On Saturday night, June 1, Broadway came to Severna Park. Laurette Hankins-O’Connell, a member of the well-known Giddings family and a talented singer and entertainer, put together a cabaret show, Broadway Goes to the Movies, and performed it with pianist Anita O’Connor to a full house at The Holy Grounds Center. All of the proceeds from the show were donated to SPAN.
Laurette trained in musical theater at Duke University and performed professionally in Baltimore and New York. After a “second career” in fundraising and development - she is currently associate dean of development and alumni relations for the University Of Maryland School Of Nursing - she realized she could put her talent to work giving back to her beloved local community. A long-time supporter of SPAN, Laurette concocted a plan to perform a cabaret show and donate all proceeds to help local families with utility turnoffs, eviction prevention and medical/prescription needs.
While searching for an accompanist, Laurette’s friend, former County Executive Janet Owens, connected her to Anita O’Connor, a talented pianist and vocalist who is a music teacher at Indian Creek School. To Laurette’s delight, Anita agreed not only to perform with her, but to also donate her time to the cause.
The show was a whimsical and occasionally irreverent salute to movie musicals. Spirited songs such as “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music and Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from the show of the same name, had the audience clapping and singing along enthusiastically. Laurette’s wit and humorous anecdotes punctuated the show as she charmed the spectators.
SPAN’s Director of Development Ellen Kinsella decided to maximize the show’s profits by soliciting donations of food and silent auction items from the local business community. This also netted a donation of six copies of Severna Park Reflections, a book of memories about Severna Park, donated by Bay Media’s Pat Troy. All combined, the show brought in about $3,500, which includes $500 that was raised at the last minute of the show when Laurette pledged she would match all donations that came in in the next 60 seconds.
Laurette dedicated the show to her mother, the late Kathie Giddings-Hankins, who was an active member of the Severna Park community for five decades, and associate editor of the aforementioned book, Severna Park Reflections. Kathie grew up in Severna Park and attended Severna Park Elementary School when it was a wooden building housing grades one through seven. She was the daughter of Arthur and Lydia Giddings, who developed much of Severna Park. Kathie also was instrumental in founding the Severna Park Old Timers club (SPOT), and was awarded the Heritage Leadership Award by ASPIRE in 2009.
Thank you to the following donors, who contributed to the success of the cabaret show by practicing “Shop Local, Give Local:” Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, Be My Guest Catering, Lisa’s Cakepops, Coco Couture, RockWell Fitness, Magothy Wine & Spirits, The Cottage, Goska’s Liquors, Benevolent Baskets, HoneyBaked Ham, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, The Baltimore Ravens and Justin Tucker, Great Frogs Winery, Benfield Nail & Day Spa, Gayle Gutridge, Benfield Wine & Spirits, Northway Liquors, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Safeway, Costco, and BJ’s.
Sharon Tegler wrote a great article for The Capital about this show. Read it here: https://www.capitalgazette.com/ac-tegler-column--20190605-story.html
Anita O'Connor and Laurette Hankins-O'Connell
SPAN Board member Kathy Norville and former County Executive Janet Owens
The crowd at Holy Grounds enjoyed the show
At the Shop Local Fun Fiesta, we were approached by several BB&T employees who excitedly shared the news that they had done a fundraising campaign among the local branches and had collected upwards of $1,500 that they were going to designate to SPAN! Yesterday these four wonderful young women went to BJ's Wholesale Club and shopped for two hours, getting everything on SPAN's wish list and then some! Then they delivered it to SPAN. They bought us meat, milk, cheese, yogurt, paper products, toiletries, and much more! The most amazing part is they loved doing this, and thanked us profusely for what we do! So now we want to go on record saying THANK YOU BB&T! By the way, this was not a corporate donation - the money was raised by the employees themselves!
Thanks to everyone at BB&T who donated, and special thanks to Ashley Gunther (Small Business Lending Officer), Tammy Deeb (Benfield Team Leader), and Katya Smith and Erin O'Leary, (Market Leaders).
Thank you to the confirmands from Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, their wonderful leader Elizabeth Baril, and the dedicated parent leaders for collecting three carloads of food and toiletries for SPAN! These wonderful 8th- and 9th-graders spent the day Sunday collecting items from the fine folks in Shipley's Choice. They also collected cash for SPAN. If these teenagers are an example of what our future will be like, there is reason to be very hopeful!
Huge shoutout to our favorite store manager - Thanks Bo Withers of the Severna Park Giant Food for donating dozens of cases of frozen fried chicken to SPAN! We had so much, we were able to share it with Severna Park United Methodist Church's mission group, Heaven's Kitchen, which feeds the hungry in Brooklyn Park. So grateful!
Karen began her professional career working for eight years as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant both in Maryland and at a border hospital in Arizona. She earned a Masters in Social Work in 1992 from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She then had a opportunity to work in a variety of locations with different populations with her now-retired Army spouse. She has worked in a community-based outreach program in Kansas serving families and children. In Germany she worked as member of a team for the New Parent Support Program with expectant parents and children up to six years old. Relocating back to Maryland in 2003, she recently retired after 13 years of service working for the Department of Defense, serving military and civilian members.
SAT., NOV. 16, STRIDE FOR SPAN TURKEY TROT 5K/1M RACE/FUN RUN AT KINDER PARK - SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE AND REGISTRATION IS NOW ONLINE. Sponsor before May 31 and get 4 FREE race entries!
