Nicholls center invites public to ‘Dance with the Stars’ in New Orleans

THIBODAUX – The Louisiana Center for Women and Government, headquartered at Nicholls State University, invites the public to “Dance with the Stars of the South” on Friday, Nov. 12, at Astor Crowne Plaza, 739 Canal Street in New Orleans. Headlining the celebrity guest list is Sammy Kershaw, country music star and politician.

The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, a live auction and several star-studded performances at 8 p.m. Eric Paulsen, anchor of WWL-TV Eyewitness Morning News, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Dancers include Andrea Apuzzo, chef and proprietor of Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie, La.; Michael Lewis, New Orleans Saints Ambassador; Jane Miller, M.D., president of the Jefferson Performing Arts Society Leading Ladies Guild and co-chair of the New Orleans Opera Guild Ball; Nell Nolan, society columnist for The Times-Picayune; and Eugene Priestley, an executive with Chevron Exploration & Production Inc.

Dance judges include Angela Hill, anchor of WWL-TV Eyewitness News; Rear Admiral Mary Landry, commander of the 8th U.S. Coast Guard District; Zeb Mayhew, executive director of Oak Alley Plantation; and Greg Reggio, chef and proprietor of Zea Restaurant.

This year’s live auction will be conducted in memory of former Center auctioneer Sen. Ken Hollis, of Louisiana’s 9th District. Auctioneers include The Hon. Scott Angelle, Lt. Governor of Louisiana; The Hon. Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, vice president of the New Orleans City Council; The Hon. Daniel “Danny” Martiny, state senator from Louisiana’s 10th District; and Henry Shane Jr., founding partner of Favrot & Shane Companies.

Gala tickets are $75 per person and include complimentary wine served with dinner. Cocktail attire is required. For reservations, call (504) 293-2619 or send an e-mail to

Proceeds will benefit the Center’s wide array of programs, including the student internship program; Louisiana Girls’ Leadership Academy; National Women’s Leadership Summit on Energy and the Environment; Women’s Leadership Institute; Congress to Campus; Hall of Fame awards ceremony; legislative women’s luncheon; regional leadership councils; statewide Leadership Institute; and “A Woman’s Perspective” segment on HTV-10’s “Bayou Time” segment.

Established in 1991 and directed by Dr. Laura Badeaux of Nicholls, the Center encourages and promotes the leadership of women by providing resources and non-partisan support through educational workshops, training seminars and outreach programs. With more than 600 members from eight regions across Louisiana, the Center promotes women in government and public service, acknowledges achievements of women and teaches all citizens about the importance of public service and responsible citizenship.

The gala committee of the Women’s Leadership Council, which spearheads the ‘Dance with the Stars’ event, includes honorary co-chairs Tom and Gayle Benson; co-chairs Faith Peperone and Dianne Breaux; and members Debi Benoit, Jo Ann Bohm, Renee Carrere, Cindy Cenac, Elizabeth Dent, Jean Fail, Linda Greco, Diane Hollis, Sharon Marchand, Kathleen Mix, Elaine Musso, Bethany Paulsen, Jean Rice, Carol Short and Donnell Zeringue.

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