Parents Anonymous dinner draws a crowd, $100,000

April 07, 1995|By SYLVIA BADGER

The story of Parents Anonymous, a poignant tale about tough family challenges and child abuse, was told with great finesse at its 20th anniversary dinner at Stouffer Renaissance Harborplace Hotel Wednesday night. (Yes, that's the new name of the hotel.) More than 650 people were part of the evening's festivities which honored Lee Johnson, the parent who co-founded Parents Anonymous of Maryland Inc.; the Junior League of Baltimore and the National Council of Jewish Women which provided time and money to help the group get started, and Dr. John Meyerhoff, chairman of the board, who has given his support since 1985.

Dr. Meyerhoff was surrounded by members of his family, which included his wife, Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff; their children Marte and Jack, and his parents, Jane and Bob Meyerhoff, who own racehorses. I chatted with Bob for a few minutes about their 4-year-old horse, Concern, which won the prestigious Breeder's Classic last year.

Among the guests I saw were Judges Nancy Sugar and Kathleen Sweeney; Baltimore Police Commissioner Tom Frazier and the highest ranking woman in the city police department, Col. Margaret Patten; Susan Gauvey, Venable, Baetjer and Howard attorney; Deb and Dave Levine, she's a writer and teacher at New Ventures; he's with Legg Mason;

Also, Dr. Hans Wilhelmsen, plastic surgeon, with Leah Faust on his arm; Lalit Gadhia, special deputy secretary Maryland department of Business & Economic Development; Tony Tarain, University of Baltimore School of Law; Sally Michel, who was president of the Junior League at the time of the founding of Parents Anonymous; Verna Kushel, representing the NCJW; Lydia Lafferty, principal of Arundel Elementary School in Cherry Hill, and Susan Spath, principal of the Carter G. Woodson Elementary School, also in Cherry Hill -- both of these women had high praise for this organization and the work it does with their students.

Others who helped make this evening the $100,000 success that it was, were WJZ's Sally Thorner, who emceed the ceremonies; Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Mayor Kurt Schmoke; Orlando Yarborough, a volunteer with one of children's programs; Frank Blanton, acting executive director of the local chapter, Chris Lapicki, Lee Johnson's 24-year-old son, who shared his thoughts about his mother and how proud he is of what she has done; and last, but certainly not least, honorary chairs Nancy and Lou Grasmick, she's state superintendent of schools and he owns Grasmick Lumber Co. It was Nancy, who presented Dr. Meyerhoff with the first annual John Meyerhoff Award, a sculpture created by his favorite artist, Doug Baldwin.

When Robin Quivers walked in the door of the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in 1980, John Jeppi, its founder, knew she was a winner. At that time, Quivers, born and raised in Baltimore, was a nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but wanted something more.

Which, indeed, is what she got. After graduating from the institute, she eventually landed the job as co-host with radio's nationally syndicated bad boy, Howard Stern, 14 years ago. Jeppi remembers his parting words to Robin after graduation went something like this: he was sure she'd be a big star someday, but she would have to learn to control her raucous laugh, the very thing that attracted Stern to her originally.

Today, bookstores will be filled with copies of her "juicy" autobiography, "Quivers." And from what I hear, the book, just like the radio show, seems guaranteed to send shock waves through certain segments of the community.

The Carroll Manor Recreation and Parks Council is sponsoring a free concert Sunday at 3 p.m. at Jacksonville Elementary School. Vladimir Svoysky, concert pianist and conductor, will perform music by Russian composers Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov, while showing slides of famous Russian artists.

He'll conclude with George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Mr. Svoysky teaches piano and keyboards at the school.

Everyone's invited to celebrate spring at Mount Clare mansion tomorrow from noon to 4 p.m. You can explore the mansion with costumed docents, sip orange punch and eat cookies in the orangerie, hunt eggs, buy primroses, and be a part of the first ever "barrister open air jam session."

Performers are high school students and music directors from Frederick Douglas High, David Burton; Lake Clifton-Eastern High, Kevin O'Neal; Patterson High, David Robinson and Western High, Charles Strother. Students from the Charles Carroll, Barrister, Elementary School, under the direction of music director Albin Grden will be there to warm up the crowd.

Tickets are $5 adults, $1 children under 12; students with instruments are free.

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