Hats off to party-goers willing to use their heads

January 29, 1995|By SYLVIA BADGER

The ninth annual Madhatter's Ball, held at Ruxton's L'Hirondelle Club, was a wonderland event that even Alice would have loved. Several hundred guests, wearing wacky, creative chapeaus, were greeted by Paint and Powder Club members, best known for putting on variety shows for charity. This time they dressed as Keystone Kops to help drivers steer clear of the construction work being done at the club.

It was an evening when staring at people wasn't rude at all. Eye-catching creations were worn by Julia and Michael Keelty -- she won the female competition with a purple topper; and Dorie and David Spillman, the winning couple, who had on matching seashell-covered hats. Al Grimes got an honorable mention for his turkey-dinner hat, but Steve Knott attracted the most attention by sporting a golf course on top of his head. He had no trouble winning the men's competition, but did have a little trouble getting through the buffet line.

Two women who looked smashing with hats adorned with fruits, glitter and birds were Lois Baldwin, on the arm of Robert Knatz -- he sells commercial real estate; and her daughter, Nancy, with Dick Deurer, an artist.

Professional auctioneer Rick Opfer got top dollar for auction items like "an outing on the Royal Blue charter boat," docked at the Bay Cafe, which was donated by Capt. Bobby Berman, who was at the party with his wife, Susan.

Bobby & the Believers' music kept the dance floor full of people like Baltimore businessman Ted Herget and his date, Stephanie McCarty. Others at the party, which raised nearly $15,000 for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland, were Earl Gittings and his wife, Doris, Amusement Novelty Sales; Streett Baldwin, a CPA; Bill and Cathy Schmidt -- he owns a trucking business; event chairman Dean Charlton, owner of Charlton Funeral Home, and his wife, Trish; his parents, Dr. Jack and Gloria Charlton, and his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. John and Wendy Charlton; Chip DiPaula; Rich Evans; and George and Jeannie Panos.

The old ballgame

Dick Bielski, who played with the Baltimore Colts before becoming a coach, and his wife, Jo, invited a group of old football friends to their family-owned business, the Charles Village Pub in Towson. It was a book-signing reception for one of their own, Yvonne Ameche, the widow of Baltimore Colts Alan Ameche, who scored the winning touchdown in "the greatest game ever played" (the 1958 Super Bowl game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, which the Colts won). She has written a book, "Broad Shoulders and Tight Ends," with her friend Jeri Braatz, married to Tom Braatz, who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins and now is director of scouting for the Miami Dolphins.

The book is a light-hearted approach to football, with illustrations by Walter Preston Stewart. The book costs $14.95 and may be ordered by calling (800) GAME-302.

Award winner

You don't have to be big to be great, but you have to be good. Just ask Paul Bragaw and Collin Clarke, owners of Mr. Mole, a five-suite bed and breakfast in Bolton Hill. Mr. Mole has won a 1995 Four Star Award from the Mobil Travel Guide, along with two other Maryland hostelries, the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael and the Lighthouse Club in Ocean City.

Mr. Mole, whose name comes from the Kenneth Graham classic, "The Wind in the Willows," opened four years ago in a five-story 1870 row house. Each suite has a private bath and garage space; guests are served a large, yummy, homemade Dutch breakfast.

Mr. Mole is open 12 months a year, and this should be a good year, thanks to Mobile. Call (410) 728-1179 for information.

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