Scene & Heard: Festival of Trees VIP Breakfast
( Photo by Karen Jackson, Special to The Baltimore Sun / November 25, 2011 )
Dr. Gary Goldstein, Kennedy Krieger Institute's president/CEO, stood at the entrance to the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, watching a steady stream of families arrive for the Festival of Trees VIP breakfast.
"Every year, it's a little different. It's a little bigger. What's pretty amazing is all the children and how happy they are. It gets really crowded and they're really well behaved."
A few feet away, Lainy LeBow-Sachs, Kennedy Krieger executive vice-president, was greeting some of the approximate 1,000 guests and directing them toward the back of the huge building.
"Welcome to the Festival of Trees. Enjoy your breakfast," she announced, turning to Goldstein to confide. "I've been here since 5:30. It's lunchtime already," she said with a laugh.
Sue Heether, Sports Her Way president, entered with her partner, Catherine Kelly, community volunteer, and their twins Jackson and Katie Heether, 5. For two members of the family, this wasn't the first visit.
"Katie and I came in and judged. One of her favorites was the Funky Monkey sock monkey tree and the pirate ship gingerbread house," said Heether.
This was the second year of co-chairing the event for Bill Toomey, BB&T Regional president, and wife Dr. Courtney Toomey, Sinai Hospital rehabilitation resident, who had brought son Billy, 1½, and daughter Callie, 3, this morning. The big decision was where to go first.
"Callie loves the merry-go-round, the train, and the pony rides. But, she keeps asking about Santa."
Santa would be introduced by another breakfast highlight, the children's band, Milkshake. And this year, the audience also got another treat -- a performance by the Shattuck Girls Dancing Duo -- Molly Shattuck, community volunteer, and her daughter Lillian, 8, tap-dancing to "All I Want For Christmas Is You" in pink and white Santa skating-style outfits.
In the back of the audience, Mayo Shattuck, Constellation Energy chairman/CEO, stood videotaping the show.
"She's the cutest," said the proud papa.
-- Sloane Brown