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'Seabiscuit' enthusiasts win, place and show

Some 860 folks posted for a horse race with a $200,000 "purse," even though they knew who the winner would be. We're talking about the recent benefit screening of Universal's Seabiscuit at the Senator Theatre.

Some 350 of those folks arrived at the Senator via limo after attending a VIP reception at Pimlico Race Course. The clubhouse was decked out a la 1930s, complete with a big band and cigarette girl. Most of the Pimlico guests said their favorite part of that party was the Seabiscuit memorabilia from the famous 1938 Pimlico match in which Seabiscuit trounced Triple Crown winner War Admiral. Guest Ann Hankin said you could see tickets to the race, the jockey's silks and the document that outlined the conditions of the race.

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Meanwhile, at the Senator, there was lots to see, too -- even before the movie. Faces like those belonging to sportscaster Jim McKay and his wife, Margaret; Mickey and Anita Steinberg; Maryland Jockey Club's Joe De Francis and sis Karin De Francis; and horse racing folks like Willie White, Al and Marion Akman, John and Ellen McDaniel, Thomas McDonough, Charles and Cynthia McGuin-ness, Herb and Ellen Moelis, Allen and Audrey Murray Jr., Frank and Ginny Wright, Howard and Sondra Bender and David Finkelstein. And then the rest of us, like Greg and Lisa Barnhill, Bill and Gail Fine, Lou and Nancy Grasmick, Jonathan and Cindy Hazman, David Nevins, Scott Garceau, Mark Viviano, Lynn Brick, Kirk and Paige Huddles, Melanie Ortel and Gary Huddles.

Oh. That $200,000 "purse?" Just the amount the evening raised. About 85 percent goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, with the rest heading to the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation.

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So, you're planning a party this fall, and you don't know what to do to make it stand out from the pack. NACE, the National Association of Catering Executives, has some tips. The group just had its annual meeting in Boston and one of its priorities was to look at hot party trends. So here you go!

Texture, texture, texture. Hot, hot, hot. We're talkin' textured tablecloths. Ones that have feathers and grassy pieces woven in so people can fe-e-el it. One planner told the group about a golf tournament dinner he had done in which he covered tables with slabs of live moss.

Next, geometric or funky plates. Go for triangular, rectangular or mirrored. But not square -- been there, done that. And go monochromatic. Make everything on the table the same color, right down to the food. (Although, yellow might be one color to discourage.)

Some other table-setting suggestions: individual salt and pepper shakers and / or individual votive candles at each place, and try black cloth napkins instead of the standard white. Black won't leave that icky, linty stuff all over your guests' dark outfits.

Another big fad follows one you've been seeing in nightspots around Baltimore. You know, where sofas and armchairs are clustered to give an intimate setting? Do the same at a party. Set off funky rented furniture in little alcoves around your main event. Somewhere people can get away to.

Social Calendar

Aug. 7: "15th Annual Scholar's Luncheon." Benefits College-Bound Foundation. Lunch, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Bonnie Copeland keynote speaker. Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel, 20 W. Balti-more St. 11:30 a.m. Tickets $25. Call 410-783-2905, Ext. 202.

Aug. 10: "Sixth Annual Crab Feast." Benefits Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Gamma Chapter, charitable activities. Beer, cash bar, crab feast buffet, dessert, DJ, dancing. Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road. 2 p.m. Tickets $45. Call 410-597-8668.

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If you'd like to have your social event considered for coverage on the Maryland Scene page, please fax the information at least three weeks in advance to 410-675-3451, or call 410-332-6520, or mail it to Party Page at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

Artscape

When is the top floor of a parking garage a good place to throw a party? When the bash is the VIP party at Artscape. The Meyerhoff garage proved to be a great party setting, with balmy summer breezes and sunshades providing just the right amount of comfort for the more than 200 guests, who happily partook of hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. If there wasn't enough people watching at the party itself, folks could also check out the action on the streets below, where hundreds were arriving to kick off Baltimore's weekend arts festival.

Spotted in the fourth-floor Friday night throng: Bill Gilmore, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts executive director; Kathleen Hornig, Artscape 2003 director; Paula Rome and Anana Kambon, Artscape advisory board members; Bill Fine, WBAL-TV president / general manager; Meg Rhodes, M&T; Bank senior marketing administrator; Percy Allen II, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System CEO; Joanne Suder, Baltimore attorney; Rev. Richard Bozzelli, Corpus Christi Church pastor; Miranda Hall, Bryn Mawr School student; Hannah Barry, Oldfields School student; Pam Goins-Watts, Maryland Transit Administration special events and promotions specialist; Very Rev. Constantine Moralis, Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation dean; Anne Fulwiler, Theatre Project producing director; Suzzy Gann, retired Baltimore public schools educational specialist; Rich Polan, Polan / Kovatana Architects principal; David Morrison, U.S. Air Force investigator; Phil Cooper, photographer; Kevin Brown, Baltimore housing department public relations director; Tom Koch, Curtis Engine & Equipment president; Kathy Murn, Arbitration Forums regional manager; Danielle Stuckey, Abbott Labs pharmaceutical sales representative; Timmy Carroll, technology marketing consultant; and Mark Kantrowitz, Charity Tennis Challenge managing director. -- Sloane Brown


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