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August 2013

Zoo Brew Vin-A-Que Big Wig Ball “Taking Flight” Gift of Life Gala Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball Q&A with Dean Peter Letsou


CONTENTS

Contents August 201 3

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 René Koopman invites RSVP to hear him tickle the ivories. Big Wig Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital supporters brought out their best wigs for a hairraising fund-raiser at Central Station.

12 BIG WIG BALL Tammy Croak-Wilson and Dawn Moreau

The Ambassador Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Valisia LeKae: Her Supreme Being She’s wowing Broadway with her award-nominated turn as Diana Ross.

Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Carnival Memphis members united to kick off Carnival Week at Hilton Memphis.

48 VIN-A-QUE Laura and Randy Tims

Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Q&A with the new dean of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School AU G U S T 2 013

of Law, Peter Letsou.

StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 & 40 He’s helping refugees find their footing in Memphis. This exhibit supervisor gets up close to the zoo’s newest inhabitants: stingrays and sharks. StreetSeens highlight Steve Moses and Nathan Dryer.

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Zoo Brew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 The suds flowed at the Memphis Zoo, but just for the humans, of course.

22 CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL Paula Wyatt and David Kelley

RSVP Room View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 This Eads master bath is as picturesque as its lake view. Vin-A-Que . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Chefs put their creative spins on snout-to-tail pork barbecue at the Memphis Brooks

56 GIFT OF LIFE GALA Deshunda and Willie Henry

Museum of Art.

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54, 55, 62 & 63 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention. Gift of Life Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 The National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee moved to the Memphis Marriott for its annual black-tie gala.

“Taking Flight” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

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RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Know What I’m Sayin’? Dennis Phillippi has a beef with wiseguy phrases.

ZOO BREW Holly Penna and Kristen Herring

60 “TAKING FLIGHT” Bill and Carmine Vaughan

Cover Photo Anne and Kemp Conrad at Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball Photo by Don Perry


Volume XVIII

Number XI

August 2013 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

Leah Fitzpatrick CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kelly Cox Dennis Phillippi Eugene Pidgeon Suzanne Thompson Peggy Reisser Winburne Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR

Patrick Aker s PHOTOGRAPHERS

Baxter Buck Don Perry Steve Roberts

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Chris Pugh Kristen Miller ACCOUNTING

Ruth Cassin EDITORIAL INTERN

R achel Warren

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6 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 2013 Haithcock Communications, Inc.


R SV P S TA F F

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

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

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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.

RACHEL WARREN, EDITORIAL INTERN 901.276.7787, EXT. 108 rachel@rsvpmagazine.com

Rachel is passionate about print media and has covered many local events in Jackson, Mississippi in the past. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Millsaps College, and in 2011, she moved back to her hometown of Memphis. She is delighted to be part of the RSVP team as an editorial intern. She loves writing about all the amazing people and places in Memphis, enjoying a great book and chasing a good story.

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7 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.


From the Editor

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ince rude people are the bane of my existence, I’m happy to report that nothing but exceptionally friendly people have been crossing my path lately. Now, I realize that in the South it’s fairly commonplace for people to say hello and give a nod when they don’t even know you or shell out a hug after first meeting you, but people who go above and beyond the normal protocol of niceties truly intrigue and impress me. These people are the ones who offer up directions before they even know you’re lost, recommend off-the-beaten cultural treasures before you ask, turn off the mileage meter in a taxi when stuck in traffic, take the time to make conversation when you’re all alone and offer you an ice-cold bottled water during a heat wave. Never do people who would do any of these things for a stranger question why he or she is doing them either. Why? Because their friendliness is ingrained. I wish that everyone any of us will ever meet in life could be this kind, but that simply will never be the case. There will always be someone who is in a bad mood, is sick of caring or has forgotten how to be the shining light to others. When coming into contact with this type of person, we need to put our pride aside and be that friendly soul, whether the friendliness is reciprocated or not, because you never know how your demeanor will impact someone once you walk away. From those I met during my vacation last month in jaw-droppingly beautiful Oregon (Visit the Willamette Valley now if you haven’t!) to fellow Overton Park users, I could give a shout-out to a number of individuals for wowing me with their cordialness, but one person I want to thank for hers in this column is Laura Doty. I met Laura for the first time this month at the Memphis Zoo, where I interviewed Nathan Dryer about the Stingray Bay exhibit (see page 40). Before going into the exhibit, I knew I’d be asked to pet the stingrays, however Laura, the zoo’s communications specialist, had no idea just how nervous I was about actually doing it. A pure scaredy-cat I was, but Laura didn’t pressure me. Instead, she happily gave me plenty of extra information on the animals after Nathan had to return to work and demonstrated how to properly interact with the rays, and next thing you know, I had my hand in the pool ready to touch a ray’s back. She put me at ease in a way most people can’t, and that’s just plain nice of her when you consider that someone else might not have had the patience. This issue comes chock-full of other wonderful interviewees, whose stories shouldn’t be overlooked either. So, read on to learn more about one of our city’s most cherished musicians (page 10), the new dean of the University of Memphis Law School (page 32) and the man who spearheaded the effort to bring World Relief Memphis to town (page 38). And until next month, enjoy the rest of your summer.

Leah Fitzpatrick editor@rsvpmagazine.com


Musician/Photographer/Cameraman/Musicians’ Union Member

Hometown: Apeldoorn, Holland. Your Most Annoying Habit: Repeating myself. Place You Go to Think: At the piano I think best. Favorite Southern Idiom: “Y’all come back, you hear?” Best Gift You Ever Received: The friendship of Americans. The Highlight of Your Day: Accomplishing my daily to-do list. Best Dish You Cook: I don’t cook a thing except a soft-boiled egg. Biggest Pet Peeves: Potholes and lights on when no one is in the room. First Car You Drove: A two-seater Citroen (in Holland) with an engine similar to a lawnmower! Best Advice You Ever Got: To move from New Jersey to Hammond, Louisiana and study music at Southeastern Louisiana College. Your Best Quality: Versatility. I learned all types of music as a boy—I learned by doing—and had lessons every Friday afternoon year round…no vacations. Something You’ll Never Live Down: A night with Danny Thomas at a St. Jude Shower of Stars concert (in the ’70s). Coolest Thing About Memphis: It is cool to me that after 20 years I still get to play piano for the Memphis Jazz Orchestra on Sunday nights at Alfred’s. Favorite Song: I know hundreds of songs—no way I can choose just one. For me though, the jazz style became my favorite, and I am still inspired by the recordings of great pianists George Shearing, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and Count Basie. Proudest Moment of Your Life: There are two, one in Holland and one in America. First, as a boy during the war, I rigged a bicycle dynamo to the water faucet at the kitchen sink then connected a wire to a flashlight bulb over the table. The running water would turn the wheel, which lit the bulb. My family was proud of me, and I was very happy to get light in the kitchen after the Nazi blackout. Another proud moment came when I was chosen by a private company to make a documentary of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. Goals You’d Still Like to Accomplish: To restore my photography workshop and darkroom, as well as develop and publish a few music teaching innovations with my fiancée.

Photo by Don Perry

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René Koopman


EVENT

Big Wig Ball

BIG WIG BALL

Wig Wearing for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

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Chris and Maureen O’Connor

Michelle Connors and Frank Rogers

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ad Hatters, sumo wrestlers, flappers and even Marie Antoinettes coiffed up and got down on a mild summer night in June for the annual Big Wig Ball to benefit Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. This year’s party for a cause was held at Central Station on South Main. There were plenty of food options to choose from, as Earnestine & Hazel’s, Café Society, The Peabody, Jim’s Place, Hog Wild BBQ and the Corked Carrot set up food stations that lined nearly the entire eastern wall of the station’s event room. Barbecued bologna and pulled pork, fish tacos and shrimp, potatoes au gratin and sandwiches were just part of the vast selection of party fare. After shopping the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, a Grizzlies autographed basketball and the gift certificates in the silent auction, Prohibition-era gangsters boogied with Daphne Blake-style characters while The Millionaires Band set the tone playing the latest hits in their own choices of wigs as well. “We tried to create an event that’s catered toward the young professional group to get more young people involved with Le Bonheur,” the hospital’s development coordinator Carol Matthews said. “This is not one of those black-tie stiff fund-raisers. It’s people having fun for a cause.” And have fun they did. Brandy Shelton kept the party in the back of her mind for years and finally fit it into her busy social calendar this year. Shelton, 31, said, “I see the pictures of it every year, and it looks so fun. I’m always out of town, or there’s something going on, but this year I was able to do it.” While Shelton chose a blue bob for her hairpiece, her friend decided to get a little more daring and ordered an 18th-century style wig online. “I wanted something a little off-kilter, something different,” Shelton’s friend, Diana Jarava, 37, said. “I had never heard of this before. I’m not from Memphis. I thought it would be really fun, and it is.”

