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How would you like to rock out for a good cause?

On Saturday, St. Matthew Lutheran Church in the 1200 block of Churchville Road in Bel Air will sponsor a rock-a-thon to raise money for local homeless shelters.

Beginning at 10 a.m., participants and teams will rock in rocking chairs for eight consecutive hours to benefit the Welcome One Homeless Shelters in Riverside and Edgewood.

“It’s structured like a walk-a-thon,” Lisa Fike, social concerns chairwoman for St. Matthew Lutheran Church, said. “People will bring their rockers to our Great Hall on Saturday.”

Fike said the church hopes to raise several thousand dollars for Faith Communities and Civic Agencies United Inc., or FCCAU, which operates the Welcome One Homeless Shelters.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the minimum total donation required to participate in the rock-a-thon is $100. Participants must also bring their own rocking chair. There will be food, entertainment and door prize drawings.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit FCCAU, a faith-based and civic organization that strives to provide safe emergency shelter and affordable transitional housing for the homeless of Harford County, according to its Web site, www.fccau.org.

The Welcome One Emergency Shelter in Riverside is an overnight shelter with 28 beds for 22 men and six women. The shelter is operated from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. seven days a week.

During the day, FCCAU also operates the Welcome One Fellowship Center at the New Hope Christian Fellowship Church in Edgewood.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It provides the homeless with breakfast and lunch, as well as case management.

“As a church, we have a passion for the homeless,” she said. “There are some shelters for women and children and families. Men are sometimes the last ones to find a place to go to.”

Fike also said the county’s homeless shelters are usually at capacity. Once a person leaves a shelter, there aren’t many options.

“It’s hard to go from homelessness to independence in a few months,” Fike said. “Transitional housing is something we really need because affordable housing is so short in this county, especially for people with little or no income.”

While Saturday is the church’s first rock-a-thon, Fike hopes the fund-raiser will become an annual event.

“If you have a passion for homelessness and understand the shortage of funding available for transitional housing, it’s a fun, easy way you can participate,” Fike said. “Bring a friend. Bring your children. Rock together as a group. Bring your favorite book and iPod. It’s for a good cause.”

For more information about the rock-a-thon, visit www.SMLC.org or contact the church, 410-838-3178.


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