Casey Cares Foundation's 10th anniversary gala

Scene and Heard

April 04, 2010

What do you expect at a 10th birthday party? Face painting and a guy making balloon animals? How about paper tiaras, party hats and horns? That's what you found at Casey Cares Foundation's 10th anniversary gala. As almost 300 guests entered the Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, they were greeted by executive director Casey Baynes, who founded the organization to provide support to critically ill children and their families. Baynes looked the perfect party girl in a green satin cocktail dress, even if she was sans tiara.

"I actually was given one that lights up," she confessed, but said she hadn't quite gotten up the nerve to wear it. "The second half of tonight, I'm all over it."

Cary Tamres, Baltimore-based financial analyst, was one of the brave partygoers as he strolled through the crowd in a balloon hat shaped like a fishing pole with a fish dangling off the end.

"I have a birthday hat at home that's like a top hat with candles all around the top," said board member Jay Buck. "But Karen said, 'You can't wear that!' " he added, referring to his wife and fellow board member, Karen Buck.

In addition to fun party gear, the gala featured auctions and live jazz. But it was a different part of the program that many folks were really looking forward to.

"My favorite part is when the families speak. That's what it's all about," said Kirsten Milano, a volunteer who was there with her husband, Joe Milano, T. Rowe Price portfolio manager.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Lauren Murphy, Towson University sophomore, was getting compliments for something other than a hat: her long, lovely locks. Many folks had last seen the former Casey Cares patient participant after she had lost her hair in 2003 as she was fighting brain cancer.

"How's life?" asked Baynes, as she gave Murphy a big hug.

"It's good," Murphy responded with a big smile.

Sloane Brown may be contacted at

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