Clowns, cars and great food at Turf Valley

Entertainment,Anne Boone Simanski
For the 23rd annual Taste & Auction of Howard County, it was a circus and carnival theme that included an Uncle Sam stilt walker and juggling clowns for the more than 670 folks who attended. Turf Valley Resort in Howard County recently opened its doors to 23 of the county’s premier restaurants so that they could showcase their delicious specialties.

“The food was outstanding — the best yet,” said Marty Yost, who has attended this event for the past 10 years.

Keeping with tradition, a contest was held among the restaurants for the Best Decorated Table. Chefs and their assistants sported costumes for the competition. The top three — in order — were Absolutely Perfect Catering, Alexandra’s and Eggspectations.

After a wonderful auction, the evening finished with a car raffle, sponsored by Apple Ford and JPB Enterprises, Inc. The lucky winner was Elaine Weber of Baltimore, who has the “tough” task of choosing between one of three 2008 Ford vehicles. Which will it be for Elaine — a fuel- friendly Escape, a sporty Mustang convertible or a limited-edition Mustang Bullitt? Decisions, decisions.

All of this fun raised $336,000 for Gilchrist Hospice Care.

“It was a great evening of fundraising for a great organization, benefiting the great people of Howard County,” said J.P. Bolduc, corporate chair for the evening’s festivities.

By the way

The National Alliance on Mental Illness recently held a Masquerade Gala at the American Visionary Arts Museum, where it honored Kay Redfield Jamison, a Johns Hopkins psychiatry professor. Decorated masks dotted the room, some of which were made by folks who have had family members affected by the struggles of mental illness. Jamison, who has documented her own journey with mental illness, added a bit of humor to the event by quipping, “Shouldn’t the bipolar mask get three faces?” NAMI of Baltimore continues to work toward unmasking the many faces of mental illness.

The American Cancer Society recently announced that more than $450,000 was raised during its recent — and annual — Making Strides four-mile walk.

Seems Jenna Bush-Hager, President Bush’s daughter, was in the newly re-opened Corks Restaurant in Federal Hill last week when her credit card was denied. Uh-oh! Maybe she needs a bailout, too.

Happy 10th birthday to the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, which hosted a heck of a bash last weekend to celebrate.

Former guv Bob Ehrlich was spotted recently at Starbucks in Roland Park before watching Gilman, his alma mater, lose to Loyola in a high school football showdown. Maybe if he had been wearing a Gilman sweatshirt instead of his college one —Princeton — it may have given the Greyhounds more of a boost.

Anne’s top pick
What: Spinners for Dinners, a 24-hour cycling marathon to benefit the Bea Gaddy Family Center
When: Friday, 7 p.m. start time
Where: Canton Club, 2780-D Lighthouse Point-East in Baltimore
Info: By purchasing a $15 ticket, you will be providing approximately 20 low-income or homeless Maryland residents with a meal on Thanksgiving Day. Call 410-276-5544, or e-mail
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