February 19, 2019
Taylor Porter Partner and Executive Committee Member Preston Castille had the honor of serving as a Duke for the 32nd Annual Karnival Krewe de Louisiane Ball held on Friday, Feb. 15, at the Raising Cane's River Center. The purpose of the Krewe is to raise funds for cancer research, cancer education and indigent cancer patient care in the Baton Rouge area primarily through its membership and annual Mardi Gras Ball. The Krewe raises money for Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center as a means to perpetuate the benefits of its philanthropic activities. More than $3 million has been raised to date through the fundraiser.
Taylor Porter was a table sponsor of the event.
King Matt Saurage and Queen Wendy Haspel Lipsey reigned over the 2019 ball. The theme of the ball, Circus de Louisiane, started outside with two fire poi spinners and continued into the lobby with silhouette images of circus performers, a roaring lion and a clown. Inside the hall, a red and yellow circus tent draped the area with three mannequin aerialists hanging above and elephants on platforms on both sides of the hall. The stage’s backdrop featured images of vintage circus performers. Ball Captain Dr. Steve Sherman served as the Ringmaster of Ceremonies. Presented in the tableau were Duke David M. Richardson and Duchess Shelton Jones, Duke John Everett and Duchess Mary Ann Yeargain, Duke Jordan Piazza and Duchess Sharon Poirrier, Duke Preston Castille and Duchess Lisa Guarisco, and Duke Stephen Waguespack and Duchess Dr. Jennifer Greeson. Also presented were the krewe’s 2019 debutante coterie with their escorts: Lauren Ashleigh Baronet, escorted by her father James Baronet II; Ella Grace Bollinger, escorted by her father, Timothy Bollinger; Rylie Caroline Brown, escorted by her father David Brown; Juliet Claire Fontenot, escorted by her father, Gregory Fontenot; Alayna Agnes Landry, escorted by her father, Curtis Landry Jr.; Lee Ann LeMaire, escorted by her father, Chad LeMaire; Hannah Marie Loy, escorted by her father, Shawn Loy; Lindsey Elizabeth Lutgring, escorted by her father, Michael Lutgring; Elise Marie Marchand, escorted by her father, Gerald Marchand; Margaret Ann Miller, escorted by her father, John Miller; Alexandra Macé Nelson, escorted by her father, Otha “Curtis” Nelson; Jessica Susan Robinson, escorted by her brother, Joel M. Robinson Jr.; Lauren Michel Saunders, escorted by her father, Henri Saunders; and Anushka Singh, escorted by her father, Dr. Raman Singh.
Following the presentation, krewe board President Marilyn Starks presented a $230,000 check, representing the krewe’s yearlong fundraising efforts to benefit cancer patients in the community, to representatives from Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. On hand for the presentation were members of the Lane family of Gerry Lane Enterprises, presenting sponsor of the event.
Grand Marshal R. Andrew Patty II, dressed as a circus clown, then led a second line, followed by the parade, which included members of the bands from Southern University and McKinley and Scotlandville high schools, the Baton Rouge Goldwing Road Riders, Red Stick Roller Derby and iHeart Media and Guaranty Broadcasting vehicles. The McKinley High School JROTC assisted backstage and during the parade.
For more information about Karnival Krewe de Louisiane, visit karnivalkrewe.com.