Family, friends, fellow business owners, and neighbors gathered at Key Tech on March 20 to celebrate one of Federal Hill’s most beloved community members: Sonny Morstein.
In a surprise event, Morstein was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award (and commemorative bobble head in his likeness!) for his hard work and dedication to Federal Hill and South Baltimore.
“You only have to spend about two minutes with Sonny Morstein to see that he has an innate understanding of what a community is,” said speaker AMY Grace, former Main Street Board president who worked closely with Sonny to strengthen that community revitalization program.
And Sonny has worked hard to make his community the best that it can be. From serving as president of the South Baltimore Business Association (now Federal Hill Business Association (FHBA)) for 24 years to helping Federal Hill become one of five neighborhoods in Baltimore to join the Main Street program and serving as its first board president, Sonny has strived to improve a neighborhood that was almost forgotten.
“Sonny has been a mainstay of Federal Hill since the time when it looked really bleak to now when it looks fantastic,” said Cathy Hammond, current president of the Federal Hill Main Street board. “He’s always been here; he’s always been involved; he knows everyone, and everyone knows him. He’s a terrific guy and a terrific addition to the neighborhood.”
The event was sponsored by FHBA, Federal Hill Main Street, and Key Tech, which hosted the event in its attractive building. Party planners Frieda Ulman, Anna Epsilantis of Big Jim’s Deli, Crystal Moll, and Jane Seebold collected many photos from over the years that guests enjoyed seeing on a large screen.
Over 30 local businesses donated to make the party special, including 14 restaurants that contributed an amazing buffet. Live entertainment was provided by jazz guitarist Paul Snyder, who led the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Sunny,” with new, updated lyrics relating to the guest of honor.
“It’s very easy to get involved because it’s such a great place to have a business,” said Sonny, in graciously accepting the award.
Morstein’s Jewelers, which has been in Federal Hill since 1898, offers precious diamonds, and that’s what Morstein is to Federal Hill.
Elizabeth Nelson, Intern