Founded in 1965 by Sr. Lillian McCormack, St. Michael’s Special School has played an important part in the education of New Orleans children, focusing on students with major learning difficulties. The children are known as the school’s special “blue roses.”

On Sept. 23, the school held its annual fund-raiser, the “Blue Rose Ball” at Hilton New Orleans Riverside. More than 700 people attended the gala, which started at 7 p.m., when cocktails were served in the Grand Ballroom. It was followed by a dinner of a Louisiana spring salad, beef tenderloin with Roquefort scalloped potatoes and haricots verts, with white chocolate pecan pie as dessert. The décor was conceived by designer Rodney Santana Villareal, who had the ballroom accented with yellow hydrangeas, lilies and bells of Ireland, which were illuminated by cascades of light. Blue roses were projected on the walls. Partygoers danced until midnight to music provided by Bobby Cure & The Summertime Blues.

More than $240,000 was raised for the school, which is the oldest and one of the few special education schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Guiding LightsEvent co-chairs Ann Lee Sarpy and Ann Fuselier are flanked by their husbands, Bubby Sarpy and Dr. Tony Fuselier

Guiding LightsFr. William Maestri with Courtney and Tom Krentel

Guiding LightsAnn Fitzmorris and John Griffith

Guiding LightsMr. and Mrs. Darrah Schaefer with Gary Solomon


Guiding LightsSam and Charmaine Russo


Guiding LightsMr. and Mrs. Andrew Cahoon