With hubbub in the past, clinic fundraiser held

May 15, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Music, food and charity took center stage Friday, pushing controversy to the background.

Timothy Gordon's "Wind Down Friday" fundraiser was held behind the Miller House, capping days of debate between the attorney and the city over the event.

Less than an hour into the five-hour party, 50 to 60 people were there, listening to Pete Lancaster and his band crank out music from a spot on the back porch.

Gordon said he expected the turnout to increase later, when more people would be home from work.

Tickets cost $10 apiece and included food and two musical acts: Lancaster first, Lana Spence second.

Proceeds were earmarked for Community Free Clinic, which provides medical care to Washington County residents without insurance.

Gordon said he was at a Hagerstown City Council meeting a few months ago when Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said the clinic was struggling financially.


Gordon and his wife wanted to help, while also reviving the Wind Down Friday outdoor concert series held last summer outside The Maryland Theatre. Gordon said he sponsored one of those shows.

He planned the fundraiser to be in the North Potomac Street building he wants to turn into a restaurant. However, city officials told him he couldn't because the building doesn't yet have a sprinkler system, a fire alarm and other safety features.

After a circuit court judge on Wednesday denied Gordon's request for a restraining order against the city, the event was moved to the Miller House on West Washington Street, the home of the Washington County Historical Society.

The front door was locked, which confused a few visitors, but signs led them through an alley to the event in the backyard.

Michael E. Stanford, president of Community Free Clinic's board, said the organization was "a little chagrined" over the problems that put the fundraising event, or at least its location, in doubt.

"We were looking forward to any dollar we can get," he said.

For every 25 tickets sold for the event, Community Free Clinic will be able to help one patient for a year, Stanford said.

He praised the historical society for its help on short notice, one nonprofit organization helping another.

"I don't know how much more you can want out of life," Stanford said.

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