It was a colorful weekend, at least party-wise, a week ago. The theme at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's "Spring Swing" was "Tangerine Dream." That meant orange everywhere in the Marriott Waterfront's ballroom. CFF's Maren Blum says when the 500 guests walked into the room, they got a "great citrus smell" from the cajillions (a technical party term) of tangerines that were hanging from the ceiling. Table centerpieces consisted of tangerines and candles floating in water-filled bowls. Since the title also incorporated a certain '60's feel, there were go-go dancers, clad in orange minis and white boots. And a new VW beetle was raffled off. Oh, and for dessert? Lee's orange creamsicle ice cream. The bash raised about $150,000 for CFF.
The whole thing worked so well, Maren says, that CFF will go with another single color theme next year.
Meanwhile, at the Masons' Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, green carried the night at the Casey Cares Foundation's Third Annual Gala as the folks there pushed St. Patrick's Day up about a week. Event chairwoman Susan Wollenweber says there was Irish entertainment, including an Irish band, bagpipers and Irish dancers. There was Irish food, like corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew. And that green? There were green tablecloths, green party hats, green beads, green balloons and green glasses, just to name a few.
"It was a hoot," sums up Susan. The party also raised around $30,000 for the foundation's programs supporting families of kids with critical and chronic illnesses.
Everything at Paul's Place's annual hoopla went off without a hitch, even though there was a last-minute change of venue. The party was supposed to take place at the B&O Railroad Museum. But three weeks before the date, the museum's roof caved in during our big snowstorm. Bill McLennan, Paul's Place's executive director, says a quick change was made to move the event to Port Discovery. Bill says the event committee, including Nora Yaggy, Melanie Heacock, Lloyd Balman, Anita Gabler, Pam and Todd Bilger, Jaye Richardson, Dana Roscoe, Shawna Garliss, Kathy Hudson, Sharon Smith, Ellen Spicer, Rick Jiranek and Pam Charshee, did "yeoman's work" in switching locations and getting the word out about the change.
"They did it!" McLennan raves, "They were a great group to work with, a lot of fun. High energy. And they delivered great results!"
And those results were: a turnout of some 300 guests and about $75,000 raised for the Washington Village / Pigtown outreach center.
March 16: "Fine Wine Auction and Tasting." Benefits Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Wine, champagne, heavy hors d'oeuvres, wine experts Al Spoler and Hugh Sisson emcee. O'Leary's Seafood Restaurant, 310 3rd St., Annapolis. 11:30 a.m. Tickets $200. Call 443-838-7195.
March 16: "Ravens Roost 27 and Cal Ripken Jr. / Lou Gehrig Fund's Annual Bull & Oyster Roast." Benefits future Baltimore Colts exhibits at Babe Ruth Museum. Beer, wine, buffet lunch, live music, dancing. Michaels 8th Avenue, 7220 Grayburn Drive, Glen Burnie. 1 p.m. Tickets $30. Call 410-544-8240.
March 21: "20th Anniversary Annual Dinner and Auction." Benefits ReVisions Behavioral Health Systems. Cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, keynote speaker Dr. William Anthony, Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation director. Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road. 7 p.m. Tickets $60. Call 443-612-1497.
Maryland Institute College of Art
When you see fellow guests dressed in wedding dresses, kimonos, Russian uniforms, pajamas, and cocktail dresses and tuxes, you know you have come to a party unlike any other in town. In fact, the Maryland Institute College of Art's fete, Artafare, is so different that it's only held every other year. Groups of MICA supporters take over nine rooms in the college's Main Building, decorating each room to a theme and providing food and entertainment to match. Guests are asked to dress according to their room's theme. During the cocktail hour, everyone mingled in the front hall and checked out all the rooms.
In the one called "It Happened One Night," two long tables were made up to look like beds, with big heart-shaped headboards. One wall had been turned into a movie screen, where the 1934 classic film was playing.
In "Frozen Nights, Brilliant Lights," glittery "snow" covered the floor. White walls, bare white trees and large slabs of ice helped complete the look of a Russian winter. The ice served a dual purpose. Each slab was carved with a "luge shoot," through which vodka was poured -- bringing the drink to the proper temperature by the time it found a shot glass at the end of the run.