Social calendarOct. 25: The St. Joseph Medical Center...

October 25, 1998|By SYLVIA BADGER

Social calendar

Oct. 25: The St. Joseph Medical Center Auxiliary's October Party and Fashion Show. Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn. $40. 3 p.m. Cocktails, dinner, auction and the show. Call 410-654-0000.

Nov. 1: First annual FANS Follies, a musical revue to benefit the Baltimore School for the Arts Scholarship Fund. Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St. 1 p.m. performance, 2 p.m. dessert reception. Adults $20, children under 12 $5. Call 410-225-2020.

Around town

According to Mary Ann Cricchio, co-owner of Da Mimmo's in Little Italy, it didn't take long for that "drop dead" handsome actor Richard Gere to discover her eatery. (He and actress Julia Roberts are making a film in the area over the next four months.)

After a swordfish dinner, Gere chatted with Chef Mimmo Cricchio, in Italian, about a photo exhibit he had last year in Cricchio's hometown of Palermo, Sicily. ...

Belated birthday wishes to Baseball Hall-of-Famer Jim Palmer and World War I vet and former boxing promoter William "Bandi" Bandiere, both of whom celebrated their birthdays Oct. 15. Jim turned 53 and Bandi celebrated his 100th at the Fort Howard VA Medical Center.

If you'd like to have your social event listed here, please fax the

information to Sylvia Badger at 410-758-1654.

Maryland Million

Hundreds of people involved in the world of Maryland horse racing were among the guests at Martha and Frank Hopkins' annual Maryland Million party. The cocktail-dinner party, which celebrates the Maryland Million horse race, was held throughout the Hopkinses' sprawling home and in a tent on the grounds of their lovely horse farm, Elberton Hill, in Harford County. (Besides owning and breeding horses, Frank is also on the Maryland Racing Commission.)

I made the trek to Darlington from the Eastern Shore with Carol McGowan, attorney and former member of the racing commission. Her roots are in Harford County. Her brother Allen Murray and his wife, Audrey, own Murmur Farm there and had horses running in the Million.

Other partygoers included Bill and Joan Boniface (he's a noted trainer); Flo and Paige Davis (he's on the racing commission); Julie and John Franzone, (he's chair of the racing commission); King Leatherbury, trainer; Will Sauerbrey (without his wife, gubernatorial candidate Ellen); outgoing Harford County Executive Eileen Rehrmann; and WBAL-radio talk-show host Ron Smith and his wife, June. By the way, the Hopkinses named one of their horses Talk Show Man, in honor of Ron. Once again, Eunice and Sargent Shriver opened the doors of their lovely Potomac home for the annual Best Buddies Ball. This labor of love raises funds for an organization founded by their son Anthony while he was a student at Georgetown University.

Nearly 750 people attended this year's event, the 10th, which included cocktails, dinner, a wonderful silent auction and eye-popping entertainment by the Pointer Sisters and the Cirque Du Soleil.

Guests also got to hobnob with the likes of Sen. Ted Kennedy; CNN White House correspondent Wolf Blitzer; Olympic Gold medalist Carl Lewis, actor Fred Savage, actress Lauren Holly and Maryland House of Delegates member Mark Shriver.

Chairing this gala with Anthony were Jonathan J. Ledecky, chairman and CEO of Consolidation Capital, and Alexander Hernandez-Dessauer, VP of Ledecky Shriver Enterprises.

Best Buddies provides 1-on-1 friendships and employment opportunities for the mentally retarded. The organization has chapters in more than 300 high schools and colleges. It's so grand to be grand, especially when you're talking about the Grand Opera Ball, which celebrated the opening of the 48th season of grand opera by the Baltimore Opera Company.

Ball chair Lisa Di Julio Bertani and co-chair Mary Mangione took the theme of the event from the 1998 opening operas of "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci." The Belvedere was transformed into a Sicilian piazza, complete with decorations, music and cuisine a la southern Italy.

Among those with whom I spoke were Lisa and Michael Harrison (he's the opera company's general director); Dave and Susan Brune (he's president of the opera board); Nick and Mary Mangione, who were telling me about their wonderful new country club, Hayfields; Nancy and Tom Stuehler (he's the owner of Truffles at the Belvedere, which was responsible for the tasty food); and Susie and Sam Macfarlane (he's the opera board's treasurer).

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