Hitting the green for kids



August 27, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

If somehow you hadn't noticed the gorgeous weather outside, it was impossible to miss it inside. The sun's presence was reflected in the rosy faces of a couple hundred folks as they drifted into the Maryland Golf & Country Club clubhouse in Bel Air. There were loads of sunburns and smiles after a day competing in the Casey Cares Foundation's third annual golf tournament, even on the faces of those who hadn't done particularly well on the greens.

"At some point, you say, 'Well, the weather is good,'" said Comcast sportscaster and event master of ceremonies Brent Harris, after reporting his dismal day's performance to tournament co-chairs Justin Polun and Beth Wieczorek.

Competitors made the rounds from table to table, comparing notes on how they had played.

"The liars are all in here, telling their war stories," said foundation board member Nelson Polun, with a chuckle.

"And this is the biggest liar of them all!" he added, introducing good friend and fellow golfer Walt Noyes.

"I set the course record," Noyes, president of G.W. Stephens, retorted, confirming Polun's description. "But I didn't want to turn in [my score] because I'm too humble."

That remark brought guffaws from Boyle Buick Pontiac owner Chuck Boyle, who clarified the day's action for their foursome.

"We were bad, but we had a good time. It's a good cause and that's what's important," Boyle said.

That cause was well served, with the tournament and dinner raising more than $34,000 for Casey Cares Foundation, which provides activities for families of critically ill children.


Making her own way

Beth Robinson could have been one of those Hollywood kids. But her father, James G. Robinson, owner of Morgan Creek Productions (Ace Ventura, Major League, Two for the Money) chose to "commute" to his job as the head of a Hollywood studio, so that his daughter and her brothers could be raised here. Now 29, she works for Stryker Spine, selling spinal implant materials. She is a board member of Maryland Art Place and is engaged to her high school sweetheart, David deVilliers.

You had an "in" to the film business, and you didn't take it. Why not?

I want to make my own way in life. I feel like my heart's on the East Coast. I've had some of the same friends I had when I was 6. And whenever I go out to L.A., it seems everybody is shallow. It isn't who you are, but who you know.

Did you see a lot of movies growing up?

No more than other people.

What are your favorite movies?

I'm such an '80s girl -- Sixteen Candles, Vacation, Caddyshack.

You picked a couple of real "guy" movies.

Well, I've got four older brothers.

So, why medical sales?

My mom always wanted a doctor in the family. So I told her this is the closest she's ever going to get. I think I'm a purebred mutt between my mom and my dad. It's a career choice between the need to help people -- from my mom who was a nurse; all she does is give herself to others -- and the desire to be successful like my dad. I'm really, really happy. I've finally found my career niche.

What do you do?

I visit orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. Anybody who operates on the spine. I sell them my products.

And you're actually there during the surgery?

Yes, because we are the experts on the products and the surgeons depend on us to make the surgery run as smoothly as possible. Everything's really complex. We have to make sure the scrub techs know what the doc needs. We line up all the different tools. [During the operation] we use a laser pointer to point out which ones the scrub tech hands to the doctor.

Boy, you can't be afraid of the sight of blood.

No, not at all. ... It's amazing how anybody can get used to anything. My second day on the job, I saw a spinal cord. ... The job is really, really interesting. It's more than just a sale. I'm teaming up with a doctor to help a patient.

Would you describe yourself as a workaholic?

I'm definitely becoming one. Because I love it. This job -- if you're going to become as good at it as I'm going to be -- it's going to take a lot of work. Yet it doesn't feel like work because I'm so interested. If I get bored, then it feels like work. But I'm constantly around really intelligent people. When you're around people like that, it's like a sport -- you want to read more, be better.

And when you're not working?

I like to spend a lot of time with my girlfriends and my fiance. I'm very social. I love people. I love talking. ... When I get home from work, I'm just done. I just want to hang out with Dave. I love having a glass of wine, some dinner, cooking for him. He's really my best friend.

I also love Pilates. I swear by it. [When I'm working out] it's the only time I don't think about anything else. Dave always asks, do you ever not think? I think the only time that'll happen is when I'm dead.

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