Jane Seymour a good sport for Columbia Classic

MARYLAND SCENE

Around Town

October 13, 2002|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

If you had any doubt about how much Marylanders love equestrian sports, check these numbers. Some 5,000 folks attended the Columbia Classic Grand Prix, and more than 10,000 horse lovers posted at Shawan Downs for the Second Annual Legacy Chase recently.

Columbia Classic's board chairwoman, Kathy Rensin, says the recent turnout was one of the highest in the jumping competition's 15-year history. And having movie and television star Jane Seymour as the grand marshal didn't hurt.

"Jane Seymour was the consummate grand marshal," says Kathy, "she mixed and mingled the whole day, signing autographs. ... I can't tell you how many hundreds of pictures she took with people. Everybody was impressed with her accessibility."

Kathy says Jane couldn't have been more gracious - even when it came to using the portable toilets along with everyone else.

"We were on our feet from 9 to 5," Kathy says, "and she never complained about a thing."

Meanwhile, over in Hunt Valley's Shawan Downs, there were loads of local faces to recognize at what's quickly become one of fall's "musts" for B-more's social set

All you had to do was take a tour through the rows of corporate tents set up alongside the steeplechase course. Faces like those belonging to: Greg Barnhill, Mike Lewin, Suzi Cordish, Karen Bokram, Ted and Nancy Herget, Carolyn and Kevin O'Keefe, Sandy and Steve Glover, Robin Kelley O'Connor, Bill Hopkinson and Mary Sue McCarthy, Paul Wolman, Howard and Michelle Rosenbloom, David Nevins, Edie and Stan Brown, Nancy Hinds, Mark and Sarah Winkler, Chuck Geser, Courtney Wilson, Gail Kaplan, Debbie Culotta, and Joan and Bill Davidson. Just to name a few.

The most popular tent had to be P.W. Feats', where some of Charm City's best-dressed could complete their race-day outfits by fashioning fanciful hats from painted paper, ribbons and feathers.

And one couple had more to celebrate than just a gorgeous day at the races. There was that gorgeous diamond ring sparkling on the hand of Dina Klicos - a little surprise from her sweetie, Bob Groth.

***

The American Visionary Art Museum's preview party for its new exhibition, High on Life: Transcending Addiction, had its own surprise celebrity guest: Patch Adams. AVAM founder-director Rebecca Hoffberger says the famous funnyman-doctor is a big fan of the museum. Patch wasn't alone. He was joined by some 1,000 other folks who wanted to get first gander at the show.

* * *

Meanwhile, Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore had its most successful Taste of WEB fund-raiser ever. WEB board chairman Bill Schaefer says about 500 people came to the Evergreen House event, where they could sample treats served up by about 25 local chefs.

Bill says one of the evening's hits was the spicy meat and veggie concoction created by WEB graduate Paulette Merrills, whose Caribbean Cafe Catering is based in Severn.

What impressed Bill the most was the great cross section of local folks who came to the get-together - and who helped raise nearly $40,000 for WEB.

* * *

We're right in the middle of show-house season. As the BSO Decorators Show House threw its Closing Night shindig, Historic Ellicott City Inc. was holding its Show House Preview Party. Both were big successes, with about 250 folks attending each bash. Jean Lubke, this year's BSO Show House chairwoman, says this year's redone mansion, Rainbow Hill, raised more than $200,000. Meanwhile, you've got until Oct. 20 to check out Historic Ellicott City's Cloverdale mansion in Mount Airy.

* * *

It was quite a heartwarming night for another crowd of 250 at the recent Baltimore Incentive Awards Dinner. Attendee June Streckfus says the evening's purpose was to fete nine students, each from a different Baltimore high school, who had achieved academic excellence despite tough life circumstances. Each student is being awarded full four-year support at the University of Maryland, College Park.

"It was fantastic," June says of the Marriott Waterfront dinner. "We all felt enlightened hearing from [the students], and they felt tremendous support and warmth from everyone in the room."

June says the whole night was filled with hope. "We need more of these hopeful programs in life," she concludes, "rather than just reading about all the bad things that happen."

* * *

Trying to create something positive from tragedy was the purpose behind the "Yellow Dress Golf Classic," which made its debut at Hayfields Country Club last week. The day of golf and the dinner that followed became the first fund-raiser held for the Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation. After Kristin, a talented artist and freshman at New York's Parsons School of Design, ended her life a year ago, her parents, Doug and Sharon Strouse, created the nonprofit to increase awareness and prevention of teen suicide.

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