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As Long as We Remember...

August 22, 2011

Family Fundraiser FUNomenon!

Steven R. Berryman

Next Saturday, August 27th, you can see The Oak Ridge Boys cover their classic country and gospel standards at the all-day family oriented benefit “Family Fundraiser FUNomenon” at the Great Frederick Fairgrounds.


With music blockbusters like “Elvira,” and “Ghost Riders,” you don’t want to miss this Country Music Association and Grammy-winning super group, with warm-up front band The Shades.


It’s Frederick’s sixth annual all day event that last year returned over $400,000 to the needs of our community. Organized by an angel of our community, Debbie Williams, and her Patty Pollatos Fund, no staff is paid, and event expenses are covered by sponsors.


For you political types, my friend Mark Kreslins, co-founder of the radio show “The Forgotten Men,” reminded me that this exact event epitomizes how the community needs to take over from the government to protect essential care of its own.


Mark says that “as government’s scope in inevitably reduced – as we are at unsustainable spending levels now – the people and their churches of the community must step-up to pick up the slack.


Debbie told me that this is especially true because of a “donut-hole” trap in the middle-class where people can have bankrupting medical expenses, yet not qualify for sustaining programs because they hit just above the maximum income requirements.


As the costs for production have been paid for by community benefactors like Tom Natelli, of Natelli Communities, PNC Bank, The Columbia Bank, and WFRE FM99.9, truly all of the gate money will get to a host of needy cancer victims and charities in Frederick County.


Debbie “got the calling” after surviving “Evans Syndrome,” a rare disease. She’s worked selflessly on projects like WFMD’s and Bob Miller’s Christmas Cash for Kids and has advised families in need due to extraordinary medical costs, like the head trauma recently suffered by scooter crash victim – now recovering well – Alex Bodroghy’s family.


Bob Miller reminded me that it’s so important to be intentional this year with your entertainment dollars, and to make them perform a dual use – to aid friends in need while having fun!


Our president of the Board of County Commissioners, Blaine Young, has also worked tirelessly on various fundraisers supporting the Patty Pollatos Fund and reminds us that no government money whatsoever is involved in this entire event. Blaine is advising all of his friends to join in the family day that pays back the Frederick community.


But wait, there’s more! Children are entertained at a Kid’s Land, protected by volunteer off-duty sheriff’s deputies. There’s an IBR bull-riding event presented by J BAR W Ranch, sponsored by Keeney & Basford Funeral Home, and even a beer garden – safely away from the children’s areas. You get the full midway experience, mascot Key-Ote, face painting; well, you get that it’s a giant party!


Ticket proceeds all go directly to charity; there’s no middle man. $35 for adults, Children 6 to 13 are $10, and under 5 are free. Please go to or call 301-865-2265.


[The column originally appeared in The Frederick News-Post on Friday, August 19, 2011. It is posted here with permission of the author and The Frederick News-Post.]


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