The inaugural fundraiser, “Angels of Hope,” transported partygoers from a mansion filled with angelic art into a room that gave the illusion of being under the stars in an elegant New Orleans scene, complete with overhanging live oaks, lanterns and familiar French Quarter architecture. James Andrews and the Crescent City AllStars played festive jazz tunes on the front porch of the mansion as patrons explored the venue. Johana Maison, Executive Director of the HelpFreeanAngel Foundation, and Holly Kern, President of Board of Directors, organized the event.
Angela Hill and Dennis Woltering served as Masters of Ceremonies. A belly dancing troupe mesmerized partygoers with their movements accompanied by the clinking and chiming of their traditional coin belts. There was an open bar and buffet dinner that included a delicious white chocolate bread pudding and pralines dessert. A silent auction went on throughout the night.
Nikki Rabalais, the single mother of a special needs child, and Tahaira Johnson, mother of a student who attends HelpFreeanAngel, gave heartwarming speeches to express their gratitude for what the nonprofit has done for their families. Awards were given to St. Charles Avenue magazine, Hary H. Laurie, Principal of Landry Walker High School, Alicia Gilbert, Principal of Estelle Elementary, volunteer Nikki Rabalais and mentor Blaine Kern Sr. Guests were then invited to dance the night away.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Angels of Hope,” inaugural gala benefiting HelpFreeanAngel
When: Friday, October 24
Where: Grand Oaks Mansion at Mardi Gras World