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Raising the Bars

LeBlanc & Bodenheimer Team Up for a Cause

A pair of local restauranteurs are hosting a fundraiser, and there will not be beaux-arts theaters or large foundations involved. Instead, Robert LeBlanc (LeBlanc & Smith) and Neil Bodenheimer (CureCo) are doing what they do best, throwing a party with great food and cocktails, to help a child battling Leukemia.


On Thursday (1.21), LeBlanc and Bodenheimer are taking over One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse Street) for “Raise: Julian.” The Julian in the title is Julian Haney, the son of prominent digerati Susan and Blake “Humid” Haney. At the age of two, Julian was diagnosed with Leukemia. 


The illness struck a chord with the pair of hospitality pros. Bodenheimer explained to NoDef, “Robert and I are both fathers and this situation really hit close to home. As a parent, I can imagine myself in the same situation as Blake and Susan—and it is terrifying.”


The disease brings tremendous costs, with fiscal and emotional. The duo set out to help on both ends. “The Haneys are facing over 100,000 dollars in medical bills and the stress on them must be immense. We are trying to raise money to defray the price of treatment, but also want to provide support on an emotional level.A big part of the event is an opportunity to show that the community cares, to say, ‘Hey. We are here for you as you have been here for us,” said Bodenheimer.


That support is something that NOLA does well. The CureCo founder declared, “There is no other city in the word that takes care of each other the way we do.”


Of course, the Crescent City’s magnanimous nature means that fundraisers are common. So, LeBlanc and Bodenheimer set out to do something different. Their combined properties include Sylvain, Cure, Meauxbar, Bellocq, Barrel Proof, Cane & Table, and Cavan. 


“Through our restaurants, we do lots of these events. So, we have a great handle on how they work. Plus, we have lots of resources. There is no need to hire event planners or extra bartenders because that is what we do already,” noted Bodenheimer.


The in-house assets allow the Raise events to charge a lower admission than your typical fundraiser. 50 dollars covers a full evening. For the traditionalists in the crowd, there will be an open bar. For those looking for something unique, bold faced bartenders including Kirk Estopinal, Liam Deegan, and Nick Detrich will man stations to serve up craft cocktails such as the Tullamore Dew based “Smiling Eyes” and the tequila laden “Fumbled Mumble.”


There will also be plenty of food. Chef Kristen Essig will offer a peak at the forthcoming Cavan with Scallop Blognese. Chef Jason Klutts will rep Cane & Table and Cure with Pork Vindaloo over Louisiana Grits and Steak Tartar, respectively. Martha Wiggins will bring Sylvain’s Brunswick Stew and Meauxbar’s Boudin Blanc with Persimmon Mustard will round out the offering.


DJ Fayard of “Eighties Night” fame will be spinning music suitable for dancing.


Bodenheimer said that the night is not over-complicated. “It’s simple. It’s fun and it’s for a good cause. There will be plenty to drink and eat and a relaxed atmosphere. When it all wraps up, not only will guests leave happy, but they will also know that they’ve helped a young child in a brave battle.”

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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