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Though Isabel came uninvited, it was still a great party

A certain uninvited guest by the name of Isabel crashed several fund-raisers last weekend. But leave it to us Mur-landers not to let anyone or anything ruin a good party.

"Do the ideas of chainsaws and decorating go well together?' asks Historic Ellicott City executive director Janet Kusterer. Chainsaws were what was used to cut away trees Isabel kicked onto the road leading up to the group's 19th Decorator Show House, Valhalla in Marriottsville. The original kickoff preview party was postponed from Thursday, Sept. 18, to the following Monday night. But wouldn't you know it. ...

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"We barely got the ribbon cut when the rains started again," Janet says as she laughs. "We're in the catering tent, which then started leaking. And just when the party was supposed to end around 9:30, the power went out." Janet says everyone had a great time anyway.

Meanwhile, Living Class-rooms Foundation pulled a quick switch with its annual Maritime Magic shindig. Instead of throwing the bash at its open air Inner Harbor East campus, the gang, with the help of big Living Classrooms booster Brian Billick, moved the Friday night party to M&T; Bank Stadium. Spokesperson Amy Getz says about 1,200 people came, some probably because a lack of power at home made them want to go someplace and have fun. And have fun was what everyone did -- dancing to the Bonerama, the Radiators and the Iguanas -- raising a little heck and more than $210,000 in the process.

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Sunday, the Abilities Network had its Afternoon of Polo plan-ned at Ladew Fields in Monkton. But the ground was so wet from Izzy that it would have been too dangerous for the horses to play the game. That didn't stop about 325 folks from showing up and turning the afternoon into a lovely garden party -- and collecting more than $30,000 for the Network.

However, Isabel did prove to be a real party pooper for a couple of parties. Women Entrepre-neurs of Baltimore rescheduled its annual "Taste of WEB," in which local women chefs prepare all sorts of delights, from Friday, Sept. 19, to Friday, October 10. Same place, Evergreen Carriage House. Same time, 6-10 p.m. Same phone number for $50 tickets, 410-727-4921.

And then there was the big Hairspray performance and post-show blowout planned for that Thursday night for the benefit of AIDS Action Baltimore. As the winds whipped up, the Mechanic Theatre canceled that night's show. So, the party that would've been held at the Hippo afterward was also shut down. AIDS Action's Jeffrey Grabelle says the group is offering refunds for those who send their tickets back. But there's a silver lining to this one, too. Lots of those benefit ticket holders are just telling the AIDS Action folks to keep the money as a donation, including the money that would have gone to the theater. Now, that deserves a standing ovation!

Speaking of Hairspray, opening night was a big success. And so was the post-show cast party at Ruth's Chris Steak House and the Havana Club. Cast members like Bruce Vilanch, mingled with loads of local folks -- Scott Lindy, Adrian Harpool, Jim Dolan, Roger Demick, Vincent De Paul, Steve DeCastro, Bill Hopkinson, Mary Sue McCarthy -- just to name a few. And we haven't touched on all the "kids" who were on the old Buddy Deane Show, on which Hairspray is based. Charlie LoPresto pointed out some of his fellow "Deaners," like Mary Fischer Cooke, Lola Jones, Sue Bennett Costello, Anne Boyer, Vicki DeFeo Burley, Concetta Comi Sankonis, Linda Warehime Snyder, Mary Lou Raines Barber and Billy Schaffer. And then we lost count.

Oh, and then there was Hairspray originator John Waters and his merry band of men and women: Pat Moran, Vince Peranio, Delores DeLuxe, Bob Adams, John's parents. Now, how could a party like that be anything but great?

A week earlier, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Cen-ter held its benefit pre-show party and performance of Hair-spray.

About 300 folks came, including Johns Hopkins Health Sys-tems president Ron Peterson, Bayview chief Gregory Schaffer and JH Medicine top honcho Dr. Edward Miller.

Three couples demonstrated some of the dances that were popular on the Buddy Deane Show to the crowd. The whole she-bang garnered some $100,000 for Bayview.

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Social Calendar

Oct. 2: "A Vintage Evening at Oregon Ridge." Benefits CASA of Baltimore County. Wine tasting, martini bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music. Oregon Ridge Lodge, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley. 6 p.m. Tickets $45. Call 410-828-0515.

Oct: 3: "Golden Blessings of Old Age / Out of the Mouths of Babes Exhibition Preview Party." Benefits American Vi-sionary Art Museum. Live music, performance by Sixty Karats, view new exhibition. AVAM, 800 Key Highway. 7 p.m. Tickets $10 at door. Call 410-244-1900.

Oct. 3: "11th Annual Edition of the Harbor Gala." Benefits Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, dancing, casino-style games, Monopoly theme. Marriott Waterfront Ho-tel, 700 Aliceanna St. 7 p.m. Tickets $225. Call 410-628-0795.

Oct. 3: "6th Annual GEDCO Senator Theatre Classic." Benefits Govans Ecumenical Devel-opment Corp. Wine, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner with actress Rita Moreno, champagne and dessert reception, screening of West Side Story with Moreno as host. Govans Presbyterian Church, 5828 York Road, then Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road. 5:30 p.m. Tickets $200, dessert reception and screening $40. Call 410-433-2442.

Oct. 5: "Touchdown for the Homeless." Benefits South Baltimore Homeless Shelter. Wine, beer, heavy hors d'oeuvres, raw bar, live music, dancing. Cross Street Market, 1065 S. Charles St. 5 p.m. Tickets $50 in advance, $60 at door. Call 410-752-3241.

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Oct. 5: "Second Annual Crabfeast." Benefits Italian American Charities of Maryland Scholarship Fund. Wine, beer, crab feast buffet, live music, dancing. Martins West, 6817 Dogwood Road. 1 p.m. Tickets $55. Call 410-265-1300.

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.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland

The mezzanine of the Renaissance Inner Harbor Hotel quickly filled with folks gathering for a dinner benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland. While the evening's big honoree was Johns Hopkins Hospital's famed pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, other honorees were easily spotted in the crowd of 520. More often than not, they came in pairs of one adult and one child, each sporting a white carnation, participants in the program that matches adult volunteers with kids to provide positive mentoring.

Among the evening's supporters: Vic Carter, event chairman; Steve Geppi, event co-chairman; Donna Howard, Kevin O'Keefe and Mary Wright, event committee members; Tom Waxter III, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland board chairman; Mike Connelly, John Savage, Bob Calabro, Tom Keilty, David Goldner, Craig Jackman, Jeffrey Cohen, Andre M. Davis, Kathryn Gunduz, Carolyn O'Keefe, John Patterson and Corbin Riemer, board members; Robin A. Tomechko, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland president / CEO; David Miller, Prince William County Public Schools associate superintendent; Marc Silverstein, Food Network show host; Garry Voith, The Baltimore Life Com-panies assistant vice president / director; Charles Reiling, SunTrust Private Client Ser-vices vice president; Heather Boardman, Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann attorney; Barbie Hargrave, Four West Restau-rant marketing director; Doro-thy Wolman, 48 Hours president; Randy Holter, WMAR-TV engineer; Lou Zagarino, Com-fort Inn / Sleep-Inn Suites / Rose Restaurant owner; Patrick Ventura, Brown Advisory Secur-ities chief compliance officer; Debbie Bangledorf, Good Sa-maritan Hospital media relations manager; Audrey Jones, Dr. Benjamin Carson's office manager; Dr. George Jallo, Johns Hopkins Children's Center pediatric neurosurgeon, and Bob Merbler, Coldwell Banker realtor.

The dinner helped raised about $125,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland.


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