The Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit and Alice herself made a special appearance at the New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild’s annual “Mad Hatters 31st Un-Birthday Luncheon,” chaired by Karen Villavaso and Dr. Jane Miller. Margaret Orr served as Mistress of Ceremonies, President Betsy Dowling delivered welcoming remarks and Jean Rice specifically composed the invocation for Mad Hatters.
A champagne Patron Party preceded the luncheon in the Grand Ballroom of the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. Guests dined on crawfish and mirliton bisque, Abita beer braised short ribs, rosti potato haricot verte and cliptop carrots.
Cakes made in the form of a hat served as centerpieces for each table.
Chairman Mary Dana Dandry organized a hat fashion show with Saks Fifth Avenue, with categories including Most Whimsical, Most Beautiful, Best Ensemble, Festive Fascinator, Best Original Theme, Best Group and the Mad Hatter’s “Choice” Award.
In addition to an auction, the Wonderland Raffle included prizes such as a two-night stay at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, a $500 gift basket from Saks Fifth Avenue, a $350 wine and liquor basket and a one-night stay at the J W Marriott for two. A game of 50/50 made $2,500, and the winner took home half the pool.
The Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera is entrusted with raising money to support opera in New Orleans, running the national historic landmark “Opera Guild Home” and exposing opera productions to children to provide educational opportunities and the encouragement of talented young voices.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Mad Hatters 31st Un-Birthday Luncheon,” benefiting Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera
When: Tuesday, March 10
Where: Hilton New Orleans Riverside