The temperature was in the teens outside, but everything inside Cafe Troia was warm and cozy. And we're not just talking about the temperature. The place was filled with laughs and smiles on the faces of about 70 folks who mingled about with glasses of wine in hand and nibbled smoked salmon on toast and mini cheese tarts.
How could there not be lots of good cheer? First of all, this was the Second Annual Wine Dinner benefiting the YMCA of Central Maryland.
Second, this party wasn't costing the YMCA a dime.
"Everything has been donated; the [auction items], the food. My staff is donating their time," said Carol Troia.
"It's great food, and it's for a great cause. So, the YMCA has some fun," said former Baltimore Colt Tom Matte, half of the third reason for the evening's convivial atmosphere. He and wife, Judy Matte, were hosts for the event, and welcomed their guests with hearty laughs and big hugs.
As the evening progressed - and folks enjoyed more good food and good wine - the atmosphere only got warmer. When it was time for the live auction, the two Mattes put on quite show, often good-naturedly badgering friends into increasing their bids. No one seemed to mind.
As Marie Hartman, Hartman Business Technology vice president, observed, "It's a lovely night. You're warm. You're well fed. And you're having a good time. What more can you ask for?"