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Herald-Mail co-sponsoring hurricane relief fundraiser

October 28, 2005

Last week the Council on Philanthropy reported that so far Americans have contributed $1.8 billion toward relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

That's a generous sum, but given that the damage from the storm is estimated at $70 billion or more, it's not enough.

That's why The Herald-Mail has agreed to co-sponsor Hagerstown Helps, a community wide fundraising event for the victims of Hurricane Katrina that will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Dual Highway in Hagerstown.

Pieter Bickford will be the master of ceremonies for the event and the guest speaker will be Cathy Parson, head basketball coach at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

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There will be entertainment as well, from the Rhythm Kings, a blues band and two disc jockeys, Supa Dupa Disco and Cary B, who will be playing Motown favorites.

The ballroom and the entertainment have all been donated and in addition to The Herald-Mail, the following companies have agreed to co sponsor the event:

Antietam Cable Television, WHAG TV, The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, Beaver Mechanical, Susquehanna Bank and WJEJ Radio.

The cost of the event is $20 per person and checks can be made out directly to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

Companies can sponsor an entire table for $250 and a half a table for $125.

In terms of damage, Hurricane Katrina was the largest natural disaster in the history of the United States.

The American Red Cross reports that the storm left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Because even after the clean-up, many evacuees will have no homes to go back to, the University of Mississippi reports that there is likely to an internal migration of Americans of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression.

These people, many of whom were poor before the storm struck, will need help with clothing, shelter and health care. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance officials are saying that helping the Gulf Coast recover will require volunteer work teams to spend all or part of the next three years there.

Washington County has been spared from the worst of most recent natural disasters. On behalf of those fellow Americans who weren't so lucky, we ask you to do whatever you can.

If you cannot attend the event, but would like to make a donation, please call 301-739-8577, ext. 141.

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