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Exile, Possum Holler headline benefit concert

November 30, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Debi Turpin was driving home one day when she heard an ad on the radio for the local band Possum Holler when an idea for a benefit concert swept over her.

The executive director of the Home Builders Association of Washington County, Turpin approached her Home Show chairman about her idea, and the concert soon became a reality.

Possum Holler opened the third annual concert on Saturday night followed by Exile, a country band whose hits include "Kiss You All Over," which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1978.

"I wanted this to benefit the babies ... I don't care how old they are," Turpin said as the concert was about to begin at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

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Proceeds from the $20 ticket sales and a silent auction will go to Safe Place, the Washington County Child Advocacy Center at 24 N. Walnut St.

"Three years ago, I was directed to Safe Place, took a tour and was very impressed," Turpin said. "I'm a strong lady, but it brought me to tears."

Turpin said the concert, which raised $5,000 last year, not only brings in needed funds, but raises awareness in the community to the problem of child abuse.

This year's concert plans were moving along when three weeks ago, the second band had to pull out. Turpin said she called Tori Anderson of Possum Holler, who was able to line up Exile for the event on short notice.

Turpin said Centra Bank and the Builders of Westfields were sponsors for this year's concert.

Melissa and Gary Cline brought their daughter, Elizabeth Cline, and her friend, Jennifer Smela, to the concert.

"I heard about it at work," Melissa Cline said, noting she is employed with the Washington County Department of Social Services. She also is a music lover and a supporter of the cause.

Teresa Thorn, program manager at Safe Place, said the agency served more than 900 youths last year.

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