A “Walk of Stars” welcomed guests to Young Audiences of Louisiana’s seventh annual gala, with Hollywood-style larger-than-life cutouts of local community leaders; these “star dancers” would later compete in a “Dancing With The Stars” competition with professional dancers to support Young Audiences of Louisiana’s school and summer arts education programs, which help student development through a combination of academics, arts, culture and life skills activities.
Star dancers included Mark El-Amm, attorney at El-Amm & Associates LLC; Holley Haag, Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender, First NBC Bank; Russ Herman, Senior Partner at Herman Herman & Katz LLP; Tonya Johnson, Education Program Consultant, Louisiana Department of Education; Dr. Tami Singleton, philanthropist and oncologist; Dr. David Silvers, founder and Head Physician, Metairie Gastroenterology; and Joan Zaslow, community activist. Russ Herman took home the coveted People’s Choice award for receiving the most votes.
Celebrity judges included Charles Divins, WDSU-TV Morning Anchor; Ivy Kushner, philanthropist and community activist; Dennis Lomonaco, CEO of Story Block Media, Executive Director of What You Give Will Grow; and Kenny Lopez, WGNO-TV reporter.
Max Messier, local mixologist and founder of Cocktail & Sons, lent his libation expertise by creating a boozy Bourbon Smash with mint and lemon verbena syrup, which served as the signature cocktail. Harrah’s Casino catering provided small bites and a delectable buffet.
New Orleans’ own Soul Heirs set the mood with contemporary jazz, and Javier Juarez provided intermission entertainment, performing “Viva Malambo.”
More than 240 guests attended the event, while more than 150 individuals and families, who voted on their favorite dancer from as far away as California, supported the event.
The event was co-chaired by philanthropist Heidi Dugan and WWL-TV’s Tamica Lee. Attorney and Community Activist Anita Demps served as silent Auction Chair.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Dancing for the Arts,” benefiting Young Audiences of Louisiana
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016
Where: The Theatre at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino