It didn’t take long for Russell Berk to talk Mary Kay McAllister into supporting this weekend’s charity fundraiser, hosted by Chapel Hills Farm & Nursery.
“Russell said, ‘I’m going to do this benefit,’ and I said, ‘I’m in!’” recalled McAllister, co-owner of Swan Song Spirits in Perry Hall’s Safeway Shopping Center. McAllister operated a wine-tasting tent during the Pink Ribbon Days festival, which was held to raise money for breast cancer research. Music, food, kids' activities and a variety of displays contributed to a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
As Saturday morning’s weather turned from stormy to steamy, McAllister served California-based flipflop wine samples to a slow but steady stream of visitors. “We’ve done pretty well—the comments have all been very positive,” McAllister said. “They really like the wine, and they seem to be having a good time.”
Under another tent, Beth Ritter, a two-year breast cancer survivor, kept an eye on the silent auction. “Russell knew I was a survivor and asked if I wanted to participate,” said Ritter, who works for the East County Times newspaper. “We kind of brainstormed and came up with the idea of this silent auction.” Ritter added that the auction will remain open until 3 p.m. Sunday. Among the many items up for grabs are a romantic getaway in Baltimore, a Middle River Water taxi ride, dance lessons courtesy of A Step Ahead Dance Center and goodies from Bill’s Seafood.
Another supporter of the festival was Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who helped publicize the event and volunteered himself as a target at the dunking booth. Nearby, Cheryl Winter of Cub Hill sat on a hay bale with her granddaughter, 2 1/2-year-old Scarlett Loch, waiting for The Satyr Hill Band to start playing some lively bluegrass music. “We come here all the time during the week,” Winter said. “We feed the goats, we buy plants and we really enjoy the playground. This (festival) is a nice thing they’re doing.”
Ten percent of all sales during the festival go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “Breast cancer has touched a lot of people here,” said Berk, who wore a pink sticker featuring the word “Strength.” He added that members of the community seemed happy to be pitching in. “We got off to a slow start with the weather,” he said. “but everybody’s enjoying the rides, enjoying the wine, enjoying the food—it’s going real good.”
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, with music provided by Big Daddy Country from noon until 4 p.m.
Chapel Hills Farm & Nursery is located at 4350 Chapel Road in Perry Hall. For more information about Pink Ribbon Days and other activities, call 410-256-5335 or go online to www.chapelhillsfarm.com.