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Dinner raises money for Habitat house

May 06, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Perhaps Hagerstown Mayor William Breichner said it best Monday night as he and his wife, Gann, attended a progressive dinner/fund-raiser for an accessible Habitat for Humanity home.

"This combines an enjoyable evening with a good cause," Breichner said as he and more than 100 others partook of the first course of hors d'oeuvres at The Maryland Theatre.

Entertainment at the theater was provided by KoKo Blue, followed by a gourmet dinner at the patron's choice of either The Rhubarb House or Roccoco's. After dinner, all returned to the theater for dessert and selected violin works performed by Miss Maryland.

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Hagerstown's public information manager, Karen Giffin, and events coordinator Susie Salkvagni, applied the progressive dinner/fund-raiser to this latest project.

"Four years ago, it was done successfully for the Washington County Arts Council, and then again for the Parent-Child Center," Giffin said. "We just brought it back."

Sherry Brown Cooper, Habitat executive director, said the bulk of the proceeds from the $50 a ticket event will go to finance the accessible house which will be built on Liberty Street.

"We have already bought one lot on Liberty Street for another Habitat home and we are awaiting approval of Community Development Block Grant money later this month for the second lot where the accessible house will go," Cooper said.

MiHi - Many Individuals Helping Individuals - and St. John's Episcopal Church have joined forces on the project to help publicize the need for more accessible housing in the community.

A young working lady with spina bifida has been tentatively selected to be the recipient of the accessible home, Cooper said.

Hagerstown City Councilman and longtime MiHi member Linn Hendershot said Monday night that he was delighted that an accessible house was finally being built.

"You know MiHi started with accessible picnic tables for children and now we are working to provide accessible housing to adults," Hendershot said.

Also attending Monday night's dinner was Hagerstown businessman Joe Tischer. "I'm here to support both Habitat for Humanity and MiHi. Anyone who provides a home and roots is doing a wonderful thing," he said. "It is truly a moral issue."

Cooper said the two new Habitat homes are becoming a reality as the lack of affordable housing in Hagerstown becomes even more critical. "And that is especially true for the disabled," she said.

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