Want to be the lucky winner of a brand new Subaru Forester Premium? All you have to do is purchase a raffle ticket for $75. Turn your LOVE for City Park into a LOVE for giving back. LOVE. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.
One lucky winner will be randomly selected from a drawing held on June 23, 2021, in which the winner does not need to be present. Funds raised will benefit building City Park’s endowment for the future of New Orleans. Each purchase provides us with the means to carry out our mission of maintaining and increasing the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation and education for the public. Must be 21+ to enter.
The new year brings some new faces to Friends of City Park. We are pleased to introduce our new Board President, Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE, our four new members of the Board of Directors, Jeffrey Birdsong, Damon Carraby, Sudie Sutter Joint, and Ron Stone, and we welcome new Membership Manager, Raegan Buckley to our staff. These community leaders and activists cover a range of unique skills from communications and nonprofit law, to finance and nonprofit development. This powerful group of experts in their fields offers Friends of City Park a wealth of knowledge and resources that will make a great impact in shaping the future of City Park. Please join us in welcoming them to Friends of City Park!
Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE – President, Friends of City Park | Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE is Vice President for Philanthropy at Ochsner Health System. Shon leads the Ochsner Philanthropy Team in connecting donors to the health system’s world-class care and educational programs through strategic philanthropic outreach. With more than a decade of experience leading development strategy and comprehensive fundraising activities for healthcare organizations, she assists Ochsner’s efforts to lead the nation in quality patient care and life-changing discoveries. Shon recently received the Ochsner Health CEO’s Game Changer award recognizing the impact she has had on the Philanthropy Department and the health system. Shon earned a B.S. from Campbell University, M.A. from the University of Holy Cross, and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Her research interests include examining the impacts of transformational donations on the mission of healthcare systems, female philanthropic leadership, and feminist philanthropy. In addition to her professional endeavors, Shon volunteers her time and expertise. She is a former member of the Board of Dress for Success New Orleans, is former Vice President of the Board of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and a former board member of the Junior League of New Orleans. Shon was named 2018 Healthcare “One To Watch” by the Baton Rouge Business Report, a 2017 Top New Orleans Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine, and was named a 2015 New Orleans City Business Healthcare Hero. Committed to the community, Shon has chaired many of New Orleans’ favorite fundraisers including the Young Leadership Council’s Streetcar Named Desire Gala, the Preservation Resource Center’s Julia Jump, Friends of City Park’s Martini Madness, Friends of City Park’s Lark in the Park, Dress for Success’ Suits and Salads Luncheon, Le Petit Theatre’s Curtain Call Ball and Firstline School’s Edible Evening.
“More than 40 years ago, an incredibly committed group of people dedicated themselves to helping protect the future of City Park and created Friends. That essence of trailblazing still permeates every trail and bayou in City Park.”
– SHON COWAN BAKER
Jeffrey Birdsong – Board Member At-Large | A native New Orleanian, Jeff Birdsong lives in the Mid-City area neighboring City Park. He is an attorney at Liskow & Lewis, APLC in New Orleans practicing tax and nonprofit law. Jeff attended Louisiana State University for both his undergraduate studies and law school. After law school, Jeff attended New York University School of Law where he obtained a Tax LL.M. Outside of his legal practice, Jeff spends his time serving on numerous local and national nonprofit boards and enjoys frequenting the city’s best cocktail bars.
“My favorite parts of the Park are the Wisner walking paths, the Couturie Forest, and the Discgolf course. I have been playing Discgolf in the Park since it was located on the Southside of I-610 and I try to play at least a few rounds each week.”
– JEFF BIRDSONG
Damon Carraby – Board Member At-Large | Damon P. Carraby is a native New Orleanian and is a graduate of Dillard University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies, with a focus on Public Policy. Professionally, he serves as the Director of Corporations and Foundations at City Year. Damon is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He currently serves on the board of the Young Leadership Council, HandsOn New Orleans, Lycée Francias School, and Global Shapers. He also volunteers with Son of a Saint and the Urban League.
“I am excited to serve on the board for Friends of City Park because I see how important it is to connect individuals and community partners to create meaningful opportunities for the betterment of City Park.”
– DAMON CARRABY
Sudie Sutter Joint – Board Member At-Large | Sudie holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Louisiana State University and she is a Certified Public Accountant. She started her career at KPMG, LLP where she completed compliance attestation audits for one the firms largest advisory clients. She furthered her career at Capital One Bank and Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank where she assisted with regulatory testing and developed analytical skills related to compliance. Currently, she works for Lawrence J. Jacobi CPA managing tax returns, tax compliance, payroll, and bookkeeping. She is a member of the Louisiana State Board of CPAs and AICPA. She currently resides in Old Metairie with her husband, Richard, and two children, Hazel (6) and Sutter (4). She loves City Park and all of the activities it has to offer. Prior to joining the board, Sudie donated her time to Chair Friends of City Park’s Martini Madness.
