The Krewe of Pork and Beads presented the first (unofficial) ball, Cochon Cotillion, of the 2012 Mardi Gras season April 9 at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. King John Goodman and Queen Patricia Clarkson reigned over the crowd of nearly 1,000. Also in attendance was CEO Richard Gaiennie and wife Barbara, executive director of Bridge House Else Pedersen-Wasson and husband Tom, executive director of Grace House Michelle Gaiennie, actor Bryan Batt dressed as a pirate and Board of Directors President Sharonda Williams.

Chairs Arlene Rome, Tiffany Truxillo and Brian McDonald put on a spectacular event filled with food from 42 restaurants, an open bar, dancing and a mini-parade. While guests enjoyed the sounds of ELS, many participated in a silent auction and raffle for a party bus. More than 75 items were up for auction, including a vintage LSU jacket from John Goodman’s film Everybody’s All-American and a Yankee jersey from The Babe.

The Cochon Cotillion is the premier fundraiser for Bridge House and Grace House serving New Orleans for more than 50 years. From its inception 14 years ago, this annual event has raised more than $1.7 million to help provide substance abuse treatment programs for the homeless or indigent of the city.