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Magicians don't limit appearances to local places

August 21, 1997

By TERI JOHNSON

Staff Writer

Three local magicians known for making smiles appear don't limit their engagements to Washington County.

Hugh McVeagh, Dean Burkett and Jim Greer give dozens of free shows each year. A few of their stops include Hope Lodge in Baltimore, a residence for adults being treated for cancer; Camp West Mar in Sabillasville, Md., for underprivileged boys; and Camp Sunrise in Reisterstown, Md., for children with cancer.

They performed Aug. 11 at Camp Sunrise, and the children enjoyed their three interactive shows, says Missy Holder, co-director of the camp.

"They were absolutely wonderful with the kids," Holder says.

The children at Camp West Mar always like the magic show, says Hillard Hull, chairman of the camp's board of directors.

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The camp, sponsored by American Legion, serves boys in Frederick, Washington and Carroll counties in Maryland.

Cinda Showalter, regional executive director for American Cancer Society, says the three have helped the organization with a number of fund-raisers, including the Grand Sunday Brunch in November and the Relay for Life event in the spring.

"They just want to share their talent and make people happy," Showalter says.

The dedication of McVeagh, Burkett and Greer also impresses Jane Millman, a therapeutic recreation specialist at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

They perform there about once every three months, Millman says.

National Institutes of Health is a research hospital with patients from all over the United States, as well as other countries, and they often are alone without family or friends nearby, Millman says.

"It means a great deal to them to have something fun to take their minds off their problems," Millman says.

Millman's job is to keep people who are undergoing treatments happy through activities such as movies, games, plays and other entertainment.

The three have offered to come more often, but Millman says she is hesitant to schedule them that frequently.

"I feel like I'm taking advantage of them; they're so great," Millman says.

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