RACE DAY - Saturday, November 16th
Where: Kinder Farm Park
When: Can start to arrive at 7:30am
Start Times: 5k Race Time: 9:00am
1 Mile Fun Walk: 9:30am
Parking is available at Kinder Farm (fee to enter park will not be collected for registered participants).Packet Pick-Up Information: Friday, November 15th, 5-7PM, 400 Benfield Rd., Severna Park (located behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Church) You may also pickup your packet the morning of the race, but remember to arrive early to allow time.
Register for the race here: https://www.active.com/millersville-md/running/distance-running-races/stride-for-span-2019?int=Sponsorships are available - For more information, email email@example.com.
Broadway Goes to the Movies at Holy Grounds
623 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Severna Park (adjacent to SP Community Ctr.)
Sat., June 1 - 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00)
Save the Date!
Concessions will be available for cash-only purchase. A silent auction basket will also be offered.
Bio for Laurette Hankins-O'Connell:
The majority of Laurette Hankins-O’Connell’s performing experience is in musical theater. Her first roles were at Duke University as Petra in A Little Night Music, Bonnie in Applause and Joanne in Company; she then played Gypsy Rose Lee in Annapolis Summer Garden Theater’s production of Gypsy.
Moving on to professional theater, she first appeared in two productions at the short-lived Heritage Equity Dinner Theater in Severna Park: Marge MacDougal in Promises, Promises and Winnie Winslow in No, No Nanette. At the Lazy Susan Dinner Theater in Woodbridge, VA, she played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Nancy in Oliver and Agnes Gooch in Mame. At the Wye Mills Summer Theater, she played Hope Langdon in Something’s Afoot, and Joan in Dames at Sea.
Laurette then moved to New York City, where she became a member of Actors Equity, AFTRA and SAG. She performed in the Equity summer tour of The Student Prince, in the Equity Coachlight Theater’s production of South Pacific, and also worked in commercials, films and television.
Laurette was a featured soloist in the AFTRA Variety Showcase in New York City’s Nat Horne Theater (Off-off Broadway). Upon her return to Maryland, she was a featured soloist in two of Maryland Arts Festival’s Superstar Galas. In 2010 and 2011, she debuted her one-woman cabaret, It’s the Journey: Life a La Carte at Standing O Productions, and subsequently performed it at Germano’s in Little Italy. She debuted her Starstruck at the Stork cabaret at Germano’s and brought it back twice. It was then her pleasure to debut Musicals, Movies and Moxie—Oh My! , Broadway Goes to the Movies, as well as Broadway Divas & Dames and Broadway Goes Hollywood at Germano’s. She has also performed similar shows more than a dozen times at various local retirement communities, Ginger Cove, Brightview and Charlestown. She is delighted to be doing this special performance to benefit SPAN!
A graduate of Severna Park High School and Duke University, Laurette lives in Severna Park with her husband of 20 years, Kevin O’Connell, and their golden retriever Katie. For the past 11 years, her “day job” has been Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations for the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
Laurette dedicates tonight’s performance to her mother, Kathie Giddings Hankins, who was an active member of the Severna Park Community for more than 5 decades. In addition to receiving the ASPIRE award in 2009, and co-chairing SPOT (Severna Park Old Timers) with Scott Jay, her mother co-edited the historical accounting of the early days of Severna Park: Severna Park Reflections: an album of Memories.
Bio for Anita O'Connor:
A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the wonderful Severna Park neighborhoods who responded to the call for food in the 2nd Annual Neighborhood S(o)uper Bowl Food Drive, by the Good Neighbors Group. We got tons of food and toiletries that should supply our pantry for weeks to come! A huge shout-out to the team captains for organizing and delivering their neighborhood collections, and a special thank-you to Julie Shay for founding this drive, which also assisted Asbury Assistance network and My Brother's Pantry! Join us Wednesday night (Feb. 6) at Cafe Mezzanotte, where the winning neighborhood will be announced at 7:00. This will also be a fundraiser for Good Neighbors Group between 4 and 9.
SPAN received a beautiful gift over the three-day MLK weekend. The #VIM (Volunteers in Mission) group from Severna Park United Methodist Church renovated SPAN's kitchen! The hard-working crew set up camp Thursday afternoon, and worked clean through until Monday night. When SPAN staff and volunteers walked through the door after the long weekend, the kitchen had metamorphosed from a well-loved 1950s-era kitchen to a modern marvel with LED lights and new cabinets, floor, counters, sink, paint, and much, much more! It was a true labor of love, and we don't know how to begin to thank them! We'll start by saying THANK YOU!
SPAN is very happy to announce that Mike Monahan of Millersville has been named as SPAN's Vice President on the Executive Board. Mike will replace Trish Davis, who previously served as Vice President since 2014.
Mike first became aware of SPAN after hearing about their holiday drive in 2016 and began working with the organization soon after. He has been active in similar organizations in and around Baltimore over the past several years and was both impressed with the contributors and scale of SPAN’s efforts, and somewhat surprised with the needs that existed closer to home.
Mike attended Loyola University in Baltimore, earning degrees in Finance and Accounting, and has held Finance and Portfolio Management roles within the commodities industry since 2001. He and his wife Denise moved to the area in 2009 and have three boys currently attending Shipley’s Choice Elementary School.