Necy and Ben Livingston

Jen Jaudon and Lisa Fox

Story by Lesley Young Photos by Don Perry See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP Morgan Goldsmith and Keith Melancon

Brandy Shelton and Diana Jarava

Stephen and Liza Routh

Frank Chin, April Bush, Annette Egner and Joe Pitarro

Angela and Carlos Sargent


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Hudson Atkins and Isabelle Blais

Whitney and Jordan Thompson

Heather Antilley and Haley Keathley

Lauren Ditta and Asim Choudhri

Carolyn Powell and John Barton

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Andria Simonsen and Ben Prudhomme

Mike Key and Ashley Powell

Greg Gaston and Dr. Dory Sellers

Sylvester and Tracey Boatwright

Roz Croce and Pat McElhaney

Alexandra Phillips and Shannon Morgan


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BIG WIG BALL E V E N T

Justin and Kim Dyer

Jacob Coleman and Amanda Reinman

Ernie and Lynn Mellor

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Josh and Caley Spotts

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Julie McKnight, Rachel Hixon, Whitney Williams and Allie Olson

Alex and Helen Guyton

Natalie Finch and Maureen Cooper


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Gary King, Michelle Stubbs and Justin Jaggers

Megan Wilson, Carol Matthews, Savannah London and Pegah Shahidi RSVP

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Amanda Cobb, Amy Claire Petro and Autumn East

Caroline Giovanetti, Randall Noel, Hart Burke and Gerald Wade


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Eric and Lisa Hargrove with Carlos Walker

Stan and Amy Norton

Allison Kincade and Bob Wells

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Kelly McCollum, Kyle Turner and Amber Altomare

Sarah Klibert and Bryan O’Byrnes

Jan and Geoff Falk


John Bandura and Paula Brown

Justin Hubbs and Elizabeth Barzizza

Mary Lawrence Carruthers and David Deaderick

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BIG WIG BALL E V E N T LaTonya Washington and DeJuan Hendricks

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Patrick Ellis, John Reed, Garret Stone and Mark Mundell

Pam McDonald and Haley Bowles

Kim Andrade and Boonie Walls


By Eugene Pidgeon

VALISIA LEKAE: HER SUPREME BEING

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f you are a patron of the musical theater, then the ticket to have on Broadway this season is to the brand new musical production “Motown.” Even if you are not so beguiled by the leotard and limelight of “The Great White Way,” you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to admit to never having been moved by Smokey, The Temps and The Tops, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Little Stevie Wonder or Diana Ross and the Supremes. To get a sense of the great American struggle and to get to the heart of the great American triumph, you must realize that it has all been documented in the downbeat genius of Berry Gordy. Motown is his story. And, now on Broadway, his story, which spans more than a half a century, has been condensed into a two-hour, dippity-doo-wop romp and stomp that will take your breath, take you under and then bring you all of the way back home again. As much as “Motown: The Musical” is a general celebration of how, and against all odds, the singular vision of one man became our American Dream, it is also a love story. Somewhere between Desdemona and Othello, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and swept up and propelled by both a civil and cultural turbulence to mark the period, the names Berry Gordy and Diana Ross are forever etched together into the zeitgeist and folklore of America in the 1960s. Ross is a powerful and complex woman. It would take an equally powerful and complex woman to portray her on stage. Memphis-born Valisia LeKae is that woman. During a period in American history that was both rife with creativity and savagery, Ross cut her records and her teeth, and forged her identity as a human being and as an artist. In the 1960s, we lost Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, JFK, MLK and RFK. In this decade, we also put a man on the moon, and nearly 60,000 more in the ground as a result of the war in Vietnam. Gordy, Ross and Motown itself were tempered by these events. This is not the experience of Valisia LeKae, yet all it takes is one listen and one viewing to fully recognize how she is not portraying Diana Ross…she is Diana Ross. Hers is a staggering performance. Not just the breath, not just the choreography or the voice. It is not the shoes, the bouffant,

the lip gloss or even the short little Surrey skirts with the tassels and pleats—the kitsch and accoutrements a lesser talent would seek refuge behind. LeKae doesn’t rely on mimicry or gimmicks. Her organic performance is at once understated and vulnerable when singing “Stop! In the Name of Love,” then riveting and overwhelming when she asserts herself in the worry and confusion of “Where Did Our Love Go.”

Photo by Joan Marcus

THE AMBASSADOR SERIES

The Ambassador Series

“Obviously, I didn’t grow up during the ’50s and ’60s,” LeKae admits, “so I didn’t experience the same things that Ms. Ross did. But, I did grow up in the South, and I learned a lot from my parents and grandparents about Civil Rights and the struggle. And, I did grow up with Motown. I used to select the records that were in the jukebox in the barber shop my grandfather owned in Memphis, and the music of Motown was some of my favorite.” When preparing for her role as Diana Ross, LeKae is conscious of her difficult rise to international stardom. She finds her link to Ross, not by examining the ordeal of her physical journey, but by embracing the joys of the musical and spiritual journeys. “Back then, when she start-

ed singing, the times were very difficult for her and for all African-Americans,” says LeKae. “But, what Motown and Diana Ross were able to do was to cross over and make it a little easier for everyone else. And, even though things were very difficult, they had such a love for what they were doing that they were willing to accept any pain and sacrifice because they loved the music.” LeKae reminds us of how in the early days many of the artists were on the Motortown Revue and doing as many as four to five shows a day when she says, “Once they got off stage, they’d be called the N-word by the white people who they were playing for. It wasn’t easy for any of them. But, with their love for the music and for the company, and with the message they were sending, they were able to overcome it all.” Valisia LeKae sets the bar high. She remains faithful to her art, and her sense of service will never yield to the distractions of fame and fortune. And, she still loves Memphis. “When I come home…I am home,” she says. More than anything, she embraces Proverbs 16:3. “Give your work unto the Lord and He will direct your thoughts.” With this verse and less than $200 in her pocket, and with no place to live and no contacts, LeKae followed her heart to New York and eventually landed the role of Diana Ross in the Broadway production of “Motown,” which garnered a 2013 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She lost the award to another African-American nominee, Patina Miller, who won for her leading role in the Broadway revival of “Pippin.” On the Fourth of July, LeKae as Diana Ross, with the rest of the Supremes and the company of “Motown,” was invited to perform on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C. Fifty years later, she stands as a Broadway star on the very same ground where in 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. presided over nearly a quarter of a million people to deliver his “I Have A Dream” speech. If Dr. King were alive today and could see LeKae, he would know how his dream...our dream…is finally coming true. And like she says in character, “I am the luckiest girl in the world.”

To make a suggestion or pitch a story idea, please contact Eugene at eugenepidgeon@rsvpmagazine.com.


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CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

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Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball Celebrating Carnival Memphis Royalty

F Misty and Dr. James Stamper

Pamela Smith and Kevin Bentley

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or months, each of the 10 Grand Krewes of Carnival Memphis have held coronation parties, but the Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball is the grandest of them all, and epitomizes the pomp and pageantry for which Carnival Memphis is known. It is the kick-off event for Carnival Week, seven days of celebration and practically round-the-clock partying.   Before the program began at Hilton Memphis, guests enjoyed cocktails as royalty were behind the scenes busily readying themselves for the ceremony. JJ Krauch, grandmother of Carnival Princess Sadie Krauch, and Jack Sammons Sr., father of Princess Elizabeth Sammons, were among those who eagerly awaited the beginning of the presentation. The princesses, all wearing white gowns and fulllength evening gloves, mingled with the crowd during the cocktail hour. Although the identities of the 2013 queen, Weezie Steffner, and king, Steve Sansom, were revealed in February, it is at the Crown & Sceptre Ball that they are formally presented and ascend their thrones. The Royal Pages, many of whose parents and grandparents participate in Carnival, followed them as they processed. Members of the Loyal Order of the Scarabs, young men who serve as the Royal Guard for the King and Queen, followed. Then, the “fairest ladies in the land,” the 43 princesses of Carnival were escorted to the front of the room where they joined the king and queen, followed by the three Ladies of the Realm. Royalty of each of the 10 krewes were presented before the king and queen, and the Secret Order of the Boll Weevils brought up the rear of the procession. Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1966, this group is known for its flamboyant behavior, many of whom wore the wacky weevil uniforms for which they are known, but always delight the children who are involved with the annual group of benefactors part of the Carnival Memphis Children’s Charity Initiative. After the entire court was assembled, Carnival President Buddy Dearman and executive director Ed Galfsky joined them and was put on the spot with the question, “Which is your favorite charity?” Galfsky, always the diplomat, replied, “They are all my favorite.” Not to be let off the hook, Galfsky was roped into the starring role in a spoof of “The Dating Game.” Guests later enjoyed a dinner of parmesan-crusted filet of beef served on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes with haricot vert. Following the meal, the Nashville-based Pat Patrick Band took the stage, and the revelers danced the night away. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Allison James and Scott Freeburg

Story by Suzanne Thompson Photos by Don Perry

Christine Groves and Catherine Harris

Max Cohen and Caitlin Adams

Dabney Collier and John Whittemore

Donna Melton and Ed Galfsky

Hannah Douglas, JJ Keras, Elizabeth Holbrook and Sydney Clark

Neely and Virginia McGrew


EVENT CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

Chris Owens and Emily Pratt

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Cindy and David Gambrell

Judson Williford, Anna Lane and Lily and Thomas Hussey RSVP

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Bill and Susan Warner

Joey and Laura Russell

William Ross, Molly Norfleet-Ross, Jackie Graves and Paul Maum


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Ashley and Bryan Krauch

CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

Kelly Jo, Caroline and Mitch Graves

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Susan Smith, Ashley Alexander, Chuck Smith and Ann Stevens

Chris Perkins and Meredith Perkins

Donna and Keith Renard


EVENT CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

Ellen Patrick and John Goodyear

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Jack and Marti Marsh

Joan Hawkins, Cindy Middleton, Nancy Beck and Judy Winkler RSVP

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William Raiford and Linda Yoakum

