Novemberfest 2003:  Another Successful Year! 
Douglas D. Guidorizzi, Esq. 

          On a brisk November evening, the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) heated up the Sculpture Barn of the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore during its premier event of the Bar year, Novemberfest 2003 “Support Our Troops’ Families” Gala.  On Saturday, November 8th, the YLS held its 13th Annual Novemberfest charity benefit and raised almost $2,000 for the Rockville-based charity, Fisher House.  

          Fisher House provides humanitarian assistance to the families of service men and women who suffer medical emergencies.  Fisher House has been particularly busy in recent months, as over 1,000 of our fellow citizens have been injured serving our country in Iraq.  Many of those injured are amputees recovering in military hospitals in Maryland and D.C.  Proceeds from Novemberfest will be donated to Fisher House and earmarked to assist the families of those injured staying in Maryland.   

          YLS Activities Committee Co-Chairs Doug Guidorizzi and Michael Siri reported that the attendance at this year’s Novemberfest was down from last year, but the fun quotient at the party increased significantly and YLS still raised almost the same amount for the charity than it from last year’s event.  Activities Committee Vice Chair Meredith O’Connor almost lost her voice after mingling at the party with guests that included Maryland State Bar Association President Harry Johnson, Past YLS Chair Brian Zemil and YLS Chair Suzanne Lewis.   

          Over 130 tickets were bought for the Gala and attendees partied at the nationally recognized museum of self-taught visionary artists.  Guests had access to the museum an hour before the party started until its end at 11:00 p.m.  YLS member Murphy Hartford particularly enjoyed the robot sculptures and the paintings depicting heaven and hell.  The Museum’s picturesque views of the Baltimore skyline provided the perfect setting for YLS member Ben Hinceman and his date to observe the coppery red change in color of the moon during the evening’s lunar eclipse. 

          Attendees enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner featuring a carving station and fresh-shucked oysters while listening to the varied musical styling of Joey and the Jammers.  Hughie Hunt, Co-Chair of the YLS Public Service and Diversity Committees, a man who manifestly enjoys a good meal, exulted, “the food was great.”   

          Joey and the Jammers played a wide range of music fit for almost everyone’s tastes.  After MSBA Executive Director Paul Carlin joined the band on “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling,” Joey and the Jammers gave over the microphone to a number of partygoers for an impromptu karaoke hour backed by the band.  Lade Akinbilaji’s rousing rendition of Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money” brought the crowd to the dance floor.   

          In addition to the musical entertainment, many guests enjoyed gambling at the craps table, blackjack tables, and the big money wheel.  Gamblers redeemed their winnings for raffle tickets for such prizes as dinner for two Dalesio’s in Little Italy.  Guests also took advantage of some great deals at the silent auction table.  Michael and Marie Benton went home with private ballroom dancing lessons from That’s Dancing with a savings of almost $200.   

          Guidorizzi and Siri are satisfied that everyone had a good time at the party and the money will be going to a good cause.  They point out, however, that they could not have pulled off the event without the invaluable help of the MSBA staff Greg Derwart, Judy Larrimore, and Toni Martsoukos, or the volunteers: Meredith O’Connor, Scott and Gwen Tate, Ruth-Ann Bennett, Rachel Cohen, Suzanne Lewis, Christine Pham, Dana Gausepohl, Marvin Muller, Michelle Daugherty, Jan O’Connor, Mike and Laura Pappas, and Jen Schwartzott.   

          YLS Chair-Elect Rachel Cohen thought that everyone had a lot of fun and is already starting to plan for next year’s event.  Be sure to watch for future Activities Committee events currently in the planning stages such as, a Scotch Tasting/Lecture, YLS Trip to the Ballpark, and picnic/softball tournament next spring.

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