The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala at a historic Garden District location in May. Since its beginnings with only 25 kids served, YEP now helps more than 1,000 youth, ages 7 to 24, in the greater New Orleans area. The organization provides holistic support services, such as after-school programs, career training, GED tutoring and most of all, a warm and encouraging network of friends.

Carol Asher and Kendall Winingder co-chaired this event, which had guests fully geared up for the festival season.
To kick off the night, gala attendees enjoyed an exclusive patron party on the upper level of a breathtaking building owned by Winingder Enterprises. There, guests gloried in a spectacular cocktail hour, catered by Link Restaurant Group, which served up fare, such as smoked tuna dip on crackers and tea sandwiches.

At the cocktail hour’s end, guests moved downstairs for the main event. Chef Donald Link provided the gala’s main dishes of white bean and herb salad, shrimp rolls, baked ham and to top it off a sweet potato casserole.

While guests feasted, they also bid on luxurious auction items, including a custom “Who Dat,” black-and-gold worksman bicycle, made in YEP’s own bicycle shop.    

Blues Masters, with “Big” Al Carson and DJ Brice Nice, kept the beat going strong with their many musical hits.


What:  “10th Anniversary Gala,” benefiting Youth Empowerment Project
When: Friday, May 16
Where: Garden District private home