“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” T.E. Lawrence

Family and friends travelled to the posh Ritz Carlton in DC to support Aja Page at the Washington Chapter Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year 20th Anniversary Gala. The exclusive black tie event was the social event of the year. Aja was among nineteen men & women who raised a total of $1.1 million dollars in a ten- week campaign to become the man & woman of the year.

Each participate produced a moving vignette explaining what motivated their desire to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. The emotional and candid vignettes highlighted their personal struggle with their own cancer survival and support of family and friends who had cancer. The touching tribute Aja did in memory of Bobbi Hill, her fiance’s mom invoked tears and laughter from friends and family.

Congratulations to Aja and the participants for a record–breaking event and to Man of the Year Eric Allen, senior vice president GE Capital, on raising $179,000.

“Six degrees of separation” Orchids to Executive Director Gabrielle Urquhart on an outstanding gala; she grew up in Ashburton, the daughter of our friend Claude Urquhart.

“Putting on the Ritz” at the Ritz

The white gloved servers eagerly served the guests, seared tuna, tomato, avocado salad with soy vinaigrette, beef tenderloin with Swiss chard, haricovert, tri- color carrots and horseradish potato gratin; desserts included caramel-Asian pear cake, chocolate ginger ganache and spiced Asian pears.

The 600 guests enjoyed the elegant dinner, silent auction, and dancing; among the guests were Aja’s parents Gary & Karen Brooks, Lindsey Hill, Danielle Hill, Walter Hill, Sean Geiger, Lisa Pagano and Zachary Leskosky.

“And the world will be better for this, that one man; scorned and covered with scars; still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star.” Impossible Dream, Man of La Mancha

This year’s 2011 graduates include two students that reached the unreachable star in their exceptional accomplishments. Ty Hobson-Powell made history at the University of Baltimore, becoming the youngest graduate in UB history, graduating at the age of 15 years 11 months; Dr. Edwin & Liz Hobson- Powell are the proud parents.

Grandmother Margareta Crampton is proud of grandson Christopher Crampton who graduated from Freedom High School at the age of 16 and will attend James Madison College.

“When you stop having dreams and ideals, well, you might as well stop altogether.” Marian Anderson

The other outstanding graduates include University of Maryland, graduate Marisa Johnson with a Bachelor of Science, Information Systems, proud parents Calvin and Marva Johnson; Gilbert & LaVerne Holland, proud parents of Brian Holland, Bowie State University graduate, a Masters in Public Administration; Audrey Freeman, proud mother of Ashlee Freeman, graduated from Central Michigan, Master of Science, Health & Hospital Administration and Michelle & Scottie Mitchell proud parents of Warren Mitchell-Collins, graduated from Woodlawn High School, he will attend Pace University.

“It’s not where you start – it’s where you finish that counts.”Zig Ziglar

“You are my friend” We lost a friend in the death of Little Willie Adams, an astute businessman ahead of his time. Baltimore is a better place because Willie left the South and made Baltimore his home. They say a man is measured not by the date of birth and death, but by the dash in between. Rest in Peace Willie, your dash enriched the citizens of Baltimore with your philanthropic contributions and your ability to see the best in others. Willie, your love Victorine is waiting to welcome you home.

“This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far” Man of La Mancha

“Stop the Killing” founder, Rev. Willie Ray is celebrating 42 years in the Ministry. Our prayer is that GOD continues to guide and bless his ministry.

Congratulations Milton Quick, valet at Pimlico Race Course on your retirement after 40 years and to Chandra DeLaine Jackson and Deborah Taylor on their retirements from the Baltimore school system.

Celebration time! Happy Birthday to Dr. Marian Davis Foster, Mildred Towns Johnson and my man Bill Massey.

“When a child is born, so are grandmothers.”Judith Levy

Grandma-in-waiting, Sylvia Tapp’s baby shower for daughter Jennifer Simmons & Robert Laney at the Forum Caterers was complete with music, dancing and the Forum’s award winning fried chicken. This upscale baby shower was loads of fun especially for Jennifer’s godmothers who haven’t been to a baby shower in eons.

Jennifer’s 92-year-old grandma Violet Stoakley was thrilled seeing Sylvia’s Coppin college friends enjoying the festivities and lending support to first time granny Sylvia. Among the guests in attendance were Sherri Kober, Rita Cooper, Nellie Taft, Sherkeria Simmons, Kiana Hebron, Robin Sanders, Tammy Cooper, Queene Laney, Yvonne Holton and Dorothy York. Jennifer’s Uncle Rabbit was fantastic as master of ceremony.

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. Bernice Johnson Reagon

“Party with a purpose” Lewis & Leslie want all dancers and steppers to “Dance against Diabetes” and support Juvenile Diabetes Research, Saturday July 16. For tickets call Lewis Neal 443-851-8443.

“I’ll be seeing you” Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch