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Memphis Moments

Cooper-Young St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Hearts for Hope

Silky O’Sullivan’s Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Military Masquerade Ball

Wine for Wishes

Half Pints for Half Pints

TEP Gumbo

Think Pink Luncheon

Mardi Gras at Bridges

Rock the Ribbon


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

 
 

Cooper-Young St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Wearing of the Green

A joyous conglomerate of color, sound and motion rolled down Cooper St. on the feast day of Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. Co-hosted by Memphis Irish Society and Celtic Crossing Irish Pub & Restaurant, the parade drew a cheering crowd along several blocks of the Midtown thoroughfare. Memphis Police mounted patrol led the way, horses stepping in time to the Wolf River Pipes and Drums behind them. Banners were hoisted, bicycle bells ding-dinged and people strode, rode, scootered and skated the route. The color green sprouted everywhere. One bearded bare-legged member of Memphis Gaelic Athletic Association, gripping a club banner in one hand and a hurling stick in the other, accessorized his green-plaid kilt with a helmet and orange-and-gray Nikes. Other participants included the Memphis Grizzlies’ Grizz Crew, Revolutions Bike CoOp cyclists, Memphis Police Department, Memphis Second Line Jazz Band, OUTMemphis, Memphis Made and Mempops. Amid the throng zoomed one of those elusive leprechauns, welcoming all and likely mulling some mischief for later.

 
 

Hearts for Hope

Benefiting Memphis Athletic Ministries

The 2017 Hearts For Hope Gala was held in the opulent southern splendor of The Woodland Hills Ballroom. This year’s event raised funds for Memphis Athletic Ministries in support of their important work with children in the Mid-South. As guests arrived, they were serenaded by David Collins on the acoustic guitar and presented with flutes of champagne. They were then ushered in to peruse nearly 100 items on the silent auction tables. Among the treasures up for bids were autographed guitars from George Strait, James Taylor, and B.B. King. There was artwork and fine wine, as well as a framed and autographed portrait of Carrie Fisher. Festivities also included casino games and dancing to The Soul Shockers. Notables in attendance included Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings, Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Special Guest Emcee was Local 24’s Amy Speropoulos.

     
 

Silky O’Sullivan’s Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Where Everyone is Irish

The late Memphis legend Silky Sullivan often spoke of St. Patrick’s Day as the day when “everyone is Irish.” It was in that spirit and under the mist of a soft Irish afternoon that the 44th annual celebration and parade that bears his name was held. Participants and parade officials from as far away as Dublin gathered at Silky’s on Beale to kick off the festivities and sing a few bars of “Molly Malone.” Jerry McLaughlin, who came to town from Ireland, led the chorus on the piano. After a few pints, the procession formed at 4th and Beale and made its merry way down the street. Bagpipers, floats, clowns, cars and limos were joined by Carnival Memphis Boll Weevils, in their special bus. Gifts of colorful beads, doubloons and candy were tossed to hundreds of spectators who lined the route to cheer on the fun.

     
 

Military Masquerade Ball

Benefiting Alpha Omega Veterans Services

Annesdale Mansion provided an elegant setting for the inaugural Alpha Omega Veterans Services (AOVS) Military Masquerade Ball. In the time-honored tradition of Mardi Gras celebrations, guests were encouraged to wear masks, with either their military uniforms or black tie attire. Adding to the New Orleans-themed evening, chef Kelly English dished up his Creole-style cuisine while Memphis Second Line Jazz Band processed into the house and performed in the front parlor as attendees kicked up their heels to the lively music. The host committee members presented an evening with unique silent auction items like a Vince Carter signed game ball, a Sprok N Roll Brunch Tour, rare whiskeys and wines, and jewelry. Live auction items included a 2015 Gibson Guitar limited edition BB King “Lucille” guitar and a private dinner party for 8 people hosted by chef Kelly English with Penny Hardaway. There were also complimentary cigars, a whiskey pull and a bead throw. ARS/Rescue Rooter was the title “Medal of Honor” sponsor of the event. All proceeds will benefit for AOVS, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless and disabled military veterans.

