That cowboy taking center stage at the American Legion post in Taneytown on Saturday will be Police Chief Melvin Diggs.
Diggs is serving as master of ceremonies -- and performer -- at a dance and karaoke program, a fund-raiser for Maryland Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is a year-round sports program for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
"It's a fun thing, is what it is. You don't have to be a singer," Diggs said.
"Since we've gotten into community policing a lot, some of my officers will be there, [and] this is a good way to get to know a lot of the people in the city."
Taneytown police officers organized the program at the request of Baltimore City Police Col. Steven A. Crumrine. The colonel, who heads a fund-raising effort for the Special Olympics, asked local chiefs to sponsor activities.
Diggs, a would-be singing star, let out his alter ego several years ago when he began helping his son Thomas stage karaoke programs. Diggs sings country-western songs, particularly those by Vince Gill and Ricky Van Shelton. He shifts easily into Elvis favorites and Tom Jones songs.
Diggs said he plans to have 1,200 to 1,300 songs for the audience to choose. Two televisions will display lyrics, one for the singer and the other for the audience.
Members of the chief's family chipped in for the fund-raiser by making raffle items, including photo albums, grapevine wreaths and an afghan. Businesses donated money.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Proceeds from refreshment sales also will benefit the Special Olympics.
The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the post, 9 Broad St., Taneytown.
To become an athlete or coach in the Carroll County Special Olympics, call 775-2818.
Pub Date: 8/08/96