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Community comes through for Star

auction, dinner raise $5,000

April 02, 2006|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN

When Star Community Inc. began planning a fundraising auction, the organization found plenty of neighbors in its surrounding community willing and ready to lend a hand.

Katie Hoover, Star's marketing coordinator, said the organization's October 2005 Barnyard Jamboree fundraiser was rained out. The group was left with several unused auction items and in need of money.

Star redoubled its efforts, seeking community support for a dinner and auction fundraiser.

United Auto Workers Local 171 stepped up to provide the use of its union hall facility, Outback Steakhouse provided dinners free of charge, and numerous businesses and individuals donated additional auction items.

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The result was Saturday night's Star Community Inc. Dinner and Auction, which brought in about $5,000 for the organization.

"Companies, businesses and families were all very generous," Hoover said. "It was incredible."

David Perkins, president of UAW Local 171, said his group was happy to help.

"A lot of our members are involved in all kinds of charities," Perkins said. "We like to be involved in the community. As an organization, we are pleased to contribute our time and facilities to an organization like Star."

Star Community is a private, nonprofit 142-acre facility between Hagerstown and Clear Spring with a mission to provide meaningful living and working experiences in a Christian setting for people with developmental disabilities. Hoover said the organization's residential and day habilitation programs are both "maxed out."

"We need to expand in order to accommodate more people," she said.

Hoover said in addition to its fundraising efforts, Star hopes to secure a grant and to expand Venture, the day habilitation program, in 2006 and the residential program in 2007.

Donald and Dee Stickley of Hagerstown and their granddaughter Katie McFadden, 8, also of Hagerstown, were among the approximately 180 people who attended the auction.

Donald Stickley is a certified nursing assistant and a crew leader at Star. He assists program participants with operation of the facility's greenhouse.

Early in the evening, Katie set her sights on auction item No. 57, an organ that had been donated by Pinesburg Baptist Church.

"I like music," Katie said.

The Stickleys said they planned to bid on the organ for their granddaughter.

Carl and Marian Brunner, 82 and 83, of Hagerstown, were as interested in the entertainment as they were in the auction.

Their daughter, Amy Brunner, is a resident at Star Community who performed in a bell choir following dinner. True to the community feel of the event, the Brunners were joined by more than a handful of family members and friends.

John and Anne Maysak of Middletown, Md., who attended the fundraiser, also have a daughter, Susan Maysak, who resides at Star Community. John Maysak said his daughter loves living at Star and is flourishing.

"Star is evolving. Its structure is changing," John Maysak said. "We are ready to do whatever we can to support them."

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