” commented Barbara King, who has acted as the Center’s executive director for 20 years. This year’s event was held Downtown at the Columns at One Commerce Square, which marks the third year the club has chosen the majestic location for their biggest party. A semi-formal affair, the night kicked off with a complimentary champagne welcome, followed by a cocktail reception that included imported wine and beer as well as gourmet faire provided by A Moveable Feast Catering. The highlight of the evening was the wide range of items offered during the silent auction, over 225 items in fact. “We have fabulous paintings and trips, wonderful dinners and sporting events and wine collections. This is our largest fund-raiser of the year,” Henley remarks. The event brings in an average of $125,000 each year and close to 500 of Memphis’ finest philanthropists. The festivities didn’t stop there – the band Party Planet got everybody moving late into the night. State Systems Inc. and IBERIABANK presented the event along with the Exchange Club. The Exchange Club opened in 1984 with only one class. It now employs more than 35 staff members and volunteers and offers programs on intervention, anger management and positive parenting. The Center’s mission states “helping children deal with the consequences of witnessing violence in the home plays a key role in breaking the cycle of family violence.” “This is our annual auction. It is a fun evening for a really important cause. The Exchange Club Family Center is really able to help people change their lives and end the cycle of child abuse and domestic violence. Our programs give people the tools they need to change the direction of their lives for the long term. This is all geared towards ending the cycle of child abuse and domestic violence,” stated Henley.

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Hands of Hope Auction Party Breaking the Cycle with Hope

T Elly Deyhle and Mark Awden

Deron Hall and Anjelica Harden

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See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Kent Jones and Tara Best-Jones

Story by Lesley Young Photos by Baxter Buck

Mady Alexander and Micah Lacefield

Bart and Teri Hanners

Mia Henley and Jessica Simpson

Karen Ratcliff and Madelyn Gray

Jacki Lindsay, Rebecca Rorie and Molly Fitzpatrick

Rod and Wilenceia Selmon


EVENT Burt and Jan Wallace

Renea and Joe Linton

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Jonathan and Heather Hudson

HANDS OF HOPE AUCTION PARTY

Bill and Mary Mann

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Kathryn and Ron Stallins

Caroline and James Sposto

Kathye Sbravati and Gina Deutsch

Oscar Adams and Camilla Brinner


EVENT HANDS OF HOPE AUCTION PARTY A P R I L 2 0 14

Freddie Young and Mearl Purvis

Josh and Rabia Manning

Ross Herrin, Sandy McCormick, Bobby Lanier with Heather and Paul Ince

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S I N C E 1995

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EVENT Courtney and Charlie House

John and Dot Stagich

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Karen and Kirk Johnston

HANDS OF HOPE AUCTION PARTY

Parker Pickle and Alice Higdon

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Billy and Rachel Albans with Leigh Blanchard and Jim Moton

Jim Browning and Angie Murdock

Jeany and Anthony Dionne


EVENT HANDS OF HOPE AUCTION PARTY

Hattie and Chad Rounder

Chris and Tracy Houston

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Dwayne and Aimee Judy

Jennifer and Shane Davis

Nick and Karen Cassella

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Rob and Katie Wiles

Judge Bob and Kim Weiss

Hannah and Mike Moton

Tara and Clay Holder

Tiffany Amore and Neil Rick

Brandon and Christy Cooper


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HOLLYWOOD FOR THE HOUSE

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Hollywood for the House Benefiting the Ronald McDonald Charities® of Memphis

W Linda and James Gattas

Ann Marie Tucker and Will Hawkins

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hile Vanity Fair and the Weinstein Company were busy entertaining Oprah, Lupita Nyong’o and other Hollywood elite, Memphis held its own version of Oscar® night glamour at the annual Hollywood for the House event. Complete with floor-sweeping gowns, a fashion show and a red carpet runway, the Memphians came out in style but with the added bonus of raising money for a good cause. The party, held on Oscar® night at the Columns at One Commerce Square, was an adaption of the usual Oscar® Night America, a benefit presented each year by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to enable charities to host Oscar viewing parties as fund-raisers. The Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis has been one of 50 foundations across the U.S. chosen to participate in the event each year. “The Oscars® put it on hold this year. Everybody loves this event so much, we found a way to make it happen,” John Parie, communications coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis, said. As fashionable guests entered the downtown venue, they walked past velvet ropes, down the red carpet and into the atrium where models presented the latest in gowns, furs and accessories thanks to the stores at Laurelwood Shopping Center. Guests even had the chance to get in touch with their inner movie star during the “stop-and-repeat” photo shoot. Once they were give the proper diva treatment, attendees made their way into the main ballroom where cocktails were available to get everyone ready for the silent and live auctions. Several Memphis restaurants provided gourmet noshes. No Oscar® party is complete without the chance to watch everyone’s favorite stars take home the coveted gold award, and screens telecasting the big night were scattered generously throughout the venue for everyone’s viewing pleasure. “We try to invite all of our friends out to help support Ronald McDonald Charities® of Memphis. It helps kids around the world who are treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Parie said. This was the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis’ 13th Oscar® viewing party, with McDonald’s and Century Management acting as presenting sponsors for this year’s event. Since 1991 Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis has provided supportive services and “home-away-from-home” for St. Jude families and their children receiving treatment for cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. These services are offered at no charge to their guests and have been provided to over 7,000 children from around the world. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Tom Kresyman and Lauren Smith

Story by Lesley Young Photos By Baxter Buck

Mike Templeton and Ceil Walker

Henriette Fisher and John Tashie

John and Erin Schlauch

Melissa and Adam Roberts

Adam Huckabee, Alexandria Roberts with Niki and Rossmon Stoecker

Andy and Libby King


EVENT HOLLYWOOD FOR THE HOUSE

Kelsey Nawaf, Davis Thomas and Rachael Neudecker

Anthony and Bobbie Hodge

Albert and Lelia Green

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Jimmy and Ann Cole

Irina and Chris Ollar

Josh Langston and Allison Gebhardt

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Major and Linda Jackson McNeil

Sarah Richie and Ken Hall

Molly Fitzpatrick and Brian Moore

Aarti and Mark Bowman

Alys and Michael Drake with Lauren and Billy Pickens

Andre Wiley and Randy Engel


ONSITE

Onsite I Memphis Knights Big Band at the Garden The Memphis Knights Big Band always draws a crowd with their toe-tapping sound, and its performance at Hardin Hall inside Memphis Botanic Garden in February was no exception. Dancers enjoyed taking a spin on the floor to the tunes of the 18piece band that features a variety of tunes from swing hits to jazz favorites. On May 5, the group will be performing at The Great Hall & Conference Center in Germantown.

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Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Ptah Coronation The Grand Krewe of Ptah and guests gathered at the Great Hall Conference Center in Germantown to celebrate the coronation of the 2014 Royal Court. The theme of the party, “Passport to Paris,” was carried out to perfection and included a translator who presented the program in French. Queen Mary Stewart was radiant in her silver gown and shared with the group that she met her husband, Chuck, at a Carnival parade as a young child when Carnival Memphis was known as the Cotton Carnival. Four lovly women were crowned as princesses and included Judy Jepsen, Barbara Benstein, Jan Conner and Sarah Trouy.

CMOM Fairy Tale Tea Children’s Museum of Memphis recently welcomed their pintsized patrons to an enchanting Fairy Tale Tea. All dressed up in their fairy tale best, children feasted on an array of fancy pastries, sipped tea and constructed bejeweled crowns among other planned activities. The highlight of the afternoon, however, was the arrival of beautiful Cinderella and her handsome Prince at the “palace,” who greeted their little royal subjects and posed for pictures with them. Story and Photos Submitted

