He Rocks our world: Funny man visiting


Word is that Baltimore's going to be Rockin' this summer -- as in Chris Rock. The funny man has been spotted scouting locations around town for the flick he's allegedly planning to direct and star in, Head of State. While no one's going official on this yet, the talk is that shooting on the Dreamworks film is set to start in Charm City around midsummer.

Sounds like Rock is settling in for a stay. He showed up unannounced at B-more's Improv a week and a half ago, and did an impromptu 40 minutes of standup. What's more, he told the crowd he'd be back for similar surprise appearances over the next few months. (That oughta sell a few tickets.)

And you know what they say about ducks. Well, if it talks like a movie production and walks like a movie production, it must be ... you get the idea.

Civic Works honors heroes

The rosy burnish on many noses and cheeks was the first sign that the day's golf tournament had gone well. The smiles and healthy appetites displayed by this Clifton Mansion crowd confirmed it.

Some 150 folks loaded up their plates at the barbecue buffet inside the house, before sitting under a tent outside to enjoy their dinner at Civic Works' fourth annual "Spring Swing Awards Dinner."

This year, the theme was "Honoring Baltimore's Civic Heroes." In a small ceremony, Civic Works board chair Tony Hawkins presented Community Service Awards to retired Baltimore Fire Department battalion chief Hector Torres and retired Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Bert Shirey, both of whom accepted on behalf of their departments.

Among those in the crowd: Frank Bender and Tricia Ellis, event co-chairs; Marc Bunting, Helen Holton, Sherry Welch, Stuart Brooks and Victor L. Bonaparte, Civic Works board members; Dana M. Stein, Civic Works president / executive director; Paula Rome, jewelry designer; Joan Davidson, marketing consultant; Wilhelm H. Joseph Jr., Legal Aid Bureau executive director; Laurie Lane, Lansdowne Elementary School teacher; Saundra Bond, United Way of Central Maryland associate vice president; Sam Merrick, Printing Corporation of America account executive; Melissa Goldman, writer / photographer; Kieffer Rittenhouse, Evans, Conger, Broussard & McCray vice president; Greg Finnegan, Johns Hopkins Hospital organization development and training director; Tom Fusting, Computer Sciences Corp. network operations director; Vanessa Milio, Baltimore Police Athletic League executive director; Erika Moore, Planned Parenthood of Maryland development associate; and Helen Dale, Maryland Department of Transportation assistant to the secretary.

The day's events raised about $45,000 for Civic Works.

-- Sloane Brown

Women's Housing Coalition

In the Baltimore Museum of Art's sculpture garden, fabrications of food joined those of metal and stone for the Women's Housing Coalition's seventh annual "Kitchen Party." Nine local chefs set up food stations around the garden, offering their own edible works of art to 350 guests.

Regardless of aesthetic tastes, this was a group that obviously appreciated the comestible creations.

By the end of the evening, most of the food stations were empty, most of those 350 stomachs were full.

Adding more spice to the night was a performance by Baltimore artist and honorary event chair Joyce Scott.

Among those taking it all in: Claudia Diamond, event chair; Andrea Walls and Andrea Schleicher, event co-chairs; Christine Kloostra, Bonnie Ledford, Pam Nicholson, Sherry Snyder and Roxanne Williams, event committee members; Polly Duke, WHC board president; Vicki Vaughn, Elizabeth Johnson and Roann Nichols, board members; Susan Thompson, WHC executive director; Mallory Branson, Swann / Hall Associates interior designer; artist Desmond Beach; Tom Seiler, Baltimore public schools senior architect; Kathleen Talty, Kruchko & Fries attorney; Marina Sabett, Venable attorney; Nicole Pulianas, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield legal assistant; Jerry Newman, Northrop Grumman manager; Amy Wilcox, Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake vice president; Kathleen Basham, nonprofit consultant; Mabel Barron, Baltimore Museum of Art human resources director; Molly Mitchell, Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention coordinator; Vincent DeMarco, Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative executive director; Jessica Strauss, human services consultant; Herb Clark, retired Bethlehem Steel manager; and Jack Lambdin, Martell Associates insurance broker.

The Kitchen Party raised about $45,000 for the Women's Housing Coalition.

-- Sloane Brown

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