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January 2013

Boa Ball ARTAFACTOR Bell Tower Gala Orpheum Auction Gala Q&A with Tammie Ritchey


CONTENTS

Contents January 201 3

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Jon Hornyak invites RSVP to Sun Studio for some rock ‘n’ roll fun.

Bell Tower Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Christian Brothers University debuted a new party at Hilton Memphis to benefit the CBU Scholarship Fund.

12 BELL TOWER GALA Jesse and Tony Ross

StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 & 20 He’s helping amateur football players with their goals on and off the field. She’s helping Memphians see that history doesn’t have to repeat itself. StreetSeens highlight Chuck Molinski and Rachel Shankman.

34 RSVP ROOM VIEW

Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 J A N UA R Y 2 013

Q&A with the vice president of development and foundation executive director for The MED Foundation, Tammie Ritchey.

Boa Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

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The Ambassador Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

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The American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter taught guests how to prepare, prevent and respond to disasters at its annual benefit gala at the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Rebecca Fisher: A Rebel Without a Pause This playwright has brought her past to the stage and is working on another performance piece about her hometown.

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The master bedroom of Rita and Chip Christian’s Olive Branch home exudes the serenity and comfort of a spa.

STREETSEEN Rachel Shankman

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RSVP Room View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

ORPHEUM AUCTION GALA Mike Wilson and Lori Turner-Wilson

Orpheum Auction Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Just in time for the holidays, the Orpheum Theatre gathered a passel of hot auction items to please shoppers and raise funds.

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42, 44 & 46 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

ARTAFACTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Arts Memphis supporters descended on Beale Street Landing for a “Go with the Flow”-themed evening by the Mississippi.

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RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53

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Three Words: Laser-Eyed Robots Dennis Phillippi expresses some worry about artificial intelligence.

BOA BALL Jennie and John Brooks

ARTAFACTOR John and Tonya Lyon Cover Photo Karen and David Pool at Boa Ball Photo by Don Perry


R SV P S TA F F Volume XVIII

Number IV

January 2013 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

Leah Fitzpatrick CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kelly Cox Jonathan Devin Jeannie Mandelker Dennis Phillippi Eugene Pidgeon Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR

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

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.

Patrick Aker s PHOTOGRAPHERS

Baxter Buck Don Perry Steve Roberts J A N UA R Y 2 013

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Chris Pugh Kristen Miller ACCOUNTING

Ruth Cassin

KRISTEN MILLER,

EDITORIAL INTERN

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

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

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.

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.

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.


From the Editor

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new year calls for fresh ideas and approaches to doing things, which is exactly why we here at RSVP couldn’t be more ecstatic to share with you that the magazine has a new addition, The Ambassador Series. Contributing writer Eugene Pidgeon penned an announcement for the column in last month’s issue, but in case you missed it, you’re in for a treat. Through this feature, you’ll get to know, or in some instances get reacquainted with, native Memphians who have gone on to live and subsequently pursue interesting endeavors in various parts of the country, and even throughout the rest of the globe. You might be amazed by the successes those with strong Memphis roots have amassed, as well as the good they’re bringing to others outside the Bluff City. So, turn to page 32 for your first dose of the series. Don’t worry, we still have lots of oldies but goodies in the magazine, from the Signature Memphis, which features a very cool photo of The Recording Academy’s Jon Hornyak with his ukulele on page 10, to the Vox Popular, which highlights The MED’s vision for the future through a Q&A with Tammie Ritchey, The MED Foundation’s vice president of development and foundation executive director. And, of course, we still have the StreetSeens beginning on page 18 with a story on the National Football Foundation’s Memphis Chapter, and continuing on page 20 with a look into the nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of the city’s diverse landscape through all the people, stories and events featured in this issue, and just maybe, you will gain inspiration from those featured to do something remarkable in 2013. There’s no time like the present to become the best you that you can be. Happy New Year!

Leah Fitzpatrick editor@rsvpmagazine.com


Senior Executive Director, The Recording Academy, Memphis Chapter

Your Best Quality: Sincerity. Hometown: Caruthersville, Missouri. Your Lucky Charm:: My wife, Ellen. Childhood Ambition: To be a basketball coach. Favorite Authors: Neil Young and Peter Guralnick. Place You Go to Think: Practice range at Mirimichi. Favorite Song: “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. Your Greatest Achievement: A long-term career in music. First Concert: The Rolling Stones at the Mid-South Coliseum. The Highlight of Your Day: Making really good coffee for Ellen in the morning. Who Inspires You: The Beatles—seeing them on the “Ed Sullivan Show” was a life-changing moment for me. Best Advice You Ever Got: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make... Best Gift You Ever Received: Transistor radio when I was about 10—got to listen to lots of music after that (like getting an iPod today). Coolest Thing About Memphis: The unique and special musical vibe, including the larger-than-life characters.

Photo by Steve Roberts

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Jon Hornyak


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Bell Tower Gala

BELL TOWER GALA

Benefiting the CBU Scholarship Fund

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Reggie and Kim Davis

Nancy and Stewart Chamblin

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hristian Brothers University’s inaugural Bell Tower Gala recognized more than 140 years of Lasallian educational tradition with a black tie affair at Hilton Memphis. More than 600 alumni, members of the campus community and friends of the university came together to celebrate six past presidents of CBU: Brother Terence McLaughlin, Brother Malcolm O’Sullivan, Brother Bernard LoCoco, Brother Michael McGinniss, Brother Stanislaus Sobczyk and H. Lance Forsdick. These dedicated leaders “set the foundation for what we do in the future,” said current CBU president Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. “At the same time that we are honoring them, we are raising over $200,000 that will go directly to funding student scholarships.” Bonhomie reigned at the crowded cocktail hour. Anne Kenworthy, the vice president for enrollment management, exemplified the enthusiasm that characterized the evening by saying, “I’ve been with CBU for 20 years and have worked for three university presidents, so this is like a reunion for me. I’ve been excited all week.” Indeed, the event, chaired by Dick Gadomski and Bob McEniry, had a homecoming atmosphere. A cadre of student volunteers wielding iPads helped attendees find their seating in the ballroom, but guests continued to spot one another from across the room to mingle and chat until emcee Jarvis Greer all but begged them to be seated for the blessing. Following the invocation by Bishop J. Terry Steib, gala-goers enjoyed a menu that featured garden greens with red quinoa and tricolor couscous, spinach and artichoke stuffed chicken with sweet onion demi-glace and white cheddar potato gratin and Italian lemon cream cake. Greer, himself a proud product of a Christian Brothers education, continued to lead the evening’s program, which included a congratulatory performance by the CB Singers and ended with dancing off dinner to the sounds of The Plaintiffs.

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

Ben and Bryanna Burrows

Story by Kelly Cox Photos by Baxter Buck

Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. and Eloise Smarrelli

Matt and Kalli Harrell

Matt and Chelsea Johnson

Dr. Pam Knox and Dr. Greg Sedrick

Lee Askew, Brother Michael McGinniss and Annette Askew

Fadi and Rita Kiameh


EVENT BELL TOWER GALA

Laura Kreager and John Hehn

Bonnie and AndrĂŠs Colocho

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Julie and Tommy Cochran

Gil Uhlhorn and Grace Swaney

Leigh and Lynne Marie Becker

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Eric Barnhart and Robin Carmichael

Bill and Jenny Kiesel

Liz and Scott Fleminci

Teresa and Curtis Williams

Francis Ginski and Carolyn Fly

Rena and Chris Fay


EVENT BELL TOWER GALA

Phylicia Douglas and Theo Stokes

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Steven and Dr. Kelli Hefner

Jackie Jones, Dianne Huff and Deborah Ingram

Bridgette and Ben Lane

Jenny and Chuck Pinkowski

Amanda and Matt Whitaker

Mark and Gosia Stroinski

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Stephanie Cianciola and Stephanie Drouillard

