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June 2014

GPAC Gala Taste of Jubilee Gift of Life Gala Promise Ball Gala Wild World of Wine and Beer Home is Where the Heart is Gala Memphis in May International Gala Q&A with Allison Cook


CONTENTS

Contents June 201 4

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 RSVP visits the building site of the new Hattiloo Theater, which is taking giant steps under the watchful eye of Executive/Artistic Director Ekundayo Bandele.

Memphis in May International Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 The Skyway at The Peabody Hotel was the setting for a fabulous evening honoring The Republic of Panama.

30 GPAC GALA Lisa and Gerald May

StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 & 20 She is on a mission to bring an appreciation of art through dance to the Memphis community. She is passionate about feline rescue and finding forever homes for her furry charges. StreetSeens highlight Chauniece Thompson and Ann Illsley.

Taste of Jubilee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 It’s all about the children, and Memphians showed their perennial support for the

12 MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL GALA Mary and Myron Lowery

Jubilee Schools and the Blue Streak Scholarship Fund in a big way.

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Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Q&A with Allison Cook, market director of Memphis Farmers Market. GPAC Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 The Germantown Performing Arts Center, which has strived for nearly 20 years to

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Wild World of Wine and Beer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Oenophiles and brewski lovers alike united for a rollicking good time at

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provide quality entertainment arts to Shelby County, throws an appreciation bash with a “007” touch.

the Memphis Zoo.

52 HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS GALA Chris and Rebecca Fears

Ambassador Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 From the chaos of the city to the open county, Eugene Pidgeon meets up with Beth Loeb to talk about why she chose the slow life.

Gift of Life Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 The National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee celebrates those lives

48 PROMISE BALL GALA Erin Altomare

saved by recognizing both donors and recipients of transplant operations.

Promise Ball Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Guests at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Promise Ball enjoyed circus-themed festivities to raise funds for diabetes research and education.

Home is Where the Heart is Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 A night of top-notch music, sumptuous fare and boundless generosity were the earmarks of the benefit for Le Bonheur’s FedExFamilyHouse.

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58, 60, 61, 62 & 63 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

36 WILD WORLD OF WINE AND BEER H.B. Smith and Susan Courson-Smith

RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Putting Our Heads Together Dennis Phillippi is wrapping his head around the cultural phenomenon of the “selfie.”

Cover Photo Bridget and Phil Trenary at Memphis in May International Gala Photo by Don Perry

22 TASTE OF JUBILEE Emily Pratt and Mike Schoenberger


R SV P S TA F F Volume XIX

Number IX

June 201 4 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

R achel Warren CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Jeannie Ashford Ruth Cassin Emily Adams Keplinger Dennis Phillippi Eugene Pidgeon Suzanne Thompson Lesley Young

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.

ART DIRECTOR

Patrick Aker s PHOTOGRAPHERS

Baxter Buck Don Perry Steve Roberts Chris Pugh Robin Morgan ROBIN MORGAN ,

ACCOUNTING

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

Ruth Cassin EDITORIAL INTERN

Patrick L antrip

7 Having worked in advertising for 13 years, Robin is most passionate about magazine print. Her energy is contagious and she counts as her hobbies running, shopping and spending time with her girl friends. Robin's "bright spot" is her daughter Emily Anne. Robin loves living in downtown Memphis, which affords her the opportunity to run down Riverside Drive anytime!

For advertising information contact Roy Haithcock Phone (901) 276-7787, ext. 101 Fax (901) 276-7785 e-mail publisher@rsvpmagazine.com WEB

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

RSVP Memphis Magazine

Copyright 2014 Haithcock Communications, Inc.

PATRICK LANTRIP, EDITORIAL INTERN 901.276.7787, EXT. 107 patrickl@rsvpmagazine.com

Patrick Lantrip is currently seeking his journalism degree at the University of Memphis, where he also serves as the managing editor of The Daily Helmsman. A native of Midtown Memphis, Patrick is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys mountain biking, hiking, camping and wildlife photography. He enjoys spending his downtime with his daughter, Anna and their cat, Bella.

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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

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES


From the Editor

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ummer is finally here! Or at least that’s what I have gauged from the several slight sunburns I have received running errands around town in my car. For many, summer means breaking out the swimsuits or injecting more outdoor activities into their daily routines. For some, like me, it might be an acute reminder to stock up on sunscreen followed by the reoccurring wish that sun parasols were still fashionable. While I am more inclined to sit in the shade this summer with a good book than I am to break out my running shoes, I have made the decision to at least walk. A great article by BBC News writer, Finlo Rohrer, titled “The Slow Death of Purposeless Walking” has inspired me to tie on some kind of shoes and just take a walk and explore the great city we live in. Rohrer’s article reports on the shrinking number of people who walk for fun and pleasure with no immediate destination or reason in mind. Lastly, the article pointed out that people today are more unlikely to be anonymous during a walk, to be alone with no phone, no music and no company. To walk without knowing where you might end up or without people knowing where you are is unheard of these days. Yet, I personally find myself craving to disconnect more and more, and, even though I am not known for my superior sporty abilities, I feel that a even a limitedly athletic person like myself can at least walk. The Memphis area is filled with architectural, cultural and colorful treasures that we often miss whizzing by in our cars or bikes. We often forget that some fresh air and an aimless walk (one free of texting and Facebook updates) can stimulate creativity and inspire fresh perspectives. I am taking it upon myself to get out in the sun, albeit with a hat and sunscreen, and let my mind wonder on a good walk. For many walking may not be an option, but I think the hidden point in Rohrer’s article was that we all need to disconnect ourselves more often. So I encourage everyone to throw the phone in a drawer for an hour or two, take a walk, eat lunch at the park or simply sit and think. Whatever you do, nothing is more liberating than enjoying a few moments free from the constant conversation we are having with technology all day long. A great place to start your exploration is Mewtopia Cat Rescue featured this month on page 20, right on time for Adopt-A-Cat Month (June)! Take at look at Mewtopia’s new office on 1010 South Yates Road and find your other cat half. Editor’s Corrections: In our May 2014 issue, Angela English was mistakenly identified as Andrea English.

Rachel Warren editor@rsvpmagazine.com


SIGNATURE MEMPHIS

Ekundayo Bandele Founder/Executive Director of Hattiloo Theatre/Board member of Overton Park Conservancy and Benjamin L. Hooks Institute of Social Change at the University of Memphis

Your Best Quality: Strength. Place You Go to Think: Bath. Biggest Pet Peeve: Tardiness. Hometown: Brooklyn, New York. Who Inspires You: My Ancestors.

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The Highlight of Your Day: Waking up. Favorite Southern Idiom: “Mamma’an’em.” Who Would Play You in a Movie: Idris Elba. Best Gift You Ever Received: Two daughters. Coolest Thing About Memphis: The Parkways. Best Memphis Hangout: Otherlands Coffee Bar. Proudest Moment of Your Life: Still working on it. Favorite Song: “Could You Believe” by Al Jarreau. Best Dish You Cook: Northern beans with linguini. Your Most Annoying Habit: Correcting other’s speech. Your Lucky Charm: Montblanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint Pen. One Goal You’d Still Like to Accomplish: Play the upright bass. Best Advice You Ever Got: Life isn’t meant to make you happy. Life is meant to make a difference and be happy that you did.

Photo by Steve Roberts

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First Car You Drove: Chevy Cavalier.


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MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL GALA

EVENT

Memphis in May International Gala “Panamanian Nights”

T Dan Kim and Hyunsook Lee

Justin Foreman and Samantha Tweddell

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his May, the Skyway at the Peabody Hotel took on an international flavor as Memphis in May (MIM) hosted its annual gala. This year marks the 38th celebration of the Memphis in May International Festival. As a tribute to this year’s honored country, the Republic of Panama, libations and food were Panamanianthemed. Bartenders served a specialty cocktail called “Panama Breeze” that consisted of pineapple juice, coconut rum and a splash of kahlua. Delightful unto itself, the drink was made all the more special for being “served over the Panama Canal,” a miniature replica of the canal set atop the bar, which was complete with a lock system and tiny fish. 2014 International Gala chairwoman, Leigh Shockey, greeted attendees and introduced the evening’s emcees, Joy Lambert and Rodney Dunigan of Local 24 News. Jim Holt, MIM president and CEO, welcomed the crowd and introduced Ron Coleman, 2014 Chairman of the MIM Board of Directors. Coleman told of his travels to Panama with a group of leaders from the Memphis in May International Festival. In addition to economic development and diplomatic duties, the group explored the country’s cultural amenities and sourced program elements for the 2014 salute to Panama. “I was pleased to take in part this year’s program,” said Coleman, adding, “Memphis in May features many aspects of the honored country: music, culture and education. The exchange that takes place through MIM also plants the seeds for economic development between Panama and the Greater Memphis area.” Mayor A C Wharton presented honored guest, Patricia Arias Cerjack, Secretary General and Ministerio de Relationes Exteriores of the Republic of Panama, with a key to the city, which he termed a “key to our hearts.” Guests dined on a meal crafted to showcase Panamanian cuisine, starting with shrimp and scallop ceviche. An entree of boneless short ribs topped with pureed yucca and was served with a black bean fritter and cabbage-cilantro slaw. Dessert was Pastel de Tres Leches, a triple milk cake with coconut cream and a mélange of tropical fruits. Peabo Bryson provided music for after-dinner dancing. A silent and live auction served as a fundraiser for MIM, which is a nonprofit organization that contributes to the economic growth of the community, fosters civic pride and builds international relationships. The colorful culture of Panama will continue to be on display at area art galleries with an exhibition scheduled to run July through October at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

Ernest Strickland and Nubian Simmons

Clayton and Susan Covington

Story by Emily Keplinger Adams Photos by Don Perry See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP Roquita Coleman and Edd Williams

Dr. Tyler and Anna Wohrman

Bobby and Stephanie White

Rodney Dunigan, Holly Ford and Lyman Aldrich

Ruby and Mayor A C Wharton Jr.


EVENT MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL GALA J U N E 2 0 14

Jamie Foust, Hannah Reeves and Ann Adams

Sheryl Baker and Dino Lawrence

Mike Glenn and Jacinda Norton

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Phillip and Karin Myers with Raakhi and Brad Phillips

Norm and Chris Nonn

Jim Holt and Brooke Tweddell


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Patrick and Shelby Siano

MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL GALA

Jonathan and Kate Lyons

Jeff and Chantal Johnson with Trish and Carl Ring RSVP

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Bill and Debbie Kinkade

Jan and Al Lyons

Be Seen! Attract an Affluent clientele to your business!

