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YMCA youth programs to benefit from charity gala

February 01, 2005|by MARIE GILBERT/Staff writer

Derwood Bousum smiled as he opened the door of his newly acquired 2005 Pontiac G6.

"My old car just sprung a leak in the radiator, so this is perfect timing," he said.

But Bousum wouldn't be driving his car off the parking lot of a local dealership. He would be driving it out of the Grand Ballroom of the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway.

The Hagerstown resident was one of almost 400 persons who attended Saturday night's annual YMCA charity gala. Each person who purchased a ticket was eligible to win the car. Through a process of elimination, the evening came down to three finalists. But with a touch of drama, Bousum, who was not one of the finalists, offered to pay $5,000 to each of the individuals in exchange for their tickets, thus making him the winner.

"He suddenly came forward with his offer," said the Rev. Eleanor Doub, chairwoman of the event. "It was an exciting way to end the evening."

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Bousum said he decided to make a deal for the car "because this is such a worthwhile fund-raiser. I did it to support the Y, plus I needed a new car."

According to Doub, this is the 19th year the local YMCA has held the gala. She has chaired the event the last five years. The highlight of the evening was the awarding of a new car, but a variety of other prizes, including gift certificates, weekend getaways and oil paintings, also were offered, all donated by area individuals and businesses.

Mike Flicek, Hagerstown YMCA executive director, said Saturday's gala should have raised about $40,000 when everything is tallied.

"Last year we raised about $33,000," he said, "but this year we had a lot more sponsors. I'm very pleased. The evening was definitely a success."

Flicek said the Y's youth programs will greatly benefit from the money raised Saturday night. The funds also will be used to support those who are unable to afford YMCA memberships and other fees. Currently, the Y assists more than 900 people who otherwise would not be able to participate in Y programs.

In addition to Doub, this year's gala committee included Robert Brown, Ann Chaney, Michael Flicek, Paula Lampton, Barbara McKee, Tom Riford and Linda Stevenson.

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