Annual gala supported Project Lazarus’ mission to provide a home and services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
Co-Chair Jason Waguespack, Honoree Bruce Gallassero and Vincent Saia Jr. and Co-Chair Mark McKeown
Photographed by Kenny Martinez
Project Lazarus’ annual “Guardian Angel Award Gala” celebrated and honored the Guardian Angel Award recipients while raising awareness and funds to support the home for people living with HIV/AIDS. Along with transitional housing, the agency provides social services, substance abuse counseling, educational programming and more.
Guardian Angel awards were presented to Bruce Gallassero and Vincent Saia Jr. for their unforgettable and lasting impact of their contributions to Project Lazarus. Co-Chairs Jason Waguespack and Mack McKeown presented the awards.
Very Reverend Paul Desrosiers, founder of Project Lazarus, delivered the invocation. Additional speeches were made by Board Chair Laura Fine and Executive Director Steve Rivera. A special video presentation celebrated the accomplishments of Billy, a former resident who has overcome adversity to achieve success.
Warren Jacker Jr. and David Cortez memorialized Sister Marcy Romine, OSF with a thoughtful speech and video tribute, touching on her nine years working at Project Lazarus, as well as her impact on the entire community. Warren also announced that Project Lazarus will be naming a garden on the property the Sister Marcy Angel Garden.
The gala, which took place in the Ace Hotel New Orleans, began with a cocktail hour in the atrium of Barnett Hall and a silent auction in the dining room. The 30 prizes available featured art, vacation, wellness and restaurant packages, including a two-night stay at the Ace Hotel New Orleans with dinner at Café Degas and a custom-made Paul Gruer lamp. Ben Batalla of Tulane Catholic Center played piano.
The live auction featured seven art and vacation packages, with a premier package of a five-night vacation at a condo in Rome, donated by board member Madelaine Kuns Bruschini and her husband Francesco. Other packages of interest were an original David Lumpkin painting and a theatre package with season subscriptions to Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré and Southern Rep Theatre.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Guardian Angel Award Gala,” benefiting Project Lazarus
When: Friday, May 12
Where: Ace Hotel New Orleans
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