Bottoms up for AMSET benefit

Beerfest … More than 500 beer lovers descended upon the Art Museum of Southeast Texas last week to attend the Art of Beer benefiting AMSET and then head into the Yappy Hour hosted by Beaumont Main Street. Distributors of the tasty brews were Giglio Distributing, Del Papa Distributing Co. and Ben E. Keith Beverages, along with brewery reps Kelsey Lamb (a Beaumont native) with St. Arnold Brewing Co. and Corey Nelson of Cornel’s Brewing Co. The entertainment certainly drew a large crowd as fans of Tracy Byrd were thrilled to attend the musical star’s local performance. Edibles were provided by Abbie’s Imports, HEB, Zummo Meat Co., K.J. Bradford Pastry Concierge (beer cream), Basic Foods, Cater to You, Rao’s Bakery, Two Magnolias and Major League Grill. All the goodies, fun and entertainment came together due to committee members Emily and Jeffrey “Yeast Priest” Wheeler, Craig Kinsel with wife Keely, Bernie Daleo and Joshua Cavett (wife Lauren was also in attendance). Sipping and supping were Randy Edwards, Mike O’Pry, Brian Fiorenza, Luke Nichols, Jennifer Turner, Adam Nichols, Rachel Grove, Elaine and Charlie Jabbia, Patricia and Josh Tortorice, Shelly and Carl Vitanza, Jean Moncla, Charline and Robin Dauphin, Michelle Byrd, Leah and Austin Williams, and Jessica and Nathan Camp. Bidding on the doggy dream houses and enjoying the spirited auction were Mark Fertitta, Virginia and Ralph Jordan, Kathy and Kevin Peyton, Chris Bean and too many more to mention. A great evening for both deserving organizations!

A karaoke evening … Last Saturday evening, Bayou Jam 2011 benefiting Child Abuse & Forensic Services was held at Starvin Marvin’s Bar & Grill on 11th Street. Early entertainment began with Jack Flash, dinner was served around 8 p.m. and then the upbeat entertainment of Vince Vance & the Valiants rocked the house and a lot of folks in the audience. This was definitely an audience participation band, as Vince Vance came around to several tables enticing guests to join him in song either at their seats or on stage. Joining him in song were Dinah and David Bernsen, Meredith Bernsen, Gerri Christopher, yours truly, and Sammy Bevilacqua, and taking to the stage were Mellie Bevilacqua and Cade Bernsen. The silent and live auction raised around $30,000 for this much needed association. Also in the mix were Katie and Robert Martin, Taylor and Fuller McSpadden, Yolanda and Chris Dowdy, Robin Broussard, Yale DeVillier, and Kristi and Don Dodd, to name a few.

Seeing red … Friends of the Triangle AIDS Network will host “Paint the Town Red: A Toast to Elizabeth Taylor” on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Beaumont Country Club. This elegant evening of art, auctions, entertainment, dancing and fine dining is the major annual fundraiser to benefit TAN. The gala will recognize the late actress’s pioneering efforts on behalf of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Festivities began at 6:30 p.m. with the red-carpet arrival of guests, a champagne receptions, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction. See you there!

Fine dining … A gourmet restaurant opened its doors last week on Boston Avenue in Nederland. Finch Hutton is owned by Chef Rafael Ruiz and is certain to be a hit with people in Mid-County as well as many Beaumont gourmands waning to make the drive for the delicious food.

News of I do’s … Congrats to Cindi and Phillip Battaglia on recently celebrating 38 years of wedded bliss.

Candles and cakes … Champagne toasts to Michelle Phelan, Melissa Caballero, Caralee Thompson, Casey Crenshaw, Gerri Christopher, Madison Phelan, Stephanie Figari, Zachary Miller, Suzanne Maloney, Trent Jenkins, Ina Messina and Lynn Smith.

Until the next RSVP!