Len and Cheryl Pennock

Ricky Harris, Vickie Moffett and Ryan Groves


EVENT Jeff and Floy Cole

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Martha and Mike Hess

CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

Johnny and Kim Pitts with Joanie and Michael Lightman

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Susan Arney, Irene Brownlow, Kendrick Armistead Dopp, Mary Carr and Ellen Gronauer

Karen and John Davis

Sadie Krauch and Jazz Singh


EVENT CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

Henry and Marjorie Porter

Janette and Bobby Krauch

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Donna and Pat Hoffman

Abbye West and Justin Kilgore

McKenzie and Donald Nobert

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Will Mays and Jacque Walker

John and Lisa Bobango

Carnival Queen Weezie Steffner and Carnival King Steve Sansom

Ellen and Lisa Mitchell

Alexis Wells and Langston Thomas

Caron Byrd and Calvin Miller


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EVENT CROWN & SCEPTRE CORONATION BALL

Marcus and Mary Ann Hodges

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Mac McGee and Weetie Whittemore

Meredith and Suzanna McKinney, Mary Lauren Bobango and Stephanie and Evelyn McKinney RSVP

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Claiborne and Ginger Collier

Collin, Holly, Katie and Paul Craft

Meredith, Herb and Dorothy Wells


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VOX POPULAR

Vox Popular Q&A with Dean Peter Letsou

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RSVP: What interested you about coming to the University of Memphis as the dean of its law school?

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Letsou: Initially, just the school itself. Having seen it, it’s a school much beloved in the community and one that has a great history— it’s a great school, from the building to the urban location near the courts and the legislature to the support you get from the alumni in the community. When I think about what kind of law school will succeed in the future, and not all law schools will, there are a lot of great features to this school that will help it to do so. In law schools today, people are talking a lot about experiential education for law students, and by being able to offer those types of experiential learning opportunities, just by virtue of our location, that lets us do some things that a lot of other schools can’t do. In a way, that’s a big contrast from where I was. I was dean at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, which has 100,000 people. It was a great law school, and I loved it there, but if you try to do experiential learning opportunities for students in that environment, it’s very tough because the city is 45 minutes away. There’s also a lot of attention in the press today about the cost of legal education, and again, it’s a contrast here from where I was at a private law school, which is relatively expensive. Having a state law school with a much lower state tuition makes law school a lot more affordable to people, and therefore a lot more attractive. We’re at a point where we really have to compete for law students these days. People have been scared away from law school by the lack of jobs, or at least the reduced number of jobs from the past, so you really need to present a compelling program to students in order to get them to make the investment in law school. RSVP: I know your first day was only June 3, but how have you taken to living in Memphis so far? Letsou: Right now, I’m in a temporary living situation, but I really like it. In contrast, in Oregon I was commuting 100 miles round

Photos by Don Perry

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chool will soon resume at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, but the students of the incoming class won’t be the only new faces on campus. There’s another new guy in town since Peter Letsou assumed his role as the dean of the law school this June. Though Letsou hasn’t met most of the student body yet, he has been busily making his presence known to alumni and others in the legal profession, while addressing tactics that will be useful in driving the law school forward on a regional and national scale. RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick interviewed Letsou in his office overlooking the Mississippi to discuss his legal background, what drove him to U of M and his foresight on what it will take to ensure the school’s continued success. Letsou offered, “We need to be visible in other communities, so drawing students from other communities is helpful, sending students to other communities is helpful, having our faculty visiting other schools and making presentations, having specializations here that other people notice, all of that is a part of expanding the reach of the law school. The broader our reach, the more we’re able to do here.”

trip every day. Here, we’re going to be living in East Memphis [His family living here includes his wife, Felicity, and a 15-year-old son; his other son and daughter are grown.], so it’s about a 20-minute drive on city streets. The city is extremely livable, and it’s very pretty. Before I got here, I had no conception of what Memphis looked like, but the city is lovely, and the downtown is great. I’ve sampled some barbecue, and I had the pleasure of meeting John Vergos at Rendezvous—a terrific guy and an alum of the law school at that. I really love it. There is the heat, but I’ve been in the cold a long time. There is also a lot of character here and great people. RSVP: How do you think your previous deanship at Willamette University will benefit your role at U of M? Letsou: The schools and their environments are very different, but that was the first deanship I had, and there’s a fairly steep learning curve transitioning from being a professor to being an administrator. So, I feel much better about taking on this job having had the experience of budgeting, management and coordinating activities and faculty. That, I think, gives me a really solid foundation to build on. This job will be a different job, but I think I’m much more able to hit the job running here because of the experience I’ve had at Willamette, and most of those skills are going to be transferrable to a new setting. Again, not having to start with “what does it mean to be a dean” as opposed to “what does it mean to be a dean of Memphis” puts me in a much better position to move forward. RSVP: What are some things other than your previous work experience that have helped prepare you for this role? Letsou: I’ve moved around a lot and been in a lot of different environments, and I think I’ve been good about learning about the new environments I’ve been in, meeting people and adapting my approaches to different communities. Going back to my career though, I started practicing law for four years, and I’ve taught on the permanent faculties at three law schools: George Mason in Virginia, the University of Cincinnati and at Willamette University. So, I’ve seen a lot of what lawyers do in different settings, and I


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also think that for most law students, their careers aren’t going to be just one job. Like mine, it’s probably going to be an evolution of things. I think students have to take that longer-term view when they prepare for practice, instead of just thinking that they’re going to do X forever. In a way, I think my own life might mirror what typical law students might expect through their lives.

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RSVP: Do you expect any changes to the curriculum in the coming years?

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Letsou: I think legal education is ripe for change, and I think there will be changes in the curriculum. From where I sit only three weeks in, I can’t say exactly what they’ll be, but the kinds of things I think you’ll see will be getting students out of the classroom and into more experiential learning settings. I think that’s going to be important. If you talk with lawyers in the Bar, I think they would say that we need to be giving lawyers different skills. So, we’ll be planning to talk more to the practicing Bar and to the general counsels in the community to get their ideas of what skills they think new lawyers should have that they don’t have. Again, I think Memphis is a good market to do that in because we have big companies like FedEx, IP and AutoZone, and they’ve got general counsels. Then, we’ve got big organizations here like St. Jude. I think we have lots of lawyers in different settings—in-house counsels, law firms, judges—who I think have some good ideas on how lawyers should be educated. In addition to changes in the way that lawyers are educated, I think we’ll also be looking for places where we think our school can have a competitive advantage in the marketplace, some specializations that maybe we can do better than others. We’re a small law school, so we can’t do everything, but I think it would be good if we identified a few areas where we can make a little bit of extra investment and try to establish a broader reputation. One area where I know we’re going

and we’re already starting is health care law. It’s an area where everybody sees some opportunities. If you look at spending in the economy, it’s one area that’s doing well. There’s a lot of investing in health care, and if you look at the Affordable Care Act, we have a lot of new regulations—it’s always been a complicated regulatory area, but is becoming even more so. I think it’s an area where there will be a large demand for lawyers with appropriate legal skills. It’s a good city to get out front in this area with all the hospitals, a lot of research going on and companies like Medtronic in medical device manufacturing. We’ve already hired someone for the fall who will direct a health care law program for us, as well as be a professor. RSVP: Have you had much interaction with the students thus far? I know they were probably out for the summer by the time you started. Letsou: They were gone by the time I got here, but I’ve met a few of them. You know, the student body was another attractive feature of this school. I taught at the University of Cincinnati before I was in Oregon, and there are some similarities between Cincinnati and Memphis, particularly with the law schools, and one of those things is that both schools get very good students to come because they know they’re going to get a quality education. So, people who might have been able to attend more nationally-recognized law schools if they wanted to, those people will stay here because we can give them what they want, whereas maybe a lot of other schools might have to scramble to get high quality students. We have a lot of people here who want to go to school here. RSVP: Do you know how many students will be in the incoming class?


Letsou: We can easily handle about 150 students, and we possibly could be even a little bigger than that. Traditionally, 150 has been a comfortable size for the law school through the years. We’re now in a much bigger facility than we were when those classes were that size, so in terms of square footage, I know we could handle a larger class. RSVP: Are there any events planned or ways you’d like to interact with the incoming students and current classes once they come back in the fall? Letsou: I’ll be at orientation in the fall, and I’ll try to do with the

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RSVP: What do you feel like is your long-term goal as dean? Letsou: We need to find a way to broaden our reputation and have people think of us outside of Tennessee. We need to have a broader appeal first in the region and then in the nation. The vast majority of our students come from Tennessee, and that’s great, but I’d like to see students from neighboring states being more interested in us. I would like to see academics from other parts of the country talking more about us. Making people aware of what we’re doing is my overriding goal.

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RSVP: What would you like to see the number of students be for an incoming class?

students what I’m doing with the alumni, which is get out and meet as many people as I can. In the few weeks I’ve been here, I’ve met lots of alumni and non-alumni. I think one of the nice things here are not only are the alumni very supportive of the law school, but the non-alumni who I’ve met are also very supportive. So, with the students, I’ll be at orientation and probably will have some lunches with them. The upside of having a small class these days is that it is manageable, and you can easily meet everyone. A lot of what I’m doing these first six months is learning the place. I have ideas about what I think we should do, but each place is different. So, getting to know the students and faculty and what they want, and getting to know the new provost at the university, the new president who will be here down the line and the community is job number one.

