Grasmick salute raises $50,000 for parents group

SYLVIA BADGER

September 10, 1993|By SYLVIA BADGER

CEOs, teachers, parents, and even a governor showed up at Martin's West Wednesday night to salute Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools and the Governor's Special Secretary for Children. More than 800 people attended the successful ($50,000) fund-raiser for Parents Anonymous, an agency dedicated to eliminating child abuse and neglect and strengthening families.

When I arrived, the honoree's proud husband, Lou, was table hopping. I sat with an old friend, Bill Stair, and his grandson, Bradley Minetree, the newest vice president in Stair's business, Up-To-Date-Laundry. Nearby were Shirley and Brice Phillips, owners of Phillip's seafood eateries; Dawn and Blase Cooke, CEO and president of Harkins Builders; Henry Knott Jr.; Grant Grasmick, Lou's son; Ollie and Mary Jean Travers; and a delightful Hagerstown couple, Kathleen and Dominick Perini, owners of a construction company and lots of nursing homes.

Perini seems to be the official host for a Baltimore contingent that's arriving in Hagerstown tonight to attend the governor's annual crab feast and play a little golf before the feast tomorrow. Perini told me they're expecting more than 3,900 people, which, he says, is more than they ever had in Chestertown. "People in Western Maryland appreciate the governor," Perini explained.

It was good to see Maryland's official hostess Hilda Mae Snoops out and about. She's been under the weather for far too long and she received almost as much attention at the party as the honoree with whom she was sitting and Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Other VIP guests were Frank and Maggie Bramble, he's CEO of Maryland National Bankcorp; Delores and Harold Chandler, he's president of NationsBank for the Baltimore-Washington region; Parents Anonymous COB John Meyerhoff and his wife, Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff; Elaine Fisher, Project Reach Out director; Buzz Bartlett, Martin Marietta director of public and community relations, who was representing Martin Marietta's CEO Norm Augustine.

C&P president Fred D'Alessio and his wife, Joanne, held forth at a table filled with C&P execs, while Clarisse Mechanic, owner of the Mechanic Theatre, sat with her friend, Lourdes Morales. According to Judy Hyman, Parents Anonymous, it was generosity like Mrs. Mechanic's that made this fund raiser such a success. She bought a table, donated it back for those who couldn't afford tickets, then she bought two tickets for herself.

I knew the entertainment would be good when I heard that Kathy Levin, Magic Me founder and Broadway producer of "A Few Good Men" and "Gypsy," had agreed to oversee finding the talent. She focused on Maryland families. She settled on four acts. She was so impressed with one of the rap singers, Eddie Williams, she took him to the Peabody, where he will receive a full scholarship.

*

Breakfast guests at Harbor Court got an eyeful Wednesday morning as the Academy-, Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-award- winning Rita Moreno made a grand entrance into the ballroom. With her dark hair piled atop her head and wearing beige slacks, black jacket and a silky, gold-colored blouse, she walked to the head table to the sounds of "America," from her hit Broadway show, "West Side Story." At this point, Maryland Public Television vice president of broadcasting, Archie Buffkins, introduced her and all stood and applauded. She's here as part of Project Reach-Out, a three-hour telethon which encourages Marylanders to volunteer time, not money.

She joined MPT president Raymond Ho; Marcellus Alexander, general manager at WJZ-TV which has worked with MPT on this project for six years; Joan Palmer, state Deputy Superintendent of Schools; Cheryl Head, vice president of corporate affairs for WETA-DC, in Washington; Adele Rush, executive producer of Project Reach-Out, and Everett Marshburn, director of regional production at MPT.

Others having breakfast with her were Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, Crown Central's Carlton Dallas and Kurt Larsen; Darla Strouse, State Department of Education; Beth McCarthy FILA USA; Barry Williams, Baltimore County Public Schools; Carmen Nieves, Puerto Rican Club of Maryland; Janet Lustig, WETA-TV; State Secretary of Personnel Hilda Ford; Maryland You Are Beautiful director Florianne Applefeld; Nan Rosenthal, WJHU-radio; Bob Heck MPT host of children's morning shows, and Rhea Feikin, host of Project Reach-Out.

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