This June, we’re featuring one of my favorite causes on our cover: Young Aspirations/Young Artists! The second annual “Just Say YA/YA” event will take place Thursday, July 22 at the brand new The 12 Bar on 608 St. Peters St., in the Warehouse District. As you can see, I’m one of the co-chairs, along with Cathy Bienvenu of Gallerie Bienvenu.

Thanks also to Rontherin Ratliff, Production Manager of YA/YA; Paul Wright a YA/YA guild artist; and most importantly Jana Napoli, YA/YA’s founder. Most of you are aware of the unique YA/YA chairs (each artist must produce them to become a YA/YA artist), but YA/YA also trains high school students to become entrepreneurs, instructors, artists and role models for their families and communities. YA/YA reaches more than 600 Orleans Parish students each year with workshops and outreach programs. Napoli has generously given YA/YA a matching gift of up to $50,000 this year so Bienvenu, Kay Kerrigan and I are asking for $2,500 and $1,000 donations, as well as Patron Levels that range from $250 to $500 a couple. The regular tickets will be $30 per person. Patrons will be treated to a 6:30 p.m. pre-party with a surprise guest artist, fabulous musicians and hors d’oeuvres, while the gala, 7:30-9:30 p.m., will have music, a full bar and wonderful delicacies from the finest local restaurants. Napoli is donating one of her fabulous three-dimensional flowers edged in gold leaf for the live auction, which will be emceed by Eric Paulson. You definitely want to be there!

This month we’re featuring What’s Hot for Father’s Day, which will give you great ideas for the man who has everything. Summer is here in earnest and our Children’s Chic Feature shows you some fabulous outfits for your little ones. We all have our favorite pets and there are so many new places that really know how to treat your pets!

That said, in this issue we also offer a feature on the newest and greatest ways to pamper your pet.

A great new boutique, T., has opened at 3900 Magazine St. Owners Melissa Biggs and Lauren Hall offer an exceptionally well edited collection of labels including Inhabit, Rag & Bone, Genetic Denim, Etoile by Isabel Marant and Jerome Dreyfuss. T. has a great selection of shoes, jewelry and accessories too.

Now for an exciting two-day event for passionate foodies at our favorite Bayona. It all starts on June 14, when Bayona celebrates its 20th birthday. On Monday there will be a cocktail reception and symposiums from past chefs and sous chefs who will be leading cooking demonstrations and lessons. Tuesday will be the Grand Gala featuring a cocktail reception at Hermann Grima and then a five-course dinner created by famous chefs John Harris, Donald Link and Greg Collier. The dinner and reception are $265 a person; space is limited so definitely call 525-4455 and make your reservations early.

Congratulations to Nancy Marsiglia for receiving the Hannah G. Solomon Award for 2010 – so
well deserved!

Have a great and relaxed summer. Pray for all of the fishermen and their families who have been affected by the oil spill and volunteer if you have time to help!