Leap Out of Cabin Fever event benefits Potomac Center

March 03, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Tina Rice, right, and "Cookie" look over the silent auction items at the Leap Out of Cabin Fever event on Sunday at Cortland Mansion to benefit the Potomac Center.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

The Potomac Center gets state funding for its services for intellectually disabled clients, but center officials say they continually have to go to the community to raise money for all their clients’ needs.

Hearing aids, literacy training and transportation services are among the needs that must be met through fundraising, said Lisa Lynn, volunteer coordinator for the Potomac Center on Marshall Street.

The annual Leap Out of Cabin Fever event was held at Cortland Mansion Sunday afternoon to raise money for the center, which serves about 58 clients.

Organizers of the event off were hoping to raise $5,000 through $20 tickets and a live auction. Like last year’s event, groups and individuals also sponsored tables. Guests could enjoy food and drinks, and entertainment was provided by vocalist Kerensa Gray.

Potomac Center officials have said in the past that it is important for them to get intellectually disabled clients out in the community. Clients are taken to movies, restaurants and stores as part of an effort to help them return to life in society.

But center officials said last year that they struggled with vehicle breakdowns. Although Lynn said Sunday that transportation needs continue to be a challenge for the center, she said it was able to get a Fletcher Foundation grant for a van.

Food and shelter is provided to clients at the Potomac Center, but needs beyond that have to be addressed by people like Lynn. Hearing aids are a common need among clients because they are often not covered by insurance, she said.

The center also provides literacy training to clients so they will have the skills to apply for jobs, Lynn said. The money for training comes from fundraisers, Lynn said.

June Bond was among the guests at Sunday’s Leap Out of Cabin Fever event and praised the center for its work. Bond said her 36-year-old son suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, which causes her son to have trouble determining when he is full after eating. Bond said her son is also bipolar and is on 16 medications.

Bond said her son has not done well in other facilities, but he has made a real turnaround at the Potomac Center.

“It’s worth the ride,” said Bond, who lives in Fallston, Md.

Duane Dillard walked by auction items on four tables during the event. He said he donated a limousine ride as an auction item for Sunday’s event because he is impressed by the center’s work. The ride also included a $50 gift card for Aqua 103 restaurant.

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