Bel Air show house is group's top fund-raiser

January 22, 1995|By Charlotte Sommers | Charlotte Sommers,Special to The Sun

The Decorators' Show House tour in Bel Air last fall, sponsored by the Harford County Chapter of the AMC Cancer Research Center, was the AMC's most successful single fund-raiser in the nation, chapter officials said last week. At its January meeting last week, the chapter presented a $62,500 check -- proceeds from the event -- to Tracey Hoffman, national director of volunteer services at the AMC's national headquarters in Denver. The money will be used for research in the prevention and control of cancer.

The three-week show house event at the Homestead was the culmination of months of planning, scheduling and coordinating. More than 20 interior designers volunteered weeks of their time to clean, paint, wallpaper and decorate the stately historic Bel Air home that has housed several of Harford County's most prominent families. The house now is owned by Bel Air United Methodist Church.

"It was a very good outcome," Pam Carpenter, an officer of the AMC Harford County Chapter, said of the local chapter's proceeds.

She estimated that 4,500 people toured the house from mid-September to early October.

Ms. Carpenter also expressed the local AMC chapter's gratitude for the support and "wonderful working relationship" with Bel Air United Methodist Church, which in turn benefited from the much-needed renovation work.

Mozelle Brown, the Harford AMC chapter's vice president for fund raising, read aloud a letter from Joe Boone, the church liaison for the project, giving final money figures on the AMC's work on the Homestead. The letter said the renovation work would have cost $11,000 had it been done by contractors.

The church received another $6,825 through memorials and gifts of show house furnishings from church members, bringing the ** total value of the improvements to $17,825.

The AMC Cancer Research Center is a national, independent, nonprofit institution with the stated mission of cancer prevention and control.

The organization works in cooperation with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, a research and information group that links communications between cancer treatment centers worldwide. The ECOG, formerly of Bethesda, now is located in Denver.

The Harford County chapter, founded in 1974 by Adrienne Asner after a friend died of cancer, has about 125 members. Ms. Asner eventually became a member of the organization's executive board and served for several years.

The Harford County chapter was recognized at the AMC's national convention as the top fund-raising group among 55 national AMC chapters.

The AMC received $958,652 from chapter fund-raisers last year, just missing its $1 million goal, Ms. Brown said.

Commenting on the diligence and enthusiasm of the chapter members, Ms. Carpenter said, "Many of us have been touched in some way by cancer. About half have had family members affected by the disease."

She emphasized that, although personal experience with cancer often is the catalyst that attracts new members, the chapter is not a support group; its focus is fund raising.

Anyone who wants to join the fight to eradicate cancer and is willing to work on projects is welcome to join, she said.

Future AMC fund-raising events include an art auction in April at Harford Community College and a Holiday House Tour in December.

People interested in becoming members of the Harford County Chapter of AMC may call Pam Carpenter at 836-0747.

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