2024 Annual Fundraiser

For Patron and Sponsor giving over $2,500, please donate via mail or over the phone:

Mail: 3300 W. Esplanade Ave., S., Suite 603 Metairie, LA 70002. Write “Annual Event” in check memo.

Phone: (504) 831-8475

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On Thursday, March 21st at 6:30 PM, join us at The Sazerac House (101 Magazine St.) for ROARING through the 2020s to benefit JFS mental health services and essential programs.

We’ll be puttin’ on the Ritz and servin’ up hooch to honor Stephen Sontheimer and Billy Henry. Their unfailing dedication to members of our community in moments of grief exemplifies the JFS model of care. We hope you will join us to raise a glass and say L’chaim to these two menches!

Guests will enjoy complimentary cocktails, whiskey samplings, and a light dairy dinner. Feel free to don your 1920s or 2020s best attire, or simply come straight from the office. Guests will have access to museum exhibition spaces.

Our Honorees

Stephen Sontheimer‘s family has worked in the funeral business in the New Orleans for over 100 years. They began with stables in what is now The Rink shopping center on Prytania Street. By 1980, the Sontheimers owned 8 funeral homes with over 200 employees. Personally, Mr. Sontheimer has worked in the funeral business for 61 years. Currently, he is a Senior Consultant of Funeral Services at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and Cemetery. A graduate of Isidore Newman School, Culver Military Academy, Tulane University School of Business (1960), National Foundation of Funeral Service, and YPO at Harvard Business School, Mr. Sontheimer served 6 years in the U.S. Army reserve 4010 medical unit. An invaluable member of our community, Mr. Sontheimer served on numerous boards and community organizations, to name only a few: Touro Infirmary, LCMC Health, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Contemporary Art Center, Tulane University Freeman School of Business, Odyssey House, Anti-Defamation League, Touro Synagogue, and Hospice New Orleans (Founder). Mr. Sontheimer also served on the JFS board for many years, including as president from 1977-1978. He was recognized for his outstanding service to our community with many awards, a few include: the Arts Council of New Orleans 1991 Mayor’s Arts Award, the Young Leadership Award from Lemann-Stern Leadership Forum, the Public Citizen of the Year from National Association of Social Workers, Louisiana Chapter, and the Benemerenti Medal Papal Award for service to the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Mr. Sontheimer is currently a member of Touro Synagogue, Temple Sinai, and YPO 49ers Forum. A native and lifelong resident of New Orleans, Mr. Sontheimer is married to Caroline Wogan Sontheimer; he has two sons, two step-daughters, one grandson, and five step-grandchildren.

Billy Henry has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1974, growing up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and has worked in the New Orleans area for the past 44 years. He is currently the Executive Funeral Director for Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries. Henry has been well known in New Orleans for his community activities, including past president of the Hospice of Greater New Orleans (the city’s first non-profit hospice) and the Hospice Foundation of New Orleans. He was also involved for many years in the HIV/AIDS community and served as Co-Chair of the NO/AIDS Task Force and was co-founder of Friday Night Before Mardi Gras, a carnival krewe that raised funds annually for HIV/AIDS service organizations. He was a former member of the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors, a member of the National and Louisiana Funeral Directors Associations, Cremation Association of North America and was a funeral director spokesman and trainer for the Resolve Thru Sharing Program, which assisted families suffering the loss of a stillborn or early infant death. For the past 12 years he has taught in the Funeral Service Education program at Delgado Community College and currently serves as Vice President of the Jefferson Council on Aging board of directors. Henry is a longtime member and past president of the Steamboat Club of New Orleans, is President of the Fat Monday Luncheon Organization and the Rotary Club of New Orleans. He is married to Kevin D. Gibson, a logistics analyst for Sysco Foods and they have two fur babies, Roxy (a rescue off I-12) and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Chaplin.

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