Around Town


April 06, 2003|By Sloane Brown

Multiple Sclerosis Society

So, what was the first clue that this, "The 2003 Dinner of Champions," was quite the celebration? Perhaps it was the huge crowd, 1,400 more or less, of snappily attired folks who came to the hoopla thrown by the Maryland Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Or maybe it was the fantastical looking Marriott Waterfront Hotel ballroom. Each of the 140 dining tables sported a huge centerpiece, a tree-sized arrangement of tropical flowers sitting above a glass globe with live goldfish swimming around inside.

Or, could it be that large check, $1,000,000 raised by the event, presented to the MS folks?

Whatever the reason, there was plenty of celebrating.

Among those doing just that: Mark Tarzwell and Rick Matthai, event co-chairmen; Tom Gandolfi Sr., event honoree; Charlie Pflug and Clarence Oliver, event committee members; Steve Zentz, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maryland Chapter board chairman; George Brust, Dr. Ken Johnson, J.R. Paterakis, and John Ryder, board members; Rick Smith, MS Society, Maryland Chapter president / CEO; retired Air Force Gen. Mike Dugan, National Multiple Sclerosis Society CEO; Dave Thomas, Superior Food Brokers owner; Dick McCready, Advantage Sales and Marketing chairman / CEO; Don Walker, D.P.I. Mid-Atlantic director of perishables; Sherry Dodson, GBMC pathology department customer service specialist; Tom Gargon, Acosta Sales and Marketing senior vice president / general manager; Jim O'Brien, D.L. Mathews 7 chief operating officer; Linda Kelly, Fuji Foods sales manager; Bob Halbert, RK&K Engineers partner; Debbie Potter, Debbie Clutts, Shelley Rallo, Lisa Charity-Jones and Amy Bateman, community volunteers; Charles Young, Young's Tax Service owner; Tom Reitz, Vertis senior account executive; Kathy Costello, International Organization of MS Nurses president; Lakisa Taylor, Giant Food promotions project coordinator; Lisa Thompson, Pfizer senior specialty representative, and Julie McArthur, Johns Hopkins University vaccine research clinical trials nurse practitioner.

Ed Block Courage Award Foundation

The Baltimore Convention Center ballroom was chock-full of warm fuzzies. Big, tall, warm fuzzies. In the shape of some 30 NFL players being honored as the recipients this year at the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation's annual dinner.

Many of the players were capping off two days of events in Baltimore. The day before, many of them spent the day at the St. Vincent Center's Ravens Courage House for abused children.

"We played football with the kids," said Denver Broncos linebacker Keith Burns, "It was so much fun, we didn't want to leave."

Now, the fun involved getting together with 2,100 other Ed Block friends and supporters to celebrate the foundation's 25th anniversary, and to pay tribute to the late Johnny Unitas.

Among those in the crowd: Mary Ann Peacock and G.G. Hyle, event co-chairs; Toni Linhart, John Rusinko, Mary Rode, Fr. Ray Chase, Ellen Torres, Wayne Gruehn and Sam V. Lamantia, event committee members; Sam Lamantia, Ed Block Courage Award Foundation founder / chairman; Frank Culotta, Scott Lindsay, Dave Ferraro, Art Donovan, Dick Szymanski, Tom Matte and Jim Mutscheller, Foundation board members; Joe Knight, event emcee; Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Ehrmann, Earl Morrall, Roman Gabriel, Joe Capp, John Mackey and Bruce Laird, former NFL players; Kent Falb, Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society executive assistant; Frank Neff, Professional Marketing Products president; Ron Black, Staten Island, N. Y., U.S. Postal Service letter carrier; Steve Goff, Mariner's Landing Restaurant owner; Drew Lebowitz, Change Merchants owner; Joe Hikel, Shelter Systems vice president; John Piet, ImageLine computer specialist; Sarah Sheridan, full-time mom; Bishop Robinson, Affiliated Computer Services senior consultant; John Ziemann, Marching Ravens Band president; Sandy, Chad and John Unitas Jr., wife and sons of the late Johnny Unitas; John Lopez, former Baltimore Colts head trainer, and Craig Howard, Baltimore-based wine and spirits consultant.

The event raised more than $400,000 for The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation.

Social Calendar

April 6: "Fashion Fever." Benefits Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. Wine, brunch drinks, buffet brunch, Vasarri fashion show, shopping bazaar. Grey Rock Mansion, 400 Grey Rock Road, Owings Mills. 11:30 a.m. Tickets $60, in advance and at door. Call 410-578-5040.

April 8: "Fight For A Cure." Benefits Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, six professional boxing matches. Wyndham Hotel Inner Harbor, 101 W. Fayette St. 6 p.m. Tickets $175. Call 410-576-8343.

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