The Children's Guild

SCENE AND HEARD

March 08, 2009|By sloane brown | sloane brown,sloane@sloanebrown.com

Despite the cold winds outside - or, perhaps because of them - the atmosphere inside Valley Mansion was downright giddy at The Children's Guild "7th Annual Cabaret for Kids." It seemed that the hundreds of folks in formal frocks and tuxes couldn't wait to shed their heavy coats.

"The place looks great; a lot of beautiful people," said Towson area attorney John Bartkowiak.

"It's good to get out and have fun when you're seeing and reading gloom and doom everywhere you go. Getting dressed up and getting out and having fun is just what's needed," said Joan Worthington, principal of JW and Associates.

If partygoers weren't happily catching up with one another, they were browsing a cocktail buffet, or five deep in lines at the bar.

"I've never seen so many auction items," said Sharon Akers, executive director of the Edward St. John Foundation, as she scanned the dozens of tables heaped with jewelry, gift baskets and all sorts of other goodies up for bid.

Event chairmen Robert Stephan and Mindy Geppi, and Guild president Andrew Ross had their hands full, gleefully greeting as many guests as possible. Meanwhile, Merritt Properties chairman Leroy Merritt sat on the sidelines with former Baltimore Colt Artie Donovan, watching the crowd party hearty.

Merritt was asked how he was dealing with being the evening's honoree.

"Terribly," he answered with a wry smile.

Having fun, to remember

Would you believe one of the best gatherings last week was at a post-funeral reception? But this was in honor of a guy who was all about parties. Longtime PR whiz John Yuhanick was known for organizing all sorts of events for clients over the years. If he wasn't behind the making of a great shindig, he was enjoying himself at one. After a long battle with cancer, Yuhanick died Feb 27. But, he still managed to draw a crowd at his funeral at St. Philip & James Church last Tuesday, and at a reception afterward at the Ambassador Dining Room.

MPT personality Rhea Feikin, interior designer Richard Taylor, CityPeek's Patti Neumann, PR legend Edie Brown, restaurateur/caterer Sascha Wolhandler, Comcast's Bill Hopkinson, Baltimore City's Promotions and Arts chief Bill Gilmore, lobbyist Curt Decker and dozens more visited with Yuhanick's partner, optometrist Jack Kardos, and Yuhanick's children Todd Yuhanick and Lydia Travelstead.

The general feeling was that to do John justice, you had better enjoy yourself. As WJZ personality Marty Bass put it, "When a big part of your life was a good event, why shouldn't your wake be, too? He would've loved this."

What's old is new again Dinner parties may be making a comeback in Baltimore. After all, socialites need to socialize, even as they're battening down their economic hatches. And we're hearing rumblings of the old-fashioned potluck making a return to the party circuit. Everyone brings a dish to dinner. It keeps the expenses down, and the fun quotient up. But, this is the 20-aughts, not the 1950s, so chicken a la king still isn't on the menu. Think Cornish game hens and roasted asparagus. (Note to hosts: It's also a great way to deal with all those orphan bottles of wine.)

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