“I love City Park and all of the activities it has to offer including Ghosts in the Oaks, Celebration in the Oaks, and beignets at Café du Monde.”
– SUDIE SUTTER JOINT
Ron Stone – Board Member At-Large | Ron Stone is an External Relations Advisor, Deep Water Gulf of Mexico for Shell in New Orleans. He began his career with Shell in 2011 holding a variety of global and regional communications roles. Prior to joining Shell, Ron was a television news reporter, then a writer-producer with a Houston-based corporate communications firm. Ron is a Texan, born and raised in Houston, but got to New Orleans as quickly as he could! He received his B.A. in History from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. Ron is the proud father of two daughters.
“I love long walks among the beautiful oaks with my fiancée, Susan and our dog, Louis.”
– RON STONE
Friends of City Park is thrilled to welcome our new board members and staff. Together they bring many assets, talent, and fresh perspective to this organization. Their knowledge, experience, and expertise will continue to add to the impact that Friends of City Park has made over the last 40 years.
Friends of City Park is a regional, non-profit organization whose mission is to maintain and increase the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation and education for the public.
Although Lark Picnic in the Park has a whole new take on the food this year including pre-packaged personal picnics and a seated dinner depending on sponsorship level, attendees will not be disappointed! Due to the generosity of our restaurant supporters, the event will offer an opportunity to “safely picnic with your pod” under the lavish greenery of the Garden’s 13 acres.
The Botanical Garden’s resident Chef, Chef Pat White helped to curate the seated dinner with specialty donors like Cajun Caviar.
SESSION ONE from 11:00am – 2:00pm
Will feature personal picnic baskets curated by Copper Vine, Messina’s Catering, Mirepoix Catering, Bonfire Catering, Langenstein’s, Graze+Friends, re:Borne Bakery, and Karibu Kitchen.
Picnic Delights Includes:
Mini Crudite with Ranch
Watermelon, feta, and fresh mint salad with balsamic
Creole Tomato Sandwich on Ciabatta
Chicken Salad with Pita Chips
Zapp’s Potato Chips
SESSION TWO: 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Will feature a Cocktail Hour Tour of the Garden presented by Sazerac House (small groups of 8) and a seated dinner with menu by Chef Pat White.
Hors d’oeuvres Smoked deviled eggs topped with Cajun caviar Fried green tomato & andouille pie Beet & goat cheese crostini with grilled garden veggies Salad Shrimp remoulade & garden greens salad Main Grilled fish over “elote” style creamed corn topped w/garden chimichurri & lump crabmeat Dessert Strawberry cornbread topped with whipped creole cream cheese & Steen’s cane syrup featuring Louisiana Strawberries
Before you panic buy chocolates and flowers this Valentine’s Day, consider giving the gift of experiences this year. Check out this weekend itinerary of events in the Park using your Friends of City Park membership perks:
Get lost in the oldest grove of mature live oaks in the world! (Download a map HERE)
Warm up with hot chocolate from Café du Monde (10% member discount on purchases)
Enjoy a round of mini golf at City Putt ($2 off per person per round)
Have a celebratory beverage on the veranda of Filmore in the Oaks Restaurant & Bar (10% member discount on purchases)
Flowers and Valentine’s Day go hand-in-hand at the Botanical Gardens (Free admission)
Rent a Swan Pedal Boat from Wheel Fun Rentals (20% member discount on rentals).
Decorate a Mardi Gras tree with your City Park Peristyle Lion Ornament (Click HERE)
Whether you are celebrating with a significant other, family, or friends, your Friends of City Park membership perks make it easy to show your love on this special day.
Thank you for supporting City Park through your membership, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
THIS FEBRUARY, Friends of City Park will receive a $1 donation for each reusable Community Bag purchased at the Winn Dixie, located on 401 North Carrolton Ave. Each bag costs $2.50 and helps support the community and the environment! #befriendcitypark #shopsustainably #communitybagprogram #friendsofcitypark #neworleans
Designed by India Stewart, this year the Friends of City Park ornament celebrates the beautiful, historic Peristyle in New Orleans City Park and the four majestic lions who guard her.
