JESTERS AND TRUMPETERS greeted guests as they arrived for A Merry Feast of Yule at the lovely Laurelford home of Carol Jean and Jay Young. They are the owners of OLES Envelope Corp.; he's chairman of the board of the Baltimore Opera Company; and she's on the board of the Peabody Institute.
After considerable research, this creative twosome decided that their Christmas party would be an authentic medieval celebration, and guests were asked to dress in medieval attire or black tie. As you can imagine, most chose black tie, but the Youngs' costumes were enough to carry the theme, with lots of help from the great-looking suits of armor standing in the flower-laden foyer.
ALTA, a musical group under the direction of Gene Griswold, professor of music at Towson State University, played medieval music on authentic reproduction instruments. (The group has 25 of these unusual instruments.) Another treat was the meal, prepared by Martha Royall, Taylor Royall Caterers, who used a book on medieval feasts as a guide.
The table was full of mussels, crown roast of pork, lamb chops, turkey, quail and quails' eggs, seafood sausages and roast beef, along with an array of side dishes. The desserts -- poached pears, candied oranges, triple berry torte and a strawberry tree -- looked absolutely sinful.
Guests I saw included two newcomers on the Baltimore scene, Diana and Bill McLaughlin, he's the new president of Sweetheart Cup Corp.; Fran and Ed Kiernan, he's GM of radio stations WBAL and WIYY; Tina and Bob Turk, he's Channel 13's weatherman; Betty and Fran Contino, he's managing partner at Ernst & Young; Rita St. Clair, decorating diva, who was with talented artist Joe Sheppard; Peg and Dr. Pat Walsh, he's chief of urology at Hopkins and best known as the prostate guru, and Peg is an interior designer; Violaine Melancon and her husband, Seth Knapp, they are two-thirds of the internationally renowned Peabody Trio; Stanley and Edie Brown, she's head of PR for the Baltimore Arena; and the Rev. Dr. Victoria Sirota, she's pastor of the Church of the Holy Nativity in Pimlico. Her husband, Bob Sirota, is the dynamic, newish director of the Peabody Institute. The Sirotas were celebrating their wedding anniversary, and Bob had a florist create a headband of tiny white rosebuds and green leaves similar to the one Victoria wore on their wedding day 27 years ago.
Largest office party
Baltimore's Hyatt Regency Hotel joined 15 other Hyatt hotels from Vancouver to Aruba to simultaneously sponsor the World's Largest Office Party for charity. Proceeds from the Baltimore party, which attracted more than 1,000 people, went to the WQSR Children's Fund and the Ronald McDonald House. One of the most popular attractions at the party was a bar manned by WQSR's Rouse and Company disc jockeys. Other bar stations nTC were manned by area celebs and business people from local corporations.
Bartenders included Floraine Applefeld, director of the Maryland You Are Beautiful program, who has tended bar for all 14 of the office parties; Carroll Armstrong, Baltimore Area Convention and Tourist Association; Carroll Hynson, Maryland State Lottery; Dan McCarthy, University of Maryland; Streett Baldwin, Ellin & Tucker; Rick Sarmiento, former GM of the Baltimore Hyatt who turned entrepreneur and opened the popular White House shops; Kathy Sher, National Aquarium; and Vernard Wynn, Winner Distributing Co. There's no word yet on the amount of money this year's event raised.
Bob and Nan Leffler welcomed hundreds of people for a little good cheer at their agency's annual holiday party at the City Lights Restaurant. The Leffler Agency party always has a nice cross-section of Baltimore sports, media, business and advertising folks, such as John Moag, Stadium Authority chairman who is credited with bringing the Ravens to town; Raven executive VP Jim Bailey; David and Pat Bernstein, minority owners of the Orioles; Ed Brush, also an O's minority owner (Fox 45 news co-anchor Lisa Willis was on his arm); Mike Gisriel, Fountainhead Title co-owner; Michael Klein, CEO Metropolitan Management; Michael Rosen, Town and Country Management; Marcellus Alexander, WJZ-TV GM; Hoke Smith, president of Towson State University; Joanne Glasser, Towson State VP; and the Maryland Jockey Club's Tom Lattanzi.
Leffler introduced his new development officer, Paul Johnson, a former Choice-Visa VP, to others enjoying the spirit of the season, including Ravens marketing VP David Cope; Mac Barrett, McCormick Spice communications VP; Kim Goodwin, Pimlico TV handicapper; WBAL-radio's new sports anchor Greg Sher; Bill Wallace, owner of the Baltimore Bays; and his coach, Billy Ronson. Leffler staffers Nilda Kerr, Michelle Meyers and Tracy Bumba had just arrived from a trip to Cincinnati where they took part in a press conference with NFL Commission Paul Tagliabue to introduce a Leffler Agency/Cincinnati Bengals ad campaign.