Cruising for a cause

Cruise-in and concert will raise money for police officer diagnosed with cancer

Cruise-in and concert will raise money for police officer diagnosed with cancer

June 19, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

A cruise-in and a concert at Barefoot Bernie's on Sunday will help a police officer diagnosed with cancer cover his medical expenses.

J.R. Butcher, a Martinsburg (W.Va.) Police officer, was diagnosed with melanoma in 2007. He has just regained the ability to walk. He hopes to start working by August.

"He put his life on the line every day before he got sick, so it's not going to hurt people to support him on this," said organizer Stacey Harbaugh.

The cruise-in is open to all makes, models and years - pretty much anyone willing to pay the $5 entry fee for a vehicle, Harbaugh said. The concert features five regional bands: Jester, Hicktown, Deadlocked, Fuze and LeadFoot. Concert admission costs $5. The event is open to all ages.


Butcher, who was expected to begin his first round of chemotherapy treatment today, said that his family has received an outpouring of support since he was diagnosed.

Family friend Tammy Hefner, branch manager of Bank of Charles Town in Martinsburg, set up a care fund at the bank for Butcher. Hefner and Martinsburg emergency services personnel are hosting a benefit dinner and auction fundraiser for Butcher in July.

"What they're going through, we're going through," Hefner said. "We're like family."

Rik Parks, the father of 15-year-old Fuze guitarist Justin Parks, is planning another benefit for Butcher on June 29 at Moose Acres in Martinsburg. Parks said his brother, Bill Parks, is a Martinsburg Police officer.

Butcher's wife, Natalie, said she wishes she could do more between the many doctor's visits, tending to her husband and looking after their two kids, ages 4 and 14. She said she is thankful for the community's support.

"It makes you appreciate the world a little more," Butcher said.

Harbaugh and her husband, Chris, have organized past cruise-ins to raise money for charitable causes. Harbaugh said she could relate to what the Butcher family is going through. Years ago, Harbaugh's husband got sick and was unable to work.

"If we didn't have friends put some things together for us, we wouldn't have pulled through," Harbaugh said.

Getting bands to play the benefit concert for free was an easy sell.

"You never know, some day we may need the help," said Jeremy McCrea, drummer from cover band Deadlocked, based in Fayetteville, Pa.

Deadlocked and LeadFoot, the closing act Sunday, performed at another benefit concert at Delmar Inn Restaurant & Lounge last year, and Kip Forbes, bassist for LeadFoot, said his band is happy to do it again.

"It helps the karma wagon," Forbes said.

If you go ...

WHAT: J.R. Butcher Benefit Cruise In

WHEN: 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22. Cruise-in setup starts at noon.

WHERE: Barefoot Bernie's, 981 Dual Highway, Hagerstown

COST: Cruise-in registration costs $5. Concert admission costs $5. Cruise-in registration for one car is good for one free admission into the concert.

MORE: Call Stacey Harbaugh, 240-291-7374

Band schedule

1 p.m. - Jester. Hagerstown-based rock band. Online at

2 p.m. - Hicktown. Hagerstown-based country, Southern rock band. Online at

3 p.m. - Deadlocked. Radio-friendly cover band from Fayetteville, Pa. Online at

4 p.m. - Fuze. Rock band from Fairplay. Online at

5 p.m. - LeadFoot. An '80s-metal hair band from Harrisburg, Pa. Online at

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