The ornament is $15 and is the ninth ornament designed by India Stewart. A limited number of ornaments will be sold for $15 at www.friendsofcitypark.com or in the Oscar J. Tomas Visitor Center gift shop. For further information, call 504-226-6753. Shipping and handling will vary based on the size of the order.
About the Peristyle:
The Peristyle was, quite literally, built for parties – parties with dancing, to be exact. In 1907, architect Paul Andry created this neo-classical open-air pavilion with a colonnade, and the structure has been lovingly maintained over the years through several renovation projects, including one by the generous donation of Mea and Vincent Saia in 1989 and the most recent, in 2012.
The Peristyle overlooks picturesque Bayou Metairie and is one of the most popular venues for wedding ceremonies and wedding photos in the park. The site is also ideally suited for picnics and corporate events, including convention and themed parties.
More on it’s rich history:
Built as a platform for dancing, the Peristyle was designed by architect Paul Andry for the price of $15,330 in 1907. The Peristyle, originally called the paristyleum, was renovated in the 1930s in conjunction with other WPA projects. During the WPA improvements a decorative portion was removed from the roof of the Peristyle. There was renovation again in 1989 with a generous donation from Mea and Vincent Saia. The Peristyle and the four lions who guard her underwent another significant renovation in 2012.
Mark your calendar for the Friends of City Park Annual Meeting!
The Annual Meeting for Friends of City Park is scheduled for Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at Filmore in the Oaks Restaurant at 12:30 pm.
Nominating Committee and Election Procedures
As mandated in Friends of City Park Bylaws, the FOCP Nominating Committee, led by McKenzie Hill, has been appointed to nominate candidates for vacancies on the Executive Committee and proposes the following nominations.
Proposed Slate of Officers:
President – Shon Cowan Baker (Previously elected as President-Elect) President-Elect – Tania Hahn Secretary – Doug Adams Treasurer – Shannon Brice (Previously elected as Treasurer-Elect) Treasurer-Elect – Peggy Scott Laborde
The Friends of City Park team is hard at work, all thanks to you, fully supporting the Park in every way possible. With the change of Celebration in the Oaks into a driving tour, the Friends of City Park membership perk has been altered for the 2020 season.
Friends of City Park Membership Perk for the 2020 Season will be as follows:
Friends of City Park members receive 1 free admission valid anytime on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and unlimited ½ price car or SUV admission valid anytime on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from November 30th through January 3rd except for the week of Christmas: December 21st – 25th.
For tickets to the Driving Tour pleaseClick HEREand redeem your perk by using the email address associated with your Friends of City Park membership.
For a speedy check in:
Plan ahead! Renew or Purchase a Friends membership online in advance. Perks are valid for active members only.
Driving Tour Passes must be redeemed online prior to arriving onsite for the driving tour. Redeem 1 free admission and unlimited 1/2 price admission anytime Sunday’s- Thursday’s at cito.wrstbnd.com (except for the week of Christmas 12/21-12/25) by using the name and email address associated with your Friends membership.
Have your membership card and photo ID ready with your digital or printed QR Code upon arrival to the event.
A named card holder must be present in order to utilize the membership. This means that the name of the person using the membership must be listed on the card and present.
Thank you for being a member! To join Friends of City Park, you can purchase a membership online by clicking here.
If you are a member and have any questions or want to check the status of your membership, please call our office at (504) 483-9376 or email us at email@example.com.
A note to our Members from Friends of City Park and New Orleans City Park:
Please know these decisions were not made easily or quickly. As this is the Park’s largest fundraiser coupled with the facts of our current struggling financial situation, the Park decided to offer the perk of a free or discounted ticket nights for the more value admission price nights. This was a financial decision. Had this been a year in which every dollar wasn’t even more paramount than usual, that may have been viewed differently – but it’s impossible to make that conjecture. We know this year is difficult for everyone. Please know that is in the forefront of our thoughts each day. That is why we’ve pushed so hard – with minimal incoming revenue and a loss of over 300 employees – to make Celebration in the Oaks happen for the people of New Orleans. We appreciate you as a member of Friends of City Park, a steward of City Park.
THE MAJESTIC FLYING HORSES IN THE BEAUTIFUL CAROUSEL GARDENS IS LOCATED IN CITY PARK IN THE HEART OF NEW ORLEANS. HANG THIS PRETTY CAROUSEL HORSE DOOR HANGER AS SUPPORT FOR FRIENDS OF CITY PARK WHOSE MISSION IS TO MAINTAIN AND INCREASE THE VALUE AND IMPORTANCE OF CITY PARK AS A PLACE OF NATURAL BEAUTY, CULTURE, RECREATION AND EDUCATION FOR THE PUBLIC.