'Hons' and Elvis bring Baltimore to Savage Mill fundraiser April 30

At historic Savage Mill on April 30, local women supporting the breast cancer community will celebrate "100 Hons & Elvis" for the third year running, just in time to rock the golden wedding anniversary of Elvis and Priscilla Presley while raising money for the nonprofit, For 3 Sisters.

The event's premier sponsor, Dr. Gene Sambataro, of the Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry in Ellicott City, along with his real-life bride of 36 years, Cindy Sambataro, will zip-line in courtesy of Terrapin Adventures dressed as "Elvis" and "Priscilla."


For 3 Sisters was founded six years ago by retired Montgomery County firefighter Marshall Moneymaker, who lost his three sisters to breast cancer. The nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality of life for women and men stricken by the disease, providing support to family caregivers and engaging kids in keeping moms healthy. All of the nonprofit's services are free.

At the fundraiser, women in varying degrees of bouffant hair and leopard print will come together at the Sweet Cascades/Say Cheese luncheonette area near the New Weave Building for a scavenger hunt, fashion show and light luncheon.

"We love them all, from 'hon light' to 'overdone hon,'" said Susan Costenbader, of Laurel — an Elvis fan and breast cancer survivor who created and coordinates the annual "Hons" event.

At an April 20 pre-event at Savage Mill, she said "hons" planning to attend in outrageous "Bawl'more" style can purchase inexpensive 1960s fashion items at Charity's Closet, design cat glasses at Bearing Gifts and have their lipstick personality read by FACES by Brandi LLC.

The 2017 theme syncs with the 50th anniversary of the May 1 wedding of the King of Rock and Roll and Priscilla Beaulieu, who were married at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas in an intimate ceremony followed by a champagne breakfast with, coincidentally, 100 guests.

Previous "100 Hons & Elvis" events in Columbia and Ellicott City benefited The Little Things for Cancer and Zaching Against Cancer charities, but Costenbader said the event has found a permanent home with For 3 Sisters, and, she hopes, at Savage Mill.

Terrapin Adventures, Bearing Gifts, Artcraft, The Queen's Ink, Faces by Brandi, Charity's Closet, Books with a Past, Howard County Tourism and the Operations Group are supporting businesses at Savage Mill.

In addition to the Julian Center, other sponsors are Eggspectation in Ellicott City; Constantine Wines and LS Interior Design Group in Columbia; Crofton Acupuncture; and Sweet Cascades/Say Cheese at Savage Mill.


The event photographer, Rob Diffenderfer of GMS Photo and Video at Savage Mill, will film "Elvis" and "Priscilla's" dramatic entrance. Alex Wieneke is making their wedding cake.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, Savage Mill will commemorate its 200th "birthday" in a bicentennial celebration, broadcasting live on WWMX-106.5FM outside of the New Weave Building beginning at 10 a.m.

Costenbader said "tremendous" community support has kept the cost of the event to just a few hundred dollars; she anticipates exceeding last year's fundraising total of $15,000, which went to Zaching Against Cancer.

Marilyn Johnson, who has a design studio in Laurel, spent nearly 100 hours researching, designing and constructing Sambataro's costume for last year's event. It's a replica of the white satin jumpsuit Elvis wore in a concert Johnson attended in Buffalo, N.Y., more than 40 years ago.

Johnson credits her long-time friend Wendy Letow, founder of The Little Things for Cancer, which has since merged with the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation, with getting her involved.

Letow works with Gene Sambataro and recruited him to impersonate Elvis last year. Johnson agreeing to design the costume, Sambataro said, made it easy to say "yes."

"I thought it would be interesting and fun," he said. "Any way you can get people together to have fun and give money to a great charity; that's what it's all about."


The costume' gold satin cape, intricately studded belt, collar height and wing points, as well as leg pleats that flare with movement are authentic Elvis Presley.

Cindy Sambataro, as Priscilla, will be wearing a wedding dress.

Gene Sambataro said he appreciates family, community and women "coming together in a great way to collect money for a great cause."

Chanelling Elvis, Sambataro said "Thank you, thank you, thank you very much."

"100 Hons & Elvis" is Sunday, April 30, noon to 4 p.m., at Historic Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage. For information about For 3 Sisters and to purchase tickets, go to f3s.org.