It is hard to believe, but Amazing Grapes Wine Auction is celebrating its 26th year on May 13 and you don’t want to miss it! Thanks to co-chairs Mary Funderburk and Courtney Murphy; Hermann-Grima/Gallier Houses Executive Director Mamie S. Gasperecz; Barry Wiss, CWE Vice President of Trade Relations, Trinchero Family Estates; and Keith de la Gardelle, CSW, Regional Manager of Louisiana and Mississippi, Trinchero Family Estates, for gracing our cover this month. The patron party kicks off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception at the Hermann-Grima House, where The Delachaise will provide sparkling cocktails and tasty munchables from the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group. Everyone will then second-line up the street to the Omni Royal Orleans, where they’ll be treated to a fabulous gourmet meal, wines by Trinchero Family Estates and incredible silent and live auctions run by Ruthie Winston. Of course you all know that this event supports not only the Hermann-Grima House but the Gallier House as well. Both are dedicated to providing educational programs to area schools and to the preservation of their two National Landmark Museums. Get your tickets early, because seating is limited, by calling 274-0746.

Also on the same day, please support Grace House, which is honoring Nell Nolan, Dottie Reese and me, for their annual luncheon that will be held at the Audubon Tea Room. It is such a great cause, and the tickets are $85 a piece.

You definitely can go to both.

I know that you want to check out all of the fundraisers coming up, and there’s no better way to do so than by reading our Registry of Charitable Events! It lists every event submitted to this magazine, so get “on the ball” and check to see that your event isn’t on the same night as another fundraiser.

What’s Hot features great Mother’s Day gifts, and if you’d also like to take Mom to brunch, lunch or happy hour, we’ve got great suggestions to wow her.

It isn’t too late to plan a great trip, whether near or far, so look to our summer travel feature for ideas.

One other event I’d really like you to attend is Sippin’ in Seersucker for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on May 20 at The Shops at Canal Place. Director of Public Relations (and former Avenue editor) Sue Strachan tells me this is “the year” to attend. Enjoy music from Preservation Hall-Stars and DJ Soul Sister. Raffle packages include gift cards for shopping in The Shops at Canal Place, tickets to shows at Tipitina’s and other music venues around town, hotel stays, fine wine and much more. The food and concoctions are complimentary, and there’s also a popular seersucker ensemble contest. Tickets are only $25 for museum members and $35 nonmembers. Call 539-9616 for more information and tickets.

If you’re getting ready to renovate, you’ve got to go to Smart Buy Interiors, which is owned by one of my favorite people, George Fowler IV. It is located on the corner of Houma and Veterans boulevards (4230 Veterans Memorial Blvd.) and they have great showrooms. Whether you’re tackling your whole house or just a kitchen, a bathroom or flooring, they have it all. When you call, a salesman comes to your house and takes measurements – all for free – then figures the best items (wood, cork, granite …) for whatever you need. They work within your budget and come up with a “new” dream home just for you. Visit or or call 455-4700 for more information.

Have fun at Jazz Fest and definitely go to the Whitney Zoo-To-Do. They are expanding the hours at the zoo, and you don’t want to miss the new Splash Park – a perfect way to cool off with these sizzling nights coming up!