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March 2012

Staxtacular Cirque du CMOM Memphi Mid-Winter Ball St. Jude Red Carpet Bash Home is Where the Heart is Gala Grand Krewe of Ennead Coronation Q&A with Laura Vaughn


Contents March 201 2

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Martha Perine Beard, Memphis Regional Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, takes RSVP into her office.

St. Jude Red Carpet Bash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital took a road trip to Tunica not to gamble, but to raise some dough for the medical institution that turns 50 this year.

12 ST. JUDE RED CARPET BASH Megan Arthur and Beth Buffington

StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20, 22 & 24 He’s proud to talk about the high job placement rate that the Memphis Area Boys & Girls Club Technical Training Center has had the past three years. As a classical music composer, he’s putting a contemporary spin on things. This artist draws “funny.” StreetSeens highlight Joe Sing, Robert Patterson and Lin Workman.

38 STAXTACULAR Mark and Donna Bettison

Memphi Mid-Winter Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 “Memphi’s Grammys” was the theme of this year’s annual Mid-Winter Ball hosted M A R C H 2 012

by the Mystic Society of the Memphi.

RSVP Room View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Stephanie Jones shares the decorative tips and inspirations she received while redecorating her “amped-up traditional” living room.

Grand Krewe of Ennead Coronation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Carnival Memphis season kicked off with the Grand Krewe of Ennead throwing the



year’s first coronation at the U of M Holiday Inn.

26 MEMPHI MID-WINTER BALL Sharon and Walter Wills

Staxtacular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 This year’s Staxtacular party, “Wine, Dine and Grind,” set records for both attendance and fund-raising at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

48 CIRQUE DU CMOM Mike Roberts and Teresa Hurst

Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Q&A with the executive director of the Mid-South chapter of the American Red Cross, Laura Vaughn.

Cirque du CMOM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 The Children’s Museum of Memphis brought out the glitz and glamour at its annual benefit, themed “Night in Hollywood: A Vanity Affair.”

Home is Where the Heart is Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 One of the city’s newest fund-raisers, the benefit for the FedExFamilyHouse took over The Peabody for a night filled with celebrity appearances and generous donors.


Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60, 61, 62 & 63 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention. RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Dennis Phillippi candidly looks back on a decade of writing his column. Cover Photo Will and Emma Dickerson at Home is Where the Heart is Gala Photo by Don Perry




March 2012 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR


Ruth Cassin Kelly Cox Jonathan Devin Libby Huff Dennis Phillippi Suzanne Thompson

Having worked in advertising and publishing since 2000, Libby decided to try her hand in magazine ad sales by joining the RSVP team in 2007. Right off the bat, this free-spirited Mississippi girl fit in perfectly with her new surroundings, quickly rising to become head of the advertising department as senior account executive.



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Nathan Berry Baxter Buck Roy Haithcock Don Perry Steve Roberts




Chris Pugh Phil Wall ace

CHRIS PUGH, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 901.276.7787, EXT. 103 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.




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

PHIL WALLACE, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 901.276.7787, EXT. 102 Phil, who was born in Flint, Michigan, is the newest addition to the RSVP advertising team. An actor at heart, he has appeared in many plays in local theaters in Memphis. Currently, Phil performs as historical characters in schools around the country.

WEB 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 Follow us on & RSVP Memphis Magazine

Copyright 2012 Haithcock Communications, Inc.

MAGGIE GIFFIN, EDITORIAL INTERN 901.276.7787, EXT. 108 Maggie is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in marketing communications with an emphasis in magazine publishing. Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Maggie moved to Memphis to attend culinary school in hopes of pursuing a career in both food styling/ writing and magazine publishing. Maggie enjoys reading magazines, cooking and her new position as editorial intern at RSVP.

From the Editor


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Photo by Steve Roberts

ooking back on the whopping 24 events featured in this issue, I couldn’t help but notice that several of the party names almost seem contradictory to the unseasonably warm temps Memphis has been having as of late. Though it hasn’t felt like winter for the most part, our staff members have attended the Memphi Mid-Winter Ball, Italian Winterfest and the Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-Off (okay, so it was slightly chilly for that one), and somehow for a second straight year, Staxtacular occurred on a night when it wasn’t unbearably cold, snowing or raining. I mean, I’ve hardly worn my heavy coat, sweaters or gloves, and my fireplace and the outdoor fire pit haven’t been used for fear of breaking out in a sweat. Usually, I’m so sick of ‘Ol Man Winter at this point that I’ve started heavily researching tropical travel destinations and changing out my screensaver of the mountains for an image of any place basked in golden sunlight, but alas, neither has crossed my mind. Instead, what I’ve really been focusing on the past month is being content with the present. I might have written about this before, but it still seems to be a challenge for this journalist, as I’m always contemplating the future at work due to looming deadlines and the need to generate story leads. At home, the same “fast-forward thinking” seems to apply since I can never be satisfied with my décor, leaving me unable to enjoy my surroundings now, in the present. Probably much can be said for thinking ahead, but sometimes if you literally don’t stop and smell the roses, you miss out on some of life’s greatest and most fulfilling joys—sitting on your porch and enjoying 65-degree weather on a winter day would definitely qualify. Undoubtedly, there are still many times in life when you must turn your thoughts to the future, and for good reason, like when figuring out a retirement plan or when brainstorming for RSVP’s upcoming Women With Drive special, which will appear in the May issue. As for this issue, my planning brought out the best when it came to pinpointing this month’s StreetSeens, Vox Popular and Signature Memphis subjects. I feel as if each of the people featured are extremely unique and inspiring individuals, so read up and enjoy the present stories because the next issue will be on stands before you know it. Also, you might not even realize it, but spring will have sprung by March 20.



Leah Fitzpatrick


Martha Perine Beard Memphis Regional Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Personal hero: My sister. First concert: Diana Ross. Favorite author: John Grisham. Childhood ambition: Flight attendant.



Favorite album: Any album by Al Green. Guilty pleasure: Monthly visits to the spa. One thing you can’t live without: My family. Where you take out-of-town guests: Rendezvous. First job: Intern at an accounting firm while in college. Your mantra: “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” Stress outlet: Watching a movie or reading People magazine. Your greatest achievement: Obtaining my education—debt free. Words or phrases you overuse: “Here’s what we are going to do.” Movie you could watch over and over again: The Godfather: Part I. One thing most people don’t know about you: I am a huge Twilight fan. Historical figure you most identify with: Andrew Brimmer, the first minority governor of the Federal Reserve System.

Photo by Steve Roberts

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Last book you’ve read: Breaking Dawn.



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St. Jude Red Carpet Bash “British Invasion”

T Kristen and Micah Bell

Amy and Ben Mrva



he St. Jude Red Carpet Bash helped kick off St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s 50th anniversary in “royal” style at Tunica’s Hollywood Casino. Dubbed a “British Invasion,” the affair had female guests showing off elaborate feather fascinators, made popular by Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, and men donning custom English-inspired bowties and white wigs reminiscent of the kind worn by British barristers, judges and parliamentary officials. Attendee Jennifer Jaudon particularly stood out with her sequin “Union Jack” dress. The theme carried over into the décor as well, with British flags hanging high in the banquet room and miniature versions seen on tabletops next to mirrored candelabras and Wayfarer-style sunglasses with “I Love St. Jude” printed on the neon frames. As for music, the Rolling Stones definitely influenced DJ Mark Anderson’s playlist heard throughout the cocktail hour, during which guests perused a plethora of silent auction items. Some brilliant finds were a “Hope” platter of St. Jude ornaments, a case of wine from Buster’s Liquors and Wines, a 10-visit package to Dogs Rule Day Care and School and a handbag from local designer Katie Kalsi. Toys were also available to sponsor for St. Jude patients. After partygoers had settled in and played British dress-up in the onsite photo booth, they lined up to two extensive buffets for dinner. In what could be considered a feast fitting for royalty, the menu consisted of chilled shrimp, oysters on the half shell, crab and citrus salad, lobster salad, grilled lamp chops with mint jelly, tuna croquettes, Dauphinoise potatoes and green beans with bacon lardons. Then there was the dessert bar! It featured chocolate tortes, mocha tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake, Heath bar chocolate mousse and key lime pie, to name a few of the decadent sweets. Once attendees were satiated, the mood turned serious as a touching video of St. Jude patients aired to further highlight the bash’s true purpose. Then, Terri Walker of Walker Benefit Auctions auctioned off big-ticket items and led “Give to Live,” which offered guests the opportunity to bid at different donation levels to fund patient services that corresponded with that level. For instance, a $1,000 donation helped provide parent necessities for 20 patient families, while a $100 donation provided a platelet count test for two patients and a pair of pediatric crutches. Helping make the cause a little more realistic, Walker said, “We’re so lucky to have St. Jude in our hometown. Every year, thousands of children are diagnosed [with cancer] and you have the chance to save even one, and just think, that one child could be president.” With those words, the event soon turned from a “British Invasion” to a roomful of “Give to Live” donors. See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Claudette and Brad Hawkins

