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Memphis Moments

Krewes for Kids

Forging on the River

VegFest

East Buntyn ArtWalk

Alzheimer's Trivia Night

Ave Maria Foundation

Speakeasy Parlor

Books From Birth Luncheon

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

Scholar Athlete Dinner

Down and Derby


Stories and Photos by Bill Bannister, Suzanne Thompson Cozza, Virginia M. Davis and Emily Adams Keplinger.

 
 

Krewes for Kids

Supporting Carnival Memphis Children’s Charities Initiative

Built during the heyday of Art Deco style, the historic building that now houses Crosstown Concourse provided a stunning setting for Carnival Memphis’ Krewes for Kids. Many guests arrived in Art Deco-inspired attire that enhanced the event’s glamorous atmosphere, also complemented by an elegant buffet. Atlanta’s AJ Ghent Band entertained. Guests included members of Carnival Memphis’ support groups, known as Grand Krewes: Ennead, Luxor, Memphi, Osiris, Phoenix, Ptah, Ptolemy, Queen Bees, RaMet and Sphinx. Presenting sponsor was nexAir. Grand Krewes hold events throughout the year to raise funds for the Carnival Memphis’ Children’s Charity Initiative. The non profit agency aids community organizations that work to improve quality of life for children. Church Health, The Erika Center at Bodine School and Knowledge Quest are the beneficiaries designated for 2017. Carnival Memphis has its origins in a local organization founded in 1931 to help bolster regional commerce and industry affected by the Great Depression.

 
 

Forging on the River

Annual Fun Benefiting the National Ornamental Metal Museum

Views of the Mighty Mississippi served as the background as hundreds of supporters of the National Ornamental Metal Museum and their guests gathered for the annual Forging on the River event. “Forging on the River is a weekend conference with a pre-conference workshop hosted by the Metal Museum,” explained Carissa Hussong, executive director of the Metal Museum. “It offers the chance for metalsmiths to learn from an internationally recognized Master Blacksmith like this year’s guest demonstrator, Christoph Friedrich.” While strolling the grounds and taking in the Metal Museum exhibitions, metalsmiths and enthusiasts had the opportunity to network and enjoy a candlelight supper catered by Draper’s Catering, with musical entertainment provided by Shaun Marsh. As part of the evening’s event, a live auction featured some of the best fine metalwork in the country. Museum volunteer Joel Parsons served as the auctioneer. Proceeds benefited the Metal Museum’s programming.

     
 

VegFest

Addressing Nutritional Disparity

A body hungering for improved health for themselves or loved ones could find abundant knowledge for the asking and the taking at Memphis VegFest. The event at Levitt Shell joined people who employ plant-based nutrition in their lives and work with those who came to taste and learn. At her booth, Nubian Simmons discussed her mother’s fight with breast cancer, during which Simmons helped institute a rigorous physician-prescribed diet regimen. Simmons developed a plant-based diet for herself to address problems with allergies. The positive experience and outcomes led Simmons to found a family business, The Pink Bakery, Inc. Replenish Kombucha presented the festival, along with City Silo Table + Pantry, Whole Foods Market and Zaka Bowl. 

     
 

East Buntyn ArtWalk

Showcasing Local Talent

The annual East Buntyn ArtWalk became a two-day affair this year with the Junior League of Memphis Sustainer Council timing its annual art show to be a part of the overall event held in the surrounding neighborhood. “Our show offered the public a chance to see our headquarters, the Community Resources Center (CRC), as they made their way through indoor galleries featuring artwork by members of the Junior League of Memphis (JLM),” explained Jan Cornaghie, JLM Sustainer Manager. “Our opening night for JLM members and their guests featured a beer tasting with The Casual Pint paired with speciality cheeses from Kroger/Murray’s.” On the second day, neighbors and nonresidents alike made their way through the CRC and along the streets in the East Buntyn Historic District to view and shop at the outdoor “galleries” set up on the lawns. Stefanie Born and Cindie Kelly pooled their talents to co-chair the event for the eighth annual event which featured works by more than 100 area artists. Local bands entertained the crowd and several food trucks provided their fare. “A silent auction and the sale of collectible ArtWalk wine glasses added to the neighborhood’s fundraising efforts,” said Kelly. “Proceeds from the event will be used to support next year’s ArtWalk.” 

     
 

Alzheimer's Trivia Night

Remembering When... Seasonal Sensations

More than 300 people, representing 36 teams, turned out for the 12th annual Trivia Night at Temple Israel, benefiting Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Memphis. Teams competed for prizes and lavish gift baskets. A few teams’ members dressed in costumes and participated in skits centered around this year’s theme, “Remembering When... Seasonal Sensations.” The event honored Carol and Henry Jones, and was dedicated to the memory of Chuck Winters, a volunteer who, with his wife, Caroline, were part of the group that started the trivia night. Caroline has presided over the dessert table since the event began. The event, which included a silent auction, raised about $25,000. The organization provides adult day care at its two centers, and recently acquired space for a new facility near the Crosstown Concourse.

