SATURDAY NIGHT'S Shock Trauma Gala was a fitting tribute to one of Maryland's most valuable institutions. Nearly 1,300 people filled the Towson Center and raised about $280,000, a fantastic amount in these tough economic times. The money is earmarked for a critical care transport van which was sitting outside the center and should be ready to serve Marylanders this summer.
The Towson Center looked fabulous, thanks to the vivid imagination of the P.W. Feats company and Ami Taubenfeld, who wore two hats for the gala -- head of operations and catering by her company, Great Occasions. The party featured a Maryland motif, with five regions of the state, its crafts and foods.
Author Tom Clancy did the emceeing honors, which included introducing a moving audio visual presentation with a song, "Shock Trauma: Maryland's One of a Kind." Clancy has agreed to donate a portion of his upcoming movie, "Patriot Games" to Shock Trauma and the Patriots of Fort McHenry. (I'm told Patriot Games' producers will be visiting the hospital in a few weeks.)
Others at the party were State Comptroller Louis Goldstein, who filled in for Gov. Schaefer, and Mark Taubenfeld, a caterer who has served on the hospital's Board of Visitors since he recovered from a terrible car accident in 1982.
The Maryland State Police were well-represented by Col. Elmer Tippett, Major Charles Hutchins and Joseph Kuhn, director of maintenance for the Medevac. Also on hand were Corporal James Watson, pilot; Trooper First Class Thomas Colbert, medic; and Col. James Harvey.
Others actively involved helping the hospital are Phyllis Livingston, who thought up the idea of a Gala six years ago; Don DeVries, hospital Board of Visitors; William and Carolin Quade, First National Bank; Dr. and Mrs. James P.G. Flynn, he's director of Shock Trauma; Philip Militello and his wife Ilsa, he's clinical director of Shock Trauma; and Diane Eaton, producer of the television series "Rescue 911," who have filmed many segments at Shock Trauma. There were two helicopters outside the Towson Center, so guests got a first and hopefully last look at these life-saving whirly birds.
The St. James Condominiums are indeed a perfect place to show off a "Perfect Setting." Last Thursday evening St. James sales director Michael Todd and Grempler sales reps Judy Hassenhauer and Jan White were hosts for a gala party for celebs participating in a "Perfect Setting."
Guests seemed to love looking at the different table settings and eating the delicious food, prepared by Bunny Dwin, who also did a table setting entitled, "pigging out." Dwin collects ceramic and porcelain pigs and her table was filled with dozens of them, which was hilarious.
Others who set tables were Thomas Williams and Robert Hale of Federal Hill Interiors, who did a smart-looking Preakness luncheon table; Carole Sibel, who with a little help from her buddies Bob Jones and Alexander Baer, put together a busy "Joie de Vivre, Joie des Arts" theme; Sandie Nagel, Jewish Times, was set for a Teddy Bear Party; Beverly Burke's patio luncheon setting was eye catching; Sherrie Clinton, Evening Sun food editor, set her table for a Victorian Tea; Lisa Simeone is a die-hard Madonna fan, so she entitled her setting "Madonna Mania." And I'm not too sure what mine is entitled, but rest assured it's conservative.
The public is invited to stop by the St. James on Charles Street any time from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. seven days a week through June 10. The celebs picked Miriam Lodge, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, American Cancer Society, Baltimore School for the Arts, Sickle Cell Anemia, Young Audiences of Maryland, House of Ruth, Animal Rescue, and Patriots of Fort McHenry to receive a contribution in their names.
On May 20, the St. Frances Academy will have a big fund raiser Martin's West beginning at 6:30 p.m. The school, founded by the Oblate Sisters of the Providence in 1828, is the oldest inner city black Catholic school in the country.
They're thrilled to have landed the new South African Ambassador to the U.S. Harry Schwarz, a member of the anti-apartheid party, as the keynote speaker. Honorees for the evening are human rights activist Alleck Resnick and former mayor and mayoral candidate Clarence Du Burns. If you'd like tickets call Allen Quille, 837-5310.
There's still time to sign up for the the first Annual Johnny Dee Ladies Golf Tournament to benefit the Grant-A-Wish Foundation. The tournament will be held at Sparrows Point Country Club on May 20. Johnny Dee, a longtime supporter of Grant-A-Wish, is the owner of Johnny Dee's Lounge. The tourney begins with a "shotgun" start at noon and will be played by "best ball" rules. The cost of playing and having dinner following your day on the greens is $110. Call 242-1549 if you'd like to play or if you'd like to sponsor a green.
A special benefit art auction will be held in the cafeteria of Anne Arundel Community College this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The beneficiary of the auction is Lisa Bakula, who graduated from the college in 1984 and went on to graduate from James Madison University.
Lisa, the daughter of William Bakula, a business professor at Anne Arundel Community College, was stricken with Crohn's Disease while working at Middleton Tavern in Annapolis last summer. Since that time she has undergone five major surgeries and has received some financial assistance toward her medical bills from friends at the college and H.E.L.P., a restaurant employees' organization which is jointly sponsoring the auction. Artworks will be accepted on May 16-18. If you'd like more information or to make donations, call 541-2515.