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With an increase of about $2,500 and another successful year, Bluegrass for Hospice-2012 brought in $22,959.09 from the event. It was held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Flat Iron Farm in Great Mills. The day was enjoyed by many fans of bluegrass music. There were door prizes given away, silent auction items, and vendors serving up great food and baked goods.

Making their debut in the Southern Maryland area, The Roys along with Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper were a big hit and put on a fascinating performance along with some of Southern Maryland’s finest bluegrass bands. There are so many people to thank that it would be hard to mention everyone without forgetting someone. But for you that had a part in this event, your efforts were greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all of the bands that donated their time entertaining everyone: David Norris, Wild and Blue, Bubby Abell & Spoon Creek, Charlie Thompson & The Bottom County Bluegrass, Gracie’s Guys and Gals Dance Group (always a hit), and especially to Jerry Thompson and all of The Bluegrass Gospel Express for, not only their fine performance and testimony, but for their generous donation from their CD sales.

Thank you to Katy Crowell and all of the Hospice of St. Mary’s volunteers. With your help and everyone working together made the day go smoothly. Thanks to my dad, Johnny Armsworthy, Barbara Robinson and Tina Williams for getting the many door prize and silent auction items; also to the many businesses and to the Amish/Mennonite community for the many donations. St. Mary’s County is a very generous community in coming together to help one another.

Thanks to Bubby Knott for allowing us to use the Flat Iron Farm for the day and to Herbie and Mickey for preparing the arena and providing what was needed. Thanks to Judy Woodburn, Vince and Pat Roche for providing and donating the baked goods and hot beverages; also to Toni Long and the Third District Optimist Club’s “Kruzin’ Kafe.”

Thank you, Debbie Johnsons for selling the 50/50s and Sydna Buckmaster for helping in the last hours of preparation; to John Cameron & Billy Morgan for being there to do whatever was needed when we asked. Also, thanks to the girls: Ashley Morgan, Kalimah Richard and Lisa Norris, our runners who were there to get whatever we needed.

A big thank you to Troy Jones and Mark Sullivan for making sure we could hear everything with the great sound job that they do; to my mom, Lorraine Armsworthy, and Frannie Bailey for your help keeping all the door prizes organized and handing them out. Thanks to all who went out and sold tickets.

Most of all I owe a special thanks to my wife, Michelle, who was the biggest help of all. Without her, I don’t know how I would have made it through the final days of preparation. Also I’d like to congratulate David Abell for winning the raffle.

Our economy is not in the strongest shape this year, but the many sponsors for this year’s Bluegrass for Hospice-2012 were very generous in this time of hardship and I want to thank each of you for your contribution: Jan Barnes-Century 21-New Millennium; Bob Taylor Engineering; Christine Wray and John Felicites; Toyota/Scion of Southern Maryland; C & C Plumbing & Septic; Community Bank of Tri-County; ABC Liquors; Simmons Heating and Air Conditioning; St. Mary’s County Arts Council; Patuxent Pump & Well; Linda Davis; Three Mules Welding Supplies; Aloft Solutions; Guy Distributing Co.; Simms Insurance Agency; Ernie and Anne Bell; Quality Built Homes; Technology Security Associates; Stanley and Joanie Williams; PNC Bank; J.P. Wathan’s Plumbing; W.M. Davis; Wildewood Medical Care-Dr. John Scott Tidball; DynCorp International-Randy Hughes; Mark and Diane Kestler; County First Bank; John & Vicki Wenke; Blue Heron Services; Tom Hodges Auto Sales & Service; Ziner Tax Service; Clark’s Flooring, Inc.; Stephen D. Mattingly Insurance, Inc.; St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Inc.; Erin Ross Insurance Agency; Luke M Morgan, DDS & Associates, LLC; Taylor Gas Company, Inc.; J. F. Taylor; Waring-Ahearn Insurance; Dr. Charles C. Reel; Sterling Insurance Agency; Accutemp Climate Control; Brad & Linda Gottfried; R.G. Mattingly, Inc.; Sen. Roy Dyson, authority Linda Vallandingham; McBride Enterprises-Addie McBride; Philip Riehl-State Farm Insurance Agent; Franzen Realtors, Inc.-Carl Franzen & Marv Franzen; O'Brien Realty-Dawn Wood; National Technologies Associates; Hearing Professionals-Dr. Lisa Nelson, Audiologist; Chesapeake Potomac Cancer Center; Caldwell Banker-Jay Lilly Real Estate: Paul Fenton; Bob Hall of Hall Insurance Agency; Buck Courtney of Ridge Marine & Hardware; and Mary Washington.

Also thanks to the candidates who attended the event: Joseph Stanalonis, St. Mary’s County Republican Central Committee, Committee to Keep Judge David Densford and O’Donnell for Congress.

Thanks to Buffalo Wild Wings & Texas Roadhouse Restaurants; Wayne’s Signs; County Times; Southern Maryland Woman Magazine; Country Inns & Suites; The Printing Press; and Sheetz of Great Mills.

One last thank you — to you, for supporting Bluegrass for Hospice and for your food donations that went to the Helping Hands food pantry. I hope that you had a good time with all of the day’s activities. Next year’s Bluegrass for Hospice is already set for Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. Mark your calendars now.

Jay Armsworthy, California

The writer is Bluegrass for Hospice event coordinator/promoter.