Ocean City Today
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Believe in Tomorrow to host first Block Party

By Kara Hallissey | Jul 20, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Respite Housing Program, joins Sisters owner Donna Sompher, left, and Maria Brittingham, store manager, on Monday. Sisters on Main Street will have guest bartenders, live music, wine tastings and samples during the Believe in Tomorrow Block Party, Aug. 12 in Berlin.

(July 21, 2017) A guest bartending event at Sisters on Main Street evolved into a Believe in Tomorrow Block Party in Berlin, with games for adults and children in addition to live music, vendors, activities and food on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 6-9 p.m.

“I am hoping it becomes our next big event,” said Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Respite Housing Program. “I’ve wanted to do something in Berlin for years.”

The inaugural festival will feature a range of free activities taking place on Main, Pitt and Commerce streets.

“The goal is to pack this town,” Littleton said. “Bring the kids, grandkids or your spouse to have fun for three hours. There will be stuff going on all over town.”

Attendees can enjoy live music and street performers, carnival games and a number of children’s activities including face painting, balloon animals from Kris Krunch the Klown, a bounce house, surprise costumed guests and performances by Cascading Carlos.

“Another awesome event for a good foundation,” said Megan Cosman, owner of Patty Jeans Boutique on Main Street.

Rothschild Broadcasting, 94.9 WAMS-FM and K107.7 WKHI of the Adams Group will both broadcast live during the event.

The Snowball Stand of Ocean Pines and Sobos Catering from Salisbury will be parked on the street selling treats.

Berlin businesses will have bright colored balloons to mark their participation and an auction item inside their stores for attendees to take a chance on. Tickets for the Tricky Tray Auction cost $1 each. Get seven for $5 or 15 for $10.

Businesses are also encouraged to donate a portion of their proceeds to Believe in Tomorrow on Aug. 12.

“I want to thank all of the local businesses for their positive response,” Littleton said. “I’ve met a lot of amazing people. We are still looking for vendors and Berlin businesses to participate.”

A cornhole tournament is slated to take place outside of Burley Inn Tavern on Pitt Street with prize packages for the winners.

“Their cornhole tournament has been called ‘legendary,’” Littleton said. “It will be a really fun night with games for kids and adults.”

Troy Mawyer will provide live music on Commerce Street. Mystery boxes sponsored by Park Place Jewelers can be purchased for $10 each. A Disney raffle will also be taking place. Chances cost $1 each or get seven for $5, 20 for $10.

Sisters on Main Street will have guest bartenders during the event including Buck Mann, Igor Conev, Jessica Shue, Jessica Jersey, Maria McEvoy, Jan Rooney, Tanya Knott and Christina Fohner.

There will also be wine tastings and samples provided by the Blue Crab Bay Co., out of Virginia, including its Bloody Mary mix and nuts at Sisters.

“It is nice to give back to a good cause and we are excited about it,” said Maria Brittingham, manager of Sisters.

Ed Sparks is slated to play live music inside her store from 6:30-8:30 p.m. while local band Spare Change jams outside on steel drums and an acoustic guitar.

“It started out as a guest bartending event and then evolved into a block party in the whole town,” said Donna Sompher, owner of Sisters. “The town and Council are thrilled. I think this is the first time the town has ever done anything like this [sponsor a charity event].”

Debbie Frene, owner of Victorian Charm on Main Street, has a soft spot for children and knows the importance of supporting local nonprofits.

“I love the Children’s House,” Frene said. “It is a really good organization and the first time some of these families have ever been able to take a vacation…It’s nice they can do it and not have any worries. People love coming to Berlin and we don’t have many events after hours.”

Hunter Smith and Devin Donahue, owners of Fathom on Main Street, have witnessed Believe in Tomorrow events in Ocean City and think it is a great organization.

“We’re excited. The block party sounds like a fun time,” Smith said. “It is special and should bring a crowd here.”

“It is a great event for Believe in Tomorrow,” Donahue added. “I am excited Berlin can be a part of it. I think there will be a good turnout and it’s nice to have a family event here.”

Jen Sorrell, co-owner of Island Creamery with her boyfriend, Drew Conklin, agreed with Smith and Donahue.

“I am super excited about it. Anything that brings people into town and helps the local business owners. It’s pretty cool to sell ice cream in a place like Berlin,” Sorrell said. “I admire the purpose behind the block party. It’s not just fun, but heartfelt.”

Littleton said he is happy to have an event in Berlin and acknowledged that many people are unaware of Believe in Tomorrow.

“When Donna approached me to guest bartend and it grew into a block party, I knew it would be fun,” he said. “We don’t do much in Berlin and I thought it would be nice to get the town involved so they could see what we do.”

The Believe in Tomorrow facility on 66th Street in Ocean City is open year-round to provide a free getaway to the beach for critically ill children and their families whenever they may need to escape the stresses of their child’s illness.

Each of the four condos feature kid-friendly décor and paintings with at least two bedrooms, a full bathroom, a fully-stocked kitchen, living and dining room areas.

Last year, Believe in Tomorrow acquired another house on 65th Street, which is just a few steps away from the back balcony of the 66th Street property and renovations are ongoing.

Families can also vacation at the Believe in Tomorrow House in Fenwick Island and House by the Bay on 28th Street.

Fundraisers such as the Berlin Block Party help raise money to provide essential week-long excursions for critically ill children and their families.

“It will be a family-friendly, fun night where we pack the town,” Littleton said.

Learn more about Believe in Tomorrow at http://believeintomorrow.org or call Littleton at 410-723-2842 for additional information on the Berlin Block Party.

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