The “Moonlight on the River Gala” raised more than $167,000 for Magnolia Community Services, which supports the residential, vocational, social and wellness needs of adults with developmental disabilities in the New Orleans community. Event Chairs were Jeanne Gallo, Marion Eagan and Karen Oertling.

Spacious tents and café lights transformed the great lawn of Magnolia Community Services’ 11-acre main campus on River Road to a sparkling soirée. Centerpieces created in the Dream Factory by Magnolia clients paid homage to the 21 group homes where half of the clients live. Special touches of client art could be found throughout the event.

Food was donated from over 30 local restaurants, grocers and caterers. Ashley Hansen of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz created a satsuma-ginger “Magnolia Mule” cocktail which was mixed with spirits donated by Republic National Distributing Co.

The Topcats provided the dancing music and the Pussyfooters performed that evening. Both groups engaged with Magnolia clients, encouraging them to share the stage, dance floor and mic.

Auction items included original works of art by Magnolia’s Dream Factory client artists, a signed Michael Kors designer handbag, a signed Thomas Morstead 2009 Superbowl jersey, a Zurich Classic package and JPAS and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra season tickets. Diamonds added to the evening’s sparkle in a Friend & Co. and Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers raffle. The Special Creations gift shop, which sells items created by Magnolia Community Services clients, had a special Winter Wonderland Shoppe for guests in the Whitehall house during the event.


What: “Moonlight on the River Gala,” benefiting Magnolia Community Services
When: Friday, November 4
Where: Whitehall Plantation and Grounds