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Animals to benefit from concert in the park

July 31, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A love of animals and live music brought out Morgan County residents on Sunday afternoon despite the heat and high humidity.

About 150 people attended A Concert for the Animals in Cacapon State Park's picnic area, and more than $2,000 was raised to benefit the Morgan County Humane Society.

Several area groups performed during the five-hour concert, and many people brought food and picnicked while they listened to the music.

The event was hosted by Jonathan and Jennie McBee, owners of The Red Guitar in Berkeley Springs.

"I'm an animal and music lover, and between the two, it's a good cause," Jonathan McBee said. The McBees have a dog and a hamster, he said.

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"This is great fun to facilitate this fundraiser and to be performing in it and to know we are doing what we can to help our local animal shelter," Jennie McBee said.

Donna Hopkins attended the event to hear her son, Richard "Blinkey" Hopkins, play drums. She said she and her family moved to Berkeley Springs from Baltimore in the 1980s for "a safer life for our family." She said she has a dog and birds.

"We love our animals and having them was a good way to teach our sons to be gentle people," Hopkins said.

Attending the concert with Donna Hopkins, Kim Berridge said she and her family moved from Westminster, Md., about 15 years ago. Her three dogs and two cats are part of the family, "and both Boston terriers sleep under the covers," she said.

Sisters Daria and Dana Rainieri grew up in Berkeley Springs and thought the concert was for a good cause.

"I love animals - I just got a new kitten," Daria Rainieri said. "His name is Baci, which is Italian for 'kisses,'" she said.

"There are so many beautiful animals that are unwanted," said Dana Rainieri. "Please spay and neuter your pets."

Maya Fredo, an artist who works at The Red Guitar, said she helped organized the event and accepted donations.

"Jonathan (McBee) took care of getting the musicians, and I collected sponsors and donations," said Fredo, who said she has eight cats and two dogs.

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