Celebrity Bail Out ben­e­fits LLS

Record Observer - - NEWS - By DE­NAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — Typ­i­cally when some­one gets locked in a jail cell, they call fam­ily and friends for bail money. Wed­nes­day night, April 19, in­side a makeshift jail at The Barn Steak­house and Sports Bar in Eas­ton, locked-up lo­cal celebri­ties did just that.

The Lo­cal Celebrity Bail Out for the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety kicked off at 6 p.m., and The Barn was burst­ing with laugh­ter and heart as the LLS of the East­ern Shore team “It’s a Cure Thing” held the celebrity bailout to fund its nom­i­nated Man of the Year, Ryan Snow.

Snow is the project man­ager for the De­part­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Tourism in Tal­bot County and an avid vol­un­teer in his com­mu­nity. This year, he was nom­i­nated as the LLS Man of the Year, and he said his life was changed for­ever when he watched one of his best friends fight for her life due to can­cer.

“I was by her side for the en­tire ride, and thank­fully she is now cured,” Snow said. “That is the rea­son I do this.”

His team, “It’s a Shore Thing,” rep­re­sents Tal­bot and Queen Annes coun­ties and an­nu­ally holds a celebrity bailout to raise funds for its cam­paign.

Snow said each year for a 10-week pe­riod, 10 teams from across the Shore be­gin a fundrais­ing cam­paign. The team that raises the most money for LLS will de­ter­mine who will be the man or woman of the year.

Snow said LLS of the East­ern Shore is fund­ing nine projects in Mary­land and 28 projects on the Del­marva Penin­sula.

“LLS helps fund ad­vo­cacy pro­grams and re­search for blood can­cers,” Snow said. “Forty per­cent of all can­cers orig­i­nate as a blood can­cers.”

Each year, a boy and girl of the year are in­vited to rep­re­sent the cause through­out the cam­paign.

This year’s Girl of the Year is Mia Frank, a 3-year-old fight­ing acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia. She was di­ag­nosed late last year and will en­ter what is called the main­te­nance phase af­ter one more can­cer treat­ment.

The Boy of the Year, Wy­att Rus­sum, is 6 years old and was di­ag­nosed with acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia at age 4. Rus­sum is in the main­te­nance phase of his treat­ment.

For the celebrity bailout, 12 lo­cal celebri­ties were locked up and had to raise $2,000 each by 9 p.m. to be set free. Par­tic­i­pants were able to be­gin fundrais­ing for their bail money two weeks prior to the event; how­ever, a ma­jor­ity of the fundrais­ing was done from in­side the jail cell.

Par­tic­i­pants in­cluded Tal­bot County Sherif f Joe Gam­ble; Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann; Mary­land State Deputy Comptroller Len Foxwell; Amanda Lea­ger from Ed­ward’s Phar­macy and QACTV; re­al­tor Martha Witte Suss; mu­si­cian Ran­dall But­ler, Fergie Ferg; Steve Osche, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Eas­ton Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion; Parker Welch, East­ern Shore re­gional di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Farm Bureau; John Horner, vice pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions at Eas­ton Util­i­ties; Matt Tef­feau, di­rec­tor of gov­ern­ment re­la­tions at the Mary­land De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture; owner of Eat Sprout Ryan Groll; and JoVaughn Pierce.

Mark Pot­ter of 94.3 WINX FM was the master of cer­e­monies and con­tin­ued to rally for do­na­tions to the cause. Par­tic­i­pants were able to solicit the crowd, and use their phones and so­cial me­dia to drum up the funds to get out of “jail.” Through­out the evening, the “in­mates” were tap­ping away vig­or­ously on their phones in hopes of fund­ing their free­dom, ex­cept Foxwell.

Foxwell said due to his state po­si­tion as comptroller, he is un­able to ask for do­na­tions, but said he did not mind be­ing in jail.

“I am en­joy­ing my­self im­mensely,” Foxwell said. “I rarely get a chance to hang out with friends, so this has been great.”

“All of us in some way have been ef­fected by this lifethreat­en­ing ill­ness,” Foxwell said. “Any time we have an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in an ef­fort to not only ed­u­cate but to em­power and to find a cure, we should take ad­van­tage of it.”

By 7 p.m., Gam­ble was in the lead, and he jok­ingly re­minded the crowd he is the only one who can help them if they ever need to get out of jail. Gam­ble and Hof­mann schemed to­gether a plan to raise the money, and auc­tioned off a ride in their po­lice cruis­ers — with the lights on — to break­fast, fol­lowed by a ride to school or work, and a re­turn trip at the end of the day.

