What better way to commemorate turning 66 than having a big party? And how about having fun, while raising funds? Singer Irma Thomas did just that on Jan. 28 at Generations Hall. Thomas, whose birthday it was, sang at this party which was also a benefit for the Grace House.

More than 500 people attended the event, which started with performances from Armand St. Martin and the Bayou Bohemians, with special guest Al “Carnival Time” Johnson leading a second line. More than 25 restaurants participated, including Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace, Handsome Willy’s and Ye Olde College Inn. Grace House executive director Michelle Gaiennie presented the ladies of the Grace House with a hand-painted, wooden rocking chair, which was donated by the event chair Susan Glennon and Rowan Oaks Unfinished Furniture.

More than $20,000 was raised for Grace House, thanks to ticket sales and a raffle for a 1976 MCB Convertible. The mission of Grace House is to assist chemically dependent women to lead sober and productive lives by providing long-term residential treatment, regardless of ability to pay. The group recently merged with Bridge House and remains the only treatment facility in New Orleans exclusively for women.


State of GraceIrma Thomas and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson

State of GraceJenny Krypkovich and Grace House executive director Michelle Gaiennie

State of GraceEddie Branch, Christine Meche, Barbara Gaiennie and Wayne Olivio

State of GraceDenise Bergeron, event chair Susan Glennon and Eneid Francis

State of GraceBill Glennon, Buzzy Gaiennie and Kelly Commander

State of GraceMillie Harris, Ray Fregel and Jeanne Dumestre

State of GraceArmand St. Martin and Judy Spellman