Jazz strikes a relief chord at Taylor Park

September 26, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

KEEDYSVILLE - In January, 16-year-old Joe Clemens traveled to Nicaragua as a missionary for Salem United Methodist Church in Keedysville. He worked mainly with children, fixing things at their school and improving areas where they played.

The soccer goals were improved and Joe helped distribute clothing.

"We even fixed toilets," he said.

On Sunday, Joe was at Taylor Park in Keedysville helping Salem United Methodist parishioners and others raise money to send to Nicaragua in January 2006, when 10 missionaries are scheduled to travel there. The majority of the money will be spent to repair two schools in two Nicaraguan villages. A portion - 25 percent - will be donated to help victims of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast.

The Martinsburg (W.Va.) Jazz Orchestra and The Jazz Quartet played for the crowd gathered at the park Sunday. Money was raised through auctions and food sales at the event.


Barbara Reeder of Boonsboro and her friend Hezz Foster of Hagerstown said they came for the music.

"I'm a big fan of jazz," Reeder said.

Foster said he likes all kinds of music, but the jazz played Sunday, was their "kind of music."

The Rev. Malcolm Stranathan said the church needs to raise about $12,000 to send the 10 missionaries to Nicaragua in January. Most of the building will be done when they arrive, but they will do a lot of painting.

"We go to pretty them up," Stranathan said of the school buildings.

One of the schools needs a new classroom, and the other needs repairs and painting, said Mary Jo Clemens, mission team leader.

"It's important to get to meet the children and the people who live there," she said.

The missionaries each will stay with a family from the village.

She said the people there are very spiritual, and the missionaries always come back enriched.

"We get a lot from them," Clemens said.

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