Ray Charles' charity sing


LEGENDARY POP SINGER Ray Charles will be the featured entertainer at the Associated Black Charities' charity gala, "Giving Gifts through Music," at the Meyerhoff on June 27.

The benefit performance is the most ambitious fund-raising project in its six-year history and will give special recognition to civic leaders Alan Cooper, Tony Hawkins and J. Tyson Tildon for their contributions to the black community.

C&P;'s Hank Butta is honorary chair with co-chairs Fredye Murphy of the Enterprise Foundation and Sina Reid of SMR Ltd. Tickets range from $25 to $500 and can be reserved by calling 669-7900.

SCI-FI AUTHOR GENIUS Ray Bradbury will share his insights o the planet Mars -- not the candy bar -- tonight from 7 to 10 on the 21st Century Radio's "Hieronimus & Co." show, which can be heard on WNAV-AM (1430) in Annapolis.

IN THE NEWS -- If you happen to notice giant Hollywood-type searchlights outside Fox 45's 41st Street headquarters tomorrow night, don't worry. It's just the station's way of announcing its, ah, early 10 o'clock version of the 11 o'clock news, which debuts tomorrow night in all its sartorial elegance. Seems all the newsies will be decked out in tuxedos. How cute!

UPTOWN DOWNYOCEAN is how they're billing Ocean City's newest and largest all-suite oceanfront hotel, the Princess Royale, at 91st Street. Hotel co-owner and Baltimore entrepreneur Malcolm Berman with lovely wife Sandy (cradling her 10-week-old grandson, Brian -- their fifth) were on hand for last weekend's celebratory Memorial Day Grand Opening Bash.

The hotel has plucked some ace staffers from the Baltimore area including security chief Charles Di Pino, who's a 30-year, much-lauded veteran of the Baltimore Police Department. Food and beverage director Steve Cobb once managed Poor Richards and Hooligans in Towson.

Some local luminaries on hand for the festivities? Fox 45's Michael Schroeder and wife Dawne; attorney Larry Gebhardt and fiancee Dana, a Bo Derek look-alike; gala goers and arts supporters Lola and Bob Jones; local music promoter Jon Pinder and wife Christy; and WJZ-TV's veteran weather "boy" Bob Turk, spied brunching in the hotel's expansive poolside atrium.

NO DRY RUN: The Charlestown Retirement Community, th largest life-care facility in the state, located in Catonsville, opened its all-season Aquatics Center with a grand splash last weekend. Taking the inaugural plunge into the blue waters of the new pool was Charlestown's executive director B. Rick Grindrod, who bravely perched on the edge of a dunking booth for a, er, short while during the festivities.

THE CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK telethon to benefit th Johns Hopkins Children's Center winds down after 21 hours tonight at 6 on WMAR-TV (Channel 2). This year's telethon ambassadors, 10-year-old Elizabeth Loeffler and 9-year-old Maurice Taylor, will join hosts Stan Stovall and Sally Thorner for a portion of the program.

In addition, Baltimorean John Segall, representing the National Photography Association, will present the charity with more than $1.1 million. Segall, who heads the national glamour photography chain Elegant Images, is scheduled to make his presentation today.

MARTIN'S WEST was the scene of Project Survival's 13th annual testimonial dinner honoring Parks Sausage Co.'s chief, Ray Haysbert Sr., and NAACP national executive director Dr. Benjamin Hooks recently.

Hundreds of the state's most influential and civic minded figures in the black community turned out for the fete honoring the aforementioned duo for their contributions to the community. Project Survival provides college scholarships to area youth.

FINALLY, WBSB-FM's John Pavlos called to graciously invite us nTC to Tuesday night's sneak preview at the Yorkridge Cinema of the movie "Don't Tell Mom -- The Babysitter's Dead," starring Christina "Married With Children" Applegate and our-son-the-actor, Josh Charles, who plays her beau and didn't invite us to the Hollywood premiere.

From Dead Poets to Dead Baby Sitters, what's a mom to do? Josh, by the way, just finished shooting "The Bridge" out in Minneapolis with William Baldwin, Alec's little brother, who is currently starring in "Backdraft."

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