YOU HAVE TO GET in front of the ball and stop it -- or you'll be chasing it all the way to the bottom." So said a leading waterfowl expert about the declining waterfowl population in North America.
Stopping that decline is one of the goals of Waterfowl U.S.A., a national, non-profit organization. Dennis L. Wedekind Jr. is chairman of the Greater Baltimore Chapter, which had its fourth annual benefit dinner and auction Friday evening at the Timonium Holiday Inn.
More than 450 people came armed to bid on the dozens of interesting silent and live auction items. "There's something for everyone," said auction chairman Jimmy Proutt, as he proudly pointed things out. Where else could you bid on a full size P.T. O'Malley goose blind, a jet ski, a sail board, duck decoys, shotguns, a reversible fur/leather jacket, Ned Ewell and Joe Litz original prints, framed duck stamps and dozens of other interesting items, all of which brought big bucks for this organization. (By the way, the best selling point for this group is that 100 percent of the money raised stays in the United States. Local chapters keep 80 percent of the money they generate and use it to preserve waterfowl and restore habitat in their state.
Proutt, who works for the Arundel Corp., asked me to tell Harford Countians that he's in the process of forming a Harford County chapter of Waterfowl U.S.A. if they are interested in becoming members.
Among those attending the party were Judge and Mrs. John Turnbull, Judge and Mrs. Eddie DeWaters, who bought a copy of a Remington bronze; Judge Tom Bollinger, Dr. and Mrs. William Vitale, Jayson Pharmaceuticals, who bought a chocolate lab female puppy and ended up selling it to Richard F. Slaughter, who works for Churchill Distributors; Jim Farmer, Towson attorney; Bill Sauer, ETR landscaping; Warren and Virginia Mix, he's an attorney; Mary Bell Grempler, real estate fame; Col. Bill White; Charles White; Gregg Hammond, attorney; John Jeppi; Fred Klaus; Hans Wilhelmsen Jr.; Towson attorney John Howard and his wife, Betty Ann; Baltimore County state's attorney Sandra O'Connor, and Skip Brown, developer.
An evening like this one doesn't just happen. Lots of hard work was done by members like state chairman William Chew III, Gary Padussis, Jamie Horner, Kim Proutt, Lisa Varipatis and many others. Frank Russo, Opfer Auctioneering, did a splendid job auctioning off the items, however the crowd was so large and noisy, he needed a much better PA system to get their attention. At this writing, it's not known how much money was raised for Maryland waterfowl, but it's safe to say the coffers are better off than ever before. Since I live on the Eastern Shore, I took one of the nesting boxes for ducks that they were giving away to whomever lived near the water.
Gail Chrzan chaired a delightful fashion show to benefit the St. Paul's School for Girls Parents' Association last week at the Hunt Valley Inn. More than 400 people enjoyed the show, which featured clothes from the Growing Up Shop, Laura Ashley, Gantos, Teens R Us, Princeton, Ann Taylor and others. This is the largest fund-raiser of the year by the Parents' Association, which is led by Lynn Creager.
What made this fashion show more enjoyable for me was the participation of so many children. What's more special than a 3-year-old walking down the runway in a little hat and pretty dress wearing only one shoe?
Among the mother-child modeling teams were Kathy Brummer and her daughter, Alicia; Gail Chrzan and her daughter, Brooke; Sandy Laziuck and her son, Brett; Cheryl McCarus and her daughter, Nicole; and Frannie Weintraub and her daughter, Stephanie. Chrzan had lots of help putting this fashion extravaganza together. Virginia Mix and Marywill Herrfeldt did an admirable job with reservations; the program was great thanks to Susan Hazard and Dee Bendos, and the silent auction offered some nice items to bid on, thanks to Dianne Nagel.
I had the pleasure of sitting with the school's attractive headmistress, Lila Lohr; WMAR's celebrity emcee, Tony Pagnotti, and his wife, Sandy, who left the dinner thinking about sending their young daughter to St. Paul's; Stephanie Esworthy, formerly at City Hall, now working for the Recreation and Parks in the city (her daughter Zann was a student model); Denise Giardina; Audrey Thomas and Chrzan, when she managed to sit for a few minutes.