Social calendarFor the first time in 16...


Social calendar

For the first time in 16 years, Baltimore will play host to the World Lacrosse Championships at Johns Hopkins Homewood field, which is why most of this week's calendar is lacrosse-oriented. A private opening reception was held at the Living Classrooms Foundation last week to kick off this 10-day event, considered by many to be the Olympics of lacrosse.

July 19: South Baltimore Learning Center's seventh annual So-Bo-Q at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway. Ted and Patty Rouse, honorees. Reggae music by Jah Works. $35 at the door. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call 410-625-4215.

July 23: Golf Classic, sponsored by LaxWorld. Green Spring Valley Hunt Club. Players, coaches and fans will play. $175. 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 410-235-6882, Ext. 105.

July 23:: National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel. 7 p.m. to midnight. $125. Cocktails, dinner, program and a presentation by Rolex USA. Call 410-235-6882, Ext. 105.

July 25: World Lacrosse '98 Awards Ceremony and Closing Party. All-world team will be announced. Open bar 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. followed by chicken/crabdinner and highlights of World Lacrosse '98. $65. Baltimore Convention Center. Call 410-235-6882, Ext. 105.

If you'd like to have your social event listed here, please fax the information to Sylvia Badger at 410-758-1654.

Stars turn out for ESPN Zone grand opening

The grand opening of the first ESPN Zone in the country was everything celebrity-watchers could hope for. The sidewalks surrounding this high-tech eatery and sports arena at the Inner ,, Harbor were packed with people hoping to glimpse a famous person.

As the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders and the Ravens Marching Band led limos down Pratt Street to the Power Plant, fans cheered the arrival of VIPs such as Disney CEO Michael Eisner; Steven Bornstein, ESPN president/CEO and president of ABC Sports; Olympians Bruce Jenner, Dominique Dawes and Michelle Kwan; Ravens football players Michael Jackson, Donnie Brady and Orlando Brown; Baltimore Orioles Rafael Palmeiro, Eric Davis, B.J. Surhoff, Scott Erickson, Brady Anderson, Joe Carter and Chris Hoiles; NBA players Sam Cassell, Vin Baker and Mike Bibby; and film stars Adam Sandler and Cathy Bates, co-stars in the coming movie "The Water Boy," and Josh Charles, son of Allan Charles of Trahan, Burden & Charles, whose firm handled the ESPN opening.

Inside ESPN Zone, it was eat, drink and be merry as chefs dished up mounds of seafood, tenderloin, salads and desserts. The food was consumed only when guests took time-outs from playing the action-filled games.

There were also performances by Vanessa Williams, 69 Boyz and Xscape, who performed R&B; with NFL players Chuck Smith, Ray Buchanan and Ashley Ambrose. More than 500 people filled the Baltimore Brewing Co. and Brewers' Park for the 1998 Mid-Summer Fest. Folks spent this casual evening tasting DeGroen microbrews, bidding on silent-auction items and mingling with WBAL-TV personalities and local sports celebrities.

The TV folks and celebs turned out to support their friend, WBAL sports anchor/reporter Gerry Sandusky. In 1994, he founded the Joe Sandusky Fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation, named for a brother who died 19 years ago while a college student. Gerry since teamed his foundation with the CollegeBound Foundation, and at this point the groups are funding college scholarships for five city students.

The fund-raising event was chaired by Hilary Hammerman and Spencer Cavalier; Peter Boulware, Baltimore Ravens linebacker, was honorary chair. Others at the party included Hilary's husband, Larry Hammerman; his sister Amy; Matthew Haas, Haas Tailoring Co.; Kip Mandris, owner of the Brass Monkey bar; Jacque and Craig Pfeifer (he owns Maryland Screen Printers); Ravens running back Patrick Johnson; Edie Brown, Baltimore Arena; Lee Ann Sandusky, Gerry's wife, who serves on the foundation's board; and Ruth Sandusky McFadden, Gerry's sister and also a board member.

For four days, members of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, led by their president, Harry Alford, met in Baltimore for their sixth annual convention. Those days at the Renaissance Harborplace

Hotel were filled with meetings, but it was not all work; conventioneers were treated to many social events.

We stopped by the Friday-night party because it was a tribute dinner to Parren Mitchell, who was elected Maryland's first black congressman in 1970. Mitchell was not feeling well and could not attend, but he was certainly remembered - for his work in the civil rights and political arenas.

Highlights of the tribute dinner included a book-signing reception featuring African-American authors; recognition of Illinois Rep. Danny Davis as the recipient of the Parren J. Mitchell Award; a keynote address by Randall Robinson, executive director and founder of TransAfrica; and an "Evening of Jazz" starring Norman Connors and Angela Bofill, who were there gratis, courtesy BET Holdings Inc.

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