It's a socialite's worst nightmare - you...

AROUND TOWN

March 25, 2001|By SLOANE BROWN

AROUND TOWN

It's a socialite's worst nightmare - you give a party and nobody comes. It's a nightmare - unless you're throwing the "2001 Phantom Ball," which benefits Baltimore Reads.

For the last 10 years, Baltimore Reads has put together a volunteer party committee - this year headed by Jim Halle and Linda Caplan - who send out invitations to people, asking them to buy tickets to a party that doesn't exist.

"We have a devoted following of people who think it's the best event of the year," the non-profit's Lily Kadanoff explains, "because there's no money spent on caterers and entertainment, tuxedos and baby-sitters. All the money [raised] goes to support programs" - programs that help at-risk kids maintain good reading levels and folks on welfare get jobs.

This year, tickets are $125, entirely tax-deductible. Just call the Phantom Ball hotline at 443-418-8223, or visit their web site at baltimorereads.org.

There's even a non-party date - April Fool's Day. Verrry clever.

And then there was Bob Wildrick's St. Patty's Day blowout.

The Jos. A. Bank CEO had about 100 of his closest friends over to his new Palm Beach, Fla., manse to celebrate his Irish heritage.

There was a rainbow of balloons over a fountain in front of the house, with a pot of gold (chocolate filled) coins at the end of it - and green lights decorated all Bob's palm trees and the terraces. Inside, shamrocks dangled from the chandeliers. And an Irish karaoke got everybody in place singing.

Friends came from all over the country for the bash, including several of the Jos. A. Bank Baltimore crew like Dave Ulman, Neil Black and Bob Hensley.

"It was the best party I've ever thrown," Bob concedes, "...I don't know how everyone else felt, but I had the time of my life."

Social Calendar

March 31: "The Spring Swing." Benefits The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Maryland Chapter. Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dinner buffet, live music, dancing. The Grand Lodge, 304 International Circle, Hunt Valley. 8 p.m. - midnight. Tickets $90. Call 410-771-9000.

March 31: "IND - a Gem on Baltimore's skyline." Benefits the Institute of Notre Dame. Dinner and auction. The Holiday Inn Select, Timonium. 7 p.m. - midnight. Tickets $55. Call 410-522-7800.

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