Stars turn out to dine and play for Baltimore Tennis Patrons

December 08, 1996|By Sylvia Badger

IT WAS A GREAT WEEK for stargazing around town. There were sports greats playing tennis, thanks to Pam Shriver and friends at the Baltimore Arena, where the fans were not disappointed with the show put on by Brady Anderson, Roberto Alomar, Mary Joe Fernandez, Andrea Jaeger, John Lloyd, Marty Riessen, Monica Seles and Shriver.

This annual event raises money for the Baltimore Tennis Patrons. The night before the matches, a private preview party was held at the Hyatt Regency, where tennis patrons and sponsors hobnobbed with the celebrity players.

Tree festival

The Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds was a winter wonderland filled with first-nighters at the Festival of Trees, a benefit for the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The institute was well represented by Gary Goldstein, KKI president; Grant Hathaway, president of the KKI board, who was there with his daughter Liza Matthews and his granddaughter Melanie Matthews; Leonard and Lainy LeBow-Sachs, she's VP of external affairs for KKI; Harriet Legum, KKI board member; and Pattie and Mike Batza, he's a KKI board member. Others enjoying the festivities were David Modell, Ravens VP; Dan Whelan, Bell Atlantic; Peter Martin, Provident Bank; Dot and Henry Rosenberg, Crown Central Petroleum; House of Delegates members John Arnick and Jim Campbell; former Gov. William Donald Schaefer; Dorothy and Paul Wolman, P.W. Feats; Marcellus Alexander, WJZ-TV; and Arthur and Lois Perschetz, she's editor in chief Mid-Atlantic Country Magazine and was chair of the Festival of Trees.

Brandeis award

Last Sunday, more than 1,200 people attended the Baltimore Zionist District's 53rd annual Brandeis Banquet at the Beth Tfiloh Congregation. At the event, two of Baltimore's famous citizens, Academy Award-winning director/screenwriter/producer Barry Levinson and U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, were given the organization's highest honor, the Justice Louis I. Brandeis Award. Civic leaders Carole and Hanan Sibel and community leader Stephen A. Mackler were recognized for their contributions. We caught this all-star cast of honorees at a VIP dinner held before the program at the synagogue.

Staging a meal

What do you serve and whom do you invite to dine with one of the world's greatest opera singers? That was the dilemma facing Barbara and Jim Judd when Placido Domingo accepted their invitation to dinner at their exquisite Baltimore condo.

Most opera buffs know that Domingo is the artistic director of the Washington Opera Company.

And as luck would have it, Boris Martinovich, a noted Croatian opera singer and good friend of the Judds, was performing in the company's "Il Guarany." His wife, Verdene, was with him. So the Judds invited the Martinoviches to bring Domingo for dinner. The two couples had met in Italy three years ago through a mutual friend, Boris Baranovic, professor emeritus of American University.

I am told the easy part of planning the evening was working with Linwood's caterers and deciding on a menu that included veal chops, polenta and spinach dishes. The guest list was more difficult, but it was decided that some of the guests had to know something about the world of opera. Friends who got the nod were Barbara and Carl Hecht, she's a Baltimore Opera Company board member; their daughter Claire Hecht, an arts advocate who sat next to the superstar; Patricia and John Mossel, she's the executive director of the Washington Opera Company; the Ambassador from Croatia, His Excellency and Mrs. Miomir Zuzul; Samuel Verts, stage director; Erwin and Stephanie Greenberg, who flew in from Nantucket for the occasion; Barry Narlins and Dr. Ronald Potosky, opera fans; and Morton and the Rev. Betty Meyer, she gave a blessing.

According to the Judds, it was an evening with many highlights. Domingo adored the meal and insisted on going in the kitchen to thank the chef, who had tears in her eyes when she asked for an autograph for her mother. Which reminds me, every guest was given an etching of Domingo as Othello, drawn by Baranovic and personally inscribed by Domingo.

And since no visit to the Judds' home, said to look like a mini-Versailles, is complete without a tour, Jim was thrilled to show Domingo around his lovely home. Jim owns Amos Judd & Son antiques shop on Howard Street, and Barbara, with her brother Alan Katz, owns the Horn and Horn Buffet chain.

Almost as soon as Domingo accepted the invite to dinner, the couple's telephone started to ring. It was their close friends, Elane Stein, WBAL-radio personality, and Nelson Schreter, asking, "Tell me its true!" Stein may live in Santa Fe, N.M., these days, but there's little that goes on that she doesn't hear about.

Kids need a PAL

Short on frills and long on substance is the way Police Athletic League (PAL) event organizer Carolyn O'Keefe described an evening at the Waverly PAL Center.

Hand-picked guests donned jeans and ate a box dinner on a floor mat while listening to kids, cops and parents talk about PAL and its impact on their lives.

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