Pooches, peoples celebrate Humane Society birthday

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Bet you've never quite seen a party guest list like this one: Harlequin Great Dane, English sheepdog, golden retrievers, Pembroke Welsh corgi, Rottweilers, bulldog, Petit Brussels Griffon Vendeen, standard poodles, toy poodle and cairn terrier. And those were just some of the 40 to 50 canine guests at the "Black Tie and Tails" gala that celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Humane Society of Baltimore County.

The Humane Society's Diane Kesler says the pooches joined some 200 human guests at the Sheraton North Hotel in Towson for the formal affair. A volunteer even passed a silver tray full of doggie treats, created by the Dog Bakery to look like regular hors d'oeuvres.

Needless to say, it wasn't just the two-legged guests who dressed for the event. Diane says many of the dogs wore jeweled collars and black ties. And some even enjoyed a spin on the dance floor with their owners.

Diane says everyone had such a good time that by the end of the night, many of the guests (at least those who could speak) were asking when next year's party is planned.

Kudos go to the folks at the Sheraton, who went along with the idea -- and to Diane and Humane Society executive director Frank Branchini, who pulled the whole thing together, which raised about $20,000 for the society.

Another first for a local group was also a raging success. For the first time, local artist-entertainers Ethel Ennis, Ruby Glover, Joyce Scott and Lea Gilmore combined forces and put on a show -- "Diva-Licious" -- as a benefit for the Women's Housing Coalition. The coalition's Susan Thompson says about 350 people came to the Center Stage performance. At the post-show reception, Susan says, she kept hearing people using the word "magical" to describe the funny-warm-fuzzy evening.

A couple of local folks recently rubbed shoulders with a few Hollywood types, and they didn't have to go coastal to do it. Piper Rudnick attorney Paul Gardner and his wife, LaVerne, were guests at a "sneak premiere" of Tim Reid's new film, For Real at D.C.'s Capitol Hilton. For Real is a feature film from New Millennium Studios, the production company Tim and his wife, Daphne Reid, established in 1997. Tim directed and stars in the romantic comedy opposite Tamara Curry.

Paul, who got to know Tim at a National Urban League conference a while ago, says he and LaVerne loved the flick. At the party after the screening came a different thrill, as the couple mingled with showbiz types like Radio One nationally syndicated personality Olivia Fox, Black Enter-tainment Television founder Bob Johnson, movie star Chris Tucker ("very down-to-earth") and actor-director Robert Town-send ("very gracious").

As far as the movie goes, the D.C. For Real screening is one of many planned across the country to build, as they like to call it in Hollywood, buzz. Paul says the Reids are hoping the movie will hit theaters nationwide in a few months.

Speaking of movie screenings -- you might remember Dreamworks was in town a while back filming Tuck Everlasting. When the film folks were scouting locations for the movie here, local natural resources biologist Wayne Abbott became an invaluable help because he knew just about every inch of land around Baltimore reservoirs.

Wayne was the one who suggested a ravine at Loch Raven, which became the movie's central locale. You might also remember news about the traffic accident earlier this year that claimed not only Wayne's life, but those of his wife and two sons. Only 6-year-old daughter Meg survived.

To honor Wayne's memory and to help meet his daughter's financial needs, the movie's director Jay Russell and executive producer Bill Teitler and Maryland Film Office director Jack Gerbes have gotten permission to hold a screening of Tuck Everlasting. The screening will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Loews Theatre in White Marsh. If you'd like to buy a $25 ticket, call the Maryland Film Office at 410-767-6340. You can also send a check, made payable to the Margaret Emily Abbott Contribution Account, to Tuck Screening, c / o Maryland Film Office, 217 E. Redwood St., Baltimore, MD 21202.

A sad note at the Arthritis Foundation's annual Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner. This year's honoree was Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell. However, the dinner ended up happening the night of the funeral for Baltimore Colt Hall-of-Famer Johnny Unitas.

"It was a rather tough day for people in Baltimore," says the foundation's Ellen Cavanagh McNulty.

"Many of the speakers talked about Art and Johnny Unitas, and what it meant to be a Baltimorean," she says, "... that they were both quiet, gentle giants, who gave a lot to their community."

Some of the sports greats who turned out for the dinner included former Colts Tom Matte and Bruce Laird; former New York Giant Frank Gifford, Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi and Giants owner Wellington Mara.

