SABF Donates to AI

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival Executive Director Brad Veach (from left) and festival President Sharen Gromling present a $1,000 donation to Access Independence Executive Director Charles Harbaugh IV during the festival's first Apple Blossom Casino and Cash Party on Jan. 21 at the Fraternal Order of the Elks Lodge 867 near Winchester.

WINCHESTER — The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival's first Casino and Cash Party raised nearly $25,000 to recruit marching bands for this spring's Firefighters' and Grand Feature parades, and to set aside funds for a 100th anniversary festival celebration scheduled for 2027.

"This will be a huge boost to our parades and a great start to planning a blockbuster event for our 100th festival," Brad Veach, executive director of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, said in a media release.

The Apple Blossom Casino and Cash Party, held Jan. 21 at the Fraternal Order of the Elks Lodge 867 in Frederick County, featured a variety of table games, a silent auction, raffles and a 50/50 drawing.

The evening was emceed by Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV, who also serves as executive director of the nonprofit Access Independence in Winchester. Veach and Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival President Sharen Gromling presented Harbaugh with a $1,000 donation to Access Independence, the release states, in appreciation of his longtime support of the festival and to thank the nonprofit for making festival events more accessible to people with physical challenges.

"Apple Blossom is trying to be more visible throughout the year and to support the efforts of the local nonprofits serving those most in need in our community," Gromling said in the release.

Access Independence, located at 324 Hope Drive, provides free and reduced-cost equipment to help people with disabilities, teaches clients about independent living skills, assists those who need help managing finances, facilitates an energy-share program that puts money toward monthly electrical bills, prepares people who are transitioning to new living situations, advocates for those living with disabilities and more.

The 96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival will be held April 28 through May 7 in and around Winchester. For more information, visit

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