Charity is at heart of St. Patrick's celebration

March 22, 2005|by Marie Gilbert/Staff Writer

There was corned beef and cabbage and an Irish singalong. But behind the party atmosphere, charity was at work.

About 250 people attended a St. Patrick's Day gala Friday, March 18, at the Knights of Columbus in Hagerstown.

The evening event was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Pangborn Council No. 1365, and benefited Hospice of Washington County.

"As an organization, we wanted to hold a spring event - something everyone could relate to," said Dave Moats, deputy grand knight. "We thought a St. Patrick's Day celebration would be festive; at the same time, we wanted to do something charitable. So we decided to give all of our proceeds from the evening to Hospice."

Moats said the Knights are hoping to make the fund-raiser an annual event.

"We're always excited about helping others," he said. "That's what the Knights of Columbus is all about."

Council member Dick Ford of Hagerstown said the local group had no trouble selling tickets for the event.


"It was a sellout," he reported. "We could have double the tickets sold."

Ford estimated the evening netted about $2,000 for Hospice.

"I think this is wonderful," said Lisa Zanella, program liaison with Hospice of Washington County. "So many people came out to show their support."

The money, she said, will be put to good use, including helping those individuals who normally would not be able to afford Hospice care.

According to Zanella, the local Hospice is marking its 25th anniversary this year. "Over those years," she said, "about 3,400 people have benefited from Hospice care."

Zanella said Hospice was appreciative of the Knights of Columbus' fund-raiser. "We're very fortunate to have people like this who want to support Hospice. That means a great deal to us."

Doris Phillips was among the guests attending the celebration.

"I read about it in the paper and decided it would be nice way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day," the Hagers-town resident said. "At the same time I would be helping Hospice."

Phillips invited four of her friends to join her for the evening.

"This sounded like something we would all enjoy," she said. "Good food, a chance to socialize with others, and helping a good cause - that's the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day."

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