Even before Carroll County General Hospital opened in 1961, an auxiliary had formed and was busy raising money to pay for the building.
For 40 years, the Carroll County General Hospital Auxiliary has held a Silvery Moon Ball as a fund-raiser -- to buy equipment, to pay for additions and renovations or whatever is needed to provide quality medical care.
This year, Joe and Betty Shaum are again co-chairs of the event, which will be held from 6: 30 p.m. to midnight Nov. 6 at Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers in Westminster.
"It's a very elegant affair," Joe Shaum said. "We have an open bar, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, a sit-down dinner, a dessert table. There's ice sculptures going along with the theme."
Flower arrangements, this year by Timeless Creations of Hampstead, will be given away to someone at each table. Music will be provided by a local band, Just Us. In keeping with the 40th anniversary, the color scheme will feature ruby.
The ball is semiformal and black tie is optional, although many men wear tuxedos, he said.
"Every year is a different theme and we decorate according to the theme," Betty Shaum said. "This year, the theme is 'San Francisco, Here We Come.' "
A highlight of the 1999 ball will be a chance to win a $1,500 trip to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, anonymously donated to the auxiliary.
"It's really a $1,500 gift certificate from a local travel agency for a trip to San Francisco, or if the person doesn't want to go there, to anywhere they want to go," Joe Shaum said.
The certificate is good for a year and can be used at any time to any place, the Shaums said.
"Fisherman's Wharf is very quaint, and there's lots to see there. They say it's a beautiful area," Joe Shaum said.
Tickets to the ball are $55 per person and include a chance to win the trip.
Tickets must be bought in advance from the Shaums. Tables of 10, as well as individual tickets, are available.
Joe Shaum said he plans to hang his remote-control Piper Cub plane from the ceiling as part of the decorations, which will include photographs of San Francisco.
"I should have a jet hanging up, but I don't have one," he said.
The evening will start with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6: 30 p.m., then move to a crab cake and sirloin tips dinner and dessert at 7: 30 p.m.
Dancing begins at 9 p.m. During a break about 11 p.m., the trip winner will be drawn. Raffle tickets also will be sold for cash prizes of $500, $250, $100 and $50.
The Shaums put the Silvery Moon Ball together with the help of Auxiliary President Phyllis Ullman and Thelma Coleman. So far, 300 tickets have been sold. The committee hopes to sell 400 tickets.
"Unfortunately, every few years, you're forced to raise your prices because everything goes up -- the hall and food, the orchestra and florist," Joe Shaum said.
Through the years, the ball has been held at the old Westminster Armory on Longwell Avenue, the Westminster Riding Club, Frock's Sunnybrook Farm and Martin's Westminster.
Proceeds from this year's ball will go toward the renovation of the hospital's second-floor progressive care unit for cardiac patients, to which the auxiliary has pledged a large sum of money.
"The second floor hasn't been touched since the hospital was built, and it's one of the busiest floors," Joe Shaum said.
Information: Joe and Betty Shaum, 410-848-3484.