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Roast to benefit hospitalized veterans

The Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders of Hampstead Post 200 are having their inaugural bull and oyster roast from 5 until 10 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Hampstead American Legion, 4600 Legion Lane.
This event was created to raise funds to support the dinner that American Legion Riders Post 200 hosts every year for patients at Perry Point VA Medical Center in Perry Point.
"We have a full dinner for them. We serve about 200 people that are actually there that evening," said Mary Ann Schestag, public information officer for American Legion Riders Post 200.
It costs the American Legion Riders about $1,500 to hold the dinner. Meals are also delivered to patients who are not ambulatory or able to get to the gymnasium where the dinner is served.
Schestag said she noticed people were coming to the dinner by bicycle. After asking around, she realized that as people were recovering or going through rehabilitation, they used bikes as a means to travel around the 400-acre facility.
Schestag started a drive in 2012 seeking donations and not only received bikes but also some help from local resident Barney Cable. "He saw the ad in the paper asking for donations and called and said he wanted to help with that," Schestag said.
Cable sold two nicer bikes that had been donated and used that money to refurbish 45 bicycles that were then delivered and donated at the annual Perry Point dinner last November. "Everybody who comes gets a raffle ticket. The first number is drawn and that person gets first pick from the bikes. And then the next, and so on, until all the bikes are gone," Schestag said.
In addition to the bikes, the American Legion Riders took along fishing gear and other things for people who won the raffle but weren't able to use bikes. But not everyone who couldn't use a bike didn't want it, Schestag said. One man in a wheelchair asked if he could use his winning ticket to pick out a bicycle as a Christmas gift for his grandson, as he didn't have money to go out and buy something.
"We have fulfilled them not just with a physical need but with emotional support as well," Schestag said.
American Legion Riders Post 200 currently has 77 bikes that they will be taking with them when the next dinner is hosted in November.
All monies raised at the benefit roast will help not only with the dinner but also to transport those bikes to Perry Point.
Tickets are $40 and are on sale now. Each ticket includes an all-you-can-eat dinner of pit beef, pit turkey, pit ham, pulled pork, baked ziti, oysters on the half shell, oyster stew, cream of crab soup, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, salad bar, fruit tray, veggies and dip, cheese tray, rolls, desserts, beer, soda and drinks.
There will be door prizes, a big six wheel and raffles. Live entertainment from the local band Black Swan will round out the evening's entertainment. Music will be playing from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m.
Tickets sales are already more than halfway to sellout, so get your ticket today. Pick them up from the Hampstead American Legion or call Bob at 443-271-5054, Tommy at 443-293-6108 or Jeannie at 410-259-2290.
Donated bikes are also still being accepted. Contact Bob, Tommy or Jeannie for information.

Feasting on crabs
The Hampstead Ravens Youth Football and Cheer Program will host its inaugural crab feast Sept. 29 at the Hampstead fire company, 1341 N. Main St., Hampstead, from noon until 5 p.m.
Tickets, which are $35 per person, are on sale now and must be purchased by Sept. 15.
Tickets include all-you-can-eat crabs, pit beef, sides, beer, soda and more.
You must be 21 or older to attend.
Bid on a variety of items in the silent auction and watch the Baltimore Ravens face the Buffalo Bills on one of three projector screens.
For more information, contact Bethany Fish at bafish0212@ yahoo.com or call her at 443-286-9820 or Joy Harry at joyharry@ live.com.

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