     
 

Wine for Wishes

Making Dreams Come True

I wish to be a cowgirl. I wish to visit the set of Star Wars in London. I wish to have a pony. I wish to meet tennis pro Roger Federer. If it is in one’s power to transform imagined joy into something real, Make-A-Wish® Mid-South Chapter performs such feats. It provides the means to grant needful wishes of children enduring the circumstances of life-threatening illnesses. Through annual events like Wine for Wishes, the chapter’s Associate Board of young professionals enlists the support of peers to help fulfill the Make-A-Wish® mission. The 2017 Wine for Wishes at Cadre featured 16 wines provided by Buster’s Liquors & Wines, victuals by Memphis caterer Ernie Mellor and Frost Bake Shop, beer courtesy of Goldcrest Brewing Co. and music by Brennan Villines Trio. Memphis Bar Ties supplied bartenders. Sponsors were The Barnett Group, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, Data Facts Inc., Flash Staffing and Triumph Bank.

 
     
 

Half Pints for Half Pints

Benefiting Peabody Elementary School

Public education is the cornerstone of a healthy society, and Memphis is home to one of the finest examples of getting kids off to a strong start in life’s journey, Cooper-Young’s own Peabody Elementary School. This historic school was the recipient of the proceeds of an evening of fun, music and food put on by the PTA, appropriately called Half Pints for Half Pints. The event was held inside Memphis Made Brewing Company’s Tap Room and featured 11 delicious handcrafted beers and ales, paired with mouth-watering foods from some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants. On hand were delights from Central BBQ, Celtic Crossing, Aldo’s, Mulan, and Sweet Grass. Music was by Goner Records DJ Zac Ives, and bartenders included award-winning tap master Alan Creasy. 

     
 

TEP Gumbo

Let the Good Times Roll

Zydeco music filled the ballroom at Hilton Memphis during the Tennessee Equality Project’s (TEP) Gumbo Contest, in its seventh year. Sixteen teams vied for the top spot, judged by a panel of 5, and in a separate category, by attendees. Hoist Memphis took top honors from the judges, while the crowd voted them in second place. The Gumbros won first place in People’s Choice, while the judges placed them second. Fire in the Hole ranked third in People’s Choice, and Thomas’ Meat and Seafood was the judges’ pick for third. Champions of Equality awards were presented to Stephanie Reyes, youth outreach manager of OUTMemphis and LaRonia Hurd-Sawyer, executive director of Parternership to End AIDS Status, Inc. TEP engages state and local lawmakers on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender population.

 

 

 

Think Pink Luncheon

Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness

Ladies and gentlemen, almost all wearing attire that featured a rosy hue, gathered at the Holiday Inn - University of Memphis for the 2017 Think Pink Memphis Luncheon. It was the ninth annual fundraiser to benefit breast cancer education and awareness and celebrate local breast cancer survivors. The luncheon included a fashion show with models who are all breast cancer survivors, wearing ensembles from local boutiques Loudean’s, Indigo and Pink Nest. This year’s keynote speaker was two-time breast cancer survivor Becky Olson is a nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, entertainer and published author. The 2017 honoree for the luncheon was Emily Tickle Thomas, a cancer survivor and founder of The Cancer Card Xchange, a local charity that collects gift cards and monetary donations to pass along to verified cancer patients. The Think Pink Luncheon was presented by Zeta Tau Alpha Memphis area alumnae and benefited the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation. A percentage of the proceeds also benefited local breast cancer education and awareness efforts.

 

Mardi Gras at Bridges

A Scholarship Fundraiser

Alumni of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. gathered at Bridges for a Mardi Gras celebration and let the good times roll. The purpose of the event was to fund scholarships. “We raise money for Memphis students who want to attend Southern University,” said Latoria Howard, class of 2000. This is the first year for the fundraiser, called “Mardi Gras at Bridges.” Howard said Southern University alumni groups from most large cities have fundraisers for scholarships and the Memphis alums wanted to pitch in too. Guests enjoyed a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres, and then were ready to hit the dance floor. Donald Batiste chaired the event. 

     
 

Rock the Ribbon

Supporting Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth

Guests were rockin’ to G3: Garry Goins Band, featuring vocalist Kesha Cook, at the 2017 Rock the Ribbon held at The Great Hall in Germantown. The event featured more than 200 silent auction items and included everything from a tank-less hot water heater to jewelry from James Middleton Jewelers. It was impossible to attend and not get enough to eat, as stations from local eateries including Salsa, Taziki’s, Wang’s and Whole Foods lined the room. Silver table runners adorned special tables for sponsors where ice buckets with chilled bottles of sparkling wine awaited. Appetizers were also laid out for sponsors, as were the signature desserts in shot glasses provided by Season’s 52. Pink lights twinkled from centerpieces. Many ladies wore pink, or outfits accented with pink, while some men sported pink shirt or ties. Rock the Ribbon, in its 6th year, raised $20,000 for Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth, which funds research to prevent and cure breast cancer.