Groll de­cided to get in on the auc­tion­ing and of­fered one week of meal de­liv­er­ies from Eat Sprout for two peo­ple or two weeks of meals for one per­son.

“We can never raise enough money,” Groll said, “and I am al­ways will­ing to help Ryan. He is a good friend of mine. He was one of the first peo­ple I met when I moved to Tal­bot county.”

Both auc­tions sold for $500 each to Susie Hay­ward. Hay­ward is the gov­ern­ment af­fairs di­rec­tor for the MidShore Board of Real­tors and a Tal­bot County Board of Educ­tion mem­ber. She said she plans to give the ride and meals to her grand­son, whom she is rais­ing. Her grand­son at­tends Eas­ton High School and as­pires to be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer some­day, and she said the meals will pro­vide her with two weeks free of cook­ing.

Gam­ble re­mained in the lead most of the evening and re­ceived a $100 do­na­tion from Kelly Grif­fith, su­per­in­ten­dent of Tal­bot County Pub­lic Schools. Gam­ble was one of the first par­tic­i­pants re­leased. He said can­cer has af­fected his life di­rectly and he is will­ing to do what he can to help the cause.

“My col­lege room­mate, my best friend — he was like a brother to me — died at 48 years old from leukemia,” Gam­ble said. “And my dad re­cently passed away from can­cer. This is just a great cause. If I can help in some small way, I am on board.”

By 8 p.m., there were eight celebri­ties left in lockup — Lea­ger, Hof­mann, Tef­feau, Osche, Foxwell, Groll, Suss and Ran­dall. Gam­ble’s wife, Mary Gam­ble, won a draw­ing of $225 and do­nated to­ward Hof­mann’s re­lease.

For­mer state sen­a­tor and cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tor for the Mary­land De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture Richard Col­burn was among the crowd, and he said planned to do­nate $50 to keep Tef­feau locked up.

Tef­feau didn’t mind. He said for him, giv­ing back to th­ese fam­i­lies and help­ing his com­mu­nity was the right thing to do.

“When Ryan asked me to help out, I said sure thing,” Tef­feau said. “Any­thing I can do to help.”

As the end of the night was draw­ing near, the re­main­ing par­tic­i­pants who were un­able to raise the nec­es­sary $2,000 had to sing for their free­dom. To­gether, Osche, Tef­feau, Groll, Hof­mann and Foxwell took the mi­cro­phones and sang a ren­di­tion of Jimmy Buf­fet’s “Mar­gar­i­taville” played by lo­cal mu­si­cian Michael Jami­son Jr.

Hof­mann said he didn’t mind be­ing be­hind bars or singing be­cause it was for such a good cause.

Osche was happy to par­tic­i­pate in the event and said he was look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to help Snow reach his goals.

“It’s a very ad­mirable and daunt­ing goal,” Osche said. “If I can help him make it, that’s awe­some.”

Snow’s goal for the evening was to raise $25,000, but due to the nature of the com­pe­ti­tion, to­tals of the event will not be re­leased un­til the gala fundraiser. The gala is set for Satur­day, June 10, and will be held at the Hy­att in Cam­bridge.

“No mat­ter who wins,” Snow said, “every­one wins when can­cer loses.”

To do­nate or to find out more about “It’s a Cure Thing” visit www.mwoy. org/pages/md/mdes17/ it­sacurething.

PHOTO BY DE­NAE SPIERING

Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety Man of the Year nom­i­nee Ryan Snow hosted a lo­cal celebrity bailout Wed­nes­day night, April 19, at The Barn in Eas­ton to raise money for his cam­paign. Pic­tured in lock-up ares Joe Gam­ble, Gary Hof­mann, Mandy Lea­ger, Matt Tef­feau, Ran­dall But­ler, John Horner, Parker Welch, Ryan Groll, Fergie Ferg, Len Foxwell, Martha Witte Suss and Steve Osche.

PHOTO BY DE­NAE SPIERING

Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety Man of the Year nom­i­nee Ryan Snow hosted a lo­cal celebrity bailout Wed­nes­day night, April 19, at The Barn in Eas­ton to raise money for his cam­paign. To earn their free­dom, par­tic­i­pants Steve Osche, Matt Tef­feau, Ryan Groll, Gary Hof­mann and Len Foxwell had to sing a ren­di­tion of Jimmy Buf­fet’s “Mar­gar­i­taville,” played by lo­cal mu­si­cian Michael Jami­son Jr.

PHOTO BY DE­NAE SPIERING

Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety Man of the Year nom­i­nee Ryan Snow hosted a lo­cal celebrity bailout Wed­nes­day night, April 19 at The Barn in Eas­ton to raise money for his cam­paign. From left are Tal­bot County Sher­iff Joe Gam­ble and Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann.

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