Rotary Club's oyster roast

Not even the threat of freezing rain could keep more than 3,000 Maryland- ers from beginning the new year at the Baltimore Rotary Club's 79th annual oyster roast. That's how many showed up for the event in the Cow Palace at the Timonium State Fairgrounds.

John Rausch, sales manager for Sonitrol, and Walter Riemann, catering director of the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, were co-chairs of this year's event. I was told that they had a great committee to work with: Rotary members Dick Holland, Dick Tillman, Jerry Wheeler, John Balfour, Jim Beese, Herb Grymes, Bryan Koerber, Harry Montague and Carl Silex.

Among those at the roast were Bob Wexler, former Rotary Club president; the club's first woman president, Gail Letts, an executive VP at Crestar Bank; and the president-elect, Jeff Penza, an architect.

For those who did not indulge in the bivalves, Atlantic Catering offered a walloping buffet that included beef, soups and salads.

The club expects to raise about $60,000 from the roast, which will be used to further its work on behalf of Baltimore City youth.

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