THERE WERE GOWNS GALORE at the Gala for the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation. The get-together at Baltimore's Marriott Waterfront Hotel was formal fun at its best. Scarcely an ankle was in sight at the pre-party VIP soiree. Almost every woman there wore a floor-length dress. However, the gown most talked about was that of foundation vice president Lesly Sajak. Two days before, her gala attire had received national attention. When Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak filled in for Regis Philbin on the Live with Regis and Kelly TV show, he asked the audience to choose which frock his wife should wear, and had her model one in white and another in black. Now, in her position as one of the honorary chairs at the shindig, Lesly Sajak displayed the winner. In slinky ink.
When the doors to the ballroom opened, the 900 guests discovered they weren't the only ones gussied up. The room was draped in white. Huge white butterflies hung above, with multicolored lights dancing off their wings. Dining tables and chairs were cocooned in white and topped with pink, blue and spring green organza. Centerpieces of lilies, curly willow and orchids held sequined butterflies, to celebrate the evening's theme and cause -- "In Pursuit of Miracles" and AAMC's neonatal intensive care unit.
Party chair Chris Pettingill shimmered in a beaded white strapless gown.
"A miracle has happened with all of you here tonight," she told the gathering.
A DRINK WITH CHERYL HUDGINS WILLIAMS
For this busy woman, life is not all cosmetic
Woman-about-town Cheryl Hudgins Williams, 43, is associate director of global communications for Procter & Gamble Cosmetics. She works with national and international media promoting Cover Girl and Max Factor products. She also serves on the boards of the Baltimore School for the Arts and Center Stage.
OK, here's a total girl question -- do you get to play with makeup on the job?
Oh, yeah. That's one of the best things about the job. Playing with makeup and hanging out with stars. In the past month alone, I've introduced Carmen Electra at an industry party as the new face of Max Factor. And I got to spend the day with Queen Latifah (here in Baltimore). That was a good month.
Any inside scoop about makeup? Maybe something the average woman, who uses it, doesn't know?
They make lipstick in huge vats. It's very labor intensive. You can make a car almost 100 percent automated. But, making makeup requires a lot of people.
On your days off, do you wear makeup?
I wear a little mascara, a little lip-gloss and a little tinted moisturizer.
Why is being on those boards important to you?
When I was growing up in Queens, N.Y., my mom took me to the opera, to the ballet, Broadway. And it's something I took for granted. But she worked at it. And it instilled a real love of the arts in me.
You're known as being well organized and totally on top of things. Is that how you see yourself?
It's going to sound trite. But I have to work really, really hard to make it look this easy.
So, do you have any guilty pleasures?
My husband Alonza has spoiled me because he's a wonderful cook ... but, on the rare occasions when I eat dinner by myself, it's an ice cream sundae, potato chips and a White Russian. Or popcorn and red wine.
What would you say your credo is?
You cannot win if you do not enter. I borrowed that from Ed McMahon.
Is that from the Publishers Clearing House commercial?
Yes, which I enter religiously. But, I don't just mean it literally. I do enter contests. But [I also mean] you've got to try new things. That's one [credo]. The second is: if enough people say something, there's probably some truth to it. In my business, that matters. The third one is from the Bible: "This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." He's telling us to do it. It's not an option. Go out and rejoice. Be glad.
STEPPING INTO SPRING
Benefits the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource & Image Center
Wine, margarita bar, dinner buffet, live music, cooking demonstrations
9204 Berger Road, Suite H, Columbia
STEPPIN' OUT TO VEGAS
Benefits TurnAround Inc.
Wine, specialty drinks, food stations from local restaurants / caterers, live music, dancing, games of chance
M&T Bank Stadium North Club Level
GIRLS NIGHT OUT
Benefits The Associated
Open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, desserts, talk by Jennifer Weiner, author of In Her Shoes
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
Tickets $36, in addition to minimum pledge of $365
AN EVENING WITH BOB NEWHART
Benefits Sheppard Pratt Health System
Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, party appearance by Bob Newhart, performance by Bob Newhart
Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College
Tickets $200; just 8 p.m. show, $40