Ready for a big night on the town

Ready for  a big night  on the town

a few hours into the popular Moulin Rouge, patterned after the 2001 jukebox musical film directed, produced and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. This one-of-a-kind gala, black-tie event benefits the Baptist Cancer Center of Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. The La Soiree committee is busy putting all of the finishing touches on the event planned for Jan. 28, and it’s sure to be a fashionable and fun happening.

“This is the fourth year for La Soiree,” said Kristie Young, Baptist Hospital’s executive director. “The event was created to help raise funds, and to raise the visibility of the hospitals in the community. We wanted to make sure we did everything first class to reflect the level of care that the hospital provides for its patients.” Young added that the first event was held after Hurricane Ike and that on that night, they had to compete with three large weddings in the area. “We really had to sell the concept of what we were doing that first year,” said Young. “La Soiree is not your typical Sunday afternoon fashion show. It is New York meets Southeast Texas.”

Chairs for one of the area’s most anticipated events are Dr. Gene and Dawn Isabell (right), along with Scott and Tammy Crutchfield, and they are working hard to make sure this La Soiree is one to be remembered for years to come. There will be surprises aplenty to entertain the guests throughout the evening. Festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour and silent auction that will feature a variety of items sure to catch the attention of every guest. The highlight of the evening will be a high-end fashion extravaganza with professional and local models who will strut the walkway and show off the latest trends for the upcoming season. Following the fashion show, the Motion Band from Dallas will have guests up on their feet and singing along.

Blinc Productions will produce the fashion show. This firm produces the fashion week in Houston and fashion shows across the country. Lindsay Briggs, a professional model from Page Parkes, and Beaumont native Mary Henderson Grimes will be wearing clothing from Ella & Scott, YaYa Club, Jackie’s, Bella Bella, and Jos. A. Banks. Beaumont’s own Barbara Quinn will serve as maestro and open the show, which will also feature selections from the collection of local fashion icon Betty Greenberg. Also from Beaumont is Irene Ramirez, a retired model who is the clinical manager at the Charline and Sidney “Chief” Dauphin Cancer Screening and Prevention Center.

This engaging fashion show will also feature local dancers from City Dance, West Brook High School Stars Senior Officers, Lamar University Dance Team, Baptist Hospital’s own mother-daughter singing sensation Robin and Katie Whitney, and family member Debbie Pallone to perform a number from the popular “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack.During the big event, the Evelyn M. Lord Humanitarian of the Year Award will be presented to an individual in the community who has made a meaningful impact on Baptist Hospitals. This award was created last year in recognition for former Beaumont Mayor Lord’s service to the Baptist Cancer Center.

Young said that funds raised would support the Baptist Cancer Center, which includes the Charline and Sidney “Chief” Dauphin Cancer Screening and Prevention Center and the Julie and Ben Rogers Cancer Institute. Monies raised from past galas helped fund the breast health expansion at the Dauphin Center, which was completed at the end of last year. In addition, La Soiree donations assisted with a makeover of the Rogers Institute and helped establish a family room on the oncology unit at Baptist Hospital.

More than 90 committee members have pooled their efforts to see that this gala is truly exciting, helpful to the community, and one not to be missed. “The silent auction has some wonderful items in it,” said Young with enthusiasm. “These folks have been working for months on all of the details, and we truly want it to be the best event in town.”Ticket and table sponsorships for the event are available by calling (409) 212-6110. Tickets for are $150 each, and table sponsorships range from $1,500 to $50,000. View auction items at on the Web.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.