June 6, 2017

Diane Lyons
Steve Schulkens


Former NCIS:New Orleans Star Zoe McLellan Featured Speaker at
Bodacious Bras for a Cause Brunch and Auction

(New Orleans, La.) - FestiGals, the first and only New Orleans festival that inspires, connects and celebrates women while supporting causes important to their well-being, today announced during a news conference that the celebrated Stiletto Stroll is returning to the French Quarter on Saturday, June 24 at 7 p.m. New Orleans songbird and fitness leader Robin Barnes, this year's Grand Diva, will lead hundreds of women in an authentic New Orleans walking parade as popular women's marching krewes, Cori Walters and her all-female Universe Brass Band, costumed performers, and FestiGals' dynamic divas sashay to a fabulous After-Glow Party. Proceeds of fundraising marching krewes and newly-formed groups will be donated to the New Orleans Family Justice Center which helps families and individuals impacted by domestic violence and sexual abuse. Support local marching krewes with a donation at and click on the Stiletto Stroll.

The seventh annual FestiGals weekend is slated for June 22-24 at the JW Marriott. During today's news conference FestiGals also announced that Zoe McLellan, who was known as Brody in early seasons of NCIS: New Orleans, is this year's featured speaker at the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Brunch and Auction. The signature event auctions the top fundraising bras from the Bodacious Bra Challenge and original artwork inspired by the cancer journey to benefit the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration Inc.

The Bodacious Bra Challenge, FestiGals fundraising initiative that debuted two years ago, currently has 27 teams competing for top prizes and competition is fierce. The public is encouraged to visit and click the Bodacious Bra Challenge link to make a donation to a preferred bra.

On Friday, June 23, Linda Alvarado is headlining the New Orleans Women's Leadership Conference. Alvarado is President and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Inc., a commercial firm headquartered in Denver that develops, design, builds, and manages property. Alvarado made history when she became the first Hispanic owner of a Major League Baseball franchise, the Colorado Rockies. She is a nationally-recognized speaker and advocate for business issues and was formerly a commissioner of the White House Initiative for Hispanic Excellence in Education.

Other featured speakers at the 2017 New Orleans Women's Leadership Conference include Intentional Kate, acclaimed attorney Kim Boyle, Chef Kristen Essig, Burlesque Diva Trixie Minx, Coulter IdeaPitch award winner Crystal McDonald, fitness pro April Dupree, Angela Grittman of Wayward Owl Brewery, Loyola's communications and management expert Michelle Johnson, self-proclaimed food goddess Lorin Gaudin and other notables. Returning this year are the FestiTalks, rapid-fire, dynamic presentations on a variety of topics which are delivered in small segments that are easy to retain.

FestiGals single event tickets are available; but for the truly festive ladies, the FestiGals Diva Package is available and includes added perks such as private home tours, dinner with Chef Samantha Carroll, and an opening reception at the Louisiana State Museum's Presbytere. Further details and event pricing are available on the website. FestiGals pictures are available for download at

Due to popular demand, limited tickets to the exclusive Culinary Demo Dinner with Chef Sam Carroll at Sac-a-lait are now available outside the Ultimate Packages and may be purchased at on a space available basis.



About FestiGals New Orleans:
FestiGals is a unique celebration of women and New Orleans. Now in its 7th year and attracting women from across the country, FestiGals New Orleans Women's Weekend Experience is the region's first and only women's event of its kind in which women from all backgrounds are inspired and empowered in a festive environment including one of the largest women's second line parades. Founded in 2011 and produced by Diane B. Lyons and ACCENT- DMC, FestiGals, Inc. has collectively raised more than $130,000 through the highly-acclaimed Bodacious Bras for a Cause Brunch & Auction and the Bodacious Bra Challenge which benefit the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, Inc. FestiGals also raises funds for the New Orleans Family Justice Center via the Stiletto Stroll Second Line Parade to help women who are victimized by domestic violence. Endorsed by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, FestiGals annually attracts more than 2,200 women from around the U.S. and Greater New Orleans area to the summer event. FestiGals 2017 is slated for June 22-24 at the JW Marriott on Canal Street.

The women-centric weekend is made possible with the generous support of Morgan Stanley, Cox Communications, Bienvenue Bar and Grill, Bevolo, Infinite Health, Ochsner Baptist, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, WBEC South, Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana, Downtown Development District, First Bank and Trust, Fidelity Bank, CPA Realty, Etre Cosmetics, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Louisiana Tax Free, Patrick A. Gros, CPA, Stein Mart, Entergy, Degas House, Harrah's New Orleans Casino, Louisiana State Museum, Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture and Sac-A-Lait, as well as various community partners.