 
     
 

Ave Maria Foundation

Concert & Silent Auction

Guests had hundreds of items to choose from at the 16th annual Ave Maria Foundation Concert & Silent Auction, held at the Sally Hooks Performing Arts Center. There was literally something for everyone, and a few donors to the event included Ballet Memphis, Baucum Pottery, Brooks Farm2Fork, Cook & Love Shoes, Folks Folly, Hewlett & Dunn Jean and Boot Barn, Lost Pizza, Malco Theaters, The Mighty Olive, The Peabody Memphis, Sarkis Kish Oriental Rugs, Seize the Clay, and Wild Birds Unlimited. Libby Buring passed through the crowd carrying a Michael Kors handback, which she stuffed with cash donations. The bag was one of the items included in the live auction, conducted by Ron Childers. Guests enjoyed a buffet dinner after which legendary Memphis musician Keith Sykes performed, and was joined by Rice Drewry & 3 Degrees.

     
 

Speakeasy Parlor

A Little Party Never Killed Anybody

With the caveat that “discretion is paramount,” guests were invited to “dress to kill” as the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum hosted its Speakeasy Parlor. For the fundraiser, many men sported stripped suits and fedoras, while women sparkled in sequined dresses or other glamorous fringed attire. “In keeping with the spirit of the evening, bite-size tidbits that could soak up their share of alcohol were presented,” said Jennifer Cooper, Woodruff-Fontaine executive director. “The menu consisted of deviled eggs, spinach and seafood canapes, butter folds, fruit cocktail with miniature marshmallows, crackers with cheese and olives, and mini Hostess cupcakes.” Party-goers bid on silent auction items in the carriage house. The museum’s basement club room was turned into a speakeasy parlor accessed by means of secret passwords. The Hot Foot Honeys performed their tap routines and Christian Stanfield, of Jazz Age Jukebox, provided musical entertainment for the evening with tunes from 1919-1933 spun on an antique phonograph. Proceeds benefited the Woodruff-Fontaine House, a property of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities (APTA).

 

 

Books From Birth Luncheon

Celebrating Childhood Literacy

Childhood literacy supporters turned out for the Books from Birth awards luncheon at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms. Jamila Wicks, Executive Director of Books from Birth, introduced the event’s emcee, Valerie Calhoun, of Fox13 Memphis. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland welcomed the crowd and thanked everyone for their efforts to build a community of readers. Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam gave the keynote address, noting that Books from Birth is available free of charge to program participants, in all 95 counties of Tennessee. She shared the successful history of the program and its impact in promoting childhood literacy and school readiness for our state’s youngest citizens. Nancy Bogatin and The Honorable AC Wharton, Jr., were recognized for their efforts in promoting the program. Wharton was called upon to speak prior to the presentation of an award named in his honor. The award was given to Miss Tennessee Grace Burgess for her superior advocacy for children’s literacy. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell gave the closing remarks.

 

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

Supporting Porter-Leath

Tens of thousands of fun-loving folks from all corners of the world gathered at the Memphis riverfront for Porter-Leath’s 25th annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival. 16,000 pounds of fresh Louisiana crawfish were trucked in for the event that featured live music from Marcella + Her Lovers, Black Oak Arkansas, and Every Mother’s Nightmare. There was lots of fun for all ages, with a Kid’s Area and even crawfish bobbing, eating, and racing competitions. Besides the crawfish, there was plenty of other mouth-watering food available, from barbecue to hot wings to traditional carnival fare. twenty-four teams competed in the annual Cash Saver Gumbo Cookoff. Porter-Leath has been serving at -risk children and families in the Memphis area for 160 years and the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is their biggest fundraiser.

     
 

Scholar Athlete Dinner

Honoring Excellence On and Off the Field

Fourteen scholar athletes along with proud parents, coaches and officials with the National Football Foundation (NFF), gathered at Rhodes College for the 45th annual Black Tie Dinner. The young men honored, 12 high school seniors and two college seniors, are talented on and off the field. This was apparent when each athlete was presented with his award, while emcee Harold Graeter read a lengthy list of the honoree’s academic honors and community involvement. The scholar athletes, each wearing a red boutonniere accenting his tuxedo, came from public and private schools. Four high school coaches, who each lead their team to a state championship victory, were also honored. The special “Bill McElroy Award,” for chapter leadership, was presented to Toni Parker, by John Barzizza, executive director of the NFF’s Memphis chapter.

 

Down and Derby

Off to the Races

Music of the band Pokerman filled the ballroom at Woodland Hills as guests made their way inside for Down & Derby, a fundraiser for Downs Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South. Part of the fun of a Derby party is watching women with their magnificent millinery, and there were plenty. Once the event was under way, Elvis tribute artist Vinny Girard had the crowd rockin’ to “Blue Suede Shoes,” just some of the entertainment leading up to the viewing of the Kentucky Derby. Silent auction items lined the room, and there were lots of good eats provided by Babalu Tacos & Tapas, Bonefish Grill, Brooks Pharm 2 Fork, Coletta’s Restaurant and Eat Well Sushi & Grill. One table was filled with cupcakes from Frost Bakery, and Season’s 52 offered its mini indulgences. After the excitement of The Derby ended, Company d dance troupe performed for the crowd.