For the Hospice of Baltimore, a wealth of reasons to celebrate

On the Town

April 28, 1996|By Sylvia Badger

A CHANCE OF RAIN was in the forecast for last Monday evening, but Connie and Bill Pitcher were not worried about a garden party planned for the Founding Benefactors of Hospice of Baltimore. The guests would be well-protected by a large white tent, which was left over from a 40th birthday party for Bill's son. It turns out there was no reason to worry. The weather was perfect, and the thank-you party turned into a real celebration for the 75 guests.

Before the party, Connie, vice-chair of GBMC Foundation and chair of the Capital Campaign for Hospice of Baltimore, knew the committee had raised all but $700,000 of the $8.3 million goal -- not bad for a campaign less than 2 years old.

Soon after everyone was seated for dinner, Connie greeted her guests and thanked them for their help.

Special thanks went to Jinny Dance, who originated the idea for a hospice affiliated with GBMC and was its first and largest donor with a $4 million contribution.

Imagine everyone's reaction when Jinny announced at the party that she was donating another $500,000. And there was more. Pedie Killebrew, chair of the Women's Hospital Board, with her husband, Richard, sitting by her side, then announced that GBMC's Women's Board had voted to add another $500,000 to the coffers.

Connie's husband Bill, chairman and CEO of PDP Group, quipped that it will be nice to have a full-time wife again, now that the campaign goal had been reached and exceeded.

I sat with Connie and Bill, and also Bob Kowal, who has been the president and CEO of GBMC for 12 years; Norris Cook, president of Norris Ford, and his wife, Joan; and Jerry Stautberg, Jerry's Chevrolet, and his wife, Caroline.

Nearby were Ann Grieves and developer Joe Keelty, who were sitting with Jinny and Laddie Dance; he's a horse auctioneer. Also nearby were Crown Central's Henry Rosenberg and his wife, Dottie, a new member of the GBMC Foundation board; Lisa and Greg Barnhill, he's with Alex. Brown; Carol Peltier, president of Hospice of Baltimore and Home Health Care Division.

Others at the party were Sandi and Dr. Myrton Gaines, he's former GBMC chief of staff and current chair of the GBMC Foundation Board; Carroll and Jimmy Knott, James F. Knott Development Co.; Sherri and Hal Donofrio, Richardson, Myers & Donofrio; Dr. Gary Cohen, director of GBMC's oncology program; TC Jean and Jim Donohue, owners of Industrial Shows of America, and he's a foundation member; Rob Zinkham, Venable, Baetjer attorney and foundation member, and his wife, Terry; Helko Osterchrist, ITC Inc., and Elaine and Wayne Schelle, American Personal Computers.

The food, prepared by Catering by Carlton, was divine, especially the crab cakes and tenderloin.

The new 24-bedroom hospice facility, Gilchrist House, is a family name selected by Jinny. I am told that when it opens in mid-June, it will be the only place in Baltimore that is used strictly for hospice care.

Pub Date: 4/28/96

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