In a recent conversation with Victor Frenkil, owner of Baltimore Contractors, I learned that Frenkil, along with Dr. Bozo Brack, Dr. Howard Jones, Larry McPhail, George Mahoney and several others, was one of the founding fathers of the American Cancer Society of Maryland. Over the years, Frenkil has given away thousands of dollars, ala origami initials, to thousands of people. And all he asked in return, when he gave you your initials, was that you send a contribution to the American Cancer Society.
It's the same American Cancer Society that sponsors Camp Sunrise, a weeklong resident camp for oncology children, which begins its sixth season today in Port Deposit. Nearly 100 campers, ages 7-18, will be enjoying swimming, horseback riding, hiking and other activities, under the watchful eye of the camp's medical director, Dr. Joseph M. Wiley.
One of the highlights takes place Wednesday when Olympic Gold medalist Jeff Blatnick visits the camp to share his experiences with cancer with campers. Blatnick won his gold medal in 1984 in Rome after his first bout with cancer.
Camp Sunrise is a reality this year thanks to financial support from the Anita V. Vitale Foundation, which was set up by Mrs. Vitale's children, Jim, Susan and Barbara, after her death from cancer.
There are some interesting places in and around Baltimore in which to have a party -- 89 in fact. Several weeks ago, a copy of "Unique Meeting Places in Greater Baltimore" appeared on my desk, but only recently have I glanced through it. It is an absolute must for anyone planning a wedding, fund-raiser, meeting, retreat, seminar, etc. The author, Elise Hartman Ford, has compiled lots of useful information. She began work on this book after enjoying success with her first book, "Unique Meeting Places In Greater Washington." Ford, a native Baltimorean, lives in Chevy Chase with her husband, Jim, and their daughters Caitlin and Lucy. The book is $11.95 and available at local bookstores.
Fifteen years ago, religious and women's groups joined forces with people like then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer, Mary Pat Clarke and Katie O'Ferral Friedman to found the House of Ruth. This shelter provides services to battered women, children and their families, including treatment for abusive men.
I chatted with House of Ruth executive director Carole Alexander about their services and the importance of their Sept. 10 fund-raiser. There are still tickets available at $50 and $100 for those who'd like to help the House of Ruth and hear the talented Dionne Warwick sing.
Lainy LeBow, who's chairing the fund-raiser along with Amy Elias and B. J. Cowie, says they've planned a great pre-concert party at Harrison's Pier 5 for the $100 ticket holders. If you'd like a ticket, call (410) 889-0861.
Country great Lee "God Bless the U.S.A." Greenwood is the staattraction at the fifth annual Hard Travelers and Friends Concert for Cystic Fibrosis on Labor Day, Sept. 7. Kenn Roberts and the Hard Travelers will open for Greenwood at 6 p.m. at the Pier Six Pavilion.
These concerts have raised a quarter of a million dollars for CF, and what's interesting is that Greenwood has sponsored a CF child in Atlanta for 10 years.
There are still reserved seats, $22.50, and VIP seats, $100, which includes a reception catered by the Chefs Association on board the Lady Baltimore. Call CF offices, (410) 771-9000, or telecharge (410) 625-1400 for tickets, and I will see you there.
It's rare that I tell you about an October fund-raiser in August, but the tickets, even though they are expensive, are going fast. On Oct. 1, feminist writer Gloria Steinem will be the featured speaker at Planned Parenthood's annual meeting at the Sheraton Inner Harbor.
Tickets for the cocktail party and the meeting are $125. However, if you'd like to be among those dining with Steinem, it will cost you $500. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Maryland for Choice. Call (410) 576-1400 for tickets.
Around town: Rumor is, and this is a good one, that supporters of Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg for governor are urging him to go before members of the Maryland General Assembly in January and announce his resignation. Detailing, of course, all the nitty gritty reasons for submitting his resignation. I think I'll attend opening day, just in case.