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Letsou: That’s still ongoing, but I think we’ll be in the neighborhood of where we were last year, which was around 113. We’re in a world where applications to law schools have been declining fairly dramatically over the last eight or nine years. That trend I think though is nearing its bottom, and I’m seeing solid signs of recovery in the job market for lawyers. I think the students and applicants will come back, but for now, I think prospective students are still cautious. We can be, and we will be, a much bigger law school than we are right now, but again, we need some positive signs.


STREETSEEN

Steve Moses

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Point of Contact in a New Land

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rom the moment Steve Moses first touched base with World Relief’s national headquarters in Baltimore to see about getting the nation’s only evangelical refugee resettlement agency to open an office here until World Relief Memphis opened its doors, two-and-a-half years had elapsed. However, compared to the time the average refugee stays in a camp, which Moses estimates at 17 years, a couple of years seems like nothing. Quickly approaching World Relief Memphis’ first anniversary on August 6, Moses knows the effort was worth it, as the local outpost has already served between 120-130 individuals. He adds, “The three places we see the most people from are Somalia, Iraq and Nepal, but we have gotten people from Ethiopia, Congo and Darfur [in western Sudan].” The harsh reality is that there are 43 million uprooted victims of conflict and persecution globally, with 15 million of those refugees who have fled their countries and 27 million labeled as internally displaced people in their own homeland, according to the United Nations. After hearing numbers like those, one begins to understand the call

to action that Moses had to offer assistance to refugees, a population he worked with before as the former refugee coordinator at Christ Community Health Services, which gives refugees in Memphis their initial medical care. Moses’ awareness for displaced people actually began while studying at Union University, where he says he learned that God cares for all people. During college, he also broadened his worldview by taking a short-term trip overseas and spending a summer abroad, and after graduation, he lived in Egypt. “I moved back to Memphis right before 9/11, which was difficult because I had a heart for Islamic people…then people didn’t want to help them,” he tells. Now at the helm of World Relief Memphis, which has six other employees (a life skills coordinator, an employment specialist, a volunteer coordinator, an eligibility case worker and two case managers, not to mention more than 10 interns) in its office at Union Avenue Baptist Church, Moses is able to assist people like the ones he met abroad by making sure that clients, who are referred by several organizations, have access to social services and life skills from housing

and emergency rent and food assistance to ESL classes and job readiness training. In addition, World Relief empowers area churches to serve the “most vulnerable.” Currently, the nonprofit has 15 churches with nearly 90 volunteers working in teams two to four hours a week (for up to six months) to engage refugee families in activities that normal Memphians would do. By law, refugees can continue to receive services from World Relief Memphis for up to five years, but the expectation is for refugees to be self-sufficient in six to eight months, which is why a need remains for others to help with the process. Those wanting to volunteer are encouraged to visit worldreliefmemphis.org, and if you’re hesitant to do so, Moses offers encouragement by saying, “We have a lot to learn from refugees; it’s not just us serving them. A mutual exchange takes place, and we gain a lot.” If you had to move to another country, who would you want to help you? Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Don Perry


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STREETSEEN

Nathan Dryer Surrounded by Stingrays (and Sharks!)

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tanding in a 17,000-gallon saltwater pool at the Memphis Zoo’s newest exhibit, Stingray Bay, Nathan Dryer casually leans down to feed some of the 29 resident cownose and southern stingrays…when a shark swims up. Dryer, the exhibit supervisor, doesn’t show any panic though, as he points out that sharks reside in the exhibit as well. In fact, there are seven whitespotted bamboos, one brown-banded bamboo and two bonnethead sharks sharing the tank with the stingrays, both of which don’t seem to mind the other being around. Dryer says, “They get along fine, and many of the stingrays and sharks live in the same areas in the wild.” For instance, the cownose ray, a species with a forehead resembling a cow’s nose, thrives in the Atlantic, while the bonnethead shark also lives on the East Coast (as well as the West Coast) of North America. And, of course, none of the species in the exhibit, which is the zoo’s first interactive one with marine animals, can be found anywhere in nature regionally, making the experience that much more unique for guests. Laura Doty, the zoo’s communications specialist, does mention that visitors might have seen Stingray Bay’s inhabitants at other zoos since they travel with Living Exhibits Inc. nationwide. The rays in Memphis had been in the St. Louis Zoo and in Toronto, while the sharks came from a winter pool in Florida. Though the zoo is responsible for the overall exhibit and its physical structure, Living Exhibits, a Las Vegas company that produces and manages interactive marine and seasonal avian exhibits, takes care of the animals, which arrived in Memphis this past March via 18-wheelers equipped with tanks. Living Exhibits also employs the onsite staff, which includes Dryer and animal care specialists Emily Burford and Michael Kelly. At any given moment, the zoo additionally has as many as five educators on hand to answer questions, with the most common ones centering on the rays’ barbs. “We trimmed the barbs as the rays arrived, so they won’t sting,” Dryer reassures. “And, we trimmed them again a couple of weeks ago, as you need to do it about every two months.” Doty adds, “Rays with full barbs don’t like to use them anyway since it takes six months to a year for them to grow back, leaving the ray virtually defenseless.” The whole trimming procedure takes about 1530 seconds and is done painlessly with dog toenail clippers. Harmless to visitors, the rays come right up to the pool’s walls for patrons to pet them by using a flat palm on their backs. Sharks can also be touched in this way, but visitors don’t have the option of buying food to feed them like they do with the rays because staffers don’t want sharks associating food with human hands. Instead, sharks are fed shrimp, squid, capelin and mackerel by using a pole with a pointed end. October 27 will mark the last day for the Kroger-sponsored exhibit, which costs $3 for members and $4 for non-members with a general admission ticket, however it returns in March of 2014 for another season. The zoo expects roughly the same number of animals, and maybe even some new marine species, however all of the animals, including crowd pleasers Scarlet, a 16-year-old, 120-pound southern stingray, and Foxy, the lone brown-banded bamboo shark, aren’t guaranteed to come back. Rest assured, there will still be lots to anticipate. “We are doing enrichment training with the rays and having them follow a pole around the pool, and since the World Cup is next year, we hope to teach them to play soccer by putting a ball into the net with their noses,” Dryer says. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Don Perry


EVENT

Zoo Brew

ZOO BREW

Memorial Day Weekend Kick-Off

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Pam Moulton and Mark Molin

Jamie Roberts and Melissa Schweitzer

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he typical scene at the Memphis Zoo during sunset is one of animals retiring to their indoor lairs for the night and the slow dissipation of the throngs of families heading home for dinner. Yet, on this Memorial Day weekend night the zoo kept its doors open late for a special crowd, a crowd looking for a different kind of exotic creature: fine craft beer. One of the Memphis Zoo’s popular fundraisers, Zoo Brew had an especially large turnout this time, as more and more people look forward to the two nights a year opportunity to taste beers from around the globe within the wild settings of the Memphis Zoo.  Supplied with a tasting cup and a beer guide map, attendees set out on a course of more than 34 beer vendors offering 100plus different types of beer ranging from beer brewed right here in Memphis to beer from Thailand. Our city’s very own Ghost River Brewing was there pouring up its Golden Ale, Copperhead Red and Glacial Pale Ale. Yazoo Brewing Company, another Tennessee star brewery out of Nashville, served its smoky malted beer, Sue, alongside Dos Perros, Hefeweizen, Hop Project and Pale Ale. Some of the most unique drinks available were Crispin Hard Cider Company’s all-natural cider, The Saint, and Wells & Young’s Brewery’s Banana Bread beer. Memphis restaurant and brewery Boscos Squared was also there presenting its delicious handcrafted brews. Adam Hargrove, Boscos’ head brewer, skillfully walked tasters through one of the outfit’s award-winning brews, Isle of Sky Scottish Ale, pointing out the beer’s hints of roasted chocolate, vanilla sweetness and malt to hops ratio. Although beer was the choice of the night, the wine lover was not left out, as several wine stations dotted the circuit offering samples of Twisted Wines’ merlot or pinot grigio for $7. With all the libations, people were ready to dance, and Party Planet was there to fulfill that need with its soulful music that had everyone singing and dancing in line. Singer-songwriter Marcela Pinilla and her band blew everyone away in the Pavilion with their Latin and jazz-infused sound.  Event sponsors included Budweiser of Memphis, EWR IT Solutions, Mahaffey Tent & Party Rentals and Southland Park Gaming and Racing. More than $100,000 was raised, and 3,000 people attended, clearly showing the event’s growing popularity. Look out for the Labor Day weekend installment of Zoo Brew on August 30, as it is sure to be another wild time.

