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BIG BUCKS IN BALTIMORE

June Smith

Tuesday afternoon, the Hearst Corporation generously “remembered” Ron and honored his legacy and his commitment to pancreatic cancer research at Hopkins.

WBAL TV President and General Manager Dan Joerres and WBAL Radio & 98 Rock Vice President and General Manager Ed Kiernan presented the Hearst Corporation’s $50,000 check to Dr. Daniel Laheru, Associate Professor of Oncology, Ian T. MacMillan Professorship in Clinical Pancreatic Cancer Research (and Ron’s oncologist) for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Hopkins.

Dr. Laheru said Hopkins has chosen to honor the ideals that Ron held: education, communication, dedication to work, and mentorship. He said the Hearst Corporation donation will be used to fund an endowed chair in Ron’s name to mentor young medical researchers interested in pancreatic cancer research, as well as help convince young researchers to enter the field.
Saying “Thank You” to the Hearst Corporation hardly seems appropriate for such generosity. Albeit it brief—I learned brevity from the master during our time together—it is heartfelt, sincere and expressed with deep gratitude.

While the Hearst Corporation was helping usher in a new era in pancreatic cancer research with their generous $50,000 donation, Obama was in town picking up $50,000 donations—checks made payable to the  Obama Victory Fund 2012—at a private luncheon at the home of real estate developer John Fidler.

Mrs. Romney was in town, too, but she was picking up small Red potatoes compared to Mr. Obama’s haul.

Not everyone forked over $50K for the Obama luncheon. Ticket prices ranged from $10K to $50K.  There was no info about the menu and not knowing anyone who was there, what the extra $Ks beyond the basic $10K entrance fee entitlements may have been remain a mystery. No doubt it was mighty fine food as this was no rubber chicken dinner.

Organizers of the affair were hoping to raise a million dollars for the Victory Fund.

By all accounts, the Fidlers are good people. Mr. Fidler is a successful real estate developer. That comes with butting heads with environmentalists and controversy over conservation. He sits on the Neurosurgery Advisory Board at Hopkins. How fortunate for the President to have such loyal supporters.

Afterwards, the President was whisked away to another fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency in the Inner Harbor where he received adoration and gathered more money for the Victory Fund.

At the podium, Governor O’Malley greeted Mr. Obama with a big handshake and introduced him. Insert mentally simulated thrilling crowd sounds here.
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Four American flags on stationary flagstaffs brightened the navy curtained background. Title 4, Chapter 1, section 8j of the laws relating to the flag of the United States of American states that “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”

But I digress…

National and local media coverage captured the event and all its glory. If you missed it, there are stories and sound bites on the Web.

But here’s my favorite part: Photos from the fundraiser are for sale at The Baltimore Sun store at www.baltimoresunstore.com.

You +1’d this A print of O’Malley introducing the President, and many others from the event can be yours! Underneath each image is a big orange “BUY THIS PHOTO” button. Click on it, enter “President Obama” in the search bar and you can choose that photo or any of the other dozens of POTUS photos.

A 5 x 7 color photo costs $19.99; the framed 5 x 7 memento with a choice of five frames and two matting options costs $34.99.

But wait! That’s not all! There’s more! There are also photo gift options enhanced with the photo of your choice: folded note cards, a mouse pad, tee shirt, mug, puzzle and a ceramic tile, ranging from $14.95 to $19.95 plus shipping and handling.

The 6 x 6 “high quality ceramic tile with hard coat finish” is $14.95. My favorite is the 8 x 10 puzzle with 110 pieces with “a high gloss finish” for $18.95.

Shipping and handling are added at check out and vary according to what is purchased.

No word on how much money Obama picked up before his departure from a cargo terminal at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Air Force One.  No word since, either.

Rumor has it he’ll be returning to the Blue State of Maryland for more green during the campaign.

More ca ching ca ching for The Baltimore Sun, too.

I’m not criticizing, I’m just commenting. After all, I’m working diligently to raise a million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Research Fund at Hopkins.

That’s my idea of a Victory Fund.

June Smith is the widow WBAL talk show host and Sun columnist, Ron Smith, who posthumously received an Emmy® for his lifetime achievement in television and radio at WBAL in Baltimore, MD. Smith was a media titan in the central Maryland area and beyond for almost forty years. Mrs. Smith’s tribute website honoring his legacy is www.FriendsofRonSmith.com. Thanks to the generosity of friends and fans of Ron and the Hearst Corporation, the Ron Smith Endowed Chair for pancreatic research at Hopkins was recently established. Mrs. Smith is also an advocate for H.R. 733, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Education Act. Her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.





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