Youths rock to benefit Pa. shelter

March 15, 2004|by DON AINES

Admission was $5, but one guy plunked down an extra $60 Sunday night at a benefit concert for a Waynesboro, Pa., homeless shelter.

"I had set some money aside from my job to donate to a good cause," said Brad Jacques of Smithsburg. "I'm a high school senior. I have a car, car insurance and gas" - his only major expenses.

About 100 young people showed up for the rock music concert to benefit the New Hope Shelter.

The shelter got authorization from Waynesboro's fire marshal Thursday to reopen after being closed Sept. 19, interim director Frank Kocek said.


"The average wait is 60 to 90 days, maybe more, depending on the size of families and the time of year," Kocek said.

Kocek said the shelter on South Potomac Street recently was approved for a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant of more than $250,000 for transitional housing units. To fully access that money, the shelter must raise $140,000 for the local match.

"We decided the shelter helped a lot of people in the community and they needed the most help," Cassie Tarr, a senior at Waynesboro Area Senior High School, said. Tarr and fellow senior Leah Markus organized the benefit.

"This will actually do something for the community and it's something Cassie and I are both interested in," Markus said.

The concert is their high school graduation project.

The concert raised more than $400 for the shelter, organizers said Sunday night.

Kocek said the hands-on work of young volunteers has been instrumental in getting the shelter opened and getting it ready to pass the fire marshal's inspection.

Besides having a name that conjures up a hue, Amber Naugle is a colorful young woman. She described her hair as rose red, turquoise and Atlantic blue.

Naugle, who was carrying a mannequin head, said she came to the gymnasium of the former Mowrey Elementary School for both the music and a good cause. The 2002 Waynesboro graduate recalled her parents' home being damaged by fire last summer and how they got furniture from the shelter.

"They were very, very helpful," Naugle said.

Three tractor-trailer loads of donated furniture, clothes and toys were removed from the shelter after it was closed.

Parts of the shelter used for storage will become transitional housing, where people can live 18 months or more while working to acquire the life skills needed to make it on their own. The rest of the shelter is for those who need a few weeks of temporary housing to get back on their feet, he said.

For those interested in the music, Saving Flaurence, My Winter Nerve, The General Store, Driving in Silence and Split End performed for free.

"Flaurence was a dear friend of ours that we lost one night," Aaron Tolbert-Smith of Hagerstown said, explaining the name of the band. Flaurence was lost in what he described as a "bizarre gardening accident."

"That's as true as any other story," he said.

He described Saving Flaurence as an "emotional pop-punk band" that performs mostly original material.

"It's rock, slash, I don't know - a mixture of a lot of stuff, I guess," Split End guitarist Derek Kretzer said before taking the floor for the band's set.

A number of people at the concert described themselves as "straight-edge," meaning they don't use drugs or alcohol.

"It means keeping away from anything that keeps you from what you should be doing," said Christine Brooks of Funkstown.

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