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

Greg and Meredith Martin

Story by Rachel Warren Photos by Baxter Buck

Lindsey Abbott and Carolyn Dote

Michael Dearfield and Christen Marzula

Stephanie Hupp and Mike Rosier

Sarah Delucia and Jonathon Davis

Brandee Masterson, Rachel Mullen, Jessica Simmons and Christina Owen

Chris and Stacey Brown


EVENT ZOO BREW Valerie Burton and Josh Fawley

Mandy Pastor and Brittany Pastor

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Stephanie and John Drouillard

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Brandon and Rebecca Cortese

Emily Maharrey, Will Sater and Paige Rames


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Christina Jabbour, Eric McEnerney, Bethany Harrell and Meredith Carrozza

Peter and Libbie Bouck

Randy Tatum and Jennifer White

Joe and Britney Smith

Cissy Oglesby and Billy Overstreet

Shea Conner and Kelsey Browning

Meredith Steenerson and Donna Strain

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Gary and Ashleigh Crosby with Renay and Ricky Goodwin

Erica Thornton, Kcbena Cash and Sonia Golden RSVP

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Amber Sauber, Suzanne Edgell, Angie Steelman and Stacy Creekmore

Russell and Melissa Pope, Alice White and Crystal Shields


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RSVP ROOM VIEW Interview by Peggy Reisser Winburne | Photos by Steve Roberts

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hen a busy East Memphis family decided to leave the city in search of more bucolic surroundings, they looked east to Eads. It took about three years of planning and construction to achieve their dream retreat, a spacious rambling French farmhouse-inspired home set on 35 acres, complete with a stocked lake, a swimming pool and enough surrounding green space to make them forget they’re anywhere near a city. They worked with architect Doug Enoch, builder Doyle Ricks and interior designer Jennifer Estes to give the new construction the appearance of a European family home that has evolved over time. “We didn’t want that ‘showroom look,’” says Estes, owner of Jennifer Estes Interior Design. The spacious master bathroom is a perfect illustration. Its spa-like feel, clean and balanced traditional design, custom cabinetry and mirrors, tumbled marble flooring, tile and marble counters by Natural Stone, unexpected furnishings and soft colors of cream, beige, French gray, gold and green make it seem less a space for cleaning up and more a space for living. RSVP: What would you say the overall tone or feel of this bathroom is?

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Estes: When we were doing the house, in general, she wanted it to have a very clean but traditional French look, very soft with pops of color. As you move through the house, the colors become a little bit softer. She wanted traditional and spa-like. RSVP: Well, I notice blues up front. Estes: Blue, red, green and gold were kind of the quadrant of colors we used throughout the entire house on some degree. The [master] bedroom in here is probably more blue and kind of beige and gold, whereas you get in here [the master bath] and you’ve kind of got more of the green with beige and gold. They’re all kind of the same tone, and washed out, so they just all kind of flow together. RSVP: And the idea for this area, which includes the bathroom, the exercise room, the bedroom and the closet, was to make a space that they could live in?  Estes: Yeah, because predominately when they are home and in the house, this is actually where they spend a good bit of their time. They travel a good bit and they’re very busy, so basically, when they’re here [at home], this is kind of where they are. They entertain a lot, so they use the rest of the house as well. But evenings, mornings, they’re back here.

Top: “Everything in the house is custom, down to the bones of it,” Estes says. That includes the his-and-hers mirrors, vanity and cabinets that anchor both sides of the master bath. Estes picked the trim molding, had the mirrors made and designed the cabinetry with its beading detail, French-gray-green color and wire and fabric insets to fit the overall theme of the home. All the faucets and other plumbing fixtures came from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Above: A freestanding French pedestal tub is nestled in an alcove opposite the steam shower to take advantage of the lake view. Café curtains, created by Ann Smith, allow for privacy but don’t obscure natural light. Estes also framed the alcove area with hand-embroidered Belgian linen curtains, also by Smith, that can be drawn for privacy and to make the tub area cozier.

RSVP: What are some of the things, besides the color scheme, that you felt you needed to do here to make this area the most livable? Estes: She wanted good storage. So instead of just having a regular wood-panel cabinet, I had wire put there with fabric behind it because it gives the illusion of being more open than just solid wood. I also put legs under them. All those things add to


RSVP ROOM VIEW just kind of the visual illusion of things being more open.

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Left: Designer Jennifer Estes used a tall chest and lamps to turn what would have been a passthrough in the master bathroom into an inviting seating area. Opposite the chest, two French bergères, upholstered in a subtle check pattern that is repeated throughout the room, beckon one to sit and visit. On the lone wall, Estes opted to hang artwork by Memphis artist Paul Edelstein. Below: A light and bright exercise room off one side of the master bath echoes the general color scheme of the home.

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RSVP: Let’s talk about what is physically in here. Why don’t you walk me through it? Estes: I like everything to be very balanced. So, this bathroom is split down the middle with his and hers. They each have their own entrance to the closet, and then the common areas, which would be the shower and the bathtub, split down the middle [of the room]. It allows for privacy to some degree, while also having the intimacy of sharing a bathroom as well. They both love to exercise. The exercise room [off the master bathroom] brings in a lot of natural light. We had the tub there [in an alcove under a window], and we used the café curtains because the house sits up kind of high from the ground, so by doing that we give them privacy to where if they wanted to get in the bathtub, someone from outside could not see them, but they’re still getting the natural light. But, we did the taller curtains outside [the tub] just because, you know, it also gives a sense of privacy. It makes it cozier. RSVP: I see you chose wallpaper. Why did you do that as opposed to paint? Estes: Paint does not give you texture. Wallpaper just transforms a room, whereas paint, it’s very flat, it’s a lot more unforgiving, it’s basic. Anybody can have paint, but you can put wallpaper on a room and not do anything else and you’ve decorated the room almost. I picked this one because it’s a very subtle, pale stripe. It complements the rest of the room, but it also pulls together all the colors in a very subtle way.

of this view as much as possible. If you notice, almost every living space they use opens up to this view. It’s a very private property out here, so you could sit in the bathtub and leave these open if you wanted to and look out and nobody’s going to see you. We built this alcove to fit the tub and to have the window.

RSVP: Did you design the room to have the tub overlooking the window and the lake?

Estes: She loves Paul Edelstein. But once again, that kind of lends to our modern touch in here, and it’s a nice pop of color. And, I really, really like to have a more modern, abstract, bolder piece in traditional settings. The juxtaposition, I think, is always very nice.

Estes: We did. When doing this house, we wanted to take advantage

RSVP: An Edelstein in the bathroom is unusual.


EVENT

Vin-A-Que

VIN-A-QUE

“The Art of Swine and Wine”

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Kim Harrison and Rhonda Bagwell

Pam and Michael Wells

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in-A-Que, a noun for the art of swine and wine, really solidified a place in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s Memphis Wine and Food Series lineup by selling out in its second year. Presented by the First Tennessee Foundation, the casual fund-raiser beckons to the barbecue-lovin’ crowd, while managing to cater to vegetarians as well with non-meat options—perhaps this is the recipe that spawned the event’s success, lest one forgets that excellent wines are also involved. This year, the series featured wines from Oregon, home to the Willamette Valley, which Wine Enthusiast Magazine touted as a wine travel destination for 2013. So, alongside snout-to-tail pork barbecue and veggie-heavy hors d’oeuvres, visiting vintners from wineries like Adelsheim Vineyard, Argyle Winery and Elk Cove Vineyards poured the region’s popular pinot noirs. And, in keeping with the drink du jour, organizers rounded up wine-friendly silent auction goodies, including the ultimate gift for white wine and lighter red drinkers, the Corkcicle—an icicle looking tool that keeps wine chilled at the perfect drinking temperature. Not to be outshone, local mixologists crafted creative cocktails worthy of sipping in an art museum…and at a barbecue. For example, Alchemy Memphis came up with “Oh My Clementine,” and Heavy Water Vodka (at Buster’s Liquors & Wines) concocted “The Spitfire.” Budweiser of Memphis got in on the fun too by serving craft beers. Fare that complemented the libations could be found at every turn inside the venue. To get an idea of the night’s menu, there were pulled pork tortillas with jalapeno salsa verde from Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass; smoked tofu with mushrooms by the Brooks’ own Brushmark Restaurant; mini apple pies, chipotle shrimp and Brunswick stew with pulled pork by Harrah’s Tunica; Garibaldi’s pizza slices; and Rendezvous’ barbecue popcorn and signature sausage, cheese and pickle plate. Guests ended the night on the terrace underneath the glow of lights that emanated from a homemade Mason jar chandelier, which cast a special aura around Memphis band Star & Micey as it brought down the house—something organizers hope to achieve again when they bring out the Brooks Avant Garde Party this November.

Jeanne Fortney and Jeff Fioranelli

Kim Ellichman and Danielle Donald

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP Staci Thomasson and Adam Kilgore

Brett and Rachel Randall

Sharon and Katherine Lee

Shibahn Singh, Ashley Hamilton, E’Lane Williams and Elizabeth Masteron

Karin Frost and Doug Golden


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

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April and Michael Bryan with Brent Little and Amy Shelton Little

Rose and Kurt Weil

Morgan Tate and Lily Thompson

Lana Orcutter and Stephen Kuehl

Ginny Bozeman, Amanda Meredith and Katie Savage

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Mark Awdeh and Elly Deyhle

Max Maloney, Marlinee Clark, Kelly Robinson and Michael Hughes

Ron Barkowski and Donna Malone

Ashley Wells and Taylor Maury

Jeany and Anthony Dionne

Francie Saunders and Kim Williams

Tim Quinn, Pam Davis and Nelson Waller


EVENT VIN-A-QUE Nicole and Chris Girata

Cliff and Lu Gaither

Samantha Smith and Karen Redmond

Jeff and Jennifer Seidman

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Jerry and Kathy Dumlao

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George Mironovich and Benita Ochoa

Emily and Jeff McEvoy

R.D. and Vicki Singh

Autumn Leaf Goerke and Glenn Goerke

Dan Reid and Alice Higdon

Abby Miller and Sara Studdard


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Ryan Snider, Tamara Goldstein and Adam Laclave

Barbara Patronis and Bruce Edenton

Derek Richardson and Mary Wilson

Chris Curle and Chey Fulgham

Katie and Michael Hudman, Andrea Lacher and Paul Edelstein

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Gary and Judy Edge

Tina and Mark Bradley with Janice and Kent Ritchey

Sheri Gardner and Alayne Arbogast

Myra and Anthony Clark

Miriam Penafloor and Rachel Joines

Tim and Marta Michell

Lance and Mary Minor with Sue and Paul Matthews


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art2wear

Dining Out for Life

The Salvation Army’s 2013 Hardin Annual Dinner

Go Red for Women Girls Night Out

The ArtWorks Foundation, which is based in New Jersey, recently produced art2wear, a showcase of jewelry, apparel and accessories all made by artists, at the Great Hall and Conference Center in Germantown. With plans to hold the showcase in several cities across the country, the Germantown event marked art2wear’s first stop, one that included a preview gala and grand showcases that transpired throughout the course of three days in May. Featured artists came from seven states, and each was juried from a group of applications submitted through a national arts festival portal. Several local participants were Linda Livaudias, Dinah Makowsky and Patti Yancey. The purpose of the event is to “develop public appreciation for fine craft, with the goal of creating a stronger market for the artists involved in the disciplines exhibited.”