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

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Transplant Games of America Flag Presentation & Mid-South Team Logo Unveiling Presented by the Mid-South Transplant Foundation, Methodist Transplant Institute and Baptist Healthcare, members of team Mid-South, the local Transplant Games of America team, came together to unveil the new team logo and celebrate the countdown to the 2014 Transplant Games of America at the Church Health Center Wellness Facility. Wanting the logo to represent the Mid-South, especially the musical heritage of the South, the logo features Elvis Presley with a vinyl record that reads “Rockin with New Life!” The accompanying luncheon was also built around the theme of Memphis music and included a video presentation highlighting the Mid-South’s historical musical contributions. Members signed the TGA flag, which will travel across the country for signatures from more than 50 participating teams. TGA is a multisport festival event that celebrates organ, corneal and tissue donation.

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Story Submitted Photos by Ruth Lovell

David Bradford and Karen Shea with Ayn Maddox

Julie Eaves and Dan Tucker

Jason Middlekauff and Natalie Middlekauff

Gayatri Jaishankar and Karen Hamburger

Gabriel Walker

Betty Burns and Kenneth Blankenship

Mary Stewart and Chip Trouy

Melanie Medlock, Vera Johnson and Jencie Escue

Jim Frommel, Greg Maksi, Paula Wyatt, Patti Oliver and John Goodyear

Donna and Keith Renard

Jiya Shah, Amrita Patel, Devika Mehr with Jennifer Daniels and Daniel Calvert

Wayne Mashburn, Zola Burgess and Bobby Grandberry


Association for Women Attorneys Banquet

Burns Nicht Dinner

BrandYaLyfe Apparel Launch

Page Robbins Winter Gala

There was a whole lot of networking going on at the Tower Center in Clark Tower the night the 200member Association for Women Attorneys held its annual banquet at the 33-floor-high venue, and not only provided a fine evening of dinner, drinks and auctioning, but also an opportunity to recognize some of Memphis’ brightest and best women attorneys. Linda Warren Seely, the director of Pro Bono Projects and Campaign for Equal Justice at Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc., was presented with the Marion GriffinFrances Loring Award while attorney Mary Morgan Whitfield was named the 2014 president. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder was presented with the President’s Award and four University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law students received $2,500 each in scholarship money from the AWA. The AWA was formed in 1979 and is made up of attorneys from the Mid-South area. Its mission is to support fellow women attorneys through education and to offer services to the female community of the Mid-South.

One night in January of 1801, a handful of Scotsmen gathered in Greenock, Scotland for an evening of whisky, haggis and poetry, namely Robert Burns poetry, in an effort to remember their friend and famous bard. That tradition has carried on for over 200 years and spread around the world, including Memphis, and is now known as Burns Nicht. The Memphis Scottish Society, Inc. has held on to the tradition for 31 years, and this year held a reception and supper at the Woodland Hills Event Center on Jan. 25, the birthday of the Scottish word-smith. Mid-Southerners, men and women alike, dressed in their finest tartans, brought their finest single malts and dug into some of the finest haggis in the tri-state area. Members read favorite Burns poems and the Wolf River Pipes and Drums entertained with Scottish music and the band Killavil also played uilleann pipes, a tin whistle, flute, fiddle and Irish bouzouki, bodhran, and piano.

In 2013 Christopher Whitfield graduated from Bethel University and could finally follow his dream – create his own fashion line. That dream was realized when Whitfield presented his first collection under the name BrandYaLyfe at a launch party held at the Memphis Central Station’s Hudson Hall downtown. A reception was held before the show began then models strutted the runway donning Whitfield’s creations, which he describes as “positive expressions to empower and inspire individuals through fashionable apparel” and “to transform the minds of individuals to step forward and achieve their goals.” Whitfield led by example, not only by his dress or his successful launch, but also by his philanthropic endeavors. A portion of the evening’s spoils was donated to American Heart Association and several apparel items were donated to the organization.

