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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association honored husband and wife Wayne and Connie Elmore at its 2018 Spring Gala on Saturday, April 7, at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center.

While the night likely holds the record for the coldest Spring Gala held in its 21-year history, that was not the only record broken at the event.

The 2018 Annual Spring Gala now holds the title of highest Spring Gala earnings after raising a total of $148,000. This total surpasses the now second highest year by nearly $10,000.

About 500 guests were in attendance. This year’s gala also brought in the most individual sponsors and patrons to date. Fifteen sponsors and 32 patrons purchased tables, which contributed to the night’s record-breaking success.

The Alumni Association changed the silent auction this year with a new mobile bidding feature. Auction items were still on display throughout the Alumni Center grounds to view, but ticket purchasers could now bid on their items right from their smartphones. Guests were sent alerts when they were outbid, allowing for real-time bidding. With the help of this new feature, the silent auction raised $24,700 — the second highest in Spring Gala history.

This year’s gala featured special guest Nick Saban, head football coach at the University of Alabama, who mingled with the event’s sponsors and addressed the crowd about the importance of philanthropy in higher education and athletics.

Bon Temps Grill returned to cater the food. Silent and live auctions included art, gifts, travel opportunities, and Ragin’ Cajuns merchandise among items that were up for bid. Proceeds from the annual gala are dedicated to maintaining and improving Alumni Association initiatives and facilities.

Wayne Elmore earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in 1971 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1978. He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He is CEO/owner of Mello Joy Coffee and ChairSlippers LLC. He is managing partner for numerous real estate holdings, and chairman of the D.W. Elmore Family Foundation.

Connie Elmore earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1971. She was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and a cheerleader. She was a University Favorite, a Kappa Sigma Star and Crescent Girl, and a Kappa Sigma Sweetheart. She began her career as an elementary school teacher. After working for several years in the Lafayette Parish School System, she returned to the University as Union Program Council adviser and cheerleader adviser from 1988 to 1998.

The Elmores, who live in Lafayette, have two children and six grandchildren.

Chantelle Aaron, president-elect of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, served as chairwoman. Rose Hoffman Cormier served as auction chair for a second time.

Photo: Honorees Wayne and Connie Elmore welcome their special guest, Nick Saban, to Spring Gala. (Photo credit: Brent Allen LeBlanc/Allen Breaux Studio & Gallery)