Regina Bearden, Rhonda Turner and Christy Kinard

Advertise in RSVP Magazine For information call 276-7787


EVENT MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL GALA J U N E 2 0 14

Karissa and Brian Reese

Mike and Angela Powell

C.M. and Allean Neal

Kelsey Loeffel and Michael Bowen

Ronnie and Charles Barnes

Karen and David Pool

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Ron and Jan Coleman

Bridget and Phil Trenary

Paula and Steve Sansom

Tim Maxwell and Beth Flanagan

Laurie and Bruce Pelynio

Haden and Kevin Kane

Lauren Brown and Virginia Cupples


EVENT Tammy Holland and Richard Coleman

Shawn and Wendi Peace

MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL GALA

Denice and Jim McMahon with Meghan McMahon

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Bobbi Gillis, Grant Andrew and Leigh Shockey

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Judy and Jim Baker

Colby Bowen with Mike and Suzie Bowen and Michael Bowen

Caveta and Lavon Atkins

State Senator Mark and Chris Norris

Micah and Dawn Rapoport with Ted and Kathy Ferguson


STREETSEEN

Chauniece Thompson All the Pieces

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ance is a beautiful thing. It can move you, inspire you and transport you. But dance with a mission behind the scenes and on stage can change the lives of both the dancer and the viewer. “I just think that the community piece has been so important to me. All of the other dance organizations that I’ve grown up under were always nonprofit and always stood for so many things outside of just offering dance classes and collecting tuition. It was a bigger mission. I wanted to pattern my school after something I knew, something more community based,” said Chauniece Thompson, artistic director and founder of Ballet on Wheels Dance School & Company here in Memphis. Thompson has done just that. Ballet on Wheels (BOW) has been a fixture in the Memphis community since 2002, and its studio sits in the heart of the Cooper-Young district at 1015 Cooper Street. Created as a nonprofit, pre-professional, community-based ballet school and dance company, BOW brings together all the pieces of not only a formal dance education but, also, the pieces that make up a community leader: organization, discipline, passion, creativity and courage. The torch of community dance was passed on to Thompson after the death of her mentor and dance instructor, Carlton Lee Johnson. In this period of bereavement, Thompson knew that she could not let what Johnson had achieved slip away. Thompson took the torch and ran with it. Holding on to Johnson’s commitment to excellent dance instruction and performance as well as his ability to shine a light on the qualities within a dancer that at once surpasses and embodies art – qualities that make up the fiber of men and women that use their art to positively speak to and represent their communities – Thompson created BOW, imparting her passion for dance to generations to come throughout the Memphis area. Thompson herself began dancing at the age of 8 at Ballet South/Tennessee Ballet Company. In 1986, her great talent and hard work landed Thompson the part of Clara in “The Nutcracker,” making her the first African-American female dancer to perform as Clara within the Southeastern region. She soon joined the River City Ballet Company and began working under the gifted Johnson. Thompson says that simply put, BOW’s mission is to provide quality dance instruction to children and adults from all ages and backgrounds, adding that what makes BOW truly unique is the school’s and company’s emphasis on performing exposure with 15-20 performances averaged a year. Given the name of the school and company, BOW frequently takes the show on the road, showcasing their high-quality dance performances to different organizations around town like Girls, Inc. of Memphis, the Kroc Center, the Memphis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Links, Inc. Memphis Chapter and throughout the Shelby County schools. The mobile aspect of the company also allows BOW to offer dance classes around town. Giving back to the community is something that Thompson works to instill within her dance students. “The community aspect of BOW is important. It’s like what I tell my kids: If you learn how to dance then you are great, but if you learn how to impact or if you can help your fellow man in some kind of capacity outside of that then your job is well done.” Along with mobile performances, Thompson encourages her students to participate in the company’s Easter basket program. Students can fill an Easter basket with whatever goodies they like and, in return, are granted admission to a dance summer camp at no charge. The baskets are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Target House® and to Hope House. “Whatever the cause is, I think if you start early and have another purpose…I think it sticks with you,” explains Thompson. BOW’s mission is more than dance. Thompson and her company instill within the students the art of dance as well as the art of giving. Take a look at www.balletonwheels.org to learn how to support BOW. Story by Rachel Warren Photo by Steve Roberts


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STREETSEEN

Ann Illsley Mewving Cats, Spreading Joy

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e want everything to be real upbeat and happy…bright colors. We want it to be a happy place for everyone to visit,” says Ann Illsley, founder and director of Mewtopia Cat Rescue as she happily shows off the organization’s new building and rescue cat haven at 1010 South Yates Road. Mewtopia is a nonprofit, no kill, community service organization that rescues homeless, abused, abandoned or owner-relinquished cats. The happiness in the shelter is infectious. The walls are painted bright yellow and the shelter is filled with happy cat memorabilia, not to mention, the cat window in the front lobby, displaying several lounging cats that curiously peer at the humans who arrive at their temporary home. The new location is a welcome change and a calm spot in, what has been, a turbulent year for the humans and cats of Mewtopia. After losing their lease on their building on Mount Moriah in July of last year, the Mewtopia team was stranded with more than 68 rescued cats and no where to go. Luckily, support from the public flooded in, and every single cat was placed in a foster home. Illsley recalls with some humor how the duration of the foster time period changed drastically, saying, “Well they thought that they would be fostering the cats somewhere between two weeks to six weeks. It turned into eight months.” Fortunately, all volunteers dug deep, and all cats were housed for the entire moving process. Illsley says that she has always loved animals, and began volunteering with several animal groups. She recalls that it was not long until she was inspired to start her very on rescue shelter. Very soon, Illsley had put together a growing pool of volunteers. She and her team began working any event or job that they could to raise money for a future shelter. “Serious, we flipped burgers until 2 o’clock in the morning. I found out I am a heck of a popcorn maker. We did everything until we had some money to actually think about doing something. We started with a small building, and we just kept growing,” says Illsley, adding that she is forever grateful for the support of the people and volunteers who helped make Mewtopia a reality. Not only is Mewtopia a wonderful one-stop kitty adoption shop (cats adoption fees include spaying/neutering, flea treatments, worm treatment, testing for FIV/FeLV, first round of vaccinations, ear mite treatment and nail trimming), but, very soon, it will include its very own in-house spay and neuter clinic. Illsley and her team works hard to neuter and spay feral cats that they get reports of, a constant battle with the many feral cat colonies throughout the Mid-South area. An in-house clinic will allow Mewtopia to make a bigger impact on these many pockets of feral cats. Illsley cannot wait for Memphians to see the new and joyous headquarters of Mewtopia. The Mewtopia Grand Opening will be on June 8, and she wants all of Memphis to come pay a visit to the friendly cats that are housed there. Volunteers, she says, are always needed, and can check out the new website at www.mewtopiacatrescue.org or call for the many volunteer opportunities available. If you want to have your heart melted, take a look at the Mewtopia Cat Rescue Facebook page and the website, which are constantly updated with new pictures of adorable cats waiting for their new forever home. Illsley invites everyone to come and take a tour of the shelter; it could be the moment you meet your other cat half. “Cats are just so easy to care for. I can’t imagine going to bed without a cat curled up next to me. They don’t ask much from you but a little love,” asserts Illsley, summing up why cats are the purrfect companions. Story by Rachel Warren Photo by Steve Roberts


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EVENT

Taste of Jubilee

TASTE OF JUBILEE

Benefiting the Blue Streak Scholarship Fund

A

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Gray and Ashley Bowles

Paul Watson and Tricia Dorian

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picture perfect April evening and the stately Pink Palace Museum and grounds provided a splendid setting as the Blue Streak Scholarship Fund and sponsors FedEx and ReTrans presented the 10th annual Taste of Jubilee. This ever-popular tasting event drew nearly 900 folks who were eager to try a little of everything from over 20 of the Memphis area’s favorite eateries. The first order of the evening was a wine tasting in a special VIP Room in the museum. Sponsored by Buster’s Liquors & Wines, there were 15 select wines just calling out to oenophiles to sample. Sam and Carol Braslow, proprietors of The Mighty Olive, an artisan olive and vinegar market in East Memphis, set out a sumptuous offering of gourmet olive oils such as Blood Orange and Extra Virgin Butter Popcorn, while Lucchesi’s Ravioli & Pasta Co. contributed “Italian Bites” of imported cheeses, crackers and ravioli, of course! Rounding out the VIP tasting were delicious fruits by Palazola Produce and Pesce’s Authentic Italian Sausages. The Callahan family generously furnished an open bar as well. Girls Inc. of Memphis, which provides services for many Jubilee Schools students, delighted partygoers with an impressive artwork display at the entry to the tasting. Outside the museum’s theater, a Wine Pull with selections from Stellar Cellar Wine and Spirits attracted a large number of participants. The silent auction proved to be a smashing success as many sought-after items were up for grabs, including works of art by Kristen Keegan and the students of De La Salle Elementary School, Judy Vandergrift, Rena Chiozza and Joey Evangelisti. More goodies to be had were Tennessee Titans and Memphis Grizzlies memorabilia, a dinner for eight by Sam Long and suite tickets to a Redbirds game. Gift certificates for Level Nine Services, The Orpheum and Forest Hill Photography were also in high demand. Suffice to say that no one left the party hungry that night! The superb fare included Bari Ristorante’s house made meatballs and charcuterie from Sweet Grass/Southward Fare & Libations. Café Society’s Michel Leny served up bacon-wrapped shrimp, Interim Restaurant had a hit with its macaroni and cheese and High Point Pizza’s cheese penne pasta with sausage and mushrooms elicited rave reviews. Spindini’s strawberry parfait and Frost Bake Shop’s carrot and strawberry cakes pleased many a palate. Throughout the evening, the 1980s college rock and classic alternative band WALRUS, a longtime Memphis favorite, kept everyone in high spirits and many opted to hit the dance floor to burn off some of those calories they consumed. In 1999, Bishop Terry J. Steib announced that through an endowment from an anonymous group of benefactors, eight defunct inner city Catholic schools would reopen. Blue Streak Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 to raise funds for the Jubilee Schools and to date has provided over a million dollars in scholarships to Jubilee School students. Memphians certainly showed their support this night with a record crowd and an outstanding volunteer effort.

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

Pam Martin and Mark Rosenberg

Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Don Perry

Michael Donahue and Bishop Terry Steib

Alex Downes-Borowski and Erika Hansen

Ginny Taylor and David Edelson

Jason and Monica Swauncy

Yvonne Davis and Chris Reid with Daniel and Ashley Salvaggio

Rani Cochran and Kristen Howell


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Keeley Childress and Grace Sharpley

Kathleen Callahan and Maureen Demetriou

George and Katherine Brown

Scott Trapolino and Barbara Wallis

Jeni and Steve McBride

Chris and Aubrie Kobernus

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Cathy and Mark Palazola

Kate and Neely Mallory

Liz Mills and Mary Molinski

Shelley and Brent Wright

Josh Lineberry and Jennifer Barron

Scott Reding and Paula Griggs

Joelle and Mike Scholl


EVENT TASTE OF JUBILEE Chris Thomas with Michelle and Ron Rye

Major and Emily Smith

Kristi and Nick Pesce

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Father David Graham with Khira and Derek Rotty

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Carol and Phil Dunavant

Clay and Hope Purdom with Sherrie and Carlton Evans

Carl and Ann Shorter

Rebecca and Dan Epstein

Kevin and Pam Callahan with Didier and Kelley Aur


VOX POPULAR

Vox Popular Q&A with Allison Cook

O

pen every Saturday from now until the end of October from 7 a.m-1 p.m. is every Memphian’s favorite downtown hotspot: the Memphis Farmers Market (MFM) at the Central Station Pavilion. This increasingly popular market has recently been ranked as the seventh best farmers market in the nation by food website, The Daily Meal. RSVP editor Rachel Warren met up with MFM market director, Allison Cook, to discuss the qualities that make MFM so unique and the good people of Memphis who work together to make it happen every Saturday rain or shine.

Cook: I moved to Memphis in 2009. I had lunch with Melissa Petersen of edible Memphis magazine. I was picking her brain about ways to meet people and get involved in the community. At that time I lived in Harbor Town. Melissa recommended that I volunteer at the Memphis Farmers Market. I tell people still to this day that she guaranteed me that you would never meet a bad person looking for produce. That’s always been the mantra, and it’s true! You know, you are going to meet good people at a farmers market. I started just as a regular volunteer in 2009.

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RSVP: What are your responsibilities as the market director?

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Cook: I coordinate and schedule all the vendors. I take care of all the business aspects of the market, which are all the financial aspects. I keep our promo items in stock. We have a market coordinator that handles all the day-to-day activities of the volunteers. I also maintain all the permits and licenses of all the farmers and vendors. I am onsite every Saturday. Anything that comes up or any fires that need to be put out on Saturday, I am here for that. I do all of the customer service aspects of the market. I answer all the emails, or if someone has a question about the market I answer that. All of that goes to me. I also am the face of the market, so I talk to the media and things like that. I handle all the Public Relations. It really is like running a small business in a lot of respects with a lot of employees that I call vendors. RSVP: What exactly is the token program in regards to the MFM? Cook: We started the token program three seasons ago. You can bring your debit or credit card or your SNAP card. You can swipe that at the information table. If you swipe your debit or credit card, you get five-dollar increment tokens. Those are used like cash with all of our vendors. If you swipe your SNAP program card, you can choose how much you would like to put on your card. Also, when you use your SNAP/EBT card and swipe up to $10 with it, you

receive $10 in matching Double Greens token through a grant from GrowMemphis. This is also why Central Station is a good location for MFM. This area is surrounded by zip codes that are considered “food deserts.”

Photos by Don Perry

RSVP: How did you first get involved with the Memphis Farmers Market?

RSVP: How does accepting SNAP/EBT cards fit into the MFM’s mission within the community of Memphis? Cook: It really relates to the very first sentence of the MFM’s mission statement, which is to provide access to locally grown foods. The SNAP token program allows us to directly impact people’s access to local foods. There are not many true grocery stores downtown. There are not a lot of open markets. Our goal is to try and maintain 70 percent farmer vendor participation. All of our vendors rotate, and every week is a little different. But our goal is to always have more farmers. We love our prepared foods. We love our artisans, but, going along with the access to fresh foods, we really want this to be a farmers market. RSVP: Obviously MFM provides the community with delicious, fresh local food. What also does a market like this offer the community? Cook: I am really proud about how the market has really grown into a community gathering spot. One of my favorite things to see is the market at 5:45 a.m., completely empty, no one is here, and within the hour the booths are full. There are people shopping. There are people swapping recipes and asking about the kids. That’s why I like it. That’s why I get up early in the morning to come do it. I think that is the reason the MFM is such a great asset to downtown community. It brings people together that normal circumstances might not bring together. Normally, you would not have farmers making really close acquaintances with the people buying their produce, especially because this is an urban setting. You might see it out in Millington or Bartlett or where people are closer to their farmers, but you don’t usually get to talk to your farmers in such an urban setting. People get to see food and produce that they


VOX POPULAR

might not have ever seen. It also gives people the chance to ask how to prepare a food or item they may not be familiar with and get direct feedback from the vendors and farmers. That is one of the wonderful things about the market. That is what I think the magic of a farmers market is – being able to interact with the people who produced your food. RSVP: Tell me about the music that MFM always has.

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Cook: We have live music every Saturday. That is one of the big things that surveys show that the community enjoys. After the food and kids’ activities, people always say they come back for the live music. It is fun for people to get some coffee, walk around and shop a little bit. They can go grab a piece of pizza or buy some tacos and then listen to some live music. The music helps people feel like they are at a destination, and they can hang out. The music helps people feel like they don’t have to leave immediately after shopping.

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Cook: I think it is a testament to what dedicated volunteers can do. MFM was started by volunteers, our board is made up of volunteers, the people in the bright yellow shirts who are down here hustling and bustling, carrying umbrellas out from tables, all those things, they are done by volunteers. If none of them showed up, it would just be me. I think that aspect of the market is really exciting. All these people have chosen to spend time with us at the market. Our market coordinator, Terre Gorham, was hired this year, but other than us, every one else is a volunteer. That is incredible! Nobody has time these days, but these volunteers make the time. RSVP: What are some of new things that the MFM has been doing over the last year or so? Cook: The token program was a big one. Adding the food trucks was a big change. We brought in Bluff City Coffee in

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RSVP: What about the MFM inspires you?

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as our coffee cart sponsor the year before last, and that has been a really great partnership because one of our missions as a market is to incubate small businesses. If you are a farmer, that is a small business. If you are selling wooden tongs, that is a small business. And Bluff City Coffee is a small business. That has been a really great partnership because that has given the exposure to Bluff City Coffee and to the owner, David Adam. It is wonderful because he has taken that load off of us to provide the coffee and the pastries to shoppers.

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RSVP: What are some of the future goals of the MFM?

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Cook: When I started with MFM, there were not that many markets in the area. A lot have opened since then. And we think that is great! We are all here providing for different communities. This past year, the Daily Meal website did a ranking of farmers markets across the county, and MFM was placed as seventh. That is wonderful! So we are seeing things like that at a state wide and national level, showing that people are noticing the MFM. We are really proud of ourselves!

Cook: We are always thinking of the right ways to expand. Four28 years ago we added to the pavilion through a matching grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. I think that is also incredible because Tennessee Department of Agriculture gave us half the money, and we raised the other half ourselves. We put it on a property that we do not own. We benefit from it every Saturday. We feel like it is ours, but, when you come down to it, it was for the betterment of the entire community. Two weeks ago we got one of the $5,000 dollar grants from the First Tennessee Foundation from their 150 Days of Giving campaign, which is awesome! Another one of our goals is to keep the vendor stall fee low, and, as we all know, the cost of everything seems to continue to rise. So any time that we receive a grant or receive matching funds, it is one more year that we are able to say, “OK, we are good.” We don’t have to worry about having to raise vendor fees or about cutting something out. We can continue on for the same number of market days. So that grant we received will definitely be going into our operations pot, and it will help us to make sure we can maintain the status quo and keep doing what we are doing. RSVP

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RSVP: Has does MFM stack up against other farmers markets around the nation?

RSVP: Are there more additions that MFM will be doing? Any more pavilions? Cook: Right now, we are kind of in the brainstorm phase. We are in a place right now where we are happy. We love what we do. We are in the phase of asking things like, “If we had another pavilion, where would we put it?” “If we had more vendors, where would we put them?” We are in that logistics mode. We want to ask questions and test some ideas out. We want to know what would be most beneficial for us. It is an exciting place to be! Right now, we are not committing to anything, and we are not on a time line, but I think it is a great time for the growth of MFM. We are in between big projects and have the time to really think what would be best for the market.


Cook: Yes, we have our third annual Crop Hop 5K coming up on June 20 at 5:30 p.m., and the course begins and ends at the MFM’s Central Station Pavilion. It is different from a lot of running events because its in the evening, and I think running in June in the evening sounds better than running during the day. Sunday, November 1, is our annual and biggest fund-raiser, the Barnyard Ball. It is our end of the season party, and it will be located at Central Station Pavilion.

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RSVP: Are there any upcoming MFM events we can look forward to?

RSVP: As someone who has worked as a journalist for At Home in Arkansas magazine and as the MFM market director, hopefully you can answer a question that plagues English writers when they write about a farmers market. To apostrophe or not to apostrophe the “s” in famers market? Cook: We don’t use the apostrophe. It drives me crazy because I can’t find an official rule. My philosophy behind why we don’t use it is because the market belongs not only to the farmers but also to all of Memphis. The market belongs to the entire city.

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Cook: We just launched a new website in April that Lokion Interactive did for us. It is still memphisfarmersmarkt.org. We have a whole new design, and I think it is much more user friendly. People interested in volunteering should go the website first and check out the page that says “Volunteer.” That page lists all the jobs you could do. It lists the time and shifts that are available. If you decide it is something you would like to do, you can sign up right there, and you are added to a list. We are really low-key about volunteering. Everybody on that list will get an email once a week. If you cannot volunteer that week, you just don’t reply. No problem. If you can volunteer that Saturday, you reply and say what you would like to do.

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RSVP: How can people volunteer for MFM?


