Cumberland Times-News


March 25, 2010

18 groups giving time, talent for Band Blitz

All money raised helps disabled in community

— CUMBERLAND — Tim Haines hopes to see 1,000 people come through the door of the Cumberland Outdoor Club Saturday and Sunday, as dozens of musicians and vocalists pool their talents for the 10th annual Band Blitz.

Eighteen bands have agreed to play for free over the course of the two-day music showcase, which begins each day at 1 p.m. and runs into the night. All proceeds will be used to help individuals with developmental disabilities served by the Abilities Network and Friends Aware.

A set cover charge donation will be collected at the door. The Outdoor Club at 31 Thomas St. has plenty of parking and room to party inside.

Scheduled to perform are Charlie Kenny, the Cramer Brothers joined by Haines, himself a well-known musician, KGD, Lady Invidia, Project 37, Public Menace, ShakeDown Street, Relapse, Social Grudge, Sonic Mule, Strangers with Candy, Surrender Dorothy, Takoma Park, The Limit, The Packing Peanuts, Time Flies, Wildfire and Tucker Hill Haze.

Haines and Kim Plummer, who still helps organize the event, started the fundraiser a decade ago with the late Debbie Ray.

“It started out after seeing there was a need,” said Haines, who estimated the first year’s crowd at about 150. “A lot of the disabled people who we worked with got an SSI (Supplemental Security Income) check but all the money basically went for their group home or subsidized housing and other expenses. Often there wasn’t anything left for activities or other special needs.”

Last September, money raised from the ninth Band Blitz was used to help a man with the Abilities Network attend a driver’s education course, said Haines. He passed his driver’s test and is now on the road, increasing his mobility — and helping him reach his potential.

A few weeks ago several clients were able to attend the Harlem Globetrotters show at Frostburg State University. Money has gone to help pay funeral expenses and buy shoes and other personal articles as the need arises.

The Band Blitz also is a time for reunions. Haines will join other members of the 1980s band The Limit on stage, as they did last year. Members of the former Wildfire band will make a reunion appearance with Takoma Park after nine years, including Larry Ward, Steve Baer, Dave Lapp, Shannon (Mertz) Dimitri and George Dimitri.

Tip jars, raffles and 50/50 drawings will be held. Popular commemorative T-shirts and food also will be available.

Rusty Godwin of Light Moves and Dean Riley of Data Sound will handle production duties, transforming the so-cial club into a high-tech concert hall for the benefit.

“Everyone has a great time and it certainly is a great cause,” said Haines. “Come both days so you don’t miss anything.”

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