What is a local party like when its guest of honor is an internationally renowned party planner? Warm, inviting and down-to-earth, it turns out. At least that was the case at A Night For Humanity, honoring Colin Cowie. Some 200 guests had a chance to chat with the famed event designer (and Oprah fave) at the fundraiser for the Robert & Claire Peter Foundation, held at Linwoods in Owings Mills.

"He's very personable and down-to-earth," said Drew Vanlandingham, a Baltimore-based wedding designer, as he compared notes with Lisa Martel, Perfect Wedding Guide associate publisher.

Cowie explained he couldn't refuse the chance to participate in the fundraising event for the Robert & Claire Peter Foundation, which was founded by Audrey and Martin Peter. The foundation ships medical equipment and supplies to the disabled in the United States and South Africa.

"When [Audrey] asked me to participate, there was no way I wasn't," Cowie said.

Many guests had also come to support their friends and co-honorees Henry and Dorothy Rosenberg - including George Sherman, Cypress Group founder; Tom McDonald, Oppenheimer & Co. managing director, and his wife, Jamie McDonald, McDonald Growth Strategy managing partner; Carole Sibel, community volunteer, and her husband, Bean Sibel, retired food broker; and Sue Hess, Maryland Citizens for the Arts co-founder.

As fellow honoree and master chef Edwin Scholly prepared his cooking demonstration, interior designer Rita St. Clair noted that this was an evening about feeding both body and soul. "It's really heartwarming," she said.

Sloane Brown can be contacted at

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