Oct. 3, 2007 12:00

I've attended parties at some of the most fashionable homes in town, so I'm not easily impressed. But the minute I set foot into Judy and Robbie Mahtook's Girard Park Drive home, I marveled at the warm atmosphere and the architectural delights of the A. Hays Town house in its pristine setting. The elegant and welcoming hosts had prepared a veritable feast to help celebrate Dr. Ed Nagem's pending retirement. An illustrious group of guests, ranging from the ever fashionable Frank Camalo to a who's who of Lafayette including Dr. Edgar Feinburg, Dr. Richard Dearman, and Frankie and Charon Harris were treated to a Mediterranean spread expertly prepared by the hostess, Judy Mahtook. Highlights included homemade grape leaves that were delicate and to die for as well as both fried and raw kibbe ' the true test of any Lebanese chef's expertise. Extraordinary wines were free-flowing and included a jeroboam of 1982 Opus One, flown in from California for the occasion. Other guests contributed to the feast, drawing on recipes from their respective heritages. I was hard pressed to decide whether I preferred a tender Cajun pot roast or Frank Camalo's anise-infused family-recipe meatballs. I left the party with well wishes to the retiree, thinking that if I ate like this every day I might require the services of a heart surgeon like Nagem.

A recent trip to the Cajundome Convention Center for the annual Boys and Girls Club Steak and Burger Night proved to be more than a culinary delight. I've long been a fan of the Cupid Shuffle but have never seen it performed with such exuberance as that night by 150 boys and girls. Too bad they didn't let Party Girl join ' I mean really, I am small enough. The event, a fundraiser for the Acadiana Boys & Girls Club, turned out to be an even bigger success than anyone had predicted. Lafayette socialites mingled with community leaders, volunteers, board members and parents. The event showed once again that community spirit and dedication to the education of our youth are central to Acadiana. I always knew that this is a very special place to live in. This event definitely got "straight to the heart" of everyone there, says Arlene Armentor-Bonner, Acadiana Boys & Girls Club executive director. "This is my favorite of all the events we do ' there are so many individuals and businesses in this community that generously support our organization, but they may have never visited one of our clubs. This gives them the opportunity to spend some time with our club kids and learn firsthand how great these kids are, and how our staff, programs and activities impact their lives. It was so wonderful to see so many of the adults at the end of the dinner hugging and congratulating the kids on their performances."

Party On! ' PG

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