Football celebrities have a ball at Ed Block foundation event

March 15, 1998|By Sylvia Badger

FOR 20 YEARS, NFL football players have been recognized for their courage on and off the field by the Ed Block Courage Awards Foundation.

The group's recent awards dinner at Martin's West attracted nearly 2,000 people. Among the dozens of football celebrities who attended was the first Ed Block honoree, the Baltimore Colts' Joe Ehrmann.

The event is a dream come true for Sam Lamantia, a Baltimore hairstylist who founded the awards named for a Baltimore Colts trainer. He has seen the foundation grow through the years, even when Baltimore didn't have an NFL team. This year Lamantia and Mary Jones, executive operations officer, were thrilled that the Weinberg Foundation and Toshiba came on board as sponsors. Money raised at the dinner aids abused children.

Former Colts such as Ordell Braase, Tom Matte, Raymond Berry, Jim Mutscheller, Lenny Moore, Don Shula and Weeb

Ewbank were just as popular with the party guests as current NFL award winners Steve Atwater, Denver Broncos; Wally Williams, Baltimore Ravens; and Mark Rypien, St. Louis Rams.

Steve Sabol, NFL Films, and Scott Garceau, sports director for WMAR-TV, emceed the festivities, which also attracted guests such as Joe Knight, formerly of WCBM radio, and his wife, Bobbie, who came up from their Florida home; Pat and Art Modell, owner of the Baltimore Ravens; astronaut Adm. Richard Truly; Baltimore County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Miser and his wife, Leslie; Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Tom Bollinger and Janice Clark; Bollinger's secretary, Angela

Miller, and her husband, Rick; Richard Sammis, Town and Country Pontiac; John Moag and Bruce Hoffman, Maryland Stadium Authority; and Herb Belgrad, attorney, who led the authority's search for a Baltimore football team.

Tuskegee alumni

Members of the Baltimore Tuskegee Alumni Association and their guests gathered at the Forum recently. It was the group's 16th annual Carver-Washington Scholarship Awards Breakfast, which raised funds to help 42 Baltimore students attending the Alabama university.

Betty V. Austin and the association president, Dessie Burnett, co-chaired this year's event, which honored Jacqueline Thomas, editorial-page editor at The Sun; Joanne and Elmer Martin, founders and executive directors of the Great Blacks in Wax Museum; and Jacquelyn Gaines, president and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless Inc. All were honored for contributions they have made to the Baltimore community.

Medical center

The Anne Arundel Medical Center launched its Century of Caring Campaign with a gala party at the Annapolis Loews Hotel. Campaign chair Hillard Donner and his wife, Karolyn, got the ball rolling with a personal pledge of $1 million toward the center's $15 million fund-raising goal. (Donner is the owner of Mills Wine and Spirits in Annapolis.)

They were joined at the party by, among others, Martin "Chip" Doordan, president and CEO of Anne Arundel Health System; Florence Beck Kurdle, chairman of the system's board of trustees; Ken Gummerson, medical director of the center's emergency department; Marshall K. Steele III and his wife, Susan; Anne Arundel County Executive John Gary; Jeff Bishop, St. John's College vice president, who spoke movingly of his treatment at the medical center during a recent illness; and Joyce and Tom Tilghman, owner of Tilghman Jewelry in Annapolis.

Baltimore South

Naples, Fla., could be called Baltimore South during the winter months. While I was there last month, there were many cocktail parties, dinners and golf outings where I saw many familiar faces. I even heard that there's a group of men calling themselves Maryland Club South who meet weekly for lunch.

Early in February, sports greats such as John Unitas (with his wife, Sandy); Tom Matte (with his wife, Judy); Earl Morrall (with his wife, Jane); Don Sutton; Brooks Robinson (with his wife, Connie); and Dan Sullivan (with his wife, Lorraine) arrived in town to play in the celebrity pro am part of the LG Championship golf tournament. These guys were joined on the links by their old friend, Paul Charlebois, who left Towson four years ago with his wife, Lois, and son Steven and opened a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop in Naples.

And speaking of noted sports figures, Jerry Hoffberger, who once owned the Orioles, and his wife, Alice, invited my husband and me to their condo for a drink, after which we enjoyed a delicious dinner with them at a restaurant called Michele Michelle. They were expecting Judy Jolley Mohraz, president of Goucher College, to stop by for dinner later in the week.

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