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Memphis Moments

Incognito Art Auction and Gala

Urban Arts Commission

Ennead Coronation

Italian Winterfest

Literacy is Key Luncheon

Les Passees Cabaret Ball

Soup Sunday

Ptah Coronation

Works of Heart

Annual AWA Awards Banquet

Whiskey, Wines and Chocolates

Luxor Coronation

RaMet Coronation

Sphinx Coronation


Stories by Bill Bannister, Robin Gallaher Branch, Suzanne Thompson Cozza, Emily Adams Keplinger and Rebecca Yearout.


Photos by Bill Bannister, Robin Gallaher Branch, Suzanne Thompson Cozza, Emily Adams Keplinger and Rebecca Yearout.

 
 

Incognito Art Auction and Gala

Supporting Memphis Botanic Garden

The Incognito Art Auction and Gala was held at Memphis Botanic Garden. This evening of food and fun is an annual fundraiser for the wonderful programs of art, education and horticulture put on by Memphis Botanic Garden throughout the year. Admission included two drink tickets and access to a wide assortment of fine wines and beers, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres from Stone Soup Cafe’, Fratelli’s, and Another Roadside Attraction. Gibson’s Donuts provided a mouth-watering donut bar including hot coffee along with red velvet and blueberry delights. The sold-out event featured over 100 artists who were wearing masks so as not to be recognized. Guests bid on art works that struck their fancy without knowing the name of the artists who created their selections. Special guest host was Kacky Walton of WKNO’s “Checking On The Arts.” This year’s Incognito Art Auction was presented by Suntrust Bank.

 
 

Urban Arts Commission

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary

Hundreds of supporters of the Memphis Urban Art Commission gathered at the Medicine Factory at 85 Virginia Avenue West in downtown’s toney South Main Arts District for a fundraiser to mark the commission’s 20th anniversary. Guests mingled to the sounds of DJ Alex Turley while enjoying champagne, premium liquors, a huge selection of fine wines, and ice cold PBR. Food for the occasion was provided by Brown Burch, Second Line, Bounty on Broad, and Burning River Catering, and was truly fitting for a gathering of discerning art lovers. Partygoers enjoyed such culinary delights as Fois Gras Pannacotta, oysters on the half shell with marinated mussels, Crawfish Salad, Flounder Ceviche, Pork Belly Bites with pate and skewers of white anchovy and olives served alongside cups of chicken and sausage gumbo on a fluffy bed of rice Sponsors included Anna Wunderlich Consulting, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Looney Ricks Kiss, and Loaded For Bear.

     
 

Ennead Coronation

A Celtic Garden Party

The Ennead coronation kicked off this year’s Carnival Memphis events as members and guests assembled at the Holiday Inn - University of Memphis for the 27th coronation of the krewe’s king and queen. The scene was set for a Celtic Garden Party, a theme which paid tribute to the heritage of this year’s royalty. Ascending to their respective thrones were Queen Dottie Crihfield and King Charles Humphreys. Their royal court included Duchesses Sally Gentry, Connie Spencer and Teresa Turan, each attired in emerald green satin strapless gowns featuring a fan-shaped bodice which resembled tulip petals, and Dukes Jim Sharpe, Ed Wallace and Don Davis. Joining them was Richard Raichelson, chairman of Ennead. Bernie Krock served as Flagman and Jerry Michie and Randy West were the queen’s guards. Piper J. Stephen Sanders announced the royal procession and everyone was invited to participate in supporting Carnival’s Krewes for Kids endeavors. Then as flecks of emerald green light enveloped the room, party-goers began to dance the night away to tunes performed by Even Odds.

     
 

Italian Winterfest

That's Amore

Approximately 800 guests attended the 7th annual Italian Winterfest at the Racquet Club of Memphis. The event featured fare from 15 Memphis restaurants and included music performed by Tony Barrasso and the DJ expertise of Michael Spano. Sponsored by First Tennessee, the event benefitted the Catholic Education Scholarship Fund and Ave Maria Home, a long-term care community. The event raised “a little over $42,000,” said Lisa Bell, Ave Maria’s Director of Advancement. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland was the 2017 Honored Guest of Winterfest and the Most Reverend J. Terry Steib, S.V.D., Diocese of Memphis Bishop Emeritus was recognized with the Outstanding Service Award. In accepting their awards Strickland said, “I believe the best days are ahead,” and Bishop Steib brought smiles as he led guests in his well-known saying, “God is good all the time.”

