Funkstown family finds their hometown has a heart

March 19, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Funkstown Family

FUNKSTOWN - It's been said that people in Funkstown look out for each other, and perhaps there is no better example of that than what happened to Evan Feiser.

When fire raced through Feiser's mobile home earlier this month, it destroyed everything he owned.

Within minutes, his family's belongings were reduced to ashes, leaving him with nothing more than two end tables and the clothes he was wearing.

Then the community responded.

Bag upon bag of clothes were donated to the family, the town chipped in money and other services to help the family rebound from the fire and local businesses donated merchandise.


Even the family cockatiel that was killed in the fire was replaced.

Dorothy Gonder, who teaches Feiser's six-year-old son Schuyler at Funkstown Elementary School, decided she wanted to get another bird for the boy.

Gonder saw an ad for two cockatiels in the newspaper, and when she called about the birds and explained why she wanted them, the owner donated them to Schuyler.

One day last week, Gonder picked up Schuyler and his sister Sonja and took them to the woman's house to pick up the birds and a cage.

"There's just so many people to thank. I never expected the turnout to be like this," said Feiser, who has been staying with his mother who lives next door.

Clothes for the family were dropped off at the school, Feiser's mother's house, and the Funkstown Fire Co.

The Rent-A-Center on Maryland Avenue in Hagerstown, where Feiser had been a frequent customer, donated a living room suite, refrigerator, television and washer.

The town of Funkstown donated $100 to Feiser and paid $500 to cover the cost of two dumpsters to help the family clean up from the March 4 blaze at the Copper Kettle Trailer Park off U.S. 40 Alternate.

"We're all one big happy family. We always have been that way," said Mayor Robert L. Kline.

"That speaks highly of the community to pull together like this," said Cindy Blackstockkline of the American Red Cross.

It was hard to tell anything had happened Wednesday afternoon as Feiser and his two children enjoyed some time together. They giggled as their two new cockatiels flew nervously around the room, and Schuyler played with a Sega game that was donated to the family.

Sonja showed off two Beanie Babies that were given to her.

The mobile home was insured and Fesier hopes to hear this week about a new one.

"I've told them we're getting a new home and we'll be back on our feet," said Fesier, who works at Antietam Construction Inc.

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