LOVE IS THE ANSWER: Thanks to the efforts of our Gal Friday, Pam Shriver, the Children's Hospital & Center for Reconstructive Surgery, Cystic Fibrosis and the Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons Association have shared a million dollars since 1986. That's when Shriver held her first First National Bank Tennis Festival presented by The Baltimore Sun For a Child's Benefit.
During that five years, she has lured tennis greats Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati, Elise Burgin, Monica Seles, Zina Garrison, Natalia Zvereva, Carling Bassett and Larisa Savchenko to play tennis in Baltimore.
This week's tennis festival began Monday night with a glitzy black-tie dinner gala for about 300 people at the Candler Building at Market Place and Pratt Street. Before dinner, I chatted with Carol Hirschburg, Baltimore County director of communications; Rob Banks, who works for Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley; Mr. and Mrs. William Snyder, Crown Central; Mr. and Mrs. John Yuhanick, of the Boucher Boucher & Yuhanick public relations firm.
On the same network that night were Mr. and Mrs. Andy Barth, he's with WMAR-TV; and Mr. and Mrs. Chris Ely, he's with WJZ-TV. The pre-dinner chatting also included Baltimore County Delegate Gerry Brewster, State Sen. Janice Piccinini and Ted and Courtney McKeldin.
Pam's 84-year-old grandmother, Marion Ketcham, was all smiles, as were her parents Sam and Margot Shriver. Larry Cohen, president of the Maryland Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis, attended the gala, as did Michael Sullivan, president of Merry-Go-Round. I was glad to see one of my favorite priests, Father Joseph Sellinger, Loyola College president.
The stars were scattered among several tables, and I was delighted to find myself sitting with two of the biggest names in sports, Martina Navratilova and Jim Palmer.
Others at the table were Joni Palmer and her son P.J. Pearlstone, and Gail and Robert Chrzan -- he's the president and CEO of Children's Hospital.
AT THE PARTY: Martina talking about the trials of traveling with her little Chihuahua, K.D. (Killer Dog) . . . Windows Catering Co. prepared some tasty food for dinner and all leftovers were delivered to the South Baltimore Shelter for the homeless . . . Cabaret singer and Broadway star Karen Mason put on a great show. Some rude guests chatted away during the show, and Navratilova was so annoyed she walked over to one table and asked them to be quiet.
On Wednesday after the Tuesday night matches at the Baltimore Arena, Martina joined Pam and her father, Sam, on a hunting trip at their Eastern Shore home. Navratilova left Thanksgiving Day for Argentina, where she plans an exhibition match.
HELP NEEDED: If you've been thinking about donating food for Maryland's hungry or a toy for a needy child this Christmas, WMAR-TV has decided to make it easy for you. Stop by their studios at 6400 York Road with your donations any time today until 11 p.m.
WMAR personalities Stan Stovall, Sally Thorner, Beverly Burke, Norm Lewis, Horace Holmes and Rudy Miller, along with personalities from radio station B-104, will take turns accepting the donations of new toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food for the Bags of Plenty Campaign.
TUNE IN: WBAL radio Sunday from 5 to 6 p.m. Yours truly will join my colleague Kevin Cowherd and Jewish Times gossip columnist Sandie Nagel to discuss our views on gossip. Give us a call.
NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS: Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Nov. 2; WMAR-TV's Mary Beth Marsden, Nov. 7; Roy Sampson, V-103 radio, Nov. 8; Donna Patterson, Baltimore Arena general manager, Nov. 14; J. B. Brown, V-103 radio, Nov. 16; Mike McCarthy, WMIX radio, Nov.17; Jim Fox, B-104 general manager, Nov. 19; Beverly Burke, WMAR-TV, Nov. 23; Baltimore County Councilman Mel Mintz, Nov. 27.