The sounds of Dukes of Dixieland and the Mississippi River, as well as panoramic views of New Orleans and the West Bank from the steamboat Natchez made the Archdiocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul benefit Jazzin on the River a memorable fete for partygoers July 8.
And, for the first time, guests could bring future St. Vincent de Paul Vincentians, which made for a fun-filled family oriented event. The steamboat Natchez helped by providing face painting and a kiddie menu.
“We wanted to give guests and fellow Vincentians the opportunity to bring their children and enjoy this wonderful occasion as a family,” said council president, Alan Demma, who attended with wife Cathy Demma.
The 2017 event, themed Hats Off to Service, featured a top hat raffle, which was also new to the fundraiser with its more than 30 decorated hats. One special design, the Merry Widow, was donated by Yvonne LaFleur. The restaurant raffle — offering a $100 gift card each to Arnaud’s, Antoine’s, Bon Ton Cafe, Clancy’s, Cafe B, Fountain Lounge at The Roosevelt Hotel, Gallagher’s Grill, La Petite Grocery, Keith Young’s Steakhouse and Ruth’s Chris Steak House — proved popular, as well.
In addition to the Dukes of Dixieland, DJ Jeff Tircuit performed.
The 2017 Top Hat award, which is given to a person who has helped carry out the organization’s mission to serve in the community, was Sandra Norman of St. Angela Merici Parish/St. Vincent de Paul Conference. Norman serves as the council board secretary and is part of the team coordinating the St. Vincent de Paul annual Friends of the Poor Walk. She organized the national database for the 30 conferences throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area and is a valued source regarding society policies and procedures. In 2010, Norman was the lead organizer and contact for the society’s National Assembly, for which New Orleans served as host city. Norman is the first female to be recognized individually. Past winners include Ransdell Hebert, Gay and Doug Kariker, Hon. Patrick Schott and Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
Guests at the party included St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Deacon Rudy Rayfield and Iona Rayfield, Barra L. Birrcher, Evelyn Beyer, Janie and Cliff Wright, Leslie and Michael Champagne, Lindsey Harris, Dwight Harris, Horace Bynum Jr., Melanie Rose, Jan Harrison, Cecilia and Mike McNeil, Dionne Thompson and Mia Thompson, Nicole Saulny, Joseph Alfred Owumi, Amelie Wax, Trevor Pitts, Samantha Schott,…