Couples driven to be generous

September 17, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - There were Mustangs, Corvettes, Camaros and Chevelles, but one car stood out to 8-year-old Katelyn Sherrard as she surveyed the rows of cars at Long Meadow Shopping Center Sunday.

"It's purple!" she said, spotting a glittery lavender 1970 Chevrolet Nova, and that was enough.

The Nova was given a bonus "Katelyn's Choice" award at the Route 40 Kruisers for Kids car show, which raised $2,937 for Katelyn, who lives in Martinsburg, W.Va., and has been diagnosed with a brain stem tumor.

Stacey Harbaugh, who organized the show with her husband, Steve, and friends Ann Marie and Craig Gilbert, said they decided to donate the proceeds to Katelyn after they heard her story on the news. It's their way of passing on the generosity they received from the car show community when Steve had two major heart surgeries, and lost his job and insurance three years ago.

"It's just people looking out for people," Stacey Harbaugh said. "It's like an extended family."


About 117 cars paid the $10 registration fee for Sunday's show, and organizers raised additional money through raffles, T-shirt sales and 50/50 tickets.

Rickey Fraley, 53, of Hagerstown, said he spent more than $50 and was happy to chip in for a good cause.

"If they're raising money for someone, I'll go," he said. "If they're raising money for their own profit, I don't like to go for it."

He and his wife, Tammy Fraley, brought their red 1977 Corvette, while their 2-year-old son, Logan, dubbed by his father the show's "youngest motorhead," brought a collection of assorted toy cars.

"I'd like to think if something tragic happened in my life or to my child, someone would be here like this for me," Tammy Fraley said.

"I'm glad there are people out here who can help."

As engines revved in the background, several car enthusiasts approached Katelyn, who was sporting her own set of wheels. Singer Brenda Eyler dedicated a song, Martina McBride's "Anyway," to Katelyn, and one man asked if he could say a prayer for her.

One anonymous donor handed the Sherrards $500, Harbaugh said.

"Everybody has been so nice to her," said Katelyn's mother, Jima Sherrard. "It's been such a blessing."

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