Since 1996, Bridge House / Grace House has held the Women of Substance Luncheon to honor local female role models for the many women in their substance use disorder treatment program. More than $135,000 was raised at this year’s 27th annual luncheon.

Joy Bollinger, Dian Tooley-Knoblett and Gwen Briggs were this year’s honorees. The award recipients and associated honors were: William Mimeles with the Richard “Buzzy” Gaiennie Award, Christina Illarmo with the Volunteer of the Year award and Christie Silvis with the Alumna of the Year award.

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Felicia Kleinpeter served as Event Chair, and Mark Romig served as emcee.

NOLA Flora created white and pink floral centerpieces of hydrangeas and roses for each table, as well as a matching bold centerpiece at the event entrance. The Audubon Tea Room provided catering of a delicious three-course meal.

111 total items were available for bidding, including four in a live auction, which included a private chef door-to-door dinner with Chef Charlotte Martory, a JAMNOLA private tour for 10 plus a swag basket and a seven-night stay in Panama at Soul House Luxury Inn and Retreat Center.

The James P. Raymond Jr. Foundation and the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust returned as co-Presenting (Leadership) Sponsors for the sixth and fourth year in a row, respectively.

Approximately 350 patrons attended the luncheon. 

Women of Substance Luncheon

Dian Tooley-Knoblett, Kelly Commander, Else Pederson, Walton Goldring 

Women of Substance Luncheon

William Mimeles, Gabrielle Mimeles

Women of Substance Luncheon

Marilyn Ripoll, Angelle Verges, Mary Cannon 

Women of Substance Luncheon

Christopher O’Shea, Felicia Kleinpeter 

Women of Substance Luncheon

Mark Romig, Gwen Briggs, Joy Bollinger, Kevin Gardere

Women of Substance Luncheon

Leigh Director, Liz Copeland