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Sharpsburg Lions' blanket is historical fund-raiser

July 17, 1998

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - People can wrap themselves in local history to keep warm this winter.

Burnside Bridge, the Maryland Monument and the Grove House are among the Sharpsburg-area landmarks that have made their way onto a throw blanket being sold by the Sharpsburg Lions Club for a fund-raiser.

"This is more than a fund-raiser. It's a piece of history," said Roger Moore, 70, chairman for this fund-raiser and a past president of the local Lions Club.

History is selling fast.

The first 100 throws were sold in a month, and the club is ordering its third batch of 100 throws, said Moore's wife, Aldeth, 67.

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Donna DeLauney bought six of the throws, one for herself and one for each of her five children for Christmas. She learned about the throws from her sister-in-law and passed on the word to help the club sell at least 20 throws, she said.

"You know how word passes. They would just call me and ask me and I would get them for them," said DeLauney, 58, of 301 W. Main St.

Aldeth Moore came up with the idea of selling the throw to raise funds after she and her husband saw a display by the firm We Love Country while at an international Lions convention in Montreal two years ago.

Roger Moore said he dismissed the idea at first because $3,000 was needed up front and the club doesn't have that kind of money available for such an operation.

But Moore, of 20775 Beaver Creek Road, became convinced the throw was a good idea after he put up $300 for a computer design for the item.

Mark Kretzer, of DMG Studios on Manila Avenue in Hagerstown, designed the throw for free from pictures, books and postcards depicting local landmarks.

After learning the club could waive the $70 postage fee for the first order of 100 throws if they paid $2,900 up front, Moore decided they would use his retirement money, his wife said.

Moore said he was somewhat surprised the throws are so popular, especially since this is the first time the club has tried this type of fund-raiser.

In the past the club has sold brooms, ham sandwiches and will again sell pit beef sandwiches at this year's Sharpsburg Heritage Festival, he said. The throws also will be on sale at the Sept. 19-20 festival.

Proceeds will go toward the $8,316 the Sharpsburg Lions Club must raise by Jan. 1, 2000, toward a $1.9 million endowment being raised by Lions Clubs in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

Interest from the endowment will go to low-vision research at the Wilmer Eye Institute, a Johns Hopkins medical institution, Moore said.

"They're not difficult to sell because we're proud of them," said Aldeth Moore.

Phyllis Stowell said she, Aldeth Moore, Betty Meyers and Madalyn Keller decided which landmarks to put on the throw. They include the Dunkard Church and historic homes such as Dr. Biggs House, where wounded Union and Confederate soldiers were treated after the Battle of Antietam.

Moore and Stowell said they've taken the throws to church, club meetings and even to a Stowell family reunion. They raised $97 in May from selling chances on one throw at a club dinner.

A view of Sharpsburg's original dirt Main Street is featured in the center of the throw.

Also on the throw are Antietam Iron Works, the Joseph Chapline House, the Kretzer Homestead, Bloody Lane and the War Department observation tower, a Canal boat, the Great Spring, the Sarah Chapline House, the emblem that hangs on Sharpsburg homes built before the Civil War and the Wounded Lion, the Lions Club's logo.

The cream, dark green, burgundy, blue and tan throw is approximately 48 inches by 68 inches, is 100 percent cotton and machine washable, according to the order slip.

The throws sell for $52.50, including tax, but not shipping and handling. To place an order call the Moores at 301-739-8245.

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