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Free clinic supporters eat ther fill, keep the bowls

February 22, 1999

Potter's BowlBy MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




The soups pouring into handmade bowls Sunday evening at Congregation B'nai Abraham represented an outpouring of support for the Community Free Clinic in Hagerstown.

A total of 110 people bought $25 tickets for the fourth annual Potter's Bowl Dinner, which allowed each to eat to their fill and take home one of 120 bowls donated by 13 potters, all but one from the Tri-State area.

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Attendees had their choice of eight soups made by members of B'nai Abraham Sisterhood and other volunteers. Breads and muffins also were served, including 11 loaves of olive bread donated by W.B. Lanham and Co. of Shepherdstown, W.Va. The meal was topped off by desserts created by members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.

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Another part of the fund-raiser was a raffle for various forms of artwork and a facial and steam bath, all donated by area artists and businesses. Last year, the dinner and raffle netted $5,000 for the clinic, said Carol Mendelsohn, who coordinated the event with Janet Emral Shaool.

"This is outstanding. I'm amazed at the outpouring of concern," said Katherine McGinley of Hagerstown, a volunteer at the clinic. She said she chose a bowl donated by Doris Hoopengardner of Hagerstown because, "I can use it with my dishes at home."

Ann Sheldon, of Waynesboro, Pa., brought along a friend, Nancy Kantner, of Chambersburg, Pa. They sat in their car waiting for the doors of the synagogue's social hall to open so they could get first dibs at the bowls.

"I don't volunteer here, but I believe in them," said Sheldon.

Sandy Durboraw of Hagerstown had the same strategy as Sheldon and Kantner.

"This year we came early," said Durboraw, a volunteer at the clinic. Holding her soup was a bowl donated by Tammy Staley of Hagerstown. "I like the color and the shape of it," she said.

Simone Heurich of Smithsburg made two meat-free soups for the event - cream of curried vegetable and split pea soup and African vegetable.

"It's just really wonderful to be part of this," she said.

Jerry Cohen of Hagerstown was at the hub of the action - in the kitchen - where the soup kettles were getting low after only about 30 minutes.

"It seems to be successful. Carol (Mendelsohn), I know, works hard all year," Cohen said.

"Never believe that a small group of people can't change the world," said Lorri Emon, acting director of the clinic, as she addressed the attendees. The clinic offers a variety of services to the uninsured, including primary and acute care, pediatrics, psychiatry, orthopedic surgery, school physicals, immunizations and lab services, she said.

"Our community should be so proud that we have this clinic available," Emon said, because the community provides the funding to keep it going.

Mendelsohn said next year the event may have to move to Trinity Lutheran Church, which has more space. The social hall at the synagogue holds 110 people snugly.

"If we get the potters, they can supply the tables and chairs we don't have at Congregation B'nai Abraham," Mendelsohn said.

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