Valentine's Day weekend was a social whirlwind for George McGowan, retired chairman of the board and CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., and his wife, Carol.
First stop was the Dinner of Champions at the Hyatt Regency on Friday, where he received the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's highest honor as its corporate champion. Other honorees were Nancy Coffey, Ordell Braase, Mike Brennan, Lynn Brick, Kenny Cooper, Jim McKay, Anita Nall, John Tucker, Joe Washington, Jeff Tackett and Jim Lachey.
More than 800 people braved the bad weather to attend the gala, which was chaired by John Ryder, president and CEO of Basics Food Centers. (In the "it's a small world department," it was Ryder who bought the McGowans' Millersville home last year after the McGowans bought his lovely retirement home on the Eastern Shore.)
Saturday was another special day, as nearly 100 friends and family members gathered at the Center Club for an elegant party to celebrate Carol's birthday.
One of my favorite volunteer jobs is being a guest auctioneer for the annual WBAL Radio Auction for Center Stage. The auction begins at 8 a.m. today and runs to midnight. My time slot is 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (The Sun has a complete list of auction items and times they are scheduled to be sold in today's Arts & Entertainment section.)
I've participated in most of the 16 auctions and, believe me, there are incredible buys on everything from round-trip tickets to Tokyo to lunch with Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Tune in 1090 on the AM dial and do something good for yourself and Center Stage.
The prestigious American Craft Council Craft Fair comes to town Feb. 26-28. This not-to-be-missed show kicks off a yearlong national celebration of American crafts.
In conjunction with the fair, the Baltimore-based National Museum of Ceramic Art will hold a benefit auction Feb. 24 featuring crafts as well as fabulous getaways, dinners and more, at HarborView Marina and Yacht Club.
Edie Brown, Richard Taylor and Bob Brown are co-chairing the fund-raiser for the museum's educational programs and exhibits. Call (410) 837-2529 for tickets, which are $40.
Len Stoler, president of Len Stoler Inc. and the chairman of the National Ford Dealers Alliance, has been selected by the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization as its first Man of the Year.
Stoler has been at the forefront of programs for Jewish youth since he was involved as youth chairman of Beth El Congregation. Festivities take place at the annual convention banquet March 13 at Danielle's Bluecrest. Call (410) 484-6200.
Public relations honcho John Yuhanick has decided to do what so many Charles Street establishments do -- have art exhibitions. The walls of his offices are covered with the paintings of New York artist Carlo Grassini through the end of the month.
The artist was brought to Baltimore by Tracy Lambros, an art agent and daughter of Mary Ann Lambros, Maryland Institute development director and a friend of Yuhanick's.
Among those who stopped by to meet the artist and view his works were Bill Steinmetz and Betty Cook, owners of the Store Ltd in Cross Keys; Kemp Byrnes and Hal Soloman of Byrnes and Associates, and local artist Donna Fink.
Yuhanick plans to offer wall space to other artists.
Have you noticed how visible author Tom Clancy is becoming in our community? I'm not talking about the publicity he receives as one of the people who'd like to own a Baltimore NFL franchise.
In my opinion, he's become more generous with his time and money. For example, he recently purchased five Nintendo Entertainment Centers for the young cancer patients at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. And when the youngsters invited him to stop by and see them in action, he accepted.