Center Club says goodbye to favorites


If you happen to be having lunch at the Center Club today, be sure to wish two of the club's mainstays a fond farewell. After six years, the club's official greeter, a.k.a. the receptionist Carol Purcell, is leaving to fill the position of manager/assistant manager at the "all new" Hillendale Country Club, which recently reopened after being closed for more than a year after a devastating fire.

The other person who will be missed is the assistant general manager and event planner, Dave Lynch, who's been there 10 years. He has accepted a position in South Miami Beach, land of sun and fun with a major special events house.

And speaking of special events, the May issue of Special Events Magazine will have a story about Dave and the club's "Guest Chef Night," which starred celebrity chef Charlie Trotter, who came to town to promote a book and to prepare a seven-course gourmet meal for club members. (Charlie Trotter's place in Chicago is frequented by the likes of Oprah and Barbra Streisand, and he's opening another eatery in Las Vegas.)

Margaret and Jim (McKay) McManus are so much in demand, they should be used to being in two places at one time. But it does take some planning.

Months ago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos, a member of the St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation, asked Jim to emcee the foundation's fund-raising gala at the Hyatt Regency tomorrow night. Later, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association informed

McKay that they were presenting him with their most distinguished award, the Federico Tesio award, for his outstanding contributions to Maryland racing. And, as luck would have it, the horseman's dinner was also scheduled for tomorrow night, at the National Aquarium.

So tomorrow's a whirlwind -- the McKays arrive at the Hyatt promptly at 6 p.m. for the pre-gala reception, then a Hyatt limo will whisk them off to the aquarium for Jim to receive his award at 7:30 and then have him back to the Hyatt in time to emcee the dinner at 8-ish.

Hats off to Jean and Mike McHale, owners of Gaines McHale Antiques & Home in South Baltimore, who were hosts at an interesting charity benefit for the William S. Baier School for children with multiple disabilities.

Over the years, Jean has been to Britain many times to buy antiques and, in the process, became friendly with celebrated interior decorator Carolyn Parker, owner of Ingmanthorpe Interiors in North Yorkshire, England. So when this benefit idea came up, Jean "imported" Ms. Parker, who gave the presentation "Five Centuries of English Country Design." Sorry I missed it.

Catering by Windows chef-proprietor Henry Dinardo and his partner Carol Bloom have selected Liz Scott to head up the company's Baltimore regional office.

Ms. Scott is known in the Baltimore area from her days as a catering exec with the Classic Catering People.

Catering by Windows is one of Washington's premier catering companies, which lists as clients National Gallery of Art, Freedom Forum, Republican National Committee and Lockheed.

This afternoon, Western Maryland College will dedicate the Clementine and Duane L. Peterson Hall. The building, constructed in 1909, was designed by Jackson C. Gott, a well-known, turn-of-the-century architect.

Thanks to a "splendid" gift from Mrs. Peterson, whose generosity is well-known to Marylanders involved in the arts, the building has been renovated.

Gary Vikan, Walters Art Gallery director, will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Unfortunately, Mrs. Peterson cannot attend the dedication today, so she asked her close friend, Clarisse Mechanic, to say a few words for her.

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