MOST PEOPLE AGREE that we are in a recession, and one of the areas that is really feeling the corporate dollar pinch is the charitable fund-raiser. However, that doesn't seem to be the case with the Kennedy Institute. Nearly 2,000 volunteers and 18 new corporations responded to the needs of the Kennedy Institute by participating in its Festival of Trees, which is going on at Festival Hall this week, and the KinderGala held at the Hyatt Regency Saturday night. The two events are expected to raise more than $600,000 for the institute.
And while I'm thinking about money, I must tell you that the man of the hour at the festive KinderGala was prominent Baltimore attorney and philanthropist Zanvyl Krieger, who recently gave the Kennedy Institute $5 million. Krieger, former owner of the Baltimore Orioles and Colts, was, until Edward Bennett Williams came along, the only person in the country who wore football and baseball championship rings.
The Kennedy isn't the only Baltimore institution to benefit from this delightful man's generosity. He gave $7 1/2 million to the Mind Brain Institute at Hopkins and sizable amounts of money to the eye center at Sinai Hospital and the Associated Jewish Charities Building, which was renamed the Krieger Building. (Heck, for $5 million, I'd rename the Kennedy Institute.) I've never forgotten how nice Krieger was to me many years ago when I attended the Orioles--Phillies World Series game in Philadelphia. Zan and his attorney sidekick, Ron Creamer, saw to it that I attended every "hard to get in" event surrounding the series.
So it was nice to see this twosome at the gala, which attracted 1,000 guests to the Hyatt for the KinderGala's 10th anniversary. Decorations were spectacular, the food tasty and the entertainment, Le Masquerade, loud and lots of fun. The dance floor was packed with people like Ray and Marge Piechocki, he was the KinderGala's executive chair; Mary Beth Smolev, chairman of KinderGala and her doctor husband, James; attorney Joel Sher and Kathy Cloyd, who glittered in a multi-colored sequined mini; Sally and Tom Abbott, AT&Ters who moved to Chatham, N.J., but Sally remained an active member of the committee. She will be sorely missed in Baltimore's fund-raising arena.
You couldn't miss two Baltimore PR whizzes, Barbara Bozzuto and Mary Sue McCarthy, who attracted lots of attention with their blinking red Christmas bulb earrings. The latter introduced me to her "main squeeze," Bill Hopkinson, and her brother, Mike, president of Riparius, who has changed a lot since he was in my Gilman car pool.
Sitting at a nearby table were Bob and Emily DiCicco, owners of Bare Hills Club, a corporate sponsor of KinderGala, and their guests, retired judge turned lobbyist Edgar Silver and his wife, Ann, Judge and Mrs. A. Gordon Boone Jr.; and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Capitelli. Nearby were Ted Herget, C&B Consulting Group, with Leslie Londeree on his arm; former Hyatt GM Rick Sarmiento, who now owns about 10 shops called the White House, who was with Lisa Renshaw, owner and operator of Penn Parking; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Morgan, he's the Hyatt's GM; Trip and Gloria Dryden, Dryden Oil Co.; Dan and Pat Baker, Tate Access Floors; AT&T's Bill Dunbar and his wife, Patty, and At&T's Candy and Dave Humphrey, he's news director at WLIF.
Others enjoying the evening were Lois and Dick Hug, Suzanne and Jack Nichols, Larry and Kelly Jenkins, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Bailey, Mr. and Mrs. Charles "Buzz" McCormick, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Schelle, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ratrie, Rich Rickert and his fiance, Traci Combs, Mickey and Jim Brogan, Lee and Mitzi Boatwright, Bill and Jeanne Sarver and, of course, Dr. Gary Goldstein, president and CEO of the Kennedy Institute.
Sally and Jerry Casey chaired the Festival of Trees, and Jerry, BTC chairman of the board at First National Bank, is chairman of the Kennedy's board of directors. Everyone agrees that this couple is certainly a nice addition to the Baltimore community.