Miss A Columnist

Kenniece Johnson is Co-Editor for Miss A in New Orleans. She is a Louisiana native currently living in New Orleans, LA. Raised in a small town in south Louisiana, she moved to New Orleans to attend Dillard University. While there, Kenniece cultivated a deep love for English composition and literature and became a charter member of her school’s Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. Kenniece received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Dillard and has lived in NOLA every since. After three years as an event coordinator for one of NOLA’s most exciting tourist attractions, Harrah’s Casino and a brief stint in office administration for a local artist in residence program, Kenniece is now a stay at home mom to three beautiful little girls, including a set of twins. But ever on the quest to be a mommy mogul, . Kenniece runs her own blog, BabyCheapChic, dedicated to helping readers find great deals on everything from baby formula to back to school supplies. She is also an ambassador for Dishcrawl New Orleans, planning culinary adventures for the foodies of the "Cresecent City".

Children’s Hospital Sugarplum Ball To Benefit Autism Center

Photo Credit: Children's Hospital

(Photo Credit: Children’s Hospital)

On Friday, March 8, 2013, Children’s Hospital New Orleans will hold its 32nd annual Sugarplum Ball. This year’s theme will be Midnight in Paris with proceeds benefiting the hospital’s Autism Center . Autism affects one out of every 88 children. The purpose of the Autism Center at Children’s Hospital is to improve the quality of life for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Services include comprehensive diagnosis evaluations, medication management, parent/caregiver classes, parent support groups and social skills groups. The Autism Center is seeking to expand its services to include behavioral treatment for both the child and their families to aid in their attempt to cope with this life altering diagnosis.

I have to say, this “party with a purpose” is one of my favorites. Last year’s event took place in the home of Gregor Fox (the former mansion of “Interview with a Vampire” author Ann Rice). With its voodoo theme, it raised thousands towards the improvement of the hospital’s critical care transport.

Usuline Convent (Photo Credit: www.neworleansonline.com)

Usuline Convent (Photo Credit: www.neworleansonline.com)

This year, the Sugarplum Ball will take place at the old Ursuline Convent. Constructed in 1752, the Ursuline Convent is the oldest surviving example of the French colonial period in the United States. Co-chaired by Christy Kane and Betsey Todd, the ball will feature entertainment by Phat Hat and jazz quartet James Martin.  The night’s honoree will be Dr. Andrew King.

Guests can expect the night to be filled with great music, silent auctions, open bars and food from a hosts of New Orleans’s most popular restaurants (I blame last year’s event for my husband’s obsession with Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters). If history repeats itself, everything from the food, to the atmosphere, to the music will be sheer perfection.

Miss A's Kenniece Johnson-Jones with husband Patrick Jones at the 2012 Sugarplum Ball. (Photo Credit: Kenniece Johnson)

Miss A’s Kenniece Johnson-Jones with husband Patrick Jones at the 2012 Sugarplum Ball. (Photo Credit: Kenniece Johnson)

Though this event is already sold out, but there are still a host of ways you can aid this tremendous cause. Donating to or volunteering at Children’s Hospital are just a couple of ways to lend a hand.  As the mother of a child recently diagnosed with autism, I know how frightening this diagnosis can be. Will your child have a normal life? What does this diagnosis mean for the rest of the family? What did I do wrong? There are no words to describe how every little bit of your time, effort and monetary donations will make such a tremendous impact in giving a family dealing with autism a sense of hope. If your family or one that you know is dealing with the effects of autism, please call 504-896-7272 to schedule an appointment or get more information of support groups and classes.

WHEN: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 8 p.m.

The Old Ursuline Convent
1100 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Ph. 504-529-3040

TICKETS: Sold Out. But call 504-896- 9373 for more information.

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