It was carpe diem all the way in the ballroom at the Ritz Carlton for donors and do-gooders during the “Grand Finale Celebration” to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The highlight of the auction/dinner was the presentation to the Woman & Man of the Year: Mary Pillsbury Wainwright and Joshua Baker.
With 350 guests on hand, more than $350k was raised to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The society’s exec director Deb Kersting got kudos on her engagement to barristerBob Tucker.
“I’ve been a single mom since 1994,” she confessed. “We’ll be married on May 11 on the St. Francis River – nothing like the Ritz.” Seen on the scene: James, Christina and Leslie Merenda with Allison Lesko; Jared Novelly; Scott Schulte; Bridget Martin Sheahan with husband, John; Isaac and Alexandra Wouk; John Sanders, chairman of the event; Randy and Veronica McDonnell.
On to the Ritz cigar club, where lobbyist Rodney Hubbard touted his wife, Shameem, who is running for 26th Ward committeewoman (“That’s Lacy Clay’s ward,” added and gleamed Hubbard.) With Rodney was Wade Blackwell, prez of Blackwell Professional Security Systems, which he said is outfitting the northside.