Local professionals turn rock stars to raise money for San Mar Children's Home

Showcase of the Stars organizers hoped event would raise more than $10,000 to help fund programs

April 29, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Dr. Wayne McWilliams of The Urological Center, P.A. in Hagerstown performs as Elvis with fellow physicians to the tune of "Hard Headed Woman," Friday during the Showcase of the Stars benefit for San Mar Children's Home.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Local professionals donated their time — and in some cases their dignity — to raise money for San Mar Children's Home Friday night during the annual Showcase of the Stars at Hager Hall in Hagerstown.

Mary Heizer, president of San Mar Children's Home, said organizers of the third annual showcase hoped the event would raise more than $10,000 to help fund programs at San Mar, which supports 32 at-risk girls at the home and 35 other boys and girls in foster care.

"The children come to us through the Department of Social Services or Juvenile Services for various reasons," Heizer said.

San Mar officials asked local professionals to create acts to lip-synch songs, she said. Washington County clergy members, for example, lip-synched "Soul Man" by The Blues Brothers.

Businesswomen Linda Altizer, Dr. Tracy Barlup, Cynthia Moler, Susan Himes and Melissa Ringquist sang "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child.

"I think it's a wonderful cause," said Barlup, a veterinarian at Longmeadow Animal Hospital. "But I've told everyone, 'No video. No pictures.'"

Mike Spinnler, president of the Cumberland Valley Athletic Club, joined Boonsboro High School coaches Clayton Anders, Skip Chambers and Pete Yurish, and former St. Maria Goretti coach Cokey Robertson, to lip-synch "Wild Thing" by The Troggs. They donned baseball uniforms and wore glasses similar to ones that Charlie Sheen wore in the movie "Major League."

"We had three rehearsals and each was about an hour," Spinnler said. "It's a lot of fun. I was brought up to help the less fortunate. It's really great that I can contribute in some way."

Heizer said San Mar counts on fundraisers for about 20 percent of its $4.5 million budget. She said the state pays about 80 percent of the home's budget, but officials put a freeze on aid over the last three years. That has meant that as operating costs have increased, the amount of financial aid from the state has stayed the same.

Heizer said San Mar's fundraising efforts usually fall short about $500,000 per year.

Roughly 400 people attended Friday's fundraiser. Tickets cost $40 for the event, which included chicken Oscar for dinner.

The fundraiser also had several raffles that offered, among other things, a chance to win a one-week stay at a private vacation home on Fenwick Island, Del. 

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