Union Memorial center marks a year of helping with image


WJZ-TV's Chris Ely was the master of ceremonies at the one-year celebration party of the Image Recovery Center at Union Memorial Hospital, as well as being an honoree. Ely, whose wife passed away from breast cancer, was recognized for his tireless efforts to educate the public on the disease.

The center, founded to help women cope through positive self-imaging, opened last year under the direction of Marianne Kelly, with a lot of help from volunteer donors. Those honorees were Peggy Richards, who agreed to "before" and "after" pictures to publicize the program; Ron Reis, Evelyn & Crabtree; Diane Carter, Roland Park Florist; Judy Gilman, Davidson's Beauty Supplies; Darrell Simpson, of Fan Fair Concepts; Allan Elkin, Advance Business Systems, and his wife, Lois; Larry Park, Northern Pharmacy and Medical Equipment; and Neal Didriksen, University of Baltimore Educational Foundation.

Union Memorial doctors who received awards -- Dr. Joseph Martiere and his wife, Carolyn; Dr. Raja Ayash and his wife, Elizabeth; Dr. Alan Cohen; Dr. Miriam Cohen; Dr. Ingebord Fromm; Dr. Victoria Thornton, former chief of emergency at the hospital; and the entire staff at the center.

Happy birthday, George

Concerts in the Park with George, an organization dedicated to providing free musical concerts in the Mount Vernon area, has a special event planned for Thursday. A "Birthday Party With George" will be held at the Walters Art Gallery's Graham Auditorium at 7 p.m. and is free to the first 500 people.

The theme of the concert is an imagined 1796 birthday party for President Washington. The party is being thrown by Baltimore's most notorious and unsuccessful social climbers, the fictitious Sam and Sarah Wannabee. Performances and music will be by Dean Shostak, a regular performer in Colonial Williamsburg; Annapolis native and international recording artist Maggie Sansone; and the Pyrates Royale, singing sea chanteys and a few drinking songs from the period. Cake and coffee will be served at the party, which certainly sounds like a terrific freebie!

This 'n' that

After a successful European and Australian tour of his play, "The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me," former Baltimorean David Drake has left the theater for awhile. He's now the editor-in-chief of Poz, a national magazine for people affected by HIV and AIDS. Drake says the bi-monthly magazine, with a circulation of about 75,000, will become a monthly in April . . .

Maryland General Hospital, which has been in Baltimore since 1881, recently received Accreditation with Commendation, the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. James Wood, CEO of Maryland General Hospital, was so thrilled that he threw a party for the hospital's hard-working employees . . .

The name game for our new NFL team is being played on every street corner, so I've decided to weigh in with my two favorites -- the Baltimore Blues, i.e., blue crabs, blue fish as well as Baltimore's being the home of one of the best blues singer of all times, the late Billie Holiday, or the Baltimore Rockets, taken from the "Star Spangled Banner's" line about "rockets red glare" . .

When I finally saw the film, "12 Monkeys," much of which was filmed in and around Maryland, I laughed during a scene filmed in the Senator Theatre. It's the one where Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe are talking during a movie and a man tells them to "shoosh." That man is none other than Tom Kiefaber, owner of the Senator, who's made a living "shooshing" people in his theater . . .

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