'Conductors' O'Malley, Stover draw a big crowd for the BSO

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Some 800 to 1,000 of Baltimore's beautiful twenty- to fortysomething-year-olds turned out at the Meyerhoff last weekend for the BSO's "Symphony Rocks."

The evening began with a concert that featured Mayor Martin O'Malley and Ravens kicker Matt Stover as guest "conductors."

Later, guests could take a shot at conducting themselves, with a virtual conducting computer game that was one of several entertainment stations set up in the lobby during the party afterward. This wasn't a fund-raiser, notes event chair Sharon Nevins, but more of a friend-raiser. And a successful one, at that.

"We exceeded our goal of ticket sales," Sharon says, "and succeeded in bringing a new crowd of people out to the symphony, hopefully creating a new group of symphony-goers."

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In our last episode of "The Kaplans Go to Wonderland," Polo Grill owners Gail and Lenny Kaplan had headed to New York to find the perfect winter white outfits to wear to the Saperstein Bat Mitzvah in Holmby Hills, Calif.

To recap, the invitation arrived in the form of a custom-made snow globe, requesting all guests dress to match. After finding the perfect attire, the Kaplans headed to sunny California for the February fete thrown by their old friend (and Baltimore native) David Saperstein and wife Suzanne for their 13-year-old daughter, Alexis.

The shindig took place on the grounds of the new 45,000-square-foot manse recently built by the Metro Networks founder (see April 2002-Vanity Fair article).

"Needless to say, it was over-the-top," says Gail, "fabulous."

Five hundred guests were seated under a huge tent -- with each place setting featuring a plate engraved with "Fleur de Lys" -- the name of the estate.

"There was a 49-piece orchestra that played during dinner," Gail says, "and [at one point] Alexis accompanied them on a white baby grand."

Gail says the "killer" of the evening was a video shown on two giant screens in which Alexis' head had been superimposed over that of actress Kate Winslet in scenes from the movie "Titanic." It looked like the young lady was the one being romanced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Gail says.

They don't call it La-La Land for nothing.

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Some 650 guests were on hand to honor Dr. Ben Carson at the House with a Heart Foundation's annual party. The affair also helped kick off Dr. Carson's BEN (Benevolent Endowment Network) Fund, which will raise money to help patients afford care from neurosurgeons and other top medical professionals.

In fact, when Dr. Carson entered the Martin's West ballroom escorted by two of his young patients -- Sterling Tillman, 8, and Kyle Gainey, 14 --- there wasn't a dry eye in the house, according to House with a Heart executive director Patti Corso.

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You know it's springtime when all the pretty people pop up all over town for the plethora of parties that blooms each April.

The Family Tree's "11th annual Great Chefs' Dinner" was a perfect example last week. Folks like event co-chairs Julia Keelty and Molly Shattuck, Maria and Pat O'Shea, Greg and Lisa Barnhill, Terry Morgenthaler and Patrick Kerins, John Paterakis, Henry Rosenberg, Kay MacIntosh, Donna Hamilton and David Paulson, Susan Peck Knott, Ted and Nancy Herget, Trip and Gloria Dryden, Sandy and Steve Glover, Betsy Sherman, Carolyn and Kevin O'Keefe, Dennis Connelly, Ellen Macks. And that's just for starters.

Speaking of starters, guest chef Craig Shelton began the five-course dinner with a blood-orange-and-beetroot salad, quickly followed by Scottish salmon, lobster, baby lamb and a ricotta tart with strawberries. The sweetest treat of the evening, however, was the $333,000 raised for Maryland's largest child-abuse prevention organization.

Chefs cook up a storm for Meals on Wheels at Harbor Court Hotel

Guests entering Harbor Court Hotel were greeted by the aroma of burnt sugar wafting down from the ballroom upstairs -- a hint of what awaited at the "10th Annual Culinary Extravaganza."

Humongous strawberries dipped in caramelized sugar were only the beginning. Some 15 Baltimore-area chefs served all sorts of fantastic dishes for the Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland fund-raiser. In each corner, a treat awaited: freshly roasted breast of veal; stuffed snow crab claws on little nests of tossed field greens; white truffle-scented vegetable ragout; braised veal cheeks atop a scoop of mousseline potatoes. Scallops hissed in a saute pan. Herb-crusted rockfish swam in a pool of Caribbean barbecue sauce. It all made for a carnival of tastes.

Among the 300 patrons eating their way through the room: Deborah English, Liselotte H. Karaolis and Greg Martin, event co-chairs; Linwood Dame, Jerry Edwards and Geraldine T. Young, event committee members; Ted Skinner, Meals on Wheels board president; Tammy M. Jones, Jan K. Guben, Andrew Buerger, Ellen Dame, Edwin Jules, Rita St. Clair and Devereaux E. Sterrette, Meals on Wheels board members; Bob Schap, Meals on Wheels executive director; Virginia B. Coleman, Baltimore City retired social work supervisor; Darilyn Jones, Accenture consultant; Priscilla Taylor, Whiteford Taylor partner; Chris Hayes, Social Security Administration database analyst; Ken Allred, BGE manager; Edel Blumberg, MetLife recruiting and development specialist; Kay Callan, Sheppard Pratt Conference Center manager; Jonathan Schwartz, Deloitte & Touche manager; Michael Yerman, Long & Foster associate broker; Marc Hayes, Mortgage Associates loan representative; Jim Murphy, WCBM account executive; Christine Lewis, Dairyland sales representative; and Sarah Jeanne Sayles, Loch Raven High School teacher.

The extravaganza cooked up almost $100,000 for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

Social Calendar

April 22: "Inaugural Dinner & Silent Auction." Benefits Leslie Moore Scholarship Foundation. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, Ravens Marching Band, mingle with more than 15 NFL Hall of Fame members, including foundation founder Lenny Moore. Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road. 6:30 p.m. Tickets $125 / $250. Call 410-793-3905.

April 26: "15th Annual MS Dinner of Champions." Benefits National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, dancing. Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 700 Aliceanna St. 7 p.m. Tickets $300. Call 410-527-1770, Ext. 103.

April 27: "The Big Picture -- Take III: 3rd Annual Benefit Auction." Benefits Contempo-rary Museum. Open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres. Contemporary Museum, 100 W. Centre St. 5 p.m. Tickets $100. Call 410-783-5720.

April 27: "Fiesta Latina 2002." Benefits Centro de la Comunidad. Beer, wine, dinner buffet, live Latin music, dancing, access to museum exhibits. American Visionary Arts Museum, 800 Key Highway. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $60. Call 410-675-8906.

April 27: "Art... and Appreciation: The Paintings of Andy Warhol Gala." Benefits United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland. View exhibit of 35 Warhol paintings, open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music. Belvedere Hotel, 1 E. Chase St. 7 p.m. Tickets $200. Call 410-484-4540, Ext. 4017.

April 27: "The Event -- A Casino Night and Celebrity Auction." Benefits Ed Block Courage Award Foundation and Baltimore Junior Association of Commerce Foundation. Open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music, dancing, casino-style games. Mansion House at the Baltimore Zoo, Druid Hill Park. 8 p.m. Tickets $55 in advance, $65 at door. Call 410-752-1325.

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