Senior center to host fundraiser
BARBOURSVILLE — Christmas may be months away, but it is already weighing on the minds of Sandy Byrd Chapman and Roy Frazier.
And so they are taking an early pause for the Claus.
Chapman, who has been a part of the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Auxiliary since 1985, and Frazier, who heads up volunteer services at the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, are teaming up with other volunteers to put on YesterYear Rock and Roll Oldies Music Benefit Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Barboursville Senior Center.
The center, located at 721 Central Ave. in Barboursville, will start the benefit with a spaghetti dinner at 5:30 p.m. There will be live bluegrass music starting at 6 p.m., and at 7 p.m. YesterYear will take the stage for their popular oldies revue show. YesterYear plays music of the 1950s through the 1970s.
Donation costs are $6 for dinner with drinks $1 and desserts $2. The cost of the oldies concert is $10 with kids 4-12 $5 and kids under 4 getting in free.
There also will be a 50/50 drawing and a number of raffle prizes. The biggest raffle items are a trip for two on the New River Train, as well as a three-month membership to the YMCA May Building. All proceeds will go to help buy Christmas gifts for the 110 residents at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, a state-supported psychiatric hospital in Huntington.
For Chapman, the benefit is a way to combine her love of music, with her passion for helping others, especially those folks at the hospital, where she is president of the volunteer board while also serving on governing board and helping with the auxiliary.
“Since 1985 it has been my desire that the people in that hospital not be forgotten on special occasions,” Chapman said. “I have helped with fundraisers for special times and Christmas is always a special time. Our band YesterYear has decided to do a benefit with all of the proceeds from the show to be donated for gifts.”
Chapman said the Barboursville Senior Center jumped on board and organized the additional spaghetti dinner to raise more money for the cause.
She said they are still looking for donations for the event to help what she calls a forgotten population.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t even know the hospital even exists and there are 100 patients, so even just spending $5 apiece it adds up,” Chapman said. “We need to give them something to let them know they are not forgotten. They are well taken care of, but a lot of them don’t have any family contact and they have been in institutions all of their lives and they don’t have any support at the holidays. We try to make sure they have holidays and celebrations just like everybody else.”
Chapman said the auxiliary, in addition to providing Christmas gifts, plays bingo with the patients once a month, puts on a carnival and helps out with outings.
She explained how the auxiliary is always looking for more volunteers and for folks, like fellow musicians, to come and play music from time to time for the residents. The hospital could also use items such as a Sno-Cone machine and a popcorn popper to be used for resident gatherings or simple things such as prizes for BINGO.
“We have about 25 or 30 auxiliary, but we need more people to be more active and to come out and help,” Chapman said. “It makes you feel good. That is for sure. It gives you a feel-good feeling when you see them happy. People can always drop off donated items to the front gate too, if they are not comfortable with interactions.”
For folks who haven’t seen YesterYear, Chapman said they are in for a treat.
“We do a little bit of everything. We do the music of Kenny Loggins, Aretha Franklin, Cher, Elvis, Bob Seger, you name it,” Chapman said. “It is all of the music that takes you down memory lane if you are in that age bracket but all ages love that music. When kids come and see us they love it.”
Chapman said YesterYear has created a polished show that sprinkles in comedy, and lots of fun interactive elements such as dance contests, costume contests, and, of course, a hula hoop contest.
Chapman said when they have the space and the venue the capability to do so, they fire up a multi-media production of lights, as well as video backdrops in which there’s a slideshow and video of the various artists YesterYear is covering during their specific show. Chapman said they have three separate shows that use so that they can always come back to a place with a fresh show and look.
Chapman said YesterYear has had had a great summer playing all over the region, and are excited to help out such a great cause in their community.
In addition to playing the Wayne County Fair, YesterYear has traveled all over the region and as far away as Clarksburg, where they played for the volunteer appreciation dinner for volunteers of the VA, the West Virginia Fairs and Festivals banquet.
Since the Senior Center has limited seating (120) Chapman said folks can call her (304-412-8159) in advance to reserve seating for the dinner and show.
While she knows it is early to think about Christmas, Chapman, who is having a full knee replacement here in a few weeks, wanted to make sure folks were taken care of before she is out of commission over the fall season.
“With my knee surgery I knew that I just had to do this now, I couldn’t think about anyone being forgotten at the hospital,” Chapman said. “Mental illness is real, it is hard, and it is sad but there is help and there is hope because of places like Mildred Mitchell-Bateman and their staff.”
For more information on how to help or donate, call Roy Frazier at 304-525-7801, ext. 629, or Sandy Chapman at 304-412-8159.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t even know the hospital even exists and there are 100 patients, so even just spending $5 apiece it adds up.”
Sandy Byrd Chapman
worker at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Auxiliary