The Party canceled

November 30, 1997

The Party canceled


Staff Writer

For the past 15 years, Hagerstown attorney Roger Schlossberg's open house the first week of December has been a holiday staple popular with lawyers, real estate agents, police officers and others.

But the party, simply named The Party, will not be held this year, the victim of its own success, Schlossberg said.

So instead of serving drinks and Swedish meatballs, Schlossberg is encouraging those who would normally attend The Party to make donations to local charities, which Schlossberg's firm will match.


"I want to give something back to the community, and I think we all have that job," he said.

The Party began in 1982, back then a relatively small affair with about 30 or 40 guests gathering at Schlossberg's West Washington Street law offices for food and drink, Schlossberg said.

But The Party grew to the point where two bartenders had to be hired, a kitchen was built in the building for the sole purpose of preparing food for the event, and a cleaning crew had to be contracted.

"It cost a couple of bucks, more than a couple of bucks," Schlossberg said without naming a specific dollar amount.

But more than the expense, The Party was becoming too taxing on a firm with two lawyers and seven staff, who played hosts to more than 300 guests, Schlossberg said.

"I can't say I didn't enjoy it, because I loved it, but there were a lot of people here I didn't know," he said.

After wrestling for months this year with what to do with The Party, he finally decided on a plan, and sent out a letter explaining his decision to party regulars earlier this month .

"Rather than let The Party's dignity be impugned, we have decided to pass on The Party for 1997 and try to bring it back in years to come," part of the letter said.

The donations will go to the Washington County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Y-Me of the Cumberland Valley, one area food bank and a fund set up by Schlossberg's firm to help area needy children. Donations can be sent to Schlossberg & Associates at P.O. Box 4227, Hagerstown, Md. 21741-4227.

The firm will match donations up to a total of $2,000, money saved from "not feeding and watering" guests, according to the letter, but Schlossberg said he is prepared to go higher.

"We're getting really great response and if it goes beyond $2,000, we'll match it anyway," he said.

He said some people are disappointed about The Party's demise, but he said there is a good chance it will come back in the future, perhaps coupled with a way to raise funds for the needy.

"I'm certain that we're going to give people a vehicle to do good again," Schlossberg said.

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