Billy Dee Williams pitches in for the arts school

Sylvia Badger

March 05, 1991|By Sylvia Badger

BALTIMOREANS went back to school Saturday night and were having so much fun that they didn't want to leave. More than 450 adults participated in the fun and games fund-raiser called Expressions '91 at the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Bravos to honorary chair Sally Michel and co-chairs Amy Elias and Esther Pearlstone for coming up with special things for this creative fund-raiser. What's more special than having Billy Dee Williams, star of stage, screen and television, as a guest? Williams accepted the invitation thanks to Elias, who works for W.B. Donor and has worked with Williams on commercials for years. Since he went to the Music and Art High School in New York, he knows the importance of these schools. Williams is also a painter and was talking about his upcoming exhibit in April at the Dyansen Galleries in New York.

Also in attendance was the Tony Award-winning actor, dancer and singer Hinton Battle, who has one of the lead roles (John) in the upcoming "Miss Saigon." Battle, who is in rehearsals six days a week for "Miss Saigon," which is certain to be a smash Broadway show, has come to Baltimore on his only day off Sundays for five straight weeks to choreograph the dance numbers done by the students at Expressions.

Among those admiring the handiwork of Alexander Baer, who did a fabulous job turning the ballroom into a cruise ship, were Earl and Darielle Linehan, Steve McLerran, Dan and Del Henson, Jim and Jackie McLean, Osborne and Famebridge Payne, and Mayor Kurt Schmoke and his wife, Dr. Patricia Schmoke. Expressions, as always, was a nice way to spend the evening.

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Charles Fenwick Jr. wears many hats. Besides being secretary the Grand National Race Committee and president of Valley Motors, he's one of the world's best-known steeplechase riders. Fenwick hosted a wine and cheese party at Valley Motors last week to kick off the 1991 Grand National Steeplechase Charity Raffle of a 1991 Mercedes 190E 2.3, provided by Valley Motors.

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Union Memorial Hospital and the Maryland Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Tickets are $75 each and only 800 will be sold. The drawing will take place at the Grand National Steeplechase Races on April 20, adjacent to the winners' circle. If you'd like to buy raffle tickets, call 666-7777.

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The Fund for Educational Excellence and the Greater Baltimore Committee kicked off Gold Star Week at the Hyatt last Friday with a dynamo keynote speaker, Eugene M. Lang. He's the industrialist and educational philanthropist who gained national fame in 1981 when he made a promise to 61 sixth-graders at his former elementary school that he would pay for their college education. Remember?

Hundreds of people attended the luncheon to hear about Lang's "I Have a Dream" Foundation, which he founded in 1986 and is now embraced by 20 cities nationwide, including Baltimore.

This marks the sixth year of the Gold Star Alumni Recognition and tomorrow evening the public is invited to the Hyatt Regency to salute this year's successful alums of the Baltimore public school system: H. Russell Frisby Jr., attorney with Venable, Baetjer & Howard; Mark Ivan Gross, School for the Arts grad who is the lead alto sax player with the Lionel Hampton orchestra; Arlene K. Jenkins, spokeswoman for the Baltimore Police Department; Tonya Shari Cooper Johnson, a public health educator; Nancy Patz, illustrator and author of children's books; and Dr. Walker Lee Robinson, lecturer, author and noted neurosurgeon.

Tickets to the Hyatt party tomorrow night are $10 and may be purchased at the door.

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Baltimore metro commuters got off on the right track at the Charles Center Station recently. Imagine their surprise at being greeted by CEO of Parks Sausage, Ray Haysbert, who donned a Parks baseball cap and handed out commuter mugs with the Parks and V-103 logos, discount coupons for "More Parks Sausages, pleez," Percy Parks sweat shirts and other goodies.

Helping Haysbert were Courtney Bagley of Parks; V-103ers Ray Deutschman, GM; Deborah Kessler, Roy Sampson, Tim Watts and Darold Newton; and mass transit reps Pam Goins and Jacqueline Brown Moore. After hours of handing out goodies, Haysbert and Bagley hopped on the Metro to go to work.

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