MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Finally, there's some real action for the homeless. At a Center Club breakfast this week, Lou Grasmick, Baltimore's fund-raising rainmaker, unveiled plans to raise at least $250,000 for Maryland's homeless.
He rounded up many of the state's movers and shakers, who have agreed to sell $10 raffle tickets for the "House with a Heart" between now and the drawing Oct. 26. The winner will move into a $200,000 Ryland home located in the Seven Oaks Development in Anne Arundel County. (There's a rumor that Barbara Bush might draw the winning ticket.)
This project is destined to be a winner for the homeless because of people like Jim O'Conor, O'Conor, Piper and Flynn; Warren and Cookie Halle, Halle Companies; Henry Rosenberg, Crown Central Petroleum; Jim McEneaney, Ryland Homes; Marcellus Alexander, WJZ-TV; Jean Halle, Baltimore Sun; Ed St. John, M.I.E. Corp.; Michael Angelos, Maryland International Terminals; Blase Cooke, Thos. Harkins; Grant Grasmick, Grasmick Lumber; Pat Krongard and Bill Stair, Up-to Date Laundry; Joe Casey, Casey and Associates; John Moran, Household Bank and Jack Curley, Legg Mason. I could go on and on.
If you're interested in buying raffle tickets, call Cathy Lyness at 467-3800.
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: Remember the handsome man in the coonskin cap, Davy Crockett (a.k.a. Daniel Boone), whose real name is Fess Parker? Guess what he's been doing since those golden years of television and movies. Parker became a successful California real estate developer and recently bought a vineyard with his son, Eli.
The first wines of the Parker Winery in Santa Barbara, a Johannesburg Riesling and a Chardonnay, are being distributed locally by Frederick P. Winner, Ltd. Winner's hosting a party next week for Parker and his son. I'll have more for you next Friday.
KUDOS: To the Italian American Organizations United of Maryland. (These are the folks who gave us the Christopher Columbus statue and who built the Columbus Piazza on President Street and Eastern Avenue.) If you're feeling patriotic, visit the Piazza and see how they welcomed our Desert Storm troops home. Six American, Italian and yellow flags are flying in the center aisle. On the other 20 poles, the flags are white with a yellow bow, lettered to say, "We Support Our Troops, Come Home Soon." It's a perfect place to take your returning warrior on your way to Little Italy for a celebration dinner.
BIG DOINGS: Did you know that Sheppard Pratt is the nation's largest private, not-for-profit psychiatric hospital in the country? On May 7, the hospital will begin celebrating its 100th year of patient care with an array of activities. Dr. Richard Restak, practicing neurologist and best-selling author, is the Founder's Day speaker.
The hospital was founded in 1853, thanks to the behest of Moses Sheppard. So much has happened in the field of mental health since then, and those involved at Sheppard Pratt are right in the mainstream. There will be yearlong celebrations, but one you might be interested in is Mariette Hartley, actress and author, who is expected to draw a crowd of more than 1,000 for the June 4th Centennial Lecture at the College of Notre Dame.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Congressman Ben Cardin, Howard County Executive Charles Ecker, former Colts great Artie Donovan and City Councilman Jody Landers got a taste of what Meals on Wheels workers do recently. They joined a dedicated corps of Meals on Wheels volunteers and delivered hot meals to the homebound elders in Metropolitan Baltimore.
The best things in life are free, so plan to take in the Fifty Plus Maryland Artists at Art showcase at the Baltimore Design Center, 200 West North Ave. Curator Jim Dockery is pleased with the variety of media and styles and says the upcoming free "State of the Arts & Design" demonstrations are informative. Make reservations by calling Dockery at 783-0007.