Lupus Foundation crowns local man as gala king

Jessica Johnson Staff reporter

January 23, 2014

CHARLOTTE —Travis Manchester, from Mount Airy, was crowned as king of the eighth annual Lupus Mardi Gras Gala that will take place in Charlotte on March 8.

In the same tradition of naming a king and queen for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Lupus Foundation crowns a king and queen each year, selected by the King’s Court Committee and Lupus Foundation of American, North Carolian Chapter staff.

This year’s newly crowned king, Travis Manchester, is a lupus advocate inspired by his sister, Barbi Manchester, who has lupus. He supports her in her fundraising and Lupus awareness activities, including the Kick Lupus Kickball team, a wrestling event, and Mayberry’s Butterfly Walk for Lupus. Manchester was crowned king for his ongoing efforts to support the Lupus Foundation of American, North Carolina Chapter. He attended the National Advocacy Day for Lupus in Washington, D.C., in 2008 and has attended the gala in Charlotte for the past four years.

Patty Dunn will be crowned gala queen for her dedication to the Lupus Foundation for more than a decade. She is a resident of the Village of Lake Park.

“We look forward to honoring Travis [Manchester] and Patty as our 2014 Mardi Gras Gala King and Queen,” said Christine John-Fuller, president and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter. “Their support, committment, and passion in helping solve the cruel mystery of lupus is truly commendable. We are excited to have them among our Mardi Gras Royalty at this year’s event.”

The Lupus Mardi Gras Gala is presented by the Dickerson Family Trust. The event will take place on March 8 at 7 p.m. at CenterStage@NoDa, located at 2315 N. Davidson St. in Charlotte. The Mardi Gras Carnival-themed event will feature entertainment, Creole cuisine, a silent auction, a photo booth, fortune teller, and more. Guests will participate in a masquerade contest, raffles, and of course, the official crowning of the king and queen. Tickets are $150 per person and must be purchased by Feb. 26. All proceeds go to benefit LFANC. Since the beginning, the gala has raised $392,000.

Visit or call 704-716-5640 for more information or to purchase tickets.