Final tally taken as 2012 gold rush begins

Gold strike … The Art Museum of Southeast Texas held the annual “Go for the Gold” fundraiser last week, and it was a golden success. More museum supporters attended the reverse drawing than ever before. Dynamic duo and GFTG chairs Carla Allen and Linda Foutz did a fantastic job rounding up so many folks to attend this terrific event. “Texas Country Reporter” Bob Phillips and KFDM anchor Kelli Phillips did a super job entertaining the crowd and keeping ticket-holders on the edge of their seats throughout the evening, as each losing ticket was pulled from the hopper. Two Magnolias prepared a gourmet meal of brisket sliders and barbecue chicken with brownie bites as the mouthwatering dessert. Go for the Gold winners were Roger McCabe with first place ($10,000 in gold coins), Hervy Hiner in second place ($1,500 in gold coins) and Mike Albanese in third place ($1,000 in gold coins). Michele Smith sold the winning tickets, therefore receiving a free ticket for next year. Judy Ware won the 2012 Go for the Gold ticket in the $1 raffle and Katherine Fouts guessed closest to the correct number of gold coins in the vase to also win a 2012 Go for the Gold ticket. Seen in the mix were Judy Dishman, Judy and James Black, Barbara and Bob Quinn, Christina Delgadillo, Tam and Tom Keihnhoff, Carlo Busceme, Marcia and John Stevens, Gillian and Will Jenkins, Gloria and Charles Locke, Tammy and Scott Crutchfield, Susanne Garrett, Shirley Donnelly, Mitch Smith, Betty Wells, Earl Brickhouse, Mildred Hall, Jeanette Greer, Colene and Bob Hansen, Katie and Drew Barnes, Beverly Collie, Kathleen Morgan, Pride and Richard Parr, Dean Terrebone, Margaret Wheelus, Rusty Chimeno and too many more to mention. A grand time was had by all!

Mardi Gras for a cause … Last Saturday evening, the Holiday Inn ballroom was the setting for the fifth annual Ubi Caritas Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance. Betty and Hal Clarke chaired this year’s soiree with the help of Sandra Benski, Mike Peyton, Richard Swope (who out-bid me on a perfect chocolate cake), Nancy Grove, Jan Blessing, Pat Ritchie, Kathy Doane, Lauren and Brent Rahe, Denice Thomas, Cara Shrontz, Chris Stedman, Laurel Shrontz and several more. Gumbo, salad and other southern treats certainly filled up the tummies of the rowdy and generous merrymakers. David Lowell, president of Ubi Caritas Board, welcomed guests and Nancy DeForest said the invocation. Becki Burton led the Doo Dah parade and bidding was high for the creative and delicious cakes. Ann Butler announced the 2011 royalty court as Peyton Jones and David Grove represented St. Mark’s and Julie Scott and Tim Schreck represented St. Stephen’s Church. Partygoers kept the dance floor packed to the sounds of Mid-Life Crisis. Finally came the crowning of the Mardi Gras 2011 King and Queen Tim Schreck and Julie Scott. Congrats on a having a party that supports such a worthy cause!

The annual Beaumont caravan to New Orleans Mardi Gras did not disappoint in what according to my calculations is the 15th year of merrymaking. Friday night, guests sipped on the famous Pimm’s Cup cocktails at Napoleon House followed by a traditional Bourbon Street stroll. Taking part in the festivities were Mickey Phelan, Ellen and Danny Phelan, Lexie and Stephen Mouton, Gillian and Will Jenkins, Ashley and Tab Bryan, Mitch Smith, Stephanie and Bernie Daleo, Geri Christopher, Jennifer and Bart Nichols, Gina and Dean Halbert, Monica and Jimmy Broussard, Christi and Rocky Lawdermilk, Lisa and Bryan Mathews, Jeff and Mandy Oliverio, Mandy and Brian Mazzola, Rob Mayfield, Mark and Denise Smith, Melynda Hurst, and Dave and Tamara Spell. Saturday called for beignets by the “Mighty Mississip,” oysters for lunch, French Quarter shopping and the highlight of the weekend, Galatoire’s Restaurant!

Afterwards, a few rounds around the piano at the Hotel Monteleone Carousel Bar and this crew had hit it all. Indistinguishable from the locals, these visitors were celebrating NOLA top-shelf style!

Storkmarketing … Congratulations to Sarah and Mark Frasher on the birth of their baby girl Anne Collette Frasher.

Candles and cakes … B-day wishes to Bonnie Tortorice, Debra Johnson, Nancy McGrade, Phoebe Dishman, Ashley Bryan, Brian Sattler, Cecile Burandt, Mike Jenkins, Andre Cokinos, Dana Reaud, Rob Mayfield, Hope Serio, Foss Bean, Madison Martin (sweet 16!) and Jimmy Simmons.Until the next RSVP!