Each year, the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way of Southeast Louisiana presents its highest award for exemplary leadership in community volunteerism and philanthropy. The 2018 award was conferred upon Mary Keller Zervigon – philanthropist, public servant and volunteer.

The program commemorated the fifth anniversary of United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Public Policy Committee and honored our 2018 Legislative Champions. The lineup of speakers included Cathy McRae, Tocqueville Cabinet Chair of UWSELA; Robert Kimbro, Board of Trustees Chair of UWSELA; Michael Williamson, President & CEO of UWSELA; Florence Schornstein, Tocqueville Society Chair of UWSELA; Mary Keller Zervigon, the recipient of the UWSELA Alexis de Tocqueville Award 2018; Kim Sport, Public Policy Chair of UWSELA; and Charmaine Caccioppi, Executive Vice President & COO of UWSELA.

The Ritz-Carlton ballroom was decked in traditional Tocqueville Society blue and gold, enhanced with floral arrangements of red roses, blue hydrangeas, pincushion proteas and safflowers from The Plant Gallery. Mary Keller Zervigon’s corsage featured white roses with a red feather, a nod to United Way’s past Red Feather campaigns. Gala guests were treated to a menu of poached pear and goat cheese salad, burgundy braised short rib with truffle grits and a chocolate vanilla mousse.

Music was provided by a Loyola University Jazz Quartet and Kayla Lewis, Soprano, performing “Sovra II Sen La Man Mi Posa” from La Sonnambula accompanied by Albinas Prizgintas. Musicians were selected to represent Mary Keller Zervigon’s connections to both Loyola and Xavier. Congratulatory videos featured Mary’s family, Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards, former Governor Edwin Edwards, Dr. Norman Francis, Barbara Kaplinsky, Madalyn Schenk and Caroline Roemer, among others. Approximately 240 guests attended the gala.

Event at a Glance

What: “Alexis de Tocqueville Awards Gala,” benefiting United Way of Southeast Louisiana
When: Thursday, November 1
Where: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

Philanthropic Fun: A Fine Philanthropist

Carlos Sanchez, Tocqueville Society Chair Flo Schornstein and David Fennelly

Philanthropic Fun: A Fine Philanthropist

Paulette and Frank Stewart