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300 attend concert to benefit food agency

August 31, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

About 300 fans attended a Saturday night concert by country music singer Jessica Andrews to benefit Food Resources Inc., a Hagerstown-based agency that provides low-cost food to nonprofit organizations and families.

Several concert-goers interviewed before the show said they were there because they like Andrews, but having the money go to a good cause made the concert at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Hagerstown more special.

"Thank you guys so much. I am so happy to be here," Andrews told the crowd.

The goal was to draw 500 people and raise about $4,000, Food Resources treasurer Beth Elbin said. She estimated attendance would be closer to a draw of about 300 people, raising about $2,000 or $3,000.

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People who brought 10 or more canned food items were entered into a raffle, an offer a number of fans took advantage of, Elbin said.

Elbin - whose husband, Glenn Elbin, runs a sideline sound production company out of the couple's home - said she organized the effort to bring Andrews to Hagerstown.

Three women who were country music fans were sitting in the front row. Two of them said they were not familiar with Andrews beyond knowing about her biggest hit, "Who I Am." They weren't going to let that stop them from having a good time.

Mary Palmer of Downsville and Shirley McCauley of Williamsport said they intended to "holler" at the singer, as they do with other country acts they like.

Their friend Linda Mowen, also of Williamsport, said she was impressed with Andrew's performance on a television program and has been looking forward to seeing her live in person.

Sharon Paxson of Hedgesville, W.Va., brought cans in a plastic bag, which qualified her for the drawing.

Paxson said she came because she's a fan of Andrews.

"I like her lyrics. I like her music. I like her youthfulness," she said.

Borderline, a Tri-State area classic rock and country band, opened for Andrews, mixing fast songs with slower tunes including covers of Garth Brooks' "The Dance" and songs by The Monkees and The Charlie Daniels Band.

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