Merry Christmas, and I hope everyone has a happy, healthy New Year.
One of the most enjoyable parties I attended last week was the Celebrity Bartenders at the Hyatt Regency's World Largest Office Party. For four hours, there were at least two bartenders manning 20 bars to raise money for Santa Claus Anonymous and the WBAL Kids Campaign.
This is fun because I love to talk to people in a party-bar atmosphere. And since it's for charity, we work hard to raise tips. This year I had a lot of help from the Arena's Edie Brown and Presenting Baltimore's Tucky Ramsey.
Another clue to how much fun it is for the volunteers is that in the six years since it began, a lot of the same people volunteer again and again. Some of originals, besides Edie and me, are Bill Passano, Williams and Wilkins/Waverly Press CEO; Mendel Friedman, Jolly Company; Leonard Attman, Attman Corp.; Bob Hillman, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston; Capt. Pat Flynn, Baltimore City Fire Department; Eammon McGeady, Martin G. Imbach, Inc.; and Don Royston, Maryland State Lottery.
I also enjoyed seeing Bob Shilling, who landed a neat job as managing editor of WBFF-TV, Channel 45. He's having a ball getting ready for Channel 45's 10 p.m. news program which begins in May. But he absolutely wouldn't tell us who they've picked to anchor the show.
Also chatted with Brian and Carin Lazarus, who have many irons in the fire, but the latest is the formation of another company, Nightheat Productions to handle the Chippendales account. They are the sole national promoters for that swinging group of male dancers, which means they also tour with the two groups. Carin just returned from an East Coast tour with them and Brian from an Hawaiian-Guam tour.
Brian usually bartends with Rich Evans, owner of the Crease restaurant in Towson, who couldn't be there because he hurt his knee jogging on a Barbados beach.
And finally, a special Merry Christmas to Hyatt GM Richard Morgan and his wonderful staff. You cannot imagine how hard these volunteers worked on this fund-raiser.
Did you know that former Baltimore county executive Dennis Rasmussen is really a good sport? When he left office, he gave the man who took his job, Baltimore County Executive Roger Hayden, a video of "The Candidate," a monogrammed shirt and a personal note.
Special holiday wishes to Bullets coach Wes Unseld, who came up with the idea of the "Family to Family Christmas" project seven years ago, never dreaming it would grow into the $50,000 project it is today. It is a joint fund-raising effort by the employees of Centre Group (the Washington Bullets, Caps, Centre Sales-Management, which includes our Arena folks) to provide assistance to the less fortunate in the Washington-Baltimore area during the holidays.