Project Lazarus honors major advocates at its 25th annual dinner.
Rodney and Frances Smith with Eric and Anna Oleson
Project Lazarus celebrated 25 years of helping people living with AIDS at its Annual Guardian Angel Awards Dinner. The sold-out event started at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails outside in the blooming gardens at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters.
Project Lazarus provides services to people with AIDS who cannot live on their own or whose families cannot care for them. Steve Rivera, Project Lazarus Director of Development, says the event was “a homecoming, a renewal of focus and attention of what we can do to help people living with AIDS who have nowhere else to go.”
The Southern plantation-style decorations of silver-painted magnolia leaves and silver
accents reflected the theme of honoring Project Lazarus’ “guardian angels,” people who have spent years working toward the organization’s goals.
The two “angels” honored this year were Father Bob Pawell, O.F.M., and Julian Doerr Mutter. Pawell is a Franciscan friar who co-founded Project Lazarus 25 years ago. Mutter was a longtime Project Lazarus Chair who has been supportive of Project Lazarus expansion and – as Doerr Furniture owner – has helped with the home’s furnishing process.
There was a variety of entertainment for the evening, as Henry Butler provided music, and actors from New Orleans Actors Equity Association put on a 12-minute dramatic reading about Project Lazarus’ mission.