When New Orleans cooking legend – Mrs. Leah Chase – wanted to celebrate her 90th Birthday, she and her family reached out to Bright Moments to assist in planning and managing the event. The Chase family’s relationship with Bright Moments has always been organic and a source of pride and trust, but the family also relied on our professionalism, and relationships with others in the community who are culture bearers. In collaboration and ensuring that Mrs. Leah Chase approved, Bright Moments secured local musicians, contacted speakers, and managed the overall run of show for the event. For her 95th Birthday, Mrs. Chase again asked Bright Moments to secure a variety of musicians, speakers, and write/manage the run of show for the event.
On June 1, 2019, we received the call asking that Bright Moments send the announcement of her death to local media. While our hearts were heavy, we immediately stepped in, contacted the Mayor, and became an extended arm of the family. As we worked diligently with the family who were also deeply involved in planning, Bright Moments coordinated their first press conference to allow them to speak about Mrs. Chase. We also coordinated the details of her Celebration of Life Service and Mass of Christian Burial. While not a traditional form of client engagement, Bright Moments understood that not only was every detail important, but every detail also needed to be reflective of the life of Mrs. Chase. Integrity was the essence of her character and our role as friends and as professionals was to ensure that the closing chapter in her life’s story was like a good bowl of gumbo. For Mrs. Chase, that character gumbo would be made up of integrity, morals, values, kindness, compassion, honesty, and a hefty dose of loving humor all served at a table complete with linen and beautiful silverware. As we look back on the coverage of her death, we believe her character gumbo was served to everyone who told her story. And her world famous gumbo will live on at the historic Dooky Chase’s Restaurant as well as Leah’s Place inside the Louis Armstrong Airport.