Jennifer and George Weske

Donna Freeman, Libby Wortham and Janet Crisman

Emily and Lance Forsdick with Elisa and Ramon Marus

Carol and Joe Nadicksbernd

Amy and Morry Stonecipher


EVENT BELL TOWER GALA Bob Arnold and Thais Hunter

Hermie Duncan, Michelle Griggs and Dr. Emily Forsdick

Denise Higdon and Con Lambert

Tia and Drew Kofahl

Marilyn Fontana and Drew Koester

Debbie and Roger Sigler

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John and Kathleen Curran

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Charlie and Kay McVean

Josh Shipley and Meg West

Jeff Martin and Valerie Jones

Carmen Coleman and Lynnefer Perry

Felix Bishop with Carmen and John Vincent

Melissa Hanson and Matthew Dower

Burton Bridges and Sarah Brown


STREETSEEN

Chuck Molinski Furthering Football Players’ Ambitions

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lancing around Chuck Molinski’s office at Bryce Corporation, one can’t help but assume that the man must have an affinity for football. There are books on the subject, a football helmet from yesteryear, coasters of the University of Tennessee’s famed Neyland Stadium, etc., and the memorabilia starts to make sense once Molinski shares that his late father was Ed Molinski, an All-American lineman at UT and an inductee (posthumously) of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 1990. While this family connection to football certainly influenced the younger Molinski, his passion for the sport is something he continues to develop on his own, most notably through involvement with the Memphis Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Active in the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame nonprofit organization for 25 years, Molinski currently serves as president for the 80-member Memphis chapter, of which he says many people aren’t aware of locally. In fact, the Memphis arm of the foundation dates back to 1963 and is one of a 121-chapter nationwide network totaling 12,000 members. While each chapter operates a bit differently, the common mission behind them entails promoting and developing amateur athletes on the field, in their academics and in the community. And in order to assist these young athletes in realizing their full potential as upstanding citizens, Molinski says that you don’t have to have any experience playing organized football, and there are no minimum or maximum age requirements for members. “Maybe half [of the members] have played football,” he says. “There are also a lot of women, including on the board; my mom was a board member before she died, and my daughter, Jenna, is on the board now.” Of the work the Memphis membership has done, Molinski remains most proud that the group has awarded more than 500 scholarships to amateur players; collectively, all the chapters grant almost $1 million in scholarships annually to college and high school student-athletes. In order to find the most deserving scholarship recipients, chapter members visit as many schools within Shelby County as possible and extend their search to nearby areas, including Fayette County and Olive Branch, to hand out applications and/or ask football coaches to nominate one player from their team. The chapter then selects 11 high school athletes and two college athletes from the application pool by basing 40 percent of its decision on academics, 40 percent on athletic ability and 20 percent on community service. Recipients are recognized each May at the group’s Black Tie Scholar Athlete Banquet, which Molinski says mimics the College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. The Memphis chapter also provides tuxes to scholarship recipients, some of whom have never worn one, for the banquet. “Most of these recipients are already on their way somehow, so these $500 scholarships, which we are trying to grow, are a way to help subsidize their expenses,” Molinski notes. Molinski also hopes to build the Memphis membership by drawing up a strategic plan with the board to get people involved, especially younger folks. Another goal he has entails putting together a football combine to provide scouting opportunities for kids who might not get the chance to be seen by coaches. But, it’s not just football that Molinski stresses. He says, “I want them to know how important education is first and foremost. My father was the same way, and he went on to become a doctor.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


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Rachel Shankman Making History Relevant

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erhaps reflecting on a workshop on civil rights earlier in the day, Rachel Shankman, the director of the Memphis office of Facing History and Ourselves, says that “history isn’t inevitable, it’s about choices.” Holding steadfast to that belief, Shankman has been at the helm of the local branch of Facing History since it came to Memphis 20 years (Memphian Margot Stern Strom actually co-founded the global organization in 1976 in Brookline, Massachusetts.), helping educators and students throughout the area connect history to the present day. In particular, the nonprofit uses historical events to foster democracy and to shed light on how to overcome antiSemitism, racism and prejudice. “What we teach in our program doesn’t just stay within the walls of schools; it affects the whole community,” Shankman says. She adds that the lessons Facing History imparts to its participants could be described as multi-disciplinary learning and are part of a larger conversation around education, including school reform and closing the achievement gap. The complex conversations that arise because of the program are sometimes difficult ones the director admits, but necessary all the same in order for people to understand one another and ultimately make a difference. For instance, one of the questions posed in a past workshop has been “How can our generation help to create a beloved community?” There is no shortage of other questions either. Shankman says, “New questions always emerge if we do it well, and there are always new communities to reach out to. We are always on an ongoing journey as humans, after all.” Currently, almost every public middle and high school in Memphis incorporates Facing History into its curriculum in numerous ways, from engaging students in reading activities to utilizing bodysculpting, a strategy that requires students to use nonverbal theater techniques to explore topics that prompt strong emotions. Facing History can also be found in many of the city’s independent schools, with 28 public and independent high schools offering Facing History as a state-approved elective. The content and moral vocabulary for the different age groups remains somewhat consistent throughout the program, but as students become older, the degree of content becomes deeper for issues like the Holocaust—something that touches Shankman deeply being that she is a second-generation Holocaust survivor who migrated to the U.S. at age 3. Nine local schools even boast student leadership groups for those who want to take what they learn in Facing History and do more with it. Facing History hosts a summer symposium for these leadership group members to blend leadership and history, and during that experience, participants conduct a teach-in where they become the facilitators before a group of students, teachers and families to demonstrate what they’re learning. In addition, the organization extends its services to Memphians at large by hosting two community conversations a year, a “Raising Ethical Children” program for parents who want to instill civic-minded tools earlier in their kids and several special events and exhibitions, including the upcoming Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak exhibit at Temple Israel from January 29-April 25 (see facinghistory.org/offices/Memphis for more offerings). When describing the exhibit, Shankman grows particularly excited, as she says Bak is a “painter of questions”—a perfect fit for someone who never grows tired of learning or collaborating with others to do so. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


VOX POPULAR

Vox Popular Q&A with Tammie Ritchey

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RSVP: What interested you about coming to work for The MED Foundation?

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Ritchey: Actually, my mentor was involved with The MED as a consultant for their board and knew they were looking for someone. We worked very closely for many years, and she kind of trained me in philanthropy, so I trusted her when she said The MED would be a good fit for me. I came and walked through and met the gentleman who was the vice president of development at that time, and I liked the feel, the energy and the people of the place. It was something very different from what I was doing [at Girls Inc.] and is so much bigger, and I saw more future opportunities with a larger organization than I did with a smaller organization. I also liked the story of the place and knew it was something I could be passionate about. The diversity of the place also struck me, and the fact that there are doctors, nurses and so many others from different professions and companies here. It’s a great mix of really smart, highlyskilled people, and that’s a great atmosphere to work in. It’s also super challenging because there are a lot of personalities [2,200 employees] who come with all of this, but it’s very dynamic and different every day. RSVP: With the way the economy is now, how do you get people to donate to The MED? Ritchey: We do have an advantage in that we’re a regional hospital, so we can reach into areas like North Mississippi, Eastern Arkansas and even a little farther north into Tennessee. We also have several different types of donors. For one, we have donors who come from our patient population, and it’s not hard to convince someone from that group to donate. The other thing I’ve noticed in the industry right now is not so much people cutting the amount they give, but cutting the number of organizations they give to. It’s really important that we remain top-of-mind for people because if someone has a million dollars that he or she is giving away, chances are that person isn’t going to cut the amount they give, but they might go from supporting eight organizations to supporting five organizations. We have to be very diligent in stewarding the gifts we already have from these people and communicating with them the status of their last gift, which entails making that connection with the donor about where their gift went and how it impacted the front line and the patient, as well as how it improved the quality of care. For those donors who are very mission-based and give to organizations of

Photos by Don Perry

s vice president of development and foundation executive director for The MED Foundation since 2004, Tammie Ritchey has weathered all the ups and downs that the hospital has experienced the past few years, from financial turmoil and lack of solid leadership to patient and employee dissatisfaction. Throughout her time in this role, she has remained confident in the hospital’s greater good to the region it serves and can now look back on any hardships as stepping stones to getting the Mid-South’s only “Level One” Trauma Center back on track. With the hospital poised for a renovation and an expansion of some of its service lines in the next few years, things are appearing to be on the up and up, and Ritchey couldn’t be more thrilled to share with RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick what she envisions for The MED going forward. great need like a food bank or homeless shelters, they realize that those are areas that when the economy is bad, they need stuff the most because the population they support grows; health care is kind of the same way. So, what we have seen is people of high net worth and influence actually give a little more to those types of organizations because they recognize that the need has gotten greater; we’ve seen an increase in our donations.

RSVP: Do you provide tours of The MED for potential or existing donors? Ritchey: Yes, we do for people who are interested. Tours help to dispel any kind of myths for people who have lived in Memphis a long time might have [about the hospital]. They get a chance to meet staff and to see the patients, who look like any of us. Tours usually help make something very complex and abstract something real and concrete. Before we give tours though, we do our homework and try to find out beforehand what someone’s interest might be. For instance, if someone has given to children’s hospitals before, that person might have an interest in our Women and Infants’ Center, or let’s say you have a donor whose collegeaged son plays football, she may be interested in knowing about our Trauma Center and the research we’re doing on traumatic and sports-related injuries. One of the big things we do have going for us is that we have so many offerings here, there’s usually a place a donor can get plugged in, and so much of what we do here transcends gender, race, socioeconomic status…any single person can be on his or her way to run errands and get into a car accident. RSVP: Doesn’t The MED also have the distinction of being the only “Level 1” Trauma Center within a 150-mile radius? Ritchey: Yes, the only “Level 1” Trauma Center, which means we deal with the most critically ill and injured, and we have the only full-service burn center within 150 miles. While Le Bonheur has a NICU, as do we, The MED is also the only hospital downtown that delivers babies. We have primary care sites out in the community, too.


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Ritchey: The first thing, honestly, was having leadership put in place. I had five CEOs in 18 months. Our COO and our CFO had already left prior to 2008, so we were already in the process of looking for those positions. Then, our CEO and the chair of our board resigned, so we had to bring in interim management. When you bring in interim management, their job is to cut and to just kind of keep the train from going off the tracks. They don’t look at growing service lines or revenue enhancement, nothing like that. With that interim group, there were three CEOs who came in, and what you end up with is this vacuum, this empty space where there is no strategy to move forward. It’s very hard to plan when you are just living day-today trying to get by. So, everybody was working as hard as they could, and everybody was providing quality patient care, but there was no space for us to sit down and plan something and no leadership to come up with a vision to provide that for everybody. It’s not the doctors’ job to do that. The interim management did help get our operating expenses under control by making a lot of hard decisions to streamline service lines that helped us cut costs and become more efficient. Then, we brought in a leadership team that had expertise in project management, and they literally went through and evaluated every single department and the whole patient experience from the time someone hit the door till the last outpatient visit. We made so many changes, and sitting on this end of it now, I can’t believe all the internal processes we changed. We focused a lot on customer satisfaction and improving our own culture. If you’re not treating people with respect and dignity, they’re going to go to another hospital, and there goes their insurance money and their money. We have to own that. I can’t control what you think when you walk into my hospital, but I can control what you think when you leave. That’s very important because you have to have follow-up care

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RSVP: You were at The MED when the fiscal turnaround happened in 2010, so what tactics did you use to help put that turnaround in place?


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usually, and I want you to continue to use my health care system for all of your follow-ups. People weren’t doing that and were going other places because their experience with us wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. We did a lot of really hard looking in the mirror and tried to change the things we were doing. RSVP: Where do you think the Memphis community would be today if The MED had closed its doors? Ritchey: I think you’d have a lot more fatalities, and if you think about it, your church member, your co-worker or whoever it is might not be here or not had the same quality of life if he or she wasn’t able to come here; honestly though, we weren’t in jeopardy of closing the whole hospital. I think economically people couldn’t even begin to understand what would have happened. That’s 2,200 people with families who would have lost jobs. We’re a $1 billion gross revenue company. Then, the stress it would have put on the other hospital systems would have been substantial because those other entities probably couldn’t absorb that patient population.

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RSVP: Did The MED end its last fiscal year where you thought it would?

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Ritchey: We run a July-June fiscal year, so we ended the last fiscal year with about a $7 million positive in operations. We’ve been able to put quite a bit aside in reserves that we’re using for the current project, which entails moving people out of this building [Adams Pavilion] and moving us over to another facility, as well as renovating that facility to accommodate more patients. It’s about a $34 million project, and it’s being paid for by money that we have in the bank. You’re probably looking at a five-10 year plan for the overall master facility. RSVP: Is there anything about The MED Foundation itself that Memphians would be surprised to know? Maybe how it got started? Ritchey: Yes, the fact that it did get started by Elvis fans. When they dedicated the Trauma Center in his name, there were fan clubs from all throughout the world who contributed money, and a board member for The MED at that time was like, “What are we going to do with the money?” They decided to use it as the seed for a foundation, so the first $50,000 that came in from Elvis fans became the seed money for The MED Foundation. We grew from that to now having more than $6 million in assets, and we’re looking at raising money for a master facility, a completely new MED. We have more than 40 different funds that people can contribute to and that we manage, everything from scholarships for medical students and training for nurses to equipment for trauma. RSVP: Can you share with me the history of the marble wall you had your picture made in front of for this photo shoot? Ritchey: It’s the Elvis Presley Wall of Honor and contains plaques representing those who contribute $1,000 or more to the Trauma Center. You’ll notice there are plaques from people in Brazil, Japan and Germany, and these are people

who come every August [for Elvis Week] and make sure their plaques are up. They get their picture taken in front of the wall, and it means the world to them. Our medical director from trauma adores them, and he tells them what their money is helping do. We also have authentic Elvis Presley license plates for the State of Tennessee, and the proceeds from those go to the Trauma Center. Within 48 hours of announcing those, we had calls from people in Germany, Japan and England wanting to know if they could buy them, but you have to have a car registered in the State of Tennessee in order to get that plate. That’s when we got the idea to make a souvenir plate that you can put on the front of your car, and the sales of those have been phenomenal. You can buy them online at themedfoundation.org. RSVP: What is the biggest goal you hope to achieve in 2013? Ritchey: We just hired a bunch of new staff people, so my biggest goal for 2013 is to begin the next fiscal year with an army that’s completely ready to go out. I want to have my board, my staff and The MED staff lined up, our plans in place and our donors ready to go out there and start raising money for this new MED. There’s a lot of prep work that goes in to getting us ready to do that, and so really, one of the biggest goals is to all feel confident that we’re going to do this. Everybody sees the vision now and is excited about it, and everybody sees its potential of being a nationally recognized health care system. You know, people leave Memphis all the time to get their health care in other places, and there’s no reason they should have to do that. We have some of the best people in the world working here within our walls…so I don’t want the story to be about The MED’s turnaround anymore. I want it to be about our very bold and ambitious vision for the future. RSVP: What will it take for The MED to be nationally recognized in your opinion? Ritchey: Telling the story, obviously, and continuing to work very closely with our partners—we can’t do it ourselves. It really is going to take the community in terms of our academic partners like UT, Campbell Clinic and Semmes-Murphey, both boards of directors, the philanthropists who support it…it’s going to take everybody. It’s going to take us collectively building a plan and a strategy that makes sense for Shelby County and this region.


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EVENT

Boa Ball

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Benefiting the American Red Cross

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Ami and Randy Austin

Jeff Pitman and Vickie Sweet

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ed was the new black at the third annual Boa Ball, as everyone, gentleman included, wore their best red, feathered boas to raise funds for the American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter. Held at the beautiful Memphis Botanic Garden, the event attracted more than 400 guests to support a foundation that continuously provides disaster aid, support and education to communities worldwide. Laura Vaughn, the Mid-South American Red Cross’ executive director, said the event was conceived with the purpose to raise funds and create awareness for the many services the Red Cross provides both in the Mid-South and around the globe. In the Mid-South alone, the Red Cross provides clothing, emotional support, food, hygiene items, referrals and shelter for two to three families a day that have been affected by residential fires, supplying those who need it most with the tools necessary to be “resilient and back on their feet as soon as possible,” said Vaughn. Education is key to what the Red Cross does, and the organization did not slack off this evening, offering guests the chance to test their knowledge of disaster response, prevention and preparation at interactive mission stations. At each station, attendees answered questions in the form of a game concerning safety protocols during tornados, earthquakes and fires and took a quick refresher on proper CPR technique. Every correct answer got a stamp on a card, and three stamps equaled a ticket, which was entered into a drawing for door prizes. In the ballroom, people sat down to an Italian feast provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, also the supplier of appetizers earlier in the night during the silent auction. Soon enough though, the Jimmy Church Band beckoned patrons out of their seats. With a rhythm section, a horn section and the amazing voices of Honey and Spice singing old favorites, hardly anyone could resist taking a break from dinner talk to show off their moves on the dance floor. Ron Childers, WMC-TV 5 meteorologist, emceed the live auction and got the crowd excited about giving to an organization that is “there to provide [people] with the things they need.” The night ended with everyone giving a little and getting a little, as nearly $106,000 was raised and everyone left with a memorable time. All proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Debbie Caserta and Carolyn Young

Story by Rachel Warren Photos by Don Perry

Brooke Tweddell and Alice Higdon

Nicole Blum and Tyler McGlaughlin

Mike and Celeste Longo

Susan Long and Ashlee Omar

Ron Childers, Cyndy Grivich Turner, Stacey Tucker and Ashley McCall

Harry and Susie Gayden


EVENT Dr. Oakley Jordan and Pam Davis

Don and Anita McLean

Dr. Shelley and Mike Thannum

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BOA BALL Jim and Karen Martin

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Wanda and Bob Shockey

Angie Huffman and Scott Branson

Vickie Moffett and Stephen Cruzen

Kristie and John Cutberth


EVENT BOA BALL

Shelby and Sharon Douglas

Penny Cross and Marcia Jennings

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Cortney and Rob Kinney

Dan Kim and Hyun Sook Lee

Ekundayo and Nicole Bandele

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Ricky and Catherine Harris

Kim Shappley and Jodi Runger

Shannon Morgan and Elly Deyhle

Lakesha Williams and Gail Milnor

Juni Ganguli and Dr. Malini Gupta-Ganguli

Elaine and Terry Parker


EVENT Greg and Susie Gregory

Nancy McCown and Nick Gavrizi

Cindy Primm and Jim Beck

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BOA BALL Dan Kyle and Sally Morris

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Joe Grai and Angela Osbahr

Ken Hall and Beth Flanagan

Kim and Mike Fitzsimmons

Russell and Reba Morrison


By Eugene Pidgeon

REBECCA FISHER: A REBEL WITHOUT A PAUSE

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lways tell the truth and you’ll never have to remember what you say.” This finely calibrated epithet presided as a stern admonition and was branded into the social DNA of privileged children born to the rich affluence of neighborhoods like Central Gardens in Midtown. Ecumenically, it served as an enforcement of a deeply rooted secular, albeit romantic, code of discipline. It reflected an immutable standard of behavior by which the sons and daughters of Beulah were expected to abide. During the paradigm shifting turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s, the ivy-cloistered homes of Central Gardens stood as a last vestige of antebellum propriety to defend against an inevitable siege of change. The change was protracted and dramatic, flagrant and often violent, shaking the staid cultural and religious conceits of “Old Memphis” to her big muddy core. For Rebecca Fisher, the change exacted a costly pound of flesh and with it drew a bitter and commensurate volume of blood. Fisher’s Central Gardens birthright was an endowment of wealth, education, social and cultural exposure and an inherited responsibility to family and community. This birthright included a natural, if nontraditional, artistic sensibility. The sensibility was hard to conceal in the company of a devoted mother, an over and under-doting father and a troubled brother in constant need of maintenance and attention. Fueled by an unquenchable interrogative vigor and a boundless creative fury, Fisher’s development was stirred by silver spoons at home, and then, by the formal pen and ink deportments of the prestigious St. Mary’s Episcopal School and the Hutchison School, situated in the outskirts of East Memphis. From the beginning, with her fertile imagination and perhaps a Crayon or pieces of colored chalk, Fisher began to sketch out the drafts of a life imagined. Blessed or cursed with insight and daring well beyond her age, she recognized the importance of an independence separate from any predestined illusion or expectation that evolved as part and parcel to the academic and social curriculums set before her. Though, ultimately, the very musculature of her humanity was framed by the elastic and binding sinew of a mutually expanding and receding awareness of God. “My whole journey of recovery, creating and performing was always a process of trusting something larger than me,” she

says. To every life, there comes an event to challenge the durability of one’s spiritual mettle. And, the response to the event can influence and determine the arc of any subsequent mental and emotional journey. Of all human characteristics, the spirit may be best engineered to survive the insufferable imposition of calamity. The ghoulish specifics of the calamity that befell Fisher are well documented. The details of how her mother, Emily, a beloved and towering figure of the community, was murdered in 1995 have

Photo by Madeleine Tilin Photography

THE AMBASSADOR SERIES

The Ambassador Series

been recounted with a cacophonous and voluble persistence. And, the onerous sound bites and news fragments indicting her late brother, Adrian, and linking his pursuit of narcotic absolution to the heart of the crime have been played out as a macabre stage adaptation of some baroque and tragic Southern novella.

Entr’acte By 2007, Fisher is married, pregnant with her first child and living in Oakland, California. She is a dramatist and a performance artist and is the director of the Marsh’s Theater Creations Camp. She returns to Memphis and is engaged by

TheatreWorks to present an original performance piece. “The Magnificence of the Disaster” is a spellbinding petition of literal and disfiguring gravitas. It is the weight of water at once spewed in a deliberate frenzy of blazing steam and then flushed as ice dripping cool—a baptismal immersion that restores any blistering soul thirsting for peace and resolution. “I see it all the time when people work on personal stories….this weaving of real time and creative time coming together and realizing these stories have a larger journey in the world,” Fisher explains. “The Magnificence of the Disaster” unfolds as Fisher’s epic and rigorously brave account of the events surrounding her mother’s death. Her brother, Adrian, and her father, Hubert, are supporting characters with neither one being entirely a protagonist or an antagonist. Yet, despite everything, the piece is very funny. Rebecca Fisher is a marvel of comic frailty as if there is nothing on the menu of pathos she is afraid to try. And as the audience howls with her and at itself, she takes her bow and reveals to those who are quick enough to catch it—in the blink of an eye so bright you can’t tell the color— how the daughter, the heiress, the artist, the wife and mother actually survived the magnificence of such a disaster. Forgiveness! She tells, “I found forgiveness in the writing and in the creative process, and it is about how to take care of the audience. But, it was hard. I did therapy, I had a life coach and I even did shamanic work. I was full-fledged devoted…but the writing of the piece…I was obsessed with the process…and it was the very best thing I could have ever done…to write this story.” Five years have passed since the TheatreWorks premiere of “The Magnificence of the Disaster.” Fisher still resides in Oakland. She is now a mother of two boys, August Klyce Leonard and Frederick Fisher Leonard—a nod to both her parents. Presently, she is in the finishing stages of another performance piece about Memphis itself. “Right now it is just a work in progress, a project about my city which I love and eventually plan to bring home,” Fisher says. Is Memphis really still a place like home? “Yes, there is a real true longing for Memphis, and it makes me tear up when I think of it.” Rebecca Fisher tells the truth, and this time everyone will remember what she has to say.


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Interview by Jonathan Devin | Photos by Steve Roberts ita and Chip Christian love rich, regal colors throughout their country French home in Olive Branch, and the house has a myriad of them in deep layers of fabrics, furniture and wall coverings. But when it came to their bedroom, even that warm richness became overwhelming. Rita, with the help of interior designer Stacy McSpadden of Chestnut Hall, set out to model the room after the most relaxing place she knew—the spa. Now, the room is warmed by a white to ivory to ecru color palette and softened by clean lines and an uncluttered finish. Rita says that Chip had to face his fear of living in an all-white room where supposedly every bit of dust or dirt will show, but in doing so, they created the harmony that ends their daily work days in serenity.

