Casey Cares Foundation

SCENE & HEARD

Rock And Roll Bash

October 07, 2007|By SLOANE BROWN

IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE FIFTH ANNUAL fundraising party for Casey Cares Foundation, but the Rock and Roll Bash was far from your average gala. Folks who gathered at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel came prepared to party with some serious rockers -- musicians such as bassist / singer Jack Blades and drummer Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger, guitarist Jeff Carlisi of 38 Special, guitarist Andy York of John Mellencamp's band, Mark Rivera of Billy Joel and Ringo Starr's bands, and Christine Ohlman, the singer for the Saturday Night Live band.

Five years ago, the party was the brainchild of Baltimore-area guitarist Mike DiMayo and his wife Ellen DiMayo, who got some of their friends involved with their pet cause, which helps critically ill children and their families.

"It's an opportunity for people to mingle with some of the rock stars from their younger days," said foundation founder / executive director Casey Baynes.

"We used to host it in Washington, D.C. But, this is our first year hosting it in Baltimore. That's where most of our kids are, so it made sense to have it here," Mike DiMayo said.

"This is my third year doing Casey Cares, and it's just been one of the most wonderful things I've ever really done," Ohlman said.

Baltimore County high school counselor Carol-Ann Cerkan loved that this was different from the average gala. "When you can liven it up for an event and make it fun for a serious cause, you can't get it any better," she said.

A DRINK WITH DANNY BARNYCZ

BALTIMORE NATIVE DANNY BARNYCZ, 48, is president and CEO of the Barnycz Group. Among the electronic wonders he has designed: Crown Fountain in Millennium Park in Chicago and the LG Electronics billboard in Times Square. Currently, he is designing many of the technological "bells and whistles" for the Dubai Mall, which -- when finished -- will be the world's largest shopping mall, with more than 1,200 retail outlets. Barnycz lives in Canton with wife, Michele Hartig, a landscape designer and community activist.

How do you describe what you do?

This is the hardest thing I ever do. Experience creator -- that's the shortest version on the planet. ... I work in entertainment technology in branding and marketing and content creation.

How did you get into this stuff?

I mixed concerts for a living. I worked with all the big bands and big shows. I got tired of all the traveling and late nights. ... I wound up meeting a man named Herb Miller, who was the founding chairman of the Mills Corp. and he said, "Have you ever considered coming to work with me? If we combined what you do in the entertainment world with shopping, we really would have something special." Thus was born The Mills, [i.e.] Arundel Mills, Potomac Mills, Sawgrass. I spent 10 years as creative director for The Mills.

You travel a lot. Do you ever need a break from your work?

No, I don't really. ... I love what I do. I wake up in the morning and I run to work. ... It's not work. It's having fun. It's the best gig in the world.

Any pet peeves?

Bad design. Horrible content. Bad advertising. And the fact that my wife knows how to operate TIVO better than I do.

ONLINE Sloane Brown takes you to the party with a calendar of upcoming events and video reports at baltimoresun.com / scene

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