Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Free summer concert series benefits Carroll's most needy

Sunday evenings in downtown Westminster are about to become quite musical, with the 19th annual Month of Sundays Concert Series kicking off in Westminster City Park on July 7.
Each free concert evening will begin at 6:45 and feature bands selected to provide entertainment of varying musical genres, according to Lisa Aughenbaugh, associate director of development and community relations with Human Services Programs of Carroll County, the nonprofit that is organizing the concert series.
"We try for as much mass appeal as we can. Right now we have oldies, classic rock, blues and country, and country and southern rock," Aughenbaugh said.
The concert series lineup is: The Fabulous Hubcaps on July 7, playing oldies; the classic rock of Problem Child on July 14; blues, rock and country with Bootleg on July 21; and the country and southern rock of Dean Crawford and the Dunn's River Band on July 28.
The Fabulous Hubcaps, who are based in southern Maryland, played in the concert series in 2012, but according to the band's manager, Janie Noelte, the group previously performed at the event for seven years straight from 1998 through 2004.
"We love working [in Westminster]. We always have a good crowd, so many people come out. It's just a great place, a great ambiance and really great people come out to see the band," Noelte said.
The Fabulous Hubcaps are a show band, according to Noelte, playing in costume and character the music of Elton John, Tina Turner, Willie Nelson and other acts of the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s.
In addition to the music, there will be a children's play area with free activities at each concert, according to Aughenbaugh, and food vendors will be selling pit beef, hot dogs, sodas and snowballs.
Three of the concert dates will include a car show with a different theme: July 7 will feature a Corvette-themed show, while July 21 will feature muscle cars and July 28 will exhibit Ford vehicles.
No alcoholic beverages are allowed at Westminster City Park, but according to Aughenbaugh, concertgoers are welcome to bring a picnic dinner if they wish and are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for seating.
According to Aughenbaugh, HSP has a dual purpose in mind with the concert series, hoping to draw attention to the services the organization provides as well as creating a unique cultural event in downtown Westminster.
"HSP is a large nonprofit organization in the county and many people think we're a government agency ... our mission is to improve the quality of life and self sufficiency of at-risk and low-income Carroll County residents. We do that by providing assistance with basic needs, advocacy and links to resources and opportunities to enhance life skills," Aughenbaugh said.
To aid HSP in its mission, the organization is asking that concertgoers make a donation if possible: cash contributions, full-size personal care items, diapers, cleaning supplies or paper goods.
HSP operates six shelters and provides clients with energy and other emergency assistance as well as operating a jobs readiness program, according to Executive Director Cindy Parr.
"We [provide services] for people that are struggling, trying to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient. This [concert series] is a chance for us to engage the public, tell them what we are doing and to assure them that the monies they are contributing are being put to good use," Parr said.
HSP has endured a quarter million dollars in budget cuts over the past year and a half, according to Parr, who said she hopes the concert series will help them raise funds to plug the holes in their budget for services.
"Many of the nonprofits in Carroll County have their signature events and this is very easily HSP's signature event. It has been the one staple that the agency has had to support itself for almost 20 years," Parr said.
Last year, the concert series raised $10,000 for HSP, according to Aughenbaugh, who said this year the organization hopes to double that figure.
Many of the funds come from corporate sponsors, such as Random House and Lehigh Cement, which underwrite the concert series, according to Parr.
According to Annette Danek-Akey, senior vice president of fulfillment at Random House, the company provided the funds to hire the band Bootleg for the July 21 concert date.
"This Human Service Program event especially resonates with us as it not only serves to provide our Carroll County community with an affordable-for-all, family-oriented evening of fun and entertainment, but ... the work HSP does and the invaluable services they provide to the members of our community," Danek-Akey said.
According to Noelte, the fundraising aspect of the Month of Sunday Concert series is part of what draws The Fabulous Hubcaps back to Westminster.
"A good part of our work is for fundraising efforts or to help community service organizations. We do a lot of that and we take a lot of pride in that," Noelte said. "We always make sure that the Hubcaps' fans are aware that while the concert is free to the public, they do ask for donations."