On October 19, more than 350 guests decked out in tie-dye and blue jeans attended Hoodstock Sweet 16, a family friendly charity music festival at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Event headliner Roses n Russ entertained the crowd with music featuring classic artists from the 1960s and ‘70s with a splash of contemporary. Other bands who performed include N-CHAT African Drum Band, Gumboot, and The Wafflers. Dinner, beer, wine, raffles and a silent auction all added to the fun.
Hoodstock began in 2004 as a neighborhood event in the backyard of former Unified board member, Russ Causey and wife Jennifer’s home in Federal Hill and has since grown into a major fundraiser for Unified. This year’s event raised a record-breaking $93,000 in support of the programs and services that Unified offers to people with disabilities. From its inception Hoodstock has raised more than $750,000. Russ was presented with a sign for his studio that said Hoodstock Studio to thank him for spearheading this event for the past 16 years.
President and CEO Diane Coughlin thanked everyone for attending knowing there are so many choices of how they could be spending their time and money, and she appreciates that they have chosen to support the 1,000 individuals Unified assists every day. Ms. Coughlin then introduced the Samuel A. Tucker Memorial Can Do Award, explaining how Sam Tucker exemplified how we are defined by our abilities not our disabilities and how he lived a meaningful and fully integrated life. This award is about spirit and determination, Ms. Coughlin explained, and this year’s honoree Kathy Poole truly exemplifies the Can Do attitude.
Baltimore Ravens Senior Advisor for Player Development and Unified board member O.J. Brigance presented this year’s Samuel A. Tucker Memorial Can Do Award to Kathy Poole, who participates in our Frederick Day Program and resides in one of our residential homes. Kathy has a drive to succeed and lives her life with passion every day, achieving whatever she sets her sights on. She is an artist, and her bright colorful artwork has been recognized by The Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick where she had an exhibition over the summer. In Mr. Brigance’s remarks he said, “Kathy is a true example that with hard work and determination one CAN DO what they set their mind to.”
A special thank you to event chair Russ Causey and his committee: Barry Brill, Lauren Bussard, Emily Evans, Angela Lane, Nick Richardson, Carol Sholes, Ed Zimmerman, and Manette Zinkand. We also appreciate the bands for donating their time, Unified staff and volunteers, our many generous sponsors and everyone who contributed to this year’s event.
Save the date for next year, Saturday, October 17 at the American Visionary Art Museum.