Scene & Heard: Zootini
( Photo by Colby Ware, Special to The Baltimore Sun / June 3, 2011 )
Africa came to Baltimore County for the Maryland Zoo fundraiser "Zootini A Night On The Serengeti." Large tents were pitched outside the home of hosts Carole and Hanan "Bean" Sibel, while recorded jungle noises provided additional atmosphere.
"My neighbor's kids came down and asked, Have you got a lion out there? I said, 'Don't walk in the field,'" said Bean Sibel.
"They really followed the theme well," said Blanche Rodgers, program officer for the William L. and Victorine Q. Adams Foundation, as she took in the scene.
"It's 'Out of Africa,'" added her daughter, Marjorie Rodgers Cheshire, A&R Companies executive vice president.
Several guests from the zoo an Egyptian tortoise, Chinese alligator, South African blackfoot penguin and Australian kookaburra added another animalistic element to the party. Human attendees in animal-themed attire supplied another.
Audrey Gann, University of Maryland School of Medicine research coordinator, sported a leopard-print flower pin with skirt that matched, while her husband, Stanford Gann Sr., Levin & Gann partner, appeared in ascot and a leopard-print pocket square peeking from his sport coat pocket.
Allene Pierson, community volunteer, posted in peacock-print top, accompanied by husband Dr. Robin Pierson, University of Maryland School of Medicine professor of surgery.
Brenda Jews, community volunteer, and Dorothy Graul, community volunteer, both wore leopard-print dresses. Meanwhile, Graul's husband, Dennis Graul, Graul's Market president, put an interesting spin on his reason for wearing a plain black shirt. "I'm a lion tamer," he said.
"This is actually from the African safari we went on two years ago," said Ted Murphy, Citadel Financial Partners investment adviser, about his bush hat. His wife, Carla Murphy, Ober Kaler attorney, went reptilian in a lizard-print frock.
Joanne Golden, Baltimore-based artist, had decked herself out in souvenirs from several African trips: elephant-hair and giraffe-hair bracelets and a beaded collar, belt and bracelet.
Kate Powell, Provision Policy healthcare policy editor, also modeled jungle-y accessories: zebra pumps and a giraffe print bracelet.
"I'm a garden at the zoo," said Elizabeth Aneckstein, community volunteer, explaining her pantsuit embroidered with flowers and butterflies. Her husband, Ken Aneckstein, DLA Piper partner, preferred to stay theme-free.
That is also how it first seemed with Maryland Zoo board chair, Robert Zinkham, in a navy suit and dotted red tie.
"No, no, no. My tie has animals on it," he said. On very close inspection, sure enough, those small dots were critters.
Admittedly, it was a tad tougher for the males in this flock to fit out in as fine a feather as the females.
"This is the closest thing I have to a safari suit," said Roswell Encina, Pratt Library communications director, about his khaki suit.
Chris Montgomery, eCoast Co-CEO, went with the simple addition of a zebra scarf around his neck.
But Eric Orlinsky, Maryland Zoo board member, did his gender proud in a purple leopard-print velour smoking jacket.
Another one of the wildest looks was the giraffe mask, complete with uber-long eyelashes, worn by Micki Tapper, Tapper Construction retired office manager, there with her husband, Mel Tapper, Tapper Construction retired president.
"I couldn't grow my own [lashes], so I got these," she said.
Donald Hutchinson, Maryland Zoo president/CEO, and his wife, Peggy Hutchinson, retired real estate broker, stood on the side watching this human menagerie in action.
"It's going to be hard for people here not to have a good time," he said.