It was no-holds-barred kind of auction for Page Robbins Adult Day Care Center. From a London West End Theatre experience to a Kawai baby grand piano, from flowers delivered for a year to a new puppy, serious auction goers were not disappointed at the organization’s Winter Gala at the Esplanade Memphis in Cordova. The evening began in the Curzon Room of the event space, with hors d’oeuvres and drinks until the cocktail-attire-clad guests were escorted into the ballroom for the main attraction. Bidding and spirits were high as guests were presented with a video about the center, which was established in 1995 to offer care to individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias at their facility on South Houston Levee Road. Once the Fund-A-Need portion of the evening ended, which included patrons raising their bid number to offer gifts to update the facility and keep it in operation, guests were left to dance the night away to the sounds of The AIMS Gang.

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

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Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Lenny and Amy Griffith, Margaret Schultz and Herbert Rovinsky Jamie Kidd, Laura Deakins, Katie Compton and Hillary Hill

Jason and Audra Cooper with Alison Cooper and Madison Cooper

Marquia Brown, Alicia Alexander, Alexis Exum and Elaine Robinson

Sara and Dixie Guest Pam and Andy Branham

Mary Ann Lucas, Elaine Meece and Helen Erskine

Trey Carter, Christopher Whitfield, Lula Robinson and Justin Ford

Charlotte Griffin and Judge Butch Childers

Geoffrey Meece and Robert Hanks

Gloria and Edgar Broome

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Chris and Denise Carter and Debra and David Aquadro


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Onsite III Piggy Bank Dinner Benefiting Southern Foodways Alliance

Keeping the Blues Alive Awards and Recognition Luncheon

Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar hosted a Piggy Bank Dinner benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance, a nonprofit based at the University of Mississippi’s Center for Study of Southern Culture that studies the diverse food cultures of the American South. Held in the wine cellar of Flight Restaurant, this event was a chance for Memphians to show their support for its local chef talent and to champion Southern cuisine. Representing the SFA was Melissa Hall, assistant director, and Sara Camp Arnold, managing editor. Arnold explained their mission saying the SFA’s mission was to “document, study and celebrate Southern food culture.” Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour followed by a five-course dinner led by Flight chef-partner Joshua Perkins.

The Blues Foundation honored 20 individuals and organizations at its Keeping the Blues Alive Awards at the DoubleTree Hotel downtown. The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the 30th International Blues Challenge, which features a music competition of the world’s most renowned blues musicians. Close to home from Nashville, TN, Tom Hambridge blues producer and former drummer for Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and Roy Buchanan, was recognized as a top producer. A wonderful lunch catered by DoubleTree followed for those recognized and their friends and family. The recipients of the KBA awards are carefully selected by a panel of blues professionals for their active work in promoting and documenting blues music.

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

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Melissa Hall and Sara Camp Arnold

Literacy is Key: A Book and Author Affair The University of Memphis Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity held their fourth annual Literacy is Key: A Book and Author Affair at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn. Authors included Molly Caldwell Crosby, author of “The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History;” W. Bruce Cameron, author of “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter;” and Joshilyn Jackson, author of “gods in Alabama.” Unfortunately, a surprise snowstorm kept Jackson from traveling away from her hometown of Decatur, Georgia, but she treated everyone there with lively appearance on Skype. First Book MidSouth was the beneficiary of the event, including 20% of the book sale proceeds offered by The Booksellers of Laurelwood. Golden Key Table guests got the chance to attend the author meet and greet and pre-signing event before lunch. Darrell Greene of WHBQ-TV emceed the luncheon. Lolly Easley, First Book MidSouth chair, said that in accordance with the organization’s mission to provide books to children from low-income families with their first new books that funds raised at the luncheon would help “provide books to those with the greatest needs.” Over 500 people attended this special event and over $30,000 was raised for First Book MidSouth and other literary organizations.

Chocolate Fantasy Chocolate lovers from all over the Mid-South gathered to indulge their sweet tooth at the 29th annual Chocolate Fantasy event benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee. Held at the Oak Court Mall, this event had booths offering an array of chocolaty treats from every corner of the mall. Participating vendors included Godiva Chocolatiers, Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies, Crepe Maker, Blue Bell Creameries and Krispy Kreme. Ticket holders were given to-go boxes and bags to store all their sweet morsels in as they made their way from booth to booth. Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Kathyrn Doering and JD Optekar

Brenda Brooks and Brianna Brooks

Rachel Dickens, Lauren Powers and Elizabeth O’Brien

Joyce Peterson, Andrea Harano, Sherry Burrage and Michele Smith Vivian Cruz and Trezevant Gardner

Jonathan Richards and Michel Sabol Joshua Perkins and Nick Scott

Kris and Don Miller

Janice Johnston and Karl Maurer

W. Bruce Cameron and Molly Caldwell Crosby

Stephanie Gardner, Sherri Stephenson and Chansis Isbell


MSPJC Grassroots Gala and Banquet

The Professional Connection

Incognito Art Gala and Silent Auction

Christian Brothers Wizard Challenge

The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center celebrated its 32nd anniversary with its annual Grassroots Gala and Banquet. Approximately 200 people attended the event to show their support of the organization, which was formed on January 15, 1982, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Its mission remains to engage, organize and mobilize communities to realize social justice through nonviolent action. Jacob Flowers, executive director of MSPJC, welcomed the crowd to the event. A banquet of spinach salad, roasted chicken with long-grain and wild rice casserole, breads, green beans and mixed grilled vegetables and sweets was served family style. Memphis’ Freedom Singers, comprised of Andy Cohen, Toni Coleman, Cathryn Dixon, Janet McGraw and Keith Norman, led the group in a moving sing-a-long that included one of the songs most often associated with Dr. King, “We Shall Overcome.” Keynote speaker for the evening was Hubert Van Tol, former executive director of MSPJC (19851995), who shared stories of the organization’s past as well as his vision for its future.

The Professional Connection, a New Year kickoff hosted by Connect Memphis, was held at the Central Train Station. The theme was “Empower Young Professionals and Benefit Memphis Mentoring.” Approximately 180 people enjoyed a pasta bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres as they gathered for an evening centered around motivating young adults to connect and give back to their community. The keynote speaker was Trent Shelton, a motivational speaker. Tim Nicholson, owner of Bigfish Creative in Memphis, and Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith, journalism professor at the University of Memphis, also spoke. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell was on hand to talk to young adults about what the county is working to do for them. After the motivational kickoff, guests were able to mingle and peruse an organizational fair that showcased opportunities for young people to get involved in their community, as well as information on how to launch new businesses. Memphis-based artists provided live music for entertainment and the entire night served as a benefit for mentoring programs in Memphis. This year’s selected programs are Grizzlies TEAM UP Foundation, Optimum Learning, Memphis Entrepreneurship Academy, NewD Youth Ministry and NuNation YouthMinistry.

Art lovers alike gathered at the Memphis Botanic Garden to bid on fine art from over 100 of the Mid-South’s best artists. Unlike other art auctions, the Incognito Art Gala and Silent Auction asked the buyers to “bid on what you love, not who you know” and did not include artist names with the art pieces. Many of the artists also arrived in their best masks and costumes, further disguising any connection with their art. As attendees placed their bids, they dined on some select hors d’oeuvres offered by several local eateries and caters such as Draper’s Catering of Memphis, Just for Lunch, Stone Soup Café and Fratelli’s Fine Catering. Rene Koopman and Tom Prestigiacomo provided music for the evening. All proceeds from the event went toward the Botanic Garden’s outreach and education programs.

Close to 500 parents, friends, alumni and supporters of Christian Brothers High School put on their thinking caps to participate in a trivia contest entitled “Just Do It” at the high school. Folks went all out to decorate their team tables, and many wore themed costumes, such as the ladies of the Immaculate Conception High School class of 1975, who donned mock-ups of their signature uniform blue popovers. Brother Ignatius Brown served as moderator and tried to stump attendees with questions from a variety of categories, including Classic Comics, Ad Slogans and World History. Door prizes were given and a special Heads or Tails round had the crowd erupting in excited laughter. Proceeds benefited the CBHS Scholarship Fund.

