Music was the medium helping others was the goal ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY -- Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

February 17, 1993|By Victor Alvarez | Victor Alvarez,Contributing Writer

Members of the county's entertainment professions gathered with colleagues and friends at Carrol's Creek Cafe Monday night to fill the Annapolis restaurant with music -- and the bank accounts of the less fortunate with money.

Gray-haired men with pony tails yelled across the room to younger rock 'n' rollers. Bands took the stage to the warm applause of an audience whose members looked as if they had known each other for years.

More than 300 people attended the benefit organized by H.E.L.P. -- Hospitality Entertainment Life-support Program. Organizers estimate they raised more than $4,000.

Billed as Annapolis' Biggest Winter Concert, the fund-raiser was put together to help offset the medical expenses of local musician John Starr, recovering from cancer surgery, and Barry Yeager, owner and operator of Panda Productions, who suffered a heart attack.

The money collected will put a small dent in medical bills that top $15,000 each for Mr. Starr and Mr. Yeager.

"All of a sudden the room was mobbed," said Mr. Starr. "I see a lot of old friends, great bands. I love to see this happen no matter what the reason."

Mr. Starr has seen this happen before. H.E.L.P. has raised between $40,000 and $90,000 since its inception three years ago to assist more than a dozen colleagues in the local hospitality/entertainment community.

H.E.L.P. arranges concerts and golf tournaments. It gives interest-free loans to those facing unexpected medical bills.

"We put this together in three weeks," said Jenny Sauder. "This is what we do for a living. This is cake!"

Ms. Sauder, a H.E.L.P. board member, said the musicians and people in the restaurant field were quick to offer their services. "This is a very giving field. They'll do anything to help one another."

Ms. Sauder said the group is trying to develop a medical plan for its members. "We are not a union. We just want our basic needs taken care of."

Scott Hymes, a member and manager of the band Radio City and also an active member in H.E.L.P. since the beginning, finds that it is "the diversity that keeps us working."

Mr. Hymes, like others in the group, not only worked to organize the concert but found time to take the stage as well.

"I'm amazed by the response," said Bill Kuethe, president of H.E.L.P. "Everything here has been donated by distributors and members of the community. More importantly, all the labor has been donated. It's the unseen contribution that makes this all very, very heartwarming."

For more information about H.E.L.P and its Bartenders' Ball on April 12, call 263-8102.

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