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Desire to help inspires spaghetti dinner benefit for Goins family

June 16, 2012|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com

“When one is hurting, we all are hurting,” Bobby Hays said.

The pastor of Hays’ church, the Rev. Tim Fisher, was indeed hurting.

His half brother, Kenneth Goins, 50, lost his daughter, Hope, 3, to injuries sustained in an April apartment fire on Summit Avenue.

The fire also claimed the life of Goins’ 43-year-old wife, Patricia.

“We felt a need to help out (Fisher) and his family,” Hays said. “Whatever we can do, we wanted to do.”

The desire to help inspired a spaghetti dinner Saturday at the Best Western Grand Venice Hotel Wedding and Conference Center to benefit the Hope Goins Fund.

Hays, of Hagerstown, and his wife, Karen, spearheaded the effort of Covenant Life Church members and friends to host the dinner.

Dana Barr of Hagerstown, who attends Covenant Life, was among numerous volunteers. A school bus driver and mother of two, Barr said she drove past the fire while it was in progress. Though she didn’t know the Goins family personally, she said the situation is “heart-breaking.”

“I can’t imagine something like that happening. It’s horrible,” she said. “I know that God is good and he’ll make something good out of this tragedy.”

Mariah Ford, 13, of Hagerstown, also volunteered.

“I feel bad because it’s so sad, but I feel good because I am doing something good,” Mariah said. “I’m just happy they could come up with this and I’m happy to see everybody come to support (Hope).”

Hays, who runs a DJ and karaoke business, arranged for friends and church musicians to provide entertainment throughout the dinner. Weis Markets, Food Lion and Pizza Hut donated food, and The Grand Venice offered free use of its ballroom, Hays said.

Fisher and Goins’ mother, Darlene Fisher, attended the dinner at the afternoon setting. Fisher said the ordeal has been trying, but that people have been “fantastic.”

“When you stand beside your dying granddaughter at a university hospital and there is nothing you can do, it’s very hard,” Fisher said. “The church people have stood behind us, beside us and all around us. Without them, we would not survive.”

Tim Fisher planned to attend the fundraiser later in the evening, his mother said.

Attendance at the dinner was steady. Karen Hays said she hoped the event would raise at least $2,000. Proceeds will help cover medical and funeral expenses. A portion will go toward a foundation to support people who have been displaced by fire, and to provide smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to low-income families.

“I hope another one never gets burned,” Darlene Fisher said.

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