Story and Photos by Emily Keplinger

Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Cindy Hurley

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Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Emily Keplinger

Cindy Gray Pam Diggons and Mary Peara

Ace Madjlesi, Cynthia Crawford and Allison Glass Kari Fleskes and Jim Weter

Kye Bargiachi and Anna Lee Gaia Julie Dorian and Torrey Hughes Megan Waters and Steven Morris Kati Thomas and Reiko Leflore

Chuey Avila, Paul Garner, Gio Lopez, Jacob Flowers, Marian Bacon, Theo T. Brown and Brad Watkins

Yasmine B. Ragsdale, Kasaundra NashMcKinney and Kiara Rainey

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Richard Carr and Barbara Campbell

Mary McGarrh and Debbie Meyers


EVENT

Birthday Carnaval Vamos Dançar!

BIRTHDAY CARNAVAL

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Valerie and Jeff Morris

Purvisha and Dharmesh Patel

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ow do you turn a milestone birthday into a day you will always cherish? Concoct a long list of things you always wanted and hope for a bundle of presents? Direct gift decisions by registering a wish list at a high-end specialty shop? Not Valerie Morris! Instead, how about throwing the best party Memphis has seen in quite a while? Create a Brazilian wonderland with decorative pops of color next to exquisite crystal chandeliers, and load the dining room full of delicious spicy cuisine. Put vocal duo Hudson and Saleeby in the foyer and a bar down the hall. That’s how to do it. Valerie and husband Jeff invited nearly two hundred of their friends to their Carnaval-themed celebration. By asking partygoers to make voluntary donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in lieu of buying her presents, Valerie created an event many will remember for a long time. As guests left their cars in care of a valet and approached the beautiful Beverly Hall, most began to anticipate a great Saturday night. The two-story, historic Central Garden mansion was literally radiant. Windows glowed with soft green light, and guests were adorned with Carnaval beads as they stepped up to the porch. Once inside, you knew you were in for a great evening. Live models in Rio Carnaval costume with masks and feathers entertained the close friends and family who had gathered for a special night of fun. The beautiful wooden central staircase was loaded with balloons, and attendees mingled and danced as music drifted through the party. Valerie made sure everyone had whatever refreshments they desired. She had set up Beverly Hall so that it was easy to move from the foyer into the dining room or down the hall for the bar. Although there was a large crowd, the party never felt crowded. Some chose to wear Carnaval masks while others were decked out in colorful cocktail attire. For the first hour or so, guests socialized and sampled the Brazilian cuisine, which included spicy sausage, beef, chicken, or pork from the grill, as well as an array of ethnic dishes. At a quarter past nine, everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” After that, party on! The birthday girl did not hesitate to share the fact that this was her fiftieth birthday celebration. She was born in Rio de Janeiro and maintains a close emotional connection to Brazil. St. Jude is crucial to many children from Brazil, and Valerie encouraged everyone to help the center continue their mission. Valerie Morris proves that fifty is the new twenty.

Aileen and Pace Cooper

Daniel and Debra Sledd

Story and Photos by Baxter Buck See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP Karl and Gail Schledwitz

Ethele and Ernie Hilliard

Mike and Gay Williams

Don Hutson, Alison Smith and McClain Gordon

Luciana Braymore and Ray Jameson


EVENT BIRTHDAY CARNAVAL

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Tina and Dr. Michael Jones with Dr. Susan Murrmann

Hunter Morris, Michelle Scott and Parker Morris RSVP

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John and Debi Bookas with Casey King

Alyssia Webster, Chris Crawford, Jessica Roberson and Scott Robinson


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Donna and Keith Renard

Randy and Ami Austin

Sherry and Michael Saxon

Scott Barnes and Gary Holcomb

Vicki and Trey Morris

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Jane and Mark Stephens

Skip and Vicki Miller

Amy and Steve Alford

Mick and Patti Seys

Chuck and Glenda Palmore

Ramona and Simpson Hughes


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47 Organization (abbr.)

