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$102,500 rung up in pledges in Hagerstown

April 07, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - The Parent-Child Center of Hagerstown raised $102,500 for its family support programs at its 19th annual telethon, held Sunday afternoon at Valley Mall.

The money will allow the private, nonprofit agency to continue to offer free programs, including parenting classes, home visits, child advocacy services, and food, clothing and diaper donations, said Executive Director Millie Lowman.

Proceeds from the telethon make up about 75 percent of the center's budget each year, Lowman said.

Sunday's event was broadcast on NBC 25 and included performances by a 5-year-old Elvis impersonator, a band, a show choir and Nashville, Tenn., country music singer Jason Mitchell.

Mitchell, who is preparing for a radio tour for his first single, "Don't Get No Sand in It," said he was happy to help out a good cause.

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"I feel strongly about any kind of benefit that has an impact on someone's life, especially if it's for children who can't help themselves," he said.

Lowman said Mitchell's performance was a big draw for this year's telethon, which surpassed its $100,000 goal and raised the second-highest total in the organization's history.

Cast members from Authentic Community Theatre also performed a song from their upcoming musical "Know Love, Know Power," a free show scheduled for May 9 at The Maryland Theatre.

Volunteers from JLG manned the phones throughout the three-hour telethon, calling their friends, family and acquaintances to ask for donations.

"We hardly had to ask people," said volunteer Gary Voight of Warfordsburg, Pa., who took a call from someone who wanted to donate a 65-foot house trailer.

The Parent-Child center is accepting donations of old vehicles, which will be sold to benefit the center's programs, said vehicle donation coordinator Jim Tribble.

Volunteer James H. Smith of McConnellsburg, Pa., said he thought the event was a success.

"I just think it's really amazing that there are so many people in the world who care about the children and preventing child abuse," he said.

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