Young Leadership Council Annual Gala Goes Virtual

Young Leadership Council Annual Gala Goes Virtual
Event Pays Homage to What Makes Us “Proud to Call It Home”

NEW ORLEANS: September 29, 2020 – Each fall, Young Leadership Council (YLC) hosts its annual YLC Role Model Awards Gala, which highlights the civic and leadership accomplishments of its Role Model class within the Greater New Orleans community. Like many nonprofits, YLC has had to cancel its in-person gala this year and will be hosting the “Proud to Call It Home” Virtual Gala October 1 through October 30, 2020.  

The “Proud to Call It Home” Virtual Gala will highlight recipients from the past 34 years of role models, who will share uplifting and encouraging messages about unity, community, and what makes them proud to call New Orleans home. Role Models who will be featured include Connie and Mark Uddo (classes of 2011 and 2015), Michael Hecht (class of 2010), Karen Delsavo (class of 2012), Henry and Karen Coaxum (class of 2007), Julia Bland (class of 2007), Terrance Osborne (class of 2016), Erica Washington (class of 2018), Melissa Sawyer (class of 2014), Sonny Lee (class of 2017) and Gary Solomon (class of 1992).

“New Orleans’ leaders have made difficult decisions as COVID-19 impacted our community. Rather than try to highlight a new class of role models, we felt it was invaluable to revisit those we had recognized in the past,” said Aimee McCarron, Co-Chair of the Gala and Past President of YLC’s Board of Directors. “We have honored an incredible group of individuals who are continuing to make an impact on the city right now, and we thought that they would have insightful lessons on leadership for our members to learn from.” 

Tying into the organization’s history of civic engagement, McCarron and Co-Chair Brittany Whitsell (Vice President of Development – Board of Directors), have focused on ways that the gala and organization can immediately support the organization, in addition to the businesses and residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitsell says, “When it became apparent that YLC needed to change its annual gala due to the pandemic, we believed it was necessary to get creative and support the businesses struggling the most from the shutdowns. Rather than requesting donations from the restaurants or artists who are truly the lifeblood of our city and its culture, we created a new and unique format to ensure that when you give, you’re not only giving to YLC but you’re also supporting their businesses. We are very excited about the opportunity to continue to lead and support our community in any way we can!”

Features of the “Proud to Call It Home” Virtual Gala will include: a restaurant raffle where all gift cards were purchased by YLC to support one of the industries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; an art auction, where 50% of the proceeds of the final bidding price will go back to the artist who produced the piece; and a bar cart raffle, where some notable New Orleanians will be sharing their favorite cocktails, and guests will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to procure all the necessary ingredients for making these signature drinks.

The “Proud to Call It Home” Virtual Gala Committee includes: Eve Arnold (AOS), Danielle Boveland (LA Bar Association), Helen Buckley (Salley, Hite, Mercer, & Resor), Damon Carraby (St. Augustine High School), James Collier (Luca Falcone), Caroline Enright (Cremaldi & Kaupp, LLC), Cate Ferguson (NOCCI), Blake Guidry (Fleur De Lis Title Company), Anne Kock (Iberia Bank), Charlie Lanier (Intralox), Mary Cole McCants (Pan-American Life), Libby Nelson (Worley), Charlotte Rafferty (Iberia Bank), Margo Sanders (Sparkle City), and Lydia Wilson (Volunteers of America).

About Young Leadership Council
Young Leadership Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civic organization that develops young professionals into leaders through community projects. Through volunteer-led community projects, YLC recruits and retains young professionals to New Orleans, and creates a positive impact on quality of life in the region. Building on the organization’s 34-year legacy of leadership and service, YLC members logged more than 11,000 community service hours in 2019. Learn more about YLC at