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Top: Rita and Chip Christian's bedroom was transformed from dark colors and heavy fabrics to the clean look of a luxury spa. An array of white and off-white tones creates a mood of instant relaxation at the end of a long day. Above: Rita said the fear of white linens can be conquered even with a couple of lovable Labradoodles in the house. She hasn't found her room's new look any more prone to stains than the darker linens she replaced.


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Left: Two traditional club chairs get a modern update with ivory and brown fabric in a zigzag pattern. With tiny brass wheels on the front legs, the chairs can easily swivel so that the homeowners can watch TV or to take in the backyard pool view.

Rita: It’s definitely a guy thing. My husband was a little bit iffy at first, but now that it’s done, I think it relaxes him. He’ll sit by the window and read his paper. I have two Labradoodles, and they’re huge. If there’s any mud outside, they’re going to get into it, so I was cautious at first, but I didn’t let that stop me from doing this. I thought of how tranquil I feel when I get an occasional chance to visit a spa. We tried to achieve this with white linens, light walls and an uncluttered feel. We feel not only is the bedroom more relaxing since we redesigned it, it is more romantic as well. When we come in here, I try to always have a candle burning, and I always try to have a few fresh flowers in here because it helps us unwind. Stacy: I think light colors can be deceiving. People are afraid of them, but you want to take care of your fabrics no matter what color they are. People like Rita know exactly what they want, and that makes my job easier. You have to have some direction, and it needs to be something you like.

piece too, from my Uncle Mac. We’ve got a lot of family pieces in the house. Our last house was filled with antiques, but when we moved here and decided to go country French, we didn’t keep all of our antiques, but we kept the family pieces. RSVP: Why did you choose such a simple window treatment? Stacy: At first, we talked about not doing any window treatments, but the room took on its own life and Rita said, “I think we need something to soften it.” She’d had very heavy drapes before and was tired of them, so we did something very simple just to hide the hardware. It’s a faux shade of hand-embroidered linen fabric. Rita: And, we went for the transom awning outside because it does face west, and a lot of sun comes in.

RSVP: It’s interesting that you chose a dark mahogany bed to contrast with the white linen.

RSVP: Looks like you’ve chosen a handsome pair of club chairs to complete the scene.

Stacy: What they had before was very ornate. I feel like this bed is 21st-century traditional. It has very simple lines. A lot of times, a traditional four poster has lots of carvings, but this one is very simple. It has octagonal posts and could be used with a canopy, but Rita and I agreed it’s very pretty without it. This bed was made in America, and it was hand-finished by people in the factory. It’s also low enough that it doesn’t require a dust ruffle.

Stacy: The fabric is a little bit of a modern pattern on a real traditional chair. They have a bit of an English feel with the little brass wheels on the front, but we wanted something more decorative than a standard club chair. Chip and Rita liked the way the chairs sat, and you can turn them if you want to. There’s a TV hidden behind the painting on the wall, and the view of the backyard is so nice. It all complements each other.

RSVP: Is the sunburst on the wall a purposeful break from country French?

RSVP: What does the sideboard bring to the room?

Rita: It took me two months to decide on that. I thought it was too modern. We’ve got antique oils all around the room, so I wasn’t sure. At first, we were looking at it for another area of the house. Then, Stacy brought it over, and my husband hung it and it stayed. I just fell in love with it.

Stacy: This piece is actually from the same company that made the bed, Hickory White, which is in North Carolina. Rita really didn’t need clothing storage, but the wall needed a pretty long piece and the TV components are in there. We liked the way the finish complements the bed. And, we really liked the way the marble on top gives the room another texture. It’s slate gray with a dark gold vein in it.

Stacy: It’s so different, but it complements everything nicely, even the antique oils.

RSVP: Tell me about all the little glass jars all around the room.

RSVP: Did Stacy find those as well? Rita: Those were all handed down from family. The clock is a family

Rita: That’s my feminine touch. These are antique sterling cosmetic containers, and I’ve collected them for years. I have a lot more in a box.

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RSVP: Is the fear of going all-white a man thing?

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Below: Even though the Christians’ entire home is done in a country French motif, Rita decided a modern sunburst with a concave mirror at the center was the perfect conversation piece for the wall above her American-made mahogany four poster bed.


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Orpheum Auction Gala

ORPHEUM AUCTION GALA

Benefiting the Orpheum Theatre

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Caroline and Jeremy Plyler

Nicholas and Lisa Brown

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efore there was Black Friday or Cyber Monday, there was Auction Saturday, which continued this year as the grand Orpheum Theatre kicked off the holiday shopping season with elegance and excitement rather than long lines and headaches. In an atmosphere charged with the grandeur of history and the spectacle of theater, the Orpheum’s 34th annual auction offered stocking stuffers for the whole family, and total, more than $450,000 in donated merchandise had found its way under the Orpheum’s extensive auspices in early November, like one giant Christmas tree. In the lobby, fine wines and spirits filled tables in the corners, while antique furniture pieces and home accessories lined the hallways. The concession area contained lavish luxury items like spa treatments and chocolate gift sets, and even children’s boutique clothing. Not surprisingly, the main attraction took place on stage, where guests were welcome to stroll around a stunning silver 2013 Volkswagen Jetta S from Gossett Volkswagen and the evening’s “Raffle for the Arts” prize, a 2013 Nissan Altima S from Wolfchase Nissan. A Memphis-themed backdrop overshadowed the stage. Just backstage, an avenue of art—paintings, sculpture and even the famous, hand-painted “Orpheum chairs”—sat waiting in a silent auction as browsers sipped wine and munched on pizza and Lenny’s subs. One of this year’s chairs was themed after The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Memphis artists, including Betsy Bird, Lin Workman, Michael P. Maness, Jeff Cannon and Rilla Venable, took honors for the chairs. A buffet of hot hors d’oeuvres awaited guests in the farthest reaches of the backstage area, as did a number of sports and travel packages and fine jewelry. Guests arrived in a mix of attire from business to cocktail to summer casual reflecting the uncertain weather outside that was still yo-yoing from summer to fall. As the evening wore on, they made their way to seats in the theater in anticipation of the night’s real business, the live auction. Proceeds for the auction—the theater’s largest annual fund-raiser—went to support plans for the Orpheum’s new educational venue, the Performing Arts and Leadership Centre, which will enable the institution to reach out to artistically minded youth for years to come. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Jane and Dave Kevern

Story by Jonathan Devin Photos by Don Perry

Chris and Brooke Phillips

Mark and Jackie Barry

June West and Jim Murray

Alli Colbert and Emily Simpson

Logan and Crystal Young with Alexandra and Don Young

Lauren Johnston and Stephen Bowie


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EVENT ORPHEUM AUCTION GALA

Ben and Stephanie Jordan

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Lisa and Bill Edwards

Ryan and China Jenkins with Emily and Tim Messer RSVP

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Rosemary and Lynn Ballinger

Roxane and Tommy Rhoads

Mandy and David Lynch with Mike and Gail Huey


EVENT ORPHEUM AUCTION GALA Shep and Ramona Wilbun

Michael and Sally Johnson

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Natalie Garner, Kevin Meagle and Derick and Cathy Garner

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Trinna Herron, Tichina Hearn and Edwyna Bonner

Erin and Remco Snoeren

Sam Garrett and Heather Kelsey


EVENT ORPHEUM AUCTION GALA

Donald and Chrissy Biggs

Mark and Diane Olson

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Melanie and John Duncan

Jenny and Dr. Gary Earhart

Lisa and Phil Mischke

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Beth and David Pickler

Kelly Greene and Katherine Monroe

Lucy and Jimmy Stovall

Lindsey Colman and Jason McKernan

Pat and Donna Hoffman

Jeff and Valerie Morris


cl a ssy

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

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Meat Me in Memphis

Wine Women & Shoes

Attendees of the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation’s Meat Me in Memphis fund-raiser were in for a treat because not only did they get to savor signature dishes at this inaugural event, but they were the first public audience inside the Beale Street Landing facility downtown. The “Soul and Sausage” themed culinary affair attracted the who’s who of Memphis to try signature items from area chefs, as well as a dish from each chef that incorporated a Monogram Foods product. Those participating chefs included the following: Ana Gonzalez of Capriccio Grill, Alex Grisanti of Elfo’s; Bob Ray and Matt Brown of The Butcher Shop; Erling Jensen of Erling Jensen the Restaurant; James Gentry of Paradox Catering; Joe Fourie of Pei Wei Asian Diner; Michael Francis of Heart & Soul Catering; Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s Diner; Norris Gray of Kirby Pines; Rick Farmer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and Thomas Schnider of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-BQ.

Memphis hosted its first Wine Women & Shoes to benefit LivItUp, Inc., which empowers those with disabilities. A smashing success, this party brought more than 350 fashionable folks to Mercedes-Benz of Memphis to sip hip wines and shop hot items. In addition to the Boutique Marketplace, a live auction featured big wins like a stay in Napa Valley, and the purchase of a “Key To the Closet” could net the winner fabulous prizes like a gift certificate to Advanced Dermatology or a month of personal training. Along with dozens of wonderful wines, shoppers enjoyed the fantastic flavors of some of Memphis’ best restaurants, and seafood lovers were in luck, as shellfish was a culinary theme. Napa Café prepared pan-seared sea scallops with leek and lavender orzo. Owen Brennan’s paired its sea scallops with avocado relish and a creamy corn sauce, a combination that went beautifully with Silver Unoaked Chardonnay. The Half Shell whipped up shrimp and lobster bruschetta, and Circa served crawfish beignets. Throughout the evening, a team of strapping “Shoe Guys” each showcased an item for sale and a fact about LivItUp, Inc. The handsome Julien Salley, for example, offered a yellow jade and Swarovski crystal necklace and a reminder about LivItUp’s Saturday camp.

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh

Scott Nelson Pettit Foundation Benefit Concert The Scott Nelson Pettit Foundation, along with the Memphis Drum Shop, welcomed a full house of music enthusiasts to Lindenwood Christian Church for the foundation’s eighth annual benefit concert by the fantastic Memphis Jazz Orchestra. During a lively cocktail hour prior to the performance, friends old and new swarmed the hall, their happy voices mingling with Cole Eunson’s live guitar. Once in their seats, one and all were in for a show. This year, the orchestra featured special appearances by Tom Prestigiacomo, Doug Saleeby, Marcela Pinilla and JoJo Jefferies. Jefferies, accompanied by Pinilla on bongos, sang a smoking-hot rendition of the iconic number “Whatever Lola Wants,” made famous by Sarah Vaughan. Proceeds from the event go to support the LifeQuest Counseling Center. Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

Creative Aging Mid-South Artists’ Showcase Successful fund-raisers don’t have to be glitzy when an event is filled with bonhomie, as evident at the Creative Aging Mid-South Artists’ Showcase at the Great Hall in Germantown. More than 200 guests enjoyed a night to remember that featured nonstop entertainment beginning with R&B and jazz from saxophonist Breeze Cayolle and pianist Bob Sundra. Renowned vocalist Joyce Cobb joined them at the end of their sets for the final songs, and then, Cobb’s combo took the stage, treating the audience to a greatest hits selection of songs born in Memphis. Next up were The Boomers—three Elvis-clones and two-poodle-skirted “chick” singers—who got the crowd dancing to golden oldies. The evening ended with La Don Jones’ rich baritone delivering beloved selections from the American songbook. Dinner was provided by the senior communities that Creative Aging serves with its arts and music programs, while the silent auction featured works from many of those artists, as well as a chance to enjoy private performances by Cobb and other musicians. One piece, though, illustrated the power of what Creative Aging does: artwork by an Alzheimer’s patient in the program. That seemed to be the most precious item of all. Story and Photos by Jeannie Mandelker

Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

Susan Archey, Kevin Kenny, Nancy Pettit and Allie Isom

Ruby and Mayor A C Wharton

Lynn Doyle, Meryl Klein and J.J. Doughtie Dorothy Pounders and Elizabeth Pounders

Sandra Rutledge and Pat Kerr Tigrett

Angie and Morgan Parks

Joe Birch with Marcia and Randy Wright

Elana Hart and Michael Sweeney

Debbi Hicks and Mike Sansone

Ken Cope and Tammy DeNiro

Jake and Kaitlyn Gallagher

Scarlett Wirth and Anne McWaters


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St. George’s Antiques Arcade

MFM Harvest Celebration

Curtain Up: Passport to Playhouse

Calvary Artist Market

Boasting 20-plus vendors from across the U.S., the 41st annual St. George’s Antiques Arcade did not disappoint. On the Thursday before the big weekend, collectors, antiquers and appreciators of all things old or unusual were treated to a special preview of one of the premier antique shows of the Mid-South. Held at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Thursday’s party not only offered attendees dibs on first editions, antique silver tea sets and other collectibles, but also a feast of finger foods and delectables and all the wine perusers could want. Show proceeds benefit the Samaritan Counseling Centers of the Mid-South, Inc., a nonprofit interfaith organization offering counseling and crisis intervention services on a sliding scale. Through the years, St. George’s Episcopal Church has raised $600,000 through the annual event.

Fans of the Memphis Farmers Market donned their Western best to help the organization celebrate its seven years of success and to help raise funds at the market’s fourth annual Harvest Celebration. The event was held this time in a familiar spot— where Saturday shoppers usually find their weekly supplies of locally grown produce and handmade crafts under the outdoor pavilion at Central Station. Held November 4, the celebration featured a row of food vendors that lined the entire eastern perimeter of the pavilion, a silent auction offering hundreds of items, and beer and wine from Athens Distributing Company, Ghost River Brewing and Blackstone Winery, as well as music by Deering and Down and the Bluff City Backsliders. And if that wasn’t enough to get boots scootin’, performances by Greater Memphis Square and Round Dance Association and the Riverboat Cloggers stoked a few two-steppin’ fires.

If it’s possible to have five parties under one roof, then leave it to the creative minds of Playhouse on the Square to pull it off, and that’s just what they did for their annual Curtain Up benefit. This time around, the event took on a “Passport to Playhouse” theme, which entailed turning various spaces throughout the theater into faroff places. For instance, the rooftop became an ode to Paris, complete with wine, martinis and serenades by the Playhouse Associate Company, while the Trap Room under the stage resembled Monte Carlo with mock casino games and music by Black Max. Other locales represented were the Virginia countryside (with entertainment by NayNay and the Do-Right Boys), Mexico City (with classic guitar sounds by Mark Pergolizzi) and Ibiza (featuring vocals by Alexis Grace and tunes spun by DJ Brad Patrick). Some 200 guests indulged in the fun, helping contribute $15,000 to a worthy theater institution.

The Episcopal Church Women held their second annual Artist Market at Calvary Episcopal Church. The market featured talented artists from around Memphis who sold unique handmade jewelry and beautiful works on the canvas. In the Great Hall of Calvary Church, people purchased early holiday gifts and, in particular, admired the amazing works of Joy Routt and Kari Fleskes. Carrington’s Catering offered a steady sweet supply of delicious tarts and an unprecedented chocolate Yule log for guests to enjoy. Demetrius Boydland, showing off her own works of art, said that not only did the event showcase the works of experienced artists, but that the ECW encouraged those who did not consider themselves “artists” to share different artistic pieces. Created by established artists or not, all pieces at the Calvary Artist Market were true works of art, and by purchasing these pieces, guests helped raise funds to benefit the ECW programs such as the annual Emmanuel Center Carnival.

