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November 2012

Art on Tap Zoo Rendezvous Live at the Garden Chefs’ Celebrity Gala MIFA “Feed the Soul” Party “Harvest Dinner on the Greenway” Q&A with Tom Bowen


CONTENTS

Contents November 201 2

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Sally Jones Heinz has RSVP over to the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association.

Zoo Rendezvous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Party animals took over the Memphis Zoo while the real animals were asleep.

12 ZOO RENDEZVOUS Kay and Phil Coop

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22, 56, 57 & 64 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention. StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24, 26 & 28 These women are hoping to change the way Memphians think about people experiencing food insecurity. This cause-based clothing company owner found his niche for giving back. He’s bringing African culture to life on stage. StreetSeens highlight Sarah Ranson and Jaime Winton, Joe Williams and John L. Sullivan.

50 CHEFS’ CELEBRITY GALA Lee and Brooke Moseley

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Art on Tap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 The Dixon Gallery and Gardens celebrated its 17th year of hosting Young at Art’s beer tasting benefit

Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Q&A with the University of Memphis athletic director, Tom Bowen.

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“Harvest Dinner on the Greenway” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Guests headed down by the river, the Wolf River that is, to show support for the Wolf River Conservancy.

30 ART ON TAP Katherine Denise Reed and SK Wright

RSVP Room View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 This master bath in an East Memphis home gets a sophisticated makeover.

54 LIVE AT THE GARDEN Brad and Sherri Fry

Chefs’ Celebrity Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 The Memphis Child Advocacy Center raised funds for its clients by getting some local celebrities to act as servers for an elegant dinner at the U of M Holiday Inn.

Live at the Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Bonnie Raitt brought down the house after a storm passed through the Memphis Botanic Garden’s outdoor concert venue.

MIFA “Feed the Soul” Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 MIFA supporters rocked The Warehouse yet again for one of the nonprofit’s fabulous fall fund-raisers.

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RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 At Least I Can Cook Dennis Phillippi professes his lack of Man Knowledge this month.

“HARVEST DINNER ON THE GREENWAY” Tom and K.J. Shelton

58 MIFA “FEED THE SOUL” PARTY Jonathan Steenerson and Meredith Brown

Cover Photo Rob Vaughan and Farrar Schaeffer at MIFA “Feed the Soul” Party Photo by Roy Haithcock


R SV P S TA F F Volume XVIII

Number II

November 2012 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

Leah Fitzpatrick CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Ruth Cassin Kelly Cox Jeannie Mandelker Dennis Phillippi Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR

Patrick Aker s

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.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Baxter Buck Roy Haithcock Don Perry Steve Roberts ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Chris Pugh Kristen Miller ACCOUNTING

Ruth Cassin

KRISTEN MILLER,

EDITORIAL INTERN

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

R achel Warren

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6 RSVP Memphis is published monthly by Haithcock Communications, Inc. First class subscriptions are available for $55.00 per year. Send name and address with a check to: Haithcock Communications, Inc. 2282 Central Avenue Memphis, TN 38104

Having worked in print advertising for nearly eight years, Kristen Miller felt it was a natural fit to join the RSVP team as an account executive. Kristen, who lives in Arlington with her husband and four children, loves to cook, fish, watch college and Arlington Tigers football, spend time with her family and advertising, of course.

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

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

Copyright 2012 Haithcock Communications, Inc.

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

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


From the Editor

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ave you ever done something that people are shocked to find out, for whatever reason, good or bad? Well, just last month, I finally decided to go zip-lining since my husband and I had already booked a whitewater rafting excursion in East Tennessee from a company which happened to offer zip-lining canopy tours (much too convenient). Little did I realize I’d get reactions of downright disbelief—the ones of the “You did that?” variety—after reporting my experience of soaring above the treetops to my friends and family back home. Slightly disappointed that my sense of adventure had been underestimated, I admit I kind of reveled in the joy of being able to surprise people. Who doesn’t? Now, I’m about to share something else that proves you can’t judge a book by its cover: I have modeled a red boa in an ad campaign. Shocker, I know, but those well acquainted with me are aware that bright accessories aren’t necessarily my friend, and Gisele Bündchen I am not. However, the campaign is not for any boutique or accessories company, but, rather, it’s for the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross, which is kicking off the 1Reason Campaign to help draw attention to all the reasons why you should support the organization’s Red Boa Ball coming up on November 17. After interviewing the local chapter’s executive director, Laura Vaughn, earlier this year for the Vox Popular section, I got better acquainted with the organization and its 24/7 efforts to aid individuals in need, from those who have endured natural disasters to others who are going through the stresses of being a part of military family. Needless to say, I have the utmost respect for the Red Cross and was more than happy to have my picture made with a red boa to bring awareness to the organization. Don’t worry, other Memphians joined in the 1Reason Campaign, and all of our pictures have been put into a collage that you can check out on pages 60-61. This shouldn’t be any surprise at all, but the RSVP staff has put together a stellar fall issue: one that happens to be filled with coverage of no less than 22 charity parties, features of people giving back to their community in creative ways and several great gift ideas for your loved ones this upcoming holiday season. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to enjoy the surprises that may come your way this month.

Leah Fitzpatrick editor@rsvpmagazine.com


Executive Director of the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA)

Favorite author: F. Scott Fitzgerald. Favorite album: Anything by Lyle Lovett. Ideal vacation spot: Apalachicola, Florida. One thing you can’t live without: Coffee. Childhood ambition: To be a professional tennis player. Personal hero: My parents, Dorothy and Jameson Jones. Hobby: Running with my Star Runners marathon training group. First concert: Seals and Crofts at the Memphis Shell in 1975. Your greatest achievement: Being named executive director at MIFA. Last book you’ve read: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. Movie you could watch over and over again: To Kill a Mockingbird. First job: In the credit department at the old Julius Lewis store on Union Avenue. Guilty pleasure: Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich from Trolley Stop Market. Where you take out-of-town guests: The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. One thing most people don’t know about you: My husband and I have a standard poodle named Nina. Stress outlet: Delivering Meals on Wheels for MIFA. Really, volunteering is a great way to relieve stress. Try it!

Photo by Steve Roberts

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Sally Jones Heinz


EVENT

Zoo Rendezvous

ZOO RENDEZVOUS

“Oh the Wonderful Things You’ll See. And Eat. And Do.”

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Drs. Dharmesh and Purvisha Patel

Jennifer and Tom Hammond

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hile most of the Memphis Zoo’s inhabitants turned in the night of Zoo Rendezvous, there were a couple of camels who stole the show by greeting 3,325 partygoers to the zoo’s largest annual fund-raiser. Crockett the Rocket and Mickey, both male dromedary camels with only one hump on their backs, commanded attention as they knelt down for adventurous patrons to climb aboard for a ride. As their handlers pointed out, Crockett and Mickey even dressed up for the event, donning tassels on their harnesses and Persian-style rugs on their backs…a perfect outfit for Zoo Rendezvous, right? Party animals of the human variety next turned their focus toward a belly dancer, fire thrower and flamingos—pink plastic ones that is—that served as swizzle sticks for martinis served up by Athens Distributing Company at the entrance. Across the way, Budweiser of Memphis poured up refreshing suds, and there were plenty more libations to be sipped at stations throughout the zoo. One of the more intriguing adult beverage displays could be found at Kooky Canuck, which supplied some ice luges for guests to enjoy chilled shots. Famous for its seven-and-a-half-pound Kookamonga burger, the restaurant also brought its signature dish for delighted fans and even had a deejay spinning popular dance hits. Kooky Canuck co-owner Lana Danko said of the restaurant’s continued participation, “It’s crazy—we started out with just one table at Zoo Rendezvous our first year, and now we have a whole corner.” Total, some 90 restaurants and bars were on board for what has turned out to be one of the city’s most beloved food and drinkheavy fund-raisers. No one could complain this night that he or she didn’t like something, as there were tastes for everyone, from the popular Bang Bang Shrimp by Bonefish Grill to the unusual sweet potato fry sundaes courtesy of Lancer Catering, which went the extra mile by decorating its table in a ’50s diner style theme. Cakes by Mom and Me was a newcomer on the scene and impressed with its decadent selection of mini strawberry, mint julep and butter pecan cupcakes, to name a few. An equally special dessert display was that by the U of M Holiday Inn’s Ed Nowakowski, who served up chocolate covered strawberries next to a mermaid he’d created out of chocolate. A large swan made of salt and a towering vase carved completely out of ice stood out as well on the Holiday Inn table. As attendees wandered past the Primate Pavilion to the China Exhibit and every other wildlife exhibit, they also soaked in sounds emanating from five stages. DJ Mark Anderson, DJ Bobby Smith, Gary Escoe & the Atomic Dance Machine, Kathryn Stallins and Party Planet were not only responsible for the sounds, but for getting patrons to forgo their inhibitions and get on the dance floor. Too bad the chimps couldn’t swing in to show off their moves, however they’d probably be pleased to know that guests raised $370,000 to keep the general zoo operations rockin’ on for another year.

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

Kirk and Anne Caraway

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry and Roy Haithcock

Shawn and Lana Danko

Jamie White and Katie Nelson

Amy and Jay Thakkar

Jennie and Robert Skinner

Doug and Keri Gage with Lucy and Jimmy Stovall

Walker and Rebekah Sudduth


EVENT ZOO RENDEZVOUS

Ginny and Eric Alter

Dimple and Jay Kumar

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Robert and Dana Longfield

Ed and Debbie Farler

Robert and Kristi Dean

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Holly and Brian Coleman

Malou and Chris Culver

Kelcy and Kailey Bir

Frank and Mindy Roberts

Amy and Kevin Johnston

Angela Osbahr and Angie Huffman


EVENT ZOO RENDEZVOUS

Kate Pera, Buddy Gaynor, Sandy Robertson and Jimmy Zasoski

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Mike and Erin Tyler with Stephanie and Tony Bennett

Gretchen and Kojo McLennon

Chris and Joanna Thomas

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Debbi and Michael Wood

Nick and Kris Nicholas with Mary and Sam Cornprost

Nick Vergos and Sean McCarty

Kathy and Andrew Jones

Jennifer Begrin, Jennifer Powell and Lindsay Howell`


EVENT ZOO RENDEZVOUS

Chris and Shea Shelton with Erin and Dennis O’Connor

Pam Haithcock and Bob Nelson

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Dorothy and Jevon Sisnett

Christie Griffin and Sean McCausland

Hunter Wright and Sarah Simmers

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Mary and Myron Lowery

Lisa Fox, Nicole Fox, Valerie Smith and Jennifer Jaudon

Drs. Brooke and Dan Dishmon

Mickell and Chonisa Lowery

Kathy Sapp, Catherine Harris, Ruthie Layman and Jana Lamanna


EVENT ZOO RENDEZVOUS

Bubba Tyler, Craig Knox and Brian Robinson

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Jim Garrett, Jodie Gilmore, Maria Garrett and Patrick Gilmore

Arletha and Ronald Thompson

Jenny Vergos and Ellen Baker

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David and Irene Montanez

Anita Tyler, Jonny Ballinger and Jennifer Knox

Debi McCaffrey and Dr. Mike Pulido

Heath Toliver and Heather Dunlap

Danny and Debbie Captino with Desmond Hunt


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Bet Against Breast Cancer

South Main Fall Into Fashion

Japanese Festival Kick-Off

Stomp in the Swamp

From pink glitter fedoras to pink feather boas, the Memphis Zoo was awash in the rosy color the night of September 15. For the third year, Wings Cancer Foundation and Panera Bread joined forces to fight against breast cancer by throwing a party. Baptized Bet Against Breast Cancer, the event covered all its bases with the following activities: dancing to tunes provided by Party Planet; bidding for live and silent auction items; chancing a good, or average, bottle with a wine pull—values ranged between $10 and nearly $300; and betting, with as much funny money as partygoers could lose. Party planners completed the presentation not only with the perfect setting outdoors at the zoo during nighttime, but also with appearances from local celebrities, such as radio and television personalities, sports coaches, players and mascots, and, of course, favorite local doctors and a sea of survivors.

The fall equinox has come and gone. Temperatures have begun to offer relief from what felt like a record-setting summer. And, wardrobe whites have been retired until a visit from the Easter Bunny. For retail stores and clotheshorses, this can only mean one thing: fall fashion. The shopkeepers of South Main embraced the coming season early and rallied together to not only showcase their wares for the fall, but to raise money to boot with their first fashion show, South Main Fall Into Fashion. Held at Rumba Room, close to 10 shops in the district donated styles to be modeled for the event, and the collection of salons helped out with hair and makeup. Seventy percent of net proceeds went to the Ronald McDonald House® Charities of Memphis. “We want to encourage everyone in Memphis to get to know the businesses that the neighborhood is home to, while raising funds for local charities,” says Kimberly Taylor, owner of K’PreSha and event coorganizer.

One hundred years ago in March, the mayor of Tokyo gave 3,000 Japanese cherry blossoms to the U.S. to be planted in the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Recently, the Memphis Botanic Garden received three seedlings from the original trees to plant on its 96-acre location in East Memphis. To celebrate the occasion and the Japanese culture of the Mid-South, the horticultural haven held a Japanese Festival in early September, including a kickoff party in the organization’s lauded Japanese Garden. The evening began with the Bön tradition of releasing relatives’ spirits by lighting lanterns on the lake in the Japanese Garden. Later, attendees of all ages and nationalities enjoyed sushi served by Sekisui—some with chopsticks, some with cutlery—and entertainment by traditional Japanese musicians, Stax Music Academy students and Fushu Daiko Taiko drummers. The kick-off was followed by the Japanese Festival Family Day the next day.

Volunteers of the Friends of the Pink Palace Museum hosted its annual Stomp in the Swamp at the Lichterman Nature Center. Held in Lichterman’s warm and welcoming visitor center in view of Mertie’s Lake, guests found it all too easy to raise support for the Lichterman as they enjoyed delicious barbecue from Germantown Commissary and listened to the mellow guitar stylings of Aron Shiers. But, it was the silent auction that got all the action as guests placed bids on a variety of items ranging from handmade jewelry and knitted hats to a replica of a dinosaur footprint. Kids enjoyed arts and crafts, and a few souls even braved the rain to view the life-sized scarecrows scattered around the center that were donated by garden clubs and schools from around the area. All proceeds went to the Lichterman Nature Center.

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Richard and Carol Holley Imelda Sanchez, Bonny Martin and Peggy Peters Keri Burnette, Steve Conley, Jeanie Gundlach and Chris Taylor Kimberly Brown with Carmen and Delandra Brown

Jack and Emma Childers

Allen Elliotte, Carrie Bartlett and Dani Harris

Hayley Stapp, Marcy Siebert and Franni Wilson

Christina Ogle and Julie Lattue

Dexter Sewell and Adam Kitchen

Sudy and Bill Fisher

Marge Palazzolo and Carol Huff

Sue Dolan and Julie Canepair


STREETSEEN

Sarah Ranson and Jaime Winton Filling More than Empty Bowls

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hen Memphis Empty Bowls Project co-chairs Sarah Ranson and Jaime Winton began planning their inaugural benefit to help fight hunger and increase hunger awareness last fall, they thought they could maybe get 100 bowls donated. However, only four days into the collection period, which runs until November 5, that initial estimate was surpassed, and donations keep pouring in, with 17 local potters now on board, students at nine schools within the county making bowls and countless others either donating handmade or purchased bowls. Once the Memphis Empty Bowls event takes place at 5 p.m. on November 11 at Church Health Center Wellness, total bowl donations should be between 300-400—a figure Ranson and Winton can live with considering that each bowl purchased for $20 at the event will help provide 40 nutritious meals for those with food insecurity, a term that refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle for all family members. Winton says, “It was like someone was just waiting for this [event] to be offered.” Validating the need for an effort like this is the fact that the national food insecurity rate for 2012 totals 16.1 percent, or nearly 49 million people, according to the USDA. Closer to home, food insecurity affects 20.2 percent of the population in the 31-county area served by the MidSouth Food Bank, as reported this year by Feeding America, a network of more than 202 food banks. Ranson and Winton have both seen the reality of these statistics through volunteering at the St. John’s United Methodist Church food pantry, where the women first met three years ago and still volunteer today. In fact, this shared experience at the food pantry is what bonded the ladies as friends and ultimately inspired them to do more. Having heard about the Empty Bowls Project, which originated in Michigan in 1990, and the success of the concept as it’s been adopted in U.S. cities, and even in some internationally, Ranson and Winton decided to create their own version for Memphis. Winton, a mixed media artist and painter, liked that the project dovetailed nicely with compassionate creativity and knew she could enlist the help of the generous local artist community. Ranson, a Church Health Center employee, got the center to donate space for the event, and adds that Church Health Center Wellness is a good fit since she and Winton help steer clients of the St. John’s UMC food pantry to the center’s nutrition and education programs. In fact, Memphis Empty Bowls’ proceeds will go toward these Church Health Center programs, St. John’s UMC food pantry and the Mid-South Food Bank. In exchange for their $20 donations at the door, event attendees can pick out a bowl and fill it with soup from 12 restaurants, as well as enjoy bread from Lady Bugg Bakery. More elaborate bowls will be for sale in the silent auction, along with fine art, gift cards and handcrafted items. A “Forgotten Faces of Memphis” photography exhibit will also be on display to highlight hunger awareness. “We hope people come away from the event thinking differently about hunger and realize that when you have to make a choice between electricity and food, you might choose the cheaper, less healthy, food option,” Ranson says. “One of the things with hunger is that it’s not only about getting food, but increasing people’s options for nutritious food—something that boosts integrity.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


STREETSEEN

Joe Williams Translating Shirt Sales into School Uniforms

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ducation is one factor that doesn’t just help an individual, but the whole community,” says Joe Williams, founder of classic clothing line Agape North. However, if children don’t have a uniform to wear to school, they might forgo attending it—a harsh fact of life that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Williams, who decided that when he started his company in 2010 it would donate one school uniform to a child in need for every shirt sold. More importantly, Williams has put faces to those uniform recipients by becoming actively involved with donation deliveries, which currently only go to students in Memphis. Through the Agape North Foundation, Agape North actually made its first 500 uniform donations to students in Guatemala this past February, and gave 150 uniforms to a Presbyterian Day School-affiliated school in Honduras in June. Not wanting to leave kids in his native Memphis community short, Williams then shifted Agape North’s focus to local donations, dropping off 1,500 uniforms at the end of the summer to three Memphis City Schools Achievement Schools, including Corning Elementary School, Frayser Elementary School and Westside Middle School. Most recently, Agape North gave students at Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School 100 uniforms. Williams explains, “When we give the uniforms, I speak to the kids and tell them the uniforms are to help them fulfill their dreams. Also, I always ask what they want to be when they grow up, and 80 percent of them know, so this is our way of saying, ‘Go out there and do it.’” That push Williams extends to school children is exactly what he needed several years ago when first thinking about taking on this venture. Never having owned a company before, Williams says simply that he just liked clothes and that he decided to take the plunge and start his own cause-based clothing line after meeting Chris Knott, the founder of respected luxury sportswear company Peter Millar, at the Shaun Micheel Make-A-Wish Golf Classic. Knott helped Williams with sourcing and finding the right quality of materials for Agape North’s shirts, which Williams says the majority of (namely the polos and pullovers) are made in Peru since it has more stringent labor laws than countries like China and has the best cotton. All Agape North tee shirts are made in the U.S. “Qualitywise, our shirts compete against any name brand; we do things like put 3 percent lycra in the shirts so that they contract and expand instead of shrink, put our clothing through a six-wash cycle and laser-engrave all buttons with our logo [the lion],” he contends. Agape North’s founder adds that people buy the company’s shirts the first time for the mission, but the second time because of their quality; the catchy “Designed for You. Created for Others.” slogan that a board member came up with also doesn’t hurt. For Memphians, Agape North purchases can be made online at agapenorth.com, while the company has a retail presence in 15 other cities from Kansas City, Missouri to Greenville, South Carolina. High school and college students selected as “Lion’s Pride” ambassadors also sell shirts on campuses, with a presence at Houston High School and the University of Memphis locally. Looking to the future, Williams says, “While Memphis is our model for getting people involved with giving back to their community, our goal is to do the same thing in Jackson, Mississippi next, and then we are going to look at Birmingham.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


STREETSEEN

John L. Sullivan Embracing African Dance, Song and Folklore

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self-described introvert growing up, John L. Sullivan has turned out to be anything but a wallflower, spending most of his life acting, dancing, choreographing and sometimes singing. Through the years, he has amassed an extensive list of credits that includes appearing in TV commercials for Krystal hamburgers and Sam’s Town Casino, the movie Great Balls of Fire and the HBO film Memphis, as well as performing in Stevie Wonder’s “In Square Circle” Tour in New York City, Memphis in May’s “Salute to Kenya” and the National Black Theatre Festival’s original stage presentation of “The People Could Fly,” to name a few highlights. Sullivan’s most steady gig though has been with the Nubian Theatre Company, of which he came on as a dancer for in 1983 and has since become its owner and artistic director as of a year and a half ago. Of his desire to perform, Sullivan says, “Creativity is just a way of life—it’s a problem solver.” The inspiration for his performing arts career started by watching “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour,” “Soul Train” and dance movies that featured stars like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He would recreate the moves he saw on TV at his home in Orange Mound, and vividly remembers being chosen at Ridgeway High School to form a dance group for the school talent show. Before graduation, he was playing the characters of W.C. Handy and Hound Dog at Libertyland, and later on, the amusement park hired Sullivan’s Disco Stompers street dance team that he founded in high school to perform as the Libertyland Disco Stompers. Sullivan credits Libertyland for also urging him to branch out into ballet and jazz, which he did after earning a scholarship to the former Ballet South and becoming a part of the Harry Bryce Dance Theatre, once in Memphis. These experiences and many others ultimately led to his involvement with the Nubian Theatre Company, a troupe that originated in Washington, D.C. in 1980 as The Nubian League. A joint project of Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia, the Nubian Theatre Company came to Memphis in 1983 as a result of its original director, Deborah Ferguson, relocating here. Sullivan crossed paths with Ferguson when he saw Nubian perform at the Orange Mound Community Center, and liked the group’s approach toward bringing African folklore to life through music, dance and staging. Soon enough, Sullivan found himself in the company’s ranks as a dancer, but shied away from having to be on mic as a singer or actor…at first anyway. “Nubian was great because it allowed us to take black history as a world study and bring it into the classroom through the Memphis Arts Council’s support,” he says. “It also taught me how to sing, speak in the microphone clearly, how to deliver emotional lines and how to direct.” Currently, Nubian shows are being offered to schools through the Tennessee Arts Commission under the Student Ticket Subsidy program. Most of Nubian’s core members have moved on to other projects however, so Sullivan works with The Nubian League in D.C., Nubian Friends in Oklahoma and other individuals in California and Texas when Nubian national tours take place through the college circuit and other performance venues. Sullivan adds that he’s open to collaboration with other organizations, both theater and nontheater based, and that 2013 looks to be a very promising year for Nubian as the group will be opened to the whole state. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts


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EVENT

Art on Tap

ART ON TAP

The Dixon’s Artful Beer Tasting

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Cecy Villa and Jen Haslip

Kathryn Roberts and Charles Mullighan

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eer and fine art might not be the most likely coupling, but on September 7, the two complimented each other perfectly as the Dixon Gallery and Gardens kicked off the 17th annual year of its Art on Tap event. In all reality, the story is more one of fine beer meets fine art given that the beer showcased this night was not your average can from the market. Despite the Memphis heat and the threat of a thunderstorm, a mix of art aficionados, horticulture enthusiasts, beer connoisseurs and those just looking for good cheer crowded into the main square of the Dixon Gardens as vendors touted frothy beverages and decadent morsels. While the Dixon’s Young at Art members entered at no cost, many guests happily bought a ticket with the knowledge that all proceeds would go to benefit the Dixon’s educational arts and horticulture programs. With the beautiful Dixon Gardens as the backdrop, patrons lined up to try a large selection of national and local brews. The only problem was which to try first. Most solved this problem by trying all, several times. Up for the sipping were Blue Moon, Abita, Dos Equis, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium Brewing and Shocktop Belgian White. Buster’s Liquors & Wines was also part of the mix, serving up three different IPAs including the dark and sweet Innis & Gunn Rum Cask. Yet, the buzz of the evening was what locals like High Cotton Brewing Company, the Memphis Brewer’s Association, Ghost River Brewing and Bluff City Brewers and Connoisseurs had to offer. Dale Skaggs, the Dixon’s director of horticulture and a home brewer himself, commented that it is the innovative flavors that the local brew clubs and breweries bring to the event that makes Art on Tap unique, and he added, “You get to taste beers that you would get to taste nowhere else.” Skaggs continued saying that the joy in the event is that it supports local craft brewers. Beer not your thing? The Dixon had that covered, too. In a gallery room, Buster’s served a selection of wine for a special entry fee. And with their thirst quenched, people flitted from one food vendor to the next, chowing down on fare from Memphis favorites like Gus’s Fried Chicken, Las Delicias, Boscos Squared and One & Only BBQ. As the sun went down, guests danced to the alternative rock riffs of Hi Electric, and couples walked along the winding paths of the gardens, taking in the exceptional sights of the Dixon at night. Art lovers strolled through the galleries, gazing at the superb collections. Maggie Murff, the Young at Art coordinator, concluded that the night was a hit when she said, “There were our guests that are here every year, but Art on Tap also brought in new people this year.” See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Julie and Ronald Pierotti

Story by Rachel Warren Photos by Baxter Buck

Elizabeth Morrow and Chase Carlisle

Shawn Anderson and Rachel Rizzuto

Susie Bjorklund and Manolo Soto-Fournier

Amy Moore and Missy Flinn

Derick Garner, Mary Alice Ruleman, Kevin Meagle and Natalie Garner

Rene and Michael Ulm


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Karen Strachan, Laura Gray Teekell and Erica McCarrens

Andy and Christy Lino with Sam and Jason Ripper

Betsy Brasher and Cindy Brasher

Jenny Stenberg and Audrey Hurst

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Maggie Nugent and Joey Griesbeck

Ricky and Catherine Harris with Rusty Shappley

Patrick Parsons and Ashley Larkin

Jenna Wright and Adam Hopper

Wanda Jackson, Lisa Andreotta and Elizabeth Henderson


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Sammy and Marcy Crews

Mollie and Glenn Saxon

Martha and Jim Rieman

Amanda and Brad Duffy

Scott Roller and Amanda Wardleigh

Jordan Holt and Morgan McAndrews

Stacey and Rock Haines

Nate Eklund and Sarah Reichman

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EVENT ART ON TAP Bonnie Brewer and Christina Leatherman

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Andy and Gillian Bell

Joey and Whitney Stewart with David Tuthill RSVP

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Katie Weisbeck and Sara Deas

Sean and Keasha Sanders

Emily Halpern, John Walls and Anna Harris


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Vox Popular Q&A with Tom Bowen

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RSVP: What intrigued you about the athletic director position at U of M?

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Bowen: For one, Josh Pastner and I have been friends for a long time. I knew Josh way before he was the head basketball coach at the University of Memphis. I knew him through guys like Lute Olson and Dick Tomey—Dick Tomey was my very dear friend and became my head football coach at San Jose State when I took the job [as athletic director] in 2004. The people who represent me represent Josh, so when the job was put on a national search, a guy named Bob Beaudine from Eastman & Beaudine called me and asked if I would consider coming to Memphis if I could talk to Josh. I was just amazed at his positive and overwhelmingly great feelings and compliments he made about the community, the university, the leadership of this city, the people, the neighborhoods…everything. RSVP: Had you ever been to Memphis before coming to visit the university? Bowen: Actually, Brother Stan Sobczyk, when he was president of Christian Brothers University here, came out to Saint Mary’s College when I worked at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga [California], and he always talked about Memphis incessantly. He gave me my first taste of Rendezvous barbecue when I got the job. The day before I left California, I went over to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, where he’s still a Christian brother in residence, and he had Rendezvous sent in. So, yeah, I obviously knew of Memphis and knew of the University of Memphis. I had my people submit my resume and credentials and got fortunate enough to be picked to be one of five finalists. Then, I started really, really researching the job, and the more I learned, the more I liked, and began to uncover what it meant to be here at the university, what it meant to be head of the athletic department, what the academics and the student-athletes were like, what the dynamics were like and learned about President Raines. I became really excited about the possibility of working here and worked hard to put myself in a position to be considered and was fortunate President Raines selected me along with Alan Graf and the other committee members. RSVP: Of the principles that you adopted at San Jose State, which have you brought to your job at the University of Memphis?

Photos by Don Perry

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iger Nation welcomed a new leader into its fold this summer with the addition of Tom Bowen as the University of Memphis’ director of athletics, but hiring Bowen is just the start of a new era for the school’s athletics program. Helping ready the student-athletes, coaches and staff for competition in the Big East Conference, which all U of M sports teams begin competing in next year, Bowen has had to hit the ground running from his first day on campus. Thus far, he’s started a Head Coaches Council and established a special tailgating area for U of M’s Greek community at football games, and, on the day RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick met with Bowen, he had just launched the athletic department’s strategic plan, “March to the East.” Now five months into the job, Bowen shares his thoughts on what it will take for the university to thrive in a conference that already claims the largest media footprint in college athletics, and if one thing is for sure, Bowen believes in his athletes, commending them for their “character, compassion and commitment.”

Bowen: You know, I was in the NFL with the 49ers for a while and at San Jose State and the University of California, and I think two things that have been a part of my structure are my efficiencies in business operational models and leadership of organizations through kind of a shared dynamic principle, where everyone is part of the leadership focus. Then, development and advancement in fund-raising have been things that I’m very fortunate to have been successful at and have done that a little bit everywhere I’ve been, and I hope to bring that here to create more opportunity for resources. RSVP: As you’ve just touched on, you have some fund-raising experience under your belt, so just wondering if there any strategies from your past experience you hope to apply here in the athletic department? Bowen: I think just allow for more engaging opportunities for people to give at all kinds of levels. I want to make it an inclusive opportunity for people to be supportive of the Tigers. Other things are to be transparent, be communicative, be visible and accessible. RSVP: At San Jose State, your mission was to build a “Culture of Champions,” so just wondering what your goal is for the athletic community here? Bowen: We actually just launched the strategic plan today [October 4]. It’s a branding, marketing and fund-raising strategic plan that’s called “March to the East.” It’s a comprehensive attempt within the next three years, until January 15, 2015, to try and create some benchmark metrics of what we need to do in the Big East Conference to be a comprehensive member and be successful, and also to go there and compete and win. I think that the challenge is that in February of 2012 we were honored to be selected, and then now, the reality of what it means to be a Big East comprehensive member has hit. It’s a whole other level of competition, from the level of just fellow universities to be engaged with. It’s a very big deal, and we need to be fully prepared to understand what that means. So, now there’s a call to action because we’ve got nine months to get ready. RSVP: What are some key strategies you have to help prepare the university’s sports teams for competition in the Big East Conference?


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Bowen: There are some facility upgrades and improvements that need to be addressed. The dynamic of how we recruit must be done differently. We have to be in a national framework, so we have to recruit locally, regionally and nationally in all sports. The Big East creates a national footprint for us, and we now have to have a national framework around how we attract athletes.

RSVP: What did you view as your biggest challenge coming into the job, and is that still the same challenge today? Bowen: I don’t know if there’s a biggest challenge. I think the fact that we’re going to become a member of a new comprehensive conference, and we don’t know until we’re there, but we’re not quite ready. The train left the station when we accepted the membership, and the biggest challenge is that time now begins to move at a very rapid pace, and we need to be prepared to go into that conference and compete, and not go into that conference and get beat. You’ll lose all the momentum if you get into a conference where you can’t be successful. Now that we’re a BCS

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Bowen: The academic success of athletes at the University of Memphis is off the charts. That was one of the things that attracted me to the university. The graduation rate for student athletes is close to 68 percent, and the football graduation rate for the last three years is more than 80 percent. The APR, or the Academic Progress Rate, scores are phenomenal. The average GPA of studentathletes is 3.0. You have 67 student-athletes whose GPA is above a 3.6. Compare that to the graduation rate of the rest of the university, which is 38 percent. So, the University of Memphis student-athlete is a very successful student in the classroom and competitively has done very well. That’s a very important aspect of why I’m here.

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RSVP: I understand that in your previous job that the academic success of student-athletes was priority number one, so how do you feel the studentathletes at the University of Memphis compare?


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[Bowl Championship Series] member, much as is every other school around here—Arkansas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee—and in the Big East Conference, we have an even better opportunity because we’re not playing in the SEC. There’s a chance to be unique and different and for us to become a very strong force in the Mid-South. RSVP: What’s been the most exciting component of working at U of M so far? Bowen: I think working with the student-athletes I’ve met and the head coaches—it’s one of the finest head coaching staffs I’ve ever been associated with. These are young, talented, dedicated and very good coaches.

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RSVP: What are some approaches you’re taking to interact with all of the coaches?

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Bowen: When I got here, we created the Head Coaches Council, which meets once a month every month for 10 months. I have an open door policy, and my coaches are encouraged and welcome to call me and come see me. I travel with every team once every year to create some symbolism around my dedication to them. Coaches meet with me one on one, and we do several assessment practices, with a pre-season assessment, mid-season assessment and a post-season assessment with each head coach. My head coaches do a recruiting assessment once a year, and we define scheduling. It’s very interactive with me. RSVP: One of your goals coming into the job was to help increase football ticket sales, so since we’re in the height of the season, are ticket sales where you want them to be? Bowen: Well, yeah. We had 39,076 come to game one, and we had almost 31,000 come to game two, and tomorrow against Rice, we should have a supportive crowd. The football team has not had the success and victories we’d hoped for so far, but it certainly is playing very competitive and heart-felt, dedicated football. The City of Memphis, which is part of our theme [“One City. One Team. One Goal.”], is proving to be very supportive of the Tigers, and that’s encouraging because football will be a better program as it goes forward. RSVP: Is there any one sports team outside of basketball and football that people should pay attention in the future? Bowen: I think this is the year to pay attention to

several. I think you’ve got to watch this baseball team because they’ve got 37 home games; they’re playing two games at AutoZone Park, with the first one of those against Ole Miss, so we’ll promote that. The men’s golf program is going to have a tremendous year, as are both tennis programs. The rifle team is one of the top 10 rifle teams in the country, and no one ever talks about it. I think that track and field will be strong again. I’m certainly impressed with the softball coach’s second season and who she has recruited. Women’s golf is beginning with young players, but always shows promise. For women’s basketball, this will be a year to kind of build up these new recruits, and men’s basketball is going to be phenomenal. Women’s soccer is having a great year. It’s good to be a Tiger right now. RSVP: What are some ways you plan on engaging non-athletes in the sporting events that the university offers? Bowen: When I first got here, I met with the student government and the Greek Council. I started Greek Village and gave students their own area to tailgate and pregame at the Liberty Bowl stadium and grounds, and we’ve had record numbers of students attending games. I’m also on campus every day, and my coaches are on campus a lot. We’ve now decided to be more aggressive and get over on the other side of the tracks. We need to be visible. Students are proud of us because we’re making a point to be around them. RSVP: Are there any new traditions you hope to start within the athletic world here? Bowen: I think giving the students their own place to tailgate is one, and I already mentioned starting the Head Coaches Council. Another new one will be a holiday reception for the faculty that will be put on by the head coaches. We’ll give out awards and will recognize GPAs, community service activities, etc. We’ll probably do a spring talent show with our student-athletes. I did it at San Jose Sate, and it was the most popular thing we’d ever done. It’s fun! RSVP: How do you plan to make your mark among the university’s athletic department and athletes? Bowen: I want to make sure that we really do live up to the dynamic that we have, making sure there’s a championship ring on one hand and a diploma in the other. I’ll continue wherever I am to build a culture of champions, and I believe that will happen here.


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“HARVEST DINNER ON THE GREENWAY”

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“Harvest Dinner on the Greenway” Benefiting the Wolf River Conservancy

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Natalie and Davant Latham

Katie and Thomas Midgley

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own by the river and deep in the woods, it wasn’t a gathering of fairies and sprites, nor the teddy bears’ picnic, but nonetheless, those who love nature had a chance to party under the trees and the stars. The second annual Wolf River Conservancy’s “Harvest Dinner on the Greenway” brought partygoers in close contact with the abundant beauty of Mother Nature, which made for a surprisingly elegant party venue. About 275 guests parked their cars near the split between Walnut Grove Road and Humphries Boulevard and walked along the eastern terminus of the Wolf River Greenway, underneath overpasses, and into the quiet of the forest. Volunteers lit the way, and guests dressed for the stroll by donning blue jeans, casual wear, light jackets and a lot of plaid. Noticeably absent were high-heeled shoes, with most opting for Birkenstocks, sandals, Crocs and tennis shoes. Just inside the woods, two white tents offered libations of wine and Ghost River Brewing’s pale ale and golden ale. Potted chrysanthemums added splashes of color, and oil lanterns on posts warded off unwanted guests like mosquitoes, allowing guests to sip and stroll at leisure along the high bank of the slow-moving Wolf. The next stop on the trail was a well-laid buffet of hot hors d’oeuvres, including hummus and pita, mushrooms stuffed with spinach, sausage and knockwurst, grilled asparagus and zucchini and baby roasted potatoes stuffed with sweet potatoes. Further yet, a field of tables set with black and white linens sprouted up like mushrooms across the trail under a canopy of still-green oak, sycamore and sweetgum leaves. Appropriately, each table bore a centerpiece basket of harvest time veggies, which complemented the sumptuous dinner provided by Heart and Soul Catering. The night’s featured entertainment was the Grassfire Bluegrass Band, whose members picked banjos and guitars from the stage, but during their break, a forest chorus of cicadas and frogs took over, enlivening the atmosphere from the river bottoms and the trees. Perhaps they were singing their thanks, as nearly $25,000 was raised at the dinner to help protect their river home.

Gavin and Anne Turner

Sarah and Gary Lindemann

Story by Jonathan Devin Photos by Don Perry See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP Chris and Lindsey Pickens

Janice Hall and Katie Cole

Jenny Guyton and Garrott McClintock

Kirkwood and Murry McClintock, Kathy Adams and Ellen Hendry

Russell and Molly Smith


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Carrie Hahn and Mary Alice Ruleman

Lisa Brown and Susan Bryan

Matt Farr and Marcela Pinilla

Cynthia Spangler and Judy Edge

Michelle Hodges and Joseph Brand

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Andy and Alison Fondaw

Jerry and Giselle Goldstein

Jane Hart Morgan and Bayard Morgan

Sarah Long and Ray Rico

Bill Anderson and Joy Bateman

Bill and Susan Warner


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John and Karen Zermeno

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Shirley and Tim Smith

Dr. Catherine and Bill Bateman with Marion and Carl Hare RSVP

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Grace and Ken Patton

Lauren Taylor and Ken Kimble

Brad and Amy Moritz, Carol Lee and Joe Royer and Gary Edge


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Matt and Jackie Owens with Neelam Jain and Eric Weber

Bob and Edy Wenner

Tina and Pete Sullivan

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Gary and Melissa Thompson, Teresa Faulk and Shena Clemons

Thane and Teresa Brooks

Suzy Satterfield and John Pickens


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RSVP ROOM VIEW Interview by Kelly Cox | Photos by Steve Roberts

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One side of the master bath features a six-foot Palladian window, which offers a changing range of natural light throughout the day, while a remote-controlled, free-standing air tub and a large walk-in shower dominate the other side. The floors and the walk-in shower are entirely tiled in porcelain.

hen this master bath in an East Memphis home underwent a remodel a year and a half ago, Steve Nabers, ASID, who recently welcomed his daughter, Jesse, to the previously one-man shop of Nabers Interiors, was the one responsible for designing an environment that the homeowners happily liken to “being in a luxury hotel.� With ample space and great bones to work with, Nabers reimagined the room for the couple in residence with the help of contractors Byrnes/Ostner. The remodeling process took about three months and completely changed the feel of the master suite. The lady of the house joins the designer to chat about the transformation, which incorporates sensible functionality, like in the hidden, rollaway, his-and-hers hampers, combined with epicurean twists, such as chalkwhite, fondant-smooth, matte porcelain tiles, which provide an alternative to the expected marble often used in heated floors. All brushed nickel fixtures, including the chandelier over the air tub, more than plentiful custom glazed cabinetry and a pleasingly monochromatic color palette also create a clean and airy space that is both elegant and simple.


RSVP ROOM VIEW Homeowner: Well, it was pink. Very pink. It was dated. It had furdowns and all that. We didn’t really change the layout, but we gutted it. Nabers: For example, we tore out the old tub and replaced it with this free-standing air tub. Homeowner: It has a remote! The painting over the tub, that’s by an artist we found in San Francisco. Nabers: That painting gives a nice pop of color. The walk-in shower is also tiled in porcelain—the ceiling, the seat and everything. We put in vanity mirrors all the way up to the crown molding and placed the lights on the mirror, which really opens up the room. RSVP: Tell me about this wallpaper. It kind of reminds me of the grasscloth of my childhood, but updated. Nabers: It’s like a grasscloth, but yet it’s textured vinyl. We love the texture because it has a depth to it, a kind of tone-on-tone. We picked out a color from the wallpaper to paint the ceiling, instead of having just a white ceiling. RSVP: What are the countertops made of? Nabers: They’re really interesting, aren’t they? They kind of look like quartz, but they’re actually white onyx.

RSVP: Speaking of glass, is this a collection of glass perfume bottles? Homeowner: Yes. It was started by this one in front. Feel that. It’s very fragile. My grandmother gave that to me for my first Christmas. I have since given it to my granddaughter for her first Christmas...but she can’t have it yet! Nabers: And over the chest, this is, of course, a Palladianstyle window, which is a nice architectural feature to have in here. You don’t see that very often in a bathroom. It emits all kinds of beautiful natural light throughout the day, and because it looks onto a windowless wall, you still have privacy. RSVP: Until they have roofers come work next door!

Homeowner: When he told me they were going to be onyx, I thought, “Did he pick out black?” I’d never heard of white onyx before. It’s very pretty and almost translucent in places when you look closely, like glass.

Homeowner: Ha-ha! One day, I got out of the shower and there was a worker up there. I just ran! I don’t know who it hit first, him or me. But, that was the only time!

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RSVP: What was this bath like before the remodel?

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Left: The striking vanity includes mirrors that extend to the crown molding above and countertops made of white onyx. Below: A collection of perfume bottles sits on top of a small bombe chest and contains a family heirloom: The center bottle, with colored rosettes, has now been passed to the fifth generation and is as delicate as a soap bubble.


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Chefs’ Celebrity Gala

CHEFS’ CELEBRITY GALA

Benefiting the Memphis Child Advocacy Center

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Kristie Goldsmith and Carol W. Prentiss

John and Scottie Simpson

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t’s said that the way to the heart is through the stomach, and this was again proven true when the 23rd annual Chefs’ Celebrity Gala, sponsored by the Greater Memphis Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and Sysco Memphis, was held at the U of M Holiday Inn to benefit the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. “The people who come out to this event are some of the most generous folks in the city,” said CAC director Nancy Williams. “We’re sold out tonight, and in terms of tips and donations, we hope to break all records.” Associate director Virginia Stallworth added, “This year is very special, as it marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Child Advocacy Center. You’ll notice that the gala is three years older than the center itself. That’s because this fund-raiser is what enabled us to open the doors of the CAC, and now it helps us to keep those doors open. Carol W. Prentiss has chaired the gala for all these 23 years, which is truly commendable.” As a new addition this year, the gala welcomed to the celebrity server list Josh Pastner, who’s also being featured in a public service announcement in support of abused children and is getting his University of Memphis staff trained in the CAC’s child sexual abuse prevention program. Among the 95 celebrity servers, there were many veteran volunteers with advice to give. Matt Robbins and Billy Pickens have logged 10 years and 17 years, respectively, as servers. When asked what their secrets are for garnering big tips in support of the CAC, Robbins joked, “Serve plenty of drinks.” Pickens said, “We beg and grovel, and we do a great job of presenting the menu.” During the cocktail hour, CAC founding member Deborah Northcross and Judge Rhynette Hurd, who serves on the CAC’s executive committee, readied their palates with hors d’oeuvres like Boursin brie tarts and yellowfin tuna tartare on toast points. Pam Pittman and Anita Howald shopped the extensive silent auction. Though gala newcomers, both ladies have helped raise funds for the CAC through their involvement in Carnival Memphis’s Grand Krewe of Ptah. Soon after, the doors opened to the ballroom, where Teddy Bear Surprises, music by Andy Childs and his band and tables dressed with black and white linens and elegant orchid centerpieces awaited the crowd. The dinner menu itself would be hard to improve upon. To begin, there was Saga crostini, mixed greens, prosciutto and winepoached Bosc pears. Next came a sorbet intermezzo in preparation for a medallion of beef Rossini and coulibiac of salmon, tenderloin with foie gras and Madeira-glace, stuffed salmon with fruits de mare in flaky dough and a polenta cake and baby sunburst squash on a bed of warm red cabbage slaw. For dessert, a ganache torte and chocolatechampagne charlotte with lemon meringue were served. With news about child sexual abuse making headlines on a regular basis, there can be no doubt of the need for the comprehensive specialized care and intervention provided at the CAC. This year, the Chefs’ Celebrity Gala, which is the center’s biggest annual fundraiser, netted $251,000 for the nonprofit. See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Anita Howald and Pam Pittman

Story by Kelly Cox Photos by Baxter Buck

Shawn Carter and Angela Meekins

Pam and Jeremy McLaughlin

Patty and Mike Josephson

Josh Pastner and Sheri Lipman

Billy Pickens, Andrew Bryant, Matt Robbins and Trina Poquette

Jodi and Kelly McGuire


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Connie Tichy and Joyce Hufford

Sharon and Pete Voehringer

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Jim Prentiss and Robert Shaw

Karen and Andy Stubbs

Jenna and Ed Wallis

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Pam and Benjamin Clements

Alla and Nathan Lubin

Nicole Blum and Tyler McGlaughlin

JD and Katie Graffam

Lynn and Betsy Wall

Anna and Ben Nicol


Hyunsook Lee and Dan Kim

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

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

For Information on How to put RSVP to Work for You Call 276-7787 Rita Works and Michelle Taylor

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EVENT CHEFS’ CELEBRITY GALA Elaine and Terry Parker

S I N C E 1995

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Robin Schieber, Rena Booth and Nanette Crawley

Judy Whitsitt and Sharon Turner

Jamie Turner and Dodo Grisanti Katsotis


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Live at the Garden

LIVE AT THE GARDEN

featuring Bonnie R aitt

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Mary Sexton and Jody Driver

KB Walker and Shannon Parker

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onnie Raitt recently gave the Live at the Garden crowd “something to talk about” other than her music, as a storm with straight-line winds came through Memphis during the last show of the Memphis Botanic Garden’s 2012 concert series. Clinging to their raingear, taking cover in cars or huddling inside the VIP Tent, many braved the rainy weather to hear the nine-time Grammy® Award-winning artist, who last made an appearance at Live at the Garden in 2006. Though the opening act, the Randall Bramblett Band, was canceled because of the weather, that didn’t stop guests from enjoying themselves before the headliner graced the stage. Before the storm arrived, several concertgoers in the lawn area got to enjoy picnics, while those in the VIP area up front mingled amongst their tables as well as in a giant white tent courtesy of Classic Party Rentals. Inside the tent, Local Gastropub hit the spot with its selection of pleasing fare, including pork and chicken barbecue, tortilla chips with chorizo chili, fruit, cheese and a sampling of desserts such as peanut butter chip brownies and mini cake squares. There was also a bar set up in the VIP area, however attendees could also bring their own beverages of choice, which worked out nicely for guests who needed to sip on something to pass the time due to the concert delay. In anticipation of the show, attendee Denise Gaither Burnett said, “I hope it stops raining—I really want to see Bonnie!” Burnett and several hundred other fans who stayed got their wish when the respected blues singer, songwriter and musician began churning out her hits a little after 9 p.m. Of course, old favorites like “Something to Talk About” and “Angel from Montgomery” made the set list, but so did a few new songs, such as Raitt’s cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line,” which appears on the artist’s newest album Slipstream, her first in seven years. It was evident this night that time continues to be a friend to the 62-year-old Raitt, who continues to impress with her no-frills attitude and cool musical stylings. After the show, Raitt hit the road in route to the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, while Live at the Garden co-director Sherry Misner was already focusing on the future of the Memphis Botanic Garden’s concert series, which is the nonprofit’s largest annual revenue source. “I’m now looking forward to kicking off our capital campaign to raise funds for our permanent facility, which can be used year round for events, not just Live at the Garden,” Misner said. “If we can raise the funds, we will start construction after the last concert in 2013 and hopefully be able to kick off the 2014 season in the new structure!” See all the party photos at rsvpmagazine.com Password: RSVP

Larry and Christie Brooks

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Baxter Buck

Jacob Leonard and Alexandra Martin

Christine Wilson and Tina Moran

Belinda and Tony Howell

Anita and Bob Beachum

Paula and Hal Griggs with Amy and Greg Crone

Melissa and Matt Marek


EVENT LIVE AT THE GARDEN Sharon Simmons, Patricia Chandler-Faust and Sarah Scroggin

Sheila and Doug Miles

Tyler and Cindy Hampton

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Brenda Church, Jim and Terri Hambrick and Anne Stewart

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Lora and Mike Moore

Christy Norman, Jennifer Sims, David Hollie and Tara Cannon

Christie and Kevin Williams

Russell and Molly Moss

John McCann, Laura Gray Teekell and Gray and Mary Teekell


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Onsite II Tennessee Task Force One, Canine Unit, Benefit While there was food to graze on, beverages to lap up and music to jam to, the main attraction at the Tennessee Task Force One, Canine Unit, Benefit was “Zap” and his crew. A search and rescue dog for the local arm of the unit—a division sponsored by the City of Memphis Fire Services— “Zap,” a black lab, entertained guests by demonstrating how he finds people hidden under rubble from incidents such as 9/11 or the devastating tornadoes that hit Joplin, Missouri in May of last year. The benefit included raffle items such as doggie acupuncture, artwork and a $500 store credit at Hollywood Feed, as well as live music, beer, wine, snacks and barbecue. Dogs Rule Day Care and School sponsored the event to help raise money for equipment for the canine unit. Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Brenda Hartfield and Heather Pinnegar

Jack and Gail Streete

Heather Wilkerson and “Zap”

Boots, Brews & Que

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A few weeks before the Down Syndrome Association’s STEP UP for Down Syndrome Walk, The Jeb Dalton Gang, one of the teams, kicked things off with a fund-raiser of its own: Boots, Brews & Que. Kelli and Mills Polatty invited friends and family to a backyard barbecue, but because Mills is a champion Memphis in May barbecuer who concocted his own award-winning secret ’cue sauce, this was no ordinary backyard party. Thanks to a donation by Boscos Squared, adults quenched their thirsts with kegs of Ghost River Brewing beer, and they made repeated trips to the buffet table for ’cue, chicken, slaw and beans—all prepared by Mills—as folk guitarist Mark Right entertained. The event also attracted many youngsters, but no child seemed happier than Jeb Dalton Polatty, whose birth six years ago led to his parents’ involvement with the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & the MidSouth. “We learned a lot from parents who had been through it before,” said Mills. Thanks in part to money the Polattys raised that night, DSAM can continue to support families when they need it.

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Kelli, Hayes and Jeb Polatty

Story and Photos by Jeannie Mandelker

Tiara Tea Society Coronation It was an afternoon of glitz, glamour and beautiful princesses as the Tiara Tea Society inducted its ninth princess, Graycen Ann Beardslee, at the U of M Holiday Inn. Princesses of the past and their entourages all arrived in their royal best, dressed in dazzling ball gowns and sparkling tiaras, while French harpist Melodie Moore entertained the crowd. The Tiara Tea Society has ensured that Beardslee, who has a rare genetic disease called Xeroderma Pigmentosum that prevents her from being in UV light, will now ride like a princess by giving the family car tinted windows. Eva Lynn Bishop, one of the society’s founders, crowned Beardslee to the loud applause of guests, and speaker Rev. Audrey Gonzalez gave a moving speech calling the newest inductee “our little saint.” Princesses Ceniyah Dotson (2011) and Morgan Shaw (2007) were also in attendance to show their support. The finale of the afternoon was a stunning performance by Amanda Woodward Boyd and Luke Hefner of the University of Memphis’ “Phantom of the Opera” production. Graycen Ann Beardslee, Eva Lynn Bishop, Ceniyah Dotson, Caroline West and Morgan Shaw

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Eric, Ava and Jennifer Beardslee

Best Memphis Burger Fest

Lana Danko

Stephanie Bennett and Seth Agranov

Alexandria Ferguson

Rain cannot keep locals from their burgers. This was acutely apparent as droves of people ignored the rain and came to Minglewood Hall to chow down on some of this city’s most delicious burgers at the first Best Memphis Burger Fest. Twenty-two teams competed for the 2012 Best Memphis Burger, which lands the winner a spot in the World Burger Championship in Las Vegas, and helped raise more than $4,000 for Mid-South Spay and Neuter Services. Memphians enjoyed an assortment of burgers from familiars like Ciao Bella, Café Eclectic and Patrick’s, while homegrown teams won the crowd over with not only their inventive burgers, but also original names like Back Street Flippaz and Meatier Showers, to name a few. Of course, Kooky Canuck was present, stunning everyone with a mammoth burger that weighed 75 pounds. Winners included Here Comes Honey Moo Moo for Best Veggie Burger and Anything But Beef Burger. In the end, though, it was I Like Big Burgers and I Cannot Lie that now has the pleasure of making Memphis proud in Las Vegas as it took home the titles of Extreme Burger and 2012 Best Memphis Burger. Story and Photos by Rachel Warren


Exceptional Foundation Chili Cook-Off

Baddour Center Fashion Show and Auction

Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region honored the Gilliland family of Memphis with its James Award at a reception at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens’ Hughes Pavilion. The Gillilands make community involvement a family affair. Jim Gilliland and his wife, Lucia, are longtime supporters of PPGMR and once hosted Elena Marks, past chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in their home. Their daughter, Kate Gilliland Connell, recently completed her third term on the PPGMR board, including a term as board chair. More than 130 people attended the reception in the family’s honor, making it by far the largest James Award reception ever. The event was an unqualified success, raising more than $30,000 for PPGMR’s health center and education programs right here in Memphis.

In October, The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee held its inaugural Chili Cook-Off, which was presented by Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. The weather was “chili” and perfect for the delicious dishes made by the teams! Winners included the following: The West Clinic—first place; the Slane family—second place; and Blind Bear Speakeasy— third place. The People’s Choice winners included the family of Marviel Young, who came in first, and second place recipients the Wedell family and friends. Because of all the sponsors, teams, staff and individuals who came out during the cold, wet weather to support The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee, the nonprofit surpassed its goal.

Though the Baddour Center’s headquarters are in Senatobia, Mississippi, its location hasn’t stopped Memphians from supporting the adults with intellectual disabilities who reside at the center. Case in point: the 33rd annual Baddour Center Fashion Show and Auction, which returned to Hilton Memphis this September. Many Baddour Center residents even got in on the festivities by performing with the center’s choir, The Miracles, or in its creative ensemble group, Hearts in Motion, during the lunchtime affair. Babbie Lovett lent her fashion expertise as emcee for the fashion show, which featured children’s looks by Special Daze of Senatobia, as well as grown-up looks by Gloria’s Mother of the Bride in Memphis and Seriously FUN! Apparel of Germantown. FedEx served as presenting sponsor.

Story and Photos Submitted

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh

Story and Photos Submitted

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

JoAnne Fusco and Tricia Kirk

Tracy Cooper, Betty Hays and Anne McCarroll Jim Gilliland and Jeanne Richardson Mark Halperin, George Klein, Henry Winkler and Steve Wishnia

Adam Saharovich

BJ Worthy, Sonja Dowdy, Laura O’Mell and Ginny Wood Molly Wexler and Pat Chafetz

Danita Macon and Carol Meisterman

Lois Jacobson, Judy Bookman and Albert Burson

Rashana Lincoln, Rob Dove, Jakatae Jessup and Kathy Story

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With two series of children’s novels and a book published, an active career in Hollywood and producing/directing numerous television specials, Henry Winkler has come a long way since his days as “The Fonz” on “Happy Days.” And with 85 years under its belt, including a name change, three different facilities and the addition of therapy to its services, the Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab has had an equally diverse and successful trajectory. To celebrate its longevity, administrators invited Winkler to speak on his experiences at the MJHR 85th Anniversary Party held at the Baron Hirsch Synagogue. Following a VIP reception where guests had the opportunity to pose for photos with “Fonzie,” Winkler spoke to a full sanctuary and was introduced by the one and only George Klein. Fans, supporters, family and friends gathered afterward for dessert and the opportunity to purchase and/or have books signed by Winkler. All proceeds benefit MJHR, a nonprofit serving residents needing longterm care, as well as patients seeking physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Planned Parenthood’s James Award Reception

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Marviel Young

Becky and Nicole Schwab, Alla Lubin and Linda Robinson


EVENT MIFA “FEED THE SOUL” PARTY

outh Main Historic Art District’s The Warehouse was rocking hard on a beautiful October evening as premier sponsor SunTrust Bank presented the Metropolitan Inter-faith Association’s ever-popular MIFA “Feed the Soul” Party. Hundreds of generous supporters converged enthusiastically to “Celebrate MIFA in Memphis” and enjoy a thoroughly entertaining occasion. Organizers ensured that there was no shortage of activities in which to participate. MIFA staff and volunteers warmly greeted guests, and many took advantage of the opportunity to have their photographs snapped with “The King” himself–Elvis Presley (or a look-alike anyway). Local merchants provided prizes for a giant raffle, among them goodies from the Orpheum Theatre, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Bangkok Alley, Buster’s Liquors & Wines, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Theatre Memphis, Studio LaRue Salon, the Pink Palace and Playhouse on the Square, to name just a few. Inside The Warehouse, on the Soul Stage, Laurelwood Shopping Center held a freeze modeling show that showcased fabulous new fall and winter fashions from its stores. Two oxygen bars with a variety of flavors were set up to give partygoers a breath of fresh air and relief from those bothersome fall allergies. Outdoors, at The Rhythm and Blues Pavilion, DJ Stan “The Bellringer” Bell of V101 Radio played favorite tunes for an exuberant audience. The Memphis Grizzlies provided a portable hoops shoot that attracted quite a few competitors, who were encouraged and cheered on by the Grizz Girls. A VIP tent for major sponsors was beautifully decorated with autumn colors of orange and yellow and cotton bales in burlap placed artfully around, and there was even more fun to be had in the adjacent MIFA Cave, a large tent containing tasting tables for Four Roses Bourbon, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Bacardi Rum mojitos. Havana Cigar Emporium offered a selection of fine cigars, which gentlemen and even a few ladies sampled before the evening wrapped up. The libations flowed indoors as well, with wine, beer and Dr. Thomas Chu’s Corner Martini Bar proving a big favorite. By the time the buffet service began, everyone had worked up an appetite for a tasty barbecue supper with all the fixins’ and a selection of desserts, including Twinkies! As twilight fell, the party shifted into high gear when the evening’s live entertainment, The Living Daylights, which has a huge Mid-South following, took the Soul Stage for a performance that had the crowd dancing and singing along with its high energy, diverse playlist. As always, “Feed the Soul” was a resounding success that generated proceeds that will enable the association to further its goals of easing poverty in our community.

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MIFA “Feed the Soul” Party “Celebrate MIFA in Memphis”

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Charlie Nelson and Caprice Snyder

Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Don Perry and Roy Haithcock

Ela Emami and Jacinda Johnson

Patrick and Julie Rule

Jason and Brittany Smith

Faye Pulliam and Sylvia Westbrook

Leigh McCraw, Nancy Knight, Amie Vanderford and Sheila Noone

Lee Warren and Agnes Broyles


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Justin Miller and Melissa Pope

Lettie and Dr. Jay Blundon

Bonita Davis, Ellen Whitten, Anna Kathryn Word, Keathie Payne and Shelia Jones

Sarah Long, Courtney Deviney, Deb Davis, Donna Collier and Emily Wyonzek

Robert and Sam Fisher

Suzanne Gruner and Sharon Cohn


EVENT MIFA “FEED THE SOUL” PARTY

Teresa Bullock with Greer and Carol Richardson

Madelyn Gray and Stephanie Simpson

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Vanessa Frazier and Dr. Skip Watson

Emily and Dustin Purser

Matt and Jessica Neil

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Charley Foster and Whitney Baer

Virgil Edwards and Carol Fernandes

Shanea and David McKinney

Antonio Quinn, Ashley Faye de las Flores and Roland Jean Charles

Jerry and Julie Klein

Kelsey Green and Kelly Nolan


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Amy Rainey, Dean Mueller, Anton Schneider and Duke Rogers

MIFA “FEED THE SOUL” PARTY

Eric and Nicky Sparrow, Bridgett Rawls and Brandon Washington

Sheila Williamson and Sara Tinker

Patrick Hendricks and Olivia Prince Griffin RSVP

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Beth McCasland and Ray Rico

Joseph Alfonso, Madeline Reynolds, Michelle Hamblen and Tom Simpson

Josh and Alison Heigel

Christina and David Hanson

Victoria LaGraize, Katie Pope, Justin Webb and Mary Beth Camurati


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Legends of Memphis Dinner and Fund-raiser

Repair Days

Curb Couture Trashion Show

Loving Local

Claudia Barr of WREG News Channel 3, who served as the emcee for the Legends of Memphis Dinner and Fund-raiser at the Clark Opera Memphis Center, couldn’t have spoken more highly of the event’s honorees when she said, “I’m not easily impressed, but I really am tonight.” The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary had worked hard to scout out the 34 legends, each of whom were given lovely introductions while making their way to sit at tables filled with admiring guests. As partygoers asked any question they so desired of the legend at their table, trivia questions about the legends aired on a giant screen, with one such question reading, “Who was an attorney for Donald Trump?” (Steve Ehrhart), and another asking, “Who met their spouse while performing on a cruise ship?” (Debbie Litch). Quito McKenna of Lillie’s Q in Destin, Florida supplied the barbecue dinner guests feasted on during the night, which was dedicated to the late Marguerite Piazza.

Rain and metal normally don’t mix, but adverse weather didn’t stop Repair Days from taking place at the National Ornamental Metal Museum. Since 1979, rain or shine, metalsmiths from throughout the U.S. have descended on the museum’s grounds each fall to volunteer their services, which means repairing any and every kind of metal object to help raise museum funds. First-time volunteers John Steel and Chris Holt of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania expressed their delight at being able to participate, with Holt saying, “We finally made it, and now we know everything one needs to know about expanded metal lawn chairs—we’ve fixed at least 13!” Madelyn and Kent Gordon brought in a vanity tray to be resoldered, while other items that needed fixing included jewelry, a chair wheel base and candlesticks, to name a few. A gallery talk, silent and live auctions, a Family Fun Day and live music rounded out the weekend offerings.

Looking “trashy” never looked so good, but that was the point at the Curb Couture Trashion Show held at Water Tower Warehouse, located in the hip Broad Avenue Arts District. Models wearing grocery bags designed into smart dresses and hats made from screen doors mingled with guests as all snacked on hors d’oeuvres and bid on silent auction items. Alexis Grace of Q 107.5 emceed the second annual fund-raiser for the Memphis City Beautification Commission and welcomed guests at the door as she wore a ball gown made from assorted recycled materials. Mayor A C Wharton made an appearance, thanking everyone for donating the time and money to support the shared effort of keeping Memphis beautiful. As models rocked the catwalk, audience members cheered and ranked their favorites, including a mermaid dress crafted out of plastic Commercial Appeal newspaper wrappers, a men’s outfit consisting of a cape and suit made from trash collected after Elvis Week and designer Bruce Bui’s plastic bag gown that won Best in Show.

October days were meant to be spent outdoors, and the 250 attendees of the third annual Loving Local definitely agreed, as they gathered underneath the Central Station Pavilion for Project Green Fork’s fall fundraiser. What guests also showed was that Memphians support the nonprofit’s mission of contributing to a more sustainable MidSouth by helping local restaurants and other food vendors take measures to reduce their environmental impact. Six of the 47 PGF-certified eateries, including Central BBQ, The Dog & Slaw, the Fuel Food Truck, Get Fresh Memphis, Huey’s and YoLo, set up shop and served their tasty fare at the benefit, while Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs poured up their refreshing locally-brewed beers and Deering and Down performed. Beforehand, a VIP party with cocktails and nibbles from Felicia Suzanne’s was held at Victory Bicycle Studio, where a group bike ride embarked from to get to the main event downtown.

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photos by Rachel Warren

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Lindsey Bray and Kari Thompson Ricky White Jr., Richard White Sr., Mayor A C Wharton and Charles Wallace Billie Jean Graham and Kevin Kane John Steel and Chris Holt

Dr. Scott Morris and Geoff Calkins

Madelyn and Kent Gordon

Babbie Lovett, Barbara Perkins, Gloria Nobles and Jane Williams

Michael Vognild, Tim Alberg and Michael Jerry

Cheryl Sulivan, Jack Nash and Eileen Adams

Evan Deere, Liana Khan, Joseph Maloney, Ben Priday, Margot McNeeley, Adam Guerrero, Aubrey Kearney and Justin Deere

Jade Sully

Molly Fitzpatrick and Brian Moore


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Digital audio tape Undamaged Wish granter Native American corn Goodbye ! French ___, instrument Caps Thought Louver Snaky fish Ex-serviceman Pose

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

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RSV PHILLIPPI

By Dennis Phillippi

AT LEAST I CAN COOK

When I was a kid, I was all about climbing trees, jumping bikes, slogging around in creeks and other physical stuff, but the idea of being around a bunch of amped up boys, all wearing the same uniform, and among other things, showering together, held absolutely zero appeal. ing why it is that no one ever bothered to teach me how to do these things, and that’s a fair question. The answer, sadly, is that I wouldn’t have let them. I simply wasn’t interested. When I was a kid, I was all about climbing trees, jumping bikes, slogging around in creeks and other physical stuff, but the idea of being around a bunch of amped up boys, all wearing the same uniform, and among other things, showering together, held absolutely zero appeal. So, there is this huge gap in my Man Knowledge. While I can play some sports well just by virtue of dumb genetic luck, ones that require coaching and skills do not come naturally. While I watch baseball every night during the summer, I can’t play a lick. By the same token, I’ve seen plenty of people play the piano, and I can’t sit down and do that either, but men aren’t automatically assumed to be able to

do so. The same is true of guns and cars. My very limited understanding of firearms is almost completely drawn from television and novels. While I may have some basic understanding of the various kinds of handguns and rifles, that doesn’t mean I could identify one from another onsite, and I certainly have no business handling any of them. In my lifetime, I’ve fired a small selection of guns, and I won’t deny that I enjoyed it every single time, but I’ve never owned a gun and know nothing of the care and feeding of them. It often amazes me how many men I know who not only own guns, but are very likely to have one on their person at any given time. To me, the idea of having a loaded gun in a holster under the back of my shirt would be like having a poisonous spider in my shirt pocket, or a live grenade in my sock. I would be in a constant state of panic, which I imagine is the exact opposite of the point of carrying a gun. Many of my male friends seem to find this hole in my understanding of male universality uncomfortable to be around, which is odd because I find their pistol uncomfortable to be around. As far as cars are concerned, while I have owned probably, let me think, something like 10 cars in my life, I know next to nothing about them. They just don’t interest me. I love NASCAR, I really do, but I know more about those cars, far more, than I do about the one sitting in my driveway. I can tell you much more about what happens during a pit stop than what happens during an oil change while I sit in the waiting room watching SportsCenter. So, I can’t hit a ball, disassemble and clean a gun or fix anything on a car other than a flat tire. You know what I can do? Get paid to write about how I can’t do those things. Works for me.

Dennis, since your title insinuates that you can cook, we’re left wondering what gourmet meals are served at the Phillippi household. Of course, these meals are probably perfectly timed to be devoured when your favorite sport is on TV, but as long as you can whip up a tasty dish, and not just macaroni and cheese, we’ll turn the other cheek to your lack of athleticism.

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screamed at to take my base, even though I had no idea which base that might be. My softball career was equally dismal. It was in a slo-pitch bar league, and I wasn’t put in any games, including one in which our tragic team trailed by 14 runs in the final inning. This was almost certainly a wise move on the coach’s part. Somehow, my ineptitude would’ve found a way to make matters worse. While I have played golf a few times, I have never done so in any way well. I tend to be afraid that I’m going to just drive the club head into the ground, which results in topping a lot of balls, thus causing them to dribble and hop a few feet, sometimes backward. Now, you may very well be wonder-

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couple of weeks ago, I was asked to participate in this “celebrity” wiffleball homerun derby at Wifflestock, the wonderful annual fund-raiser for the Ronald McDonald House. It was just a couple of deejays and me, and I thought, “Hey, I’ve been to a batting cage, how hard could it be to hit a plastic ball?” Well, as it turns out, it’s really difficult if you haven’t bothered to, you know, practice. It was embarrassing enough to be lumped in as a “celebrity,” greatly stretching the definition of the word, but it was made doubly so by my lunging, awkward, completely ineffective swings. The ball moved in slow motion, making it irresistible to take a cut at every single pitch. Adding to the fun was the fact that we were doing this in front of a group of guys who take wiffleball very seriously. Being heckled for being unable to hit a plastic ball with a plastic bat is not a proud moment. When you add to the story that I have spent stretches of my life reporting on sports, and often baseball in particular, for a living, well, you get the idea. My point here, aside from using a humiliating experience to fill space in this column, is this: Even though I have spent my entire life as a guy, most of it as a happily married sports fan, and a huge chunk of it as a sports commentator, I have all kinds of gaps in my Man Knowledge. You know what I mean. Man Knowledge is the stuff you’re just supposed to know by virtue of being a straight male. It seems every straight male should be able to hit a ball, regardless of the type of ball: wiffle, base, soft or golf. As it happens, I can’t really do any of the above. My actual on-the-field baseball experience consists of one Little League game, in which I believe I was tricked into being a participant, and during which I spent most of my one inning in left field wishing I had been allowed to bring a book. Not one ball, thank God, was hit in my direction, and my one at bat consisted of being grazed by a pitch and being


RSVPAST

Memphis Potters’ Guild

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n the photograph above, Memphis Potters’ Guild co-founder Patti Lechtman shares her craft with pupil Laurie Hudson in 1976. Today, the group remains as active as ever and will next be hosting the annual Memphis Potters’ Guild Holiday Show and Sale November 16-18 at the Memphis Botanic Garden’s Goldsmith Civic Center. During the event, people can meet artists working in porcelain, stoneware, earthenware, raku and other ceramic techniques. For more information about the guild or the event, visit thememphispottersguild.com. PHOTO BY BERT SHARPE AND COURTESY OF GREG BELZ If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Leah Fitzpatrick at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to editor@rsvpmagazine.com All photos will be returned promptly.

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RSVP Magazine November 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...

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