Believe In Tomorrow


March 15, 2009|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,

Aromas of various dishes floated around the Du Burns arena, as did a certain undertone of orange - thanks to a specialty Orange Crush cocktail being served at one end of the building. The sounds of rock 'n' roll reverberated off the walls, alongside that of happy chatter and laughter. But there was something else in the air at the "Fifth Annual Rock the House" party.

It was a certain warm, fuzzy feeling about the evening's beneficiary, Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation, which provides housing and services to critically ill children and their families, including one house just up the street in Canton.

"I think that what this organization does is so fabulous. I think a lot of people give to organizations ... that do research or help people get better. But, they forget about everything that families go through while they're trying to get their kids better," said Bonnie Aubuchon, who had organized the evening's silent auction.

"I got involved by cooking dinner at one of the houses. ... You spend a little time there, it breaks your heart. You understand what it's all about. I'd recommend it for anybody. ... It puts everything in perspective for you," said Ron Howard, a RE/MAX real estate agent.

"It's an inexpensive [party] ticket. ... for about the same price as you would spend going out to dinner ... but you can't find a better cause," noted inveterate partygoer "Downtown" Diane Macklin, who was donating her services as emcee for the third year.

As the rock band amped up, more folks hit the dance floor. Believe In Tomorrow founder/CEO Brian Morrison warily kept his distance. Would he, too, trip the light fantastic?

"I think there's a VERY remote possibility. Very slim," he said with a laugh.

Eager arts 'students' back in school

You might think that last fall was back-to-school time. But, for a few hundred eager "students," back-to-school was last Saturday night when the Baltimore School for the Arts held its annual "Expressions!" gala. Several hundred gussied up grown-ups pile into the school, greeted by event chairmen Day and Ray Bank and school director Leslie Shepard. They grab a cocktail or two and rush off to "class."

"I'm dancing," said uber-volunteer Carole Sibel as she skedaddled up to the dance studio to join the "corps" in learning the mambo dance from West Side Story.

Interested in an instrument? Guests had their pick - brass, strings, drums, guitar. In the chorus room, a few dozen folks were belting out "Crocodile Rock."

Downstairs in the art studios, people were decorating top hats and canes. Those top hats had inspired retired D.C. school administrator Brenda Jews to wear one of her vintage hats. She looked like a work of art herself in a fantastical froth of black netting and feathers.

Design tips Some 400 fans showed up at Howard Community College to meet famed interior designer Vern Yip last Monday. He was the honoree at "Eleven, The Event" celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Ulman's executive director Brock Yetso says Yip contacted the organization 21/2 years ago to set up a scholarship in the name of his mother, who had just died from cancer. Yetso says the Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship can be awarded to any young adult who's been affected by cancer, to allow them to pursue higher education. Monday, Yip gave a preview screening of his HGTV Deserving Design show, in which he redecorates the Atlanta apartment of Christina Gavegnano, a cancer survivor and scholarship recipient.

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