Jumbo crowd at crab feast for Chi Eta Phi

MARYLAND SCENE

Around Town

August 18, 2002|By Sloane Brown | By Sloane Brown,Special to the Sun

Another wonderfully crabby time was had by all at the recent Chi Eta Phi Sorority fund-raiser. This was the fifth year the Maryland Gamma chapter threw its annual crab feast. And once again, the crowd was bigger, and better, than ever.

Chi Eta Phi is an African-American nurses sorority founded in 1932 by 12 nurses working at Freedman's Hospital -- now the Howard University Hospital -- according to Ludie Sims, who co-chaired this year's crab feast with Etta Pegram. One of those founders, known as "Jewels" at Chi Eta Phi, Henrietta Chisholm, made it to this year's crab feast. Meanwhile, the sorority now claims chapters nationwide, with about 1,700 active members, 66 of which belong to Gamma.

Ludie says more than 500 hungry folks posted at the Martin's West shindig, where they dug into piles of steamed crabs, then worked it all off on the dance floor.

She says the party gets bigger each year, which means this year's should raise even more than last year's $5,000 for the sorority's scholarship program. Seems the word keeps spreading about the good time folks have.

"It doesn't matter if you're young, old, doctor, lawyer," Ludie explains, "everyone mingles, eats lots of crabs and has lots of fun."

Speaking of eating and fun, some 400 folks enjoyed a recent Sunday supper with a different spin at the "Third Annual Taste of Summer in Carroll County." More than 20 Carroll County restaurants set up shop at Wilhelm's Ltd. Caterers in Westminster to help raise about $9,500 for the Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County.

When guests arrived, they received 10 "tasting tickets." Each could be exchanged for a food sampling at any of the restaurant food stations. At the end of the party, the restaurant that had accumulated the most tickets received the "Taster's Choice Award." This year, the winner was Westminster restaurant Barnes Corner, which offered samples of three of its specialties -- baby back ribs, crabcake and steak -- all arranged on one plate.

But Barnes Corner wasn't the only place drawing a crowd, according to Joe Gabriel, director of the Carroll County chapter of the Maryland Restaurant Association, which put together the eating extravaganza.

Casa Rico's chicken fajita quesadillas were another big hit, as was the food station manned by another popular Westminster eatery. Baugher's Restaurant offered all sorts of mini-desserts, like apple cobbler and peach cobbler, made from fruit out of its own orchards. However, it's safe to say the coconut cream pie, though homemade, was probably not homegrown.

Wilhelm's served up more desserts, bananas Foster and cherries jubilee. And E.A. Poe's Restaurant & Pub presented the party's most unusual dishes, smoked wild duck over sliced plum and smoked Chilean sea bass gravlax.

Almost makes you feel full just reading about it.

Foundation Fighting Blindness

The 14th annual "Sail for Sight Regatta," the benefit for the Foundation Fighting Blind-ness, had just wrapped up. Now it was time to celebrate at the Baltimore Marine Center post-race party.

So, how could you separate the sailors from their supporters in this throng of 500? Maybe you looked to see who had worked up the biggest appetites -- piling a plate high with hamburgers, turkey burgers and grilled portobello mushrooms from the buffet line. Perchance you spotted those wind- and sun-tinged noses and cheeks. Or perhaps it was those inescapable grins that gave away the post-sail euphoria. That jubilance, however, had a certain contagious quality. The crowd was full of smiles as people toasted a day that raised about $100,000 for the foundation and danced to the tunes of a local band as the sun set.

Among the happy faces: Gordon Fronk, event chair; John Kelly, event co-chair; Chuck Thompson, honorary event chair; Kimberly Brown, Jean Brown, Megan Howie, Becky Nanney and Dave Nanney, event committee members; Lillian May, Foundation Fighting Blindness Maryland affiliate president; Randy Hove, affiliate chief operating officer; J. Graham Kastendike, Diversified Insurance Industries partner; Mary Lees Gunther, Legg Mason client service representative; Steve Wade, Northrop Grumman material specialist; Emilie Pavilon, U.S. Peace Corps regional director's assistant; Erik Harrweg, Saab Aircraft of America customer service director; Wayne Chin, Maryland Department of Transportation construction inspector; Chris Crockett, Reynolds & Reynolds technical support specialist; Ann Tyler, Millie Bags owner / designer; M.J. Cavanaugh, Morgan Stanley senior sales assistant; and Leon Holzman, Morris Ginsberg & Sons inventory control manager.

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