Philanthropic Fun: Around the World

Dressed inspired by their travel destinations, guests gathered to celebrate the myriad of arts, culture and educational experiences from across the globe that WYES brings into our homes.

The gala took place at the home of Bob and Sheryl Merrick in New Orleans, opening with a large replica of the Eiffel Tower on the front lawn. As guests approached the house, they were greeted by members of the Amelia Earhawts, a pilot and stewardesses in vintage costume. Inspired by London’s Buckingham Palace, a “Queen’s Guard” stood guard at the front door. Inside the main hall stood a life-size British telephone booth, which provided a great photo op for guests.

In keeping with the international travel theme, patrons were greeted with offerings of the specialty cocktail “Moscow Mule,” as well as champagne or their libation of choice from one of the full bars, courtesy of Goldring Family Foundation and Sazerac Company. Guests indulged in delectable passed offerings from the Windsor Court.

Mike Morris started the party off with his musical stylings inside the home. Later, Luv Sexy took to the stage outside and got guests grooving.

Popular songs were the inspiration to designate and represent various travel areas throughout the home. The main hall and rooms off it represented Europe with Dreaming of Paris, London Calling and Roman Holiday. One room off the main hall represented Paris, with a cheese spread and pastry delicacies, as well as a digital caricaturist. Another was London/Rome with British, Indian and Italian specialties. “Keep Calm and Curry On” was one of the creative and popular themed food inspirations. The pool house “rocked the casbah” as it showcased a draped and tented area complete with Marrakesh style lanterns and colorful cushions. The porch became a “Slow Boat to China” with Asian themed cuisine such as Chinese take-out styled food, custom message fortune cookies and more. Bali Hai! was the Polynesian feel around the pool with tiki torches as well as hula dancers mixing and mingling with the crowd, and a seafood display of large crab claws and jumbo shrimp that delighted the guests.

The event also featured an online auction sponsored by Sunrise Homes. The auction items were on display in the backyard and in the pool house, which enticed attendees to bid on numerous trips, jewelry, art, pillows, concert or sporting tickets and other items.

Co-Chairs were Bridget and Bobby Bories, Lauren and Ken Flower and Lisa and Karl Hoefer. Honorary Co-Chairs were Paulette and Frank Stewart. Multiple generations of supporters were in attendance.

Proceeds from this event support the WYES mission of providing educational, entertaining and enlightening programming to Greater New Orleans, Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Event at a Glance

What: “WYES Passport to the World Gala,” benefiting WYES

When: Friday, April 12

Where: Home of Bob and Sheryl Merrick

Philanthropic Fun: Around the World

Co-Chairs Lisa and Karl Hoefer with Sherry and Alan Leventhal

Philanthropic Fun: Around the World

Hosts Sheryl and Bob Merrick


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