Group makes concessions and reaps rewards

Volunteer/Where good neighbors get together

April 21, 1992|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Staff Writer

For a good cause, would you roll up your sleeves and volunteer for one day? And would you object if the work was at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during a baseball game and admission was free?

If that sounds appealing, call the Associated Black Charities (ABC) and volunteer to work at the group's concession stand inside the ballpark selling hot dogs, sodas, beer and snacks.

''Our commitment is to operate a concession for 15 dates and we need volunteers,'' says Carla Williams, ABC's resources coordinator.

''We are one of only a few African-American non-profit organizations included in the concession vending operations this season and it will give us an opportunity to promote the work we do all year,'' she adds.

ABC, located at 2901 Druid Park Drive, was founded in 1985 and has given more than $2.5 million to 160 programs throughout Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

The organization supports and funds projects for blacks such as SAIL (Success, Achievement, Involvement, Life Skills) in Aberdeen, which provides computerized tutoring after school; the First Baptist Church of Cherry Hill, which operates the neighborhood soup kitchen; Citizens Against Spousal Assault in Howard County, which coordinates a health service for black teens; the Arundel Hospice in Millersville, which offers care to black patients who are terminally ill; and a computer literacy program at Turner Station in Baltimore County.

At Camden Yards, Ms. Williams explains, all the concessions are governed by ''ARA Leisure Services, which supplies the items for sale and will give us a percentage of the money we take in.

''Groups or individuals are asked to give us one day or more," she said. The concession dates are as follows: May 4, 6, 18, 20 and 24; June 10 and 27; July 1, 8, 26; August 8, 19 and September 14, 23 and 26.

All of these are night games, she says, and volunteers are asked to arrive at the ballpark at 4:45 in the afternoon and plan to stay until midnight. Admission, of course, is free.

Volunteers acting as stand managers include Ms. Williams, Marc Dailey, Anthony Anderson and Vanessa Thomas.

Mr. Anderson is an avid volunteer for several causes. The 28-year-old, who lives in Baltimore, is a data transcriber for the FBI in Washington, D.C., and a student at the Community College of Baltimore where he is studying microcomputers.

Mr. Anderson is also a volunteer to HERO, a group that serves people with AIDS. ''I am in training for a new minority buddy program and will be assigned a buddy in June,'' he says. ''My hope is to work with both males and females who have AIDS and also with children.''

His involvement with the ABC was sparked, he says, ''by my friend Marc Dailey. I am a procrastinator and volunteering is something I've thought about for a long time.

''Now that I'm with the Associated Black Charities and see the work they do, I'll never stop helping them," he says. "I am committed to HERO for at least one year and Marc and I want to plan programs for kids at Harlem Park Elementary school that will motivate them to higher values.''

Ms. Williams says that about 15 or 20 people will be needed on each date at the ballpark.

Three groups have volunteered already, she says. ''An employee at the State Department of Economic and Employment Development has gathered some co-workers for one day. Employees of Otis Warren Real Estate have taken two days, and a Christian fellowship group at the Y.W.C.A. has a day.''

The ballpark concession isn't the only fund-raiser planned by ABC. On May 2, a ''Jazz Night on the Avenue,'' from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Coppin State College, begins with music by Cab Calloway and the Count Basie Orchestra. And after 11 p.m., nightclubs participating in the event will feature local entertainers. Tickets range from $23 to $75. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

For more information about ABC and volunteer opportunities there, call Ms. Williams at 669-7900.

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