     
 

Literacy is Key Luncheon

Book & Author Event

The Memphis Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) Fraternity hosted its seventh annual “Literacy is Key: A Book & Author Event” at the Holiday Inn - University of Memphis. Approximately 450 guests attended the event, which included a luncheon followed by presentations by featured authors Elin Hilderbrand, Karen White and Deborah Wiles. Burke’s Book Store partnered with KKG for book sales and after the luncheon, attendees had the opportunity to meet the authors as they signed copies of their works. Proceeds from this event will benefit literacy-oriented agencies including First Book Mid-South, a nonprofit organization that provides children from low-income families with their first new books.

 
     
 

Les Passees Cabaret Ball

“Puttin’ on the Ritz”

The Les Passees Cabaret Ball, in its 96th year, was “Puttin’ on the Ritz” at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Adam Heart Memphis tickled the ivories, as guests enjoyed appetizers and mingled while browsing silent auction items. Inside Hardin Hall, tables were draped in black and white linen, with towering black vases filled with white Calla Lilies as centerpieces. Incoming president of the club, Judy Ashby, was introduced by outgoing president Joyce Carter, who made welcoming comments. “We’re going back to the roaring 20s, the era of our founders,” she said. “Though things have changed dramatically for women since then, the mission of Les Passees has not.” Les Passees is the city’s oldest women’s charity, with the mission to enhance the lives of children and families in the Mid-South. Part of the annual tradition at the Cabaret Ball is the introduction of “Living Ads,” accomplished young women who are sponsored by companies. Each young lady and her escort was preceded by a page, dressed for the theme, who also had an escort. The Living Ads stepped to the center of the ballroom, carrying armfuls of Calla Lilies. Charlotte Livesay represented FedEx, Emily Garrison represented the Henry Turley Foundation, Kenedee Cummings represented Bank Tennessee and Gill Properties, Jeanne Tutor represented James Middleton Jewelers, and Mary Addison Wadsworth represented Travelennium.

     
 

Soup Sunday

Supporting Youth Villages

Nearly 50 Mid-South restaurants and over 2500 patrons turned out for the 28th annual Youth Villages Soup Sunday at the FedEx Forum. In addition to signature soups, restaurants also served up specialty items including appetizers, breads, and desserts — all as a benefit for Youth Villages Mentoring Program. The Memphis Doctors Dance Band entertained the crowd and a Kid Zone offered activities to keep the younger set engaged. A VIP Souper Party on the Pinnacle Level offered additional speciality items and adult beverages. In a People’s Choice contest, Babalu Tacos and Tapas’ Chicken Tortilla Soup won top bragging  rights for Best Soup, while Hope Church Memphis won Best Specialty Item for their Pimento Cheese with Crackers, Nothing Bundt Cake garnered Best Dessert with their assorted Bundtinis and the Souper Spirit Award went to A Moveable Feast & HOG WILD Catering Companies for their Chicken and Waffle Fritter with North Memphis White Sauce.

 

 

 

Ptah Coronation

A Royal Presentation

The Grand Krewe of Ptah held its Coronation Ball at The Great Hall in Germantown. Tables with centerpieces of red roses were strewn with diamond-shaped crystals. A large, glistening crystal chandelier dangled above the thrones where the King, Ken Zimmerman, and Queen, Karen Davis, sat after the court was presented. Queen Karen chose “Queen of Diamonds and Soul” as the 2017 Ptah theme. “My grandmother started my love of fine jewelry when I was a child,” she said. They were flanked by their princesses, Selina Chan Smith, Jackie Zimmerman, Julie Eaves and Mary Alice Royko. A buffet of light appetizers was available throughout the evening, and The Dantones played while the group danced until midnight.

 

Works of Heart

Benefiting the Memphis Child Advocacy Center

Towers of flames and a heart-shaped candelabra filled with glowing votives greeted guests as they entered the main gallery of the Memphis College of Art for the silver anniversary of Works of Heart. Art lovers and supporters came to bid on more than 100 heart-themed works of art. Joe Birch from WMC served as the evening’s emcee. Volunteers called Heart Hawkers wore red feather boas and encouraged the bidding while sharing facts about the participating artists. Winning bidders acquired unique works of art made by some of the best-known names in the region, such as Jimpsie Ayres, Brin and Dale Baucum, Valerie Berlin, Karen Capps, Tom Clifton, Maritza Davila, Pinkney Herbert, George Hunt, David Mah, John McIntire, Veda Reed, Murray Riss, John Robinette, Jon Sparks, Agnes Stark, Carroll Todd, and N. J. Woods. “For 25 years, Memphis-area artists have mobilized to help our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” explained Virginia Stallworth, Executive Director of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. “All proceeds benefit the children served at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.”