This past April, Memphians raised their forks at 39 area restaurants to help support Friends for Life at its annual Dining Out for Life benefit. Restaurants could choose whether they wanted to donate a percentage of proceeds from their breakfast, lunch or dinner menus to Friends for Life, with eateries like Stone Soup Café and Market, Imagine Vegan Café, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Rizzo’s Diner opting to donate as much as 50 percent of proceeds from diners’ food purchases, and in some cases drink sales. To boot, some lucky diners walked away with prizes ranging from a week’s stay at a private condo in Provincetown, Massachusetts to a dinner and wine for two at Restaurant Iris and a couple of tickets to the organization’s popular Halloween Party. Local sponsors included Kroger, Sysco Memphis, Juan Fuentes, Robert Thompson, Robert Marcy, the Tri-State Defender and Whitehorn, Tankersley & Davis, PLLC.

“Team FedEx” presented the 2013 Hardin Annual Dinner to a crowd of football fans, specifically those of Eli Manning, at the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center. The first quarter began with a VIP reception for those who wanted to personally meet Manning and have their photo taken with him, with everyone next making their way into the Kroc’s gym for a tailgate-style dinner and to hear Manning speak on “Calling the Right Play” in the game of life. Though those in the audience most likely had a different profession from that of Manning, he related to everyone by saying, “You and I are quarterbacks—me for the New York Giants, and you for what matters in your life.” Afterward, Manning was presented with a Bible that had been signed by every child and mother in the Salvation Army’s Renewal Place, which was well represented this night by Stacie Glover, a Renewal Place graduate who spoke on how she learned structure and parenting while achieving sobriety as a result of the program. On the announcement of her retirement from the Salvation Army, Elizabeth Duncan was also recognized at the dinner as the “Homecoming Queen” for her unwavering service to the nonprofit.

Nearly 400 women outwardly displayed their support of the American Heart Association not only by attending the annual Go Red for Women Girls Night Out, but by also wearing the organization’s signature red color. Hilton Memphis hosted the event, which included numerous demonstrations from local health care providers and those in the beauty industry, such as Macy’s, which had employees offering guests makeovers. Before heading into the main ballroom for dinner and the program, attendees were made aware by posters throughout the hallway that heart disease and stroke are an unfortunate reality for many women, but that they can often be prevented if proper measures are taken. With signs that read “more than 50 percent of women identified heart disease as their leading cause of death” and “more than half of stroke deaths happen to women,” people definitely paid attention to the association’s mission.

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos Submitted

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Aubrey Efird, Jourdan Eddlestone and Valerie White Captain Barbara Rich, Eli Manning and Captain Jonathan Rich

Judy Bell and Charles Long Cynthia Grawemeyer and Brennan Villines

Linda Livaudias

Liz Rincon and Skip Ledbetter

Andrew and Scott Crosby

Kris Azlin, Debra Denkins, Margaret Williams, Paula Casey and Tanesha Williams

Ruth Hendrix, Paulette Luker, Paul Luker and Jill Thornton

Chris Heimann, Darin Sloan and Chad Swiney

Bonnie Hollabaugh, Madelyn Gray and Cynthia Saatkamp

Brenda, Kathleen and Alison Hughes


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Onsite II Get Down and Derby

Memphis Symphony League Luncheon

Memphis in May “Nordic Nights” Gala

The rainy, cool weather didn’t keep guests away from the annual Art in the Garden party held in late April at Teton Stone in Collierville. Owners Page and Mike Omar throw the bash each year to celebrate local artists’ work while raising money for the Page Robbins Adult Day Care Center. Servers moved through the crowd with hors d’oeuvres, and there were plenty of libations available. Despite the chilly temps, the duo Young Petty Thieves entertained attendees. 

Ladies donned their finest hats and headed to the Great Hall in Germantown for Get Down and Derby, a fund-raiser for the Down Syndrome Association of the Mid-South. The fabulous Steeler Band performed for the group before the running of the Kentucky Derby, during which the crowd cheered for the horses thundering toward the finish line. Following the Best Hat and Men’s Best Dressed contests, Company d gave a moving dance performance.

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

The Memphis Symphony League Luncheon, themed “Spring Is in Bloom,” was held at the elegant home of Mabel McNeill. Guests meandered toward the rear of the house where they mingled in the garden room and in the bucolic area surrounding the pool. The 2013 officers of the club were installed following lunch, and Lura Turner was named as president. Nancy Lou Jones and her husband, Mott, received the club’s Hebe Award. “It is given to someone who has shown outstanding volunteer activity in the arts, particularly focused on the symphony,” Turner explained.

The Memphis in May International Festival held its annual gala, called “Nordic Nights” (a name inspired by the ice hotel in this year’s honored country, Sweden), in the Sky Ballroom at The Peabody. After the cocktail hour, the program began with a brief performance by a group of Swedish dancers, who were accompanied by a young lady playing a 16-stringed instrument, the nyckelharpa, which is sometimes called a key fiddle. Then, a traditional Swedish dinner was served while Valerie Simpson performed some of her Motown hits.

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

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55 Loretta McNary and Donna Cash

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Mike and Page Omar

Rudi Scheidt, Fredrik Sand, Honey Scheidt and Jim Holt Nancy Lou and Mott Jones

Pam and Jay Jeffries

Kristin Barek and Chad Lee Pete and Penny Aviotti Mary Lawrence Flinn, Lura Turner and Mabel McNeill

Ramell Hurt, Kelsey Schumacher, Dr. Lexsee Waterford and Cyndi Griffin Cindy Brunson, Hope Sammons and Sally Sherman

Jerry and Bobbi Gillis with Terri Murphy and Don Hutson Honey Cannon, Janet Cox, Alice Craddock and Donna Warren

John and Becky Iosue with Vanessa and Jim Hawkins

Nancy Loggins, Rebecca Priddy and Charlotte Amsden

Isabelle Welch, Anca Pop and Lindsay Donovan

Cynthia Daniels, Trey Carter, M.P. Carter and Gaynette Price


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Gift of Life Gala

GIFT OF LIFE GALA

Benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee

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Evelyn Crump and Samantha Jefferson

Cynthia and Jerry Lawrence

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here were ample opportunities to learn about the importance of organ donation at the Memphis Marriott downtown this April. At the annual Gift of Life Gala fund-raiser, the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee made sure no supporters left uninformed. As patrons entered the event upstairs, they came across Patches of Love: the National Donor Family Quilt, which is one of the foundation’s memorial quilts for loved ones who passed away and donated organs, and meanwhile, the Mid-South Transplant Foundation signed up people who wanted to donate organs. Beverly Robertson of the National Civil Rights Museum was on hand to speak about her experience with dialysis and an organ transplant. “I thought she would really bring to life the story of need for organ donations,” Mable Barringer, the foundation’s executive director said. The evening’s highlight was a presentation honoring Dr. Lynn Ebaugh, who has worked in nephrology most of her career and now acts as medical director of the Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Unit in Germantown and the Fresenius Medical Care’s Home Dialysis Unit in Memphis. Recently, the physician, teacher and lecturer facilitated World Kidney Day programs in conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation. The event wasn’t all business though, with supporters enjoying dinner, drinks and dancing throughout the evening. Robert Bowlding made certain he made his reservation long ago. He said, “We’ve come several times. We believe it to be a worthwhile charitable event, and we’ve always enjoyed the people, and the presentations are usually [made to] an honoree who has done a lot for Memphis. There are people who are desperate for kidneys and organs that might not be able to afford a transplant on their own without an event like this, so we are pleased to be a part of it.” A black-tie affair, the night also included a cocktail reception and silent auction with music by the DMP Band. Those who attended helped the National Kidney Foundation continue to work to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of patients and families affected by these diseases, as well as increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.

