Event headliner, Roses n Rust, recording their sets at Orion Studio.

On October 17, instead of gathering at the American Visionary Art Museum, people tuned in to the Hoodstock Bmore YouTube channel to enjoy the music and spirit of Hoodstock XVII virtually. Event headliner Roses n Rust performed three sets of music featuring classics from the 1960s and ‘70s with a splash of contemporary.  And, in traditional Hoodstock fashion, The Wafflers closed things out with a final set.  Event founder and headliner Russ Causey along with Director of Development Lauren Bussard and event emcee Bill Romani provided live commentary from Spoons in Federal Hill throughout the event. 

In addition to the music, the event also included a handful of pre-recorded videos such as a Q&A video sharing how Hoodstock has evolved from a backyard party to a signature fundraiser as well as a closer look at how money raised from the event benefits the programs and services that Unified provides to people with disabilities.  A raffle for the fan favorite “Be Cool” Yeti Cooler of Cheer and an online silent auction added to the fun. 

This year Hoodstock raised $80,000 during its first ever virtual event attracting more than 1,200 viewers, with people tuned in from at least 12 different states and Thailand, Australia, Canada, and the U.K.  Hoodstock began in 2004 as a neighborhood event in the backyard of former Unified board member Russ Causey and wife Jen’s home in Federal Hill and has since grown into a major fundraiser for Unified. From its inception Hoodstock has raised more than $804,000 for Unified.

A highlight of the evening was the video presentation of the Samuel A. Tucker Memorial Can Do Award. “Sam Tucker showed us how we are defined by our abilities not our disabilities in how he lived a meaningful and fully integrated life,” said President and CEO Diane Coughlin.

Baltimore Ravens Senior Advisor for Player Development and Unified board member O.J. Brigance virtually presented this year’s award to Judy, who lives in one of our residential homes in Frederick. “Judy has worked hard to become an articulate and confident young woman and an advocate for herself and others.  During the pandemic, she has demonstrated an amazing ability to boost people’s spirits all around her.” said Mr. Brigance.

In a special pre-recorded video, Mrs. Coughlin thanked everyone who participated in this year’s virtual Hoodstock and appreciated that they had chosen to support the hundreds of  individuals Unified assists every day.

A big thank you to event chair Russ Causey and his committee: Kathy Bradley, Barry Brill, Lauren Bussard, Angela Lane, Nick Richardson, Carol Sholes, Emily Evans Sutorius, Kate Ziegelstein and Manette Zinkand. We also appreciate the bands for donating their time, Unified staff and volunteers, our many generous sponsors and everyone who contributed and tuned in to this year’s event. Special kudos to our production company Gregg Landry and BlueRock Productions. We couldn’t have done it without you.

This year everyone could tune into Hoodstock and listen to the music free of charge. We did however ask for contributions and sponsors to help the many individuals we serve.  You can continue to watch the event on the Hoodstock Bmore YouTube channel, and it’s never too late to donate to Hoodstock by going to unified.org.  Your contributions are truly appreciated.

Mark your calendars for Hoodstock XVIII on Saturday, October 23 at its new location The Winslow.

We’d especially like to thank this year’s 47 sponsors. Your support during this challenging COVID-19 year means a great deal to us. Click here to view the full list of 2020 sponsors.

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