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Queen Anne Co.’s Sheriff Creating Art For Charity

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By SCOTT DAUGHERTY
The Capital of Annapolis

CENTREVILLE, Md. (AP) — Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Gary Hofmann isn’t exactly an artist. He’s more interested in repairing vintage arcade games and watching his son play football than visiting an art gallery or taking a pottery class.

But for charity, the 45-year-old Centreville resident said, he is willing to try anything once.

“People in the community support law enforcement, so I think it’s important we give back to the community,” Hofmann said.

The sheriff is one of eight community leaders from Queen Anne’s County to participate in the Kent Island Federation of Arts inaugural “KIFA’s Got Talent” fundraiser. With the help of eight professional artists, each local celebrity has worked the past two months to create unique pieces of art that will be auctioned Friday night at Kentmorr Restaurant in Stevensville.

Proceeds will benefit KIFA’s arts studio in Stevensville that offers classes, workshops and summer camps.

“We have an old Victorian house that always needs something,” said Nancy O’Brien, president of KIFA’s board.

She hopes the fundraiser also will allow them to offer a wider selection of classes.

Participants in the fundraiser come from different walks of life– from churches, businesses, community groups and political parties. And the artwork they are creating will span several mediums– from photography to jewelry to mosaics.

O’Brien said last week she was careful when she approached the various community leaders earlier this year about participating in the event. She knew some would balk at the idea of making and displaying their own artwork.

“I did it all face-to-face. I wasn’t going to do this over the phone,” she said with a laugh.

With only a little cajoling, O’Brien talked them all into the idea.

“Some weren’t jumping over hoops (to participate,) but I think they are all enjoying it now,” she said. “They are all such good sports for going along with it.”

For the auction, Hofmann — who in years past has participated in other unusual fundraisers, including a “Dancing with the Stars” event in 2008 — has embraced his inner potter. He is paired with Carole Cascio, owner of the Lifesong Studio in Stevensville.

“I am glad I got clay,” Hoffman said. “I don’t think I would have been a very good knitter.”

What he and Cascio are making is a secret.

“It’s not an ashtray,” Hofmann said. “The only people who know are Carole and myself. I haven’t even told my wife.”

Cascio said she expected they would be able to enter two pieces into the auction — a glazed piece and a smoked piece. Beyond that, she would only offer the following cryptic hint.

“The sheriff has some expertise with electricity,” she said.

Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://www.hometownannapolis.com/

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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