EVENT

GPAC Gala

GPAC GALA

“For Your Eyes Only”

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Dr. Jorge and Lynn Calzada

Ron and Sheri Bishop

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his year’s original idea for the Germantown Performing Arts Center Gala was “For Your Eyes Only,” and the evening included a campy and entertaining “007” motif. Lynn Calzada, who chaired the event with her husband Dr. Jorge Calzada, explained the James Bond movie theme was chosen because the theme lent itself to a lot of fun. Tables were numbered 001, 002 and so on, with the head table numbered “007,” of course. GPAC Executive Director Paul Chandler, dressed in a white dinner jacket, said he “just had to wear” the Bond inspired outfit in honor of the spy who came in for a cold martini. Chandler greeted guests as they passed a phalanx of vehicles from Mercedes-Benz of Memphis to make their way into the Germantown Performing Arts Center. Martinis were served in the GPAC green room, dubbed “Diamonds Are Forever,” and hosted by Mednikow Jewelers, which offered a sweet deal: buy a martini or other cocktail for $20 and be automatically entered into a drawing for a $1,000 gift certificate. As guests sipped away, pianist Jon Felix played requests. Meanwhile, in the main lobby, Jen and Levin, a swing and jazz duo, entertained while guests got a chance to pose beside Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and Pierce Brosnan cutouts, or, for $20, shoot felt-tipped darts at cardboard “spies” descending the staircase. Attendees with good aim were entered into a drawing for a Walther PPK 9mm handgun, Bond’s weapon of choice. Guests seemed to be in constant motion, parading past a nearly endless array of silent auction items in the lobby and the hallway as well as a separate gallery of artworks available to the highest bidder. Simply Delicious Catering prepared hors d’oeuvres of fried macaroni cheese, beef tenderloin and duck pâté. Caesars Entertainment Corporation catered a dinner of shrimp cocktail, chicken and chocolate mousse served on the glittering stage of the DuncanWilliams Performance Hall. Robert Baker, chairman of the GPAC Board of Directors, presented the 2014 Chairman’s Award to board member Jean Matthews and then returned to the stage when Chandler honored him and his wife Sue with the 2014 Patron of the Arts Award. A spirited live auction followed. Musical entertainment included Susan Marshall during dinner and continued with the electrifying Jason D. Williams and his boogey piano. No one was in a hurry to leave because, as Honey Scheidt explained, “You don’t see a gala like this all the time.” See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Julie and Jim Raines

Story by Jeannie Ashford Photos by Don Perry

Jim and Linda Lloyd

Asim Choudhri and Lauren Ditta

Honey and Rudi Scheidt

Jennifer and Paul Chandler

William and Carol Kenley with Joey and Dr. Neal Beckford

LaSheka and Deano Orr


EVENT GPAC GALA Jeannie Jackson and Mike Palazzolo

Mark and Judy Long

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Vida Harvey with Adrienne and Lou Arrindell

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Tonia and Scott Anderson with Jessica and Jason Schepman

Karen and Preston Dorsett

Jeff and Valerie Morris


EVENT GPAC GALA

Raymond and Jacque Clift

Thane and Pat Smith

Jack and Margaret Briscoe

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Becky and Vernon Barton

Misty and Josh Ivy

Nathan and Amy Brewster

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Atef and Lamia Omari

Missy and Sean Nelson

Dr. Natalie Kerr and Dr. Alex Iannaccone

Rafael and Hanna Durand

Alex and Tatyana Jankov

Marie Goulet and Tim Kean

Karen and Ned Canty


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WILD WORLD OF WINE AND BEER

EVENT

Wild World of Wine and Beer Party Animals

S Nick Chandler and Kelly Williams

Jennifer Bellott and Michael Goodin

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ome party animals were up all night at the zoo causing quite a ruckus! The Memphis Zoo held its 16th annual Wild World of Wine and Beer, and nearly 700 Memphians flocked to the zoo to have a taste of over 40 different wines from around the world as well as six different types of beer from local breweries like Memphis Made Brewing Company, Wiseacre Brewing Company and High Cotton Brewing Company. Presented by AutoZone, this party was a roaring success for the zoo, earmarking $30,000 to go directly to the Memphis Zoo’s Conservation Action Network, a grants division that supports local, national and international conservation projects for endangered species and their habitats. The usually finicky Memphis weather was playing nice on the night of the party, and attendees took advantage of the spring weather, wearing bright sundresses and t-shirts as they happily took their tasting glasses and began to pin down their first drink stop. The tables were organized by country or state, offering top shelf wines from California, Oregon, France, Italy, Australia, Germany, Austria, Chile and Argentina. Small food stations were dotted around the wine tables and provided light snacks like cheese, fruit, vegetables, meatballs and shrimp cocktail to accompany the tasting. There was also an additional table that showcased several sustainable and organic wines like everyone’s favorite boxed wine, Bota Redvolution, and bottled wines like Etude Carneros Pinot Noir and Belle Ambiance Cabernet Sauvignon. The party also featured an extensive silent auction that had attendees going wild for some fantastic potted succulent cactus arrangements and artwork done by Jahe (an orangutan), Else (a grizzly bear) and Angela Kate (a giraffe). If that wasn’t enough for bidders, there was also the opportunity to get their hands on behind the scenes tour of the Herpetarium, the Bird Hatchery and a close encounter with a wombat. The Kathryn Stallins Band cranked up the volume and got the crowd dancing and singing along to some rock classics. It was through the hard work of zoo volunteers and sponsors like Dorothy Orgill Kirsch, Joseph C. DeWane, M.D., Roger and Ann Knox, Active Health Chiropractic, Chuck and Susan Brady, Gene and Nancy Holcomb, Natalie and Jimmy Jalenak, Athens Distributing and King Cotton Meats that this event went off without a hitch.

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

Gail Karr and Edward Dewayne

Story by Rachel Warren Photos by Baxter Buck

Lindsey Jones and Dr. Chandler Humphreys

Katie Kelly and Jonathon Quinley

Janine Greason and Jim West

Danielle McDowell and Persephone Burnett

Maggie Day, Diana Jarava and Stephanie Maddox

Bettina Gaycken and David Wade


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Michael Dexter and Lesley Coleman

WILD WORLD OF WINE AND BEER

Cathryn Perdue and Brittney Gordon

Kristina Aguirre, Tatyana Dromova and Dana Lee RSVP

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Harvey and Amy Green

Heather and Jose Franco

Casey Shannon, Jessica Benton and Russ Rinehart


EVENT WILD WORLD OF WINE AND BEER J U N E 2 0 14

Jennifer and Lee Parson

Abbey and Mark Miesse

Lauren Baker and Tammy Townsend

Amber Long and Julie Barnes

Kendal Youngblood and Graham Askew

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Lalainya Rawlings and Ralph Beentjes

Debbie Snowden and Brandy Thompson

Justin and Katey Wingo

Brian and Jennifer Crider

Ed Starr and Melissa Cole

Carolyn Carter and Ronnie Russell


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Donell McNeil and Allena May

WILD WORLD OF WINE AND BEER

Jim Petra and Jutta Siebart

Jeff Colon, Cassandra Moriarty, Dori Clark, Jack Moriarty and Shelia Colon RSVP

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Jill Maybry and Steven Mitchell

Paulette Powell and Paul Covington

Randy and Karyl Buddington with Susan Deloach


EVENT WILD WORLD OF WINE AND BEER J U N E 2 0 14

Ryan Nelson and Sarah Carroll

Dana and Troy Dowdy

Brad and Alyson Whitaker

Don Johnson and Brittany Jons

Erin and James Kennedy

Joe and Beth Duncan

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Tammy and David McKnight

Casey Long, Hannah Aerts and Molly Riley

Anna Rehkopf with Calvin Klein

Gary Deel and Amy Speight

Doug and Virginia Dawson with Lana and Jeff Martindale


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THE AMBASSADOR SERIES

The Ambassador Series By Eugene Pidgeon

LOEB AND BEHOLD!

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many years before she would settle into the Loeb family compound just across the Mississippi River, Beth Loeb was, already, and by all accounts, a well-seasoned traveler. “I was born in West Virginia, and when I was 6-weeks-old my family moved to La Rochelle, France. My dad was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” explains Loeb. Loeb lived the first six years of her life traveling through France before she returned to the states and settled in Auburn, Alabama. Loeb with two of her dogs, Deets and Wetosh

Photo by Tom Loeb

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“I

f you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” These words, issued pointedly and as a declaration of faith and obligation by St. Francis of Assisi, are as relevant today as they were when he spoke and lived by them nearly a thousand years ago. So relevant are they; in fact, it is almost as if Elizabeth Cockrell Loeb (Beth) has been appointed directly by Assisi himself to be a modern standard bearer charged with protecting and prosecuting this simple yet wholly significant doctrine. It is a doctrine of character, compassion and charity. Whether these traits are natural and/or refined by trial and error, once instilled into the social DNA of any human being, they become the impregnable and indelible cornerstones of a life that is ordained to be lived in the service of others. And so it goes too, for modesty and humility. If you speak to Beth Loeb once, you might be surprised by how truly selfaware and self-deflecting she really is. “Why on Earth would anyone want to interview me? I haven’t done anything!” she exclaims, her voice is a bubbling mixture of wonder and authority. It is tinted with flecks of wild honeysuckle and wisteria to evoke a sense of a more casual and relaxed southern life in the country. Then too, it rings with a purposeful air and cadence, bearing a still inviting albeit edgier rhythm; an intonation to suggest she has a grand and equal facility for navigating the nooks and crannies of any concrete jungle. As both a confident country girl and an urbane city slicker, Beth Loeb is a resourceful and committed student of improvisation, one who is more than capable of adapting to whatever environment she finds herself. This August, Loeb will celebrate her 31st wedding anniversary with husband Tommy, second son of the late Mr. Henry Loeb, who was a former Mayor and lifelong civic leader here in Memphis. How does she intend to celebrate? “We really have not done anything special for it,” chimes Loeb. “We were supposed to take a trip, but never took one. So he owes me a trip. Realistically, we both love New Orleans. We kind of eat our way across the city.” Loeb muses affectionately about her husband of 31 years. “Tommy is not much of a traveler. He is very much a homebody. I am the one with itchy feet, but we’ve done a great job of compromising over this point.” For the last 31 years, Beth and Tommy have lived on and maintained an expansion of richly fertile farmland and pristine woodlands on the periphery of Forrest City, Arkansas. However,

“Both of my parents were from the Decatur, Alabama area,” Loeb asserts. When asked about how her French experience may have shaped or impacted her life at such a young age, Loeb is very candid. “I think it really shaped a lot of my taste in architecture. I am kind of a Francophile…anything French…I just love,” beams Loeb with unfettered recall and enthusiasm. “I love French antiques, French clothing and, of course, French art. I am mad about it. My experience in France may have even influenced my decision to study art history in college.” As a graduate of the University of Alabama, the journey that would bring Beth Loeb to Memphis and to Forrest City and beyond was directly circuitous. In 1979, when Loeb was a senior at the “Tide” her uncle Fob James was elected the Democratic governor of Alabama for the term 1979-1983. “The summer I graduated from college, I was invited to my aunt and uncle’s beach house in Gulf Shores, and while I was there, my uncle introduced me to Deloss Walker, of Walker + Associates, Inc. in Memphis. Deloss had helped to get my uncle Fob elected.” Clearly, Loeb made an impression on Walker, for it was barely a week after she left the beach, that Walker would contact her and offer her position with the advertising firm in Memphis. “I jumped at the chance,” admits Loeb. “Walker was my

mentor. He changed my life. I am so grateful to him!” As per the invitation, Loeb moved to Memphis and took a position at Walker + Associates in 1981. Indeed, Loeb was on the fast track to immense possibility and success as a member of the Walker team. The sky was the limit. With the support of Walker and with the gradual and graduating propulsion of her own creative momentum and enthusiasm, there was nothing she couldn’t have accomplished. It is tricky how the best laid plans of mice and men can be so significantly altered with the imposition of Cupid. “I was introduced to Tommy in January of 1983. We met once, but I didn’t hear from him until he asked me out again in July. We were married by August 13th 1983. I tried to commute back and forth for about three months. But then I decided, I wanted to slow down and try something different.” Beth Loeb has spent a wonderful 31 years doing something different. She and Tommy have raised two great kids, Lauren, 29, and Spencer, 22. “I stayed at home for 13 years, and I never thought I was missing anything. I felt privileged to be a stay at home mom and to raise my kids. Today, Loeb has a family intact and happy. Her professional career which, in addition to Walker + Associates in Memphis includes a seventeen year run as the public relations and marketing director at East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City, came to an end this year with her retirement. Now her energies and her attention are given in support of the needs of animals. The Mary Gregg Loeb Animal Welfare Endowment, named so for her mother-in-law and the widow of Henry, was established four years ago through the Arkansas Community Foundation of St. Francis County. With a clear mission statement, the Endowment is established in support of animal welfare in general and will provide funding to nonprofit organizations that seek to: educate the public about animal care, promote spay and neuter programs, promote adoptions to proper homes for appropriate animals and fund emergency veterinary care under special circumstances as determined by the board. Loeb is proud of the network the Endowment has helped create in support of the local and regional Humane Society, saying, “They are very dedicated people and do the dirty work to make certain the animal needs are met. These volunteers should be bragged on. They just make things better.” What do St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis County, Arkansas and Elizabeth Cockrell Loeb have in common? A long history of service to mankind and critter-kind. Some things were meant to be.


EVENT

Gift of Life Gala

GIFT OF LIFE GALA

Benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee

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Maria and Dr. Julio Ruiz

Bill and Teresa Bullock

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ale pink recess lighting in the Peabody Hotel’s Skyway room cast a sunset-like glow on guests who attended the Gift of Life Gala benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee. During the cocktail hour, while mixing and mingling, attendees browsed silent auction items that included many varieties of wine and other items for entertaining. Servers passed through the crowd with silver trays offering spanakopita and skewered chicken. After taking their seats, guests enjoyed dinner that began with a mixed green salad with citrus cilantro vinaigrette dressing and topped with tortilla strips. The entrée consisted of baked salmon and spinach-stuffed chicken breasts served with grilled asparagus and fluffy saffron rice. The event celebrated the lives of donors and recipients of kidney transplants, like Price Bullock, who received a kidney transplant at age 5, and received a second transplant in May. His parents, Bill and Teresa, who have long been involved with the National Kidney Foundation, attended the affair, as did Alyce and Tom Price and Karen and Adam Hamburger. As the program got underway, Lorrie Ridder, president of the board of directors, made welcoming comments and introduced Susan O. Smith, the event chair. Dr. Jacinto Hernandez was presented with the 2014 Gift of Life Award. A heartwarming video presentation about Hernandez depicted not only his dedication to patients, but also showed his deep commitment to his family and love of music. Hernandez’s wife, Dominga, narrated the video. Dr. Hernandez expressed his love and devotion for his wife as soon as he took the podium. He spoke about the ways his patients had enriched his life. “I am accepting this in honor of those for whom I work, my patients,” he said. “From them, I have learned what I need to know to help others because they are people who are living to see the lives of their families.” Originally from Spain, Hernandez practices medicine at MidSouth Nephrology Consultant and treats patients at 11 outpatient clinics in the Mid-South, as well as three in Arkansas and Mississippi. Monsignor Valentine N. Handwerker III who donated a kidney to one of his parishioners, Ed Garavelli in 2011, was also honored. Following the program, members of the band Al Paris & the Heartbreakers, dressed in white, took the stage. Dancers headed to the floor and those who remained in their seats enjoyed the band’s lively performance.

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

Laura and Dean Barger

Story by Suzanne Thompson Photos by Baxter Buck

Anthony and Natalia Siebert

Shirley and Leland Burress

Joyce and Gordon Fykes

Laurie Brown and Patricio Ilabaca

Frank and Cindy Childress with Andy Pierotti

Cassandra Griffin and Melanie Marshall


EVENT GIFT OF LIFE GALA Lawrence Migliara and Sharon Leicham

Terry and Cynthia Lawrence

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Anna and Michael Rikard

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Patricia Schoembs and Rev. Msgr. Valentine Handwerker

Teresa and José Maria Caamaño


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Karen Hill and Bill Currotto

Bryan and Britnee Eskew

Rick Mordachini and Susan Blanton

Jeannie Price and Carolyn Cummings

Dr. Wesam and Dr. Lama Ballouk

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Kathleen and Tim Davis

Dr. Jacinto and Dominga Hernandez

Susan Smith and Nicole McCain

Eric and Nikki Gardener

Andrea and Tom Gladney

Leigh Anne Keough and Caitlin Schaapveld


EVENT GIFT OF LIFE GALA Dr. Vinaya and Ram Rao

Martin Haaga and Katherine Bolding

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Adam and Karen Hamburger

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Venciel and Hazel Marsh

Sergio and Angelica Acchiardo


EVENT

Promise Ball Gala

PROMISE BALL GALA

“Cirque Du Cure”

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Mark Drilling and Karri Morgan

Chelsea Casaccia and Michael Hollier

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n May 3, it truly was a circus as guests stepped into the ballroom of the Hilton Memphis to attend the Cirque Du Cure, the 14th annual Promise Ball benefiting the West Tennessee chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Aerialists glided through hoops in midair, while jugglers, tumblers, clowns and a stilt walker entertained the crowd. JDRF Youth Ambassadors, a group of young people living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), brought the festive atmosphere to life, wearing circus attire and greeting guests. Deena Scroggins, Jane Russell and Roberta Hefley were this year’s event chairwomen. The evening began with a cocktail reception that included a silent auction and a wine pull. The Y’Allternative band, a Memphisbased acoustic trio, provided musical entertainment. A seated dinner followed with a menu of salad, pan-seared filet with cabernet reduction and chili-lime salmon gremolata with grilled Asiago potato hash and a medley of vegetables. A dessert trio rounded out the meal: a cannoli shooter, a key lime tart and a slice of strawberry torte. Welcoming remarks were made by Ahmed Latif, one of the West Tennessee JDRF Youth Ambassadors, who served as the “ring master.” Honorary Chairman David Pickler, president and CEO of Pickler Wealth Advisors, thanked the 50-plus volunteers who had devoted countless hours in planning the gala. Errol Harris, president of the organization’s board of directors, presented the “Living and Giving Award” to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Diabetes Program. The award recognizes those who have taken a leadership role in supporting JDRF. Harris reminded the group that the ultimate goal is to find a cure and turn “Type 1 into Type None.”  Dr. Alicia Diaz-Thomas, assistant professor at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and pediatric endocrinologist at Le Bonheur, was featured in a video presentation in which she described how Le Bonheur’s diabetes program team members meet families on the first day of diagnosis and provide on-going support and self-management education. Darrell Greene, news anchor WHBQTV, Fox 13, was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Joining him on stage was auctioneer Mark Drilling. Guests bid on travel packages, sports outings and a chance to be a Marshal at the Tiger Wood’s AT&T National Golf Tournament, as well as home products and athome parties. A one-of-a-kind chair designed and painted by the West TN JDRF Youth Ambassadors was a highlight of the bidding. When the bidding wars were over, Katie Pickler, development coordinator for the West Tennessee Chapter of JDRF, announced that the gala had garnered over $350,000 for the organization. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, and 85 percent of the proceeds from the Promise Ball will be used to fund T1D research and research-related education. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Kelly and Rhonda Neal

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger Photos by Don Perry

Shane Hughes and Victoria Wright

Cheryl and Johnny Floyd

Ted and Tiffany Blakney

John and Robin Beaudoin

Lee and Leigh Ann Guest with Lindsey Culp and Wesley Lawrence

Laura and Hayden Simons


EVENT PROMISE BALL GALA Becca Godman with Summer and Cecil Godman

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Jayme Salley, Rebecca Molpus and Lisa Thomas

Alex Roberts and Rob Heflin

Sandra and David Moak RSVP

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Michael and Loir Beeler

Page Laurie, Teresa Schwartz and Rosemary Higginbotham

Mary Catherine and Tobi Merschat

Donna and Brian Hale

Charles and Barbara Salvaggio with Maryanne Stanley and Ashley Ford


EVENT PROMISE BALL GALA

Anne and Chris Fairey

Meris and Dan Whitley

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John Michael Ryall and Chelsea Conn

Ben Hanks and Haley Rush

Douglas Durden and Tanyell Williams

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Stacey and Darrell Greene

Karissa and Brian Reese

Will and Katrina Moore

Dr. Danielle and Sean Hassel

Drs. Chad and Julie Webster

Michael and Dr. Shelly Thannum


EVENT PROMISE BALL GALA Nathan Massey, Debbie Taylor and Gary Bellanti

Wesley and Matt Wade

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Beth and Trey Murphree

Deena Scroggins and Steve Childs

Jenna and Jake Shaw RSVP

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Shirley Jack and Gail Paige

Tony and Vickie Smith

Dr. Alicia Diaz-Thomas and Errol Thomas

Larry and Faye Stephens

Ahmed Latif and Hannah Williams

Betty and Jules Weiss

Chris and Stacey Berner


EVENT HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS GALA

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Home is Where the Heart is Gala Opening Heart and Home

Dr. Michael and Rebecca Ugwueke

Donna and Bob Abney

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he Peabody was the setting for the FedExFamilyHouse “Home is Where the Heart is” gala. The evening opened with a reception and silent auction in the Continental Ballroom with members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra providing musical ambience. Guests moved into the Grand Ballroom for a dinner buffet featuring fresh fruit, tossed salad, macaroni salad, seasoned vegetables, wild rice with pecans, corn soufflé, shallot-roasted potatoes, chicken breasts stuffed with ratatouille, grilled salmon and beef tenderloin. Desserts included chocolate pots de créme and créme brûlée. FedEx Corporation executive vice president and CFO, Alan Graf, welcomed guests to the fourth annual event and introduced Will and Paige Thompson, the event co-chairs. A video presentation from Meri Armour, president and CEO of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, described the founding of the FedExFamilyHouse as well as its mission to provide a “home away from home” for families of children being treated at Le Bonheur. Dinner music was provided by Jason Sturgeon, a Nashville pop country artist. Miss Henderson County contender, Jessica Haas, took the stage as a “speed painter” as Kevin and Bethany Paige’s band provided the thematic music of “Eye of the Tiger.” As Haas seemingly slashed and dashed paint onto a canvas, telltale details began to emerge. In less than two minutes, when the music ended, Haas flipped the canvas upside down and revealed the face of tiger staring out at the crowd. During the evening’s live auction, guests bid on items that offered themed experiences such as a Memphis Tiger Rose Bowl weekend for two, a Coca Cola Woods duck hunting expedition and a NASCAR package at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Next, the Light Up the House campaign invited guests to make donations, ranging from $100 to $10,000. As participants raised their bid cards, spotters in the group gave each bidder a red beaded necklace with a light-up heart pendant. By the end of the campaign, the room sparkled with the glowing light from hundreds of hearts. The live auction concluded with a surprise item: floor seats and VIP parking for the April 16 Grizzlies’ game. Making it even more exciting, guest Jennifer Miller, wife of Grizzlies player Mike Miller, stood up and announced her husband would include his game shoes from that evening’s game and sign them for the bidding winner. The winning bidder was Steve Scales, of the Memphis-based Scales Consulting Group. He planned to take his grandson to the game. As a sweet ending to the gala, guests were given unique cookies made by Whimsy Cookie Company that featured a Save the Date message for next year’s gala on April 11. FedExFamilyHouse opened its doors in December 2010 and is the first home of its kind for families at Le Bonheur. Proceeds from the “Home is Where the Heart is” gala will help provide the financial support needed for the facility. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Ron and Anise Belz

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger Photos by Don Perry

Macy and Chris Raffles

Mickey and Diana Foster

Sam Fargotstein and Becca Belz

Jennifer Miller and Marcus Grandberry

Kavanaugh Casey with Gary and Glenda Shorb

Alan Graf and Meri Armour


EVENT HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS GALA

Mark Pender and Retha Moore

Mary and Greg Gaston

Deidra and Michael Stansbury

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Russell, Cooper and Terri Hughes

Alma and Nik Puri

Corey and Michelle Epps

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Henry and Ruby Snowden

Josh and Susan Kendrick

Jennifer Godwin and Jamie Wilson

Peggy and LaVerne Lovell

Tim and Cortney Warren

Nathan and Laurie Howerton

Hal and Courtney Stansbury


EVENT HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS GALA

Jeremie Skinner, Jessica Haas and Anthony Pitts

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Pat and Donna Hoffman

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Katie and Zach Pearson

Dave and Debbie Ziebart with Terri and Bill West

Danny Washburn and Mike Lauderdale

Scot and Terri Struminger

Melinda Pigors, Leslie Dunavant and Tracy Long


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Cynthia and Tom Mullady with Rob and Traci Salzer

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Delisa McCray, Lillian Bolden and Nina Thornton

Ty and Mary Deal

Kevin and Kim Humphries

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John Rhea and Julia Gates

Bob and Jo Lynn Edwards with Jeff and Nancy Cox

Stacey and Brent Mohair

Nicole and Dr. Jonathan Ellichman

Christy and David Moore with Janice Russell


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Onsite I Junior Auxiliary of Collierville Luncheon

Rock the Ribbon

Think-Pink!®

Pink balloons and ribbons adorned the dining room at Jim’s Place Grille, where the Junior Auxiliary of Collierville held its annual Ladies Luncheon, Fashion Show and Silent Auction, which attracted a sellout crowd. At the silent auction, balloons were purchased for $20 each, and guests received gift cards valued at $25 or more. Gould’s, Dr. Purvisha Patel, Tennessee Shakespeare Company, The Orpheum and the Memphis Grizzlies were among the many donors. Memphis radio personality, Karen Perrin, emceed the program. Betty Hayes provided some great looks from her new store, Betty Hays – A Style Experience, in the Germantown Collection. Proceeds from the event are used to fund the Auxillary’s service projects to benefit children in need in Southeast Shelby County.

This year’s Susan G. Komen® Memphis-MidSouth Rock the Ribbon event was held at the Great Hall & Conference Center in Germantown and benefited the Memphis-MidSouth Affiliate and the life-saving work it provides. Guests were greeted at the door with larger than life replicas of Elvis and the Blues Brothers beckoning them inside for an evening of great food and dancing. Many guests arrived in the recommended “Funky Casual” attire – anything that would help them to “get their groove on” to the legendary dance band Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster! Sara Thatcher, Susan G. Komen® board president, shared, “We appreciate all the Rock the Ribbon volunteers, sponsors and attendees who joined together to make the night such a success. Of the proceeds raised, 25 percent will be designated to breast cancer research, and 75 percent will be used in our community to provide breast cancer education as well as mammograms for uninsured women and men. We hope to see everyone at the Race for the Cure on October 25, 2014 at Carriage Crossing in Collierville, Tennessee.”

The Memphis Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha hosted their sixth annual Think-Pink!® event, benefiting breast cancer education and awareness. More than a luncheon, this event hosted a number of exciting elements including a fashion show, a luncheon and a silent auction. Held at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, guests began the afternoon by bidding online with their smart phones for a number of items including GPAC tickets, a one-month pass to Midtown Yoga, RiverKings Hockey tickets and a Coach purse, to name only a few items. The fashion show featured several different looks from some hot brands like Anthropologie, J. Jill, Talbots, Banana Republic, White House Black Market, Coldwater Creek and Ann Taylor. Karen Perrin was the event’s mistress of ceremonies. WMC-TV anchor and breast cancer survivor, Pam McKelvy was the afternoon’s keynote speaker and spoke to the audience about her journey with cancer. The afternoon was also dedicated to honoring the firefighters of the “Guardians of the Ribbon – Pink Heels Tour.” Driving pink fire trucks and dressed in pink fire suits, these men and women tour the nation raising funds for the fight against breast cancer. At the instance of the pink firefighters, all money raised for the Think Pink!® event was kept in Memphis and used locally throughout the community.

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

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Story and Photos Submitted

Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest and Mardi Gras Party “Les Bon Temps Roule” was the quote of the day at the Tennessee Equality Project’s 4th Annual Gumbo Contest and Mardi Gras Party held at the BRIDGES® Center downtown. The Mighty Souls Brass Band played Mardi Gras tunes like “When the Saints Go Marching In” as revelers enjoyed tastings from the 16 different gumbo teams that vied for the Best Gumbo title. “N’awlins Best” took first place in the people’s choice category, and “Krab Krew” was awarded first place by a panel of judges. Awards were also given for VIP Table Spirit and Gumbo Team Spirit. Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Billie Coleman, Tonia Hailey, Mary Beth Dial, Jan Gould and Sue Cockerell

George Boyington, Jonathan Cole and Felicia Oglesby

Scott and Tonia Anderson

Paige Campbell and Emily Irwin

Julia Williams, Heather Brucks, Christy Brandon and Marianne Dunavant Rebecca Terrell with Kal Rocket

Kristin Bourdon, Amanda Kinkade, Cheri Kilmurray and Jenny Cordell

John and Sara Thatcher

Juanita Brown and Iris Groh

Janet Ross, Cindy Jaggers with Becky and Joel Halvorson and Melinda and Phil Russell

Cathy Clark, Bobbye Price, Susy Clark and Vicki Clark

Keith Carpenter, Al Medling and Mike Jones


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Onsite II Grand Krewe of Luxor Coronation Ball

Home is Where the Art is

Eat Right to Fight Hunger Gala

Evergreen Ball

The theme of the 2014 Coronation Ball of the Grand Krewe of Luxor was “It Takes Two to Tango” in honor of this year’s queen, Argentina-born CC Myers-Brewer. And tango they did. Following the presentation of the royal court, King Russel Mire, Jr. and Queen CC took the floor for their traditional first dance, which was not at all traditional. Luxor always treats guests to a breakfast buffet late in the evening, so everyone was full and happy when they departed the Esplanade Banquet & Conference Center in Cordova after a funfilled night of dancing to the music of the Mighty Electric St. Jude Band.

The Home is Where the Art is event was held at Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab with the goal of beautifying the surroundings for residents. Many people who purchased art donated it to the home in the name of a patient or loved one. More than 300 pieces of art were for sale as well as couture dresses by New York designer, TOSCA. A string ensemble from Overton Performing Arts High School performed classical music to entertain the art lovers.

The Mardi Gras bash, Eat Right to Fight Hunger, held by the Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was all about feeding kids. Benefiting the MidSouth Food Bank’s Kids Cafés, which instructs children about nutrition and provides them with well-balanced meals, the party featured Cajun favorites like red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee and bread pudding, from DeJaVu Restaurant. Guests were impressed by the artwork on display, created by the children who utilize the cafés.

The Stonewall Masonic Lodge above Diane’s Art Gift & Home on Overton Park Avenue was home to the second annual Evergreen Ball, where residents of the Evergreen Historic District Association and their friends mixed and mingled. Sabine Bachmann, owner and chef of Fratelli’s Café in Memphis Botanic Garden and owner of new restaurant, Ecco on Overton Park, provided small plates. A disco ball illuminated the main room where lights were lowered as Shane Dauberger with Perfection DJs spun tunes for the night.

Story and Photos By Suzanne Thompson Story and Photos By Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos By Suzanne Thompson

Story and Photos By Suzanne Thompson

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Robert Hanusovsky and Tommie Pardue

Jeff and Anita Vincent

Libby Streete and Diane Laurenzi

CC Myers-Brewer

Charles Bowers and JoDe Estes Ron and Anise Belz with Joan and Arnold Weiss

Jon and Nikii Richey with Kathy Fish

John and Wanda Barzizza with Sheriff Bill Oldham

James Taylor, Annie Taylor and Keri Taylor

Marc Reisman, Howard Hayden and Jay Cohen

Estelle Greer and Jane Nicholls

Aaron and Georgia Hall


A Taste of Elegance

Dinner on Stage

A Taste of CBHS

Madonna Learning Center held its 45th annual Auction and Gala in Heffernan Hall at Christian Brothers High School. The facility was transformed into an elegant setting with a dance floor area and featured silent and live auctions, as well as live musical entertainment by The Soul Shockers. The president and vice president of the American Culinary Federation led a team of chefs from Horseshoe Casino Tunica, Harrah’s Tunica Casino and Southwest Tennessee Community College Culinary Institute in preparing the dinner buffet, which featured leg of lamb, salmon, shrimp and grits, roast beef and an assortment of side dishes. Over 600 people turned out to support the Madonna Learning Center, led by executive director, Jo Gilbert and program director, Rebekah Bruce. The gala was a fundraiser to help provide sustainable funding for the school. It was also a way for Madonna families, friends and supporters to celebrate the school’s successes. Over $92,000 was raised by table sponsorships, while the silent and live auctions combined to bring in an additional $127,000. This was the first year the organization had incorporated AuctionsByCellular in order to offer online bidding, in addition to onsite auction bidding. The silent auction, chaired by Julie Olsen, featured items created by students of the Madonna Learning Center, along with items donated by local businesses and artisans. Donna Glenn chaired the live auction.

Victorian Village in downtown Memphis was once again a bustling scene as approximately 70 guests gathered for a recent fundraiser called A Taste of Elegance. Jill Forrester, owner of Trolley Stop Market, came up with the idea to bring a Farm-toTable progressive dinner to Victorian Village. The event offered guests a rare opportunity to tour as well as dine in three of the properties on Adams Avenue, a section known as Memphis’ historic Millionaires Row. The dinner began with appetizers at the Mallory-Neely House Museum prepared by Chef Jackson Kramer of Bounty on Broad. Next, a seated dinner created by Chef Miles McMath of St. Jude Children’s Hospital was served in The Club Room of the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum. Chef Steve Little, personal chef to G.M. Lawrence & Co., and Chef Kevin DeMarcus of Monsieur Demarcus French Crêperie, made sure the evening ended on a sweet note with several desserts served in the newly renovated James Lee House Bed & Breakfast. Proceeds from the event will be used to support the efforts of Victorian Village, including neighborhood revitalization and historic preservations efforts.

In what was the largest attendance ever for this event, over 100 guests participated in The Orpheum’s Dinner on Stage event. The evening began with a cocktail reception in the main lobby as Pat Halloran, Orpheum Theatre president and CEO, regaled the crowd with stories about the historic theater. A brief film in the auditorium continued The Orpheum’s story, taking viewers from the early days through many major milestones up to modern times. Guests toured the theater, including backstage where they were allowed an inside peek at the famous backstage murals by casts of Broadway shows and the “signature wall” autographed by numerous touring celebrities. Following the tour, guests literally dined on stage. A three-course meal of mixed baby greens salad with bleu cheese and bacon was paired with a choice of roasted beef medallions with confit in a merlot reduction or sautéed chicken breasts with grilled asparagus in tomato buerre blanc. A vegetable medley and roasted fingerling potatoes rounded out the meal along with a choice of wines. Attendees enjoyed dessert as Halloran led the group in a game of Broadway trivia. Brittain Lawrence celebrated her 16th birthday with a group of her fellow Harding Academy classmates, all of who participate in the school’s Fine Arts Program. Lawrence’s sister, Cam, also shares the group’s love of theatre.

Christian Brothers High School hosted its third annual A Taste of CBHS. The gathering served as a benefit for the school’s financial assistance program. Memphis Goodwill, Inc. was the title sponsor of the event. The event brought together CBHS alumni, current and past parents and grandparents and friends of CBHS for an evening filled with remarkable food and friendly faces. Event chairman Michael Robilio (CBHS ’76), of Lucchesi’s Ravioli and Pasta Company, Inc., said, “We had fun-filled conversation around our connections to CBHS and the impact the Brothers and the school have had on each of us. It is special because it mixes the various alumni and their current businesses with supporters of CBHS all in the name of financial assistance.” Dozens of restaurants, food brokers, wine and beverage distributors and other vendors, most with their own ties to CBHS, showcased their specialties with food and drink samples. Another unique offering included a wine pull and personalized CBHS stemware. Among the 2014 participators were: Chiwawa, Buster’s Liquors & Wines, CBHS Student Culinary Club, Delta Wholesale, and Soul Fish Café, to only name a few.

Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger

Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger

Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger

Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger

Jill Forrester and Karen Ralston

Alex Kelly, Katie Fisher McHugh, Brittain Lawrence, Camille Stubbs, Karli Williamson, Caroline Sisson, Allison Ragland and Cam Lawrence

Gene and Martha Podesta with Camille and Mike Thompson

Mark and Jackie Barry with Anne and Pat Halloran

Celeste and Greg Powers

Rick and Kim Fogelman

Dino Grisanti and Joseph Ramsey, Justin Chambers, Will Davenport, Ben Hayden and Patrick Groben

Jo Gilbert and Rebekah Bruce

LaVerne and Peggy Lovell

Kerr and Melanie Tigrett

Jan Cornaghie and A. J. Northrop

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Daddy Daughter Adventure Night

Soup Sunday

We <3 Our Members

Wine for Wishes

Girls Incorporated of Memphis encourages the empowerment of girls and young women to break barriers and determine their own future. What better way to represent that purpose than to provide Memphis’ young women with the opportunity to show up their dads in rock climbing and dance moves? Held at BRIDGES® Center in downtown Memphis, this year’s Daddy Daughter Adventure Night did just that. After having cotton candy, cupcakes and dinner, daughters and the special men in their lives joined in showing off the latest dance steps while a deejay kept the party kicking. The rock wall was a popular spot as the brave souls at the party summoned the courage to scale the immense 32foot wall. The organization held the event to benefit Girls, Inc. of Memphis as well as promote the importance of father figures in girls’ lives. “There is so much data out there that shows the critical importance of a father’s presence when it comes to education. Children with involved fathers are 40 percent less likely to repeat a grade in school, 70 percent less likely to drop out of school and are more likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities,” says Lisa Moore, CEO and president of Girls, Inc. of Memphis. Girls, Inc. is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold. The Memphis chapter serves close to 4,000 girls each year with programming designed to build skills for a positive and healthy adult life.

It was a foodie’s dream at the FedEx Forum in late February this year. Close to 60 area restaurants set up shop for this year’s annual Soup Sunday in the home of the Memphis Grizzlies in an effort to help raise funds for Youth Villages. The 25-year-old tradition drew gourmands, families and those out to enjoy a balmy day in winter to taste Memphis eateries’ best mixtures and vote for the winner. This year A Moveable Feast and Hog Wild Catering took home the coveted “Best Soup” award for their Kickin’ Killa’ 3 Bean Chili. Food trucks set up in tents outside the venue were popular for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth or those looking for something a bit more solid. Attendees had the option to go smart-phone style and vote after scanning the event’s QR Code or they could opt for the more traditional method of using kiosks presented by Verizon Wireless. Kiddos had their own special section with inflatables, contests, princesses and face painting. Adults gravitated towards the musical entertainment with The Memphis Doctors Dance Band, WRVR and KQK radio tables. Attendees could also jump in a photo booth or shop around at the Youth Villages store. All proceeds go to benefit the organization’s Evidentiary Family Restoration program for emotionally and behaviorally troubled children.

In 2013 the Salvation Army Kroc Center opened its doors on East Parkway to the Memphis community, providing residents a 100,000-square-foot recreation, education, worship and arts facility for all ages, educational backgrounds and economic means. This February the center celebrated its one-year anniversary and invited the whole community to the party. “It’s our member appreciation event, but we’ve opened our doors to the entire community,” Melissa Wiggins, the Kroc Center’s graphic designer, said. Held at the new facility, the We <3 Our Members event included four hours of activities for all ages and interests. From the center’s normally scheduled fitness classes to specialty Zumba classes, from wacky relay races in the swimming pool to fitness competitions that included wallsits and sit-up contests, the event provided a well-rounded assortment of activities for attendees. The center’s mascot, RJ Kroc helped out with the Dance Fit Jr. class, and a drum circle led a Conga line throughout the halls of the center to wish the Kroc Center a happy birthday. “It’s just a fun day to celebrate our members and to celebrate our one-year anniversary,” Wiggins said.

Memphis young professionals love their wine. They love the smartest and the latest in eateries and goods too. So when the 25-member board of the Make-AWish® Mid-South’s Associate Board decided to plan a fund-raiser for the foundation, they kept these things in mind. For the fourth year, the Associate Board, an arm of the Make-A-Wish® MidSouth geared towards young professionals, hosted the Wine for Wishes event, the organization’s main fund-raiser each year. “We are charged with fund-raising and spreading the word of all the wonderful things that Make-AWish® does,” chair of the Associate Board Brittney Rowe said. Held at the Cadre Building, the evening of course included wine with four tasting tables of two reds and two whites. Wiseacre Brewing Company made an appearance for the more hoppy-minded of the group, and Overton Square was well represented with Local Gastropub, Chiwawa and the Bayou Bar & Grill providing noshes. “We kind of like to represent areas of town that young professionals are excited about going to,” Rowe said. Those included Frost Bake Shop from Laurelwood Shopping Center. Over 100 items were up for grabs during the silent auction, and Make-A-Wish® devotee Will Tucker got other organization enthusiasts moving on the dance floor. Over 300 young Memphians attended the event.

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Dariel Nash, Elizabeth Johnson and Kathy Johnson

Mike Barta, Anne Emmerth, and BJ and Ricky Brillard

Wandra and Lillian Milligan

Lee McCallum and David Spence

Coscia Vetro and Linda Gattas Ben, Kristen and Robert Watson

Franchone Martin and Jordyn Jones

Debbie and Jed Weiher


Lifeblood Awards Luncheon

YWCA Benefit Luncheon

Decade of Dedication

Hats off to the team that organized “A Taste for Tennis,” a fabulous inaugural event for Tennis Memphis to support its National Junior Tennis and Learning program, which introduces teens to tennis and enables many young players to attend college on tennis scholarships. The party was held at the Opus Restaurant on the First Tennessee Club Level of the FedEx Forum, a familiar venue to event co-chair Grizzlies Head Coach David Joerger. His co-host, the Memphis culinary legend Gina Neely, left her apron at home. The evening featured 16 other Bluff City food luminaries who cooked and served mouthwatering small plates or desserts. Guests enjoyed cocktails and wine as well as a steady flow of draft beer from Ghost River Brewery. The Dantones supplied the music. The evening had the air of a cook-off, as the 300 or so guests were asked to vote for their favorite chef. The contest ended in a tie between Andy Feinstone of Boscos Squared, who served melt-in-your mouth seared sea scallops with mango salsa and cilantro vinegar, and Phillip Ashley of Phillip Ashley Chocolates who served exotic artisan chocolates made with lemongrass, mint, white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Divine! The space was festooned with imaginative tennis-themed decorations and floral arrangements provided by Southern Event Planners. The Youth Athletic Foundation, Lexus of Memphis, Horseshoe Tunica, the Racquet Club of Memphis, and String’N Swing sponsored the event.

Organizations, corporations and individuals were honored for the voluntary efforts in 2013 to promote and support blood donation in the community as part of Lifeblood’s fifth annual Awards Luncheon. “Our volunteers are vital to ensuring a stable blood supply is available at all times for trauma centers, hospitals and individuals in need,” said Susan Berry-Buckley, Lifeblood CEO. “And so we celebrate them today for their efforts to support Lifeblood and their fellow community members.” The awards luncheon kicked off with a keynote address by Vickie Peal, the daughter of a blood platelet and plasma recipient whose life was forever changed when her father, an employee of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigations Division, was diagnosed with pancreatitis and relied on the Memphis community’s donations of blood components to survive. The luncheon was emceed by WREG-TV Channel 3 weatherman and blood donation advocate, Todd Demers, and included an invocation by Pastor Bartholomew Orr of Brown Missionary Baptist Church.

The YWCA of Greater Memphis held their 17th annual Benefit Luncheon at the beautiful Hilton Memphis. Dedicated to empowering women, eliminating racism and working toward racial justice, this nonprofit continuously provides emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence and victim advocacy within the justice system. Ursula Madden, WMC-TV anchor, was the afternoon’s Mistress of Ceremonies, and guests enjoyed a special performance by Personal Praise, a band composed of children that sing a style of contemporary pop gospel. Kemba Smith Pradia was the luncheon’s keynote speaker. Pradia drew support from millions when she was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison as a first-time, nonviolent offender for her association with her abusive then boyfriend who was involved with illegal drugs. After serving 6 ½ years, President Bill Clinton granted Pradia clemency in 2000. Pradia gave an impassioned speech about the need for racial justice and the reform of mandatory sentencing laws for victims of domestic abuse. Copies of her new book “Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story” were also available for purchase.

International Paper presented a celebration of a Decade of Dedication for their work with the World Feed Program USA with Coins 4 Kids, a program that provides meals in school in areas near Nairobi, Kenya. Special guest Lauren Bush Lauren, niece of former President George W. Bush, shared her experience of starting the FEED program as well the FEED Foundation. The FEED program sells bags and accessories to benefit the United Nations Food Program and the FEED Foundation is a nonprofit that is dedicated to supporting organizations that work to fight global hunger. Lauren laid out the facts to the audience about the huge numbers of children that go hungry everyday, saying that 1 in 8 children around the world suffer from hunger. Recounting her first experience traveling to see hunger-stricken villages in Guatemala for her first time, Lauren visibly teared up. Since 2005, her FEED bags have raised 6 million dollars and have provided 75 million meals to children in developing countries. Special FEED bags depicting both the FEED logo and the Coins 4 Kids logo were auctioned off to the attendees.

Story Submitted Photos by Sarah Smith

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Jeannie Ashford

Gerry Taulman and Susan Berry-Buckley Summer Owens, Kemba Smith Pradia and Keevia Porter

Heath and John Faraci with Lauren Bush Lauren

Alicia Willis, Archie Willis and Gina Neely Briggitte Rogers and Tiffany Kimmons

Chandra Towler and Amanda Morris Jacquelyn Williams and Ursula Madden

Vicki Heafner and Tim Clements

Jim Doan, Kathy Bomar, Janet Stevens and Michael Cerrito

Betty Miller

Carol Gaudino and Jenny Forman

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26 Peaceful

27 Discrimination based on age

30 Gumbo vegetable

31 Cover with liquid

32 Hunts

33 Football assoc.

36 Two-footed

37 Kimono sash

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45 Bedroom storage 46 Tree trimmer 49 Ajar

50 Curly corn chips brand 51 Broʼs sib

52 Antelope 56 Garret

57 Movie star

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6 Banal

7 Adjoin

8 Lower limb 9 Enigma

10 Dinero 11 Pale

12 European river

13 Writer Bombeck 21 Male cat

23 Can rub out

25 Unclog with drain cleaner 26 Bundle of yarn

27 “Mama Mia” band 28 Progress

45 Hertz measure 46 Writing style

47 Pistolʼs counterpart 48 Whoop

49 Cargo vessel

50 Turn a pancake

51 Body of an organism 53 Reverse 54 Stags

55 Meat inspecting agency 58 Casino roller 59 British drink

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41 Violinistʼs need

44 A wager (2 wds.)

59 Fork prongs

60 Dot in the sea

61 What a clock tells

29 Spot

30 Revolve around, as in planets

32 Pretender

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1 Pillow covering

39 Simbaʼs movie (2 wds.)

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38 Birds “thumb”

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


RSV PHILLIPPI

By Dennis Phillippi

their dinner for the enjoyment of others. That was an explanation, but it didn’t explain it to me. The idea that anyone would want to go to a social media website and gander at someone else’s hamburger is still completely lost on me. Not to get sidetracked here, but I also don’t understand why anyone would want to intentionally direct their attention to other people’s pets, vacation photos, family celebrations, home brewed beer labels, collection of stuffed animals, or surgery scars is also mysterious to me. These are all things I’ve spent my life trying to avoid having to see.

Actually, she was making one face, something called a “duckface” that involved making sausages of her lips. I’m told this appeals to people. The first time I saw anyone shooting selfies was on a movie set months ago when a girl, maybe eighteen, spent the entire day pointing her tablet in the air and making faces while she took pictures. Again, someone had to explain to me that she was taking pictures of herself, and what kind of faces she was making. Actually, she was making one face, something called a “duckface” that involved making sausages of her lips. I’m told this appeals to people. If you don’t believe me, just do a search for “selfies duckface” and you will see a bottomless number of them. They seem to be universally taken by teenage girls who have been misled into

thinking this is an attractive look. Not that it’s difficult to convince teenage girls that a look is attractive. The resurgence in high-wasted jeans is a good case in point. And one I’m pretty bitter about. In recent months the selfie thing has evolved into taking pictures with famous, or at least perceived to be famous people. I mention the perceived to be famous part because a few times people have insisted on taking them with me, somehow having gotten the impression that I’m famous. The President has often been seen taking selfies with random citizens. That’s a patient guy. He’s got the whole Western hemisphere to worry about, and yet he’ll lean in and allow a stranger to snap a photo that is almost certainly going to be unattractive. Pope Francis, the coolest Pope ever, has even done it. Then again he also sneaks out of the Vatican at night to minister to the poor, refused to live in the super fancy Papal apartments, and does card tricks for sick kids in the hospital. Okay, I made that last one up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. In doing my miniscule research on this I did discover that selfies are always bad photographs. Everyone is crowded uncomfortably together, their expressions distorted, and as someone on my page pointed out, sort of blue looking. Not sad blue, the color blue. Everyone in a selfie looks like they must be standing in a cafeteria or a dentist’s waiting room. I’ll resist defining this selfie thing as runaway vanity, because that would be a little glass houses of me, but it seems like there has been a sea change in how everyone feels about having their picture taken. When we all used to use real cameras, ones that were designed to take flattering photographs rather than to fit into your pants pocket a huge percentage of people would duck and cover, refusing to have their image captured, even when that image was just going to end up in an envelope in a drawer somewhere. Now that the much less appealing picture is going to appear on the Internet where it will exist for all to see forever, everyone is suddenly cool with that. We have a generation of blue-tinted, poorly framed duckfaces. The future seems safe.

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t’s not unusual when my deadline has long since come and gone for me to go on the social media and solicit topic ideas. Sure, some people use it as an opportunity to do some personal ax grinding, but that’s the nature of social media. You understand that it would be nearly impossible to squeeze a thousand words of general interest out of why a particular beer tastes terrible, or why hipsters are disappointed in the new Black Keys CD, or why so many people are outraged that Ben Affleck is playing Batman. Okay, I might be able to get an entire column out of that one, but I’ll save that for desperate times. What several different people, for various reasons, mentioned is the new phenomenon of selfies. Normally, I would put quotes around a word like selfie, but since it’s going to appear a couple of dozen times in this article, I won’t bother. And maybe the word no longer needs quotes, considering that none other than the Oxford English Dictionary has promoted it to official word status, even if my spellcheck hasn’t. By the way, my spellcheck also hasn’t accepted the word spellcheck, so it may be a little dated. I’m sure someone has done a thorough breakdown of the selfie thing, and has probably even pinpointed when it became a thing, but it just crept up on me. Maybe I’m obtuse, or maybe I don’t spend a lot of time paying attention to what strangers are doing, but it became a social norm before I was really aware people were even doing it. You know, like watching Breaking Bad, or singing the praises of kale, or watching cat videos online. The first thing I noticed was weird people taking pictures of their food in restaurants. This was baffling to me. Every once in a while someone, inevitably it seemed dining alone, snapped a picture of their burrito. Someone had to explain to me that these people weren’t just documenting their dinner; they were posting

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PUTTING OUR HEADS TOGETHER


RSVPAST

Golden Anniversary

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1944

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r. and Mrs. W.H. Barber of Holland, MO are pictured here celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. The Barbers were married on June 25, 1894 and they celebrated their golden anniversary to the day on June 25, 1944. According to the original newspaper clipping covering the party, the lovely couple commemorated the evening with an elegant dinner on the hotel’s Plantation Roof surrounded by family and friends including: Mrs. L.T. Murray, Bernice Barber and Ruby and Frank Gresham. George Olsen and his orchestra honored the couple by playing “I Love You Truly.” PHOTO COURTESY OF DELORIS PRUITT BOLDT If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Rachel Warren at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to editor@rsvpmagazine.com All photos will be returned promptly.


RSVP Magazine June 2014  

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...