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Bikes, Boats and Bowers Pig Roast raises money for Shining Tr

August 19, 2007|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

Eight boys diligently ran children's games and a bake sale, offering courteous greetings and thank yous as people came and went.

During times when there were no customers, the lively group spontaneously broke into dancing, grooving to the songs of a disc jockey. Some of them even burst into song.

The spirited boys were at Bikes, Boats and Bowers Pig Roast, a fundraising event Saturday to benefit Shining Tree, a children's home in Smithsburg where they temporarily reside.

Jocelyne Melton-Bercaw, manager of Bowers Marine Sales Inc. in Hagerstown, coordinated the fundraiser, which included games, raffles, motorcycle rides, boat and motorcycle displays, and novelty food stands.

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Mike Bowers, owner of Bowers Marine Sales Inc., also is the owner of Black Dog Motorcycles.

Melton-Bercaw said Bowers Marine Sales Inc. personnel wanted to become involved in providing support to a local organization. Bowers employee Archie Findley belongs to PRIDE, a correctional employee motorcycle club that supports Shining Tree. Findley suggested Bowers could provide aid to the nonprofit as well.

"Archie knew of the need and put us on to it," Melton-Bercaw said. "Our goal is to do some fundraising quarterly, and to do something with the boys monthly."

On July 2, Bowers' staff provided the boys with a "Day at the River," where they took a boat ride in a Tahoe 222, barbecued and fished. On Aug. 2, they treated the group to a Hagerstown Suns game.

Melton-Bercaw estimated that more than 300 people attended Saturday's fundraiser at Bowers Marine Sales. She said Bowers hoped to raise $3,000 at the event. The money would be used to purchase birthday gifts for the boys and to open an account to fund another pig roast fundraiser next year.

Jen Antolick, program director of Shining Tree, said the organization serves boys from across Maryland who have troubled home situations. She said the youths, ages 7 to 16, live at Shining Tree until they are able to go back home.

"I think it's important to (the boys) that someone is putting up all this effort," Antolick said. "They were very excited and helpful in coming up with things to do. The games and stuff were their ideas."

A 15-year-old boy from Shining Tree ran a ring toss game.

"I'm having fun watching everything and enjoying all this good stuff," he said. "It's great."

Jules LaTourette, who teaches school at Shining Tree and attended the event with her family, spoke of her students.

"These guys love stuff like this," LaTourette said. "They were vying for which booths they could work. They're always looking for ways to give back to the community, just like the community gives to them."

"I'm happy that everybody here is helping our group home," a 12-year-old boy said. "I'm just really happy that God helped us see this day."

Susan Asper, 61, of State Line, Pa., said she went to the fundraiser out of curiosity and to see the motorcycles.

"I didn't know anything about Shining Tree until this today," Asper said. "I think it's wonderful to support an organization that does something to turn lives around."

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