Easter Seals fundraiser a success

September 27, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN -- The fact that there were few empty chairs Sunday afternoon at the Easter Seals Adult Day Service Center fundraiser was an encouraging sign to Deb Lauricella, activities director for the agency in Washington County.

"This is our first time for a local fundraiser," Lauricella said of the Longaberger Basket Bingo event at the Funkstown American Legion.

The event raised $7,000, Lauricella said. All of Sunday's proceeds will stay in Washington County, she said.

"We are holding our heads up high," Lauricella said, despite feeling the crunch most agencies are feeling during current tough economic times.

With about 50 people in the day program, Easter Seals is committed to making their lives as rich and full as possible with the funds available.


"Our clients are like family to us," Lauricella said.

Some of the bingo players were regulars on the "circuit," but others were playing the game for the first time in many years.

"My daughter bought me tickets for my Sept. 24 birthday," said Barbara Lucas.

She said she hadn't been in the Funkstown Legion ballroom since her wedding reception many years ago.

Daughter Karey Lucas said she got the tickets because her mom likes Longaberger baskets and because it was a chance for them to spend some time together.

"I knew it was an Easter Seals benefit from my work," she said.

Lauricella said the funds raised help provide a variety of activities for the clients at the 101 E. Baltimore St. center and out in the community.

"We take them fishing and bowling ... whatever they want to do," she said.

In mid-February, the local agency learned of a $375,000 federal grant for the adult day center in Hagerstown. That grant will allow Easter Seals to partner with the Housing Authorities of Hagerstown and Washington County to improve the quality of life for the elderly and disabled.

Services such as case management, employment assistance and adult day-care services will be enhanced. The funding, which will be spread over three years, is projected to reach more than 225 seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Washington County.

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