Shades of red were worn by guests at the “Red Tie Gala,” with many donning a custom red tie designed by Ochsner and NOLA Couture, featuring the Ochsner life mark in white and gold. Funds raised from the event and throughout Heart Month (February) benefit Ochsner Health System’s Dr. John Ochsner Tribute Fund.
The cocktail reception featured the sounds of South Louisiana Virtuosi and custom Creole bruschetta, crab salad and cheese hors d’oeuvres.
At the gala, guests dined on a three-course meal catered by The Ritz-Carlton, capped with a dessert course of warm beignets with dark chocolate and crème anglaise. Coffee and cordials followed in the side lounge with entertainment by the Phil Melancon Band and a special performance by Ochsner’s own Dr. Hector Ventura, who opened his performance with a beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Three patient stories were highlighted in videos throughout the event. The first highlighted Robert Williams, who received a heart transplant at Ochsner 30 years ago; his relationship with Dr. Ventura has been a lasting one since then. Another video featured Tom Waters; as part of a clinical trial supervised by Dr. J. Stephen Jenkins, serious heart complications were uncovered and treated at Ochsner. The final video showcased the story of Annie Duncan. After she flatlined in church, Dr. Abi-Samra fitted her with a pacemaker and other technology to regulate her heartbeat. She credits him with saving her life.
The program additionally offered a Valentine’s Day-themed wine pull, which featured 100 bottles of various wines. Each guest purchasing a $20 ticket got a chance on one bottle of wine valued at $20-$100 and received a gold heart.
Event at a Glance
What: “Red Tie Gala,” benefiting Ochsner Health System
and the Dr. John Ochsner Tribute Fund
When: Saturday, February 9
Where: The Ritz-Carlton
Dr. Chip Lavie and Ochsner President and CEO Warner Thomas
Drs. Glenn and Nichole Poli, Dr. Sangeeta Shah and Dr. Hamang Patel