Community benefit raises $18,000 for two children

May 01, 1994|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,Ocean City Bureau of the Sun

DEAL ISLAND -- A community-based benefit eight days ago for two children with staggering medical bills has raised more than $18,000, with $3,000 coming from donors on the western side of Chesapeake Bay, sponsors reported yesterday.

"It let me know that it's not just the Eastern Shore that loves one another," said Jeanne Webster Abbott, who coordinated the show and silent auction in Princess Anne for the Deal Island-Chance Lions Club.

Mrs. Abbott said 53 letters had been received from the Baltimore area, many with donations. Ten arrived on Friday.

More than 700 people from the small towns that dot the lower Eastern Shore, where many families are struggling because of depressed oystering and crabbing, attended the April 23 benefit. "We sold out, and then some," Mrs. Abbott said.

The Smith Island Players performed at the show and brought with them pictures, several of the remote island's famous 10-layer cakes, and craft items to be sold.

"They also brought $1,200 from their church and fire department," Mrs. Abbott said. "And these are people who've had a miserable three winters."

Half the money raised will go to the family of Luke Miller Abbott, a 2-year-old who wandered away from a baby sitter in February and was found face down in the bay waters near Rock Hall, where his parents were seeking work.

Luke spent nearly two months at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and is undergoing therapy at A. I. DuPont Children's Hospital in Wilmington, Del.

"He has to learn everything all over -- to talk, to walk," Mrs. Abbott said. Therapy will take six to eight months, doctors have told her. "It's a long road."

The rest of the money will be given to the family of Sarah Louise Anderson, who recently finished chemotherapy for a rare facial cancer. Though her cancer is in remission, Sarah, 5, will continue to have regular medical care, Mrs. Abbott said.

The fathers of both children are watermen, although Sarah's father is now working at a Wal-Mart in Salisbury. The Andersons said Sarah's medical costs exceed $130,000 and are not covered by insurance. Luke's medical bills exceed $200,000 and are rising, the family said.

TO HELP FAMILIES

A fund has been established to help both families:

The Abbott-Anderson Medical Fund, P. O. Box 1, 23195 Edlen Webster Road, Deal Island 21821.

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