It was a fundraising partnership born of concern with health and safety.
For two years, the American Red Cross of Washington County had hosted a Family Fun Treasure Hunt at its building on Conrad Court in Hagerstown. This year, the organization reached out to the like-minded Hagerstown YMCA to collaborate.
"Both are very health- and safety-oriented organizations," said Bob Rankin, a member of the American Red Cross of Washington County's board of directors. "The (Hagerstown YMCA) is an excellent facility and location. Any money raised would be used for similar things."
Brooks McBurney, a member of the YMCA's board of directors, was sold on the idea and signed on as co-chairman of the event.
Around 500 people attended The American Red Cross of Washington County and Hagerstown YMCA Family Fun Treasure Hunt Saturday at the YMCA on Eastern Boulevard. The event included children's activities, art exhibits, antique appraisals, craft and flea market vendors, and live and silent auctions. Meritus Health, Washington County Health Department and other health-minded community partners offered information and resources.
Red Cross volunteer Loretta Mulcahey of Hagerstown found time to do some shopping and bidding on items while she worked. Carefully stacked in her stash of boxes were a vintage silver coffee pot and a porcelain pitcher-and-bowl set she won during the live auction. From the silent auction, she whisked away movie tickets and a month-long gym membership.
Joyce Otzelberger of Hagerstown went to the event to support her daughter, Erica Hoover of Hagerstown, a Premier Designs jewelry consultant who set up shop at the event. Otzelberger said she picked up a glass wall sconce and a magazine rack at the flea market. But she was even more excited about another discovery.
"I recently lost 30 pounds. And I've never been inside the YMCA before," she said. "I'm glad to see what it's like and to meet the people here."
Rankin said organizers set a goal of $15,000 to be split evenly between the two sponsoring organizations, but that cool, rainy weather negatively affected attendance.
Julie Barr-Strasburg, executive director of the American Red Cross of Washington County, said proceeds would be used toward the Red Cross military family communication network and to support people during local disasters. The YMCA would use its portion to provide scholarships for families with a family member deployed for military service.