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Central Carroll: Casino Night fundraiser to celebrate 10 years of local toddler being in remission

The Tanner’s Touch Casino Night, to be held at Martin’s Westminster on Feb. 15, raises funds to help local families whose children have cancer, helping offset the costs of treatment.
The Tanner’s Touch Casino Night, to be held at Martin’s Westminster on Feb. 15, raises funds to help local families whose children have cancer, helping offset the costs of treatment. (Courtesy photo)

For a good time that benefits a wonderful cause, check out the sixth annual Tanner’s Touch Casino Night, to be held at Martin’s Westminster on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 7 to 11 p.m.

In 2009, Stephanie Moore’s son Tanner was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive pediatric cancer at the age of 3. Tanner is now in remission, but the family wanted to pass on the outpouring of love and support they received, so they started Tanner’s Touch Foundation, raising funds to help local families whose children have cancer, helping offset the costs of treatment.

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“Tanner just turned 14 years old, and we will celebrate him being 10 years in remission on the night of the Casino Night event,” Moore said. “His last chemo treatment was on February 15, 2010, and our event is on February 15, 2020.”

Did you know that one in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20? On the average, 36 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every day in America, and cancer is a leading cause of death by disease in children younger than the age of 15 in the United States, making this an important cause to support.

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Tickets to Casino Night cost $125 each and include dinner, an open bar, funny money for table games, unlimited stops at the photo booth, a DJ and dancing, a silent auction, prizes, and more. Dress is semiformal.

Moore said dinner will include chef carvings of London Broil and peppered turkey, sirloin and gorgonzola brochette, chicken scampi, chicken hibachi skewers, Malibu coconut shrimp, fried mozzarella, vegetable quesadillas, a potato bar, a dessert table, a chocolate fountain and an ice cream bar.

A silent auction will feature sports memorabilia, and casino games will keep attendees busy.

“We will have poker, Blackjack roulette, craps, three-card poker and a big wheel,” Moore said. “These will all be gambled using fake money that is given when guests arrive. Prizes will be given to the top three winners with the most funny money.”

Purchase tickets online at https://www.tannerstouch.org/events. Last year, this event sold out, so get your tickets soon. For special seating requests, email tannerbug@ymail.com.

For businesses and individuals wanting to make a larger impact, sponsorship opportunities are still available. Moore spoke of the importance of the funds raised.

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the life of the child and the families get turned upside down,” Moore said. “Most of the time, one of parent has to quit their job to be able to take the child to treatments. These treatments could keep the child in the hospital for days, weeks and even months. The loss of an income and the traumatic cost of treatment, parking, food, [and more] leaves the family in a very tough situation that many are not prepared for.”

Martin's is located at 505 Jermor Lane in Westminster.

15 years of needlework

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. a group of special needle-workers gathers at Brightview Westminster Ridge.

Needles clack as the 15 to 20 women come together to share information and tips while crocheting and knitting hats, scarves, mittens, and afghans for the needy. This year the group, Hugs & Stitches, will celebrate its 15th anniversary, on Feb. 4 at Brightview Westminster Ridge.

“I started the group on February 1, 2005,” founder Sandi Schneider said. “My Baba, who raised me, was the main influence in my life and was always giving to people even though we really had nothing ourselves,” she said of her grandmother. “There was an article in the paper about Hugs & Stitches a few months after we started. Baba actually died the day before that article came out. I was so sad that she never got to see it.”

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Over the past 15 years, Hugs & Stitches has made 32,788 knitted or crocheted pieces that have been donated to charity organizations like The Shepherd’s Staff, Friends of Disabled Veterans in Carroll County, Hospice (the Dove House), Maryland School for the Blind, Head Start children, Westminster Rescue Mission and other shelters, and Dads Works and Moms Works.

“In 2019 we started donating afghans to Dove House Carroll Hospice, as well as Bill Murphy’s veterans charity group,” Schneider said.

Schneider spoke of how it all began. While driving to her Westminster job over 15 years ago, she felt profound sadness when passing some homeless folks out in the cold. She longed to give them warm hats and scarves. At the time, she was already donating her handmade scarves to The Shepherd’s Staff, but it didn’t seem like enough. At that time, she was also teaching a crochet class for Carroll County Department of Parks and Recreation. She mentioned The Shepherd’s Staff to the class, suggesting anyone who made an extra scarf could donate it there. So many were excited about the prospect, that she decided to start a regular group, which became Hugs & Stitches.

These days, meetings are more like a family gathering than a group of strangers. Members look forward to seeing each other and spending time together. Schneider said when someone is absent for a few meetings members often call to check on them.

“We often have a prayer list going around for anyone in the group who needs it, and a few of the girls either send cards or even make handmade cards to send for birthdays or care & concern cards,” she said.

Supplies are never an issue. Schneider said some bring their own yarn, but she has yarn to offer to those who need it.

“I buy yarn every time it’s on sale,” Schneider said, noting that she also gets yarn donations.

New members of all levels of expertise are welcome to join the group. For more information, contact Schneider at 410-848-8860 or crafter359@aol.com.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com.

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