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June 2010

Green Shoe Gala Brooks Uncorked Tribute to Excellence Gala Taste of Jubilee Q&A with David Jordan


CONTENTS

Contents June 2010

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 2008 Olympic swimmer Gil Stovall took time out from training to help build hype for his amazing quest to the 2012 Olympic trials.

Green Shoe Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Guests paired their green shoes with green attitudes at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy’s annual benefit at the park grounds.

10 SIGNATURE MEMPHIS Gil Stovall

RSVP Watch List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Five water-friendly summer essentials.

34 BROOKS UNCORKED John Vego

StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20, 22 & 24 She’s saving lives, one swimmer at a time. This artist has found another outlet for her creativity called the Junkyard Museum. He recently received a Horticulture Commendation award from the Garden Club of America, but you probably know him best as the head honcho of the

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Dixon Gardens. StreetSeens spotlight Susan Helms, Lisa Williamson and Dale Skaggs.

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26, 27, 44, 45, 50 & 53 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

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Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Q&A with the executive director of Agape Child & Family Services, David Jordan.

12 GREEN SHOE GALA Karen and Jeff Weesner

Brooks Uncorked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art had guests toasting to “A Taste of the Sweet Life” during the museum’s wine fund-raiser.

40 TRIBUTE TO EXCELLENCE GALA Mary Ann and Marcus Hodges

Tribute to Excellence Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 The local Arthritis Foundation chapter beckoned supporters to “Come to Casablanca” at The Peabody.

Taste of Jubilee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Having good taste at the Blue Streak Scholarship Fund’s annual fund-raiser at the Pink Palace Museum wasn’t hard to achieve with the array of top chefs in attendance.

RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 What’s Mazel Tov in Hungarian? Dennis Phillippi prepares for an Eastern European wedding, and no, he’s not crashing the

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nuptials!

STREETSEEN Dale Skaggs

TASTE OF JUBILEE Kim Fracchia and Carol MacIntosh Cover Photo Jim and Karen Avery at Green Shoe Gala Photo by Nathan Berry


Volume XV

Number IX

June 2010 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

Leah Fitzpatrick CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Ruth Cassin Jonathan Devin Dennis Phillippi Suzanne Thompson Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR

Patrick Aker s PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Nathan Berry Roy Haithcock Don Perry Steve Roberts SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Libby Huff

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

RSVP

Chris Pugh ACCOUNTING

Ruth Cassin 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

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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 Copyright 2010 Haithcock Communications, Inc.


From the Editor

LOOK NO FURTHER

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his month I had the privilege of attending a charity luncheon at an exquisite house, and while the house was just my style, the pool is what really caught my attention. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds and super comfy chaises, the perfect rectangle of a pool with its crystal clear water beckoned me to take a swim. Don’t worry, reality set in soon enough, and I didn’t happen to have a swimsuit in my purse, anyway. Once I returned to the office, I couldn’t stop thinking about that pool, which made me realize how much the current issue ties into swimming. For starters, we’re introducing a new feature this month called RSVP Watch List that coincidently touts the RSVP staff’s five favorite pieces to wear to the pool or beach. Then, in the Signature Memphis on page 10, you’ll come across a winner-of-a-shot of Olympic swimmer Gil Stovall, a phenomenal athlete who’s been kept under the radar far too long and needs help raising funds to offset the costs required to train and compete for the 2012 Olympics (visit gilstovall.com for info). Stovall also has a hand in Make A Splash Mid-South, a nonprofit dedicated to providing swim clinics and lessons to inner-city children, and you can read about that story and its director in the StreetSeen on page 20. Related to this topic, I find it interesting that Memphis doesn’t have many other well-known swimmers, what with our city’s long hot summers, two Olympic size pools, one indoor and one out, on the University of Memphis campus and great programs like Make A Splash Mid-South. Kim Pecha, who’s promoting “Team Stovall” says, “There’s no reason there shouldn’t be 400 Gil Stovalls in this town.” Maybe soon, Memphis will be known for another sport that doesn’t have the word “ball” in it. Until then, I’ll see you at the Carnival Memphis Crown and Sceptre Coronation Ball on June 4 and the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Opening Gala on June 19. What a festive start to the season of sun!

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Photo by Steve Roberts

FOR MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS

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Find the perfect gift for Dad at these stores: American Café Apple Store Coach Dinstuhl's Candies Eddie Bauer Gap J.Crew Lucky Brand Jeans Williams Sonoma And many more....

Poplar and West Farmington 4 miles east of I-240, Germantown, TN www.shopsofsaddlecreek.com

Leah Fitzpatrick editor@rsvpmagazine.com


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Gil Stovall Olympic Swimmer-2008/Olympic Hopeful-2012/Head Coach, Hutchison Swim Team

Hobby: Mountain biking. Words or phrases you overuse: Dude and like. Historical figure you most identify with: David. Last book you’ve read: The Chronicles of Narnia. Favorite Memphis musician: B.B. King. First job: Summer league swim coach. Personal hero: My mom. Childhood ambition: Pilot. Your mantra: Take it easy. Guilty pleasure: Video games. Biggest obstacle you’ve overcome: Making the Olympic team. One thing most people don’t know about you: I’m extremely flat footed.

photo by Steve Roberts

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EVENT

Green Shoe Gala

GREEN SHOE GALA

Benefiting Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

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Tammy and Steve Donly

Johnnie and Loretta Watson

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Bob and Donna Abney

Glenda and Gary Shorb

ature lovers turned out in droves at Shelby Farms to commence the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. What has quickly become one of the metropolitan area’s favorite events, the gala serves as a major fund-raiser for the conservancy’s maintenance, improvements and programming. Guests, who mostly appeared in shades of verdant attire, were treated to a cocktail reception in an outdoor tent transformed into a nature wonderland. “Hula girl” figures in grass skirts and floral headpieces graced the buffet tables that were laden with more than a dozen scrumptious appetizers, including cashew noodle salad, grilled vegetables, tomato and mozzarella salad, jumbo shrimp cocktail and dolmas. The “Green Shoe Table” and the “Irish Coffee Table” were beautifully adorned with moss, grasses, ferns, bird nests, berries and wild flowers. A silent auction held during the cocktail hour produced heavy bidding for items donated by such benefactors as vineyard vines®, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Oak Hall and James Davis. The dining tent continued the Mother Nature theme with starlight mobiles suspended from the ceiling. Tables were draped in eye-catching, bright green linens and featured centerpiece baskets brimming with yellow, green and orange flora and accented by clear votives. Rick Masson, the conservancy’s executive director, and Fox 13 News’ Mearl Purvis and Joey Sulipeck welcomed the large crowd, and the Reverend Andy McBeth delivered a touching invocation. Dinner consisted of fresh marinated green beans, roasted red potatoes with caramelized onions, garlic and rosemary, Atlantic salmon with dilled crème fraîche and garlic encrusted beef steak with horseradish aioli, topped off by a tasty selection of cheesecakes and assorted two-bite bakes and tarts. All appetizer and dinner ingredients were kindly provided by Whole Foods and prepared by A Moveable Feast, while keeping in mind the idea of “Let’s Retake our Plates” in promoting healthy and natural food choices. Following dinner, Jeff Morris of Morris Auction Group presided over an enthusiastic live auction, after which the band Party Planet had many guests giving their green shoes a workout on the dance floor. The gala not only kicked off a week of Earth Day festivities, including SkyFest and the Down to Earth Festival, but it got everyone excited about the Shelby Farms Greenline, Woodland Discovery Playground and Wolf River pedestrian bridge, all of which are scheduled to open later this year. Those helping make this night a reality were gala co-chairs Pamela and Dr. Esmond Arrindell, Bradley and Robert Fogelman, Susan Labovitz, Bridget Trenary and Anne Piper White. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Nathan Berry

Jeff and Valerie Morris with Calvin Anderson

Roger Johnson and Mariangela Romano-Schardt

Robert and Yvonne Mayer

Alvin and Kristee Bell

Gregory Woods and Mearl Purvis


EVENT GREEN SHOE GALA

Robin Kendall and Joel Glasgow

Diane and Tom Long

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Erica Humphreys and Aaron Dallas

Lisa Ansley and Warren Pan

Jenna and Coleman O’Keefe

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Rachel and David Wall

Dr. Justin Neill and Terri Harris

Steve and Stacy Franklin

Heather and Phil Schwab

Susan Lawless and Richard Glassman

Shelley Hood and Kevin Danish


EVENT GREEN SHOE GALA

Shannon and Scott Taylor

Barbara and Pitt Hyde

Chrystal and Steve McManus

Susan Dowlen and Melody Bailey

Drs. Marilyn and Lloyd Robinson

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Joe and Carol Lee Royer

Kate Phillips, Brandy Hardaway, Rachel Morgan, Sheri Monroe and Jen Andrews

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Bradley Fogelman and Montgomery Martin

Karen Altuzar and Juan Carlos

Bob Grillet with Traci and George Felts

Becky Suhoza, Brent Meyers and Chris Suhoza

John Mark and Heidi Garrett

Ed Stevens and Dianne Day


RSVP WATCH LIST

SWIM SEASON

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THE TOP 5 MUST-HAVES FOR POOL OR BEACHSIDE STYLE.

Clockwise from top right: Lucky Koi Tote by EnVBags (eco-chic reusable bags)-$10 at Seriously FUN! Apparel (901-754-0018); Yacht Club Halter Style Bikini Top by Antonio Melani$63 at Dillard’s Oak Court (901-685-0382); Yacht Club Tunnel Pant by Antonio Melani-$47 at Dillard’s Oak Court (901-685-0382); 10ATM Water-Resistant Stainless Steel Watch with Safety Yellow Band by Philip Stein Active-$500 at South House in James Davis Fine Jewelry (901-230-2417); Blue Gardenia Flip Flops by Tory Burch-$45 at Joseph (901-767-1609); White Agate with Amethyst Sunglasses by David Yurman-$675 at Total Eye Care (901-761-4620)

P h o t o b y Na t h a n B e r ry

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STREETSEEN

Susan Helms Swim Savvy

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chools might be empty this time of year, but Susan Helms knows that pools won’t be. In preparation for one of kids’ favorite summer pastimes, Helms and her fellow Make A Splash Mid-South members are gearing up to promote water safety. The push to form the group arose in 2008, when two children drowned in city pools on the first day of summer break. In response to the tragedy, Helms, who is the director of injury prevention and Safe Kids Mid-South at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, called on swim teams, colleges, the YMCA and anyone else passionate about swimming to gain insight on how to best prevent water-related deaths. Thirty-five people responded to her request, and after brainstorming for several hours, Make A Splash MidSouth was born. The group decided to offer free swim lessons for underserved children (ages 6-12) and improve lifeguard training, all while promoting diversity in swimming. Helms points out, “Nearly 60 percent of African-American and 56 percent of Hispanic children don’t know how to swim.” These statistics come from the first national research study commissioned by USA Swimming in April 2008 through the University of Memphis, which also found that the youth drowning rate in ethnically-diverse communities is two to three times higher than the national average and that children with non-swimmer parents aren’t typically encouraged to learn how to swim. Less than a year after the study, Make A Splash Mid-South held learn-to-swim programs at the Bickford Aquatic Center and the Hickory Hill Community Center pool. Helms says most of the kids were excited to participate, but a few were afraid to put a toe in the water, at least in the beginning. With a ratio of one water safety instructor for every five student swimmers, the lessons took place daily for 10 days, and by the end, 30 participants had transformed from fearful beginners into bona fide swimmers. More lessons will take place at the Bickford Aquatic Center and the Hickory Hill Community Center pool from June 14-26, June 28-July 9 and July 11-July 23; applications will be posted on lebonheur.org. Other activities the nonprofit has held include free CPR training and developmental swim meets, the last of which featured Olympic swimmer Gil Stovall giving an inspirational talk. Make A Splash also plays a vital role in making sure citywide lifeguard meetings occur, and it sponsors Lifeguard Games, which attracts teams of lifeguards competing in categories relevant to lifeguard skills. The next Lifeguard Games are June 27 at the Jewish Community Center pool. The real splash? More than 150 underserved children now know how to swim, and two participants have been awarded swim team scholarships. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


STREETSEEN

Lisa Williamson Artful Endeavors

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ntil the past year, Lisa Williamson labeled her paintings as just a hobby. Now that hobby is slowly being structured into a business, much the same as her vision for the Junkyard Museum. Both ventures obviously require tremendous amounts of creativity, but those unaware might not see Williamson’s unique ability to recycle the simplest of items. She smiles, “I’ve just always tried to reuse as much as I can.” For instance, she uses tuna fish cans to hold the wax that she uses in her paintings. Often compared to Marc Chagall and Gustav Klimt on a master’s level and Jennifer Stallings on a local level, Williamson’s work reflects her love of color and a penchant for fine details that lend major significance, but she wants people to know that she has no plans to incorporate her encaustic pieces in the Junkyard Museum, which she created a business plan for five years ago. “My focus at the museum will be on using items salvaged from old buildings and just objects that I think can be turned into other things,” she says. Currently, Williamson has a warehouse in Mississippi brimming forth with future museum items, like a taxi cab from Tijuana, Mexico, old stuff from the Children’s Museum of Memphis, playground equipment from Shelby Farms and a table leg project done by Memphis City School students that will be worked into a railing at the museum. Museum board members have junk stored in their back yards as well, and several city scrap yards have pledged materials when the museum’s ready. Items on the lookout include a swing set skeleton, monkey bars, scaffolding, a lifeguard chair or an awning, which Donald Knaack, “The Junkman,” is requesting for a music sculpture to be created by kids during the first Junkyard Art and Music Camp, an already sold-out camp scheduled for June 14-18 at a space donated by Greg Touliatos and Associates. Securing a permanent spot for the museum is also of utmost importance to the board. Requirements stipulate that the museum be in a place that will help rehab a neighborhood, be within walking distance for kids and have accessible parking and bus traffic. Williamson admits her dream spot—the Tennessee Brewery—fell through the first year, so she’s since turned to Binghampton as a possible locale. Architects Reb Haizlip and Coleman Coker have already signed on to design the space, which will start small and grow organically. No matter the site, Williamson ensures the Junkyard will be a place of inspiration for all ages and will have art, music and sports programs that incorporate reclaimed materials. She likens the experience to being in an exploratorium, where play and art become one. Just like recycling, it’s a simple idea with a big impact. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


STREETSEEN

Dale Skaggs A Green Thumb

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orking in the great outdoors always appealed to Dale Skaggs, however his appreciation goes beyond plants’ aesthetic value. What the director of horticulture at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens is more interested in is how horticulture impacts the urban landscape. He adds, “The more people garden, the more they feel connected to everything.” For Skaggs, the nature connection began at 15, when he worked at the former Four Fives Nursery. The nursery’s owner, the late Karl Kaestle, eagerly divulged his knowledge of plants and their Latin names to Skaggs, who soaked up the information like a sponge. That gig inspired Skaggs to open a landscape and garden contracting business after high school, and later led him to become an adjunct faculty member, teaching woody and herbaceous plant identification courses, at Southwest Tennessee Community College. Then comes the part where Skaggs moved to Oregon to further his academic credentials, which now include a master’s of landscape architecture and a bachelor’s of landscape architecture degrees from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s of horticulture degree from Oregon State University. He also worked as the landscape manager for nationally known mail order company, Joy Creek Nursery, during his time there. After an eight-year stint in Oregon, Skaggs returned to his roots in Memphis as the Shelby County horticultural extension agent with the University of Tennessee before several people tied to the Dixon came knocking. After much prodding, Skaggs made a trip to the Dixon to discuss the director of horticulture position, soon realizing he wanted to be back in a hands-on environment. Glancing outside the window in his office at the Dixon, one can see why the pull was so strong. This month marks Skaggs’ three-year anniversary at the Dixon, and the improvements he’s made during his tenure include initiating the design and restoration of the Woodland Garden last year, as well as increasing the extensive color-coordinated displays of plants throughout the gardens. In addition, he’s reinstating the Mid-South Native Plant Conference, which has been on a 15-year hiatus, this October, and Skaggs has also worked to strengthen the bonds between the Dixon and the Memphis Garden Club, relationships which led to his receiving its Horticulture Commendation award from the Garden Club of America this spring. The next thing on his horticultural checklist? “We are now focusing on garden exhibitions, which are a natural fit for an institution that is both a garden and a museum,” he says. “In fact, we are currently cataloging our plants and treating them as objects in a collection to be interpreted and curated.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


ONSITE

Onsite

Decorator Showhouse Preview Party Josephine Circle Luncheon and Fashion Show Playhouse Original Art Auction

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Preston and Betsy Wilson at Playhouse Original Art Auction

David Leigh and Rachael Barton at Playhouse Original Art Auction

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he most popular address in Central Gardens was 642 South Willett the night of the Decorator Showhouse Preview Party. Not only is the location home to Carrier Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, but the address marked the spot of the Brooks Museum League’s fund-raiser for the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Local interior designers and antique stores, like the Palladio Group, S.M. Nabers Company Interiors and the Amy Howard Collection, contributed Linda Photopulos, Mary Ann Harding and Sally BakerBrenner at Josephine Circle Luncheon and Fashion Show creative accessories and furnishings to rooms throughout the English Tudor-style house. Playhouse on the Square always hosts lovers of the performing arts, but the community theater also welcomed visual artists and their supporters during the 33rd annual Playhouse Original Art Auction. As 400 guests settled in, they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Wade & Company, drinks courtesy of Southwestern Distributing Company and silent and live auctions with one-of-a-kind pieces from 175 artists. Auctioneer duties fell to Gene Katz, Mike McLaren and Michael Detroit, who spurred patrons to contribute a record-breaking $61,000. “Ladies who lunch” took on a whole new meaning at the Josephine Circle Luncheon and Fashion 26 Elma Schnapp and Janice Akins Show at Hilton Memphis. The affair themed “H Hooray at Josephine Circle Luncheon and Fashion Show for Hollywood” offered more than just dining options, with hundreds of silent auction items, a fashion show courtesy of Laurelwood Shopping Center, sweepstakes and door prizes, film characters walking the runway and singing by Brenda Frye and Stephen Len White. Mary Beth Conley of News Channel 3 emceed the event attended by 555 supporters of Josephine, which will award six $1,000 scholarships to graduates from Memphis and Shelby County high schools who are entering the field of health sciences. Story and photos by Leah Fitzpatrick Ann Newell, Gretchen Reaves and Phyllis Pollard at Josephine Circle Luncheon and Fashion Show

Melanie Cardile with Gene and Amy Howard at Decorator Showhouse Preview Party

Betty Huff and Jim Smoot at Playhouse Original Art Auction

Maxine Vrewery, Marilyn Shryock and Mickie and Steve Nabers at Decorator Showhouse Preview Party

Cameron Kitchin and Mary Belenchia at Decorator Showhouse Preview Party


ONSITE

Onsite

Wild World of Wine and Beer Ptah Black Tie-Tennis Shoe Ball Pegasus of Germantown Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon

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Story and photos by Leah Fitzpatrick and Lesley Young Pat Post and Jaimee Cooley at Pegasus of Germantown Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon

C.C. Myers and Jim Browning at Ptah Black Tie-Tennis Shoe Ball

Vickie Moffett, Catherine Harris and Colleen Hitch at Ptah Black Tie-Tennis Shoe Ball

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Matt Lackey and Laura Schmitt at Wild World of Wine and Beer

Jan and Rick Trent with Will Batt and Catey Coscia at Wild World of Wine and Beer

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ans of the Memphis Zoo’s Conservation Action Network, or just fans of beer and wine, got a special viewing of the new Teton Trek exhibit during the Wild World of Wine and Beer, held to raise funds for CAN. While Old Faithful spurted and spewed outside the Great Lodge, conservation supporters tasted numerous fine wines and specialty beers donated by Southwestern Distributing Company, bid on the 60-plus silent auction items, which featured animal-themed artwork by Bonnie Hollabaugh and Amy Beth Dudley local and national artists, and grazed on hors d’oeuvres at Pegasus of Germantown Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon sponsored by Lancer Catering. The background noise didn’t come from animals this night, as Kathryn Stallins Band provided the music. Men forwent tuxedo pants and loafers, while women just forwent heels for the Grand Krewe of Ptah Black Tie-Tennis Shoe Ball. Germantown Performing Arts Centre’s Great Hall housed the partly formal affair, Phantom of the Opera” which centered around a “P theme. All Carnival Memphis Krewes were invited to partake in the merrymaking, as well as the skit competition. The Grand Krewe of Ptolemy picked up first place for its skit, with the Grand Krewe of Ennead and the Grand Krewe of RaMet taking second and third place, respectively. Dancing ensued to tunes by The Plaintiffs, and prizes were awarded to Best Male, Best Female, Best Couple and Best Group Tennis Shoe. A Kelly Lamberson and Kathy Gale Uhlhorn portion of proceeds will benefit the Carnival Memphis at Pegasus of Germantown Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon Children’s Charity Initiative. Pegasus of Germantown, a group that began more than 20 years ago as an auxiliary of the Germantown Charity Horse Show, recently held its Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon. Pat Post chaired the function and welcomed guests to the Racquet Club of Memphis for an afternoon of silent auction bidding and trendy fashions modeled by the Germantown Charity Horse Show queen, Mary Aubrey Landrum, and princesses. Clothing came courtesy of the Shops of Saddle Creek, and Mednikow loaned jewelry for the occasion.

Gladis Sanders and Justin Jones at Wild World of Wine and Beer

Marti Marsh, Janie Bailey, Susan Angel and Cindy Shaw at Ptah Black Tie-Tennis Shoe Ball


VOX POPULAR

Vox Popular Q&A with David Jordan

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avid Jordan has a family of his own, but he gives of himself to many others outside his immediate circle as the executive director of AGAPE Child & Family Services. Often only seen for its work with foster care and adoptions, AGAPE offers a range of other services, from the Families in Transition (FIT) program, which provides transitional housing and support to homeless, pregnant women and their children, to the Powerlines Community Network, a site-based initiative to bring family services, education and life skills programs, as well as volunteer mentors and tutors, to children and families in Hickory Hill, Whitehaven, South Memphis and the Beltline community. As you can imagine, no two days are alike for Jordan, who graciously sat down with RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick at his office to talk “family” and big plans for 2015.

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Jordan: I got my master’s in social work, then my license in social work. I was a social worker working in the field and became an administrator at Buddies of Nashville, a Big Brothers Big Sisters agency. Prior to that in Nashville, I actually supervised group homes for teenagers in state custody at a place called Serendipity House at that time. My very first job was with the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services, probably the hardest job I’ll ever have. I was with Child Protective Services, so I would go into community homes and would investigate children alleged to have been abused or neglected. There were a couple of cases where the child either died or had to go to the hospital about this time in April 1986. That was the very first time in my life I’d seen something like that. It almost did me in. RSVP: Since joining AGAPE in 1995, do you feel your role has changed? Jordan: AGAPE has changed a lot. When I first came here, we had five people on our staff. We have nearly 50 on our staff now. Our office also used to be on Union Avenue, but we outgrew that space and moved to 111 Racine Street in 1999. Back in 1995, we were serving about 150 children and families, and last year, we served 25,000. So, we grew a lot, and my role has changed in numerous ways because of the organization changes and the dynamics change, but there are some things that are still the same. Part of my passion is being clear on our vision—where we’re going, how we get there and how we can best serve our families. RSVP: Doesn’t AGAPE have other offices in the area? Jordan: We have three offices here, then an office in Jackson, Tennessee. Our footprint is West Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.

challenge. It’s not from a “Will we survive?” mode, but more of a “How can we thrive and grow into that?” standpoint. The challenge I guess is really more about growing pains and everything it takes for an organization to be able to serve at that level. RSVP: Who are some of AGAPE’s community partners? Jordan: The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is one group that helps us, and they have a real focus on mentoring, which is a great connection for us because mentoring is a piece of what we do when we go into communities. We have a mission though to bring in 5,000 volunteers by 2015 to be involved in mentoring, tutoring and a range of other services, so we’re engaging a lot of churches, corporate groups and others who desire to be involved. Other supporting organizations include Intermodal Cartage, Lansky Foundation, Valero, Hilton Worldwide, Baptist Hospital Foundation, Grace Crossing Church and the Highland and White Station Churches of Christ, to name a few. RSVP: How does AGAPE reach out to people interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents? Jordan: Through efforts like this article, but there are other ways we have of communicating the need, and a lot of times it’s for older children or sibling who need a foster or adoptive home. If you’re interested, we provide training and support, and we have a 40-year history of doing that.

Photos by Don Perry

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RSVP: What were you doing before you became AGAPE’s executive director?

RSVP: Do you know of anyone who has been an active foster parent since you’ve been with AGAPE?

Jordan: Oh, yeah. One of our board members, Randy Lillard, and his wife, Tricia. They’ve fostered more than 20 years, somewhere between 20 and 30 different children in their home, and they’ve adopted two children. That’s just a part of who they are and part of their family makeup, if you will. They’re very giving people. Being a foster parent is not necessarily an easy thing to do. It can bring your life joy, but there are some real difficult times that accompany the job.

RSVP: What are some challenges that AGAPE currently faces? RSVP: What’s the longest period of time a family can foster a child? Jordan: I would say the challenge for us is we have a huge vision, which would be to serve 50,000 children, adults and families by 2015 in the highest need communities. So, having the resources to be able to provide that service and fulfill that vision is really the

Jordan: A 12 to 15-month period is the longest we like to have a child in foster care, and even shorter, if possible. There are cases where kids are in foster care longer than that for a variety of rea-


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VOX POPULAR

sons, but generally speaking, the lesser amount of time a child can be in foster care, the better. Foster care is a temporary home setting, so getting that child into a permanent setting, whether it’s with his or her birth parents, relatives or with adoptive parents if there’s no other option, is what we’re really aiming to do. The flip side of who we are is working with kids and families in the community so they’re still with their family, but we’re intervening to help them remain together and flourish. RSVP: How many children are currently in foster care through AGAPE?

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Jordan: We have about 20 children in foster care. Over the last few years, that number has become significantly less. They are fewer kids in foster care overall. The State of Tennessee probably has half as many kids in foster care now as compared to eight or nine years ago. Many more kids are in the community, so that’s why we have a real focus on serving children and families in their home settings. RSVP: On average, how many children are adopted annually with AGAPE’s help?

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newborn- size 10

Jordan: We’ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of about 25 children adopted. A large part of what we do in the adoption realm is for any family who has adopted children—whether it’s through AGAPE or someone else and whether it’s one year ago or 10 years ago—and is having problems, we have staff who works with those families. We worked with a little over 2,000 adoptive family members last year who were having difficulties at some level. Our staff helps those families start moving in the right direction, and we’ve had a 98.9 percent success rate. Part of the statewide collaborative we’re in received a national award under that project, which is called ASAP [Adoption Support and Preservation]. May was our sixyear anniversary for that project. RSVP: Do you feel that people in the community are receptive to adoption?

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Jordan: What I find with those thinking about adoption is that for most, it’s because they can’t have kids. For others, adoption comes about because they want to do something beyond their biological children. Also, most of the time, people are looking to adopt younger kids, and there’s some need there. But, if you’re wanting to talk about where the real need is, it’s typically older children and sibling groups, brothers and sisters not being separated. Most people don’t wake up one morning and think, “I’m going to go adopt a 14-year-old,” but there are folks who hear about this and think about it. Just two or three weeks ago, I ran into a young man, and I looked at him and knew he looked familiar. This man is 18 years of age now and was adopted when he was 13. He is doing phenomenally well and has graduated from high school with a 3.8 GPA. He also got a scholarship to play basketball and wants to be a physical therapist. He’s a very respectful young man. His mom and dad said he’s come a real long way, so he was one of those kids who if he hadn’t of been adopted might not have the same story. He had his ups and downs even after the adoption, but he’s done well and could look


RSVP: How long is the screening process for adoptive parents? Jordan: We have a 10-week class that both foster and adoptive parents go through called PATH [Parents As Tender Healers]. After that, you have a home study process, and there are three to four interviews that come with that, as well as references and a background check. When you add all that together, it’s typically a threemonth process.

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me in the eye with confidence.

13TH ANNUAL

RSVP: In your opinion, what do you think the number one misconception is about becoming a foster or adoptive parent? Jordan: I don’t know if this is a misconception per se, but adoption for men seems to be different than adoption for women. For guys, getting over the idea that “this is not my biological child” and “this is not how I envisioned it” is tough. Also, guys tend to think adoption confronts their masculinity. That’s why I tell guys, man to man, to just come to the class and sit with it for about 10 weeks, no commitment required. RSVP: Do you have any upcoming events where the public can learn more about adoptions?

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Jordan: We have an annual adoption conference coming up on Friday, November 5, and November happens to be National Adoption Awareness Month. This will be our fifth year to do this, and it will be at the Marriott Memphis East. We have Nancy Thomas, who is the keynote speaker. She’s nationally known in the adoptive world and is an adoptive parent and has worked in some really tough situations with adoption. She’s also a great speaker. It’s a conference about adoption, so if you’re an adoptive parent, thinking about adoption, a professional in the field or are just interested, you’re more than welcome to come. We also have our largest fundraiser coming up on Saturday, October 23 at AutoZone Park called HeartLight. Even though it’s a fund-raiser, HeartLight tells what AGAPE is about and our vision.

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RSVP: What do you think your most rewarding experience has been thus far with AGAPE? Jordan: People often say to me, “I bet you just love what you do,” and I say, “I do love what I do.” I see the very best of life, and I see the very worst of life. I see some of the crummy stuff, and that’s the part of my job I don’t like. But, there’s nothing like having the young man that I mentioned earlier come up to me and to see his eyes, his heart and where he is in life and to know he’s in a different place. People that do what we do here might not always see the end of the story, but we see moments and clips of it. Those moments are what it’s all about. RSVP: If you could share an interesting fact about AGAPE people might not know about, what would it be? Jordan: Not everyone knows this, but the word “agape” is a Greek word that means unselfish love for others, and that’s what we’re trying to live out every day.

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EVENT

Brooks Uncorked

BROOKS UNCORKED

“A Taste of the Sweet Life”

M

ore than 500 oenophiles got “A Taste of the Sweet Life” during the Art of Good Taste series at the Memphis Brooks Museum of

Art. Presented by Wunderlich Securities, the springtime affair drew lots of participation by area distributors, who contributed 50plus wines from around the world for the fund-raiser. In keeping with the series’ tribute to Italian wines, the museum featured a “Venice in the Age of Canaletto” exhibition, and during the party, organizers brought out Emilio Pucci-inspired linens for bistro tables, which were topped by arrangements of

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Kevin Holt and Lee Davidson

Jake Winn and Riley Couture

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daisies and yellow, pink and orange rose blooms fastened to willowy branches. The bright color scheme was also carried out on the terrace, where a pink and orange tent had been set up over the dance floor. With DJ Raiford spinning quintessential dance hits and shaking his signature maracas, the evening turned more festive by the minute. Raiford prompted revelers to their feet by saying, “Yes, my friends, the time has come to party!” Back in the rotunda and Brushmark Restaurant, coolly fashioned guests savored appetizers from area restaurants and a number of new wines courtesy of Athens Distributing Company, Buster’s Liquors & Wines, Delta Wholesale Liquors, Inc., Star Distributors, United Liquors Corporation, Victor L. Robilio Company, Inc. and Southwestern Distributing Company. Meanwhile, those lucky VIP room ticket holders indulged in a private Champagne reception, premium wines and special offerings by Brushmark chefs Wally Joe and Andrew Adams. By last call, Brooks’ supporters had raised in excess of $30,000 through event admission and silent auction bids. To continue the march to the Art of Good Taste fund-raising goal, the Brooks held a Patrons Dinner and Grand Auction a few weeks later.

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

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Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry

Jennifer Ventre and Tiffany Brimhall

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TRIBUTE TO EXCELLENCE GALA

EVENT

Tribute to Excellence Gala “Come to Casablanca”

T Kristi and Nick Pesce

Dennis and Karen Watson

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he West Tennessee office of the Arthritis Foundation wanted to raise a glass to two special honorees, and, in doing so, it raised the bar on the elegance of entertaining. The 2010 Tribute to Excellence Gala at The Peabody offered plenty to toast, and uplifted spirits were ripe on the vine. Festivities began in the Grand Ballroom with cocktails served among S-shaped tables of the silent auction, which featured wines from a number of vintages. Gents arrived in tuxes or an occasional white dinner jacket, and ladies donned all ranges of evening gowns from floor-length sequin numbers to little black dresses. Members of the gala’s planning committee, including Peggy and Gary Hensley, Ann Craig Bobo and Kirk Bobo, Lisa Guyton, Ellen and Randall Holcomb and Terry Summerlin, were on hand to greet guests. Frank Navarra, the chairman of the West Tennessee Advisory Board for the Arthritis Foundation, and Dave Popen, CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, Southeast Region, also gave a warm public welcome. The décor was simple and classic with walls bathed in blue and red light and columns of white lights, wrapped in airy sheers of fabric, at the corners of the dance floor. The dinner tables, set with black linens, were topped by umbrellas of orchids, snapdragons and palms. The movie Casablanca played on a screen as the sound of piano music tinkled across the room. When dinner was announced, partygoers took their seats to savor a feast of Greek salad, filet mignon with truffle sauce, seared salmon, orange risotto, asparagus spears and, of course, more wine. Afterward, a buffet of scrumptious mini desserts awaited. This year, the honorees were Douglas V. Browne, general manager of The Peabody Memphis and vice president of Peabody Hotels, and Dr. S. Terry Canale, chairman of the Campbell Clinic and the University of Tennessee Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Both took the stage to accept a crystal cup and offer remarks after videos of their work were played. A live auction of fine and rare wines once again brought the sated crowd to its feet and a band kept it there for a lively round of dancing. Esteemed sponsors of the event included Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Campbell Clinic, The Peabody, Smith & Nephew, Inc. and Stryker, Inc. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

James Shelton and Kate Russell

Story by Jonathan Devin Photos by Don Perry

Beau and Kelly Guidroz

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EVENT TRIBUTE TO EXCELLENCE GALA

Bob Goodson with Gayle and Tom Webb

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EVENT TRIBUTE TO EXCELLENCE GALA

Frank and Sally Navarra

Gary and Peggy Henley

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Jennifer and Bill Walker

Becky and Thomas Hobson

Joe and Dr. Padma Lyons

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Steve Conley and Jeanie Gundlach

Kristen Pate and Andy Balaity

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EVENT

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Craig Cain and Regina Edwards

TRIBUTE TO EXCELLENCE GALA

Christine and David Hughes

Lance and Lisa Berry with Ted and Lyle Davis

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Mark and Holly Thompson

Dr. Jim and Terry Beaty

l i v e at t h e g a r d e n . c o m

A L L T I C K E TS O N SA L E N O W to purchase tickets, visit ticketmaster.com, call 800.745.3000 or go by any area schnucks location. for more information, please call our box office at 901.576.4107.

Kevin and Hayden Kane with Barbara and John Moore


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Onsite

Art for Heart Go Red Girls Night Out Dishes for Wishes

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Rosy Roberts and Cynthia Brewer at Art for Heart

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44 Kathy Kastan and Debbi Fields Rose at Art for Heart

he Go Red for Women® campaign kicked off this year with Art for Heart, which had numerous artistic media for sale to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Debbi Fields Rose chaired the seventh annual campaign, held at the Harrah’s Entertainment Office Building, to help bring awareness to the nation’s number one killer of women—heart disease. To further the cause, women were asked to wear red to the gathering that played off the color theme with a heart arch at the entrance, a red carpet and red table linens. Two nights later, Fields Rose was back for round two of heart prevention tips with the Go Red Girls Night Out symposium at the Harrah’s Building. Hundreds of women, and some men, came out for the event to get a glimpse of celebrity guest Joan Rivers, but also to enjoy the debut of the Memphis Top Chef competition with heart healthy cooking demos, health screenings, wine tastings, dinner and a keynote speech by Fields Rose. Ten restaurants, including host restaurant Felicia Suzanne’s, teamed up for the fifth annual Dishes for Wishes benefit for the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of the Mid-South. The downtown event offered chefs’ latest culinary creations to a sold-out crowd of 300, some of whom purchased commemorative hand-painted wine glasses to sip libations courtesy of United Liquors Corporation. Adding to the ambiance were springtime arrangements by Gestures, tunes from the Dave Spencer Jazz Collective and a cupcake display by Gigi’s Cupcakes, Miss Cordelia’s and the Busy Bakery. Once again, Joe Birch of WMC-TV 5 manned the live auction, and Steve Conley and Karen Perrin, both of Classic Hits 94.1 KQK, served as emcees. By the time the last dish was served, $120,000 had been raised for Make-A-Wish.

Chris and Ashley Wiley with Kristi and Robert Dean at Dishes for Wishes

Dr. Martin and Celine Croce at Dishes for Wishes

Story and photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Steve Conley, Linda Roberts, Lisa Adee and Darryl Gresham at Dishes for Wishes

John and Jaime Winton at Art for Heart

Barbara Mansberg, Malissa Shilling and Sally Rosenberg at Go Red Girls Night Out

Debbi Fields Rose, Karen Perrin and Joan Rivers at Go Red Girls Night Out

Janie Adkins, Brenda Taylor and Ann Bendall at Go Red Girls Night Out


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Onsite

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival Memphis Brewfest Culture and Cocktails

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Amy Worrell and J.T. Prather at Memphis Brewfest

Sharon and Danny Sumrall with Lucy and Dan Hazel at Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

45 Conor and Ali Shinnick at Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos Submitted and by Leah Fitzpatrick Paula Daniel with Robert and Margaret Stokes at Memphis Brewfest

Jacki Jeffrey, Warren Pan and Molly Fitzpatrick at Culture and Cocktails

Frank, Cindy and Franklin Childress with Judge George Emerson at Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

Anna Eckhardt, Laura Ingebretson, Blaire Benavides, Kristen Hunter and Amanda Turner at Culture and Cocktails

Jan Lentz, Cy Washer, Kristen Dunavant and Amy and Brian Katz at Culture and Cocktails

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Mike West with Scott and Maria Macintire at Memphis Brewfest

he Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival turned 18 this spring, and it couldn’t have been a prettier Sunday afternoon along the banks of the Mississippi, specifically Wagner Place, for mudbug fans. The open-air event catered to all ages, who ordered up more than 15,000 pounds of crawfish, enjoyed a crawfish-eating contest and games like a crawfish toss and crawfish bob. Entertainment leaned on the Cajun side as well, with performances from the Bayou Boys out of Lafayette, Louisiana and Memphis’ own Webb Dalton. For those wanting all-you-can-eat crawfish and drinks, tickets were available for access to the Swamp VIP tent. This year, a record-breaking $88,000 was raised for PorterLeath Children’s Center. When Martin Daniel’s son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy last year, Daniel became interested in Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and, in the process, came up with a unique fund-raiser for the organization. His idea was to host the Memphis Brewfest, and was the debut ever a homerun! Before the gates at AutoZone Park even opened, 2,000 people had already snatched up all available tickets for the tasting that boasted 95 beers. The Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation partnered with Daniel for the siptastic affair, which drew in $20,000 for the foundation and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. For young professionals, touring a museum after hours fits in perfectly with work schedules, as evidenced at the recent Culture and Cocktails night at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Members of the Dixon’s Young at Art group and Arts Memphis’ Bravo group joined up to catch a glimpse of the exhibition Anything but Clear: The Studio Glass Movement, “A 1979-2009.” Kevin Sharp, the Dixon director, welcomed attendees to the museum, then Julie Pierotti, the assistant curator, gave a guided tour. If you missed out, the exhibition will be on display until June 13.


EVENT

Taste of Jubilee

TASTE OF JUBILEE

Food Tasting and Silent Auction

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Kirsten Howell and Alison Galler

Carol and Mike Gross

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he Pink Palace Museum might as well have been “restaurant central” on the Friday night that Taste of Jubilee took place. Thanks to the growing popularity of Blue Streak Scholarship Fund Inc.’s annual food tasting and silent auction, 19 local restaurants signed up to prepare appetizers and desserts for 750 salivating attendees. Despite the downpour outside, foodies willingly huddled under a large tent on the terrace for several of the tasting stations, but thankfully, a majority of the restaurants had set up shop inside the museum. To keep from overindulging, partygoers took small bites, but the plethora of options still proved challenging. Crowd favorites included Café Society’s fried green tomatoes, Erling Jensen’s leg of lamb, Overton Park Pizza’s lasagna and Interim’s pork tenderloin. The sweetest touch of all came in the way of Felicia Suzanne’s chocolate bread pudding, or bowl of gooey goodness. Though feasting was at the height of the agenda, the gathering also served up entertainment by the Jubilee Schools’ Resurrection Dance Troupe and St. Augustine Choir, pianist Andrew Fleming, jazz group Easy Company (comprised of Jacob Carroll, Alan Cardosi and Conner Nix) and singer-songwriter Nick Pagliari. Adding to guests’ enjoyment were the Pink Palace’s “Chocolate Exhibit,” which was open for viewing, and tempting silent auction goodies, such as a framed The Blind Side poster signed by Michael Oher, costume jewelry, two Mirimichi golf rounds and a Memphis Redbirds suite with hotel stay. Appetites and amusement aside, Taste of Jubilee was created to raise funds and scholarship money for the Jubilee Schools of Memphis. These Catholic schools in Memphis’ inner city currently serve more than 1,400 children, who will benefit from the $70,000plus in contributions from Taste of Jubilee patrons. In the words of Bishop J. Terry Steib, “My vision is for these Jubilee Schools to be beacons of light for those who need them most.”

Cindy Anton and Pam John

Reid and Riley Hedgepeth

Story and photos by Leah Fitzpatrick See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP Lauren Lee and John McArthur

Heidi and Jack Yates

Dawn and Shane Norman

Cindy Dorian, Kim Fracchia and Carol MacIntosh

Liz Langenfelder and Corey Mills


EVENT TASTE OF JUBILEE Rob and Leigh Hendry

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Cynthia Stewart and Lori Patrick

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Jamie and Dr. Christy McLaughlin

Mike and Donna Pelech

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EVENT TASTE OF JUBILEE J U N E 2 010

Lou and Claire Bursi with Andy and Trudie McClelland

Barbara and Brent Gatti with Denise and Jim Reber

Jackie Williams and Tracee Ridley

Ian and Elizabeth Lemmonds

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Grant and Heather Sanders

Teddi Niedzwiedz with Jackie and Pat Hogan

Will Staton and Christina Brown

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Brad and Teri Trotter, Jeni and Steve McBride and Ann and Chris Kelley


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ONSITE

Onsite

GPAC Gala Spring Fling on the Terrace Le Bonheur Miracle Maker Blast

I

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Hilda Mullen and Ann Welch at GPAC Gala

John and Judith Webb at GPAC Gala

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t was all about the music at the annual GPAC Gala, appropriately themed “IIt’s the Music: Classical to Jazz.” Guests began the evening by sipping Champagne and sampling hors d’oeuvres by Jim’s Place Grille, while listening to the tunes of a jazz band and bidding on silent auction items. Afterward, partygoers were ushered into the theater, where they were treated to a variety of performances representing several types of music, including the piano and violin, a jazz duet and a tenor, who sang “The Music of the Night” as well as Wagner. Following the performances, a lavish dinner was served, which was provided by Harrah’s Entertainment, and a live auction conducted by Jeff Morris of Morris Auction Group wrapped up the program. Women on the Move enjoyed the beautiful weather and took advantage of the Crescent Club’s terrace for the group’s Spring Fling. Members and their guests were treated to bubbly as they took the opportunity to mingle and have a little fun. About 50 professional women, and even a few men, enjoyed the miniature crab cakes, calamari and chocolate covered strawberries. Women on the Move is a women’s networking group aimed to enrich the lives of women professionally and personally through social interactions and education opportunities. Teton Trek at the Memphis Zoo was abuzz with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital supporters during the Le Bonheur Miracle Maker Blast. People weren’t the only ones having fun this night though, as zoo workers brought out the likes of Indi, a green iguana, and Baron, a red-tail hawk, for a little show and tell. Eats like dinosaur chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese and pepperoni pizza rolls were also family friendly, as were auction items such as a Le Bonheur Foundation safety basket and swim basket. The Miracle Maker Blast marked the end of an eight-week competition between six families to see who could raise the most money for Le Bonheur. This year, the Russell Family of Brownsville, Tennessee won, raising more than $28,000. Story and photos by Leah Fitzpatrick and Suzanne Thompson

Jennifer Ford, Kristine Kershaw, Asia Diggs and Addie McGowan at Spring Fling on the Terrace

Miranda Harbor, Ashley Cullum and Natasha Bowen at Spring Fling on the Terrace

Milandria King and Valeria Bostick at Spring Fling on the Terrace

Malvin and Phyliss Massey at GPAC Gala

Gail and W.A. Barden at Le Bonheur Miracle Maker Blast

Lynda Garrett and Dan DeLoach with Leah and Tyler Barden at Le Bonheur Miracle Maker Blast

Cory and Kim Harris at Le Bonheur Miracle Maker Blast


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Average Household Income. . . . . . . . . . . .$147,000 per year. 88.6% . . . . . . . . .Purchased a Product or Visited a Store due to Advertising in RSVP. 58.16% have HH incomes greater than . . . $75,000 per year. Female Readers . . . 59.2% Male Readers . . .40.8% 42.6% . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Traveled Abroad during the past year. Marital Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62.2% married 52.% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Eat out at least 3 times per week. Home Owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81.3% 3 0 , 0 0 0 c o p i e s d e l i v e r e d m o n t h l y t h r o u gh o u t Education: Attended/Graduated College plus . . . . . . .83.0% the Aff luent Shopping Areas of Greater Memphis Have Post graduate degree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21.6% From Harbor Town to Collierville.

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RSV PHILLIPPI

By Dennis Phillippi

WHAT’S MAZEL TOV IN HUNGARIAN?

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ere’s something you don’t often hear a straight guy say: I love June because I love weddings. It’s true. The whole shebang is fun for me. Wearing a suit in a hot, uncomfortable church, watching the groom nervously wipe the sweat from his forehead as reality sets in, the bridesmaids bravely sporting whatever horrible color dress the bride has chosen to downplay any miniscule note of attractiveness they may dare to sport on her day and the bride herself walking down the aisle, clutching her Dad’s arm for dear life and shaking like a leaf. I sit there happily with my wife of many years, holding her hand, and enjoying the ritual of joining bank accounts. There it is. I enjoy weddings because I’m happily married. Through the years, we’ve been to plenty of bad idea weddings, but we still have hope because marriage has been so great for us. We’ve seen people get married who had no business marrying anyone, much less the person they were marrying, but we nonetheless enjoyed watching them get married. We’re weird that way. By the time you read this, we will already have been through one wedding we’ve been looking forward to more than most, probably because the two kids getting hitched look like a safe bet. I mean, they seem like a “Tom Brady will throw for more than 4,000 yards next season” safe bet. Years ago, when I was hosting a radio show in the afternoons, I had the greatest producer in the history of producers. Luca Lindner was this amazing young woman who, in addition to being extraordinarily easy on the eyes, was also smarter than me and my co-host combined, had an organizational mind that would’ve been daunting to Rommel, a lightning quick wit and a lovely spirit that charmed even the most intransigent of guests. Even Stephen Seagal. For three years, Luca ran my life, and it made for a sweet, sweet ride. One night, I was sitting at a local watering hole with a very nice guy from sales named Stephen. Not Steven Seagal, a completely different Stephen. A great guy whose company I really enjoyed. Recently, I had noticed that Stephen seemed to be hanging around the studio, and our show in particular, more than most sales people.

Being the vain show business type I am, I assumed it was because I was so cool. Yeah…no. The night in question, out of the blue, Stephen turns to me and says, “My problem is, I’m in love with your producer.” Uh oh. See, I’d seen a lot of guys get all mooney over Luca, and I’d seen them each shot out of the saddle. Nice guys, but you know, not Luca quality nice guys. So, also being a typical show business rat, the next day I couldn’t wait to share this informa-

This will be our first time watching a bridesmaid sobbing uncontrollably and telling everyone in sight how much she loves them in another language. tion with her. Was I trying to further Stephen’s cause? Good lord, no. I was just enjoying stirring up trouble. Her response to this declaration from him was, “Oh no.” Honest. Now, knowing me as you do, dear reader, you know that I would be perfectly happy if the story had ended there, because it’s a funny story, but Stephen would not be deterred. He had decided where his heart was headed and had gone ahead and booked a companion ticket for Luca. He campaigned. He refused to be rebuffed. Whatever objections she may have raised, he lowered. This was a determined suitor. And what do you know? They’re getting legally joined 17 days from when I am writing this. How cool is that? Wait, don’t answer. It gets better. Luca is from, I’m not making this up, Budapest, Hungary. I don’t know why I felt com-

pelled to add the “Hungary” there; it’s not like there’s a Budapest, Connecticut. Anyway, they’re getting married in Budapest, which for some reason is pronounced “Budapesht,” like the whole country is slightly tipsy on Champagne. We’ve never been to Budapest, and now, thanks to this wedding, we get to go. Thanks to this wedding, and about a half a million frequent flyer miles. Now how cool is that? This is very exciting. We’ve never seen a groomsman drunkenly take a swing at a total stranger for no clear reason in a foreign country. This will be our first time watching a bridesmaid sobbing uncontrollably and telling everyone in sight how much she loves them in another language. We don’t know anything about the wedding yet. No one has told us if it will even be in English, but I doubt it will be. After all, the wedding is in Hungary, so chances are the wedding will be in Hungarian. Still, we’ve been to so many weddings, we’ll probably know what is happening. We’ll know when the usual boilerplate of the gravity of the marital commitment has ended, and we’re getting down to the nuts and bolts of closing the deal. We’ll be able to see, even though the headliners are always facing away from the audience, a long time pet peeve of mine, when the two have started their part of the show. We’ll be able to just make out each of them saying their vows in low, trembling voices. We’ll be able to tell when they’ve exchanged the little rings that mean so much. My wife and I will get all teary eyed, glancing at one another, and as we always do, touching our little gold rings together. We’ll see the two of them, now more than just partners in real estate, turn to one another and realize that it’s done. He’ll heave a titanic sized sigh of relief. She’ll try to dry her eyes without smudging her mascara. It’ll be beautiful. She’ll be beautiful. My wife will be beautiful. Then, we’ll all get drunk in Budapest, which we will all be able to easily pronounce. “Budapesht.”

Bon voyage Mr. and Mrs. Phillippi! We hope you enjoy your time abroad, and please don’t forget that all weddings have videographers. So, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want the bride broadcasting on YouTube.


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Spirit of Giving Awards Memphis Symphony League Spring Luncheon Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis Tribute Luncheon

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Cindie Czech-Spell and Nikki Lagasca at Spirit of Giving Awards

Judy Loyd and Brook Laine at Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis Tribute Luncheon

Donna Sandlin, Betty Magee and Mary Brooks at Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis Tribute Luncheon

Story and photos by Leah Fitzpatrick and Lesley Young

Nancy Lou Jones, Martha Carter and Leslie Jerkins at Memphis Symphony League Spring Luncheon

Priscilla Alexander, Mabel McNeill and Billie Jean Graham at Memphis Symphony League Spring Luncheon

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Anne Gamble and Lisa Harris at Spirit of Giving Awards

Kym Clark and Nakia Young at Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis Tribute Luncheon

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Marilyn Rabinowitz, Jeana Bailley and Carol Gaudino at Spirit of Giving Awards

olunteer Mid-South recognized Mid-South volunteers at the 34th annual Spirit of Giving Awards. Anne Gamble and Lisa Harris co-chaired the ceremony, held at the U of M Holiday Inn, and Otha Brandon served as honor chair saying, “Memphis is a giving city, which is demonstrated by the nominees and number of you in the room.” Chris Thomas then announced the award winners: Clifton Jordan II (Youth Volunteer of the Year), Tonia Howell (Adult Volunteer of the Year), Amerah Shabazz-Bridges (Senior Volunteer of the Year), the Giraldo Family (Small Group Volunteer of the Year), St. Mary’s Episcopal School (Large Group Volunteer of the Year), Steve Nelson (Lenore S. Creson Board Member of the Year) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year). The impending arrival of the new Memphis Symphony Orchestra music director, Mei-Ann Chen, provided plenty of conversation at the Memphis Symphony League Spring Luncheon. With next season The Season of Discovery,” plenty of surprises titled “T will be in store for music lovers, and MSO president and CEO Ryan Fleur can’t wait. During the luncheon at the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club, he said, “Mei-Ann is going to mean so much to Memphis once everyone feels her power and sees her vision for the orchestra.” Also on the afternoon agenda were the installation of the 2010-2011 league officers, with the presidency going to Billie Jean Graham, and performances by harpist Melodie Moore and soloist Beth Rushing. The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis celebrated a real coup at their first-ever sellout annual Tribute Luncheon, held at the Cook Convention Center. The 15-year-old foundation hosted A Legacy of Philanthropy,” to celethe event, themed “A brate its five Legends Award honorees, including Dr. JoeAnn Ballard, Lois DeBerry, Gayle S. Rose, Rebecca Webb Wilson and Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg. In honor of the award recipients, local artists and writers created works of art and prose, which were unveiled at the luncheon and will tour Memphis throughout the year. In addition to being treated to the inspiring words of Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women’s board chair Anita S. Vaughn and FedEx leaders Sheila T. Harrell and Gloria Roberts Boyland, guests also had the opportunity to listen to the words of Broadway singer and social change advocate Jennifer Holliday.

Scottie Cobb and Ellen Rolfes at Memphis Symphony League Spring Luncheon


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Three Generations of Legal Eagles

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1950s

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he late photographer Lou Lowry snapped this pic of three generations of the Chandler family in the late 1950s. Pictured from left to right are Walter Chandler, John Wyeth Chandler Jr. and John Wyeth Chandler Sr. All were/are attorneys, and Walter and Wyeth Sr. were both Memphis mayors. Louise Chandler (not pictured), the daughter of John Jr., followed in the family footsteps and was sworn into the Tennessee Bar last year. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHANDLER FAMILY 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.


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RSVP Magazine June 2010