James Taylor sells out Civic Center for Christus event

Albert Nolen

Taylor made … The oh-so-talented James Taylor was a huge draw at the recent Christus Southeast Texas Foundation 36th Annual Gala. The sold-out fundraiser was held at the Beaumont Civic Center with guests seated at 150 different tables (a huge coup for any fundraiser in this day and time). This humble velvet-voiced gentleman wowed the gigantic crowd for over an hour, and sang a career’s worth of favorite hits that brought back tons of memories for many. Chairpersons Susan and Jimmy Simmons and Christus Foundation President Ivy Pate honored Shelley and Joe Tortorice (known to many as King Neches LXVIII) for all of their generous giving and untiring volunteerism to the foundation. Thrilled with the evening were Judy and James Black, Bishop Curtis Guillory, Robin Dauphin, Betty and Bob Toups, Crissy and Todd Clarke, Rhonda and Mike Oszczakiewicz, Chris and Martin Broussard, Jennifer and Brent Bost, Jean and Dennis Moncla, Becky and Rodney Ames, Jeff and Sherrie Branick, Vernon and Sheree Pierce, Kristi and Don Dodd, Molly and Kevin Malouf, Elizabeth and Russ Waddill, Karen and Mike Fuljenz, Stack and Erik Shaw, Susan and Jordan Reese, Lisa and Sam Parigi, Linda and Sam Monroe, Jessica and Dave Parkus, Jane and Ian Angel, Dawn and Gene Isabell, Nicole and Dar Kavouspour, Jean and Gus McFaddin, Debora and Joseph Nightingale, Beth and Brian Bommer, Geri and Clint Talbot, Margi and Rocky Chase, Susan and Allen Perkins, Mayuri and Robby Eaves, Cheryl and Bruce Cummings, Norma and Alan Sampson, Pam and Leo Danna, Nikki and Joe Ramey, Karen and Greg Hamby, Staci and Erik Shaw, Jeana and Ricky Evans, Pat Chamblin, Billy Doornbos, Sallye Keith, Chris Bean, Cindy and Ronnie Jones, Lisa and Tim Sudela, Susan and Ron Arceneaux, Kim and Roy Steinhagen, Julie and Curtis Thorpe, Cindy and Paul Skinner and too many more to mention.

Abracadabra … Kelly Jackson and Mandie Peel make a dynamic duo when it comes to chairing an event. This terrific twosome hosted the Beaumont Children’s Museum Share the Magic Gala at the Civic Center this past Thursday evening, April 21. A rowdy and successful live auction raised tons of money for the museum, with high bidders Charlotte Levine, Nicole and Mike Albanese, and Joe Fisher walking away with the fantastic auction packages. Nicole Murray and Garrett Peel welcomed the stylish young crowd to event, and introduced Brandon Fisher, who acknowledge Michael Hoke, a local science educator and museum advocate who passed away last year, and presented the Hoke Recognition Award to Lisa Waddell. Enjoying the delicious appetizers and marvelous meal were Anna and Will McNeill, Sierra and Jefferson Fisher, Sarah and Mark Frasher, Dana and Slate Babineaux, Lindsay and Steve Zummo, Brandi and Warren Claybar, Justin Jackson, Brooke Hall, Beth Schreck, Becca Amy, Chelsea and Nathan Brandimarte, and Melissa and Lenny Caballero. The highlight of the evening was the spectacular magic of Kyle Ryan!

Finger lickin’ good … J. Wilson’s is serving mouth-watering fried chicken, mashed potatoes and slaw on Wednesday nights. For the last several weeks it was sold out by 7 p.m., so get there early for some southern goodness!

News of I do’s … Congrats to Sharla Shelton and Ken Fredeman on their recent engagement! And last Saturday evening, April 23, Betsy Walker and Jered Kendell exchanged wedding vows on the grounds of Broussard Farm among family and friends. The bride’s family – sister Katie Oppliger, mother Jan Fulbright, stepmom and father Rhonda and Ronnie Walker, grandfathers Mack Fulbright and Charlie Walker, and aunts Suzi Perry and Dianne Fulbright – as well as the groom’s mother Devra Simpson and dad Johnny Simpson, were thrilled with the marriage merger of this precious couple. Congrats!

Candles and cakes … Belated best to Anne Wells, Jim Fiorenza, Scott Thibodeaux, Colby Gober, Janie Landry and Mike Peyton. B-day wishes to Mattie Phelan, Joette Reger, Deborah Drago, Susan Geyser, Bruce Hoffer, Patti Cure, Aislinn Phelan, Shane McGallion, Rusty Hall, Beau Procter and Gina Halbert.

Until the next RSVP!