Friends in high places are helping the homeless

January 19, 1996|By Sylvia Badger

A DELIGHTFULLY sinful breakfast was served at the Center Club for the movers and shakers working on the House with a Heart campaign. Since its inception in 1992, this campaign has raised more than $569,000 to help Maryland's homeless people.

Baltimore's lumber czar, Lou Grasmick, told the gathering that it was former Gov. William Donald Schaefer who charged him with finding a way to help the homeless. Schaefer agreed to be this year's honorary chair.

I had the pleasure of sitting with another founding member, Jim ** O'Conor, CEO of O'Conor, Piper and Flynn, and his partner, Jimmy Piper. Raffle tickets are sold from all the real estate firm's locations, and this year, its goal is to sell 5,000 tickets at $10 each.

Another prominent guest was Marty Hill, president of Masonry Contractors in Manchester, who has donated a $145,000 house at 752 Mulligan Lane in Westminster. Organizers hope that by the time of the April 13 drawing, 30,000 tickets will be sold, which would mean clearing nearly $250,000 for homeless shelters throughout the state.

Former O's pitching coach Mike Flanagan, who has agreed to be an analyst in the HTS booth for the Orioles games, said a few words on behalf of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, Grasmick's campaign co-chair. Angelos started the campaign with a $10,000 donation.

Other speakers were John Moran, president of the House with a Heart Foundation; Marcellus Alexander, vice president and general manager, WJZ-TV; and former Gov. Schaefer, who shared some of the trials and tribulations he's faced since leaving politics.

Now, Schaefer's trying his hand at professional fund-raising, which he says has been a rather humbling experience. It's been somewhat like what happens to the homeless, he said: You begin to lose your pride. His ultimate message: Help the homeless; but for the grace of God, there go you.

Others who've signed on include Michael Angelos, former director of the Maryland Port Authority who does consulting work these days with Helen Delich Bentley, the former congresswoman; Renee Delosier, repping one of the big sponsors, Kmart; John Martonic, president of the Home Builders Association of Maryland, who was with Frank Miano, also with the homebuilders association and a member of the House with a Heart Foundation board; Clarisse Mechanic, the theater owner; ; Blase Cook, Harkins Builders' CEO who last year matched tickets his employees bought; Chuck Nabit, who with Michael Hodes owns Maryland and Mid-Atlantic Country magazines; Douglas Mathias, executive of the Greater Westminster Development Corp.; and Carol and Vince Clews, owners of Vince Clews Associates, which made the campaign video paid for by the Lasky Foundation. For information about tickets, call Cathy Lyness at (410) 823-5588.

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