Service academy parents group gets Baltimore salute at ball

January 04, 1998|By Sylvia Badger

MILITARY MESS OR black tie was the dress code for the All Service Academies Holiday Ball held at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. This was the first time that the annual ball, sponsored by the Service Academies Parents' Association, was held in the Baltimore area. And it was most successful.

The parents' group is made up of people whose children are attending, or have attended, one of the country's five federal military/service academies.

Co-chairs of the ball were Diane and David Booth of Monkton (he's a CPA and she's a writer/editor). The Booths are past presidents of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Mid-Atlantic Parents Club. The ball was a labor of love for them; their son, David, graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in June and now sails for the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots.

Others who worked on the ball were Kathleen and Dr. David VanEcho; U.S. Marine Service Capt. Brian Hope and Dr. Barbara Hope; U.S. Marine Service Capt. Avis Bailey; retired Army Lt. Col. Mack Brooks and his wife, Jan; Charles Wilhelm; Jay Fagan; Mary and Wade Minor; retired Army Col. Sam Brick and his wife, Mary; Mr. and Mrs. David Gamble; and Mr. and Mrs. John Prange, co-presidents of the Air Force Parents' Association of the National Capital Area.

It was a fun-filled evening for the 400 midshipmen, cadets, alumni, family members and distinguished guests. Highlights included the patriotic and colorful March of Academy Flags; the invocation by Chaplain Jack Randles; a seated dinner; a video showing the unique lifestyles and mission of each academy; and Maryland welcome from former U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, the first female head of the U.S. Maritime Commission.

Acting U.S. Maritime Commissioner John E. Graykowski was the dinner speaker. After all the formalities were over, the troops hit the floor to dance to the music of the Wright Touch.

According to the Booths, this type of military ball is held all over the country and "is a means to promote friendship and cooperation among the nation's future captains of defense and industry."

Black Media Workers

The Association of Black Media Workers celebrated the first principle of Kwanzaa ("umoja," or unity) with a holiday party/fund-raiser at the Forum.

On the first day of Kwanzaa, 150 ABMW members and guests gathered for an evening of food, drink and dancing to music provided by DJ Reggie-Reg of WERQ-FM (92.3) radio.

Media celebrities at the party included Lillie Hamer of Channel 13, and Stan Stovall and Terry Owens of Channel 2. Owens is the group's president.

Money raised at the party will go toward the group's college scholarship fund.

Monumental Bar Association

More than 300 people attended the Monumental Bar Association's annual holiday gala at the Camden Club. This organization of African-American lawyers has been around since the early '30s; future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was among its founders.

Party guests were treated to lots of good food, and music by Total Dimensions Productions. This year's party committee members were Judge Bonita Dancy, and attorneys Eunice Gray, Ron E. Richardson, Charles G. Byrd Jr., Gary M. Brooks and Steve Mitchell.

Continental Societies

It's hard to believe that an organization with only 40 members can fill Martin's West with more than 1,200 people for a black-tie Christmas gala. But it happened, and the word is out: the Baltimore Chapter of Continental Societies throws a great party.

Continental Societies is a women's organization that is committed to helping underprivileged and disadvantaged youth. The holiday party is its major fund-raiser.

Among the party-goers were Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy, William and Roberta March, funeral home owners; City Councilwoman Helen Holton; Dr. and Mrs. Billy Davis; Dr. and Mrs. Earl Kidwell; and entrepreneurs Elnora and Harlow Fullwood Jr.

Leffler Agency

Another well-attended holiday event was the Leffler Agency's 14th annual party, held at City Lights restaurant. Leffler is a local public relations and advertising firm that handles lots of sports accounts.

Agency owner Bob Leffler and his wife, Nan, greeted hundreds of party-goers. The event always draws a nice cross-section of Baltimoreans. This year's attracted such notables as John Moag, Maryland Stadium Authority chairman; Ravens execs Jim Bailey, David Cope and Roy Sommerhof; Pat Bernstein, minority owner of the Orioles; Baltimore Spirit GM Drew Forrester; Tom Matte, Ravens radio analyst; Mike Gisriel, Fountainhead Title Co.; Ted Patterson, WPOC sports director; WJZ-TV's GM, Marcellus Alexander; WBAL-TV's Phil Stoltz; and Ed Kiernan, GM of WBAL radio and 98 Rock.

Biggest news from the Leffler party is that the agency is opening an office in Tampa, Fla.

Pub Date: 1/04/98

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