     
 

Annual AWA Awards Banquet

Recognizing Women's Achievements in the Legal Profession

The 37th Annual Association for Women Attorneys’ (AWA) Awards Banquet was held at The Tower Room. Mary Wolff was honored with The Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award for outstanding achievement in the legal profession. It was the first time in the organization’s history the award has been given posthumously. Wolff’s long-time law partner Pat Ardis, of Wolff Ardis, P.C., gave the acceptance speech, which was full of endearing vignettes about Wolff and her dedication to helping people through her dedication to excellence in the practice of law. Francis M. Riley presented $10,000 in AWA scholarships, which were awarded to seven law school students: Karlyn Washington, Stephanie Berish, Kelly Hagy, Callie Tran, Holly Stanford, Ashley Finch and Liz Stagich. In addition to the $10,000 in scholarships, two $5,000 gifts were presented, one to the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis, and the other to First Tee of Memphis, a program that teaches golf to inner-city school students. Claudia Haltom, former judge magistrate at Juvenile Court and founder of the A Step Ahead Foundation, was the keynote speaker.

     
 

Whiskey, Wines and Chocolates

An Exhilirating Pairing

The “Whiskey, Wines and Chocolates” event at the Memphis Botanic Garden was a sweet, intoxicating evening benefiting the Gardens. Attendees were able to socialize in the gallery and Hardin Hall, where the band Objekt12 was performing. Chocolates by Phillip Ashley and complementing alcoholic drinks were offered, ranging from brut champagne to lime-flavored margaritas paired with sweet bites for each drink. Guests could purchase liquor at a cash bar and BeLeaf cigars had a variety of cigars for sale. The patio outside Hardin Hall was open for cigar smokers or those wishing to take in a beautiful view of the full moon that evening. Executive Director Michael Allen said around 340 people came to the third annual event. Magician Grayson Smith circled around the crowd showing off tricks. Grayson is also a volunteer magician at the VA and has been volunteering at the Botanic Garden, including their “Tuesdays on the Terrace” event, nine years.

     
 

Luxor Coronation

"San Francisco Nights"

The Coronation Ball for the Grand Krewe of Luxor, held at The Esplanade, was a celebration of San Francisco. Queen Toni Parker chose the theme, “San Francisco Nights,” in honor of the city where she and her husband met in 1984. Tables were decorated in several different ‘Frisco-related motifs. On some tables, a ship’s helm, painted with the words “Fisherman’s Wharf,” topped centerpieces, the bases of which were fashioned from lobster crate material. Other centerpieces were crowned with Chinese lanterns, on bases adorned with fans. Hanging happy faces, with peace signs on the opposite side festooned with lights, were the focal point for other tables, a nod to Haight Ashbury. Following the presentation of the four duchesses and the queen, King Gerry Ward, known for his moves on the dance floor, entered with a flourish, dancing up and down the aisle. Following the presentation, Luxor guests were treated to a full breakfast buffet.

     
 

RaMet Coronation

"Winter Wonderland"

Winter Wonderland was the theme of the Mystic Society of RaMet’s Coronation Ball, held at Memphis Botanic Garden. Throughout the ballroom there were images that brought to mind the wintery theme. Strings of iridescent beads dangled from centerpieces made of white paper flowers, creating the effect of ice dripping from snowballs. The buffet table of hors d’oeuvres was accented with a miniature winter castle. Dr. Donnie Owens served as emcee, introducing past RaMet queens, as well as visiting royalty from other krewes. This year’s four duchesses were presented, each wearing a royal blue gown with a white stole draped over her shoulders. A former military man, King Charlie Smithers made a grand entrance through an arch of swords. Not to be outdone, Queen Sara Van Dyke gave the crowd a special treat before she entered as a group of ballerinas from the Children’s Ballet Theater danced into the room to Vivaldi’s “Winter.”

     
 

Sphinx Coronation

"A Night at the Oscars"

Members of Carnival Memphis and their guests were dressed to walk the red carpet at the Grand Krewe of Sphinx’s Coronation Ball, held at TPC Southwind. Themed “A Night at the Oscars,” movie memorabilia, including miniature Oscar statues and tiny golden Champagne glasses surrounded the centerpieces.  Centerpieces were fashioned out of large vases, each containing tiny footlights that illuminated a black-and-white glossy of a former Academy Award-winning actor or actress. Crowning the vase was a large, 8 mm film roll with faux film dangling from it. Queen Kim Flynn talked about the parallelism between films and Carnival Memphis. “Films are mixed genres, like the many different groups in Carnival,” she said. “Documentaries can change lives, and Carnival changes lives by supporting children’s charities.” Amber Roettgen was honored with the 2017 James Crow Award for Outstanding Service to Carnival Memphis.