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Family Evening of Comedy helps with operating expenses at Safe Place Child Advocacy Center

March 10, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Magician and Illusionist, Malcolm "Puck" Puckering, stuns audience members, Emory Mondschein, 11 left, of Fairfax, Va. and her cousin Alex Paddack, 15, of Hagerstown, Saturday at the Maryland Theater during the 6th Annual Family Evening of Comedy and Magic benefiting Safe Place the Washington County Child Advocacy Center.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

More than 1,000 children and their families came through the Safe Place Child Advocacy Center to receive treatment for abuse last year.

Safe Place Executive Director Mooch Mutchler said the high abuse rate was one of the reasons the organization held its 6th Annual Family Evening of Comedy Saturday night at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown. He said he hoped the event, which cost $20 per ticket, would raise close to $7,500.

"It helps with all kinds of operating expenses," Mutchler said. "We’re grateful staff and friends help put on programs like these."

The 2 1/2-hour show featured multiple acts, including Antje Pode, a German performer who laid on her back, and simultaneously juggled oranges with her hands and suitcases with her feet.

Smithsburg resident Jennifer Egupov said before the show that she heard about the event from a flier that her 7-year-old son, Nathan, brought home from school.She said the admission price was well worth the cost.

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"I think it's an important cause, and I have three kids," Jennifer Egupov said. "Anything that's good for keeping kids safe is good for me."

She said Nathan, who was a little too shy to talk, recently started performing magic.

"He said in the car on the way here that he wanted to see something disappear," Jennifer Egupov said.

Adam Gary, 12, of Hagerstown, said he wanted to watch a woman get sawed in half.

"I've never been to a magic show before," he said.

His 9-year-old sister, Amelia Gary, said she wanted to see some "three-handed juggling."

According to its mission statement, Safe Place is committed to reducing trauma to children in a child-friendly environment "through collaborative investigations, therapeutical/medical interventions and criminal prosecutions of child abuse cases."

Safe Place is at 24 N. Walnut St., Suite 201/206, in Hagerstown.

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