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‘Come As You Are Not’: Community raises money for breast cancer awareness with 10th annual fundraiser

By Staff | Aug 16, 2019

Identity Crisis partygoers parade down German Street on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — One block of German Street was closed down on Saturday night, as hippies, flappers and pharaohs paraded down the street toward Hecho En Mexico, where paparazzi photographers were waiting to snap photos of the group on the red carpet in front of the building.

For partygoers, the 10th Annual Identity Crisis fundraiser was an opportunity to “Come As You Are Not” and raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley, Inc.

“The theme for Identity Crisis this year, is ‘Come As You Are Not,’ so Rob dressed to come in a Dorothy costume, and I came as the Wizard of Oz. He’s not Judy Garland. I’m not the Wizard of Oz,” said Richard Kendall, of Shepherdstown, about his husband, Rob Mahaffey, who wore ruby red slippers he won in an auction, as part of the ensemble. “He was the president of the Gay Men’s Chorus for many years. They auctioned off a pair of ruby red slippers from their “Wizard of Oz” performance, and he won them — they’re his size!”

For some partygoers, the event was a tradition they have been a part of for many years, but for others, it was a new experience.

“I’m in my yachting outfit — I want to be retired somewhere, on a yacht,” said Identity Crisis newcomer Karen Waugh, of Shepherdstown. “I’ve wanted to do it for yeas. I always see the pictures with all of the people I know having fun here, so this year I’m joining in. My grandma fought breast cancer, so I definitely like to support the cause.”

Richard Kendall, of Shepherdstown, right, interviews a partygoer dressed as the Star Wars character Rey, on the red carpet on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston

The evening began at 4:30 p.m., with registration at Town Run Tap House and Community Pub, followed by a shuttle bus taking partygoers to the VIP pre-party at Shepherd Cove, which included dinner, drinking, group photos and speeches. The shuttle bus then dropped partygoers off at the intersection between King Street and German Street, where they paraded down to be photographed by the paparazzi.

Many of the paparazzi photographers were members of the Jefferson County Photography Club, including Shepherdstown resident Paula Tremba and Cathy Shrout, of Winchester, Va.

“Usually I photograph dogs and cats,” Shrout said, grinning. “It looked like a fun event to photograph. I love photography, so it’s right up my alley.

According to Tremba, photographing the fundraiser is the club’s main community service project.

“The costumes are so wonderful — the creativity of people is fun to see,” Tremba said, mentioning this was her second year photographing the event. “There’s probably 20 paparazzi photographers in all.”

Partygoers pose in their costumes on the red carpet, during the Identity Crisis fundraiser on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston

The evening ended with happy hour at the Mecklenburg Inn, Domestic and The Devonshire Arms Cafe and Pub, and a dance party at Town Run Tap House and Community Pub.

To learn more about BCA-CV, visit www.bcacv.org.

Shepherdstown residents Richard Kendall and Rob Mahaffey dressed up like characters from "The Wizard of Oz" on Saturday night. Kendall is dressed as the Wizard of Oz, while Mahaffey is dressed as Dorothy, wearing a fedora as a nod to Judy Garland's later career performance in the musical "Summer Stock," on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston

Partygoers dressed as 1920s gangsters and flappers pose on the red carpet for the paparazzi, during the Identity Crisis fundraiser on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston