Nell Nolan: Paul Tulane Society, Great Lady/Great Gentleman, Harry Tompson Society | Parties/Company


The Paul Tulane Society

The president beckoned. Scripted atop the invitation was “President Michael A. Fitts requests the honor of your presence at The Paul Tulane Society Induction Ceremony and Dinner.” It unfolded in the Plimsoll Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, beginning with a reception before the seated dinner. Filling the gustatory bill were such tasty selections as spinach salad with roasted pecans, crispy pancetta and Stilton cheese; seared snapper and fillet of beef tenderloin; and brown butter almond cake.

As a chromatic homage to Tulane, the decor in the Plimsoll Ballroom used lighting of blue and green. A giant screen furthered the program’s visuals. The tables were covered in seafoam green linens and centered with floral arrangements. Some with pale pink roses and accents of green were elevated, while others were lower.

The thrust of the evening was remembrance, recognition and gratitude. Awarded “to those individuals and organizations who have made gifts of $1 million or more to the university,” the Paul Tulane Society recognizes those members who “have provided the means to strengthen the university’s commitment to excellence.”

Hailed as the 2022 society inductees from New Orleans were the Estate of Leona Bersadsky, MD, who established a scholarship endowed fund for female residents of Louisiana with financial need to attend Tulane’s medical school; John B. Elstrott Jr.Ph.D. and Patty West Elstrott, who established a legacy gift to benefit the Levy Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship (which he founded) at Tulane; and Elizabeth Dabezies Goodyear and Charles W. “Chip” Goodyear IV. The Goodyears established the (Dr.) Oliver and Carroll Dabezies Endowed Chair at Tulane School of Medicine to honor her parents. Her mother attended Newcomb College and her father, holder of two TU degrees, was an acclaimed ophthalmologist, a teacher in TU’s department of ophthalmology, and a pioneer in the development of contact lenses.

Also inducted — and with representation — were Estate of Robert J. Brennan Jr., St. Petersburg, Florida; Robert P. Dean Jr.FAIA, and Robert A. Epstein, Atlanta; Estate of John F. Honecker, Portland, Oregon; Markham D. Oswald and Nancy Epstein Oswald, Atlanta; Estate of Alan H. Rosenbloum, Gulf Breeze, Florida; and Estate of KD Ruppert, MD, Olympia, Washington.

“Congratulations to the class of 2022,” pronounced president Mike Fitts, who, earlier, had expressed his gratitude to all of them. The next bit was ceremonial. Led by Fitts, everyone raised a glass of Champagne to toast the new inductions.

A ‘Great’ Gathering

For its 44th year, The Great Lady/Great Gentleman Awards limelighted notable people, eight for 2022, who have shown outstanding volunteer service in the Greater New Orleans Area. Take a bow, Dr. Luis Arencibia, Amy Carbonette Cioll, Mattie Hobley, Todd Matherne, Paula Peterson Pizzaloto, Frances Fagot Puig, Debbie Schmitz and Dr. Jeffrey Sketchler. Chateau Golf & Country Club was the site for the laurels and levity. Presented by East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary, the proceeds will benefit the auxiliary’s nursing scholarship, leadership support and certification programs.

Penny Baumer and Dianne Breaux chaired the event with assistance from committee members Lee Baraldi, Jo Ann Bohm, Ruby Brewer, Rosalie Edwards, Carrel Epling, Lisa Hunt, Bonnie Jones, Jerri Klein, Coleen Perilloux Landry, Katherine Landry, Jolene Ryan and Margaret Wagner. Several are also auxiliary board members. Mary Crumb chairs over the board and Lise Naccari is president-elect. The program principals were president Crumb, who welcomed everyone; master of ceremonies dr. chuck cucchiara; and, all with “B” surnames, Baraldi, Baumer, Breaux and Brewer. Richard Tanzella is the EJGH CEO.

The menu for the midday assemblage was spring salad, pecan-crusted catfish and cheesecake with Louisiana strawberries. Various nursing units of the hospital designed the table decorations with the director of nurses and donor of several arrangements, Ruby Brewer, as the winner of the best design. Each table drew numbers to win the centerpieces. Further features throughout the luncheon were “Uncle Wayne” Daigrepont‘s piano music and the 40 enticing auction items, chief of which were baroque pearls from Anton’s Jewelry.

Noted were several past auxiliary presidents – Ginger Crawford, Lorraine Cucchiara, Lynn Skidmore and the above Rosalie Edwards, Jerri Klein, Coleen Landry and Katherine Landry – as well as Barry Breaux, Janet Patterson, Maria Winn, Lisa Baynham, Cindy Enright and dozens more. All extolled the hosting auxiliary, which, in its 50th year, has given more than $2 million to the hospital and its programs.

Harry’s Homecoming

“A Celebration of Good Works” was added to “Harry’s Homecoming” on the invitation issued by the Harry Tompson Center. Supporters were rallied for an afternoon fundraiser for the center’s “unhoused neighbors.” Top donors were Dr. Moises and Rosemary Arriagathe Edgar Monroe Foundation, Ronnie and Gwen Briggs, Donald and Cathy EspenanG-Eazy, Jerry and Shannon Daigle, Fluid Process & Pumps, LLC, Rice-Voelker Fund for Recovery, Richard and Anna Thompson, and Drs. Anand and Maya Irimpen. Maya was the invitation’s artist and Britt Melanconthe graphic designer.

Mastheaders were HTC executive director Emily Bussen Wain; the center’s pastor, the Rev. Anthony McGinn, SJ; and, from the board of directors, president Mary Ann Baudouin, treasurer Craig Silva and secretary Paul Buras. The event committee counted 15 members. A highlight of “Homecoming” was the recognition of Carolyn Nee as the 2022 Legatus Christi Award honoree.

T.Marie and Bayou JuJu provided the entertainment and the Big 3 Giveaway lured with a Florida beach weekend stay, a crawfish boil for 25, and a getaway “to one of five amazing destinations.” Small plates, beer and wine, and casual dress were further come-ons. Of course, the biggest beckoning was to fund services for those most in need in our community.

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