Free Clinic fundraiser takes off with dance

November 07, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN -- Through the dim atmosphere of an aircraft hangar came an old familiar tune.

The number bore a bluesy imprint, with every beat of the drum, every tap of the cymbal fitting carefully into the song.

It was easy to soak in the pure tones.

Minutes later, the band -- Dem Guise -- switched gears, firing up their electric guitars and leaping into music by Van Morrison.

The night would hold something for everyone.

An eclectic mix of blues, folk and rock was on the musical menu Saturday night for Dancin' in the Hangar.

The event, sponsored by Unity of Hagerstown, a local church, was held at Hagerstown Aircraft Services near Hagerstown Regional Airport.

All proceeds from the dance will benefit the Community Free Clinic of Washington County.

"We're a fairly new church and are very fortunate not to have a lot of overhead," spiritual leader Sandy Boyer said. "We thought it would be great to do a benefit for a nonprofit in the community who does good work. We read about the needs of the Community Free Clinic and thought it would be the perfect recipient."


Boyer said she and other organizers tossed about several fundraising ideas, but because the church meets in the Civil Air Patrol Building near the airport, decided on an aviation theme.

"Our one requirement was that it must be fun," she said. "A lot of people have never been in a hangar, so we thought this would be different -- transforming a working environment into a kind of magical place with lights and music."

Boyer hoped the event would net several thousand dollars for the clinic.

In addition to music and dancing, the fundraiser included a raffle featuring gift certificates and merchandise from area businesses.

Boyer thanked Hagerstown Aircraft Services for the use of the hangar and the Hagerstown Aviation Museum for the vintage planes that were on display for the evening.

"We've had great support from the community," Boyer said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to do this again."

Robin E. Roberson, executive director of the Community Free Clinic, said there have been other fundraisers for the clinic, but this was the first one held in a hangar.

"It's always exciting when an organization selects the clinic as its charity of choice," she said. "It's an honor and a privilege.

"The clinic has been embraced by the community during these tough economic times. We appreciate everything everyone has done to help keep us afloat."

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