'100 Elvises' are good luck charms for children


Around Town

December 28, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,Special to the Sun

It certainly has been a festive season and one for giving, too. Just look at some of the swell holiday fund-raisers.

Like this year's "Night of 100 Elvises." Two nights, actually. Craig Curley, who organizes the funky hoedown every year with Carole Carroll, says even a heavy weekend snow didn't keep the more than 50 entertainers and 600 guests away.

They packed the Lithuanian Hall for nonstop Elvis music, raising some $6,000 for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in the process.

To further warm up the crowd, there was a Southern buffet this year, offering some of Elvis' favorite foods, such as fried chicken and fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Remember Elvis' love of burned bacon? Well, you could find it, crispy not charred, arranged in lightning bolts atop those peanut butter and banana cream pies that were also on the menu.

Meanwhile, the pie-maker himself, longtime rocker and former member of the Glenmont Popes, Rodney Henry, was one of the hullabaloo's stars. Craig said Rodney performed with Honky Slim, backed up by 16-plus belly dancers!

The Ravens' Michael McCrary found himself the centerpiece of the "Holiday Purple Bash" at the Merritt Downtown Athletic Club this year. In fact, the bash's proceeds, some $40,000, went to Michael's Mac Miracle Fund to help needy children in Special Olympics Maryland programs. Special Olympics V.P. Tom Schniedwind says at least 800 fans packed the place, including many of Michael's Ravens colleagues, like Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Edwin Mulitalo, Gary Baxter, Jonathan Ogden, Chris McAlister and coach Rex Ryan.

Speaking of coaches, Tom says Michael's old high school coach, Neil Callahan, and his Wake Forest coach, James Webster Jr., surprised him at the party.

"It was one of those This Is Your Life moments," Tom recalls.

Local legal eagle Billy Murphy Jr. got a great look back on his life and career at the holiday hoopla he threw at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. About 400 folks turned out at the party that Billy says he put on to celebrate his firm's successes this year. Billy says most of the folks came from Maryland's legal community -- 200 lawyers, 75 politicians, 35 judges. Where is that partridge in a pear tree when you need one?

Billy says the big turnout surprised and touched him.

"I thought about all the legal battles I've had over the years, and how everybody [involved] has transcended them and developed strong personal relationships as a result," he says.

"It reflects on our legal community, too," Billy notes, "it shows that we're tight knit and mutually respectful."

And a fun crowd to boot. So much fun that Billy says he's going to make the shindig an annual event.

Hospice of Baltimore and Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care

The "Holly Ball" certainly lived up to its name. The Marriott Waterfront Hotel mezzanine halls and ballroom were decked with holiday greenery for the gala, held for the benefit of the Hospice of Baltimore and Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The ballroom dining tables displayed high centerpieces featuring silver pedestals crowned with holly and white roses. At each place setting was a gorgeous Christmas tree ornament decorated with a holly pattern.

Among the 650 festively attired folks in attendance: Connie and Bill Pitcher, event chairs; Pat and Art Modell, honorary event chairs; Jo Marie Gafos, Sharon Carr, Dorothy Hamill, Julia Keelty, Dina Klicos, B.J. Litz, Mary Mullan, Carol Obrecht, Susan Offutt, Stuart Rodgers, Xandy Waesche and Jan Wittenbach, event committee members; Pedie Killebrew, Hospice of Baltimore board chair; Dr. Gary Cohen, Dr. Myrt Gaines, Douglas Huether, the Rev. Philip Roulette, George Santos and W. Lee Thomas, hospice board members; Larry Merlis, GBMC president / CEO; Barbara Lucas, GBMC Healthcare board chair; Stuart R. Amos, HRP Technology president / CEO; Ray Brusca, Black and Decker vice president; Sally Spilman, Karen Winicki and Barbara Brody, community volunteers; Robb Merritt, Merritt Properties executive vice president; Jack Rodgers, Camden Benefits Group president; Dorrie Spilman, marketing manager; Don Greenwalt, Bay Associates retired engineer; Dan Schmitt, Thomas Ronald & Cooper principal; Carl Hartman, Suburban Federal Savings Bank mortgage banker; Michel Walker, free-lance Web designer; Sara Cohen Fidler, Maryland General Assembly policy analyst; Michael Ross, Center Stage managing director; Rhea Feikin, actress; Peter McGill, Colliers Pinkard associate; Martin Knott, Columbia Consulting managing director; Ellen Stifler, Johns Hopkins University director of principal gifts; and Fred Brown, J. Brown Jewelers owner.

The party provided a great gift for the Hospice of Baltimore, raising more than $400,000 for it and the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care.

-- Sloane Brown

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