Concert helps Kentucky flood victims

April 06, 1997


Staff Writer

Pamela A. Stephens was overwhelmed when a tractor-trailer pulled into her flood-ravaged town last month with food and supplies from Hagerstown.

On Sunday, she said thanks.

Stephens, superintendent of West Point (Ky.) Independent School District, was one of about 50 people who attended a benefit concert at Hagerstown Junior College. Organizers raised another $700 for the relief effort.

"Saying thanks in person means a little bit more than over the phone," Stephens said.

Stephens vividly recalls when the Ohio and Salt rivers crashed over their banks into her town of about 1,200 residents. It was Feb. 28, late in the evening. Her students left school that Friday thinking they would be back on Monday.


The school did not reopen for 12 days, she said.

"We still have a lot of families who have not been able to come back home." Stephens said. "It's been a new experience for most of us."

The concert Sunday featured the music of Washington, D.C., area group Patent Pending and Washington County bands 2Blue Ensemble and Country Seasons.

Organizer Judy Zube said she came up with the idea after talking with a co-worker who plays in one of the bands. Kentucky bluegrass music seemed like an appropriate way to raise money for Kentucky flood victims, she said.

Zube, who is originally from Louisville, Ky., said she was awed by the positive attitude that West Point residents maintained throughout the tragedy.

"They're very, very nice people and they've lost so much," Zube said.

Marvin Baer Jr., a DM Bowman employee who delivered the supplies last month, brought his tractor-trailer to the concert. Baer, who has dispensed aid at four natural disasters, said the Kentucky flooding was among the most heart-wrenching.

"This one crushed my heart," he said. "I've seen all of them. But the children . . . They were holding up banners when I pulled into town.

"It's a good feeling. These people need you. It's the best feeling in the world."

People who attended Sunday's concert were pleased to help a good cause while enjoying music.

"It's a shame that the people of Hagerstown don't support something like this," said Judy Marlowe, noting the plethora of empty seats.

Virginia Bentz agreed: "This was the best buy in Hagerstown today."

Stephens said the Red Cross, the National Guard, the Marines, the Salvation Army and other relief organizations have all helped West Point. But she there has been nothing comparable to the Hagerstown effort.

"Hagerstown, Md., is certainly well-known in West Point by now," she said.

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