Story and Photos By Lesley Young

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren Story and Photos By Lesley Young

Richard and Jean Riley Alisha Hezel, John T. Fisher and Svetlana Pozdnaykova Demetrius Boydland and Joy Routt Brendan Rodrigues, Jamie Harmon and Gus Harmon

Laurence Ritter and Michele Crump Whitney Jo and Alice Berry

Carrington and Margaret Wise

Alexis Grace and Randall Hartzog

Juli Ray and Kari Fleskes

Emarie Collier and Colleen Able

Laura Sperry and Tracey Black

Terre Gorham, Greg Coy and Kelsey Lyons


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DeNeuville Learning Center Gala and Auction

Paul Penczner Art Showcase

Memphis Empty Bowls Project

Symphony League Diamond Jubilee Luncheon

The 11th annual DeNeuville Learning Center Gala and Auction took place at the Hutchison School. Operating for 14 years, the center continues to be a crucial part of the Memphis community by offering women of all backgrounds strong educational programs and professional skills. Burton Bridges emceed the event, which included a silent and a live auction, as well as musical entertainment from the talented Earl Randle. Event organizers also used the occasion to recognize Linda Goodspeed, ServiceMaster’s CIO, who was declared the honorary chairperson. Not falling short of the event’s name, “All Shook Up,” guests enjoyed entertainment from Elvis impersonator Brian Lee Howells while nibbling on a range of hors d’oeuvres made by volunteer chef Chuck Pettit. All items in the silent auction were gathered because of the great effort of the Hutchison Upper School, and all proceeds of the event went to the DeNeuville Learning Center.

Memphis celebrated one of the city’s finest artists at a reception that commenced the opening of an art exhibit showcasing the works of the late Paul Penczner, a prolific local and international artist whose art is displayed in both the White House collection and the Vatican Museum. Held at the Memphis Botanic Garden and co-hosted by Pat Kerr Tigrett, Memphis designer and former Penczner art student, and Jolanda Penczner, the artist’s widow, the reception showcased Penczner’s artwork that was donated to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Hungarian-born Penczner was an artist whose works ranged in style from portraiture to experimental and whose magnetic personality brought a large mix of admirers, close friends and family to the reception. Wanda Wilson, local personality and one of Penczner’s favorite subjects, made an appearance, dressed, of course, in her famous white fur coat. Many of the works on display were for sale, the funds from which will support an endowment in the name of the UTHSC Department of Physiology.

The Memphis Empty Bowls Project hosted its first fund-raiser at Church Health Center Wellness. Featuring handcrafted bowls made by more than 300 artists, potters and students, the event offered attendees a chance to select a bowl of their choice from two long tables filled with bowls fashioned in a variety of styles from ornate ceramic bowls to simple wooden bowls and everything in between. Guests filled up their bowls with soup from 14 restaurants, including Alchemy, Huey’s, The Half Shell and Tsunami, to name a few. Attendees also enjoyed two talented local bands, Yancy and Yancy and Abbye West Pates, as they stopped by the silent auction and took in the photography of Bill Piacesi of Focus For the Good, a nonprofit that uses fine art to better the community. Although all bowls that night were filled, and likewise every stomach, the empty bowls given served as a reminder that many in Memphis are not as lucky. Sarah Ranson, co-chair of the Memphis Empty Bowls Project, says that the purpose of the event is for “people to walk away really feeling involved in hunger awareness and like they can do something about food insecurity.” The event raised $18,000 for the Mid-South Food Bank, the food ministries of St. John’s UMC and nutrition education at the Church Health Center.

To celebrate the 60th season of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony League threw a Diamond Jubilee Luncheon at Chickasaw Country Club. For those who remember the MSO’s founder, the late Vincent de Frank, it was nice to hear from his widow and league member Jean de Frank share the “diamond memories” of the orchestra while many treasured photos aired on a large screen. De Frank said of the orchestra’s beginning days, “Vincent hired 21 musicians for the first concert.” Later on, many famous people, including Leontyne Price, Itzhak Perlman, Lorin Hollander, Isaac Hayes and Duke Ellington, would perform with the MSO, as pointed out by de Frank. This luncheon also included a silent auction and, of course, music, which came courtesy of the MSO Woodwind Quartet, Lura Turner and Mary Lawrence Flinn.

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Maria Lensing, Linda Goodspeed and Susan Stewart Sarah Ranson and Liam Martin

Billie Jean Graham and Jean de Frank

Jolanda Penczner, Gabor Tigyi and Wanda Wilson

Jeanette Cooley, Lura Turner, Barbara Patronis and Honey Cannon

Jana and Michael Branham

Crystal and Rick McDonald

Ceil Walker and Pat Kerr Tigrett

Amy McDonald and Bill Spicer

Courtney Robertson and Jordan Moore

Isabella, Renee and Collins Dillard

Nicki Inman and Scottie Cobb


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ARTAFACTOR

ARTAFACTOR

“Go with the Flow”

“T

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Grace Swaney and Gil Uhlhorn

Kendall G. Britt Jr. and Eva Krug

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hat was worth the ticket price right there,” remarked a satisfied guest of ArtsMemphis’ annual signature fund-raiser, ARTAFACTOR, after witnessing a soul-inspired music and dance number by Stax Music Academy students. And in true ArtsMemphis fashion, the benefit showed off much more of our hotbed of talented actors, artists, dancers, musicians and singers all under one roof, specifically that of the newly opened Beale Street Landing. Themed “Go with the Flow,” ARTAFACTOR seemed to do just that by not only having the Mississippi River as the backdrop, but by embracing Memphis’ thriving art culture. In addition to Stax Music Academy’s presence, performances came courtesy of a cappella group Artistik Approach, Ballet Memphis, Playhouse on the Square and Jesse Frank & the Blues Bandits, featuring Miss Nickki. Each of these groups benefit from ArtsMemphis grants, of which more than 100 total were dispersed among 60 local arts and culture groups in 10 categories during the organization’s last fiscal year. A special example of one such effort that ArtsMemphis has funded is “The River Project,” which Ballet Memphis company members delighted audiences with during ARTAFACTOR as they performed excerpts from the project high above the river that influenced it. The connection to the Mississippi was also evident in the work “The River Remembers,” a painting from the event’s featured artist, Maysey Craddock. Highlighting the changing course of the Mississippi throughout thousands of years, the painting came up for bidding in a live auction that also offered a Highlands, North Carolina getaway, two Regions LifeGreen cruiser bikes and a 1985 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Bordeaux. Bidders also set their sights on several silent auction items, including a “Big Easy Weekend,” a metal and glass vase donated by the National Ornamental Metal Museum and a “Wild Abundance Publishing” package of three collectible books: First Shooting Light, Wild Abundance and A Million Wings. Interestingly, the Wild Abundance Publishing Company is a division of ArtsMemphis, and all proceeds from the sale of these books help with arts and conservation efforts. Presented by Regions Bank, ARTAFACTOR truly spotlighted the positives of Memphis culture, and in the process, brought together a unique crowd of arts lovers, who came from all facets of the community to indulge in a “night of riverside revelry” to benefit ArtsMemphis.

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

Lynda and Drew Baddour

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry

Lara Scott and Jennifer Estes

Mary and Corey Trotz

Jacqueline and Hulet Gregory

Alyson Capote and Jesse Walker

Greta Hunter, Cardell and Nefertiti Orrin and Jackie Williams

Will and Leslie Aclin


EVENT ARTAFACTOR Alam Sharifi and Dane Smith

Bryan Smith and Leigh McCraw

Sam and Kate Gassaway

Terry Lynch and Cathy Weaver

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Henriette Fisher and Dr. Nick Gavrizi

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Trey and Sarah Watkins

Erin Ostrow and Gretchen McLennon

Chelsey Molpus and Derek Fairchilds

Rachel Hohenberg and Brown Burch

Beth and Brent Wilson

Shannon Morgan and Elly Deyhle


AFTER HOURS

After Hours A photo collage of the latest business happenings

Chickasaw Oaks Village Open House

Heather Cosmetic Boutique Grand Opening

Alison Henneberger and Jenna Lowry at More Therapy

Kittie Kyle 30th Anniversary Party

Carol Furr and Cindy Gambrell

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Kenny Balkunas and Heather Ryniec Balkunas

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Rita Lara and April Brady

Christopher Padgett and Margaret Ledbetter

More Therapy Holiday Kick-Off

Lisa Wilder and Liz Lemley at Lisa Mallory

Kathy Maury and Buff Adams at Lisa Mallory

Anna Pechak and Meg McCord

Maggie Phillips and Anna Wunderlich

Rosalyn Brown and Julie Saxon


S I N C E 1995

Advertising in RSVP Magazine places your message before an active, affluent market of Mid-Southerners who desire the best in quality and service.

More Than 120,000 Readers Average Household Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $174,000 per year Average Net Worth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,250,000 Male Readers . . . . . . 40.8% Female Readers . . . . . . . . 59.2% Marital Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.2% married Home Owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81.3% Education: Attended/Graduated College plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83.0% Have Post graduate degree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.6% 88.6% . . . . Purchased a Product or Visited a Store due to Advertising in RSVP. 42.6% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Traveled Abroad during the past year. 52% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eat out at least 3 times per week. 30,000 copies delivered monthly throughout

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the Affluent Shopping Areas of Greater Memphis From Harbor Town to Collierville.

For Information on How to put RSVP to Work for You Call 276-7787

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1 Upon restful furniture 2 Mexican money 3 Hateful 4 Mucky water 5 Pressure unit 6 Brew 7 Snake 8 Molt 9 Tradition practiced at midnight on New Yearʼs 10 Business title ending 11 Husks 15 Soybean 17 Connect 19 Soaked 22 Cutting tool 25 Salty water masses 26 Hit 27 Coupe 28 Consumer 29 Echo sounder 30 Ball 31 Visionary 33 __ girl 35 Portraying

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36 Swiss-like cheese 37 Parade held in Pasadena, CA 39 Resist 40 Demand 42 Thin cloth 45 Surface to air missile 46 Walked 47 Strike sharply 48 Gets older 49 Army unit 51 Voiced 53 Clark known as the “oldest teenager” 54 Relieve 56 Lotion ingredient 57 Auld Lang ____ 59 Body of water 61 Doll 62 Southwestern Indian

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12 1 Rainy mo. 4 Baths 16 8 Skierʼs need 20 12 Honey maker 24 13 Island 14 Tips 27 28 16 Tree training lattice 32 18 Account for safe keep38 ing 41 20 Disbelieve 21 Note___ (plr.) 23 Sailorʼs yes 47 48 49 24 Lombardo famous for 52 his rendition of New Yearʼs Eve song 58 25 Gender 63 26 Hit 66 27 Fatherʼs sister 29 West coastal African country 32 United States of America 33 Billy or nanny 34 King 38 Sinews 40 Subʼs weapon 41 Mexican food brand 42 Characterization of New Year with a sash 43 Pop (plr.) 44 Renounce 46 Father representing the old year

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RSV PHILLIPPI

By Dennis Phillippi

do, because it doesn’t have any of those pesky humans to worry about, and then return and land on autopilot. Once again, no one is at the controls but the plane’s brain. We’re getting into some very weird math here. Robots have been a big part of car making for a long time, but this just in: At a plant in Louisville, the robots have laser eyes so they can “see” where a piece goes and make the decision to adjust. Seems harmless enough, until you realize that I just said robots with laser eyes. Are you cool with that? It makes its own decisions, and then uses its laser eyes to be precise. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t real-

It was hard enough to accept that my smartphone is smarter than me. ly want robots with laser eyes. Duke University, not content with the traditional robot-assisted surgery, is doing research on robots that will perform surgery without the assistance of a surgeon. So far, the plan is just to have them do biopsies. You know what a biopsy is, right? That’s the identification and removal of flesh—the identification and removal of flesh by a robot making its own decisions. Once again, thinking robots removing human flesh. Among other things, I wish I hadn’t found out, but I feel compelled to share with you that there are autonomous robots that are “wheeled, legged, flying, crawling and swimming.” If your head isn’t filled with images of robot hordes rolling, walking, flying, crawling and swimming toward you, their robot minds just buzzing with menace, then I haven’t painted as disturbing a picture as I intended. Look, I’m all about technology

moving forward, or at least I’ve always thought of myself as being about that, but armed, flesh-removing intelligent robots have impacted my optimism. It was hard enough to accept that my smartphone is smarter than me. I write for a living, and my phone knows more words than I do. Most of the time now, I don’t even bother with spelling things correctly because I know my phone will do it for me. Sure, this occasionally leads to embarrassing autocorrect experiences, but that keeps life interesting. I just try to keep an eye on it when I’m texting my mother. My phone always replaces “mother” with a much longer word, although that’s more on me. My phone knows more about everything, from sports to the weather to alarming science news, than I do. It’s a very smart smartphone. Oh, and by the way, what’s the difference between “the Cloud” and Skynet? Think about that one. There are bomb-sniffing robots that think for themselves, and that seems like a really good use for a robot. But, what if, just for the sake of argument, the smart robot is smart enough to realize that it would just as soon not be exploded? That’s what we’re talking about here; if you keep making things smarter, sooner or later they’re going to be smart enough to realize they exist, and that they would like to continue doing so. Good luck being the mechanic assigned to disassemble a fleshremoving, laser-eyed, flying robot that has decided it would just as soon not be disassembled. Maybe it’ll just dial up its independently thinking bomber robot pal or its super secret pilotless space plane. I’m just saying maybe there’s a point where machines don’t need to be quite so clever. Mind you, I’m just a stupid human with non-laser eyes, what do I know?

Dennis, we’re with you on the reasoning why robots shouldn’t have too much knowledge, and we agree even more that smartphones are indeed very smart. Who invented all this technology anyway? Maybe you should do a story on those wiseguys.

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know a little something about artificial intelligence; after all, I’ve been pretending to be smart my whole life, but lately, I’ve been getting more than a little spooked about Artificial Intelligence. You know, the kind of machines that think for themselves. There seem to be a lot more of them than people realize. Robots build cars, perform medical procedures, zoom into space and fly bombing missions in hostile territory, all without any input from a human being. Seriously, those things are all true. Didn’t any of these scientists watch The Terminator? The first time I became aware of any of this was while reading a science magazine when I was getting my tires rotated. What a copy of a science magazine was doing in the waiting room of a garage remains a mystery, but I read a story about a stealth bomber, armed to the mechanical teeth, that will fly missions off of aircraft carriers, taking off, dropping bombs, shooting missiles and landing back on the boat, all while making its own decisions. No one is sitting back at Los Alamos with a headset on telling it to shoot this or that—the plane makes that determination. Umm…did any of you read that without getting advanced Willlies? I got Heebies and Geebies when I read it. This isn’t a drone with some cameras or even one with a single missile; this is a warplane without a pilot. That’s not an advance. That’s a Jamie Foxx movie. Thinking this might be an isolated thing that just the military is doing, I went to the old Internet to do some research. Not only is there a bomber, there’s a space plane that flies on its own. Unlike the bomber, this thing has already been up among the satellites and dropped astronaut hammers that are orbiting the planet. Apparently it can reach space, and then stick around for months on end doing whatever it is that it’s supposed to

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THREE WORDS: LASER-EYED ROBOTS


RSVPAST

A League of Their Own

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ears before the Lady Vols were hanging banners in Knoxville, the University of Tennessee had a champion women’s basketYtheball team in Memphis. As early as 1953, the UT Nurses had competed against nurses from local hospitals in a league run by city’s parks commission. But, they took off in 1955 when they found a volunteer coach named Jim Stockdale, who had

recently arrived on campus as the new director of student welfare. To complement a schedule that included a dozen games each season, Stockdale started a tournament for other nursing school teams—the Cotton States Nurses Invitational—drawing competition from as far afield as Georgia and Kansas. Under Stockdale’s direction, the UT Nurses won seven tournament championships and 12 Nurses League titles in 26 years.

INFO FROM THE LEGACY THE FUTURE: A CENTENNIAL PORTRAIT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AND PHOTO COURTESY OF UTHSC 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 January 2013  

RSVP magazine is like no other publication in the city of Memphis. What began as simply “The Society Pages” more than a decade ago has evolv...

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