Reginald F. Lewis Museum Of Maryland African American History And Culture


2007 Annual Gala

December 16, 2007|By SLOANE BROWN

What 2-year-old gets Little Richard to perform at his birthday party? A two-year-old known as the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. A two-year-old whose founding chair was renowned attorney and former judge George L. Russell Jr. And hundreds turned out at Cockeysville's Valley Mansion to celebrate both the museum and the man at the 2007 Annual Gala.

"This is an exceptional night. It's a long time coming for George Russell. He's a giant in this community. He really is," said museum fundraising and development committee chair Lou Grasmick.

"We're very excited about George. ... He has done a fantastic job in carrying this museum to the place where it is now," said Baltimore philanthropist Sylvia Brown, enjoying the festivities with her husband, Eddie Brown.

"We're proud of him for two reasons," said museum supporter Doward Patterson, speaking for himself and wife Helen Patterson.

"First of all, he's our daughter's father-in-law. And secondly ... he's really a good guy."

"I feel humbled, believe me. I'm not used to this. But, I'm very, very grateful," Russell said as he surveyed the VIP reception packed with friends such as museum chair Leslie King-Hammond, board members Carla Hayden, Wanda Draper and Peter Angelos, and Bill and Brenda Jews.

Carolyn Fugett, the mother of the museum's namesake Lewis, the late chairman and CEO of Beatrice Foods, had a good time kidding Russell as they enjoyed hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour.

"He is just so superb in all the things he does, no one knows," she said. "But tonight, it'll all come out."

As Russell feigned a look of surprise, Fugett chuckled and added, "All the good things that you've done, George."

ONLINE Sloane Brown takes you to the party with a calendar of coming events and video reports at / scene



Scunny McCusker, 45, runs two of the most popular restaurants on Canton's O'Donnell Square -- Nacho Mama's and Mama's on the Half Shell. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife, Jackie McCusker, and their son, Finn, 7, and daughter, Darby, 8, along with golden retriever Natty Boh.

This Thursday, McCusker will hold his "13th Annual Tour De Dundalk." People will board school buses at Nacho Mama's about 6 p.m. and will take a tour of Christmas lights, with a couple of stops at bars along the way. All proceeds will go to Believe In Tomorrow Children's Promise Foundation. The $35 tickets can be purchased at Nacho Mama's.

Do you like Mexican food?

It's my favorite food. ... I think when you grow up Irish Catholic, you get so sick of that food that anything with spice or flavor is very welcome.

You're in such a high-stress business. How is it that you're so laid back?

Anybody who's reading this and has worked for me before I was married and had kids would disagree with that statement. Once a wife and kids came into the equation, it gives you a whole new perspective about what's really important. ... I look at work now [as] everything I do is for my family. So, it's a lot easier to be patient.

What was it before you had your family?

Me. Me, me, me. I sound like an opera star.

Do you have any secret talents?

I can sing Elvis karaoke better than anybody in the city of Baltimore.

ONLINE Read more of the conversation with Patrick "Scunny" McCusker at / drink

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