Festival of Trees helps kick off Lower Shore's holiday season


THE MOVERS and shakers of Salisbury and its environs gathered at the Centre at Salisbury for a preview party and auction to kick off their annual Festival of Trees. The festival began eight years ago, when "the powers that be" at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and Peninsula Regional Medical Center decided to have a fund-raiser for happier "birth" days for Eastern Shore babies.

More than 500 guests, dressed in holiday finery, attended this year's party, which included a cocktail buffet and a silent and live auction of all the lovely Christmas trees, wreaths, swags and other holiday goodies, decorated and donated by area people.

In the words of Audrey and Howard Hayman, who have been involved in this project for years, "This event kicks off the Lower Shore's holiday social season." Mr. Hayman, a retired senior VP for 1st National Bank, served on the hospital board for years, and Mrs. Hayman is a member of the Junior Board Auxiliary.

Roy Perdue, a distant cuz of chicken king Frank Perdue and who handles community relations for the Medical Center, very kindly saw to it that I met as many people as I could before the live !! auction began. One such person was Donna Godfrey, a member of the March of Dimes Board and the Women of the Moose, who told me that the Salisbury Moose Club has spent more than $50,000 over the past eight years purchasing all the trees and lights for the festival. She was at the party with her husband, Gene Rathel.

Others I enjoyed meeting were Punky and Woody Vickery, he's with the Bank of Fruitland; Raymond Mister, R. Mister & Co., an interior design business, who was in charge of logistics for this year's show; P.K. Phillips, owner of Feather Your Nest Interiors, with her husband, Andy, and their friend, Kaye Hearn; preview party chair Alan Merritt, the Medallion Group; Carol and Doug Naarup, owners, publisher and editor of Metropolitan Magazine,

a monthly which covers Easton to Ocean City; Pyda Sterling, executive director of the Eastern Shore Chapter of the March of Dimes; Donna Richardson, director of community relations and marketing at the medical center; Dan and Dean Akin, he's president and CEO of the medical center; Hugh McLaughlin, chairman of the board of trustees at the medical center; and preview co-chairs Suzy Benedict and Cathy Maynard, who are )) thrilled that the party raised about $40,000.

According to the mall marketing director, Alane Emerson, the festival was occupying 17,000 square feet, a very nice donation. This year's festival runs through next Sunday, Dec. 8, and the hours are the same as the mall hours. Admission is $3, $2 seniors, $1 children under the age of 12.

Club managers help children

Recently, the Greater Baltimore Club Managers Association and its guests were wined and dined in fine style at the Baltimore Country Club. It was the third annual charity dinner, which raised about $10,000 for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, which Dr. Ben Carson, Hopkins pediatric surgeon, accepted on behalf of the center.

The association was chartered in 1962 and its members work in club management throughout the state. It was this year's president, Andrew Curtis of the Center Club, who made me aware of what they do. I understand I missed a divine meal prepared by Baltimore Country Club's executive chef George Rockwell, Caves Valley Country Club executive chef Ned Atwater; and the Maryland Club's executive chef Curtis Eargle. This mighty threesome cooked up a dinner of sea scallops and black truffles wrapped in spinach and pastry, pan-roasted and stuffed pheasant breast, apple cider sorbet, peppered rack of lamb, American Farmstead cheese with field greens and sourdough fougasse, and caramel-gingered glace, with almond Florentine and warm fig currant compote. And naturally, every course was washed down with the best of wines.

Among those who partook of that delicious meal were Dr. Pierce Linaweaver, president of Baltimore Country Club, and his wife, Karen; Jack Dunn, BCC VP, and his wife, Elizabeth; Doug Dollenberg, BCC's chair of capital and planning, and his wife, Kathy; and club general managers: Paul Spellman Jr. (BCC); Nancy Palmer (Caves Valley) and Katherine Mandaro (Maryland Club). BCC's Lynda Newsome worked hard on the evening, and she had lots of help from Nadine Auville, Woodholme Country Club; Jamie Heffron, Maryland Club; Harry Stevens, Elkridge Club; and Bobby Sullivan, Caves Valley.

Hats off to those BCC employees who volunteered their time for this evening as did these members of the chef's support team: Jeff Baldwin, Hans-Juergen Sund, Bob Koehler, Nok Noi Zerfas, Doug Zerfas, Patrick Dobbs, Evan Freeman, Danye Maddos and John Pitera.

Honors and art

Partygoers featured this week include those at the Baltimore Museum of Art for the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland's 11th annual Gala, which honored Dr. Andrew Whelton, a distinguished nephrologist, and Agnes O'C. Riina, for her years of service to the foundation. Jeremiah Casey, COB of First Maryland Bancorp, was the honorary chair of the gala, which raised more than $116,000. This year's gala offered something for all of the more than 450 guests, who ate filet mignon, lamb chops, shrimp and oysters; bid on silent auction items; danced to the music of the Voltage Brothers; and took in the Andrew Wyeth exhibit at the museum.

The YWCA of Greater Baltimore's Third Annual "Make a Little Room," a miniature room show, featured a live auction and reception at Gaines McHale Antiques. The event benefited the YWCA Eleanor D. Corner House shelter for homeless women and families. Sharon A.H. May, former president of the Greater Baltimore YWCA and an avid miniature collector, chaired the event, which attracted 150 guests and made $10,000.

The Baltimore Choral Arts Society's annual Art Show and Sale held a preview party at the Conference Center at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. First-nighters enjoyed cocktails and a first chance to buy works of several dozen artists. Proceeds benefit the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

Party dates wanted

I'll be running a calendar on Dec. 15 of New Year's Eve parties that are open to the public, so please fax me your information as soon as possible. My new fax number is (410) 758-1654 and, please take note, my new telephone number is (410) 758-1634.

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