Ellen says there were representatives from every major Baltimore hospital in the crowd of 600. She says the dinner raised about half a million dollars for the Arthritis Foundation.

Social Calendar

Oct. 3: "7th Annual Taste of WEB." Benefits Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore. Wine, beer, food stations from local women chefs, live jazz. Evergreen Carriage House, 4545 N. Charles St. 6 p.m. Tickets $50 in advance, $60 at door. Call 410-727-4921.

Oct. 4: "The 2002 Celebration: A Festival of Achievement -- Annual Gala." Benefits National Federation of the Blind. Wine tasting, cash bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music, dancing, keynote speaker blind mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer. National Federation of the Blind headquarters, 1800 Johnson St. 6 p.m. Tickets $50. Call 659-9314, Ext. 357.

Oct. 4: "High on Life: Transcending Addiction -- Exhibition Preview Party." Benefits American Visionary Art Museum. Beer, hors d'oeuvres, live music, dancing, view new exhibition. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. 7 p.m. Tickets $10. Call 410-244-1900.

Oct. 5: "A Hands-On Affair Comes Home." Benefits Baltimore Clayworks. Open bar until 9, cash bar after, heavy hors d'oeuvres, hands-on clay activities / demonstrations, live music, dancing, magic and belly dancing performances. Baltimore Clayworks, 5707 Smith Ave. 7 p.m. Tickets $100. Call 410-578-1919.

Oct. 5: "Back to the '50s Bash." Benefits Historic Annapolis Foundation. Beer, wine, '50s diner food, live music, dancing, dance / hula-hoop / '50s costume contests, antique cars and jukeboxes. William Paca House and Garden, 186 Prince George St., Annapolis. 7 p.m. Tickets, $50 members, $65 nonmembers. Call 410-267-7619, Ext. 8146.

Oct. 6: "Retro Dance Party 2002 -- Four Decades of Hope, One Night of Fun." Benefits Chase Brexton Health Services. Beer, wine, cash bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, DJ, dancing. Historic Redwood Trust Citilounge and Dance Club, 200 E. Redwood St. 6 p.m. Tickets $55 in advance, $65 at door. Call 410-752-0954, Ext. 2232.

Living Classrooms Foundation

By now, the longtime "Maritime Magic"-goers knew this annual Living Classrooms Foundation fund-raiser wasn't the type of party that took a couple of hours to get rolling. When the gates at the foundation's East Harbor Campus opened at 6 p.m., casually clad folks started filing in. Just inside, they were greeted by the party co-chairs, Living Classrooms Foundation president / CEO James Piper Bond and senior vice president Parker Rockefeller.

As the two chatted with old friends, they recalled the early days of the Living Classrooms Foundation, when about 100 friends and supporters came to the first "Maritime Magic" party -- 15 years ago at the National Aquarium -- before there was a campus.

This year, more than 2,000 guests filled the campus to eat, drink and boogie the night away to nationally renowned rockers Little Feat.

Those in the throng included: Eileen Abato, event committee member; Mike Baader, Joan Kozlovsky, Andy Obrecht, Jim Pomfret, Herman Williams Jr. and Dennis O'Brien, Living Classrooms Foundation board members; Tyrond Manning and Michael Ford, Living Classrooms Foundation Fresh Start students; Charlie Tipper, South Hero Land Trust president; Bill Feiss, Johns Hopkins Hospital chaplain intern; Brenda Bodian, BJB Realty Advisers principal; Syd Rubin, e.magination CEO; Elinor Bacon, Baltimore-Washington real-estate developer / consultant; Mark Hapeman, Mount Vernon Printing printer; Amy Shimp, Parkwood Cemetery director; Charlie Felmeister, Smarthinking chief technology officer; Frances Reaves, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development senior business development executive; Cindy Brush, Cynthia Brush Interiors owner; Tom Koch, Curtis Engine & Equipment president; Laurie Capra, retired tennis pro; Steve Ziger, Ziger / Snead Architects partner; Dina Klicos, Johns Hopkins Medicine Brady Urological Institute associate director of development; Bob Groth, Flying Fruit Fantasy president; and Paul Wolman, P.W. Feats president / CEO.

The wingding raised about $200,000 for the Living Classrooms Foundation.

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