he Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera held its 23rd annual “Mad Hatter’s Luncheon” on March 29 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel—complete with the whimsical theme of “Butterfly Gardens.”
Event co-chair Jane Renaudin saw some gorgeous glittering butterfly decorations while visiting Newport and knew they would be the perfect addition to the event. Along with the sparkling butterflies, each table had a lovely centerpiece of orchids that resembled butterflies.
The party began with the hat judging contest. Hats off to Betty Butler for winning “Most Original,” Barbara Heard for “Most Humorous,” Corrinne Fox for “Best Group,” Shirley Sinclair for “Best Opera Theme,” Rosemarie Caskell for “Best Butterfly Garden,” Ann Colfry for “Best Ensemble” and Carol Dienes for “Mad Hatter’s Choice.” Celebrity judges included Jill Hezeau and Lucy Bustamante from WWL-TV/Channel 4, Travers Mackel and Camille Whitworth from WDSU-TV, WWNO’s Jack Hopke, Carolyn Elder from Saks Fifth Avenue, Mario Villa and Seletha Smith Nagin.
Next was a fashion show produced by Saks Fifth Avenue of St. John knit wear. “It was fabulous! I wanted everything they strutted out in,” says Janet Renaudin.
Everyone enjoyed veal with crawfish étouffée sauce for lunch, followed by an orange chocolate mousse decorated with a Mad Hatter playing card. The auction was a huge success and prizes included everything from celebrity-decorated hats to original art. Katherine Tolluto won a week’s stay at a Santa Fe condominium plus two tickets to the Santa Fe Opera.
Unlike Alice at the original Mad Hatter’s tea party, these guests were truly able to relax and enjoy a fabulous afternoon of fashion, food and festivities.
Event co-chair Janet Renaudin, Mary de La Barre, Bill “Mad Hatter” Coe and event co-co-chair Sybil Naquin
Catherine Tessier, Carolyn Elder, Steven Putt and Betty Davidson
Ann Colfry, Norman Robinson and Fay Wartelle
Madeline Harper, Gayle Batt, David Morelock and Mary Flynn Thomas
Christie Mintz, Merle Segura and Carolyn Landwerlin
Carol Dienes, Joseph Young Jr. and Claire Stahel