Families and fairways

SCENE & HEARD

Scene&heard

July 09, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

If there's one word that sums up the feeling at the Yellow Dress Golf Classic dinner, it was "family." Not only did the event benefit the family-founded Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation, but there was a feeling of family in the Hillendale Country Club ballroom, where several hundred folks gathered.

Sharon and Doug Strouse had started the foundation and the golf tournament not long after their daughter ended her own life in 2001. They and their daughter Kimberly and son Kevin warmly welcomed guests. Many of the guests were old family friends like Jon and Joan Schochor, John and Jan Kenny, Lynne and Victor Brick, and Stan White. Some -- like Susan and Jon Levinson, Mark Dubin, Bob Caret, Sunny and Frank Adams, Denny and Cindi Mather -- had gotten to know each other by supporting the event every year. Now they greeted one another with hugs and a shared sense of purpose: to raise money for mental health awareness, education and suicide prevention.

Some even came with their families.

Janet Kelly had played golf with her husband and two adult sons that day.

"The one gift I brought to the foursome was my high handicap," she said with a laugh.

"We had a good team, and a good time," said former NFL player Joe Washington, there with his wife, Meadowlark. "I had three guys who carried me. I have to look at it as a team sport."

"I'm going to celebrate the day," said Jon Schochor. "I hope we [won] something. But I'm afraid to look."

A DRINK WITH SANDRA MAGSAMEN

For artist and author, love is art, life is a joy

Baltimore native Sandra Magsamen, 46, wears many hats. She is an artist and author, whose creations are now sold in more than 10,000 stores across the country. She is perhaps best known for her colorful ceramic "Messages from the Heart" brand. This summer, Macy's is launching her line of baby gifts and clothing. This fall, she'll have a new book, Living Artfully: Create the Life You Imagine. She lives in Glen Arm with her husband, painter Mark Barry, and daughter Hannah, 18. How do you describe your art?

I have to tell you what art is for me. Art is anything, any way, that we can express who we are and what matters to us. For me as an artist, what matters is connecting with people in my life. So, I've created art to do that. When people ask me what I do, I often say, "Have you ever seen those ceramic plaques in the store with all the beads and all the messages? That's me." People might not know my name, but they know the art I've put in the world, and that's all that matters to me.

How do you keep the inspiration going? Does the business end hurt that?

To me, life is art. So, this is just another part of it. I actually enjoy the process. There are accountants and lawyers and licensing agents. There are employees. ... The way we build our relationships is artistic. ... But business is also about relationships.

Do you take time off?

Oh, yeah. I'm leaving for Maine tomorrow morning for three weeks. We're traveling with friends and visiting friends. I take a box of junk, like papers, beads, fish lures. When I get there, I make stuff just for the pure joy of making it. Cards for friends, necklaces. ... We eat and make food the whole time. I do eat a lot of fried clams. I count on putting on 6 pounds. I love food. I always say, enjoy life. It's delicious.

What are some favorite things?

Movies. I love movies. (I love Twizzlers and nonpareils and popcorn with lots of butter and salt.) Enchanted April, my all-time favorite movie of my life. The first time we went to Italy, I begged Mark to take me to Portofino where they filmed it. ... I love to read. My favorite book this year is Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert.

It sounds like you really enjoy life.

I learned a long time ago that life can be short. We are not promised tomorrow. We're only promised this moment. Each heartbeat is a gift. So, I live in the moment. I really do. I don't wait for tomorrow.

SOCIAL EVENTS

THURSDAY

4th Annual Crabaret -- A Little Night Music

Benefits House of Ruth

Wine, beer, cash bar, food stations / crab dishes by Gertrude's chef / owner John Shields, live music, dancing, valet parking

Gertrude's at the BMA, 10 Art Museum Drive

6:30 p.m.

$75 in advance, $85 at door

Call 410-889-0840

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