You know it's a good party when people won't leave the dance floor. The seven-piece Panama Band from Baltimore, which had entertained revelers at Howard Community College's fundraising gala Saturday, had to keep the CD player going even as band members packed up their instruments.

"Nobody wanted to go home," said Jamie Braman, director of alumni and special events for the college, which was celebrating the near-completion of its $20 million instructional lab building and raising money to build the new visual and performing arts building. About 250 people attended the black-tie affair and helped raise $30,000, she said.

An auction of donated artworks and services was conducted with the assistance of former county executive Charles I. Ecker, who at one point in his life was indeed an auctioneer, according to HCC officials.

Ecker held up a framed photograph of his successor, County Executive James N. Robey, wearing a hard hat and sweeping out the college's construction site. Robey, he said, "finally found a job he can handle." The photograph went for $250. That's not bad, but the set of eight original Rembrandt etchings did better, selling for $8,500.

Former county executive Charles I. Ecker leads the auctions Saturday to benefit Howard Community College.Jim Adkins checks out the offerings at the silent auction. About 250 people attended the black-tie affair and helped raise $30,000.Mary Jo Brenner and John Bouman dance at the fundraising gala. The seven-piece Panama Band from Baltimore entertained the revelers.Mary Ellen Duncan, president of HCC, addresses attendees at the gala.