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Hats Off to Opera

Whimsical hats and a derby theme marked the 33rd annual “Mad Hatters.”

Event Chairs Dominique Giordano, Joanne Mantis and Melanie Manzella

Jeff Strout

Tables adorned with gold trophy cups tied with red ribbons and roses, cupcakes and horse toppers and horseshoe-shaped cookies welcomed guests to the festive “Mad Hatter’s Luncheon and Fashion Show” themed “A Day at the Races.”

The morning Champagne Reception featured the Messy Cookers jazz combo and light bites. Stephen Orejudos, a Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra trumpet player, summoned guests to their seats for the luncheon with an enthusiastic series of “Call to Post Fanfare.”

A Hat Contest featured celebrity judges: Becky Allen, Liz Copeland, Holley Haag, Cher Nungesser, Wendy Rodrigue, Suzanne Scott and Pat Shane. Following the contest, Penny Baumer welcomed patrons and Jean Rice delivered the invocation. Winners were: Betty Brooks Doss, Sherri H. Santagelo, Paula Duplantis, Melissa Gordon, Lorraine Cucchiara, Anton Heine, Margie Mielke, Jeannine Mielke, Irene Klinger, Anna Ortega, Dee Long, Stephanie Klekamp, Carol Hall, April Hurry, Pam Rogers, Debora Alciatore Empey, Eileen Capritto, Mary Dana Dandry, Betsy Dowling, Virginia Eckholdt and Louana DeMatteo.

The Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show featured St. John’s 2017 Spring Collection with models flown in from Houston. Later, the Hat Auction featured more than 50 hats designed and decorated by Guild Members and community leaders, in addition to a silent auction featuring art and a staycation.

Joanne Mantis, Dominique Giordano and Melanie Manzella served as Event Chairs, and emcee was Mike Hoss. Funds from the event were donated to the New Orleans Opera Association and used to educate and expose children to opera, fund opera performances each season and maintain the Women’s Guild Home located in the Garden District.
 


EVENT AT A GLANCE

What: “Mad Hatters Luncheon and Fashion Show: A Day at the Races,” benefiting The Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera Association
When: Wednesday, March 22
Where: New Orleans Hilton Riverside

 

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