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A day for horsin' around

Nonprofit group holds annual Barnyard Jamboree

Nonprofit group holds annual Barnyard Jamboree

October 24, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

CEARFOSS

karenh@herald-mail.com

Usually, Chris Dayley spends her time helping the developmentally disabled residents of Star Community Inc.

On Sunday, she and other employees of the 142-acre facility on Greencastle Pike served an even broader population as they dished up french fries and other fair food staples during the sixth annual Barnyard Jamboree. Dozens of people browsed vendors' tents while basking in the balmy weather.

Dayley, who has worked with handicapped people for more than 23 years, summed up the most important ingredients for workers in the field with three words: compassion, patience and love.

The Barnyard Jamboree, which this year featured vendors selling a variety of goods from clothes to wood crafts and toys, helps raise money for Star Community, a nonprofit residential facility for developmentally disabled adults, Executive Director Arnold Eby said. He was not sure how much money the two-day festival had raised by Sunday afternoon.

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"The big thing is to find ways that (we can) connect with the community," Eby said as he watched a group of children, including his daughters and foster children, try to sink dimes in glasses arranged on a table on the grounds of the facility west of Hagerstown.

Under tents set up near the end of the facility's driveway, Jane Wolfe and her husband, Mike, of Berlin, Pa., were trying to sell designer-name clothing. They buy clothing straight from the warehouse and travel to shows trying to sell it, Jane Wolfe said.

Despite cold, rainy weather Saturday, Wolfe was in good spirits. She and her husband spent about six hours setting up tents to protect their merchandise from the elements.

Setting up takes a lot of time, but Wolfe said she doesn't mind the work.

"But, as long as you get it up, it's up, and as long as you go home with a nice fat pocket, you don't mind, you know what I mean?" Wolfe said.

Business was actually better Saturday than Sunday, said John Cauffman, a vendor who was trying to sell wood crafts. Few customers stopped by Sunday afternoon, and the Hagerstown man was engrossed in the Cincinnati Bengals-Pittsburgh Steelers game playing on a fickle color TV plugged into a boat battery.

"The wind just knocked the antenna off the pole there, it comes in pretty good," Cauffman said as the TV went on the fritz.

The folding chairs set up in Cauffman's booth were filled with stuffed animals his partner's daughter, Tai Mason, 11, of Hagerstown, won at the dime toss.

The girl, who won more than a dozen Beanie Babies, had no trouble explaining her strategy: "I just go for the ones closest to me."

Eby said one of the Star Community's challenges is finding ways to cater to the whole community. He has served as executive director for about 11/2 years, and he has been a foster parent for about 31/2 years.

"You don't always get a chance to make a difference, but by fostering children - and by doing what we do here - you get a chance to make a difference ... and give back," Eby said.

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