Event co-chair Jude Swensen wasn’t the only person who enjoyed herself on the night of Oct. 10. Of course, she may have been the only one serenaded by the wait staff at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans in honor of her birthday, but all 250 people who attended the Overture to the Cultural Season’s 36th annual fund-raiser had a memorable night.
Originally scheduled in mid-September, but moved due to hurricane Ivan, this year’s party theme was “Hollywood’s Golden Era, An Affair to Remember,” with some of the highlights being “Rick’s Bar”—hosted by Julio Gonzalez—which served a special “Ingrid Bergman Casablanca” cocktail and Tommy Ellis and his orchestra recreating vintage sounds. Earlier in the evening, Restaurant August hosted the patron party in its penthouse, but the Ritz provided beef wellington and baked Alaska during the gala.
Among all of the fabulous silent auction items were a Mario Villa print worth $5,000, the use of George Benedetto’s yacht and United Airline tickets.

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Glenn Vesh with Kathleen and Craig Mays

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Event co-chairs Mike Theis and Jude Swensen with Dale Rathke and event co-chair Gerri Valene

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Amy Odinet, Julio Gonzalez and Suzy Parker

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Murray Valene with Evelyn and Gunter Preuss

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Johnny and Rachelle Blue