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry

Danny and Linda Smith

Robbie and Shibahn Guerre

Rhonda and Mark Rogers

Steve and Whitney Hegedus

Mary Alice Ruleman, Kevin Meagle, Michelle Heck and Molly Chaney

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Kathy and Fran Mrva

Parker Woodard and Katherine Veazey

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Joe Sing Readying Youth for the Professional World

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own the street from LeMoyne-Owen College might stand a lesser-known institution for learning called the Memphis Area Boys & Girls Club Technical Training Center, but the impact this center has on students seeking job training ranks as monumental. The only vocational training facility of its kind in the country associated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the TTC placed 100 percent of its 60 high school graduates last year into full-time jobs or part-time jobs with college, with the same 100 percent placement rate in 2009 and 2010. Executive director Joe Sing, a long-time Boys & Girls Clubs’ employee in various capacities, has been an instrumental part of the TTC from the beginning, helping design its culinary, logistics and automotive care programs and seeing the center’s 24,000 square foot facility built from the ground up. “This job appealed to me because you’re taking young adults and following up with them after graduation, and the center was a brand new concept offering hands-on, job specific training, along with soft skills and computer training, on a regularly scheduled basis,” Sing says. Opened in 2006, the TTC has had more than 1,000 trainees, ages 16-21, come through its doors during non-school hours. Before any of the trainees are allowed entrance though, they must be enrolled as a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis member or be an alumnus, and also pass a background check and drug test. Outside of membership costs for the Boys & Girls Clubs, no TTC fees are required, but Sing stresses that rules and regulations, including appropriate dress and punctuality, are in effect just like they would be in a real job. Trainees, who are paid a stipend, can also expect to spend six hours a week, spread throughout three days, in their respective program and must punch in on a time clock. Sing adds, “One of the most important skills we do is soft skills—if you don’t have the basis of a good employee, it doesn’t matter what kind of training you have.” To test a trainee’s performance, evaluations are done on an ongoing basis, and when the staff determines someone’s ready to enter the workforce, a trainee meets with Tiffanie Grier, the TTC career placement director. Sing says a lot of the TTC’s high placement rate has to do with Grier’s strong relationships with area companies, some of those being Kroger, the Memphis Zoo, FedEx, Back Yard Burgers and the Williams-Sonoma Warehouse. The goal is for trainees to have family-sustaining income by shooting for jobs that pay $10 an hour, at minimum. “It takes a lot of work, but I know we’re producing good employees who have skills companies are looking for,” notes Sing. “For people to go out and be productive is why we’re here.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


Robert Patterson Updating Classical Music

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rom infancy, composer and musician Robert Patterson already had an affinity for music, beginning with Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Age of Gold” ballet suite, which his mother said would silence him. By age 6, Patterson was singing back the nursery rhymes his mom sang and remembers thinking that anyone could write those—a foreshadowing perhaps into his current career. Recalling his youthful mindset, he smiles, “It [composing] is not as easy as I thought, which I realize as I’ve gotten older.” His next musical interests were the piano and cello before settling on the French horn, his instrument in Central High School’s jazz band. Oddly enough, he played all the trombone parts on the French horn due to a lack of trombonists in the band, but on the plus side, Patterson got a taste of composing when he wrote jazz band charts. He later studied the French horn at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, and then midway through senior year realized he wanted to be a professional composer. As life goes, Patterson returned to Memphis post-college and “kicked around town with gigs,” played with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra some and developed software for 10 years. Eventually, he earned a doctorate in composition from the University of Pennsylvania and studied under George Crumb, regarded by Patterson as one of the most important living composers of contemporary classical music. Now well on his way to having people say the same of him, Patterson has developed an original style of classical music, achieved through consciously melding the sounds of Memphis music into compositions like “Way of the River” and by focusing on short pieces that make a point in less notes that all matter—a model influenced by late composer Johannes Brahms. Notable honors, including a 2011 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, a 2004 National Symphony Orchestra Residency Commission, a 1999 University of Michigan Bands Commission and a 1994 International Composition Prize from the City of Tarragona in Spain, have also come along the way, and he’s had several pieces performed in foreign venues, with his favorite being Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, where audiences heard “Blue Mosaics.” Memphians are often treated to his work at concerts by Luna Nova Music, the city’s only chamber music group outside of an academic setting to play 20th century music. He and his wife, Patricia Gray, created Luna Nova in 2002, but Patterson says that even though she’s the executive director, his work doesn’t always get on the program. Standing in the chapel at Grace St. Luke’s, he points to its Tiffany windows saying they inspired him to write “Windows for Children,” a piece that did make the cut for the group’s Belvedere Chamber Music Festival at the church in 2010, but he hasn’t forgotten the lesson learned from the ones that haven’t left the cutting room floor. “You’ve never become, you’re always becoming; if you think you’ve achieved, you’re over the hill and gone,” says a true contemporary composer. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts

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Lin Workman A Character All His Own

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ne week before opening night of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association’s “Drawing Inspiration: From Idea to Reality” exhibit (on view through March 31 at the Banks House Gallery in Hernando), MSCA member Lin Workman looks back on his involvement with the 25-year-old group. A multi-talented artist and self-described funnyman, Workman remembers not feeling like he was qualified to join the MSCA in 1989 and makes no joke about the time he was “tricked” into becoming president. “Greg Cravens [syndicated cartoonist of “The Buckets”] had been president for a while, and then at one meeting he nominated me and had everyone vote before I even realized what happened,” he tells. Workman, whose first paid gig as an artist was airbrushing t-shirts, ended up serving as president for four years, followed by nine years as vice president; he and Cravens have now been friends for 20-plus years. Currently, Workman supports MSCA as its webmaster and media director, singing the praises of members’ successes as editorial illustrators to those contributing to DC and Marvel Comics, as well as helping facilitate the new exhibit that MSCA teamed up with the DeSoto Arts Council for the first time to host. The partnership with Desoto Arts actually came up because of Workman’s wedding, which is when the council’s executive director, Vicky Neyman, and Cravens started talking. He says, “The next thing I knew, we were having a show! It’s been great though because we have 10 members participating, and the point is to show the thought process behind creating a cartoon, illustration or cartoon page.” That process is something Workman has become familiar with in the “Bat Cave”—his home studio’s name since it’s the only spot his wife, a comic fan herself, lets him keep a Batman collection. Like his surroundings, Workman’s projects are equally colorful and include co-creating the Rock 103 logo, creating the web comic/geek travel blog Have Geek Will Travel and the web comic Scared Silly, illustrating sketch cards for The Empire Strikes Back 3-D series and contributing to MSCA anthologies It Came from Beneath the Drawing Board and Overdrawn and Underwritten. Through the years, he’s also designed tombstones, painted commercial murals and designed the bronze plaques on Overton Park’s Korean War Memorial, but he’s very proud of co-creating the Bushi Tales comic books. Inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the three-issue series was rejected by Diamond Comic Distributors twice, but after Bushi Tales sold well in co-creator David Beaty’s home-base of Phoenix, Diamond picked up all three issues. Locally, Comics & Collectibles has sold 100 copies of each issue, and there are talks for 12 issues and several one-shot spinoffs. Due to a heavy workload, the series is on the backburner though, but Workman doesn’t plan on stopping surrounding himself with creatives at MSCA meetings, held on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the U of M Garibaldi’s. Anyone interested can show up, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up in the funny pages. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts

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Memphi Mid-Winter Ball “Memphi’s Gr ammys”

B Shellie McCain and Abe Plough

Jon and Susan Thompson



right lights and the twinkle of stars highlighted this year’s annual Mid-Winter Ball hosted by the Mystic Society of the Memphi, which is affiliated with Carnival Memphis. The ball has been an annual function since 1935, and the society itself is steeped in Memphis history, dating back to 1871. One of the first krewe events leading up to Carnival Week, the ball offered an evening of high pageantry and a bit of mystery at the Memphis Country Club. Outside the venue, a clear night was dotted by the scintillation of stars, but the foyer of the club was much the same, as an announcer on microphone welcomed guests by name as faux paparazzi in trench coats and fedoras brashly snapped photos. Amongst a field of glaring flashes, attendees arrived in their finest black tie dress. Men wore black tuxes, many with tailcoats, and ladies wore sweeping, floor-length gowns in black, silver and other winter shades. Fashions included everything from lace to fur. The celebration then proceeded with a cocktail reception, during which partygoers milled about in the hallways and posed for more formal portraits in a small lounge. Across the hall, the sounds of a live band spilled out from a closed salon where honorees awaited a formal presentation. The country club’s dining room resembled an ice palace of glittering silver from the icicle-like backdrop behind the raised main table to the tabletops themselves, which were decked in white linen with silver sequined overlays. Tall glass centerpieces held globes containing candles aloft over white calla lilies, hydrangeas and orchids. A lavish six-course dinner awaited the crowd of about 300, as did a procession of the six Memphi dukes and duchesses (whose identities had been kept secret for months), including Kay and Neel Gammill, Holly and Paul Craft, Elaine and Trip Spear, Rhonda and Ronald Solberg, Holly and Patrick Crump and Amy and Joseph Dudek. While the dukes and duchesses will serve as this year’s ambassadors to other Carnival organizations, guests must wait a bit longer to know the identities of this year’s Memphi king and queen, who will be revealed in separate events this spring.

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Pam and George Sousoulas

Story by Jonathan Devin Photos by Baxter Buck

Karen and Kirk Johnston

Ellie and Dr. Tim Bakelaar

Marilyn and Phil Seaton

Christi and Mitch Hitch

Ginger and Dabney Collier with Kelly and Christopher Lamberson

Julie Ellis and Debbie Binswanger

EVENT Denise and Bob Pugh

Dan and Chris Patterson

Teresa Hurst and Mike Roberts


Susan Arney and Ted Cashion

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George and Nancy Klepper



Jeff and Floy Cole

Mary and Bo Carr

Katie Shannon and Sarah Norton

Christina and Richard Roberts

Wayne and Mary Ann Lee

John Snowden and John Winford


Walter and Lida Bross

Kay and Jim Liles

Tempe and Michael Thompson

Summer and Cecil Godman

Dave and Amy Turner



Billy Daniel and Didi Montgomery

Metcalf and Madeleine Crump

Joanie and Michael Lightman

Curtis and Rhoda Smith

Kim MacQueen and Donna McManus

Dudley and Sue Deaton


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Launa Brubaker and Christy Yarbro


Al and Jan Lyons

John and Wanda Barzizza with Suzanne and David Brandon RSVP


Cindy and David Gambrell

Linda and Ed Gatlin

Alyse and Rick Grant, Anne and Carroll White and Pat and Charlie Beech




Interview by Kelly Cox | Photos by Steve Roberts tephanie Jones may be from Chicago, but she embraced the South the minute she met her husband, Epps. Recounting the first time she saw him, she says, “I couldn’t believe my eyes. Listen, nobody in Chicago wears summer suits!” That was 23 years and three kids ago. Today, the family resides in a 1940s home in Chickasaw Gardens, where Stephanie also has her “lab.” A decorative painter, she is soon to open a teaching studio and custom workshop in Cooper-Young called Me & Mrs. Jones. Her creativity shows in the living room, with its unusual navy blue walls tempered by crisp white trim, a white mantel and a canvas-colored camelback sofa. The story of how this room came to be reveals both a sweet sentimentality and a re-use/recycle ethic that is in perfect keeping with the times. Interior designer Selena McAdams, owner of Spruce, was an integral part of the process.


In the living room, the Oriental rug came from Stephanie's grandmother, the piano from her parents and the china from her mother-in-law. A portrait of Epps' grandfather and namesake hangs above the mantel. Raspberry red in the rug, china, drapes and accent pillows pulls the room together.



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RSVP: What inspired you to completely redecorate your living room? Jones: Ultimately, it was inspired by the truckload of furniture that came from my mother-in-law in Columbia, Tennessee when she downsized. I have to give credit to my interior designer, Selena McAdams, because when the truck arrived, there were things in it I just could not wrap my brain around. The sofa was pink and green plaid! Things sat a long time in a pile in the middle of the room, and Epps just finally said, “I give up! Call Selena!” She’s cheaper than a marriage counselor. I’m joking, but she was a godsend. The chairs I was going to put at the curb, she was able to see their potential and rework them in neutral colors to make them fit.

Left: The mirrors above the chest of drawers are in the frames that held Epps' mother's wedding portraits.

Below: Bold, complementary colors dominate one of a series of interior still lifes by artist Ellen Calvin of Columbia, Tennessee.

RSVP: The received knowledge used to be that if you paint a room a dark color it’s going to make it look small. How would you encourage the person who wants to go this dark but is afraid to take the plunge? Jones: I think the new wisdom on deep colors is that they make the corners of a room recede, which can actually make a room look bigger. It gives the impression of more size because the shadows are there. Selena convinced me that we needed a brave color to kick it up. This one is a Benjamin Moore color called “Polo Blue,” but we added black to make it even darker. It literally took me two years to get up the nerve to put it on the walls. Now, I love that in the winter it feels cozy, but in the summer, it feels shady and cool. RSVP: I love that this room has so many aspects of the traditional, formal, Southern living room, but it’s so unfussy, you feel like you could actually relax here. The whimsical artwork injects a casual note. Jones: Thank you! We got so many frames from my mother-in-law, and we decided to use some to display our children’s art. Those double mirrors above the Federal chest of drawers are in the frames that held her wedding portraits. The Oriental rug is from my grandmother’s house; the piano came from my parents. We updated the classic chandelier with round bare bulbs. The man in the oil painting above the mantel is my husband’s grandfather, for whom he was named. This Johnson Brothers Dorchester china came from my mother-in-law, too—she laughs that I have it displayed because at one time these were her everyday dishes! But, this china and the rug have a wonderful raspberry red color that we extended to the drapes.

RSVP: The little drawing of the dachshund, is that a portrait of your dachshund? Jones: It’s not actually her, but it’s so her! It’s a linocut by Hugo Guinness. He puts his original art in vintage frames. This one’s a little beaten-up and old and missing some of its gilt, but it’s what I love. It’s an item with character. RSVP: How would you describe your style? Jones: Oh, that’s hard! I love incorporating pieces that have had some life but have a meaningful connection to me in some way, and looking at old things with fresh eyes. I think I would call it “amped-up traditional.”



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Grand Krewe of Ennead Coronation “Route 66”

T Mike and Gail Huey

Ann Newell and Joyce Hufford



he splendor and pageantry, for which Carnival Memphis has always been known, kicked off this season with the Grand Krewe of Ennead Coronation. Ennead is one of the 10 Grand Krewes of Carnival Memphis, and it has become somewhat of a tradition for Ennead to hold the first of the coronation balls. “Ennead has had the first coronation for a long time–more than a dozen years; it’s our 81st year,” said Ed Galfsky, executive director of Carnival Memphis. “They have been a great support group for our children’s charities.” Prior to the presentation of the royal court at the U of M Holiday Inn, a cocktail reception was held. Several buffet tables laden with offerings such as stuffed mushrooms, miniature quiches and sausage and shrimp shish kabobs were set up around the room. A tureen of warm chocolate sat by a pineapple tower covered with fresh fruit to satisfy sweet tooths. And, staying true to the “Route 66” theme, members and guests did get their kicks later in the program by dancing the night away to the music of the band Natchez. As always, royalty from past years were recognized, and last year’s Ennead king and queen, Bud Cowgill and Marta Vinzant, gave a moving speech before the 2012 court was presented. “Dancin’ Dan” Tucker was the flagman and happened to be perfect for the job since he has a reputation of dominating the dance floor. Ellen Patrick, the 2012 Ennead chairman, introduced the dukes and duchesses, and afterward, she revealed this year’s king and queen: King Ennead the 22nd, Richard from the House of Raichelson, and Queen Sahara the 22nd, Julie from the House of Eaves, who then took their places on their thrones. The Carnival Memphis president, John Phillips IV, and his wife, Paige, were among those who attended the coronation, which is only one facet of Carnival Memphis as the 10 Krewes of Carnival Memphis work throughout the year to raise money for different children’s charities. The 2012 charities include the Jubilee Schools, Boy Scouts of America’s Scout Reach program for the Raleigh-Frayser area and School Advocates for Vision in Education.

Dee Stephens and Jim Woods

Donna Mikeal and Walt Henley

Story by Suzanne Thompson Photos by Baxter Buck See all the party photos at Password: RSVP Dr. John Rada and Llana Smith

Debbie Halbrook and Barbara Baker

Dot West and Mickey Ryan

Patti Russell, Dr. Richard Raichelson and Ellen Barry

Jimmy McGarrity and Linda Dalton

EVENT Ellen Patrick and David Brockman

Dr. Rodney Olinger and Susan Hanlon


John Barzizza, Jo Anne Qualls and Cary Beane

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Bob Laurie, Tammie Wingfield and Walter Padgett



“Dancin’” Dan Tucker and Marta Vinzant

Andrew Anderson, Carolyn Mayo and Joe Chamoun

Jerry Brigman and Barbara Patronis

Mike McNeer and Barbara Benstein

Mary Pat Custer with Buddy and Patti Russell




“Wine, Dine and Grind”


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Tom Ball and Wendy Holtz

Rhonda and David Porter



he Memphis Grizzlies traded their game faces for party faces to “Wine, Dine and Grind” at this year’s Staxtacular party. The NBA franchise, along with some 500 music and basketball loving philanthropists, teamed up to set a record for attendance and fundraising at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Guests and players mingled under a disco ball and in halls surrounded by legendary albums while munching on fare provided by Simply Delicious Catering. Staxtinis, Shaft on Draft by Boscos and Coke floats were poured at the bar. Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins, Stax legend David Porter and a slew of fans danced to the DMP Band and the Stax Music Academy students’ incredible performances. At the same time in L.A., lengendary Stax players The Memphis Horns were receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy. To ensure great music keeps coming from Memphis, guests and online bidders competed to win silent auction items, including a pair of white patent leather ‘70s platform disco shoes (hand painted with images of Rufus Thomas by Kyle Taylor), a diamond heart necklace of black and white diamonds donated by Robert Irwin Jewelers and portraits of Otis Redding and other Stax artists painted onsite by Jamond Bullock. During the live auction, one lucky guest won two courtside seats next to the Grizz bench and a suite at the Westin with a winning bid of $4,250. Another high bidder will enjoy a dinner and wine tasting with NBA All-Star Marc Gasol and eight friends at Spinidini (sold at $3,000). Thanks to the presenting sponsor, SunTrust, this soul shakin’ party raised more than $120,000 to benefit music programs and mentor young people in the Stax Music Academy. Hopefully, this kind of success will carry over to the rest of the Grizzlies’ season. Now, that would be Staxtacular!

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Dona and O.J. Mayo

Story by Libby Huff Photos by Don Perry

Cristina Blesa and Marc Gasol

Katie Kellogg and Stephanie Anderson

Kylie Broadbent and Cody Peck

Lionel and Angie Hollins

Mike Conley, Tish Towns and Darrell Arthur

Suzanne Gehringer and Zach Randolph

EVENT STAXTACUALAR Jim Maddox, Mary Louise Carrick, Matthew Heffington and Alyson Bauer

Wade Rhea and Sam Young

Kevin and Beth Clawson

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Ellie, Katharine and Bubba Taylor



Rep. Steve Cohen and Laurie Stark

Erik Henneghan and Amanda Morris with Laskeka and Deano Orr

Corey and Maria Miller

Michael and Tamara White

Natalie Pierini Garber, Rudy Gay, Elizabeth Montgomery and Aislynn RappĂŠ


Carol and Mike Duffy

Kenny and Nicole Williamson

Camille Wright and Lisa Moore

Leah and Chaney Nichols

Eileen Kuo and Nathan Till



Faith Shipp and Jacqueline Hollins

Alicia Dean and Mike Pugliese

Karen and Kirk Johnston

Tiffany Banks and Catrina Bowens

Steve and Chris Martin

Gary and Cequita Gilles

EVENT STAXTACUALAR Meredith Brown and Adam Hargrove

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Janice and Winston Gipson

Linton Kilpatrick, Libby Lucchesi, Adam Exelbierd and Basma and Tony Lucchesi RSVP


Beth Flanagan, Frank and Allyson Dyer and Toni Bolland

Gary and Beth York with Camie and Clay Kegel


Rachelle, Renita, Martha and Reginald Rogers

Ryan and Sarah Jones

Gloria Clark and Ethel Payne



Marino, Jennifer and Carolyn Hardy

Allen Chapman and Robbin Childress

Emily Larson and Cate Miller

STAXTACUALAR E V E N T Sheryl Stockton and Kim Jameson Gardner

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Dan and Rachel Henderson

Meredy Carnahan, Rob Norcross, Juan Sanford and Lucy Park RSVP


Aja Kimrey and Nick Letterly

Alexa Wolfe and Jonathan Rudner

Sean Kelly II, Alicia and Sean Kelly and Josh McMillon


Vox Popular Q&A with Laura Vaughn


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RSVP: How do you stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the six counties that the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross serves?

to “Join the 1,000”—our campaign to recruit 1,000 volunteers during the next two years.

Vaughn: I have a phenomenal team. When I say team, it’s not just the people who are considered Red Cross employees—it’s also the volunteers we work with. Of course, we have Tipton, Fayette, Shelby, Tunica, DeSoto and Crittenden County. We have volunteers in each county whom we check in with constantly and who keep us abreast of things that are going on. We have relationships with the emergency management systems in each county, so if there’s a fire in an area and they need our help, they give us a call no matter what time of night it is and away our volunteers go. The Mid-South area is such a close-knit community anyway, so even though there may be miles between us, you just know what’s happening.

RSVP: How can Memphians learn about the different volunteer opportunities available with the Red Cross?

RSVP: What are some of your most immediate goals?


44 Vaughn: One of our biggest goals right now is building our volunteer capacity in all of our counties. We truly could not do what we do and provide the huge array of services we do at all hours of the night if it wasn’t for our volunteers. We don’t have very many paid staff. It’s our volunteers who make this organization work, so one of the ways we’re trying to increase our volunteer capacity is through more volunteer orientation classes, which we’re trying to do more of at volunteers’ respective locations. For instance, I was in Atoka on Saturday morning at a church talking to 35 people who wanted to be ready when the time comes to have their church serve as a shelter. Actually, another initiative we have right now is having more shelter agreements readily available, so that if we do have a widespread disaster, we have even more places to shelter people. What that involves is not only having an arrangement with a particular church or business, but we have to have shelter teams that we have trained who will know how to manage the shelter. It’s definitely a process and a 24/7 commitment, so part of our goal in the next two years is

Photos by Don Perry

aura Vaughn became the executive director of the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross just three months ago, but she already says, “This job truly has changed my life, and it makes you realize that the world is so much bigger than yourself. There really are so many people out there who need the help and assistance of others, so I’m just blessed that I get to do that for a living.” Asked by RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick what the Red Cross means to its clients, Vaughn responds, “We give them hope, faith and support during a time when they feel like everything is gone, and it doesn’t matter who you are, we’re going to help you.” That being said, March marks American Red Cross Month, so get to know the invaluable services provided by the local chapter through Vaughn’s informative answers featured below.

Vaughn: The best thing for anyone to do is just to give us a call [(901) 672-6374] and ask for Wanda Doyle, who is our volunteer services manager. Wanda can get you in the system because we do have a volunteer application; we’re just very cautious. Volunteers will then go through a volunteer orientation class to learn about what opportunities do exist, so we can partner them with an area that they’re going to enjoy. We even have a volunteer career progression, so if we have individuals who someday would like to go on national or international disaster relief, we can help structure a training path for them to get them where they’re certified to do those things. We currently need volunteers to help us with PR and marketing because we would like to start back our annual newsletter and things like that. We need volunteers that can help us with our disaster relief efforts, like volunteers who help fire victims in the middle of the night or are willing to be on a shelter team. Those are people who aren’t necessarily being called upon every day, but are ready and willing to help when the time comes. We also need volunteers to help us raise money. Obviously, our volunteers who are in the trenches doing work are crucial, but with that being said, we also have to have our financial dollars to provide those services. We, as an organization, don’t receive any government funding, even though we provide very high-level services back to the community and adhere to all the FEMA and TEMA guidelines. The only way we are able to provide shelter, food and comfort kits, as well as teach all the classes to help people “prevent, prepare and respond” to emergencies, which is the second part of our mis-

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sion, is through fund-raising dollars.

RSVP: I know the Red Cross also offers educational training to companies, so how would a company set up a class for its employees?

RSVP: How much money does it take annually to run this chapter? Vaughn: A lot, and honestly, it depends on what disasters have happened. We’re not just raising money for the immediate, but for the future as well. For instance, we spent more than $450,000 last fiscal year just on fire victims, which came to almost 845 families. We made sure those 845 families had shelter, food and clothing, and we partnered with other organizations and referred them out. Say someone lost their glasses or all their medications, we have nurses that literally rotate on call each week just to help these families to call all their doctors and get their prescriptions for them. It’s a lot more than people think, and these people who help are volunteers. About four times the cost of what we spent on fire victims is the amount we need in a year to operate our chapter, so you’re looking at upwards of $2 million a year because we don’t only respond to fires. RSVP: Have you or anyone in your family ever been through a disaster where the Red Cross helped out?


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Vaughn: I have not, but let me tell you what happened this past Saturday because it put what we really do into perspective. I was out shopping and got to talking to a sales rep at a store. She asked what I do, and I told her. Then, she ran back to her station and came back with an American Red Cross business card, which was a business card from one of our volunteers. The man who gave her the card had helped her 46 about eight months ago when her parents’ home burned to the ground. She said he was the first one on the scene to help her parents, and she didn’t know what they would have done or where they would have slept that night since she was gone. It made me realize that that’s what we do: We make sure people aren’t sleeping outside on the sidewalk and that they have a few days to get their feet grounded. When we respond to a fire, we have an entire packet that we give to our fire victims, and it tells them what our mission is and all the agencies that we work with, like where to get their eyeglasses. We also have client services here, and we have a lady who does nothing but works with the clients. So, we do things such as help provide counseling to these families, not to mention the whole Services to the Armed Forces and Families division that we have. Last year alone, we did “Get to Know Us” campaign presentations to more than 4,800 troops, and we provided communications and other support services to more than 1,500 military service members and their families. RSVP: What is the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to in this area? Vaughn: Fires, which are actually the number one disaster in the whole country. We’re obviously a large city and have a very populated county, so with a high level of population like that, you’re going to have an increase in the number of fires. That’s one reason why we’re not just about responding to disasters, but about education as well. We have a safety house trailer that’s parked out back that’s an amazing tool, and we had more than 1,600 children who went through that last year to just learn how to prevent, prepare and respond if there’s a fire.

Vaughn: There is a fee involved for classes, however our volunteer orientation classes are free. Let’s say we have a company that wants their employees to become CPR certified, we do have to pay for a licensed instructor to teach the class, so that’s why there’s a fee involved. Really, a company would just need to call us. Our entire second floor is the Health and Safety division, and Amanda Clark [(901) 672-6381] is over that division and is the one who can work with people in regard to getting their company scheduled to come in here. Right now, we teach classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, but we’re here on Saturdays sometimes. We really just work with whoever needs to come in. RSVP: What do you most want Memphians to know about the MidSouth Chapter of the American Red Cross? Vaughn: I tell people all the time that another one of my initiatives coming in here is making sure people know what we do. It sounds so simple, but I think sometimes we are so busy providing services that we forget to make sure people really know what we do in this community and help them realize what it would look like if we didn’t exist. Where would the classes come from? Where would the fire response come from? You know, a lot of individuals don’t even know that we respond to fires. They think of the American Red Cross with the military and with the classes, but do they really know that the fire department calls us in the middle of the night? This chapter in particular is almost 100 years old—it started in 1917. The logistics, location of the chapter and the fact that we sit on a fault line make us one of the most vital and important chapters in the country, which is why we have to ensure that we are ready when the time comes, more here than anywhere. We’re a pathway for hurricane evacuations and have a huge incidence for fire, so for the Mid-South Chapter to not be prepared just is not an option. Also, we have a Blood Services division, which is located in Arkansas, that provides more than 40 percent of the blood used in Memphis hospitals. RSVP: Since March is Red Cross Month, can you share some of the programming going on in conjunction with that? Vaughn: One of the programs that we’re doing in conjunction with that is kind of a grassroots fund-raising program. We’re asking volunteers, staff, board members and anyone else to help us promote Red Cross Month by helping us raise $1,000. They can call us directly to sign up to be a “hero” for the American Red Cross. This is a national campaign that everybody puts a different twist on in each market. Here in our market, we give them a fund-raising packet, and there are different opportunities they can use to raise their money online—we make it as easy for them as possible. Then, we’ll end the program with a nice reception to recognize our heroes and to simply say “thank you.” I’m our first hero, so staff members are not exempt from this at all [laughs]. I’ve agreed to raise my $1,000 because I need the Red Cross whether I work here or not because you never know at any given time when disaster is going to hit. Keep in mind that 91 cents of every dollar raised at the American Red Cross goes directly back to services, and the rest is used for operating expenses.


Cirque du CMOM


“Night in Hollywood: A Vanity Affair”


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Jay and J.J. Keras

Bethany and Joel Scoggins



ust in time for Oscar season, Cirque du CMOM premiered “Night in Hollywood: A Vanity Affair” at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. A record-breaking 800-plus glittering guests and CMOM celebrities walked a red carpet ringed with paparazzi to enter the starstudded bash. A who’s who of CMOM celebrities included Katherine and John Dobbs, Kirby and Glenn Floyd, Kim and Johnny Pitts and Kathy and Dick Hackett. Inside, there were 30-foot posters of cinema’s most famous faces, a larger-than-life ice sculpture of the Oscar statue, replicas of Rodeo Drive storefronts, DJ Mark Anderson, a bourbon bar, a caricaturist and even a walk on the wild side with a Skid Row area of street musicians and (temporary) tattoo artists. The invitation encouraged creative attire with the suggestion to “Pick A Decade, Pick A Star, Bring Your Vanity, Show Us Who You Are.” Wes and Leigh Butler were pitch-perfect in their inspired homages to the stars of Gone with the Wind. Wes cut a dashing figure as Clark Gable. As Vivien Leigh, Leigh was wrapped in a feather boa and wore...well, scarlet of course. Commendably committed to character, Mr. Butler carried a 1939 SAG contract in his breast pocket. Appropriately, the Butlers were spotted hanging out in “Ciro’s,” a tented area made to resemble the iconic 1940s-era Hollywood hangout. Kaleb Brown, partying with his wife, Angie, and friends, Juli and John Hurdle, flashed forward a few decades with his Hollywood avatar: the unbuttoned, mustachioed and sunglassed look of a 1970s Tinseltown producer. Juli and Angie, who chaired the event’s online auction committee, kept it glamorous with leopard print and rhinestones. Anyone attempting to follow a Hollywood diet would have been sorely tempted by the likes of Cafe Society, Circa, Interim and Gigi’s Cupcakes. More than 30 restaurants provided irresistible, Southern-steeped offerings. Uptown Grocer dished up crawfish étouffée over creamy grits, and roller-skating ingénues purveyed dirty fries from Southern Revival that were deliciously dolloped with gravy, cheese and green onion. Tim Frandsen and Dr. Helen Lee, who relocated to Memphis from Southern California, enjoyed the slider bar, which featured lobster sliders from Felicia Suzanne’s and wild mushroom sliders from The Brass Door, among many other riffs on the popular edible. For their sponsorship, IBERIABANK, International Paper and Dobbs Management were named “Best Picture,” “Best Screenplay” and “Best Actor,” respectively. Cindy Dobbs and Janie Lowery cochaired the event that many are already looking forward to next February, as CMOM’s largest annual fund-raiser changes its theme yearly. See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Pooja and Kushal Shah

Story by Kelly Cox Photos by Nathan Berry

Christy Muller and Stacey Flowers

Cathy and Jeff Harris

Leigh and Wes Butler

Maria Carter and Jeremy McDaniel

Janie Lowery, Cindy Dobbs, Erica Anderson and Alison Barton

Paul and Amanda LeMay


Amy Raines with Travis and Lindy Carr

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Barbara Canerdy, Richard Hackett and Kim Jay

Virginia and Fred Tavoleti

Drs. Brooke and Dan Dishmon



Jana and Trip Tayloe

Stacey Hussey and Donna Van Hoozer

Jatin and Dimple Kumar with Drs. Purvisha and Dharmesh Patel

Katherine and John Dobbs

Courtney Allen, Anne Jones and Stefanie Smith Fisher

EVENT Marla and Patrick Pennington

Maurice and Sonja Butler

June James and Patricia Daugherty

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CIRQUE DU CMOM Drs. Karen and Jimmy Klemis



Billy and Margaret Babb

Stacey Park and Valerie Shimko

Jim and Niki Shaheen

Joe and Renea Linton


Jack and Lindsey Daniels with Michelle Blount and Joe Fracchia

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Lisa and Buddy Cater, Misty and James Stamper and Megan and Brett Grinder

Jane and Cliff Hunter

Tammy Oliver and Chip Baine



Jim and Amy Whittington

Rob Joyner, Sam Jenkins, Rebecca Dow and Van Weinberg

Michele and Jorge Salazar

Sarah and Philip Spinosa

Don Maxwell, Laura Smith and Keri and Philip Wright

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Home is Where the Heart is Gala Benefiting FedExFamilyHouse

W Clay and Casey Tidwell

Anise and Ron Belz



e’ve all heard “If you build it, he will come” by now from Field of Dreams, but if you replace “he” with “they,” the saying could apply to Memphis’ own FedExFamilyHouse. Located across from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the facility envisioned by Memphian Susan Graf has become the closest thing to home for numerous families whose children receive treatment at Le Bonheur. To keep such a facility running for years to come and free for families who stay there, FedExFamilyHouse supporters organized the second Home is Where the Heart is Gala in late January at The Peabody. Though it’s one of the city’s newest fund-raisers, the gala didn’t fail to attract notable attendees like two-time Academy Awardwinning actress Hilary Swank and Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, a former U of M football player. Swank was actually a guest of movie producer Molly Smith, who hosted the party along with her brother, Richard Smith, and his wife, Allison. Prior to dinner in the Grand Ballroom, partygoers savored the opportunity to meet the evening’s special guests during a reception held in the beautifully appointed Continental Ballroom. FedEx executives, including Alan Graf and Fred Smith, were also among the ranks. As the dinner hour drew near, the crowd, which swelled to 420 people, shifted to the Grand Ballroom for more imbibing, feasting, bidding and heartfelt moments. The dinner setup was such that guests could mingle throughout the room as they made their way to various food tables that featured options from beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce on rolls to a salad station where you could add your own lentils, marinated cucumbers and chickpeas. Bethany and Kevin Paige entertained from the stage, where they performed old favorites like “Walking in Memphis.” By 9 p.m., guests were bidding generously on items such as the “Super Bowl 2012 Experience” (sold at $14,000), an autographed football, limo ride and dinner at Jack Binion’s Steakhouse with DeAngelo Williams (sold by Williams to two people for $8,500 each) and a “Movie Set Spectacular” package inclusive of signed memorabilia from Something Borrowed and a set visit to the soon-to-be filmed Beautiful Creatures (auctioned off by Swank and Molly Smith to two people at $18,000 a piece). The agenda concluded with a “Light Up the House” auction. During this portion, guests watched a video showing how much the FedExFamilyHouse meant to Laurie and Josh Gray when their daughter, Lizzie, was at Le Bonheur. Laurie urged, “We hope you help us keep the lights on for families who may not live close by to Le Bonheur.” Pretty soon, the room was aglow with illuminated, red heart necklaces proudly worn by all the women and men who gave the FedExFamilyHouse donations, which totaled nearly $300,000 by night’s end.

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Tony and Ginger Graves

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry

DeAngelo Williams

Kim and Lee Gibson

Rex and Johnnie Amonette

Rick Patterson and Carolyn Martin

Trent Luckinbill, Molly Smith, Hilary Swank and Allison and Richard Smith

Allie Olson and Sara Burnett


Alan Graf, Carol LaRocca, Madonna Bond and Al LaRocca

Kristian Conway, Mike Lauderdale and Danny Washburn

Josh, Lizzie and Laurie Gray

Valerie Morris and Jennifer Himes



Kathryn and Jim Gilliland

Parul Bajaj, Jessica Little and Jeff Smith

Bridget and Chris Middleton

Howard and Beverly Robertson

Anthony and Kimberly House with Kevin and Kim Humphries

Erin Wichtoski and Rebecca Yeung

Yvonne and Petrick Adams

Andy and Ashley Pratt

Chuck and Mercedes Treadway


EVENT Tatyana and Shvet Rawla

Molly Fitzpatrick and Tracy Long

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Pam Less, Pam Ward and Karri Morgan



Steve, Mary, Michele and Ryan Ehrhart

Denise McGuire and Dana Dowdy

Dr. Alexander and Leslie Feliz

Penny Register Shaw with Tom and Lauri Holland

Sarah and Tom Lopez

Laura Cofield and Jane Amaba



Barbara and Tim Pratt

Steve and Jeanne Mosakowski

Allison and Arthur Smith

Linda Taylor and Renee Horne

Tracy Moore and Sarah Little



Lauren Hill and Lauren Plyler

Randy and Amy Langston

Autumn Leaf Goerke and Glenn Goerke

Donna Glenn and Billy Bond

Sandi and Joel Tracy

John and Gina Jackson


Onsite I Smiles for Life Gala The crowd was all smiles at the Memphis Dental Society’s Smiles for Life Gala, a benefit for the Shelby County Drug Court Foundation that was held at the Memphis Country Club. A lavish main buffet was filled with heavy hors d’oeuvres including skewered fresh mozzarella balls and halved cherry tomatoes, miniature crab cakes and deviled eggs topped with caviar. Guests also noshed on treats from tables scattered throughout the room, each filled with different fare such as beef tenderloin, and a macaroni and cheese bar with toppings like lump crab meat and lobster. A large mound of cocktail shrimp was centered in the bar area, where guests enjoyed the club’s signature lacquered bacon. The Memphis Icebreakers, a six-piece band decked out in red, provided lively entertainment. Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Angela and Cannon Parkerson with Ron and Dr. Pat Speck

Matthew John and Jeanette Guido with Belynda and Judge Tim Dwyer

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Ave Maria Wine Tasting and Art Show



Mary Pera, David Dahler, Wanda Duke and Marilyn Dilworth

Eileen Ritt, Frank Gattuso Jr., Sarah Cronin and Lisa Yarbro

The third annual Ave Maria Wine Tasting and Art Show, held at the Ave Maria Home, featured artwork provided by a variety of local artists, some of whom included Lisa Balton, Rena Chiozza, Linda Lucchesi and Mary Pera. Southwestern Beverage Distributing provided the wine, and there were plenty of hors d’oeuvres along with homemade desserts. Frank Gattuso Jr., who has worked as executive director at the Ave Maria Home for 17 years, says they hold the event on the premises for a good reason. “People get to come to Ave Maria to see what we are all about and, at the same time, have a little fun,” Gattuso explained. Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Icognito Art Gala and Silent Auction A group of more than 80 Mid-South artists went “incognito,” wearing masks and other festive attire, at the Icognito Art Gala and Silent Auction benefiting the Memphis Botanic Garden (also the event venue). Almost all the art was done on 10-inch by 10inch canvases provided to the artists, and all the works were unsigned. The idea was to encourage people to purchase art because they love it, not just because they love a certain artist. During the silent auction bidding, radio personality Tom Prestigiacomo, accompanied by pianist Rene Koopman, delighted the crowd by crooning tunes. Ann and Sam Beach with Phyllis Boger

Anne Enochs, Betsy Bird and Bonnie Orange

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

American Cancer Society VIP Dinner The American Cancer Society held an elegant VIP Dinner at Restaurant Iris in advance of its annual Zodiac Ball, to be held on March 24. Sponsors, ACS staff/advisory board members and Dr. Sandeep Samant, who will be this year’s honoree at the ball, attended the affair. LifeLinc Anesthesia sponsored the event that had Chef Kelly English delighting partygoers’ palates with culinary creations including a duck confit grilled cheese sandwich served with a Creole mustard sauce or an oyster salad for starter dishes, followed by choices such as trout almandine with whipped cauliflower, shrimp and grits or boneless spare ribs. A trio of fresh sorbets or Chef Kelly’s “Granny’s Bread Pudding” were offered for dessert. Dr. Sandeep and Kavita Samant

Monica Sonnier and Tom Bucciarelli

Miriam Drenning and Wes Clark Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson


Onsite II Agape Heartlight Gala Agape Child & Family Services hosted its annual Hearlight Gala, themed “Extra-Ordinary,” at the Hickory Ridge Mall, chosen as a host site since Hickory Hill is one of three communities (others are Whitehaven and Frayser/Raleigh) that Agape serves via its Powerlines Community Network. The event featured Ron Hall, co-author of the bestseller Same Kind of Different as Me, a novel that tells about Hall’s life-changing journey with a homeless man, Denver Moore, and the “ExtraOrdinary” relationship that changed them both. Loretta McNary and Josh Ross emceed Heartlight, which attracted nearly 1,000 attendees who contributed more than $330,000 to Agape. Andy Gaines, Mayor Mark Luttrell and David Jordan

Andy and Katina Gaines, Marka Cross Bennett and Marian Bacon

Story and Photos Submitted

Taste for a Cure

Cheryl Pigues, Lil Rounds, Carolyn Taylor, Darcy Thomas and Laquita Jones

Story and Photo Submitted

Bookalicious Luncheon More than 200 women, the majority of them mothers, attended Shelby County Books from Birth’s Bookalicious Luncheon to support an important cause: increasing kindergarten readiness by providing books to children. Cochaired by Weetie Whittemore and Mary Trotz, the event took place at the Racquet Club of Memphis and included a fashion show by The Pink Door. Mayor A C Wharton, who helped launch Books from Birth locally, spoke about the program, which provides a new book each month (from birth through age 5) to every child in the program at no charge. The luncheon raised more than $20,000 for Books on Birth to continue its service to 32,000-plus children in the program. Nora Capwell, Mary Trotz, Ramona Springfield, Weetie Whittemore and Mayor A C Wharton

Story and Photo Submitted

Celebrity Waiters Night Local celebrities donned their aprons at Buffalo Wild Wings in Cordova to kick off the 21st annual Ronald McDonald House® Radiothon. Called Celebrity Waiters Night, the occasion drew a crowd ready to be served by Memphis rapper “Lil P-Nut”; Cleveland Browns running back, Super Bowl champion and Horne Lake High School graduate Brandon Jackson; Fox 13’s Tom Dees, Valerie Calhoun, Lauren Johnson, Greg Coy, Mearl Purvis, Ed Echols and Darcy Thomas; WREG’s Markova Reed and Austen Onek; ABC 24’s Cameron Harper and Mark Walden; Action News 5’s Joe Birch; V101’s Stormy Taylor and Angela Jackson; WREC 600’s Tonya Powers; and Mrs. Tennessee International 2011 Mary-Marsha Riley. Bryan Senter earned first place in the wing-eating contest, followed by Phillip Bailey and Eric Stevens. Benjamin “Lil P-Nut” Flores and Mary-Marsha Riley

Darcy Thomas and Stormy Taylor

Story and Photos Submitted


ued efforts of breast cancer research and treatment. This community-organized affair featured former “American Idol” contestant Lil Rounds, among other performers, and another Memphis favorite: barbecue by Corky’s BBQ. Fox 13 anchor Darcy Thomas served as the mistress of ceremonies for the event that raised funds to assist in awareness and research of breast cancer to organizations that work year-round to help combat the disease.

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Taste for a Cure 2011 offered an evening of cocktails and networking at Jack Robinson Gallery for those supporting the contin-


Onsite III Italian Winterfest

Literacy is Key: A Book & Author Affair

The Racquet Club of Memphis provided the backdrop for Italian Winterfest, with nearly 900 guests filling the indoor courts. Held to benefit the Ave Maria Home and the Catholic Education Scholarship Fund, the party was such a resounding success last year, organizers Tony Barrasso, Angelo Lucchesi and Sam Bomarito came back with an even bigger event this year. Local Italian cuisine offerings were in abundance for the hungry crowd, who enjoyed favorites from Coletta’s, Frank Grisanti’s, The Italian Rebel, Pete and Sam’s, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Garibaldi’s Pizza. Getting everyone into a Mediterranean mood, DJ Mike Spano spun tunes and Barrasso played his accordion, while a live auction with Joe Birch of WMC-TV 5 brought out many generous bids. Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Memphis Dr. Mary McDonald, and Ave Maria Home director Frank Gattuso, were both on hand, expressing their sincere appreciation for the community support shown.

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Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Roy Haithcock


62 Tony and Bonnie Barrasso, Angelo Lucchessi and Dr. Mary McDonald

Charlie and Kye Bargiachi

Reading may be a skill taken for granted by many, but not for those who seek the services of Literacy Mid-South, a nonprofit helping Shelby County adults and children achieve literacy through workshops, classes and oneon-one tutors. In essence, Literacy Mid-South helps change people’s lives both personally and professionally, as evidenced when one of the nonprofit’s clients, Ms. Beverly, spoke at the Literacy is Key: A Book & Author Affair. Hosted in conjunction with the Memphis Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, which has a philanthropic focus of literacy, the event unfolded at the U of M Holiday Inn with guest authors Lisa Patton, Ace Atkins and Kim Edwards signing books and Ursula Madden of WMC-TV 5 emceeing. Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Kim Edwards, Ace Atkins and Lisa Patton

Hillery Efkeman, Kevin Dean and Sarah DiNicolantonio

Gold Tag Gold HeART Kick-Off

Chocolate Fantasy

In lieu of the Le Bonheur Club’s monthly membership meeting, the group gathered at the Harrington-Brown Gallery to kick off the annual Gold Tag Drive with a Gold Tag Gold HeART Party. The occasion brought out members and guests for a night of socializing, door prizes and bidding on striking artwork by Danny Broadway, Rose Harrington-Brown, Julie Lamb, Connie Pride, Lauren Wildrick and N.J. Woods. Keeping with the theme, a crystal heart was offered in the silent auction, and a large cake decorated with a heart helped satisfy appetites, as well as remind guests to pick up their Gold Tag packets to get started on raising funds for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Twenty-seven years later, Memphians aren’t tired of chocolate judging by the turnout at the ever-popular Chocolate Fantasy at Oak Court Mall. A huge undertaking by the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee, the fund-raiser ranks as a chocolate lover’s paradise, all made possible by numerous vendors who donate food items boasting every kind of chocolate concoction. For instance, Ciao Bella’s executive chef, Jonathan Steenerson, opted to make 1,500 tiramisu martinis that had shots of coffee in the stems and edible purple orchids on top, while Wade & Company offered chocolate-covered kettle chips. Other participants included The Pie Folks, Brown Baguette Bakery and Café and Makeda’s Homemade Cookies, to name a few.

Lauren and Scott Daughtry

Sandy Morgan and Bonnie Hollabaugh

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Danny Broadway with Greg and Carol Weidenhoffer

Bonnie Mathews, Courtney Magbee and Joseph Barringer

Jonathan Steenerson

Michael and Camille Massey

Pegasus Mardi Gras Ball

Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-Off

Association for Women Attorneys Banquet

The Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis brought the carnival spirit to Minglewood Hall with its ninth annual Mardi Gras Ball. This year, the ball’s theme was “Guys and Dolls–Hollywood’s Golden Age.” There were guys dressed as dolls, dolls dressed as guys and guests just dressed to the nines, letting their inner celebrities shine. A fantastic floor show featured song, dance, 10-foot feathered headdresses and, of course, plenty of Mardi Gras beads flying through the air. WMC-TV 5’s Kym Clark emceed the evening with special guest Kirby Kolby. Pegasus, whose motto is “Unity and Diversity for Charity,” chose to donate event proceeds to Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation through awareness and affordable spay/neuter services.

More than 500 people gathered at the Mud Island River Park for the 2012 Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-Off. Despite a cold and dreary day, enthusiastic attendees came together to take the plunge in support of Special Olympics Greater Memphis. “We had a great turnout,” the director of Special Olympics Greater Memphis, Lisa Taylor, exclaimed. The day began bright and early with 54 teams competing in the cook-off, and as polar bear and princess clad plungers ventured from table to table tasting chili, a pizza-eating contest took place on stage. Following the competitions and tastings, plungers lined the cobblestone path going to the Mississippi River. Leading the pack of plungers was FOX 13’s Tom Dees, who remarked, “Being the lead plunger is both an honor and a toilet item.” The Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-Off raised around $50,000 for Special Olympics Greater Memphis.

In its 32nd year, The Association of Women Attorneys Banquet and Silent Auction attracted 170 guests to the Racquet Club of Memphis to honor Amy Weirich. Weirich, who is the first female to become Shelby County District Attorney General, received the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award for her professional accomplishment and was congratulated by Mayor A C Wharton, who made a surprise appearance at the banquet. Leah Hillis and Lisa Gill co-chaired the event, where it was also announced that the AWA scholarship fund had increased to $7,500—up $500 more than last year. Scholarship recipients included Rebecca Bobo, Laura Smittick-James, Jessica Sullivan and Melissa Tillilie.

Story and Photos by Maggie Giffin

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

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Onsite IV



King and Queen Pegasus VIII, Paulette Harness and Mike Divoky

Donna Golladay, Kimberly Golladay, Anna Wheeler and Theresa Stewart

Lisa Gill, Jennifer Himes and Lucie Brackin

Colin and Jamie Bailey

Jeremy Slater, Chuck Miller and Chris Miller

Linda and Judge James F. Russell, Amy Weirich and Bill Gibbons

Amanda Hayes and Lynne Shultz

Tom Dees and Anwar Gartrell

Nancy Taylor and John Kingsley Jr.

Rachel Militana, Jennifer Vallor and Blake Morrison


After Hours A photo collage of the latest business happenings

Carol Peretz Trunk Show at Kittie Kyle

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Rita Lara and Carol Peretz at Kittie Kyle

Champagne & Cake Event at Chickasaw Oaks Village

Kaki Valerius Smith and Suzanne Lax at Kittie Kyle

Shibahn Guerre and Molly Crosby at More Therapy

Christmas Open House at South House Fine Jewelry



Pat Petrie with Mickie and Steve Nabers at South House Fine Jewelry

Marge Snipes and Amy Hyneman at South House Fine Jewelry

Jean Johnston, Myrna Halpern and Courtenay McAlister at Kittie Kyle

Billy and Margaret Babb with Anne Winegardner and Pat Tanner at South House Fine Jewelry

Tracey Maulden and Lisa Lewis at South House Fine Jewelry


By Dennis Phillippi

of people’s phony outrage at a mom who sprayed her kid at a car wash, mocking this country’s obsession with TV talent contests or ruminating on my week-old hangover from my first trip back to New Orleans after Katrina, it’s always been in the hope that someone out there will get a chuckle at the dentist’s office. In fact, I’d like to take a moment here to thank the world’s waiting rooms. For one thing, there’s a pretty good chance that’s where you’re reading this. One of the places, along with the grocery store, you can usually count on finding a copy of RSVP is in a waiting room. The difference is that the one in the grocery store isn’t going to be three or four years old. Also, I have gotten a ton of column ideas from things I’ve read in other magazines in waiting rooms. Magazines of a

In fact, I’d like to take a moment here to thank the world’s waiting rooms. certain stripe fill space with surveys, and surveys are always a good jumping off place for making fun of things. There’s always some scientific crank asking people their opinion on this or that, and people’s opinions on this or that are usually dumb enough to squeeze a thousand words out of. If you’ve read this column in the past, you know that I have also made quite a bit of hay out of telling you and everyone else how to raise your children. As my wife and I haven’t got children, we think we are particularly suited to the task. I am always glad to remind parents that their precious snowflake should probably get in a fight, fall off a bike or climb a tree at least once. I’m happy to point out that you are raising a generation of weenies. Through the years, I’ve also often used this space to address situations where overreaction mania and children have intersected, such as when the hero mom hosed her kid at the carwash, or when this school or that horribly knee-jerks because a

kid has the audacity to have an opinion other than the one espoused by the institution, which, by the way, is the job of the school. Teaching children that they need to develop opinions other than the ones espoused by others is the school’s job. Failing that, we will raise a generation of not just weenies, but weenie sheep. Many of you may have noticed that as a longtime sports fan and reporter, I have also used this space to try to influence Memphis’ opinions on certain aspects of athletics. That’s a fancy way of putting that I have crammed my sports opinions down your throats and taken advantage of this platform to do some personal ax grinding against individuals in sports with whom I have a beef. Bob Huggins, John Calipari, Michael Vick and a long parade of others have been excoriated here, even though they are all completely unaware of it’s having happened. None of those dudes read society magazines. Not that I, armed with my GED, and my kid-free household, and my general numbskulledness, ever believe that I have any business telling anyone how to live their lives. I’ve always hoped that readers realized that the very act of my doing so was an effort to point out that you should never, ever follow the direction of some writer in a magazine, anyone on television or the radio for that matter. Our agenda is not to make your life better. Our agenda is to produce our work in a timely manner so our editor, and I’ve had lots of those through the years, will stop e-mailing about long-elapsed deadlines. We, in the media, love you, but we’re just trying not to get fired like everyone else. I hope to write this column for another 10 years, and in that time, I vow, here and now, to do even less research than I have in the first decade. Because I care. And I have deadline.

Dennis Phillippi, oh how we adore our favorite humor columnist after 10 years! It has been one for the records working with you and getting to know your idiosyncrasies, like pushing deadlines to the final second and swerving at us with your red hot rod of a car when you spot us out in Cooper-Young. Don’t worry, you’re still keeping us laughing, and for that, we thank you.



t recently came to my attention that I have been writing this column for more than 10 years. Believe me, I am as startled as you are. While I love getting the occasional compliment about it at the grocery store, let’s not kid ourselves. It doesn’t really make sense. Why on earth would this magazine hire, and then continue to employ, a snarky humorist in the back of a shiny glossy periodical filled with pictures of pretty people at fancy galas? Honestly, I have no idea. No one even seems to remember how it started. Through the years, I had written much the same kind of thing for other magazines, but they were more general interest kind of publications where having a satire column had a hint of logic at least. I’ve talked to the publisher and the editor at the time I was hired, and none of us have any clear idea of how this came about. It’s like time skipped a couple of beats and suddenly I’d been writing this for a couple of years and no one seemed mad about it, so they kept letting me do it. In the time that I have written much more than a hundred of these columns, I have received almost no angry mail. In fact, I once wrote a column, “A Correspondent’s Correspondence Despondence,” about the fact that no one ever wrote me at all. Even in this age of social networking, instant messaging and the like, I still almost never get any communication. What I do get, as mentioned before, are people in the grocery store who say nice things. That, or the much more disconcerting comment, “I read your column in RSVP.” I get that a lot. Naturally, I’m happy that people are reading the magazine and this column in particular, but “I read your column in RSVP” gives no indication whether or not you liked the column. The fact that you say you read it doesn’t tell me if it made you laugh. That’s always been the attempt here. It’s always been about trying to make you laugh. Whether it’s been about making fun

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D. Canale Fruit and Produce Booth

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.Canale & Company exhibits their goods at the Mid-South Fair in 1930. The Mid-South Fair was originally created as a place for area farmers, tradespersons and businesses to showcase their finest livestock and products. While it has grown in its attractions and audience, the Mid-South Fair remains heavily rooted in its agricultural beginnings through livestock, creative arts, talent and other related contests and exhibitions. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MID-SOUTH FAIR If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Leah Fitzpatrick at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to All photos will be returned promptly.

RSVP Magazine March 2012  

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...

RSVP Magazine March 2012  

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...