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

Drs. Willis and Larisha Davis

Story by Lesley Young Photos by Baxter Buck

Kayleigh Robinson and Eric Martin

Del Wildes and Melissa Cobb

Kim and Nick Sowell

Alex Matlock and Julie Graves

Vicki Brown, Megan Fairchild and Dr. Lynn Ebaugh

Cindy Brock and Phil Cannon


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Karen and Adam Hamburger

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Sarah Snover and Jennifer Jerles

Pat and Neil Sherman

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Leland Burress and Erica Augusto

Jason Shelby and Rita Shelby

Laura and Dr. James Eason

Rodney and Diane Young

Malafu and Julie Tiatia

Dr. Lekha George and Dr. Santhosh Koshy


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Bessie Patton and Robin Patton

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Tamela and Greg Wright

Ignatius and Annabel Legaux

Ola and Olufemi Adeleye with Lola Oni


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Jodi Gunter and Emily Garrett

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David and Ida Blindman with Susan and Harry Rubenstein

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Rena Estep, Dale Fisher and Bobby Hoang

Zola Burgess and Sabrina Smith

Ron Privette and Terri Rapacki


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“Taking Flight”

“TAKING FLIGHT”

Ballet Memphis Performs Under the Stars

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Will Skertic and Sarah Farnsley

Ann and Mack Andrews

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ocals were invited to spread their wings with Ballet Memphis at “Taking Flight,” a benefit that helped close out the company’s 26th season with panache. Held on an ideal May night with mild temps and a breeze, the benefit had guests soaking up the views from The Peabody’s rooftop, a spot that made for a pretty surreal backdrop for some of the city’s most talented dancers. With the Ballet Memphis logo shining on The Peabody Duck House, the evening kicked off with supporters mingling during a cocktail hour. “What a gorgeous night!” an attendee declared as the dancers put in their last rehearsal before the sun set on the Mississippi. A seated dinner followed in the Skyway Ballroom, where guests enjoyed mixed greens with champagne vinaigrette, chicken breasts stuffed with smoked corn and roasted red peppers, sweet potato purée and either a dessert of cheesecake with strawberry sauce or guava bittersweet chocolate tart with mango coulis. By 8 p.m. though, “Taking Flight” had returned to the rooftop for the pièce de résistance: the ballet. Unsure about where the event would take place until three or four weeks beforehand, Ballet Memphis founder and artistic director Dorothy Gunther Pugh was pleased to welcome everyone to The Peabody for the occasion, and expressed her gratitude toward her production staff for putting the affair together in a short amount of time. “Our production staff is very small and didn’t get here until midnight last night, so I want to be sure and thank Kristen Greene, Bruce Bui, Allan Kerr and Jeremy Allen Fisher.” After those remarks, the cast took the stage for the first piece, “Night and Day in FedEx City,” which paid tribute to Memphis’ homegrown shipping company. Choreographed by Milwaukee-based Petr Zahradnicek, the work made its world premiere before the “Taking Flight” audience, whose members were delighted to see the artistic interpretation the choreographer and dancers came up with of a middle-of-the-night visit to the FedEx World Hub. The next two works—Travis Bradley’s “Splinters of the Stars” and Julia Adam’s “Dew Point”—had premiered in the company’s 2010-11 season, but their impact remained intact judging by the crowd’s hearty reception of each. To boot, the night also included a win by the Grizzlies and a lovely fireworks show following the Redbirds game at AutoZone Park that many attendees clamored to watch while the dancers were on intermission between one of the pieces. Who knew that ballet, basketball and baseball would all be taking flight this night? Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Jim Moody and Rosanne Forgione

Micah and Courtney Brafford

Jen Anderson and Kayo Valenti

Gary and Glenda Shorb

Pam and Jimmy Dickey

Philip West with Dorothy Gunther Pugh and Robert Pugh

Cecily Khuner and Lisa Clarkson


EVENT “TAKING FLIGHT” Colette and Gary Christie

Ashley Hannah Davis and Cleo Nikodem

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Louis Hamric and Steve Masterson

Patrick Colson and Bailey Williams

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Paul and Marilyn Sims

Diane and Gene Laurenzi

Adrienne and Lou Arrindell

Jordan Nichols and Gayla Burks

Elizabeth Mensah and Dawn Lindow

Justin and Megan Starling


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Onsite III Memphi Queen’s Luncheon and Fashion Show

Boll Weevil Party

Princess Ball

Par-Tee with the Gurus

For the Mystic Society of the Memphi’s annual Queen’s Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Memphis Country Club, the group offered lots of French flair in keeping with its 2013 theme, which former queen Lida Bross pointed out was “Return to Versailles.” This particular event was actually themed “Carnival Fashion A La Mode,” and included a display of current trends, modeled by Memphi members and their children and grandchildren, from Kittie Kyle and The Travelin’ Trunk. Babbie Lovett emceed the fashion show, during which guests dined on the ultimate French food—crepes.

When it comes to throwing a party, the Secret Order of the Boll Weevils do it like nobody else can. The Boll Weevils, Carnival Memphis’ Men of Mischief, reign supreme in providing an atmosphere of carefully controlled chaos. This year’s bash, held at The Warehouse downtown, featured music by the Plaintiffs, and dancing and drinking were the mainstay. Masked boll weevils worked the crowd while unmasked members mingled wearing Kelly green sport jackets. An eclectic buffet, catered by Fresh Slices, provided sustenance for the revelers who crowded the dance floor until the last note sounded and until Keith Renard received an award for being a friend of the group.

After the grand affair of the Crown and Sceptre Coronation Ball kicked off Carnival Memphis week, the Princess Ball the following Saturday night allowed for a more laid back good time, according to Carnival Memphis executive director Ed Galfsky. “It’s a night of fun, especially after the Crown and Sceptre the night before, where everyone’s in formal wear,” Galfsky said. This year, princess gowns were either of gold silk with blue sashes or pink silk with green sashes. More than 400 attended the party at the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club, including princesses, their escorts, their parents, the Royal Court, Carnival Memphis president Buddy Dearman, king Steve Sansom and queen Weezie Steffner. DJ Mark Anderson kept the party going once the fried oysters and barbecue ran their course.

Par-Tee with the Gurus gave people a chance to rub elbows with 21 of the country’s top 100 golf coaches at Lexus of Memphis, where owner Rob Akins hosted the event as a benefit for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Nine chefs from various Methodist Le Bonheur hospitals awaited at food stations on the outskirts of the dealership floor. One buffet table was loaded with fruits and vegetables, and the centerpiece was a massive container of shrimp cocktail. Other stations offered sushi, barbecue and desserts. Silent auction items included plenty of golf packages, and the live auction contained travel and entertainment packages. Lastly, bids poured in for purchases of Le Bonheur’s signature red wagons.

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

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Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

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62 Lauren Wiener, Chantal Johnson, Weetie Whittemore, Martha Hess and LaUna Brubaker

Dee Stephens, Allen Parker and Michelle Kornberger Henry and Carol Levy with Stefan Smith Christian Culbreath, Whitney Culbreath and Guy Jeter

Colleen Capstick and Lesley Colvett Todd and Michelle Brown with Laura and Buddy Dearman Kavanaugh Casey, Kenneth Wurzburg and Michelle Conners Bill and Susan Warner with Catherine and Robert Morehead

Caroline Sones, Jim Taylor and Cindy Gambrell

Melanie DeJong, Nayla Nassar and Lura Turner

Kevin Bentley, Wanda Barzizza, "June Bug" and Donna and Pat Hoffman

Max Cohen, Jake Greenstein, Lee Marshall and Jazz Singh

John Davis, "Waffles" and Karen Davis

Abbye West and Justin Kilgore

Meri Armour and Madeline Flack

Stan Utley, Don Sargent and Mark Hackett


Bodine School 40th Anniversary Auction

Trot for Spot Pet Parade and Canine Carnival

Planned Parenthood Patron Party

When it’s summer in our sticky city, kids need to stay cool while playing outside. Luckily for them, the Children’s Museum of Memphis launched its brand-new spray park just in time for the hottest months. And luckily for us big kids, CMOM debuted the cool and cooling new attraction with the H2Oh! Splash Luau!, a Hawaiian-themed party for the grown folks. This sneak peek included tropical beverages, leis, tiki huts and fire dancers in grass skirts, as well as a fine, refreshing mist carried by the breeze. Tasty luau offerings included pulled pork, pineapple salsa, poached fish, Hawaiian rice and tropical fruit with a chocolate fondue fountain. Aloh-ahhh!

Germantown’s Bodine School celebrated a major milestone by hosting the school’s 40th Anniversary Auction in April at The Racquet Club of Memphis. Bodine Head of School Josh Clark was there alongside the school’s founders, Peggy and Dick Bodine, to share the occasion with alumni, parents and supporters of the school, which was established in 1972 to help children with the challenges that come with dyslexia. Guests partook in both a silent and live auction at the festivities, during which actor Joe Murphy, the director and teacher of the Aardvarks Music Program, contributed as an auctioneer.

Four-legged friends united for the sake of the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County at the Trot for Spot Pet Parade and Canine Carnival, presented by Hollywood Feed. Held at the Humane Society’s headquarters at 935 Farm Road next to Shelby Farms, the event featured interactive activities for both owners and their dogs, and kicked off with a pet parade of costumed Fidos. The responsible party for the best costume winner walked away with an iPad Mini, donated by The Venue Memphis, and a Hollywood Feed gift package, but many others didn’t leave emptyhanded, as they were awarded Hollywood Feed gift packs if their pooches won other contests that included categories like Best Bark and Best Trick. Fun was also had at the puppy kissing booth, the dog cool-down stations, the agility course and during doggie musical chairs. The Bartlett Police Department even gave a K9 unit demonstration. All Trot for Spot proceeds went to the Humane Society, an organization that provides food, medical care and shelter for abused, injured and/or neglected animals.

Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region thanked its sustaining donors and patrons with a Patron Party hosted by board of directors member Frank Watson and his wife, Jennifer, at their home. The gathering is a way to say thank you to the donors who generously support Planned Parenthood’s mission throughout the year. PPGMR board chair Robin Rasmussen introduced the new CEO, Ashley Coffield, who told the more than 70 supporters in attendance that she herself received care at the Memphis Planned Parenthood health center while attending Rhodes College. Coffield said she later became a Planned Parenthood volunteer, and the experience inspired her to choose a career in public health. She worked for the nonprofit Partners for Prevention before being tapped this spring to succeed Barry Chase as PPGMR’s CEO.

Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

Kerry DeSanto and Sharon Rogness

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos Submitted

Josh Clark with Dick and Peggy Bodine

Story and Photos Submitted

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Phillip Van Zandt Photography

Serkan Ersöz, Katheryn Brown and Bryant Lowry

Paige Smith, Joe Murphy and Brenda Berry

Frank and Jennifer Watson with Robin Rasmussen

Dick and Kathy Hackett with Kevin Kane

Elizabeth and Chris Kuhlo with Kimberley and Howard Graham

Dr. Robert Burns, Linda Nichols and Dr. Lisa Jennings

Mike “Moose” Morris and Lori Morris with Beth and Ryan Harrington

Douglas Dunavant, Erin Shackelford and Allison Cates

Katie Pemberton, “Kiki” and Joelle Pittman

Mike and Shirley Lupfer with Edward and Phyllis Kaplan

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24 29 36

33

34

22 25

30 37

31 38

42

39 43

47

48 52

56

53 57

61 66

44 49

54 58

62 67

71

63 68 72

74

48 Moveable 50 Raise one始s shoulders 52 Nervous system 54 Beat 55 Big Apple (abbr.) 57 Afloat (2 wds.) 59 Universe 62 Tool used for figuring math problems 65 Primary color 66 Popinjay 68 Whoop

75

64 69

70 71 72 73 74 75

Golf shot Hitler mistress Eva Decorative needle case Disorder Unwell Assess

DOWN 1 Hovercraft 2 Put down 3 Atoll 4 Uneasy 5 Sacred songs 6 Language for the hearing-impaired (abbr.) 7 Paul始s former name 8 Divided Asian country 9 Dog food brand 10 Slide 11 Computer key 13 Vile 14 12 month period 20 Pointed at 22 Golfer始s goal 24 Tropical grassland 26 Tapestry 27 Titter 28 Chomper 30 Unit (abbr.) 32 Resign 33 Senile 34 Tool used for measurement

36 Root 38 Mother 42 Attack 43 Adult females 46 Ends of the day? 49 Lesson planner 51 Where students gather for P.E class, briefly 53 City in Minnesota (2 wds.) 56 Brush 58 Stitched together 59 Hint 60 Not ins 61 Frock 63 Small particle 64 Klutz 65 Metronome marking 67 West Coast state (abbr.) 69 Truss

Solution:

32

18 21

51

11

15

17 20

41

10

S E L S I C P

14

9

R U L E R

13

8

A N I L E

7

V A I L E P P T O A N R A D M E M I T

12

6

W O M E N

1 First letter of the Arabic 16 alphabet 19 5 Old-fashioned Dads 8 Urn 23 12 Baggage 26 27 28 13 English class 35 assignment 40 15 Evils 16 Capital of Vanautu 45 46 17 Esteem 50 18 Heroic 55 19 Sabotage 59 60 21 A student may bring one to class to take 65 notes 70 23 Kodak products 73 25 Fled 26 Collection of songs or pictures 29 Disconsolate 31 Instrument for determining presence of an object 35 Scolded 37 Good health 39 Restaurant dinner listing 40 Track 41 Deny 44 Armed Forces (abbr.) 45 Gets older 47 Card game

5

L O T U I T E

4

I O T A

3

T E A C H E R

2

Edited by Ruth Cassin

P A S E S S A Y V A L U E A I L L A I L M S R M S A D E D V I M D I S A V O G I N M C N S G A T S Y C M O S P E M A C A W B R A U N I L L

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RSV PHILLIPPI

By Dennis Phillippi

need him reminding me of that, especially when I know his better half, who is more like the better four-fifths. He will also ask about my “running buddy,” my “Posse” and my “Crew.” I don’t have any of those things. I have friends. Friends who would just as soon not be referred to as my “gang.” This guy is also the king of unsolicited advice. You know whom I’m talking about. You’re already trying to avoid his having any entrée into the conversation, when he picks up something with his lonely guy Super hearing and then says, “You know what you oughta do…” In this instance, I do know what I oughta do, but I am rarely armed. Instead, I have to listen to the half-informed, wholly misguided opinions as to how I should get my fur-

Now, my wife is undeniably my better half, but I don’t need him reminding me of that, especially when I know his better half, who is more like the better four-fifths. nace replaced, cat neutered, battery charged, hair cut, back ache fixed or find a reasonably priced place in Destin. It doesn’t matter what it is, this guy has thoughts, and he is going to share them. Why? Because he is not a student of body language. This man, and in my experience it is almost always a man, must never be allowed to hear you complain about any misfortune you may have suffered of any kind. This will net you a few choice “that’s how they get ya” and “it ain’t like it used to be.” This person believes that every professional of any kind—mechanic, repairman, even a doctor—is part of a vast conspiracy to defraud everyone of every possible cent, without making any attempt to actually address the problem. The reason this guy thinks this is because he has created a self-fulfilling negative universe. Since he goes into the DMV assuming he is going to encounter rude functionaries,

or is certain that the car salesman is going to try to snooker him, he brings an attitude to the situation that virtually guarantees that behavior. If you treat the world as if you can’t trust anybody, then you, you know, can’t trust anybody. I have saved this last one, and seriously considered not including it because it has become so ingrained in these people that it may be too late. That, of course, is when someone says, “That’s what she said.” The people who say this one honestly believe there are circumstances where it is genuinely funny. Somehow it got past them that the phrase was popularized by Steve Carell on “The Office” as the very personification of the least funny thing a person can possibly say. This can be followed by, “Come on man, that one was too good to pass up.” They feel compelled to say this because of my elaborate eye-rolling sequence. Having never had a real job, I have little experience with the workplace versions of these phrases. I know I can’t stand hearing “at the end of the day,” and I can only imagine that’s one that gets thrown around that world. My wife assures me that there are still people who say that everyone needs to “think outside the box,” despite the fact that there is no box, and someone who says this a lot should probably be nailed into a box and mailed to Indonesia. Everyone has the God-given right to not be funny. For someone who makes jokes for a living, I’m not particularly sidesplitting to be around, but that’s because, for the most part, I keep my mouth shut. It’s perfectly fine to not be amusing, but you have to do it silently. If you keep your trap shut, people will assume you have an adequate sense of humor, but the second you announce to the world that “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” we all wish you had been just a tiny bit weaker.

Dennis, we know what you’re sayin’! We just wish the people in your story knew what they were sayin’. And, as for workplace phrases, we have now officially banned anyone from encouraging someone to think outside the box. That phrase would really only be appropriate for a UPS or FedEx deliveryman anyway.

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t’s a summer evening and you and some friends are sitting around the neighborhood watering hole, watching a ball game, as a storm rolls through; suddenly the power goes out, plunging the bar into darkness. Are you the guy who, within seconds, shouts, “Free beer?” Then, this column, my friend, is for you. See, that joke wasn’t funny the first time someone said it when the wind blew out the oil lamp in a Mongolian mud hut bar 2000 years ago, and it’s not funny now. No one ever laughs at it, but you’re going to keep right on trying because you’re convinced you are hilarious. You are wrong. We all know this guy. He’s the guy who always says the phrase that sets everyone’s teeth on edge. The guy who pays a fortune to go to a golf tournament so that the instant a player hits the ball he can scream, “You the man!” Or, “Get in the hole!” The second one, as often as not, bellowed at someone’s tee shot on a Par 5, which has less chance of going in the hole than it does of doing the rest of us a favor and giving him a concussion. This same guy, by the way, is in very expensive seats behind home plate at baseball games and spends the entire game on his phone, waving to the camera and reminding his “friends” that he is on TV. But, that’s for another time. This is about what he has to say. Two of the worst times to run into this guy are when you’re cutting your grass or washing your car because you know what he’s going to say, and there’s no way to stop it from happening. “Hey, when you’re done with yours…” he says. At this point in time, he slows to a crawl as he slowly offers you the opportunity to wash his car or cut his grass. He’s a riot. This is the same fella who will ask you if it’s “hot enough for ya.” No, no it’s not, because I want it to be hot enough to incinerate him before he can say that. If I’m alone, he will also ask the whereabouts of my “better half.” Now, my wife is undeniably my better half, but I don’t

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Game Show Trickery

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erry O’Roark posed as the fast-draw champion of the world on the old TV game show “To Tell the Truth” and fooled the judges. He received three out of four votes, and his fellow impostor got the other vote. O’Roark said he knew nothing about fast-draw and very little about guns. “But, I never had more fun in my life,” he says. PHOTO COURTESY OF JERRY O’ROARK If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Leah Fitzpatrick at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to editor@rsvpmagazine.com All photos will be returned promptly.



RSVP Magazine August 2013