Angelica Rogers Sets the Stage for CARTI’s Event Season

If you were to look up the definition of gracious hostess, no doubt you would find Angelica Rogers’ picture next to the listing. Rogers has a vivacious spirit that is generous, hard working and simply energizing to be around. She is a mother to three children—Lexie, John Matthew and Gabriel—wife and best friend to John, and this year’s chair for CARTI’s Tux ‘n Trees.

“This is my second year to chair Tux ‘n Trees,” Rogers explained. “Last year, I was asked to chair the formal evening and was so excited and honored to be asked. I really enjoy planning parties and thought this was right up my alley.”

Although being a hostess is Rogers’ natural bent, Tux ‘n Trees and the CARTI (Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute) Auxiliary’s Festival of Trees celebration is more than just another party. Rogers, as most of us, has been personally touched by cancer. “My husband’s grandfather died of cancer, my father-in-law had prostate cancer, and my aunt died of cancer,” she said, “so I had a personal fight with this disease. I wanted to do anything I could to help better the lives of those in the fight for their lives.”

Rogers moved to North Little Rock in 1977 from California, and she’s been a loyal Arkansan ever since. “I went to Immaculate Conception School, Mount Saint Mary’s Academy, U of A Fayetteville for two years, then moved back to Little Rock and graduated from UALR with international business and Spanish degrees.”

Her parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico and have had a significant influence in her life and work ethic. “My dad is an electrical and mechanical engineer and got his education against a lot of odds. He taught me that anything is possible as long as you work hard.” Rogers learned her hostess skills from her accomplished mother. “She is the most incredible chef, and I learned all my party-planning skills from her. She taught me to always be prepared for any situation. You can come to my house any day, and I can have a killer tapas spread out, ready to eat in 15 minutes.”

With Rogers’ skill set her current project is sure to be a hit. The formal evening concludes the three-day long Festival of Trees celebration, and this year is monumental because it marks the event’s 35th anniversary.

“The origins of the event can be traced back to the well-known philanthropist Willie Oates, one of the founders of the CARTI Auxiliary in 1976,” said Alison Melson, vice president of CARTI Communications & Marketing. “Originally named Tux ‘n Trees, the first event was held in the waiting room area of the original CARTI facility on the campus of St. Vincent Infirmary, lasted about four hours and featured approximately 10 decorated trees. Today, the event has evolved into a three-day slate of six individual events under the umbrella title of the CARTI Auxiliary Festival of Trees and has raised more than $6 million on behalf of the cancer patients of Arkansas.”

Rogers cannot sing the praises of CARTI enough. She speaks highly of the individual medical care given to patients. “CARTI does so much for the whole person, in addition to being a world-class cancer treatment center. They provide massage, transportation, dental treatment (radiation anywhere near the mouth can possibly deteriorate teeth), retreats, trips for kids with cancer and overall hope that everything will be ok,” said Rogers. “The staff is amazing, caring, gentle, and they spread the feeling of hope with each interaction with the patients and their families.”  

Rogers recently joined the CARTI Foundation board to further serve the organization. She is also on the board of The Boys and Girls Club and a volunteer at her kids’ school. She also loves to host events in her home. She said, “I’m not kidding when I tell you that I love to be a hostess.”

Festival of Trees kicks off at the Statehouse Convention Center on Thursday, December 1, with “Stroll through the Forest” and concludes with the Tux ‘n Trees event on Saturday, December 3.

“I would encourage anyone who reads this to consider giving his or her time and talents and money to this wonderful event,” Rogers said. “Everyone will find an activity that they would love to attend. From seniors discussing health with Dr. David Lipschitz, to daddies and daughters at the Plum Fairy Ball, to the fashion-forward runway at Festival of Fashion, to the casual but rocking party Festival After Dark, to breakfast with Santa, to the formal but fun Tux ‘n Trees, there is something for everyone. And the good that CARTI does with the money raised is amazing.” 

For more information about these events and to purchase tickets, visit CARTI.com.

•  CARTI Auxiliary Festival of Trees
(Presented by Glazers, Planet Giant, KARK 4, Peabody Little Rock and TCPrint Solutions)
Thursday, December 1–Saturday, December 3

•  Stroll through the Forest
Peruse more than twenty dazzling trees on display and visit the Deck the Halls gift shop.
10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
1:30-4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2
10:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3
Ticket: $5 adults, $3 children

•  Senior Day
Dr. David Lipschitz, director for the Longevity Center at St. Vincent’s Infirmary, will hold a lively discussion
at 10:30 a.m. on important health issues. Admission is free for those 55 and older.
10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
Tickets: $5 adults under 55, $3 children

•  Sugar Plum Ball
Dads and daughters have their own fairy-tale evening, sponsored by Jolly Family Dentistry.
6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1
Tickets: $40 per person

•  Festival Fashion Show
Local boutiques show off the latest fashions with hors d’oeuvres and champagne.
10 a.m.-noon, Friday, Dec. 2
Tickets: $50 per person; box of 10 seats $500

•  Festival After Dark
This casual evening features Memphis sensation Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster band.
7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2
Tickets: $50 per person; table of 10 $1000

•  Breakfast with Santa
Enjoy a pancake breakfast with family games and live entertainment by Brian Kinder.
9-10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 3
Tickets: $15 per person

•  Tux ‘n Trees
Celebrating 35 years, this black-tie event offers an elegant dinner, live and silent auctions and dancing.
Presented by Rogers Photo Archives.
6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3
Tickets: $200 per person, table of 10 $2000

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