50 _____ Friday

51 It opens a lock

35 Inscribed stone

52 Dab

37 Old Metsʼ stadium

54 Virgo, i.e.

39 Wear away

42 Garment worn on the upper body

56 Advise

59 Brain cell

63 Carbonated drink

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2 Man who built the arc

5 __ of the Covenant

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1 They get hard boiled and dyed 4 Launch

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3 Painter of melting clocks

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34 Ghostʼs greeting

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6 Feudal territory 7 White poplar 8 Take away 9 Hectic

10 Concluded

11 Loch __ monster

12 Certain explosive

14 Candy and egg holder 20 Laundry cycle

22 “Newly ___, Nearly Dead” 24 Objects

26 Not yet risen 27 Asian nation

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72 It has runners

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44 47

71 Poker stake

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31 Decree

36 So long

38 Lawyer (abbr.) 40 Deter

42 Marsh plant 45 Spiky 48 Have

49 Sweet melon 53 Started 55 Voids

56 Center 57 Aroma

58 Period of 40 days before Easter 60 Berate

61 One time 62 Penury

63 Short-term memory 65 Compass point

i t ’ s j a zz! 66 Trail

67 Walked

cl a ssy

28 Chills

30 Hung over oneʼs back

32 One might utter a peep

For underwriting information, call 901-678-2560 Visit us online at wumr.memphis.edu wumr.memphis.edu

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46 Memphis clock time

64 Representative

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43 Sandwich shop 44 Sharpshoot

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70 Simple

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29 Meshes

41 Soggy soil

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26 Canine org.

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69 Aphids

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21 April Showers bring

25 Always

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Edited by Ruth Cassin

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68 Baby rabbit

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23 Carved Polynesian pen-

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19 Bakes unshelled eggs

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16 Festive occasion

17 BB Player Abdul Jabar

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15 Fair

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14 Influence with gifts

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13 Feta cheese source

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AFTER HOURS

After Hours A photo collage of the latest business happenings

Palladio Group Memphis Vance Boyd and Marilyn Wannamaker Art Reception

Eclectic Eye Annual Sale Preview Party

Nancy Patterson and David Hollis

Jean Pitner and Dr. Dena Woodhams

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Marilyn Wannamaker and Vance Boyd

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Lee Jones with Wayne and Kay Littleton

Laser Aesthetics HydraFacial Event

Cindy and Max Hayes

Neil and Kitty Taylor

Jessica Wright, Stephanie Tompkins, Martina Ashmore, Tabitha Nelson and Shannon O’Bannon


RSV PHILLIPPI

By Dennis Phillippi

tle corner of paradise considering that she’s Yale educated and from Connecticut, but nailed it she did. What smells better than Memphis in the Spring? Now, as I write this April is a few weeks away, but I’m going to take the leap and assume that something Spring-like is going on by the time you read it. Granted we had a freakishly unpleasant winter with snow and ice and single-digit temperatures, but Spring has to get here sometime. And don’t bother rolling your eyes and saying,

It’s not global warming, it’s global climate change, and if you don’t believe in it, I suggest you book one of those new trips where you can paddle a canoe across the North Pole, and get back to me when you return. “Boy, that global warming sure is making things rough.” It’s not global warming, it’s global climate change, and if you don’t believe in it, I suggest you book one of those new trips where you can paddle a canoe across the North Pole, and get back to me when you return. Hopefully by the time you read this, the trees are in full bloom, and the air is rich with the smell of sweet magnolia blossoms and cherry tree fireworks. Okay, as Steve pointed out, the cherry trees smell kind of weird, but it’s a good kind of weird. Maybe you’ve gone out to AutoZone Park and gotten a whiff of that new mown grass, and the hot dogs and the barbecue nachos and the cold draft beer on a hot day. That’s some springtime heaven right there. In a

couple of months the smell of a day game at AutoZone will be completely different, but let’s concentrate on the positive here. Chances are, on your way to the ballpark, you probably walked by the alley where we keep the Rendezvous, and smelled that incredible, knee-weakening slow cooking pork. Maybe you got a hint of the good part of the river smell. Maybe you weren’t downwind of Beale Street. There is even a chance that you may have noticed a hint of the bread factory. That’s a lot of comforting goodness for your nose and that’s just downtown. Take a trip to my neighborhood, beautiful crime-free Cooper-Young, where you will be treated to the smell of a dozen restaurants within a seven iron of one another, all filling the air with different cuisine smells. Walking in Cooper-Young at dinnertime on a Spring evening is to know the true meaning of culinary indecision. My wife and I have spent twenty years in the neighborhood playing rounds of “I don’t know, what you want to eat?” all involving places to which we can walk. The new Greenline must sport some amazing smells about now. I bet walking on that lovely stretch of nature at this time of year you can probably smell green. Here in the Spring with all of our trees bulging with brand new leaves is when you can breath in the South. Yes, what with the hinky weather and the Polar Vortex and all that, we can expect to get creamed by massive Spring storms, but even then there are wonderful scents. Think about that first hint of rain the air, then the rush of heavy rain and the sizzling electric smell when lightning cracks the sky, it’s scary but great at the same time. And soon enough it will be time for The Barbecue, which inevitably is diluvian. We all complain about the rain, and the mud, and the ponchos and the hippies, but just close your eyes…wait, that doesn’t make sense, you’d stop reading then…so, just imagine that one night at the Barbecue, when even the soaked dirt has its own particular Memphis smell. The tents filled with happy people, more pork cooking, Jell-O shots, stale beer and overall contentment. I’m telling you, we could market Memphis on the smell alone. As long as you’re not downwind of Beale Street.

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ome times when I’m feeling particularly lazy, and when my deadline for this column has come and gone, I’ll post on the social media asking for topic ideas. Much of the time, this has proved fruitless, as people use the request as an excuse to scream about politics and race and gas prices and all kinds of other decidedly unfunny things. This time my friend Steve came through by suggesting that the aromas of Memphis would make for entertaining reading. Notice he said “aromas” and not “odors.” I’ve been to a lot of other cities in my life, and you may not realize it, but we have a swell smelling city. My favorite two cities that aren’t Memphis and don’t require crossing an ocean to visit, are New York and New Orleans, neither one of which, oddly, smell anywhere near new. They each present their own olfactory challenges. New York, while offering delicious food smells every couple of dozen feet, also carries the scent of ten million people overpaying for tiny apartments and huge cups of coffee. There is a palpable hint in the air of frustration, irritation, impatience, resentment, and, somehow, more cabs than people. New Orleans also has those tasty food smells, but they are accompanied by the distinct funk of a city that is occasionally underwater, and when it’s not is deluged by the things drunk tourists do when they get the impression that drinking in New Orleans isn’t recreational, but rather a challenge to be met and conquered. Let’s not be too graphic here, but let’s just say a few more public restrooms wouldn’t hurt. Except for, you know, the people who might get killed in them. Years ago, some friends and I were tapped to do promos for the Fox MidSouth channel. I have no idea if the channel even exists anymore. We were asked to say nice things about “My Mid-South,” and my friend Sandy nailed it when she said, “In the spring My Mid-South smells like honeysuckle and barbecue.” It’s funny that she was the one who summed our lit-

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Good Will Road Trip

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nited States Congressman Dan Kuykendall greets Robert Huff and Walter Slaughter on the steps of the Nation’s Capitol as they arrived for an appointment with President Richard Nixon. At the time, Huff and Slaughter were working as good will ambassadors and visiting all the states in celebration for the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of the city of Memphis. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBERT HUFF If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Rachel Warren at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to editor@rsvpmagazine.com All photos will be returned promptly.

Beautiful and lasting memories are as simple as

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RSVP Magazine April 2014