on newsstands Now!

eNewsletter Sign Up

Bookmark and Share

Memphis Moments

Memphis Garden Gala

Taste of CBHS

Red Shoe Gala

Carnival Memphis

AIA Design Awards Gala

Bowlin’ On the River

Cognac, Cars and Cigars

Phoenix Coronation

Queen Bees Wine and Cheese

Mix-Odyssey

Phoenix Karaoke

Spring Fling

Ptolemy Coronation

Memphis Symphony League


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

 
 

Memphis Garden Gala

Strengthening Communities Through Real Food

Guests turned out in their Mardi Gras best for the inaugural Memphis Garden Gala at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms Park. At this themed masquerade party, strands of colorful beads suspended across the ceiling and floral centerpieces by Garden District featuring pale yellow tulips, white and green hydrangeas, and purple-toned wax flowers, carried out the traditional colors of Mardi Gras celebrations. The evening began with cocktails, catered appetizers from Simply Delicious Catering, and music by The Mighty Souls Brass Band. Dinner was prepared by chefs Dennis Phelps, Steven Howell, Patrick Reilly, David Krag and Franck Oysel, and served family style, starting with Learning Garden Salad followed by crab, shrimp and andouille gumbo, barbecue shrimp and grits, and roasted beef tenderloin with vegetables. Golden raisin bread pudding with caramel sauce offered a sweet finish. Auctioneer Letitia Frye led the evening’s live auction with exclusive offerings of dinner at Next Door Crosstown, a Paella Party for 60, vacation getaways in Colorado and Los Cabos, and dinner with All-Star Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol. The event was a fundraiser for The Kitchen Community, supporting their work of building learning gardens in schools.

 
 

Taste of CBHS

Highlighting Local Vendors and Brotherly Ties

A night of food and fun was enjoyed by CBHS alumni, teachers, students and friends who gathered in support of the sixth annual A Taste of CBHS fundraiser. Tasting stations were provided by more than three dozen local vendors, including Affordable Catering, Automatic Slim’s, Blind Bear Speakeasy, Buster’s Liquors, Coletta’s, Ecco on Overton Park, Garibaldi’s Pizzas, Grisanti’s Restaurant, The Half Shell, Hog Wild, Huey’s Restaurants, Lucchesi’s Ravioli and Pasta Co., Old Dominick Distillery, The Dirty Crow Inn, and Wiseacre Brewery. The event also included a wine pull and personalized CBHS stemware. A silent auction containing some 50 items also boosted the amount of funds raised by the event. “New to this year’s event was ‘A Taste of the Arts,’ featuring music by our Walnut Groove Jazz Band, individual vocal performances, and theatrical showcases,” said John Morris, director of Marketing and Communications for CBHS. “Though proceeds from the event help all CBHS students, the money is earmarked for use in a specific area of study—the arts department of CBHS.”

     
 

Red Shoe Gala

Benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Memphis

It was a beautiful springtime afternoon at the new FedEx Event Center, lakeside at Shelby Farms, for the 2017 Red Shoe Gala to benefit Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. Guests were ushered into a special carpeted tent for the cocktail reception sponsored by Laurelwood Shopping Center, where Paradox Catering and Consulting passed around plates of mouth-watering goodies like Savory Meatballs, Spanish Tacos, and Pork Tenderloin on Bruschetta, as guests mingled and browsed items in the silent auction. Treasures included tickets to The Sound of Music at The Orpheum, a Destin Florida vacation package, and a two-hour flight lesson. Dinner in the ballroom began at 7 to the soulful sounds of Ashton Riker, followed by the live auction and then back to the party tent to groove to  Memphis Soul Revue. The Red Show Gala was a sold out event, attended by more than 500 guests.

     
 

Carnival Memphis

Business and Industry Salute

Carnival Memphis held its annual awards luncheon at the Memphis Hilton to honor individuals and organizations for their business success and the positive impact they make on the Mid-South community. In recognition of Carnival Memphis King Edward Dobbs’ position as a co-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise, the 2017 Business & Industry Salute honored the Sports Industry. Dobbs is also president of Dobbs Management Services, a private equity investment firm, and Premier Distributing Co., the family’s Anheuser-Busch distributorship in New Mexico. This year’s Business & Industry Salute honored AutoZone Liberty Bowl, FedEx Sports Marketing, Melanie Smith Taylor/Wildwood Farms, the Memphis Redbirds, the Memphis Open/Racquet Club, the University of Memphis and Varsity Brands. The Memphis Grizzlies received the Cook Halle award for distinguishing themselves as leaders in their industry and the Memphis community. Individuals honored for their contributions to the Sports Industry included Phil Cannon, recognized posthumously with The King’s Award; Fred Jones, founder of the Southern Heritage Classic, presented with the President’s Award; and Allie Prescott, recipient of the Chairman’s Award. “Carnival Memphis was founded to promote the commerce of the community and this pledge is even stronger today through the Business & Industry Salute Luncheon,” said Ed Galfsky, executive director of Carnival Memphis.

     
 

AIA Design Awards Gala

Celebrating Architecture

A peaceful afternoon and a stunning lakeside sunset provided the backdrop for the 2017 AIA Memphis Celebration of Architecture Gala. Guests were welcomed at the beautiful and spacious foyer of the new FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms, and ushered into the bright and cheerful main room, where Memphis Bar-Ties served up glasses of fine wine and an assortment of cold beers for the cocktail reception and silent auction. Among the many Items up for bid were original creations by students of architecture at the University of Memphis. A spectacular array of food from Another Roadside Attraction was beautifully laid out across tables covered in fine linen. Delicacies included Sautéed Beef with Blackberry BBQ sauce, Oxtail with Orange Zest, Smoked Salmon with Beets, and a huge charcuterie of Prosciutto, Salami, and Pepperoni, complimented by a variety of delicious cheeses. Proceeds benefited the Department of Architecture at the University of Memphis.

 
     
 

Bowlin’ On the River

Fun to Spare

There were strikes galore and fun to spare at the 32nd annual Bowlin’ On The River fundraiser. This yearly Bowl-A-Thon brings together 4,000 bowlers over two weekends to benefit Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South. We caught up with some of the participating teams at Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes at Quince at White Station. It was a lively and festive event with DJ A. O. playing music to bowl by as the competition heated up with free bottles of champagne awarded to strikes made when the yellow pin was out in front. Junior Achievement President and CEO Larry Colbert said “It’s a great way for people to get together and have fun outside of work and raise money for a great cause”. 2017 sponsors included First Tennessee Bank, International Paper, Smith and Nephew, ServiceMaster, and Power & Tel. Thousands are raised each year at this fun event.

     
 

Cognac, Cars and Cigars

A Night of Luxury

The warm glow of an afternoon cognac, the rich flavor of a fine cigar, and the exhilarating feel of being behind the wheel of a new luxury automobile. These experiences all came together on the lawn of the Pink Palace mansion for the second annual Cognac, Cars and Cigars fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Mid-South®. Hundreds of sharp dressed guests gathered to indulge in the finer things to support the work of this organization which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Martell Cognac teamed up with BeLeaf Cigars and Gossett Porsche/Audi to make it all happen. Food was provided by Jim and Samella’s, Monogram Foods, The Sweet Potato Lady, and Who’s Cooking Catering. Partygoers enjoyed music by Carmen Hicks and Will Graves. 

 

 

 

Phoenix Coronation

A Royal Celebration

It’s well known that Carnival Memphis has its share of characters. At the Phoenix Coronation Ball, some of them took on a new look, taking their cue from this year’s theme “Game of Thrones.” Many party-goers chose to dress like their favorite characters from the show’s noble families from fictional kingdoms. Banners reflecting the names of their “houses,” like Lannister, Stark, Targaryen and others lined the walls of the lobby of the Crescent Center. Even the food, roasted chicken legs and platters of salmon, fit with the theme. The program’s theme song rang out as the royal court was presented. Sean Bonner is this year’s King of Phoenix and will reign with Queen Judith Johnstone.

 

Queen Bees Wine and Cheese

All Abuzz at Sheffield's

Bees are always buzzing in the springtime, and a large colony could be found at Sheffield’s Antique Mall on the night of the Queen Bees Wine and Cheese party. These bees weren’t making honey—they were making money for children’s charities. Former queens of Carnival Memphis krewes, the Queen Bees had much more than wine and cheese at their party. Anita Howald and Tiffany Brimhall co-chaired the event and various members were charged with providing food at tables set up throughout the mall. Guests were treated to piano music by Richard Raichelson, and Glenn Malchow played the guitar in the bar area where margaritas and wine were served. As guests shopped and enjoyed food, they searched for hidden “Queen Bee Cards,” which were redeemed for door prizes at the end of the evening.

     
 

Mix-Odyssey

Spirited Fun

With their “passports” in hand, over 200 people turned out to support Volunteer Odyssey’s fourth annual Mix-Odyssey fundraiser held at BRIDGES in Downtown Memphis. Guests made their way around the room for stops at seven stations to sample specialty craft cocktails paired with different appetizers by Gourmade food truck. Memphis Grizzlies DJ Justin Baker provided music for the event, while Lauren Squires Ready served as emcee. This year’s mixologists included Justin Dobbs and Grant Whittle; Vincent Hale of Bari and Dodci and Josh Conley from Etowah Hunt Club; Aaron Hanna of Hog and Hominy; Colby Jones representing Catherine and Mary’s; Dan Price of Proper Cocktails; Andrew Ratts and Matt Lexow; and Cady Smith, from Café Pontotoc. A panel of judges chose “bryter layter,” by Aaron Hanna for second place and “War of the Worlds,” crafted by Colby Jones, as the first place cocktail of the evening. “Eden,” made by Cady Smith, won the People’s Choice award. “Proceeds of the event will be used by our non-profit to further its mission of developing a pathway to volunteering that enriches our lives and communities,” explained Dr. Sarah Petschonek, founder of Volunteer Odyssey.

 

Phoenix Karaoke

Tuning up their Talent

Carnival Memphis crooners and guests packed the Starlight Event Center for Phoenix Karaoke, an annual contest that sparks fierce competition. Richard Hendricks, chairman of Phoenix, introduced the celebrity judges, Marie Pizano, Tom Prestigiacomo and Amy Speropoulos. Phoenix member Amber Roettgen emceed the awards, which included best male and female vocalist, best duet and best group performance. Some people purchased tickets to vote on their favorites for the People’s Choice Awards in the same categories. The judges and the audience agreed on the top female soloist, Sharon Fewell, who sang “Walkin’ in Memphis.” Ken Zimmerman took the judges’ honor for male soloist, while the crowd picked Joe Krolich. Judges selected the Gerry Ward and Mary Lee Rice duet as winners, but audience’s favorite was Carmen and John Vincent. The judges named Ptah the group winner, while the People’s Choice Award went to Memphi. 

 

Spring Fling

Annual Memphis Area Master Gardeners Event

Just as the weather turned warmer Memphis Area Master Gardeners showed off their green thumbs at their Spring Fling Garden Show and Plant Sale. The event was held at the Big Red Barn at the Agricenter and judging by the crowds, people were ready to start thinking about the gardening season. The two-day event offered more than 2,000 plants and bulbs, as well as educational seminars from regional and local experts and hands-on instruction. Topics this year included healthy organic gardening methods, cooking with herbs, butterfly gardens, terrariums, and backyard chickens. Artisanal crafts and foods were available for purchase, along with garden-related accessories. There was even a mini flea market called “Garden Jumble” that offered gently used garden tools, implements and art. Memphis Area Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who help the local Extension Service share gardening information with the community. Memphis Area Master Gardeners also provide services for many community and civic organizations including Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Lichterman Nature Center, and Memphis Botanic Garden. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund the Master Gardener program. 

 

Ptolemy Coronation

Good Friends, Great Times

It was standing room only at The University Club the night of the Grand Krewe of Ptolemy Coronation Ball. Youngest of the Carnival Memphis krewes in both years of existence and the average age of its members, Ptolemy always hosts the final coronation ball of the season. The 2016 King and Queen, Stephen Cruzen and Rachael Simmons, bid the crowd adieu, and Chairman Sara Rogers announced the 2017 court. Following the presentation of the flagman and five duchesses, King Joseph Gordon and Queen Mary Alice West took their thrones. County Mayor Mark Luttrell then addressed the crowd. “You don’t just party with a purpose. You party with a purpose for our community.” Guests enjoyed a light buffet of chicken and waffles, sandwiches and chips and dip.

 

Memphis Symphony League

Music in the Air Luncheon

Members of the Memphis Symphony League and their guests gathered at the Memphis Country Club  for their annual luncheon. Table centerpieces featuring pastel tulips set a springtime note for the occasion. The group dined on salmon steaks with couscous salad and fresh asparagus. Desserts of lemon blackberry tarts, chocolate brownies and miniature red velvet cupcakes offered a sweet ending to the meal. Lawrence Edwards, artistic director of the Memphis Symphony Chorus served as the Master of Ceremonies and Conductor Robert Moody was the featured keynote speaker. Moody charmed the group with tales of his musical background, from growing up in Possum Kingdom, South Carolina where a classmate signed him up for Strings Ensemble to serving as the Principal Conductor for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Musical entertainment was provided by MSO pianist Adrienne Park, as well as MSO Woodwind Quintet musicians Andre Dyachenko, Delara Hashemi, Robert Patterson, Joseph Salvalaggio and Michael Scott. Marsha McKee Evans was the recipient of the 2017 Hebe Award. The award is presented annually to a person who is distinguished by outstanding and significant contributions, performance, and service to the arts.